10/10/19 Business Meeting
The following is an informal summary of the meeting.
The school board recognized members of the high school theater group, under the direction of Grif Sadow. The students were invited to participate in the International Festival Fringe in Edinburgh, Scotland this summer and their performance was voted Best Play and Best Technical Production.
Report for Information: 2011A COP Refunding Discussion
Matt Rantapaa from R.W. Baird, the district’s financial advisors, presented the estimated interest cost savings associated with a potential refunding (refinancing) of the outstanding 2011A Certificates of Participation (COPs). The COPs were originally issued to fund construction of the Early Child Family Center. Based on the current market, it is estimated the district might be able to save more than half a million dollars on associated taxes payable 2021 by refinancing these COPs. The board directed administration to prepare a Set Sale Resolution directing the sale of bonds with a minimum threshold of $500,000 in savings. The resolution is expected to be added to the Oct. 24 school board agenda.
Report for information: Accountability Report
School board members received information related to our district’s 2018-2019 results under the Minnesota Northstar Accountability System. Northstar is designed to help school districts understand how well all of its students are performing in several key areas from academics to attendance.
Report for Information: Secondary Literacy Curriculum
School board members received an update on the Secondary English Language Arts review and curriculum adoption process. The committee is recommending new language arts curriculum materials be purchased for middle and high school, and is also recommending an investment be made in professional development for staff to support the curriculum changes. The new curriculum would align with what has recently been implemented in elementary schools. The board is expected to vote on the secondary language arts curriculum package at a future meeting.
Report for Information: Community Design Team Report
Director Mark Burns provided an update on the Community Design Team’s long-range facilities planning work. The design team will hold its third workshop on Oct. 15, and will also have the opportunity to tour school facilities in the coming weeks. Meeting materials and summaries are available online.
Report for Information: First Reading of Policies
The school board had the opportunity to review several policies as part of the first reading. These included: Policy 410-Family and Medical Leave; Policy 534-Unpaid Meal Charges; and Policy 620-Credit for Learning. The policies will be brought back for a second reading at a future meeting.
Action Item: Flex/E-Learning Days
School board members voted to approve the use of E-Learning Days this year. A 2017 state law allows districts the opportunity to provide students up to five E-Learning, or Flex Days, each year due to inclement weather. Flex Days provide for an uninterrupted alternate learning experience, avoid mid-year calendar reconfigurations, and provide meaningful learning for all students on inclement weather days. Under the plan approved by the school board, Flex Days will be activated after the second inclement weather or snow day in our district. Learning experiences will be provided in either an online or offline format, and attendance will be taken through Schoology (for secondary students) or assignment completion. More information about the district’s E-Learning plan will be shared with families in the coming days.
Action Item: World’s Best Workforce Community Strategies
School board members approved the community strategies, which are part of the World’s Best Workforce (WBWF) Plan. These strategies are designed to engage residents, business leaders, parents and others in the district’s work of meeting the WBWF goals. The community strategies include:
- All Children Ready for School: Provide Stillwater district kindergarten readiness standards/checklists to childcare providers for dissemination to parents of 4-year-olds.
- All Third Graders Can Read at Grade Level: Partner with community members/agencies to establish reading buddies.
- All Racial and Economic Achievement Gaps Are Closed: Use existing groups and new community partnerships to support authentic cultural learning in classrooms and volunteer participation opportunities.
- All Students Are Ready for Career and College: Engage businesses to participate in a Career Exploration Fair.
- All Students Graduate From High School: Engage businesses to facilitate school/business partnership to increase student engagement.
Action Item: Final Reading of Policies
School board members approved Policy 412-Expense Reimbursement; Policy 427-Workload Limits for Special Education Teachers and Policy 502-Search of Student Lockers, Desks, Personal Possessions, and Students Person.
Action Item: Spanish Immersion Expansion Proposal
School board members voted to approve a motion to request the administration explore options and gather information for a possible expansion of the Amigos Unidos immersion program. This should include an option to move the program to Oak Park Elementary and to provide transportation from all other elementary schools as well as determine whether it is feasible to expand this program by next fall.