• March 25, 2014 Regular Business Meeting 

    Discussion, Reports and Information Items

    Acknowledgement of Contributions: The School Board approved a resolution for accepting current contributions in the amount of $4,896.90.  The total Fiscal Year 2013-2014 monetary donations to date are $32,403.51.

    Reports from the School Board:

    • Interim Chair Scott Bardell reported that he attended teacher conferences at the high school before spring break and that he had a meeting with School Board Director Ted Landwehr and Superintendent Kathy Kelly.

    • Vice-Chair John Larkin did not have a report.
    • Treasurer Lori Meyer attended last week's City of Hilltop Council meeting.
    • Clerk Missy Lee did not have a report.

    • Director Ted Landwehr shared he had a telephone discussion with Superintendent Kelly, met with Superintendent Kelly and Interim Chair Bardell, attended a Columbia Heights High School PTO meeting, participated in the Twin Cities North Chamber of Commerce Expo and a legislative breakfast, a Lions' Club meeting and met with constituents.

    • Director Laura Palmer attended the Empty Bowls event, which included Columbia Academy students and their work, held in Columbia Heights and had a meeting with a constituent.

    Superintendent's Report:

    • Reported that she, Director of Technology and Security Services Bryan Hennekens, North Park Elementary School Principal Jeff Cacek and TIES Executive Director Betty Schweizer presented at the Minnesota Association of School Administrator's annual conference.  The topic was focused on laying the groundwork for 21st Century Learning.

    • Shared that the Aligning Technology with 21st Century Learning cohort committee continues its after school work sessions.  Superintendent Kelly said this April there will be an invited external stakeholder focus group for feedback on the work thus far.

    • Noted that the North East Metro Intermediate District 916 Superintendents School Relations Council held its quarterly meeting with a focus on three areas.  The first is new and possibly remodeled construction projects for students enrolled in NE Metro 916 programs. The second is a District Management Council (DMC) proposal focusing on academic returns on investment for NE Metro 916 collaborating districts, and the third is extensive conversation about the current three-year DMC study on Special Education practices.  Superintendent Kelly said the scale of this study has now been brought to 50 school districts across the United States.

    • Updated that the selection for the permanent Columbia Heights High School principal is underway.  The posting closed March 24, 2014 and a recommendation should be presented to the School Board by the end of April 2014.
    • Thanked the Highland Elementary School staff and Principal Michele DeWitt for their presentations on critical issues and opportunities for students and staff at that school.
    • Shared she had multiple meetings and telephone conversations with School Board members.

    Discussion, Reports, Information Items

    Building Vision Card - Valley View Elementary School: Director of Teaching and Learning Duane Berkas introduced Principal Willie Fort who presented on the Strategic Plan Vision Card for Valley View Elementary School.  Principal Fort addressed the following areas:

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

    To view Principal Fort's PowerPoint presentation, click here.

    Class Size Study: Director of Student Services Nicole Halabi provided an update on the Metro Educational Cooperative Service Unit (ECSU) 2013-2014 Class Size Study.  This report describes class size statistics for forty school districts in the metro Twin Cities area that submitted data to the Metro ECSU.  The class size data included in the report is based on fall student counts submitted as of October 1, 2013.  Director Halabi shared that at the junior and senior secondary levels, only subject areas that are most typically offered at the secondary level were included in the study.  To read Director Halabi's PowerPoint presentation, click here.

    District Management Council (DMC) Special Education recommendations: Director Halabi reported to the School Board that our school district contracted with DMC for three years as part of a Special Education study.  She shared the following action steps that will be implemented from the DMC's nine recommendations:

    • Expand to grades 3 through 5 the current K-2 reading corps and reading specialist model.
    • Collaborate with the Teaching and Learning Department to develop a staff development plan for special education teachers in specific content areas where reasonable and appropriate.
    • Pilot a skilled behaviorist in one building.
    • Implement a "double dose" of math at Columbia Heights High School with a differentiated delivery model.
    • Review internal due process procedures, roles and responsibilities.
    • Increase student contact time with Speech and Language Therapists. 
    • Assess a reorganization of the Student Services Department to increase social work and school psychologist support to students.
    • Perform a deeper analysis of Educational Assistant roles and responsibility through the DMC study.
    • Participate in DMC planning software training.

    To read Director Halabi's PowerPoint presentation, click here.

    Board Policies-First Reading:

    208 - Development, Adoption and Implementation of Policies
    533 - Wellness
    615 - Testing Accommodations, Modifications and Exemptions
    620 - Credit for Learning
    624 - Online Learning Options
    707 - Transportation of Public School Students
    904 - Distribution of Materials by Non-school person


    Action Items

    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:

    • April 7, No School, Grading Day
    • April 8, 7 p.m., Regular School Board Meeting, Community Room
    • April 15, 6 p.m., School Board Work Session, Community Room
    • April 18, No School
    • April 22, 7 p.m., Regular School Board Meeting, Community Room

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