The Howard County Board of Education will transition to a hybrid board meeting format beginning with the March 11, 2021 meeting, with some Board members and staff participating in person while others continue participating remotely.

As the Board transitions to a hybrid meeting model, it is the Board’s desire to provide the public an opportunity to attend Board meetings in person, while keeping the option to participate and view virtually as the public has done since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Board will continue evaluating state guidelines and Board processes and protocols and will make adjustments as necessary to accommodate additional public participation.

During the Public Forum portion of the meeting, members of the public may continue to participate and speak virtually. However, should any speakers wish to attend and speak in person, they will be able to do so beginning with the March 11, 2021 Board meeting. Additionally, the public may register to attend the March 11 Board meeting in person. In order to adhere to safety protocols, there will be limited space for people to attend and observe, with capacity set for 16 public attendees.

Upon arrival, guests will check in at the front desk of the Department of Education building and follow signage into the Boardroom, while adhering to the guidelines and requirements for wearing masks and maintaining social distance. Those speaking at Public Forum will have assigned seats and will be directed to the podium when Public Forum begins. If there is more than one in-person speaker, the podium will be sanitized between speakers.

The deadline to sign up to participate in the March 11 Public Forums or to view the meeting in person is Tuesday, March 9. Please contact Kathy Hanks via email at  Kathleen_hanks@hcpss.org to register. Speakers must select their preference to attend in person or virtually at the time of sign up.

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I am wondering if press / media will be allowed to attend in-person? Something to ask at some point.

ARTICLE UPDATE: I have received confirmation that media will be allowed to attend board meetings in-person.

Might also the be interesting to track which Board Members attend in person and which remain virtual during this Hybrid Meeting Mode. I wonder if there is a schedule or it will be a choice by each Board Member?

Scott E

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