• School Board 


    June 12, 2018  

    Jeff Cacek and John Larkin Hylander Highlights

    The School Board recognized North Park Elementary School for being selected as a U.S. Department of Education National Green Ribbon School (read the news release). Representing the school at the School Board Meeting was Principal Jeff Cacek (pictured with Board Chair John Larkin).

    Reports from Members of the Board

    School Board, Superintendent and CHHS staff proceed to 2018 Commencement  Chair Larkin participated in the May 22 School Board Business and June 12 Board Chair meetings, the 2018 Columbia Heights High School (CHHS) Academic Awards Night, the Eighth-Grade Recognition Ceremony, the CHHS Variety Show and CHHS Commencement. He also attended the high school Theater Program banquet, a Heights Next meeting and the Employee of the Year reception.

    Vice Chair Naty Severson participated in the May 22 School Board Business and June 12 Board Chair meetings and the class of 2018 Commencement. Ms. Severson attended the CHHS Academic Awards Night, the Eighth-Grade Recognition Ceremony and the Employee of the Year reception. She also attended baseball sectional games and had conversations with constituents.

    Treasurer Lorien Mueller participated the May 22 School Board Business Meeting and the 2018 Commencement. She attended a CHHS Choir Concert, the Band, Choir and Theater banquets and the Employee of the Year reception. Ms. Mueller attended a Symphonic Winds Band Concert and a baseball sectional game. She also had conversations with constituents.

    Honor Guard at Graduation Clerk Hala Asamarai participated in the 2018 Commencement and attended the CHHS Academic Awards Night. She also had conversations with constituents

    Director Molly Lewis participated the May 22 School Board Business Meeting and the CHHS Academic Awards Night and 2018 Commencement. She also attended the CHHS Track Banquet, the Columbia Academy Eighth-Grade Recognition Ceremony, the Highland 5th Grade Track and Field Day and 5th Grade Picnic. She also attended the CHHS All-Night Graduation Party and a Columbia Heights City Council Meeting.

    Director Laura Palmer participated the May 22 School Board Business Meeting and the 2018 Commencement. She also participated in a NE Metro 916 Intermediate District Board Meeting. Ms. Palmer attended the CHHS Band and Choir Banquet and had conversations with constituents.

    Superintendent's Report

    Superintendent addresses graduates Superintendent Kathy Kelly participated in the May 22 School Board Business and June 12 Board Chair meetings. The Superintendent also participated, along with the E-12 Team, in a Strategic Roadmap planning session. She shared initial negotiations with cooks, custodians, educational assistants and clerical staff have begun. Superintendent Kelly participated in the CHHS Graduation and attended the Highland Elementary School Kindergarten and Columbia Academy Eighth-Grade Recognition ceremonies. She attended the annual Academic Awards Night and the CHHS Graduate Walks at Valley View Elementary School (watch the video) and Highland Elementary School. The Superintendent also announced that Summer Academy and Summer School began this week. She also had multiple conversations with School Board members.

    View nearly 100 photos from the 2018 Commencement Ceremony.

    Reports and Information Items

    Adriana Morales Employee of the Year

    Director of Human Resources Lindsey Bennett introduced Adriana Morales, the Urban Liaison for Valley View Elementary School and the 2018 Columbia Heights Public School District Employee of the Year. She was recognized by the School Board with a plaque (photo). Read the press release

    Director of Special Education

    Superintendent Kathy Kelly introduced the District's new Director of Special Education Dr. John Fry.  Read the press release.

    Personalized Learning Initiative (PLI)

    Director of Technology and Security Services Bryan Hennekens, PLI Coordinator Leslie Maher and Director of Teaching and Learning Zena Stenvik presented an update on the Personalized Learning Initiative within the District in the current 4th – 11th grade implementation. The provided an overview of Personalized Learning and reviewed data used to measure progress. Their presentation also covered what to expect as the District moves forward with PLI. View the PowerPoint presentation.

    Out of State and Overnight Field Trip

    Director Stenvik and Valley View Elementary School Principal Ed Fellows presented a proposal for a Valley View Elementary School 5th Grade overnight trip for the Spring of 2019. If approved, the trip will be to the Audubon Center of the North Woods in Sandstone, Minnesota for three days and two nights. They shared the Audubon Center offers customizable programs focused on team building, wildlife training, cultural history, Minnesota ecology and STEM/renewable energy practices. This will be presented as an Action Item at the June 26 Business Meeting. View the PowerPoint presentation.

    Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Grants

    Director Stenvik shared all school districts receiving ESSA Title I, II, and III funding are required to submit an annual application for these funds with a budget and narrative that describes how a district plans to use this money. She said all budgets and activities must be approved by the Minnesota Department of Education prior to release of the funding and that the projected 2018-19 Title allocations are as follows: Title I: $ 875,890.95 Title II: $141,537.22 Title III: $104,410.34.

    LEA Authorization

    Director Stenvik told the School Board they must authorize personnel at a monthly meeting to act as the Local Education Agency (LEA) representative, who ensures the District maintains compliance with the appropriate federal statues, regulations and procedures and acts as the responsible authority in all matters relating to the review and administration of the Title I, II, III plans. It was recommended that Director Stenvik be the LEA Representative for the 2018-2019 school year. This will be presented as an Action Item at an upcoming Business Meeting.

    Summer Camps 

    Director of Community Education Kristen Stuenkel and K-12 Activities Manager Jake Henderson provided an overview of the 2018 Summer Camps. They shared that activities will include strength training, football camp, tennis camp and volleyball. View the PowerPoint presentation.

    Class Size Study

    Director Stenvik and Director of Finance and Operations Kristine Carr provided an update on the Metro Educational Cooperative Service Unit Regional Class Size Study. View the PowerPoint presentation.

    2018-2019 Budget

    Director Carr discussed the FY2019 budget, which will be presented as an Action Item at the June 26, 2018 Business Meeting. View the proposed 2019 Budget.

    Workers Compensation Insurance Renewal

    Director Carr discussed the workers’ compensation renewal from the current carrier, United Heartland for Fiscal Year 2019. She shared the renewal cost is $180,575 and reflects a 7.2 percent decrease from the rates for fiscal year 2018. This will be presented as an Action Item at the July 26 Business Meeting.

    Safe Schools Resolution

    Director Hennekens shared that the continuance of school shootings tragedy across the nation have prompted parents in this District to request the School Board to address the issue as it applies to Columbia Heights Public Schools. The proposed Resolution outlined the School Boards commitment to school safety and security. The School Board discussed the draft and asked for additional edits to be brought at the next Work Session.

    Action Items 

    Additional School Board Meeting

    The Administration proposed adding Aug. 7, 2018 as an additional Business Meeting; however, as that date is National Night Out there was a request to change the meeting date. After discussion, the School Board approved the additional meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018.


    The following policies were approved
    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

    Closed Session

    In accordance with Minn. Stat. §13D.03, the School Board met in Closed Session to discuss negotiations strategy. 

    Upcoming School Board Key Dates

    7 p.m. Monday, June 18, School Board Candidate Orientation, 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
    7 p.m. Thursday, June 28, School Board Candidate Forum, Community Room
    July 4 - Holiday, District Closed
    7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14, Primary Election Day
    7 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 21, School Board Work Session, Community Room
    5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28,  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