Anchorage School Board
Testify at a meeting
We welcome public comment on agenda and non-agenda items. The board values public comment as it both ensures that we remain aware of public thoughts, ideas and concerns as well as informs our decision-making. We have two podiums for testimony and I will call you up to one of the two. You have three minutes to speak and you may begin when the green lights illuminates. When you have one-minute left, the green light will change to yellow and when your time is up, a buzzer will sound. Additionally, it is not our practice that board members answer questions or engage in discussion with members of the public. This is your time to speak and our time to listen. The board will consider all information shared by the public, and when necessary issues will be referred to the administration for their follow up.
Individuals wishing to testify before the school board
The school board encourages public participation and testimony in conducting its business. Individuals or groups may attend and testify at school board meetings. Testimony in-person on Non-Action items will be accepted at the beginning and end of the Regular Session. Action items will be available for public comment as they appear on the agenda. Telephonic testimony is accepted on Action and Non-Action items.
Please advise the school board secretary if any accommodations are needed.
Meeting sign-up procedures for in-person testimony
Persons may notify the superintendent’s office to sign-up to testify to the school board up to one hour prior to the start of either the early or late session of the regular meeting. Contact may be made in one of the following ways:
In person: 5530 E Northern Lights Blvd., Anchorage
Mail (letter must be received by the date of the meeting):
Anchorage School District
If the person has not called in, or otherwise provided notification 30 minutes prior to the start of the meeting, they may sign-up with the school board secretary in the boardroom until the president has called the meeting to order. Persons wishing to testify should give the secretary their name, telephone number, and topic of their testimony. Persons may not sign-up other persons to testify.
A sign will be posted in a prominent place in the boardroom advising the public of their right to sign-up prior to the beginning of the meeting; this sign will also have a copy of the agenda and a list of those who have previously signed up (without telephone numbers) to testify.
Persons who have not signed up prior to the meeting start or are unable add their name to the list in the Boardroom may testify when the board president asks if there are others who wish to speak, if time permits.
Meeting sign-up procedures for telephonic testimony
Early sign-up is required in order to accommodate telephonic testimony. Persons may sign-up to testify telephonically at regular school board meetings by notifying the superintendent’s office by 5p.m. on the Friday preceding the meeting. Contact may be made in the same manner identified above except that mail must be received by the Friday before the meeting.
The public may testify telephonically on Action items only. Telephonic testimony is not taken during the portions of the board meeting identified for Non-Action items. Persons wishing to testify should give the secretary their name, telephone number, and the agenda item(s) on which they will testify. Persons may not sign-up other persons to testify.
How telephonic testimony occurs
- The school board secretary will call the person on the number provided. Once the connection is made, testimony will occur through a speaker device that permits the school board and those in attendance to hear the testimony.
- Persons testifying will be connected immediately preceding the testimony and the call will be terminated at the end of each person’s allotted time. Individuals are encouraged to watch the regular board meeting live on ASD-TV or cable channel 14 prior to their testimony.
- No more than two attempts will be made to reach the speaker at the number provided. One attempt will be made to contact a speaker if the call is dropped during the speaker’s testimony.
- It is the responsibility of the person testifying to ensure that the testimony can be heard and is free of background noise and distraction. If testimony is inaudible or contains distracting noise, music, or voices, the call will be terminated.
- The school board does not hear complaints against students or personnel in public session.
- The board secretary maintains a list of persons wishing to speak to the board. The list is distributed to the board, the superintendent, administrative staff, and any media (without telephone numbers), just prior to the regular meeting, or at the meeting itself. Persons are added to the list in the order they call-in, or sign-up at the board meeting.
- Individual speakers are limited to three minutes per person as time allows; if there are a large number of speakers, time may be reduced at the discretion of the board. If a person wishes to testify on multiple items, there will be a six minute maximum for each person.
- It is not normal practice that board members answer questions or engage in discussion with members of the public. This is your time to speak and the board’s time to listen. The board will consider all information shared by the public, and when necessary issues will be referred to the administration for their follow up.
- The board secretary files a list with all names of persons speaking to the board as part of the official record of the meeting.