Cliff notes from the May 13 board meeting

As with my previous cliff notes, I apologize for the raw nature, and again, all times listed are elapsed video times.

boe May 13, 2013

Art Recognitions: 00:00 – 15:36
Service Awards: 15:37 – 27:53

public comment – 28:30
Chuck Jackson
Spoke about the DeJong-Richter Recommendations report. “What do we need and why do we need it?” There is a lot of information we do not have. Need more feedback on exactly what the weakness of each site are and why they are weaknesses. Be creative.
Recognitions: 32:19 – 38:29

38:28: Cheryl Camacho, Asia Fuller-Hamilton and Janelle Weinzierl going to Harvard for the summer:
http://www.gse.harvard.edu/ppe/programs/prek-12/portfolio/stl.html
Communcations 38:45
CFT (Cathy Mannen): welcome to new board members. Common goal to teach students.

Board members:
Stig: 40:20: important things going on. Facilities – very critical. Gotta move, waiting detracts from educational opportunities. Focus on best interests of school district, teachers and especially students.
Scott MacAdam: 42:07: mandatory board training. Enjoyed it
Kristine: 43:02: first year all the middle schools doing track and field, all three schools sending kids to state. Big kudos.
Ileana: 44:46: recognition from one of her schools, PBIS assembly, top scorers in Mathematics. Shout out to Robeson.
Jamar: 46:28: Marc Changnon taking all (45) students through a career program; graduation ceremony at the CPL, 30 grads. Shout out to Central. Shout out to 1-to-1 mentoring programs. Summarized involvement at Kenwood, including his adopted 5th grade class.
Laurie: 51:19: lots of diversity, learning the ropes.

52:47 Orlando – speaking about the Student Code of conduct.

54:06 Laura Taylor – High school graduation dates; can’t use Assembly Hall next year.

57:30 Future Facilities
Dr. Wiegand invokes a quote from “Great Schools Together”.

59:12 Scott Leopold takes the stand. 🙂
Review to 1:09:41 Lots of time spent reviewing results of the last “Community Dialog”; 166 + 167 respondents. Mentions again that low-propensity voters support a new tax, high-propensity voters are against. Leopold assumes the low-propensity voters are more involved with the schools – no evidence that I know of.

1:09:42 Recommendations; essentially the same thing, different timelines.

k-8 : try it out. Schools of choice allow us to see if parents like it.
Lots of rennovations and new sites = lots of $$
Has a slide on “interior sites” thoughts. I am glad they discussed various sites like Bristol, Country Fair and Spalding Park. Didn’t discuss Dodds Park at all.

1:25:12 open up for Q&A
Kristine: why did we not go with one high school? Scott Leopold says that there was a loud voice for each high school to maintain their identities.
Can we do the addition to Centennial before the renovation? Scott Leopold says yes, no problem.
Wants to make sure that folks know the high school problems are not 100% about the athletic fields; Dave Tomlinson (in the past year) presented on all the reasons we need new high schools.
Thanks DR for making discussions happen, wants people to realize how much work went into the recommendations  Pleased with where are elementary schools are at, convinced that people are choosing Unit 4. Good point about Dr. Howard – a good school, but consistently under-chosen because (possibly) it just looks bad.

1:34:06 Scott MacAdam:
is 40 acres standard, with all these extra fields and stuff – can we get by with 35 or even 30 acres. Tracy falls back on “best practices” from some educational company.
Asks about Edison – Leopold says sell it.

1:37:48 Stig: wants to know the tax impact; $251/$100,000 house for the $193 million. Urbana is 23 acres, the middle school is 8 acres. Thinks the high schools need to be the first priority due to the complexity of the “program”. REALLY likes the 90-day-bring-us-your-best-offer.

1:43:55 Lynn Stuckey: Strong into K-8, does not support Edison going to Central.

1:45:32 Laurie Bonnet: Demographics of those who took the surveys. A bit of discussion about K-8 with Dr. Wiegand, Stig and Lynn chiming in. Not so concerned about the space outside the building, more concerned about space inside the building, especially the space that is geared towards curriculum. A bit of discussion follows with input from Kristine, Scott Leopold and Tracy. Leopold pops up the tax chart, Lynn says she is concerned there might be another error. Laurie takes the floor again about “equity”.

1:57:17 Dr. Wiegand talks about next steps. The board is to provide recommendations for next steps. Kristine says the administration needs to pursue land acquisition, perhaps via and RFP or some such request. Need to develop criteria and measuring sticks so the board can weigh options. Kristine says the board should have two weeks to discuss this and direct the administration, and then the administration should have 3 months (90 days) to move. Kristine also says the board needs to balance transparency and getting competitive bids. Tracy suggests that the district hire a higher-level contractor, one who specializes in acquiring land, instead of depending on the administration and the board who may not have experience or policies in this regard. Stig’s three questions 1. do we have enough information? 2. What are our priorities? 3. How do we feel about November 2014? Is it a good amount of time. Wants the rest of the board to answer those questions. Stig says he has plenty of information. He says the high school is THE priority. Very comfortable about November 2014. Scott MacAdam says the same as Stig. Kristine, prefers Recommendation 1. Work on elementary and high schools, while keeping in mind Phase II and K-8. Lynn: Phase I needs more work. Laurie and Stig say “if something doesn’t work, give us an alternative”. Lynn lists a few things. A bit of discussion starts up about whether or not 3 high schools was ever discussed, Lynn touts some numbers about what people actually want, and many many people want the third high school.
Ileana: high school is the priority. We have enough information. Need more information for a site.
Brown: Comfortable with Recommendation I
Laurie: Likes the idea of keeping Central “centralized”. Concerned about transportation. Not opposed to K-8 discussions. Likes the idea of contracting with someone who does real estate for a living. Personally likes the country fair site. What is the community going to pay for? Recognizes competing taxing entities for jail, airport, etc. Can’t rush the referendum. Does the community trust us? Ready to move forward with the caveat of need more discussion on K-8.

2:15:27 discussion on recommendations end.

2:17:45 Board affirms hiring Mr. Pritchard as new Principal of Bottenfield

2:18:40 Dr. Joe Davis talks about intercom system at Centennial; hard to hear what he is saying.
2:21:15 Dr. Joe Davis talks about the plans for enhancing Bottenfield. Stu Brodsky gives a presentations.
2:30:37 Joe follows up and mentions the portable at Robeson for a year to help accommodate Bottenfield students (if I heard correctly).

2:35:03 Laurie moves up an item from the Consent Agenda because she has questions. I think it is Bills and Treasurer’s report. Lauries asks that Check Register information be enhanced with the “reason” for the check. Awesome! Laurie also asks about investing in other investment vehicles other than CDs. MacAdam responds that CDs are safest but will look into other alternatives. Lynn asks about investments with longer maturity rates. Scott MacAdam responds that right now those are not a good idea. Laurie also questions the monies being spent on external attorneys where they can be spent on the school attorney.
2:43:49 Consent Agenda passes

2:45:22 Executive session

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