October 2021 SAC Tip of the Month: The Benefits of Virtual Meetings

It has already been over a month of school, and virtual platforms have become a new norm. Where before families had the opportunity to walk into school buildings to attend SAC meetings, volunteer, and take part in school events, now these activities are all online. It is natural for us to think of in-person meetings as more beneficial or easier to engage in. However, in this month’s SAC Tip of the Month, we wanted to introduce and remind everyone about the benefits of virtual meetings.

No Need to Travel: In the past, there may have been limitations to family members being able to attend meetings due to distance and location. It can be hard for people to attend meetings, especially if a family member lives far away from the school and/or transportation is an issue. However, now, there is no need to travel anywhere because the meeting is available at your fingertips!

Weather is Not a Problem: Now, even when it is rainy, stormy, too hot, or too cold outside, weather conditions will not be a problem because you don’t have to step outside for the meeting! You can take the meeting from the warmth and convenience of your own home.

It’s Easier to See Presentations and Other Materials. Speakers will often share presentations or show materials online through virtual meeting platforms, such as Zoom or Google Meet. It’s much easier to see the resources up close on your device.

Communication on Online Platforms Can be Easier. Most virtual meeting sites allow for chatting functions, which makes communication and the sharing of online resources easier than ever. The speaker or facilitator could easily copy and paste links, resources, and documents into the chat so that meeting attendees can access those links with just one click!

Online Meetings Can be More Productive. To reduce screen time and to allow caregivers to attend to their families, usually facilitators will plan out a tight agenda for a virtual meeting. Because of this, virtual meetings can be even more productive and on-task than in-person meetings.

Multiple Voices and Opinions Can be Heard. In online meetings, there is time and space for multiple voices and opinions to be heard, especially with chat box features. Because staying muted is a typical virtual meeting norm, usually there is space for one person to talk at a time. People will not talk over one another because there is more of a taking-turn culture.

While it’s easy to think of this season of virtual engagement as challenging, it doesn’t have to be! There are so many benefits to virtual meetings, and these benefits can allow for SACs to gather and hold productive, meaningful meetings. If you have any other benefits to virtual meetings not listed here, feel free to email your tips and things working well for your virtual SAC to sac@philasd.org. Let’s stay engaged together even online!