Public Meeting Agenda: May 24, 2012 at 7:00 PM - Committee of the Whole

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May 24, 2012 at 7:00 PM - Committee of the Whole Agenda

May 24, 2012 at 7:00 PM - Committee of the Whole
1. Public Comments on Agenda Items - This is the proper time for public questions and comments on agenda items only. Please make sure a request form is given to the Board Vice-President before the meeting begins.
Speaker(s):  Randy Coleman
Discussion:  Randy Coleman started the Committee of the Whole meeting at 7:00 PM with all members of the Board of Education present except Mr. Spangler. Randy shared that now would be the proper time for the public to comment on agenda items. Randy asked that anyone wishing to speak complete a request to speak form and give it to him before addressing the Committee of the Whole. No one requested to address the Committee of the Whole in regard to agenda items
2. National School Board Conference Update
Speaker(s):  Board Members
Discussion:  Dr. Lopez shared that eight of the nine Board members, the Business Manager and himself had attended the National School Board Conference in Boston. Dr. Lopez shared that this conference is a very good way to stay up to date on best practices and current research in education. It was a great opportunity for them to attend and see what other schools are doing across the country. At these conferences you learn many things that you can bring back to your District and implement. Dr. Lopez shared you also have the chance to see how local education influences state and national trends. This will help us continue to improve our District and help make Board members better decision makers. Dr. Lopez shared that tonight those members who attended will be sharing what they participated in at the conference. Mr. Spangler could not be in attendance and has shared written information, which Dr. Lopez shared with the Board. Jim shared that the keynote speech by Sole-dad O'Brien highlighted the importance of education and how it impacts students. Jim attended a session on global education and diversity. Here at District # 15 we do a good job of teaching diversity of other cultures. Jim shared that he would like to have World Languages taught at the lower elementary levels especially Spanish. Jim also attended a session on Board Professionalism. Mrs. Pieper shared that all the daily speakers were great. Lisa attended a session put on by Sal Khan, which she thought was very worthwhile. Sal Khan has developed an on-line free tutoring academy designed to cover many subject areas for students age 4 and up. Lisa shared that she attend sessions on school funding, bullying, cyber bulling, school law, school health and nutrition and several technology sessions. Lisa shared that technology should not be our curriculum, but a means of delivering instruction. Lisa also attended as session called "Trouble in Paradise", which dealt with board relations. Mr. Tempelmeyer shared that most of the sessions he attended dealt with board governance and how to effectively operate a Board. One of the items Tobias shared that he brought back from the Conference and would like to implement is a Beatrice Public Schools board handbook. Mr. Brazell shared that he attended a session on finanical language and how to communicate financial information so that the public will understand. John also expressed how good the keynote speaker Sole-dad O'Brien was. John also attended a session called Construction by Design which showed how schools are being designed and constructed around the curriculum such as using court yard areas as learning centers, greenhouses for science, etc. He attended a session on what a Business Manager should be sharing such as updates on operations, bonds, facilities and security. John also was very impressed with the Khan Academy session. Mr. Lofing shared that many of the sessions he attended were about improving communication between board members and between the board and the public. Monte said one session shared that the Board should be where the public is. The example they shared was holding Board meetings prior to athletic events or activity events. Monte also attended the session "Trouble in Paradise", which dealt with Board conflict. This session also stressed the importance of Board retreats. Monte also attended a session on ways to improve after school and summer school programs. Monte shared he learned lots about Google in a technology session. In a session on Ten Tips for FaceBook & Twitter he learned the ten do's and don'ts for professionals in social media. Mr. Deines shared that he enjoyed Sole-dad O'Brien and Sal Khan. Mitch attended a conflict and trust session to build better boards. He also attended a session called "When Pigs Fly", which is about building community support for the academic programs with the same passion as athletic. Mitch shared that he learned many things about being open and communicating with public and hopes to share this information as the District moves forward. One idea is to be more open with the public. The conference was a great opportunity to network and to see how other boards and schools work. Mr Zimmerman shared that he learned a lot from speaking with other board members from other states. During this process he learned that most every board had trouble. All of them have learned that communication is key. Jon expressed that our Board has come a long way with communication. When Jon first came on the board the communication was in three small board groups and then that information was sent out by the Superintendent. Now we have Committee of the Whole meeting each month where all board members hear and discuss the information as a group and the discussion is open to the public. Jon also attended a session on cameras and lawsuits. Jon also attend the Sal Khan session. Jon shared that even with the money being really tight he knows it was hard for the public to understand sending Board members, but he also learned that it is the same in many Districts. Jon hopes that the Board can meet as group a here at home also. Mr. Winter shared that he enjoyed networking with others Board members and found they had issues just the same as ours. This is the 7th conference Steve has attended over the years he has served on the board and he was not disappointed. While O’Brien is a not big name, she shared that it is the parents job to install the love of learning. We need, as a District, to make sure we are engaging our parents, but they need to do their job as well. Steve also enjoyed the Sal Khan presentation. Steve attended a breakout session on school law. This session dealt with how to avoid law suits. One area that was discussed was the need to have policy in place regarding head injury. Steve was glad to know the District # 15 has this policy in place. Mr. Coleman attended a sessions on student achievement and board conflict. The Sal Khan session was great as well as Sole-dad O’Brien. Randy shared he feels we have most members of the Board that are not educators by trade and these conferences help us become more educated. Our administrators are the best practice experts and so we as Board members so many times listen to them. Maybe we all cannot attend National Conferences each year, but we all should go at some point. We need to be educated in academics as it is our job. Dr. Lopez shared that the Khan Academy was a great extended learning opportunity for our District. The keynote speaker Sole-dad O'Brien was great. Dr. Ann Brand National School Board Journal publisher spoke saying local boards are part of the National School Board and are in tune as national school trend setter. Be a voice, not just in Nebraska. Create and maintain an environment of improvement. "Communicate Communicate" was a session he attended. This is the purpose of Committee of the Whole for the public to hear and watch us deliberate in an open public meeting. Doug Reeves spoke to a packed session about change and improvement and about the quality of professional development. We often hear many things as to why students do not achieve like poverty, large class, but research shows the biggest thing is the lack of expectations. Dr. Lopez also spent time with vendors we are currently using at the complex and with vendors reviewing training materials for head injuries. Mr. Coleman then opened discussion from the board regarding any miss conception or rumors the Board has hears. Jon Zimmerman askeed "Why all of a sudden budget troubles?" How has the Business Manager not seen this? Dr. Lopez responded that he has been talking about this cliff year since he came two years ago. It was in one of his first presentations. What we did not know was how much the state would make-up for the federal cut. So this has been in our information and discussion for last two years. Q-sort is new, which has public input involved in the budget. In the past, decisions and cuts to the budget were done in private. This is the first time we have had public discussion and input about our budget. Mr. Coleman then asked that the discission be held to only the National School Board Conference. Mr. Lofing asked "How much have we spent?" Dr. Lopez said he had heard as much as $40,000, which is not true. We have budgeted about $18,000 for the trip based on past costs for three to go, which is about $2,000 per person. John Brazell will be putting together the total costs for District. Board members have reimbursed the District for any expenses incurred by their spouse so that the only expense for the trip is for the board member.
3. Summer School Update
Speaker(s):  Dr. Stephens
Discussion:  Dr. Stephens updated the Board that Summer School will be June 4-28 from 8:30 AM until 11:30 AM on Monday through Thursday. This year Summer School will be held at all levels. This is the second year for Elementary students and they will have 69 students total, serving 1st grade through 4th grade. The classes will be held at Stoddard Elementary. The focus at elementary will be on reading and math intervention. Breakfast and lunch will be served for all students and is free to all students ages 1-18. Adults may also eat at a price of $2.00 for breakfast and $3.00 for lunch. All food must be consumed on site. Transportation will be provided from one of four stops. This is the first year of Summer School for the Middle School. They will have 33 students serving incoming 5th graders and next years 7th graders. They will use the Odysseyware program with each section having a Middle School teacher. The middle school students will work on Math, Language Arts, Technology and Study Skills. High School is in it's 3rd year having 13 students the 1st year and 28 this year. The primary focus for the High School is credit recovery in Language Arts and Math. Students at the High School will also be using Odysseyware. Dr. Stephens shared that they will continue to work to add K and 7-8 to make Summer School a comprehensive program. The total cost to the District is approximately $20,000 for elementary and $5,000 to $6,000 each for High School and Middle School. We has set aside district funds for all levels and we have also collected tuition that goes towards off-setting the costs. All remaining cost come from existing building budgets. Dr. Stephens shared other summer offering include Science Camp May 29 - June 1 and registration is now closed for this program as it is full. The camp is for 3-4th grade students and 5th-7th grade students. The Summer Book Bag Program is in its 3rd year. On Tuesdays in June and July students at the elementary level can come to Student Programs and check out book bags filled with reading and activities. Mrs Martin asked if there was anything for 8th grade going to 9th grade as this is a hard transition year. We are looking at this level, but at this point we do not have anything. Randy Schlueter shared he would to like to continue to expand the summer school class.
4. Construction Update
Speaker(s):  John Brazell
Discussion:  John Brazell updated that the High School roof replacement has started and is moving along very well. The rock that is being removed will be repurposed at the complex. Next week will be working on the EIFS punch list to see what needs to be completed. The last piece of the entry sign should be in this week. There is some clean up and touch up painting that will need to be completed. John Brazell updated that the fence around the track at the complex will be installed. The sprinkler system for the grass berms will be completed. Due to windy conditions this past week the lights have not been installed. The concrete between the bleachers and concession stands is ready to be poured. The plumbing has all been roughed in. We are beginning to move forward with the second floor of the press box and the ticket booth as we have received the concept drawing and have given verbal approval to the drawing. The fundraising for the complex is at $958,208.
5. Public Comments - This is the proper time for public questions and comments on any topic. Please make sure a request form is given to the Board Vice-President before the meeting begins.
Speaker(s):  Randy Coleman
Discussion:  Randy Coleman shared that now was the proper time for any Randy asked that those wanting to give him a request form. Wanda Rains of 29877 US Hwy 77 spoke that she was not in favor of offering Orchestra as an after school activity. Now students will have to choose to participate in Orchestra, work, or sports activities. Not fair to have to choose. Would there be a way for the instructor to come in the morning instead of after school? If the District can't do this then why not make Music and Band an activity. Mrs. Rains felt that having it during 1st or 2nd hour would allow students to keep their jobs, participate in sports and still be able to be in Orchestra. Please just keep the program during the normal school day. Meeting adjourned at 8:18 PM.
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