The Croton Daily Voice (New York)
Oct. 18, 2012
By Jessica Glenza
MONTROSE, N.Y. — Hendrick Hudson Board of Education meetings could go paperless by the next school board meeting, say district officials. The district is implementing a web-based service called "BoardDocs," which posts all relevant documents online, reducing paper waste, labor and delivery costs of several-inches-thick binders, board members review each week.
"Some of them were crazy because, don't forget, the board gets a lot of information," said district clerk Rosanne Squillante. "Sometimes the binders were four, five inches thick. It was a lot, so this is really going to cut down on a lot of that," she said.
The BoardDocs program is leased annually by the district for $1,500, about cost of office supplies and overtime preparation spent on the binders.
"It is a net zero, except, we estimate we probably will have about $8,000 in staff time that will not need to be used, and will be used for things that benefit the district," said interim superintendent Brian Monahan, who, at the behest of the board, helped institute the program. "It will reduce the amount of time they have to spend getting this stuff ready," he said.
District officials say the program is not running yet, but they're hoping to have the site up and running and accessible to the public by the day of the next board meeting, Wednesday, Oct. 24. BoardDocs in its entirety will not be accessible to the public, but agendas and presentations that were provided in print form at meetings — and will continue to be — will be available ahead of time online.
“Besides not having to waste all the paper, ink and time in preparing the weekly board packets, and requiring the drivers to deliver them, it also saves time and money after the fact in the filing and maintenance of this information," said board President Mary-Pat Briggi. "The fact that the information is also available to the public sooner is yet another benefit," she said.
For board members, the district says, BoardDocs has other benefits. Through a feature called MetaSearch, board member can access "best practices from other districts that are using the system," said a release issued by the district, "allowing them to gain important knowledge about initiatives other boards have considered and implemented."