• Dec. 8, 2015 Regular Business Meeting

      Heights Lites

    The School Board honored the Columbia Heights High School (CHHS) Herald student newspaper staff and teacher Jill Jungers for winning a Gold Medallion Award and a Best of Show recognition from the Minnesota State High School Press Association.  Ms. Jungers and six of the student newspaper staff attended the Dec. 8 meeting where they were recognized by the School Board. Click here for the news release.

      Acknowledgement of Contributions

    Chair John Larkin announced, and the School Board approved, a resolution for accepting current contributions in the amount of $325.  The total fiscal year 2015-2016 monetary contributions to date are $19,532.19.

      Discussion, Reports, Information Items

    • Chair John Larkin participated in the Nov. 24, 2015 Business Meeting, and the Dec. 3, 2015 Special Called School Board meeting to canvass votes from the Dec. 1 Special Election 1 Primary (click here for more information).  He also led the School Board Chair meeting.
    • Vice Chair Ted Landwehr participated in the Nov. 24, 2015 Business Meeting, attended the Minnesota School Board Association (MSBA) Delegate Assembly, a West Metro Education Program (WEMP) Executive Committee meeting and an Association of Metropolitan School Districts (AMSD) meeting. He met with Superintendent Kathy Kelly, attended the Board Chair meeting,   had conversations with School Board members and several constituents.

    • Treasurer Molly Lewis participated in the Nov. 24, 2015 Business meeting and the Dec. 3 Special Called School Board meeting.

    • Clerk Laura Palmer participated in the Nov. 24, 2015 Business meeting and Dec. 3 Special Called School Board meeting and gave updates on NE Metro Intermediate District 916 (Ms. Palmer is a member of that District's Board).

    • Superintendent Kathy Kelly participated in the Nov. 24, 2015 Business meeting, the Dec. 3 Special Called meeting and the Board Chair meeting.  She reported that the District Administrative Team continues to develop an aquatic safety policy to possibly be presented at a later date for recommended action.  She reported that a District team met with Local 710 License Labor Management representatives, that she met with the executive directors of MSBA and AMSD on the subject of elections and that she participated in a meeting with St. Anthony/New Brighton school district representatives regarding the summer writing seminar programSuperintendent Kelly reported that the E-12 team met for additional professional development on American Indian Education and at that meeting North Park Elementary School Principal Jeff Cacek and a representative of the Cunningham Group Architecture, Inc., presented on a national research project on that school's Learning Studios and the impact on student learning.  She also reported that Director of Finance and Operations Bill Holmgren and she met with Vice Chair Landwehr and that she had discussions with two internal superintendent mentees (both of whom are working on their superintendent licenses).

    Vision Card: North Park Elementary School Principal Jeff Cacek provided the annual Vision Card update of the school to the District Strategic Plan. Principal Cacek briefed on the following:
    • Enrollment Data
    • Demographic Data
    • Achievement Data
    • Implementation Data
    • Focus area updates: Programs and strategies
    • Outreach: Parents and community
    • Looking ahead: Goals and planning
    Click here for Principal Cacek's PowerPoint presentation.

      Pay Equity Report

    Director of Human Resources Lindsey Bennett (right) briefed the School Board that public institutions are required to report salary information on employees to assure that these institutions are not discriminating against female employees in compensation practices. Director Bennett said the State of Minnesota requires all public institutions to submit a pay equity report every three years; the District is currently working with a consultant (Springsted, Inc.) on the report, which will be presented at the Jan. 12, 2016 School Board Meeting as an action item.  Click here for the PowerPoint presentation.

      Discontinuance of Programs and Positions

    Director Bennett and Director of Finance and Operations Bill Holmgren (right) presented the School Board with a resolution directing the Superintendent and administration to consider the discontinuance of programs and positions and curtailment of programs or positions, for the 2016-2017 school year, "to effectuate economies and efficiencies in the School District and reduce expenditures as necessary." This request will be listed as an action item on the Jan. 12, 2016 School Board agenda.

      Early Childhood College and Career Guide

    Click here for Early Childhood
    and Career Guide

    Director of Community Education Kristen Stuenkel and Director of Communications Casey Mahon briefed the School Board on the last in the series of the College and Career Guides. The Early Childhood College and Career Guide, completed in early December, includes practical information for early childhood parents, to include the following:
    • Pathway academic benchmarks
    • Life Skills
    • Encouraging Self-Reliance and Success in Young Children
    • Steps to Reading Success
    • Steps to Math Success
    • Practical tips, goal setting and next steps
    This publication is the first of four (Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle School and High School) college and career guides produced by the Community Education, Teaching and Learning and Communications departments.

      West Metro Education Program (WMEP)

    Superintendent Kelly, Interim Director Stenvik and Director Holmgren presented information on West Metro Education Program changes and how these are or may affect customer service to Columbia Heights Public Schools.  Their detailed presentation included a recommendation to the School Board to consider continuation of WMEP membership.  Click here for the PowerPoint presentation.  

      Truth in Taxation hearing

    Director Holmgren provided the annual required public hearing on the School District budget. There was one community member who spoke to the School Board.  Director Holmgren's presentation included information on:
    • Current year budget versus prior year revenue and expenditures
    • Minnesota school district tax levy
    • Enrollment
    • Net Tax Capacity tax rate times property value
    • Sales Ratio
    • Adjusted Net Tax Capacity
    • Levys
    Click here for the PowerPoint presentation.

      Action Items


    New/Suspended/Deleted Courses: The School Board approved the list of new, suspended or deleted courses as presented at the Nov. 24, 2015 Regular Business Meeting (click here for the list of classes).

    Heights Lites name change
    The School Board approved changing the name of the recognition program to ‘‘Hylander Highlights.’’ 

    Pay Levy: Following up on the Truth in Taxation hearing presented earlier in this meeting, the School Board approved the 2015-2016 Pay Levy.

    Police Liaison contract
    The School Board approved a new Police Liaison contract as presented at the Nov. 24, 2015 Regular Business Meeting.

    Castle Heights Bridge Team: The School Board approved the recommendation for Columbia Heights Public Schools' community representative co-chair, Mary Granlund and the District representative co-chair, Highland Elementary School Principal Michele DeWitt for the Castle Heights Site Bridge Team. The School Board also approved recommendations for the Bridge Team schedule. (click here for the PowerPoint presentation).

    Superintendent's Contract
    : The School Board approved a three-year contract, beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, for Superintendent of Schools Kathy Kelly.

    School Board Organizational Meeting Procedures: The School Board approved the "process for electing a school board chairperson based upon Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised 10th Edition" and "First Monday in January" as prepared by Minnesota School Board Association as procedures for the Organizational Meeting.

      Closed Session


    In accordance with Minn. Stat. §13D.03, the School Board met in closed session for the item on the agenda for the purpose of discussing negotiations strategy

      Key Dates

    • Dec. 15, 7 p.m., Special Called School Board Meeting
    • Dec. 24 to Jan. 4., No school (Winter Break)
    • Jan. 5, 8 p.m., School Board Organizational Meeting, Community Room
    • Jan. 12, 7 p.m., Regular School Board Meeting, Community Room
    • Jan. 19, 5 p.m., School Board Listening Session
    • Jan. 19, 5:30 p.m., School Board Work Session, Community Room
    Do you have questions or comments?  Click here.

      School Board standing committee assignments

    Chair John Larkin
    Liaison to City of Fridley
    Liaison to City of Hilltop
    School Board Policy Sub-Committee
    Liaison to Highland ES

    Vice Chair Ted Landwehr
    Minnesota School Board Association
    West Metro Education Program
    Association of Metropolitan School Districts
    Liaison to Valley View ES

    Open Position

    Treasurer Molly Lewis
    Minnesota State High School League
    Liaison to City of Columbia Heights
    School Board Policy Sub-Committee
    Liaison to Columbia Heights HS

    Liaison to Family Center
    Liaison to Columbia Academy

    Clerk Laura Palmer
    NE Metro Intermediate District 916 Board

    Columbia Heights Business Council
    Liaison to North Park ES

    Open Position
    Educational Services Cooperative Unit

    School Board Policy Sub-Committee