By Elizabeth F. McNamara

It’s a whole new world when it comes to town and school meetings in the age of COVID-19. The Town Council is meeting on Monday and the School Committee meets on Tuesday, both virtually. Here’s how to tune in.

First order of business: read the instructions below, then go on Zoom – before the meeting. Unless you are a Zoom regular, this is highly recommended. Here’s a Zoom tutorial link. Highly recommended! Also, here’s a document from the town with information for tonight’s meeting: Virtual Meeting Instructions.

But here are the particulars for Monday. Find the agenda HERE, but we offer some explanation. The meeting ID is 961 964 594. You will need that no matter how you access the meeting, whether by computer or phone (including landline). 

If you are using a computer, click on THIS LINK.

If you are using an iPhone, there are two different phone numbers to try (if one is busy, try the other). Whichever one works, you will then be prompted to put in the meeting ID (961 964 594) followed by the # sign.

If you have any other type of phone, including a landline, there are six different phone numbers to try. Once you get through, again you will be prompted to give the meeting ID (961 964 594), followed by the # key. 

Here are the phone numbers: 

iPhone: US: +13126266799 (meeting ID 961964594#) or +19292056099 (meeting ID 961964594#)

For all other phones: 

US: +1 312 626 6799 or

+1 929 205 6099 or

+1 346 248 7799 or

+1 669 900 6833 or

+1 253 215 8782 or

+1 301 715 8592

For international callers, go HERE

Us regular folk will be muted. Only the Town Council members and town staff will be able to speak until there is public comment or public input is sought. At that point, you can click the “raise my hand” icon, which will signal the Town Council and, at the appropriate moment, you will be unmuted.

One note, if you are asked for a “personal ID number,” don’t fret. There are no personal ID numbers for public meetings like this. You will be cued to hit the point sign to continue.

The agenda for Monday night’s meeting, which will include “Community Town Hall” discussion of the COVID-19 crisis as well as a vote on switching the town’s employee health insurance back to the R.I. Interlocal Risk Management Trust (for a first-year savings of $97,000), can be found HERE.

Find the agenda for Tuesday’s School Committee meeting HERE. It will follow the same type of Zoom directions but with a Zoom web link: https://zoom.us/j/743543491, different meeting ID (743 543 491) and different phone numbers: 

For iPhone: +19292056099 OR +13126266799 (then the meeting ID, plus # sign: 743543491#)

For all other phones:  

+1 929 205 6099
+1 312 626 6799
+1 301 715 8592
+1 346 248 7799
+1 669 900 6833
+1 253 215 8782

 (then the meeting ID, plus # sign: 743543491#

This looks a bit complicated, but we will get the hang of it! Town Manager Nota urges interested residents to try the Zoom tutorial linked above before the meeting Monday. For more explanation, check out this sheet of instructions: Virtual Meeting Instructions.