Public Meeting Minutes: July 20, 2015 at 5:00 PM - Work Session and Regular Meeting of the Board of Education


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July 20, 2015 at 5:00 PM - Work Session and Regular Meeting of the Board of Education Minutes

July 20, 2015 at 5:00 PM - Work Session and Regular Meeting of the Board of Education
I. Call To Order - Work Session
Discussion:  Board member Alan Dostal was excused from the meeting.
II. Board Work Session
II.A. High School Construction Site Tour
Discussion:  The Board and Administration took a tour of the High School Construction site. Employees of Hausmann Construction led the tour and updated the board on the progress.
II.B. English Language Arts Standards/Curriculum Presentation
Discussion:  Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction Amy Romshek said there are four categories in the English Language Arts Standards: reading, writing, speaking/listening and multiple literacies. There are multiple standards for students in grades K-12 and there are 85 standards per grade level. Romshek said with the changes, there are several of the same standards for three or four grade levels in a row. Seventy-five percent of the 2014 standards are the same or similar to the ones from 2009. With the other 25 percent, fostering deeper thinking; require students to support their thinking with evidence; require students to write in additional writing models; place more emphasis on complex text; and more practice in academic language in a variety of content areas. There is a strong emphasis on building students' background knowledge and content knowledge through content rich nonfiction. Romshek said different groups looked at the standards for grade levels. The group classified 1/3 of the standards as priority standards. They aligned the supporting standards with priority standards and will be working on arranging the standards of units of study. Next year teachers will select and develop materials, develop assessments, revise pacing guides and provide professional learning experiences. Romshek invited the board to look over the standards and curriculum.
II.C. Naming Rights Policy
Discussion:  Superintendent Dr. Troy Loeffelholz said if the board decides a significant contribution warrants the naming of buildings, labs, classrooms etc. CPS has no policy currently available to address this issue. He said some districts sell classrooms in certain areas and even allow areas to have a name. Foundation Executive Director Landon Wietfeld and he went to Lincoln and talked to Lincoln Public Schools. They require a certain amount such as $50,000, $25,000, $10,000 before naming rights for four years are considered. He said if the board decides to go down this road, there needs to be an end. The businesses will often spell out how they want the contribution used. Grand Island Public Schools left their policy open ended and pretty generic. They started with committees to select names, and also those to decide on naming contributions. Grand Island also banned logos from their facilities. However, Fremont allows ads on the gym floor. Dr. Loeffelholz said it all depends how commercial the board wants to get, or if they want to be commercial at all. He said this does not just apply to the high school, it is all buildings. Some people may want recognition and others may not. Dr. Loeffelholz asked the board to think of places where they are open to naming (classrooms, labs, fields buildings etc.). He also said to consider what are some rules they might want to put in place, and to consider items that they like. Dr. Loeffelholz said the board needs to be very specific when decide what they want to do. Dr. Loeffelholz said to also consider setting a cost to get a name on something. He cautioned the board about the historical influences that may also come into play such as using the name Kramer for something.
II.D. Executive Session
Discussion:  The board did not go into executive session.
III. Dinner at Administration Building - No business will be discussed.
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:  Every year the board must review the Student Fees policies. There are student fees for a variety of items and these can be found attached to the policy. The list includes back to school supplies as well as extra curricular activities. If students cannot afford the fees, they can apply for a waiver. No one spoke at the public hearing. Motion to adjourn the public hearing at 7:08 p.m. by Candy Becher second Francis Kuehler. Motion carries.
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:  Mike Goos read the mission statement.
IX. Opportunity for the Public to be Heard
Discussion:  There was no one who spoke to the board.
X. Recognitions
Discussion:  There were no recognitions.
XI. Hausmann Construction Presentation
Discussion:  The presentation was given during the site tour. Mike Goos said when he was standing at the high school site and looking at entire area, it is impressive. Francis Kuehler said despite the rain, the workers seem to be doing a good job of keeping up. Dr. Loeffelholz said he learned that each one of those panels weigh between 44,000 to 55,000 pounds. He said starting tomorrow, the panels on the small gym will go up. Goos said this is a very exciting project.
XII. Items to be removed from the Consent Agenda
Discussion:  No items were removed from the agenda.
XIII. Consent Agenda
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said there are a lot of classified hires. He said the board is also approved the renewal of Foundation board members: Mathew Fleischer, Tom Bernstein and Brian Christensen. The board also approved the leave without pay for Betsy Rall. Her replacement will be Theresa Hausmann. Dr. Loeffelholz said Amy Romshek will be looking at the job description of Theresa Hausmann’s job and Brandi Flemings.
XIII.A. Approval of Minutes
XIII.B. Certified Personnel Action
XIII.C. Classified Personnel Action
XIII.D. Approve Betsy Rall, Data/Curriculum, Assessment Specialist, leave without pay for the 2015-16 school year
XIII.E. Approval of School District of Columbus Foundation Board of Directors for a thee-year term, as submitted
XIII.F. Professional Travel Report
XIII.G. Intent to continue to operate food service
XIV. Financial Reports 2, 3 and 4a
XV. Financial Statement 4b
Discussion:  The Board approved financial statement 4b for $510.37 of repairs on a bus to Seipel Repair Inc.
XVI. Special Administrative Functions
XVII. Columbus Public Schools 2015-16 Certified Staff Handbook Changes
Discussion:  Executive Director of Finance and Human Relations Dave Melick said many of the changes were just to help clarify items. He said people need to know why requests may be approved or not. One new section that was added this year was the use of video resources for instructional purposes.
XVIII. Columbus Public Schools 2015-16 Classified Staff Handbook Changes
Discussion:  Melick said one change was to clarify what staff must report to duty on weather cancelation days. He said another change is to help define the difference between resigning and retiring. The classified salary schedule also added a column for LPNs. In the past, this group didn’t fall into either category. Melick said he did a survey of area employers to try to find out the salary for LPNs.
XIX. Columbus Public Schools’ Student Fees Policy –Policy 504.18, Regulation 504.18R1, and Exhibit 504.18E1
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said there are many opportunities for students to be involved.
XX. Tuition rates for the District and Special Education, 2015-16
Discussion:  Melick said every year the district must set tuition rates for students outside of the district. He said they look at the cost per pupil and an estimated tuition rate. The tuition rate cannot be less than the per pupil cost. The district tuition rate for elementary and middle school students for next year will be $9,750 and for high school students $11,750. Executive Director of Special Education and Student Service Jason Harris said he added two new programs this year for special education tuition contract. This year added two new programs: non-public resource and project search. The tuition rate for high needs/Autism plus supports/Autism Communication Life Skills is $257 per day for 179 days. The Resource rate is $170 per day for 167 days, non public resource is $61 per day for 164 days and for Project Search $61 per day for 164 days.
XXI. CHS Band Trip
Discussion:  This is the normal schedule band trip. The band has been going on a band trip since 1970. CHS Band Director Jeff Peabody said when he was looking for a trip, he wanted something of educational significance and also affordable. He said San Diego seemed like the best choice. Peabody said they will be going to the San Diego Zoo, Naval Base and some other places. The group will be flying. He said the quotes for the trip are a little high, and he thinks it will drop down some. Candy Becher said this a great tradition.
XXII. Declaration of Surplus Property
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said this must be done in order for the items to be disposed.
XXIII. Additions to Extra Duty Assignments
Discussion:  Melick said this does not interfere with the negotiated contract. He said the winter percussion is here to stay, so there will be two directors added to the extra duty assignment. The item formally called winter percussion will also be changed to fall percussion. Peabody said winter and fall percussion are not the same thing. Although most of the members are the same, winter percussion is open to more students and fall percussion is a class. The cheerleaders will add an assistant coach to help supervise the cheerleaders when they go on trips.
XXIV. Rescheduling September 2015 Board of Education Meeting
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz informed the board that the Sept. 21 meeting will need to be moved to Sept. 14. He said the budget deadline is Sept. 21, and this would not give Melick time to make changes and get it submitted on time. Dr. Loeffelholz said in August there will be a small budget work session.
XXV. Revisions to policy 1006.50, Community Use of Facilities; 1006.50E1, Application for Use of School Facilities; 1006.50E2, Contract for use of School Buildings and Grounds; 1006.50E3, Release and Indemnification Agreement; 1006.50E4, Building Rental Check List; and 1006.50R1, Community Use of School Facilities Regulations
Discussion:  Melick said the current policy has been in place for three years, and these are some recommended changes. He worked hard to come up with this policy and make sure everything was spelled out.
XXVI. CHS 2015-16 Activities Handbook
Discussion:  CHS Activities Director Mark Brown said most of the changes are cleaning up and clarifying what is in the handbook. Some of the changes include: clarifying what a repeat offender is; adding that the Drug and Alcohol policy is year round; and removing from first violation of the drug/alcohol policy that students will not be allowed on the sidelines. Brown said many of the coaches’ felt this was too aggressive of a punishment and the student should be allowed to stand on the sidelines in street clothes but not the uniform. Another change was adding after a second violation of the drug/alcohol that students being re-instated will be suspended up to but not limited to 1/3 of the current/next activity season. He said in some instances the students would serve the violation but not be suspended from any activities. Dr. Loeffelholz asked for a clarification on the rationale for allowing a suspended player to be on the sidelines. Brown said it was similar to putting a scarlet letter on and drawing attention to it. He said he felt it was a little excessive. Brown said he felt it needed to be looked at in fairness to the kids. Dr. Loeffelholz questioned what about the other kids who did the right thing? He said he feels there should be some type of consequence because they made the choices. The non-activity students if caught in possession of drug/alcohol can't attend activities at all. Brown said if they are suspended, they can’t ride the bus to the football games, and he said this will still be the case. Theresa Seipel said a game is kind of like practice. The player may need to hear things that the coach is saying to the team. Mike Goos said he isn’t sure what kind of message this is sending to the kids. Dr. Loeffelholz said it doesn’t matter if the students are in the stands or sideline, the same message is being sent. Candy Becher asked if the suspended students cause problems on the sidelines. Brown said they do not cause problems and a number of coaches want them on the sidelines. Mike Goos said he felt the students last year received more attention by sitting on the other side. Brown said there are valid points on both sides. Theresa Seipel said she didn't appreciate the players sitting on the visitor’s side. Ken Curry said the intent is the student must miss the game, and it will be known that they are there for some type of punishment. Curry said he thinks Brown and the high school administration do a good job of being fair. Seipel said in her mind, the distinction is the students are in street clothes and not in inform. Brown said this year they also added a statement about games or activities that are impacted by weather. A cancellation estimation will be calculated and taken into account when calculating suspensions. It was also clarified that a student must be in attendance for his or her first block class and remain in attendance for the remainder of the day. One of the board members asked what happens if they are at a doctor’s appointment? The new policy states that the student must be in attendance. A suggestion was made to clarify that point. One final change was allowing a student to travel from the activity with a non-family member who is an adult and has been previously approved with the administration by the student’s parent/guardian. Francis Kuehler asked what age is considered an adult. Brown said this issue should be addressed by getting approval from the parent/guardian 24 hours in advance. He said if the parent is OK with the driver, the school should be as well. Kwapnioski said something should be added in concerning emergency situations. He said in these instances, someone beside the parent may end up driving a student home.
XXVII. CHS Fees and Admission Prices for 2015-16
Discussion:  Brown said there are no changes in fees for this year.
XXVIII. Revised English Language Arts Standards
XXIX. Revised English Language Arts Curriculum
XXX. Service Contracts
Discussion:  The Board approve the HVAC service contracts with Trane for $28,868 and with CMI for $24,000. Executive Director of Building Operations/Technology said four years ago CPS was under a single contract with Trane for $80,000 a year, and he recommended to divide it between two companies. Trane was chosen for a part and CMI for the other part. He said CMI is located in Columbus and also allows CPS to work with Beard Warren to fix things. Each contract is based on a certain number of hours that can be used over the year. The CMI contract also provides for 20 hours of training for the new HVAC person, John Harger. CMI is also planning to offer training for the new high school and Harger will be involved in the entire process so he will know how it works. Kwapnioski said CMI is a great community partner.
XXXI. Resignation of Francis Kuehler
Discussion:  Kuehler said he has enjoyed the last nine years. The board said Kuehler will be missed. Dr. Loeffelholz thanked Kuehler for his service to the district. Kuehler resigned because he is moving to Humphrey.
XXXII. Filling Board Vacancy
Discussion:  This ad will go in the Columbus Telegram tomorrow. Applications will be accepted until July 30 at noon. Interviews will be done on August 3 and/or August 5. The approval of the new board member will be the first action item on the August agenda.
XXXIII. Superintendent's Report
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said Amy Romshek, Jordon Anderson, Michelle Cruise and Landon Wietfeld and he went to Omaha to talk to Clark Creative Group and get a budget plan on the STEM academy marketing. He said they put together a draft budget and also included items such as billboard ads, informational pamphlets, clings, e-mails etc. He said the group is very professional. The theme was originally going to be Make the Connection but on Friday, they decided this too closely resembled Christian Connection Church. He said the group is working on a new theme. He said everyone is working as team to feed Clark Creative Group information. Romshek said the group helped her realize what needed to be done to get the message out. Dr. Loeffelholz said he will share a spreadsheet of areas to consider for naming. He said he will also share this along with the building rental policies with the principals. He said summer is winding down. Gail Placek is back in Columbus at Brookstone. He said he has advertised for an Administrative Assistant for the Superintendent, and if Placek can come back to work, this person will move into another position in the administration building. August 7 is the opening convocation and the board members usually serve the lunch. He said it will begin at 10 a.m. with lunch being served between 11:30-noon. Sept. 23 is the NSAB regional meeting in Norfolk. Alan Dostal has already committed to go and the other board members wish to attend as well. Candy Becher is going to fill out the paperwork to become the Region 16 board member. The CPS Board must approve the paperwork in August. Romshek said Theresa Hausmann is the new curriculum instructional specialist. Hausmann has been in the district many years and will continue to be involved in many things she has done in the past. Romshek said she will be a great addition to the staff. Hausmann won’t work on data like Rall did, but there are templates set up so other people can take this piece over.
XXXIV. Board Sharing
Discussion:  Theresa Seipel welcomed back all the principals. She said the site visit was extraordinary. Ken Curry would like to thank Francis Kuehler for all he did and wants to get him something for all his hard work. He said he also appreciates CHS Principal Steve Woodside and Mark Brown for making it mandatory for the pitcher, first basemen and third baseman in softball to wear facemasks. He said they are also helping him to submit something to the NSAA to get this made a Nebraska requirement. Candy Becher said she attended the PLC conference in June, and it really made her think about teaching. She was also reminded of the importance of reading. Becher said everyone has to be able to read and read at his or her grade level and above. She also thanked Francis Kuehler for his service. Kuehler said he enjoyed his nine years on the board and had the opportunity to meet a lot of different people. He said there were a few trying times, but overall it was good. He said he will miss serving on the board. Mike Goos thanked Kuehler for the entire board. He said he appreciated Kuehler’s common sense approach to issues. Goos said starting in August, the board will be discussing the book they are reading. He said the job site was fascinating. Goos said it will be an awesome school.
XXXV. Executive Session
Discussion:  The Board did not go into executive session.
XXXVI. Adjourn
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