Public Meeting Minutes: October 17, 2016 at 5:00 PM - Work Session Regular Meeting


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October 17, 2016 at 5:00 PM - Work Session Regular Meeting Minutes

October 17, 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
Discussion:  The new food service director, Bryce Bonet was introduced. He grew up in the Omaha and Ralston area. He said he has always been in hospitality. Bonet graduated from UNL with a degree in hospitality with an emphasis on lodging.
I.E. Presentations
I.E.1. High School Presentation

There are eight new certificated staff and six classified staff this year at the high school. A majority of the staff, 38 percent, are in the first five years of teaching. The total years of teaching experience of all the staff is 734 with 648 years of teaching at CPS district.

PLC Leadership Team – The teachers started putting the team together this summer. This is a team of the teachers, by the teachers and for the teachers. There are 15 on the team, and meet once a month. The team is working on four areas. 1. Promoting lasting camaraderie – The teachers want to get to know each other more in building a CHS team. 2. Please Let's Communicate – This means sharing aggravations, frustration and celebrations as well as networking. 3. Preventing Latent Conflict - All staff must be accountable. 4. Positive Learning Culture – Doing fun things to get to know the kids such as being in the halls and giving the students high fives. CHS Principal Steve Woodside said the important part of this is being positive.

Robotics - Adam Whitmore started a robotics class. There will be a classroom side as well as a competition side. The team meets from 3:45-4:45, and there is both a varsity and JV team. One student said he analyzed information, collaborated and tried to build on it. He said there needs to be creativity, and these things have real world applications. The guidelines must be followed, and the solutions are not standardized. He said teams have to be creative. He said through robotics it has helped him with communication skills, and he learned to work as a team. The varsity team will be going to different schools to compete. The JV team will compete locally and with the middle school team.

What's new in writing? When looking at STEM, technical writing becomes a huge part. STEM teacher Adam Whitmore said the first stage was technical papers. He said it is a growing process. As the students grow, there is another level to add to this. Whitmore said he started an engineering notebook. Any class where there is problem solving, there will be an engineering notebook. He said he wants students to write more than personal narratives.

Heidi Elliott introduced herself and some of the things she has been working on. She serves as the school’s representative on the Chamber's business, industry, education committee. Elliott also works with the grant writer. She has been attending many workshops. This week she will be in the precalculus classes. Elliott said another part of her job is finding people to talk to the students about what is needed in the job fields, and how it is important for them to learn it.

LunchTime Solutions – Woodside said even though the juniors do not have open lunch this year, he has not heard a lot of complaints about the closed lunch. He attributes this to the variety and choices that LunchTime Solutions provide.

The ACT is no longer a pilot. This year the ACT will be the assessment. In 2010-11, there were 65 percent of CHS graduates in post-secondary education. In 2014-15,  73 percent of our graduates pursued a post secondary education. Woodside said the staff’s job is to try to open more doors for kids. He said the high school staff is dedicated to getting the kids to the next level. Woodside said students who attend a four-year college are getting a good foundation at CPS. Woodside also provided some data on test scores. He said he was glad CPS was part of the ACT pilot program. He said the numbers are pretty good and the staff keep looking for ways to help the kids improve. Woodside said he is proud of CHS students because they do the right thing when you put them in the position to do it.

I.E.2. Grading 4 Learning

Why is the district looking at going to Grading 4 Learning? Executive Director of Student Services & Special Education Jason Harris said in 2012-13, the district started talking about Grading 4 Learning. He said one of the reasons was because there needs to be a better link between grading and curriculum, and there needed to be consistent practices between grades K-12 including grade levels. The committee consisted of elementary, secondary and administration. The teachers and administrators reviewed grading processes. In 2014-15, the committee took the Grading 4 Learning guide to the PLC teams, received feedback and made changes based on the feedback. Last year all certified staff received professional development on Grading 4 Learning. The committee will begin to work on a report card, and this will start at the elementary level.  Harris said traditional grading is a letter grade and can be tainted by nonacademic behavior. Everything is averaged together and doesn't tell teachers where students are showing mastery. He said in the current grading practices, it is a one-time shot. With the new grading, it looks to see if students have mastered content instead of accumulating points. Harris said this grading will report what a student knows and be a balance between formative and summative assessments. He said this will encourage reflection and responsibility for learning. The elementary and secondary levels both created a guide and received feedback. Harris said with grading, teachers will track down students to make them take the assessments. Tim Pospisil questioned if there is something that is going to get them ready for college? He said most colleges only give a student one chance, and they will not come to find you if you haven’t done it. Superintendent Dr. Troy Loeffelholz said the district’s current practices are not working. He said just giving a kid a zero is not the answer. That is why we have dropouts. He said teachers must not let students get out of something, and they must be held accountable. The board members also had concern about determining eligibility for athletics. Harris said CPS is doing what Grand Island and Hastings are doing and not what OPS is doing. He said the one thing about Grading 4 Learning is so many times people want to be in a hurry, but it takes time to get staff there. The committee has suggested piloting it for one semester. Dr. Loeffelholz said there is so much work in a grading scale and what is behind the grading. He said this does work, and it is proven to work and is based on best practices. Harris said in 2017-18, the committee will continue to develop common assessments and discuss grading changes with parents.

I.F. Regular Board Meeting Information
II. Executive Session
Discussion:  The board did not go into executive session.
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:  Candy Becher 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. Second and Final Reading of Policy 502.02 Nonresident Students/Option Enrollment

Dr. Loeffelholz said this policy identifies the window that students and parents can option their students into districts. After March 15, option enrollment applications can be denied.  An option enrollment can also be denied if grade levels and programs are at maximum enrollment.

IV.G.2. Construction Technology Equipment/STEM Program

Dr. Loeffelholz informed the board that all STEM Program purchasing must be approved by the CPS Board of Education before the Foundation Board can approve it. He said the Construction equipment should not exceed $80,000.

IV.G.3. Manufacturing Equipment and Welding Tables for the STEM Academy

The cost of the welding tables from Matheson is $102,220.33. He said some of the old tables will get refinished. The cost to refinish the tables is $905 from Anderson Powder Coating Plus.

IV.G.4. 2016-2017 Calendar/2nd Semester Changes

Dr. Loeffelholz said the Board approves the school calendar each year, and the Board must also approve any changes. Dr. Loeffelholz said after spring break, school will start in the new high school building. The end of the school year will be moved to May 26. However, he said if the snow days don’t get used, the last day will be sooner and that decision will be made by April 14.

IV.G.5. Amendment #2 to the Professional Services Between CPS and RVW

Dr. Loeffelholz said this is an amendment to the original agreement with RVW.  This amendment is ready to go for the construction documents, not to exceed an additional $280,000. The total of all the work RVW has done on the repurposing of the high school to middle school is $345,335.

IV.H. Recognitions
IV.H.1. Stephen Mancuso

Stephen Mancuso was recognized for receiving the Award of Excellence from the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists. During the summer, he participated in the Congress of Future Medical Leaders in Boston. The Congress of Future Medical Leaders is an honors program, and students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher, demonstrate leadership potential and aspire to become physicians, scientists or technologists. Mancuso said he attended from June 26-29 along with 3,000 other students. He said he had the opportunity to listen to 29 speakers. He said it was a great experience and taught him a lot, and he is glad he went. 

IV.I. Presentations
IV.I.1. High School to Middle School Transition

There will be 60,000 square feet that will be repurposed at the high school to fit the middle school. There are nine areas on the first floor and three on the second floor that need to be repurposed. RVW Architect Dan Keiter said there is a tight window to get this construction done from about March to the start of school in the fall to finish. Keiter said the positive is that it is all indoor work. The weight room will be converted into three classrooms, and this is considered an alternate, which means it can be dropped if need. Converting the concrete bleachers into a flat floor will be the most intensive work. This will also be bid as an alternative. The final bid documents will be released to contractors in December. Keiter said because the work is spread out over 12 areas, CPS can do some of the work in the building if needed. Keiter said the building should be finished when school starts in the fall.  The information was sent out to 11 contractors and only four responded. Keiter said he will follow up with those who didn't respond. Dr. Loeffelholz said he would like to have the bid by the January 16 board meeting.

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

There were four new classified hires and seven resignations.

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

Dr. Loeffelholz said this is the first Foundation report for the new year. There was $28,334.57 given back to the schools in September from Foundation Umbrella Organizations that include the Centennial PAC, Lost Creek PTO, CMS PAC, Sports Boosters, Emerson PTO, West Park PTO and Band Boosters. He said he is predicting that the STEM program will receive $30,000 to $35,000 from Taste of Columbus. There will be six new scholarships for a total of $7,000 offered this year. The anchor was also delivered today.

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

Executive Director of Business and Finance Dave Melick said the district must finance some of the STEM equipment until the fundraising is done. He said there has been money put in the depreciation fund to cover these costs, and it will be paid back, once the funds are available. Melick said the district received $2.5 million in personal and property taxes, and there will be a larger amount next month.

IV.M.2. Financial Report M4b

The board approved paying Seipel Repair $560 for oil changes, and inspections on the vehicles.

IV.M.3. Financial Report M5
IV.M.4. Policies
IV.M.4.1. Second and Final Reading of Policy 402.09 Credit Cards

Melick said the policy does support the district staff’s use of the credit cards.

IV.M.4.2. Second and Final Reading of Policy 904.02 Lease, Sale or Disposal of School District Property
IV.M.5. Administrative Functions
IV.M.5.1. Surplus Property

Melick said these are some items that are no longer being used by the high school English Department and high school ELL program.

IV.M.6. Updates

Melick said the budgeting cycle for 2017-18 has begun. He said he is currently working on some reimbursement requests. Melick said the negotiations with CEA will begin Nov. 1.

IV.N. Buildings & Sites/Technology
IV.N.1. Policies
IV.N.2. Administrative Functions
IV.N.2.1. Fiber Optic Cables/Interlocal Agreement

Executive Director of Technology and Building Operations Leonard Kwapnioski said the district has been struggling with how to get network fiber to the new high school. He said prior to the Time Warner merger, there was a contract to run fiber to high school, and this was no longer the case after the merger. Kwapnioski said the district could secure its own fiber and be partners with the city and a third party. He said this will bring unlimited opportunities with the district paying an estimated charge of $500 a month. The benefit is the redundancy that will be built into it. He said now if something happens to the fiber there are no other stations to reroute it to. With the new system, there will be rerouting. The fiber will all be underground. The city and Columbus Public Schools need to have an interlocal agreement to design a fiber optic system within the city. He said the district wants to get the process started. Kwapnioski said the district can get 80 percent reimbursement on this project. He said the district will own its fiber network, and the cost to maintain is much less when it is in the ground. Kwapnioski said no costs have been set yet. He said the costs will be shared among all three groups. The city has identified 22 locations that it wants and CPS will have 12. All will be equal partners based on what is owned. It is a shared cost if something goes wrong between all the partners because it is all in one trench. Kwapnioski said Great Plains has been a great partner with Fremont Public Schools, and they pay $500 a month. Kwapnioski said it all comes down to how you build the network. He said the cost would be $750,000 if CPS does it by itself. He said it is a benefit because the district will own their own network. Kwapnioski said it is a win, win situation. He said this is an opportunity to get some of the partners to pay for the costs, and it is an opportunity that the administration feels is important area to grow. He said the possibilities are there.

IV.N.3. Updates

Kwapnioski said the maintenance staff has self-performed a mow strip at the new high school. He said the staff keeps working at beautifying the schools. Kwapnioski said he has also heard several comments about the cleanness of the CPS vehicles.

IV.O. Curriculum and Instruction
IV.O.1. Policies
IV.O.1.1. First Reading of Policy 603.01 Curriculum Development

Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction Amy Romshek said the mathematics standards needed the year changed to 2015, and this was the only change.

IV.O.1.2. First Reading of Policy 606.08 Reproduction of Copyrighted Materials

Romshek said the trainers have done a good job of showing staff if they borrow something they must give credit to the originator. Next year this will go in the teacher handbook and an email will be sent to staff reminding of the copyright rules.

IV.O.2. Administrative Functions
IV.O.3. Updates

Writing data – Romshek said the district is close to the state averages, but the results did drop. The students are tested on ideas, organization and sentence fluency, and in all the areas, CPS students did not score as high. The writing test will become a part of the reading test at 8th grade. For now, the test will be given to students in grades fifth and eighth. The test will change from where students were given a prompt. Romshek said the district must change direction and focus on the new writing test. She said work is already started preparing the students. This year curriculum will be looking at new math materials, and K-12 music, art and media.

IV.P. Student Services
IV.P.1. Policies
IV.P.1.1. First reading of Policy 503.09 Homeless Children and Youth

Harris said he has been the district homeless coordinator for four years. He said CPS homeless situations are typically clear-cut. He said just because a person lives with someone doesn't mean he or she is not homeless. Harris said if a person lives in an RV in a trailer park he or she is also considered homeless. Right now there are 25 families who are in this category within CPS and some have multiple kids. Harris said typically when the student enrolls, the district finds out if he or she is homeless. Harris said this must be reported to the state. He said the district doesn't catch everyone but tries.

IV.P.1.2. First Reading of Policy 611.01 Student Progress Reports
Discussion:  Harris said the main change is the District will provide a student progress report at the end of each grading period.
IV.P.1.3. First reading of policy 508.12 Asthma and Allergic Reaction Protocol

The main change is adding that students can carry an inhaler or EpiPen in all grades as long as they have a note from their parents and doctor. Harris said this has always been allowed at the high school, and now includes all levels.

IV.P.2. Administrative Functions
IV.P.3. Updates

Harris said he has submitted the special education financial reports. He said he is working on two big federal grants that will be opening soon and would amount to some federal dollars.

IV.Q. Superintendent's Report

Wednesday is the NSAB regional meeting in Fremont. Dr. Loeffelholz said he will leaving from the administration building at 4:30 p.m. if any of the board members want to ride with him. The tax symposium will be in York on Nov. 7 and starts at 9 a.m. The state school board conference is Nov. 17 and 18. The National school board registration opens this week. The following board members wish to attend: Doug Molczyk Tim Pospisil, Candy Becher and Theresa Seipel. The conference will be in Denver. He said those who will be attending will leave on Friday and come back Monday. Dr. Loeffelholz thanked the high school for their presentation. He said in the last two weeks, there have been two grants  submitted for STEM. One for $100,000. STEM received $140,000 in funds this month. Dr. Loeffelholz said the district will find out about the other grants on Dec. 3.  He said there has been over $700,000 committed to STEM plus the matching funds put the total raised at around $1 million. The election is on Nov. 8, and Dr. Loeffelholz encouraged everyone to vote. Behlen will be sandblasting the anchor and Duo Lift will powder coat it and weld it. DLR is coming up with the design. He said the anchor will sit a foot or two above the ground. There will also be two donor walls. The anchor is about 15 to 18 feet long. The Foundation will sell links and bricks for the donor wall.

IV.R. Board Sharing
Discussion:  Ken Curry said he enjoyed the high school presentation, and the energy and passion of the students. He said he also appreciates the board work. Doug Molczyk also liked the high school presentation. He said the kid’s energy was good, but that can't top Principal Steve Woodside's energy. He said he was impressed with the anchor. Tim Pospisil thanked Harris for his presentation on Grading 4 learning. He said he just wanted to make certain CPS is not giving students something they haven't earned. Candy Becher said the high school presentation was great. She said she really enjoyed the boys talking about robotics. Becher said the kids are excited about the food and all the choices they have. She said there was a guest chef today at CHS who made Cajun steak flatbread. She said switching to LunchTime Solutions was a good decision. She also thanked Harris for his presentation. Theresa Seipel said she enjoyed the students talking about everything they learned. She said she is happy there is another outlet for talented students besides athletics. Seipel said she appreciates Harris’ information on Grading 4 Learning, and she has some of the same concerns as Pospisil and Becher, but she doesn't understand it as much as administration. She said there was a guest chef at the middle school, and he cooked chicken lo mein. The kids were really excited to try it. She said she has heard some good things about Lunchtime Solutions. Mike Goos said this was another impressive presentation by the high school. He said a person can feel the energy level there. Goos encouraged everyone to go to open Sky website and look at the explanation of the budget. He said is makes budgets seem easy. Goos said he also likes having the norms at the meetings
V. Executive Session
Discussion:  The board did not go into executive session.
VI. Adjourn

The board adjourned at 8:46 p.m.

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