Public Meeting Minutes: November 14, 2016 at 5:00 PM - Work Session Regular Meeting


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November 14, 2016 at 5:00 PM - Work Session Regular Meeting Minutes

November 14, 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. Emerson Staff

Emerson Principal Sara Colford presented to the board data highlights. In 2016, there were 68 percent of the fourth graders proficient in writing. There were 82 percent of the fifth graders proficient in science. In math, there were 90 percent of the third graders proficient; 84 percent of the fourth graders proficient and 90 percent of the fifth graders proficient. In reading those proficient in reading were 94 percent in third grade, 85 percent in fourth grade and 94 percent in fifth grade. Colford said Emerson students were either comparable or outshining the state’s percentage. In 2016, there were 114 students who received a score of exceeded. Colford said Emerson’s mobility continues to change, and the numbers vary from week to week. As of today, in kindergarten there were 6 students coming in and 4 going out; first grade there were 13 coming in and 7 going out; second grade 7 coming in and 7 going out; third grade 10 coming in and 11 going out; fourth grade 9 coming in and 7 going out; fifth grade 5 coming in and 4 going out.

Emerson’s theme this year is “Positive Piece of the Puzzle.” Each grade is designated a color and every student got a puzzle piece. Three new teachers are heading up the Weekly Celebration, which focus on Boy Town’s life skills. Each week a different skill is focused on. There is a PowerPoint and slides that need to be taught to students at the beginning of the week. The slides can be modified for all students preschool to fifth grade.

One BIST life goal is focused on a week also. Every Monday students are recognized for demonstrating one of the skills, and they get to place a puzzle piece on the wall and receive a certificate. The students take pride in getting to take home a special certificate. The skills are place on the wall so kids can be reminded what they need to do. Each of the board members filled out a puzzle piece with his or her name on it to be added at the school.

There were five Emerson teachers who went to BIST training this summer. They decided as a group what they would do, and the pacing of implementing it. The teachers knew with this being different it had to be a gradual change. BIST is a strategy for two tier students. The idea behind BIST is students must clean up the issues in all the places there were problems. The rules for TAPS had to be loosened a little bit from what was first implemented. The teachers decided it was important to be in the hall speaking and greeting students when they walked in. The idea was to be more consistent with behavior. In the past, there were a lot of problems coming into the building and transitions in the hallways, so this needed to be address. Colford said so far this year, there have been no office referrals for hallway behavior.

Another strategy the teachers decided to implement was dividing students into six categories with the focus on those students who are in constant trouble and what could be done to help them. The goal is to have a more comprehensive plan. Every situation with BIST is different and must be looked at individually and what works best for him or her.

A BIST consultant was at Emerson in early November and will be back in December. With the consultant, teachers could come and discuss issues with students and how they might be resolved. The staff will key in on early intervention. The behavior must be stopped when it is seen. The idea is to address chronic behavior instead of outrageous behavior. The goal for students should be that they are able to make good choices even when they are mad, and I can do something if I have to even if it is too hard. They said it is important to recognize mistakes and be honest if it does not work. The idea is to give kids what they need and what they deserve. The consultant said it will take a month for every year of bad behavior to bring about change, and it will not just happen overnight.

Colford said Emerson has several community partners. UNL Extension does a lot of activities with the school including the after school program. Trinity Lutheran Church had a person donate money to offer scholarships to the After School Program. The money the staff collects for wearing jeans goes to the After School program or to help Emerson students. First United Methodist Church does the Backpack program every week. Grace Episcopal Church, which is across the street from Emerson, members tutor the kids, come to family events and help were needed. Federate Church also has members who will help tutor kids.  

Community response – Is a community program where someone will work with the family to provide the help needed. This help, which comes from a referral, can be anything from immediate to more long term.

Through the pennies for United Way campaign Emerson was the top giving school in community, and the first grade was the top-giving grade in community. Emerson was also the third highest per capita in the area, and they were up 134 percent in giving this year.

Colford said the lunch program is going well and the vegetable and salad bars are up and running. She said the students choose items on the salad bar, and they get more independence with their meals such as being able to put on their own condiments. Colford said the Emerson staff works so hard because of the high mobility and diversity.

I.E.2. After School Program

Emerson partners with the UNL extension for the After School program. There are currently 55 kids in the program. As part of the Beyond School Bell federal program, they are trying to create sustainability. There is now a trailer with STEM based activities that can be checked out. The idea is to bring it to the parks next summer and expand more into the STEAM activities. This trailer can be checked out for use.

I.F. Regular Board Meeting Information

Superintendent Dr. Troy Loeffelholz said the enrollment in Emerson’s kindergarten class is unusually small. He said the district as a whole has a lower kindergarten enrollment with only 238 students. Despite the smaller kindergarten, the district as a whole has 74 more kids. There are currently 3,840 students K-12. Dr. Loeffelholz said the district is ahead of previous enrollment projections.

Some items that were added to the agenda include tech surplus. These are the computers and iPads the district did not think they would get any money for because of the age. However, there is now a buy back program where the district can receive some money for these old machines. Dr. Loeffelholz said there are some iPads five years old and after the first of the year, Apple won't support any more updates. Dr. Loeffelholz said the district is looking to take advantage of some of the buy back opportunities. Executive Director of Technology Leonard Kwapnioski said Apple is now giving the district the opportunity to get money instead of just recycling the machines. He said he keeps computers until there is no longer any value. Kwapnioski said the district does not need to do anything to get money back. The computers just need to be taken to one location, and Apple will send people to look at it. Kwapnioski said right now the district is looking past the Apple lease. Loeffelholz said the district could currently purchase Chromebooks for all students cheaper than what the high school currently pays for thei lease.

Nebraska Whole Child Project Consortium Membership Agreement is looking at the kids beyond academics. CPS has been asked to be a part of it. Dr. Loeffelholz said there are some things in place already at CPS. He said this agreement would support programs with East Central Health District to hold a clinic at a CPS school to help make sure all kids are mentally and physically ready for preschool.

There will be a request for a new truck purchase. The truck will be bought locally from Gene Steffy. The vehicle will replace a van that was damaged. The truck will be used to help with snow removal at the high school. The money for the vehicle will come out of maintenance budget.

II. Executive Session
Discussion:  The board did not go into executive session.
III. Adjourn
Discussion:  The board adjourned at 6:20 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

Theresa Seipel 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. Surplus Property

Dr. Loeffelholz said some of the items include 30 hanging sound baffles that DLR ordered the wrong color and must be declared surplus before they can be sold or given away. There were also some Walkie Talkies that are not functioning and need to be disposed. He said there are also several items for the buy back opportunity, and the district can get money back and buy something new.

IV.G.3. Welding Curtain and Welding Trays for STEM Academy Purchase Approval

The district purchased one welding curtain holding system per drawing and also seven welding trays from Blazer Mfg. Kwapnioski said the district looked at equipment that best suits the needs of the students. On the welding side of lab, they wanted to keep everything off the ground, so it can be cleaned underneath. Kwapnioski said the cost is minimal. Blazer is one of the STEM partners. The welding tables, stands and curtain equipment should be delivered after Thanksgiving.

IV.G.4. Nebraska Whole Child Project Consortium Membership Agreement
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said the group focuses on the success of all children across Nebraska and on the whole child. He said CPS was approached because of the Quality of Life work, partnerships with East Central Health District and other groups. He said it is a good fit for district.
IV.H. Recognitions


IV.H.1. Taste of Columbus - Blasers and Jeffryes

Taste of Columbus Chairs Chris and Amy Blaser and Mike and Trina Jeffryes were recognized by the board for all of their work at the event. Amy Blaser said she was grateful to the community for their support and was proud to be a CHS alumni. Dr. Loeffelholz said with the Taste of Columbus money and the Sherwood Foundation grant match the STEM program will be receiving about $49,000 because of their efforts.

IV.I. Presentations
IV.I.1. 2015-2016 Audit Report - Joe Held

Executive Director of Business Operations Dave Melick said the audit showed that the board is acting on the things the district is purchasing, and the bills are paid. He said the auditors also had no significant difficulties in dealing with management in completing the audit. Joe Held with Kruse, Schumacher, Smejkal and Brockhaus said the audit was clean and there were no significant findings. Held said in the audit, they confirm all cash balances in the bank and outstanding debt. He said they also looked at all expenditures at the high school. Held cautioned the district to keep an eye on debt, which is high right now because of the construction of the new high school.  He said he just wanted to make sure the district and firm are on the same page going forward.

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

Dr. Loeffelholz said the Foundation donations are a little abnormal this month because of the purchases of STEM items. He said there will be more expenditures next month because of the buying of construction equipment. All of this money is coming out of STEM funding campaign. The Foundation, Band Booster, Centennial PAC, Columbus Middle School PAC, Emerson PTO, Lost Creek PTO, North Park PTO, Sports Boosters and West Park PTO contributed a total of $62,746 for the month of September.

IV.M. Business and Finance
IV.M.1. Financial Reports M2, M3, M4a

Melick said there is $50,000 credit for the new marquee sign, so the check made out to Love Sign will be voided. He said the amount being paid to Hausmann Construction is going down, as the project gets closer to completion. Melick said the Apple purchase was for iPads for special education.

IV.M.2. Financial Report M4b
IV.M.3. Financial Report M5

Dr. Loeffelholz said there is an on-going agreement with ServiceMaster by Shevlin to provide custodial help as needed. He said they are used when there is staff shortage or if no one wants to work on the weekend when the facilities are rented out. Those who rent the building would cover this cost.

IV.M.4. Financial Report M5a

Seipel Repair was paid $610.65 for replacing break pads and radiator repair on buses.

IV.M.5. Administrative Functions
IV.M.5.1. Annual Audit Report 2015-2016
IV.M.6. Updates

Melick said the Emergency Medical Leave Act is in the fourth year and provides reimbursement for certificated staff that overused their leave because of medical situations. Certified staff could donate one day of their sick leave to the pool. There have been 264 days donated to bank to reimburse others. Melick said once staff join, they are members until they say they want out. He said there were 86 days used last year. Melick said this is a nice benefit for staff.

Melick said he will be bringing to the board a policy revision concerning the Miscellaneous Expenditures Act. He said the current policy is only two short paragraphs and doesn't explain things well.

IV.N. Buildings & Sites/Technology
IV.N.1. Administrative Functions
IV.N.1.1. XL F350 Truck Purchase Approval

Director of Building and Grounds Mike Grutsch said the new pickup is for the maintenance facility. The cost of the truck from Gene Steffy Ford is $42,500 and includes a utility body and snowplow. Grutsch said this will put another truck on the road for snow removal at the new high school. Kwapnioski said he and Grutsch will need to go get the vehicle from Hastings and bring it back to Columbus to be checked by Ford.

IV.N.2. Updates

Kwapnioski said Grutsch and the maintenance crew are almost done with the mow strip around the new high school. Kim Ek and her students were up at the high school today helping with the plant plants around the building. He said they will finish up tomorrow morning.

IV.O. Curriculum and Instruction
IV.O.1. Policies
IV.O.1.1. Second and Final Reading of Policy 603.01 Curriculum Development
Discussion:  The only change will be fixing the date on the math standards.
IV.O.1.2. Second and Final Reading of Policy 606.08 Reproduction of Copyrighted Materials

Dr. Loeffelholz said this will also include audio and video taping of things.

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

Curriculum work this year will be the math curriculum decision. Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction Amy Romshek said this is a very important purchase for the district. Romshek said she has Deb Romanek, Math Director of the Nebraska Department of Education, to come to CPS to work with teachers. She said Romanek was the key person in developing the math standards, and she will be in the district for three days covering a variety of topics.

Romshek said there are five teachers, Theresa Hausmann and herself taking training through a webinar on the reading program. She said there is so much to learn on teaching it. These people will go back to their buildings and become the experts on reading. Romshek said Columbus needs to develop its own experts for the district. She said the goal is to try to be a better support for teachers.

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

The policy calls for the district coordinator to be identified and provides additional information on disputes. Dr. Loeffelholz said it provides a check and balance in the process.

IV.P.1.2. Second and Final Reading of Policy 611.01 Student Progress Reports
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said this policy change is just about language. He said this will look different once the district decides what Grading for Learning looks like. Dr. Loeffelholz said the district is providing more information to parents and kids then in the past
IV.P.1.3. Second and final reading of policy 508.12 Asthma and Allergic Reaction Protocol

Dr. Loeffelholz said this policy allows students with asthma and other issues to manager their own symptoms with the approval of parents and the doctor.

IV.P.2. Administrative Functions
IV.P.3. Updates
Discussion:  There was no update.
IV.Q. Superintendent's Report

Dr. Loeffelholz said the conversation has started with the middle school and elementary about staffing at the new middle school. He said they are looking at what it will take to manage the programs. Dr. Loeffelholz said he has not heard any more on the acres the district owns that could be used for housing projects. The high school is enclosed and the exterior is slowly getting finished. The punch list for areas H (STEM) and G should be started after Thanksgiving. He said they are supposed to start cleaning in those areas this week. Dr. Loeffelholz said it is nice having Grutsch and Kwapnioski on site to make sure things are getting done correctly, and John Harger with HVAC. The board state conference will be Thursday and Friday with members going down on Wednesday. Dr. Loeffelholz said next month the board meeting will be back on the third Monday. He said the whole administrative team is doing a well-managed classroom review with Sandi Seckel. He said what she has done the last two months has been very helpful. Dr. Loeffelholz said the review should be done for everyone once a year, but the problem is finding time. Dr. Loeffelholz said part of BIST is to look at hot messes in the buildings and develop a plan for appropriate behavior. He said identifying areas of concern is also part of BIST. Dr. Loeffelholz said the new high school is starting to come around. He said the grass and sod is coming this week. Loeffelholz said he toured people from the bond committee yesterday. Kwapnioski said the anchor may be the largest in the state of Nebraska. He said it is amazing how people latched onto this idea.

IV.R. Board Sharing

Ken Curry thanked the Emerson staff for the presentation and said he enjoyed the tour guides.  He said the team does good work. Curry congratulated the board members on being re-elected. He said he thinks very highly of Tim Pospisil and that he brings a lot to the table.

Doug Molczyk enjoyed being greeted by students. He also congratulated the fellow board members on being re-elected and said he was sorry to hear Pospisil was not elected.

Tim Pospisil also thanked the Emerson staff for their presentation. He said it is very clear that Emerson’s staff is a team. He also congratulated the board members on being re-elected. He said he knew he would have a tough hill to climb because he isn’t from here. Pospisil said Doug Willoughby will be a fine addition to the board.

Candy Becher also thanked Colford and the Emerson staff for the presentation. She said a person could tell they were excited. Becher said it has been great working with Pospisil, and she agrees with everything said and hopes they can work together again.

Seipel said she liked being greeted at the door, and the staff seems to work together as a team. She said with all the mobility, it is an uphill climb. Seipel said she heard Annie was wonderful. She said she is glad the high school is being used by the community for other events including Reid's Story on Wednesday. She said this presentation is important for all kids and parents. She said CPS is the place to go to see all different kinds of things. Seipel said she also enjoyed working with Pospisil and will miss him on the board.

Mike Goos said there are awesome things happening at Emerson. He said the school has a lot of kids with a big hill to climb. Goos said he thoroughly enjoyed the presentation. Dr. Loeffelholz said he will send an email confirming the times of state conference meetings.

V. Executive Session
Discussion:  The Board did not go into Executive session.
VI. Adjourn

The board adjourned at 8:15 p.m. 

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