Shawnee Mission Schools, KS Going Paperless!
Shawnee Dispatch (Shawnee, KS)
By Melissa Treolo
April 24, 2012
Beginning with the May 14 Shawnee Mission school board meeting, the stack of paper agendas resting on a table for patrons to pick up on their way into the boardroom will be a thing of the past.
But patrons can still find out what’s on the table for discussion. In fact, new online software the district is using to publicize its agenda packets will provide meeting attendees with more information than they had before, said Bob DiPierro, the district’s deputy superintendent of operations.
The new system of online agendas, introduced by DiPierro during Monday’s board meeting, will be available via BoardDocs Pro — software, developed by Emerald Data Solutions, that gives governing bodies the ability to make their agendas and meeting information accessible to the public without using any paper to do it.
From the BoardDocs link on the Shawnee Mission district’s website, patrons can access, and print if they want, agendas past and present, as well as the full agenda packet that includes details about the items up for action, such as bids and contracts. Past meeting agendas also list board members’ motions and vote counts on action items.
Still in the works, DiPierro said, is a full, alphabetized list of Shawnee Mission’s policies relating to everything from meeting protocol to student services and general guidelines about school administration. Dates of when the policies were adopted by the board are included with each one.
The reason for the change, he said, was to make creating and accessing agendas more efficient. The new system also will save the district between $1,500 and $2,000 annually, Leigh Anne Neal, district spokeswoman, said.
The upfront cost for the software, DiPierro said, was about $10,000 for a three-year contract.
A number of districts in the area, including Olathe and Kansas City, Mo., use BoardDocs software, as well.
Paper copies will still be made available to those who request them, Neal said.
Shawnee Mission’s BoardDocs can be found by going online to smsd.org, clicking on “Public Info” from the drop-down menu at the top of the screen, selecting “Board of Education” and then clicking on the Board Docs link to the right of the screen.