Thursday, July 18, 2024
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School Board On Fence About Board Meeting Locations

The White County School Board must still decide whether it will continue to hold meetings at district schools or move them all to the central office next year.

Director of Schools Kurt Dronebarger said the original schedule for next year had all meetings located at the district central office. Board Member Dewayne Howard said he would prefer to continue holding meetings at a rotation of schools because he enjoys seeing the facilities and meeting staffers. Dronebarger said he has heard from administrators who feel that hosting the events is taxing.

“I hear from principals,” Dronebarger said. “They’re not going to say this to you or publicly, but, you know, it’s one more event for them to do. It’s very crowded in some of their spaces. Some of the schools don’t have very much space to have these meetings and if we have a really exciting meeting one night and we have lots of people there, it’s hard to fit everybody in there.”

Dronebarger said school administrators also feel obligated to provide food for the school board which is an added expense. He said at some smaller schools, nearly the entire staff may be required to work a 14-hour day to help with the evening event.

Board Chair Bob Young said moving soundboards and camera equipment to livestream meetings has been cumbersome for staff. He said the board should also be mindful of the effort required off-site in holding meetings at different locations.

“One of the things we’re trying to provide the community is the ability to have these meetings livestreamed,” Young said. “Technology to make that happen if very involved.”

Young said the board’s May, June, July, and August meetings are already held at the central office, so the decision would not affect those. The board approved the meeting schedule but left dates “to be determined,” as it has July and August to decide where meetings will be held from September through April.

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