• March 24, 2015 Regular Business Meeting

    Discussion, Reports, Information Items

    Report highlights from the School Board acting on behalf of Columbia Heights Public Schools:
    • Chair John Larkin did not have a report.

    • Vice-Chair Ted Landwehr attended the National School Board Association annual conference.

    • Clerk Lori Meyer attended the March 17, 2015 School Board Listening Session and the Work Session.
    • Treasurer Molly Lewis participated in the March 17, 2015 Work Session and attended the National School Board Association annual conference.

    • Director Laura Palmer did not have a report.
    • Director Grant Nichols participated in the March 17, 2015 School Board Listening Session and Work Session, attended an Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) Baby Shower event, a Highland Elementary School PTO meeting and the REACH graduation ceremony.  Director Nichols also met with the School Board Chair of Minneapolis Public Schools. 
    Superintendent Kathy Kelly's Report

    • Participated in the March 17, 2015 Listening Session and Work Session.

    • Attended the quarterly NE Metro Intermediate District 916 Superintendent's Advisory Meeting that focused on the transformation of the TIES organization and also on the NE 916 Capital View remodeling project.

    • Reported that the Principal selection process for Columbia Academy is in progress with the first-round of interviews held last week with the second round of interviews Thursday, March 26, 2015.  An evening community forum for the recommended finalists is also Thursday, March 26, 2015.  The recommendation for a finalist for the position will come before the School Board in April.
    • Noted that the Pre-K-12 administrators team met on staffing and other areas of concern; the 6-12 administrators followed with a tour of North Park Elementary School with a focus on facility usage and the Learning Studio initiative.

    • Said Director of Teaching and Learning Duane Berkas, Director of Finance and Operations Bill Holmgren and she met on the ESCA Federal Programs Grant to discuss how this will be factored into the next budget.

    • Noted she and Principal Willie Fort attended funerals of employee family members.

    • Reported she attended the West Metro Education Program 3.0 Subcommittee meeting, which focus is to provide recommendations to the Joint Powers Board on possible organizational opportunities for the future.

    • Noted Director Holmgren and she had a working lunch with the City of Columbia Heights Mayor and City Manager on issues of mutual concern and benefit, which included their complements on the success of the Hylander Center gymnasium and parking issues.
    Listening Session Update: The School Board was provided an update on the March 17, 2015 Listening Session by Board Directors Meyer and Nichols, Director of Student Services Nicole Halabi and Director of Technology and Security Services Bryan Hennekens.  Two parents attended the Listening Session, one from Valley View Elementary School and the other Highland Elementary School.  Board Director Meyer thanked both parents and noted that the Listening Session was positive in terms of parent engagement and technology opportunities with communication.  Directors Halabi and Hennekens shared parent engagement opportunities on the District website, along with communication technology tools such as SchoolView, Facebook, Twitter, Moodle and Schoology.

    Health Insurance Bid
    : Director of Finance and Operations Bill Holmgren reported that
    Columbia Heights Public Schools is required to bid for employee health insurance every two years.  He shared that this year the District received six bids from: Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS), South Central Service Cooperative (SCSC), HealthPartners, PEIP, Preferred One and Medica. Director Holmgren said SCSC, BCBS, Medica and HealthPartners are the most competitive fully insured responses with this District’s current plan design.  All of the responses entail an immediate rate decrease to the current District offering. This District’s Insurance Committee decided to continue with the current plan offered by the BCBS SCSC, which includes a two percent decrease for the 2015/2016 school year and a cap in the second year at five percent. He added that the committee is pleased with the past performance of the co-op’s service and that the second year cap was far below any of the other provider’s bids.  Director Holmgren's in-depth presentation starts at the 29:20 mark of the School Board meeting (click here).
    Key Dates

    • March 30-April 3, No School, Spring Break
    • April 3, District Office, Adventure Club, Mini-Adventures closed
    • April 6, Monday, No School, Grading Day
    • April 14, Tuesday 5 p.m., Sub Committee on Policy Meeting, Superintendent's Conference Room
    • April 14, Tuesday, 7 p.m., Regular School Board Meeting, Community Room
    • April 21, Tuesday, 5:30 p.m., School Board Listening Session, Family Center
    • April 21, Tuesday, 6 p.m., School Board Work Session, Community Room
    • April 28, 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