• June 24, 2014 Regular Business Meeting 

    Discussion, Reports and Information Items

    Heights Lites: The School Board honored Columbia Heights High School students David Dixon (top left), Jarrett Baptiste (top right), Basil Muhammad (bottom left) and Daireus Mock (bottom right) for their third-place finish in the 4 by 100-meter relay at the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) State Track Meet. In introducing the team, Principal Dan Wrobleski said all four are exemplary athletes who came together as a team.  He added that their accomplishments reflected positively not only on themselves, but also their school and school district.  Principal Wrobleski predicted the four, who will be seniors for the 2014-2015 school year, will bring home a championship at the next state meet.

    Acknowledgement of Contributions: The School Board approved a resolution for accepting current contributions in the amount of $21,580.21.  The total Fiscal Year 2013-2014 monetary donations to date are $85,278.72.

    Click here to see more graduation photos.

    Reports from the School Board

    • Chair Scott Bardell attended the 2014 Graduation Commencement and the June 17, 2014 Work Session and had meetings with Superintendent Kelly.
    • Vice-Chair John Larkin attended the Columbia Academy "Proud" presentations and Eighth-Grade graduation ceremony, the 2014 Graduation Commencement and participated in a School Board Sub-Committee meeting on Listening Sessions.
    • Treasurer Lori Meyer attended the 2014 Graduation Commencement, participated in the June 17, 2014 Work Session and participated in a School Board Sub-Committee meeting on Listening Sessions.  She also attended a June 23, 2014 Columbia Heights City Council Meeting.
    • Clerk Missy Lee attended the June 17, 2014 Work Session, the 2014 Graduation Commencement, thanked the Columbia Heights police and fire departments for continuing the tradition of escorting the graduates, and attended the Senior All-Night party.

    • Director Ted Landwehr attended the 2014 Graduation Commencement, participated in the selection of a new Superintendent for the West Metro Education Program (WMEP) and attended the senior All-Night party. He also thanked all the volunteers for putting on the all-night party.

    • Director Laura Palmer attended the 2014 Graduation Commencement, participated in the June 17, 2014 Work Session and a School Board Sub-Committee meeting on Listening Sessions.  She also attended a June 23, 2014 Columbia Heights City Council meeting and a Northeast Metro Intermediate District 916 Board Meeting.

    Superintendent Report: Superintendent Kelly deferred her report.


    Discussion, Reports, Information Items

    Community Education Adventure Club/Mini-Adventure Club Fees: Director of Community Education Kristen Stuenkel (top photo) and Director of Finance and Operations Bill Holmgren (third photo) reported that the 2014-2015 Adventure Club and Mini-Adventures participation fees will be increased by five percent. Director Stuenkel shared that both programs are self-funded and the increase is necessary to cover applicable payroll and benefit costs.  She added a recommendation for School Board approval will be brought forward at the August 13, 2014 business meeting. Click here for Director Stuenkel's PowerPoint.

    Strategic Direction D: Director of Human Resources Lindsey Bennett (second photo) presented the School Board with information on Strategic Direction D: Acknowledge and Address Tensions and Opportunities for Employments and Partnership between Employees. Click here for Director Bennett's PowerPoint.

    Strategic Direction F: Director Holmgren presented the School Board with  information on Strategic Direction F: Remain Fiscally Responsible. Click here for Director Holmgren's PowerPoint.

    School Climate and Student Voice Information:  Director of Teaching and Learning Duane Berkas (bottom photo) presented an overview of the various ways that staff listen to Columbia Heights Public Schools' students and includes their voice in the ongoing decision-making to "provide high-quality educational experiences for all learners."  Director Berkas shared that the district values the insights gained from listening to student feedback, including being better able to gauge their level of engagement, their feelings of belonging and safety and their interest or satisfaction in programming. He added that student feedback is a powerful strategy teachers use to increase academic achievement. Click here for Director Berkas' PowerPoint.

    World's Best Workforce (WBWF): Director Berkas reported the District Leadership Committee, a required component of the World’s Best Work Force  plan, met for the first time to complete its first task of making recommendations to the School Board on the use of rigorous standards, assessments, and ongoing evaluation of programs. He offered a summary of that meeting and the central role the District Strategic Plan continues to have in defining the measures of academic achievement and program implementation.  Click here for Director Berkas' PowerPoint.


    Action Items

    Repeal of Policy 514-Bullying Prohibition Policy: Sub-committee on Policy Chair Bardell requested the School Board to repeal the current Policy 514-Bullying Prohibition Policy and Form. This is a procedural decision; school districts throughout Minnesota are following the same process of repealing existing policies then following-up with an updated version consistent with new legislation. The School Board approved repealing the policy.

    Approval of School Board Policy 514-Bullying Prohibition:  Sub-committee on Policy Chair Bardell asked the School Board to approve School Board Policy 514- Bullying Prohibition Policy and Form. The School Board approved the new policy following new statutory requirements with Minnesota School Board Association recommendations. Click here to view the updated policy. 

    Out-of-State Field Trips: Director Berkas, Columbia Heights High School Principal Wrobleski and Band Director Ryan Palmer (pictured at right) provided an update on the proposed March 2015 Columbia Heights High School band and advanced visual arts trip to New York City.  This proposal was previously presented at the May Work Session. The presenters provided the School Board with the number of students, chaperones, transportation, estimated cost and fund raising plans. Principal Wrobleski added additional information will include plans for accommodations and activities that will take place while in New York City. The School Board voted to approve the out-of-state field trip to New York City. Click here for Principal Wrobleski's PowerPoint.

    Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Grants: The School Board approved the ESEA Grants in the total amount of $1,113,000 for 2014-2015. Click here to view the PowerPoint presentation Director Berkas provided at the June 10 Business Meeting.

    Local Educational Agency (LEA) authorization: As required for grants provided by the Minnesota Department of Education, approval is required for the Director of Teaching and Learning to complete submission of program proposals for state or federal funding. The School Board approved the request.

    Twin Cities North Chamber of Commerce Membership: The School Board approved continued membership, in the amount of $235 annually, for the Twin Cities North Chamber of Commerce.

    2014-2015 Budget:  The School Board approved the 2014-2015 budget.  Click here to view Director Holmgren's budget PowerPoint and here to view the budget.

    Alternative Learning Center Fiscal Host: The School Board approved the Fiscal Host Agreement for the Alternative Learning Center.

    Northeast Metro 916 Health and Safety Levy: The School Board approved the Northeast Metro Intermediate School District 916 Health and Safety Levy.  Our school district provides $5,555.02  to support NEM 916 programming for Columbia Heights Public Schools' students.

    Operation Levy: The School Board approved a request for District Administration to develop a ballot question and a resolution to ask the public to renew the existing Operation Levy for the 2014 election.  This is a continuance of a 10-year levy previously voted on and approved by voters.  As this is a renewal, this is not a tax increase, but a continuance of the tax previously approved.

    Capital Facility Levy Question: Director Holmgren and Director of Technology and Security Services Bryan Hennekens (pictured above) asked the School Board to provide approval to District Administration to develop a Capital Facility Levy question for a new $1 million, 10-year Capital Projects referendum for 2014.  The directors provided the School Board with facility (60%) and technological and security (40%) needs of the district that can best be achieved through a voter-approved levy.  The School Board approved the request. Click here for Director Holmgren and Director of Technology and Security Bryan Henneken's PowerPoint, which provides the details for both presentations.


    Key Dates:

    • July 4, District Offices closed
    • August 13, 7 p.m., Regular School Board Meeting, Community Room
    • August 19, 6 p.m. School Board Work Session
    • August 26, 7 p.m., Regular School Board Meeting

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