This cloud-based service will help improve the district’s efficiency.
In an effort to continuously advance technology to the school district’s benefit, Medford Township Public Schools has implemented a new Electronic Board Meeting System called BoardDocs. The system’s use began at the Feb. 27 Board of Education meeting.
A way to initiate paperless board meetings, BoardDocs works to help both school districts and organizations “dramatically lower costs, increase transparency and reduce time-of-staff by up to 75 percent.” Utilizing the system’s cloud-based services also enables districts to create, access and manage its information more efficiently.
“Efficiency is best thing about [BoardDocs]. This was the first time we used it, and our whole team was like ‘wow’ it’s so easy to use,” MTPS Business Administrator Marie Goodwin, who spearheaded the implementation, said.
Although the MTPS board has been paperless for the last seven years, it chose to adopt this system for all of the reasons mentioned above. Additionally, this new utilization of a cloud-based service will allow the district to shy away from its previous in-house system, created by MTPS technology/network engineer Shaun Gray, which could only be accessed from the district’s server.
The benefit of not placing board documents on the server is now they can be accessed anywhere and at any time. This is especially beneficial in circumstances such as inclement weather when the district’s server may not be able to be accessed.
“During Hurricane Sandy, we went without electricity, and in order to access the server, you needed a hot spot or another alternative,” Superintendent Joseph DelRossi said. “BoardDocs helps to make sure that that’s not a possibility now.”
The new system also helps lessen the risk of losing information by offering increased security. Yet, to ensure all members of the board understood how the new system works, the board held a training session on BoardDocs at a meeting in January.
“The system is easy to use, and when we had it projected on the screen at this month’s board meeting, the members seemed comfortable using it,” Goodwin said. “Several other districts already use BoardDocs, and the New Jersey School Boards Association has partnered with the system to increase transparency and policy management.”
Within MTPS, this also means staff members are now able to openly collaborate on documents such as the monthly board agendas. This eliminates having one person work in isolation to complete the document, and increases efficiency in obtaining a final draft for review.
Furthermore, DelRossi has also started using this system as the platform on which he publishes his weekly board updates, rather than emailing a document to all members. Going forward, he plans to begin using other facets the system offers, such as a way to post MTPS policies.
To access Board of Education agendas on BoardDocs, visit the Board of Education page on the MTPS homepage, or visit http://www.boarddocs.com/nj/medford/Board.nsf/Public.