Shoreline will start live-streaming board meetings

11/23/2016

To better connect the sprawling Shoreline Unified School District, which stretches from Inverness to Bodega Bay, the district’s board of trustees will implement a new video conferencing system so that parents, teachers and community members can live stream monthly board meetings. When trustees assemble for their all-day board meeting in January, parents and community members will be able to connect from their computers. Ryan Corrigan, Shoreline’s technology coordinator, said he’ll record using a camcorder and tripod, and hopes in the future to add a stronger audio component. The total cost for the equipment was under $1,000 and the monthly service fee for the streaming platform is $90. “We went with this system because it’s easy to set up. We’re short-staffed out here and other systems that were more evolved were more expensive,” he said. The January meeting will be a trial run for Mr. Corrigan, allowing him to fine tune and receive feedback from viewers. Superintendent Bob Raines said the new system will enable the school community to better participate and lessen the need to travel between schools. “Eventually, once we get the [streaming] working, we’ll begin investigating a chat capacity so people can contribute [in real time],” Mr. Raines said. “But we’re not going to jump all in just yet.” But some community members are concerned the live streaming will not necessarily increase access to parents in a district with a large population of underserved families. Donna Faure, a former treasurer of the West Marin School Parent Teacher Student Association, expressed concern about parents who might not have access to computers and the internet. “Even if [the school] had the best electronic system, it would be hard for families who don’t have the means,” she said.