• School Board 


    April 10, 2018 School Board Work Session


    Superintendent Kathy Kelly, Director of Finance and Operations Kristine Carr, Director of Human Resources Lindsey Bennett and Director of Teaching and Learning Zena Stenvik discussed budget assumptions, Special Education Cross-Subsidy issues, enrollment, programming and increases and efficiencies in different budget line items, all as they apply to staffing for the next fiscal year.

    Closed Session

    In accordance with Minnesota Statute 13D.05; SD 3(b), the School Board met in Closed Session for attorney/client privilege.

    April 10, 2018 Regular School Board Meeting 

    Communication to the School Board 

    Three parents shared or thanked the School Board for considering a possible 2018 bond referendum.

    Reports from Members of the Board

    Students recognized at City Council meeting Chair John Larkin participated in the April 10 Work Session and Chair meetings and a Strategic Roadmap planning session. He invited the public to two Community Conversations (for more information read the news release). Chair Larkin also attended the North Park Fine Arts Festival and a City Council meeting in which three Columbia Heights Public School District students were recognized by the City for helping fight a house fire and saving a woman's life (photo at right).

    Boys BB team Vice Chair Naty Severson participated in the March 13 School Board meeting and the April 10 Work Session and Chair Meeting. She also participated in a Strategic Roadmap planning session and attended Columbia Heights High School Boys' Basketball Team State Tournament games. Vice Chair Severson also had conversations with constituents.

    Treasurer Lorien Mueller participated in the March 13 School Board meeting, the April 10 Work Session and a Strategic Roadmap planning session. She shared she attended the National School Board Association (NSBA) Annual Conference. Treasurer Mueller also attended high school band and choir concerts, the Boys' Basketball Team State Tournament games and a Valley View Elementary School PTO meeting. She also had conversations with constituents.
    Clerk Hala Asamarai participated in the April Work Session Strategic Roadmap planning session, the April 10 Work Session and had conversations with constituents.

    Columbia Heights fans Director Laura Palmer participated in the March 13 School Board meeting, the April 10 Work Session and a Strategic Roadmap planning session. She also attended the NSBA Conference and was proud to represent this District. She also attended high school band and choir concerts. 

    Director Molly Lewis participated in the March 13 School Board meeting and the April 10 Work Session. She also participated in a Strategic Roadmap planning session. Director Lewis attended a Pep Fest and several of the state Boys' Basketball tournament games and a "Girls Night" at Highland Elementary School.

    Superintendent's Report

    Superintendent cheering Superintendent Kathy Kelly participated in the March 13 School Board Meeting and the April 10 Work Session and School Board Chair meetings. She participated in multiple Strategic Roadmap planning sessions. Superintendent Kelly attended three 2018 State Boys’ Basketball Tournament games and congratulated the high school Boys’ Basketball team; the Superintendent also thanked the School Board for its support of K-12 activities. The Superintendent shared she and Columbia Heights High School Principal Dan Wrobleski met with District Attorney Tony Palumbo. She and Human Resources Director Lindsey Bennett met with the Local 710 Education Minnesota President. Superintendent Kelly noted she also attended the NSBA conference and that she had conversations with School Board members.

    Reports and Information Items

    Representatives speaking to the School Board Legislative Update

    State Senator Carolyn Laine and Representatives Connie Bernardy and Mary Kunesh-Podien provided a summary of educational issues during the current legislative session. Among the issues they discussed were possible legislation relating to school district ratings, opioid curriculum, child exploitation and human trafficking, training for teachers of dyslexia students, cultural competencies for teachers and teacher contract deadlines. They also discussed Special Education Cross-Subsidy, school safety, education policy, early childhood, home visit, teacher shortage and career readiness. Pictured left to right: Representative Bernardy, Senator Laine and Representative Kunesh-Podien.

    Eat Up the Debt Challenge

    Director of Communications Casey Mahon shared that the Columbia Heights Public School (CHPS) District is striving to help many of our economically challenged families who are unable to meet their school lunch payments. The goal is $20,000, of which more than $4,000 has been raised primarily through the District. He introduced Nick Zeimet of Community Grounds and Suzanne Sjoselius, Director of Risk Management and Marketing, Northeast Bank, who are leading a citizen’s initiative called “Eat Up the Debt Challenge 2.0 Contemplation.” Mr. Zeimet and Ms. Sjoselius shared they have created a collaborative community initiative to help eliminate the debt.

    View their PowerPoint presentation.

    Adventure Club participant Community Education Adventure Club/Mini Adventure Club Fees

    Director of Finance and Operations Kristine Carr and Director of Community Education Kristin Stuenkel requested the School Board support the Community Education’s Adventure Club and Mini Adventures program’s fee increase for 2018-2019. They said the approximately two-percent increase is necessary to cover payroll and benefit costs for Adventure Club and Mini Adventures staff. Their request is for the following increased rates:

    Adventure Club: After school: $18, Drop-in: 21, Non-School day: $37
    Mini Adventures: Five days: $230, Four Days: $195, Three Days, $153: Two Days: $107, One Day: $55

    View the PowerPoint Presentation. This item will be brought forward as an action item at the next Regular Business Meeting.

    Adult Basic Education students Metro North Adult Basic Education Lease

    Directors Carr and Stuenkel discussed the lease renewal option for the Metro North ABE location at 4111 Central Avenue in Columbia Heights. They shared the lease is up for renewal as of June 30, 2018.  The directors reported that Columbia Heights Public Schools and the Fridley School District have also been reviewing lease options in the community. This topic will be presented as an Action Item at the April 24, 2018 School Board meeting.

    View the presentation.

    Robotics K-12 Activities Program and Procedures Manuals

    Director Carr, Columbia Heights High School Principal Dan Wrobleski and K- 12 Activities Director Antwan Harris presented the School Board the K-12 Activities Program and Procedures' manuals.

    View the PowerPoint Presentation


    Director of Technology and Security Services Bryan Hennekens provided an update on the Administrative process based on the June 27, 2017 School Board approved Resolution to withdraw Columbia Heights Public Schools from its membership with the TIES organization.  The presentation focused on reviewing the products currently used with TIES and where administration is with their work to transition to new systems with other vendors.

    View the PowerPoint presentation.


    Directors Hennekens and Carr presented the School Board with two possible Bond Referendum questions relating to renovations at North Park Elementary School, Columbia Heights High School Performing Arts Center and related renovations. The School Board discussed the issue in-depth and agreed more conversations, including community input, needs to take place. They informally agreed that they are in favor of a bond, but as this presentation was informational the School Board did not take action on this agenda item. 

    View the PowerPoint presentation.

    Action Items

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

    Approved as presented at the March 13, 2018 Regular Business Meeting.

    Health Insurance Bids

    Approved for South Central Service Cooperative.

    Dental Insurance Bids

    Approved for Delta Dental.

    Highland Boiler Bids

    Approved as presented at the March 13, 2018 Regular Business Meeting.

    Board Topics

    Vice Chair Severson shared that a community member invited the public to a Safer Streets Community meeting. Director Palmer mentioned there is a fifth-grade open house at Columbia Academy.

    Upcoming School Board Key Dates

    5 p.m. Tuesday, April 17, School Board Listening Session, Family Center
    5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 17, Strategic Roadmap Community Conversation, Community Room
    7 p.m. Tuesday, April 24, Regular School Board Meeting
    5 p.m. Tuesday, May 8, School Board Sub-Committee on Policy, Superintendent's Conference Room
    7 p.m., Tuesday, May 8, Regular School Board Meeting

    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