Public Meeting Minutes: July 21, 2014 at 5:00 PM - Work Session and Regular Meeting of the Board of Education


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July 21, 2014 at 5:00 PM - Work Session and Regular Meeting of the Board of Education Minutes

July 21, 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. Information on Financing Bonds
Discussion:  Jay Spearman from Ameritas explained to the Board that interest rates were low when we started, and are a bit lower now than they were then. We need to have at least 15 days between refunding and approval to sell new bonds. August - September or August - October process. Jay will be back for the August meeting with updated information and request approve of refunding 2009 bonds.
II.B. Laptop Initiative Discussion
II.B.1. Presentation from Mark Billington, Apple
Discussion:  Mark Billington from Apple said there are many things a district must look at when implementing a computer initiative. Some of the things to be considered is the district mission/vision, measuring success, a strategic planning team, deployment planning, financing and funding, IT considerations, engaging the community, content and instruction practices, and professional development. Billington said it is important for CPS to keep their vision and focus on the academic mission. He said the implementation is a learning vision and not a one to one initiative. He said the reason is not about the machine and that is why measuring skills is critical. Billington said CPS has done a good job with professional development. Staff have been doing professional development with Apple for a while. Tech Integration Specialist Brandi Fleming is also a certified Apple trainer, and CPS is only one of a few in the state to have such a person. Billington said it is important to remember that professional development needs to be ongoing. He said that people from Apple have gone through the network, and it has the ability to support the initiative. Billington said by leasing computers, this will help make the plan sustainable. He said when the district rolls out the plan, it is important to involve people from the community as well as teachers and students. Billington said CPS is as prepared as any district in the state to do this. He cautioned the district not to have huge expectations the first year. He said it would take two to three years to see results. However, Billington said it is great to have the training; but if staff can't practice what is taught, it is wasted training. Billington suggested that the district get started as soon as possible. Board member Candy Becher wanted to know what would be done for students who don’t have the Internet at home. Billington said the students will get creative and find a way to get it. Fleming said in the survey, 91 percent of the students have Internet access at home. Dr. Loeffelholz said the district would need to reach out to the community and let them know what is going on. He said the district must be prepared to answer the question why CPS is doing a laptop initiative. Dr. Loeffelholz said there would need to be a conversation with Apple, and everyone needs to be on the same page. He said parents are also concerned about when students can shut down the laptops. He said there would need to be a mandatory parent’s meeting to inform them. Dr. Loeffelholz said some schools have said if the parents don’t attend, the students will not get the laptop. There is an insurance option. He said these are things that can be discussed once a decision is made. If students don’t get insurance, then their laptops can’t go home at night.
II.B.2. Staff Survey Data
Discussion:  Based on a survey of high school staff done in November 2013 of high school staff, 94 percent (73 people) said yes and 6 percent (5 people) said no when asked if they would support a 1 to 1 initiative. In April, staff were given the clarity survey provided by ESU7. This survey focused on access to tech knowledge, skills and factor in the school environment and then how these three areas converge to produce the results in classroom. Overall, case scores were at the proficient level. Brandi Fleming said CPS is at the same spot as other schools. She said the focus would need to be on the classroom area. Fleming said the survey showed that CPS staff had a level of understanding and how it relates to 21st century skills. However, they didn’t know how to implement it. She said the district would need to develop a plan, which focuses on the vision and why it is being implemented and not on the device. She said it is about what the district can do to make things better for our students. She said professional development would focus on the "why." This year the district will also be moving forward with a Vanguard group. In this program, lessons are designed not to share what the device can do but more about developing an activity that staff can use. Fleming said there are plenty of staff development days to do training. Fleming said she did another survey that asked staff if the district was to deploy devices to 9-12 high school students in August 2014 did they feel they would be ready to implement something within the classroom to enhance the learning besides using it as a word processor or search engine. Of those who responded 65% said yes (45 people) 35% said no (24 people). Fleming said there were some staff members who did not take the survey. Fleming said the people who said yes had more in mind than just doing a paper with the machines.
II.B.3. Deployment Plan
Discussion:  District System Administrator Jeff Uchtman said the district is doing a tech audit. He said he thinks it will show the district is not perfect but doing well. All elementary schools are wireless, the district has increased bandwidth from 150 M to 700M, and there are two Apple certified techs on board. Uchtman said if there is an issue, it can be solved quickly. If the 1 to 1 is implemented, the new person hired will also become an Apple tech. He said a solution has been found for the middle school wireless issues. He said it won’t solve the problem but will provide a temporary fix where it can be used in classrooms. Uchtman said the district has a good system.
II.C. Discussion on Convocation/Burger Bash
Discussion:  The Convocation and Burger Bash will be on August 11 from 10 a.m.-12:00 Noon. The convocation will begin at 10 a.m. with the burger bash starting between 11:45 a.m. and noon. Dr. Loeffelholz said just like in the past, the board would serve the staff. He told board members to let him or Gail Placek know if they are available to help. On August 7 and 8, Anthony Muhammad will be speaking on PLCs.
II.D. Discussion Board Retreat
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said the board would need to look at a couple of days for a retreat. He said he is looking at two evenings in early September after Labor Day.
II.E. Executive Session
III. Dinner at Administration Building - No business will be discussed.
Discussion:  The board recessed at 6:18 p.m.
IV. Special hearing for the purpose of receiving public input on Columbus Public Schools’ Student Fees Policy –Policy 504.18, Regulation 504.18R1, and Exhibit 504.18E1
Discussion:  The Special Hearing began at 7:02 p.m. Dr. Loeffelholz said the purpose of the hearing is to establish all fees for CPS and give parents an opportunity to speak. No one spoke at the hearing.
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.
IX. Open Forum
Discussion:  No one spoke to the board.
X. Presentation: Boy's Town/Duncan
Discussion:  Executive Director of Operations/Technology Leonard Kwapnioski told the board about the hail damage on June 3 to the Duncan facility. He said the gym floor had water damage because the shingles were damaged. Kwapnioski said as a result, the ceiling must come completely out. The insurance adjuster also recommended replacing the gym floor. Since the electrical is over the ceiling and is exposed, it must also be removed. Kwapnioski said this entire expense is not for CPS alone because insurance will pickup most of it. He said there are several inefficiencies, and it needs to be determined if some areas are meeting code. He said he is still working on how this will play into the cost. Kwapnioski said he is not sure what to do with the gym floor. He said he is looking at an alternative floor that is not wood. He said the district will also stay away from tile. The cost of fixing the floor will dictate what will be used. The hail damage is on the north side, and the siding must be replaced. Kwapnioski said he is not sure if matching siding can be found because it is at least 18 years old. He said he is trying to get the basic things done before Boys Town opens for school. The gym floor will not be ready, and no activities can be held there. The rest of the building didn’t have any damage. Kwapniosk said there was a little hail on the HVAC roof units, but it is not impacting the operations of the devices. He said Boys Town also wants to do some minor remodeling to the space. He said the interior classrooms have portable walls, and Boys Town wants permanent interior walls with doors. He said if this is done, a sidewalk would need to be installed. The gym only has one area of egress, so a set of double doors will need to be installed to get outside of the building. All of the issues need to be done within the next three years in order to meet fire code. Kwapnioski said some of these things would need to be reflected in the long-term lease with Boys Town. The fire alarm is working and certified, but it is difficult to find replacement parts. The roof also needs to be replaced down the road. Kwapnioski said as a whole, it is a good solid building. Board member Candy Becher questioned if Duncan was becoming a money pit, and it would cost more to maintain than the district is receiving in rent. Kwapnioski said the building is operational, but the gym is a concern. He said Boys Town uses the gym when there is bad weather. Board member Ken Curry said the district would need to have a long-term plan for the facility. Dr. Loeffelholz said right now, the district must treat the building like CPS students are going to school there. Board member Ken Curry said the district has been in a good relationship with Boys Town so far. Duncan Wrestling Club also uses the gym.
XI. Attendance Officer: Presentation
Discussion:  Wilma Arp said she is asking the school board for matching funds to help pay for an attendance monitor. The district’s cost will be supplying a school vehicle, gas and insurance when necessary. The idea of the position is to help with truancy. The attendance monitor will go to the family and help them come up with a plan to get the child to school. Arp said a committee looked at the community and decided on three or four high priorities and looked at ways to address these priorities. She said truancy has increased significantly; and if things change, the plan can be altered. The Nebraska Crime Commission is giving $105,000 and $10,800 will be used to hire a part time attendance monitor. Arp said the goal is to not let students get to 20 days of absence. Executive Director of Student Services/Special Education Jason Harris said the goal is to have the students in a plan before they reach 10 total days of being absent. Dr. Loeffelholz said four years ago the Legislature passed a series of bills on attendance. He said at five absences, there should be a conference with parents. At 10, a plan should start to be developed. Arp said many times when the county attorney gets involved, it is too late to do anything for that school year. She said she knows that they will not be able to do anything with chronic cases. Harris said the goal is to build a relationship with the county attorney to make sure when something needs to be done, he or she will be able to help. Arp said this person would create a relationship with the family. She said he or she would also need to have a sincere interest in helping families. A degree is not required. Harris said he is hoping to be able to make contact with the student quicker instead of waiting until it hits 10 days. Arp said the attendance monitor would need to find out why the students are not coming to school. Arp said CHS is the only school that will be using this person; because as of now, it is the only one with a truancy issue. Dr. Loeffelholz said the board would need to approve the matching funds next month.
XII. Update by RVW/DLR Group
Discussion:  Pat Phelan from DLR said there have been some additional tours of high schools. As result of all the tours, the committee has decided to use Aberdeen Central High School as a starting point for the 260,000 square foot building. The new high school will sit on a 60-acre site, have track and a soccer/football field with three practice fields roughed in as well as providing space for baseball, softball and tennis facilities at a later date. He said there have been many meetings with Gilmore and Mid-State confirming where the building will be. There are also plans for a 1,000 parking stalls. Phelan said the board would need to help develop guiding principles for the project. He said this would help identify important things that the board wants included in the school. Phelan said there would continue to be a lot of decisions made collectively. The gym will have 1,800 seats. Phelan said there has been an initial meeting with the STEM Advisory Group. He said many things would be finalized once a construction manager is on board. Phelan said he is not sure when dirt can be moved because it will depend when the crops are harvested. However, he said he is hoping for the first to middle part of October. The schematic will hopefully be brought to the board in mid-September followed up by the design development, which will hopefully be done in mid- December. Phelan said if all goes well, in March the building would be started. He said the worse case scenario; the completion date would be December 2016. He said the key is when things can be started. He said once the construction manager starts; there will be more specifics. Phelan said when the staff comes back in the fall; there will be more talk about specific classrooms.
XIII. Recognitions
Discussion:  There were no recognitions.
XIV. Consent Agenda
Discussion:  The Department of Education approved the district to keep the lunch prices the same as last year. The Foundation will be adding Mike Jeffyres and Cristal Menke to the board to replace Jim Stecker and Shelly Nielsen-Schmidt. Dr. Loeffelholz said the Foundation board is looking at starting interviews for the Executive Director position the first part of August. He said Foundation Board Member Bob Markham is coming in twice a week to approve everything.
XIV.A. Approval of Minutes For The Meeting of June 18, 2014
XIV.B. Certified Personnel Action
XIV.C. Classified Personnel Action
XIV.D. Lunch Prices
XIV.E. Approval of School District of Columbus Foundation Board of Directors for a thee-year term, as submitted.
XIV.F. Professional Travel Report
XV. Financial Reports - 2, 3, 4a
XVI. Financial Report - 4b
XVII. Special Administrative Functions
XVII.A. Receipt From Selection Committee of Qualified Finalists
XVII.B. Approval of Qualified Finalists
Discussion:  Sampson Construction, Boyd Jones/BD and Hausmann Construction have been the approved qualified finalists.
XVII.C. Negotiation of CM@R Contract
Discussion:  Toby Goc from the Construction Manager at Risk Selection Committee said the committee recommends that the board go with Hausmann Construction for the Construction Manager at Risk. He said the company scored the highest in several areas such as financial resources, ability to complete the proposed project, character, judgment, experience, ability to perform on a specified time, and proposed effort schedule. Goc said all three firms should be commended. Dr. Loeffelholz said it has been a good process. He said all three firms did a good job of presenting what they could do for CPS. He said the committee made a strong recommendation, and the group stands by it 100 percent. He said he hopes the local firms will be involved in the process. Ken Curry said all three brought strengths, and it wasn't an easy decision. He said he is looking forward to working with Hausmann and getting a contract negotiated. Board member Mike Goos said he wasn't a part of the committee and appreciates all of their hard work. He said the board just went to the community and asked for their support. Goos said the board would need to make sure as much of the tax dollars stay in the community as possible. Curry said Hausmann said he would be sure to work with local subs. Theresa Seipel thanked Goc for all his hard work.
XVII.D. Remove From The Table
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said this item needs to be removed and discussion be placed on the agenda regularly. The agenda item called for purchasing 1,300 MacBook Air laptop computers for CHS students and Laptop carts for elementary schools on a four-year lease purchase cycle. Board member Alan Dostal said this is a case where being patient has value. He said by being patient and thrifty, the district will have a good product when the equipment is purchased.
XVII.E. Laptops and Carts for Elementary Schools, Middle School and High School
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said the district would need to purchase 240 laptop computers for the elementary; middle school, and high school. He said it would be a lease purchase of MacBook Airs that will be on a four-year cycle. He said this is needed because there are a lot of aging laptops that need to be replaced. Mark Billington said the cost for the laptops and carts would be $239,423.60. He said at the end of the four-year lease, the district would have the option to purchase the machines for a price not to exceed a cost of $62,250.136. Billington said by doing a lease purchase, the district will be in the driver’s seat.
XVII.F. Columbus Public Schools’ Student Fees Policy –Policy 504.18, Regulation 504.18R1, and Exhibit 504.18E1
Discussion:  CMS Principal Amy Haynes said next year there will be a class fee of $5 for each grade level. She said rather than having to charge different fees for different classes this will also cover the cost of printing the agenda, newsletter and other expenses. There will also be a $10 art and media fee and $50 rental fee for band. At the high school the fees will remain the same with the exception of the senior fee will be increasing from $13 to $15. Dr. Loeffelholz said parents can obtain a fee waiver, but they must provide proof that they qualify for free and reduced lunch.
XVII.G. Tuition Rates for the District and Special Education Tuition, 2014-2015
Discussion:  Dave Melick, Executive Director of Business Operations and Human Resources, said the elementary and middle school tuition will stay the same, but the high school rate will increase by about $250. The tuition rate for elementary and middle school will be $9,500 and the high school $11,500. Jason Harris, Executive Director of Student Services/SPED, said the special education charge is a flat rate to the district, and the student only receives services for what is on the IEP. He said there will be an extra charge for one-on-one attention. Harris said there are currently nine students in special education who contract in. The severe/profound rate is $212 a day, and the mild/moderate rate is $159 a day.
XVII.H. Columbus Public Schools 2014-2015 Teacher Handbook
Discussion:  Dave Melick, Executive Director of Business Operations and Human Resources said there was not a great deal of items that were changed in the teacher handbook. He said there has been a section added regarding vendor contracts. No employee may enter into a contract with a vendor without the administrator or supervisors approval. Another change was allowing employees to check out a district credit card to use when going out of town. Melick said it is easier to check out a credit card instead of reimbursing an employee. Dr. Loeffelholz said the new credit card process is good. He said the employee should not carry the district’s expense. Melick said the handbook also indicates that when employees travel, a district vehicle must be used when available
XVII.I. Columbus Public Schools 2014-2015 Classified Staff Handbook
Discussion:  Dave Melick, Executive Director of Business Operations and Human Resources said there are also not many changes to the classified staff handbook. The sick leave was changed to state that a classified employee upon completion of one full day of work during his or her first year of employment would be eligible for sick leave. Another addition was saying full-time classified staff members who have completed 15 or more years with the District would be compensated at the rate of $5 for each accumulated sick leave day at the time of their leaving the District. Melick said another addition was with vacation. Employees will be paid at their daily rate of pay for all unused vacation days when leaving.
XVII.J. Negotiate Agreement of Facility in Duncan to Boys Town
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said the lease runs out in July, and the rate will stay the same until a new lease is approved.
XVIII. Superintendent's Report
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said it is hard to believe that two-thirds of the things needed to start on the high school are already done. He said the next step will be approving the design. Dr. Loeffelholz said people want to see activity out there. He said it is an exciting time. He said over the next five years, there will be a lot of things happening. Dr. Loeffelholz said with the technology piece, he suggested taking a similar approach as with the bond and asking the community for permission. He said the district needs to be more transparent, and people need to know more of the story behind the laptop initiative.
XIX. Board Sharing
Discussion:  Candy Becher thanked Toby Goc for all his work on both bond issues. She said Billington and Fleming also did a nice presentation. Becher thanked all the staff for working with the students. Ken Curry also thanked Goc and Mike Jeffryes for the work on the bond and selection committee. He said there was very good communication through the process. He suggested that Dr. Loeffelholz or the Telegram consider writing something every week to keep the patrons informed on how the building project is going. Dr. Loeffelholz said the district is keeping Grow CPS and will update the community regularly. Mike Goos also thanked Goc. He said the community is going to want to see local contractors working on the project. He said as a board, they need to be aware of this and try to support the community by using local people. Dr. Loeffelholz said this will be part of the negotiations with the construction manager at risk. Curry said Hausmann made a binder with all the local contractors he has used. Theresa Seipel said her concern with the technology piece was she felt the district was not being as transparent as it should be with the public. She said when the administration shows the public part of the vision for the future, they will understand the district is not getting laptops just to get laptops. Seipel said the community would need to be shown the thought behind it. She also thanked Goc and Jeffryes. Alan Dostal said a lot of discussion took place when deciding on a construction manager at risk. He said the failed middle school bond was a good first step in getting the new high school bond passed. Even though it was a tough loss, he said it served a purpose. Dostal also said that all the work will need to be bid on, so local people would have opportunities.
XX. Executive Session
Discussion:  The Board did not go into Executive Session.
XXI. Adjourn
Discussion:  The Board adjourned at 9:07 p.m.
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