• School Board Report
    April 25, 2017 Business Meeting

    Acknowledgement of Contributions 

    Chair John Larkin announced, and the School Board approved, a resolution for accepting current contributions in the amount of $13,592. The total fiscal year 2016-2017 monetary contributions to date is $71,434.54.              


    Reports from Members of the Board

    Little Shop of Horros Chair John Larkin participated in the April 11 Regular Board Meeting, April 18 Work Session the  April 25 Chair Meeting and Listening Session. Chair Larkin participated in the Valley View Elementary School Principal candidate panel. He attended the 2017 Teacher of the Year reception, the Highland Elementary School Fine Arts Night, the Columbia Heights High School (CHHS) musical "Little Shop of Horrors" and a CHHS baseball game. He plans to attend the City of Columbia Heights' Mayor's breakfast.

    Clerk Naty Severson participated in the April 11 Regular Board Meeting and April 18 Work Session. She also attended a Columbia Academy baseball game, participated in Minnesota School Board Association (MSBA) Phase III training and the 2017 Teacher of the Year reception.

    Unified  Director Molly Lewis participated in the April 11 Regular Board Meeting and April 18 Work Session. She met with Vice Chair Palmer, attended the Highland Elementary School Fine Arts Night and the Columbia Academy Special Olympics Unified Team basketball game.

    Director Lorien Mueller participated in the April 11 Regular Board Meeting, April 18 Work Session and the April 25 Listening Session. She attended a Metro Educational Cooperative Service Unit meeting, the Highland Elementary School Fine Arts Night, the CHHS musical and a synchronized swim meet.

    Vice Chair Laura Palmer and Treasurer Hala Asamarai were not present.


    Superintendent's Report 

    Shari Geston Superintendent Kathy Kelly participated in the April 11 Regular Board Meeting, April 18 Work Session and April 25 Chair Meeting. She also attended the 2017 Columbia Heights Teacher of the Year reception and the Holley Lentz fundraiser. Superintendent Kelly complemented the Highland Elementary School staff and PTO for the Fine Arts Night. She also attended the Booster Bingo night. Superintendent Kelly announced that the Valley View Principal Meet and Greet will be 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 27 in the District Center Community Room. She announced that at the annual Professional Administrative Day Valley View Elementary School Principal's Administrative Assistant Shari Gestson (above right) is the 2017 Columbia Heights Public Schools' Employee of the Year. Superintendent Kelly Marcos Ferreira reported that the E-12 team met to address staffing. She congratulated CHHS senior Marcos Ferreira (pictured left) who was offered, and has accepted, an appointment to the United States Air Force Academy. Marcos, who hopes to be a pilot, will join the Class of 2021 this summer. She also congratulated CHHS musicians Senior Nathaniel TwoBears, Freshman Isabella Saldana-Haworth and Sophomore Aiyana Stephens-Moore (pictured bottom right) who earned the highest possible rating at the 2017 Minnesota State High School League Solo and Ensemble Contest. Superintendent Kelly encouraged the public to come and support the Superior students CHHS Drama Department Spring Musical Little Shop of Horrors.  Performances are scheduled for 7 p.m. this Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the CHHS Performing Arts Center. Tickets (students and senior citizens $3 and adults $6) are available at the door. Superintendent Kelly thanked CHHS arts students who volunteered to create and donate more than 150 bowls for this year’s South Anoka Community Association (SACA) Empty Bowls fundraiser. Their bowls were auctioned off with proceeds going to the food shelf to help those in need. The Superintendent announced that Local 710 of Education Minnesota was recognized this past week by the American Federation of Teachers for being a local affiliate for 75 years. Superintendent Kelly also had multiple meetings with School Board members.


    Reports and Information Items

    North Park Elementary School Video

    Director of Communications Casey Mahon introduced and North Park Elementary School Principal Jeff Cacek showed the school's new informational video. The video is aligned with the District's Mission, Core Values, Strategic Roadmap and Comprehensive Communications Plan. In addition to the School Board Report, the video is available on the school's home page, the District Facebook site and the District's Educational Television Channel.

    CHHS choir New York Study Seminar

    Director of Teaching and Learning Zena Stenvik, CHHS Principal Dan Wrobleski and CHHS Sophomore Josh Grover gave a presentation about the March 25 to April 1, 2017 CHHS New York Study Seminar. The purpose of the trip, she shared, was to "take curriculum and academic standards and make them come to life" for the 35 Advanced Art and choir students who participated. Their educational trips included the National September 11 Museum and Memorial, New School College of Performing Arts, Metropolitan Museum of Art and for the choir a performance at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine. View the PowerPoint presentation.

    Overnight and Out-of-State Field Trips

    Director Stenvik and Principal Wrobleski presented a multi-year proposal for the New York Study Seminar. View the PowerPoint presentation.

    AIE elementary program American Indian Education Resolution

    Director of Student Services Laura McLuen provided an update on the American Indian Education (AIE) program and the annual AIE committee resolution of concurrence with programs. View the PowerPoint presentation.

    Technology Annual Capital Project Levy Update

    Director of Finance and Operations Bill Holmgren and Director of Technology and Security Services Bryan Hennekens gave the second year progress update of facility and technology projects funded by the 2014 Capital Projects Levy. View the PowerPoint presentation. Read the Sun Focus technology article

    Capital Improvement Plan

    Director Holmgren provided the annual update to the District's Capital Improvement Plan. View the PowerPoint presentation.

    Board Policies First Reading

    Chair John Larkin shared the following policies will appear on a future agenda for approval:

    413 - Harassment and Violence
    533 - Wellness
    616 - School District System Accountability

    National School Board Association Conference

    School Board Director Severson shared information from the 2017 National School Board Conference, to include workshops, seminars, breakout sessions, presentations, speakers and formal and informal discussions with School Board peers from throughout the United States.


    Action Items

    Adult Basic Education Lease

    The School Board approved the lease for the Adult Basic Education. The current lease for a site on Central Avenue in Columbia Heights expires June 30, 2017. With this in mind, a new location for the program was needed. The site selected is the Northeast Business Building in Columbia Heights, which provides more square footage, improved classroom space and expanded parking at a lower cost to this District and partner Fridley Public Schools. This topic was presented as an informational item at the April 18, 2017 School Board Business Meeting.

    Solar Array

    The School Board approved the Solar Array contract. This was presented as an informational item at the April 11, 2017 School Board Business Meeting.

    Board Topics

    Listening Session

    Chair Larkin reported a parent spoke about the graduation policy, the high school catalog and missing Teaching and Learning webpages. All of these concerns have been addressed. 


    Upcoming Key Dates

    5 p.m. Tuesday, May 9, Sub-committee on Policy Meeting, Superintendent's Conference Room
    7 p.m. Tuesday, May 9, Regular School Board Meeting, Community Room
    5 p.m. Tuesday, May 16, School Board Listening Session, Family Center
    5:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 16, School Board Work Session, Community Room
    7 p.m. Tuesday, May 23, Regular School Board Meeting, Community Room
    May 29, Monday, No School, Memorial Day


    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

    Mission Statement