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How to Talk to Your Schools

The best place to begin is with the person(s) directly involved. That would be the teacher where a student-related problem is involved, for example, or the principal where a school regulation or practice is what concerns you.

When a situation cannot be resolved at the lowest possible level, then it should be taken to the next level in a kind of "chain of command." Once you have talked to the teacher and principal, you may still have to bring to the attention of the superintendent those matters that involve state laws or district-wide policies. 

When the superintendent cannot resolve your problem, you should ask to be placed on the agenda for the next board meeting. If the concern is important enough to be brought before a public meeting of the full board, you'll find this approach gets a much better response than talking to an individual board member.

Most boards set aside time at meetings for public input. A five minute time limit exists for each individual. Find out in advance about any such ground rules. Then set down your views in writing and distribute copies to the board at the meeting.  Your views are strengthened when they can be read and heard. 

However, if you take your concern first to the person(s) directly involved and work your way up the chain of command, you will almost never need to appeal to the school board

 

Click here to read a brochure about Public Participation at Board Meetings.


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