Agenda for the Jan 5 Special Board meeting has been posted

We have known about it for a couple weeks, but the district finally posted the BOE meeting agenda for the Jan 5 Special Board meeting on boarddocs. If  you read today’s “Tom’s Mailbag“, you will have gotten an idea that REWIND will be making itself known at Monday’s meeting; I imagine a number of others will be making public statements as well.

 

Typically Special Board meetings are not televised on CGTV 5, so I hope the meeting is posted on the district’s Vimeo site in the days following the meeting for those who are not able to attend in person.

 

The agenda shows a few items; undoubtedly, the biggest of which will be a discussion surrounding the 20 year facility plan (5. Reports – New Business). There are three documents attached in that line item that you might want to go look at, although be warned that they are not new:

 

The other two agenda items are a short report on HR changes and a reclassification for Brian Easter (for which is he very excited!).

 

A couple things to keep your eyes open for; Nicole Lafond has a couple articles she is working on, one probably for Sunday and another possible for Monday or Tuesday. The Sunday article will probably be about the referendum issue, the latter article about board member candidates. Along that line, REWIND will most likely be putting out some more public information on board candidates in the form of candidate responses to a questionnaire. I believe this will be discussed at their Tuesday evening meeting.

Board agenda tonight and Coffee with the Superintendent (not tonight)

For the Coffee with the Superintendent – from the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce:

http://champaigncounty.org/events/eventdetail.aspx?EventID=853


Date: 9/30/2014
Time: 8:00 AM TO 9:00 AM

Champaign County Chamber of Commerce
303 W. Kirby Ave.
Champaign, IL 61820

Event Description:
The Champaign Unit 4 School Board recently voted to ask voters for $149 million to remodel Centennial High School and build a new Central High School. As part of our efforts to provide the most up-to-date information to our members about issues in the community, the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce is hosting a coffee with Unit 4 School Superintendent Judy Wiegand. This is your chance to have your questions about building a new Central High School and remodeling Centennial High School answered.

This event is complimentary to all Chamber members.

Please contact Caryn Isenhower at caryni@champaigncounty.org or call 217.359.1791 to register.


 

I mention this because I had a great (but brief) email chat with President & CEO Laura Weis; I was very impressed with the approach the Chamber is taking towards collecting data/information about the upcoming November referendum and their strident desire to listen to the concerns of Chamber members. If you are a Chamber member, I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity.

 

Slightly interesting round up of topics for tonight’s board meeting – under New Topics:
A. Enterprise Zone Recertification: Tom Lockman
B. Presentation of Tentative FY15 Budget: Matt Foster
C. Administrator & Teacher Salaries Reporting: Ken Kleber
D. April 2015 School Board Election – Calendar of Events: Tom Lockman
E. Master Facility Plan: Matt Foster

 

Only item #C has an attachment, and about 15 pages to flip through. I recompiled the attachment into a one-sheet spreadsheet which is much more friendly. I’ll post that tomorrow.

 

This morning I seent a note to the board and administration about item #A – from what I have read and researched of Enterprise Zones and Tax Increment Financining, there is an absurd lack of accountability in these programs. Even the US Government’s own Office of Accountability is unable to conclude if these programs are truly effective at spurring growth (http://www.gao.gov/assets/100/96577.pdf). My email urged the board and administration to be very careful and if they decide to move forward with this partnership, to do so with the insistence on proof of economic growth, and with a long (20-year) view in mind.

 

I have looked over the budget (item #B) from previous board meetings, and I am still trying to wrap my head around it. Mr. Foster suggested I read “Essentials of School Finance“, which I am trying to work my way through. In the back of my mind, I still wonder how we are going to work in the CFT-negotiated salaries from last year, not to mention the “in kind” administrator raises. I am also trying to understand our Debt obligation – the most recent FAQ mentions the Debt Service and how the district can sustain a bit more debt with no worries. But…. is that wise? I just do not yet grasp the bigger picture in this context.

 

I don’t have my spreadsheet in front of me (#C), but I believe the average teacher salary was about $47k and the average administrator salary was about $85k. Plus, I was surprised to see that we have over 20 “Assistant Principals”, but only 18 schools (counting IP and Novak).

 

Who is running for the board in April? (#D) 🙂

 

For #E, I am looking to see if the Master Facility Plan has changed much from the last time they presented it (July 28th). Strange that they did not put it (the new one) up on boarddocs by now.

 

In the Consent Agenda, one and only one item. 🙂 David Hohman has attached a zip file with an Application for Recognition – for all elementary schools. Two apparently do not have paraprofessionals, but that was the only difference I could find. Not sure what that means, either.

 

UPDATE: Here is the spreadsheet of salaries:

2014 EIS Salary Benefits Report 09-16-14

Master Facility Plan slides

Since the original slides have not been provided, I have copied them out of the public April 28th BOE meeting Vimeo video. Hence the most horrible resolution. 🙂 There are two PDF documents linked below, one for the DLR Group’s presentation and one for Matt Foster’s presentation. I have a feeling that there text notes that were read during the meeting as well, but there isn’t much I can do about that – watch the video.

 

dlr_milestone_calednar_thumb master_facility_plan_thumb

 

 

Some notes

 

During Mr. Foster’s presentation, it seems like the district has decided to cherry-pick their favorite things from each of the three scenarios originally presented by Gorski Reifsteck over the past couple of months, thus forming a fourth hybrid scenario. Slide 5 has a summary of the things they like, including the plan to convert Dr. Howard into a 4-strand K-8 (900 students). Heather Owen spoke during public comment and concerns with existing discipline issues at Dr. Howard. Slide 6 goes into a little more detail.

 

Slide 2 of the DLR presentation shows a rough timeline from April 15th to May 21st, and Slide 3 has a couple more entries for July and August. A lot of “Co-Labs” in May. Also slide 5 has a little blurb about how DLR visited the high schools for a day and observed what a student’s life looks like for the purpose of “Context Building”. I thought that was a very interesting exercise – not a bad idea at all. 🙂 Maybe more of us should do that.

Next steps in Facility Planning

From Stephanie Stuart:

master_facility_plan_oneAt Monday’s meeting, the Champaign Board of Education heard an update from Gorski Reifsteck/DLR Group about the high school programming work that will be taking place in the coming weeks and months, and discussed a draft Master Facilities Plan for the District as a whole.

 

Champaign-based Gorski Reifsteck and the nationally-renowned DLR Group were hired at the April 13 Board meeting for professional architectural services that will assist the District to program and plan for a new Central High School and a renovated Centennial High School.

 

The two firms have developed a close-knit relationship through working on multiple school projects together over the past several years.

 

DLR Group is ranked number one among architecture firms in the United States in the education market for last five years in a row by BD World Architecture. It also plans and designs more high schools than any other architecture firm in the U.S. DLR Group’s national presence and expert staff, combined with its industry leadership, provide the team with a broad perspective on the latest educational facility opportunities, while Gorski Reifsteck brings a deep knowledge of the Champaign community.

 

Gorski Reifsteck/DLR Group will work with the District to determine academic programs housed at each school and ensure adequate space is allocated for the growing student population. The culmination of this work will be a recommendation to the Board of Education for the educational programming of a new Central High School and renovated Centennial High School.

 

Highlights of the programming process will include:

  • Examining available data
  • Visiting classrooms to observe teaching and learning today
  • Building programmatic data models to quantify space needs
  • Developing program diagrams to show how the high schools will work together
  • Working closely with faculty, administration, and Board members

 

Executive Director of Business Services/CSBO Matthew Foster also presented a Master Facility Plan based on recommendations from the Facility Committee and District administration (please see the attached draft plan). Based on Board feedback regarding the draft plan, this item will appear again for discussion at an upcoming meeting prior to any formal Board adoption.

 

 

Stephanie Stuart

Community Relations Coordinator

Champaign Unit #4 School District

217-531-0252