Public Meeting Minutes: August 13, 2018 at 5:30 PM - Regular Meeting


View Options:

Show Everything
Hide Everything

August 13, 2018 at 5:30 PM - Regular Meeting Minutes

August 13, 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
Discussion:  Candy Becher read the mission statement.
I.F. Opportunity for Public to be Heard
Discussion:  No one spoke to the board.
I.G. Recognitions
Discussion:  There were no recognitions.
I.H. Presentations
I.H.1. REMIND Presentation

Jackson Klein with Remind said the program is designed specifically for education. It can be either a one- or two-way communication tool for educators to use. Klein said staff members can determine if it is one or two-way communication. Remind is a mass communication tool because everyone in the district can uses it. A staff member can set it up to go to an entire group or just an individual. Klein??????? said the program can allow a staff members to text with parents or students without revealing any other information including cell phone numbers. The goal of Remind is to help build relationships with parents and students. There are three types of messages. 1. Class announcement: This can be done with one click to all participants, and if two-way communication is enabled, the response only goes back to the teacher or coach. 2. Group conversation: This feature allows for dialogue with multiple people without having to know cell numbers; 3. Individual message: This is sent to a specific person. Klein said the program is achievable and is deeper than text messaging. The program can be used through any type of medium like cell phone, email, sms text or an App. The message can also be translated into 80 languages. Klein??????? said Remind is being used because text messages are very powerful and research shows they are read 3 times more than email. Email is only being opened about 22 percent of the time. This makes communication very challenging.

Once the group is created, students can contact the teacher. The program will log a phone and the length of time but not what was said in the call. Superintendent Dr. Loeffelholz said the message will come directly to you instead of having to go look for it. CPS teachers are already using Remind. There are 30 teachers using it, and messages are received by 400 plus students and 400 plus parents. CHS Activities Director Dave Hiebner said Remind makes it easy to communicate with students that co-op with CHS in sports. This is challenging if the person is not in the same domain as the teacher. He said it is also easy to get information out immediately. The current free program limits the characters to 140, but with the new Remind, there will 600 characters. Klein??????? said the biggest difference between how it looks now and what could look like is that the new version can integrate with Powerschool. A staff member can also determine if he or she wants to receive calls. Board Member Theresa Seipel said she hopes this will increase the number of calls between parents and students. Remind could be used to communicate with everyone in the district. The program will also show how many saw the message and the number of errors, so the administration can go back and find out why some are not receiving the information. There is a way to see who is sending and receiving messages. Dr. Loeffelholz said the cost is $4 per students, but if the district does a three-year contract, the price drops to $2.75 per student. The contract for three years would be $32,000. Dr. Loeffelholz said parents can join the same group, so they know what is being said to their child. Right now coaches and teachers are using the free version. Board member Candy Becher wants to make sure more than 30 teachers a year will be using it. Executive Director of Technology and Building Operations Leonard Kwapnioski said the board must remember this is the way the kids are communicating. He said they want something quick and to the point. Centennial Principal Jackie Herink said some elementary teachers are using Remind to communicate with parents, and it works well. The trainers would be staff members already using the program. Klein??????? said most people would rather learn from someone they know than a stranger, and it is more effective. Kwapnioski said if more schools in Nebraska are involved it would help reduce the cost. He said there are several schools in Nebraska that are looking at it as a communication tool. The problem with other programs like Hudl and Google classroom is they cannot always connect with parents. Dr. Loeffelholz said the district is looking for a way to communicate with parents and students and not put staff in a position to defend themselves. With programs such as Class Dojo or Hudl, staff member must use the district email to set up the account. This will help make it achievable. Hudl is only a one-way communication and most of the information is for the team information.

I.I. Board Special Functions
I.I.1. Hearings
I.I.1.1. Special Hearing - Annual review on Parent Relations Goals, Policy 1005.02, Regulations and Exhibits
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said nothing has changed in this policy for many years. He said if the board wants something different, now is the time to do it.
I.I.1.2. Special Hearing - Annual Review of Policy 1005.03, Regulations and Exhibits - Parental Involvement in the School
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said he will define what family is in the policy.
I.I.1.3. Adjourn from Special Hearing
Discussion:  The board adjourned the special hearing at 6:43 p.m.
I.I.2. Approval of a Kindergarten Teacher at Lost Creek Elementary to Accommodate Enrollment
Discussion:  Executive Director of Business Operations and Human Relations Dave Melick said under our working rule, kindergarten must have a student to teacher ratio of 20 to 1. As of now, there are 80 kindergartners at Lost Creek for three teachers. Melick said another teacher needs to be hired, and there is funding because a fourth grade teacher retired, and this person was not replaced. There is a classroom available for the additional grade.
I.I.3. RVW Proposal for Bid Documents
Discussion:  RVW provided the board with a cost of $58,750 to prepare bid documents for the demolition of the south side of the old Middle School. RVW Architect Dan Keiter will walk the board through the process at the September meeting.
I.I.4. Second and Final Reading of Policy 504.11 Student Use of Regulated Electronic Devices
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said the policy is more specific about students using electronic devices and diminish the ability to record someone without permission. He said the policy now has more teeth, with consequence. 
I.I.5. Second and Final Reading of Policy 504.17 Harassment by Students
I.I.6. Second and Final Reading of Policy 505.02 Suspension of Students
I.I.7. Second and Final Reading of Policy 505.03 Expulsion of Students
I.I.8. First Reading of Policy 504.24 Professional Boundaries and Staff Relationships with Students
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said the purpose of this policy is to protect staff from accusation and potential inappropriate relationships with students. He said the teacher is a role model and shouldn’t be a friend to the student. One board member expressed concerns that staff may no longer want to help students for fear of the consequence, such as not stopping to pick someone up if they are walking home in the rain. Dr. Loeffelholz said the policy does not say that staff cannot do this, but the parent should be notified and consent given. The other gray area concerns family friends. Dr. Loeffelholz said when he texts one of his children’s friends, he includes the parents. Doug Willoughby said the staff member should be given the chance to respond if contacted by a student. He said if students text and ask a question such as where is practice, then the teacher should be able to answer. Dr. Loeffelholz said the teacher can respond but must notify his or her principal. He said there are also district approved devices to answer. Theresa Seipel questioned if giving kids nicknames was going to be an issue with staff. Dr. Loeffelholz said he doesn’t think this will be a problem, and this includes nicknames students call staff. He said this is the first reading and the policy can be changed. Board member Mike Goos said the board must look at this as protecting the district and staff. He said CPS hires a lot of young people that are not much older than students. Dr. Loeffelholz said the purpose of the policy is not to stop communicating with students. Remind would be a way to address the issues. He said people with Remind accounts already will just roll over to the new one. Kwapnioski cautioned the board not to give staff too many district approved ways to communicate. He said one or two at the most and see what works best. Kwapnioski said if there are several, parents will become frustrated and not want to learn several different ways. He reminded the board that it takes about three years to see if a program works. Dr. Loeffelholz said he will add something in the policy addressing an emergency. He will make some adjustments and send the policy to Becher and Willoughby before the next reading for suggestions.
I.J. Items to be removed from the Consent Agenda
Discussion:  Item M4b was removed.
I.K. Consent Agenda
I.K.1. Approval of Minutes
I.K.2. Financial Reports M2, M3, M4a
I.K.3. Financial Report M4b
Discussion:  Seipel Repair was paid $655.16 for some work on the buses and a motor repair.
I.K.4. Certified Personnel
Discussion:  Lena Buckner will be the new kindergarten teacher at Lost Creek. The board said it is sad to see Heidi Elliott leave.
I.K.5. Classified Personnel
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said he will be talking with Foundation Board President Brian Christensen about sharing some additional duties with the district.
I.K.6. Professional Travel
I.L. Acceptance of Gifts/Donations
Discussion:  There were $39,993 contributions for June made by the Foundation and umbrella organizations. Dr. Loeffelholz said the district did receive a second Revision Grant, and the money from this will go toward the construction technology program in the amount of $38,197. The Foundation also assisted with the Comfort Closet to provide some basic needs for students starting school. These items were delivered to the schools and will be distributed. Dr. Loeffelholz said the Foundation will also have a booth for Columbus Days.
I.M. Business Operations and Human Relations
I.M.1. Policies
I.M.1.1. Second and Final Reading of Policy 404.06 Harassment By Employees
I.M.2. Administrative Functions
I.M.2.1. Approval of Substitute Finder’s Fee for Other Substitute Teachers
Discussion:  Melick said the substitute list is shorter than in past years. He said CPS is struggling to find people on a regular basis to sub in the classrooms. Melick said he wants to try paying anyone a sub finder fee after the person works for so many days for the district. The board also asked Melick to find out why people do not want to sub for CPS. Melick said CPS is competing for the same subs with the districts around Columbus. CPS is at the top of the pay range. Melick said everyone needs to try something new, and the incentives may encourage people to go out and recruit people. Dr. Loeffelholz said the district will come up with a fact sheet so people will know what is needed to be a sub. Theresa Seipel said perhaps the district should consider not allowing coaches to attend state competitions if their teams are not participating. She said if subs can’t be found, classrooms should take priority. Dr. Loeffelholz said when he talked to subs three years, the biggest factors in not wanting to do it was the technology and inconsistency between buildings. He said the district will send something out to subs who have quit over the last three or four years and find out why. 
I.M.2.2. Surplus Property
Discussion:  There were many old and obsolete items from Centennial’s media center that need to be disposed of. North Park is wanting to get rid of dictionaries, World Book Encyclopedias and the Blue Book of Knowledge.
I.M.3. Updates
Discussion:  Melick said he will give a budget presentation at the Sept. 10 meeting. He said the district also applied for a grant to do the fresh vegetables and fruit at Centennial, North Park and West Park. Melick said North Park was the only one awarded the funding. He said there were a large number of schools that applied, and there was not adequate money available. Emerson will also keep the program for another year. Melick said although the district wanted to add three more programs, one will still be helpful. He said the grants provides about $40 to $50 per students to provide the fruits and vegetables. Many of these fruits and vegetables are things the students have never tried before, Emerson Principal Sara Colford said. The students do like them, she said.
I.N. Buildings & Sites/Technology
I.N.1. Policies
I.N.2. Administrative Functions
I.N.2.1. CMI Contract
Discussion:  Kwapnioski said the cost has increased a little from last year, but a lot more will be covered including the high school roofs. CPS HVAC Coordinator John Harger can do a lot of the things, but there is still some equipment that he does not have the tools to fix. Kwapnioski said he would rather make sure things are covered in case of need, and if it doesn’t need to be done, something else can be added.
I.N.2.2. REMIND Classroom Messaging
Discussion:  Board member Doug Molczyk asked if the board approved Remind could this be the preferred method of communication. Some board members were concerned that there would not be funding available to cover the expense. Dr. Loeffelholz said this is additional money that was not planned for in the budget at this time. Kwapnioski said the payment is three one year installments, so the entire amount is not due now, just the first year. Theresa Seipel said she wants this to be the recommended communication tool used by staff.  Dr. Loeffelholz said he will make sure staff is instructed on how to use it. Molczyk said he hopes staff remember to keep the messages short even though there are more characters because that is what kids prefer.
I.N.3. Updates
Discussion:  Kwapnioski said the ReVision grant will be used for construction technology. A concrete 80' X 100' slab will be laid on the back side of the building west of the custodial parking lot. Kwapnioski said there is already power out to the area. He said in order to move larger items like garages or houses the concrete slab must be a certain size to move it off the area.

He said work on phase 2 of the anchor is down to just a few items. Kwapnioski said he is working on the signage, and 187 bricks have been sold and laid. He said the other areas for bricks will have a seal so water and moisture won’t get inside. Kwapnioski said Commonwealth has donated all electrical needs for the project. He said the front sign will also be lighted. All the access controls in the buildings are brought up. The buildings have been 85 percent rekeyed.  Kwapnioski said there will be a major server outage tomorrow morning that will last about two hours. He said he would prefer to do the work at night but then the vendors are not available to provide assistance.
I.O. Curriculum and Instruction
I.O.1. Policies
I.O.1.1. Second and Final Reading of Policy 604.14 Reading Instruction and Improvement
Discussion:  This policy won’t take effect until next school year. Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction Amy Romshek said the policy requires the district to have things in place for reading instruction. She said the biggest change is CPS doesn’t have any formal way of informing parents. Romshek said under the policy, CPS must send written communication to the parent and also what the plan is to address the problems. She said she will be working on the policy this year, so CPS will be compliant next year.  Parents must be notified within 15 days of a problem being noticed. Intervention must take place within 30 days, which CPS is already doing
I.O.2. Administrative Functions
I.O.3. Updates
Discussion:  Romshek said her staff has been providing a lot of training for new staff. She said with the new teacher at Lost Creek, there will be coaches and trainers that can assist her even though all the training has been done. Romshek said there has also been training for returning staff. Mark Brahier was brought in to talk with high school teachers about helping students prepare for the ACT and remembering what they learned. He was working with the math, science, social studies and english teachers. Romshek said the emphasis was how to help them remember what they learned. Jan Hoegh has been working with staff as well. She has been focusing on writing high quality assessments. Dr. Tashana Howse is a math professor working with the high school math teachers on instructional shifts in math. Some of the topics covered include: it is good to provide a productive struggle; build conceptual understanding first; have students create models; elicit and use evidence of student things; and make sense of mathematics. Romshek said Howse will be coming back for more training this year. Dr. Lee Jenkins worked with the administrative team on the strategic planning processes and how to use measureable goals on that instructional process. Romshek said they have been trying to give teachers more say so on what the improvement plan looks like.
I.P. Student Services
I.P.1. Policies
I.P.1.1. Second and Final Reading of Policy 403.02 Child Abuse Reporting
I.P.2. Administrative Functions
I.P.3. Updates
Discussion:  Executive Director of Student Services and Special Education Jason Harris said the registrar has been busy enrolling new students. He said there have been a lot of new students.  Harris said his department has also been busy amending grants for this school year. The crisis team was activated this week. He said so far, no students have come to see any of the team. Harris said CPS and the police department released a joint statement about help being available. He said the crisis team will be at the visitation on Wednesday and funeral on Thursday.
I.Q. Superintendent's Report
Discussion:  All three portables have been sold. The district originally paid $19,500 a piece, and they sold for $19,700. Dr. Loeffelholz asked the board if they wanted to change the meeting format and go back to a committee has a whole meeting in September. The board preferred to go back to the committee as a whole meeting. There was also some discussion on having a morning listen session instead of the afternoon ones. The morning would be more of an open house format where people could come in and talk to the board, and there would be at least three board members present. Some of the elementary principals expressed concerns that this would cut into the supervision time before the start of school. Many also felt the staff preferred the 4:30 time. Board member Candy Becher said mornings are busy for teachers and she feels fewer will attend. CMS Principal Amy Haynes asked if the board would consider doing a 3:45 p.m. time. The board said this is more challenging because many of them work other jobs. The principals are going to ask the teachers if they prefer the morning or 4:30 time and let Dr. Loeffelholz know.

He said next week he will be meeting with the district team and then administrative team to come up with a plan in case ICE raids Columbus. He also showed the board the new web design and new app. Dr. Loeffelholz reminded the board that they must decide if they want to attend the state convention. Registration opens on September 12. He said if they want to attend to let him know.

I.R. Board Sharing
Discussion:  Doug Molczyk said he is excited for the next school year. All the board wished staff good luck on the first days back.
II. Executive Session
Discussion:  The board went into executive session at 8:51 p.m. to discuss personal issues.
III. Adjourn

<< Back to the Public Page for Columbus Public Schools