About Board Meetings
The West Hempstead Board of Education welcomes residents, staff members, students and other interested persons to its meetings. The Board usually holds its Business Meetings on the third Tuesday of each month. From time to time the Board will hold a Special Business Meeting, which will also be scheduled on a Tuesday. These types of meetings are all open to the public and typically begin at 7:30 p.m. On occasion, the Board will meet in an Executive Session. These sessions are closed to the public.
What are the different kinds of Board Meetings?
The West Hempstead Board of Education holds different kinds of meetings: Regular, Special, Policy, Budget and an Annual Reorganizational Meeting. Each is described below. During any of these meetings, the Board may elect to go into Executive Session. These are described below, as well.
Regular Business Meetings:
These meetings are the meetings during which most of the District’s business is conducted. The Board takes action on items listed on an agenda. These items include actions such as accepting the Treasurer’s Report, Claims Auditor’s Report, resignations, appointing employees, accepting minutes of previous meetings, approving business reports, approving bids, approving employee contracts, etc. The Board reviews the agenda items several days before they go to a meeting. Supporting documentation is provided and questions are asked of Administration in advance of the meeting so that Board members are prepared to take action at the meeting. Public participation is permitted at these meetings during two “Period for District Residents to Address the Board” sections of the agenda.
During certain Business Meetings the Board may hear presentations about District programs and departments. These topics are listed in the Board Meetings schedule on this website.
Throughout the year, Special Meetings are held to discuss certain school matters, to address a time-sensitive issue or to deal with a circumstance that has arisen. These meetings are open to the public. However, since these are working sessions of the Board, public participation is left to the discretion of the Board.
At this meeting the School Board elects and appoints its officers and committees for the coming year and Board Members take or renew their Oaths of Office. The Reorganization meeting must be held each year in July.
Three times a year the Board meets to update, rescind or adopt new policies of the District. The public is welcome at these meetings.
The Board meets with the public in March regarding Instructional and Non-Instructional items for the upcoming budget for the next school year. The budget is presented to the public for their information and input.
During any meeting of the Board, the Board may go into “Executive Session.” This meeting is not open to the public. Executive Sessions are permitted only for a limited number of specific purposes and the purpose of which must be announced by law. With limited exceptions, no official action can be taken on issues discussed in Executive Session without first returning to Open Session. An exception includes voting on charges against a tenured teacher.
Who attends a School Board Meeting?
The individuals seated at the Board table include the seven Board Trustees, the Superintendent of Schools, the Assistant Superintendent for Business and the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum. The District Clerk, who records the minutes of the meetings, is also in attendance. At a business session, it is common to see the District Attorney, a Student Representative, the School Principals and Department Chairs in attendance.
The Meeting Agenda
The usual order of business at Regular Business Meetings is generally as follows:
Routine Matters – includes Minutes from previous meetings and the Treasurer’s Report
Report of Committees – The Board, PTA, PTSA and SEPTA, Student Representatives
Superintendent’s Report – Includes updates on school happenings
Superintendent’s Recommendations – Appointments, Resignations, etc.; Extra Pay for Extra Responsibility; Tenure Appointments; Approval of Contracts and Agreements; Acceptance of Donations and Special Education recommendations
Assistant Superintendent’s Report and Recommendations – New Vendors; Budgetary Transfers, Bids, Transportation and Use of Facilities
Old Business – Any tabled dockets are addressed here
New Business – Conventions/Seminars/Workshop expenses and any business the Board needs to address in a timely manner
Board Privilege of the Floor – Board Members wishing to discuss an issue or item with other Board Members
Future Meeting Dates
All agendas are available on the District Website at WHUFSD under Board Docs – Agendas - two days before each meeting. The agenda outlines the Order of Business for each meeting.
Though not required by law, public comment is invited near the beginning and at the end of each public Board Meeting. The two public comment periods are limited to comments from West Hempstead and Island Park residents, and employees on non-confidential topics on that meeting’s agenda. Each speaker is asked to address the Board directly and to limit his/her presentation to no longer than three minutes. Each session will be limited to 20 minutes total.
Comments about Executive topics or individual students or staff members may be ruled out of order; such items should be addressed to the Board in writing.