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School Board Listening Sessions

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Overview of Listening SessionsThe St. Anthony-New Brighton School Board welcomes input from community members by sharing feedback at listening sessions, through phone calls, or submitting letters and emails.  For those who prefer to address the School Board directly, the School Board sets aside time for a Listening Session prior to regular School Board meetings, but not at work sessions or special meetings. 

  • The Listening Session of the School Board is scheduled at 6:30 pm, or earlier if the need arises, for 20 minutes. The Listening Session is held prior to the first meeting of each month in the Council Chambers at St. Anthony Village Community Center, 3301 Silver Lake Road or via Zoom.  
  • Members of the public may come to the meeting location to present their thoughts, ideas and concerns and are expected to follow the procedures outlined below. 
    • This time prior to the beginning of the meeting is made available to the public for this purpose.
    • Addressing the School Board does not necessarily mean the board will consider or take action on an item.
  • Members of the public who wish to share comments at a listening session must complete this form.

Listening Session Procedures

The School Board sets aside time for a Listening Session prior to regular School Board meetings, but not at work sessions or special meetings.  Time for Listening Sessions at regular School Board meetings is not a requirement of the law; it is something the School Board chooses to provide.  The School Board would like to provide the community with some general information about the Listening Session, including the purpose, the procedures that apply, and prohibited conduct.

Purpose of Listening Session

The purpose of the Listening Session of the School Board is to give community members an opportunity to provide input directly to the School Board about issues that fall within the School Board’s authority.  To fulfill this purpose, comments must be directed to the School Board. The School Board members will not respond to questions.  The board may, however, ask a clarifying question. 

The Listening Session is not a time for citizens to speak to the community or to the audience.  For this reason, the Listening Session will not be recorded.

Request to Speak

Individuals who want to speak during the Listening Session must submit a written request to speak before 3:00 p.m. on the day of the School Board meeting. Requests must be submitted via the Listening Session Google Form. This electronic form will also be available at the meeting and speakers will be recognized as time allows.

Listening Session Time Frame

The Listening Session of the School Board is scheduled at 6:30 pm, or earlier if the need arises, for 20 minutes.  Speakers will have two (2) minutes to address the School Board.  This time limit is necessary in order to ensure that the School Board is able to conduct its business during the meeting in an orderly, efficient, and timely fashion. Any person who does not get a chance to speak is encouraged to submit written comments to the School Board.  Email addresses for School Board members are listed on the District’s website. 

Speakers Must Be Recognized 

  1. The School Board Chair will identify the individuals who submitted a request to speak at the listening session.

  2. The School Board Chair will recognize one speaker at a time in the order the requests were received. In addition, the School Board Chair will also prioritize speakers in the following order: 

    1. Students

    2. Parents/guardians of students

    3. District residents

    4. District employees

    5. All others

  3. Once the speaker has been recognized by the School Board Chair, they are allowed two minutes to address the School Board during the Listening Session. 

    1. Longer time may be granted at the discretion of the School Board Chair.

  4. In the event that an individual chooses to speak to the Board out of order or interrupts a speaker who has been recognized by the Chair, the School Board Chair will rule the speaker out of order and remind participants of the procedures to be recognized before speaking.

Cumulative Presentations

Speakers are encouraged to avoid repeating comments.  Redundant comments and presentations deprive other individuals of the opportunity to speak during the Listening Session.

Prohibited Conduct

The following conduct is prohibited during a public School Board meeting, including during the Listening Session:

  • Speakers may not discuss or disclose any private educational data on any current or former student or staff as defined in Minnesota Statutes section 13.32 and described in Policy 206: Public Input to the School Board and Data Privacy Considerations.  As a result, speakers may not identify any current or former student or staff during the Listening Session.  The only exception is that a parent who is speaking may choose to discuss private educational data on his or her own child. 

  • Speakers may not make allegations, charges, or complaints against any student or employee.  If a person wishes to make an allegation or to file a charge or complaint against a student or employee, the person should make the allegation, charge, or complaint to the Superintendent in writing or in a private meeting, or to the individual designated in District policy to receive the allegation, charge, or complaint. 

  • Speakers may not make comments or gestures that are threatening, profane, lewd, vulgar, obscene, harassing, or abusive.

  • Speakers may not make personal attacks against others, including, but not limited to, any student, parent, community member, employee, or School Board member.

  • Speakers may not make comments that would violate federal or state law, including laws protecting the privacy rights of an individual. 

  • Speakers may not make comments related to pending contract negotiations or to pending litigation to which the District is a party, including grievance proceedings. 

  • Speakers may not campaign for or against a political candidate during any part of a public school board meeting. 

  • Speakers may not promote or advertise products that are for sale or purchase unless the Board has invited the speaker to present on the product as an agenda item. 

  • Members of the public may not engage in conduct that materially and substantially disrupts any part of a School Board meeting, or that otherwise impedes the School Board’s ability to conduct its business in an orderly and efficient fashion.  The following are examples of conduct that is materially and substantially disruptive or that otherwise impedes the School Board’s ability to conduct its business in an orderly and efficient fashion: 

    • Making comments that incite violence;

    • Making comments that reasonably instill fear;

    • Interrupting a speaker who has been recognized by the School Board Chair;

    • Making comments from the audience when the person making comments has not been recognized by the School Board Chair;

    • Interrupting the School Board Chair or any other School Board member or school official who is speaking;

    • Holding up a sign or displaying a banner, regardless of the content of the sign or banner;

    • Clapping, cheering, booing, vocalizing approval, or vocalizing disapproval for a speaker during the speaker’s presentation, unless a School Board member or school official is presenting an award to a person or is describing an honor or award that a person received;

    • Addressing the audience rather than the School Board;

    • Bringing a weapon into the meeting room or onto school property, except as allowed under Minnesota law;

    • Violating room capacity requirements; and

    • Violating any law or District policy. 

Violations

If a speaker violates any of the established procedures or engages in any prohibited conduct, the Board Chair will rule the speaker out of order. 

  • If the speaker is presenting to the School Board, the Board Chair may require the speaker to immediately end his or her presentation. 

  • If repeated disruptions occur during the Listening Session, the School Board Chair may call a recess and order that the room be cleared until the meeting resumes. 

  • If repeated disruptions occur, any School Board member has the right to end the meeting.

Superintendent Response After Comments to the School Board

Following Comments to the School Board, the School Board Chair may ask the Superintendent or a designee to respond or provide clarifying information to the School Board.