Milton-Union BOE considers going paperless


By Matt Clevenger

For the Miami Valley Today

WEST MILTON — The Milton-Union Exempted Village Schools Board of Education is considering a new paperless system to handle the distribution of board agendas, meeting minutes, public notices and other documents.

“BoardDocs is a completely paperless software system that you can use for board meetings,” District Treasurer Dave Stevens said. “It’s moving meetings along into the digital age.”

Board members discussed the paperless system during a specially-scheduled meeting on Wednesday, June 30; further discussion is planned for their next regular monthly meeting in July.

Board members currently receive paper agendas and packets, which must be printed, assembled and physically delivered to them before each meeting. BoardDocs would replace the board’s paper agenda system with an all online, digital service similar to cloud-based storage. Board members would be provided with Chromebooks or similar devices to access the service, while members of the public could access meeting minutes, agendas or other information using any device that can get online.

“I like the idea of it,” Board President Ben Dehus said. “Just for the simple fact of storage of historical documents for board meetings, and simplification for the staff.”

“I do everything digitally,” Dehus said. “That’s the way things are going, so I wouldn’t be opposed to adopting something like that.”

“It would streamline things and increase efficiency,” Treasurer Kay Altenburger said. “It depends on the month and what you have on the agenda; it does take a fair amount of time to do it.”

BoardDocs services would cost the district approximately $10,600 per year, but would be eligible to be covered by federal ESSER III funding for at least two years.

“That’s just one idea that we had for use of the ESSER funding,” Stevens said. “It helps eliminate papers touching and passing around.”

“Cost was always a barrier in the past for me, so the ESSER funding gives us an opportunity to use it,” Altenburger said.

“It’s going to increase efficiency,” Superintendent Dr. Brad Ritchey said. “For members of the public, it probably increases their access. Often in our agendas it will say ‘see attached,’ and that might be hard to find.”

“I slightly have a hard time with it,” Board Vice President Jessica Brumbaugh said. “I’m not a tech person; I love my paper and pencil, for some reason.”

“This is the way things are going. All government agencies are doing everything digitally,” Dehus said. “So, it’s either wait until it’s demanded of us, or ease our way in.”

Board members plan to discuss the BoardDocs system again at their next regularly scheduled meeting and will also discuss other plans for using the district’s remaining ESSER III funding.

“We’ve been awarded over a million dollars to be used over the next three fiscal years,” Stevens said.

In other business, board members also voted to approve the McGraw-Hill “Wonders” Curriculum for grades K-5, a new bus driver and new high school student handbooks.

“I went through both of them, and nothing really major changed except for the times,” Brumbaugh said of the new handbooks.

Board members also unanimously approved a resolution authorizing a no-bid contract not to exceed $85,000 with Prodigy Building Solutions to construct a new quiet room for the district.

“The district has identified a need to create a quiet room to better address the needs of our students,” Dehus said, reading from the resolution. “The project needs to be completed prior to the commencement of the 2021-2022 school year.”

“Bidding the work will delay the project’s completion,” the resolution said, “and will not guarantee that lower bids will be received, especially in light of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic and its effect on increasing material costs.”

Board members’ next regularly scheduled meeting will be held on Monday, July 19 at 6:30 p.m. in the Board of Education Office.

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