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St. Mary's County Public Schools
Charting a Course to Excellence
On behalf of the Board of Education of St. Mary's County, welcome to Board Docs. Board Meetings are normally held on the second Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. and the last Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.* (start time for evening meeting changed effective with the 9/29/09 Board Meeting.) All meetings are held in our Board Meeting Room, 23160 Moakley Street, Leonardtown, Maryland 20650. For meeting schedule by date or more information, please visit our school system website at www.smcps.org or click on the library link above and go to "Events". You may also contact the Board Office at 301-475-5511, ext. 32177.

Board of Education Members:

Salvatore L. Raspa, Chairman
Brooke Matthews, Vice Chairman
Cathy Allen
Marilyn A. Crosby
Mary M. Washington
Sarita D. Lee, Student Member
Dr. Michael J. Martirano, Secretary-Treasurer


WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION?

For many current residents, history was made in December 1996, when the county-elected school Board took the helm, ending a long tradition of operating under an appointed Board. St. Mary’s County Public Schools is governed by a Board of Education consisting of five members and a nonvoting student representative. The Board of Education of St. Mary’s County’s power and duties include the authority to adopt, enforce, and monitor all policies for the management and governance of the school system. Board of Education members are guardians of the public trust. Through the policies they make, Board members are ultimately responsible for the success or failure of local public education. The Board serves as the advocate for educational excellence for the community's youth and puts those interests first. The policies Board of Educations make dictate the standards and philosophies by which schools are run and the criteria used to judge whether they are being run well.

The key responsibilities of the Board of Education are to:
-- Hire and evaluate the Superintendent to whom is delegated all administrative responsibility and authority.
-- Adopt and evaluate policies.
-- Approve and adopt the school system’s annual budget.
-- Involve the community in the life of the school system.
-- Maintain open and honest communication.

The Board of Education of St. Mary’s County welcomes your interest and participation. Open lines of communication are vital to providing a positive educational experience for the students who learn in our classrooms each day.

HOW LONG DO BOARD MEETINGS LAST?
Board of Education public, open meetings generally average three hours in length depending upon the issues being discussed and citizen comments that are shared.

WHAT HAPPENS AT A BOARD MEETING?
A typical agenda for a Board of Education meeting may include all or some of the following:
-- Call to Order
-- Roll Call
-- Executive Session
-- Reopen meeting if Executive Session is held
-- Pledge of Allegiance
-- Approval of Agenda
-- Board Reports – an informal report by each Board member as to his/her activities or points of interest
-- Superintendent Report
-- Recognitions
-- Public Hearing
-- Public Comment
-- Consent Agenda/Approval of Minutes – items that are routine that are voted on in a block instead of being
voted on individually
-- Action Items – items on which the Board will vote
-- Information Items – items on which the Board will receive information
-- Future Board Meeting Notice
-- Adjournment
-- Work Session – if necessary for policies/budget, etc – usually at the first meeting of the month (day meeting)


PUBLIC COMMENT STATEMENT:
The Board welcomes public input on policies and issues affecting our schools. The Board takes this time to listen and consider, but not to comment. This is not, however, the appropriate forum for negative comments or criticisms of individual staff or students. Concerns about individual staff members that cannot be resolved at the level closest to the situation should be directed to the Superintendent. This Board will not permit comments criticizing individual staff or students since this is outside the scope of public comment.

Additionally, the Board sits as an appellate body in both student and employee appeals. The Board cannot comment on or have prior knowledge of a case that would influence their ability to deliberate. To maintain the ability of the Board to render a fair and unbiased decision, comments regarding individual student or personnel issues cannot be presented at public comment.

Speakers must sign in at the beginning of the meeting. Public comment is limited to 3 minutes per speaker and speakers may not yield their time to someone else. The Board encourages speakers to present written statements to the Board secretary who will distribute copies to all Board members.










For more information, please contact The Board Office at 301-475-5511, ext. 32177.
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