Gov. Kate Brown’s executive order 20-38 on Tuesday rescinded requirements that public bodies meet by telephone, video or online.
“I am excited to get back among my fellow board members,” said Athena-Weston School Board Chair Scott Rogers.
He said he still had to discuss next steps with his board but that likely members would continue to have the option of attending meetings by video.
Rogers, the OSBA Board secretary-treasurer, said virtual meetings worked well for his district, increasing transparency and attendance, and they would consider continuing some sort of video or online presence for the public.
The new order, which extended the state of emergency for 60 days, said the meeting rules were no longer necessary because of a bill passed by the Legislature during the June special session.
House Bill 4212 allows public meetings to be held by telephone or video conference as long as the public can listen or observe. It requires recordings if possible and allows the public to give remote testimony. When determining quorum, a board can exclude members affected by COVID-19.
The law also includes the option of in-person meetings, but attendees must maintain physical distancing of 6 feet and other health protocols.
The law is in effect until 30 days after the emergency order expires, now extended to Nov. 3.
Baker School Board member Kevin Cassidy said they had been able to do a lot of “heavy lifting” virtually and their board meeting format would likely continue to mirror the rules for its schools, which are offering only comprehensive distance learning.
“When we see students back in our building, we would probably meet in person,” said Cassidy, OSBA Board president. “It doesn’t make sense for us to meet in person publicly when we say it’s not OK for students to be in the buildings.”