School Board Meeting Essay Format

Meeting of a majority of Board members are to be held in public, with an agenda published in advance. School Board meetings are posted on the district's website at the link on the left. 

Under certain circumstances, the Board may have a “closed” meeting, which could include topics such as personnel, labor negotiations, or legal matters. Closed sessions are not open to the public.

The public is invited and encouraged to attend, as well as speak at, any public School Board meeting.

Although there may be special meetings called with a different format, most public board meetings will follow a standard format:

  • Call to Order
  • Student Representatives' Report
  • Approval of Agenda
  • Citizen inquiries and comments pertaining to agenda items
  • Approval of minutes
  • Information/Presentations – Scheduled presentations from staff or invited guests
  • Discussion Items – items for Board discussion for which there will be no specific Board vote, however a consensus of the Board may direct District Staff to do additional work or to bring a follow-up action item to the Board
  • Action Items – items up for a vote by the Board – most items require a simple majority of Board members to pass
  • Comments from Board Members, the Superintendent, and Employee Group representatives
  • Citizens Comments – discussion of any items not on the agenda
  • Adjournment

Public Participation at Board Meetings

School Board meetings are meetings of the Governing Board IN public, but are not meetings WITH the public. The District and Board seek to ensure that the public may exercise its right to be heard, surface issues, and follow resolution of such issues.

Members of the public are asked to speak only when recognized by the Board President. Any member of the public has the right to address the Board on any issue, even if that topic is not on the current agenda, during the citizens comments item.

Duval County school children can now add the title “published author” to their resumes, after a recent city essay contest.

Nine of those kids were recognized at Tuesday night’s school board meeting for contributing the best writing.

The prompt: What does higher education mean to you?

The students all took different routes with the prompt.

Kevin Williams, a 9-year-old boy in 3rd grade wrote in his essay, “I have the freedom to learn new things, to travel and learn new places and become successful.”

Tyler Stocklin from Mandarin High says he was inspired by a John Dewey quote.

Stocklin said, “[Dewey] says that education is not preparation for life, but education is life itself.”

And 11-year-old Taylor Richardson wrote about the importance of reading.

“Well, when I was little I had tough learning how to read, and my mom always made me read African-American books,” Richardson said.

The book of essays, titled “Mayor Alvin Brown’s Essay Contest,” is now listed in the Library of Congress, and schools around Duval County will also have copies in their libraries.

Listen to the version of this story aired on WJCT 89.9 FM

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