Now more than ever it is critical for families to stay connected to what is happening at the WCSD Board of Trustee public meetings. Bringing concerns or questions before the school board is your parental right and duty. It is an important way to show all of our policy makers that we are paying attention and we will have a say in what happens with our children and their education.
1. Attend a WCSD Board Meeting:
The Washoe County School District’s Board of Trustees holds their public meetings every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month. The meetings begin at 2:00pm and go until they finish hearing and voting on the entire agenda.
Public comment can be made for each indicated agenda item, and then general public comment comes at the end of the meeting. These meetings, especially when there is a hot-topic agenda item, can go quite long. We have seen a meeting last as little as four hours and as long as 12 hours. It all depends upon the agenda and the level of public participation. It is important to note however, that those who wish to make a public comment do not need to attend the entire meeting. It is possible to watch the meeting on the WCSD live YouTube channel to keep tabs on timing, and then drive down when things get close to your agenda item (give yourself ample time). If you are seeking to make a general comment (any topic or question is appropriate for this section) those don’t typically happen until after 5:00pm. Students are always welcome to come and make a public comment on any agenda item, and seem to have some of the greatest impact.
The most important thing to remember about making a public comment is filling out a public comment request card. The administrators will hand those out in the front of the building or inside the building, depending on the size of the crowd. You cannot make a public comment unless this card is filled out.
You have three minutes to speak. It is not a conversation – the board members cannot answer or comment. It is always helpful to jot down your thoughts or your speech before going up to the podium. You can have handouts and request the clerk pass those to the board members. It is important to try and remain calm. We always say "yelling is not selling". Your points will be clear to all listening if spoken with conviction and composure.
We realize parents are strapped for time, but it is an eye opening experience to actually attend a WCSD board meeting. We would encourage all to try it.
2. Email the Board with your Comments:
If you are interested in reaching out to board members for a response or comments, email the board members personally. You can send your questions or comment to one email address at BoardMembers@WashoeSchools.net. When sending here you may receive a response from the Board President on behalf of the board. If you would like to ensure that every board member reads your email, email them directly. Here is access to all of the Board of Trustee direct emails. In our experience half will respond back in some fashion.
If you are interested in emailing the board members to provide public comment on a certain agenda item or for general comments (which becomes public record), email email@example.com. The benefit of doing this is that your email and its contents will be included in the public record section of the meeting. The only downside to this option is you will not receive a response from board members. It is always helpful to include agenda item numbers when going this route. Agendas for upcoming meetings are typically posted five days prior to the upcoming meeting here.
3. Watch the Meeting Live on the WCSD YouTube Channel:
Each WCSD board meeting is broadcast live on Youtube and can be watched from the comfort of your own home, or listened to in the car. Even better, each past board meeting is kept on the channel and you can go back and listen to all or parts of any meeting. This is very helpful for parents only interested in popping in to hear a certain agenda item.
4. Subscribe to the WCSD Board of Trustees Weekly Newsletter:
We would highly suggest you sign up for the Board of Trustee weekly newsletter. It has recently been updated and is key to keeping an eye on the district. It highlights some of the big issues discussed in the latest board meeting and also provides links to relevant agenda items. You can sign up for the Board News Here.
We are moms, dads, grandparents, guardians and community members fighting for parental rights, exemplary education and fair representation within Nevada's Washoe County School District