Public Meeting Minutes: July 6, 2017 at 5:30 PM - Board Retreat 2017


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July 6, 2017 at 5:30 PM - Board Retreat 2017 Minutes

July 6, 2017 at 5:30 PM - Board Retreat 2017
I. Board Meeting
I.A. Call to Order
I.B. Roll Call of Board
I.C. Pledge of Allegiance
I.D. Notice of Open Meeting Posted
I.D.1. President insures all can hear proceedings
I.E. Mission Statement

Theresa Seipel read the Mission Statement.

I.F. Opportunity for Public to be Heard

No one spoke to the board.

I.G. Board Special Functions
I.G.1. 6:00 Board Norms

The board decided not to change the Norms for the next year. These Norms will be approved at the next meeting.

I.G.2. 6:10 Board Evaluation

The Board President, Mrs. Seipel and Dr. Loeffelholz will review the evaluations shared by Marcia Herring of the Nebraska School Boards Association.

I.G.2.1. Board Self Assessment

Assessments that are provided to the board by NASB are in a narrative and numerical form, said Marcia Herring, NASB Director of Board Leadership. With any of the resources that are provided by the NASB changes can be made to make it more specific to the CPS Board of Education. The board needs to identify the areas that they need to grow in. Change for the board is instantaneously, but it can often take time to be implemented. The board needs to enable the administration to do all the hiring. The only person the board hires is the superintendent. Rarely does the board go into close session to discuss personnel. If there is an issue with an individual, the board should always go to the superintendent to make sure he or she is aware of the issue. The superintendent can then approach the person on the issue.

A board member should always ask the superintendent if policy was followed when a grievance is filed. If policy needs to be changed, it should not be done until some time passes after the grievance.

I.G.3. 6:30 NASB
I.G.3.1. Board Operations
I.G.3.2. Board Governance Standards

Herring suggested the board might want to tie the strategic plan to discussion items on the agenda. The difference between strategic and district planning is on strategic planning the board should hear back from the stakeholders, and it is more comprehensive. The budget should also be tied into the strategic plan, and this will help the district to monitor the success of the plan. Some boards review policy at every meeting, and some turn it over to a third party to review. Policy is a lot of wordsmithing. Herring said a committee could also be appointed to review the entire policy book. Reviewing policy can be challenging, but it is very important. The board should always engage internal and external stakeholders. This will give the community a voice in the process. Through the strategic plan, administration can model to them that their voice was heard.

Herring asked the board what are they doing to sustain a working relationship with the community? She also asked how do you keep that bond strong? One of the consistent ways a board communicates with the community is through monthly board meetings. Herring said her challenge to the board is to identify different ways to sustain that working relationship with the community. She said a board could hold a community engagement meeting. Specific individuals would receive invites to the meeting, and the entire community would be invited as well. The questions are shared in advanced, and the meeting must be kept on track and not just be an open microphone. She said a good place to start is with the success of the district. A next question could be what do they see as the biggest issues facing the district in the next three to five years. The meeting is only 90 minutes long. The community needs to be engaged before something is needed such as a bond issue. The questions need to be a part of the communication package, and the questions must be strictly followed. Herring said it is important to know how the board and administration will present the information back to the community. She said when looking at data, the question should be how is the administration and board responding to the data. The board also needs to articulate to the state and local government the district’s positions on issues.

Herring said board operations are focused on policy and the government's role. She said a motion should always be created in a positive form. When it is a tie vote the motion fails. Herring asked the board what would they do if it was a tie to get the issue resolved. She said there are many ways to accomplish this such as stopping after a certain number of votes. If the board is going to table something, it is important to define when it will be brought back, and if it is not, the motion will be killed. A vote can be changed as long as the motion outcome hasn't been announced. The person who made the motion is the first person to speak after the motion is made. The president can make a motion or second, but it should not be done often.

I.G.3.3. Board/Superintendent Relations

The board and superintendent relations will set the tone for the entire district. The code of conduct is the job description. The code of conduct should be looked at each year, and new board members should be made aware of it. Herring said the board shouldn’t have a committee meeting just to have a meeting, but a committee meeting can be effective. With a committee meeting, there should always be an agenda and minutes should be taken. Committee as a Whole is when the board doesn't divide into small committees but meet as a full board. Larger districts will have a committee as a whole meeting before the meeting. Other boards will have Committee meetings right before the regular meeting. No action can be taken at a Committee as a Whole meeting, and no public comment can be made. The meeting must also be open to the public. If the board decides to do meet as a Committee as a Whole, the work session could be eliminated. Herring said there can be a time limit on it.

At the regular board meeting She also said to table an item before killing it. When a patron comes with an issue, he or she always needs to start where the problem started and not immediately go to the board. If a board member has a student in the district, he or she should take an administrator when going to talk to a teacher or a coach with an issue concerning his or her child. One board member asked if the board goes to a Committee as a Whole will subcommittees still be needed? If an ad hoc committee is appointment, make sure this groups reports to the superintendent instead of the board. If the ad hoc committee does report to the board, it must follow the meeting laws. Theresa Seipel would like the board to be more involved in certain areas, but not necessarily going to all the meetings but given the minutes. Dr. Loeffelholz said some of these items could be an ad hoc committee because it is a one-time issue (such as the technology committee, bond issue etc.). Before this is done, the policy may need to be modified to reflect what should be accomplished. The board wants to look at moving to a Committee as a Whole.

Executive Director of Technology/Buildings Operations Leonard Kwapnioski asked if electronic communication should be defined? Herring said the board should be using the school district email address, so if there is ever an issue, there will only be one source to go to for information. She said text messages and social media are also considered communication. Herring cautioned the board if they are expressing an opinion, this should not be done through electronic communication. She also said to make sure not to respond to all and to stay away from entering into dialog. When a board member is feeling anxious after a meeting, the person to talk to is the superintendent and not emailing or texting other board members. Herring said the board needs to be mindful of conducting board business outside of the meeting.

I.G.4. 8:00 Strategic Plan

Dr. Loeffelholz said sometime between now and December, the administration and board must look at the Strategic Planning list to determine if items need to be added or amended. When Executive Director of Business Operations and Human Relations Dave Melick builds the budget, he budgets for some of the items in the strategic plan. If the administration knows there is going to be a reduction in funds, plans are made to cut 10 percent out of other budget items. Melick said the big question right now is valuations.

I.G.4.1. Facility

Several years ago the Legislature passed a bill that school district could levy up to 3 cents for safety issues throughout the district such as fire safety, mold, and life safety items. Dr. Loeffelholz said this does not require a vote of the patrons. If this is done, an amount would need to be reduced in another area. Dr. Loeffelholz said this will allow for more flexibility so more money in the general fund can go towards academics. The board decided that September would be the first Committee as a Whole meeting.

Mr. Kwapnioski and Mr. Melick then updated the board in regards to their meeting with Building and Grounds Supervisor, Mike Grutsch.  Melick said there is $200,000 in the budget this year specifically for buildings and grounds. Dr. Loeffelholz said the elementary schools don't have speakers in the hallways and Kwapnioski is working on getting prices. Any building that has a gym and eating area sharing space has problems, but in some cases there is no way to add on such as at Emerson. North Park and Centennial are lined up to have space added on for a cafeteria but no other building is schedule at this time.

I.G.4.2. Social - Emotional

Dr. Loeffleholz said ESU7 has hired a behavioral interventionist to help with difficult students. The long-term goal is for ESU7 to open a school to help those students. He said if the district decides to participate, it will be assessed an amount to help with the cost. ESU7 wants to have the school opened by 2018-19. Dr. Loeffelholz said this could be an added item to the social emotional piece, as it gets closer. The district saved just short of $90,000 from this year to last year on personnel, and there were also six additional positions added. There is still one social worker position that is a priority but has not been filled. Counselors also will need to be added at the middle and high schools. CHS Dean of Students Jason Schapmann will be also serving the middle school. He will be picking up the eighth grade, and he will be at the middle school in the morning and the high school in the afternoon.

Perhaps the district could host once a year a community engagement meeting. The district engages the community for the bond issue and now is time to engage the community again. Board member Mike Goos said there needs to be more engagement with the Hispanic community. He said their culture is set up so Hispanic people don't trust authority. Perhaps the district could recruit people to help in this area. One of the action steps of the strategic plan is to figure out ways to recruit more bilingual staff at both the certified and classified positions. The district does have many interpreters that are used at various times. Board member Doug Molczyk said the police department uses Language Line to do translating. He said perhaps this could help save money because it is cheaper to use Language Line instead of hiring more staff. Molczyk said a person calls the number and gives a code, and he or she is connected to someone who speaks that language. He said this might be helpful when a non-English speaking person walks into a building where there is no interpreter. Dr. Loeffelholz said these are pieces that may need to be added to the social/emotional piece of the strategic plan.

I.G.4.3. Academics

The total cost to implement all of the strategic plan was $1,995,000.

I.G.5. 8:30 Mission Statement

Dr. Loeffelholz said it has been several years since the mission statement has been implemented. The mission statement should be the broad statement, and the goals are what narrows the focus. Dr. Loeffelholz said perhaps Discover Something greater than Yourself could be incorporated into the Mission Statement. The key to the mission statement is to keep it in front of everyone. The board wanted the Mission statement to remain the same, but they said it might need to be rebranded and made more prominent in the buildings.

I.G.6. 8:45 Board Goals

The board goals will stay the same. Dr. Loeffelholz said perhaps quarterly the goals should be discussed to see how the district is doing in meeting the goals. The board may each be assigned a goal to learn more about it. This will be discussed more at the board meeting. 

II. 9:15 Adjourn
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