Moccia suggests return to live streaming school board meetings

The South Whidbey School District is discussing the possibility of giving live streaming another try.

At a board meeting last week, Superintendent Jo Moccia said improvements could be made to the district’s website to make it more accessible for people with hearing impairments. Live streaming board meetings with closed captioning could be one of those features.

According to Moccia, live streaming was something the district had done for many years but was discontinued when statistics showed “no more than three at a time” were watching the meetings.

Now, the board is showing interest in bringing it back.

Board member Brook Willeford said it would be important to know if people would actually use the service, if provided. Moccia suggested people could be asked online and at the next Superintendent’s Salutations.

She estimated costs for a camera to be around $2,500, and a new sound system would be essential to the process.

“Either it picks up your heartbeat or provides a very horrible noise in the room,” Moccia said, “so we’ve got to update the sound system.”

If the board decides to pursue it, total costs to live stream could be around $5,000 or $6,000, including equipment.

There is no way to tell how many people currently listen to the audio recordings of board meetings, which would help lend insight to the situation.