1. Gradebook

Pasco School Board to consider policy on video recording its meetings

The district plans to begin taping and streaming board meetings in July.
Pasco school district videographer Andy Dunn presents options for the School Board to video record and air its meetings during an April 16, 2019, workshop. [Jeffrey S. Solochek | Times]
Published May 30

In anticipation of video recording its meetings, the Pasco County School Board already has changed its public comment procedures to place discussion of non-agenda items at the end of its sessions — so it can turn off the camera and not air those views that sometimes violate privacy rules.

Next, it plans to consider a policy making clear exactly what residents should expect from the recordings.

During previous deliberations, board attorney Dennis Alfonso told members it would make sense to clarify that any video recordings made would be public records and must be shared and maintained to follow Florida’s Sunshine laws.

At the same time, he reminded the board that the videos would not substitute for official board minutes that reflect motions made or votes taken. They would supplement those formal records, he said, and allow interested people to see what they might not have been able to attend in person — nothing more.

The policy proposal coming to the board on Tuesday reflects those views. Board members have said they did not want to begin posting videos until they have set rules in place.

Board member Megan Harding has pushed hardest for the district to video the meetings and share them online. She initially deemed the issue a matter of transparency, but when her colleagues observed that the board has always operated full public view, she shifted the focus to one of accessibility for busy residents who want to better track the board’s activities.

Since her November election, Harding has frequently posted her own video updates on social media, and her husband has sat in the audience airing the meetings on Facebook Live. None of the board members objected to her ideas, but they made clear their desire to keep the costs minimal, so they can focus district resources on items that impact students and employees.

As a result, they rejected some possibilities such as buying added cameras and hiring a production firm to organize live webcasts of their meetings. Instead, they decided to buy one piece of equipment that is to help improve video quality, and rely upon readily available platforms such as YouTube to stream the sessions on demand afterward — similar to other school districts.

To adopt policy, the board will conduct two public hearings before taking a vote. Final action on this update to the district’s Minutes policy is slated for June 18.


  1. Transgender student Drew Adams speaks with reporters outside of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. Adam's fight over school restrooms came before a federal appeals court Thursday, setting the stage for a groundbreaking ruling. Adams, who has since graduated from Nease High in Ponte Vedra, Fla., won a lower court ruling last year ordering the St. Johns County school district to allow him to use the boys' restroom. The district has since appealed. RON HARRIS  |  AP
    The closely watched case of Drew Adams, once a high school student in Florida, is heard by a three-judge panel in Atlanta.
  2. Representatives from the United School Employees of Pasco, on the left, present their latest pay request to the district's bargaining team during talks on Oct. 24, 2019. JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |  Times Staff
    Teachers have yet to reach a deal on their contract.
  3. The Florida House Education Committee focuses on early education in its first meeting of the 2020 session. It has met just once more since then. The Florida Channel
    Lawmakers have yet to set an aggressive agenda beyond talk of teacher pay as the 2020 legislative session nears.
  4. FILE - In a Monday, Dec. 11, 2017 file photo, transgender teen Drew Adams, left, leaves the U. S. Courthouse with his mother Erica Adams Kasper after the first day of his trial about bathroom rights at Nease High School, in Jacksonville, Fla. The transgender student's fight over school bathrooms comes before a federal appeals court Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019, setting the stage for a groundbreaking ruling. Drew Adams, who has since graduated from Nease High School in Ponte Vedra, won a lower court ruling in 2018 ordering the St. Johns County school district to allow him to use the boys' restroom. (Will Dickey/The Florida Times-Union via AP, File) WILL DICKEY  |  AP
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  5. A bird's-eye view of USF St. Petersburg, which this week announced a new member of the Campus Board. She is Melissa Seixas, a Duke Energy executive who earned her master's degree at USF.
    News and notes about K-12 schools and colleges in Pinellas County.
  6. An LGBTQ Pride march participant walks under a large rainbow flag in New York earlier this year. School Board policy regarding LGBTQ students has been a frequent topic of discussion in recent months in Pasco County. CRAIG RUTTLE  |  AP
    The discourse is more civil and respectful, two weeks after a session that many deemed hate-filled and vile.
  7. The Florida Legislature so far has has left Gov. Ron DeSantis to set most education policy priorities for 2020.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  8. "Miss Virginia," a film about school choice, will be screened at the Tampa Theatre on Dec. 10.
    “Miss Virginia” will be playing at the Tampa Theater on Tuesday.
  9. Florida Senator Tom Lee, R- Thonotosassa. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times] SCOTT KEELER  |  TAMPA BAY TIMES
    The Senate Education Committee will tackle some high-profile issues in its final meeting before session.
  10. Jennifer Dixon, Pasco County's 2020 Teacher of the Year, thanks her students for making her job 'the job that I love.' JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |  Times Staff
    Jennifer Dixon ‘lives and breathes teaching,’ her principal says.