BOE Meeting Minute crawling: a case-study in finding out what the BOE is doing

I found this to be a tedious task, so as much as I would prefer that someone else do this, I’ll offer up my own (meaning, my perspective, my observations, my opinion) “fruits of labor”.

[note: partially inspired by my desire for more “reverse feedback“]

Sep 12 (special meeting agenda – no minutes *)

  • Academic Spotlight
  • Recognitions – acknowledged lots of good things going on at various schools
  • Administrative salaries
  • EEE Committee
  • Massive FY12 Budget presentation
  • More finances
  • Change orders, contracts, etc
  • HR/personnel changes

August 15th (special meeting agenda – no minutes)

  • Some stuff about the Superintendent Search, but most of it is empty, placeholders

August 8th

  • Orlando Thomas presents Suspension info
  • Budget stuff
  • Certified Staff Evaluations
  • “Consent” items (agreeing to pay for various services and products)
  • More money related items (grants, change of contracts, etc)
  • Human Resource changes

July 18th

  • Readings of proposed changes to policies
  • Update on Super search
  • Highschool restructuring, planning for future (many details covered)
  • report on construction and magnet schools
  • More readings, Project Labor Agreement
  • Consent items (again, lots of details. Lots)
  • Human Resource changes

June 13th

  • Intro to Dr. Malito
  • Many reports
  • Approval of 2011/2012 Student Code of Conduct
  • Consent items and readings: student conduct/policies, changes to curriculum
  • Bids (furniture for BTW, athletic locker replacements)
  • Resource Depositories
  • Prevailing Wage Rates
  • More money stuff
  • Human Resources, lots of kids expelled

* For the Sep 12 meeting, I made some in-depth observations earlier

That’s as far back as I went for now. A gross summary seems to show that the BOE spends a large percentage of their time going over finances of various sorts. A majority of the Board’s activities is tear-jerking, run-of-the-mill, somebody’s-gotta-do-it daily business of running a school district. Seriously, I am glad that I don’t have to do that, and I am equally glad that others are willing to do so. That is true service! Yet, just because “we have always done things that way”, do we still have to do it that way? Something in my gut tells me we have been doing this for hundreds of years and it is gathering dust. Maybe even rust. Is there an alternative? A way to simply Administration? Heck, how about reducing those Board Policies to like 20 pages? *grin*

And yet buried in there, you can occasionally learn a few things, find a golden nugget, or stumbled upon something that might even be considered controversial. And how would you know if you did not go to the Board Meeting? This gives me new respect for our elected Board Members. I cannot help but think… given all this, how do we encourage and entice community involvement? How do we get the community on the same page with the Board, and vice versa? I am thinking it would be helpful to provide that engagement in a very different context. Perhaps more forums? What we really need are a couple strong moderators and facilitators to lead such meetings, and a good note-taker who can record and report. That is one desire I have right now, and I don’t have a good idea how to get there. I have bad ideas, though. 🙂

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One Response to “BOE Meeting Minute crawling: a case-study in finding out what the BOE is doing”

  1. charlesdschultz Says:

    I totally forgot to mention Dr. Weigand’s comprehensive GST report:
    http://www.champaignschools.org/Great_Schools/2011-02_board_presentation.pdf

    I communicated with Dr. Weidgand back in April and she clarified a few things, especially in terms of what exactly SES means and how “low SES” is calculated (basically, they use the free/reduced lunch program, which most of us probably already knew). I keep forgetting that “Great Schools, Together” (GST) is now tied with the Strategic Plan, and as Jodi Heckel pointed out, is “not dead yet” (thank you, Monty Python). I see that Lynn Peisker also mentioned GST.

    I have read through that massive GST report, but have not yet had a chance to go over with a fine-toothed comb. That is quite a piece of work.


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