BoardDocs Helps Fairfax County Public Schools Implement Change - Falls Church, VA
Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) in Northern Virginia, with a student population of over 160,000, has been using BoardDocs since July 2004. At one point, the school board office staff members were creating more than 100 packets for Board members, school staff, and the community. Switching to BoardDocs cut paper use dramatically.
“We first heard about BoardDocs at a conference and proceeded to research the transition to paperless meetings. We asked a project manager from our Information Technology department to research available technology. We looked at several other products and then chose BoardDocs, deputy executive assistant Linda Sabo said. The division was looking for a better way to coordinate and disseminate meeting materials. “We were trying to get rid of the paper. It took several hours or more to create the paper packets, and, if an agenda item was changed, it would have to be rerun and distributed again.” Sabo said. “With BoardDocs, the board chairman can make a last-minute change to the agenda or an agenda item at the meeting, and I can put in right into the system. It’s instant. It’s like e-mail,” Sabo said.
“Board members are well-served by BoardDocs. Not only do we get access to Board agenda materials whenever we like and wherever there is internet access, it also facilitates efficient Board meetings. The public loves it because it provides increased transparency into the conduct of the Board’s business,” said Ilryong Moon, Chairman and At Large Member.
Not only is FCPS finding new uses for the existing features of BoardDocs, but also beginning in fall of 2006, the school system will pilot BoardDocs new G4 technology. “We are looking forward to being able to implement the new online voting feature of G4,” Sabo said.
Additionally, the division will use the agenda item submission feature already available to BoardDocs users, which allows Leadership Team members to submit draft agenda items directly into BoardDocs. “Currently we create all board agendas for the upcoming school year in August and then revise them as the meetings get closer. Our current process requires the agenda item to flow first through the department assistant superintendent, next to the deputy superintendent, then to the superintendent, and finally to me. We are looking forward to using BoardDocs to streamline the process.” Sabo said. The division has already taught its staff members in how to submit draft agenda items through BoardDocs.
Sabo also said that FCPS is actively using the audio feature of BoardDocs to make recordings of individual agenda items. “If a board member is out of town and misses a meeting, the board member can go online and hear what he or she missed. The staff members and the citizens of Fairfax County can also use this feature.” Sabo said she is excited about the launch of G4 and looks forward to using the new features in the fall.