Public Meeting Agenda: October 12, 2015 at 5:30 PM - Board of Education Regular Meeting


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October 12, 2015 at 5:30 PM - Board of Education Regular Meeting Agenda

October 12, 2015 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:  Strategic Planning Update: Technology
3. Pledge of Allegiance
Rationale:  Please stand and join us in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
4. Presentations, Special Recognition, Focus on Students
4.1. Focus on the Students/Principal's Report
Rationale:  Junior High Update: Personal Learning Plans
4.2. Special Recognition of Washington Elementary as a National Blue Ribbon School

I am thrilled to announce that Washington Elementary has been honored as a National Blue Ribbon School for 2015!  This is an elite award given only to schools with the highest levels of student achievement.  

Congratulations to Mr. Andreasen and all the Washington Elementary staff! It takes an incredible team of dedicated staff to obtain such impressive student achievement scores.

Washington Elementary increased their NeSA Reading scores from 73% proficient in 2011 to 98% proficient in 2015! That is a 25 point increase!  They also increased their NeSA Math scores from 71% proficient in 2011 to 91% proficient in 2015! In addition, they have established a culture of high expectations where every child is expected to learn at high levels.  The staff at Washington never allow the fact that 78% of their students qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch and 21% qualify for ELL services to be an excuse for low performance.

Congratulations! Thank you for all you do to ensure your students' success!

5. Public Comments & Communication
Rationale:  This is the time during the board meeting when the public may request to address the board regarding an agenda item. If you wish to comment, we ask that you identify yourself and indicate the agenda item to which you will be speaking.
6. Information and Discussion Items
6.1. Finance & Facilities Report

Total amount of claims to be approved in the consent agenda for the month of October, 2015 by specific fund are as follows:
General Fund = $683,792.44

Nutrition Services Fund = $136,652.29

Cooperative Fund = $3,950.37

Depreciation Fund= $3,150

Special Building Fund = $96,831.32

QCPUF Fund = $140,725.08

Student Fee Fund= $20,918.09

The total amount of claims for the month of September, 2015 in the Activities fund are as follows:
Activity Fund = $148,618.42

All the claims for the month of October and activity claims for the month of September were reviewed earlier today by the Finance and Facility Committee.  As stated at last month's meeting, the district is starting this fiscal year in a solid cash position.  The auditors have conducted the district's annual audit over the past few weeks and final audit documents will be presented publicly to the board at our next board meeting.  The negotiations for the 2016-2017 contract year will also be starting at the end of this month.




6.2. Teaching & Learning Report

Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment

  • Fall MAP testing window closed as of Friday Oct. 2nd.  We typically do not report on the fall numbers since they are primarily collected for teacher use to drive instruction.
  • State of the Schools Report for 2015 will become public on Friday, Oct. 16th. Dr. Thompson will have an official news release ready at that time.
  • I’m a member of an advisory committee that meets with the Nebraska Department of Education to review upcoming changes with the state accountability system. This year is the beginning of many changes. This spring, 5-8th grade and 11th grade will have 3 test sessions for Reading-English Language Arts. Two of the sessions are the existing NeSA Reading sessions and one additional session will be a field test of new question types that will be a live piece of spring 2017 testing. This is a big transition. We will be evolving from a Reading test to an English Language Arts test. The new test items are going to reflect the updated Career and College Readiness Standards. The new items will also be more rigorous and interactive. I will report more information as we learn more throughout the year. To prepare for this change, I have a team of teachers attending an English Language Arts Transitions Workshop with me in Omaha to assist with developing new items. I also have a team of teachers attending a half day workshop in November where they can actually see some test item examples. I’m planning some additional teacher summer work that can specifically address classroom curriculum to be more indicative of the new types of testing.


  • Prime Communications has been in contact with our technology department to complete the upgrades we’ve ordered. We are excited to see this piece of the technology infrastructure project come to life. We’ve received positive feedback on our ERate application from last winter which also lessens the financial stress behind this project.
  • It’s exciting to see our buildings using new devices that they’ve purchased or received as gifts. Neat things are happening. There’s a lot of collaboration occurring on the front and back sides of technology to make all of those learning experiences possible. 
6.3. Student Services Report
  1. This Friday, October 16, marks the end of our First Quarter of the 2015-2016 school term.
  2. The attached chart reports the attendance at Fall Parent Conferences in our district schools.

Little Panther Preschool




Bel Air
























Woodland Park




Middle School




Junior High




Senior High







6.4. Human Resources & Accreditation Report

School Improvement/Professional Development

On Monday, October 5th I met with the ESU 8 staff to review topics for our January 14 PD day.  Currently we have 1,100 teachers and administrators who have registered.  Those in attendance will represent 20 schools from the ESU 8 service area.

Other PD training being organized consists of a PLC Leadership Institute and a Technology Cadre.  The PLC Leadership Institute is another cooperative endeavor between Norfolk Public Schools and Columbus Public Schools.


During our last meeting I shared the types of emergency drills our students and staff practice.  As of October 8, our students and staff have participated in a total of 25 fire drills, 9 tornado drills, 6 lockdown drills, and 5 evacuation drills.

Human Resources

Currently all certified positions are filled with the exception of a Speech Language Pathologist.  However, we do have an applicant and Mrs. Luhr will be interviewing that person tomorrow.  We are also in the process of reviewing applications for a plumber, district custodial manager, detailer, English/Spanish translator and a few paraprofessionals.

Public Relations/Communication

To date, Teammates of Norfolk have 12 new mentor/mentee matches this school year. Susie Buss, Teammates Director, will be matching 8 more students with mentors within the next two weeks, for a total of 20 new matches.  Approximately eighty mentors and mentees attended the autumn group activity at Poppy's Pumpkin Patch on October 6th.  On November 9th, mentors and mentees will be giving back to the community by packaging food at Mercy Meals.  In addition, on November 6th Teammates will be hosting a table for ten people from our community to attend the TeamMates Tailgate Gala in La Vista.  The theme this year will be a celebration of the 1995 National Championship Husker Football team. Speakers are Tommy Frazier and Aaron Grahm. 

Currently there are 244 students registered for Aftershock with 162 students enrolled at the Norfolk Middle School and 82 students enrolled at the Norfolk Junior High.  Between the two facilities, Aftershock is averaging 100-120 students each day.  Current partners are Nucor Detailing, Madison County Extension, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Northeast Community College, the Norfolk Arts Center, community members, and NPS teachers.  Mr. Buss indicates he is gearing up for second quarter, and although he could use more help, his crew should be able to handle most, if not all, students who are registered.

Washington was named a 2015 National Blue Ribbon Schools based on their overall academic excellence for their progress in closing achievement gaps among student groups.  The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students either achieve very high learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap. The award affirms the hard work of Washington Elementary students, educators and families in creating a safe and welcoming school where students master challenging content. 

6.5. Superintendent's Report

Enrollment Information:

I am pleased to note that our total PK-12 enrollment has increased by 42 students this year.  Of those 42 students, 25 are preschool students and 17 are K-12 students.

2014:               2015:                                     Increase:

PS                                      133                            158                                       25

K-12                                 4069                          4086                                       17

Total PK-12                      4202                          4244                                       42

Overall, we have seen a positive growth trend in the district since 2007, when our total enrollment was 3942. On average, we have grown approximately 30 students per year since that time.

Student enrollment growth is good for our district and our community. However, it is important for us to monitor this growth carefully to ensure that we maintain appropriate class sizes and that we have appropriate staffing and facilities in place to meet our students’ needs. 

Much of our current growth has occurred at the elementary level. We have accommodated for that growth by adjusting our elementary school boundaries and creating an additional track (or section) of students at Bel Air Elementary, starting with this years’ kindergarten class.  This has worked very well.  Overall, our kindergarten class sizes are now averaging 21-22 students, which is a nice size. It allows for us to provide students with more individual attention.

We will continue to monitor our growth closely and add teachers and classrooms where necessary to ensure that we have appropriate class sizes that allow us to provide students with the attention and individualization that they need in order to be successful.


Negotiations Timeline:

September 1st : NCEA must request recognition. (This has already been done.)

October 1st: BOE must respond to request. (This has already been done.)

November 1st: Negotiations must begin. (The is scheduled for October 29th.)

February 8th: Agreement must be made or the parties shall submit to mandatory mediation.

(At least four negotiation meetings must be held between November 1st and February 8th, unless an agreement is reached sooner.)

March 25: Negotiations must end.

September 15: CIR must render decision on industrial dispute.

Currently, we are waiting for our Comparability Study from Perry Law Firm.



6.6. Discuss Potential Changes to the Superintendents' Performance Evaluation Tool

Following my 2014-2015 performance evaluation, I was asked by the BOE to create a new performance evaluation tool.  Since that time, I have reviewed performance evaluation tools from Lincoln, Ralston, Kearney, Bellevue, Norris, Elkhorn, Papillion-LaVista, Blair, Malcolm, and Waverly Public Schools. To some extent, no “perfect” evaluation tool exists. The value of the evaluation lies in the comments provided by the BOE members and the dialogue that occurs as a result. However, of the ten performance evaluation tools reviewed, I found Lincoln Public Schools’ performance evaluation tool to hold the most promise.

Lincoln Public Schools’ performance evaluation tool outlines a clear process and timeline to be utilized by the BOE. It is comprehensive, providing input to the Superintendent in a variety of areas. It allows BOE members to rank the Superintendent as “Exceeds,” “Met,” or “Unmet,” and it provides ample opportunities for BOE comments. In addition, it was created by our school attorneys, the Perry Law Firm.

I provided you with copies of our current Superintendent Evaluation Tool, as well as a copy of Lincoln Public Schools’ Evaluation Tool to review prior to this meeting. What were your thoughts regarding LPS' Evaluation Tool? Is this a direction that you would like to go?

Regardless of the format that we choose, I would recommend  that the final Superintendent Performance Evaluation Tool be converted into an electronic format, such as a Google Form, to limit the work and time involved for the Board President.  This Google Form could be developed so that the Superintendent can review all BOE members’ comments--in addition to the final/collective/official performance evaluation.  This would allow him/her to know if individual Board members had diverse perspectives/opinions regarding his/her performance.

Although it is not specified in Board Policy, it is customary for a superintendent’s evaluation to be completed in December, prior to new Board members taking seat in January.  This also ensures that the Board has the opportunity to evaluate the Superintendent prior to the December 31st deadline to notify the Superintendent of the Intent to not Extend his/her contract. In order to meet this deadline, we would need to adopt our new performance evaluation tool in November.

The Superintendent’s compensation and contract renewal can occur at a later date -preferably after Teachers’ Negotiations are complete.

7. Committee Reports
7.1. Board Building Visit Reports
7.2. Facilities & Finance Committee Report

The Finance and Facility Committee met today at 12:00 noon in the central office board room. The October claims were reviewed as well as the Activity fund claims for September 2015.  The committee received an overview of our 2014-2015 audit from Kruse, Schumacher, Smejkal and Brockhaus, P.C.  They were able to ask questions and inquire about the audit for this past fiscal year.  I also gave the committee an update on the progress of our current facility projects.  Our AFS/Career Center facility is back on schedule which means the program will be transitioning into that facility over our winter break at the end of December.  We also discussed the sale of an old walk-in cooler and other items which will be an action item later in the meeting.  The next meeting is schedule for November 9, 2015 at 12:00 noon in the central office board room.

7.3. Policy & Government Relations Report

The Policy and Government Relations Committee reviewed Board Policies 3160-3570 electronically and are presenting those policies for First Reading this evening. No new changes were made to Board Policies 3010-3150, which are being presented for Second Reading/Final Approval.

The GNSA met on September 16, 2015. Membership dues were raised from $1000-$2000 due to the hiring of an Executive Director, which has been very beneficial to the organization and our school district.

Norris Public Schools, South Sioux City Community Schools, and Westside Community Schools have been approved as new members of GNSA, and Gothenburg has withdrawn their membership. These changes reflect changes in these districts' status as equalized or non-equalized school districts.

An AdHoc Committee has been formed which will meet with the Governor on a quarterly basis.

Every state senator (even those who do not have any equalized school districts) will be contacted by a GNSA member between November 19 and January 13 to establish a relationship with GNSA prior to the next legislative session.

The new GNSA website should be live later this month.

The mission of the GNSA is "to ensure educational excellence through equitable funding for all Nebraska school students" and the GNSA Legislative Purpose is "to advocate for a statewide school finance system that equitably, efficiently and effectively allocates state revenues to meet diverse needs of students and, in particular, students served by public school districts with insufficient local resources thus requiring state equalization aid."


7.4. Activities Committee Report

The Activities Committee met at noon on September 28, 2015. The Title IX Review Committee joined them for an update on the actions that have been taken in response to the Title IX Review Committee's Spring recommendations.  Some items that have been addressed include:

1. Guidelines have been established for Facility Scheduling, including a clarification between affiliated club sports and non-affiliated club sports.

2. Transportation scheduling has been clarified, particularly when and how the coach busses are assigned.

3. Budgeting procedures were clarified.

4. The Girls' PE locker room was renovated this summer.

5. Discussions are being held with the City regarding possible upgrades to the softball facilities at TaHaZouka, some of which, have already occurred.

6. A process for annual Title IX reviews will be established.

After the Title IX Review Committee left, Mr. Dolliver and Mr. Strong updated the Activities Committee on Fall Sports. It was also noted that the Junior High Track Meet and related early out will need to be moved to Friday, May 6th, rather than Thursday, May 5th--due to a conflict with the Conference Track Meet which is being held on Thursday.

The next Activities Committee meeting is schedule for noon on October 26, 2015. Coaches will be scheduled to speak at this meeting.

7.5. Minutes of Committee Meetings
8. 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.
8.1. Minutes of Previous Meetings


8.2. Personnel
8.2.1. Contract Approval
Rationale:  None at this time.
8.2.2. Resignations
Rationale:  None at this time.
8.3. Claims
Rationale:  Claims for the month of October 2015 are posted for approval.
9. Action Items
9.1. Discuss, Consider, and Approve First Reading of Policies 3160-3570 regarding Business Operations

Board policies 3160-3570 were reviewed electronically by the Policy and Government Action Committee.  The only change that we are recommending is to Policy 3540.  Due to recent changes in State law, schools are not required to bid projects for construction unless they are over $100,000. However, the Policy and Government Action Committee would feel more comfortable if our district bid projects over $50,000.

If there are no questions, I would recommend that the First Reading of these policies be approved.

3160: Report of Treasurer

3170: Periodic Audit

3180: System of Accounts

3190: Inventory of Equipment

3200: Monies in School Buildings

3210: Bonds

3220: Educational Service Units-Designated Representative

3230: Security

3231: Video Surveillance

3240: Risk Management and Safety Committee

3250: Trespassers

3410: Safe Driving Record Standard for Drivers

3520: Transportation

3540: Procedures-Bidding Construction Projects

3550: Rebates to School Personnel

3560: Records Management and Disposition

3570: NCLB

Recommended Motion(s):  Motion to Approve First Reading of Policies 3160-3570 regarding Business Operations Motion passed with a motion by Board Member #1 and a second by Board Member #2.
9.2. Second Reading of Board Policies: Discuss, Consider, and Take Action to Adopt Board Policies 3010-3150

These policies were reviewed by the Policy and Government Action Committee prior to First Reading in September. No changes have been made since that time.  If there aren't any questions, I would recommend that Policies 3010-3150 be approved for Second Reading and Final Approval.

Policies in this section include:

3010: Budget Planning

3011: Fund Balancing Reporting

3020: Public Review of Budget

3030: Transfer of Funds Between Categories

3040: Budget as Spending Plan

3050: Tuition Fees

3060: Materials Fees

3070: Summer School Fees

3080: Federal Funds

3090: Sales & Disposal of Books, Equipment & Supplies

3100: Leasing

3110: Short-Term Investing

3120: Depository

3130: Purchasing Policies

3140: Contracting for Services

3150: Paying for Goods and Services


Recommended Motion(s):  Motion to adopt the Board Policies 3010-3150 as presented and to repeal and rescind all existing Board policies that pertain to the same matters or that are otherwise conflicting. Motion passed with a motion by Board Member #1 and a second by Board Member #2.
9.3. Approve the Sale of a Walk-in Cooler and Miscellaneous Items and Furniture from AFS
Rationale:  I have had some interest in our old walk-in cooler that is currently sitting behind our maintenance building. The cooler no longer has any components to it, it is basically just a box. Our district no longer has a need for this item.  There are also a number of miscellaneous items and furniture I would like to sell for the district that are at our current AFS location.  Much of this is in need of replacement and will not be going to the new facility. Proceeds from the sale of these items will be used towards the cost of the new furniture for the new AFS/Career Center.
Recommended Motion(s):  Motion to Approve the sale of a walk-in cooler and miscellaneous items and furniture from AFS. Motion passed with a motion by Board Member #1 and a second by Board Member #2.
10. Future Meetings
Rationale:  The next Board of Education meeting is scheduled for noon on Thursday, October 22, 2015. The meeting will be held at the District's Central Administration Offices and will be open to the public.
11. Executive Session -- To Discuss Negotiations-- As Needed to Protect the Interest of the District
11.1. Convene Executive Session -- To Discuss Negotiations--As Needed to Protect the Interest of the District
11.2. Reconvene Meeting from Executive Session
11.3. Approval of Any Action Deemed Necessary as a Result of Executive Session
12. Adjournment
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