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August 17, 2015 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. Field Turf
Discussion:  Ken Curry is excused from the meeting. Jeff Emmanuel presented to the board running track and field turf options. Nemaha is contracted now to just build the running track. Option 1 would be an asphalt track similar to what is at Pawnee Park. Option 2 is a post-tensioned concrete track. This would eliminate the asphalt. A post-tensioned track has a longer lifecycle without having to replace the base. With the post-tension concrete would increase the cost. Post-tensioned tracks will last longer and could be around up to 30 to 40 years. An asphalt base will last an average being 15 years. It depends on the product used and how much the track is used. Within five years, the district will need to put on a structural spray. Both options did also propose a synthetic turf field . There are several advantages to doing the synthetic turf at the same time such as drainage, so some costs would be reduced. The CPS track is designed to be large enough to accommodate soccer as well as football. The electronic timing system the district owns will also work at the new facility. Dr. Loeffelholz said the board is concerned about debris flying up and from field turf. He suggested going with a 2" or 2 1/4" inch blade of turf. There are several advantages to using field turf over grass. If the field becomes beat up through the season, it cannot be reseeded. With field turf anyone can use it: band, physical education classes and others. Emanuel said the installer makes a big difference when purchasing field turf. He said most vendors are equal, but the board should try to find one that has some flexibility with the installer. Dr. Loeffelholz said this is not an alternative on the project.
II.B. DLR/Hausmann Construction
Discussion:  Zach Smith from Hausmann Construction updated the board on the construction timeline. Despite all the rain the end date has not moved. The footings in Area A (locker rooms and gyms) are completed. Area D (Music building) banding for the roof is being installed and masonry walls have been started. In Area E (Auditorium), the pre-casting is 90 percent complete. In the next three weeks, the second floor will go up. The interior floor is done in the mechatronics lab. Paving on the parking lots will start August 24. The big parking lot will be the last one done, and all should be completed before winter. When the fitness building is up, Smith said the footprint of the building will be clearer.
II.C. Lost Creek Community Playground Proposal
Discussion:  Megan Johnson and Michelle Figge have a vision of playground that both special needs students and others can use at Lost Creek. The playground will be have all ramp access, and the surface will be a rubber matting. Johnson said this would allow students to have more independent play. Figge said they want to be able to give and meet the needs of all kids. The closest inclusive playground is in Kearney or Omaha. The district has approved the group to do fundraising. They plan on applying for grants and looking for other opportunities. The initial quote for the playground was $400,000, which would include resurfacing the current playground and moving the old equipment near the new items. They are looking for support from the board and plan to work with the district grant writer. They have already created a list of potential grants. Ideally they would like to fundraise this year and build next year. Some potential groups to approach include the ARC and Wiggles and Giggles. The Lost Creek PTO said they would share the funds raised from the school carnival. Lowes also offers grants for playground and this will be pursued. Executive Director of Student Service Jason Harris said he wants this to be a community playground and not just for Lost Creek. There is enough space at Lost Creek to put up the playground.
II.D. Executive Session
Discussion:  The board did not go into Executive Session.
III. Dinner at Administration Building - No business will be discussed.
Discussion:  The Board adjourned at 6:20 p.m.
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:  Candy Becher read the mission statement.
VIII. Appoint New Board Member
IX. Administer Oath of Office
Discussion:  New board member Doug Molczyk took the oath of office. He will replace Francis Kuehler until the next general election where he can file to finish the two years left on the term or seek a four year term.
X. Opportunity for the Public to be Heard
Discussion:  Doug Briese spoke to the board on his experience in working in manufacturing occupations. He said the board needs to get the community to support the STEM Academy.
XI. Recognitions
Discussion:  The board recognized Francis Kuehler for eight years of service to the Columbus Public Schools Board of Education.
XII. Presentations
XII.A. PLC Conference
Discussion:  Brandi Fleming, Michelle Edzards, Angie Luebbe, and Michelle Bauer presented to the board what they brought back from the PLC Conference. A group of 31 teachers and administrators attended the Professional Learning Community Conference in Minneapolis, MN. With a PLC, everyone works together. The definition of PLC is how the staff moves forward together. Breakout session - Motivating the Unmotivated by Tim Brown. The focus of this topic was what can be done to get students to where they need to be. This program also talked about the similarities between unmotivated and underserved students. Several presenters also talked about relationships. Michelle Edzards said she asked parents at the open house what to do to help their kids be successful in school. She said she also learned that at parent teacher conferences, teachers need to do more listening to parents as to what their child needs. Celebrations are also important. These should occur not just for the big things but also the little things. It is the little things that get kids excited about learning. Growth Mindset includes: believing all students can learn; praising effort and not ability; challenge is inevitable for success; and goal setting is central for success. For students that are excelling, they should be challenged and not given something they already know. Staff needs to also provide the Engine of Hope. They need to realize what they are doing is important. We need to encourage kids and telling them you will not give up on them. Student's data notebooks to help students take ownership of their growth. The data comes from kids, and they must understand that they can improve with effort. Lost Creek is implementing data notebooks this year. PLC Culture is getting kids to have the internal drive to succeed. Positive energy goes a long way. Students should be greeted with a smile. Those who attended thought the conference was a great opportunity and think others should attend as well. Board member Candy Becher also attended. Becher said when PLC was first started, no one really understood what to do, and after the conference, it now makes complete sense. Becher said all board members should go and listen at the conference. North Park Principal Bob Hausmann said even though he went several times, he still came home with a lot of notes. Michelle Bauer said people need to understand this is not something additional, and this helps solidify what the staff is doing as a district.
XIII. Items removed from Consent Agenda
Discussion:  No items were removed from the consent agenda.
XIV. Consent Agenda
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz discussed there were only two certified staff hires and several classified staff hires. In travel, many administrators went to Administrative Days in Kearney.
XIV.A. Approval of Minutes
XIV.B. Certified Personnel Action
XIV.C. Classified Personnel Action
XIV.D. Professional Travel Report
XV. Financial Reports 2, 3 and 4a
XVI. Financial Report 4b
Discussion:  The board approved financial statement 4b for $1,394.33 to Seipel Repair for service done to several vehicles.
XVII. Special Administrative Functions
XVIII. Candy Becher NASB Region 16 Election Nomination
Discussion:  The board gave approval for Candy Becher to become the Region 16 Representative to the Nebraska Association of School Boards. Dr. Loeffelholz said Becher would be a great voice, and the board must approve her as an applicant. Dr. Loeffelholz also informed the board that they are all registered for the September 23 meeting. He said they will leave at 4:15 p.m. and be back around 9 p.m
XIX. Acceptance of Gifts/Donations
Discussion:  June contributions were $8,383.29 and July contributions were $22,720.93 for a year to date total of $97,834.32. Dr. Loeffelholz said the district has some amazing booster clubs and PAC's/PTO's.
XX. Budget Update
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz reminded the board the September meeting has been moved from Sept. 21 to Sept. 14. The budget is a year round process. The budget process doesn't just happen during the summer. September kicks off things with the approval of the budget and tax levy. In November through January, work is done on teacher negotiations. Executive Director of Business Human Relations, Dave Melick said he doesn't think state aid will go down, but it will also not increase significantly either. He said this year the strategic planning process has been helpful in determine the difference between needs and wants, and where does the district put the extra resources. For the 2015-16 school year, State aid will increase from $12,055.594 to $12,530,794. NCLB allocations will be 85-90 percent of 2014/15 amounts, which is a decrease in $96,000, but Melick said there are plans to modify this loss. Building budgets increased by about $22,300 and is based on student enrollment and types of students. The district elevated an ELL person to full-time; added an elementary counselor at North Park (which is from strategic plan 2); added two additional elementary teachers due to enrollment (one at second grade at Lost Creek and one at third grade at North Park); added a preschool program at West Park with three staff members needed (two paras and a teacher). This was funded from a grant. There was also an increase in compensation with an increase of $842, 112 for certified staff; extended contracts increasing of $17,150; and classified staff increasing of $424,125. Melick said extra duty cost will also go up because of the increase in salary but those amounts have not yet been determined. The additional staff also helped to increase cost by $80, 543. Melick said he will go over the budget with the board during pre-board and will make changes before the meeting.
XXI. Vehicle Maintenance Contract
Discussion:  Executive Director of Operations Leonard Kwapnioski said an ad was placed in the Telegram for someone to do general maintenance on the district vehicles. The contract includes labor and not parts. The board approve the vehicle maintenance contract with Seipel Repair for $31 an hour.
XXII. Grant
Discussion:  Emerson fifth grade teacher Susan Braun applies for this grant every year and gets it. She used it to purchase items for her science classes. This year it will be for circuit items for an Intro to coding with Bots.
XXIII. First Reading of the District Naming Policy, 906.01
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said he took the policies of North Hampton Massachusetts and Grand Island. The board always has the final action. He said many board members wanted to make sure there was a way to remove names in case they were no longer in good standing with the community or district. Dr. Loeffelholz said the meat behind the policy is the working regulation and the board must figure out what to put in the exhibit. He said the policy could be kept simple with no specifics. He said the board can still make changes between now and next month. Candy Becher wanted to make sure there was a limit on how long the place would be named. Dr. Loeffelholz said the board can determine the length and period of time. Doug Molczyk said he would like to see a breakdown of what a person gets for the donation. Dr. Loeffelholz said perhaps the board would not want to be that specific in the policy, but this decision could be left up to the board when they approved it. He said he will clean up the writing and make some changes for next month. Mike Goos said it is a fine line between being overly generic and broad and too specific. Dr. Loeffelholz reminded the group that ultimately this will go before the board. He said this board may not want to make a decision for future boards. He said the policy could be kept simple and cover the process and regulations, and give the administration the ability to establish the other items. It was suggested that naming rights will include financial, meritorious or other donations. The time limit is also something that could be left up to the board to determine.
XXIV. Clark Creative Group
Discussion:  Clark Creative Group is hired to help the district to develop a plan to promote STEM in the community. Linking careers in STEM to job opportunities in the area is very important. As the district moves through the process, pictures and stories will be placed on the website to keep people informed. The goal is to raise $600,000 in the community, and so far, $270,000 has been raised and half of that is a matching funds. Dr. Loeffelholz said he has not even gone out to the community to ask for support. The new theme is "Branch Out STEM Works for Everyone." This theme will be on a billboard at the end of September. The website will try to bring in different facets of Columbus. Dr. Loeffelholz said he believes Clark Creative Group is heading in the right direction.
XXV. Technology Staff Salaries and Benefits Package
Discussion:  Melick said the technology department was considering becoming bargaining unit, but decided against it.
XXVI. 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
XXVII. Superintendent's Report
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said he does not have all the warm body counts from the schools yet. He said he visited Centennial this morning and plans to go to other buildings. This year there were 11,959 child meals served at the summer lunch program for 22 days in June and 17 in July. There were also 982 adult meals served and 640 volunteers helped out. September 23 is the regional school board meeting. He said next month the pre-board meeting will be a week earlier due to the moving of the regular meeting date. The state school board conference will be on Nov. 19. Dr. Loeffelholz told the board if they want to go for both nights to let him know and he will make room reservations. The National School Board meeting will be April 9-11. Anyone interested in attending should contact Dr. Loeffelholz.
XXVIII. Board Sharing
Discussion:  Doug Molczyk said he is excited to be a part of the board, and it will take a few months to get up to speed. He said he is hoping he can fill Francis' shoes. Alan Dostal said a lot of things happened in the eight years Kuehler served on the board. He said he appreciated all Francis' contributions to the board, and he brought a good perspective to the board. Candy Becher agreed. She said she would also go back to PLC again. Theresa Seipel said Molczyk will be a great additional and Kuehler did a great job. She said she went to PLC two years ago and would love to go again. She told the board if given the chance they should go. Seipel said she is glad school is started and the kids and teachers are excited. She said she enjoys going by the parkway to see the high school building progress. Seipel said Pinnacle Bank volunteered to serve food at the summer lunch program. She said it helped give people a perspective of what some of the students go through. Dr. Loeffelholz said the lights are working on 33rd Avenue and 38 St. Mike Goos said he appreciated Francis' term and leadership skills. The board reviewed chapters one and two from The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. Chapters 3 and 4 will be covered next month. Theresa Seipel and Dr. Loeffelholz will lead the discussion.
XXIX. Executive Session
Discussion:  The board did not go into Executive Session.
XXX. Adjourn
Discussion:  The board adjourned at 8:57 p.m.
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