• School Board 


    March 13, 2018 Regular School Board Meeting 

    Hylander Highlights

    Kira Greenfield and Naty Severson The School Board recognized 14 Columbia Heights High School Art students who earned a total of 21 Gold Key, Silver Key and Honorable Mention awards at the 2018 Minnesota Scholastic Arts Awards. The art students – taught by CHHS Art Teachers Dane Hodges and Sarah Honeywell – earned two Gold Key awards, five Silver Key awards and 14 Honorable Mentions. Senior Kira Greenfield (pictured) attended this meeting and was recognized by the School Board. To know more about the students who won Minnesota Scholastic Arts Awards, read the news release.  

    Communication to the School Board 

    Four parents and a student spoke to the School Board regarding a discontinued language class. A teacher extended an invitation to attend the Youth Art Month display, which recognizes Columbia Heights Public School students for their achievements, during March, at Community Grounds (650 50th Avenue NE) in Columbia Heights.

    Acknowledgement of Contributions 

    Vice Chair Naty Severson announced, and the School Board approved, a resolution for accepting current contributions in the amount of $6,723. The total fiscal year contributions to date is $19,747.45.

    Reports from Members of the Board

    Chair John Larkin was not present.

    Vice Chair Naty Severson participated in the Feb. 27, 2018 Regular Board Meeting and the March 13 Board Chair Meeting. Vice Chair Severson had conversations with Chair Larkin, Member Asamarai, Superintendent Kelly and constituents.

    Columbia Academy jazz band Treasurer Lorien Mueller participated in the Feb. 27, 2018 Regular Board Meeting. She helped organize, attended and thanked volunteers and students for the inaugural Performing Arts Night sponsored by the Columbia Heights Music Boosters (photo of Columbia Academy Jazz Band). Treasurer Mueller attended Columbia Academy and Columbia Heights High School (CHHS) conferences, a PTO meeting at Columbia Academy and the CHHS band concert. She also had discussions with Chair Larkin.
    Clerk Hala Asamarai participated in the Feb. 27, 2018 Regular Board Meeting. Clerk Asamarai attended CHHS conferences and had conversations with Vice Chair Severson, Director Mueller and constituents.

    Director Laura Palmer participated in the Feb. 27, 2018 Regular Board Meeting. She also participated in a NE Metro Intermediate District 916 Board Meeting and attended the CHHS band concert.

    Director Molly Lewis participated in the Feb. 27, 2018 Regular Board Meeting,  She also attended Columbia Academy and CHHS conferences, the Performing Arts Night and a boys' basketball game.

    Dylan Lentz Superintendent's Report

    Superintendent Kathy Kelly attended a portion of the Performing Arts Night and thanked Board Member Mueller and other volunteers for their support for the inaugural event. The Superintendent attended the state wrestling tournament and congratulated Dylan Lentz, Manny Alvarez and Edwin Pesantez for competing. She shared that Dylan (pictured) finished fifth in his weight class and that Manny made it to the semi-finals, but was unable to compete due to an injury and that he finished sixth in his weight class. She shared thBoys' basketball e Hylanders' boys' basketball team will compete in the Section Finals against Mahtomedi, 7 p.m., Thursday, March 15 at Washington Tech. The Superintendent invited the public to a Youth Arts Month reception, 7 p.m. March 15 at Community Grounds in Columbia Heights. She also offered a reminder that the Columbia Heights Chipotle will donate 50 percent of its Eat Up the Debt sales from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday, March 19 (see below). Superintendent Kelly lastly announced the District's Facebook site is experiencing technical issues, currently is not active, but is being worked by the Communications and Technology departments. The Superintendent also had meetings with School Board members.

    Reports and Information Items

    Resolution Authorizing Intermedia District 916 to Apply for Federal E-Rate Discounts and Telecommunications/Internet Access Equity Aid on Behalf of the District

    Director of Technology and Security Bryan Hennekens briefed the School Board that Intermediate District 916, which provides specialized educational support to this District, is applying for Federal E-Rate discounts and telecommunications/Internet access equity. This resolution will be brought forward as an Action Item at the April 10, 2018 Business Meeting.

    Explanation of Unrequested Leave of Absence (ULA) Process

    Director of Human Resources Lindsey Bennett and Director of Finance and Operations Kristine Carr presented information on the ULA process in accordance with Minnesota State Statute 122A.40. They reported that an identified list of licensed staff who will be placed on an Unrequested Leave of Absence may be brought forward at a future Business Meeting as an Action Item if needed.

    2018-2019 Budget

    Director Carr, consistent with School Board Policy 714, discussed budget parameters and assumptions for the 2018-2019 school year. View the PowerPoint presentation.

    Highland Elementary School Boiler Bids

    Director Carr shared sealed bids for a boiler replacement were opened March 8 and from these there will be a recommendation, as an Action Item at the April 10 Business Meeting, to award the project to NAC Mechanical. The project is funded with Long Term Facility Maintenance dollars and is included in the next budget.

    Special Education Cross-Subsidy

    Director Carr provided an update on the District's Special Education Cross-Subsidy. The Special Education Cross-Subsidy measures the difference between Special Education expenditures and corresponding revenues. These required costs, incurred by every public school district in Minnesota, are for services mandated by the state for Special Education students. Put more simply, it is money from the District’s General Fund Budget that is needed to cover the underfunded mandates for Special Education. As of 2017, Columbia Heights Public Schools has an approximate $5.7 million in Special Education Cross-Subsidy. View the PowerPoint presentation. The Association of Metropolitan School Districts has created a video that helps describe the challenges and needs related to this issue. Read more on the District's Special Education Cross-Subsidy website page.

    Safe Schools Resolution

    Director of Technology and Security Services Bryan Hennekens explained that the recent school shooting tragedy in Florida prompted several parents to request the School Board to address the issue as it applies to Columbia Heights Public Schools. A resolution has been prepared that provides quantitative and qualitative background support that addresses the need for State and Federal bipartisan safe school prevention legislation as it applies to public schools and specifically this school district with adequate funding. If approved by the School Board, the Resolution will be sent to state and Federal legislators representing the Columbia Heights Public School District. The resolution will be further discussed at the next School Board Work Session.

    Action Items

    Repeal of Policy 704 - Development and Maintenance of Inventory of Fixed Assets and a Fixed Assets Account System

    At tonight's meeting the School Board repealed this policy as it is being replaced (see below).

    Policies: Second Reading

    As presented at the Feb. 27, 2018 meeting, the School Board approved the following policies at tonight's meeting:

     - Development and Maintenance of Inventory of Fixed Assets and a Fixed Assets Accounting System
    805 - Waste Reduction and Recycling

    Achievement and Integration Program Budget

    As presented at the Feb. 27, 2018 meeting, at tonight's meeting the School Board approved this budget.

    Board Topics

    Director Mueller shared there will be a high school choir concert, Monday, March 19 starting at 7 p.m.

    Upcoming Key Dates

    5 p.m. Tuesday, March 20, School Board Listening Session, Family Center
    5:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 20, School Board Work Session, Community Room
    March 26-30, No School (Spring Break) 
    7 p.m. Tuesday, April 10, Regular School Board Meeting, Community Room

    Chipotle fund raiser

    March 19 Chipotle Fundraiser Supporting
    The Eat Up the Debt Campaign

    The Chipotle Restaurant, located at 5200 Central Avenue in Columbia Heights, has approved a fundraiser from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday, March 19, 2018.  The restaurant will donate 50 percent of all sales, above $300 in purchases, which will then be donated to the District's Eat Up The Debt campaign. To participate, all you have to do is go to the restaurant and when ordering do one of the following: 

    • Download and print the graphic, bring it to the restaurant and present it when ordering, or
    • Tell the cashier your order is going toward the Eat Up The Debt Campaign.

    All purchases for the fundraiser must be at the restaurant.

    The District's “Eat Up the Debt Challenge” is ongoing until the goal of $20,000 is reached. As of Feb. 20, more than $2,300 has been raised. With your help we can help qualified economically challenged District families erase their National School Lunch Program debt.

    School Board Committee Assignments

    Chair John Larkin: Columbia Heights Business Council, School Board Policy Sub- Committee, Liaison to the City of Hilltop and Columbia Academy.

    Vice Chair Naty Severson: Association of Metropolitan School Districts, School Board Policy Sub-Committee and Liaison to the City of Fridley and Valley View Elementary School.

    Treasurer Lorien Mueller: Educational Cooperative Service Unit and Liaison to North Park Elementary School.

    Clerk Hala Asamarai: TIES, School Board Policy Sub-Committee, Liaison to City of Columbia Heights and the Family Center.

    Director Laura Palmer: NE Metro Intermediate District 916 Board, School Board Policy Sub-Committee and Liaison to Columbia Heights High School.

    Director Molly Lewis: Minnesota School Board Association Legislative Liaison, Minnesota State High School League and Liaison to Highland 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