Attending a school board meeting is kind of like taking a class at the gym.
Hear me out: Before you go, you wonder what kind of people will be there. What if you're over-dressed? What if nobody else shows up? Or you wonder if you'll be able to keep up. What if you have NO CLUE what's going on, and everybody else is going at it like they do this all the time? Or maybe they all are just scheduled at really inconvenient times.
I totally understand.
I also totally understand what's happening at school board meetings -- after all, I'm at an Elgin School District U46, Carpentersville-area Community Unit School District 300 or Elgin Community College District 509 meeting just about every week. It's my job as the Courier's education reporter to make sense of what happens at those meetings for you in the next day's paper. It's my job to show how that will impact you, your children and your community.
One thing that undoubtedly will impact the District 300 community is continued cuts to the district's budget. The Carpentersville-area district is targeting $8.3 million in cuts to next school year's budget, which its school board plans to discuss tonight in detail at a special board meeting at 6 p.m. at Westfield Community School, 2100 Sleepy Hollow Road, Algonquin.
So here's a little experiment: I'm planning to live-tweet tonight's meeting from my personal Twitter account, at the suggestion of a few readers. You can follow my updates on my Twitter profile, twitter.com/mcemilywrites. I also will be using the hashtag #CUSD300mtg, so you can do a search for "#CUSD300mtg" on Twitter.com (you can do that by clicking here) or use your favorite Twitter client to follow just those tweets that apply to tonight's meeting. If you are on Twitter, you can ask me questions at @mcemilywrites, or you can join the conversation by using the hashtag #CUSD300mtg in your own tweets. (For more of a tutorial on Twitter and how @ replies, searches and hashtags work, visit Twitter Support.)
And you can do it all from your couch, with a laptop in one hand and a bag of potato chips in the other. You can't say that for the gym.