Best Practice Tips

Meeting Agenda
As you plan to host your virtual meeting, we recommend that you rethink your meeting agenda format and be sensitive to how long the virtual meeting might take. Try to avoid having too long of a virtual meeting but ensure that the most essential items are covered. There may be some normal things that are not necessary or don’t fit as well for a virtual meeting.

Registration for a Zoom Meeting is not required but recommended so that participants can see the names of all those in attendance and there will be an official attendance report that can be generated. Having participant names available is helpful to the co-host in the event they need to troubleshoot or correspond with a participant during the meeting. Before requiring registration, check with your board attorney to make sure that it is consistent with your open meetings laws.

We recommend that you have at least two individuals to serve as co-hosts of the meeting. One to run the screen sharing and the other to manage participants, livestreaming video to the public, etc.

We recommend that board members and the superintendent have their video turned on so that all attendees can see them. This helps the participants best see which governance team member is speaking and creates greater transparency by seeing any body language associated with verbal comments. If possible, disable the video option for all other participants.

We recommend enabling audio for board members and the superintendent and if possible, to mute all other participants unless there is a need for them to speak. The host can enable participants to unmute their microphones as needed. Meeting attendees can raise their hand if they wish to speak or be acknowledged. A co-host can then interact with that person to determine if they should be unmuted to speak or if they can resolve an issue without disrupting the meeting.

Public Participation
We recommend that public participation be managed in a way that does not become a disruption to the meeting. If you are using Zoom Meeting, we recommend disabling the Chat feature or ensuring that it is set to only allow participants to chat with the Host. If you have an item that provides a need or desire to have public input, the chair can request that any participant wanting to speak on the matter to please use the “raise hand” feature. At that point or send a chat directly to the host, one of the co-hosts can then unmute the participants line permitting them to speak. Upon completion, the co-host can mute their line again.

Breakout Room
If your meeting will include an executive session and you are using Zoom Meeting, we recommend that the co-host create a Breakout Room for the Executive session and assign the board members and the superintendent to the breakout room at the prescribed time to go into executive session. The breakout room and assignment of governance team members can be done in advance upon the creation of the meeting in Zoom.

We recommend that one co-host should share their web browser to share the meeting agenda and materials via Simbli, while another co-host manages participants or other needs that might come up during the meeting.

If you are going to livestream your meeting on Facebook or YouTube for public participation, we recommend that the co-host start the livestream prior to the meeting being called to order.

Watch the following video to see an example of how to conduct the meeting.

Setting Up Your Zoom Virtual Board Meeting

Launching Your Zoom Virtual Board Meeting

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