• Feb. 11, 2014 Business Meeting 

    Discussion, Reports and Information Items:

    Acknowledgement of Contributions:
    The School Board approved a resolution for accepting current contributions in the amount of $6,016.05.  The total Fiscal Year 2013-2014 monetary donations to date are $24,781.10.

    Reports from the School Board:

    • Interim Chair Scott Bardell participated in the January School Board Work Session, and with Superintendent Kathy Kelly and Director of Teaching and Learning Duane Berkas, participated in Association of Metropolitian School Districts(AMSD) Legislative Session Preview.  Interim Chair Bardell also attended a swim meet and several student basketball games.

    • Vice-Chair John Larkin participated in the January School Board Work Session, attended a Minnesota School Board Association (MSBA) conference, went to a "Heights to Home" meeting in Columbia Heights, attended a Robotics tournament at Columbia Academy and co-instructed eighth-grade students on Fire Science at Columbia Academy (picture at right).
    • Treasurer Lori Meyer participated in the January School Board Work Session.
    • Director Ted Landwehr participated in the January School Board Work Session, attended a "Heights to Home" meeting in Columbia Heights, attended an annual MSBA Leadership Conference and a Minnesota STEM Network meeting. Director Landwehr also attended Twin Cities North Chamber of Commerce and Lions' club meetings and a boys' basketball game.  He also noted he will meet with the Superintendent Kelly shortly.

    • Director Missy Lee participated in the January School Board Work Session, a MSBA meeting and conference, which included Columbia Heights Public Schools being publicly recognized for its family involvement program.  She also will be going to the State Capitol later this month to meet with legislators.

    • Director Laura Palmer attended a MSBA Leadership Conference, met with Superintendent Kathy Kelly, Director of Teaching and Learning Duane Berkas and Director of Finance and Operations Bill Holmgren, attended a North East Metro Intermediate District 916 board meeting, enjoyed the "Winter Sing" at Highland Elementary School, participated in conferences at Highland, the January School Board Work Session and attended her first Twin Cities North Chamber of Commerce meeting.

    Superintendent's Report: Superintendent Kathy Kelly attended the Association of Metropolitan School District's Legislative Preview with Chair Bardell and Director Holmgren; she reported there were three major themes shared: (1) equitable alt facilities funding, (2) Age 3 to Grade 3 for Literacy and (3) Career and College-ready Pathways.  Superintendent Kelly also attended meetings with six other school districts and Anoka Ramsey Community College to discuss post-secondary success processes and partnerships.

    Discussion, Reports, Information Items

    School Board Recognition Week: Superintendent Kathy Kelly recognized the School Board as a whole and provided each with certificates for their "dedication and hard work to help build an education system that meets the needs of today's and tomorrow's children."  School Board Recognition Week is February 17 through 21, 2014.

    Scott Bardell         John Larkin         Missy Lee         Lori Meyer         Laura Palmer


          Ted Landwehr

    21st Century Community Learning Grant Data:
    Director of Community Education Kristen Stuenkel and Wilder Research's Dr. Kristin Dillon presented the School Board with annual information on the five-year 21st Century Community Learning Grant for the 2012-2013 school year. 
    Director Stuenkel acknowledged the support of the partners in the grant.  Dr. Dillon reported on the fourth year of the grant, to include that this past year 1,390 students participated, meeting the Department of Education academic threshold.  Below is a summary of Dr. Dillon's presentation: 

    Dr. Dillon shared three grant goals of two student subsets:

    • Increase capacity of participants to become productive adults.
    • Increase school connectedness of participants.
    • Increase the Academic Performance of Participating Students.

    Dr. Dillon shared the primary conclusions are:

    • Overall participation, satisfaction and results associated with the program are very positive.
    • A large number of students are participating in the program, including diverse participation.
    • Students are satisfied.
    • There is strong evidence of academic and social-emotional gains.
    • There is a clear benefit to students attending the program regularly.

    We recommend watching Director Stuenkel and Dr. Dillon's presentation for detailed information (starts at 36.37)

    General Foreign Language
    Elementary Student (FLES) Goals

    • Provide an opportunity to learn language at an early age and thus achieve higher levels of language proficiency in the long term.

    • Create a bridge to middle school and high school language programs for both native and non-native speakers of Spanish.*
    *Being established.

    Spanish Pilot at Highland Elementary:  Director of Teaching and Learning Duane Berkas introduced Highland Elementary School Principal Michele DeWitt who shared updated information on the piloting of teaching Spanish to kindergarten and first grade students at her school. Director Berkas began by noting the program is succeeding and there is a hope to expand it to second grade at that school and Valley View Elementary School perhaps within a year. Principal DeWitt said the approach is "content enriched" and includes exposing all students to the same material in both languages for approximately 30 minutes a day.  We recommend watching Principal DeWitt provide specifics and details of the program (video starts at 54:40).

    Indian Education Resolution:
    Director of Student Services Nicole Halabi briefed the School Board that state statute addresses an annual resolution on Indian Education. The School Board affirmed that this district's programs meet American Indian student needs (Resolution will be included in the Minutes)

    Summer Programming: Directors Halabi, Berkas and Stuenkel presented the School Board with the annual report on summer programming. The three summarized the following:

    • Director Halabi reported on Special Services programming (Early Childhood Special Education, including home schooling, and Developmental Cognitive Delay).
    • Director Berkas reported on elementary summer programming, Columbia Academy Summer School English, Reading and Math, English Language Levels I and II, high school credit classes, English Language Summer Reading and Summer Academy. 
    • Director Stuenkel reported on Bridges to Kindergarten, Adventure Club, Mini-Adventures, Blooming Heights Garden Club, Environmental Club, Outdoor Club, Water Exercise, Community Open Swim and Fitness Club.

    We recommend watching Directors Halabi, Berkas and Stuenkel's presentation for detailed information, including dates, lengths of each summer program and locations, along with possible pilot programs for the future (starts at 36.37).

    World's Best Workforce: Director Berkas presented general information on the requirements of new legislation regarding what the Minnesota Department of Education refers to as the World’s Best Workforce. Director Berkas shared our district is establishing the specific process of creating a plan connected to our Strategic and Annual Integration and Achievement plans that shows how we are helping to create and measure the World’s Best Workforce. Director Berkas said the plan will include the following:

    • Achievement goals.
    • Strategies to attain those goals.
    • Program evaluation, and
    • Community input.

    Next steps include the following:

    • Identifying Guidance Committee members composed of community members, administrators and teachers. This list, along with potential meeting dates, will be brought forward for future School Board approval.
    • Establishing this Guidance Committee that meets with the following agenda:
      • Establish Goals.
      • Connect Strategic Plan to Goals.
      • Articulate Data Collection Points for Evaluation.
      • Establish Timeframe for Parent/Community Input.
    • Meeting dates, including a required Public Forum.
    • Connecting goals of World’s Best Workforce and Integration and Achievement Plan.

    We recommend watching Director Berkas' presentation for detailed information starting at 1.22.53).

    Board Policies - 1st Reading:

    203.5 - School Board Meeting Agenda
    205 - Open Meetings and Closed
    208 - Development, Adoption and Implementation of Policies

    These policies will appear on a future agenda for approval.

    Action Items

    Repeal of Policy 614: The School Board repealed Policy 614 - School District Testing Plan and Procedure, as it is no longer applicable.

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

    504 - Student Dress and Appearance
    509 - Enrollment of Non-Resident Students
    526 - Hazing Prohibition
    527 - Student Use and Parking of Motor Vehicles; Patrols, Inspections and Searches
    602 - Organization of School Calendar and School Day
    604 - Instructional Curriculum
    613 - Graduation Requirements
    806 - Crisis Management Policy.

    School Board Director Palmer requested, and the School Board agreed, that the following policies be addressed as separate agenda items for clarification of terminology. School Board Director Landwehr asked if a reference to the No Child Left Behind law in Policy 603 - Curriculum Development, is still applicable; Director Berkas confirmed that it is and with that assurance the School Board voted to approve that policy.  Policy 620 - Credit for Learning, will be reviewed and updated as necessary and brought back at an upcoming School Board meeting for requested approval.

    Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) Grant: The School Board approved a resolution for support or a MSHSL grant.  The resolution reads as follows:

    "Whereas, the Minnesota State High School League Foundation was formed to provide support for Minnesota’s high school youth in participate in athletics and fine arts:
    Whereas, the District 13 School Board recognized the value of students participation in extracurricular activities; and
    Whereas, the MSHSL Foundation is offering grants and funding to assist school districts in providing seminars/training opportunities or support for specific school functions for students/faculty members/ officials and others who are involved in athletic and fine arts programs.
    Therefore, be it resolved, that the Columbia Heights School Board supports the districts application to the Minnesota State High School League foundation for a Form A, B/C Grant to offset student activities fees."

    Discontinuance of Programs and Positions Resolution:
    Based on information presented by Director of Human Resources Lindsey Bennett and Director of Finance and Operations Bill Holmgren, the School Board approved the annual adoption of a resolution directing the Superintendent and Administration to consider the discontinuance of programs and positions to effectuate economies in the school district and to reduce expenditures

    Whereas, there may be a reduction in school finances, and
    Whereas, this reduction in expenditures and school finances may include discontinuance of positions and discontinuance or curtailment of programs, and
    Whereas, a determination must be made as to which teachers’ contracts and programs must be terminated and not renewed and which teachers may be placed on unrequested leave of absence without pay or fringe benefits in effecting discontinuance of positions and programs,
    Now, therefore be it resolved that the School Board of Independent School District No. 13 Columbia Heights hereby directs the Superintendent of Schools and administration to consider the discontinuance of programs or positions to effectuate economies in the School District and reduce expenditures as necessary and, as a result of a reduction in school finances, make recommendations to the School Board for the discontinuance of programs, curtailment of programs, discontinuance of positions or curtailment of positions.


    School 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:

    • Feb. 17, No School, President's Day, District Office closed
    • Feb. 18, 6 p.m. School Board Work Session, Community Room
    • Feb. 25, 7 p.m. Regular School Board Meeting, Community Room
    • March 11, 5 p.m. Sub-committee on Policy, Superintendent's Conference Room
    • March 11, 7 p.m. Regular School Board Meeting, Community Room
    • March 17-21, No School, Spring Break

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