Am I allowed to go to the school board meeting?
Yes, all school board meetings are open to the public.
Can I participate in the meeting and ask the school board questions?
The public does not generally participate in the meeting. However, at the beginning of the meeting, the school board president will ask if any school district resident would like to go to the podium and speak to the school board, for up to three minutes each time. That is when you can express a concern, deliver a compliment, offer a suggestion, etc.
To protect employees’ rights to privacy, and because Ohio law states that personnel matters are not public, the school board does not hear complaints or comments about specific employees in public session.
Can I ask questions during the public comment time?
It’s fine to ask questions. The board will occasionally respond immediately, but more often they will ask the superintendent or treasurer to look into the matter and report back to the board and you. If you ask specific questions, you will receive an answer at the meeting or shortly thereafter.
Can I use the public comment time to talk to the school board about a problem my child or family is having at school?
The school board oversees district-wide issues and is directly responsible for district policies. If you have an individual concern about a specific situation or student, it is best to first talk with the teacher or school principal. The district’s goal is to work together to resolve issues quickly, and staff members closest to the situation are better able to do so. However, if you still have questions or concerns after working with the staff member, feel free to contact the assistant superintendent of human resources, the assistant superintendent of instruction, or superintendent.
The school board president said the school board will be meeting in executive session. What does that mean?
During a public school board meeting, the school board may vote to have a closed-door session, where they meet in private. This is called an executive session. Usually, the board members will move to another room instead of asking people who are attending the public meeting to leave and wait outside. Ohio law allows executive sessions for specific subjects, such as personnel, real estate transactions, pending or imminent legal action, employee negotiations, issues dealing with a specific student, or school security issues.
Based on the subject or subjects to be discussed, the board members may invite other individuals to join the executive session, for example, a lawyer, a police officer, or a school district administrator. When they are behind closed doors, board members can only discuss the subject at hand and they will not take any votes. Any vote that may be needed on an issue must be taken when the school board returns to the public session.
How can I find out when the next meeting is, and where?
Typically the school board meets the fourth Thursday night at 7:00 pm for the open session. The meetings are usually held at the Hamilton Board of Education office at 533 Dayton Street. However, there are occasional times when the schedule may vary.
How can I contact the school board members?
Each board member has both a phone number and email address which are shown on the school district’s website, hamiltoncityschools.com.
Do you have a question, suggestion, concern, or comment?
Thank you for showing an interest in the Hamilton City School District. We welcome questions, suggestions, concerns, and comments. We will direct your comments to the appropriate department and will respond directly back to you.
Please send all questions and concerns to the director of communications Joni Copas.