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Comiskey Room attracts guests, showcases new services

Guests to the Comiskey Room at the Hyatt Regency found more than free cookies, beverages and the gift of BoardBook® sticky notes. The 2008 room was filled with information about the Association, including two new products/services that school board members will hear more about in the coming year.

Policy tools

In addition to demonstrating PRESS On-line, PRESS-Plus and School Board Policies Online, IASB Policy Services featured demonstrations of BoardBook®, a paperless document management tool for school boards. Scott Ballew of the Texas Association of School Boards, which created the software, was on hand to demonstrate how boards can use BoardBook® to publish their agenda packets electronically in addition to linking instantly to resources available from IASB and the local district.

Ballew said he was pleased with the traffic through the Comiskey Room Friday and Saturday, as well as the interest in the product.

"We were very pleased with the interest demonstrated by board members and superintendents visiting the Comiskey Room," said Cathy Talbert, IASB associate executive director for Policy and Field services. "They talked with our staff members and asked good questions about the many services available to them from their school board association."

Laurel DiPrima, IASB policy consultant, agreed. "It was gratifying to see so many of our board members, superintendents and secretaries eager to investigate new ways to make board meetings more efficient and effective, and to communicate more effectively with their consitutents."

Members-Only debuts

Another new product on display was the Members-Only website, which was demonstrated and explained by members of the Communications staff.

By using the seven-digit number found on their conference ID badge, school board members and administrators could log into the site, designate an e-mail address of choice and select a password to gain access to the new website. Drawing from IASB's database, Members-Only will provide personalized information based on the member's division and allow tracking of individual information on Master Board Member points and LeaderShop credits.

Gloria Farrar, a board member from Field CCSD 3 in Texico, was one of the first to sign up for the website. Despite laryngitis, she conveyed how excited she was to be able to access Members-Only and how she had been waiting for a long time to have such a service.

In addition to the information mentioned above, board members and administrators will be able to access conference handouts as they are added to the website and use the conference scheduling feature to personalize their own session preferences in a condensed format.

Farrar, who completed the process and selected the panel sessions she planned to attend, held her one-sheet schedule up in triumph after she was done.

Other activities

Again this year, each IASB department had a section of the Comiskey Room where they could display information about the services they offer and most had staff members available at all times to answer questions. Large signs around two of the pillars allow for display of pictures IASB's Board of Directors to make them more recognizable to the general membership.

In addition, a schedule was posted and an area designated where people could meet with representatives of the Illinois State Board of Education and Chris Koch, state superintendent.

All guests could access refreshments and many found a chair at one of the tables to relax for a few minutes, meet fellow board members or talk with attendees from other districts. Some even quipped that the Comiskey Room affords them a place to "hide in plain sight."

2008 Conference Menu


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