Public Meeting Minutes: August 4, 2016 at 6:00 PM - Board Retreat


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August 4, 2016 at 6:00 PM - Board Retreat Minutes

August 4, 2016 at 6:00 PM - Board Retreat
I. Board Meeting
I.A. Call to Order
I.A.1. Roll Call
I.A.2. Pledge of Allegiance
I.B. Dinner Order
I.C. Notice of Open Meeting Posted
I.C.1. President insures all can hear proceedings
I.D. Mission Statement
I.E. Opportunity for Public to be Heard
I.F. Board Role, Norms, & Evaluation
I.F.1. NASB Information
Discussion:  Superintendent Dr. Troy Loeffelholz said last year the board decided not to change the mission statement. He said the vision statements should drive everything the staff do in the district. Mike Goos said the board needs to develop norms or procedures. What should the function of the board be? He said the board has a good relationship with Dr. Loeffelholz. Norms will provide procedures and routine to how members function as a board. The board members need to remember the number one reason they are here is for the kids. The norms can be used to create a self-evaluation form. Goos said an example of a norm could be arriving on time to the meeting. Another possibility could be how do we want to communicate with each other. This also means respecting each other's opinions. Goos said he would like to evaluate after each meeting how the board did on meeting the norms. Dr. Loeffelholz said the administrative team also celebrates good news as well as donating money for breaking norms. He said the Board should lead the way and develop norms to follow. Currently every learning team in the district has norms to follow. Some of the norms the board came up with included: beginning and ending in a timely manner, maintaining a positive attitude, continuing education, remembering the board’s role, and accepting other people’s opinions. Dr. Loeffelholz said the board must be reflective. He said part of the comfort level is being able to be self-reflective. The board wants to formally adopt the norms at the August meeting.
I.F.2. Self Evaluations - Based on Norms
I.F.3. Professional Development
I.F.3.1. NASB Activities
I.F.3.2. National Activities
I.G. Dinner-No business will be discussed
I.H. Review Strategic Plan
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said the district has made significant monetary contributions toward the strategic plan. He said there has been around $1 million invested in the academic goal; $580,000 in the social emotional goal and $276,150 in facilities outside of the high school construction. The district has invested approximately $2 million in the strategic plan. Other items for consideration in the facilities goal is: having a cafeteria for Emerson, North Park and West Park instead of having a joint cafeteria/gym; partnering with the city on creating an area for a park; and creating a fiber optic network plan. Safety and security is another area to consider and could include additional cameras, upgrading cameras, access and control, panic buttons etc. Executive Director of Technology/Operations Leonard Kwapnioski said this is something that should be looked at district wide and not just at the new high school. He said there have already been planters picked out for the high school to stop people from running into the building, and this is something that could be done at the other buildings as well. Items for consideration in the social emotional goal is: The East Central District Health partnership needs to be considered. Additional staffing is the only other consideration for the academic plan. Dr. Loeffelholz told the administrators and board if they think of anything else that should be added to let him know. Candy Becher asked if STEM could be switch to STEAM to include the arts. Dr. Loeffelholz said what is already being done could incorporate the arts, but the focus just needs to move in one direction. He said teachers understand this concept but haven’t done anything about it. North Park Principal Bob Hausmann said something to consider for North Park is a solution to the parking. Emerson Principal Sara Colford would like sidewalks around the inside of the fence to be added, so kids don’t have to run so close to the busy street. West Park Principal Paula Lawrence would like a better drop-off and pickup area at West Park. She said parents are parking in the old maintenance lot and students have to cross the street. Several would also like to have speed zones considered. Dr. Loeffelholz also suggested adding math curriculum for the academic piece.
I.H.1. Academic Vision
Discussion:  The academic vision focuses on working with all teaching staff to support them. The goal is to establish a Pre K-12 education plan to prepare our students for successful integration to college and career opportunities. There have been 22 revised or new STEM courses added. The committee has also aligned the curriculum with new LA standards. There are new math standards. There has been a lot done with technology (all high school kids having laptops, hiring of a tech interventionist etc.). The idea is to teach students to be good workers, and those students who go to college will be more prepared. Heidi Elliott was hired as the Career Coordinator to work with not only the high school, but all levels in the area of STEM. The goal is to have students think about college and careers at a younger age. There have been several things accomplished in past three years. PLC concepts were implemented as part of Romshek’s budget. ELL has had curriculum and staff added. There will be more tech training, including advanced Powerschool utilization, grading for learning, and STEM partnerships. Romshek said there is also a lot of training to keep staff up to date on what administration is asking in the classrooms. There have been 12-14 staff members who are coaches and can teach the training. Engineering will be added this year at the high school. Romshek said something that was suggested for consideration is additional staff at the elementary. Candy Becher wanted to know more about Grading for Learning. Romshek said Grading for Learning looks at the grade skills mastered, and if the student doesn’t know the skill, it will be retaught. She said with standard based learning, the student is graded on the standard. Romshek said with Grading for Learning the focus is more on what the learning is. Dr. Loeffelholz said one positive from all these conversations is there would be consistent grading practices. He said kids need boundaries, and they want to know the expectations.
I.H.2. Social Emotional Vision
Discussion:  Some of the top priorities with this committee were to consider programs to help develop social skills with students, adding a counselor or school psychologist at every elementary; maintain a dean at the middle school and high school; and add a counselor to CMS to meet help with the fifth graders when they move up. Executive Director of Student Services and Special Education Jason Harris said the newcomer program that is housed at West Park helps students who are new to the U.S., and once they have completed the program, they go back to the regular classroom. He said the committee has spent some time on social skills development and the behavior program across the district. The district has also had a BIST focus, which takes social skill development a step further. Each building took a team this summer for BIST training, and the goal is to implement this year. East Central District Health received $17,000 to focus on mental health, and this money was used to help students in need. This additional money allowed the administration to buy vouchers or contract with a mental health provider in Norfolk, Lincoln or Omaha to get kids sessions with a mental health professional and then look at how to help them to continue to get the help they need. Harris said about $15,000 was spent. He said the district also contracted with Jill Cosgrove to work with kids in the high school. Harris said in the past, when kids came back to school, there was no plan in place. This fall teachers will get differentiation training to meet needs of more students, co-teaching at the secondary level, and the committee would like to see this expanded to the elementary. The school adult mentor program called Shipmates was for fourth and fifth grades and next year will be expanded to sixth, seventh and eighth grades. Staff went through training and were matched with students. Harris said this program is expanding this year, and hopefully will eventually be at all levels. ECDH partners with CPS not only in mental health area, but they want to try to help do checkups and meet the dental needs of students. Harris said ECDH and CPS are working on plan where ECDH can apply for grants to help pay for the checkups and dental exams. He said the goal is to eventually get a social worker at each level. There is also only one elementary nurse and there really needs to be an additional one. The high school also needs to add a counselor back. He said the committee would also like to look at a behavioral interventionist who would be there to support the well managed classroom curriculum and BIST. Harris said the committee would like to do more training to meet all the needs of students. He said ideally there would be a school to home behavior specialist to make connections with the family at home. He said the goal is to continue to make sure to support families in a partnership. Harris said there needs to be someone to bridge the gap. The goal is to get parents to attend one meeting and get them help. He said then it will be easier to follow through. Harris said most parents are concerned about cost and worried about meeting their deductible. Some kids just need a quick intervention.
I.H.3. Facility Vision
Discussion:  The Facility Vision had the high school as a first priority, and the kindergarten rooms at West Park were second. The kindergarten rooms at West Park are 99 percent done. The next big piece will be the high school to middle school renovation. Focus should next be on the Emerson cooling towers. Executive Director of Technology and Business Operations Leonard Kwapnioski said every year they budget for and accomplish things in the plan, and it is spread out for 1-4 years. He said many things have been removed from the list like Duncan. He said the work at Duncan is almost complete, and the final big piece is the emergency exit out of the gym. Kwapnioski said hopefully this will be completed by Christmas of this year. He said it will be 24 months at Christmas when the building can be turned over to Boys Town. Kwapnioski said a key piece must include looking at things and making sure painting and other items are done on a yearly basis. Dr. Loeffelholz said the district received an award for safety and security. He said the award was given because the buildings were clean, kid friendly and always kept up. There are several things that are not on the list but should possibly be added. Director of Business and Human Relations Dave Melick said there is a five-year plan that Lunch Time Solutions has proposed for improvements. Year one is underway. The contract was approved by the Department of Education. He said for this first year a lot of equipment has been bought such as 6 different fruit and vegetable bars and a two level-heated grill slide. Melick said the cost was $17,000 and some of it will be covered by grants. Year 2 – The van used for delivery isn't suitable, and LunchTime Solutions will provide a truck that will have electrical outlets to keep food warm. Melick said the truck will be used by CPS for five years, and at that time, CPS must either buy or replace the truck. The LunchTime Solutions proposal also recommends upgrading Centennial to a production kitchen by adding a cooler, freezer and warmer at a cost of $14,700. The third year the same things will be added to Emerson and North Park. In year four West Park will be converted and year 5 Lost Creek. Candy Becher asked if these kitchens are converted to a production kitchen how much additional staff would be needed. Melick said there will not necessarily need to be more staff. He said once all the upgrades are done, the district will get some payback. The initial estimated cost to do the reconfiguration of the current high school to the middle school will cost $3.3 million, and there was only $2 million budgeted. Amy Haynes and Jordan Anderson and staff have done a tremendous job to work with what is at the current high school. There will also be ongoing maintenance that will need to be done. Dr. Loeffelholz asked if there are things for consideration that need to be added to the list. He said perhaps adding a cafeteria to Emerson, West Park and North Park should be considered so lunch and PE aren’t fighting over the same space. Dr. Loeffelholz said perhaps something such as a Behlen building could be added to eat lunch in. He said serving kids outside of gym would be good thing. There is also the property on 41st Ave. that Kwapnioski said Turnkey Telecom Solutions possibly may want a piece of property. He said they want to purchase it for $1 and then would put in the fiber for the high school and Lost Creek. The district would have to pay $500 a year to use the line but would own the fiber. The land they want is not of much use to the district and is about a quarter of an acre. Kwapnioski said two companies approached him about the land but Great Plains opted out. Turnkey Telecom Solutions wants to move quickly. They want to put up a telecommunication building on the land. He said the color of the building must blend in with the other structures in the area. Kwapnioski said this is a wonderful opportunity for Columbus Public Schools. He said the district will own the fiber, and the company will lease dark fiber to other businesses. Kwapnioski said the connection between CPS and GI will be improved because there will be multiple ways out of Columbus. He said he will get more information about the citywide fiber that is being discussed. Kwapnioski said he will be meeting with the city and county next Thursday. He said fiber needs to be added to the strategic plan. He said the company is looking at doing more around the city. Ken Curry said he would like to see a section of the land by the high school designated for a park. He said there are no parks in this area, and it would give CPS some control of its neighbors. Dr. Loeffelholz said the goal has always been to keep as much green space between Lost Creek and the High School as possible. The city has also expressed an interest in a baseball field, but if the district builds a baseball field, a softball field must be built as well because of Title IX.
I.H.4. Board Goals
Discussion:  The board came up with the following suggested goals: to establish a pre-K-12 education plan to prepare our students for successful integration to college and career opportunities; to provide facilities necessary to establish, equip, sustain and enhance the education of the district; and to address the social and emotional needs of our students that is affecting their academic development. Candy Becher asked if teachers steer kids more toward career than college? Dr. Loeffelholz said the goal of CPS is that when students graduate, they will have access to a four year college or university; access to a 2 year associate degree for a career field; or be equipped with industry certification with an employable skill to go into the workforce; or join the military. Becher said she wants to make sure teachers are not forcing them into the wrong area of interest. Some other things talked about were providing resources, time and support for what students need to be successful; providing worked based learning opportunities (business partnerships). The businesses will need to come to the classrooms. Social emotional – An objective could also be to meet the needs of all partnerships; social skills; and how they communicate (digital technology). The Legislature requires that districts provide instruction on digital citizenship. Brandi Fleming and Val Wallin are working on the curriculum for digital citizenship. Freshmen and sophomores will not be given computers until they have the class. Dr. Loeffelholz said the students need to realize that the computer is more of learning tool than a gaming device. Middle school and the elementary school have adopted components of the Discover Way. It supports good behavior.
I.H.4.1. Big Picture-How does it tie into the Mission Statement
Discussion:  All these things should tie into the mission statement. Dr. Loeffelholz said the administration needs to make sure school is the safest place it can be. He said the big picture is adults being kinder, gentler, friendly and getting to know our students.
I.I. Superintendent Goals
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said the board needs to think about what goals they want to set for him and what he should focus on. The administration has shifted to using an empowerment evaluation model. They set goals they want to work on and it should be part of what they do daily as well as what they want to make improvements on. The board said they will discuss this with Dr. Loeffelholz during preboards.
II. Adjourn
Discussion:  The meeting adjourned at 9:28 p.m.
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