To express an opinion via e-mail, individuals can send messages to the School Board as a whole or to individual Board members at firstname.lastname@example.org. Individuals may also share their opinions by sending a letter to the School Board at the Syphax Education Center, 2110 Washington Blvd, Arlington, Virginia 22204. To receive an response, individuals must include their full name and e-mail address or mailing address, without this information the School Board cannot send a reply.
Generally, School Board members will have more time to consider positions and review any information presented if the e-mail or letter is received in the School Board office one week before the topic is on the School Board meeting agenda. All written materials submitted by community members to the School Board (except those that deal with personnel issues or individual students) are considered public and are available for media and public review in the School Board office. Additionally, all written School Board responses to these materials are public and are available for review.
Typically, individual e-mails and letters sent to School Board members at the School Board office are made available to all members of the School Board and the Superintendent. Petitions and form letters are also made available to all members of the Board and Superintendent. A single response is generally sent by the Chair of the School Board, individual member or staff, as appropriate.
Community members may leave messages on voice mail for the Board or individual Board members by calling 703-228-6015. Messages should include the caller’s full name and best phone number to call back. Voicemail messages will be forwarded to the School Board or individual members, and the Superintendent, as appropriate.
Individuals should feel free to speak to individual School Board members. School Board members use their judgment about how and when to share one-on-one conversations with their colleagues.
Community members who wish to meet with a Board member may do so during School Board Open Office Hours. A Board member is available on Mondays generally from 5 to 7 p.m. when school is in session. If Monday is a holiday or teacher work day, Open Office Hours is held the following Tuesday morning from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.
School Board members are also available to meet with small groups or individuals to discuss issues or positions by appointment. While you are welcome to meet with any of the School Board members, each school in the division is assigned a Board liaison who may be more familiar with particular issues affecting that school community. Here is the current School and Program Liaison Assignments and Civic Association Liaison Assignments.
Under the law, a maximum of two School Board members can meet with a group of citizens without it being considered a public meeting which requires prior advertisement. If a group wishes to talk to each of the five School Board members in a non-public setting, a minimum of three separate meetings need to be scheduled. The School Board Chair or the Clerk of the School Board can assist with the scheduling of these meetings. The School Board conference room, located in the School Board office, can be used for these meetings.
Regular School Board meetings are generally the first and third Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. on the second floor of the Syphax Education Center, 2110 Washington Blvd. Copies of the agenda are available from the School Board office the Friday before the scheduled meeting and outside the Board room two hours prior to the meeting.
Community members who wish to speak at a School Board meeting may sign up electronically after the agenda is published and up until 4 p.m. the day before the meeting. Speaker slips also are available outside the Board room on the day of the meeting. Each speaker is allowed up to two minutes to speak on agenda or non-agenda items, but the Chair may reduce the amount of speaking time if an unusually large number of people sign up to speak about a particular matter. Please review the School Board adopted School Board Guidelines for Public Comment to help prepare to speak at a School Board meeting.
Regular School Board meetings are broadcast live on Verizon Channel 70 and FIOS channel 41 and rerun the following Friday at 9 p.m. and the following Monday at 7:30 p.m. Community members may also download the broadcast from the web site during the meetings by visiting Watch School Board Meetings.
The Superintendent prepares the proposed agenda items for the consideration of the Chair of the School Board prior to each School Board meeting. The agenda of every regular meeting is approved by the School Board Chair. Generally, a School Board member desiring to add additional items to the proposed agenda must submit the additions to the Chair in advance of the meeting. Items may be added to the agenda if two or more School Board members so request. Board members also may defer any item for which all relevant information has not been prepared or provided in advance. Meeting materials are generally posted on BoardDocs by the close of business on Fridays before the scheduled meetings. Agenda materials for School Board meetings are available for public review in the School Board office by the Monday before the scheduled meetings.