In the last two years, boards of education have faced unprecedented challenges and seen increased interest in board meetings and school district decisions.

This has prompted the New Jersey School Boards Association to develop a community resource, “A Guide to Board of Education Meetings in New Jersey.”

The intent is to educate residents, serve as a reference guide for the media, and as a refresher for school officials. The brochure outlines and delineates the roles and responsibilities of boards of education and superintendents; provides guidance for members of the public who wish to address matters of concern with their boards during public meetings; and explains board meeting procedures.

“Boards of education are often on the front lines in addressing concerns, answering questions and clearing up misinformation about government mandates and curriculum decisions among other important matters,” said Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod, NJSBA executive director. “As school officials, we respect the taxpayers’ right to know and engage in the local education process, which is vital to a  well-functioning system. We hope that this information can serve as a useful tool to achieve a better public understanding about how school boards and districts operate and how residents can participate.”

Additional information on navigating the school board’s public comment session is featured in the most recent issue of School Leader magazine.

Districts are encouraged to print and share these brochures at their school board meetings, post the link on their official websites, and use the information as a resource for school officials to refresh their understanding about state regulations concerning the protocol for closed sessions and access to public records.

The brochure can be accessed here.