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


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

November 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. Board Special Functions
I.E.1. Presentations
I.E.1.1. 2017-2018 Audit Report
Discussion:  Joe Held with Schumacher, Smejkal, Brockhaus and Herley said the school district audit was clean. He said the one issue that the district needs to be careful of is spending more out of the General Fund than was budgeted for the year. Executive Director of Business Operations and Human Relations Dave Melick said what happened is the money was supposed to be transferred to the special building fund, but instead it was placed in the general fund. As a result, the budget should have been amended before the amount was paid out. Held said the only other item the district needs to watch is the bond debt payments because they are for a large amount. Melick said the payments will remain the same because the time to refinance has not been right, and the district has a good rate. He said with the current payments the district will be able to put away a little extra and let the money build up.
I.E.1.2. North Park Presentation
Discussion:  Principal Bob Hausmann said when he first came to North Park, he found the explorer hanging in the building when he went to school as an elementary student. He said over the summer retired teacher Lisa Davies repainted it to maroon since the North Park’s colors used to be blue and modernized it. Hausmann said they decided to hang it in the gym with the name North Park added. He said they wanted to incorporate the saying a student designed for a t-shirt, so the following words were added: We dream, We learn and We discoverer! Hausmann said this is on the north wall of the gym.

Demographics - North Park is currently at a poverty level of 66 percent. The enrollment is 325 for grades K-4. Hausmann said when he came to North Park 15 years ago, the enrollment was 271 for grades K-5 and the poverty rate was 40 percent. As a school, North Park’s student population is 65 percent Hispanic and 29 percent EL. Hausmann said the data indicates that the EL rate drops as the students move to the next grade level, and it shows they are learning. He said the special education population is also the highest number in the school’s history at 15 percent.

North Park's theme this year for positive behavior is "I'm in control." Hausmann said all staff is involved in brainstorming for a theme. He said this year it is based on video games and centers around the school rules and being in control of your actions. Hausmann said every class picked a video game character to represent them. These characters were placed in the gym and move around based on the number of positive behavior tickets awarded in the class. Hausmann said the students are in the gym twice a day, and this is a motivator for good behaviors.

This year North Park is focusing on building goals instead of grade level SMART Goals. He said all grade levels were asked to look at the data and find an area to focus on to shrink the gap. The first step is finding out what needs to be solved. Next, staff must dig deeper into the data to find out why there is that gap and what is it telling us. Each grade level then had to come up with a way to close the gap. Teachers in grades K-2 found a gap and came up with a goal and teachers in grades 3-4 found their learning gap and have a plan for closing it.

Hausmann said teachers have gotten creative on ways to get students to work on the school improvement goals. He said indoor recess offers a great opportunity. Hausmann said the students think they are just playing games but they are actually working on skills such as math. One advantage is all students and teachers have access to an iPad every day. The kids think it is a toy. but they use it as a learning tool. Hausmann said the work on the iPad is completely different then the work in a workbook because of the interaction of the kids.

North Park received a fresh fruits and vegetables grant that provides snacks to students every morning except Wednesday. Hausmann said this goes along with the healthy schools push this year. He said the school receives a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, and the kids often go to the internet to learn what they are eating.
I.F. Consent Agenda
I.F.1. Approval of Minutes
I.F.2. Financial Reports M2, M3, M4a
Discussion:  M2 - Alfred Benesch was paid $529.70 for the asbestos investigation at the Kramer Education Center. Stephens & Smith Construction was paid $724.00 for work at West Park that was done a long time ago, but the district never received a bill.

M3 - Melick said the district received a little over $2 million in property taxes revenue. Commonwealth Communications was paid $5,434.40 for door electrical replacement at Centennial. GNSA was paid $4,000 for the 2018-19 lobbyist fees. Lunchtime Solutions was paid $3,780 for the burger bash. Beard-Warren was paid $3,484 for the replacement of a heat pump compressor at Emerson. Presence Learning Inc. was paid $7,129.57 for speech services used by the district.

I.F.3. Financial Report M4b
Discussion:  Seipel Repair bill of $153.95 for fixing an airbag censor in one of the vehicles and $517.50 for September service on 12 vehicles was reviewed.
I.F.4. Certified Personnel
Discussion:  Stephanie Carlson was hired as the new  K-12 career coordinator. There were three people interviewed. She has a 6-12 business, marketing and information technology endorsement and a work-based learning endorsement. Carlson grew up in Newman Grove. She will start on January 3.
I.F.5. Classified Personnel
Discussion:  There were 7 new hires most were para educators. There were four resignations including the Transportation Coordinator.

Nicole Anderson was hired as half-time Foundation Director and half-time CPS Marketing Director. Superintendent Dr. Troy Loeffelholz said one of things the Foundation was looking for was an alumnus and someone who is not afraid of community involvement. He said Anderson has worked in several marketing jobs and will bring a wealth of knowledge to the positions. Dr. Loeffelholz said she will be a good ambassador for CPS. As of right now, she will start on January 3. Dr. Loeffelholz said she will be considered a CPS employee who the Foundation is contracting with to do their job.
I.F.6. Professional Travel
Discussion:  October and early November are busy months for professional development.
I.G. Acceptance of Gifts/Donations
Discussion:  Total contributions for the month of October from the Foundation and supporting organizations were $72,987.11. Dr. Loeffelholz said the yearly totals are right on schedule from last year. The Foundation paid $51,591 for STEM items at CHS, which was the new concrete slab for the construction class that is being funded through the Revisions Grant.
I.H. Business Operations and Human Relations
I.H.1. Policies
I.H.2. Administrative Functions
I.H.3. Updates
Discussion:  Melick said the new health and dental insurance went up 4.99 percent. He said the increase was less than what was expected.  Melick said in the negotiated contract, there was a clause that it could be renegotiated if the increase was 10 percent or higher. Melick said he was glad the increase was not that high.

Melick said human relations coordinator Kathy Leischner will be retiring on January 11 after 29 1/2 years of working for the district. The district is currently searching for a replacement.

Melick said he talked to the Foundation Board a few weeks ago about the policy for the STEM equipment. The foundation agreed to provide $30,000 for repair or replacement of equipment, and the district agreed to provide funding based on a depreciated amount. The first year the district will pay $86,758 and eventually the amount will decrease. Melick said right now if equipment would need to be replaced or purchased, there would be 
$116,000 available. He said that amount will grow over a period of time.
I.I. Buildings & Sites/Technology
I.I.1. Policies
I.I.2. Administrative Functions
I.I.2.1. Approval of Name Change of 13 Pieces of Property
Discussion:  Executive Director of Building Operations and Technology Leonard Kwapnioski said he met with Clark Grant to go over all the property descriptions the district owns. He said what was discovered was some of the things were not recorded correctly but were done correctly. Grant will fix everything so it all falls together based on all the sites. Kwapnioski said he also talked to the district lawyer to find out how it should be named. He said the district’s full name will be used. Kwapnioski said after the board approves it next week, Board President Theresa Seipel must sign it in front of a notary.
I.I.3. Updates
Discussion:  Kwapnioski said the asbestos company has started work at the Kramer Education Center today. He said there are some really interesting things on how the building was put together. RVW architect Dan Keiter put out the bid plan and Thursday at 10 a.m. from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. contractors can come and walk through.  Demolition is scheduled to start Jan. 1 with some of the staging of the ground. Kwapnioski said the district must have a storm and water protection plan because the city requires it. He said 90 percent of the items have been removed from the building, and there isn't much to salvage. Kwapnioski told the board if any of them have questions to contact him, and if they want to do a tour, it should be done within the next couple of days.
I.J. Curriculum and Instruction
I.J.1. Policies
I.J.2. Administrative Functions
I.J.2.1. Personal Finance Proposal and Transition Plan
Discussion:  The CHS business department wants to change the graduation requirements to include personal finance. CHS business teacher Kris Wurtz said the teachers feel this would be in the best interest of the students. This would be a gradual transition. Students graduating in 2020, 2021 and 2022 would stay with the current graduation requirement of taking career education. Incoming freshmen next year would be required to take personal finance as junior or senior.

The teachers said most of the information taught in career education is now taught in the middle school. The teachers said they feel there is enough staff to add personal finance and still offer some high-level business classes. Many students want to take some of the higher end business classes but currently can’t work it into their schedule because of prerequisites. There are also a lower number of students meeting the programs of studies. If there were more kids in junior and senior classes, more students could complete a program of study. Most would only need to take accounting to complete another program of study. There are only about 30 percent of the students who currently take personal finance as compared to 100 percent when it will be required.

This will give freshmen and sophomores a little more flexibility as well as give juniors and seniors more class options. Theresa Seipel said she is very glad to see that this change is being requested. She said many students fall below the poverty line and could benefit from this class.
I.J.3. Updates
Discussion:  Continuous improvement process - Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction Amy Romshek said AdvancEd recommended that the district have a formalized continuous improvement process and each building must develop a plan. She said each plan is personalized to that building. First, the staff must go through a data review and dig deeper into the data to see what is the problem and what is causing it. Next, they must look at responding to the data. They must develop a plan to look at what are they doing to help strengthen the skills. The final step is to revisit the data. Romshek said teachers should not wait until midyear to check the students’ progress. One area that is being looked at is if students are at grade level in reading and math and are on track to graduate. Romshek said the passing rate is high in the district at every grade level, but the scores dip when it comes to reaching the benchmark score in reading and math. Romshek said the district has some areas that need to be worked on. She said this issue will be discussed in more detail at another meeting. Romshek said a teacher needs to be aware of each of the weak areas for his or her students. They also need to look at the data and be truthful with what it is. Romshek said this is the first year, and it is a learning process.

Dr. Loeffelholz said part of closing the gap is keeping the teacher to student ratio low. He said one goal for the future may be to have smaller class sizes, but the problem is where to put the additional classroom in the schools. Dr. Loeffelholz said everything must be looked at to help close the gap. Seipel asked if it would be possible to add more para educators to help in the classrooms. Dr. Loeffelholz asked what is the magic number for adding additional para educators? The problem is finding para educators and also retaining them. One of the main reasons for this is no benefits and only working for a few days out of the year. Jason Harris, Executive Director of Student Services and Special Education said there are currently 122 regular and special education classroom or instructional para educators.
I.K. Student Services
I.K.1. Policies
I.K.2. Administrative Functions
I.K.3. Updates
Discussion:  The Special Education Department has 676 public school students and 78 nonpublic. The special education students are 14.43 percent of the enrollment and the state average is 15.12 percent. Harris said in May and June he runs a public notice and invites parents of nonpublic school’s children to a meeting. At this meeting, he lets them know the allocation for equitable services. Harris said this can be anything the district decides. For CPS, the equitable service is speech. He said this means if a student qualifies for speech, services will be provided. If the student live in the CPS district and attends a nonpublic school, they can be eligible for additional services besides speech. Harris said in the future, something else may need to be consider for equitable services. He said the challenge is at some point in time, many of the kids will attend CPS.

There was $660,000 spent on students age birth to 5 and $4 million spent on school age special education children. In special education transportation, there was close to $363,131 spent. Harris said local school districts cover 50 percent of special education funding. The federal funds cover a lot of the birth to 5. He said over the past 15 years, there has been a 19 percent increase of students with disabilities. Harris said the cost to educate them goes up. Harris said this information comes from the Nebraska Association of Special Education Supervisors. He said when there is talk about cutting special education, it is really not being cut but general education is. Harris said this group tries to education legislators that special education costs a lot, but in the end, there is not a lot to cut because the cuts will come from someplace else. When special education funding was originally started, it was supposed to be covered 100 percent but it never has been.
I.L. Superintendent's Report
Discussion:  The district enrollment is 4,028, which is the largest it has ever been. Dr. Loeffelholz said there is an 11 percent increase from last year with 136 more students. He said there are more students transferring from the parochial schools, and there has been a demographic shift where more families are moving into the district while the older generation is moving out of the district.

Dr. Loeffelholz reminded the board of the State School Board conference on Thursday and Friday. He said they will be eating as a group on Thursday. Dr. Loeffelholz said the principals have been presenting their building goals to the directors.  He said they have their hypothesis and will present at board retreat this summer on how they did. Dr. Loeffelholz welcomed new board member Mike Jeffryes. He said Remind has started to be used by teachers. Dr. Loeffelholz said there have been a few glitches, but things are being worked through.
I.M. Board Sharing
Discussion:  Doug Willoughby welcomed Jeffryes. Doug Molczyk said the musical this weekend was very good, and there are a lot of talented students. Candy Becher also welcomed Jeffryes. Theresa Seipel said she is looking forward to the board state conference this week. Dr. Loeffelholz said he is working on getting Jeffryes into the national conference. Seipel said she also went to the musical, and the talent of the students is amazing. Dr. Loeffelholz said the reorganization meeting will be in January, and there are three board members who have not been president or vice president yet.
I.N. Adjourn
Discussion:  The board adjourned at 7:43 p.m.
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