• April 22, 2014 Regular Business Meeting 

    Acknowledgement of Contributions
    The School Board approved a resolution for accepting current contributions in the amount of $12,380.00.  The total Fiscal Year 2013-2014 monetary donations to date are $44,783.51.

    Discussion, Reports and Information Items

    Reports from the School Board:

    • Interim Chair Scott Bardell reported he participated in the April 15 Work Session, served on a selection panel for a Columbia Heights High School (CHHS) principal and that he attended the follow-on CHHS Community Principal Forum;  Mr. Bardell also, with Superintendent Kathy Kelly, attended an Association of Metropolitan School Districts (AMSD) legislative update meeting.

    • Vice-Chair John Larkin, as the Assistant Fire Chief of the City of Columbia Heights, participated in a CHHS mock car crash demonstration and a follow-on presentation, enjoyed the successful Valley View Elementary School Carnival and participated in the April 15 Work Session.  He also served as a CHHS principal selection panelist, the follow-on CHHS Community Principal Forum, attended the Columbia Academy PROUD presentation and enjoyed several junior varsity baseball games.  He also offered a reminder for the Clean, Fed and Warm fundraiser, 5 to 8 p.m., April 30 at the Columbia Heights Public Safety Center (right).
    • Treasurer Lori Meyer participated in the April 15 Work Session, attended the CHHS Community Principal Forum, had several School Board director discussions and attended a Hilltop City Council meeting.
    • Clerk Missy Lee participated in the April 15 Work Session and a Minnesota School Board Association (MSBA) Board meeting.  She also attended a CHHS mock car crash demonstration and follow-on presentation, a Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) discussion, enjoyed track and field events and the high school Grand March.  Director Lee shared that she would also like to see an after-prom event and thanked everyone who participated and helped with each of the above events.

    • Director Ted Landwehr participated in the April 15 Work Session, toured North Park Elementary School, attended a West Metro Education Program Board meeting, helped organize the Third Annual Sister City's Art Show, went to a senior all-night party meeting, attended a Lions Club meeting and a Twin Cities North Chamber of Commerce legislative breakfast, announced an upcoming volunteer street cleaning and enjoyed a girls' softball game.

    • Director Laura Palmer participated in the April 15 Work Session, a tour of North Park Elementary School and the CHHS Community Principal Forum.  

    Superintendent's Report:

    • Shared that she attended a West Metro Education Program (WMEP) Superintendent's Advisory Committee meeting and that the agenda focused on (1) the strategic design and leadership model for WMEP for the future and (2) that there will not be WMEP summer school programming.  She added that Director of Finance and Operations Bill Holmgren and Director of Teaching and Learning Duane Berkas will join her at the next WMEP Study Session.

    • Reported that she, Director of Technology and Security Bryan Hennekens, Director of Student Services Nicole Halabi and Director of Communications Casey Mahon met with Columbia Heights Fire Chief (Gary Gorman) and Assistant Chief (John Larkin) for an incident command discussion.  Superintendent Kelly said the directors will integrate information shared into the district crisis management process. She thanked Chief Gorman and Assistant Chief Larkin for making this information available.
    • Noted that district administrators met with City of Columbia Heights planning staff on education zoning issues.

    • Updated that district administrators and school principals continue to meet on staffing issues for the 2014-2015 school year.

    • Announced that Directors Berkas and Hennekens, TeamWorks International Principal Dennis Cheesebrow and she met with external stakeholders for a productive Aligning Technology with College and Career Readiness Pathways focus group.  Superintendent Kelly expressed her appreciation to all of the parents who participated and that their feedback will be taken into account.

    • Noted with pride that the high school "Great Gatsby" themed prom was a special event.  She added that having the prom on the top floor of the St. Paul Crowne Plaza added to the ambience.  Superintendent Kelly offered special thanks to the students, staff, parents and administrators who made the prom possible and special.

    • Shared that she and Director Berkas observed MCA testing during a Valley View Elementary School site visit.  The Superintendent noted that students were engaged and thanked the staff for their hard work.

    • Thanked School Board members who contacted or met with her during the past two weeks.

    Discussion, Reports, Information Items

    Highland Elementary School
    Third Grade Parent Night
    English Language family nights
    Kindergarten Parent Engagement 

    Family reading nights
    Books to read at home
    Math take-home games
    Kindergarten home visits

    North Park Elementary School
    Family Movie Night
    Volunteer Appreciation breakfast
    Latino breakfasts
    Family technology nights
    Spring BBQ photo booth
    English Language Family Night
    Latino Parent Leadership

    Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast

    Valley View Elementary School
    English Language family nights
    Home visit trainings
    African/African-American family nights
    School picnics
    Excel family game nights
    Elder Wisdom
    Excel family nights
    Elder Wisdom books
    Valley View Art Festival
    Literacy Night
    Kindergarten Registration

    Columbia Academy
    Volunteer Appreciation Night
    It Takes a Village Day
    Principal Breakfast
    Honor Roll bumper stickers

    Columbia Heights High School
    Heights to Homes
    Eighth grade Parent Night
    Welcoming entrance work
    Car stickers
    TV update for college acceptance

    Family Involvement Specialist Ann Dillard leading a parent workshop.

    District Family Involvement Programming: Director of Teaching and Learning Duane Berkas introduced Director of Student Services Nicole Halabi, Director of Community Education Kristen Stuenkel and English Language/ Family Involvement Coordinator Jane Riordan, the latter three who presented information on how CHPS is continuing to build a system of strong family involvement throughout our district.  The above lists show some of the family involvement activities taking place this year in our district.  Click here to read the PowerPoint presentation.

    Solar Panel Grant and Project: Director of Finance and Operations Bill Holmgren presented the School Board information on a collaborative partnership grant with the State of Minnesota, utilities and iDEAL Energies.  This initiative, at no cost to Columbia Heights Public Schools (CHPS), will result in a solar power grid (similar to photo at right) on the Columbia Academy gymnasium roof.  He shared the panels are expected to have a life span of 40 years.

    Director Holmgren shared that he expects the solar panels will benefit the district revenue, to include approximately $273,231 in reductions in utility bills, a $59,360 "Made in Minnesota" rebate, Power Purchase sharing in the amount of $93,813 and insurance savings of $9,058.  Director Holmgren says this will result in a 30-year net savings to CHPS of approximately $229,720 or approximately $5,700 per year.  Click here for Director Holmgren's PowerPoint presentation.

    Action Items

    Resolution: The School Board addressed a resolution regarding discontinuing and reducing educational programs and positions.

    National School Board Association membership: The School Board approved continued membership in the National School Board Association for 2014-2015.

    Board Chair Election: The School Board voted for candidates Scott Bardell and Ted Landwehr. As each candidate received three votes and there was a tie vote, a Chair was not elected. The School Board will continue to vote for a Chair at the next Regular Business Meeting.

    Key Dates:

    • May 13, 7 p.m., Regular School Board Meeting, Community Room
    • May 20, 6 p.m., School Board Work Session, Community Room
    • May 26, No School
    • May 27, 7 p.m., Regular School Board Meeting, Community Room

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