Public Meeting Minutes: December 10, 2018 at 5:30 PM - Committee As A Whole


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December 10, 2018 at 5:30 PM - Committee As A Whole Minutes

December 10, 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. Lost Creek Presentation
Discussion:  Lost Creek Principal JP Holys said there are 376 students in the building this year as compared to 388 last year. Lost Creek is three sections at every grade with the exception of kindergarten, which has four sections and a preschool classroom.  He said the number of free and reduced students is now above the state average. In the autism program, there are 8 students, high needs 6 and 25 served by the resource teacher with six more students being evaluated. There are 45 students in speech and 40 EL students, and this number is growing just like across the district.

Holys said this is the first year MAPS was extended to Kindergarten through second grades. He said there are some areas of concern in the fourth and first grades, and teachers are discussing what can be done. On the NSCAS, in reading and math, Lost Creek is above the state average. L to J is being charted every Thursday, and if there is an all-time best, it is celebrated.

Holys said every day they do an early morning assembly. He said he awards students You Rock awards for going above and beyond. These awards are displayed in the great hall. If a student earns it more than once, he or she will receive a sticker on his or her rock. Holys said the idea is for all students to eventually receive at least one award. At the end of the assembly, students do the pledge. The Student Council sponsored a food drive, and the donations were taken to the Platte County Food Pantry. Pinnacle Bank opens up before school in the great hall, and students can deposit their money. There are currently 55 kids in the after school program.

Third graders used the iPad on their zoo trip to create stories and then published them. Holys said Seesaw is a student driven digital portfolio. The school counselor does Anchor Time. The Anchor Time motto is keep calm and stay anchored.  Lost Creek has a high school buddy program where once a month high school kids come over to work with kindergarteners. Holys said he has recently had some former Lost Creek teachers come back to the school to visit. He said it shows how much they care and that Lost Creek is a special place to a lot of people. The theme this year is Fly Like an Eagle.
I.E.2. Acceptance of Superintendent’s Letter of Intent to Extend
Discussion:  Superintendent Dr. Troy Loeffelholz said the letter is just to extend his contract for another year. He said it is a three-year deal. The request is nothing with salary or benefits. In the past, his salary was not determined until after teacher negotiations.  This year the Superintendent's evaluation will be switched to the end of the the contract calendar year, which is in June.
I.E.3. Close Up Program Trip Approval Form
Discussion:  Last spring the board gave permission to raise funds for the trip.  The cost of the trip will be $2,114 per student. He said it is unclear at this time how many students will be going. Dr. Loeffelholz said he will have them give a report before the group leaves.
I.F. Consent Agenda
I.F.1. Approval of Minutes
I.F.2. Financial Reports M2, M3, M4a
Discussion:  The district received approximately $172,800 in federal reimbursement and approximately $36,000 from the Platte County Treasurer in the bond fund. The $5,610 is for NSAB dues and the cost of the national convention. The payment of $5,641.11 to Frontline Technologies is used for posting job openings.
I.F.3. Financial Report M4b
Discussion:  The $337.99 bill from Seipel Repair is for fixing a horn on one vehicle and fixing a hood release.
I.F.4. Certified Personnel
I.F.5. Classified Personnel
Discussion:  Doug Zoucha will be retiring in January, and has been with the technology department for 12 years. Erica Gable was hired as the education specialist. This position will not cost the district any money, but after two years, if they want to keep the position, CPS would need to pay 1/3 of her salary. CHS Principal Steven Woodside said an Education Specialists works with businesses to get students in apprenticeships and job experience. A career coordinator brings the businesses into the school. He said Gable will be teaching a couple of JAG class. The purpose of the program is to target high school student with challenges or traumatic life experiences achieve success after graduation. Woodside said there will be about 30 to 35 students in the class. He said this Jag program is on the cutting edge and Columbus was selected as one of the pilot schools because of the strong tie with businesses and industries. He said this is new for the state and being a part of it on the ground floor is exciting.

Dr. Loeffelholz said this program is becoming more of a workforce development initiative. Columbus is one of four schools chosen to participate as a pilot. The other schools in Nebraska are Fremont, Omaha Benson and Omaha Bryan. Gable will be given three days of training before teaching the class. The students in the program will also have the opportunity to go to Des Moines for a national conference. Dr. Loeffelholz said no one from CPS participated in the interview process, but the person was hired because she fit the JAG experience.
I.F.6. Class of 2019 Mid-Term Graduates
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said there were less students graduating mid-term than in the past because students earn fewer credit hours without block scheduling. This year there will be about 35, who have applied for early graduation. These students can still walk at graduation as long as they do not take their diploma. In the fall, a student must fill out a form stating his or her intent for wanting to graduate early. Woodside said there is a wide variety of reasons why students choose to do this, and they have enough credit hours to graduate.
I.F.7. Professional Travel
Discussion:  The science teachers attended a workshop in Kearney. There was a special education law conference. Some coaches went to the state championship game. Dr. Loeffelholz said that recruiting has also already started. He said he was in a meeting where there was a discussion about recruiting teachers from Puerto Rico with dual language capabilities or fill positions where a Spanish speaker is needed. Most people from Puerto Rico speak English, and the country is a territory of the United States. The fastest growing Spanish speaking group in Nebraska is Cuban. Dr. Loeffelholz said this group is talking about going to Puerto Rico to see if this would be feasible, and CPS has been invited to attend. He said Behlen Mfg. is also going and said the CPS representative could stay with them.
I.G. Acceptance of Gifts/Donations
Discussion:  The total contributions from the Foundation and the umbrella organizations for the month of November was $45,745,38. The new foundation director will start January 3.
I.H. Business Operations and Human Relations
I.H.1. Administrative Functions
I.H.1.1. Surplus Property
Discussion:  The district is declaring six car seats that were used by transportation as surplus because they no longer meet federal guidelines. Executive Director of Business Operations and Human Resources Dave Melick said these are safe to use but don’t meet the federal transportation law standard
I.H.2. Updates
Discussion:  Melick invited the board to come to one of the district Christmas socials to eat and socialize. Melick said it is time to be thinking about opening the Temporarily Early Retirement Policy. He said if the board approves the policy, it will sunset in August. Melick said the policy offers incentives to people considering retiring and ending their career. To qualify, people must be more than half time and eligible for rule the rule of 85. Melick said at this time, there are 45 teachers and five administrators that may qualify, but Melick said he must look and see if they meet all the standards. The district will accept applications through Feb. 14, and Melick said he will ask for approval of the early retiree incentive at the Feb. 18 meeting. There would be $27,800 dollars paid out for three years. Melick said these people can also still fall under the district health insurance for three months through cobra. If the board approves this, Melick will meet with staff that are eligible next week because they must be notified 45 days before the application deadline.
I.I. Buildings & Sites/Technology
I.I.1. Administrative Functions
I.I.1.1. Kramer Education Center Demo Bids
Discussion:  Executive Director of Building Operations and Technology said last Thursday bids were opened for the demolition of the south half of the Kramer Education Center. He said there were three bids and B-D Construction was the lowest. Kwapnioski also recommended that the board approve the $24,500 bid from Tucker Masonry for brick and stone preservation. B-D will start the work on January 1 by dropping some items on the inside. Kwapnioski asked the board to approve the bids tonight so Tucker could get started in cutting out the brick and masonry work. He said all contractors are aware that they have to work with the asbestos company for certain parts of the building. Dr. Loeffelholz said this is the right thing to do. He said the community was told that the board would make a decision on what to do with the property in two years, and no one has come forward with a proposal.  Kwapnioski said the contractors said the board made a wise decision to re-purpose the building. Doug Molczyk said he has talked to some Kramer graduates, and they are glad the district is keeping the name. Dr. Loeffelholz said this will allow the district to start planning for the early childhood center and start writing grants. Theresa Seipel said the district needed to make an investment, and now there is an area to do that.
I.I.2. Updates
Discussion:  Kwapnioski said the district had its Alicap review last week. The representative reported that the buildings look good and the staff does a wonderful job. Kwapnioski said the man was amazed that the mechanical rooms were not cluttered. For the last seven years the district’s Workman’s Comp has dropped. Next year it will be .77 lower. Kwapnioski said the summer work is 98 percent done. There have been some obstacles on how things are put together. He said as a result there will be about $40,000 in change orders for work to be fixed at all elementary buildings. The majority of the cost is labor. Kwapnioski said this was an unexpected cost and now needs to be fixed.
I.J. Curriculum and Instruction
I.J.1. Administrative Functions
I.J.2. Updates
Discussion:  Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction Amy Romshek talked about teacher support through math coaching. She said this past summer she requested to the board about wanting to provide support for teachers in math. Many things in math have changed and the updated approach is students learn different and so should be allowed a wide range of ways to solve a problem. Romshek said this will help them to be better thinkers. Another update is teachers are to give students challenging problems and allow them to ask questions to help them get through the problem. Romshek said she brought in four different people to work with teachers at three levels. Shannon Keibler worked with students in grades K-6 and provided 17 one hour classrooms demonstrations and worked with all math teachers. She also did a follow up with debriefing sessions. Keibler focused on math talk not just follow procedures. Cynthia Hamm and Bryan Wilson worked with students in grades 7-8. Hamm did 8 classroom observations with follow up debriefing sessions, and Wilson did tech training. Tashana Howse worked with 9-12 high school staff and provided training and classroom demonstrations, math sense making, math discourse, reasoning and problems solving and criteria for selecting a strong math textbook. Keibler will be back for the second semester. Romshek said the feedback she got was been very positive and productive.

Dr. Romshek reported she also has been working with the middle school science teachers on finding a new curriculum. She said they visited two communities with three schools in Grand Island and Omaha Westside to find out which series the teachers like better. Romshek said the second semester each of the series will be piloted to determine which one the teachers want to use.
I.K. Student Services
I.K.1. Administrative Functions
I.K.2. Updates
Discussion:  Executive Director of Special Education and Student Services Jason Harris said all early childhood teachers use teaching strategies for the Gold Assessment for students birth to five. He said this is different than other assessments because it is the teachers observing the students. Harris said it recognizes strengths, needs and interests and where the student falls in the developmentally appropriate curriculum and authentic observational assessment. Harris said the student is observed and a document is developed over time. The idea is to inform instruction, identifying children who might benefit from more targeted instruction, and reporting and communicating with family members. He said this is not a screening tool and not a readiness tool or an achievement test. He said it also does not determine if the teacher is doing a good job or not. Gold assessment cycle is done in October and April. During this time, the teacher observes and collects facts through observation and documentation; analyzes and responds; considers their skills in relation to specific objectives; and evaluate, summarize, plan and communicate. Harris said the test looks at 10 areas that include: social emotional, physical, language cognitive literacy, math science and technology to name a few. He said the October report will be given out to parents at the February conferences and the second report in May. The report will be used by teachers to inform instruction, progress reports with parents and shared with kindergarten teachers. Harris said once he gets the student reports back, he will delete the student’s name and show the board. He said all early childhood special education teachers, preschool teachers and Sixpence all give the gold test.
I.L. Superintendent's Report
Discussion:  The middle school sixth grade band concert will be at 7 p.m. tomorrow and the seventh and eighth grade band concerts will be Thursday at 7 p.m. The middle school choir will be performing Dec. 18 at 6:30 p.m. The CHS winter concert will be Sunday at 3 p.m. in the concert hall. Dr. Loeffelholz said he may be going to South Omaha next Tuesday to tour an early childhood center. He said it is a one stop shop with all the services available for families. Dr. Loeffelholz said Midland University started a program at Fremont High School called Tiger to Warrior. He said students can earn scholarships based on their ACT score and the scholarships start at a score of 18.  He said Midland wants to get the tuition to be lower than UNL and students can live at home. Dr. Loeffelholz said they are discussing what this could mean for CHS. He said the idea is to get kids to go to a four-year college or university and stay in the region. He said they have also expressed an interest in teaching a class at the high school. Dr. Loeffelholz said Midland has agreements with CCC. Teachers and staff will be gone starting Dec. 21 through Jan. 2. He said all offices will be closed Dec. 24, 25 and Jan. 1. Tim Pospisil’s last official meeting will be next Monday. Dr. Loeffelholz said he will be asked to come back in January to be recognized for his service. Mike Jeffryes will take the oath of office at the January meeting. He said he will go over the board assignments next week. The reorganizational meeting will be in January. Candy Becher said if any members have a preference on committees or want to be on something different to let her know.
I.M. Board Sharing
Discussion:  The board will do sharing at the regular meeting.

I.N. Adjourn
Discussion:  The board adjourned at 7:10 p.m.
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