Public Meeting Minutes: October 13, 2014 at 5:00 PM - Work Session and Regular Meeting of the Board of Education


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October 13, 2014 at 5:00 PM - Work Session and Regular Meeting of the Board of Education Minutes

October 13, 2014 at 5:00 PM - Work Session and Regular Meeting of the Board of Education
I. Listening Session
II. Call To Order - Work Session
III. Board Work Session
III.A. North Park Elementary School Presentation
Discussion:  Positive Behavior Interventions and Support: This is a district wide initiative that will be K-12. There are consistent expectations in every area of the building as well as a common purpose and approach to discipline. These things help the staff focus on a positive school environment. The goal is to get away from a punitive approach and focus more on a positive approach. The idea is to help teach social skills and teach students replacement behaviors. The consistent school rules of being discoverers are to be safe, be respectful and be responsible. These are the same across all grades and with all staff. The idea is to keep kids actively engaged; limit non-instructional time; have smooth transitions; have each student know what he or she is expected to do; and provide feedback to students with four positive interactions to one negative. Expectation stations tell students what is expected of them in each area of the school. This year North Park started Golden Tickets, which recognize positive behavior and provide positive feedback to students. If students get golden tickets, they can take it to the office and put it in a designated box for a drawing. North Park Principal Bob Hausmann said just the idea of getting a golden ticket has students excited, and they don’t even care if there is anything else to go with it. He said all staff are giving kids feedback for positive behavior including paras, custodians etc. With student of the month, they are nominated and given an award for showing positive behavior. The school staff have also focused on positive parent contact, which include phone calls, notes home, and postcards. Students come back to school the next day excited to find out they received a postcard at home for positive behavior. The staff is working hard to prevent misbehavior instead of dealing with it after it happens. They are also focusing on character vocabulary and trying to shift to more positive. Hopefully positive feedback will impact their learning. RTI/PLC: The grade level teams meet weekly during a scheduled time. This is a great opportunity for the team to figure out what is working and what is not working as well as having the opportunity to work with other teams. This year is the first time there has been time built in to collaborate with para educators. The para educators work with the students and are in the classrooms every day. Their feedback is important because they often know what works and what doesn't work. In the past, it was difficult to have this collaboration with para educators because their schedule is tight. After the collaboration and practiced interventions, the team gets back together to talk about who is not processing as quickly as they hoped. Explicit Instruction – The students are starting to share things with other classmates. Teachers use marker boards and have students hold up their answers to see if they understand what is being taught. Writing has been a huge focus building wide. Each student has a writing folder. The students are learning to do research and writing informational stories and other topics. Last year 84 percent of the students scored proficient or advanced on the state writing test. Students will do 50 minutes of writing every day using the new Write Steps Program. Every grade is also writing three to five times a week. Write Steps is a formal program and students learn a lot of self-editing, which is needed for the test. The staff hopes to see growth in writing as they continue to use Write Steps. Healthy Schools: Twice a day students get to take brain breaks (once in the morning and once in the afternoon). They stop working and move around for a few minutes. The staff found the students are better able to focus after a little movement. Research has found if the body is active the mind will be as well. Students are also having recess before lunch, and there is still a morning walk. A healthy tip is also displayed on a bulletin board in the hallway and is printed in the school newsletter. The staff enjoys the Accelerated Reader (AR) program. The goal is to have students be life-long readers outside of school. The teachers want students to get excited about reading. At the beginning of the year, there is an open house and parents come and read with their children. The parents then go with their child to take an AR test. This helps parents to understand what is expected of their children. Parents also have to sign a bookmark that states their child read the book and is ready for testing. The library is also trying to get more bilingual books. These books are written in both English and Spanish. There are also monthly incentives instead of quarterly ones for AR points. Quality indicators data: There were 87 percent of the students who were proficient in reading (NeSA in grades 3-5); math 84 percent proficient; writing 84 percent proficient; and science 82 percent proficient. Hausmann said the staff tries to not get too worried if the score is high or low. He said it is a one-time snap shot of a student at that moment. Hausmann said they are more concerned about what the kids learned versus how they scored on the test. He said the science scores have been improving. When students first took the test they scored 44 percent proficient; and this year, 82 percent were proficient. He said they found out that the test covers grades third through fifth, and the students needed to review some of the things learned earlier. One of the board members asked if schools collaborate and share what works and what doesn’t work in helping students? Hausmann said they do share things with other people in the same grade levels district wide. The purpose of PLC is to collaborate and share data district wide.
III.B. Jay Spearman, Ameritas
Discussion:  Jay Spearman, Ameritas reported that the bonds went to the market last Tuesday and Wednesday, and the interest rate was very good. When talks started about selling the bonds, the interest rate was 3.95 percent; and we locked our rate to 3.53 percent. The total price the bonds sold for was $54,231,924.45. Some of the cost of the sale was lower because the district decided to sell everything at one time instead of breaking it up. Premium bonds always have a call date. Originally, the call date was going to be eight years, but it was extended to nine and a half because it was better for the district. The proceeds can be invested, but it must be in something that is government backed. Spearman said they would discuss this more in depth at another meeting. The bonds will close on Nov. 5.
III.C. Amy Romshek will discuss embargoed student data in Executive Session
III.D. Executive Session
IV. Dinner at Administration Building - No business will be discussed.
V. Call to Order - Board Meeting
Discussion:  The Board reconvened the regular 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:  Candy Becher read the Mission Statement.
IX. Opportunity For The Public To Be Heard
Discussion:  No one spoke to the board.
X. Recognitions
XI. Consent Agenda
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said a replacement has been found for Jessica Kuehler. Landon Wietfeld has been on the job for about three weeks as the Executive Director of the Foundation, and the school board needs to approve his hiring. There have also been a couple of custodians hired at the middle school.
XI.A. Approval of Minutes of the September 15, 2014 CPS Board of Education Meeting
XI.B. Certified Personnel Action
XI.C. Classified Personnel Action
XI.D. Professional Travel Report
XII. Items Removed From Consent Agenda
Discussion:  No items were removed from the consent agenda.
XIII. Financial Reports 2, 3, and 4a
XIV. Financial Report 4b
XV. Special Administrative Functions
XV.A. Revised Exhibits - 303.04E1, 303.04E2, 303.04E3, 303.04E4, 303.04E5, 303.04E6, 303.04E7, 303.04E8a, 303.04E8b, 303.04E8c, and 303.04E8d
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz informed the board that job descriptions and duties needed updated and some were new positions.
XV.B. Revised Regulation 403.03R1
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said the regulation part did not change because that it is set by state law. However, the procedure did change. He said in the complaint section individual names were removed from the policy and replaced with positions.
XV.C. Revised Policy 410.50
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said this policy needed to be revised so it matched the Master Agreement. He said in the past, they were not exactly the same; and they needed to be.
XVI. Superintendent's Report
Discussion:  CPS belongs to the GNSA with 31 other districts. Dr. Loeffelholz said over the last couple of years, the group has lost its focus. The group is trying to get things going again through lobbying efforts with the legislature. Dr. Loeffelholz said Roger Breed wants to work for GNSA, and the group is working out a deal with him. He would be the Executive Director and lobbyist for the organization. The MacBook Air order for the high school students was sent back to Omaha because it wasn’t shipped correctly, and the boxes fell over. The new order will be released in the next couple of days. On Nov. 12, there will be a digital citizenship class for each grade at the high school, and one for the parents and teaching staff. Parents must attend the digital citizenship class in order for their child to get their laptop computer. The board meeting was moved to Nov. 10 due to needing availability of areas in the High School on Nov.17-18. Construction update: Dr. Loeffelholz said there has been a lot of dirt moved lately. There is currently a section from 40th Street up to north of the future parking lot cleared. This will enable the site pad to be placed for the building. Work has also begun on the pads for parking lots. There will be a lot of clay brought in for the site. There is currently 2.88 acres of land for sale northwest of the site. Dr. Loeffelholz said 41st street has been renamed Discoverer Drive. The new high school will have two gyms. The main gym will have three sides of bleachers. The cafeteria will hold up to 500 students. The theater will be more of a concert stage with about 780 seats. Science and math classrooms will also be located be in the STEM area. Dr. Loeffelholz said they are working with Behlen Mfg. on the Eagle span system. This would be a curve on an 800-foot radius. He said tomorrow some samples would be brought in to look at regarding exterior walls for the steel structure.
XVI.A. NASB State Education Convention – November 19-21, 2014
Discussion:  Francis Kuehler, Dr. Troy Loeffelholz, Dave Melick, Mike Goos and Candy Becher will be attending the NASB State Education Convention Nov. 19-21. If anyone else wants to attend, they need to let Dr. Loeffelholz know.
XVII. Board Sharing
Discussion:  Francis Kuehler said he is looking forward to attending the state conference. Ken Curry is very excited to see the progress that is being made on the new high school. He said he also enjoyed spending time at North Park and listening to staff. Curry said the North Park staff is very supportive, and the building has a very positive culture. Candy Becher said she is really excited about the writing program and impressed with the gains being made. Mike Goos said it is amazing to see the progress being made on the high school in such a short period of time. He said he attended North Park, and it was good to go home. Alan Dostal read an article that he will share with the rest of the board. He said he also enjoyed the visit at North Park.
XVIII. Executive Session
Discussion:  The Board did not go into Executive Session.
XIX. Adjourn
Discussion:  The Board adjourned at 7:46 p.m.
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