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District 41 considers live streaming board meetings, opts to wait on further action

GLEN ELLYN – The Glen Ellyn School District 41 Board of Education expressed interest Monday in exploring live video streaming and video recording of regularly scheduled board meetings, but many board members worried the cost might outweigh the benefits.

Currently, District 41 audio records board meetings and posts them to the district website afterward.

District resident and board member elect Stephanie Clark expressed concern at Monday's meetingthat the audio can be hard to decipher and said live streaming could benefit those unable to physically attend meetings.

“It's an idea worth looking into for members that cannot attend meetings,” she said. “Sometimes it's hard to hear the converstation on the audio ... the cost can be prohibitive, but even if live streaming is too expensive, maybe just video recording the meetings [could work]?”

In order to use streaming service Ustream, the district would likely pay about $100 per month based on the number of anticipated views, according to Director of Technology Mike Wood.

The hardware required for a video stream would cost $11,000 to $12,000 to install, Wood said.

Board member Erica Nelson addressed the possibility the cost might be higher than the value, and said the streaming must be high quality for the initiative to be worthwhile.

“I think it's a lot of money,” she said. “I want to do it well if we're going to do it. It's all around the quality of the service.”

No other district in the area offers live streaming of school board meetings, according to Chief Communications Officer Erika Krehbiel. The district's available audio recordings dating back to 2009 have seen 84 hits so far this year.

The board will further discuss streaming options for the district during its meeting April 27.

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