• Feb. 25, 2014 Business Meeting 

    Discussion, Reports and Information Items:

    Heights Lites: The School Board honored Columbia Heights High School senior Jackie Anderson (top photo) who received a Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards Gold Key for her art portfolio "Yellow" (top, second column) and three Honorable Mentions for her drawings and paintings. The School Board also honored Andrea Pamo (second photo), also a senior, for earning a Gold Key for her "Wrap" photography portfolio.  Junior Quincy Gross (bottom photo) also was recognized by the School Board for earning a Silver Key in Photography.  She earned three Honorable Mentions for her work.  Columbia Heights High School Art teacher Diane Scully introduced the three students and shared information about the state award's program.

    Acknowledgement of Contributions:
    The School Board approved a resolution for accepting current contributions in the amount of $2,725.51. The total Fiscal Year 2013-2014 monetary donations to date are $27,506.61.

    Reports from the School Board:

    • Interim Chair Scott Bardell participated in the National Schools Public Relations Association (NSPRA) Focus Group on Communications, the Feb. 18, 2014 Work Session, two sectional boys' swim meets and a meeting with Superintendent Kathy Kelly.

    • Vice-Chair John Larkin participated in the NSPRA Communications Focus Group, the Feb. 18, 2014 Work Session and attended a high school band concert.
    • Treasurer Lori Meyer participated in the NSPRA Communications Focus Group, the Feb. 18, 2014 Work Session and meetings with Board Directors Lee, Landwehr and Larkin.
    • Director Ted Landwehr participated in the NSPRA Communications Focus Group, the Feb. 18, 2014 Work Session, a West Metro Education Program (WMEP) meeting, an all-night high school party senior fundraiser and a high school PTO meeting.

    • Director Missy Lee participated in the NSPRA Communications Focus Group, the Feb. 18, 2014 Work Session and had discussions with members of the National School Board Association.

    • Director Laura Palmer attended the Feb. 18, 2014 Work Session.

    Superintendent's Report:

    Click HERE to download
    the high school principal
    recruitment brochure

    • Announced that the Columbia Heights High School Principal search process is underway and that the Administration hopes to bring a recommendation for a permanent replacement to the School Board in April (brochure at right).

    • Shared that Local 710 Chief Negotiator Carl Lightbody and she met regarding formalizing the agreed teacher's evaluation process and that discussions will continue.

    • Reported that the Achieve Program had its quarterly review with the Director of Student Services, the Program Assistant Principal, Assessments Coordinator and she and that the program appears to be making progress.

    • Thanked the Columbia Heights Boosters Club for sponsoring a Columbia Academy family dinner before a recent boy's basketball game. 

    • Shared that Director of Student Services Nicole Halabi, Director of Teaching and Learning Duane Berkas and she had a final conference call with the District Management Council regarding a Special Education audit findings.  The focus of the report was to "effectuate economies and increased student achievement."  Superintendent Kelly added that recommendations will be reported at a future School Board meeting.

    • Reported that Pre-K-12 staffing is underway with district and building level administrators.

    • Announced that the school district communications audit is underway.  The Superintendent thanked those who agreed to participate in the 10 Focus Groups as part of the National Schools Public Relations Association Communications Audit.  She added that she looks forward to the findings and recommendations from the final audit report to be used as considerations in a new comprehensive district communications plan.

    • Reported that the Aligning and Technology with a Career and College Pathway Committee continues its work.  The committee plans to hold an external stakeholder's focus group in March and bring refined work to the School Board in April.

    • Noted that she had individual meetings with Board Director Landwehr and Vice Chair Larkin, Agenda planning meetings with Interim Chair Bardell and Vice Chair Larkin and individual telephone conversations with Treasurer Meyer and Clerk Lee. 

    Discussion, Reports, Information Items

    Strategic Plan Vision Cards: Director of Teaching and Learning Duane Berkas and Columbia Academy Principal Mary Bussman presented the School Board with an update on the Vision Cards for Columbia Academy.  Their presentation (click HERE for the PowerPoint for specific data) focused on the following main subject areas:

    • Enrollment data
    • Demographic data.
    • Achievement data.
    • Implementation data.
    • Focus area updates: Programs and strategies.
    • Outreach: Parents and community.
    • Looking ahead: Goals and planning.

    Achievement and Integration Plan and Budget: Director Berkas presented information on the required three-year Achievement and Integration Plan as well as the proposed budget for the 2015-2016 school year. The three-year plan must include the following:

    • Reduce the achievement gap in half while also raising the achievement of white students.
    • Improve racial and socioeconomic integration
    • Align to the Word's Best Workforce

    Director Berkas shared that this district is required to show in the three-year plan how we will promote integration across our schools through our Achievement Smart Goals:

    • The percentage of students proficient in math and reading will increase (2014-2017) on MCA and Reading (see PowerPoint for percentages): To achieve this goal the following Achievement College Readiness (1 & 2) and Professional Development (3 & 4) strategies will be employed:
    1. Advanced Via Individual Determination (AVID) in grades 3 through 12.
    2. Ramp UP to Readiness
    3. Equity
    4. Data Analysis
    • The following Parent Involvement (1 & 2) and Interventions (3 & 4) goals will be employed:
    1. Parent Involvement, including REACH.
    2. Home visits, liaisons and translating.
    3. Formative assessments
    4. Interventions, including Check and Connect drop-out prevention and online assessment/ teaching tools.

    Director Berkas also shared the Integration goals:

    • Continuing to meet 100 percent of collaborative agreements for participation West Metro Education Program (WMEP) FAIR schools.
    • Increasing racial integration by 15 percent by 2017.
    • Collaborating with WMEP and its members.
    • Developing innovative magnet programming that attracts underrepresented students to CHPS.

    Director Berkas concluded by presenting the School Board with a proposed budget of $878,319 for the 2015-2016 school year to support the funding of the programs listed above. (Click HERE to view the PowerPoint presentation).

    Updated 2013-2014 Budget: Director of Finance and Operations Bill Holmgren presented information on the updated 2013-2014 Budget.  Director Holmgren told the School Board that the district is not in deficit spending. He then reported out on each of the line items (Click HERE to read the budget report).

    School Board Report

    Facility Update: Director Holmgren gave an update on the Valley View Elementary School construction schedule. The tentative key dates are:

    • April 8: Issuance of contracts
    • To be determined: Ground breaking
    • June 16: Construction starts
    • December 19: Construction completed
    • January 5, 2015: Addition ready for classes.

    Valley View Elementary School Addition Financing:  Director Holmgren presented information on the funding for the projected kindergarten addition at Valley View Elementary School (graphics at right). He reported that bids are scheduled to be opened March 6 and issuance of contracts April 8, 2014.

    Board Policies - 1st Reading:

    406 - Public Private Personnel Data
    414 - mandated Reporting of Child Neglect or Abuse
    503 - Student Attendance
    506 - Student Discipline
    515 - Protection and Privacy of Public Records
    516 - Student Medication
    521 - Student Disability Nondiscrimination
    604 - Instructional Curriculum
    610 - Field Trips
    618 - Assessment of Student Achievement
    619 - Staff Development for Standards

    These policies will appear on a future agenda for approval.


    Action Items

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

    203.5 - School Board Meeting Agenda
    205 - Open Meetings and Closed

    The following policy was referred back to committee:
    208 - Development, Adoption and Implementation of Policies

    Teacher/ECFE Teacher Seniority Lists: The School Board approved Seniority Lists for school and Early Childhood Family Education teachers..

    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:

    • 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
    • March 25, 7 p.m. Regular School Board Meeting, Community Room

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