Public Meeting Minutes: May 15, 2017 at 5:00 PM - Work Session Regular Meeting


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May 15, 2017 at 5:00 PM - Work Session Regular Meeting Minutes

May 15, 2017 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. Lost Creek Elementary

Mike Goos was excused. Lost Creek Principal Jeff Bartels went over the Quality Indicators for 2015-16. Attendance was at 98 percent with 12 with perfect attendance. Only 97% getting 0-2 office referrals, and the parent satisfaction survey was 99%. NeSA reading test was 94% of the 3-5 grade students who met or exceeded the grade level benchmark. Math was at 90% and science was a 91%. The Dibels for this year was 84%. This year enrollment is 406 as compared to 360 from last year. Bartels said there are 852 contacts that are getting the Sunday night phone calls at Lost Creek.

Playground Palooza raised $37,259.25. There were 95 donations, over 100 volunteers and 500 people attended. One of students requested $10,000 from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and they donated the money to the Inclusive Playground. The Columbus Community Foundation will match $30,000 of the funds raised. The total amount raised for the inclusive playground was $291,184.22. Some features such include: sunshades over the swings, a new merry-go-round, benches, balance beam, game table, wobble sphere, donor thank you sign and wheelchair swing. The donor sign will be for those who gave $2,000 or more. The original goal was to raise $250,000. Everything will be finalized June 1, and the installation will start by July and be finished by August 25. In addition to the money already raised, the CPS Foundation is giving the funds from the Big Give to the playground. Johnson said the additional money will be saved for maintenance and purchasing sunshades, which will last 10-15 years if they are take down for winter. Platte Valley Precast is donating all concrete and rebar materials, which amounts to over $10,000.

Ball chairs and alternative seating - Carly Whitney received funding for ball chairs from a superintendent's grant. These chairs are being used in Chris Grutsch’s first grade class.  Whitney said she picked first grade because there are a lot of changes between kindergarten and first grade. Whitney said all the students understand the expectations of using ball chairs. There are ball chair safety rules placed around the classroom. All students complete a contract for ball chairs before using them. Prior to the chairs being used, Whitney said they demonstrated the proper way to sit in them. She said Grutsch did a survey in the math and reading classes to see how engaged the students were in the new chairs versus the regular chairs. The teacher perceived the students were more academically engaged, and the level was greater in reading than math. The students also behaved a lot more respectively when sitting in ball chairs. There were 97 percent of the students who felt ball chairs were more comfortable to sit in. Whitney said she did multiple observations before and after the new chairs and saw a reduction in the amount of redirection the teacher had to give.

15 minutes with Daizy - Every Friday Daizy the dog comes to school and students get to practice reading with her. The dog makes them want to come and read. They also want to do extra practice, try to teach Daizy to read, and there is no pressure or anxiety because they are reading to a dog.  Daizy was trained through the local Healing Hearts Therapy Dogs. She also was honored with the American Kennel Club Good Citizen Certificate. Jennifer Hill started to bring Daizy for visits in January, and Daizy listen to students read. Hill said Daizy has helped her build a relationship with the students. Hill said when Daizy is at school, the students connect to her. The reading time with Daizy goes from 2-3:15 on Friday, and there is usually about five students each time. The teachers pick what students get to go and read with Daizy. Hill said the students always want to read, and they spend the whole 15 minutes reading. 

There was a video played about what students think about the new lunch Program.

I.F. Regular Board Meeting Information


II. Executive Session
Discussion:  The board went into executive session at 5:49 p.m. to discuss personnel and real estate.
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

Tim Pospisil read the mission statement.

IV.F. Opportunity for Public to be Heard
Discussion:  No one spoke to the board.
IV.G. Recognitions
IV.G.1. SkillsUSA

Joseph Massman and Jesse Osborne were recognized for earning first place in mechatronics at the 2017 State Skills and Leadership contest in Grand Island. They will now represent CHS at the National Skills USA competition in Louisville, Kentucky June 19-23.

Yefry Pasapera received the Andy J. Neuhaus VICA Leadership Award Scholarship. This honor started on November 17th 1997. It is awarded by Richard and Peggy Neuhaus and family who wish to keep Andy's spirit and memory alive by annually presenting an educational stipend in his name. The member who is awarded with the Andy J. Neuhaus Scholarship has shown leadership skills and ardent practice to become a member whose attitude, work ethic, and services would be honorable to Andy Neuhaus. 

IV.G.2. Duke University Talent Identification Program

Tadan Bell,  Helena Costello and Ryan Eickhoff received scores in the upper 50 percent of high school juniors and seniors taking the ACT test. This means that they had to score at least a 21 on any one of the ACT subtests or score 20 or greater on 3 of 4.

IV.G.3. Mathcounts
Discussion:  There were 12 CMS students who participated in the Northeast Regional Competition held at Central Community College, Columbus Campus. The CMS Team of Alexis Hayes, Camden Schefus, Hunter Gassman and Rebecca Hazlett (all 8th graders) finished first in the team competition qualifying them to move on to the state competition, held in Lincoln in March.  The following individuals also did well: Camden Schefus finished first; Rebecca Hazlett second; and Austin Wickens eighth.
IV.G.4. State Science Fair
Discussion:  The following students were qualifiers for the state science fair: Rebeca Hazlett, Annia Velasquez, Molly Roberts, Emilee Robak, Justin Gaston, Miranda Swanson, Maddisen Schulz, Libby Wurdeman and Addison Duranski.
IV.G.5. Middle Level Barbershop Choir
Discussion:  Trevor Luckey, Bryan Alvarado, Alexander Brandenburg, Ben Janssen, Joseph Snyder, TJ Brewer, Riley Garrelts, Gage Schmidt, Carter Braun, Daniel Schleich, Brandon Chavez, Anthony Mudloff and Alex Ortiz-Espinoza were selected to participate in a state wide, middle level All State Barbershop Choir. 
IV.G.6. Elks Lodge Essay Contest
Discussion:  Sarah Massman won the Elks Lodge Essay Contest. The students answered the essay question, “Why is it important to vote?”
IV.G.7. National Geography Bee
Discussion:  Gregory Davidchik made it to the semi-final round of the state National Geography Bee and tied for 12th place overall. The CMS sixth grader won the local contest and had to take a written test to qualify for the state competition. Only the top 100 get invited to the state event.
IV.G.8. Robert Fegler Award

Eugene Shaw won the Robert Fegler Award. He is a seventh grader in pre-algebra class. He was recommended for the award because of his outstanding math abilities.

IV.G.9. District Geography Bee

Centennial fifth grader Sarah Forsberg won the CPS Elementary Geography Bee. 

IV.G.10. Destination Imagination

1st Place Elementary Scientific: Team Manager Cheryl Ditter, Chase Ditter, Joseph Flash, Gavin Rocha, Braylon VanCura, Tanner Esch, Ella Shevlin and Team Manager Emily Delp.This team was also recognized with a Renaissance Award for Outstanding Design, Engineering, Execution or Performance.

1st Place Elementary Structure: Team Manager Danita Wickens, Julianna Figge, Lia Wickens, Duncan Rosno, Erick Alarcon and Emily Niles. This team was recognized with a DaVinci award for Outstanding Creativity.

1st Place High School Engineering: McKenzie Kranzler, Rosa Lopez Moore, Abby Gerber, Cole Mitchell, Lexi Jeffryes, Karissa Gleeson, Lydia Johnson and Team Manager Brian Townsend.

1st Place High School Service Learning: Perla Izaguirre, Makenzy Kowalski, Keylon Cardona, Katie Schwebach, Travis Woodcock, Nick Warren and Trey Miller. Team Managers are Val Wallin and Jacob Belvery.

IV.G.11. Emerson Recognitions

The following students had Perfect Attendance and No Tardies: Fourth grader Sebastian De La Cruz, fourth grader Madalyn Medinger and fifth grader Virginia Cuin-Escalante.  

Fourth grader Alejandro Vazquez-Mendez and fifth grader Gage Kassen won the Principal’s Award.

IV.G.12. 2017 State FBLA

Luke Bogus received honorable mention in business communications; third in job interview, and third in future business leader. Luke Bogus, Erick Hernandez and Melvin Garcia took eighth in marketing team.

IV.G.13. UNL Language Fair

The following students earned honors at the UNL language fair. Frank Villegas and Mackenzie Novak placed 1st in level 1 Music; Amanda Novak placed 1st in level 1 Poetry; Shelby Peters placed 2nd in the level 1 Poster Competition. Columbus received 11 out of the 14 possible awards in the final placement competition. Spanish Drama: First Place Jessie Nelson, Alycin Braun and Jesse Osborn for their play “Broken Castle”; Second Place Michelle Lindstrom, Braedyn Iwan, Allison Goos and Avery Devish for their play “The
game of life;” Native Speaker Drama: First Place Lesly Flores, Cassandra Montiel and Samara Rodriguez for their play “ White apron;” Second Place Angela Beltran and Leslie Castillo for their play “ Steel Magnolias;” Native Speaker Music: First Place Samara Rodrigues; Second Place Lucy Rocha; Spanish Poster: Second Place Hannah Menke for her poster ‘Menudo;” Spanish Poetry: First place in Level 2 Braedyn Iwan; Second Place Alicia Parra in the Native speaker category; Folk Dance: First Place Alex Uhlig, Jaz Ackerson, Mitchell Kuhlman, Maddie Luebe, Chelsey Wisehart and Regan Rine who dance El son de la Negra; Second Place Chloe Discoe, Alyssa Hartman, Hannah Wiese and Kaetlyn Pick who danced “Llakini Mamita” an Ecuadorian dance from the Andes.

IV.G.14. Quiz Bowl
Discussion:  The following students participated in Quiz Bowl: Seniors: Travis Woodcock, Trey Miller, Alyssa Hartman, Kyle Anderson; Juniors:Ethan Glenn, Joe Massman, Dustin Sprunk, Sarah Kwapnioski, Madeline Luebe, Dawson Jurado; Sophomores: Reagan Gausman, Gabe Moseman, Erick Eickhoff, Lucas Miller; Freshmen: Douglas Davidchik, Melany Donoghue, Ashley Warner and Chris Anderson.
IV.G.15. Prudential State Certificate of Excellence

The Prudential Spirit of Community Award annually recognizes outstanding young people at the local, state and national levels to encourage volunteerism while drawing attention to their good work.

Madeline Hudnall, the daughter of Eric and Delanie Hudnall, was recognized for her service project and volunteer hours by receiving the President’s Volunteer Service Award and the Certificate of Excellence award.  The Certificate of Excellence Award is given to the Top 10% in each state. 

Her service project started as “Alex’s Lemonade Stand” in which she began raising money for childhood cancer research.  Madeline’s first stand raised over $100 and since then the project has now earned over $30,000.

Today the lemonade stand is now named “Madeline and Lillian’s Lemon Smiles for ALSF.  In a single project that engaged the whole community and two local grocery stores, a total of $13,000 was raised.  This project involved over 110 hours of volunteer time in planning, organizing and hosting the event.

Madeline’s ultimate goal is to help advance treatments for kids with cancer that hopefully will lead to someday finding a cure for childhood cancer.

IV.H. Presentations
IV.H.1. Columbus Baseball Association

Bob Hansen and Tom Meays presented on behalf of the the Columbus Baseball Association. Brad Hansen with Columbus Baseball Association said three teams play on the field at Pawnee Park. He said they also must coordinate with the track program. Hansen said the CBA proposes two new baseball fields be added on site across from the high school. With these additions, there would be more opportunities for tournaments. He said due to the limited fields, interest in baseball drops off as kids get older. By using the Discoverer site, the new high school will be showcased as well. Hansen said there is the potential of the college and other ball programs to use it. He said the fields have the potential to be used eight months out of the year. The potential fields would be located across from Lost Creek School. Hansen said the plan is to start from the beginning and get two fields, lights, a press box and bleachers. He said CBA started talks with the city to put the fields in the city budget to take the stress off the Pawnee Park field. Hansen said they are currently working on grants and private donations. The CBA already has committed $60,000 to this program. He said they would like a field turf infield so the field would drain quicker. The funding objective is $3 million, and the site would be just used for baseball. One field with bleachers, lights and a press box could be built for $1.7 million. Hansen said they plan to utilize the high school for parking. Dr. Loeffelholz said the district has talked about future baseball and softball fields and tennis courts. He said the city approached CPS four years ago about doing something because Pawnee Park is a great field, but they cannot host tournaments because of the lack of fields. Dr. Loeffelholz said the district wanted a buffer between the high school and Lost Creek and prefer it not to be residential. He said the CBA is willing to go out and raise funds. He said there are several possible locations for tennis courts. Hansen said the city will be approached about funding, and the CBA has already made a presentation to the Park Board. Dr. Loeffelholz said eventually the board will need to vote to put aside this land for athletic facilities.

IV.H.2. CHS Choir trip to New York

Jaina Ervin said the trip helped her realize there is more out there, and you can go for it and achieve it. She had the opportunity to sing a solo at Carnegie Hall. She said it was amazing to be chosen for a solo at 17. She thanked the board for giving the students the opportunity to go. Natalie Raimondo said she has always wanted to go to New York since she was 9. She said she had a lot of great experiences such as being able to sing a solo at Carnegie Hall. Another student said she enjoyed getting to work with a professional director and that it was very intense. She said working at a higher level really impacted her. Parent Mary Raimondo said it was a tremendous opportunity for the parents and teachers as well. She said she doesn’t think the kids realized who performed on the stage of Carnegie Hall. CHS Choir Director Jacob Ritter said the trip was unbelievable. The choir performed the songs in a way that allowed them to be free and be themselves. Ritter said these kids were pouring their hearts out. He said the trip was an amazing music experience as well as cultural experience. Ritter said he formed good relationships with the director, and he would like to take another group back in 2018.

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

There were two certified resignations, and the one is pending until a suitable replacement can be found since it was received so late.

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 CPS Foundation Kim Kwapnioski said the Foundation has made total contributions for this year of $1.1 million. She said the excitement with the new school and anchor has been part of this. Kwapnioski said she continues to sell bricks. The Alumni Newsletter will be going out before Memorial Day. She said she has sold four links . The Class of 1970 purchased a link. The Class of 1967 purchased a bench and will give out a $1,000 scholarship. Kwapnioski said there have been a lot of classes involved. She said they are very excited, and this a great opportunity to get them engaged. Heidi Elliott and Kwapnioski have been doing a cash in your chips campaign where they go to local businesses and try to bridge the gap between school and work and create partnerships. The first company they went to was Blazer Mfg. The idea is to get them into school, so students and teachers understand their needs, and the teachers can show what the students can do. Kwapnioski said she just got the sketches for benches and lighting around the anchor from DLR. She said when it is all finished it will be a very nice place and the potential is amazing.

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 end of the month balances are all good. He said CPS has received 8 out of 10 state aid payments. 

IV.M.2. Financial Report M4b

Theresa Seipel was paid $55 for reimbursement for expenses at the national conference. Seipel Repair was paid $1,910.64 for repairs and maintenance to vehicles.

IV.M.3. Financial Report M5

Melick said these are the bills that needed to be paid prior to the board meetings. He said the district spent $5,716.11 on 223 cases of copy paper. He said there was also a $25,000 payment to the Chamber for the district’s share of the Drive for Five position.

IV.M.4. Financial Report M5a
Discussion:  Seipel’s Repair was paid $630 for more repairs to vehicles.
IV.M.5. Administrative Functions
IV.M.5.1. Approval of Surplus Property

These items need to be declared surplus so they can be disposed of.

IV.M.6. Updates

The Food Service Program was recently reviewed. The group looked at everything from menus to staff. Melick said this was part of the agreement with LunchTime Solutions that the program be reviewed every year. The review group observed lunch in two buildings. He said in one building there were a couple of minor things that needed to be corrected.

LEP/Poverty Class - The district received $1.2 million for poverty and about $1.1 million for LEP. This funding must be applied a year ahead, and the district has requested over $3 million in LEP and $3 million in poverty. The district received the formal report back today, and CPS received good marks on using the funds appropriate and doing the things to help the kids identified as being at the poverty level.

Melick said he just learned recently that Board members are eligible to be on the district’s insurance policy at a cost to each board member. Individual rates can be found under the employee part. He said board members can add a spouse and children. Melick said the amounts shown on the paper are the monthly rates. He said there will be an open enrollment period coming up in August.

In late February, the district submitted two recycling grants for the track projects and field turf. He said they requested $27,500 for the track and received the full amount. Melick said for the field turf they requested $84,125, and the district received $82,875 back. He said this money will go in the construction account. He said the district received about a quarter of the total cost of the project.

IV.N. Buildings & Sites/Technology
IV.N.1. Administrative Functions
IV.N.2. Updates

Executive Director of Building Operations and Technology Leonard Kwapnioski said the middle school conversion project is going well. He said the lights in the south gym are finished, and the drywall is almost completed. Kwapnioksi said the project is moving along, and he is very happy with the progress. The north gym reroof is also completed.

IV.O. Curriculum and Instruction
IV.O.1. Administrative Functions
IV.O.1.1. New Math Textbooks K-8 Purchase Approval

For students in grades K-6, the math series that was selected was Math Expressions and for the 7 and 8 grades program Envisions. Math Expressions is a six-year package. Envisions will include a digital program as well as a soft cover book. There are also many digital resources teachers can use. Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction Amy Romshek said Math Expressions is a new series, but Envisions has been around for a few years.

IV.O.1.2. Approval of New District Reading Coach Position

Romshek said for several years the strategic plan has called for adding full time instructional coaches. She said with the help of Jason Harris there are Title I funds that can be used to hire a teacher to be a coach/trainer for all elementary schools as well as the middle school. Romshek said the money will be there unless funds are cut drastically, but she thinks the district will be able to sustain the position for many years. Romshek said Lost Creek and CMS are not supported by Title I funds, but there will be some help available for these buildings as well. This position will be for next year.

IV.O.2. Updates
Discussion:  No updates.
IV.P. Student Services
IV.P.1. Administrative Functions
IV.P.2. Updates

Kindergarten for next year is reaching capacity based on projections. Executive Director of Students Services/Special Education Jason Harris said this year there were no in-district transfers that will be accepted unless a staff member teaches in that building or siblings already go to that school. The target enrollment for each kindergarten class is 20. Harris said the CPS Title I program was reviewed this year, and it was approved to continue for next year. 

IV.P.2.1. SLP Alternative

Harris said he is currently short two speech/language pathologists for next year, and there are no applicants. A company called Teletherapy is used by North Platte and Norfolk. He said he is meeting with that representative on May 30. Teletherapy is web-based platform that manages student cases. Harris said the US Department of Education did a study, and it showed that students that use the web-base program make gains because it uses technology and it is less intimidating than personal interaction. Parents also have a portal login, so they can watch the lesson from their home, so they can see what is going on. He said this company allows for this because many parents were doubtful that an online program would work. Teletherapy will provide online speech therapy for students, provide speech/language evaluations and participate in MDT/IEP meetings. The only technology required is a computer with Internet connection and an up to date browser. He said typically the webcam and audio set is provided by company and set up is minimal. Harris said when there is no one for the job, something must be done. He said one thing that people must keep in mind is every time the therapist is asked to do something it is billable time, including emails. With this company, up to four people can be seen at a time. Harris said if this works, he would like to use this for nonpublic students, so staff would not have to travel. He said when everything is done, there will probably be several proposals to decide from.

IV.Q. Superintendent's Report

Graduation is at 3 p.m. Sunday and board members should meet in the conference room in the main office. Dr. Loeffelholz congratulated both the girls and boys soccer teams on making it to the state playoffs. At the June meeting, the board will walk through the new middle school. He said the legislative session went as good as could be expected. Dr. Loeffelholz said however, the fight is not over. He said this past week CMS Principal Amy Haynes and he went to visit the fifth grade classrooms to see what should be taken in the move.

IV.R. Board Sharing

Doug Molczyk said he enjoyed going to Lost Creek and listening to the staff presentation. He thanked Amy Romshek for saving the district money on the math books. Molczyk said he enjoys this board meeting because of all the recognitions of students’ achievements. Candy Becher said she also enjoyed the presentation at Lost Creek especially the one about the lunch program. She said they have a great staff, and she thanked them for all they do. Becher said she also enjoyed listening to kids and Jacob Ritter’s presentation. Tim Pospisil agreed that the presentation at Lost Creek was very good. He said the recognitions are the heart and sole of the school. Doug Willoughby said it was a special week with employee recognition. He said he enjoyed being a part of that at the middle school. Willoughby said he thought the employee banquet was put together well. Theresa Seipel said she enjoyed the presentation at Lost Creek because that is the school she attended. She also said she enjoyed the staff recognition and she helped at Lost Creek. Graduation is Sunday and she is excited to be a part of it. Seipel said this is a fun time to be a board member. She told all the staff to have a nice and fun summer.

V. Executive Session

The board went into executive session at 9:20 p.m.

VI. Adjourn
Discussion:  Out of Executive Session at 9:45.
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