Public Meeting Minutes: March 12, 2018 at 5:30 PM - Committee As A Whole


View Options:

Show Everything
Hide Everything

March 12, 2018 at 5:30 PM - Committee As A Whole Minutes

March 12, 2018 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. Centennial Elementary Presentation
Discussion:  Centennial has used BIST (Behavior Intervention Support Team) for the last two years. Centennial Principal Jackie Herink said when BIST was first started, she thought what they were doing was good enough, and now she realized BIST is better. Some staff went to training in the summer of 2016. Herink said she is pleased with what was accomplished at Centennial. BIST is a process of offering grace, accountability and protection rather than punishment. There are a set of goals for life in every classroom at Centennial. The following are the goals: I can make good choices even if I am mad. I can be okay even if others are not okay. I can do something even if I don't want to or if it's hard. The goals and bottom line can be found in every classroom. The following is the bottom line: It's never okay to be hurtful. It's never okay to be disruptive.

Safe Seat is a seat in the classroom away from other students. Buddy Room is in another teachers' classroom and the recovery room is a seat in the office. Processing is when adults ask the student questions so that he or she can take ownership. Staff from each grade level volunteered to go through the BIST training. In 2016, the BIST trainer mainly met with each grade level during plan time, and it was mainly focused on mini trainings. Herink said teachers wanted to make sure everyone was using the tools consistently. The things covered were teaching BIST lessons; individual and classroom triage (greeting students by name and checking emotional levels within the classroom); establishing buddy rooms; and establishing adult escorts. Each teacher has a safe seat in the classroom and two buddy rooms. At the beginning of the year, all students visited the buddy room. Escorts will take the students to the buddy room or office. Every classroom has a buddy room with the exception of physical education. There are eight BIST lesson plans that are taught at the beginning of the year, and all are taught the same way. Herink said this year the BIST trainer worked more with individual students and set up individual plans. She said they still do mini BIST trainings afterschool. Herink said the goal is to increase effectiveness and to keep progressing with the skills. Centennial staff is still doing the same things as last year and added saying the Goals for Life and bottom line after the pledge. This year a script was also created that a teacher could use to inform parents when their child was sent to the buddy room or recovery room. Herink said the idea is for kids to go to the safe seat when they feel they need to. While in a buddy room, the student must fill out think sheet. If the student is not following directions and being disruptive, he or she will be sent to the recovery room. Herink said a BIST Tracking Sheets were started this year. On this form, the teacher can also track what skills they are missing. The vision team looks at the data from the tracking sheets. The student’s name is put on the sheet if he or she has had three or more times where BIST had to be used. When students are sent to the safe seat, buddy room and recovery room, they are not in trouble, but the teacher is doing what is best for them. When these things are practiced at the beginning of the year, everyone goes to the safe seat. The teachers also practice triage questions with students. They do this when they are upset and even when they are calm.
I.E.2. Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce Drive for Five Update
Discussion:  Workforce Development Coordinator Kara Asmus thanked the school for their partnership with Drive for Five. She said the businesses really value the partnership. There are several programs Drive for Five currently coordinates. Reality 101 introduces students to what it is like to have a job, salaries, families and every day bills. They enter into the reality store and are required to purchase childcare, groceries, and pay for utilities, which all affect their monthly budget. They quickly learn their paycheck does not go as far as they would think.

This year at Lakeview a Future Problem Solvers class was started. Students hear from business leadership about an unsolvable problem. They tour the facility and get to see the problem. The students brainstorm possible solutions for the issue and present it to the company leadership.

Industry in Education is where local professionals take part in classroom presentations and provide examples of soft skills being utilized in the workplace. The students are required to do mock job interviews with these professionals. Education in Industry is where educators are taken out of the classroom and taken into business to show how what they teach is used in the workplace.

Bank in Schools is where students can interview to be a bank teller. They can bring money to the school, and it will be deposited into the bank. After elementary, students can withdraw the money or continue to save.

Other programs inlude the Columbus Dream Team, Vehicle Day for first graders, and College Week for fifth. Asmus said a new program will be starting at the elementary level for grades kindergarten through fourth. She said she gave teachers some tools to help teach about careers in the classroom.

She said Drive for Five focuses on recruitment, readiness and retention and that is part of the reason why Columbus is successful. Asmus said Columbus has grown the labor force and others communities have not done this. She said she hopes Drive for Five can continue to partner with the schools. Asmus said CCC added additional programs to classes this year. She said this has not been done in a long time because attendance in these classes has dropped, but this year attendance was up so more were added.

I.F. Board Special Functions
I.F.1. Second Reading and Final Reading of Policy 504.13 Hazing, Initiation, Secret Societies or Gang Activities
Discussion:  Superintendent Dr. Troy Loeffelholz said this policy helps to identify what hazing looks like as well as references digital media. Board member Candy Becher said initiation does not necessarily mean something negative. Dr. Loeffelholz said he will look at the activity policy and see if there is any cross reference to the word initiation. He said if there is, the policy will need to be clarified.
I.F.2. Second and Final Reading of Policy 504.19 Bullying Prevention
Discussion:  There will need to be a public hearing on the bullying policy in September. Dr. Loeffelholz said on this policy, cyber bullying was added and does include school activities off of school grounds that can carry over into the learning environment at school.
I.F.3. Second and Final Reading of Policy 509.02 Student Memorials and Gifts to School District
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said rather than having people do memorials, he would prefer scholarships be given.

The topic of school safety came up during the conversation and the recent shooting in Florida.
Dr. Loeffelholz said Wednesday is the one month anniversary of shooting in Florida. He said CPS will use this day as a teachable moment and practice all lockout and lockdown procedures and write letters to the school in Florida or to congressmen or senators. The elementary schools did 17 minutes of kindness. He said if students want to walk out, there will be a place in the school where they can go. This place at the high school and middle school will be the gyms. If a student wants to walk out of the building, they will need to be supervised by an administrator.  

Board member Tim Pospisil said some places are practicing a run, hide and fight form of action. Executive Director of Business Operations and Technology Leonard Kwapnioski said the state of Nebraska has adopted the I Love You Guys response, and the state wants all schools to do the same thing. Executive Director of Student Services and Special Education Jason Harris said at Chadron schools they do teach the run, hide and fight. He said the students have designated places to go if they run. Chadron also has tennis balls in the classrooms to throw at intruders. North Park Principal Bob Hausmann said he is not sure this procedure would work at the elementary level because of the age of the students. He said a five-year-old may not remember where to run to or what to do. Kwapnioski said the procedure the state wants will have everyone doing the same thing, so if a student moves to another district or travels for school activities he or she will know what to do. He said it will take a couple years for all districts to get to this point.
I.F.4. Proposed 2019 Close-Up Trip to Washington D.C.
Discussion:  There are currently eleven students in Washington D.C. on the Close-Up trip for this year. Dr. Loeffelholz reminded the board that groups must ask permission from the board a year in advance of the trip. He said this will allow students to start doing some fundraising. Next year the kids will go on the trip March 23-29. CHS Principal Steven Woodside said the number going on the trip this year could be down from the past because of the many travel options available this year. He said many groups are offering trips.
I.G. Consent Agenda
I.G.1. Approval of Minutes
I.G.2. Financial Reports M2, M3, M4a
Discussion:  Executive Director of Business Operations and Human Relations Dave Melick said the district received $259,592.50 from taxes. He said the district usually gets a portion of property taxes about every month. There was also $7,492 paid to NASB for annual dues. The $1,800 paid to Box 6 is for the show design for winter drum line and winter guard. Nebraska Digital was paid $4,575 as part of the annual fee.
I.G.3. Financial Report M4b
Discussion:  Seipel Repair was paid $1,046.35 for fixing the oil pressure and spark plugs on a pickup and doing regular maintenance on several vehicles.
I.G.4. Financial Report M5
I.G.5. Certified Personnel
Discussion:  The fourth grade position at Lost Creek will not be replaced because of enrollment and only three sections will be needed.  
I.G.6. Classified Personnel
I.G.7. Professional Travel
I.H. Acceptance of Gifts/Donations
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said there have been a lot of teachers working on STEM on the Go. He said they plan is to have something in place for the kids to take over summer. Dr. Loeffelholz said February was a slow month for the CPS Foundation. There was $4,645.05 in contributions from the Foundation and umbrella organizations.
I.I. Business Operations and Human Relations
I.I.1. Policies
I.I.1.1. First Reading of Policy 508.13 School Wellness
Discussion:  Melick said there were ten adults and six high school students who worked on the School Wellness Policy. He said this policy is required in order for a district to receive federal reimbursement. This policy will need to be brought back to the board every year for approval. This policy comes from the Department of Agriculture. Competitive foods and beverages cannot be sold after midnight and 30 minutes after school. Melick said this is considered to be part of the school day.  He said some of the items in the vending machines may need to be eliminated and other items sold after school may also need to be changed. Melick said the committee felt some school celebrations need to remain such as candy for Halloween and Valentine’s Day.  He said the committee is recommending that birthday treats be nonfood items.

Melick said this is a long policy, and it will be a challenge to comply with. He said the policy also talks about doing away with branding, which will mean a loss in support for some programs. Melick said the Wellness Policy will need to be brought back to the board for approval on Monday and next month for second reading. Melick said part of the requirement was to have both parents and students on the committee.

I.I.2. Administrative Functions
I.I.2.1. Approval of the Master Agreement and Salary/Benefit Package between the Columbus Education Association and the CPS Board of Education for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years.
Discussion:  Melick said the new items in the policy are underlined and the things removed are striked through.  The total package increase is 4.07 percent, which was based on current staff. He said this amounts to a $901,000 increase to the district budget. The majority of the increase is for base salary, but it does also include FICA, health insurance, life insurance, long term disability and other items.

Melick said the administration has a good working relationship with the CEA. He said this is a first time in a while that there has been a two-year deal.
I.I.2.2. Extra Duty Assignments
Discussion:  Melick said part of the CEA agreement includes adding additional activities sponsorships onto the salary schedule. There will be two new positions added next year, an assistant middle school instrumental music teacher and Educators Rising advisor. This is a national organization that has a local chapter in Columbus High School. The organization’s purpose is to provide information and encouragement to people interested in going into a career in education.
I.I.2.3. Approval of Classified Salary Schedule 2018-2019
Discussion:  The classified staff salary had various levels for the different positions. Melick said under the new schedule, the salary schedule has been standardized and all positions have 18 steps. He said if a para educator stays a long time, they will no longer be making less than someone newer. Melick said the district is in the third year of increasing paras who work in the high needs area and EL areas. The high needs pay will increase by 4 percent plus an additional 18 cents and the EL paras will get the 4 percent plus an additional 23 cents.
I.I.2.4. Approval of New Positions based on enrollment and the Strategic Plan for student needs.
Discussion:  Melick said there have been some additional resources in state aid in the amount of $524,000. As a result, the following positions will be added next year: counselors at the elementary, middle and high school levels; middle school dean of students; high school social studies due to enrollment; high school special education teacher due to program growth; district English Learner position; and district instructional coach. There is currently only one other full-time instructional coach and several part time coaches who teach full time. Melick said some of these positions were added because of the strategic plan. Board member Candy Becher said the district has the money this year but what happens next year. Melick said is should not be a problem because the district’s valuation should go up, and these positions would be in the budget on the needs side and will be reflected in the state calculation.
I.I.2.5. School Fundraising Application
Discussion:  Centennial students Lilly and Abby Jensen approached Centennial Elementary Principal Jackie Herink about selling snacks on Wednesday to support Trevor Luckey and his family. The kids’ parents will donate the snacks and the money raised will go to the Luckey family.
I.I.3. Updates
I.J. Buildings & Sites/Technology
I.J.1. Policies
I.J.2. Administrative Functions
I.J.2.1. CBS Constructors Bleacher Bid for CHS
Discussion:  These bleachers are to be placed at the football/soccer and track at the high school.  They will seat 500 people. There will be a ramp coming from the south. Kwapnioski said the upper deck will have room for popup tent and table for future events. He said there will eventually be a score board as well. The company with the best bid is out of McCook. Kwapnioski said there will be a chain link fence around the upper deck and six spots for wheelchairs in the bleachers. He said there were only two bids placed, and one was $11,000 higher than the other.  CBS Constructors bid was $54,140. Kwapnioski said this company did a lot of work for smaller schools but had good references. The bleachers will be done at the end of April.
I.J.2.2. Elementary Lock Upgrade Approval/Midwest Door and Hardware Bid
Discussion:  Kwapnioski said he was surprised at the bidded price for the lock replacement at the elementary schools. The total cost is $186,259.00, and he anticipated it being around $230,000. Kwapnioski said this is a guaranteed maximum price on the locks. He said there were three potential bidders. One decided not to bid. Another one took a large project in Omaha and didn’t have the manpower to do the job. Kwapnioski said he plans to take the old locks and try to sell them for parts to other schools. He said there are a lot of doors at the elementary buildings.  Kwapnioski said this will be the first time all seven buildings will have same locking system. In order for a person to get a key, he or she will need to sign a checkout form. Mike Grutsch will be in charge of the keys. Kwapnioski said this has been a district goal for six or seven years. 
I.J.3. Updates
Discussion:  Safety and security - Kwapnioski said the he wants to change how the district does access controls and wants to bring it in-house. He said by doing this, the district will be able to change out keys in a matter of seconds. He said the administration will also know when people come in the doors. Keys to the outside doors will only be given to administrators, maintenance and custodial staff, so people can be tracked when they are in a building. This new system will also allow the district to restrict a person’s access to a building based on when they work. Kwapnioski said the elevators have already been restricted, and this is all done through the keycard access, so it can be monitored. The district is also moving from an analog system to a digital system, and this will require a lot of changes. He said the one way calling intercom system could cost $750,000.

With security, it is constantly changing. For example, he said four cameras were added at the high school because they were needed. The elementary buildings will have on average, 25 total cameras inside and outside. Kwapnioski said one thing that must be considered is the playground doors because they can no longer be propped open. He reminded the board that these changes will not be a one-time cost. Kwapnioski said year two will also be expensive. The entire district will use the same cameras. With the addition of cameras at the elementary buildings, there will no longer be alarm system. Kwapnioski said the buildings are so open and used so much that it is difficult to have alarm systems in schools. He said cameras are instantaneous. He said once he gets more information, he will bring the board the total cost. Kwapnioski said the high school and middle school keying has already been addressed. Kwapnioski is also looking at pricing for a buzzer at Lost Creek, middle school and high school.

Kwapnioski said he is working with the police so they will also have communication in the school buildings. He said the school and police operate on different platforms and frequencies, so changes must be made. He said the district plans on adding repeaters closer to the buildings to help with this issue. He said to get the different frequencies, it will cost some money on both sides. The high school’s 16 radios and repeater cost around $18,000. One board member asked if someone inside school could let a person on the outside into the building. Kwapnioski said the doors cannot be locked on the inside due to fire code and safety reasons. He said there could be an alarm, but the cost would be huge. Kwapnioski said if the board has any questions or concerns contact him. He said he is also close to getting everything sorted at CMS. He said schools in town will have first choice of the items and then it will be opened up to schools out of town
I.K. Curriculum and Instruction
I.K.1. Policies
I.K.2. Administrative Functions
I.K.2.1. Approval of New Courses for 2018-2019
Discussion:  Digital illustration will be a new high school course. The teacher who taught the class this year took a different job closer to home. Romshek said the class was dual credit, so hopefully the replacement can teach digital illustration, so the class can continue to be dual credit. If not, the class will still be offered but not as dual credit. Romshek said this will give students an opportunity to do more with art by starting out with art technology, then going to TV media and digital illustration. She said there were also six more courses added for family and consumer sciences at the middle school. Family and Consumer Science 6 will be a 12-week course that is required for all other courses. There is one new class being added, Child Development and Care for eighth graders. Romshek said they will be working with young children, and this will be a good addition to the curriculum.
I.K.3. Updates
Discussion:  Romshek said the board will be approving the middle school science courses and new resources for physical and earth science class at the high school. The district is looking at hiring an instructional coach to help re-enforce the 18 elements of the Art and Science of Teaching. Romshek said there are 41 elements, but the committee felt 18 were the most important. She said for the last few years, the district has been focused on the super 7 elements, and this will be done for at least one more year. The instructional coach will be an additional full-time person to help new teachers and veteran teachers who need assistance. Romshek said the new people that are being hired do not have a lot of experience. She said another full-time person is needed for the position.
I.L. Student Services
I.L.1. Policies
I.L.2. Administrative Functions
I.L.2.1. Special Education 2018-2019 Service Agreement with ESU7
Discussion:  Harris said the district does contract with ESU 7 for vision. He said they also provide the district with some secondary transition. The estimated cost for next year is $122,864.28.
I.L.2.2. Tuition rates for the District and Special Education, 2018-2019
Discussion:  Harris said districts contract with CPS because they cannot provide the students with the services needed. He said he has not accepted any new contracts for the past few years because CPS is at capacity. The following are the recommendations for non-resident special education tuition. For high needs/autism plus supports/autism communication life skills, the cost is $285 per day. For resource, the cost is $185 per day. For non-public resource and project search, the cost is $61 per day. Harris said the state has a set provider rate to charge per day. The high school regular tuition rate will be $13,500 and for elementary and middle regular tuition rate will be $11,000.
I.L.3. Updates
Discussion:  Harris said he has submitted the early childhood grant for the additional preschool. The preschool will be held at Lost Creek but preference will be given to North Park students. Harris said he will find out if it will be funded in May. He said it is being held at Lost Creek because the building has room. Harris said one fourth grade class is being dropped, so there will be space.  
I.M. Superintendent's Report
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said LB778 would reduce the board’s levy ability from 14 cents to 5 cents in the special building fund. He said there are currently no finance bills or tax packages coming out of the finance committee. Dr. Loeffelholz said the interviews for the Lost Creek Principals job are finished. There were 21 people who talked to each of the candidates. He said he met with all the groups today and will have a recommendation for the position by the meeting next week.
I.N. Board Sharing
Discussion:  Tim Pospisil’s wife, Kathy is very excited to be working at West Park. He said she has a lot of learning to do but is enjoying it. Doug Willoughby informed the board long time substitute teacher Senga Jensen’s husband passed away this morning.
I.O. Adjourn
Discussion:  The meeting adjourned at 8:12 p.m.
<< Back to the Public Page for Columbus Public Schools