Public Meeting Minutes: December 19, 2016 at 5:00 PM - Work Session Regular Meeting


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December 19, 2016 at 5:00 PM - Work Session Regular Meeting Minutes

December 19, 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. CMS Presentation

CMS Demographic Statistics:

1. 58 percent free and reduced students;

2. 6.7 percent ELL;

3. 13 percent special education;

4. 14 percent mobility.

5. There have been 40 new students since the first day of school.

6. Largest class is the eight grade with 305 and the smallest the sixth grade with 6th 257.

7. Current enrollment is 851 students.

8. Four teams in the sixth grade and two teams in the seventh and eighth grades. The sixth graders go 11 periods for 40 minutes a day.


NeSA math had an increased from last year and reading scores, over 80 percent school-wide was proficiency. The NeSA Science score was 69 percent, which was better than last year, but Haynes said the staff is still not satisfied. ELL scores are not where staff want it to be, but once they become proficient, they are no longer in ELL. The staff came up with a BHAG - Big Hairy Audacious Goal. This year the goal was to  “Explore your abilities; discover possibilities.” The CMS Cheerleaders came to lead those in attendance in the cheer. 

Transition to 5-8 building – The goal for the transition is to come up with guiding principles. For grades 5-8, the staff wants academic, social emotional and physical health needs of students to be considered. In grades 5-6, this will be more developmental and structured. The 7-8 programs is also development and structured with a very gradual release of autonomy. Students will be divided into smaller teams. There will be core time for reading, language arts, math, science, and social studies to ensure attainment of foundational skills. There will also be scheduled guidance services and advisory provided.

Personal environment (Advisory) - There will be one teacher to 20-25 students, and they will spend 10 minutes a day focusing on the themes. These will start in January. There will be four teams with no more than 75 students per teacher.  

Having a third counselor has made a difference. The counselors have been in the classrooms eight times this semester as compared to four last years. For the first semester, there were 960 lessons taught and last year about 450. The counselors have had 1,200 contacts with students coming in the office. More students are being reached.

PLC/Collaboration - Common plan time – Is something the staff want to keep, and it works well for all people including special education. There needs to be that common time, so they can collaborate. There are special education teachers for every grade.

Curriculum and Instruction – Next year they will switch to periods instead of blocks. In the core classes, the teachers want to see kids every day instead of being in a block format. The A/B days will be eliminated for core. Health and fitness will stay available for all students all year long. Students need to be prepared to meet the ACT standards and exposed career and college readiness standards. Keyboarding and tech instruction is a huge part of and has become a weak point at CMS. Students need to learn this earlier. There are 305 computers and 240 are not tied to a class.

School culture – CMS started academic and recognition pep rallies this year once a quarter. At these events, several people are recognized such as student of the quarter; student of week; sport teams; clubs; quarter and semester honor roll students; and NeSA Perfect scores. During the pep rally, cheerleaders led students in the cheer – “Explorer your abilities; discover possibilities.” There is also a minute to win it challenge. With the winners advancing to the next challenge. All the teams made banners, and stars can be earned for the banners. Every staff member is on a team. These banners are hung in the cafeteria.

Events for community service include Socktober, where 306 pairs of sock were collected to donate. The can food drive collected 1,915 items with some going to local families in need and the rest to the food pantry. The staff challenges are done at every staff meeting, and teachers are competitive. The Student Council just finished selling candy canes to raise money for Paws and Claws. The choir service project is a lot of fun and raised $9,000. A part of the money raised went to help more than 100 families in need through Holiday Spirit Co-op and some also went to purchase a well in Africa. Students and their parents go shopping for the children in need and spend approximately $45 per child.  The $9,000 was raised in less than three weeks. There are several intramurals for sixth graders.

CMS activities - The Student Health Council consists of seventh and eighth graders who work on activities and projects such as being drug and alcohol free. After school clubs have expanded to more than an afterschool interest. The Cross Country Club are going to outside activities and meets. There are also clubs like beginning crochet, Minecraft, Drumline, bowling, and movie and a snack on Friday. The Student Council recognizes two teachers each month for Navigator of the Month, and they also donate back to the community. MathCounts and Quiz bowl go to competitions. Students tryout for Mathcounts and students must take a test to make Quiz Bowl. They go to four competitions a year. The robotics competition recently took second place in a competition. There are 22 on the team and they are students from all grades. Robotics is possible through a partnership with NPPD, who donated two robots. There was a great amount of interest in robotics this year. Geography Bee is open to all kids and is sponsored by National Geographic. The winner will take a test to see if he or she will qualify to go on to state.  The Talent Show is a lot of fun to see, and the kids gave a good performance. This year the musical will be Singin’ in the Rain Jr., which will be at the end of March. The band plays at athletic events. This year there are 75 eighth graders in band, and it had to be broken into two classes. Band keeps growing. There are several sports such as volleyball and football for seventh and eighth graders, girls and boys’ basketball, and track in the spring. Last year, every boy in track medaled. There are about 75 percent of the students at CMS involved in some type of activity.

This is the third year for STEM. There are currently 6-8 units. Some of the projects done include: designing a car in Solidworks and then make it race. The cars are timed and students must figure out the speed they are actually going. On the average, the cars go about 32 mph.  They also build a trebuchet slingshot, and it is based on thirds. The slingshot will throw a tennis ball 30 feet. Students will also get to dream about a house they want to build and then design it. This unit covers financing, so students get an idea of what are involved in building a house. They will then make a model of the house out of cardboard. The students also worked on wind-generated towers. These were made out of cardboard. The wind tower could generate about 16 volts of electricity. The students must learn to read a voltmeter and take data readings using a different amount of blades. They also created vertical wind generators, which will put out 3 to 6 volts but are not as good as the horizontal wind towers.  Students will also do engineering data notebooks that contain sketches, drawings and individual concepts students have learned. This notebook will keep moving up grades with the students. All three grades use Solidworks for projects.  Eighth graders work with complex images and keep getting more and more complicated. The students start simple and build up on it.

I.F. Regular Board Meeting Information
II. Executive Session
III. Adjourn

The board adjourned at 6:10 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:  Ken Curry read the mission statement.
IV.F. Opportunity for Public to be Heard
Discussion:  No one addressed the board.
IV.G. Board Special Functions
IV.G.1. Resignation of Ken Curry
IV.G.2. Filling Board Vacancy

Superintendent Dr. Troy Loeffelholz said the notice of vacancy will run in the paper to solicit applicants. The applicant must live within the district boundaries, must be a registered voter and cannot be an employee of the district. They will receive and review applicants, which are due Dec. 28th. Theresa Seipel and Mike Goos are members of the personnel committee and will make a recommendation to the entire board. The new board member will be sworn in at the January meeting.

IV.G.3. Superintendent's Evaluation

Ken Curry said he thinks very highly of Dr. Loeffelholz, and he has brought great value to this community. Curry said Dr. Loeffelholz has done a tremendous job, and he has a great team. Mike Goos agreed. He said he doesn’t think there could be a better representative for CPS then Dr. Loeffelholz. Goos said he is a leader of public education not just in Columbus but across the state.

IV.G.4. Approve Contract Extension with Hausmann Construction

Dr. Loeffelholz said the weather has had an impact on the timelines of the new school. There were 36 days factored in for weather the past two years, so and there were 78 lost days due to weather. This has put the project behind. What they are asking for is a $350,000 extension. Some of reimbursable items are high in Columbus and a lot of it is in personnel. The project is $1.3 million under budget. Dr. Loeffelholz said Dan Keiter and Dave Melick have been reviewing the bills.

IV.G.5. Approve Consortium Grant Writer Contract with Lori Aschoff.

This is the eighth year of contracts with the grant writer and the 4th year with Lori Aschoff. This is a shared position between the United Way and the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce. CPS will pay $12,000 in the upcoming year for the grant writer. She wrote grants that have generated more than $700,000 for the district. Dr. Loeffelholz said she does a great job. For the district to hire its own grant writer, the cost would be upwards of $72,000.

IV.H. Recognitions
IV.H.1. Gilbert "Buddy" Maschmeier - Years of Service

Gilbert Maschmeier was ill so did not attend.

IV.H.2. Ken Curry - Board of Education-Years of Service

Ken Curry was recognized for serving on the board for 10 years. Curry helped spearhead one of the bond issues. He said there have been highs and lows while serving on the board. He said one of the best things was the hiring of Dr. Loeffelholz as Superintendent, which he said he is very proud of. Duncan school was a challenge, but something needed to be done. He said CPS has a quality staff and should be paid accordingly. He said it has been a true privilege to serve on the board. Curry said he will miss supporting the kids. He said if the board ever needs anything, he will be there to help. Goos said Curry brought a vision and a lot of detailed knowledge to the board. He said no matter what happened, Curry was always concerned about the kids and staff. Theresa Seipel said she has been on the board six years. She said Curry wanted to make sure the students were at the top of their game. Seipel said it has been a pleasure and she learned a lot from Curry. Candy Becher said she will miss Curry. She said he was always looking for what is good for the kids. Curry said there is never a good time to change, but this seemed like the best time.

IV.H.3. Steve Woodside - Association for Career and Technical Education of Nebraska

CHS Principal Steve Woodside was recognized for serving on the board as the representative for the Administration Division for ACTEN. Dr. Loeffelholz said going into this era of STEM, CHS couldn't have a better high school principal to lead the charge into the next chapter.

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

Elizet Castillo was hired as the elementary attendance monitor. This position was paid for through grant funds. Her focus will be on students with chronic tardies. She has been in the position a week and a half. The grant is through this school year and in April /May, the district will get notified if it has been renewed. Executive Director of Student Services Jason Harris said hopefully, the grant funder will see the need and keep it going. School officials will recommend who she should talk to about attendance concerns. Harris said the most important part of her job will be documentation. Dr. Loeffelholz said hopefully, this position will be seen as a need, so the money will be around for a while. There are 34 students who applied for mid-term graduation. Dr. Loeffelholz said there is typically between 30 and 40. He said the district would like to keep the kids all year long.

IV.K.1. Approval of Minutes
IV.K.2. Certified Personnel
IV.K.3. Classified Personnel
IV.K.4. Class of 2017 Mid-Term Graduates
IV.K.5. Professional Travel
IV.L. Acceptance of Gifts/Donations

The total dollars of contributions for November is $322,364.10. Dr. Loeffelholz said the big-ticket item was $269,977 for STEM equipment. He said after the first of the year, some of the smaller STEM items will be coming in. Dr. Loeffelholz said the STEM education fundraising met the goal of $1.7 million.

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 this has been a slow month for property tax receipts.

IV.M.2. Financial Report M4b

Seipel Repair was paid $667.77 for repairs and maintenance on vehicles.

IV.M.3. Financial Report M5

Melick said these are the bills to pay local vendors in advance of the meeting, reimbursement of mileage for staff and to pay for the boxes from Omaha Box for the high school move.

IV.M.4. Financial Report M5a

Tim Pospisil was reimbursed $97.20 for a conference and mileage.

IV.M.5. Financial Report M5b

Theresa Seipel was reimbursed $97.20 for a conference and mileage.

Seipel Repair was paid $773.48 for vehicle inspections.

IV.M.6. Financial Report M5c

Candy Becher was reimbursed $108 for s state education conference.

IV.M.7. Policies
IV.M.7.1. First Reading of Policy 706.05 Reimbursable Expenses for Employees, Board Members, and Volunteers

Melick said this policy addresses reimbursable expenses for board members, employees, and volunteers.

IV.M.8. Administrative Functions


IV.M.8.1. Declaration of Surplus Items

Several textbooks that are at the parochial schools were declared surplus and will remain at these schools.

IV.M.8.2. Acceptance of Superintendent’s Letter of Continuation

This is Dr. Loeffelholz’ letter of intention to return next year.

IV.M.9. Approval of Superintendent's Contract Extension

The new contract will run through June 30, 2020.

IV.M.10. Updates

On Oct. 27, a check for $360 made out to Central Insulation and Roofing was cashed for $3,600. Melick said the police are doing an investigation but have not yet caught up with the person who cashed the check. He said First National Bank has canceled the account from which the check was written. The district has had this account since 1958. Melick said he will keep the board posted if they catch the person who cashed the check.

Affordable Healthcare Act – Staff could qualify if they are full-time. Three people filed a complaint. One of the people was not employed in 2015 and the other two were not working enough hours per week. Melick said he has received notices back on all three. The Affordable Healthcare people said they couldn’t rule on this claim. He said he has contacted the district attorneys. As a result, the IRS will review the claims and assign a financial consequence.

IV.N. Buildings & Sites/Technology
IV.N.1. Policies
IV.N.1.1. First Reading of Policy 606.06 Acceptable Use of Computer, Technology and the Internet

Executive Director of Building Operations and Technology Leonard Kwapnioski said the policy was last updated in 2012. He said there have been a lot of changes specifically with social media. This must be monitored for not only staff but students as well.  Kwapnioski said this policy defines what can and can't be used especially for personal gain. He said it is lengthy, and he wanted to spell it all out. Kwapnioski said the staff must be educated every year. He said when using personal social media sites and you are a CPS employee, the district can step in and reprimand a person on something posted. He said this issue is covered at the staff in-service. This will also be something that will be added to the staff handbook. Kwapnioski told the board he wants them to look it over and  provide him with feedback.

IV.N.2. Administrative Functions
IV.N.3. Updates
Discussion:  Kwapnioski said with the grants he received for landscaping at the new high school, he would be purchasing nice big planters. He said the foundation has been dug for the anchor. He said hopefully the footings can be poured by Wednesday.
IV.O. Curriculum and Instruction
IV.O.1. Policies
IV.O.2. Administrative Functions
IV.O.3. Updates

Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction Amy Romshek said there have been several professional development trainings for teachers in past month. There have been some Sheltered Instruction offerings for teachers interested in helping to meet the needs of ELL students. Erica Earley is providing the training. Three times a year a group of people come into the buildings to test so the classroom teachers don't need to be pulled. On Wednesday, Teresa Hausmann and Romshek will provide training for CPS subs. This will focus on the new reading program. 

There has also been a lot of curriculum work with 5-8 teachers in selecting a new math book. The art teachers have also done some curriculum work as well as the music teachers. Romshek said she has been working with the family and consumer science teacher on assessments as well as teachers in grades 3,4,5 with assessments on the new reading program. Today there was an all day assessment meeting and the Dibels data was reviewed for the first time of the year.

IV.P. Student Services
IV.P.1. Policies
IV.P.2. Administrative Functions
IV.P.3. Updates

Executive Director of Student Services/Special Education Jason Harris said the first part of the semester he has been busy with grants. All federal grants are due in November. He said the district still gets accountability money for three schools that need improvement. The district will receive about $23,000 between the three buildings. The money is used for various things such as hiring tutors to help after school. Another big thing in his area is BIST, and the district continues to move forward. At the end of October, November and December, there were BIST behavior consultants in the buildings. The consultants will visit five times this year. Each of the principals reported what they were doing with the consultant.

At North Park the person targeted specific students and observed them in the classroom. The consultant demonstrated how he might interact with them. After school, the person met with staff for a mini training. At Lost Creek Principal the consultant met with K-4 level teachers to cover philosophy of BIST rather than classroom management. The person also talked about specific students and problem solving. At Centennial Principal the consultant met with the building team before school, and the team put together the topics for the consultant. At West Park both times a different person came. The first time, the consultant went from room to room and worked on creating plans for individual students who needed help and the second consultant followed up with the plans created. CMS said the first time the consultant met with teams during their plan time. Each one was different based on level. The other time was spent talking about specific students, and after school, the consultant did a training on BIST. After school, teams also signed up to talk about specific students.

At Emerson the consultant met with the BIST team and went through the training manual and got clarifications. In the afternoon, they talked more about their plans. The consultant recommended doing a sorting out activity, so the person could talk about specific students. At CHS several staff went through training in the summer. In the morning, the consultant held a strategic planning meeting with the BIST team, and in the afternoon, met with administrators and counselors and did a walk through of building. When the consultant came in December, a survey was sent to see what staff wanted. Each department representative came and the consultant spent a day working with different people each day. The consultant will also present to the entire staff.

IV.Q. Superintendent's Report

Dr. Loeffelholz said Friday a dumpster will be delivered to the high school so staff can begin purging items. On Dec. 29, the district administration will tag furniture that will and will not move to the new building.

Dr. Loeffelholz said he has been working with Hausmann Construction to set some deadlines so items can be moved. Teachers will be given access to their rooms on Tuesdays and Thursdays in early February through March 13 as areas are completed. The furniture will be coming Jan. 11-20 with the office equipment and cafeteria being done last. The ribbon cutting ceremony will be March 13 with an open house following. March 20 will be the first day of classes in the new building.

CMS will have a need for more tech. Brandi Fleming and Jeff Uchtman are working on a K-12 tech plan, and we don't want to be impulsive buyer. Dr. Loeffelholz said the Waffleman was great, and the kids did a nice job of showing off their talent.  The governor wants a budget with 0 percent growth. Dr. Loeffelholz said it will be a long Legislative session. He said state aid certification will probably get pushed from March 1 to late April or May. He said both Tim Pospisil and Ken Curry have done a great job as board members and brought a lot to the table.

IV.R. Board Sharing
Discussion:  Doug Molczyk said it has been an honor serving with Ken Curry and also welcomed new board member Doug Willoughby. He said he had a great time at the middle school. Molczyk said he understands the tech problems at the middle school. He said the middle school staff is wonderful. Tim Pospisil thanked the middle school for their presentation. He said by serving on the board, he feels more aware of what is going on in the schools. Pospisil said he was glad he was given the opportunity to learn more. Candy Becher said she has great confidence in Dr. Loeffelholz, and the direction CPS is going and she is glad he wants to stay. Becher said she will miss Ken Curry and Tim Pospisil and welcomed Doug Willoughby. Theresa Seipel welcomed Doug Willoughby. She said she was sorry she missed the middle school  presentation, but she had a previous commitment. Seipel said she has great faith in Troy and how he is leading the district. Ken Curry said he will miss everyone and wished everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. He said everyone needs the break. Mike Goos said he appreciate how efficiently Ken Curry ran the meetings. He said Curry had a great legacy, and the board will try to keep it going. He also welcomed Doug Willoughby and thanked CMS for the presentation
V. Executive Session
Discussion:  The board did not go into executive session.
VI. Adjourn

The board adjourned at 8:51 p.m.

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