Valuable Board Portal
What Is the One Resource That’s Almost as Valuable as Money? One Ohio School District Found Out.

By Dustin McKissen, December 19, 2016

Getting additional funding is a hard thing for any school district to accomplish. Securing more dollars might require the approval of voters, or the approval of legislators, or the approval of elected board members.

That can be almost impossible.

Voters may feel an economic crunch that results in a vote against new funding, even when those voters understand how important additional financial resources are to the district and the community. Legislators and school board members must balance the input from their constituents, the needs of the district, and financial realities.

Even when new funding actually becomes a reality, it takes a long time to see those dollars flow into your budget.

But money isn’t the only resource school districts need more of.

Districts and their staff also need more time.

More hours and minutes from your administrative staff, your district leadership, and your board members can make a big difference. Extra minutes in the day add up to hours in a month. Those hours can result in time spent coming up with new ideas, and new ideas can mean a higher-performing district, and, in the long run, a healthier community.

Mohawk Local Schools in Sycamore, Ohio, recently learned that.

In July of 2015 the district became a BoardPaq customer. Prior to using BoardPaq, staff typed agendas, minutes, and other meeting material that ended up going in large binders. Once created, the binders would be hand-delivered to school board members.

How much time did Administrative Secretary Jackie Messersmith spend creating and delivering board binders over the years?

It’s hard to calculate, but the obvious answer is “too much.”

How valuable was the time spent on those binders?

That’s also hard to calculate, but the obvious answer is “not very valuable.”

“This took up a lot of the administrative staff’s time and kept us out of the office often,” Messersmith says. “When a change needed to be made, we would have to print addendums and either hand-deliver them or distribute them at the meeting if we did not have enough time to hand-deliver them.”

Messersmith—like all administrative staff BoardPaq has come to know at the school districts it serves—is a talented employee who cares about her school and her students.

The additional time Jackie Messersmith gained by using BoardPaq gives her an opportunity to focus on other, more important tasks in her job. It gives her time to come up with new ideas about how she and her colleagues can better serve their learning community. It gives her time to focus on innovation, rather than repetition.

For school districts, money is an incredibly important resource.

But additional time is almost as valuable.

BoardPaq gives administrative staff more time to spend on truly important tasks by reducing the amount of time they spend on creating minutes and building agendas. And BoardPaq eliminates the need to print and hand-deliver board books.

BoardPaq does that at a lower cost than its competitors—which is why it has become the board portal of choice for cost-conscious school districts, like Mohawk Local Schools.

Getting more money might be hard, or even impossible—but your district can get more time.

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Dustin McKissen is the founder of McKissen + Company, an association management and marketing firm. He is a Certified Association Executive and has served as an executive or consultant to a wide variety trade associations, professional societies, and nonprofits.
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