Public Meeting Minutes: December 16, 2013 at 5:00 PM - Work Session and Regular Meeting of the Board of Education


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December 16, 2013 at 5:00 PM - Work Session and Regular Meeting of the Board of Education Minutes

December 16, 2013 at 5:00 PM - Work Session and Regular Meeting of the Board of Education
I. Listening Session
Discussion:  Begins at 4:30 p.m. and is intended for building staff and appointed board members.
II. Call To Order - Work Session
III. Board Work Session
III.A. Lost Creek Elementary Presentation
Discussion:  Lost Creek Principal Jeff Bartels said enrollment is steady. This is due to moving out the preschool and replacing those students with an additional kindergarten class. He said ethnicity hasn't changed much. However, the number of free and reduced students has increased to 46 percent. As a result, Lost Creek started participating in the backpack food program. There are 32 families who receive a backpack full of food each week. Bartels said the number of students who need intensive or strategic help to make grade level has dropped in the Dibels test. He said at the beginning of the year, there were 32 percent in this category and now it has dropped to 13 percent. He said the staff realize that more must be done for the upper grades. Reading teacher Dennis Smith said at the younger grades (K-2), there is a big push in decoding, and the information is being re-enforced. In grades 3-5, the focus is more on comprehension. He said the staff does want fluency rates to go up; but when a person looks at the scores, the students are doing well. Smith said the staff is always looking for things to do to help a child, and this is why scores are improving. The Special Education Department consists of behavior skills, speech language, resource, high needs, and the autism and supports programs. The autism team is doing a lot of work, and they have started an autism parent night to share information among parents and to offer support to each other. In speech and language, Lorie Young said she is going to the kindergarten classrooms and doing interventions early so she can be more proactive. The high needs area handles students with multiple disabilities as well as those with severe medical issues. They use music to increase motivation, and this is based off the ADA programming. The high needs class also works on functioning life skills. The resource teacher focuses more on co-teaching and spends less time pulling kids out of the classroom. Kindergarten teachers have been focusing on how to use the RTI process. They look at all the key concepts and see what each student must do to reach grade level. They collect all the data, and write it in the WIN book to track each student’s needs. This has helped a lot, and the teachers know who understands it and who doesn't. In first grade, teachers are creating PowerPoints to instruct vocabulary. They are also using the iPad Belken Stage, which uses an iPad and Apple TV together to act as a doc camera. This can be done for student's modeling skills, and the students like having their work up there. The Lost Creek PTO purchased 24 Belken Stages for about $4,500 to pilot the program. They are also using iPads for accelerated reader. Students can use any story in the reading book and test on it. This is an efficient way to take the AR test. ELL teachers are using the Imagine Learning English intervention program. This program helps ELL students work on language and literacy. The second grade teachers showed a video of a field trip their classes took to the Stuhr Museum. In third grade, teachers are using the seven syllables. The FAST (Families and School Together) is being piloted at Lost Creek and North Park. The idea of this program is to help parents find resources to help their kids succeed. The idea is to empower families for student success. Bartels said University Week is a program that has done that. It was piloted at Lost Creek and has spread to all other buildings. University Week coordinator Dee Hansen said the reason University Week was started is to get students to start thinking about college sooner. The students will also go through activities at Central Community College to talk with business owners, military personnel, and colleges/universities. The program started with 60 students and has grown to more than 610 having attended. Past students at Lost Creek will also come back to talk to the students about college. The Golden Sower Award is a children's choice award at the primary and elementary levels. Media Specialist Tongay Epp said she gave a challenge of reading all 10 Golden Sower nominees, and if fourth and fifth grade students read all the books, they would get a book. Epp said there are already seven students who read all 10 nominees. The fifth graders did candy sales last week and the canes will be delivered Thursday. Seven kids also went with the teacher to Wal-mart to shop for the families that were adopted through the Holiday Spirit Co-op. There were 1,293 candy canes sold and every students will get at least one. The fifth graders were able to help 11 kids from Holiday Spirit Co-op. The fifth grade teacher also did a presentation on an initiative on healthy schools. Dr. Troy Loeffelholz commended the Lost Creek staff for their work from academics to community service.
III.B. Executive Session
III.C. Dinner at ESU7 Student Center - No business will be discussed.
Discussion:  The Board came out of Executive Session and recessed.
IV. Call to order - Board Meeting
V. Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call
VI. Open Meeting Notice of Posted Law
VI.A. President insures that all can hear the proceedings
VII. Mission Statement
Discussion:  Candy Becher read the Mission Statement.
VIII. Opportunity For Public To Be Heard
IX. Recognitions
Discussion:  There were no recognitions.
X. Drive For Five Presentation
Discussion:  Chamber Director KC Belitz said Drive for Five started in 2006 with the hope of attracting a larger pool of workers to Columbus. He said Columbus has grown twice as fast as the state average in the workforce. Some of the Drive for Five programs include: Bank in Schools, where a local bank partners with a school and visits once a week so students can make deposits. Another is vehicle day for first grade students, so they can get to see the vehicles that make the businesses work. All of the first graders in CPS take part. Reality 101 is for eighth graders and is very similar to the game of Life, where students must find a place to live, purchase a car and deal with problems they will face after high school graduation. The Dream Team brings young professionals to schools to talk to the kids about their successes in manufacturing and related industry careers. This program is provided for students in the grades sixth though high school. Business and Industry Day is where educators tour businesses in Columbus. Drive for Five Chairperson Dee Hansen said she is working on a follow up to this program where industry officials could come into the classroom. Drive for Five has also been very supportive of the STEM Academy and helped establish an advisory group of industry leaders. The idea is to bring a wide variety of industries to the table to find out what they want or need for workers. She said Drive For Five has targeted people with a connection to Columbus because it is a lot easier to keep folks who have connections to Columbus. Board member Ken Curry appreciates the partnership with Drive for Five.
XI. Consent Agenda
Discussion:  There will be 31 mid-term graduates. There are no certified resignations, but there were four classified.
XI.A. Approval of Minutes for the meeting of November 18, 2013
XI.B. Certified Personnel Action
XI.C. Classified Personnel Action
XI.D. Approval of Mid-term Graduates
XI.E. Professional Travel Report
XII. Items Removed From Consent Agenda
Discussion:  No items were removed from the consent agenda.
XIII. Financial Reports
XIV. Financial Report
XV. Special Administrative Functions
XV.A. Strategic Planning (Facilities) Presentation
Discussion:  Committee representative Bill Swantz said there were 13 non-school people on the Strategic Planning Committee. The goal was to determine a solution that would address all the facilities not only now but in the future. He said the group started out with six choices and reduced it to four. Of those four options, two were for a 6-8 or 5-8 middle school at Discoverer location. Swantz said all the options have pros and cons. Another option is to build a new high school and move CMS to CHS. . Swantz said there was a lot of discussion about taking fifth graders and putting them in middle school situation. He said the recommendation includes a part that states when the current high school is remodeled that fifth and sixth be kept together and kept separate from the seventh and eighth graders. The committee also recommends that a correctly sized new high school be built at the Discoverer location with facilities for the STEM program to be included. The maximum levy will not exceed 7 cents. Swantz said the preschool program along with some of the administration building could be moved into the existing middle school. He said the group also suggested bringing a bond resolution to be put on May 2014 election ballot, so the new high school could be occupied by 2016. Swantz said this is the best option for CPS and is a true PK-12 solution. He said it resolves present growth issues at the elementary and allows for the current middle school to accommodate the growth in preschool education programs. Swantz said the time is now, and this will help keep a middle school in center of town. He said the district needs to get permission from the community for what they want and would be willing to support. He said a professional survey needs to be done. From this survey the board will collect data and gage community support. Dr. Loeffelholz said there are still more questions to be asked and answered. There needs to be a cost and levy impact estimate to verify with the community. Dr. Loeffelholz said the committee has challenged him and the board to build a high school for seven cents on the levy.
XV.B. Strategic Planning Committee Recommendation
XV.C. Step 2 Contract with DLR
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said Phase I is finished. Phase II will take the district to a bond issue vote. Included in this phase will be conceptual designs of the high school and remodel for the middle school. He said the district still needs to find out what the community will support.
XV.D. Professional Firm to Conduct Comprehensive Survey
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said he wants to go out and do a RFP for firms that do surveys to reach out to more of the community. He said there needs to be more detailed questions asked and a better cross section of people. Dr. Loeffelholz said the district needs to find out if people are in favor of the option. He said he would like to find a company to do a survey in early January. Ken Curry asked if the board should set a not to exceed amount. Dr. Loeffelholz said he will come back to the board with the information before moving forward.
XV.E. Superintendent Evaluation Form
Discussion:  Alan Dostal said the district looked at what other schools were doing and modeled it after those that had a track record.
XV.F. Acceptance of Superintendent's Letter of Continuation of Contract
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said the board will not vote on the contract extension until after the evaluation is finished. He said he is asking the board to extend his contract to June 30, 2016.
XV.G. Acceptance of Gifts/Donations
Discussion:  Gifts and donations amounted to $5,803.14 for the month of November.
XV.H. Approval of Joint Contract Employment Agreement for Community Grant Writer with the Columbus Area united Way, Columbus Chamber of Commerce, and Columbus Public Schools
Discussion:  The grant writer, Lori Aschoff, will be paid through the United Way. Her salary is $33,000 and the cost will be $11,000 per entity. Dr. Loeffelholz said she has already started and is working on a STEM grant. Board member Ken Curry said the sharing process has been a win win for all groups. Julie McClure wrote half a million dollars in grants for CPS. Dr. Loeffelholz said Aschoff has extensive grant writing experience and has secured $11 million in grants.
XV.I. Purchase of Maintenance Department Pickup
Discussion:  Operations Director Mike Grutsch said the biggest need for an additional truck is because maintenance will now be doing snow removal for the high school, and in the past, this was contracted out. He said if a pickup broke down it would be difficult to get all the snow removed. He said every pickup is assigned a school. This vehicle will also replace a Dodge van with 131,000 miles on it. The cost to purchase a 3/4 ton Ford pickup from Anderson Ford is for $37,481.
XV.J. Small Farm 2014 Lease
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said an ad was placed in the Telegram from November 8 to Decembr 8, and four bids were received. He said the original bid that the board rejected was for $132 an acre.
XVI. Superintendent's Report
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz informed the board about the recent surveys. He said there were 360 employees and 560 community members who took the survey. The results indicated that people would support a tax increase between 7 and 9 cents, but 9 cents is on the high end. Most people surveyed were in favor of transportation if a middle school was built on the Discoverer site, and they felt the existing middle school is inadequate. Most also felt the economy was somewhat better or greatly better than in the past. Approximately 98 percent of the people felt security and safety for students and teachers was extremely important. Eighty-two percent said they would support the administration building and preschool to be located in the current middle school. However most felt the financial information was adequate, but many felt it still was not great. He said this tells the board that more education is still needed. The largest age group that participated in the survey was between 42-53 with the second largest group being between 30-41. There were very few 65 or over. Most gave the district a grade of an A or B and also felt the district was heading in the right direction. The majority of those surveyed support building a new high school and placing the STEM program in the new building. There were 84.8 percent who said they would vote for a bond issue. Dr. Loeffelholz said he will be giving the address at the University Week graduation on Friday. He will be meeting with three members of the Education Committee along with several STANCE members. He said he had his head shaved because the middle school chorus students raised $5,000 for Holiday Spirit Co-op. He said CMS Principal Amy Haynes and several teachers were also splattered with paint. Dr. Loeffelholz said he is still looking for consent from the community to move forward with a bond issue. He also thanked the committee for all their time and effort they have put into making a recommendation.
XVII. Board Sharing
Discussion:  Francis Kuehler said he appreciates all the time the strategic planning committee did to come up with a recommendation, and he especially appreciates those volunteers who don’t have children in the schools. Mike Goos echoed what Kuehler said. He said it is the right call and recommendation. Goos also said the presentation at Lost Creek was awesome. Ken Curry thanked the committee. He said he and Goos spent time with the teaching staff at Lost Creek, and they were very engaged in helping our kids. Candy Becher thanked the committee She said they sacrificed a lot of time away from their families, and it is very appreciated. She said the board now has a great recommendation and needs to follow up with community input. Theresa Seipel said a lot of work has gone into trying to narrow down what is the right answer. She said her children went through Lost Creek, and she was glad to get a chance to go back and visit. She said she is very appreciative of what the teachers and staff do. Alan Dostal said he worked with the committee to get to an answer. The next steps are very important as well. He said a firmer price tag must be determined. Dostal said the board is committed to providing the most accurate information.
XVIII. Executive Session
Discussion:  The Board did not go into Executive Session
XIX. Adjourn
Discussion:  The Board adjourned at 8:15 p.m.
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