Change takes time. Baby steps to transparency.

When ARTICS started over 3 years ago in late 2010, the group discussed that in order for our school board and democracy within it to progress, we needed to advocate for transparency, accountability and responsiveness. We also discussed our goal for ARTICS to become irrelevant. I sadly report that we are still needed, but also glad to report there has been some progress over the last 3 years and a bit.

On June 27th, 2011, ARTICS members had our one and only meeting with the board of trustees to discuss why we exist and what our goals were. During the meeting we were asked “what do you want?” and “what is it you are looking for?”. The first thing we stated, which we thought would be the easiest and quickest to accomplish was to release agenda’s and public reports earlier. Currently it is released publicly on the Monday before a Tuesday meeting. If the Monday is a holiday, it is released on the same day of the meeting. We also advocated for the board to broadcast and live stream the meetings online. At the time, ARTICS video taped and posted the meetings online for the public. They are still archived on this website.

When the board moved into the new building in September 2011, meetings were live streamed and recorded. They also decided to move meeting start time from 5pm to 3pm, which we felt negatively impacted parents ability to attend, view or participate in the meetings. One win and one loss for public engagement.

At this weeks public meeting, the board approved an agenda planning committee which will included a plan for the public agenda and reports being released to the public on the Friday prior to the meeting. We have had a few other positive impacts, but these 2 items come from this one meeting almost 3 years ago. Change does take time.

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