Public Meeting Minutes: January 12, 2015 at 5:00 PM - Work Session and Regular Meeting of the Board of Education


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January 12, 2015 at 5:00 PM - Work Session and Regular Meeting of the Board of Education Minutes

January 12, 2015 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. Lost Creek Elementary School
Discussion:  Math - 5th grade – The teachers decided the students lacked some skills to do well on the NeSA Math test. Thanks to a Superintendent Grant they were able to purchase the IXL Math Program. This program allows students to practice math skill. They work on the computer for 20 minutes a day and keep track of their progress. This helps teachers to know what students need to be retaught and what areas the class is struggling as a whole. Students can use this program both at school and at home. In the program, students can earn rewards and stickers for mastering skills. The program is set up for students to work on specific skills. Third grade is using C4L for the NeSA math practice. The students do weekly math assessments based on the Math strands. They start out answering 12 C4L questions, and do it with paper/pencils. As they progress, they switch to laptops. The data is displayed through graphs on the website, so teachers can analyze this information. The third grade teachers have been using C4L for a couple of years. When students go in for assessments, they are now familiar with the C4L tests. When doing one of these tests, a student must login into a computer just like when doing NeSA testing. C4L is also being used for math at 4th grade. Students take tests during WIN time and 10 questions to work on. The student can go over the ones that were missed and teachers can help them practice skills they are missing. They are also using L to J for math fluency. There are 40 questions that cover all areas such as multiplication, division, addition and subtraction. Golden Sower Award has been in place over 25 years, and it is a children's choice award. Anyone who has read four or more of the Golden Sower nomination books can vote for the winning books. There is a primary, intermediate and upper level. At Lost Creek, these are used as supplemental reading. It is a challenge to get students to read all 10 Golden Sower books. In order to vote for the Golden Sower winner, students must read at least four of the nominees. Lost Creek Media Specialist Tongay Epp said the Lost Creek PTO helps support the project by donating money for six copies of each nominated book. She said she tries to promote an interest in the books by doing book trailers at the beginning of the year. Classroom teachers will also read books to students. If fourth and fifth grade students read all 10 books, they get their pictures put on a poster. At the end of May, Epp said she looks at how many of the nominated books people read. Those who read the most get to choose one of the Golden Sower nominated books to keep. Last year out of the 121 fourth and fifth graders, 43 percent or 51 kids read four or more books; 31 percent or 37 kids read six or more. The REACH Program is used for ELL at the elementary level. This is a language and literacy program that is used for 25 to 50 minutes for anyone who is a level I or II student. The program comes in multiple levels (A, B, C, D), and it has very engaging student materials. The lessons are also very interactive, and there are different songs for each unit and interactive videos. Each lesson covers the four domains of language: listening, reading speaking and writing. There is also a component that helps pull the families into the program. A newsletter goes home at the beginning of the year that gives parents ideas of what to do at home with their children to strengthen their skills. Other interventions are also used to help the ELL students. Behavior Skills – When helping a student, it is done in the least restrictive environment; tries to prevent escalation of behaviors; and uses research based intervention. A Functional Behavior Assessment plan is created as well as a Behavior Intervention Plan and behavior charts. In addition to the behavior charts, social skills are also charted. The charts allow students to set goals for themselves, so they can see improvement. For PBIS this year, green wristbands are being handed out. Students can earn these each week for doing something positive in the targeted areas. The second semester the green bands are handed out for doing the behaviors anywhere and not just in a specific area. If teachers see a student wearing a wristband, they can ask what they received it for. On Friday, there is a drawing and two people from each grade level are chosen and can pick a prize. At the end of the month, the names not chosen go in the drawing for the dessert bar. The dessert bar is set up at the beginning of the day, so students can see the winners and what they will be getting. This has been very positive for the students, and any staff member can hand out a green band. Some of the staff attended Chaos to Classroom Control training and got many good ideas. Eighty percent of the students’ behavior is to get attention or control. Token economy –This has been very successful in the third grade. First week tickets were given for raising their hand correctly in class, and after a student gets so many tickets, they can be turned in for prizes. Data – Lost Creek had 170-172 parents respond to the survey, and 98.8 graded the school an A or B. There were 98 percent of the students who have two or fewer office visits. The average daily attendance is 97 percent. Last year there were 377 students enrolled, and this year 360, which is due to a smaller kindergarten class. Reading has been improving the last three years in NeSA. Superintendent Dr. Troy Loeffelholz thanked the staff for what they do for the students, and said it is very evident teachers are trying different approaches to meet the needs of the students.
III.B. After School Program Presentation
Discussion:  Lisa Kaslon from the UNL Cooperative Extension said the after-school program is meant to be a partnership between school and the extension office. She said they are in year two of the second five-year grant. Kaslon said they were lucky that they were able to find grant funding for the program for 15 years. In the past, an outside person came in and evaluated the program. Kaslon said now students who attend, teachers, janitors, parents and anyone involved in the program must complete a survey. She said the after-school program holds itself to high standards. Kaslon said she knows the grant funding will not last forever. She said there is a fee to attend the program, but it doesn’t cover all the costs. With this extra money, they were able to hire a person to work on trying to get more STEM education into the after-school program; continue to build collaboration in the building; and tell the community what the program is doing. Each building is just about at capacity, which is 65 students. Kaslon said the program does have a state licensed as childcare site. She said one of the big pushes is to find scholarship dollars for those who need help. The fee is a flat rate of $104 per month flat rate and $52 for students who qualify for free and reduced lunch. The program also provides a snack. Kaslon said it is difficult because no one can be turned away for not paying especially those qualifying for free and reduced because the program is grant funded. The operating budget is $280,000 to $300,000 with half coming from fees or other donations and half from the grant. Kaslon said the hardest part is hiring staffing. She said it can be difficult to find the right mix of people. Dr. Loeffelholz said CPS is looking for ways to help sustain the program as well.
III.C. Executive Session
IV. Dinner at ESU7 Student Center, 2563 44th Avenue - No business will be discussed.
Discussion:  No business was 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:  Francis Kuehler read the Mission Statement.
IX. Election of President for 2015
X. Election of Vice President for 2015
XI. Opportunity For Public To Be Heard
Discussion:  No one spoke to the Board.
XII. Recognitions
Discussion:  There were no recognitions.
XIII. Oath of Office for Re-Elected Board Members
Discussion:  The Superintendent administered the Oath of Office to Theresa Seipel and Francis Kuehler.
XIV. Presentation on Collaboration Agreement with the Quality of Life Groups –
Discussion:  Mr. KC Belitz addressed the Board. This agreement is a collaborative effort between CPS, Columbus Family YMCA, City of Columbus, Columbus Library Foundation, Columbus Area Community Foundation and East Central District Health Department. Chamber President KC Belitz said this is a unique opportunity for Columbus. He said this has been a collaborative process. Belitz said a foundation will provide matching funds so all those who sign the agreement can share in the money. He said the idea is to get all the projects funded. Hopefully, Belitz said there will be enough money to get these projects funded. The projects include: the ECDHD facility; YMCA facility along with Columbus Community Hospital wellness facility; CHS STEM curriculum, Library/Cultural Arts Centers in downtown Columbus and early childhood development initiatives. Belitz said they already have gifts committed. Between the matching funds and what the partners raise, there should be around $6 million. CPS objective is to come up with $1.1 million with the matching gifts amounting to $260,00 and CPS and the partners raising $520,000. Dr. Loeffelholz said hopefully CPS will be able to raise more.
XV. Presentation on NCA Sportsmanship Summit
Discussion:  CHS Activities Director Mark Brown said good sportsmanship is very important at CHS. Every year there is a group of juniors sent to the NCA Sportsmanship Summit to learn about being good sportsmen and women and collaborating with other schools. Two coaches are also sent to the adult session. C Club Advisor Andrea Smejkal said a lot of what is done at the games comes from the sports’ summit. She said CHS takes a large group of students to summit every year and this has been noticed by the NCA. The first year they took 50 kids. CHS has been sending kids for six years. At the winter sports pep rally, the students who attended gave a presentation on something they will try to incorporate into the season. One thing that is taught every year is to show respect for the kids from the other team. Smejkal said when a player from another team is announced, the students will clap twice and say hi to the player. She said the students have been better about participating than the parents. The sportsmanship pillars are integrity (not just about athletics but all activities); Spirit (students will dress up according to the theme): Hard Work (they continue to push each other to be the best they can be); Commitment (if you start something finish it); Unity (support all activities, try to make it to as many events as possible and wishing people good luck when you see them at school); and Respect (for everyone’s activities). Students who attended the summit said they enjoyed the speakers and that it helped to re-enforce what being a good sportsman or woman means. One also said he learned how not to put people down. Smejkal said all the groups that have gone through the summit take pride in what they have done.
XVI. Items to be removed from Consent Agenda
Discussion:  No items were removed from the consent agenda.
XVII. Consent Agenda
XVII.A. Appointments by the Board of Education for the 2015 Calendar Year
Discussion:  1. Appointment of Secretary - Dave Melick 2. Appointment of Treasurer - Sandy Krings 3. Appointment of School Law Firms 1. Grant and Grant 2. Perry, Guthrey, Haase, and Gessford 4. Appointment of Signatory of the District for the purpose of Federal Funds - Dave Melick 5. Appointment of Signatory for the School Lunch Account - Dave Melick
XVII.B. Approval of Minutes for the meeting of December 15, 2014
XVII.C. Certified Personnel Action
XVII.D. Classified Personnel Action
XVII.E. Professional Travel Report
XVIII. Financial Reports, 2, 3, 4a
XIX. Financial Report 4b
XX. Appointments by the Board President
Discussion:  Appointments are submitted for information only. a. Appointment of a board member to serve on the Selection Committee for the Annual School Bell Award (Candy Becher) b. Appointment of negotiating team for the 2015-2016 teachers’ contract (Ken Curry and Theresa Seipel) c. Appointment of a board representative to the Nebraska Association of School Boards’ Delegate Assembly (Francis Kuehler)
XXI. Committee and Foundation Board Appointments
Discussion:  The newly elected President should appoint Board Members to serve on subcommittees, other district committees, and the School Foundation Board consistent with the change in leadership and/or any other considerations the newly elected President deems appropriate. a. Appointment of Board Members to the four standing Board sub-committees: (Building & Site [Ken Curry and Francis Kuehler], Curriculum [Candy Becher and Alan Dostal], Finance & Personnel [Francis Kuelher and Theresa Seipel], and Policy [Ken Curry and Alan Dostal]). b. Appointment of three Board Members to Committee on Americanism [Candy Becher, Alan Dostal, and Theresa Seipel]. c. Appointment of two Board Members to an annual term on the School District of Columbus Foundation Board [Candy Becher and Theresa Seipel d. Appointment of a Board Member to serve as a representative to the NASB Legislative Relations Network [Francis Kuehler].
XXII. Special Administrative Functions
XXIII. Revised Policy 608.01, Student Guidance and Counseling Program
Discussion:  Executive director of Students Services and Special Education Jason Harris said the change was to use the term school counseling program instead of student guidance and counseling program.
XXIV. Revised Policy 508.09, Guidance and Counseling
Discussion:  Harris said the major change in this document is the school counselor no longer needs permission from the parent to talk to a student.
XXV. Revised Regulation 1005.02R1, Parent/Guardian Involvement and Participation and Rescind 1005.02E2, Columbus Public Schools Guidance Counseling Program (Form)
Discussion:  Harris said this is just removing the form that parents signed so their child could meet with the school counselor and to also update the wording
XXVI. Acceptance of Gifts/Donations – Troy Loeffelholz
Discussion:  There were $10, 514.88 of contributions from the CPS Foundation, PAC/PTOs and CHS Sports Boosters. The total contributions for the year are $131,410.70.
XXVII. Quality of Life Groups Collaboration Agreement
Discussion:  Mike Goos said this effort is truly a driving force for Columbus.
XXVIII. Grant Writer Contract
Discussion:  The contract is for a $33,000 salary, which has not changed over the last three years. Dr. Loeffelholz said she has been mostly doing research for CPS. She has worked 428 hours for CPS this past year and most of it has been on STEM grant research. Dr. Loeffelholz said she did help him write a grant to ADM and is looking into some grants for the auto program. Some additional grants she has been researching include: school security, Department of Education grants, leadership grants and early childhood. Dr. Loeffelholz said the research she has done will hopefully turn into money in the next two years. He said if she is not getting grants for CPS, this may need to be addressed.
XXIX. Superintendent's Report
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said the second semester has started. He said the plat has gone to the city council, but he is still not happy with the percentages of the cost for finishing the streets in the subdivision agreement. Dr. Loeffelholz said he will inform the board when the numbers are closer to where he wants them to be. Footings are still being poured at the new high school, the STEM area is finished, and they are working on the academic wing. He said there have not been any problems with the CPS site, and things have been going smoothly. He said Dan Keiter is doing a good job of looking at the bills and making sure they should be paid. Dr. Loeffelholz said he attended a luncheon today on the first five and early childhood funding source. He said one senator wants to use lottery dollars for early childhood. Talks are continuing about finding a half time executive director to run all of the youth programs. He said he is also talking with CCC and the city about partnering for game fields and courts. The lease with Boys Town has been agreed upon. DLR did a presentation to the high school staff, and it went well. Dr. Loeffelholz said he is talking with companies in town about doing some artwork for the new high school. Nebraska School Board recognition week is January 25-31. He told the board he appreciates everything they do for the kids, and the time they donate.
XXX. Board Sharing
Discussion:  Francis Kuehler said he will be going to the legislative conference on Jan. 25 and 26. Alan Dostal said the last two years have been a privilege serving as president. He said he has been on the board seven years, and a lot of things have happened. Dostal said what you see going on in Columbus is very important for the future. The pinnacle of all the work is getting the students on stage for graduation. Theresa Seipel thanked Dostal for the last two years he served as president and said he has done an excellent job. She also thanked the Lost Creek staff for an excellent presentation. She said although she has been putting in a lot of hours to serve on the board, she is glad she applied and finds it very rewarding. Seipel also thanked the board for having confidence in her to serve as vice president this year. Mike Goos said it is an honor and privilege to be a part of this board. He said he is looking forward to following in the footsteps of Alan Dostal and Francis Kuehler in serving as president. He said CPS is sitting in very good shape, and the district is progressive. Dr. Loeffelholz also thanked Alan Dostal for his years of service as president.
XXXI. Executive Session
Discussion:  The Board did not go into Executive Session.
XXXII. Adjourn
Discussion:  The Board adjourned at 8:20 p.m.
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