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March 16, 2015 at 5:00 PM - Work Session and Regular Meeting of the Board of Education

I. Listening Session
II. Call To Order - Work Session
Discussion:  Candy Becher was excused from the work session. Alan Dostal arrived at 5:20 p.m.
III. Board Work Session
III.A. Emerson Elementary School Presentation – Sara Colford
Discussion:  Emerson students gave a square dancing demonstration. Several teachers spoke about the four Ls to actively engage students. This practice uses pair partnering. The four Ls are 1. Look at you partner 2. Lean in to hear them 3. Use a low voice and 4. Listen. The teachers agreed that this is a way to engage all students and not just those who raise their hands. They also said it seems to be effective with the students. The ELL classrooms received new materials this year. One project that was done was to create a photo essay. ELL Teacher Judy Dobbs said she collaborated with Media Specialist Stephanie Luchsinger to do this project. Luchsinger said there were several other projects that she collaborated with teachers. These types of projects usually start off with a meeting with the teachers first to determine who will handle what part of the project. She said she typically teaches the technology, and the classroom teacher handles the content. Fifth graders did an iMovie where they worked in groups and shared their presentations so all members could comment. The movies were on Internet safety. The fourth grade did a solar system movie. Third grade did a presentation on animals using World Book Online and also a brochure on Columbus, Nebraska in Pages. First grade did an advertisements and a biography on friend in class, which they made into an iMovie. Kindergartners did a picture collage on the four seasons. Luchsinger said she teaches the students to pay attention to copyright rules and to make sure the pictures can be used. They also did a picture collage on number sense. The second graders did Autobiographies. The teachers said they tried hard to involve parents by having the students bring home the sheets to fill out to make sure the information was accurate. The students practiced reading their autobiographies before making the iMovie. Parents had the chance to view the movie at parent teacher conferences, and it was emailed to them if the parents provided an email address. Jennifer Eikmeier is working on her administrative degree. She is doing an internship with Emerson Principal Sara Colford. Colford said they came up with creative ways for her to get some experience and still continue teaching full time. Eikmeier said after talking with Colford, they decided to try to get parents more involved in the school for an internship project. Eikmeier said they came up with several family events. A movie night was held in October along with the fall festival. She said for the fall festival staff brought hygiene products that families could win. At the festival, they also served a meal. There was also a photo booth where families could get a picture taken together, and it would be emailed to them. In November, there was book bingo where kids could win a free band new book. In December, there was a movie night, January a carnival game night and February a kid’s night out. Eikmeier said the money from the kids’ night out was donated to the Emerson After School Program. In March, there will be another movie night, and in April, the Emerson Student Council will host a challenge acceptance. She said at the end of the year, there will be a sports activity/family picnic. Another project Eikmeier did was to create a postcard that went home to families. Each homeroom had a family assigned to do a project for the month. The parents could bring a treat, read to a child, listen to students read, attend a PTO meeting or do other volunteer things in the classroom/school. Eikmeier said on the invite, they would also offer suggestions on what parents could do. She said the personal invitation to parents helped generate 71 parent volunteers this year. Colford said they plan to continue to reach out to families and hope they can have a positive experience with the school. School counselor Robyn Wilcox said counselors want to make a difference, so students can achieve success. Wilcox does classroom lessons for all students, and she works on 21st century skills and ASCA national/state standards. The goal is to be more proactive. Wilcox also meets with individuals and small groups on specific academic skills, social/emotional issues and other topics. Through these meetings with the students, Wilcox works with the teacher, parent and students to come up with a plan. Wilcox is also part of the RTI Team. She meets with the content specialist and classroom teachers once a month to determine what needs to be done to make the child successful. Wilcox created a Google document, so all communication about the student can be shared. She said she also does a lot of work with parent outreach and wants to get parents to understand school is a great place and safe for their children. Wilcox said she also started attending kindergarten registration to help parents realize they play a key role in the education of their child. Another facet of her job is linking families with community services. Wilcox said now that she does not have to travel to more than one building, she can also help with attendance. Every time a student misses 10 days she meets with him or her and tries to solve the problem as to why they are not in school. Research shows that kids who miss 10 to 20 days as kindergartners and first graders will have a hard time breaking this habit if it isn’t stopped immediately. Colford said Emerson students have a 96% attendance rate and it has been that way for a while. There are also 97 percent of the parents who give the school a grade of an A or B. On the NeSA test in 2013-14, there were 83 students percent proficient, which is an increase from last year. NeSA science also rose with 83 percent of the students being proficient, and this test score has increased every year. On the NeSA reading, math and science sores, 65 students scored an exceed in 2013, and in 2014, those scoring exceed increased to 93. On the NeSA Reading, Math and Science test there were two perfect scores in 2013, and this increased to 18 in 2014.
III.B. ESU7 Presentation – ESU7 Board Members/Professional Service Team
Discussion:  Some members of ESU7 gave a presentation to the Board. ESU7 serves seven counties, 19 school districts, and 13, 000 students. They are governed by statue, and supported by a levy. Some of the services ESU7 provides are opportunities to get lower prices for equipment, support for distant learning, and AV repair work. They also talked about other services they provide to school districts. ESU7 Administrator Larianne Polk said ESU7 and CPS have a unique situation in that they share a building, and this is the only type of this arrangement in the state. She said since ESU7 is in the same town as CPS, the print turn round time is a lot faster and most jobs are back within three days and some even as quickly as one. Polk said since the high school has given students laptops, she does expect some of the printing to decrease a little. ESU7 is partnering with several groups to bring a group of 16 AmeriCorps volunteers to Columbus. This is the first time the group has gone to a rural area, and Polk said hopefully, it will go well, and they will come again. A 12-member board runs ESU7.
III.C. Executive Session
Discussion:  The board did not go into executive session. They broke for dinner at 6:24 p.m.
IV. Dinner at ESU7 Student Center, 2563 4th Avenue - No business will be discussed.
V. Call to order - Board Meeting
Discussion:  Theresa Seipel was excused from the 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. Opportunity For Public To Be Heard
Discussion:  No one spoke to the board.
X. Recognitions
Discussion:  CMS Nurse Karla Bartlett was recognized for receiving the 2013-14 Excellence in Nursing Award from the Nebraska Nurses Association. CMS Principal Amy Haynes said Karla is involved in many things. She helped to implement the online professional development website; makes sure staff stay current on CPR; manages the students health fund through United Way; created the health fair at CMS, which brings in 20 plus booths to address various topics during the open house; plays an important role in helping students return to school after a concussion; and is instrumental in helping with the special needs students at CMS. She also donates blood to the Red Cross. Bartlett has worked for CMS for 18 years. Haynes said with the help of staff, she nominated Bartlett for the award. Bartlett said she works in the best building and all of her work is a team effort.
XI. Presentation: DLR/Hausmann Construction
Discussion:  Pat Phelan from DLR thanked the CPS team for all their help. Phelan said the planning has been a team effort. He said DLR feels good that the building reflects the curriculum goals. Phelan said the design plans are finished and now the only thing that can slow down the project is the weather. He said he feels really good about what was accomplished in a short period of time. Superintendent Dr. Troy Loeffelholz said DLR worked hard, and the administration pushed them. They responded and did a great job. He said now everyone can focus on constructing the building. Zach Smith from Hausmann Construction said the masonry and rebar were delivered to the site. He said they will also be starting on more footings. The Behlen building will be delivered soon and will go up in mid-April. Smith said he is excited to get started. Smith is the project manager with Hausmann. His job is to make sure information gets sent to all those who need to know. Dr. Loeffelholz said the board will go to visit the site on April 20 and would like someone from Hausmann to be there to show them around. Smith said they will be getting water trucks out at the site to control the blowing dirt. Dr. Loeffelholz said the pivot will be taken apart shortly and moved until a buyer can be found.
XII. Items removed from Consent Agenda
Discussion:  No items were removed from the consent agenda.
XIII. Consent Agenda
XIII.A. Approval of Minutes for the Meeting of the February 9, 2015
XIII.B. Certified Personnel Action
XIII.C. Classified Personnel Action
XIII.D. Professional Travel Report
XIV. Financial Reports 2, 3, and 4a
Discussion:  Executive Director of Business Operations Dave Melick said there is too much cash on hand in food service, so some money must be transferred to the depreciation fund. He said this money could be used at a later date to purchase new kitchen equipment for the high school.
XV. Financial Report 4b
Discussion:  The $922.50 bill from Seipel Repair was for maintenance on vehicles.
XVI. Special Administrative Functions
XVI.A. Approval of Administrative Salaries and Benefits Package
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said the raises will be based on performance as well as the salaries in the CPS array. The cost of the total package is $54,283.
XVI.B. Approval of Classified (Food Service, Paraprofessionals, Bus Drivers, Crossing Guards, Custodians Secretaries, Maintenance, Nurses, and Nurse Assistants) Salaries and Benefits
Discussion:  Melick said the raise was to keep pace with state minimum wage and will amount to a 50 cent an hour increase for classified staff. This will amount to a $265,705 total increase.
XVI.C. Approval of Classified (Social Worker) Salaries and Benefits
Discussion:  The board tabled this item until some of the details have been worked out with the social workers.
XVI.D. Board Acceptance of Bids
Discussion:  The board accepted the following bids for the new high school: Masonry went to Thompson with local help coming from Tucker; Structural Steel Supply went to Midwest; Concrete Interior Flatwork was awarded to Platte Valley Precast; Precast Structural Concrete Supply went to Concrete Industries; Precast Steel Erection went to Atlas; and the Metal Building erection went to Bierman.
XVI.E. Acceptance of Gifts/Donations
Discussion:  The board accepted $1,042.50 in donations from the CHS Sports Boosters, Emerson PTO, CMS PAC, Centennial Pac, West Park PTO and Lost Creek PTO.
XVI.F. Proposed 2016 Close-Up Trip to Washington D.C.
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said they do not know the exact dates, but it will be next March or April for six days. He said the group is not asking for funds, they are just asking for permission to go and fundraise. In the past, the board has given $4,000 to be used for scholarships. The money helps with the cost of travel, lodging, meals and other expenses.
XVI.G. Proposed 2016 Columbus High Winter Percussion Ensemble Trip to Minneapolis, MN
Discussion:  CHS Band Director Jeff Peabody said the percussion ensemble would like to expand beyond the local competition and go to a regional one. He said Minneapolis is the closest regional competition. He said the group went there when they first started five years ago and would like to go back. The cost per student and chaperone is $194. When asked if the percussion ensemble planned to do any fundraising, Peabody said the group largely supports itself. He said the students must pay $250 to participate. He said he was hoping the district might help subsidize the transportation, which would be a bus and vehicle to pull the trailer, but that is not what he is asking for now.
XVI.H. Library Books - Surplus
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said before the copies can be removed or withdrawn and sold or disposed of properly the board must give approved.
XVI.I. Proposal to Repurpose the Current High School into a Middle School
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said the administration would like to start visiting with middle school staff before they leave for summer. He said they have already been given a tour and have seen the floor plan. He said now is the time to start planning. Board member Alan Dostal said he hopes the staff will focus on what they have and not want to do a lot of extra things because the building is very nice.
XVI.J. Lease Agreement with Boys Town
Discussion:  The Lease Agreement with Boys Town will be for five years. Board member Candy Becher asked what happens if the board wants to do something different with the property before the lease is up? Dr. Loeffelholz said when visiting with the district’s lawyer, he said it is better to get a lease in place and then to try to negotiate a sale. Ken Curry said it appears CPS is leasing it to them for five years, and there is no way to easily break the lease. Under the lease, Boys Town will do the cleaning and basic items, but the district would be responsible for the roof and HVAC. Executive Director of Business Operations and Technology Leonard Kwapnioski said they have been working with Boys Town since September, and they have not been approached about a lease purchase agreement. At one time, Boys Town was not interested in purchasing the building. Board President Mike Goos said there is no incentive for Boys Town to purchase the building. Ken Curry said he would like some time to read this before giving approval. Dr. Loeffelholz said the building and site committee should meet next week and see if a lease purchase agreement is something that the district should present to Boys Town.
XVII. Superintendent's Report
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said the teaching and classified staff appreciated the board coming to the buildings for Staff Appreciation Day. He said he will be going to GNSA on Wednesday and if any board members want to go let him know. Candy Becher is hoping to go and Mike Goos can no longer go. Dr. Loeffelholz said it starts at 9:30 a.m. and is done by 1 p.m. He said spring sports are in full swing. He said it is real exciting to see something going on out at the new high school. If all goes well, there should be cameras up and people should see it live soon.
XVIII. Board Sharing
Discussion:  Candy Becher said it is exciting to see the high school project moving forward, and as soon as walls go up, people will become more excited. Ken Curry acknowledged the Scotus Central Catholic Boys Basketball team for making it to the state finals. He said he is also excited about spring sports, and he thought the teachers at Emerson did an excellent job. Alan Dostal said the decorations at Emerson are very welcoming and help put the students and staff in the right mindset. He said he also enjoyed staff appreciate day. He said everyone should see energy in hallways of the high school on a typical day. Mike Goos said he also enjoyed doing staff appreciate at West Park. Goos apologized to the board for being sick last Wednesday. Dr. Loeffelholz said he has gotten the meeting rescheduled for April 1 at 5 p.m. Candy Becher said she loves seeing the kids using their laptops at the high school. She said the laptops will pay off in the long run. Ken Curry said there are a lot of good things going.
XIX. Executive Session
XX. Adjourn
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