D51 school board meetings to be taped
School District 51 will begin videotaping its school board meetings starting Tuesday.
Local citizen group Save Our Students recently requested permission to record board meetings. Audio is recorded by the district at each board meeting, but Save Our Students member Rob Pierce said the group wanted video recordings so it could edit the meetings into pertinent moments and distribute the clips to group members who were unable to attend board meetings.
Pierce said group members didn’t want to show up at board meetings with a camera without first talking to the district, so he emailed District 51 spokeswoman Christy McGee to see if it would be OK to videotape meetings. McGee said the meetings are public and therefore recording is legal, but she proposed the group allow the district time to find someone to tape the meetings. That way, the district could post full meetings online and give a copy to Save Our Students that the group could edit into clips.
“If there’s something we can do to make the meetings more accessible, that’s a benefit to the district as well,” McGee said. “If we could have a full version, that would at least give people a place to go to get context and if they wanted to edit it, they could.”
A district employee will tape Tuesday’s meeting but McGee said Board President Greg Mikolai is hoping to recruit one of his video students at Colorado Mesa University to tape the meetings once school is back in session at the university.
Pierce said he is fine with the proposal as long as the tapings are provided in a format that permits editing. He said the group has not decided how to distribute video clips, but it is likely the group will at least start by posting parts of meetings on its Facebook page and emailing videos to members.
“I think all of us would prefer to make it available to everybody, so maybe we’ll link to a YouTube video,” he said.
McGee said some Colorado school districts already videotape or live-stream their board meetings online or on a public cable channel. She said the district will likely post full meetings on YouTube and place a link to the videos on its website, d51schools.org.
The district briefly experimented with airing board meetings live on Channel 12 in 2011. The board had to meet in the Grand Junction City Hall auditorium in order to air those meetings. The board stopped meeting at City Hall due to temporary scheduling conflicts and has yet to return.
McGee said the district may offer the new video recordings to Channel 12 to air after meetings take place, but that decision has not yet been made.