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


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

August 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. Technology Conversation Update
Discussion:  Jeff Zimmerman with Survey Technology Inc. said the tech audit was based on best practices and looking at the district from a system prospective. He said the idea is to see how all the tech pieces fit together. Zimmerman said he looked at each area of technology, and how they interact with each other. For the assessment, he established critical technology areas of the district. Once those were found, technology people were interviewed and also spot checks of technology were done. Zimmerman said he researched best practices for each technology area. He assessed each best practice topic and assigned a score to each. An overall summary score was given to each technology area. Zimmerman said overall the district did well. The areas the district did well in were distance learning, wired networking, wireless networking, metro area networking (between buildings), Malware, remote access and identity management. Zimmerman said he did have some suggestions for changes. The web filtering needs to have a redundant web filter (backup), which is expensive. The Internet connectivity also needed a redundant firewall and redundant Internet, which is really expensive. The telephone is outdated and the PBX needs replacing. Risk management/disaster recovery needs to have more written policies and plans in place, Zimmerman said. For the future, there needs to be a plan for redundancy, outdated equipment must continue to be replaced and technology policies and plans need to be developed. Zimmerman said the plan must be revisited often. He said overall the district is doing well. He said it is important to develop plans and policies and the other items would be nice but will be costly. Zimmerman said a lot of the best practices don't exist or are vendor specific. He said in a lot of cases, he pulled best practices from multiple places. Zimmerman said there isn't a framework for evaluating this type of thing. The cost of redundancy is what is the problem and fixing it isn't that hard. He said redundancy is important; because if it fails, it will take time to replace. Zimmerman said he can't fault the district for where it is, but to fix things will be expensive. He said there are frameworks out there to write the district’s policies. Zimmerman said the policies and procedures are what the administration can put in place for what happens if something breaks. One board member asked if the high school was ready to handle the laptop initiative. Zimmerman said the high school is ready to support this concept. He said just like with anything new, there would be issues; but it won’t be because of capacity. He said in the regular classroom and throughout the high school, the connections should be good; but if there are lots of people in the gym all trying to access things at once, there could be issues. Alan Dostal asked how could the district be assured to have a good degree of reliability. Zimmerman said the best way is to move slowly because it is easier to catch issues. Superintendent Dr. Troy Loeffelholz said this would be difficult because there are multiple grades in one classroom. Zimmerman said it would be nice to have a pilot group or several pilot groups, which would be the ideal situation.
II.B. Ameritas
Discussion:  Jay Spearman of Ameritas said the refunding 2009 bonds were originally issued in 1996 and 1998 for elementary, and both have been refinanced a couple of times. He said the interest rates have gone down for an additional $10,000 in savings since last month. Spearman said there is $4,320,000 in outstanding bonds. By Sept. 24, there will be $4,354,812.24 for the district to call. Spearman said the average interest rate is 3.216 percent; and after the refunding, the rate will be 1.09 percent based on today’s rates. He said most of the savings would be in the 2015 calendar year to help offset the interest of the new bonds. He said the district wouldn’t realize the saving until 2019. Interest is down about $130,000 from what was first discussed. Alan Dostal said economic news changes quickly, and it is hard to know what to do. Spearman said the demand is still good for bonds. The district will need to make a decision if the bonds will go up for sale in September with an October closing or October with a November closing. Spearman said the district can set parameters as to when to go; and if the rates reach a certain point, then the bonds are put up for sale.
Discussion:  DLR representative Pat Phelan said there have been a lot of meetings on the new high school. He reminded the board to continue to revisit the guiding principles and to use these when making decisions. Phelan said as the board considers things, this will help them to all be on the same page. He said safety and security and maximizing classroom space are both important items to consider. He told the board if they want a copy of all the guiding principles, Executive Director of Technology Leonard Kwapnioski can provide it. As of now, the building is 259,000 square feet. Phelan said it has also been determined that the auditorium would be more for vocal and instrument music instead of the fine arts to help compliment the existing facility. Phelan said there was a meeting concerning HVAC. He said he would like to have a final decision by Sept. 16 or at the latest when the schematic design is finished. As of now, there are 850 parking stalls showing, but there is room to get the number up to 1,000. Phelan said when the students move in, the building will not be at capacity, so all the parking stalls may not be needed. He said there was a good meeting with Phil Raimondo from Behlen and how Behlen could participate by using some of the company’s building systems. A couple areas that these building systems might work well are for the STEM academy and the fitness area. The music area is another piece that might work for this type of design. Phelan said the floor plan is basically the same, but the STEM academy, and gym and fitness area are different than the Aberdeen plan. He said however, 50% of the building is based on Aberdeen concept. Phelan said there have been talks with Hausmann Construction on what areas to focus on getting done sooner. He said the design will also accommodate future growth. Phelan said with the first design, they were going for a discoverer concept to give the building a more nautical look. He said they will continue to refine the design and bring it back to the board. Gilmore and Associates is moving forward with the pre-grading package and hope to have it done soon. Bids for the pre-grading package will be due Sept. 18. Phelan said he is meeting tomorrow with the internal team to talk about the overall schedule of project. As of now, the idea is to start the pre-grading by Oct. 1 and finishing it by Nov. 15. Phelan said the weather will play a big role. Dr. Loeffelholz informed the board the groundbreaking will take place after school on Oct. 1 weather permitting. Phelan said how aggressive the board wants the project to move will depend on how much input staff will be given. He said a balance needs to be found. Ken Curry said he would like to see the arches from the middle school incorporated into the new high school because many students walked through them.
II.D. Executive Session
III. Dinner at Administration Building - No business will be discussed.
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:  Mike Goos read the Mission Statement.
VIII. Open Forum
IX. Recognitions
Discussion:  There were no recognitions.
X. Consent Agenda
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said there were 12 classified hires and seven resignations.
X.A. Approval of Minutes for the meetings of July 21, 2014 and July 25, 2014
X.B. Certified Personnel Action
X.C. Classified Personnel Action
X.D. Professional Travel Report
XI. Items Removed from the Consent Agenda
Discussion:  No items were removed from the consent agenda.
XII. Financial Reports 2, 3, and 4a
XIII. Financial Report 4b
Discussion:  financial report 4b was to Seipel’s Repair for $699.25. Executive Director of Business Operations/Human Relations Dave Melick said the bill was for inspections and a few repairs.
XIV. Special Administrative Functions
XIV.A. Redemption of the Outstanding Series 2009 Bonds
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said the district will save $229,000 in interest by the redemption of the outstanding series 2009 bonds.
XIV.B. Issuance of Series 2014 Refunding Bonds
XIV.C. HVAC Contract Services
Discussion:  Kwapnioski said last year the district broke up the service contracts because CMI was cheaper. He said this seemed to work well. The contract with Trane increased by about $400 and CMI stayed the same. Ken Curry asked the administration to look into why the daily remote monitoring was being removed this time. Kwapnioski said he thinks this was just a typing mistake, but he will look into it.
XIV.D. Columbus Public Schools’ Activity Eligibility Guidelines for the 2014-2015 Student-Parent Handbook
Discussion:  CHS Activities Director Mark Brown said there were not a lot of changes made to this year’s Activities Handbook. He said there were some things added concerning homecoming eligibility. He said this area was addressed in the student handbook but not the activities handbook, which it should have been because it is an activity. Brown said a checklist was added to make sure all candidates met all of the eligibility requirements. Another change was running academic eligibility reports even when there was not a full week of school. In the past, these reports were not ran if it was a shorten week. In the drug and alcohol section, most of the changes were grammatical. Brown said they did extend the self-reporting deadline to 72 hours in case something happened on a weekend and an administrator couldn’t be reached. He said in the past, the students had to self-report in 24 hours.
XV. Superintendent's Report
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz reminded the board about the NSBA meeting is on Sept. 17 in Norfolk. The State conference is Nov. 19-21, and the board must let him know if they plan on attending by Sept 8. He said room reservations cannot be made until the board members register. Dr. Loeffelholz said typically the board goes all day Thursday. He did ask the board to stay for the annual meeting with GNSA at 4 p.m. on Thursday. He said it would be worth the board’s time to stay. Friday is a half a day. Candy Becher agreed to be the board member on the Staff Advisory Council. This group is made up of representatives from all buildings. Dr. Loeffelholz said this is where questions are asked and the group tries to find a solution. The Staff Advisory Council usually meets the second Thursday at 4 p.m. The laptops for the middle school and elementary buildings are in and are on the list to be imaged. Dr. Loeffelholz said the district didn't need to buy any carts. MAP testing will be starting in early September. On Sept. 5, there will be tech leadership training with Apple. As a result, the technology vision plan has been put on the back burner until the training is finished. Dr. Loeffelholz invited the board to attend the Sept. 5 training from 9 a.m. to noon. He said the training will be at the administration building but depending on numbers, it could be moved to ESU7. Dr. Loeffelholz said the tech plan will be built around the 4Cs (communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking). He said the technology group must come to a consensus on the plan.
XVI. Board Sharing
Discussion:  Theresa Seipel said she enjoyed the convocation and seeing the staff. Mike Goos said he thought the all school pep rally was excellent, and he wished all the teachers and staff a great year. Ken Curry agreed with Goos. Candy Becher said several staff came up to her and convinced her that the laptop initiative was needed at the high school. She said she was surprised to find some of the teachers in favor of this move. Alan Dostal said he is glad to see things moving on the new high school.
XVII. Executive Session
XVIII. Adjourn
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