Answering questions about the Feb 25th Special Board Meeting

Over the weekend, I posted a series of questions about the Feb 25th BOE meeting (tonight). Dr. Wiegand was kind enough to respond (and with comprehensive answers at that) and has given me permission to post her reply. The following has only been formatted so it looks better on this blog (a la “the following movie has been formatted to fit your screen”).

q For Paul Fallon: how many of the 216 people who responded favorably to 19A make up the 170 people who said they were less likely to vote for it in question 19B? Similar question for question 20A and 20B.
a (from Paul Fallon) Judy, I will have to get that data file from my office, so I will try to send it to you tomorrow or Wednesday. Thanks, Paul
q How long as the Teacher Evaluation Committee been in place?
a The Committee was established at the end of last school year to address the need for a teacher evaluation system that would meet the requirements of PERA (Performance Evaluation Reform Act).  The committee began working this school year during first semester to collaboratively develop an evaluation document and process.  In previous years this was not done in a collaborative manner.  The Administration would develop a document and then present to the CFT for feedback. This is the first time a process was used that had both Administration and Teachers at the same starting point.
q Where are the meeting minutes?
a The work done during each session was documented by Pam Rosa from CEC.  Committee members were then charged with sharing this with the groups they represent to obtain feedback.  Since this work was ongoing and part of an internal committee, minutes were not posted publicly.
q Does the board agree with premises put forth by the Consortium for Educational Change?
a At the time of the decision to go with CEC, Sue Grey did sign the agreement as Board President. CEC will only work with a District if the Board President, President of the Union and Superintendent agree to work together.
q The document on BoardDocs makes reference to at least one other document by page number (not by name). Is that document available for the public?
a Since the document is in the piloting stage, I am not comfortable making it available to the public until the end of the pilot.
q The district is presenting this to the board as “informational”, meaning the board will not vote on whether to approve the almost $20k already spent, nor the $15k to purchase the software or the $10k/year on-going costs. Are you ok with that? What will the software accomplish, and is it really worth that much?
a I will have Ken Kleber discuss the cost at tonight’s meeting.
q What do the teachers think of this plan?
a Cathy Mannen and other teachers have been part of this process from the beginning and I believe they feel an ownership with it.  With the changes taking place around evaluation, it is important that teachers and other staff members see themselves as an integral part of the process.
q In terms of the $768k wireless proposal, I am curious to know what the University said when they were approached in collaborating on the wireless project. How many local (within the boundaries of the school district) technology companies submitted a proposal for this work? What did Volo, who specializes in wireless technology and is heavily involved in the community, have to say?
a (From Dave Hohman)We are not looking at adding an additional internet service provider (Like Volo) at this point.  We receive our internet connection through Illinois Century Network and this is partially funded through eRate.    Through this internal wireless project and the addition of the UC2B community network we will have more opportunities for collaboration with the University of Illinois and other community partners.  This wireless solution is for our internal network of access points for use within our schools.  We are looking to add an enterprise level network that is centrally controlled and covers every learning space in our district.  This purchase has been looked at intensely with our network administrators for over 2 years.  We are choosing a solution that will provide the growth we need, allow us to manage the network internally, and meet the demands of a 21st century classroom and PARCC testing.  With our knowledge of our district network needs and the Aruba company’s knowledge of school district networks we will be able to set up a network tailored to Champaign Schools.
q In terms of the 10-year HLS, why is BLDD being contracted to evaluate schools that have recently or are currently being renovated (ie, Robeson, Garden Hills, Westivew)? I realize the State mandates the 10-year HLS, but the work on these schools is so fresh one would think the people who worked on them (and even BLDD for that matter) would already know the evaluation.
a (From Joe Davis)
It is my understanding that even if a building has undergone renovation it still needs to be inspected.  Any building that houses students must undergo a ten year inspection.  Yes, I would agree that you would hope that the building that have gone through renovation would be clean of any major violations, but they     still need the inspection.  Garden Hills is the only school that has gone through a complete renovation the others are being worked on now. The last inspection was done by Bailey Edwards.
q I know BLDD did a similar report back in 2002 or 2003. Can that report be made available? What other 10-year HLS reports have been done?
a The last inspection was done by Bailey Edwards.  The report from Bailey Edwards should have been presented to the board in a public meeting.  I will have the office staff locate it.

One Response to “Answering questions about the Feb 25th Special Board Meeting”

  1. Relevant news articles | Citizen4: A citizen's blog about Champaign Unit 4 Says:

    […] we end on Meg Dickinson’s NG article from this morning. Like Dave Hohman’s response to my question about the money being spent on wireless technology, Meg quotes Mr. Hohman a fair amount to further […]

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