NJSBA joins a growing list of more than 20 state school board associations and over 2,000 subscribers nationwide that have selected BoardDocs as their e-governance provider. BoardDocs services are proven to save school districts money, while users see a dramatic increase in their board’s effectiveness, administrative time efficiency and productivity.

BoardDocs is designed from the ground up for the creation, disclosure, public information, security and limited collaboration needs of public governing bodies. With BoardDocs, all information is in one centralized location and is easily shared with different stakeholders, whether public, staff or board.

The Northern Burlington Regional School District has been using BoardDocs Pro for more than ten years. At the time it began using BoardDocs, the district wanted an online board management program to reduce staff workload. Board packets were being prepared every other week, with the packets each being 36 pages or longer. A school bus driver delivered the packets to the homes of the nine-member board. With an online document management system, those procedures are unnecessary. “After ten years of using it, I don’t know what I’d do without it,” said Richard J. Kaz, Northern Burlington’s business administrator.

According to the district, there have been additional workflow efficiencies, including an ability to use templates, to easily preview prior year agendas and previous language used in documents, including legal wording, and to collaborate with other staff members. “Everyone puts in their own meeting content and a department leader approves, and then Richard and I get final approval on all information,” said Kristie Worrell, administrative assistant to the business administrator.” So much time is saved in meeting preparation.”

Some of the features of BoardDocs include:

• Allows staff to submit agenda items and supporting documents;

• Allows agenda items to be routed electronically for approval, showing each step of the approval process;

• Click, drag and drop to reorder agenda items with automatic renumbering and all supporting documents following the item;

• Changes/additions to the agenda are automatically available for all stakeholders without having to update multiple versions of meeting documents;

• Automatic generation of minutes;

• Integration of meeting videos;

• Publication of multiple manuals such as policy and student handbooks; and

• MetaSearch, which allows staff and board to search publically-shared agendas, policies and other documents of all public governing bodies using BoardDocs services nationwide.

How does BoardDocs compare to other vendors and services? There are free services that allow boards to host their agenda and/or other publications. Boards should use caution when using these types of services since they do not necessarily provide the security protections needed for meeting documents, ease of agenda preparation, agenda review, or ease of effective searching of board-related materials. They can allow board members to collaborate and share ideas and information in documents and notes. This can lead to a violation of the Open Public Meetings Act and the modification to your agenda without approval.

For an example of how BoardDocs compares to both a free service, Google Drive, and another vendor, Schoolboardnet, the June 6, 2017 issue of online School Board Notes features a side-by-side comparison.

Through BoardDocs, NJSBA offers two cost-effective, powerful, easy-to-use solutions that will allow districts to significantly improve the way they create and manage board packets, access information and conduct meetings: BoardDocs Pro and BoardDocs LT. Both products are fully supported on mobile devices and tablets.

BoardDocs also comes with in-district training, and a “24/7” U.S.-based support line which is there for all stakeholders, no matter what time of the day or night.

To learn more, contact Lou Schimenti, NJSBA products and services specialist by telephone at (609) 278-5271.