• April 28, 2015 Regular Business Meeting

      Heights Lites

    Click on each
    photo to expand
    The School Board honored 11 Art students who recently earned Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards.  Three of the students, Sophomores Whitney Meyer and Michelle Johnson and Junior Tiana Dyar, were personally recognized with a certificate from Chair John Larkin and thanked by the School Board, Superintendent Kelly and District Administrators.

    All together the 11 student artists earned 10 awards and nine Honorable Mentions. According to the Art Educators of Minnesota organizers, the 2015 competition had 2,900 single student entries and student portfolios from across the state.

     Whitney Meyer Tiana Dyar Michelle Johnson
    Whitney Meyer won three Gold Keys for her photographs (above right) entitled Memories, Emma and A Moment of Self Reflection. She also earned an Honorable Mention. Whitney also won the American Vision Award for Memories. Tiana Dyar was awarded a Gold Key in Comic Art for her drawing What is My Future? Michelle Johnson won a Silver Key for Factory and an Honorable Mention for her acrylic painting The Color Within Me.

    Other students who were recognized, but unable to attend, were Senior Tyrea Carroll who won a Gold Key for her painting Blown Away and two Honorable Mentions for acrylic paintings. Sophomore Marcos Ferreira won a Gold Key in Photography for Enclosed and a Silver Key. 
    Senior Quincy Gross received a Silver Key in Photography and an Honorable Mention for her Portfolio submission. Citlaly Soriano-Cortes from Columbia Academy also received a Silver Key. Four students earned Honorable Mentions. They are seniors Natasha Archer, Steve Lee and Raqiya Abdi and sophomore Adil Mubarak.

     Acknowledgement of Contributions

    Chair John Larkin announced, and the School Board approved, a resolution for accepting current contributions in the amount of $28,245.81. The total fiscal year 2014-2015 monetary contributions to date is $85,995.68.

      Discussion, Reports, Information Items

    • Chair John Larkin participated in the School Board Chair meeting and Policy Sub-Committee meeting, attended the Teacher of the Year reception and the Highland Elementary School Fine Arts Night.  He also attended baseball, lacrosse and synchronized swimming events.

    • Vice-Chair Ted Landwehr participated in the School Board Chair meeting and attended a Chamber meeting.  

    • Clerk Lori Meyer did not have a report.
    • Treasurer Molly Lewis went to the Highland Elementary Fine Arts Night, participated in the School Board Policy Sub-committee meeting, participated in MSBA Phase III training and attended the high school musical and a track meet.

    • Director Laura Palmer attended the Fine Arts Night at Highland Elementary School.  

    • Director Grant Nichols participated in the School Board Policy Sub-Committee meeting, MSBA Phase III training and attended a varsity baseball game.
      Superintendent Kathy Kelly's Report

    Superintendent Kelly offered that because of the full agenda, she deferred her report.  

    Karissa Ouren and Angela Noll present Chair John Larkin with a certificate of appreciation.

    Education Minnesota Week of Action: Columbia Heights Public Schools' Teachers and Local #710 Officers First Vice President Karissa Ouren and Second Vice President Angela Noll briefed that their union is planning, as part of Education Minnesota’s statewide Week of Action "Organizing for Student Success" (May 4-8), a Heights' Pride event. 

    On May 5 from 2:30 to 5 p.m., members will participate in an
    event designed to build unity among educators, students and the local community.  They added that Local 710 is proud to be part of the state wide week of action and "so proud to work in the Columbia Heights Public Schools." 

    High School Study Seminar: Columbia Heights High School (CHHS) Principal Dan Wrobleski, Art Teacher Diane Scully and Music Teacher Ryan Palmer gave a presentation on the March 2015 high school study seminar.  They shared 48 band and AP Art students, along with eight staff members, participated in the five day college seminar trip to New York City. 

    Among the highlights of the trip were: 
    • Visiting colleges (New York University and Cooper Union).
    • Participating in band clinics with conductors from the New York Philharmonic and Hunter College.
    • Taking guided tours of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Modern Museum of Art, the Cloisters and the Cathedral of St. John.
    • Seeing the Broadway show Wicked and participating in a post-show discussion with cast members and crew.
    • Attending a New York Philharmonic Orchestra concert.
    • Visiting famous sites, including the 9/11 Memorial Museum, Central Park, Times Square and China Town.
    Click here for their PowerPoint presentation. Click on the photos to enlarge.

    College Possible: Principal Wrobleski introduced College Possible representative Magdalena Wells who shared that her nationwide non-profit organization works regionally in approximately 25 metro area high schools, including CHHS (since 2008), to guide students from low-income backgrounds in preparing and applying for college. Ms. Wells said College Possible works with local colleges and universities to provide support to these graduates in successfully earning their college degree. The free program has two coaches at CHHS on a daily basis working with juniors and seniors. She said juniors invest their time preparing for the ACT while seniors apply to at least five colleges and complete financial aid applications and scholarship applications. College level coaches help them be successful in their college courses and in choosing a major.

    Last year 100 percent of the College Possible graduates of the Class of 2014 enrolled in college, and 100 percent of the Class of 2015 have been accepted into colleges, with more than $142,314 in scholarships. Additionally, Ms. Wells shared ACT scores increased by 23 percent for College Possible students in CHHS the last four years. 

    Creating College and Career-Ready Graduates: Director of Teaching and Learning Duane Berkas and Director of Communications Casey Mahon shared that college and career readiness is possible when schools, families and students work together to achieve academic success. This collaborative effort requires a clear and common understanding by all of what is required at each stage of the preK-12 educational experience to be on a pathway to college and career readiness.

    The presenters shared that a District team is developing a series of family and student communication booklets for middle and high school that outline the benchmarks that students must meet and the actions they must take to be successful.  They added that the team is now creating an elementary booklet with plans for a PreK document. Directors Berkas and Mahon presented the School Board with samples (click above) and how they are connected to the District's college and career life skills and benchmarks.  

    Northeast Metro 916 Capital View Project: Director of Finance and Operations Bill Holmgren gave an overview of the NE Metro Intermediate District 916 Capital View project and how this may affect future CHPS levies. Director Holmgren, along with School Board Director Palmer, noted that there will not be any action on this from a tax standpoint for the immediate future. Click here for his PowerPoint presentation.

    MDE EUARS: Director Holmgren shared the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) recently announced that it is introducing a new External User Access Recertification System (EUARS).  He said the new system will be electronic and controlled by the superintendent or his/her delegate.
      Director Holmgren said a request for School Board approval will be on the May 12 Business Meeting agenda authorizing Superintendent Kathy Kelly authority to oversee the CHPS system.
    School Board Policies - First Reading: These polices will appear on a future agenda for approval.
    • 406: Public and Private Personnel Data
    • 410: Family and Medical Leave Policy
    • 413: Harassment and Violence
    • 419: Tobacco-Free Environment
    • 421: Gifts to Employees
    • 425: Staff Development
    2015 National School Board Association Conference: School Board Directors Landwehr and Lewis, who attended the National School Board Association Conference, presented information on their findings and observations of 14 sessions he attended at the 75th annual conference.  Click here for Director Landwehr's PowerPoint presentation.  Watch Director Landwehr's comments beginning at 1:37 of the meeting and Director Lewis' at the 2:02 mark (click here for video of the meeting).
    Director of Human Resources Lindsey Bennett and Director Holmgren provided District staffing updates.
      Action Items

    Highland Elementary School parking and bus reconfiguration bid: The School Board approved the reconfiguration (and alternate 1), as presented at the April 14, 2015 Business Meeting, and awarded the contract (of five bids submitted) to Minnesota Roadways.  Click here for the PowerPoint.  To view the reconfiguration improvements more clearly, click on the graphic to the right.

    Anoka Broadband
    The School Board approved renewing the Anoka Broadband agreement for the next five years as presented at the April 14, 2015 Business Meeting.

      Key Dates

    • May 12, Tuesday, 5 p.m. Sub-committee on Policy, Superintendent's Conference Room
May 12, Tuesday, 7 p.m. Regular School Board Meeting, Community Room
    • May 19, Tuesday 5:30 p.m. School Board Listening Session, Family Center
    • May 19, Tuesday, 6 p.m. School Board Work Session, Community Room
    • May 25, Monday, No School, Memorial Day
May 26, Tuesday, 7 p.m. Regular School Board Meeting, Community Room 

    Do you have questions or comments?  Click here.

      School Board standing committee assignments
    Chair John Larkin
    Liaison to City of Fridley
    School Board Policy Sub-Committee
    Vice Chair Ted Landwehr
    Minnesota School Board Association
    West Metro Education Program

    Clerk Lori Meyer
    Association of Metropolitan School Districts
    Liaison to City of Hilltop

    Treasurer Molly Lewis
    Minnesota State High School League
    School Board Policy Sub-Committee

    Director Laura Palmer
    NE Metro Intermediate District 916 Board
    Columbia Heights Business Council

    Director Grant Nichols
    Educational Cooperative Service Unit
    Liaison to City of Columbia Heights
    School Board Policy Sub-Committee