Public Meeting Minutes: February 17, 2014 at 5:00 PM - Work Session and Regular Meeting of the Board of Education


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February 17, 2014 at 5:00 PM - Work Session and Regular Meeting of the Board of Education Minutes

February 17, 2014 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. Emerson Elementary School Presentation
Discussion:  Emerson Principal Sara Colford showed a video of students so the board could see the faces that go with the data. The attendance has held steady at 96 percent, and there are 98 percent of the students who have two or less office referrals. Last year there was great growth in NeSA scores. This year the scores dipped slightly. Diversity has added to the testing score issues. Next year the goal will be 100 percent in Reading and 100 percent in Math which will be difficult to achieve. Emerson’s population is 52 percent Hispanic, 29 percent ELL and 75 percent on free and reduced lunch. The mobility is also staggering. She said there are a lot of students coming in and going out. Another factor is class sizes especially in grades 1 and 4. Grade 4 also has a lot of mobility. Some of the solutions to address the needs include: walk to read and walk to math; differentiated instruction; use resources; interventions; Extended Day and Extended Week. A lot of the intervention is done to meet the needs of the students, so they may work on site words, vocabulary or do other reading practice. Since Emerson was required by AYP to offer an Extended Day. This is done on Tuesday and Thursday with tutoring for fourth and fifth graders. Colford said there were 22 students invited and 21 are participating. They practice reading and math skills. Saturday School was also another requirement. The idea is to help prepare students for the NeSA testing. Colford said between the extended day program and Saturday school, there are 53 students being helped. Colford said next year since Emerson is in the fourth year of AYP, they want to bring in a consultant. Dr. Loeffelholz said in both years three and four, Emerson and Centennial looked at what the programs are and interventions that could be done for the years ahead. He said they can not implement everything at once because the school only gets so much money. Board Member Candy Becher agreed that it is an unattainable goal to expect all students to be at 100 percent. Board Member Alan Dostal asked Colford what her biggest barrier would be. She said language is a huge problem, but there are also a lot of children of poverty who come in with little education and only know a few words. The intervention teachers also play an important role. One day a week students stay in the classroom for walk to read and walk to math. The students are placed in centers based on the RIT ranges. Teachers also attended some intervention workshops by Mike Mattos for RIT, PLC and Solution Tree. The idea is to make sure the students are working at the correct level of difficulty. They want to make sure parents know about their child’s progress, so something is sent home to the parents that include: strengths, weaknesses and different interventions. A master schedule is created and given to the teacher every year with students’ needs kept in mind. This schedule can change as the needs of a student change. Para support plays another key role. Teachers said as interventionists their schedule is constantly changing. They will also teach core subjects as well. This is the same instruction as in the regular classroom but just in smaller groups. The writing tests are sent to Minnesota to be graded. For writing preparation in 2014, they looked at what were considered good scores and show the students how they were scored. They said this helped them see content and ideas are more important. They also did and extra 50 minutes of writing intervention four days per week in January. There was much more focus on ideas and organization and details. First grade writing journals are new this year. The idea is to help students plan thoughts and write it on paper. In science, the students use the Five Stages of Inquiry. Most of the inquiry is hands-on and follows the scientific method to manipulate and investigate. Students at Emerson work like scientists. In Social Studies, the teachers are teaching by objectives. They let students know what will be taught before it is learned. They use persuade, inform and entertain
III.B. Presentation on MAP Results
Discussion:  Measures of Academic Progress is given to students in grades 2-8 in reading and math. Students are given local assessments, state assessments and national assessments called NeSA (grades 3-5). The state test is done by local teachers, and the national testing is written by an outside source. MAP results compare CPS students’ scores against the score of a group of students who have already taken the same test. This allows CPS to see how our students’ results compare with those across the nation. This way districts can see if scores are above or below the means. Most of the national testing is now a computerized test. What is MAP? It is a computed adaptive test. This means that the test will start at grade level and become more difficult if the students know the answers and easier if they do not. It also aligns to state standards. What do the scores tell us? RIT scale is used with 100 to 300 range. This is a numeric scale that represents learning. Students receive RIT scores that reflects students instructional level on the learning scale and will tell teachers where students are at in learning. The RIT learning scale charts a student's academic growth over time. During intervention time, teachers provide intervention to help students advance. Why is the RIT score very important? As students go through school, there is a big learning curve when they are younger. In grades K-4, students will have large jumps in RIT scores, but as they go up in grades this decreases. Teachers hope to see growth in the RIT score between the beginning and middle of the year. Second graders are the only ones tested at the end of the year because students in grades 3-8 do NeSA. Once the scores are received, they evaluate the instructional level; help students set improvement goals, get guided teacher instruction and chart a student's growth over time. Teachers hope to see growth in the winter. Formative vs. Summative assessments: Formative is for learning and summative assessment is of learning. Informative provides feedback used to guide teaching and learning. Summative determines how much was learned at a particular point in time. Formative gives a progress report used by teachers and individual students, and summative is an evaluative progress report provided to the public. MAP testing has been given for a long time. Betsy Rall said one interesting thing to note is when the district started using PLC, reading scores did go up above the norm. She said the collaboration is making a difference in the MAP scores. The same trend happened with math scores. MAP encourages teachers and students to see where they score in comparison to the grade level norm. Teachers need to focus on the growth of the student form one testing period to the next. Red flags are if a student scores way below grade level, and there is no growth on the next test. A student's RIT score along with growth must be taken into consideration. Many teachers are ready to take the next step and help the students.
III.C. Executive Session
Discussion:  The Board did not go into Executive Session
IV. Dinner at ESU7 Student Center, 2563 44th Avenue - No business will be discussed.
V. Call to Order - Board Meeting
VI. Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call
VII. Open Meeting Notice of Posted Law
VII.A. President insures that all can hear the proceedings
VIII. Mission Statement
Discussion:  Ken Curry read the Mission Statement. "Engaging All Learners to Achieve Success"
IX. Opportunity For Public To Be Heard
Discussion:  No one spoke to the Board.
X. Recognitions
Discussion:  There were no recognitions.
XI. Strategic Plan #3 Presentation
Discussion:  The vision statement is students, parents, teachers and community will engage in the students’ emotional, academic and career development. The purpose is to address the social and emotional needs of our students that are affecting their academic development. There were 10 school representatives, three community members and two school board members on the committee. The group met 18 times. Executive Director of Student Services/ Special Education Jason Harris said the group focused on what currently is being done and needed to be done to move forward. Services offered in the child with school piece include: counseling at elementary, middle and high school; providing a breakfast program; doing a backpack food program at all elementary buildings; having an after school program at middle school and the elementary buildings; having a dean of students at the middle and high schools; having Center for Survivors groups at CMS and CHS; hosting a summer lunch program; having PTO, PAC Booster Clubs and family nights; and also having a Sixpence program, which helps connect school officials with parents. The following things are being done in the child-with-parent category: Lost Creek and North Park are doing the FAST program, which runs eight weeks and engages parents with other families in the district; supporting PTO, PAC, Booster Club, and family nights; hiring a school social worker for K-8; and Sixpence. For the child with their community category, there is Big Pals/Little Pals, TeamMates and Teen Moms ran by Youth for Christ. The district is also providing mentoring to those students struggling and pairs them with a mentor in their own building. For the school with their community portion, items include: FAST program; community resources; meet and greet programs; Youth for Christ; Center for Survivors at CMS and CHS; and community agencies such as 4-H, Girls Scouts, Boy Scouts and ASD Parent group, which is for students with autism. The HSD group meets to help train parents on skills their children will need. The parent with their community items include: FAST program and the Connect Columbus Directory. The top three priorities are an additional school counselors at every building; positive behavior support plan for Pre-K-12; and early childhood elementary education program. The additional school counselors would include two more at the elementary level and one more at the middle and high schools. One at the high school could support college and career readiness as well as the social and emotional needs. At the elementary buildings, counselors spend a lot of time traveling between buildings. The counselors are working on a curriculum for grades Pre-K-12. The elementary counselors are the farthest along on this project. Pre K- 12 will have a positive behaviors support model. This will be a Pre-K-12 solution dealing with student behavior and how to respond as a district. Each building will have staff members involved on developing and implementing the behavior program. There is also a need for behavior consultants at each level. Early childhood education is from birth to preschool. In order to advance this goal, there needs to be an early childhood coordinator/administrator, additional early childhood teachers and a facility. There are currently three early childhood teachers with two more needed at West Park and North Park. Another question is where will the facility be located? Harris said there are lots of grants for early childhood, and the district needs to find a facility and go for a grant. He said some grants pay for facilities, but most cover staff salaries and other things. He said the group has not discussed possible grants for counselors and behavior specialist. However, perhaps Title money could be used in buildings that are Title Schools. Dr. Loeffelholz said the next step is to take all three strategic plans and look at the recommendations and needs and have administrators prioritize them. These priorities will then be taken back to the Board. Dr. Loeffelholz said the district can not afford to hire four counselors next year. Early childhood grants will provide seed money to start programs then students can become part of the state aid formula. Dr. Loeffelholz said there is a changing population not only in terms of race but also in poverty.
XII. Consent Agenda
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said there were three letters of resignation from certified staff and these positions are being advertised. He told the Board there has been a lot of travel due to visits based on audits and the career tech program. ELL staff has also gone to training in Omaha. Dr. Loeffelholz said the district is trying to meet the needs of students.
XII.A. Approval of Minutes for the meeting of January 20, 2014
XII.B. Certified Personnel Action
XII.C. Classified Personnel Action
XII.D. Professional Travel Report
XIII. Financial Reports 2, 3, and 4a
Discussion:  Executive Director of Business Operations/ Human Resources Dave Melick said the school lunch account currently has too much money in it, so the state sent a letter saying money must be reduced. Melick said at the beginning of the year he requested that the lunch prices remain the same, but the state denied the request. Now the state is saying money must be moved.
XIV. Financial Report 4b
XV. Special Administrative Functions
XV.A. Total Package Increase for Certificate Staff for 2014-2015
Discussion:  Melick said the base salary will increase from $34,500 to $35,000 for next year. The total compensation went from $19,470,170 dollars last year to total $20, 383,884 this year. He said the increase amounts to a 3.63% total package increase. He said the salary will put CPS near the top of the array in teachers' pay. Melick said the budget should be able to handle the increase even if the worse case scenario pans out for state aid. He said it is an affordable increase. Board member Ken Curry said negotiations were more like a relationship where each side supported the other. Curry said teachers deserve to be compensated fairly. Board member Theresa Seipel agreed. She said the Board wants to give them what they deserve. She said both sides gave a little and took a little. Seipel said negotiations went smoothly.
XV.B. Master Agreement for 2014-2015
Discussion:  Melick said the base salary went up $500, and there was one additional step added to four columns. He said there is also new language for people leaving the district. They can now be compensated for unused sick leave after having 15 years of service. Melick said this is in place until early retirement returns. When this occurs, teachers can either take early retirement or the unused sick leave, which ever is better for them.
XV.C. Acceptance of Gifts/Donations
Discussion:  There was a $9,220.59 donation in gifts from the Foundation and umbrella organizations.
XV.D. Option Enrollment Resolution, 2014-2015 / Student-Within-Transfers, 2014-2015
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said the maximum K-5 enrollment per grade is 275; and 6-12 enrollment is 290. For transfers, the district looks at grade numbers; and if it is full, the transfer is not approved. If a transfer is approved and next year the class become crowded, the person may need to move back to the boundary school. He said the Special Education and ELL programs are full. He also said that many grades are also closed to option students such as grades kindergarten, first, second, third, fifth, sixth, eleventh and twelfth
XV.E. Surplus Item
Discussion:  Executive Driector of Business Operations/Technology Leonard Kwapnioski said the East 14 St. property is very clean, and the farmer was excited he was getting more land. He said the barn can not be saved so he wants to put it up for sale. Kwapnioski said someone may want to buy it for the lumber. He said before anything is done, a waiver must be signed by the person making the purchase. Kwapnioski said the maintenance staff did a wonderful job getting the property cleaned up.
XV.F. Lease Purchase - Computer Replacement for Staff
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said three years ago the Board approved the lease purchase for iPads for all teachers. He said the district is now starting to move to the next phase. The next part of the plan is for all teachers to go to laptops so teachers can be mobile users anywhere in the district. The cost will be $439,000 over four years. Dr. Loeffelholz said at the end of four years, the district will own the laptops. The payments will be $112,975 per year, which is lower than the price originally quoted. There will be 325 laptops for teachers along with some other items. Board member Alan Dostal said he sees the benefits of lease vs. buying. He said there is an advantage to spreading the cost out over time. The laptops will be MacBook Air. Theresa Seipel asked what will happen to the iPads if teachers are not using them? She asked if they could go in an iPad cart. Loeffelholz said the desktop computers will be re-allocated for student use. Teachers who don't use their iPad can turn it in. He said no iPad will be taken away
XVI. Superintendent's Report
Discussion:  Google Summit: Dr. Loeffelholz said it was a great day. He said the keynote speaker did an awesome job, and the breakout sessions were all very good. The infrastructure within the buildings is starting to be worked on. Elementary buildings will be done first, and work already started at Lost Creek. There will be new servers, routers and other things. The Internet circuit started at 45 megs of service, had been increased to 155 megs, and that is already maxed out. This summer there is an opportunity to go up to 700 megs and an option to go up to a gig for only $100 a month. This is also before the e-rate is taken into consideration. Dr. Loeffelholz reminded the Board that staff appreciation day is March 4. He said Gail Placek has sent a list of where everyone is to go. The March Board meeting will be moved to March 10th because the third Monday falls on spring break. CMS will be the host at the work session. Dr. Loeffelholz said the survey pole data has just been received, and the results are still being filtered through. He said the Board will need to do some talking over the next few days. The survey was targeted at people who vote in the primary with an additional 20 percent of others who vote in other elections. If the Board decides to pursue a bond in May, a decision must be made by Feb. 27th or 28th; and a special board meeting will need to be held. He said the meeting can either be a 7 a.m. or noon meeting, which ever fits the Board’s schedule better.
XVII. Board Sharing
Discussion:  Mike Goos said it was a privilege to talk to Emerson staff. He said it was a reminder of how much pressure is put on staff to meet all expectations. Goos said they do a marvelous job. Ken Curry said he won’t be able to make the staff appreciation day because he will be out of town. He asked Dr. Loeffelholz to tell the staff how much they are appreciated. Candy Becher said she went to half a day at the Google Summit, and it was really good. She said the Emerson staff did an amazing job. Theresa Seipel agreed that the Emerson staff did a good job. She said they are in an incredible stressful situation. She said she wishes she could have gone to the Google Summit. Seipel said she enjoyed working on the Negotiations Committee with the CEA. She said the district has a good group of teachers. She said she is surprised at how quickly the year is going. Dostal said the engagement of the Emerson staff is remarkable. He said the number of students that came in an out of the fourth grade is amazing. He said it would be difficult to help a child when there is consistently children coming and going.
XVIII. Executive Session
Discussion:  The Board went into Executive Session at 8:09 p.m.
XIX. Adjourn
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