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Update Aug. 29, 2022: This story has been updated to add information for Center School District and Hickman Mills C-1 School District.
If you want to comment at a Kansas City Public Schools board meeting, you can either sign up by email by 3 p.m. the day of the meeting or sign up in person as late as 15 minutes in advance.
In Blue Springs, commenters need to register 10 business days in advance to address the board.
Under open records laws in Missouri and Kansas, school districts must open their meetings to the public unless they’re discussing specific protected topics. Most — but not all — districts also livestream and record many of their meetings, a practice that expanded due to pandemic restrictions and has largely stayed in place.
But policies for accessing meeting recordings and signing up to make a public comment can vary from district to district or even year to year.
As some districts face an unusual amount of public interest and criticism over hot-button issues such as COVID-19 precautions, teaching on race and diversity, and LGBTQ issues, some have modified their policies or resisted calls for more transparency.
For example, several school districts that livestream and record their meetings don’t do so for the public comment session. The Independence School District has decided not to record meetings at all despite requests from the public.
If you want to learn what your school board is doing, contact members or comment at a meeting, here’s an updated guide to more than a dozen major Kansas City-area districts.
To jump to a specific school district, click these links:
- Blue Valley Schools
- Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools
- Olathe Public Schools
- Shawnee Mission School District
- Blue Springs School District
- Center School District
- Hickman Mills C-1 School District
- Independence School District
- Kansas City Public Schools
- Lee’s Summit R-7 School District
- Liberty Public Schools
- North Kansas City Schools
- Park Hill School District
- Raytown Quality Schools
Kansas school boards
Blue Valley Schools
Regular school board meetings typically take place the second Monday of each month, beginning with an “open forum” for public comment at 5:30 p.m. that can last up to half an hour. Board workshop meetings typically happen at 8 a.m. the same day.
Meetings are in the board of education room at the district office, 15020 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park. Agendas and documents are available online.
You can also view meetings live on the district’s YouTube channel. However, the livestream does not begin until the meeting is called to order after the open forum.
Recordings of past meetings are on the channel and linked at the bottom of the school board web page.
The district’s board clerk, Anna Sweeney, can be reached at email@example.com.
During the 30-minute open forum before each meeting, up to 10 people can make a public comment for about three minutes each.
The online request form to participate opens at noon one business day before a scheduled meeting. It closes at noon the day of the meeting or when 10 participants have registered.
The district’s website includes a list of board members with links to longer bios and email addresses.
Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools
The school board holds regular meetings at 5 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, with a few exceptions around holidays and breaks. A full schedule is available on the district website.
Meetings are open to the public to attend in person. They take place in the central office, 2010 N. 59th St., Kansas City, Kansas, unless otherwise noted.
To watch a regular meeting live or recorded, tune in to the district’s YouTube channel. The board also holds some special meetings as Zoom webinars. You can find links for either type of meeting, as well as full agendas with linked documents, by clicking on the meeting date on the district’s meetings page.
Zoom links won’t work after the meeting has ended, but YouTube links will take you to a recording of the meeting even if you’re too late for the livestream. The district uploads some Zoom meeting recordings as YouTube videos.
You can also view meetings on KCKPS-TV.
If you want to submit a community comment at a meeting, contact board clerk Leslie Smith by noon the day before the meeting is scheduled.
She can be reached at Leslie.Smith@kckps.org or 913-484-3018.
Comments are limited to three minutes and must be about policy issues or general concerns rather than criticism of specific individuals.
Biographies and emails for board members are also available online.
Olathe Public Schools
The school board holds meetings once a month, generally the first Thursday at 5:45 p.m. Regular meeting dates are listed on the board’s webpage.
Check the Olathe BoardDocs page for any special meetings the board adds to the calendar. Agendas and other documents for all meetings are available on BoardDocs.
Unless otherwise noted on the website or the district calendar, meetings are held at the Education Center, 14160 S. Black Bob Road, Olathe, and the public can attend in person.
You can also view live or recorded meetings by going to the district’s YouTube page or find links to recordings on the website. The district sells DVD copies of board meetings for $15 each, according to its website.
To make a public comment, submit a request by noon the day of the meeting. You can email Barbara Behm, clerk of the board, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 913-780-8049.
A registration card explains the process for commenting. Comments are limited to five minutes.
Phone numbers, email addresses and biographies of all board members are available on the district website.
Shawnee Mission School District
The school board holds most of its meetings at 6 p.m. the second and fourth Monday of each month, with some exceptions. Public comment takes place in a separate session at 5:30 p.m. The 2022-2023 schedule is available online, as are agendas and documents for meetings.
Meetings are located in the boardroom of the Center for Academic Achievement, 8200 W. 71st St., Overland Park.
The district also streams and posts board meetings on YouTube.
Board clerk Terry Wintering, available at 913-993-6401 or email@example.com, is the contact person for public comment.
To make a public comment, the district asks for requests by 3:30 p.m. the Friday before a board meeting to allow the district to research and potentially address concerns.
However, the hard deadline to sign up for public comment is noon the day of the meeting. Comments are typically limited to three minutes.
Complaints about specific staff or students may be allowed if you have already been through the complaint process with district administration, but the board will hear them in a nonpublic session.
Emails, phone numbers and bios of board members are available on the district website.
Missouri school boards
Blue Springs School District
The Blue Springs website states that regular sessions are held the second Monday of the month and work sessions the first Monday. However, a school board calendar shows many exceptions. Regular sessions typically start at 6:15 p.m., according to the board calendar, while work sessions most often start at 6 p.m.
The public can attend meetings, typically held at the Bartow Administrative Center at 1801 NW Vesper St., Blue Springs.
Regular sessions are also livestreamed and archived on the district’s YouTube channel.
Agendas and minutes are available on the district website going back to mid-2021. The lists are alphabetical by month name, so click “modified” twice to sort by most recent.
Members of the public can comment during a work session meeting but must register to do so at least 10 business days in advance by emailing the board secretary, Karin Keener, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A list of members and their positions on the board is available on the district website.
Center School District
The school board holds its regular meetings at 7 p.m. on the fourth Monday of each month unless otherwise noted. Work sessions are also included on the full board meeting schedule and typically occur Mondays at 6 p.m.
Board agendas and documents — including links to livestream the meeting — are posted online and on the door of district headquarters at 8701 Holmes Road. Recent meeting minutes are also available at the same link.
For meetings from 2017 to 2019, see the board’s online archives of agendas and minutes.
Board meetings take place at Indian Creek Elementary School, 9801 Grand Ave., Kansas City, unless otherwise noted.
Public comments must address items on the board agenda. Those wishing to speak at a meeting are required to give their names to the board secretary before the meeting.
To contact the board, call at 816-349-3310 or email email@example.com. Board secretary Stephanie Archie can be reached at the same phone number or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Members of the public can request to add an item to the board agenda by contacting the superintendent’s office by the second Wednesday before a meeting. The board can choose to postpone or decline the request if the agenda is full or the topic hasn’t been addressed through proper channels.
To contact the superintendent, call 816-349-3310 or email email@example.com.
Individual board member emails, bios and some phone numbers are also available on the website.
Hickman Mills C-1 School District
Regular board meetings are typically held at 6 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of the month at the Administration Center, 5401 E. 103rd St., Kansas City.
Meeting agendas and Zoom links are posted on the district website the week of the meeting.
Current and past meeting agendas are also available on the district’s Board Docs site while PDFs of approved minutes are available on a separate page.
Meeting recordings are on the district’s YouTube channel.
Public comments are limited to two minutes and must address items on the board agenda. The board allots 20 minutes total for public comment. Anyone wishing to comment must register before the meeting is called to order. The board offers an online registration form or an option to email board secretary Ramanda Hicks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Members of the public can request to add an item to the agenda by contacting the superintendent’s office. The request must be submitted 10 business days before the meeting. The phone number for the superintendent is 816-316-7000.
Board member emails and bios are available online. The general email for the school board is HickmanBOE@gmail.com.
Independence School District
The school board meets at 6 p.m. the second Tuesday of the month. A list of upcoming and past meeting agendas is on the district website along with meeting minutes.
Meetings are typically held at the district’s central office, 201 N. Forest Ave., Independence. The public can attend in person. No livestream or meeting recording is available.
The board screens all requests for public comment. If you want to comment, contact the superintendent’s office in writing by 4 p.m. the Friday before the meeting.
Annette Miller, the board secretary, is also the contact for the superintendent’s office. She is available at email@example.com or by calling 816-521-5300 and asking to be transferred.
The board and superintendent will decide whether to place the item on the meeting agenda and allow you to comment. They may refuse to address the item if you have not gone through other appropriate channels to resolve the issue. They can also postpone your comment to a future meeting.
The public comment period is no longer than 30 minutes unless the board decides to extend it. Each person can talk for no more than five minutes.
A list of board members with biographies and emails is available on the district website.
Kansas City Public Schools
School board meetings take place the second and fourth Wednesday of each month, with some exceptions around holidays. Meetings are open for the public to attend in person or remotely at 6:30 p.m.
Unless otherwise noted, board meetings take place at the Board of Education Building, 2901 Troost Ave., Kansas City.
A meeting notice page has announcements of all meetings, including committees and special meetings outside the normal schedule. The page also has links for livestreaming some meetings and information to get conference call audio for others. Meetings are also archived online.
Recent agendas and documents and older ones are also online.
At regular business meetings — typically the fourth Wednesday of the month — the board invites up to 10 members of the public to comment for up to three minutes each. To sign up, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 816-418-7621 by 3 p.m. the day of the meeting. Alternatively, sign the Speaking at the Board Meeting sheet at the meeting before 6:15 p.m. the day of the meeting.
The board requires commenters to avoid personal attacks or inappropriate language and gestures.
Board member photos, positions and email addresses are posted on the district website.
Lee’s Summit R-7 School District
The board typically meets on the third Thursday of the month. Regular board meetings begin at 7 p.m., but they are sometimes preceded by work sessions that begin hours earlier.
Meetings happen in the boardroom at Stansberry Leadership Center, 301 NE Tudor Road, Lee’s Summit.
You can view current and past meetings on the board’s YouTube channel.
Agendas, documents and livestreaming links are available online.
According to board policy, the board allows up to 10 people to speak for three minutes or less.
Comments should directly relate to the district, avoid profanity and not be about individual faculty, staff or students.
The deadline to sign up to comment is 4 p.m. the day before the meeting.
Email Linda Ismert, the board secretary and custodian of records, at Linda.Ismert@LSR7.net for more information about public participation.
Click “Read More” under each school board member for a full bio and email address.
Liberty Public Schools
Regular board meetings are typically held at 7 p.m. on the third Tuesday, with study sessions at 7 a.m. the first Tuesday of the month. The meetings are open to the public and take place in the Liberty School District Administration Center, 8 Victory Lane, Liberty.
Regular school board meetings — but not study sessions — are livestreamed and archived on the district’s YouTube channel. Meeting agendas and documents are also available online.
The school board allows public comment at each regular business meeting, according to board policy. To participate, fill out a request form — available in the foyer — and submit it before the meeting starts.
Comments are limited to three minutes per person and should be related to Liberty Public Schools or education. If many people request to comment, the board can limit comments to two minutes and cap the overall comment session at 30 minutes.
Board members can waive or end public participation by majority vote if they feel the meeting is being unnecessarily delayed.
Members of the public can also request for items to be added to the meeting agenda by contacting the superintendent at least five business days before a meeting. The board may decline to add an item that hasn’t gone through the appropriate grievance process or add it to a later meeting if the agenda is full.
The email address for Denise Aldrich, board of education secretary and custodian of records, is email@example.com.
Emails and basic information for board members are on the district website. Longer bios are on a separate page.
North Kansas City Schools
The school board typically meets at 7 p.m., holding work sessions the second Tuesday and regular meetings the fourth Tuesday of each month during the school year, with some exceptions for holidays and breaks. A full calendar for the 2022-2023 school year is available online.
Most meetings are at the Doolin Center, 1900 NE 46th St., Kansas City.
Meetings are livestreamed on the district’s YouTube channel. Links to archived meetings going back to March 2020 are posted on the district website.
Agendas, minutes and documents are available online. They are posted at 12:01 a.m. the day before a meeting.
The school board sets aside up to half an hour for public comment at the beginning of each regular board meeting. Commenters can use an online request form before noon the day of a board meeting to request to speak or can make a request at the meeting by filling out a card.
There’s a separate process to speak on an agenda item during the business portion of the meeting. Anyone interested must contact the board clerk and return a form at least five days in advance of the meeting.
The district’s board clerk, Peggy Cole, is reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org or 816-321-4361.
Basic information about board members, including home addresses, emails and committee assignments, is on the website.
Park Hill School District
The school board typically meets twice a month at 6:30 p.m. the second and fourth Thursday at 7703 NW Barry Road, Kansas City. A full list of meeting dates is available online.
Videos of previous board meetings are on the district’s YouTube channel. The district website says upcoming livestreams are available at this YouTube link.
Board agendas are available online.
The district sends out an emailed summary of the meetings called First Hand. Sign up here.
The board allows up to seven people to make a public comment lasting three minutes or less during regular meetings.
People wishing to comment can sign up using this form by noon the day of the meeting.
For more information, contact Opal Hibbs, secretary to the superintendent and the board, at 816-359-4050 or email@example.com.
Basic board member info and email addresses are available online.
Raytown Quality Schools
School board meetings are held at 6:30 p.m. the second Monday of each month. Special board meetings are sometimes held at 5:30 p.m. the fourth Monday of the month. A list of board meeting dates for 2022-2023 is available online. Recent in-person meetings have been held at 6608 Raytown Road, Raytown.
Meeting recordings are linked on the district website and the district’s YouTube channel.
The recordings may be edited for content or length, according to a notice at the beginning of the most recent video. It suggests members of the public attend in person or read meeting minutes for full access.
Meeting agendas are available online.
The board sets aside 30 minutes of each regular meeting for public comment on agenda items. Speakers have five minutes to talk, or three minutes if there are six or more commenters. They must notify the board of their name, address and the agenda item they wish to address.
Members of the public can also request for items to be added to the meeting agenda by contacting the superintendent’s office five business days before a meeting. The board may decline to add an item that hasn’t gone through the appropriate grievance process or add it to a later meeting if the agenda is full.
The board of education secretary is Rachel Johnston. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 816-268-7000.
A contact form for the board of education is available online. Board member bios are on the district’s website.
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