The Brown Act requires a period for public comment on relevant items not on the agenda for a meeting. A “legislative body” like a school board can’t discuss items raised only through such comments, but this doesn’t prevent board members asking questions or a single member making a comment.
This is a valuable opportunity for citizens to raise issues on their own initiative with the Board. One way bodies can make it easier for citizens to do this is to put at least an initial period of public comment close to the beginning of the meeting. WCCUSD teacher and parent, Sarah Creeley, and WCCUSD parent, Giorgio Cosentino, have been waging a campaign (see these blog posts: 1, 2, and 3) for our WCCUSD school board to do this.
From looking at the last couple of agendas (August 12, 2013 and September 11, 2013), this campaign seems to have succeeded. A hat tip to the WCCUSD school board creating an item near the beginning of the agenda for public comment. I may even be inspired to start putting video clips of these sections on YouTube again.