Videoconferencing to make school board meetings more accessible

Winter meetings of the Haida Gwaii school board will soon be held by videoconference.

Winter meetings of the Haida Gwaii school board will soon be held by videoconference.

Starting Dec. 13, the board will host public meetings using new video equipment installed at the board office in Queen Charlotte and at Gudangaay Tlaats’gaa Naay Secondary in Masset.

From March to October, board meetings will again be held in person, and rotate between the islands’ seven public schools.

“This gives more of an opportunity for people to access the board,” said Superintendent Dawna Johnson-Day, noting that while board meetings deal with islands-wide issues, they typically only draw people from villages nearby.

Holding videoconference meetings from November to February will also cut the risks of winter driving, she added, and save on travel costs.

While it is not part of the current set-up, Johnson-Day said allowing Sandspit residents to connect to the meetings is a priority.

Likewise, there is no plan yet for students to use the equipment, but Johnson-Day said that may change, particularly for high school students in the Distributed Learning program.

“A natural step would be to try and make it accessible, and used as much as possible so that everybody can benefit.”