Steamboat School Board will be in person at next meeting |

Steamboat School Board will be in person at next meeting

The meetings will move to Steamboat Springs Middle School going forward to allow for more space for the public

The Steamboat Springs Board of Education will move board meetings to Steamboat Springs Middle School, starting with its next meeting on March 21.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

The Steamboat Springs Board of Education, the last local elected body still consistently meeting virtually, will return to an in-person format at its next meeting on March 21.

The meetings will also permanently move to Steamboat Springs Middle School to allow for more space for the public, as board members felt the previous meeting location at the district’s Old Town office has become too small.

“I think that that’s a great idea,” said board member Lara Craig on Monday, March 7.

Like most public bodies, the pandemic shifted the board to a virtual meeting format.

Occasionally, these meetings would garner over 100 participants on Zoom, especially when the board delved into COVID-19 policies like returning to in-person classes and masking.

When the board began entertaining a return to in-person meetings last fall, the size of the meeting room at the district office no longer seemed adequate, and the idea of moving meetings to the middle school was raised.

But district Technology Director Tim Miles told the board last fall it would take some time to acquire the needed technology, like microphones and cameras, to make the meetings work smoothly in the new space.

Board members unanimously approved the first reading of a policy change on Monday that changes the address of their recurring meetings to the middle school. While the policy won’t be fully approved by the next meeting, current policy allows the board to meet in alternative locations if it is included on the agenda for the meeting.

Under the new meeting format, the public will no longer be able to make public comment virtually during a board meeting.

“The plan was to have public comment be in person moving forward,” said board president Katy Lee. “Your choices (for public comment) are the same as normal, give us a phone call, email us or come to the board meeting to comment, and all those are given equal weight.”

Current policy allows board members to participate in meetings over the phone if they are unable to attend in person. Board member Kelly Latterman suggested they revisit this at a future meeting to allow a board member to participate on Zoom as well.

Latterman said this change could be as simple as adding a few words to the current policy, but board members agreed to have a longer conversation about this change at its next meeting.

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