Tom Cofsky

From now on members of the Oak Park and River Forest District 200 Board of Education will be expected to attend school board meetings in person unless they have a good reason not to.

Remote attendance at meetings became the norm in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic and more recently meetings have been a mix of in person and remote attendance. For example at the Jan. 12 Committee of Whole Meeting six of the seven school board members attended in person. Only Gina Harris, who has attended a number of recent board meetings in person, attended remotely. Most school board members have attended some recent meetings remotely but all of them have mostly attended recent meetings in person.

Board president Tom Cofsky made clear that he wants members to attend meetings in person. Cofsky noted the board policy is that members attend board meetings in person. He said that the policy is that there are three exceptions that permit remote attendance at meetings: out of town business travel, illness, and a personal family emergency.

Only in person attendance counts for comprising a quorum which is four members which is necessary to hold a meeting.

“We’ve struggled to get a quorum in the last six months because a quorum means in this room, not via Zoom,” Cofsky said. “We did not have a quorum for a tri-board meeting, and as such, were not a participant in that meeting officially. As president that’s the rules we’re going to follow.”

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