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Board of Education Resumes Process for Public Comment During Pandemic

Posted February 11, 2021

The Washington County Board of Education (WCBOE) will hold a business meeting on February 16, 2021, beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the Board auditorium at the Center for Education Services located at 10435 Downsville Pike, Hagerstown, Maryland 21740. The WCBOE intends to resume the process for allowing a limited number of individuals to offer public comments in person. 

  1. The Board of Education supports and encourages public comment at regular Board of Education business meetings.
  2. A successful school system requires an involved and supportive community that provides comments on matters of interest or concern that will serve to improve the school system.
  3. The Board of Education is returning to in-person business meetings with appropriate physical distancing and the wearing of masks and encourages the community to offer in-person public comment concerning matters relating to Washington County Public Schools.
  4. The Board of Education will allow up to six (6) individuals to offer in-person public comment at its regular business meetings beginning February 16, 2021.
  5. Sign-ups will be accepted on a first-come basis between 8:00 a.m. on the Friday prior to the regular business meeting and 4:30 p.m. on the Monday preceding the regular business meeting. For example, interested speakers may begin signing up on Friday, February 12 for the February 16 business meeting.
  6. Individuals wishing to provide in-person public comment are required to sign up by calling Debra A. Cechovic, Secretary to the Washington County Board of Education at 301-766-2971. Callers must leave a message with their name and a callback phone number.
  7. A waiting list for in-person comment at future business meetings will not be maintained.
  8. To ensure varied participation, persons who have participated in public comment in either of the two most recent business meetings are ineligible to give in-person public comment at that weeks’ business meeting except if less than six (6) individuals have signed up to speak by 4:30 p.m. on the Monday preceding the regular business meeting.
  9. Each speaker may speak for up to five (5) minutes.
  10. Speakers should introduce themselves, identity whether they are speaking as individuals or on behalf of an organization, and may provide a copy of their comments for future consideration by the Board members.
  11. Speakers may address any topic concerning Washington County Public Schools, except personnel or student matters that clearly identify an individual or individuals.

Note:  Speakers should plan to arrive at the main lobby of the Center for Education Services located at 10435 Downsville Pike, Hagerstown, Maryland ten (10) minutes before their scheduled speaking time.  At that time, each speaker will be met by WCPS staff and will receive instructions relating to the public comment portion of the business meeting.

The Center for Education Services is not open to the public at this time, except for those individuals speaking for public comment. The WCBOE continues to encourage the public to submit their comments in writing to and this information will be distributed to all Board members.

In the event of inclement weather, the WCBOE may transition their public meeting to a virtual meeting platform. Whether the business meeting is held in person or online, the meeting will be recorded, and the public may access the public meeting live on Antietam Cable Channel 99, Facebook, and on the WCPS website at

Reference:        BOE Policy KD

                           BOE Policy BDDA