• November 25, 2014 Regular Business Meeting

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    Discussion, Reports and Information Items

    Acknowledgement of Contributions: Chair Scott Bardell announced and the School Board approved a resolution for accepting current contributions in the amount of $2,779. The total fiscal year 2014-2015 monetary contributions to date is $16,860.86.

    Report highlights from the School Board acting on behalf of Columbia Heights Public Schools

    • Chair Scott Bardell had several meetings with  Superintendent Kathy Kelly.
    • Vice-Chair John Larkin attended the Columbia Academy PROUD presentation and the Taste of Columbia Heights.

    • Treasurer Lori Meyer was not present.
    • Clerk Missy Lee participated in a recent Minnesota School Board Association (MSBA) Board meeting and had discussions on athletic issues with MSBA members.

    • Director Ted Landwehr attended a chamber meeting and the Taste of Columbia Heights.
    • Director Laura Palmer did not have a report.

    Superintendent's Report: 

    • Attended a Northeast Metro Intermediate District 916 Superintendent's meeting focused on Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome for students and also Secondary Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome for teachers.  Superintendent Kelly added that there was a secondary discussion regarding inclement weather issues.

    • Participated in an Association of Metropolitan School Districts (AMSD) Executive Committee meeting that focused on developing educational White Papers for the next legislature session.

    • Had orientation sessions with newly elected School Board members Molly Lewis and Grant Nichols.

    • Discussed with Director of Finance and Operations Bill Holmgren how Capital funding will be addressed using the 10-year Capital Facilities Plan as a blueprint.  Additionally, the Superintendent said the District will follow the needs addressed in the Capital Project Levy passed November 4, 2014 and that annual feedback will be presented to the School Board and public.

    • Participated in a West Metro Education Program (WMEP) Superintendent's Sub-Committee on the transition of magnet schools.

    • Met with Local 710 union president Carl Lightbody on issues of mutual concern.

    • Had conversations with School Board Chair Scott Bardell and Vice Chair John Larkin.

    • Attended the Taste of Columbia Heights.

    Discussion, Reports and Information Items

    Columbia Academy Building Vision Cards and Contiguous Plan: Director of Teaching and Learning Duane Berkas introduced Columbia Academy Interim Principal Willie Fort and Assistant Principal Rick Ostby.  The two presented information on the Columbia Academy Vision Card, which is aligned to Strategic Plan A (Expand access and opportunities by turbo charging what works and redesigning what needs to be better) and Strategic Plan B (Innovate to close the achievement gap with accountability and efficiency). Information shared included:

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

    Principal Fort and Assistant Principal Ostby also presented information on Columbia Academy's proposal for continuous improvement.  They discussed management issues, including analysis of data, evaluation of programming, development of a plan to address priority needs, creation of the implementation plan and evaluation system and budget adjustments to Title I.  Click here for the combined PowerPoint presentation.

    Disciplinary Incident Reporting System (DIRS) Reporting: Director of Student Services Nicole Halabi and K-12 principals Michele DeWitt (Highland), Jeff Cacek (North Park), Willie Fort (Valley View and Columbia Academy), Dan Wrobleski (Columbia Heights HS), as well as Assistant Principals John Awsumb (ACHEIVE) and Risk Ostby (Columbia Academy), presented information on the DIRS Reporting. To review the PowerPoint presentation, click here.


    Adjusted courses for 2015-2016: Director Berkas and Principal Dan Wrobleski presented the School Board with information on courses for the 2015-2016 school year.  Director Berkas and Principal Wrobleski shared that management issues include the evaluation of impact of current courses, an analysis of anticipated needs of next year’s ninth grade class, an estimation of student interest and need in grades 10 through 12 and the overall evaluation of the course catalogue.  Both speakers stressed with the exception of one class, which is being merged into another, that classes listed as suspended are not being deleted, but may be reenacted based on student enrollment.  Click here for the PowerPoint presentation.

    Valley View Addition Update: Director Holmgren gave an update on the new addition at Valley View Elementary School.  He shared the project is on time and under budget.  Staff are scheduled to start moving into the new facility December 15 with students projected to start in the new classes January 5, 2015. Click on each picture to expand.  Click here for the PowerPoint.

    West Metro Education Program: Superintendent Kelly and Director Holmgren presented information on the West Metro Education Program Joint Powers Agreement bylaws regarding addition/deletion of members.  Because of the extensive details associated with this topic, we recommend watching Superintendent Kelly's explanation (at the time of this newsletter the video is being edited and will be posted to the District video webpage shortly.).

    Action Items  

    Audit Report: The School Board approved the FY2014 Audited Comprehensive Annual Financial Report presented by Director Holmgren and Matt Mayer from the independent audit firm KDV. The report was previously presented at the Nov. 18, 2014 School Board Work Session.  Click here for the PowerPoint.

    Agreement with Northeast Metro 916: The School Board approved the Agreement to Provide Special Education Services and related staffing from NE Metro 916.

    Approval of School Board Organizational Meeting procedures:  The School Board approved the "process for electing a chair based upon Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised 10th Edition," as prepared by District Attorney Karen Kepple, November 29, 2011 and First Monday in January as rules for the Organizational Meeting.

    Key Dates:

    • Nov. 26, No school, District In-Service Day
    • Nov. 27 and 28, No school, District Office closed
    • Dec. 9, 6:30 p.m., Tenured Teacher Recognition, Family Center
    • Dec. 9, 7 p.m., Regular School Board Meeting, Community Room

    Do you have questions or comments?  Click here.

    School Board Standing Committee/School Assignments
    Chair Scott Bardell
    Association of Metropolitan School Districts

    Liaison to City of FridleySchool Board Policy Sub-Committee
    Family Center
    Vice Chair John Larkin
    Minnesota State High School League
    Columbia Heights High School
    Clerk Missy Lee
    Liaison to City of Columbia Heights
    Highland Elementary School
    Treasurer Lori Meyer
    Educational Cooperative Service UnitLiaison to City of Hilltop
    Valley View Elementary School
    Director Ted Landwehr
    West Metro Education Program

    School Board Policy Sub-Committee
    North Park Elementary School

    Director Laura Palmer
    Minnesota School Board Association