NEWARK– The Worcester County Board of Education will host the first of two night meetings next week.
In response to suggestions from the public, the school board will host an evening meeting on Tuesday, March 15 at 6 p.m. Typically, meetings are held at 12:30 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month.
“I think we owe it to the public to give them that opportunity, if they can’t be here during the day, to come in, express themselves and talk about what they want to talk to the board about,” said school board member Nate Passwaters in January when the board agreed to schedule the meeting.
Though public comments during board meetings were rare in years past, in recent months a handful of citizens have shared concerns at each meeting. One of the issues brought up was the fact that the school board meetings are held during the day when most parents are at work and unable to attend.
Worcester County Board of Education members said the meetings historically have been held during the day because there are frequently student recognitions.
“We want to be able to recognize our students and understand sometimes it’s difficult for them to be here in the evening,” school board member Todd Ferrante said when the issue was discussed in January.
Nevertheless he said he’d like to see the school board host one or two night meetings.
With Superintendent Lou Taylor’s input, the board determined that there weren’t typically many student recognitions at the March meeting so that would be an ideal time to test an evening meeting. They agreed to set a second evening meeting during the month of July.
Following those meetings the board will determine if evening meetings are something to continue in the future.
“We can evaluate it,” Passwaters said.
The board voted unanimously following that discussion to schedule night meetings for March 15 and July 19.
Next week’s meeting is set for 6 p.m. at Worcester Technical High School. An agenda will be available on the school system’s website, worcesterk12.org.