• School Board 


    May 22, 2018  

    Dylan Lentz with John Larkin Hylander Highlights

    The School Board honored 2018 Athena Award winner Kira Greenfield and 2018 Oscar Eng winner Dylan Lentz. The Athena Award recognizes an outstanding senior young female athlete from each of the Minneapolis area high schools by honoring each woman for her achievements in one or several sports. The Oscar Eng award goes to an outstanding senior male student at Columbia Heights High School who has excelled in extracurricular activities and demonstrated consistent leadership qualities. Pictured at right is Board Chair John Larkin and Dylan Lentz (Greenfield was unable to attend).

    Communication to the Board

    A community member spoke on the subject of the proposed Bond Referendum (see agenda item below).

    Acknowledgment of Contributions 

    Chair John Larkin announced, and the School Board approved, a resolution for accepting current contributions in the amount of $12,071.26. The total fiscal year contributions to date is $64,274.21.

    Reports from Members of the Board

    Family at Expressions elementary opening Chair Larkin participated in the May 15 School Board Work Session and the May 22 Chair Meeting. He attended the Expressions Art Shows, a Columbia Heights High School (CHHS) band concert and a CHHS baseball game. He also had multiple conversations with constituents.

    Vice Chair Naty Severson participated in the May 15 Work Session and the May 22 Chair Meeting. She attended the annual Expressions Secondary Art Show, softball and baseball games, met parents at the State Capital and had conversations with community members.

    Treasurer Lorien Mueller participated in the May 15 Work Session and a School Board Listening Session. She attended a Valley View Elementary School PTO meeting and that school's carnival. Ms. Mueller also attended the Expressions Art Shows, CHHS band concerts, Columbia Academy choir concert and had conversations with community members.

    Clerk Hala Asamarai was not in attendance.
    Molly Lewis in role-playing exercise
    Director Molly Lewis participated in the May 15 Work Session and a CHHS mock car crash (a collaborative effort to remind students of safety during Prom). She attended several CHHS track meets and had conversations with constituents.

    Director Laura Palmer participated in the May 15 Work Session and a Listening Session. She attended a CHHS band concert and had conversations with constituents.

    Superintendent's Report

    Expressions Art Show_Elementary Superintendent Kathy Kelly participated in the May 15 Work Session and the May 22 Board Chair meeting. She also participated in a NorthEast Metro 916 seminar on school safety. The Superintendent attended the elementary and secondary Expression Art Show openings at Silverwood, the annual District American Indian Education Program Pow Wow, a PTA meeting at North Park and a PTA meeting Valley Pow Wow dancing View Elementary Schools. She thanked the City of Columbia Heights, the Columbia Heights Police Department Association and the Fridley, Columbia Heights Rotary Club for donating seven bikes, helmets and locks to Valley View Elementary School and Columbia Academy students. The Superintendent shared that a matching Eat Up the Debt Challenge is taking place now through May 31 with a goal of raising $6,000, which will be matched by an anonymous donor. She thanked members of the District Management Team who volunteered to serve CHHS seniors their prom dinner. 

    Reports and Information Items

    Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO) Certificate of Excellence in Finance Reporting

    Director of Finance and Operations Kristine Carr shared the department earned its 11th consecutive ASBO Certificate of Excellence in Finance Report Award (Read the press release).

    Strategic Direction E: Tell Our Story

    Jamboree advertisement Director of Technology and Security Services Bryan Hennekens provided the School Board with the annual Strategic Roadmap Direction E update. The presentation included reporting out on six questions with an overall score comparison to the previous year. 

    View the PowerPoint presentation.

    Climate Survey 

    Director of Teaching and Learning Zena Stenvik, Highland Elementary School Principal Michele DeWitt and Valley View Elementary School Principal Ed Fellows provided the results of the Comprehensive School Climate Survey. Director Stenvik said that this national climate survey was given every other year to elementary and secondary schools, but this year students in grades 5, 7 and 9 were included. Director Stenvik shared there was more student feedback received in the 2018 survey. Going forward, she said, these grade levels will be surveyed each year in order to collect consistent annual data.

    View the PowerPoint presentation.

    Policies First Reading

    413 - Harassment and Violence
    504 - Student Dress and Appearance
    509 - Enrollment of Non-Resident Students
    513 - Student Standard Grade Promotion, Grade Retention and Accelerated Grade Promotion
    514 - Bullying Prohibition
    515 - Protection and Privacy of Public Records
    521 - Student Disability Non-Discrimination
    523 - Policies Incorporated by Reference
    525 - Violence Prevention
    526 - Hazing Prohibition
    540 - Kindergarten Early Entry

    These policies will appear on a future School Board agenda as Action Items.

    Action Items

    Minnesota Department of Human Rights Agreement

    Superintendent Kelly and District Attorney Karen Kepple reviewed with the School Board that the Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR) has been studying student discipline across the state. They reported that this District has acknowledged there are areas for growth and MDHR has recognized that this District has been already doing some things to improve. They shared the District will implement new strategies to improve suspensions on students of color and disabilities. This agreement is effective for two years. The School Board approved the agreement.

    Long Term Facility Maintenance (Columbia Heights Public Schools)

    Approved as presented at the May 8 meeting.

    Long Term Facility Maintenance Resolution (Northeast Metro 916)

    Approved as presented at the May 8 meeting.

    Food Service Management Contract

    Approved as presented at the May 8 meeting.

    Resolution Relating to the Issuance of School Building Bonds and Calling an Election Thereon

    Directors Hennekens and Carr reviewed the guiding principles for facility planning and reported that North Park Elementary School is in need of building security, learning/general space needs and grounds maintenance. They shared CHHS needs include Performing Arts Center upgrades and Gymnasium improved performance space/stage and new band space. Director Carr shared there are maintenance items not included in the building referendum. The School Board voted to present to voters three Bond questions for the November 2018 ballot. View the resolution.

    Approved (View PowerPoint presentation)

    National School Board Association Membership for 2018-2019


    Board Topics

    Chair Larkin discussed the community members that came to speak at the last Listening Session regarding music at North Park Elementary School for 2018-2019, communication around staffing and other staffing concerns. He also asked the community regarding questions about staffing to not make general statements that are not true. He added there are specific limitations on how staffing decisions are communicated out. The Chair also announced that the deadline for filing for the School Board is June. 5. Vice Chair Severson mentioned that Academic Awards night is May 23; Treasurer Mueller said the Columbia Academy Band Concert is May 24 and Director Palmer noted that the CHHS Choir Concert is May 29.

    Upcoming School Board Key Dates

    May 28, No School, Memorial Day
    Tuesday, June 5, Filing for School Board seats closes
    Thursday, June 7, Last day for students
    Thursday, June 7, Commencement, Columbia Heights High School
    5 p.m.. Tuesday, June 12, Sub-Committee on Policy, Superintendent's Conference Room
    7 p.m.. Tuesday, June 12, Regular School Board Meeting, Community Room
    5 p.m.. Tuesday, June 19, School Board Listening Session, Family Center
    5:30 p.m.. Tuesday, June 19, School Board Work Session, Community Room
    7 p.m.. Tuesday, June 26, Regular School Board Meeting, Community Room

    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, contact Communications Director Casey Mahon at 763-528-4503 or MahonC@colheights.k12.mn.us.

    Mission Statement