Public Participation in the Meetings of the Board of Education
Please be aware of Howard County Board of Education Policy 2040 Public Participation in Meetings. Residents are reminded that written testimony, including identifying information, is considered public information and, as such, is subject to the Maryland Public Information Act.
Please contact the Board of Education Office at 410-313-7194 with any questions or concerns.
Speaking at Public Forum
Public Forum during Board of Education meetings follows a modified procedure during the COVID pandemic. The Board of Education is currently in a hybrid Board meeting format, providing the public the opportunity to participate in public forums virtually or in person.
Community members may sign up for a public forum by emailing the Board of Education Administrator April Harrison (email@example.com) with public forum topic, time preference, and participation preference of virtual or in person. The first 10 community members to notify her by email will be registered – five for the afternoon session and five for the evening session. Each registrant will have three minutes to present their topic. Registrants will be provided instructions from the Board Administrator on how to read their comments during a Board meeting.
Registration begins three weeks prior to the date of the meeting. Emails to register must be received no later than 4:30 p.m. the last working day prior to a meeting.. The list of registrants and comments will posted online in BoardDocs. Registrants will receive a written response. All persons are expected to exhibit civil behavior regarding their comments in accordance with Policy 1000 Civility.Topics excluded from Public Forum are:
- Individual personnel issues
- Complaints identifying individual students
- Matters that are on appeal
- Topics for which the Board schedules formal public hearings
- Advertising or solicitation for products and/or services
Public Forum Written Comments
All written comments submitted during Public Forum will be uploaded into BoardDocs. No personal information will be removed. It is recommended that comments submitted contain only include the constituent’s name. Comments submitted are a part of the public record maintained by the Board Office.
Public Hearing Pre-Registration and Testimony
Public Hearings during Board of Education meetings follows a modified procedure during the COVID pandemic. The Board of Education has transitioned to a hybrid Board meeting format, providing the public the opportunity to participate in public hearings virtually or in person. Community members need to select if they wish to speak in person or virtually when completing the registration to testify. Community members wishing to testify at public hearings must pre-register online. Registration opens three weeks prior to a hearing and closes at 4:30 p.m. the last working day prior to a meeting. Registration links are posted below when available. An email address is required in order for the community member to participate and provide testimony during a public hearing. Specific directions will be emailed to each registrant prior to the public hearing. Anyone who experiences issues registering may contact the Board office for assistance by calling 410-313-7194.
Speakers are requested to provide an electronic version of their testimony to firstname.lastname@example.org for distribution to Board members and staff at the hearing. Written testimony will be posted to the appropriate part of the online agenda following the meeting as it is part of the public record maintained by the Board Office. Testimony will not be edited before posting online—no personal information will be removed. It is recommended that written testimony submitted at the public hearing only include the constituent’s name.
Community members wishing to testify at public hearings must pre-register via online form. Registration opens three weeks prior to a hearing and closes at 4:30 p.m. the last working day prior to a meeting.
A complete list of upcoming public hearings can be found on BoardDocs.
Public Hearing Written Testimony submitted via email or USPS mail
Individuals may also submit written testimony via USPS mail (Board of Education, 10910 Clarksville Pike, Ellicott City, MD 21042) or emailed to email@example.com. All testimony is part of the public record maintained by the Board Office. All testimony submitted for public hearings via email or regular mail will be uploaded as submitted to BoardDocs. Written testimony will not be edited before posting online—no personal information will be removed. It is recommended that written testimony submitted only include the constituent’s name.
It is highly recommended that testimony sent via email be submitted as an attachment with only the constituent’s name included. Only the attachment will be posted online. If testimony is submitted in the text of an email, the entire email—including the constituent’s email address—will be posted.