Take Note

Take Note

Take Note

Kentucky School Advocate
May 2017
Drop the balloons
KSBA’s eMeeting Service hit a milestone in late March when Bullitt County Schools became the 100th school district to subscribe to the paperless meeting program that streamlines board meetings.

KSBA Policy Director Katrina Kinman, who joined the association in 2008 when eMeeting had just 38 school district subscribers, said she can’t imagine that the developers realized the service would get this big. “But we know it’s a good product and we know it’s a user-friendly product,” she said.

Besides those factors, Kinman said the growth also stems from its other pluses: “The time savings for that administrative assistant having to put that meeting packet together. Also the cost savings based upon preparing packets, delivering packets.” Because the system is web-based, changes in meeting documents can be made immediately, she added.

EMeeting Program Manager Kim Barker said when she trains board teams in its use, she notices that they seem to most appreciate that it keeps pace with the “instant” nature of the everyday technology that they use in cellphones and other devices.

“It’s right there – you don’t have to wait on the mail to get a paper packet,” she said. “And a lot of people like the key word search feature, so if they need to find something, they don’t have to spend hours looking back through past minutes or boxes of papers.”

With the growth, eMeeting programming enhancements also have been made based on user surveys and requests. For example, it now incorporates superintendent evaluation standards so they can be tied to agenda items and tracked.

The service was established in 2004 after KSBA put together a focus group of prospective users to help KSBA technology staff identify what features would be needed in the program. Fort Thomas Independent and Franklin County districts then volunteered to pilot eMeeting, further helping to work out the details.

Now, in addition to 100 school districts, eMeeting subscribers include 21 school-based decision making councils and a sprinkling of other public agencies, from the Kentucky Board of Education and the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative to the Owensboro City Commission and Morehead Utility Plant Board.

Many superintendents and administrative assistants have found that eMeeting increases accessibility and efficiency, in addition to reducing time and paper costs. Ideally, users need high-speed internet access from home or work to use all eMeeting’s features. But they can access meeting information through the program’s offline agenda feature even without the internet.

Though not required, some eMeeting subscribers provide laptops or iPads for members to use at meetings, while others use student laptops from computer labs. This requires the meeting room to be wired for internet access. Generally, one laptop is connected to a projector so that the secretary or other designated person can advance the program through the agenda and enable the members and others to follow along.

For more information on eMeeting, contact KSBA’s Policy Service
New face at KSBA
Rachel Noble has joined KSBA as marketing manager, coordinating all the association’s marketing and fundraising programs. Among other responsibilities, she will be working with KSBA’s Affiliate Member Program, the exhibitor trade shows at association conferences, donor development for the KSBA Education Foundation, and ad sales for this magazine.

“I feel privileged to join the KSBA team and I look forward to continuing a tradition of quality service for Kentucky schools,” Noble said.

She comes to KSBA from Big Ass Solutions in Lexington, where she worked in communications and marketing for 2 ½ years. Before that, she was assistant director of grant services at Berea College, working with K-12 and college access projects like Promise Neighborhoods and GEAR UP. Her job experience also includes a stint as assistant director of the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning in Lexington.

Noble holds a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from Ohio State University and a bachelor’s degree from Earlham College in Indiana.
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