Public Meeting Minutes: September 14, 2015 at 5:00 PM - Work Session Regular Meeting


View Options:

Show Everything
Hide Everything

September 14, 2015 at 5:00 PM - Work Session Regular Meeting Minutes

September 14, 2015 at 5:00 PM - Work Session Regular Meeting
I. Work Session
I.A. Call to Order
I.B. Roll Call of Board
I.C. Pledge of Allegiance
I.D. Recognitions
Discussion:  There were no recognitions.
I.E. Presentations (30 minutes)
I.E.1. Emerson Elementary Staff
Discussion:  Sara Colford, Principal at Emerson Elementary informed the board of Emerson's success on NeSA tests last year. The fourth graders were 95 percent proficient in writing and fifth graders were 88 percent proficient in science. In math 79 percent of third grade, 98 percent in fourth grade, 91 percent in fifth grade were proficient. In NeSA Reading, 89 percent of third grade, 95 percent in fourth grade and 84 percent in fifth grade were proficient. In 2015 there were 106 students who scored an exceeds in NeSA as compared to 93 in 2014. Emerson is at about 25-33 percent mobility. This year there were 11 new third graders and five left. The third grade teachers felt math skills needed to be strengthened because students lacked the basic skills. The teachers wanted to include hands on learning and technology. They started using IXL in math, which is an online program. The program tells teachers what students got right and wrong, and if a student got something wrong, will tell him or her why it is wrong. This year all 75 minutes in the math block are used for instruction and practice. In guided written practice, there are three paras, one teacher and small groups to help students with work. With the IXL program, teachers get daily data. They also use homework, L to J tests and cumulative/Power Up tests to assess students. They said this year there is not a lot of redos in homework. Kindergarten teachers applied for a CPS Foundation Grant to be used for "Getting Ready to Learn." For the first 30 minutes, they are getting ready to learn. When the students first arrive, they get milk and get to interact with each other. Next they do dancing to get ready to learn. They purchased combs, toothbrushes, lotion, toothpaste and washcloths. They also purchased a lot of DVDS and music to help throughout the day. Since they have started this program, there are fewer attendance issues and tardies. Students want to be in class. Golden Award committee looked at characteristics they want students to show in life. If students demonstrate one of these characteristics, they will get a certificate and a bubble on the wall. This year the theme is based on the movie Inside Out. Inside is the internal growth. Instead of using golden awards, this year they are focusing on character traits. Students are given a definition of the trait in simple terms. Emerson staff are working on their culture by embracing diversity and overcoming adversity. Colford said they are focusing on commonalities of kids. Alan Dostal said he likes the numbers on the test scores, and even though they are just numbers, it shows the staff are doing the right things.
I.E.2. Clark Creative Group
Discussion:  Lauren Huber and Daryl Anderson from Clark Creative Group addressed the Board. The STEM Academy was brought to them for help in marketing. The academy needs the support of the community and businesses. For community/business, they need to know what STEM is and how it applies to them and what are the planned outcomes. For students and parents, they need to know the benefits of the program, and teachers need to see all subjects connect to STEM and the need to bring tighter technical math and science. The goals are to raise at least $600,000; communicate application and planned outcomes; increase awareness for parents; communicate positive outcomes; and collaboration among teachers. One of the objectives is to create an identity and messaging. The Campaign Theme is BranchOut STEM works for everyone. They developed a microsite where people can get a broad based idea of STEM. It will tell them what it is and how it will effect their kids. The website is This website will work on mobile devices. The website will give brief descriptions of what STEM is, possible careers, ways to request more information and refer people to the Facebook page. Facebook will communicate to the community what students do in the STEM academy. Billboards will be up on Sept. 14 at Highway 81 and 44 Ave; Dec. 7-Feb. 28 at 3220 18 ST and Feb. 29- May 22 at Highway 30 and 31st Ave. The message and graphics will change through the nine months. Posters are being created to put up in all schools to create excitement. Each poster will focus on a part of STEM and will include lists of careers within that field. Graphics will be customized to the building level they are going into. Teachers will be sent emails for 9 months, and these will focus on different features and benefits of STEM for teachers and students. As the campaign goes on, emails will get more detailed. There will be a fourth of a page ad that will run in the Columbus Telegram on Sept. 27, Dec. 13 and March 20. Parents will receive a flyer every 9 months. There will also be 8 inch window clings that have STEM facts that can be displayed in businesses. All the facts and figures that will be used are based on Columbus. The Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce is also involved. The business brochure is a printed piece that will be left at the business and will contain facts and information about STEM presented through highly visual bite size chunks of information. The project is divided into two phases. Phase I - Posters start the week of Sept. 21. Teacher emails will go out Sept. 21, Oct. 19 and Nov. 16. They are working on the business brochure. Phase II - Parent flyers and teacher emails will go out January 18, Feb. 22, March 21, April 18 and May 16. Doug Molczyk wants a link put on the CPS website. On the Facebook page, some items are being put up for people to read. Superintendent Dr. Troy Loeffelholz said Clark Creative Group met tonight to talk about the campaign with business and industry, so things can be started on marketing it.
I.E.3. DLR/Hausmann
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said a couple of signs that contain sub-contractor logos will be placed at the site. The fitness building (Area A) started today. He said Area C will not be enclosed by winter. There is a lot of progress on the second floor of the academic wing. Roofs on gyms are being finished, and work will start on taking dirt out and pouring the floor. Area E is 95 percent complete. The parking lot south of the auditorium was poured today. Dr. Loeffelholz said the rain has been a challenge, but they are still out working. Hausmann Construction scheduled 46 days for rain and half have already been used. The original plan called for 270 wells on site, which would be enough to handle the current building and a little growth. It was decided to add an additional 36 to all for four to six more classrooms. It is cheaper to add the wells now rather than have them come back at a later date. The hope is to get Discoverer Drive opened up in next 30 days. The CHS Staff will go tour the site on Thursday at 6 p.m. Dr. Loeffelholz invited the board to attend as well.
I.F. Regular Board Meeting Information
II. Executive Session
Discussion:  The board did not go into executive session.
III. Adjourn
Discussion:  The board adjourned at 6:16 p.m.
IV. Board Meeting
IV.A. Call to Order
IV.B. Roll Call of Board
IV.C. Pledge of Allegiance
IV.D. Notice of Open Meeting Posted
IV.D.1. President insures all can hear proceedings
IV.E. Mission Statement
Discussion:  Mike Goos read the Mission Statement.
IV.F. Opportunity for Public to be Heard
Discussion:  Katrina Tworek, 1315 7th St., Duncan NE 68634 and Vicki Perry 3912 18 St. Columbus NE 68601 talked to the board about the breakfast and lunch programs. Perry wanted the district to look into developing a more nutritional menu with more variety. She asked the board to consider adding more fresh fruit and vegetables to the menu. She also questioned why CPS cannot have the lunch menu for the entire month. Tworek said when she picks up her children from school, they are hungry. She said there is no variety to the menu and kids eat the same things often. She said most schools the size of CPS use an out-source for planning lunches. She said some companies will bring in a nutritionist. Tworek said perhaps grant funding could be used to get more fresh fruits and vegetables.
IV.G. Board Special Functions
IV.G.1. Adjourn Regular Meeting and Enter into Public Hearings
Discussion:  The board adjourned the regular meeting and entered into the public hearings at 7:19 p.m.
IV.G.2. Hearings
IV.G.2.1. Special Hearing for the purpose of receiving public input on the 2015-2016 Columbus Public Schools Budget
Discussion:  The proposed 2015-16 budget is $104,276.069. The proposed general fund budget is $46,317, 875; depreciation fund $2,072,983; activities fund $1,806,721; lunch fund $1,967,217 and bond fund $6,861,117. Executive Director of Business Operations/Human Relations Dave Melick said the reason the proposed budget is so high is because it includes $45,250,155 in the special building fund. This money is to pay for the costs associated with building the new high school. Changes in the general fund include: increasing compensation for all staff; hiring six new teachers and para educators; increasing substitutes, transportation repair and building budgets; adding a new pre-K classroom at West Park; and reducing the utilities budget. Melick said if the special building fund was removed, there would only be a slight increase over last year’s budget. He said he is also not optimistic that state aid will increase much for next year. The assessed valuation did increase this year by 3.33 percent.
IV.G.2.2. Special Hearing to Receive Input on the 2015-2016 Final Tax Request
Discussion:  Proposed tax levy, which includes the general, bond and special building funds, for this year will be 1.254412 per $100 valuation. This is a slight decrease from last year, which was 1.254498 per $100 of valuation. The total levy is 1.049994. Dr. Loeffelholz said that only 46 percent of the budget comes from local property taxes and other funds come from federal and other sources. This year the valuation was listed at $1,737,496,092.
IV.G.2.3. Special Hearing on Policy 1005.02 and Regulations and Exhibits - Annual review on Parent Relations Goals
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said the PTOs, PACS, Band Boosters, Sport Boosters and others that are parent involved groups and activities fall under this policy. He said this policy addresses how parents can become more involved.
IV.G.2.4. Special Hearing on Policy 1005.03 and Regulations and Exhibits - Parental Involvement in the School
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said this policy is to get parents more involved in the academic process.
IV.G.2.5. Adjourn
Discussion:  The board adjourn the special hearings and returned to regular session at 7:38 p.m.
IV.H. Recognitions
Discussion:  There were no recognitions.
IV.I. Presentations
Discussion:  There were no presentations.
IV.J. Items to be removed from the Consent Agenda
Discussion:  There were no items removed from the consent agenda.
IV.K. Consent Agenda
IV.K.1. Approval of Minutes from August 17, 2015
IV.K.2. Certified Personnel
IV.K.3. Classified Personnel
IV.K.4. Professional Travel
IV.L. Acceptance of Gifts/Donations
Discussion:  The board accepted $6,350 from the CPS Foundation, Band Boosters and West Park PTO. Dr. Loeffelholz said last year there was $104,184.32 given back to CPS from these groups. He said the amount given back has been at least $100,000 for the past three or four years. Dr. Loeffelholz said the district has tremendous parent support.
IV.M. Business and Finance
IV.M.1. Financial Reports M2, M3, M4a
IV.M.2. Policies
IV.M.2.1. First Reading of Policy 902.04 Bids and Awards for Construction Contracts
Discussion:  Melick said this change is coming from the Legislature. He said for years, school districts were using a cost of $40,000 as a number to go out for sealed bids and awards for construction contracts. The amount has been increased to $100,000. There will be periodical adjustments to the amount based on costs. He said this will be done on a five year basis.
IV.M.2.2. First Reading of Policy 706.03 Bidding Procedures
Discussion:  The amount on the bidding procedures was increased from $40,000 to $100,000 for the same reasons.
IV.M.2.3. First Reading of Policy 204.11 Meeting Minutes
Discussion:  The change in this policy is now meeting minutes can be kept in an electronic record. Dr. Loeffelholz said the district will start keeping the minutes in storage on the server. In the past, these were kept in a book.
IV.M.2.4. First Reading of Policy 804.02 Data or Records Retention
Discussion:  The main change to this policy is that records can now be stored electronically. This policy also tells how long the district must maintain board functions
IV.M.3. Administrative Functions
IV.M.3.1. Approval of Budget for 2015-2016
Discussion:  Alan Dostal said he appreciated the work Dave Melick has done on the budget. Melick reminded the board that 87 percent of the budget goes to personnel costs.
IV.M.3.2. Tax Request, 2015-2016
IV.M.3.3. Fundraisers
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said most of the fundraisers are for outside agencies. He said CPS students raise a lot of money to help out various causes.
IV.M.4. Updates
Discussion:  Melick said he will send the budget to the Nebraska Department of Education, Platte County Commissioners and State auditor.
IV.N. Buildings & Sites/Technology
IV.N.1. Policies
IV.N.1.1. Second Reading of Policy 906.01, the District Naming Policy
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said the board must decide how liberal or conservative the policy must to be. He said the Board seems to be leaning toward not commercializing the building and to only do it on a limited basis. Naming rights should only be good for so long before it is up for renewal. The signage or whatever is decided must be the same. Dr. Loeffelholz said he wants to simplify the policy. He said the board will go over the policy again in pre-boards, and he will bring something back for final approval in October. Alan Dostal said there needs to be a clear procedure for the committee to follow to help ensure consistency. Ken Curry said he doesn't want to do anything for a buck. He said the donation should be significant contributions to the community or school system. Candy Becher said she doesn't want to have every room named after someone. Theresa Seipel said she wants it tasteful and wants to use CPS kids to create whatever is done for recognition. She agreed with Ken Curry that everything should not have a price. Mike Goos reminded the board to remember that it is Columbus high School. He said he is not sure if naming buildings after someone is the right path to go down. He agreed that even though the Board has final say, the right criteria must be presented for the committee. Becher said there needs to be different levels of momentary giving, and a decision must be made on how large of donation is needed. Dr. Loeffelholz said the policy needs to be done first and then these other items can be worked into exhibits and other documents. Becher said she doesn't want to make it so difficult that no one can follow the policy. Dr. Loeffelholz said he will give the board a couple of options. He said this policy points the district in a good direction, but it needs to be cleaned up.
IV.N.1.2. First Reading of Policy 504.10 Weapons
Discussion:  Executive Director of Building Operations and Technology Leonard Kwapnioski said there are not a whole lot of changes. He said the biggest change is firearms kept in a locked rack in a vehicle or that are contained within a private vehicle operated by a nonstudent adult that are not loaded are exempt. Firearms may also be used by a person with the approval of the school. Kwapnioski said the safety committee needs to understand all the policies like this. Some board members were concerned that a firearm could be brought into the school. Dr. Loeffelholz said this could be done if there was prior approval given by the administration. He said for example, a school has a trap shooting club and the guns are locked in a cabinet on school property. He said this also covers intruder drills because real guns are brought into the schools but only blanks are used.
IV.N.1.3. First Reading of Policy 508.05 Emergency Plans and Drills
Discussion:  The biggest change on this policy is documentation of drills and procedures.
IV.N.2. Administrative Functions
IV.N.2.1. 2015-2016 Safety Committee Members
Discussion:  The board approved the 2015-16 Safety Committee members. The only change in members was Doug Molczyk, who replaced Ken Curry as a committee member. Other members include: Leonard Kwapnioski, Michelle Cruise, Jillian Schmidt, Jenny Betz, John Petersen, Christine Morse, Bob Hausmann, Carrie Trofholz, Paula Lawrence, Jordon Anderson, Karla Bartlett, Jean Kamrath, Calvin Mustard, Jon Frey, Mike Grutsch and Theresa Seipel.
IV.N.3. Updates
Discussion:  Kwapnioski said building and grounds are 99 percent up and running. He said some items fell behind this summer due to the wet weather. He said they will start doing some work at Duncan because some things need to be fixed. Technology is moving forward. He said they have been trying to fix the problems with the MAP testing that was done last week.
IV.O. Curriculum and Instruction
IV.O.1. Administrative Functions
IV.O.1.1. Close Up Scholarships
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said each year the board supports the Close-Up Program by offering $4,000 in scholarships, so students can go to Washington DC. In order to receive a scholarship, the student must do fundraising. Dr. Loeffelholz said this is a great opportunity for the students to see how the government works.
IV.O.2. Updates
Discussion:  Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction Amy Romshek said she has been doing a lot of professional development trainings. She said there were a wide variety of trainings done from July-Sept. 4. Romshek said many of the presenters were from the district.
IV.P. Student Services
IV.P.1. Policies
IV.P.1.1. First Reading of Policy 508.15 Concussion Awareness
Discussion:  Executive Director of Student Services/Special Education Jason Harris said this policy states that a district must have a protocol established for students to return to learn after a concussion. A team has been working on this and should be ready to present in October. Concussions must also be tracked and this will now be entered in PowerSchool. He said this protocol is for all concussions and not just for those that happen at school or a school activity. He said it is up to parents to report a concussion obtain outside of school to the administration.
IV.P.1.2. First Reading of Policy 1006.02 Tobacco-Free Environment
Discussion:  Harris said this policy hasn't changed much but now includes vapor items.
IV.P.2. Updates
Discussion:  Harris said he took a group to Chicago for professional development on Co-teaching in July. He said he will give a presentation to the board in October on what was learned. He said he has been working on getting staff recertified in MANDT training, which must be done every year. The preschool at West Park is up and running, and they are still working on the playground. He said playground equipment for preschool must be fenced in and meet specific guidelines. Harris said he is involved with a childhood parent task force that is looking at childcare and other issues. Last week he conducted Project Para training for those who did not have 48 hours in college credit. The crisis team is going to be changing. It will now include: school counselors, school psychologists and social workers. Harris said he is finishing up is financial reports because September is when he gets reimbursed for last year.
IV.Q. Superintendent's Report
Discussion:  The Regional meeting is Sept. 23, and the board will be leave at 4:30 from Dr. Loeffelholz' office. All the board members are registered. The State Conference is November 18-20. Dr. Loeffelholz said he needs to know who will be attending because registration starts Wednesday. April 9-11 is the national conference, and he said so far four have expressed an interest attending. Curry said he thinks bus drivers need to go through a safety course on dealing with electrical wires. He said some wires fell on a bus in Plattsmouth, and the driver did not let anyone near the bus until the situation could be fixed. GNSA is on Wednesday morning and Mr. Goos will be going with Dr. Loeffelholz. They will leave his office at 7:30 a.m. Dr. Loeffelholz said he will be attending a coalition on early childhood ages 0-8 on Oct. 7. He said several schools do use a company to create menus. He said Hastings uses Lunchtime Solutions. He said in that district, there are two choices for the main dish. He said there is also more variety. North Platte does a lunch on the go where the food service department says how their lunch compares with fast food restaurant. He said Kearney has a lot of choices and also has unlimited fruit. Dr. Loeffelholz said he looked at six different school districts and their choices aren't far off from CPS. He said they do however offer more variety. He reminded Mike Goos that he will be receiving something on the Region 16 director seat, and he should vote for Candy Becher.
IV.R. Board Sharing
Discussion:  Ken Curry said he visited his son in Africa where he teachers English in a remote school. He said our kids are very lucky. Curry said it was an eye opening experience. He said he appreciates that CHS Principal Steven Woodside and CHS Activities Director Mark Brown have required three softball positions to wear face masks. He also said the Emerson staff gave a very good presentation. Candy Becher also thanked the Emerson staff for a well done presentation. She said she loved the things teachers are doing. Becher said she also appreciates Amy Romshek using CPS staff to run training meetings. She said it is important for teachers to see themselves as leaders. Doug Molczyk also thanked the Emerson staff. He said any time kids say their favorite subject is math it is a good thing. Molczyk thanked Dave Melick for coming under the tax levy every so slightly. He said things are progressing at the high school and Leonard Kwapnioski is doing a good job of tracking the work. Alan Dostal said he appreciates the dedication of Emerson staff. He said the progress the school is making reflects in their scores. He also appreciates all the good work on the budget. He said the retirement party for Gail Placek was very nice. Dostal said it was nice to see her and see she was doing well. He said Placek was part of the element that made things work. Theresa Seipel said she enjoyed going to Emerson and listening to the staff presentation. She said she receives the school newsletters in paper form and does read through them. Seipel said the high school project is progressing nicely. She said from the road the facility looks very massive and impressive. Mike Goos apologized for being late to the Emerson meeting. He thanked Melick for his presentation on the budget, and he said it really shows the district is good stewards of the money. Goos said he has heard several comments that the High School looks impressive. He said the district is doing something that everyone can be proud of. He also thanked Dr. Loeffelholz for changing the agenda. Seipel said she enjoys hearing the updates from the departments.
V. Executive Session
Discussion:  The board did not going into executive session.
VI. Adjourn
Discussion:  The board adjourned at 9:03 p.m.
<< Back to the Public Page for Columbus Public Schools