It has been more than eight months since school district operations—ranging from public meetings to instructional programming—have largely moved to virtual platforms. As a result, a number of school boards have adopted standards for online public meetings that reflect the level of professionalism desired at in-person functions.
In response to requests from boards of education, NJSBA’s field services staff developed a sample “Code of Conduct for Remote Meetings,” which provides guidance for remote public meetings and executive sessions. School boards may download the document and adapt it to their local needs.
NJSBA has also posted a document, Remote Meetings: Tips for School Board Members to Look and Sound Their Best Online.
Below are suggestions adapted from these documents.
- Keep meetings focused on the issues and items in the meeting agenda.
- Focus on the business of the meeting without distraction or multi-tasking. Even if you’re attending from the comfort of your home, refrain from eating, drinking or smoking during the meeting!
- Test your equipment prior to the meeting or call.
- Leave the audio on mute when you are not speaking.
- Dress and speak in a professional manner.
- Join the meeting from a quiet location.
- Identify yourself before making remarks.
- When you participate in executive session, do so behind closed doors without any non-members of the board present.
- Be aware of your surroundings and how your background appears on camera.
- Hang up or disconnect completely at the end of the meeting.
Board members should contact their field service representative if they have questions about board etiquette. Contact information can be found here.