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News

OUSD school board to get COVID-19 update at Aug. 25 meeting; decides whether public can write to school board

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OUSD graphics on COVID-19 safety protocols for fall 2021

 

COVID-19 safety protocols top the school board agenda for Ojai Unified tonight, Aug. 25, starting in open session via video conference at 5:30 p.m.

The agenda can be viewed at:

https://core-docs.s3.amazonaws.com/documents/asset/uploaded_file/1490309/August_25__2021_Agenda.pdf

The meeting is live streamed via District YoutubeVideo: https://www.youtube.com/user/adminojaiusdorg  

and   

via district Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ojaiusd.org

OUSD’s COVID-19 update can be viewed at:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/11_Mx_RQ3yVgSFcS8vy4ORJhVPWY-8yOg/view


OUSD has also created a COVID Resource Guide Fall 2021 in English, which can be viewed at:

https://core-docs.s3.amazonaws.com/documents/asset/uploaded_file/1436868/OjaiUSD_COVID_Resource_Guide_Eng_8.18.21.pdf

 

And also in Spanish at:

https://core-docs.s3.amazonaws.com/documents/asset/uploaded_file/1479921/OjaiUSD_COVID_Resource_Guide_Sp_8.19.2021.pdf

Closed session for the board to discuss anticipated litigation will begin at 5 p.m.

 

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For now, the public may submit a written public comment on the OUSD electronic comment form prior to 4 p.m. on the day of the meeting at:

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https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1CCfKeZXXuRb167DjQXSDjggyD9OS3u9wFDiOcg1ESec/viewform?edit_requested=true

Written public comments will not be read aloud at the meeting.

Public comments may also be made in person during the meeting in the Board Room at 414 E. Ojai Avenue. Due to COVID-19 safety protocols, the number of individuals in the Board Room may be limited and masks will be required indoors at all times. The Board may elect to limit public comments to 30 minutes. 

One of the board’s last agenda items (5.4.3) at the Aug. 25 meeting is with the return to in-person meetings:

1. “If an option for public comment to be submitted in writing in advance of the meeting should continue to be allowed?”

2. If so, should those comments be sent to Board members, and members of the public who request them, in advance of the meeting?

3. Should public comments submitted in advance of a meeting be read aloud at the meeting?”

The state’s open-meeting law, called the Brown Act, California Government Code 54957.5  and the OUSD board bylaw 9322 require that any member of the public who requests it can view communications to the school board when the school board members receive them, so the question is whether school board members be able to view submitted public comments prior to the school board meetings.

OUSD officials have previously erroneously stated that written public comments have not been accepted at OUSD school board meetings prior to COVID-19, but that is not accurate, as the Ojai Valley News, other media outlets and members of the public can attest, having attended OUSD school board meetings and other meetings of public elected bodies, e.g., Ojai City Council, Ventura County Board of Supervisors, etc., where written comments have long been allowed (for obvious reasons, such as accommodating schedules, driving ability, disability, child-care issues, or providing extensive information that cannot be communicated verbally within the usual allowed three minutes the public is allowed at a meeting during “Public Comment.”) And, of course, whether the school board meets in-person or not, COVID-19 continues to be a Public Health threat, especially for older and immunocompromised people, so limiting public comment to those who can physically attend a meeting would disallow comments from them.

Also, according to a ruling in Perry Education. Ass’n v. Perry Local Educators Ass’n, 460 U.S. 37, 45 (1983): public bodies “must allow ample alternative channels of communication.”

Because OUSD school board is no longer reading written public comments aloud at its meetings (a decision made for the last school board meeting), and because public comment is limited to 450 words and three minutes, verbally, the Ojai Valley News welcomes public comments to the school board to also be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., for possible publication in the online and printed versions of the Ojai Valley News.

 

 

 

 

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