When they can’t meet in person, school boards have to find ways to connect and conduct their business. During the global pandemic—and generally in any emergency circumstances—many states permit school boards to meet and make important board decisions virtually.

A virtual school board meeting could be as simple as a conference call that the public can join or as complex as a video-based meeting or webinar involving dozens of people. Either way, these online gatherings have to be planned and prepared for in advance in order to achieve the highest level of productivity, participation, and collaboration.

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Using a combination of a web conferencing platform like Zoom, social media video streaming service similar to Facebook, and a board management system like Simbli, districts can achieve these goals while also creating a positive experience for all attendees.

Here are 10 recommendations all school boards can implement in advance of their next virtual school board meeting to ensure a successful experience:

1. Test your connections in advance. Check your broadband connection to ensure your meeting runs smoothly, without interruptions due to a slow connection. Use the web tool speedtest.net to test, and then communicate potential issues to district IT staff. Begin with a private broadcast for testing. Ensure that board members can join the virtual school board meeting and test the connections, sound, and other surrounding elements.

About the Author:

Mark Willis is the assistant executive director of the Georgia School Boards Association.


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