New public comment protocol for board meetings

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New public comment protocol for board meetings
2023 OSD School Board

The Olympia School Board has revised its protocol for hearing public comment at regular board meetings.


Effective in January 2023, OSD students, speaking on any topic, and members of the public wishing to speak to the school board regarding an item on the meeting agenda, will be given priority to address the board during “Public Comment: Items related to the agenda” at the beginning of each regular board meeting prior to the meeting’s reports.


Public comments on topics not included on the meeting’s agenda will be welcome during “Public Comment: Other” scheduled at the end of the meeting after individual board member comments and student representative reports.


Depending on the number of people speaking, each speaker on the public comment list will have up to three (3) minutes to speak.


Effective February 8, 2023, if more than 20 people sign up to speak, the board may shorten the amount of time to comment. The board president will review comment topics and determine a speaking order which may, depending on the number of speakers, include all speakers during the first “Public Comment: Items related to the agenda” time.


Board President Darcy Huffman said this protocol gives the board the opportunity to:


  • Increase efficiency by focusing on agenda items, allowing us to conduct board and district business in a timely, fair, respectful and responsible manner.
  •  Prioritize student voice.
  • Respect staff in attendance who are there to present an agenda item.
  • Consider our student representatives’ time commitment.
  • Hear and value all community voices without time limits or interruptions.


To review the Audience Participation policy, visit OSD Board Policy 1430.


Effective February 8, 2023, the superintendent’s office will accept sign-ups for the public comment list from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. the day before the regular board meeting, which is usually scheduled the second and fourth Thursdays of each month unless noted otherwise (holiday). Sign-ups to comment in-person or via Zoom will only be accepted through this sign-up process.


The final list of public comment participants will be posted by 5 p.m. the day before the meeting in BoardDocs on the specific meeting page in the “Opening” category under the Public Comment section.



  • Only the person who plans to speak to the board may request a spot on the list to speak. You cannot request a spot or speak at the board meeting on behalf of someone else.
  • If complete information is not provided, you will not be included on the list to speak. The Superintendent’s Office will not follow up to obtain correct information or tell you where you are on the list.
  • Public comments are not accepted during a board work session.
  • To request disability accommodations, please call the board clerk three days before the meeting date at (360) 596-6114. Persons with speech or hearing disabilities may call via Washington Relay at 711 or (800) 833-6388.