Public Meeting Minutes: February 8, 2016 at 5:00 PM - Work Session Regular Meeting


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February 8, 2016 at 5:00 PM - Work Session Regular Meeting Minutes

February 8, 2016 at 5:00 PM - Work Session Regular Meeting
I. Work Session
I.A. Call to Order
I.B. Roll Call of Board
I.C. Pledge of Allegiance
I.D. Recognitions
I.E. Presentations
I.E.1. Lost Creek Elementary Staff
Discussion:  AQuESTT – Lost Creek staff scored the school low in College and Career Readiness and assessment. They do some college and career readiness things but not at every grade level, with University Week for fourth and fifth graders. On assessment, which is geared on the growth that the building is performing. Bartels said trend scores are good. The school scored strong in positive partnerships, relationships and student success. He said they have a great PTO and good parent support. Bartels said a high number of parents turnout for parent teacher conferences. AQuESTT is based on self-assessment and NeSA scores. He said the school received the highest rating from students this year on the surveys. The parent survey is currently out and will be open until Friday at 5 p.m. Bartels said in 2014-15 Lost Creek parents graded the school an A or B. There are also 97 percent of the students with two or fewer office referrals. Forty percent of Lost Creek students are on free or reduced lunches. The students practice fluency every day in all grades. Bartels said the State Accountability Tests are also going in the right direction year after year. Early reading intervention is a scripted program for students in grades kindergarten, first, and second. The program works on phonemic awareness, phonics, decoding, word recognition, spelling fluency and comprehension. This is the second year the program has been done in all five elementary buildings for students who don't meet benchmark in Dibels. They have been working with two consultants from UNL. Eventually the consultants will pull away their support, which is why there are district staff trained like Juliana Kock. She spends one morning and one afternoon every month coaching. She goes out and works in all the buildings. The goal is to have all kids reading at grade level. ClassDoJo is an app that allows teachers to communicate with students and parents. It helps reinforces positive behavior. Teachers can share a child's progress. Students can get a positive or negative point depending on what they are doing. There is also a kindness point. The expectations are always the same in all classes. Class Story is a closed group just for parents and teachers. Teachers can post other things on the app as well. This provides a communication tool for parents and students to talk about what happened today. Some benefits include: it helps keep parents informed; it keeps everybody on the same page; and it allows teachers to look at trends. Responses back from parents are also very fast. There is one central location for a parent to get all information. Teachers feel the app helps fosters better relationships with parents. Even the fifth graders and their parents like the app. The program does makes a noise for both positive and negative behavior, so students will know that someone is earning positive or negative comments. All parents in a group can be messaged at one time. The app is not time consuming once you get used to it. PBIS – Lost Creek gives out green wristbands, which are tear away bracelets that students can earn for positive Eagle behavior. The paras use them in the lunchroom if students eat all their food. The bands are for overall positive choices. On the last day of the week, one name from each classroom is drawn from each grade. Students can earn rewards just as taking shoes off, earning extra iPad time, and bringing a stuffed animal to school. There is also a monthly drawing where one student from each room is selected to go to the dessert bar. They recently added as an incentive a coupon to the autism room where they can be the helper. This has become a very popular choice. There are usually two to three kids that come to the autism room to be a helper a week. Autism teacher Megan Johnson said the students are the teachers, and the autistic kids like having a friend work with them. The helpers learn compassion, what learning is like for these students. and it gives them a sense of self-pride and worth. Symphony – A grant was written by the elementary music teachers for all fifth graders to go to the Omaha Symphony. The grant is from the Nebraska Arts Council. The trip met two Nebraska State Standards in fine arts and two in math. This year’s show was called Music and Math the Orchestra Game Show. The music teachers taught the students what to expect so they would be able to answer questions when they get there. This exposes students to cellos, violins and other instruments. Inclusive Playground would have wheelchair ramp access, more therapeutic swings and other items. It is more than just play. If these students can move and get bigger body movements, it will help them develop. The Telegram has done an article on the project, and they have presented to seven different community service groups. ARC of Platte County has also joined the team. There are 9 members on the committee, and they meet once a month. They are in the process for planning Playground Palooza, which will be on April 17 at Ag Park. The committee has sent letters to 130 foundations, but it has not generated a lot of money. Only one grant was received so far. The committee has raised approximately $20,000 with most of money coming from individual donations. The next step is to get bids and to continue to apply for grants. Dr. Loeffelholz said a lot of grants require a match and in kind donations will count toward this. He said a request also has not come to the Board of Education. Executive Director of Special Education/Student Services Jason Harris said he wants to make this a community project and to use people from the community to help. He said they want everyone to call it their playground.
I.E.2. Hausmann Construction Update
Discussion:  Workers continue block in Area A, and there is another month left before it will be finished. In the auxiliary gym, they are starting to paint. They will be starting in the main gym shortly. They won't do final painting of anything for a while. The HVAC units in the gyms are set. They will start to measure for windows shortly. There is nothing going on in Area C due to the weather. In Area D, blocking continues and it should be done in two weeks and maybe the floors can begin earlier. They are hoping to get a start on the auditorium floors. Area F is finished on the ground floor, and they hope to move upstairs in the next two to three weeks. A lot will depend on moisture. In Area G, the HVAC, ductwork, and plumbing should be done in a couple of weeks. In Area H, they are finishing up and doing a little painting. Right now a lot of time is being spent cleaning up. The weather has been a battle for the project, but several things are getting accomplished. Officially there have been 68 lost days due to weather. However, this doesn't mean, the project is 68 days behind. Hausmann has been please with all the subs that have been hired.
I.E.3. CPS 2016-17 School Calendar
Discussion:  Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction Amy Romshek said the 2016-17 calendar is not official yet. Each year the committee meets and tries to work under a set of rules. These rules include: ending the semester at Christmas break, balancing days in the quarters, trying to complete the quarters at the end of the week rather than the middle and considering where holidays fall. She said next year there will be dates added to quarter 4 because there is a lot of testing. As a result, some days will be reduced from the other quarters. The construction project is another factor that is making the calendar challenging this year. The start date will be August 18 and the semester will end on Dec. 23. Break will run until January 9 and 10 to give the high school staff time to move. The last student day will be on May 25 and last teacher day May 26. The committee wanted to end prior to the holiday weekend in May. In order to accommodate the longer Christmas break, days were moved from normal spring breaks. If this calendar is chosen CHS graduation will be May 21. There will be no spring break so school can end before Memorial Day. Dr. Loeffelholz said there may also be flexible days off that could be used as snow make updates, so they won’t be added to the end of the calendar. Romshek said there is a calendar if the high school won’t be finished by December. She said it has more days off in the second semester and a shorter Christmas break. Dr. Loeffelholz said the first semester won’t change, but parents may need to be flexible on the second semester. He said he hopes to have a good idea of the high school completion schedule by March. Dr. Loeffelholz said at that time, he will ask the contractor what needs to happen in order to be back on track by August 1. He said if the building is not completed, the board will need to start prioritizing what must be done to the high school to have middle school move in.
I.F. Regular Board Meeting Information
II. Executive Session
Discussion:  The board went into executive session at 6:22 p.m. to discuss teacher negotiations.
III. Adjourn
IV. Board Meeting
IV.A. Call to Order
IV.B. Roll Call of Board
IV.C. Pledge of Allegiance
IV.D. Notice of Open Meeting Posted
IV.D.1. President insures all can hear proceedings
IV.E. Mission Statement
Discussion:  Ken Curry read the Mission Statement.
IV.F. Opportunity for Public to be Heard
Discussion:  No one spoke to the board.
IV.G. Board Special Functions
IV.G.1. Hearings
Discussion:  There were no hearings.
IV.G.2. Appoint New Board Member
IV.G.3. Administer Oath of Office
Discussion:  The board appointed Tim Pospisil to the board of education. Tim said he is looking forward to participating for several years. Pospisil thanked Alan Dostal for his service to CPS. He has lived in Columbus the last 16 and works at NPPD as Director of Security. Pospisil is originally from Wilber, NE and he graduated from high school 1984 and received his electrically engineering degree in 1989 from UNL. He started at NPPD in 1999 in the IT department.
IV.G.4. Option Enrollment Resolution, 2016-2017 / Student-Within-Transfers, 2016-2017
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said each year the district must set a maximum grade level enrollment and if this number is reached no options will be accepted. For grades K-5, the maximum enrollment number is 275. As of now, option students will only be accepted in next year’s first and fifth grade classes. For grades 6-12 the maximum enrollment number is 290. There are three grade levels closed for next year, seventh, eighth grades and twelfth grade. Dr. Loeffelholz said when looking at in district transfers, principals try to balance classrooms across the district. For an in district transfer to be approved, the student to teacher ratio in grades K-2 cannot exceed 19 to 1 and for grades 3-12 a 23 to 1. Dr. Loeffelholz said attempts are made to try to accommodate students, but it can’t always be done. The ELL and Special Education programs are full so no additional students are taken because staff would need to be added.
IV.H. Recognitions
Discussion:  The AP Government class had 8 students attend the meeting. If these students pass AP Government, they will receive college credit. Next month, the students will attend a City Council meeting.
IV.I. Presentations
IV.I.1. Alan Dostal/Years of Service to the CPS Board of Education
Discussion:  Alan Dostal thanked the board and said he was greatful for the time he served.
IV.J. Items to be removed from the Consent Agenda
Discussion:  No items were removed from the agenda.
IV.K. Consent Agenda
Discussion:  There were two certified resignations for the end of the year: Emerson preschool teacher Leah Bartek and Emerson second grade teacher Anna Wagner. Harris will be going to UNK to recruit for a school psychologist because the school has a very good program. Several staff members attended BIST training in Omaha last week. The training is about how to help students with mental health issues.
IV.K.1. Approval of Minutes
IV.K.2. Certified Personnel
IV.K.3. Classified Personnel
IV.K.4. Professional Travel
IV.L. Acceptance of Gifts/Donations
Discussion:  There was $8,256.10 given back to the district from the Foundation, Centennial PAC, Lost Creek PTO, Emerson PTO, Sports Boosters, North Park PTO, CMS Pac and Band Boosters. Since August, these groups have given $67,329.26 back to the district.
IV.M. Business Operations and Human Relations
IV.M.1. Financial Reports M2, M3, M4a
Discussion:  Executive Director of Operations/Human Relations Dave Melick gave the monthly report.
IV.M.2. Financial Report M4b
Discussion:  The board approved paying Seipel’s Repair $120 for service done to vehicles.
IV.M.3. Administrative Functions
IV.M.3.1. Request for assessor valuation to be transferred to Butler County/Clint Osantowski
Discussion:  Clint Osantowski requested that his valuation be transferred from CPS to David City. His children option into the David City School District. Dr. Loeffelholz said David City receives money for the option. He cautioned the board to be careful and not to approve this because if one person is allowed, several others will try. He said there have been two others that have attempted to do this since he has been at CPS and both were denied. Dr. Loeffelholz said he will contact Clint Osantowski tomorrow and inform him of the board’s decision.
IV.M.3.2. Temporary Early Retirement Incentive Program (TERIP)
Discussion:  The Early Retirement Incentive Program remains under the control of the board. Melick said the last incentive program sunset after the 2012-13 school year, and it is being brought back due to financial constraints due to loss in state aid. This will be for one year only. Melick said this will give the administration an opportunity to replace employees with someone lower on the pay scale, so money can be saved. This is only for current certificated employees. In order to qualify, the person’s age plus the years of service must equal 85. People who want to participate must notify the district by Feb. 24. This will end in August unless the board wants to bring it back again. There were 23 people who were sent invites and 11 will attend the information meeting. Melick said this does not mean all 11 will accept the incentive program.
IV.M.4. Updates
Discussion:  There were no updates.
IV.N. Buildings & Sites/Technology
IV.N.1. Updates
Discussion:  Next month at the preboards, Executive Director of Technology/Operations Leonard Kwapnioski said he will have drawings of the kindergarten remodel at West Park along with other remodel plans. He said the CPS crew did a fantastic job of clearing the snow. He said they worked a day and half for 180 hours total. BD Construction and Gehring also assisted with the snow removal. Kwapnioski said they will be removing some snow from parking lots this Friday.
IV.O. Curriculum and Instruction
IV.O.1. Updates
Discussion:  Selecting CORE Reading Program. This is being done to alignment to revised English Language Art Standards and because the current series is outdated (2005). A group of CPS staff worked with national consultant Jennifer Ashlock. The committee started with four major series and narrowed it down to one. The selected series is Wonders. Romshek said the program has not been ordered yet. Each teacher will have six manuals and each manual is one unit of study with the exception of kindergarten. She said this is a lot of information to do in a year. Each teacher must become familiar with the manual. In addition to the manuals, they want to purchase textbooks and leveled readers for students to read. The books include the main stories and another book with other stories, so students can compare and contrast. At every grade, there are four different levels of reading. These are the same stories but it is written at different levels. Board member Ken Curry asked with the changes in technology why are books still needed. Romshek said at the elementary level, not every student has a technological device. When teaching a student to read, there are so many different pieces and books are needed. Romshek said a great deal of time and effort has been put into the selection of this series. At every elementary school, everyone will be using the same materials.
IV.P. Student Services
IV.P.1. Administrative Functions
IV.P.1.1. Special Education 2016-2017 Projections Attachments will be available at the meeting.
Discussion:  Harris said in order to come up with the Birth-21 verified projected special education numbers for 2016-17, he looks at those graduating and those the staff are evaluating for services. Next year it looks like there will be 650 students. Columbus is above the state average for special education. He said this is because families move into the district for special education services. Some move because their district doesn’t offer the services or won't contract CPS. Harris said there are also a large number of districts that want to contract with CPS. He said he accepts these contracts if there is room and staff available. CPS contracts for high needs, behavior and the autism programs. Average contract for high needs program is $46,000. There are 93 nonpublic students being served by CPS.
IV.P.2. Updates
Discussion:  He said thanks to the Child Well Being Grant, the district is currently advertising for driver. He said Jessie Hill, Heidi Luebbe and Jenna Clark have also come up with a list of mental health providers in Columbus, Lincoln and Omaha that can help the students. Harris said he must approve the request and then the family can choose a provider. He said this is not for long term but one to three visits. All of these services are grant funded. March 7-11 is kindergarten registration, which will take place in the Student Center. Recruitment of staff for some of his open positions has started.
IV.Q. Superintendent's Report
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz reminded the board if they are an incumbent they must register by Feb. 18. He said he will get Pospisil the information. Legislation – Dr. Loeffelholz said he will be testifying on some bills coming up. These include LB958, which will cap agriculture land valuation and expenditures and LB959, which asks districts to tighten their belt on spending. He said these bills are trying to fix the agriculture evaluation problem. Dr. Loeffelholz said the state aid formula is doing what it is supposed to do. He said it takes time to correct itself. LB959 is opposed by both large and small schools. LB 882 and 883 will eliminate district’s budget authority and initiate foundation aid. Dr. Loeffelholz said the problem with this bill is if you get the aid, it will take away other funding. He said neither one of these bills are sustainable and are a threat to equalization aid. AQuESTT is the new accountability test in Nebraska. Principals filled out a survey and ranked their schools based on questions. All CPS schools were good or great. He said it is an initial data point for the district to go back and reflect. Dr. Loeffelholz said he wants someone from NDE to come and talk about AQuESTT at the March meeting.
IV.R. Board Sharing
Discussion:  Doug Molczyk said the Lost Creek teachers are outstanding, and it was a great visit. He said he also thinks the Inclusive Playground will be a good addition to the city of Columbus. Molczyk said the crew did a great job cleaning up the lots. Tim Pospisil said he forgot to mention early that he is married to Kathy and their oldest son graduated from CHS in 2014 and joined the Marines and his youngest child will graduate in May. Ken Curry said he appreciates Lost Creek’s presentation. He also welcomed Pospisil to the board. Curry said he is impressed with all the activities CPS kids are involved in, and there are a lot of great things going. Candy Becher also welcomed Pospisil. She said she was impressed with Class Dojo and the kids just love it. Becher said it is a neat way to interact with parents. Theresa Seipel welcomed Pospisil and said serving on the board is worth all the effort. She said her kids went to Lost Creek, and it has changed a lot. Seipel agreed that Class Dojo is cool. She said she hopes time can be made up on the construction project. Mike Goos thanked the Lost Creek staff for a good presentation as well. He also welcomed Pospisil and wished Alan Dostal the best of luck. Goos attended a Legislative program with Dr. Loeffelholz, and he said it was excellent. He said he is glad Dr. Loeffelholz is involved in the legislative issues. Goos said he is a good spokesman.
V. Executive Session
Discussion:  The board went into executive session at 8:50 p.m.
VI. Adjourn
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