The Halton Catholic District School Board (HCDSB) is an Ontario leader in student achievement. With over 33,000 students in 46 elementary, 9 secondary and 4 continuing education facilities, they serve the communities of Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville.

“Achieving, Believing, and Belonging” are the focus of the HCDSB along with providing students and staff the necessary tools to realize their full potential and a life-long commitment to the community.

Halton Catholic District School Board

The Challenge

Staff at the HCDSB continue to manage high workloads and meet budgets. Danielle Ross, Executive Assistant, Director’s Office at HCDSB, says, “the importance of contributing to our communities and embracing the social values of collective responsibility and the common good go to the heart of our values.”

As one of the larger school districts, HCDSB’s meeting frequencies increased, administrative agendas grew, the HCDSB produced reams of paper, later to be disposed of.

The existing small staff there were already overburdened distributing agendas, producing minutes and meeting management tasks. There were also increased budget pressures.

Ross realized that a shift to meeting automation was the answer. “After a review of alternatives and available solutions, we decided to engage eSCRIBE. Their award-winning paperless meeting automation solution fits our needs and served our values.”

The Solution

eSCRIBE presented a solution for HCDSB for the present and future needs. It automated the board administration’s entire meeting lifecycle. Staff efforts, paper consumptions and money allocations were reduced to a fraction of the time.

Assisting with more than meeting agenda build-up, eSCRIBE utilized Microsoft’s industry-leading SharePoint Foundation collaboration and business integration platform and the Office Client productivity suite.

A Future Imperative Meets the Needs of Today

A complete governance and management solution aligned with Robert’s Rules of Order was implemented: meetings had procedural support in the form of roll calls, audited voting on motions and amendments; automatic generation or detailed minutes took effect, as well as management of action minutes.

Board members and staff benefit from a personalized online Participant’s Portal or dedicated iPad Application. Each participant had support and follow-up meeting material at their fingertips, even if they are unable to attend in person. Motions, comments, and e-signatures are fully facilitated, and archived materials are easily searchable, all without producing a single piece of paper.

“In fewer than 8 months, we have stopped producing paper copies for administrative and academic council meetings and reduced the number of printed board agenda and reports,” says Ross. “eSCRIBE has catapulted us into the 21st Century!”

The Benefit

Since implementing the solution, HCDSB has met their goals to reduce costs, alleviated pressure of its staff, streamlined meeting times and communications. They remain committed to upholding their core values, including serving the community and reducing their environmental footprint.

Key benefits:

  • 4x faster agenda packages production time, simplified staff and board schedules
  • Easy and remote access to meeting materials and sign-offs, motions, etc.
  • Streamlined meeting process and follow-up for motions and minutes
  • Significant cost savings and a smaller environmental footprint, due to a dramatic drop in paper use

The solution was customized to meet the needs of trustees and staff members, providing:

  • Secure access to agenda packages from any location
  • Streamlined approval and submission processes for reports
  • Instant updates for up-to-the-minute accuracy
  • Instant access to archived material during the meeting
  • Fully functional collaboration tools during meetings

Full implementation of the eSCRIBE solution took place in under a year. It has significantly reduced HCDSB’s paper use, staff time and previous resistance to change. Further benefits of eSCRIBE have resulted in increased transparency and greater involvement in meetings. There have been no additional license fees or costs to extend meeting streams beyond the board and committee level.

“School boards face tremendous pressure today to reduce costs and demonstrate environmental stewardship without adding pressure to their staff,” eSCRIBE President and CEO, Robert Treumann, says. “Contributing to HCDSB’s success in these goals fits in with our core values as well.”

“As an Executive Assistant, eSCRIBE has drastically reduced my workload—from reports to taking minutes and assigning tasks, the whole process has become more cost-effective and time-efficient,” says Ross.