September 8, 2015 Regular Business Meeting

     Heights Lites

    Director of Communications Casey Mahon (left) with School Board Chair John Larkin at the Sept. 8, 2015 Regular Business Meeting.
    The School Board honored the Communications Department for receiving three international awards from the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA).  The District department earned an Award of Excellence for the 2014-2015 Calendar, an Award of Merit for comprehensive branding and an Award of Honorable Mention for the 2014 World's Best Work Force Annual Report. NSPRA is a professional organization dedicated to building support and trust for education through responsible public relations that leads to success for all students.
     Communication to the Board

    Superintendent Kathy Kelly reported that emails have been received regarding a complaint against a Columbia Heights School Board member.  The School Board will meet in a Special Called Meeting, 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 15, in accordance with Minnesota Statute 13D.04 Sub. 2, to address the issue.  Click here for agenda.

     Discussion, Reports, Information Items

    • Chair Larkin welcomed all employees at Convocation.
      School Board Directors Ted Landwehr (left)
      Grant Nichols and Molly Lewis attended the Convocation and All-Staff Picnic.
      Chair John Larkin attended the Convocation followed by the All-Staff Picnic, met with Superintendent Kelly, attended Columbia Academy and Columbia Heights High School open houses, had several discussions with School Board directors and attended a home football game.
    • Vice Chair Ted Landwehr attended the  Convocation and All-Staff Picnic, participated with Superintendent Kelly in a School Board Chair's meeting, attended the Chamber of Commerce breakfast for new teachers, a Columbia Heights' Business Council breakfast meeting at Valley View Elementary School and participated in a West Metro Education Program executive meeting.

    • Treasurer Molly Lewis attended the new employee orientation, the Convocation and All-Staff Picnic, Columbia Academy and Highland Elementary School open houses and several junior and varsity football games.

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

    • Director Grant Nichols attended the Convocation and All-Staff Picnic, had discussions with other School Board directors and attended a high school football game.
    Teacher of the Year: The School Board welcomed 2015 Columbia Heights Teacher of the Year and North Park Elementary School First-Grade Teacher Coleman Nemerov (pictured with Chair Larkin).  Mr. Nemerov has taught in Columbia Heights Public Schools for 24 years.  His first 12 years he taught at Highland Elementary School; the last 12 at North Park.  He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Carleton College and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Minnesota.  He also has a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Minnesota.  With his selection he will represent this school District for the Minnesota Teacher of the Year award. 
    Columbia Heights Police Department Records Technician Ramon Gomez, Nicole Herje (center) and CHPD Office Manager Karen Olson fill backpacks with bags of food May 1, as part of the Sheridan Story Project. 

    Bonnie Lohman (far right) teaches Mini-Adventure students how to garden.
    Sheridan Story Project: Director of Community Education Kristen Stuenkel, Director of Student Services Nicole Halabi and Columbia Academy Social Worker Nicole Herje presented information on the Sheridan Story Project (first photo).  Click here for their PowerPoint presentation.

    Agriculture Education: Director Stuenkel and Agriculture Specialist Bonnie Lohman presented information on the Districtwide agriculture education program. The two shared examples of how classes from early childhood through high school are tying lessons in the garden to curriculum (second photo). The presentation also included information about “Topics in Food and Natural Resources,” the new seminars at Columbia Heights High School on agriculture education and careers.  Click here for their PowerPoint presentation.

      Closed Session

    In accordance with Minn. Stat. §13D.03, the School Board met in Closed Session to discuss negotiations strategy.

     Action Items

    Constitution Week: The School Board adopted a resolution stating that Columbia Heights Public Schools will celebrate the week of September 17th through 23rd, 2015 as Constitution Week

    Employee Handbook:
    The School Board approved the 2015-2016 Employee Handbook. Director of Human Resources Lindsey Bennett provided the School Board an overview at the August 25, 2015 Business Meeting.

    Appointment of School Board representatives: The School Board approved the following appointments of School Board representatives to standing committees due to the resignation of former-Director Lori Meyer.  These temporary appointments will stay in effect until a new School Board Director takes the oath of office this coming January:

    Ted Landwehr: Association of Metropolitan School Districts
    Grant Nichols: Liaison to City of Hilltop
    Molly Lewis: Liaison to Family Center

      Key Dates

    • Sept. 15, Tuesday, 5 p.m., Listening Session, Family Center
    • Sept. 15, Tuesday, 5:30 p.m., Special Meeting, School Board Work Session immediately following, Community Room
    • Sept. 22, Tuesday, 5 p.m. School Board Special Election filing closes
    • Sept. 22, Tuesday, 7 p.m., Regular School Board Meeting, Community Room
    • Oct. 13, 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
    Liaison to Highland ES

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

    Open Position
    Association of Metropolitan School Districts
    Liaison to City of Hilltop
    Liaison to Family Center

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

    Clerk Laura Palmer
    NE Metro Intermediate District 916 Board

    Columbia Heights Business Council
    Liaison to North Park ES

    Director Grant Nichols
    Educational Services Cooperative Unit
    Liaison to City of Columbia Heights
    School Board Policy Sub-Committee
    Liaison to Columbia Academy