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BoardDocs to be used at next school board meeting

July 26, 2018
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

The Lee County School District will begin using a cloud based, paperless agenda system at their Tuesday meeting, saying it will provide a more user friendly system for the board and public.

Linda Jo Sanders, superintendent's office coordinator, said the Lee County School District found out about BoardDocs through the Florida School Board Association, as well as other users. She said some of the positive feedbacks she heard was the ease of the program, how user-friendly it was.

"BoardDocs simplifies the administrative functions of preparing an agenda immensely, freeing staff for other responsibilities. BoardDocs has other features that we hope to glean from . . . meta data search, organizing policies, aligning board action with Strategic Plan Goals," she said. "BoardDocs improves upon the transparency of board action by allowing all supporting documents to be attached and readily available for all viewers."

The initial assessment of BoardDocs, among other programs began in January. Once BoardDocs was chosen as their platform, they began working on it in early April to get it ready for the Tuesday, July 31 meeting. BoardDocs went online Tuesday, July 24 when the regular board meeting agenda was posted.

"For a very minimal cost and annual contract, the BoardDocs program is an invaluable tool, freeing resources and improving transparency and efficiency." Sanders said.

The new program will provide transparency during the meetings.

"All supporting documents are attached to the agenda items for review and the entire agenda and all backup materials are available to anyone via a mobile device," Sanders said. "Because it is a web based platform, anyone wishing to watch the board meeting live, whether in the board room, or remotely, will have access via the web to our site and the featured meeting. Additionally, all backup materials, contracts, etc., are attached to the agenda as there is no size limit for attachments. In the past not all documents could be attached and had to be made for review in the office if someone wanted to review them."

The public will have real-time updates and an interactive structure with BoardDocs. In addition, the agenda will be displayed in the board room to monitor items as they appear. The program will also provide what action the board took, as well as the voting results after the meeting concludes.

Although board members have always had access to the agenda and supporting materials at a meeting while sitting at the dais, she said it was somewhat cumbersome.

"Board members have always had access to the agenda via a very manual process, which was somewhat cumbersome to maneuver through and not all supporting materials were attached due to size limitations. BoardDocs has resolved this issue," Sanders said.

With BoardDocs going into affect, board members will cast their votes electronically within the program, which will be displayed to the audience and within the agenda. Sanders said the votes are recorded and displayed live.

As far as the school board agendas being posted in BoardDocs, it will remain the same as previously, so it aligns with Board Policy and State Law. Sanders said regular meeting agendas are made available no later than seven days prior to the meeting. With special meetings, the agendas are available no later than two business days prior to the meeting. Briefing meetings and workshops will be posted no later than four business days prior to the meeting.

Once the program is fully implemented, it will eventually have an archive of school board policies, links to agendas, minutes and video of meetings in one place. It will also track items related to the district's strategic goals, as well as a record of the District's Advisory Committee meeting agenda and minutes.

BoardDocs can be accessed through a link at agendas and minutes on the School District website leeschools.net.

 
 

 

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