Meadows Arts and Technology Elementary School

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MATES Board » Board FAQ

Board FAQ

How does the Board of Directors serve MATES?

The MATES Board of Directors works to ensure that the vision and mission of MATES is upheld, and it is responsible for governing the operations of the school. The Board of Directors is comprised of seven parents and community members who serve voluntarily for two-year terms. The members are required to have experience in education, government, law, business, finance/accounting, fundraising, facilities, or public relations. The Board meets monthly during the school year to oversee financial, legal, and personnel issues. They manage the implementation of the MATES charter and make revisions to the bylaws, policies, and guidelines as necessary. The MATES Board Members are dedicated to the school and the success of its students.

What is the Brown Act?

Authored by Ralph M. Brown, a Central Valley assemblyman, the Brown Act was passed in 1953. Its purpose is to safeguard the public’s right to access and participate in government meetings. The intent of the Brown Act is to ensure that deliberations and actions of local legislative bodies are open and public and to ensure meaningful public access to local agency decisions. Meetings following the Brown Act must be open to the public, held on a regular schedule, and follow a noticed agenda. According to the Brown Act, “All meetings of the legislative body of a local agency shall be open and public, and all persons shall be permitted to attend any meeting of the legislative body of a local agency.”

Why does the MATES Board of Directors follow the Brown Act?

MATES is required to conduct Board meetings in public and in accordance with the Brown Act in order to ensure that the MATES community has access to the decision-making process of the MATES Board of Directors. The Board of Directors must follow the Brown Act in meeting openly, debating in public, and acting appropriately during meetings. The Brown Act provides the means for the MATES community to be informed about the views, discussions, and actions of its Board of Directors.

How do parents and community members give input to the Board of Directors?

As a charter school, the governing structure of MATES gives parents a unique opportunity to help shape their child’s education and provide input into the school’s operations and programs. MATES parents, teachers, board members, and administrators are all encouraged to join a Board Committee, which make recommendations to the Board. Additionally, MATES conducts an annual climate survey to receive feedback on the school. The results are presented publicly each year to the MATES Board of Directors for evaluation and action. In addition, MATES holds regular public board meetings, in accordance with the Brown Act. MATES parents are encouraged to attend these monthly meetings and to speak in public comment.

How do I speak in public comment at a board meeting?

Requests to address the Board

Prior to the beginning of meetings, community members seeking to address the Board on an item on the agenda or during time allocated for public comment shall complete a “Request to Speak” form, located in the meeting room, and give it to the Board Secretary. 

When addressing the Board, speakers are asked to state their name and adhere to the time limits set forth herein.

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and upon request, the School may furnish reasonable auxiliary aids and services to qualified individuals with disabilities.  Individuals who require appropriate alternative modification of the agenda in order to participate in Board meetings are invited to contact the Executive Director’s Office.

Public Comment - Non-Agenda Items

Any person may address the Board concerning any items not listed on the Board meeting agenda.

Board members may only listen to your concern but are prohibited from taking action on any public comment or item that is not part of the printed or published agenda.

Upon recognition by the President or designee, speakers will be given the opportunity to speak for (3) minutes per individual.  If a translator is needed, the time allocation is extended to six (6) minutes per individual.

No more than a total of fifteen (15) minutes shall be devoted to all non-agenda items at regular meetings. The Board may grant additional time if circumstances permit.

Presentations to Board regarding Agenda Items

Any person may address the Board concerning any item on the agenda and may, at the discretion of the Board, be granted five (5) minutes of time to make a presentation to the Board at the time the specific item is under discussion.

The total time devoted to presentations to the Board on agenda items shall not exceed thirty (30) minutes unless additional time is granted by the Board.

The Board President may curtail individual presentations if repetitive of points raised by others, particularly if it appears the total allotted time may be exceeded. 

Once public comment is satisfied or terminated based on time limitation specified, the agenda item shall be returned to the Board for discussion and consideration of action. 

Once the Board begins discussion of an agenda item, there is no further discussion with the public, and the Board will not hear any additional public comment on this item.