• School Board Report
    Jan. 17, 2017 Work Session

    Nicole Halabi and Laura McLuen Student Services Transition

    Superintendent Kathy Kelly reported Director of Student Services Nicole Halabi is retiring and as such a leadership change is in progress for that department. Supt. Kelly introduced Interim Director Dr. Laura McLuen who provided an overview of her professional background and a summary of the position and the transition.

    Strategic Roadmap Governance Issues

    Superintendent Kathy Kelly led a discussion of governance issues the School Board may address in the coming year.  The list includes a potential facility bond referendum, approval of the annual budget, the discontinuance of programs and positions, revisiting the District's Strategic Roadmap, student enrollment study, class size study, integration, student achievement and the state desegregation lawsuit, facility review and improvements, TIES membership and student transportation. 

    2017-2018 Budget

    Director of Finance and Operations Bill Holmgren facilitated a discussion on the District's Fund Balance, Special Education Cross-Subsidy challenge and budget assumptions (revenues and expenditures). Director Holmgren said the fiscal challenge will be to resolve a difference between revenues and expenditures for the 2017-2018 Budget. 

    Discontinuance of Programs and Positions Resolutions

    Superintendent Kelly, Director Holmgren and Director of Human Resources Lindsey Bennett provided an annual update on the management process and the steps for the School Board to adopt a resolution to direct the Superintendent and Administration to consider discontinuing programs and positions to increase efficiencies and reduce expenditures to balance the District's budget. This item will be voted on as an Action Item at a future School Board meeting.

    Facility Bond Referendum

    Director Holmgren and Director of Technology and Security Services Bryan Hennekens provided the School Board with updated information relating to necessary improvements to the Performing Arts Center at Columbia Heights High School. A Community Survey on the subject was conducted last year with the results helping to guide recommendations and decision-making. The discussion included governance questions the School Board will need to consider as it relates to a possible facility bond referendum. This topic was discussed at previous School Board meetings and Work Sessions in 2016. 

    Performing Arts Curriculum

    Director of Teaching and Learning Zena Stenvik and Director Hennekens provided an overview of the updated curriculum for musical theater programming. They discussed governance issues and provided an informational update on curriculum and a review of Minnesota Academic Standards. Director Stenvik said the primary purpose of the Performing Arts Studio (PAS) is to provide performance and rehearsal space for drama, theater and Performing Arts Studio tour musical theater curriculum and to work in conjunction with high school TV production curriculum. They also discussed the creation of the PAS, including the necessary design elements, and how it will be educationally used throughout the year to strengthen the District's performing arts programming. 

    Performing Arts Studio (PAS) 

    Director Holmgren, Director Hennekens and Director Stenvik led a tour of the new Performing Arts Studio located in Columbia Heights High School (see photo with Director Hennekens, Superintendent Kelly, School Board Clerk Naty Severson and School Board Director Lorien Mueller).

    Upcoming Key Dates

    7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24, School Board Regular Board Meeting, Community Room
    Friday, Jan. 27, No school 
    7 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 31, School Board Governance Training, Community Room


    School Board Committee Assignments

    Chair John Larkin: Columbia Heights Business Council, School Board Policy Sub-Committee and Liaison to North Park Elementary School.

    Vice Chair Laura Palmer: Association of Metropolitan School Districts, Minnesota School Board Association Legislative Liaison, NE Metro Intermediate District 916 Board and Liaison to the Family Center.

    Clerk Naty Severson: Minnesota State High School League, Liaison to City of Columbia Heights, School Board Policy Sub-Committee and Liaison to Columbia Heights High School.

    Treasurer Hala Asamarai: TIES, School Board Policy Sub-Committee and Liaison to Highland Elementary School.

    Director Molly Lewis: Liaison to the City of Fridley and Liaison to Columbia Academy.

    Director Lorien Mueller: Educational Cooperative Service Unit, Liaison to the City of Hilltop and Liaison to Valley View Elementary School.


    For more information on the School Board Report, call or email Communications Director Casey Mahon at 763-528-4503 or mahonc@colheights.k12.mn.us

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