Roaring Fork school board plans in-person meeting for Sept. 8 |

Roaring Fork school board plans in-person meeting for Sept. 8

Meeting would be first in person since June

The Roaring Fork School District Board of Education, along with any public commenters and visitors, will move away from the laptops and into the board room for its next meeting on Sept. 8, at least temporarily.

Citing a belief in better work being done in person, the board opted to host its next meeting at the district office in Carbondale. However, due to concerns of accessibility for some, the following meeting on Sept. 22 will return to Zoom, where the initial three were hosted.

The meeting time on Sept. 8 will move from 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. to accommodate travel time for members and visitors, especially around the bell schedule for students. All participants will be required to follow the district’s current COVID-19 protocols, which currently includes mask wearing and social distancing. Streaming options were mentioned but not finalized.

All public commenters will either have to appear in person or submit their comment in writing ahead of the meeting.

Superintendent Rob Stein expressed doubt about finding a hybrid solution that would deliver an adequate experience for both virtual and in-person viewers. He said the district does not have the capability to support both and won’t for the foreseeable future, that it would require increased staffing, cameras and additional equipment that would require financial commitment.

When the board last met in person on June 9, the only non-virtual meeting in the entire 2020-21 school year, they still connected to Zoom individually with a camera pointing at each member despite them all being in the same room. Board members described the experience as awkward and less than ideal.

Number of visitors will also be limited to what the room can accommodate with COVID-19 protocols.

Preliminary discussions on locations for meetings beyond September went as far as exploring the continuation of alternating in-person and virtual meetings, but no decision was finalized.

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