• Dec. 10, 2013 Business Meeting 

    Discussion, Reports, Information Items:

    Acknowledgement of Contributions:
    Chair Scott Bardell announced and the School Board approved a resolution for accepting current contributions in the amount of $1,340.70.  The total Fiscal Year 2013-2014 monetary donations to date are $18,765.05.

    Heights Lites: The School Board honored Joy Baleisis, the 2013 Minnesota Elementary Level Co-Art Educator of the Year (below, left), and Superintendent Kathy Kelly, the 2013 Minnesota Supervision and Administration Division Art Educator of the Year (below, right).

    Reports from the School Board:

    • Chair Scott Bardell reported he participated in an Association of Metropolitan School Districts (AMSDmeeting and the Dec. 10, 2013 School Board Subcommittee on Policy meeting.

    • Vice-Chair John Larkin participated in the School Board Subcommittee on Policy meeting.
    • Treasurer Lori Meyer participated the School Board Subcommittee on Policy meeting and attended the MSBA delegate assembly with School Board Directors Lee and Landwehr.
    • Director Ted Landwehr participated in the Minnesota School Board Association (MSBA) delegate assembly with Directors Lee and Meyer; he also attended the Columbia Heights High School (CHHS) PTO meeting, a Twin Cities North Chamber of Commerce meeting and a Lions' club meeting.

    • Director Missy Lee met with Superintendent Kathy Kelly, attended the MSBA delegate assembly with Directors Meyer and Landwehr and went to a school wrestling meet.

    • Director Laura Palmer shared she had no report for this meeting.

    Superintendent's Report: 

    • Attended a Columbia Heights and Fridley Rotary meeting. Reported that Rotary members Director of Communications Casey Mahon and Director of Community Education Kristen Stuenkel were and are bell ringers for the Salvation Army as service projects this year.  She added that CHHS STRIVE students and Dean Craig Borey are scheduled to bell-ring this coming Saturday.

    • Reported that the Aligning Technology to Career and College Readiness Pathways Committee continues its work. Since the last School Board meeting, the planning team, design team and internal stakeholders have met. The focus is on creating an E-12 Career and Readiness Pathway and identifying 21st century life skills that support the pathway (Director of K-12 Activities and Athletics Matt Miller participating in the session in photo at right).

    • Noted a site visit by a field staffer from Senator Al Franken's office occurred at their request.  Central Minnesota Field Representative Lisa Fobbe spent time reviewing programs and discussing federal policy as well as visiting schools.

    • Shared that E-12 administrators met to discuss the Gifted and Talented Task Force recommendations.

    • Attended and enjoyed Booster Bingo at Sarna's and participated in the Columbia Heights Royalty program basket drawings to support the program.

    • Had meetings with School Board Member Lee and Chair Bardell, as well as attended the School Board Sub-Committee on Policy. Superintendent Kelly thanked everyone for their time.

    Building Non-Affiliated Salaries Increases: Director of Human Resources Lindsey Bennett and Director of Finance and Operations Bill Holmgren presented information on Deans and Urban Liaison's salary increases; it is commensurate to what teachers received for 2013-2014 and 2014-2015.

    World's Best Workforce: Director Duane Berkas provided the School Board with a comprehensive overview of the new Minnesota Statute 2013, section 120B.11 regarding the “World’s Best Workforce (WBWF)” As interpreted by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), Director Berkas said WBWF will further be refined as a plan at the district level by administrators, to include community input and to be approved by the School Board.  He said the new district plan will require evidence-based strategies for improving instruction and achievement and an annual budget for full implementation. Additionally, the new plan will work alongside the district’s Integration Plan and the two will be combined for public presentation, as well as a new annual report to the community.  Director Berkas said the initial steps include working with the MDE for guidance and developing a process and timeline with the Teaching and Learning Team with the support of the Superintendent.  He anticipates that the process of developing and integrating the two plans can begin as early as January 2014. Click here for Minnesota Department of Education Powerpoint presentation.

    Valley View Facilities Update: Director of Finance and Operations Bill Holmgren reported there is a need to change the funding mechanism for the addition of Valley View Elementary School.  Director Holmgren said the district will now use a Lease Purchase from the General Fund, the same process used last year for the Highland Elementary School addition.  Additionally, he noted there is no difference in the cost of the project and that Northeast Bank of Columbia Heights, which has agreed to work with the district, is providing financing at a very good rate.

    Valley View Construction Management Services: Director Holmgren reported that three companies responded to the Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Valley View Elementary School construction project (design concept at right).  The three construction companies, all with extensive experience with school districts, are Kraus Anderson, Bosshart and ICS.  Director Holmgren said the contact will include what he refers to as “Best Value Principles” for the purpose of providing clear expectations for the project.  He expects the contract will be awarded within the next week.

    Action Items

    Board Policies - Second Reading: The School Board approved the following policies:

    401 - Equal Employment Opportunity
    403 - Discipline, Suspension and Dismissal of School District Employees
    405 - Veterans Preference: Hiring
    406 - Public and Private Personnel Data
    407 - Employee Right to Know - Exposure to Hazardous Substances
    409 - Employee Publications, Instruction Materials, Inventions and Creations
    414 - Mandated Reporting of Child Neglect, Physical or Sexual Abuse
    417 - Chemical Use/Abuse
    418 - Drug- Free Workplace/Drug-Free School
    419 - Tobacco-Free Environment
    422 - Policies Incorporated by Reference
    424 - License Status
    425 - Staff Development

    New Courses: The School Board approved changing a Colmbia Academy Media Arts class to a Digital Arts course, as described in the Nov. 26, 2013 School Board Report. The new course description is as follows:

    "Digital arts is a study and practice of the visual arts with technology as the medium. Students study the elements and principles of design and use these creatively along with elements of space, time, light, motion, color and sound to express their perspectives, feelings and ideas. Students learn to critically interpret and evaluate media within aesthetic, cultural and historical contexts. Creativity and imagination are essential elements of the media arts process. A successful media production includes technical competency, artistic processes and the ability to communicate their ideas to the audience."

    Columbia Academy Spanish Class Field Trip:
    The School Board approved the Columbia Academy Spanish Class Field Trip to the
    Concordia Language Academy as discussed at the Nov. 26, 2013 School Board Meeting.

    Certification of Levy:  The School Board approved the certification of the 2014 levy. This information was previously shared at the Sept. 24, 2013 and Nov. 26, 2013 School Board meetings.  Because of the extensive and detailed information shared we recommend watching Director Holmgren's presentation (1.22.44 mark of the video).

    Police Liaison Contract:  The school district and the City of Columbia Heights are continuing a Joint Powers Agreement to provide police “liaisons” at Columbia Academy and Columbia Heights High School.  The agreement language remains the same as previous years.  The School Board approved a two percent increase.

    Approval of School Board Organizational Meeting Procedures:  The School Board approved the "process for electing a chair person based upon Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised 10th Edition." The School Board also approved the first Monday in January as rules for the Organizational Meeting.

    Key Dates:

    • Dec. 23-Jan. 3, Winter Break
    • Jan. 6. 2014, School resumes
    • Jan. 7, 7:00 p.m., Organizational Meeting
    • Jan. 14, 7:00 p.m., Regular School Board Meeting, Community Room
    • Jan. 20, No School, Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday
    • Jan. 21, 5:30 p.m., School Board Work Session, Community Room
    • Jan. 24, No School, Grading Day
    • Jan. 28, 7:00 p.m., Regular School Board Meeting, Community Room

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