A screenshot of the Kyrene Elementary School District Photos courtesy of the Kyrene Sc

Interested parents and constituents no longer have to head over to the Kyrene School District office or find cable TV schedules to keep up with the district’s governing board. Instead, they can watch meetings online.

The district started putting the videos online in late May, and included archived videos going back to April 27. The meetings aren’t streamed live, but are posted within about 24 hours after the live meeting.

“We wanted to make our meetings more accessible to the public. Even though they were broadcast on cable TV…it was somewhat limited,” said Superintendent David Schauer. “First of all, you have to assume that people have cable, and then that they’ll be able to watch at odd times.”

The online videos, on the other hand, are available any time people want to watch them, he said.

“I think our families are way to busy to expect to attend something when it’s convenient for us to provide it,” Schauer said.

Board president Ross Robb described the move to online videos as a bit of a no-brainer.

“We are far from the first organization to figure out posting meetings on the Internet was a smart thing to do,” Robb said. “My sense is that once school gets started, if there are any issues that pique people’s interest, I think a lot of people will take advantage of it.”

The video page had 412 hits between the time the videos were posted at the end of May and June 29. Schauer said he would like feedback on the service as more people use it.

The district already contracts with a videographer to tape the meetings for cable broadcast, so it doesn’t cost the district anything other than a little time to convert the videos to an online format, Schauer said.

This isn’t the district’s first foray into online videos. Schauer filmed several videos to answer staff questions during the budget process and received positive feedback on those, he said.

In the future, the district may film segments like welcome back videos at the beginning of the year for staff and the public, Schauer said.

The district has taken a few other steps to get information out to people in new ways, including a Facebook page.

“We need to embrace that technology. I think we were somewhat resistant to that before, but we’ve realized that really is the way people participate” in different communities, Schauer said. “Unless you participate, the message will be whatever people want it to be and not necessarily what you want to be saying.”

Governing board videos are available at the district’s website, www.kyrene.org, by clicking the “Governing Board” link and then “Watch meetings online.”

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