Williamsburg-James City School Board approves policy on remote meeting participation

By Christine Sampson, csampson@vagazette.com

The Virginia Gazette

3:25 PM EDT, August 20, 2014


JAMES CITY – The Williamsburg-James City School Board on Tuesday approved a new policy allowing Board Members to take part in meetings remotely via electronic means in certain circumstances, such as illness or temporary disability.

The motion passed 6-0 with little discussion. A more robust discussion took place at the Aug. 5 School Board meeting, during which some School Board members said they thought it was a good idea to allow it in case of emergencies.

The policy was adopted following the passing of a state law during the spring of 2014 that requires public boards to have a written policy to handle such participation. The law dropped a requirement of a previous statute that said boards had to vote to allow a member to participate in this way. The law limits the number of meetings that a board member can participate in via electronic means to two meetings or 25 percent of the meetings in a given year, whichever is fewer.

Following the Aug. 5 meeting, School Board Chair Ruth Larson said the policy would formalize a practice that the WJC School Board had used a handful of times following the passage of the law. Two School Board members, Heather Cordasco and Elise Emanuel, have already participated in meetings remotely via electronic means.

Sampson can be reached at 757-345-2345.