• Nov. 10, 2015 Regular Business Meeting

      Discussion, Reports, Information Items

      Four of the six candidates for the open School Board seat vacated when former Director Lori Meyer resigned participate in a Candidate Forum, Monday, Nov. 9, 2015. Click above to watch it on the CHPS YouTube channel.
      Chair John Larkin attended the School Board Candidate Forum, went to high school conferences, had multiple meetings with Superintendent Kathy Kelly, met with Directors Molly Lewis and Laura Palmer and attended the Strikers adaptive soccer team (pictured right) game in which they advanced to the state finals.
    • Vice Chair Ted Landwehr attended the School Board Candidate Forum, participated and reported out on West Metro Education Program Executive Committee, Joint Powers Board and Association of Metropolitan School Districts meetings.  He also attended a School Law conference, a Chamber of Commerce meeting and will be attending the Minnesota School Board Association Pre-Delegate Assembly.

    • Treasurer Molly Lewis attended the School Board Candidate Forum, a unified bullying event at Columbia Academy, a Parent Advisory Council for Special Education meeting and attended high school conferences. She also went, with North Park Elementary School teacher Coleman Nemerov, on a home visit and watched the Strikers adaptive soccer team playoff victory.

    • Clerk Laura Palmer participated in a NE Metro Intermediate District 916 Board Meeting.

    • Superintendent Kathy Kelly attended the School Board Candidate Forum and, with Highland Elementary School Principal Michelle DeWitt and Director of Community Education Kristen Stuenkel, participated in a Pre-K Principal's Early Learning Series focused on early learning. She attended the Columbia Heights High School National Honor Society induction ceremony, met with the District team on architectural and future facilities planning and separately the District Negotiation's Team.  She met with legislators representing CHPS on issues affecting this District. Superintendent Kelly reported that the E-12 first round of non-tenured teacher evaluations took place; she also attended AMSD Board of Directors and WMEP Superintendent Advisory meetings.  She also met and talked with various School Board members.
    Tenured Teacher recognition: The following licensed faculty were introduced and recognized for achieving tenure status in the District as of July 1, 2015:

    Alicia Bjork
    North Park Elementary School
    Jessica Booker
    Todd Boyd
    Columbia Academy
    Chris Buzzetta
    Community Education
    Emily Gartner
    Valley View Elementary School
    Karen Hartman
    North Park Elementary School
    Amanda Jones
    Columbia Academy
    Aaron Kennedy
    Columbia Academy
    Dan Laskowski Columbia Academy Christine McCarthy
    Highland Elementary School
    Dan Ronchak Columbia Heights High School Isabel Rowles
    Highland Elementary School
    Amber Wrobleski
    Columbia Academy/North Park Elementary School
    Early College - Post Secondary Success: Interim Director of Teaching and Learning Zena Stenvik and Columbia Heights High School (CHHS) Principal Dan Wrobleski reported where the District and CHHS are in the process of developing concurrent enrollment opportunities for high school students.  Click here for their PowerPoint presentation.

    Advanced Placement (AP) and ACT: Interim Director Stenvik and Principal Wrobleski briefed the School Board on the 2015 AP and ACT results for CHHS students.  Principal Wrobleski reported that 186 CHHS students, up from 101 the previous year, took the ACT test. For Advanced Placement, 233 students took the test, up from 164 the previous year.  Click here for their PowerPoint presentation that provides additional details.

    CHHS Vision Card: Principal Wrobleski provided the annual Vision Card update to the District Strategic Plan. He briefed the School Board 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 Wrobleski's PowerPoint presentation.

    School Store: Principal Wrobleski, Director of K-12 Activities and Athletics Matt Miller and Director of Finance and Operations Bill Holmgren shared that the purpose of the newly created store is to promote school pride within the District and its three communities with Columbia Heights Public Schools apparel. The "physical" school store is open two days a week before and after school and the "online" store is available 24/7/365. Click here to access and purchase your Heights Pride apparel through the School Store.

    Summer Program:
    Director of Student Services Nicole Halabi, Interim Director Stenvik and Director of Community Education Kristen Stuenkel provided data on CHPS summer 2015 programs, including Bridges to Kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school levels. Click here for their PowerPoint presentation.

    Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) financial reporting:
    Director Holmgren provided the GASB financial report, which includes information on Teacher's Retirement Association (TRA) and Public Employee Retirement Association (PERA). The primary objective of GASB is to improve accounting and financial reporting by state and local governments, including school districts, for pensions. Statement No. 68, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions, establishes accounting and financial reporting requirements for governments that provide their employees with pensions.  Click here for Director Holmgren's PowerPoint presentation.

     Action Items


    Teacher's contract: The School Board approved an agreement between the School District and Columbia Heights Federation of Teachers Local 710 covering the school years 2015-2016 and 2016-2017.

    Resolution for Special Election Judges: The School approved a resolution for Special Election Judges for the vacant seats created with the resignation of former Directors Lori Meyer and Grant Nichols.

    Appointment of School Board representatives: The School Board approved appointments to standing committees due to the resignation of former Director Nichols (see assignments at the bottom of this page), with the exception of the Educational Services Cooperative Unit, which will be addressed at the January 2016 Organizational Meeting.  The School Board agreed not to appoint a member for the Sub Committee on Policy until a date to be determined in 2016.and the School Board Policy Sub Committee

     Closed Session


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

      Key Dates

    • Nov. 17, 5 p.m. School Board Listening Session, Family Center
    • Nov. 17, 5:30 p.m. School Board Work Session, Community Room
    • Nov. 24, 7 p.m. Regular School Board Meeting, Community Room
    • Nov. 26 & 27, No School - Thanksgiving Holiday
    • Dec. 1, School Board Special Election Primary
    • Dec. 8, 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
    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