About the Board of Education
The San Marino Unified School District (SMUSD) Board of Education consists of five volunteer San Marino residents elected by the community to ensure the District provides the best public education for all students with the resources provided. The Board reviews and approves the budget, authorizes expenditures, hires and supervises the Superintendent, and develops local education vision, District goals, and policy within the limits of state and federal law and regulations.
Elections are held in even-numbered years, and the four-year terms are staggered so that two or three seats are open at each election cycle. The next regularly scheduled election for two seats will be held in November 2020.
The Board holds approximately two regular meetings each month (except for November, December, January, and July). Regular meetings are generally held at 7:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays at 1665 West Drive, San Marino, CA. The agenda will be posted here at least 72 hours prior to a regular meeting and at least 24 hours before a special meeting.
Communicating with the Board of Education
The Board of Education encourages community involvement and participation in the SMUSD and has tried to make it convenient for all to express their views to the Board. The community may communicate with Board members in several ways, including emailing Board members and addressing the Board at a public School Board meeting.
It should be noted that authority rests with the Board as a whole, and not with individual Board members, which means it is ideal that citizens provide input to the entire governance team (the five members of the Board and the Superintendent). There are laws governing communications between Board members outside of agendized meetings that necessitate some limitations on how Board members communicate with the public and each other.
Board members deal with policy and oversight of the District, not the actual operations of the District; therefore, citizens are encouraged to address concerns with the person in question and then to the next level and above before contacting a Board member. Although confidentiality will be maintained as authorized by law, written communications with Board members may be subject to public disclosure under the California Public Records Act.
At a School Board Meeting
The Board is very interested in the ideas and opinions of the public and wishes to give the public an opportunity for input before discussing an issue. While meetings are conducted in public, they are meetings of the Board to conduct the business of the District, not a meeting of the public. Therefore, the Board generally will not engage in a dialogue with the audience during the meeting. If the need arises, the Board President or Superintendent may speak briefly to clear up confusion, answer a question, request staff to respond or follow up, or request to agendize the issue at a future meeting.
If you wish to address the Board at a public meeting, please fill out a speaker card and give it to the staff person seated at a side table. The speaker card will ask for your name, address, and agenda item or nature of your comment. The staff person will hand the speaker card to the Superintendent or Board President. The Board President will call on speakers to invite them to the podium at the appropriate time.
Board agendas are very full and time is limited. For that reason, the Board requests that you speak only once on an item and that you limit your remarks to a maximum of five minutes. The Board does not allow one person to cede time to another. A maximum of 20 minutes will be allotted to public comments on each subject matter. If numerous individuals request to speak on a particular item or during the Public Comment section, the Board President may adjust and limit the time allocated to each speaker to ensure that all wishing to speak will be heard within the 20-minute allotment. If all community members requesting to address a matter on the agenda cannot be heard within the 20-minute allotment (or reasonable extension thereof), the Board may remove the item from the agenda to be discussed at a later regular Board meeting or special meeting of the Board. When your time allotted has expired, the Board President will inform you and ask that you end your comments promptly.
Items on the agenda: If you wish to address the Board on a matter that is listed on the agenda, please turn in your speaker card as soon as possible and before the agenda item is discussed by the Board. The Board will not hear Public Comment after the Board’s discussion of a particular agenda item has begun.
Items not on the agenda: If you wish to address the Board on a topic that is not on the agenda, you may speak only during the Public Comment section, which is near the beginning of the meeting. The Brown Act prohibits Board members from discussing or taking action on non-agenda items.
Public Comment during Special Meetings: There is no Public Comment on non-agenda items at special meetings or study sessions. The public is welcome, however, to address any item that is posted on agendas for special meetings and study sessions. As these meetings may be less formal, the format for discussion may vary slightly from what is presented above.
Materials: If you would like to present any materials to the Board, please make enough copies for the Board, Cabinet and the staff person (currently 11 people) and provide them to the staff person for distribution before the agenda item or Public Comment is called. Otherwise, any materials (e.g. copies of your remarks, charts or graphs, copies of articles, or reports) you present will be copied and given to all Board members after the meeting is over and as convenient for the staff person. Any electronic materials to be displayed in conjunction with a community member’s time addressing the Board during Public Comment must be transmitted to the Superintendent’s Office no later than noon on the day before the Board meeting (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Written Correspondence: Should you wish to present a letter to the Board for inclusion in the Board packet (a hard copy of the agenda and supporting materials) provided to Board members, it must be received by the Superintendent's Office no later than noon the Tuesday of the week before a Board meeting (email@example.com). Please indicate that you would like it included in the Board packet.
Citizens may request to place an item on the Board Agenda by submitting a written request and supporting information to the Superintendent's Office (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Superintendent and Board President will determine, at their discretion, the appropriateness of the item and, if appropriate, at which future regular Board meeting the item will be put on the agenda. The person who requested the item will be allowed a maximum of five minutes (subject to the same provisions regarding Public Comment) at that meeting to present the information to the Board. Following this presentation the Board may address the issue, put the issue on a future agenda for more discussion and action, refer the issue to administration for follow-up, or take no action.