Public Meeting Minutes: December 11, 2017 at 5:30 PM - Committee As A Whole


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December 11, 2017 at 5:30 PM - Committee As A Whole Minutes

December 11, 2017 at 5:30 PM - Committee As A Whole
I. Committee As A Whole
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. Presentations
I.E.1. West Park Presentation

West Park is participating in a one-to-one iPad pilot program. Prior to deploying iPads, several people were involved in creating a plan to prepare teachers. CPS Technology Integration Specialist Brandi Fleming said the teachers were asked to do more than they were originally told.  Fleming said teachers cannot continue to do what they have always done.  In order to do the pilot, the district didn't have funds to pay for any additional apps. They were all free. Fleming said staff were asked to pick a couple of the apps and try them. She said there are 10 apps that are being heavily utilized. Fleming said another plus is the apps can be managed remotely, and none of them are content specific.  There were 219 iPads. Fleming said it took about 20 minutes per class to deploy the machines. The kindergarten class was not rolled out at the same time as the others because it was their first day. All the students enrolled themselves on the machines including the kindergartners. Fleming said West Park staff did a good job of diving into using the iPads. 

Second grade teacher Sandi Seckel said she went with a group of teachers a few years ago to Chicago. At that time, they talked about project based learning. She said now that technology is accessible all the time, she better understands this concept. The children do not have the iPads in their hands all day long. Seckel said she is the teacher and the iPads are a way for students to show what they have learned. She said technology cannot teach. Seckel said there is increased engagement and excitement that comes with technology, and there is a lot of sharing among staff. She said there needs to be professional time in district with technology as the focus. Seckel said West Park is not to the point to be able to share with all grade levels across the district. 

Mrs. Seckel said she is working with Fleming on online materials for math and reading. She said they have tried hard to make kids see the iPads as learning tools and not as a play thing. Seckel said she has enjoyed watching the collaboration between teachers. She said she has walked to a first-grade room and asked what are they doing with the iPads so she can enhance it in second grade. Seckel said they are also working on a place to store all students’ projects, so when they leave West Park there will be a portfolio of everything that was done. She said one teacher even did the MAP testing on the iPad and asked for feedback from students.

West Park Principal Paula Lawrence said there have been some things that have come up that are not road blocks but more like speed bumps. One speed bump is the need for finding time for teachers to plan and collaborate. There have been some problems with charging the iPads in every room. Some of the machines weren’t charging fully. Lawrence said they found out there was not enough electrical current going to some of the rooms to charge all the iPads. CPS Electrician Dennis McMeekin is looking into ways to solve this problem. She said another speed bump is realizing that not all teachers are at the same place. Lawrence said as the teachers have worked together through the process this has helped build the school’s culture. She said West Park would be open for visits from both inside the district as well as outside of district. Lawrence said CPS is now moving beyond what some of the other districts are doing. She said they are also working on how to increase communication about what West Park is doing.

CPS District System Administrator Jeff Uchtman said teachers are using Apple classroom’s free app which, coordinates the teachers’ iPad so they can see what all the class is doing on their machines. He said the teacher can even pull up a student’s machine to show the rest of the class.  Uchtman said all these apps are free from Apple. He said since West Park has gone to the one-to-one there are 25 percent less help desk tickets. He said apps can be pushed out and things updated on the iPads in a matter of minutes.  He said there has been no damage to any of the machines, and the only issue was that a battery went bad, and Apple replace it. He said the cases have a four-year warranty with a zero deductible. Uchtman said it has been a great experience. He said other than one other school they visited, Columbus is above everyone else in terms of technology. Lawrence invited the board to come and see machines at work in the classroom. She said if given advance notice, teachers can make sure they are on the machines. 

Board member Candy Becher said the West Park staff had many positive things to say.

I.F. Board Special Functions
I.F.1. Close Up Program Trip Approval Form

CHS students will be traveling to Washington D.C. on the Close-Up trip March 10-16, 2018. Dr. Loeffelholz said the group applied for approval a year in advance to go out and do fundraising, and now that paperwork must be turned in, the board must formally approve the request to attend.  Dr. Loeffelholz said the board has officially supported Close-Up for past six or seven years. He said the board has usually given $4,000 from the general fund to be used for scholarships to help reduce the cost of the trip. 

I.F.2. Acceptance of Superintendent’s Letter of Intent to Extend

Dr. Loeffelholz said by his contract, he must send the board a letter of intent that he plans to come back next year and requests another year be added to his contract. If the board agreed, the contract would expire on June 30, 2021. Dr. Loeffelholz said he would recommend the board approve his contract at the January meeting after his evaluation.

I.G. Consent Agenda
I.G.1. Approval of Minutes

Dr. Loeffelholz asked the board to review minutes from the previous meetings.

I.G.2. Financial Reports M2, M3, M4a

Executive Director of Business Operations and Human Relations Dave Melick said there is not much in property taxes coming in at this time. He said the First National Bank Bond Fund is currently high, but it will be reduced due to a December bond payment.  Melick said there are also several federal reimbursements the district received from last year.

I.G.3. Financial Report M4b

The district was billed $588.00 from Seipel Repair for regular monthly service on buses and suburbans.

I.G.4. Certified Personnel
I.G.5. Classified Personnel

There were seven new hires and three resignations.

I.G.6. Class of 2018 Mid-Term Graduates

Next Monday, the board will approve mid-term graduation for 33 students. CHS Principal Steve Woodside said the mid-term graduates are about the same as every other year. He expects the number to decrease next year because of the new schedule.  

I.G.7. Professional Travel

Dr. Loeffelholz said October and early November are typically big travel months because it is in between a lot of events.

I.H. Acceptance of Gifts/Donations

There was $34,219.26 for November donated back to the district from the Foundation and the umbrella groups. The year-to-date total given back to schools is $341,770.71. Centennial raised a little over $10,000 from cookie sales. Centennial Principal Jackie Herink said the company offered more than just cookies and had other items as well. Dr. Loeffelholz said there are also 22 ball chairs that will be disbursed throughout the district from money received from EHA Wellness grant.

I.I. Business Operations and Human Relations
I.I.1. Policies
I.I.2. Administrative Functions
I.I.2.1. TERIP Proposal 2017-2018

Melick said he met with Dr. Loeffelholz, Theresa Seipel and Tim Pospisil to talk about a Temporary Early Retirement Incentive Program for next year. He said the outlook for state funding does not look good. There are 22 people eligible and five of them are administrators. Melick said the incentive is temporary because the board will decide if it will be offered again. He said this incentive will sunset in August of 2018. Melick said in order to be eligible the employee must be full time and meet the rule of 85 and have 30 years in the Nebraska retirement system. People interested must sign up on or before Feb. 16. Those who do sign up will give a formal resignation in their paperwork. The buyout is the same as last year.  People will get $27,000 spread out over three years. In past, no administrators were eligible. Theresa Seipel said she doesn’t like early retirement because there is potential to lose good staff, but she said the district doesn’t have much choice with the outlook on state aid. She stressed that this is only temporary, and it doesn’t mean that it will be the same amount next year or even offered. Tim Pospisil said the people are evenly spread throughout different disciplines. He said there would not be a big hit to any department, building or grade level. The financial savings will be $40,000 per replacement employee. Candy Becher said people are more likely to take the incentive when they are older. Mike Goos said he is not thrilled to be losing quality people if they are not willing to leave. He said he doesn't like early retirement. Dr. Loeffelholz said the incentive is not as robust as it was at one time. He said the district used to have an incentive where people could take advantage of it within a two-year window. He said there are a lot of people who passed on the option.

I.I.3. Updates

Melick said there was already one Christmas social, last Friday at Centennial. He invited the board to come to the socials and eat and talk with staff. Melick gave the board a schedule of all the times and locations.

I.J. Buildings & Sites/Technology

Executive Director of Business Operations and Technology Leonard Kwapnioski is on vacation. Dr. Loeffelholz said Kwapnioski will give an update on the Technology Strategic Plan at the Dec. 18 meeting. He said Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Amy Romshek is ill.

I.J.1. Policies
I.J.2. Administrative Functions
I.J.2.1. City of Columbus Application for Use of School Facilities/Sites

Dr. Loeffelholz said the city has asked the district to put up snow fences around the district’s property. He said in order to do this, the city is supposed to fill out the proper paperwork as guided by policy.

I.J.3. Updates
I.K. Curriculum and Instruction
I.K.1. Policies
I.K.2. Administrative Functions
I.K.2.1. BOE State Results

Romshek will give the presentation at the Dec. 18 meeting.

I.K.3. Updates
I.L. Student Services
I.L.1. Policies
I.L.1.1. Second and Final Reading of Policy 501 Objectives for Equal Educational Opportunities for Students
I.L.1.2. Second and Final Reading of Policy 1005.12 Title 1 Parent and Family Member Engagement
I.L.1.3. First Reading of Policy 508.01 Student Health and Immunization Checkups

Executive Director of Students Services and Special Education Jason Harris said this will take the specific immunizations that are needed out of the policy. The immunizations will now be put into a regulation. Harris said as the immunizations change, the district will not have to update the policy and can just change the regulation. He said the nurses have looked over the changes and found it to all be correct. Harris said parents can still get a waiver for medical or religious reasons. He said there are not a lot of people who do the waivers. Harris said if a student doesn’t have the immunizations, they will not be allowed to start school unless they get the shots or have a waiver.

I.L.2. Administrative Functions
I.L.3. Updates

Harris reviewed the number of students currently at Boys Town. Currently, there is one in third grade; one is sixth grade; one in seventh grade; two in eighth grade; three in ninth grade; two in tenth grade; four in eleventh grade and one in twelfth grade. Harris said these numbers change quickly. He said his office keeps track of the students as they move in and out of Boys Town. Harris said there are some students who have been there for multiple years. He said they do meet with Boys Town staff to determine if a student needs to still stay or can transition back into the regular classroom. In order to be released from Boys Town, the student must make merit. If a student is released and can’t make it in the regular classroom, Boys Town will sometimes take him or her back. Harris said there are currently two students who can't go to Boys Town, so they are being tutored.

ECERS-R rated all CPS preschools. Harris said some of the things the schools are doing well are encouraging children to use language, using fine motor skills, helping children expand vocabulary and encouraging children to use language. Some areas that need improvement include: toileting/diapering and safety practice. Harris said the district is meeting Rule 11 for safety on the playground but does not have a separate playground for all preschool students at some buildings, so this is why they received the needs improvement rating. He said he will be meeting with the preschool teachers and Michelle Purcell to discuss the ratings. The toileting and diapering was also a needs improvement area because staff is supposed to go to the restroom with the students even if the restroom is in the classroom. Harris said overall CPS did very well. He said they did good in all the academic areas. Harris said it should not be too difficult to improve in the other areas. 

I.M. Superintendent's Report

Dr. Loeffelholz will be holding Superintendent Summit's on the same days as the Christmas Socials. He mentioned the winter sport season, The Wizard of Wonderland, and meeting with the board to make sure what they value for school district is still relevant. Dr. Loeffelholz reminded the board members who are up for re-election to fill out the necessary paperwork if they intend to rerun.

I.N. Board Sharing

Theresa Seipel asked the board to try to attend some of the Christmas Socials. She said she is excited about what is going on at West Park with the iPads. Mike Goos agreed. He said the staff were energized and collaborating, and the iPad played a part. Doug Willoughby asked Jackie Herink to tell Faustina Soto hello because she was one of the last students he taught.

I.O. Adjourn

The board adjourned at 7:10 p.m.

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