Meeting Procedure

AMHERST-PELHAM REGIONAL SCHOOL COMMITTEE

AMHERST SCHOOL COMMITTEE

PELHAM SCHOOL COMMITTEE

170 CHESTNUT STREET
AMHERST, MA01002


Welcome

The School Committee encourages parents and other interested citizens to attend its public meetings.  The Regional School Committee is responsible for the operations of the Middle School and High School, Grades 7 – 12, which serve students from the Towns of Amherst, Pelham, Leverett, and Shutesbury.  The Regional School Committee generally meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at 7:00 p.m. in the High School library.  The Amherst School Committee, which meets on the third Tuesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. in the High School library, is responsible for the operations of the four elementary schools in Amherst: CrockerFarmSchool, FortRiverSchool, Mark’s MeadowSchool, and WildwoodSchool.  The Pelham School Committee is responsible for the operations of the PelhamElementary School and meets in the PelhamCommunityBuilding at 7:00 p.m. on the first Thursday of the month.

 

School Committee Function

The Committee represents the entire community and establishes educational goals and policies for the operation of the school system.  In addition, the School Committee reviews and approves budgets; is the employer for collective bargaining; and selects, appoints, and evaluates the Superintendent. The Committee reaches decisions by majority vote.  The Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993 set strict legal limits on the roles, responsibilities, and power of a School Committee.

 

Meeting procedures

A printed agenda is followed at each meeting.  The agenda is prepared during the week prior to each meeting and is designed to allow a reasonable and specified time on each item for presentations to the Committee, Committee discussion and action, and for public comments.  A period of time (Announcements and Public Comment) is allocated at the beginning of the meeting for comments on matters not on the agenda.  In addition to information received at a meeting, the Committee receives reports, requests and suggestions from staff members, individual citizens, or representatives of delegations.  The Superintendent of Schools, or his/her representative, presents the school administrative recommendation on any item requiring action.  For agenda items, the protocol is for the Superintendent to present an item.  Following this, members of the School Committee may comment on the item.  Finally, the Committee Chair will recognize members of the staff or public who wish to comment, if time permits.  Persons who wish to speak to the Committee are requested to identify themselves, to limit their comments to a maximum of five minutes, and to speak only once on an item.  The Committee Chair will remind persons of time constraints as the meeting progresses.  Agenda items have been selected and arranged in a manner to provide time for reasonable consideration and action on all items and to provide for adjournment no later than 10:00 p.m.  At times, discussion may be limited to members of the Committee in order to transact business. Under the State’s open meeting law, all School Committee meetings are open to the public, except for Executive Sessions. A public forum on a specific topic may be scheduled by the School Committee to allow the Committee to hear community members’ views, concerns, and questions about that issue.

Parents and community members who are not native English speakers and would like to utilize the services of a translator in addressing the Committee should notify the Superintendent’s office a few days prior to the meeting so that such services can be secured.

 

Agenda Items

Any person wishing to have an item placed on the Committee agenda should present the item to the Superintendent of Schools or the Committee Chair at least one week before the date of the next regularly scheduled meeting.  The Committee Chair will schedule the item on the School Committee’s next agenda if time is available or will refer the item to an administrator, who can respond directly to the item.  Submission of written statements of explanation or support for any agenda item is encouraged.  Such statements are helpful to the Committee as they consider the issues involved.

 

Concerns

Concerns, problems, and complaints about the schools first should be brought to the attention of a teacher (or appropriate school personnel).  School Committee members may be contacted for information about the school district’s policies, and they can suggest the appropriate person to contact with a specific problem or complaint.  If the issue is not resolved, it should be referred next to the Principal.  If necessary, the issue then can be referred to the Superintendent.  (2006)

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