• May 12, 2015 Regular Business Meeting

      Discussion, Reports, Information Items

    • Chair John Larkin attended the Columbia Heights Boosters' Dinner, the Columbia Heights Public Schools (CHPS) Career Celebration, the City of Columbia Heights' Mayor's Prayer Breakfast and the Columbia Heights High School (CHHS) Addams Family musical.

    • Vice-Chair Ted Landwehr attended the Booster's dinner, the Career Celebration, the Addams Family musical and met with Rep. Carol Laine.  He attended the Family Center picnic and the Mayor's Prayer Breakfast and met with Superintendent Kathy Kelly, Director of Finance and Operations Bill Holmgren and Director of Human Resources Lindsay Bennett. Mr. Landwehr also participated in a School Board Chair meeting and a West Metro Education Program (WEMP) Board Meeting.

    • Clerk Lori Meyer attended an Association of Metropolitan School Districts (AMSD) meeting and the Career Celebration.
    • Treasurer Molly Lewis attended the Boosters dinner, a Highland Elementary School Ice Cream event and the Career Celebration. She also met with Superintendent Kelly and directors.

    • Director Laura Palmer attended the Columbia Heights Business Council, the monthly NE Metro Intermediate District 916 Board meeting, the Mayor's Prayer Breakfast and the Career Celebration.

    • Director Grant Nichols attended the Addams Family musical, the Career Celebration event, the Mayor's Prayer Breakfast, Valley View Elementary School showcases and that school's PTO meeting.  Mr. Nichols also met with Superintendent Kelly.
      Superintendent Kathy Kelly's Report

    • Click on each picture to enlarge
      Celebrated Administrative Professional's Day April 29 with 18 District and school staff members (pictured top right).

    • Shared that Kristine Wehrkamp will be doing a portion of her superintendency internship with Superintendent Kelly.

    • Attended an AMSD Board of Directors meeting with Board Director Meyer.
    • Attended the Boosters Dinner and reemphasized congratulations to John Rockwell and Pete Heryla (pictured second right) for receiving the Distinguished Service Award.

    • Participated in a north suburban Superintendents meeting.

    • Attended the Columbia Heights' Mayor's Prayer Breakfast.

    • Enjoyed the May 6 Career Celebration event that recognized seven retirees who had a total of 148 years' service to this school District. Pictured at third right are retirees Rhonda Lajko, Corliss Johnson, Wanda Cardwell and Stan Bookout.  Unable to attend, but recognized, were Mary Pettis and Julie Long.  Jean Vortherms was a special honoree.

    • Offered congratulations to all students and staff who participated in the CHHS Addams Family musical (pictured bottom right).

    • Reported that the AgriBusiness Committee met.

    • Met or had discussions with each School Board director.
    Strategic Direction C: Director of Student Services Nicole Halabi and Columbia Academy Interim Principal and Valley View Elementary School Principal Willie Fort provided the annual update on Strategic Direction C: Know and honor who we are to build strong relationships. An example of Strategic Direction C is the REACH parent presentations, which includes breakfasts and evening discussions (pictured left). Click here for their PowerPoint presentation.

    ECFE/ECSE Vision Card: Director of Community Education Kristen Stuenkel and Director Halabi provided an annual update and overview of early childhood programs, including Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE), Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE), Pre-K, Home Visiting and Early Childhood Screening.  Click here for the director's PowerPoint presentation.

    Solar Garden update: Director of Finance and Operations Bill Holmgren presented on the Minnesota Community Solar Garden Program. He reported this District is participating in the statewide program and that the membership is producing "considerable savings" to CHPS. As examples, Director Holmgren shared first year savings of $16,310, that within a decade the savings will increase to $677,022 and by the 25th year savings to the District will be more than $4 million. Pictured at left are solar array panels, installed in 2014 at no cost to the District, on the roof of Columbia Academy.  Click here for the Columbia Heights Community Solar Power presentation.

    Transportation contract: Director Holmgren shared that Lorenz Bus Service has for the past two years provided outstanding service as this School District's transportation service provider. He will, on behalf of the District Administration, be recommending extending the transportation contract with Lorenz for two more years, with a rate increase to be determined by the Legislature, as provided for by statute.  This topic will be on an upcoming Board Agenda as an Action Item.

    Community Education Adventure Club/Mini Adventure Club Fees: Directors Stuenkel and Holmgren provided an informational update regarding adjusted 2015-2016 participation fees for Adventure Club and Mini Adventures. The request (as an Action Item on the May 26, 2015 agenda) will be for a five percent increase from the 2014-2015 fees to cover increased expenses, including staffing costs for Club and Mini Adventures staff. Click
     here for their PowerPoint presentation.

    Board Policies - First Reading:
    Sub-committee on Policy Chair Larkin gave an overview of the following policies that will appear on the May 26, 2015 agenda for recommended approval:

    501 - School Weapons
    502 - Search of Student Lockers, Desks, Personal Possessions and Student’s Person
    503 - Student Attendance
    506 - Student Discipline
    506 - Form
    514 - Bullying Prohibition
    524 - Internet Acceptable Use and Safety
    526 - Hazing
    603 - Curriculum Development
    604 - Instructional Curriculum
    613 - Graduation Requirements

      Action Items

    School Board Policies - Second Reading: The School Board approved the following policies that on First Reading appeared on the April 28 Business Meeting agenda:

    - 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

    External User Access Recertification approval: The School Board approved the LEA for the Minnesota Department of Education External User Access Recertification System.  The approval gives the Superintendent of Schools authority to oversee this system. This was presented at the April 28, 2015 School Board meeting as an informational item.

    Discontinuance or reduction of programs and positions for 2015-2016
    : The School Board adopted a resolution Jan. 27, 2015 directing the Superintendent and Administration to consider the discontinuance and to provide recommendations of programs and positions to effectuate economies and efficiencies in CHPS and to reduce expenditures as necessary. In accordance with the resolution, the
    School Board approved a resolution for the discontinuance or reduction of programs and positions for the 2015-2016 school year.

    Termination of probationary teacher contracts:
    The School Board adopted a resolution Jan. 27, 2015 directing the Superintendent and Administration to consider the discontinuance of programs and positions to effectuate economies and efficiencies and to reduce expenditures as necessary. Pursuant to MINN. Stat. §122A.40, Subd 5, the School Board adopted a resolution to terminate and non-renew employment contracts of those probationary teachers

    Termination of programs and positions:
    The School Board approved the adoption of a resolution to terminate certain programs and positions for the coming school year. 

     Board Topics

    Listening Session Update: Director Halabi reported on constructive feedback from parents from the two previous sessions.  She shared that staff are addressing the requests.  Chair Larkin reemphasized that Listening Sessions are beneficial for parents and the District and encourages continued feedback.  For the May 19 Listening Session, Board Directors Landwehr and Lewis will be in attendance.

      Key Dates

    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, 6:30 p.m., Employee of the Year Reception, Family Center Foyer
    May 26, Tuesday, 7 p.m., Regular School Board Meeting, Community Room

    June 4, Thursday, Last day of school for students

    June 4, Thursday, 7 p.m., Columbia Heights High School Graduation, football stadium

    June 9, Tuesday, 7 p.m., Regular School Board Meeting, Community Room 

    Do you have questions or comments?  Click here.

    The School Board Report is normally published the Friday following a Regular Business Meeting.  In those instances when a holiday falls on that Friday, the Report will be published the following Monday.  The School Board Report is a summary of each business meeting; the official record are the Minutes, which must be approved prior to posting on the School Board web site.

      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