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Board of Education Virtual Meetings

Board of Education Virtual Meetings
Posted on 04/14/2020
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During the COVID-19 public health crisis, the Norwalk Board of Education and Norwalk Public Schools are actively working to continue instruction and services for our students and families. To conduct Board of Education business while practicing social and physical distancing, the Board of Ed will conduct meetings via videoconference until further notice.

Similar to City of Norwalk meetings, the Board will hold online meetings using Zoom, a platform that allows multiple people to gather for virtual meetings. Zoom allows the full Board and Board committees to conduct business online using the webinar option, which allows the moderator to manage speakers and prevent unauthorized users from posting inappropriate content. Zoom also provides a video recording function and a connection to the NPS YouTube channel. 

As a result, members of the public will be able to listen or view public meetings on the NPS YouTube channel, or on Zoom using a dedicated link for each meeting. Starting Thursday, April 16, both full Board meetings as well as Board committee meetings will be streamed live while social distancing is in place. The public will be able to provide public comments for Board meetings where comments are part of the regular agenda.

HOW TO WATCH OR LISTEN

Below are a few guidelines and procedures to make sure that meetings progress efficiently and accurately for the record.

  • For those interested in just watching or listening, a live stream will be set up on the NPS YouTube channel, just like our regular Board of Ed meetings.By watching via YouTube, you will be able to watch and listen to the meeting, but you will not be able to speak during the meeting. Please note that YouTube will have a 7 second delay, therefore, those who plan to speak should watch it on the Zoom link instead of YouTube.
  • Zoom links and phone numbers for members of the public will be available on each meeting’s agenda and the calendar on the NPS website. Meeting agendas are posted to the Board of Education pages of the NPS website at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting along with any supporting materials.
  • Each meeting will have its own separate link and call in number.
  • If you will be watching or participating via Zoom, test your audio and Internet connection ahead of time. To make sure you can hear and have a good internet connection using a computer, visit https://zoom.us/test before the meeting begins.

If you have difficulty, use the provided telephone call in number and mute your computer audio. This allows you to watch via the computer on Zoom and listen via phone.

BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETINGS PUBLIC COMMENT PROCEDURES

Full Board of Education meetings have a section for public comments on the agenda. Public comments at Board of Ed workshop meetings (typically the first meeting of each month) take place at the end of the meeting and are limited to the topic discussed at that meeting.  Public comments at Board of Ed business meetings (the second meeting of each month) are scheduled at the beginning of the agenda.

Please remember that all guidelines for public comment under Board Policy 9325 will continue to apply during virtual meetings. Profanity, hate speech or other inappropriate language will not be allowed, and anyone acting inappropriately will be removed from the meeting and blocked from returning.

To Participate in Public Comments

There are two ways to participate in the public comments section of the agenda during virtual Board of Education meetings. 

Option 1, In Advance via Email
:  This is the simplest and most effective way to provide public comment on an agenda item.

  • Public comments can be submitted up to 3 hours in advance of a meeting by emailing to BOEPublicComments@norwalkps.org. 
  • Public comment received by the deadline via email will be read by the designated board member into the record as part of the meeting.
  • The person submitting the comment should include their full name and address.
  • Written comments should comply with the 3 minute limit. Any content over the 3 minute limit will not be included.

     

Option 2, Live During Virtual Meetings:  If you choose note to provide written comment in advance of the meeting, an option for live comments will be available: 

  • For live comments, use the Public Comments URL link to register your name and phone number for the meeting. Once registered, you will be able to enter and participate. 
  • To streamline the sign in process, you also have the option to register in advance for your own Zoom account and download Zoom before the meeting.Before your first meeting, click on: https://zoom.us/signup. You will be able to provide your phone number, email, and name, so that when you call in or watch live on Zoom we will be able to identify you for the record and take your comments when you raise your hand. Registration is not required if you want to only listen or watch a meeting that is taking place.
  • When the host announces that public comments are open, click the “Raise Your Hand” function on Zoom to indicate that you are interested in speaking.
  • The host will call on you and unmute you when it is your turn to speak. Please state your name and address for the record before you begin. You will have 3 minutes to comment.

Recordings for all meetings will be available within 24 hours on the NPS YouTube channel. Minutes for all meetings will also be available as usual on the Norwalk Public Schools website.