Public Meeting Minutes: June 18, 2014 at 5:00 PM - Work Session and Regular Meeting of the Board of Education


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June 18, 2014 at 5:00 PM - Work Session and Regular Meeting of the Board of Education Minutes

June 18, 2014 at 5:00 PM - Work Session and Regular Meeting of the Board of Education
I. Call To Order - Work Session
II. Board Work Session
II.A. Board Meeting Review
Discussion:  Ken Curry was excused. Superintendent Dr. Troy Loeffelholz and Executive Director of Business Operations/Human Resources Dave Melick went over the board agenda.
II.B. Construction Manager at Risk (update)
Discussion:  There were 21 people involved in the pre-proposal Construction Manager at Risk meeting. There were 11 firms that have expressed an interest in the job. In order to receive information, the company must apply online. Once they sign up, they will be sent an email that gives them access to the documents. Dr. Loeffelholz said one firm wanted pictures from the schools toured, and these will be placed online so all can see. Those interested, could submit proposals starting on May 30 with the deadline being June 30. The board will hold a special meeting on July 7 at 7 p.m. to narrow down the companies to interview. The interviews will be conducted on July 16 starting at 4 p.m. The selection committee will make a recommendation to the board by July 18. The recommendations will be approved by the board at the regular meeting on July 21. On July 25 at noon, the board will hold a special meeting to approve the contract with the construction manager. All the meetings will take place at the Administration Building.
II.C. Decision Guidelines for (Facility Projects)
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said the guiding principals can be general/broad (flexibility of program/space) or very specific (window/natural light in every classrooms). He recommends the guidelines be more general. The following were considered as guidelines for facility projects: 1. Provide a safe and secure environment for students and staff. 2. Maximize classroom space. 3. Provide for future program flexibility. 4. Technology rich environment. 5. Seek best value versus lowest cost. 6. What is the best for students? 7. Energy efficiency. 8. Thoughtful use of natural light. 9. Plan for future growth and expansion. 10. Encourage collaboration vs. isolation. 11. Develop a building that is sustainable and progressive in nature. 12. Design for quality and durability with low maintenance cost. The architects met with the CHS staff on June 8-9. All the comments have not been given to the administration yet, but Dr. Loeffelholz said he is aware of a few issue. The staffs’ requests were responsible, Melick said. The physical education teachers want more space in second gym. Dr. Loeffelholz said the theater and music departments need to sit together and decide what they need and if they want to duplicate what they currently have. Coaches also expressed a concern about having adequate storage. Woodside said this is a huge commitment. Dr. Loeffelholz said he was impressed with Grand Island’s career academy. He said the program currently houses autos, manufacturing and construction. He said when the program started, there were 140 students taking classes and next year there will be 400 enrolled. Dr. Loeffelholz said Grand Island had good vision and was planning for the future and being progressive. The top priority should be what is best for students. Dr. Loeffelholz said a lot of the projects that are going for bids now are coming in under budget.
II.D. Selling of Bonds (update)
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said Melick and he talked to Jay Spearman on Monday. The interest rates are staying low and are slightly lower than 3.6 percent when the bond passed and now dropped to 3.54 percent. Melick said the rates are based on a 2 percent increase in valuation. The County Assessor won’t provide the district with this information until August 20. Melick said the board will need to take two actions shortly. The $4.8 million elementary bonds will be refinanced which will amount to a saving of $227,000. This money will be used to buy down the cost of the new bond. The next decision the board must make is how many of the bonds to sell. Melick said the board can sell all $49.9 million at once or sell $39.9 million now and wait to sell the other $10 million in 2015-16. He said by waiting there is a risk the interest rates will go up. When the bonds are sold also plays a part. Melick said if the sale is approved in August and closes in September it will be more expensive than if it starts in October and closes in November. He said the October/November timeline will save the district about $292,000. He said this is a calculated risk that rates will stay low. Dr. Loeffelholz said typically the bonds are sold in $10 million amounts, and anything over $10 million would be sold out of state. Spearman will be at the July meeting to inform the board about financing bonds. Alan Dostal said everyone he has talked to said the district would be smart to sell all the bonds at one time.
II.E. Technoloy Update
Discussion:  The district is looking at a 1:1 high school initiative and laptop carts for elementary schools. After 2011 when a group of teachers went to California to look at iPads, the Apple Core group was formed. The group’s purpose was to talk about the vision and direction of technology for the district. This group was teacher led. A group of elementary and middle school teachers then went to Chicago. There are 37 in the Apple Core group, and they have been working on a tech plan. The idea was to look 3-5 and 7-10 years down the road and decide what the technology should look like. Dr. Loeffelholz said years ago laptops were bought, but there was no replacement plan. As a result, the district is now at a deficient level when it comes to computers. The Apple Core Group developed a tech action plan. The following are some of the things the plan included: to provide a device (1 to 1) for every student K-12 to use, a tech integrationist as well as tech staff will need to be hired to support students’ academic achievement through the use of technology in the classrooms and throughout the instructional program, there also needs to be training provide for staff, students, and parents and guardians to enhance the proficiency of technology use, and embed technology within the curricula at every level to increase student exposure to engage learning. Loeffelholz said the big question is how to use technology in classrooms to enhance programming. The timeline would not be in August. He said the 1 to 1 wouldn’t start until the second semester. If this does happen, another technology person would need to be hired to assist with troubleshooting at the high school. The infrastructure is in place for going to a one to one or adding more carts. Loeffelholz said the district is also in the process of switching servers. The next objective from the Apple Core team is to decide on a device for going one to one. Dr. Loeffelholz said if the district does this, what are the expectations? He said the staff will need to go from where they are at with technology and move forward. He said technology is changing, and there is always something new and different. Theresa Seipel asked if the staff is ready for this change. Dr. Loeffelholz said many were asking when this is going to happen. Dr. Loeffelholz said everyone lives in a fast paced environment. Alan Dostal said there are costs associated with that. Dr. Loeffelholz said some companies have made a commitment to be digital. Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction Amy Romshek said money could be saved on textbooks if the district went to digital books. She said the savings would be about $20 per student. Dr. Loeffelholz said the district has been working on the budget to make this happen for three years. Mike Goos said CPS has been very conservative with their approach, and he totally supports it. Chromebooks and iPads currently can’t be used for state testing at this point in time, but there is an engagement component of apps for reading fluency and math skills. Technology is a college and career readiness skill to prepare students for life after CHS. Dr. Loeffelholz questioned what skills does the administration want students to have when they leave CHS. He asked if this would be a disservice to students by not moving forward.
II.F. Executive Session
Discussion:  No Executive Session held.
III. Dinner at Administration Building - No business will be discussed.
Discussion:  The Board recessed at 6:30 p.m.
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:  Theresa Seipel read the Mission Statement.
VIII. Open Forum
Discussion:  No one spoke at the open forum.
IX. Recognitions
Discussion:  There were no recognitions.
X. Consent Agenda
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said there is still a head seventh grade football coach needed. There are also several new hires as well as resignations. The consent agenda also included the food service approval to be part of federal school lunch program. Motion by Theresa Seipel second by Francis Kuehler to approve the consent agenda.
X.A. Approval of Minutes for the meeting of May 19, 2014
X.B. Certified Personnel Action
X.C. Classified Personnel Action
X.D. Extra-Duty Assignments
X.E. Intent to Continue Food Service
X.F. Professional Travel Report
XI. Financial Reports - 2, 3, 4a
Discussion:  Melick said the district was informed last Thursday that lunch prices will not need to be raised next year.
XII. Financial Report - 4b
Discussion:  Seipel Repair for $653.99 was approved.
XIII. Special Administrative Functions
XIII.A. Columbus High School Student Handbook - 2014-15
Discussion:  Assistant Principal Jon Frey said there are a couple of significant changes; but overall, the changes were minor. The Contraband Electronic devices now include the consequences for the violation. E cigarettes were added as contraband. Frey said anything that is not activity related is now listed under fines, fees and charges. The activities section is the same as the activity handbook. In the past, the two handbooks often did not have the same wording. Motion by Mike Goos second Candy Becher to approve the CHS 2014-15 handbook.
XIII.B. Columbus Middle School Student Handbook - 2014-15
Discussion:  Assistant Principal Jordon Anderson said there were some minor changes to the middle school handbook, but there are no major ones. He said the administration needed to clarify what is a tardy and what time does school start. One significant change is laying out the drug testing just like the high school with the same consequences being given for a violation.
XIII.C. Admission Fees and Activity Cards of High School and Middle School Activities, 2014-2015
Discussion:  There were no changes this year in the admission fees or activity card fees at both CHS and CMS. CHS Principal Steve Woodside said the administration tried to clarify the participation activity card fee. Dr. Loeffelholz asked if the administration has ever considered offering a family pass. Woodside said he will have Activities Director Mark Brown look into this.
XIII.D. Declaration of Surplus Property
Discussion:  The 1997 Dodge van is now considered surplus property and needs to be advertised. Executive Director of Technology/Building Operations Leonard Kwapnioski said the van runs.
XIII.E. High School Laptop Initiative and Laptop Carts for Elementary Schools
Discussion:  Graduation rates and student success. Dr Loeffelholz said there is not a lot of quantitative research out to prove technology helps students be successful. He said the administration needs to make school more engaging throughout the whole system. He said CHS’ graduation rate when looking at the five or six year average is pretty good. Costs: The district has worked for 2 years to create capacity for a 1:1 initiative. $450,000 was budgeted in 2013-2014 but was used for infrastructure costs. That same amount is built into the 2014-2015 budget as well. There is also one FTE budgeted for at the high school. Dr. Loeffelholz said the directors, tech staff and Brandi Fleming have been working on all costs. The due date for the Apple proposal is June 22. If the board waits another month, there will be a 2 percent difference in principal, which will amount to about a $25,000 increase. Dr. Loeffelholz said staff was surveyed as to what direction to go. He said the administration has sought permission from the staff to do something. He said the district would like to order 1,350 laptops, which would give all high school students a laptop plus laptop carts for the elementary schools. Dr. Loeffelholz said the elementary and high school need computers. He said the administration has worked hard with Apple to get the price reduced. Kwapnioski said there was a replacement schedule in the past, but it was on a six to seven year cycle, which wasn’t soon enough. Francis Kuehler asked if the only way to get the lower price was to purchase all the machines at one time, and he was told yes. Candy Becher said she doesn't like paying the lease from now until December and not having the computers used. She also said seniors don't get to use them for very long. She suggested starting a year from now. Theresa Seipel wanted to know how the students were going to be engaged to use the laptops. Dr. Loeffelholz said the teachers were given their machines in March to use and find ways to engage students with mobile devices. He said no matter when the district moves forward, there will be teachers not ready. Francis Kuehler said the board has talked about one to one for a long time. Candy Becher said there will always be some people who will never want to use technology. She said this is quite a lot to put on a teacher. She said the plan calls for teachers to have technology in their lesson plans and to monitor how much it is being used in the classroom. She said teachers need time to make sure they are not just using the computers as a reader or for looking up information. Dr. Loeffelholz said when he talked to Westside, they didn't spend as much time as CPS did. Alan Dostal said the district would be buying a newer and higher performance machine. He said perhaps some machines could be distributed before the semester instead of doing all at once. Dostal wanted to delay approval for a month, so there would be a deployment schedule for both the teachers and technology department Kuehler questioned why the deployment had to be held off until December. Dr. Loeffelholz said with the agreement with Apple, there are so many training days figured. He said this would also give Fleming time to go and answer questions. Goos said there must be teachers who are prepared now and go could be ready sooner. Dr. Loeffelholz said some schools have deployed the machines by grade level. He said one idea might be to bring a quarter of the machines on at a time. Dostal said he wants to know who technology wise is ready and who is not. Dr. Loeffelholz said he will have Fleming bring the teacher results from the survey to the next meeting. He said a readiness survey can also be done. Dr. Loeffelholz said he will bring back a deployment plan and professional development plan to the board. Dostal said this is a significant investment, and he wants this to roll out as smoothly as possible. Goos said he thinks the district has been prudent and responsible with this project. Motion by Mike Goos second by Candy Becher to table this issue until next month.
XIII.F. Acceptance of Gifts/Donations
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said since Jessica Kuehler has resigned her position as Executive Director of the CPS Foundation, the position is now being advertised. Application deadline is July 18. This month there were $11,421.05 contributions made by the Foundation and various umbrella groups. Dr. Loeffelholz said there has been $320,000 given back to the district by the umbrella groups and Foundation since August.
XIII.G. Purchase of Mixer for CHS Kitchen
XIII.H. Technology Department Salary Increase
XIV. Superintendent's Report
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said GSNA represents 68 percent of the schools in the state. He said their purpose is equitable funding for all. The group had a planning session today. Dr. Loeffelholz said their intent is almost in line with STANCE but GNSA will focus on funding and STANCE will take on other issues. He said it was a good meeting. Some administrators will be going to Park Hill High School in Missouri on Friday. Dr. Loeffelholz told the board to let him know if any of them want to attend. He said he will take pictures and share them with the board. The group will be leaving at 6:30 a.m. and should be back around 6:30 p.m.
XV. Board Sharing
Discussion:  Theresa Seipel said everyone is busy even though it is summer, but the board and administrators still make time to do what is best for kids. Candy Becher said she also appreciate everyone’s hard work. She said there has been a lot of good discussion, and everything will get figured out. Alan Dostal said he is glad Dr. Loeffelholz was able to get away with his family. He said Dr. Loeffelholz spent a lot of time on the bond campaign and deserved the break. Dostal said he is also grateful to the community for passing the bond issue.
XVI. Executive Session
Discussion:  The Executive Session was held prior to approval of XII.H. Technology Department Salary Increase.
XVII. Adjourn
Discussion:  The Board adjourned at 8:55 p.m.
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