Parents or taxpayers who are interested in Woodstock School District 200 Board discussions but are unable to make it to meetings now can watch them live.
District 200 board President Carl Gilmore and Superintendent Mike Moan approached director of communications Kevin Lyons earlier this year, noting that they’d like the ability to livestream meetings to continue District 200’s commitment to increasing transparency, Lyons said.
“While we’ve been providing important documents on the district website and are open to public comments at our board meetings, we felt allowing residents to view our meetings brings another level of transparency for anyone interested in the public’s business of educating our children,” Gilmore said.
Livestreaming was tested successfully at the board’s Aug. 21 meeting. Streaming will resume at its meeting Tuesday, as well as at subsequent board meetings.
Board meetings generally take place on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month in the Woodstock High School library. The schedule alters in the summer, March because of spring break and November and December to accommodate holidays.
The board, elected by members of the community within District 200 boundaries, publicly votes on budget matters, makes curriculum decisions, discusses significant purchases and makes many other decisions that affect students, parents and the broader community.
After exploring what other school districts and municipalities have done to provide similar services, Lyons and District 200 director of technology George Oslovich decided to stream meetings live via YouTube. Recordings of the meetings also will be accessible on the district’s website, where the board meeting schedule also can be found.
Also listed under the School Board tab on the District 200 homepage are agendas for past and upcoming meetings, names and photos of current members, meeting minutes, a “Board Briefs” synopsis of news from past meetings and more.
Moan said the livestreaming effort should further develop the district’s goal of providing a clear picture of district operations.
“Sometimes these board discussions can shed light on why decisions are made and provide some needed context that documents might not be able to articulate clearly,” Moan said.