Report Card

News and discussion on K-12 schools in the greater Sacramento region

November 2, 2012
Are Sacramento area districts posting enough online?

It's an issue that's been raised by Elk Grove candidates running for school board: Are school districts posting enough information online when it comes to school board meetings?

We took a look at Sacramento County's largest school districts.

Twin Rivers Unified offers its board packet, agenda, minutes and other documents online in a nifty clickable format easy for users.

Sacramento City Unified's online access to board packets isn't quite as user friendly, but it offers the most information. The site has school board agendas, minutes, video recordings and full board packets that even includes the last month of general fund expenditures - itemized - for all board meetings. It hyperlinks all the background materials to each agenda item, so viewers can click on anything they want more information about.

San Juan Unified offers all its board agendas and minutes online but, like Twin Rivers Unified, doesn't put hyperlinks to background materials on its agendas, sometimes forcing readers to shuffle through hundreds of pages of documents in the board packet to find needed materials.

But all the larger Sacramento County districts do a better job of putting agendas, board packets and minutes online than Elk Grove Unified. The area's largest district offers up board agendas only. There are no minutes, no video and no board packets online for parents and residents.

District officials are looking at different technologies that could be used to post the board packet and minutes online, said spokeswoman Elizabeth Graswich. There is no timeline for this, she said.

"They are completely public," she said, of the materials. "They can come into the district office to pick up copies."

Graswich said any comparison with other districts on this matter should note that Elk Grove Unified puts agendas online a week in advance of meetings, while most other districts do it the Friday before the meeting. Board members also discuss action items in one meeting, but wait until the following meeting to vote on them in order to give residents more time to gather information and ask questions.

The district does archive old agendas and board resolutions online. So parents seeking information about what their school board is doing will know their school board recently proclaimed October to be Sikh American Awareness and Appreciation Month, Native American Month and Red Ribbon Week.

Let us know how your school district is doing when it comes to putting up agendas, minutes and the materials that keep parents and residents informed about what is happening at school board meetings.

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About Report Card

Loretta KalbLoretta Kalb started her reporting career at The Sacramento Union, moved to KOVR-13 as a television reporter, editor and producer, headed to The Associated Press in San Francisco and eventually returned to Sacramento and joined The Sacramento Bee. Throughout her career, she has covered the state Legislature, courts, local government and, now, education. She is a Chico native and an Elk Grove resident.

Diana LambertDiana Lambert began her journalism career as a proofreader at the Lodi News-Sentinel. She is now a senior writer at The Sacramento Bee covering K-12 education and California State University, Sacramento. Previously she was The Bee’s Elk Grove bureau chief. Lambert was raised in a military family and lived at bases around the globe. She attended four high schools, graduating from Tokay High in Lodi and then Sacramento State University. She lives in Elk Grove.

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lkalb@sacbee.com
(916) 321-1073
Twitter: @LorettaSacBee

dlambert@sacbee.com
(916) 321-1090
Twitter: @dianalambert

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