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Medford School District will stream meetings

The Medford School District plans to begin streaming its bimonthly board meetings online, live and on-demand, as early as December.

At the Oct. 26 meeting, board members approved the purchase of a video camera and other equipment necessary to record and stream meetings on its website.

“I think it’s important for any public entity to provide an outlet for people who can’t physically be at the meetings to keep up with what’s going on in our district,” said board member Michael Campbell, adding that the Jackson County Board of Commissioners and the Ashland School Board meetings are aired on public access TV.

At a work session earlier in the month, board chairman Jeff Thomas said he didn’t want to allocate staff time or money to streaming video until the school district had determined the level of community interest. He suggested that the district post the audio recordings from the board meetings instead, which would be free.

At first, the motion at the Oct. 26 board meeting to “move forward with the purchase of equipment necessary to stream video” did not get enough votes to pass.

However, later in the meeting, board member Larry Nicholson, who originally voted “no,” changed his mind and asked for a second motion, which passed.

“I think audio recordings would sufficient, but I understand the need to be more transparent as negotiations are coming up,” he explained after the meeting.

The district hopes to have the technology, which will cost $5,300, in place by the December 14 meeting. The single-camera videos will be available on the district’s website. For a schedule of upcoming board meetings, see http://www.medford.k12.or.us/Page/2150.

“There’s a lot of info shared at board meetings that’s valuable for people to keep up on,” Campbell said.

—Reach education reporter Teresa Thomas at 541-776-4497 or tthomas@mailtribune.com. Follow her at www.twitter.com/teresathomas_mt.