The following is an informal summary of the meeting.
At the beginning of the meeting the school board recognized the district’s health services staff.
District nurses, health assistants and health paraprofessionals have been hard at work on the front lines this fall keeping students and staff safe in our schools. In addition to caring for every day health needs, a big part of their job has been focused on identifying and notifying individuals who may have been exposed to COVID and supporting families of students in isolation or quarantine.
Report for Information: On The Dial Learning Update
School board members reviewed the latest COVID trend data and saw a sneak preview of the district’s new COVID Dashboard, which provides a weekly overview of active COVID cases and exposure/quarantine rates within the district. The dashboard will be updated online every Friday. With COVID cases increasing in the community, the board discussed the possibility of moving secondary students into distance learning for second quarter. Additional conversation is expected at the November 5 board meeting, with possible board action. The board also learned more about the ways teachers and staff are supporting students’ social and emotional wellness and mental health this school year, and about a survey that will be shared with stakeholders to gather feedback on how school is going.
Report for Information: Reimagine Stillwater Schools
The board received an update on how the work of equity and integration is built into the World’s Best Workforce (WBWF) strategic plan. Assistant Superintendent Jennifer Cherry shared information about this work and the goals and strategies designed to ensure “all students are seen, served and supported.”
Report for Information: Contract Reviews - October 9, 2020 - October 15, 2020
School board members reviewed recent contracts for goods and services equaling less than $50,000.
Report for Information: Firewall Replacement
The school board was asked to consider replacement of the district’s firewall equipment. Due to new VPN (virtual private networks) required to support remote learning, the district’s current firewall license costs increased this year from $30,000/year to $50,000/year. The district could achieve more favorable pricing by replacing the equipment and bundling 3-year licensing. This would also support future upgrades to 10GB Internet services if/when needed. The board will be asked to approve the firewall replacement project at a future board meeting.
Action Item: Chromebook Purchases
The school board approved the purchase of 2,200 Chromebooks at a cost of $670,000 to replace and replenish aging Chromebooks district-wide. Funding for the devices will come from the Coronavirus Relief Funds - part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. New devices are needed to maintain state testing guidelines and to meet the needs of our students.
Action Item: Board Meeting Decision-Making Model
School board members tabled a motion to begin holding school board meetings in-person at Oak Park. Additional information about the logistics of holding meetings in-person was requested and will be shared at a future meeting.
Action Item: Finance and Operations Department Restructure
The school board approved the restructuring of the district’s finance and operations department as follows:
- Elimination of the Executive Director of Finance and Operations and replacement of the position with a Director of Finance. (Cost savings of $21,000)
- Addition of a Director of Operations position. (Additional cost of $190,000)
- Outsourcing of Transportation Management Services. As a part of this service, the district would be provided a Director of Transportation, a Coordinator of Transportation and an Assistant Router position. (Cost neutral or a slight reduction in cost depending on outcome of negotiation of contract for services)