News - Kane County

St. Charles School District to continue to livestream board committee meetings

The St. Charles School District will continue to lifestream the School Board’s committee meetings after finding a way to decrease the number of staff needed to lifestream the meetings.

St. Charles School District 303 will continue to livestream the school board’s committee meetings.

Recently installed new equipment has made the process easier and more efficient. Superintendent Paul Gordon and Chief Communications Officer Scott Harvey told board members Aug. 8 that the district has been able to reduce the setup time and the need for two technology staff members to one because of updated wireless AV technology.

“That was one of the bigger issues, that we were having two staff members attend each of these committee meetings,” Gordon said.

In addition, Gordon said the district heard from community members who believed board committee meetings should continue to be livestreamed.

Harvey said the new technology recently was installed.

“It is significantly reducing the amount of time that our technology team needs to set up,” he said. “We only need one person to do that now. So we’re reducing the strain of some resources there.”

For the 2021-22 school year, Harvey said there were 36 committee meetings livestreamed. On average, 17.4 people viewed the livestream, he said.

For 35 of those meetings, the average live viewership was 11.6. More people watched the meetings after the livestream had concluded, with total viewership per meeting averaging 264, Harvey said.

“Looking at the data, we may not have a lot of people watching the livestream, but we certainly have people that are going to follow up and watch it later,” he said.

To support viewers who access committee recordings at a later time, Harvey said the district will explore the use of time stamping capabilities through YouTube to indicate when discussion on each agenda item begins.

Board member Kate Bell was worried the school board might be seen as less than transparent if the committee meetings were no longer livestreamed.

“It may feel to our community as a way of decreasing transparency and that’s the last thing I would like to do,” Bell said. “Plus it’s very helpful for me if I want to go back and look at something or remember exactly what was said in citizen comments.”