Participation guidelines

Emergency Guidelines Governing the Conduct of Remote Public Board Meetings and Provisions for Remote Public Participation

Download Emergency Guidelines

The following Emergency Guidelines have been issued by the President of the Board of Education of the City of Chicago (“Board President” and “Board”) in accordance with Board Rule 2-4.1. These Emergency Guidelines are effective March 20, 2020, and shall remain in effect during the period in which the Illinois Governor’s Disaster Proclamation remains in effect. During the period they are in effect, these Emergency Guidelines supersede the Public Participation Guidelines issued August 28, 2013 (rev. September 13, 2018).

The Board President may rescind, suspend or amend these Emergency Guidelines as circumstances dictate.

 The purposes of these Emergency Guidelines are to:

1. permit the Board to conduct essential business while taking appropriate measures consistent with the guidance from the President of the United States, the United States Centers for Disease Control, the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Chicago Department of Public Health to mitigate the contagion and spread of the COVID-19 virus;  and,

2. promote expeditious public meetings that will allow Board members, the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Education Officer and other Officers of the school district to maximize time spent directly addressing the needs of the students and families during the public health emergency. 

These Emergency Guidelines address the manner in which the Board will conduct its public meetings to keep the number of in-person attendees below established thresholds as directed by the Illinois Governor’s Disaster Proclamation and to comply with recommended social distancing and social isolation practices to mitigate contagion and protect and promote the health and well-being of the general public, Board employees, students, staff and members of the Board of Education.    

Electronic meetings, Quorum and Designated Broadcast Location

Electronic Board Meetings and Quorum

The Chicago Board of Education’s regular meetings will not require the physical presence of a quorum of Board members or any number of Board members at a single meeting location or any one location.  The Board may conduct its public and executive (closed) meetings via telephone, teleconference, closed-circuit television or via other electronic media at multiple locations provided that the meeting shall be simulcast to the general public via live-streaming or other means to permit the general public to monitor the conduct of its business and to engage in public participation.   An electronic recording of the virtual meeting shall be preserved.

Public Participation at Board Meetings

Observing the Board Meeting

Members of the public will view the Board meeting via live stream by selecting “Watch live” on the Board's website at  They will not be invited into the designated meeting locations from which each or any of the Board members are participating in the meeting.

Number of Speakers

The Board will allocate no more than 30 speaking slots to members of the general public to speak to the Board via electronic/telephonic means.  Each speaker will be allocated up to two (2) minutes to speak.  Public participation shall occur via telephone, teleconference or other electronic means.

Speaker Sign Up

Members of the public, employees of the district, Local School Council members and members of other groups wishing to speak must register in advance of the day of the meeting or by such other time noted in the meeting agenda published by the Board.

Advance Speaker Registration will open the Monday preceding the Board meeting at 10:30 a.m. and close Tuesday at 5:00 p.m., or until all slots are filled. Advance registration during this period is available by the following methods:

          Online: (recommended)

          Phone: (312) 989-7313

To ensure equity of access to address the Board, an individual may not speak at two (2) consecutive Board Meetings. In the event a speaker registers to speak at a consecutive Board Meeting, the speaker will not be called to address the Board.


Current or prospective vendors wishing to present products or services for purchase may not use the public participation portion of a Board meeting for this purpose.

Written Comments

Members of the public may submit written comments by completing the Written Comments Form on the Board’s website at or US Mail to 1 N. Dearborn, Suite 950, Chicago IL 60602.


Courteous, respectful and civil behavior is expected from all speakers and all persons attending a Board meeting.  Unsolicited comments and disruptive behavior are prohibited.  Individuals who are disruptive may be given a warning and also, may, if necessary, be removed from the meeting. If any individual is removed from a meeting as a result of disruptive behavior, then the individual may forfeit their right of reentry to future Chicago Board of Education meetings


The Board records the public participation portion of each Board meeting. The Board reserves the right to edit any and all portions of the recording from each monthly meeting. These recordings are aired on local cable channels for the convenience of the public. Members of the public can copy any portion of the public participation or business portion of the meeting from the televised broadcast or from

Effective Date: March 20, 2020 [Revised January 13, 2021]