Paperless Board Meetings FAQ
Answers to our most frequently asked questions on our paperless board meetings.
Q) What does the service provide?
A) The service is a Web-based virtual community that allows your district to create and manage a varied assortment of documents, including meeting agendas, reports and memorandums, news and announcements, and event calendars.
Q) How can my district benefit by using the service?
A) The average board spends about $5000 per year on postage, photocopying, messengers and paper meeting materials. The service helps you eliminate these costs by providing access to the documents online in a virtual library. It also enables your administrative staff to work more efficiently, and reduce the time now used in preparing and delivering these paper documents. Our convenient “all-in-one-place” feature allows your board members and staff to view agendas for upcoming meetings, and then link to all documents related to agenda items – such as reports, memos, spreadsheets, and more.
Q) What computer equipment is required to use the system?
A) Since the service is a Web-based system, all you need is your Internet Browser. No special hardware, software or even a webmaster is required – there is nothing to buy. If you can “surf the Internet,” you can use this system.
Q) Will our district staff need any specialized knowledge or training?
A) No. Our convenient system makes uploading and storing documents easy – staff need only have simple word editing skills.
Q) Do our board members need computers?
A) Board members do not need to own a computer, but some form of access to the Internet is required to view the materials before the meeting. (This can often be provided at the local library or board office). During your meeting, board members and the public can view materials through one, central computer connected to a screen; no laptops or special wiring is required.
Q) What if board members or staff still want to use paper copies?
A) The system is very flexible. Each person can use as much or as little of this technology as they are comfortable with. Users can print out only the few pages they need for the meeting or can request from the board secretary copies of any documents.
Q) What technical support is available to district staff?
A) Training is available by online video tutorials and, if needed, through a scheduled Web-based training session. A complete set of user guides are available for all main functions of schoolboardnet. Ongoing email and telephone support is also available.
Q) Can we archive materials?
A) Yes. Our service means no more digging through files or stacks of paper to retrieve old reports or other documents. Users can search for documents in a stored, online library. Archived materials such as documents used in prior board meetings can also be accessed at any time.
Q) Can we control public access to materials?
A) Our secure server allows you to determine the level of access you want to provide for viewing your documents. You can choose to display some or all of your materials for public view, or you may limit access to group members who need a special login password (e.g., closed session minutes and personnel records can be protected). Closed sessions can still be conducted outside the public’s view.
Q) Are our documents secure?
A) Yes. All material on the schoolboardnet servers is backed up and secured according to high, commercial server standards.
Q) What if Internet service is interrupted during a meeting?
A) None of the materials are created on the site except possibly the agenda which can be copied back to your local computer and would be available both before and during a board meeting. This would allow you to continue the meeting even with no Internet service.
Q) What is the cost of the service?
A) NJSBA members can subscribe to the service for an annual fee of $1270 for the Standard service and $2360 for the Premier service. The Standard service includes membership for the entire board plus three other users. The Premier service allows you to acquire any number of additional users to enable communications for internal board committees, district groups such as administrators, or external groups such as PTA’s/PTO’s.
Q) Who do we contact for more information?
A) If you have further questions about the service, or would like to schedule a free, live demonstration at your site, contact Lou Schimenti by phone: (609) 278-5271, or email [email protected].