Montcalm Area Intermediate School district makes move to BoardBook to save on paper and money


By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 10:13 am on Thursday, April 12, 2012

STANTON — The Montcalm Area Intermediate School District (MAISD) will be using an online program called BoardBook to help save money and time.

During the MAISD Board of Education meeting Wednesday morning, the board and some staff participated in a conference call with Michael Elder, BoardBook marketing consultant, regarding how BoardBook works.

BoardBook is designed for boards that use a lot of paper such as packets for their meetings, Elder said. The program allows for items like packets and previous meeting minutes to be uploaded onto the site to cut back on using paper.

“(Organizations) save money when going paperless,” Elder said.

MAISD Superintendent Dr. Scott Koenigsknecht said the Ionia County Intermediate School District began using BoardBook recently and, with the help of Student Service Personnel Leanne Bush, looked into the program and how it would benefit the MAISD.

After doing research on the product, Koenigsknecht found BoardBook to be beneficial for not only saving money by using less paper, but a convenience when searching through archives.

Recently, the MAISD did research regarding a special education millage where Koenigsknecht and other administration members had to go through old board of education agendas and minutes, which took a lot of time. With BoardBook, files that are uploaded can be searched by using key words.

“(The search option) is a huge feature,” Koenigsknecht said, adding he hopes future administration think the same thing.

While using BoardBook, which is accessed through www.boardbook.org, a board member can read upload material, such as agendas, and make notes, bookmarks and sticky notes.

Although the MAISD plans to use laptops at meetings to access BoardBook, Elder said there is an iPad application for those who choose to use it.

With BoardBook there also is a community access where the public can access published minutes and agendas.

“Confidential items will remain where only the board members can see them,” Elder said of the community access.

Bush said BoardBook is accessible from any Internet location. During spring break she came into the MAISD Administrative Building to start putting together the board of education agenda. She said with BoardBook she could have done it from the comfort of her home.

“I enjoy it,” Bush said. “It’s very user friendly.”

Although the idea behind BoardBook is to save money by going paperless, members who still wish to get a paper copy will still receive one.

Koenigsknecht said Bush is able to simply print the document from BoardBook for those members after they are uploaded, where before she had pull documents from different places to get them printed.

“I would like to move forward with (BoardBook),” Koenigsknecht said.

BoardBook will cost $2,000, which includes training and support.

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