Public Meeting Agenda: March 13, 2017 at 5:30 PM - Board of Education Regular Meeting

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March 13, 2017 at 5:30 PM - Board of Education Regular Meeting Agenda

March 13, 2017 at 5:30 PM - Board of Education Regular Meeting
1. Call to Order
Rationale:  The Norfolk Public School District's board of education meeting is called to order.  
1.1. Roll Call
Rationale:  If any board member is absent, there will need to be a  motion to excuse the absence.
1.2. Declaration of a Legal Meeting
2. Study Session
Rationale: 

Legislative Update

JJT:  Intro General Themes (finance, school choice, classroom strategies)

Sandy Wolfe: Testimony on 409 (Groene's finance bill)

Patti Gubbels: Testimony on 651 (Nebraska Reading Improvement Act) & 662 (Grading System for Schools)

Tammy Day: Testimony on 630 (Independent Public Schools Act)

JJT: Key Talking Points

1. Even though Nebraska is ranked 49th out of 50 in terms of state financial support for K-12 schools, we are among the highest performing states academically.

   * One of the highest graduation rates

   *  Top 12 states in all areas of the NAEP

   *  Highest ACT among states with 80% participation

 

2. Norfolk is one of the most efficient schools in the state.

   * We are ranked 21st out of 246 in terms of lowest cost per pupil. 

   * Our CPP = $11,168       * State Average CPP = $11,901   * Several schools = over $30,000

   * We have lowered our tax levy by 11 cents in the last 6 years.

   * 84.65% of our budget is spent on staffing.

 

3.  Norfolk is dependent upon equalization aide. We cannot raise enough local property taxes to meet our students' needs.

 * We lost $1.76  million in state aid last year, and  had an overall revenue loss of $611,712.

   * We received less state aid this year (16-17) than we did in 15-16 , 14-15, and 13-14.

 

4. The state's budget crisis is a tax issue, not a school spending issue. We are over-reliant on property tax.

   * Nebraska has the 7th highest property tax in the U.S.

  * Nebraska K-12 schools only receive 33% of their funding from the state, compared to the national average of 47%.

   * 49% of our school funding comes from property taxes, compared to the national average of 29%.

 

5. Nebraska already has school choice; we do not need vouchers, tax incentives, or charter schools.

   * Private, parochial, and charter schools do not have to follow the same standards and rules as public schools, and they are not held accountable for results via elected school boards.

   * Nebraskan parents can choose to send their child to any public school free of charge via option enrollment.

   * Nebraskan parents can choose to send their child to private and/or parochial schools if they pay tuition.

   * Our public schools have many options available: magnet schools, Montessori schools, career academies, etc.

 

 

3. Public Hearing regarding Policy 8231: Coffee Act Policy (Reimbursable Expenses)
Rationale: 

A Public Hearing is required by State Statute prior to changing the cost limit for service recognition gifts for Board members, employees and volunteers. The Policy Committee is proposing that this amount be increased from $50 to $75 due to inflation. 

Does anyone from the Public wish to comment on this proposed change?

The Board will vote on this policy revision later this evening.

4. Pledge of Allegiance
Rationale:  Please stand and join us in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
5. Presentations, Special Recognition, Focus on Students
5.1. Focus on the Students
Rationale:   Bel Air Buddies and Character Education
5.2. Award for Excellence
Rationale:  Sarah Dittmer, Executive Director of the Norfolk Public School Foundation and Communications Director for NPS
6. Public Comments & Communication
Rationale: 

This is the time during the meeting when the public may request to address the Board. If you wish to comment, we ask that you identify yourself and the topic that you wish to address. Each individual's comments will be limited to five minutes.

 Please note that  the Board cannot discuss or act upon matters that are not listed on the agenda. Therefore, Board  members will not respond to your comments or questions.  If you wish to request that an item be placed on a future Board agenda, you may contact the Superintendent or her assistant during normal business hours.

Also note that concerns related to school personnel need to be addressed to the Superintendent using the approved district protocol.

7. Information and Discussion Items
7.1. Finance & Facilities Report
Rationale: 

Total amount of claims to be approved in the consent agenda for the month of March, 2017 by specific fund are as follows:
General Fund = $665,730.04

Nutrition Services Fund = $213,517.24

Cooperative Fund = $98,773.62

Depreciation Fund= $50,800.00

Special Building Fund = $28,213.53

Student Fee Fund= $920.00

The total amount of claims for the month of February, 2017 in the Activities fund are as follows:
Activity Fund =$100,661.45

All of these claims were reviewed earlier today by the Finance and Facility Committee.  The business office completed all the 1095 C's and got them out to all employees and has also received notification of acceptance and compliance with the federal government.  We are currently 6 months through our current fiscal year which has gone well.  The budget process for 17-18 has begun and will continue throughout the remainder of this school year.  With the delay in TEEOSA and budget authority certification until June 1st, I will need to create a few different budget scenarios to have ready when certification is finalized because of the quick turnaround.  I believe that approach will keep us on schedule for budget development and decisions that will need to be made.

7.2. Teaching & Learning Report
Rationale: 

Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment

  • Math Pilot is progressing. We will be meeting again this coming Thursday. According to the weekly survey questionnaire that teachers complete, it appears we are getting closer to a decision.
  • Only one NeSA training session is left and we are about ready to dive into testing season.
  • Ongoing curriculum work is being completed through the Teaching and Learning Department with elementary writing, senior high ELA-particularly 11th grade and various Career Academy areas.

Technology

  • New laptops for teachers are gradually being implemented. Three buildings so far are updated.
  • The after-school technology training has been held on various Tuesdays, and led by Mickie Mueller and Becky Miller. They have had full attendance with the upwards count of 25 teachers. Their topics so far have addressed digitizing paper lessons while adhering to copyright rules, hyper-docs which is transforming a lesson that shifts to inquiry based learning, and yet to come will be student choice boards which gives students option in how they present their knowledge or show what they know about a particular topic.
7.3. Student Services Report
Rationale: 

Conference Numbers:

Little Panther Preschool- 100%

Bel Air - 100%

Grant - 98%

Jefferson - 95%

Lincoln- 100%

Washington - 93%

Westside - 99%

Woodland Park - 99%

Middle School - 71%

Junior High - 61%

High school - 37%

During parent teacher conferences the week of February 6th, for the 11:30 dismissal on Thursday, February 9th, sack lunches were sent home with students.  There were 674 lunches sent home with students.  At the high school they accessed the Panther Pit as well as sack lunches.

Immunizations will be offered through Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department during Kindergarten round up and 7th grade registration. Kindergarten students may access the immunizations at the ELVPHD office located at Midtown Health Center on April 19th, the same day as Kindergarten Round Up.  The immunizations for 7th graders will be available at the school during registration on March 14th as well as at the August registration.

 
7.4. Human Resources & Accreditation Report
Rationale: 

Instructional Model Task Force:

  • Our district is in the process of developing and implementing our own Instructional Model. Over the course of second semester, we are collaborating with a small group of teacher leaders (representative of various grade levels and buildings across the district) to develop an Instructional Model that will provide additional assistance to new teachers and consistency of instructional expectations for all teachers. Our Instructional Model will help to further enhance our instructional practices (Pre-K - 12).
  • Working collaboratively with the Task Force has been an exciting and insightful experience and we will continue to update you on the progress of our work over the next few months.

AdvancEd: School Accreditation Visit:

  • It is time for our five year school accreditation visit and this event will take place at the end of March. An External Review Team (consisting of area educational experts) will visit our district to analyze data and collect stakeholder feedback about the continuous improvement processes taking place in our district.
  • Educational accreditation is a type of quality assurance process under which services and operations of educational institutions or programs are evaluated by an external body to determine if applicable standards are met. If standards are met, accredited status is granted by the appropriate agency. In our case, that agency is AdvancED.
  • The main focus of the External Team visit will be on the high school, but members of the External Team will also visit a few other district schools to provide feedback as well.
  • The External Team will submit a final written report and we will use this report to analyze areas of success and targeted areas for improvement.
  • We will follow up on the results of the External Team visit in the coming months.   

Absence Management:

  • We are in the process of changing how we secure and process substitutes. Beginning Monday, March 27th we will be moving to a more automated sub service system entitled Absence Management. We will pilot this system for the rest of this school year with full implementation beginning in August.
  • Components of this system include each staff member and substitute being given a password and login to access the system. Initial reviews about the system have been very positive and we are excited to begin using the new program.
  • Further updates will be shared in future meetings.  

Personnel Information:

  • Hiring season is now in full swing and we are in the process of filling various classified and certified openings across the district. Listed below are the current openings for various staff positions.

Current Classified Openings;

  • Activity Drivershttps://lh4.googleusercontent.com/IrMeQgxQpfkQ-Dcy4TmmfOGS1tFUDEx1e-ajaar09ZPWg_8zfAzhDstwv6Ga-JrhhBqBkpAg8wozQawREZApzReujITpoeXdzZ7DweGOEyKAfu6ts-17B1zsTUSHsd5iktqGlysx
  • General Maintenance
  • Substitute Custodians
  • Health Tech - Westside Elementary

Current Certified Staff Openings;

  • Junior High Math Teacher
  • Junior High School Resource Teacher
  • Middle School Resource Teacher
  • School Psychologist
  • Speech / Language Pathologist (3)

Current Coaching Openings:

  • HS Assistant Softball
  • HS Assistant Volleyball
  • 8th Head Football
  • 8th Head Boys Basketball
  • 8th Assistant Boys Basketball
  • 7th Assistant Football
  • JH Intramural Volleyball
  • JH Intramural Football
7.5. Superintendent's Report
Rationale: 

Our Career Academy Groundbreaking Ceremony was well attended.  Our community is very supportive of this program and we have developed great partnerships, as a result. Sarah Dittmer and I continue to seek donations and pledges. We need about $86,000 more to fully fund the project and endowment.

The district Communications Team will meet on March 22nd to review our survey data and develop a strategic communications plan. Annette Eyman, Executive Director of Communications for Papillion-LaVista Schools will lead us through this process.

8. Committee Reports
8.1. Board Building Visit Reports
8.2. Facilities & Finance Committee Report
Rationale: 

The committee met today at 12:00 noon and reviewed all claims for March, activity claims for February and current fund balances.  We also discussed the following items:

  • Facility Updates on the Career Academy
  • First discussion on current facility needs at Carson Field and tennis courts at the Sr. High
  • Update on changes on our interest rates at Bank First and Elkhorn Valley Bank
  • Dr. Thompson provided some information on legislative activity

Our next meeting will be on April 10th at 12:00 noon.

8.3. Policy & Government Relations Report
Rationale: 

The Policy and Government Relations Committee met at 1:00 on February 23, 2017. The policies in section 8240-8347 were reviewed.  Minor, non-substantive changes were made.

No additional changes were made to policies 8110-8232.

We also discussed Board Policy 4005 (Weather Related Absences).  This policy states: 

"In the event the Norfolk Public Schools dismisses school for more than three (3) school days for snow or other reasons related to inclement weather, two (2) days of these missed days will be made up."    

Currently, Norfolk Public Schools has had 3 snow days. This means that, according to our policy, we will need to make up 2 days if another snow day is called this year. 

The Committee decided that we should follow this policy as written, but add it to our policy review cycle for this summer. 

8.4. Activities Committee Report
Rationale: 

The Activities Committee met at noon on February 27, 2017. 

Todd Cook, NHS Band Instructor shared information with the committee regarding marching band and concert band.

Mr. Ries shared some highlights from the Winter Activities season, including:

  • Wrestling had 11 team members compete at state.

  • Our Boys Swimming team finished 2nd at state, and Coach Nelson was named the Nebraska State Swimming Coach of the Year.

  • Coach Belt was named the State Speech Coach of the Year.
  • Our Boys Basketball team won districts and will be competing at state.

Mr. Ries shared an update regarding our conference affiliation. The HAC appears to be a good fit for Norfolk, but he has a few more questions before a final decision is made.

Possible facilities updates were discussed, including resurfacing of the Senior High track and replacement of the score boards at the Middle School.

NSAA events were also discussed, including the need to conform to NSAA expectations when hosting these events.

8.5. Minutes of Committee Meetings
Rationale:  Minutes from the March 7, 2017 Nurses and Student Health Fund meetings.
9. Approve Consent Agenda
Recommended Motion(s):  Motion to approve the consent agenda Motion passed with a motion by Board Member #1 and a second by Board Member #2.
9.1. Minutes of Previous Meetings
Rationale:  Minutes from Board of Education meetings on February 1 and February 13, 2017.
9.2. Personnel
9.2.1. Contract Approval
Rationale:  None at this time.
9.2.2. Resignations
Rationale: 

Dr. Mark Nelson, School Psychologist (retiring after 22 years with NPS)

Liz Baber, half time Title I teacher at Jefferson Elementary

Leigh Fuhrman, Junior High Family and Consumer Science

I also received Deb Buresh's resignation today, but it was too late to add it to the agenda. We will advertise this position as anticipated, pending your approval in April.

9.3. Claims
10. Action Items
10.1. Discuss, consider and take action to approve the Second and Final Reading of Board Policies 8110: Purpose and Role of the Board, 8120: Duties and Functions of the Board of Education, 8130: Annual Organizational Meeting, 8150: Committee of the Whole, 8151: Standing Committees, 8152: Standing Committee on Negotiations, 8153: Standing Committee on Curriculum and Americanism, 8154: Standing Committee on Finance and Facilities, 8155: Standing Committee on Activities, 8156: Standing Committee on Policy, 8157: Standing Committee on Superintendent Evaluation, 8158: Standing Committee on Government Relations, 8160: Temporary Committees, 8200: End of Service Recognition, 8201: Vacancies and Resignations, 8202: Removal From Office, 8210: Orientation for Newly-Elected Members of the Board of Education, 8230: Policy for Board Member Attendance at Educational Workshops, Conferences, Training Programs, Official Functions, Hearings, and Meetings, 8231: Coffee Act Policy (Reimbursable Expenses), 8232:
Rationale: 

Policy 8156 Standing Committee on Policy and Government Relations was divided into two policies, 8156 and 8158, as it was recommended by the Board last month to create two separate committees: one focused on policy and one focused on government relations/legislation.

No other changes have been made to these policies since their first reading last month.

Recommended Motion(s):  Motion to approve the Second and Final Readings of the policies listed Motion passed with a motion by Board Member #1 and a second by Board Member #2.
10.2. Discuss, consider and take action to approve the First Reading of Board Policies 8240: Membership in School Board Associations, 8260: Conflict of Interest/Contracts, 8261: Conflict of Interest-Employment of Family Member of Board Member or Supervisor and Employment of Board Member, 8270: Conflict of Interest-Other Than Contracts or Employment, 8271: Reporting Procedures, 8272: Code of Ethics, 8300: Methods of Operation, 8310: Formulation of Policies, 8320: Adoption, Amendment or Suspension of Policies, 8330: Formulation of Administrative Regulations, 8340: Meetings, 8341: Types of Meetings, 8342: Designated Method of Giving Notice of Meetings, 8343: Agenda Construction and Control, 8344: Location of School Board Meetings, 8345: Procedures During Meetings, 8346: Public Participation at Board Meetings, and 8347: Teacher-Administrator-Board of Education Relationships
Recommended Motion(s):  Motion to approve the First Reading of Board Policies 8240: Membership in School Board Associations, 8260: Conflict of Interest/Contracts, 8261: Conflict of Interest-Employment of Family Member of Board Member or Supervisor and Employment of Board Member, 8270: Conflict of Interest-Other Than Contracts or Employment, 8271: Reporting Procedures, 8272: Code of Ethics, 8300: Methods of Operation, 8310: Formulation of Policies, 8320: Adoption, Amendment or Suspension of Policies, 8330: Formulation of Administrative Regulations, 8340: Meetings, 8341: Types of Meetings, 8342: Designated Method of Giving Notice of Meetings, 8343: Agenda Construction and Control, 8344: Location of School Board Meetings, 8345: Procedures During Meetings, 8346: Public Participation at Board Meetings, and 8347: Teacher-Administrator-Board of Education Relationships Motion passed with a motion by Board Member #1 and a second by Board Member #2.
10.3. Discuss, consider and take action to permit the sale of technology items
Recommended Motion(s):  A motion to permit the sale of technology items Motion passed with a motion by Board Member #1 and a second by Board Member #2.
11. Future Meetings
Rationale: 

If needed, a Second Meeting of the Month may be held at noon on Thursday, March 23, 2017.  

Otherwise, our next monthly Board meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 10th.  A Study Session will be held at 5:30. It will be followed by the regular business meeting at 6:30.  All components of the meeting will be held on the second floor of the NPS Central Administration Building and will be open to the public, unless an Executive Session is required to protect the interest of the district or the reputation of an individual.

12. Adjournment
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