Board of Education Guidebook
- The Role of the Board
- Types of Board Meetings
- Meeting Dates/Times/Access
- Public Participation
- Board Representation on Other Committees/Agencies
- Agendas, Minutes, Packets
Since 1874 the Milford Board of Education has been in place to support and oversee the activities of the Milford Public Schools on behalf of all Milford residents. As you can imagine, the issues discussed today are very different from those brought up more than 145 years ago, but the spirit of our board members and their dedication to the young people of our city has remained constant through time.
In Connecticut, boards of education derive their power and authority from the State Constitution. A local school board member acts as an agent of state government as delegated by the statutes of the General Assembly and that Constitution. A board member also provides the important bridge between the entire community and Milford Public Schools.
The Milford Board of Education is comprised of ten members, elected in the municipal election held in odd-numbered years. There are two board members for each of Milford’s five voting districts. Once elected, these board members represent the entire school district and receive no compensation for their service. The ten members operate collectively as “the Board” with the decision-making authority vested in the full “Board of Education,” not in the individual members.
Included here you will find information about the work we do, the responsibilities we carry and the ways in which you can participate.
The most important responsibility of any Board of Education is the selection of and evaluation of the Superintendent of Schools. The Board and Superintendent share the responsibility of leading the district, working together to ensure the needs of all students are met. The Superintendent is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the district. The Board sets goals and policy which the superintendent administers. The Board also has a role in negotiating employment contracts, works closely with the Superintendent to adopt a fiscally responsible budget based on priorities established by the board and provides high-level oversight of the school district through the various informational items and reports presented at its formal meetings.
The Board typically conducts two regular meetings every month that are open to the public. These are defined in more detail below.
Regular Business Meeting
The first meeting of the month is the Board’s Regular Business Meeting. Three types of items are included at this meeting. Consent Items (that address actions on routine items not requiring discussion), Action Items (that might require some discussion prior to voting), and Informational Items (that are offered as a presentation or report).
This meeting is normally held on the second Monday of the month at 7:00 p.m. in the Board of Education Meeting Room in the Parsons Complex.
Committee of the Whole Meeting
The Committee of the Whole Meeting is defined as a working meeting. Rather than dividing members into subcommittees, the Milford Board of Education operates under a working concept called Committee of the Whole. This allows all board members to receive the same information, at the same time, from the same person. Research indicates when Boards of Education function in this manner, they are more efficient. As such, issues of a more general nature are heard during this meeting, such as an informational presentation or report or the unveiling of a new concept.
This meeting is normally held on the fourth Monday of the month at 7:00 p.m. in the Board Meeting Room.
The Milford Board of Education meetings are public meetings -- all are welcome to attend and hear the work of the Board. All of our meetings are held in the Board of Education Meeting Room, located on the first floor of the Parsons Governmental Complex, 70 West River Street, Milford, CT 06460. Meetings begin at 7:00 p.m. (unless otherwise noted).
Board meetings are also live-streamed on the MGAT Education Channel (Milford Government Access TV), via YouTube. Subscribers to Optimum or Frontier cable television can also find the meetings on their respective government access TV channel.
Executive Session: From time to time, the Board may need to conduct a portion of its meeting in executive or closed session; the public is not allowed access to this portion of a meeting. This occurs when the Board must discuss highly confidential information among themselves, such as personnel or student matters, contract negotiations or pending litigation. The Board does not take any official action during executive session, but rather uses this time to learn more about an issue and discuss it privately.
Click on the icon, left, to view the full 2020 BOE Meeting Calendar.
Citizens of Milford have the right to bring items to the attention of the Board. Time for public comment is designated on the agenda for our two regular monthly meetings. This is a valuable way for the Board to hear concerns and opinions of members of our community.
The most productive use of this time is to address issues relevant to the meeting agenda or general school policy – either complimentary or concerning. There is no discussion of matters raised during the public comment session. This is because the Board’s meeting is constrained by the agenda set in advance, per Freedom of Information rules, and doesn’t allow for two-way dialogue or debate with speakers. Additionally, a full response to issues raised may not be possible immediately. When appropriate, a written response to a question or concern may be provided to individuals.
Out of respect for confidentiality, concerns relating to individual students or staff members are best taken up with the classroom teacher, an Administrator or other staff member who would be in a better position to address them. We ask that you always follow the steps indicated in our districtwide “Channels of Communication.” This communication path was put in place to help parents and fellow citizens get the answers to their questions and concerns quickly and from the staff person most directly related to the matter, rather than waiting for the next Board meeting. The communication path for conflict resolution is as follows:
Asst. Principal/Teacher Leader
Board of Education
How to Make a Public Comment
Any Milford resident is welcome to speak during the public comment session on the meeting agenda. Speakers are asked to begin by clearly stating their name and address for our record and to limit their comments to 3 minutes each. This practice helps keep the meeting running smoothly and ensures everyone who wishes to speak has the opportunity to do so. While comments on any topic related to the school system are welcome during our business meeting, only comments pertaining to agenda items can be offered at a Committee of the Whole meeting. While it is best to address the entire Board during public comment time at a meeting, an alternative for communicating your questions, concerns or opinions is to email all Board members.
To do this efficiently, you may use the Board of Education email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your message will be sent, automatically, to all 10 Board members at the same time.
To help our Board stay up-to-date on information and activity being conducted in other education-related organizations, one or more of our board members are assigned a liaison role to various associations. Board members regularly attend the meetings of these groups and report relevant information at our Board of Education business meetings. The groups with which we are associated are:
Area Cooperative Educational Services (ACES)
Milford Health Department
Milford Board of Aldermen
Milford Planning and Zoning
Milford PTA Council
Milford Education Foundation
Milford Prevention Council
Permanent School Building Committee
One of the best ways to prepare for a BOE meeting is to review the meeting materials that are uploaded to the district's website in the days leading up to the meeting.
Click on the button for MEETING RESOURCES to find agendas, minutes, information packets, and presentations -- all organized by year and meeting date. It's a great way to inform yourself on the issues to be discussed.