"On March 25, 2020, the Ohio Senate and House of Representatives approved Am. Sub. H.B. 197. The legislation provides emergency relief related to, among other things, the Open Meetings Act. During the period March 9, 2020, through the duration of the State Emergency, but not longer than December 1, 2020, members of a public body may hold and attend meetings and hearings by teleconference, videoconference or any similar electronic technology means." (Bricker.com, March 25, 2020)
Here is the full guidance from Bricker & Eckler on the matter. SWOCA cannot advise you on the legality of this solution, so we recommend checking with your legal advisors.
In an effort to provide our districts with tools should they desire to virtualize their own board meeting, SWOCA offers the Zoom video conference platform, which allows meetings to be streamed to Facebook Live, YouTube Live, or a few other services. The Licensed version of Zoom is required for this service; but that is a very reasonable cost. $5.00 per meeting host license for the rest of the school year, and students or other attendees are FREE. (Check our Zoom Page for more details).
How-To links from Zoom
Here's an example of a live streamed meeting from one of our members. (Great Job Butler Tech!)
Butler Tech shares the following advice from their maiden voyage:
Setting up your Meeting
Your meeting host must also be a page admin on the Facebook page.
You will need a licensed account in Zoom. (Purchase from SWOCA)
This feature needs to be enabled by the Zoom Administrator (SWOCA)
When streaming to Facebook, there is an indicator in the upper-left for meeting participants.
The Meeting can be recorded locally by the Zoom Desktop Client.
Recording can be started, paused and stopped. There is an indicator in the upper left for meeting participants
After the meeting ends, the videos will convert, then ask for a location to be saved. Mine created 2 video files (.mp4 and .m3u) and one audio file (.m4a)
Facebook will also save and share the video on the page.
Other notes and lessons learned.
Ask all users to Mute except when they need to speak, this keeps down background noise and participants from talking over each other.
Remind Users they can use the SPACE BAR to Unmute their line temporarily.
Consider asking Non-Board members to not show Video. We had others in the call that needed to be there for some questions, but the focus should be on the Board Members.
We also had a Guest Station setup, this was actually my seat, so I recorded and controlled Mic and Camera for this location. If there would have been public participation, I would have had them sit there.
Do a full test run. We had to clear Cache and Cookies to get someone promoted and rights reflected on FB. Other unexpected things could happen as well, aka Murphy’s Law!
Consider how you’ll do normal meeting functions. IE: “Do we stand for the Pledge?”