Public Meeting Agenda: November 9, 2015 at 5:30 PM - Board of Education Regular Meeting


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November 9, 2015 at 5:30 PM - Board of Education Regular Meeting Agenda

November 9, 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

Strategic Action Plan #2 (Career Education) - Jake Luhr, Jennifer Robinson, Jeff Hoffman

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

Grant Elementary

Presentation Team - Kari Cronin, Michelle Lingenfelter, Julie Morgan
Title - "Celebrating Our Support: Oh the Things We Have Done!"
Topic - Recognizing the powerful impact that volunteers have on our learning. 

4.2. Award for Excellence
Rationale:  John Wagner--Network Support--Norfolk Senior High School
4.3. Westside-Distinguished Title I School Recognition

Westside Elementary School has been chosen as a 2016 National Title I  Distinguished School!  This prestigious honor is only given to two schools in each state.  Westside was chosen due to their “exceptional student performance for two consecutive years.”

Westside Elementary increased their NeSA Reading scores from 71% proficient in 2011 to 90% proficient in 2015! That is a 19 point increase!  They also increased their NeSA Math scores from 54% proficient in 2011 to 84% proficient in 2015, which is a 30 point increase!

Mrs. Baumann will be taking a team to the National Title I Conference in January, where they will receive their award and learn additional strategies for increasing student achievement in high-poverty schools.

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 November, 2015 by specific fund are as follows:
General Fund = $430,014.23

Nutrition Services Fund = $139,721.65

Cooperative Fund = $5,053.85

Depreciation Fund= $1,673.10

Special Building Fund = $34,343.57

QCPUF Fund = $92,630.54

Bond Fund = $1,815,560

Employee Benefit Fund = $4,920.00

Student Fee Fund= $2,505.07

The total amount of claims for the month of October, 2015 in the Activities fund are as follows:
Activity Fund = $152,682.62

All the claims for the month of November and activity claims for the month of October were reviewed earlier today by the Finance and Facility Committee.  Starting in December, I will be submitting quarter one reimbursements for Title, IDEA, and other grant funds.

6.2. Teaching & Learning Report

Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment

  • I attended a Response to Intervention Workshop in Minneapolis with administrator and teacher teams from Jefferson and the Junior High. The two and a half day conference was outstanding. The presentation was high quality. The training in the conference included some teamwork time where building groups could discuss and problem solve for specifics. I was extremely impressed with the presenter’s willingness to go around to tables and visit with teams on their building struggles and issues. I felt like both teams walked away with a strong foundation on RTI and how it could be implemented in their buildings.
  • NPS just finished our participation in the NNNC Fall Writing Workshop. This is where teachers bring their student’s writing samples to be rated using the state rubric. This includes grades 4, 8 and 11 which are the state tested groups. We participate in this for several reasons. First, it creates a more formal situation for writing practice, second it allows our teachers an opportunity to practice assessing with the state rubric, third it allows teachers to view and rate other school’s writing pieces, fourth it gives students, teachers, and principals feedback on our fall status of writing and lastly it provides for an excellent source of professional development and collaboration with other schools. I feel this has assisted in the increase of our state writing scores because teachers gain a deeper understanding of the state rubric requirements and gain exposure to other school’s writing pieces.
  • The Teaching and Learning Team continues work with 6th, 7th and 8th grade on their new ELA program.
  • The Teaching and Learning Team continues to work on ELA Transition of NeSA and the Math curriculum.
  • I’m in the process of working on a Big Red Keno grant. This is a collaborative effort from elementary, junior and senior high teachers and administrators. The focus is on a STEM (Science, Technology, Math) project. When we secure approval, I’ll be happy to report the details.

Title I Grant

  • Currently working on the grant. Hopefully it will be completed by this board meeting.
  • Sent in application with intent for Middle School to participate next year. Middle School will be responsible for filling out a plan which will likely be approved to include them in Title I participation next year. 
6.3. Student Services Report
  1. CPR training was provided last week for selected staff from all of our NPS attendance centers. All schools now have trained staff to help address CPR.


  2. Wednesday, November 11 is Veteran’s day. All district buildings will be having a ceremony or celebration of our veterans.


  3. November brings Thanksgiving vacation, there will be NO school on Wednesday, November 25th - Friday, November 27th.


  4. Title III AMAO (Annual Measures of Achievement Outcomes):

NCLB requires an annual determination of the progress of English Language Learners for all districts that receive Title III funds for Limited English Proficient students. There are three objectives to this grant:

  • AMAO I - The number of ELL students making progress in learning English
  • AMAO II - The number of ELL students becoming proficient in English, and
  • AMAO III - The number of ELL students making AYP (Annual Yearly Progress)

Our ELL students are making progress in English and there is an increase in the number of students becoming proficient in English, resulting in AMAO I and II goals being met. However, our 2014-2015 assessment results indicated that English Language Learners attending the Norfolk Public School district did not reach the AYP goal at the middle school level for four years. Therefore, we have notified parents of our English Language Learners of these AMAO results. Although we did not meet AYP in all subgroups, our scores did increase. Therefore, we will continue with the goals set in our plan of improvement from the 2014-2015 school year to help our English Language Learners with modifications focusing on content vocabulary to continue to improve in the reading and math areas.

6.4. Human Resources & Accreditation Report

School Improvement/Professional Development

On October 20, 21, and 22 thirty-five Norfolk Public School teachers participated in an APL instructional skills training in collaboration with the ESU 8 and surrounding schools. The training was designed to assist Norfolk Public School educators in targeting specific instructional adeptness and approach for application in the classroom. With consistent employment, these skills and strategies will contribute to balanced student success. Participants were trained in the following areas: Anticipatory Set, Active Participation, If You Want It-Teach It, Knowledge of Results, Level of Concern, Practice Interest, Closure, Manage Time to Facilitate Learning, Clear Directions and Information, Classroom Conditions, Providing an Exit, Feeling Tone, as well as Tell What and Modeling Reinforcement. These instructional skills and strategies will help all NPS educators become more proficient in classroom management and allow teachers and principals to have a common instructional language. In association with ESU 8, we have scheduled another APL training for this coming February where an additional 30+ teachers will be trained. 


As part of Rule 10, (Title 92, Chapter 10) all school systems must maintain safe, healthful and sanitary conditions. On November 3, 10, and 24, an outside consultant will be completing a safety audit on all of our buildings. Based on the summary, I will be able to report if our school facilities and general environments are safe, orderly, and supportive of quality learning for all students. Any recommendations for minor improvements will be shared with each building administrator. 

The NPS Safety Committee – LB 757 (Tim Kwapnioski-Chair, Aaron Rang-Maintenance, Diane Schilling-School Nurse, Bruce Strong-Principal, Greg Putjenter-Custodian)--On October 6 the NPS Safety Committee convened to examine district accident reports and review safety topics. First semester safety topics include: Bloodborne Pathogens & Attack on Asthma Protocol, Harassment and Discrimination, Hand Washing, Coughing and Sneezing and Winter Slips/Trips/Falls. This committee meets each quarter during the school year. Our next meeting is scheduled for December 1. 

Human Resources

We have approved a local sub for Norfolk Public Schools. Local sub requirements include having 60 college credits and meet all the Nebraska State Department of Education requirements. The sub is Karen Kalin. Currently, Karen works in our district and will only be substituting at Bel Air as needed.   

Public Relations/Communication

The National Title I Distinguished Schools Program is a project of the National Title I Association that publicly recognizes schools for their positive educational progress. Title I schools are recognized as a National Title I Distinguished school for their exceptional student performance for two consecutive years and for closing the achievement gap between student groups. This prestigious honor is only given to two schools in each state. I am honored to report that Westside Elementary School has received this award. Westside Elementary increased their NeSA Reading scores from 71% proficient in 2011 to 90% proficient in 2015. They also increased their NeSA Math scores from 54% proficient in 2011 to 84% proficient in 2015. 

On November 2, Jefferson Elementary hosted an assembly to share their appreciation to Brandon and Tammy Day for their efforts in providing resources through the Connie Fund for the purchase of iPads and Chrome Books. The assembly consisted of a student-made video and comments by Brandon and Tammy. This generous gift has allowed Jefferson to become a 1:1 school.


6.5. Superintendent's Report

The Midland’s Superintendent Academy

The Midland’s Superintendent Academy is a year long professional development opportunity for superintendents and aspiring superintendents led by Dr. Keith Lutz, former superintendent of Millard Public Schools and Dr. Mary Hamilton from the UNO School of Public Administration.

I participated in the 2014-2015 Academy, which involved meeting one Friday per month from 8-4 from September through June.  Although this was quite a time commitment, it was very worthwhile.

Although Dr. Lutz facilitated the meetings, the presentations were conducted by a variety of state and national level leaders within the fields of education and business leadership.

Sample Presentations:

Strength Finder and Engagement:  Gallup Organization

The Superintendent’s Role in Achievement:  Dr. Tim Water, former CEO of McCrel

Ethics and the Superintendent:  Dr. Sandra Sattler-Weber, UNO

Systems Thinking:  Michael Goodman, MIT

Persuasive Communication:  Dr. Ana Cruz, UNO School of Communication

Staff Leadership and Development:  Dr. Danielle Crough, SilverStone

Branding and Marketing:  Dr. Tej Adidam, UNO College of Business Administration

Technology in the Digital Age:  Dr. Scott McLeod

Student Achievement:  Kati Haycock, The Education Trust

I found something useful in each meeting and often brought professional development back for my administrative team. The branding and marketing information was particularly useful, as we were in the middle of updating our logo and website at that time.  And, the information on technology and student achievement became a focus of one of our Administrative Retreats this summer.

In addition, I made some good contacts within the Metro Schools that could be utilized as resources in the future.

Although the Academy is now complete, my professional growth and development must continue. At this point, most of my professional development comes through state and national organizations that I am involved with such as:

  • the  Nebraska Council of School Administrators and the American Association of School Administrators, which focuses on school administration and leadership,

  • the ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development), which focuses on curriculum and instruction,

  • and the Nebraska Association of School Boards and the National School Board Association, which focuses on school board relations and administration.

I read these organization’s publications and participate in their state level conferences regularly.  I have not attended one of their national conferences since moving to Norfolk, although this is something that I need to consider moving forward.  I did this every year in Beatrice and found the level of presentations to be very worthwhile and informative.

The national conference that I am most interested in this year is the Leading for Excellence conference hosted by the AASA, (The School Superintendent’s Association). This is the premiere event and most comprehensive professional development opportunity available to superintendents in the U.S.

NCLB Waiver: 

Nebraska Commissioner of Education, Matt Blomstedt, has announced that Nebraska will suspend its work on its NCLB waiver request at this time. He indicated that, based on leadership changes in the U.S. House of Representatives, Nebraska is optimistic that Congress will move forward soon with the long overdue reauthorization of ESEA.

7. Committee Reports
7.1. Board Building Visit Reports
7.2. Facilities & Finance Committee Report
Rationale:  The Facilities and Finance Committee met today at 12:00 noon in the central office board room. The November claims were reviewed as well as the Activity fund claims for October 2015.  The committee reviewed the recommendation for Property & Casualty, General Liability, Auto, and Professional Liability.  We discussed the other action items related to band uniforms, roofing projects, and Vocational Facility renovations.  I have also attached meeting notes from our last construction meeting with Hespe concerning the CO project. The next meeting is schedule for December 14, 2015 at 12:00 pm.
7.3. Policy & Government Relations Report

The Policy and Government Relations Committee has not met since our last Board meeting. Board Policies 3160-3570 are ready for second reading this evening.  We will not bring another section of policies for first reading until our January meeting.  

The Executive and Legislative Committees of the GNSA met on October 21, 2015. Our discussion focused on the upcoming legislative session. We anticipate legislation focused on the reduction of property taxes, but have no indication what that will look like. 

Andrew Reschovsky was hired by the Nebraska State Legislature's Education and Revenue Committees to review Nebraska's public finance system.  He reported that "Nebraska really has a good public finance system" that avoids some of the worst pitfalls experienced by other states".  

Reschovsky went on to say: Of the "Big 3" sources of revenue for state and local government in Nebraska — property, sales and income taxes — property taxes are by far the biggest, accounting for about 45 percent of our  total revenue, compared with 28 percent for sales taxes and 27 percent for income taxes.

He said, "People hate property tax," but it's more stable than other forms of taxation and allows for local control of how money is spent.  He cautioned lawmakers against crafting policy in response to political pressures — particularly short-term, extreme circumstances such as the rapid rise in agricultural land values Nebraska has witnessed in recent years.

However, he did note, if senators want to lower property taxes, they basically have four options:

1. Reduce costs through cuts; school consolidation, or distance learning -- which can only go so far.

2. Increase state aid to lessen schools' reliance on property taxes -- would require cuts elsewhere in state government or increasing other taxes.

3. Change the formula used to calculate state aid to schools, possibly by adding "sparsity" aid for rural districts that isn't directly tied to transportation -- which could leave lawmakers caught in the usual funding tug-of-war between urban and rural school districts. 

4. Change tax policy in other ways, like creating a property tax "circuit breaker," or a tax deferral program that would allow people to spread their property tax payments out over a period of years.

The GNSA will continue to monitor this situation closely and advocate for continued use of our equalization formula.



7.4. Activities Committee Report

The Activities Committee met on October 26, 2015.

Jonathon Anderson, FFA Teacher, visited with the committee about the value of National Conventions and requested that we consider revising Board Policy 5416 so that FFA may attend these in the future.  The Activities Committee requested that I draft a revision to this policy and bring it back to them for review in November.

Tom Olson, football coach, and Kelly Kreuger, tennis coach, shared information regarding their programs.

Mr. Dolliver led an informative discussion regarding our conference affiliation.  He will be forming a committee of coaches to review this and make a recommendation to the Activities Committee in the future.

Mr. Dolliver also reminded the committee that  Rob Miller will be speaking to our students, parents and coaches on December 2nd regarding Pro Active Coaching (which involves creating character-based team cultures; providing a blueprint for team leadership; and developing confident, tough-minded, fearless competitors and training coaches for excellence and significance).

Our next Activities Committee will be held Monday, November 23rd at noon.


7.5. Minutes of Committee Meetings
Rationale:  Minutes of the Nurses and Student Health Fund Council meetings on November 3, 2015 are attached.
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
9. Action Items
9.1. Discuss, consider and approve the purchase of new band uniforms
Rationale:  Our current high school band uniforms are 13 years old and have served our students and program well.  They are getting to the point of needing to be replaced.  Mr. Cook will work with the high school administration in writing specifications for the uniforms.  These specifications will then be put out for public bid with a recommendation being brought back to the board at its January or February meeting.  Funds to purchase these new uniforms will come from the Activities Fund and General Fund. 
Recommended Motion(s):  Motion to allow specifications to be written and bids posted for the replacement of high school band uniforms. Motion passed with a motion by Board Member #1 and a second by Board Member #2.
9.2. Discuss, consider and approve the writing of specifications and seeking of bids for the renovation of our career education facilities at the Senior High School
Rationale:  As we move forward with our strategic plans in career education some renovations need to take place at the high school in some of our current vocational career areas.  I would like to have Kucirek Engineering write mechanical specifications for these areas and also have their architect Rick Weidner write any architectural drawings that will be needed for the renovations.  The plan is to put these items out for bid after winter break and have a bid brought to the board in February or March.  Funds for this project will come from our General, Depreciation, and Special Building Funds.
Recommended Motion(s):  Motion to allow specifications to be written and for the bidding of renovations at the high school in the vocational career areas. Motion passed with a motion by Board Member #1 and a second by Board Member #2.
9.3. Discuss, consider, and approve the writing of specifications and the seeking of bids for roof projects at Washington, Bel Air and the Senior High School
Rationale:  As we continue with our roofing projects, the next buildings up for roof replacements are at Washington, Bel-Air, and two sections at the senior high.  I would like to have Kucirek Engineering write the roof specifications for these projects with the plan of putting these roofs out for bid after winter break and bringing bids back to the Board of Education in February or March.  Funds for these projects will come from our QCPUF and Special Building Funds.
Recommended Motion(s):  Motion to allow the writing of specifications and bidding for the roof projects at Washington, Bel-Air, and senior high. Motion passed with a motion by Board Member #1 and a second by Board Member #2.
9.4. Discuss, consider and approve Insurance Vendor for Property & Casualty, General Liability, Auto, and Professional Liability

The district used the public bid process in obtaining competitive proposals for our insurance needs.  The following proposals that met specifications were submitted for Property & Casualty, General Liability, Auto, and Professional Liability.

Agri-City Insurance Co. (EMC) -  $234,815

Insurance Associates (Zurich) - $363,083

After bids were submitted on Oct. 16th each vendor was provided the opportunity to present their product and answer questions to a district committee comprised of select staff, administration, and board members.  These presentations took place on Oct. 28th and provided the group some additional insight into the products each vendor submitted for consideration.  This provided me with additional insight and perspectives from other key areas of our district before making this recommendation.  The term of this contract according to our RFP is one-year with two one year options unless the contracted vendor has a percentage premium rate increase of more than 7% in any one contract year.  This contract will begin on January 1, 2016 and run through December 31, 2016.  The Board of Education has the right to terminate with a 30-day notice.  I will bring recommendations for the workers compensation coverage to the December Board of Education meeting. 

Recommended Motion(s):  Motion to accept the proposal from Agri-City Insurance in the amount of $234,815 for Property & Casualty, General Liability, Auto, and Professional Liability. Motion passed with a motion by Board Member #1 and a second by Board Member #2.
9.5. Discuss, consider and approve the Second Reading and Final Approval of Board Policies 3160-3570 related to Business Operations of the district.

Board policies 3160-3570 were reviewed electronically by the Policy and Government Action Committee.

These policies include:

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

If there are no questions, I would recommend that the approval of the Second Reading and Final Approval of these policies.

Recommended Motion(s):  Motion to adopt the Board Policies 3160--3570 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.
9.6. Discuss, consider, and approve the Norfolk representative for the Nebraska Association of School Boards Delegate Assembly

Bob Waite, Dr. Patti Gubbels, and Tammy Day will be attending the State School Board Convention. One of them needs to be selected as our representative for the NASB Delegate Assembly, which will meet that Friday.

Recommended Motion(s):  Motion to approve ______________ as Norfolk's representative for the NASB Delegate Assembly. Motion passed with a motion by Board Member #1 and a second by Board Member #2.
10. Future Meetings

We will not have a  "Second Meeting of the Month" in November due to the State School Board Convention.

Our next regular board meeting will be held Monday, December 14th at the Norfolk Public Schools' Technology Center.  We will begin with an extended Study Session at 3:00 PM. We will break for supper from 6:00-6:30, and we will begin our regular business meeting at 6:30 P.M. 

Due to the change in location, this meeting will not be televised, but it will be open to the media and the public. 

11. Executive Session -- If Needed to Protect the Interest of the District or to Prevent Needless Injury to the Reputation of an Individual
11.1. Convene Executive Session -- If Needed to Protect the Interest of the District or to Prevent Needless Injury to the Reputation of an Individual.
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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