Public Meeting Agenda: December 14, 2015 at 3:00 PM - Board of Education Regular Meeting


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December 14, 2015 at 3:00 PM - Board of Education Regular Meeting Agenda

December 14, 2015 at 3:00 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:  Multi-year Staffing and Budget Proposal
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
Rationale:   "New Horizons in Science"  - Exploration and Discovery at Woodland Park
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 December, 2015 by specific fund are as follows:
General Fund = $632,007.44

Nutrition Services Fund = $108,485.72

Cooperative Fund = $6,431.14

Depreciation Fund= $370.50

Special Building Fund = $36,779.18

QCPUF Fund = $1,042,105.84

Student Fee Fund= $6,031.68

The total amount of claims for the month of November, 2015 in the Activities fund are as follows:
Activity Fund = $100,437.84

All the claims for the month of December and Activity claims for the month of November were reviewed earlier today by the Finance and Facility Committee.  I will be submitting quarter one reimbursements for Title, IDEA, and other grant funds later this week.

6.2. Teaching & Learning Report

Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment

  • At the beginning of the year, 2nd grade had four classrooms that began piloting Wonders. We had a meeting with the company to compare and contrast the Wonders and Reading Mastery programs. During that meeting we learned of updated components to Reading Mastery and have decided to pilot the updated version of Reading Mastery in four different classrooms in 2nd grade to have a little closer comparison. We are also collecting data from a fall, December and a spring 2nd grade Reading MAP test. This will also give us a little more information as we move forward in making a decision on our approach to 2nd grade reading programs. This pilot and data review may affect K-1 but we do not have enough information to make a purposeful decision at this point.
  • AQuESTT Final Classifications became public Friday, December 4th. We were not surprised by our classifications. The district was classified as a good district. The schools within the district were; Bel Air–Great, Grant-Excellent, Jefferson-Good, Lincoln-Excellent, Washington-Great, Westside-Great, Woodland Park-Great, Middle School-Great, Junior High-Good and Senior High-Good. There is much to learn about how classifications are determined. There are six major factors that are used to determine a district and a school’s AQuESTT Classification. The six main factors include status, improvement, growth, graduation, non-proficiency and participation. Also, an Evidence Based Analysis which is a questionnaire answered by administrators, affects the overall classification. I presented information on this earlier this fall in a study session. Since then, I have learned more details and will use some future study session time to help explain and to increase everyone’s understanding of the new classification system. There are a lot of rules and formulas that establish the determinations-far too many to share in this particular report time.


  • The Hour of Code is gaining a lot of attention across the state but especially at Norfolk Public Schools. NPS has had over 2000 students take part in the Hour of Code. Learning to code is really learning how to think. The goal is to give every student an opportunity to learn to code. Computer programmers are in high demand and the Hour of Code seeks to demystify coding and show students and teachers that anyone can code. NPS has received nice recognition in the paper and on radio for participating. In addition, Jefferson Elementary planned a school wide Hour of Code event and as a result was the Nebraska recipient of a $10,000 prize from to purchase technology in their building. Jefferson participates in the Hour of Code during Plus Time and you can make arrangements to see what coding is all about by contacting the school.  
6.3. Student Services Report

School dismisses for winter vacation on Tuesday, December 22.  This will mark the end of our first semester for the 2015-2016 school year.  Teachers and students return for second semester on Monday, January 4th. 

The IDEA Consolidated Grant has been completed for the 2015-2016 school year. We are awaiting approval. 

Our ELL teachers and some administrators will be participating in training webinars on the ELPA 21(English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century) on December 15.  ELPA 21 will be replacing the ELDA (English Language Developmental Assessments) used in the past.

I encourage the Board of Education and the Norfolk community to access our website and check out the many school activities that may be of interest to you and we hope to see you at those you can attend.


6.4. Human Resources & Accreditation Report

School Improvement/Professional Development

On November 10, Angie Hausmann, Bruce Strong, Jake Luhr, and I attended our second ESU 8 Principal Cadre training in Neligh.  The focus of the meeting was on the student engagement elements of the Marzano model and on the Nebraska Department of Education Blended Learning Initiative.  

On November 17 Jake Luhr and I attended the Teacher Education Advisory Council (TEAC) meeting on the campus of Wayne State College.  We engaged in conversations about personality behaviors, assessment of WSC completers, and the Nebraska Clinical Practice Evaluation.  The partnership we have with WSC has allowed our administrators to share the characteristics NPS looks for when hiring teachers and how that links to their graduates.


On December 1 Mr. David Lutt delivered the Norfolk Public Schools’ safety review.  Dave shared how professionally our custodians represented Norfolk Public Schools during the building assessments.  He was pleased that suggestions from last year were completed.  The majority of recommendations from this year’s audit appear to have simple resolutions - carpeting at Jefferson, a fence at Woodland Park and a variety of roof repairs appear to be a few of the more costly examples.

Human Resources

Wayne State College will be hosting their annual teacher interview day on December 17.  A team of Norfolk Public Schools administrators will be interviewing December and May graduates for potential employment with our district.  The interview platform allows graduates to share their expertise, experiences, and interests; and for the NPS administrative team to boast about the exceptional opportunities that are available with Norfolk Public Schools. 

Korrine Hall, Jared Rossman and Robert Walton have all been approved as local subs.

Public Relations/Communication

TeamMates had fifty-four mentors and mentees participate in making and painting ornaments at Creatively Fired on Sunday, December 6th.  Holiday cookies and hot chocolate were provided as refreshments.  January is National Mentoring Month and TeamMates mentors are invited to a Mentor Appreciation Open House on Thursday, January 14th, from 5:00 - 6:30 in the courtroom at the McMill Building.  School board members are invited to attend this event. As of December we have 106 TeamMates matches including 27 new matches so far this school year.

Congratulations to the Jefferson Elementary staff who were recently recognized by for bringing critical computer science skills to their students.  They received a check for $10,000 to purchase additional technology tools.  On December 10 Mayor Sue Fuchtman presented the check to Angie Hausmann and the Jefferson staff during an all-school assembly.  The Hour of Code campaign is celebrated December 7-13 in association with Computer Science Education Week.


6.5. Superintendent's Report

State of the Schools Report

NDE Rule 10 and Board Policy 1040 require the creation and distribution of an Annual Report that includes information regarding student academic performance, school demographics, school improvement goals, and school finances. The 2015 Annual Report will be distributed to parents at our February Parent-Teachers' Conferences, and it will be made available on our district website for all stakeholders' convenience.  

All the information in the Annual Report has been shared with you previously, but is now available in a succinct, one-page brochure.  Some highlights in the report include:

NeSA Reading scores have improved 16 points in six  years.

NeSA Math scores have improved 11 points in five years.

NeSA Science scores have improved 6 points in four years.

NeSA Writing scores have improved 11 points in three years.

Our graduation rate has increased 12 points in five years and is now near our goal of 90%.

We have decreased our tax levy by 11 cents in the last five years.

Our cost per pupil is significantly below the state average. Norfolk: $10,281.74/student. State average: $11,364.62/student.


ESEA Reauthorization: 

President Obama signed the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, more commonly known as No Child Left Behind on Thursday, December 10th.  This Act will now be known as the Every Student Succeeds Act.  Although we have a lot to learn about this  new law, we do know that it puts more control into the hands of individual states and local school boards.  We also know that it eliminates AYP and the overly punitive consequences associated with AYP. Mrs. Nelson and I will keep you informed about these new requirements as we become more knowledgeable about them.



We have added a Communications tab on our webpage, which includes contact information for Sarah Dittmer and Mary Hoien, as well as our recent press releases and newspaper articles, radio segments, etc that have been in the news. It also includes our Branding Guidelines, which identify our official school logos and colors. This should help with consistency and the establishment of our brand.

6.6. State Education Conference

Bob Waite, Dr. Patti Gubbels, Tammy Day and I attended the State Education Conference, sponsored by the Nebraska School Boards Association and the Nebraska Council of School Administrators on November 18-20th.  A variety of keynotes and breakout sessions were available with a wide-range of topics, including school finance, school board relations, legal issues, communications, legislation, student activities, negotiations, bond issues, and many, many others.  


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

The Facilities and Finance Committee met today at 12:00 noon in the central office board room. The December claims were reviewed as well as the Activity fund claims for November 2015. The committee reviewed the recommendation for Workers Compensation Insurance coverage as well as updates on our facility projects. Our final discussion was the 2016-2018 Negotiated Agreement which will be voted on later tonight. The next meeting is schedule for January 12, 2016 at 12:00 pm.


7.3. Policy & Government Relations Report

The Policy and Government Relations Committee has not met since our last Board meeting.  We will not bring another section of policies for first reading until our January meeting.  

The GNSA Annual Meeting was held on November 19, 2015. During this meeting Executive Director, Dr. Roger Breed shared his speculative list of issues for the 2016 Legislative Session:

I. Tax Equity and Educational Support Act – TEEOSA

GNSA position is to advocate for continued investment in TEEOSA and equalization aid to schools while resisting tighter budget lids and levy limits as unnecessary given the recent history of school spending.

II. Legislation to address the rapid valuation increases on agricultural property.

GNSA position is to advocate for state school funding that equalizes district resources and needs. Any measures that would send state resources to school districts that have sufficient resources to fund their schools is dis-equalizing and would be opposed by GNSA.

 III. Possible legislation to address unique needs of low achieving students in poverty and/or students with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) needs. (LR 283)

GNSA schools enroll and educate the vast majority of students in poverty and/or those with LEP needs so measures to direct additional state resources to further education efforts in these areas would be supported.

 IV. Possible legislation to create and/or allow charter schools and possible legislation to consider tax credits (vouchers) for private school students. (LB 26)

Any measures to direct any state resources into privatization of public education through charters and/or tax credits (vouchers) would be opposed by GNSA as a further erosion of state support for public schools with less resources than needs as defined in TEEOSA.

 V. Possible legislation to create some form of school funding review commission.

GNSA generally supports the formation of a commission to review school funding year to year and to offer objective analysis to the Legislature and the citizens of Nebraska.

 VI. Possible legislation to change common levy and possibly other components of the Douglas-Sarpy County Learning Community.

While many GNSA schools are directly impacted by the Learning Community and in particular the common levy, GNSA does not offer an association position on this matter.


The GNSA Legislative and Executive Council will meet at 9:00 on January 13th. The next Full Membership meeting will be held at 9:00 on January 20th at the NCSA building in Lincoln, NE.


The updated GNSA brochure is attached for your review, and the new GNSA website is now available at  


I am also a member of the Legislative Committee for ESU 1 & 8.  We organized a strategic planning session for all ESU 1 & 8 superintendents, where we identified several common themes that we could all support as we lobby our state senators in upcoming months. We recognize that we are not all on the same page when it comes to school finance, because some of us are equalized and some are not. However, we all recognize the need for additional resources to address the increasing diversity of our student population.  We also recognize the need for a revenue source outside the $1.05 levy to address infrastructure needs. And, we recognize the need for additional Early Childhood Education Programming via the public schools.  We will be developing a one-page brochure that highlights these points, prior to meeting with our ESU 1 & 8 Senators. Our overall goal is to highlight the great things that we are doing within our public schools and advocate for increased support in these areas. We want our state senators to know that we do have a shared vision for education in Northeast Nebraska and that we are providing our students with a quality educational experience with very limited resources.



7.4. Activities Committee Report

The Activities Committee met at noon on November 23, 2015.  

Mr. Dolliver and Mr. Strong updated the committee regarding students' participation in fall and winter activities.

Mr. Dolliver indicated that he would be surveying head coaches to determine whether we should continue our current conference affiliation with the GNAC (Greater Nebraska Athletic Conference) or pursue application to the HAC (Heartland Athletic Conference). He indicated that several other schools, including Kearney and Columbus, are considering changes in their conference affiliations and that we need to consider which conference will provide the best fit/match for Norfolk Public Schools.

Mr. Dolliver also indicated that Norfolk's 9-11 enrollment of 902 students continues to qualify us as a Class A school for activities. However, this may be in question for future years if our enrollment does not grow as quickly as some of the schools beneath us (such as Lincoln Pius, North Platte and Elkhorn South).

Mr. Dolliver also mentioned that NDN, Channel 35 will be covering most of our basketball games this season, and the Lincoln SE game on Friday December 11th will be the "Game of the Week." In addition, he noted that Rob Miller presented "Proactive Coaching" to parents, students, and coaches on December 2nd.

Finally, we had a lengthy discussion about transgender issues that are developing across the nation.  The NSAA is in the process of drafting a policy on transgender guidelines regarding participation in activities. The NSAA board has proposed a policy that would require at least a year of hormone therapy for students prior to participating in an activity of their non-birth sex.  On the other hand, parochial schools have proposed a policy that would require students to participate in activities based upon their sex at birth.  This is a highly contentious and litigious issue across the nation, so we will need to monitor it very closely.

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

None at this time.


8.2.2. Resignations
Rationale:  None at this time.
8.3. Claims
Rationale:  Attached are the claims for the month of December, 2015.
9. Action Items
9.1. Discuss, Consider, and Take Action to Pursue Application to the HAC (Heartland Athletic Conference)

Norfolk Public Schools is currently a member of the GNAC (Greater Nebraska Athletic Conference), which is comprised of Columbus, Hastings, Kearney, Lexington, McCook, Norfolk, North Platte, and Scottsbluff.  Norfolk, Kearney, and North Platte are the only Class A schools in this conference, and Kearney has applied to the Heartland Athletic Conference (HAC). In addition, Columbus has applied for Eastern Midlands Conference.

It is recommended by our coaches and Activities Director that Norfolk apply to the HAC, which is comprised of Fremont, Grand Island, Lincoln East, Lincoln High, Lincoln North Star, Lincoln Northeast, Lincoln Southeast, and Lincoln Southwest. These are all Class A schools.

Recommended Motion(s):  Motion to pursue application to the Heartland Athletic Conference Motion passed with a motion by Board Member #1 and a second by Board Member #2.
9.2. Consider, discuss, and take action to approve non-supervisory, certificated staff negotiated agreement for 2016-2017 and 2017-2018

The NCEA and BOE reached a tentative two-year contract settlement, which would increase the total compensation package by 6.0% over two years. Teachers will receive a 3.5% increase in 2016-2017 and a 2.5% increase in 2017-2018.

The base salary for 2016-2017 will be $35,770, which is a $656 increase. The base salary for 2017-2018 will be determined after the 2016-2017 staff is finalized and moved on the pay scale.

The 2016-2017 contract will include one additional contract day, and the 2017-2018 contract will include two additional contract days. These days will be utilized for professional development.

We also agreed that the current flat salary option will be sunset at the end of the 2020-2021 contract year, and certificated staff members may move 2 steps horizontally on the pay scale if they accumulate enough college credits to do so.

In addition, summer school and curriculum work rates will be increased by $5/hour, and we will form a committee of teachers and administrators to develop criteria for additional "extra duty" club and activity stipends.  The extra duty negotiations may be opened in 2017-2018 if needed.

Recommended Motion(s):  Motion to approve non-supervisory, certificated staff negotiated agreement for 2016-2017 and 2017-2018. Motion passed with a motion by Board Member #1 and a second by Board Member #2.
9.3. Discuss, consider, and take action to approve the bid for workers compensation insurance

The district used the public bid process in obtaining competitive proposals for our workers compensation insurance needs.  The following proposals that met specifications were submitted for consideration on Dec. 4th at 2:00 p.m.

Agri-City Insurance Co. (EMC) -  $285,537

Insurance Associates (First Dakota Group) - $259,537

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 am very comfortable with the proposal submitted by First Dakota Group and Scott Williams. 

Recommended Motion(s):  I recommend to the Board of Education to make a motion to accept the bid from First Dakota Group for workers compensation insurance coverage for the annual amount of $259,537 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 due to the holidays.

Our next meeting is scheduled for Monday, January 11, 2016. A study session will be held at 5:30, followed by the Regular Business Meeting at 6:30.  All portions of the meeting will be held at the City Administration Office and are open to the public.

11. Adjournment
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