Public Meeting Minutes: September 20, 2016 at 5:00 PM - Work Session/Regular Meeting


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September 20, 2016 at 5:00 PM - Work Session/Regular Meeting Minutes

September 20, 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. High School to Middle School Building Transition Plan Presentation

There are nine major constructions areas in converting the current high school to the middle school. The following are the changes to the first floor: converting the locker room to (counselors) student services and the nurse’s area; converting guidance and the nurse’s area to classrooms; realigning the gym courts; realigning the north gym court and moving the bleachers from the north to the south; adding more toilets and water faucets to the girls locker room; converting locker rooms under the concrete bleachers to the behavior disorder and timeout rooms; converting classrooms into the drafting lab; converting classrooms on the east end of the building into home economics and art classrooms; converting the automotive shop to the high needs special education area. On second floor, the art rooms and business classrooms will be converted to sped classrooms and storage; and the weight room will be converted to health classrooms. RVW Architect Dan Keiter said the weather won’t play into the work because everything is inside. He said however, the unknown of what will be found when they begin the work is hard to predict. There will be a bus drop-off and pick-up on the south side of the building by the special education area. CMS Principal Amy Haynes said the weight room looks nothing like the high school weight room. She said it is more like a fitness room and needs to be tall enough to jump rope. Keiter said the tricky part will be doing work on the nine areas on first floor and fitting eight months of construction into sixth months. He said hopefully the construction documents will go out by the end of November first part of December. He said ideally they want the contractor on board by the first week in January, so he or she can order materials, and once the high school moves, work can begin immediately. The plan is for construction to be finished by the end of August or first of September. He said he has had three contractors express an interest in the project. It is hard to predict if they will be able to meet the aggressive timeline. He said the key is making sure the contractor is aware that time is of the essence. Ideally, it would be great to start the project in February or March.


I.F. Regular Board Meeting Information
II. Executive Session
Discussion:  The board did not go into executive session.
III. Adjourn

The board adjourned the work session at 7:05 p.m.

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:  Mike Goos 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. Adjourn Regular Meeting and Enter into Public Hearings

The board adjourned the regular meeting and entered the hearing at 7:08 p.m.

IV.G.2. Hearings
IV.G.2.1. Special Hearing for the purpose of receiving public input on the 2016-2017 Columbus Public Schools Budget

Executive Director of Business Operations and Human Relations Dave Melick said no one requested any information on the budget. The General Fund is the  largest part of the budget and is $48,830,834. Benefits and salary compensation make up 86 percent of the general fund budget. The general fund is subject to levy limits and spending limits. From the 2007-08 school year through the 2014-15 school year, CPS per pupil spending was 6.5% lower than 13 comparable districts and 12.95% lower than the state average. He said these figures demonstrate that CPS is efficient with the resources to educate the students.  Melick said state aid has gone up and down. He said the district is not yet back to where it was in 2009-10. The budget does include several items from the strategic plan. Some of these items included adding a fifth grade teacher at North Park; hiring an additional middle school counselor; hiring a CPS career coordinator; increasing pay for classified staff who are second language fluent and high needs para educators; funding the Lost Creek inclusive playground; funding the CMS Alertus security system and several other items.

IV.G.2.2. Special Hearing to Receive Input on the 2016-2017 Final Tax Request

Assessed valuation is steadily increasing. Most of the valuations comes from the district, but there is a small percentage that comes from Butler and Polk counties. Melick said the total tax levy is down slightly from last year.

IV.G.3. Second and Final Reading of Policy 201.05 Term of Office

The term of office for a board member is four years and if the person is appointed to serve he or she will serve until January of the following year.

IV.G.4. Second and Final Reading of Policy 204.01 Regular Board Meetings

Dr. Loeffelholz said the board will meet the second or third Monday of the month unless otherwise scheduled. All action must be taken in open session. He said the policy now allows for electronic voting devices.

IV.G.5. Second and Final Reading of Policy 704.04E1 Notice, Prevention of improper Use of Taxpayer Funds

Dr. Loeffelholz said the Prevention of Improper Use of Taxpayer Funds Notice must now be posted.

IV.G.6. First Reading of Policy 502.02 Nonresident Students/Option Enrollment

A student can’t be denied an option unless the program is full. Dr. Loeffelholz said this why the district sets standard for each of the enrollments, such as 275 at the elementary level and 290 for the high and middle schools. Once a grade hits this maximum enrollment number, options can be denied. Options received after the March 15 deadline can also be denied if the grade is at capacity.  There are other rules to option enrollment such as moving and dates applied.

IV.G.7. Manufacturing Lab Equipment Purchase Approval

Dr. Loeffelholz said this is the second big purchase for the STEM lab at the new high school. He said the order had to be place early because the product is coming from Taiwan and China, and the next order would not be placed for 60 days. He said hopefully the equipment will be delivered by December.  If it does arrive at that time, there will still be people working in the building and they can hook up the equipment. The equipment was $21,000 under budget.  Dr. Loeffelholz said next month the welding and construction technology equipment will be purchased. He said the funding will come out of fundraising efforts, but the district will have to upfront some of the cost until the first of the year.

IV.G.8. Furniture Project Budget Summary Approval

Dr. Loeffelholz said the furniture is outside of the bond. He said they did an inventory of the current high school furniture and most of the equipment is good. The furniture budget is $1.3 million and includes the classroom and administration offices, band, library, cafeteria and commons. The STEM classroom funds will come out of the STEM budget. Dr. Loeffelholz said the district is also working with Cornhusker Industries to make the shelving for the library. He said the furniture budget started at $1.6 million. The cost has now been dropped not to exceed $1.3 million. The library shelving will be $40,000 and it is not included

IV.G.9. Adoption of Board Norms and Goals for 2016-2017

Mike Goos said the norms were established by the board to help members communicate in a way that is positive. He said it was a way to establish what we expect from each other. Dr. Troy Loeffelholz said this was important for the board to establish norms because everyone else in the district has them. He commended the board for creating norms. He said not all boards function as good as the CPS Board. Theresa Seipel said these were good to establish now and shows the board was forward thinking. Dr. Loeffelholz said what makes this board work is the transparency back and forth.


The board adopted the following norms:

Begin and end each meeting on time while staying fully engaged during each meeting

• Maintain a positive attitude

• Listen respectfully to each other

• Contribute equally to the workload

• Make decisions on the basis of consensus

• Encourage one another to honor our commitments and candidly discuss our concerns when we feel a member is deviating from the norms

• Fully support each other’s efforts to improve student learning while continuing our own education through NASB and GNSA offerings

• Remember our role: budget, policy, and reviewing the superintendent


The following Goals were adopted:


1. To establish a Pre-K-12 education plan to prepare our students for successful integration to college and/or career opportunities.

2. To address the social and emotional needs of our students that is affecting their academic development.

3. To provide facilities necessary to establish, equip, sustain, and enhance

the educational programs of the District.

IV.H. Recognitions


IV.H.1. Camden Schefus - Lost Creek Eagle Scout

Camden Schefus met with Lost Creek Principal Jeff Bartels this spring for his Eagle Scout project, he wanted to coordinate the planting of shrubs and spreading of river rock around the building. Bartels said the work was finished right before Labor Day weekend. There were more than 20 volunteers who helped with the project. Bartels said there are still some tulips and daffodils to plant to give the area some color. 

IV.I. Presentations
IV.I.1. BIST Presentation

Executive Director of Student Services/Special Education Jason Harris said he took a group to BIST (Behavior Intervention and Support Team) training in Omaha. BIST is a school wide behavioral management plan for students in Tier 2 and 3, and this makes up 10-15 percent of the total student body. Harris said this does not replace Well Managed Classrooms in the district for Tier 1. BIST teaches students to be accountable for their actions and to help them make positive changes in their lives. The three goals for BIST are 1. I can make choices. 2. I can be Ok even if others are not Ok. 3. I can do something even if I don't want to or if it’s hard. Harris said the training helps a person to provide the student with what they need and deserve. He said it is important to have a relationship because students will reject you. BIST helps teach accountability. He said it helps teach students if things don't go their way they are accountable for their actions. Harris said the focus is on early intervention and to teach students it is never Ok to be disruptive or hurtful. He said the language used will decide what partnership a person will have with the student. Harris said a key is that a person must be able to outlast the acting out. BIST has a safe seat where students can go in classrooms to be redirected and to show there are consequences for behavior. There is also a buddy room were the students can be sent. In the past, a disruptive student would be taken out of the classroom. With the buddy room, he or she is sent to the buddy classroom, so they will still be in a room with learning going on. Harris said there is also a recovery focus room for severe behavior. He said think sheets are used and a safe seat allows students to process. Some students need target behavior to work on for triage, so what they are missing can be taught. Triage is not in the moment but can be later. The following are the next steps for CPS: strengthen Well Managed Classrooms; implement parts of BIST; provide training for all staff in Well Managed Classroom and BIST.  BIST has been implemented this year for seventh grade at CMS and ninth grade for CHS.

North Park School Counselor Kim Loeffelholz attended the training. She said BIST looks different at each elementary. She said all buildings are using the safe seat and might be using think sheets, but no one is using the buddy room or processing yet. Kim Loeffelholz said now when bad choices are made, there are consequences. She said the students are given consequences to match the behavior in class. She said punishment has been turned into responsibility. Kim Loeffelholz said many classes are acknowledging when students make good choices. CMS seventh grade science teacher Amanda Boesch said a brief presentation was given to CMS staff at the back to school staff meeting.  She said some teams use safe seats, think sheets and triage. Boesch said often in the morning the school counselor will meet with the at risk students to talk to them and review their goals. She said this could also happen in between class periods where the counselor will check in and do triage. The middle school also has a sheet of their target behavior, and these are put in their lanyards. She said they haven’t started the buddy rooms. The think sheets are where students fill out what happened and think about how it can be fixed. This form must be brought back to the original teacher where it happened. Boesch said they need to focus on keeping the relationship strong. CHS Special Education Teacher Sara Janssen said BIST was briefly introduced in August at the high school. She said she would like to do BIST training for all staff because there is not a lot of buy in at the high school.  She said many of the teachers feel like it is going back to elementary school. Janssen said the main goal is to keep the students in the classroom. BIST is the wrap around in the classroom. Janssen said it should start and end with the teacher. Harris said eventually the district would like BIST to have trainers at every level

IV.J. Items to be removed from the Consent Agenda
Discussion:  There were no items removed from the agenda.
IV.K. Consent Agenda
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

Executive Director of the Columbus Public Schools Foundation Kim Kwapnioski said there are currently 12 umbrella organizations under the foundation. In the past year, these groups wrote 390 checks. The umbrella groups brought in $217,752 in revenue and spent $197,521 with the remaining balance in all the accounts being $205,473. The Foundation gave 45 total scholarships, $4,000 in classroom grants and $71,949.30 for student sponsorships. There was a total of $140,033.23 paid out for scholarships, dual credit classes, classroom grants and student-sponsored activities. Kim Kwapnioski said this next year will be big because of STEM and the new high school. She said she is excited to jump in and continue to grow other funds. The board thanked Kim Kwapnioski for her work and welcomed her back to Columbus.

IV.M. Business Operations and Human Relations
IV.M.1. Financial Reports M2, M3, M4a

Executive Director of Business Operations and Human Relations Dave Melick said the district is paying for all projects going on, and many are related to the new high school. He also reminded the board that no state aid payment is received in August.

IV.M.2. Financial Report M5
IV.M.3. Financial Report M5a

The board approved paying Seipel’s Repair $124 for oil filters and oil changes and repairs to an electric mirror.

IV.M.4. Policies
IV.M.4.1. First Reading of Policy 402.09 Credit Cards

Melick said there are 25 credit cards in the district. Those with cards include the directors and some are located in each of the vehicles for fuel. There are also some available for check out. The superintendent determines who has credit cards. Melick said the district has a good check and balance on the credit cards.

IV.M.4.2. First Reading of Policy 904.02 Lease, Sale or Disposal of School District Property

The policy was changed because the vote used to have to be a majority of the board and now has changed to two-thirds vote needed for approval.

IV.M.5. Administrative Functions
IV.M.5.1. Approval of Budget for 2016-2017

The total budget is $79,784,792. Seipel said she appreciates all the work that goes into the budget.

IV.M.5.2. Tax Request, 2016-2017

The total tax rate including the general, bond and special building funds is $1.256626. This is slightly down from last year, Melick said.

IV.M.5.3. School Fundraising Applications for 2016-2017

Dr. Loeffelholz said these fundraisers goes beyond the scope of the curriculum at CPS. These events are non-curricular and non-school related fundraising.

IV.M.5.4. Surplus Property

The surplus items include a piano from the middle school, art supplies that are not used in the curriculum any more and some library materials from Centennial.

IV.M.5.5. RVW Schematic Design Services

Dr. Loeffelholz said the district has already paid $10,750 to RVW to go through the program phase. This next phase was looking at what had to be put into the structure and electrical, make a floor plan and identify some big hurdles. The total cost will not exceed $54,595.

IV.M.6. Updates

Melick said the district is hosting the auditors this week, and he is expecting a clean report. The auditors should be done by the end of the week.

Melick said today was payday, and with the first paycheck of the new year there are always lots of questions. Melick said several people wondered why their check was less even though they got a raise. He said health and dental went up, so the check could be less than last year.

IV.N. Buildings & Sites/Technology
IV.N.1. Administrative Functions
IV.N.1.1. 2016-2017 Safety Committee Members

Executive Director of Technology and Business Operations Leonard Kwapnioski said most of the members are the same as last year. Dave Hiebner will replace Jean Kamrath from the high school. The following are members of the safety committee: Leonard Kwapnioski, Michelle Cruise, Jillian Schmidt, Jackie Herink, John Petersen, Christine Morse, Bob Hausmann, Carrie Trofholz, Paula Lawrence, Jordon Anderson, Karla Bartlett, Dave Hiebner, Cal Mustard, Jon Frey, Mike Grutsch, Theresa Seipel and Doug Molczyk.  

IV.N.1.2. HVAC Services Proposal for 2016-2017

Kwapnioski said he recommends approving the CMI contract. He said their contract went up very little even with the new high school. Kwapnioski said the Trane contract was $24,000 by itself. The CMI contract will be $38,980 and includes the new items and the high school.

IV.N.1.3. Land/Fiber Project Purchase Agreement from TurnKey Telecom Solutions

Kwapnioski said it is a great opportunity to remove some mowing area and help with the growth of technology in community.

IV.N.2. Updates

Kwapnioski said he met with the state fire marshal last week at Duncan. He said things went very well and the fire marshal appreciated all that CPS has done. The fire marshal will have the report by next week. He said the lease purchase agreement with Boys Town for the purchase of the building will be entering the third year of the four-year agreement in January.

IV.O. Curriculum and Instruction
IV.O.1. Administrative Functions
IV.O.1.1. Close Up Scholarships

Dr. Loeffelholz said each year the board supports the Close-Up Program by offering $4,000 in scholarships, so students can go to Washington DC. In order to receive a scholarship, the student must do fundraising. This year the cost of the trip is $1,947 per students. The $4,000 scholarship would be open to all students. The Foundation usually gives $2,000.

IV.O.2. Updates
IV.O.2.1. NeSA Results

NeSA, Nebraska State Accountability, is given in the spring to measure learning in reading, writing, math and science. It is a measurement of the Nebraska learning standards. In the past, the test has been multiple choice, but that will be changing and more written responses will be included. NeSA measures the program success. Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction Amy Romshek said teachers want CPS students to do as well or better then the average. The 11th grade will no longer be taking NeSA but instead will be taking the ACT test. Romshek said CPS students have been doing this for several years because CHS was an ACT pilot school. The only difference is now the Department of Education will be covering the cost. 

The results are given in a scale score. The scale score reading average for the elementary schools is 128 and state is 124. The middle school students scored 121 and the state average is 125. Romshek said this is not quite the state average, but the middle school students scores did increase by five points this year.  She said the 11th grade has stayed flat again this year at 98. Romshek said some of this could be that 11th graders were taking the ACT and NeSA, and many were more serious on the ACT than NeSA. The elementary and middle school scores have been trending upward in reading. The elementary are higher than the state average and middle school keeps increasing their scores each year. Romshek said the writing scores are being held back because the state feels there may be some errors. Steve Woodside said of all the pilot schools, CHS was the only school that increased the number of students going to college consistently. Romshek said she feels like CHS administration and students are ahead of the game because they have been doing the ACT for a few years. She said this year John Baylor will be in the classrooms for juniors. Romshek said all the kinks should be worked out because of the pilot program.

IV.P. Student Services
IV.P.1. Administrative Functions
IV.P.2. Updates

There are 54 more students attending CPS this year than last year.  Harris said the state auditor will come Thursday and audit the financial reports from last school year. He said next month he will give the board a presentation on Grading for Learning.

IV.Q. Superintendent's Report
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said he and the entire board will be going to a meeting in Fremont on October 19th. He invited the board members to come to a GNSA meeting. He said the meetings are typically finished by 1 p.m. Dr. Loeffelholz reminded the board that Oct. 9 is Taste of Columbus and half the proceeds go back to STEM. He said Kim and he plan to attend and will get a table if the board wants to sit with him.  Dr. Loeffelholz said he will call the Chamber and reserve a table. Nov. 7 is the tax symposium featuring the Open Sky Institute think tank. He said the group is pro-education and pro-schools. He said the tax symposium will take place in York, and if anyone wants to attend, contact Dr. Loeffelholz. He said they are meeting with Hausmann every Tuesday because it is time to get updates every week since the project is now getting down to the finer things. Dr. Loeffelholz said Mike Grutsch and Dan Keiter spend a lot of time out at the construction site. He said he will be giving tours of the new high school for the next four Sundays at 4 p.m. for high school staff and will open spots for others in the district if they are not all filled. On Oct. 3, Dr. Loeffelholz said he will release the revised calendar for the second semester. The electronic sign by the current high school will stay there for the middle school. The new high school will hopefully get two electronics signs with one being on the southeast
IV.R. Board Sharing

Candy Becher thanked Dan Keiter for all the hard work his company has done to bring the concept of the middle school to life. She also thanked Dave Melick and his staff for all their work on the budget. Becher said she is happy the ACT is the test for 11th graders because it means so much more to the students. Tim Pospisil echoed what Becher said. He said the budget was clearly thought and focused on priorities. Doug Molczyk thanked Melick and his staff for the work on the budget. He said it was well thought out and the citizens should be appreciative. Molczyk said he is excited for the middle school and is glad the plans meet the middle school administration’s expectations. He said the high school is coming along great. Molczyk said he loves walking through that building and seeing the progress. Theresa Seipel said she was glad to hear about BIST and Well Managed Classrooms. She said she hopes teachers remember all the kids don’t have the same tools. Seipel said hopefully there will be enough trainers. She also thanked Melick for his work on the budget. Mike Goos thanked everyone for being at the meeting, and thanked Melick and his staff.  Goos said Melick put together a great presentation that helped explain the budget process. He said CPS has great facilities. Goos said he would like to have the norms posted at the meeting.

V. Executive Session

The board did not go into executive session.

VI. Adjourn
Discussion:  The board adjourned the meeting at 9:25 p.m.
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