The Board of Education of Anne Arundel County will conduct its initial review of a proposed policy that would address safe and inclusive school environments for all students, including LGBTQ+ students, regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. As proposed, the new policy would reflect guidelines which have been in existence since 2015 concerning students and gender identity, as well as existing policies against discrimination, bullying, cyberbullying, harassment, intimidation, hazing, and bias behavior.
The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 21, 2021, and will be held in the Board Room at the Parham Building, located at 2644 Riva Road in Annapolis. Due to physical distancing requirements, members of the public will not be allowed to attend the meeting in person.
The Board’s Policy Committee completed its work on the policy at its last meeting and forwarded it on to the full board. The Board will review it on Wednesday before sending it out for public comment for 30 days. The policy will be heard at least twice more in public Board meetings before final adoption.
At Wednesday’s meeting, the Board is also scheduled to vote on a contract to construct security vestibules at Brooklyn Park, Crofton, and Lindale middle schools. The schools will be the latest to receive the vestibules that serve to create more secure double entryways for visitors to school buildings.
PROCESS FOR PUBLIC COMMENT ON AGENDA ITEMS
The Board will hear virtual live public comment on agenda items from up to 10 speakers per agenda item during a single section in the early portion of each meeting, prior to Board discussion of those items. The link to register to deliver live testimony will be posted online here at 5 p.m. on the Sunday preceding a Board meeting. Those wishing to provide live testimony must register, space permitting, through that link. In order to allow for a maximum diversity of those who wish to comment, the Board will allocate speakers by their first choice of agenda item on a first-come, first-served basis until available slots are filled. Should additional spots remain open, speakers will be allocated their second choice, again on a first-come, first-served basis. Speakers may sign up to comment on no more than two agenda items.
All speakers will be allotted 2 minutes and those who secure spaces to speak will receive emailed instructions on how to join the online platform from which they will speak. Registration will be open through 5 p.m. on the evening before a Board meeting.
Written comments on agenda items can be submitted through an online form that can be found here beginning at 5 p.m. on the Sunday prior to a Board meeting. Written comments must be no more than 250 words and must be submitted by noon on the day prior to a Board meeting. Comments can also be dropped off at the Parham Building, located at 2644 Riva Road in Annapolis, by that time.
Comments on non-agenda items are only accepted in writing.
Those who require the services of an interpreter to offer comment to the Board should call 410-222-5311 to make those arrangements after receiving confirmation of an opportunity to speak at the meeting.
The Board will also meet in a public session at 4 p.m. for the sole purpose of voting to immediately go into closed session, during which time it will discuss confidential matters as permitted by the Maryland Open Meetings Act including, but not limited to, legal advice, personnel, and negotiations. Closed session is not open to the public.
The public may listen to the open portion of the meeting, including the vote to go into closed session, by calling (605) 468-8781 and entering access code 685333 followed by the pound/hashtag symbol.
The public portion of the meeting will resume at 6 p.m.
A complete agenda for the meeting accompanies this news release. More information on agenda items will be posted on the AACPS website in the Board Docs section under the Board of Education tab.
The general session of Wednesday’s Board meeting will be broadcast live on AACPS-TV, which can be found on Channel 96 on Comcast and Broadstripe, and Channel 36 on Verizon. High definition broadcasts can be seen on Channel 996 on Comcast, Channel 496 on Broadstripe, and Channel 1961 on Verizon.
UPCOMING COMMITTEE MEETINGS
The Board of Education’s committees will hold upcoming virtual meetings according to the following schedule. The meetings will not be broadcast, but those wishing to listen to the meetings can access them through the codes listed below.
- Policy Committee: 3:30 p.m. May 4, 2021. Call 301-960-3676, enter the Conference ID 645747697#.
- Equity Committee: 6 p.m., May 12, 2021. Call 301-960-3676, enter the Conference ID 568289244#.
- Budget Committee: 3:30 p.m., April 20, 2021. Call 301-960-3676, enter the Conference ID 504847936#.