Public Meeting Minutes: July 16, 2018 at 5:30 PM - Regular Meeting


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July 16, 2018 at 5:30 PM - Regular Meeting Minutes

July 16, 2018 at 5:30 PM - Regular Meeting
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
I.F. Opportunity for Public to be Heard
Discussion:  No one spoke to the board. 
I.G. Board Special Functions
I.G.1. Presentations
I.G.1.1. ICE Columbus Project-Elizabeth Blaser
Discussion:  Elizabeth Blaser began working on her 4-H Diamond Clover Project in 2016. The idea stemmed from wanting to bring back a public ice skating rink to Columbus. There was one here many years ago at Pawnee Park. One of the highlights included adding a warming shelter. This shelter would have viewing for people who wanted to watch skating, seating, restrooms and would also be heated. CHS would use 30 percent of the building for storage. The days of operation will be during the day on weekends and may be expanded during school breaks. The building will be wood and similar to the hospital storage center but will be covered in brick to match CHS. B-D is the general contractor. The dirt work has already been completed, and the ice rink is the size of two regulation hockey skating rinks. The entire cost of the project is $95,000 and Blaser has already raised $15,000. She said there have also been some in-kind donations of $16,311 and in-kind for labor of $30,634. She still needs to raise about $30,000. She hopes to have all the fundraising completed by the end of August, so the project can open this winter. She has developed a marketing plan for raising the money. She said the project will need to be completed by the time she graduates in May. Blaser said she has recruited the Boy Scouts and Kiwanis Club to help run the operation. She said when she first dreamed of the ice skating rink, it was a small $5,000 project, and it has grown into a larger more permanent project. Blaser said it has been exciting to watch the project grow. She said as of now, people will need to bring their own skates. Board President Theresa Seipel said she really appreciates all the work Blaser has done and how she has stuck with it.  
I.G.1.2. EL Presentation
Discussion:  EL District Coordinator Erica Earley said when looking at a three-year trend, the EL population has remained around 400. Last year there were 471 students, which is 12 percent of the K-12 enrollment. Earley said when looking at the numbers, the percentage of EL or former EL students is 28 percent of the K-12 enrollment. Earley said a big percentage of CPS EL students have been here less than a year. She said the longer they are here the smaller percent of students. Now there are about 30 percent who have been enrolled less than one year. Earley said it takes five to seven years to be fluent in a language. She said there are so many factors as to how long it takes to learn the language. It is also challenging to exit the program. A student must score proficient on the state proficiency exam.

In the past, a student could exit the program by being proficient on NeSA reading or taking the ELPA exam. The ELPA test is given once a year in February to all EL students K-12. Earley said it is also interesting to look at where the students are immigrating from. In the past three years, there have been a lot of students from Cuba, and Mexico has kind of dropped off. She said there are some other areas beside Central and South America where families are moving from such areas as the Congo, and these students need French translation. She said she anticipates more from Africa coming to Columbus because schools around are seeing this trend. Earley also said that people assume all those from Central and South America speak Spanish and that is not always the case. CHS has the highest number of level one learners with 42. Earley said it is more challenging for an older student to learn a language. CHS also has the highest EL population with 96 total and North Park not far behind with 93 students. Earley said this is why another EL teacher is being added to North Park. Emerson has the lowest numbers of newcomers. West Park currently houses the recently arrived students. At the end of the school year, there were only four students in the third and fourth grade program. These students spend a big portion of day in English development. CMS had 15 newcomers at the end of the school year. These students work on English, writing, math and a little social studies. CHS has 19 recently arrived students. Earley said a student can exit the recently arrived classroom and still be considered a level I student. At CHS, students spend three periods a day working on developing English, and the rest of day they are in a regular classroom. Earley said she is trying to increase the number of bilingual staff. As of December, CMS had the most bilingual staff with 8. The total bilingual staff is 35. There are 3.2 percent of certified staff that is bilingual and 10 percent of the classified staff, and 24 percent of the K-12 students have parents that request translation. She said she has also published a newsletter that had positive comments about EL support staff. She said she is trying to recruit more bilingual staff and wants them to know they are appreciated. A survey was done at elementary parent/teacher conference and 99 parents responded positive about what is being done in EL. Some suggestions were: more activities for school and family; parents don’t want teachers to wait until parent teacher conferences to say their children are struggling; how to deal with bullying; and having a secretary that speaks Spanish.

Earley said JUNTOS, a family engagement project for Spanish speaking families of 8th graders, was started. Parents and students attended five sessions together. Earley said dinner and childcare were provided. The purpose was a family education goal. Topics discussed were why family and school are important; transferring from middle school to high school; and continuing education to the next level after high school.  Earley said at one of the sessions, high school students came and talked to the group and answered a lot of their questions about high school.  She said these high school students will help the eighth graders feel more at ease in the fall. At one point, the whole family sat down and made a plan about how to be successful. Eight families participated and four came every time. Not only did the parents and students attend but in most cases younger siblings came as well. Earley said the program was very positive.  She said 4-H sponsored the curriculum for Juntos. A CPS bilingual para ran the class, and there were many volunteers for childcare. Earley said before starting the program, CPS staff talked to Lakeview, who was also running a similar program. She said they would like to expand the program to the high school next year if they are able to get the curriculum.  

I.G.1.3. Anchor Activity Complex - Lamp Rynearson
Discussion:  Senior Project Manager at Lamp Rynearson Joe Zadina presented to the board, so fundraising efforts could move forward.  The proposed Anchor Activities Complex will be on the 24 acres south of the high school. Zadina said there is great support for this project in the community. Superintendent Dr. Troy Loeffelholz said when the ground was purchased for the high school, the board at that time wanted a buffer or green space between the school and Lost Creek. He said this gives an opportunity to use this green space for the community. Zadina said this is just preliminary plans and will change as the fundraising efforts begin. As of now, the plan has room for two softball and baseball fields, six tennis courts, a future indoor use facility, two playground/picnic areas and parking for 20 to 30 cars.  Zadina said the board is asking for permission to start working on phase 2 of the project, which includes cost estimates and developing priorities. There are a lot of things to be considered when looking at cost including being aware of the housing when installing lights. One plus is being able to take advantage of all the parking at the high school, so much additional parking won’t be needed. The baseball field will be college regulation size and the same with softball. Zadina said for all the items planned, the site will be tight especially when factoring a pedestrian walkway. There will be concessions and bathrooms in the center. There will also be seating for 400 people on the main baseball field and 240 on the main softball field. This will included shaded covers for the bleachers. There is additional seating for 160 spectators at the other two fields. Zadina said the seating can be moved to accommodate larger crowds. The site will also feature bullpens and batting cages. Dr. Loeffelholz said this will allow CPS to have fields closer to CHS for the students.  Zadina said the plan has extra space for additional things to be added, such as family play areas. It was discussed to add a place for teams to go in between games, adding splash pads, picnic areas and a gazebo. There would also be space for the teams to warm up. Zadina said there was great feedback and input from the community at the meetings. Zadina said everything will be priced out so the board will be aware of all the costs. Dr. Loeffelholz said if the school allows for baseball fields there must also be softball fields because of Title 9.  Currently CHS has a yearly agreement to pay the city to play games. If this new complex was constructed, CHS would play their home games at these facilities. Dr. Loeffelholz said the city is interested in helping with the project, and when it is time to construct the facility, it will need to be determined who will be paying for what expenses such as maintenance and upkeep. The CHS Activity Director will handle all of the leasing of the facility to outside users. Zadina said there has been some talk about using turf on one baseball and one softball field depending on the cost.  There are some schools who have gone with turf in the infield and grass in the outfield at least in the beginning.
I.G.2. Adjourn
I.G.3. Hearings
I.G.4. Special hearing for the purpose of receiving public input on Columbus Public Schools' Student Fees Policy -Policy 504.18, Regulation 504.18R1, and Exhibit 504.18E1
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said the district must hold a hearing every year on the collection of fees. All students on free and reduced lunch have the opportunity to have their fees waived. In order to have this done, they must fill out the fee waiver.
I.G.5. CHS Student Handbook 2018-2019
Discussion:  CHS Assistant Principal Angela Leifeld said there were five minutes removed from the bell schedule for the A lunch because the other lunches did not have this time. Drug related clothing was added to the dress code, and if a student wears this, he or she will be asked to change. Cell phones were placed as a separate entry in the handbook. A section was added to define parking lot expectations. The CHS Student Acceptable Use Agreement was added to the handbook to eliminate the stand alone document that was used in the past. Dr. Loeffelholz asked how much discussion is held with a student who wants to graduate mid-term but wants to come back for Prom. Leifeld said if the students do not receive his or her diploma, he or she can come back for prom. If they did receive their diploma, they must be asked by someone in school to go to prom.
I.G.6. CHS 2018-2019 Activities Handbook
Discussion:  CHS Activities Director Dave Hiebner said changes include the following. CPS and CHS do not provide health insurance if a student is injured. Thespians will be removed because it is no longer a group. If a student is placed into in-school suspension, he or she will not be allowed to participate in competition that day. Hiebner said the home school policy also was changed to reflect NSAA wording. The change says a freshmen home school student must be enrolled in at least 10 credit hours per semester at the high school. If entering after freshmen year, he or she must receive 20 credit hours for the immediate preceding semester, which shows they have been doing the work. CHS has the right to determine if home school credits will be accepted.
I.G.7. CHS Fees and Admission Prices for 2018-2019
Discussion:  Heibner said there are no changes from last year. Varsity games will remain $5 for adults and $4 students. He said this will encourage people to attend the games, and is the exact price that the NSAA charges for state events.
I.G.8. CMS Student Handbook 2018-2019
Discussion:  CMS Assistant Principal Jordon Anderson said students placed into in school suspension will no longer be given a sack lunch. Instead they will go to lunchroom after all the other students have eaten. He said some of the changes to the handbook were done to connect better to policies. The handbook will also now define Behavior Intervention Support Team (BIST), so parents will be familiar of what is done when a student gets in trouble. Students will be allowed to use their cell phones, but the expectation is students should be responsible and safe when using devices. The activity policy was changed to reflect the high school policy because this covers all students grades 7-12 because this is when students start competing with other schools. The Acceptable Use Policy is now similar to the high school but tweaked to fit middle school.
I.G.9. First Reading of Policy 403.02 Child Abuse Reporting
Discussion:  Executive Director of Student Services/Special Education Jason Harris said this policy was updated to include all school employees and even coaches who may not be employed during the day and people who volunteer. He said this also cleans up the language and offers how the district should address abuse. Board Member Doug Molczyk suggested changing the policy to say report to the police as soon as possible. He said if the child is in an abusive situation at home, he or she should not have to go back there until it is reported. Harris said when doing an investigation if the abuse is occurring in the house, the family is not involved, but if it is outside of the home, the family will be notified. He said there is no policy that states the abuse must be reported by a principal, but the administrator must be informed. Harris said anyone can file a report.
I.G.10. First Reading of Policy 404.06 Harassment By Employees
Discussion:  Executive Director of Business Operations/Human Relations Dave Melick said these changes were recommended by the School Board Association. He said he will rearrangement the policy, so it flows better before the second reading.
I.G.11. First Reading of Policy 504.11 Student Use of Regulated Electronic Devices
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said this policy allows building principals to take the device at a school sponsored event. The device could be returned to the parents, but they must come and get it. He said students can use devices in classes as long as it is appropriate. Dr. Loeffelholz said the cell phone rules do vary between the different levels. Leifeld said at the high school students can use cell phones because it ties into work place readiness, so they learn to use it properly. Molczyk questioned if the policy needed to state that the phone could be turned over to law enforcement in an investigation of an event that happened during school hours or on school property. Dr. Loeffelholz said this is covered in the student handbook. He said the policy needs to be generic to cover a lot, and the handbook carries weight because parents must sign that they read it. 
I.G.12. First Reading of Policy 504.17 Harassment by Students
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said this policy is similar to the one about staff and adds some clarification as to what constitutes harassment
I.G.13. First Reading of Policy 505.02 Suspension of Students
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said there were minor changes within both the suspension policy and expulsion policy. He said bullying is a suspendable offense. If something is done outside of school and against the law, a student can be suspended from school. Dr. Loeffelholz advised the board to contact him if they have anything that needs to be changed.  
I.G.14. First Reading of Policy 505.03 Expulsion of Students
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said an emergency expulsion was added to the policy. He said the same language as the suspension was used. Dr. Loeffelholz said the attorneys put both suspension and expulsion in the same policy, but CPS did not and wanted to keep them separate.
I.G.15. First Reading of Policy 604.14 Reading Instruction and Improvement
Discussion:  Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction Amy Romshek said this is a new policy created by the Legislature. She said for the most part, all of the elements are covered by CPS. One area that may need work is the parent communication piece. She said the policy states parents must be notified in 15 working days if their child is not reading proficient. The district must also have a plan in place in 30 days. Romshek said she will check with principals to see if this is being done. She said kindergarten teachers request not to start intervention until the second quarter, and this could present problems if it is past the 30 day window. The district will get one school year to implement this requirement. 
I.G.16. First Reading of Policy 504.24 Professional Boundaries and Staff Relationships with Students
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said this new policy could be controversial, but he said it is also very protective of CPS staff members. He said it is a professional code of conduct, and it limits staff to prevent them from crossing professional boundaries. Dr. Loeffelholz said the key is making sure the information is archived, and if it is not, the system cannot be used. Dr. Loeffelholz said the high school currently uses Hudl and this will have to be looked at to see if it can be archived. The other piece is that students as well as parents need to be informed when a student is contacted by a staff member. Dr. Loeffelholz said this policy is modeled after Millard’s policy. Millard Public Schools is currently in a lawsuit for this type of situation. Dr. Loeffelholz said the program REMIND can coordinate with PowerSchool and a group of students can be created so both kids and parents can be notified. He said this is an internal email system and is achievable. Dr. Loeffelholz said this policy is supposed to stop communication through social media and personal texts. Remind is not a one-way communication and the person can respond back. Many students use their email to contact teachers. Seipel asked what happens if a student wants to call a teacher to get some help. Pospisil said if a student is supposed to email teachers, is it their responsibility to always check the email. Pospisil was concerned that the education process was going to be handcuffed. Mike Goos said he agrees with the policy, and this provides good protection for staff. Goos said the board needs to look at the overall school system. Dr. Loeffelholz said the process will take a while. He said teachers generally want to help. Dr. Loeffelholz said if staff doesn’t use the district preferred communication then they could be written up. If staff receive a phone call, they must tell their supervisors. Seipel said the school is supposed to be welcoming and friendly as well as willing to help students. She said this policy does the opposite. Dr. Loeffelholz said there will be some growing pains. Mr. Heibner said coaching is one of the big problems with this because coaches communicate informally all the time. However, he said this is also where there have been some problems with this issue. Pospisil said this should also be included in the student handbook and state what is appropriate methods for communicating with the teacher. Leifeld said the EL teachers also help students a lot with work through text or calls. She said for these students the one-on-one conversation works best. Seipel asked if a student can talk to a teacher if the parent is aware. Dr. Loeffelholz said the student can talk to the teacher if the parent is aware. He said the point of the policy is prevention. Dr. Loeffelholz said there is nothing in policy that says teachers can’t communicate with students. The board tabled this issue until the next meeting.
I.G.17. Approval of Anchor Activity Complex Design for Initial Fundraising
I.G.18. Approval of Three year contract With Apptegy for Web Design and Messenger Services
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said the cost to switch to Apptegy will be less than what the district is paying two other companies for services. The annual cost is $15,130, and the district is currently paying $17,562. There will be an initial startup cost. Dr. Loeffelholz said another advantage is this one company will allow people to post to social media as well as the website so it is a one stop shop. He said Apptegy can do an online presentation for the board next month.
I.H. Items to be removed from the Consent Agenda
I.I. Consent Agenda
I.I.1. Approval of Minutes
I.I.2. Financial Reports M2, M3, M4, M4a
Discussion:  Melick said the district has receipted $4.5 million in property taxes into the general fund. There is no state aid payment in August. State aid starts over in September. Empowered Consulting was paid $25,200 for professional development training primarily in math. Melick said the district also had to make up a shortfall in funding for the after school program. 
I.I.3. Financial Report M4b
I.I.4. Financial Report M5
I.I.5. Certified Personnel
Discussion:  All new teachers have been in and received their computers.
I.I.6. Classified Personnel
I.I.7. Professional Travel
I.J. Acceptance of Gifts/Donations
Discussion:  The contributions for the month of June was $24,138.10. Dr. Loeffelholz said projects such as the anchor, and STEM on the Go are starting to move forward. He said it has been a really good year and another good month.
I.K. Business Operations and Human Relations
I.K.1. Policies
I.K.2. Administrative Functions
I.K.2.1. Substitute Teacher Handbook for 2018-2019
Discussion:  Melick said all substitute teacher pay rates have increased by $5. The long-term rate for working 10 or more consecutive days is $197.80 per day. Melick said Schuyler is very close to the CPS rate, so increasing the rate will help because of the sub shortage.
I.K.2.2. Surplus Property
Discussion:  Several high school science textbooks were declared surplus because copyright dates range were from 2001, 2002 and 2006. The books also no longer in line with the curriculum.
I.K.3. Updates
Discussion:  Melick informed the board that he is working at identifying what level people are being rated in relation to the teaching goals. The goal is for them to be at the applying level or moving in that direction. Melick said he created a chart to show the strategic plan in action. The progress will be tracked from year to year and will be provided to building principals.

Melick said a group of retired administrators have been singing the national anthem at Administrative Days for the past 20 to 25 years. He said the group decided if their services were no longer needed that would be fine. This year they were not asked to sing and wanted students to sing. Melick said he contact Jacob Ritter at the high school and four CHS students will be singing instead. Melick said this is a good opportunity to showcase CHS’ talent.
I.L. Buildings & Sites/Technology
I.L.1. Policies
I.L.2. Administrative Functions
I.L.3. Updates
I.M. Curriculum and Instruction
I.M.1. Policies
I.M.2. Administrative Functions
I.M.2.1. Columbus Middle School 2018-2019 Course Descriptions
Discussion:  CMS Principal Amy Haynes said there will be a small passing period for fifth and sixth grades added. The grading scale was updated to reflect the 10-point scale. Computer applications for seventh and eighth grades was updated to fit better with the next class at the high school. Fashion Design was revamped to now include fashion and finance. Foods was revamped to now include family study. A new digital media class was added to give eighth graders another option, and this class will tie in with the information technology class at CHS. A new child development and care class was created. Haynes said students can take fashion and finances class in both seventh and eighth grades.
I.M.3. Updates
Discussion:  Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction Amy Romshek said every year the board approves the student calendar. She said what people must remember before students come, that there are multiple teacher trainings. Romshek went over the schedule of activities for staff before school starts.  She said the first few days for all staff will be very busy. Romshek said Dr. Loeffelholz hired someone to work with staff on technology. She also said she is looking forward to seeing the board at the burger bash. Math teachers at the high school will be involved in training with a specialist from Solution Tree. There will also be a training on how to prepare students on the ACT. Romshek said the presenter will tell that it is important to review but there must be other prep work as well. The schedule also allows for work time in the classrooms.
I.N. Student Services
I.N.1. Policies
I.N.2. Administrative Functions
I.N.3. Updates
Discussion:  Harris said on Sept. 17 in Kearney there will be a conference to discuss resources and how to provide high quality childcare. He said there will be some big donors at the conference. Harris said he is planning on attending and more people may want to go. Board member Mike Goos said he is already planning on attending. Harris said this may be an opportunity to make some connections with some of these potential donors.
I.O. Superintendent's Report
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said administrator days will be next week. He also asked the board if he should contact Dan Keiter with RVW to come up with a plan for removing the southern half of the middle school and making it one story.
I.P. Board Sharing
Discussion:  Mike Goos said it was a good meeting tonight. Doug Willoughby will be leaving for vacation on August 20, so he won't be at next meeting. Tim Pospisil will also be gone on August 20. Dr. Loeffelholz said the meeting can be changed to August 13, and it could just be one like this month. Theresa Seipel was excited about the sports complex, and she thanked everyone for staying so late for the meeting. 
II. Executive Session
III. Adjourn
Discussion:  The board adjourned at 9:27 p.m.
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