There are three documents that are associated with any school board meeting, the agenda, the packet, and the approved minutes. Before Superintendent Harter came to WCCUSD, all three were available as regular PDFs. Now none of them are available as regular PDFs. Now all three are printed out, scanned, and then PDFed as a sequence of page images. The packet is particularly a joke because it’s so huge, yet utterly useless. I actually started having the packet mailed to me out of frustration. This is particularly stupid for the agenda and minutes…or is it? One effect of this is that all the more recent proceedings of the board are off the Web radar (Google, etc.). Who knows?

I’ve been complaining about this off-and-on for at least a year. Now, I’m sending one last email before I pursue this outside of the district. Here it is addressed to Paul Ehara, copied to Dr. Harter:

I know I’ve been bringing this up for quite awhile, but it never seems
to be resolved. I’m referring to the mostly useless format of the PDFs
for the School Board agenda, minutes, and packets — printing them out,
scanning them as images, and converting the page “pictures” to PDFs that
are then made available to the public on the Web site. This type of PDF
is unnecessarily large, much harder to read through, and, most
importantly, non-searchable inside the file or through Web search
engines (including through the District Web site’s own search). I can
see some small reason for this, maybe, in the case of the packets
because of the wide variety of source documents for each packet
(although it was done before), but the agenda and minutes come from one
Word file each. Other offices in the district seem capable of creating
regular searchable direct PDFs. Why shouldn’t the most important
documents in the District be as accessible as possible?

Please start posting useable direct PDFs and work your way back to convert the previous minutes and agendas.

Charley Cowens

P.S. There are now even free online PDF conversion services
(<>, <>,
etc.), so you don’t even need PDF software on your desktop.