School Board Meeting Participation Guidelines

  • PDF: Open Forum Speaker Card
    PDF: Public Hearing Speaker Card (Only for meetings that include public hearing)

    New: Effective December 1, 2021, individuals wishing to participate in Open Forum must be present in person at the Board meeting during the Open Forum time designated on the agenda.

    The CISD Board of Trustees view citizen participation as an important part of our board meetings and have designated a portion of each meeting for that purpose in accordance with District Policy BED (Local).

    If you wish to participate in Open Forum, you must sign up by completing and submitting a speaker card at least one hour before the meeting begins and indicate the topic you will address. Speaker cards are numbered in the order in which they are received. Further instructions for speakers are listed below. 

    Individuals wishing to participate in Open Forum must be present in person at the Board meeting during the Open Forum time designated on the agenda. Presentations will be limited to three minutes and a staff member will assist with time keeping.

    Citizens cannot participate in the board meeting other than during the open forum time. Any citizen disrupting the board meeting, by word or action, who does not heed warnings to stop, will be asked to leave. If necessary, the citizen(s) will be removed by law enforcement officials.

    Any subject which is not an agenda item for the posted meeting cannot be deliberated by the board. However, specific information or existing policy may be furnished in response to inquiries.

    Finally, complaints should be filed following the appropriate policies and administrative procedures prior to presenting to the board. If a complaint escalates to the board for resolution, it must be placed on the agenda and posted in accordance with the Texas Open Meetings Act first, and administrative remedies must have been exhausted.

    CISD Rules for citizen participation in Open Forum are based on Texas Association of School Board’s Standard Regulations. 

    Suggested tips for making a successful presentation 
    1. State your name and address at the start of your presentation. Then introduce your comment by beginning with the following: “President Hall, members of the Board and Dr. McFarland…”
    2. Short and to the point presentations that are equal to or less then the allowed time limits are more effective with the board than long, repetitive presentations.
    3. If a previous speaker has made your point, feel free to inform the board president that you do not need to speak because your point or issue has been discussed. You can make a simple statement from your seat such as, “I do not need to speak. My point or issue has been made.”
    4. If you plan to present the board with information, have it organized and ready to pass to the board secretary, who will distribute it to the board members. Begin your presentation immediately thereafter.
    5. Address your remarks to the entire board rather than to a specific member or staff person.
    6. As per policy BED (Local), the board has allotted 30 minutes to hear comments from the public. Presentations are limited to three minutes for individuals. The board president may recognize the group; therefore, it is mandatory that notification of a group presentation be made known before the board meeting. Please list individuals on the back of the speaker card. To aid with time keeping, a district staff member will hold up color-coded cards to assist with the time-keeping.
    7. Do not ask the board if anyone has questions. The board president or a board member will ask you to stay at the podium if there is a question.