5/14/20 Business Meeting
The following is an informal summary of the meeting.
Report for Information: Distance Learning/COVID-19 Update
Superintendent Pontrelli provided an update on the district’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The report included information about changes in grading protocols for this spring, which will essentially hold students harmless as a result of distance learning. You can learn more about the grading changes online. She also provided information about the virtual graduation ceremony that will be held on May 30. Updated numbers were also provided for meals served and children attending emergency childcare.
Report for Information: Preliminary General Fund Budget
School board members reviewed the preliminary general fund budget for the 2020-2021 school year. A preliminary budget must be approved each year by June 30. The budget is based on a set of assumptions including, but not limited to, enrollment projections and current law and regulations. The board will take action on the preliminary general fund budget at a future meeting.
Report for Information: Chromebook Purchases
The school board was presented with a request to purchase 1,400 Chromebooks to replace and replenish aging Chromebooks district-wide. Approximately 3,000 Chromebooks currently in use will be expiring in July 2021, and this is part of a plan to begin replacing those in phases over three years. This technology is needed to maintain state testing guidelines and to meet the needs of our students. The Chromebook purchase request will come back to the board for action at a future meeting.
Report for Information: Student Information System RFP Review
School board members were given an update on plans to update the district’s Student Information System. The district has used Skyward for more than 20 years and is seeking solutions that would provide a more integrated environment for teachers, parents, and students while also exploring potential cost savings. A contract recommendation for PowerSchool will be brought to the May 28 meeting for action.
Report for Information: First Reading of Policies
School board members reviewed several policies as part of a first reading. These included: Policy 428–Employee Technology & Internet Access and Acceptable Use; Policy 524–Student Technology & Internet Access and Acceptable Use; Policy 506–Student Discipline; and Policy 514–Bullying Prohibition. The policies will come back for second readings at a future meeting.
Report for Information: Third Reading Policy 520 – Student Surveys
School board members reviewed the Student Surveys policy as part of a third reading. Policies are typically voted on at the time of a third reading, but due to the number of changes made since the second reading it was brought back for additional consideration. The board is expected to take action on the policy at a future meeting.
Action Item: Pathways Coordinators Expenditure Form
The school board voted unanimously to table this item until it has a better understanding of its financial picture for the coming school year. The board expects to discuss the hiring of one full-time and one part-time position to help lead the district’s new career pathways program later this summer when members have received more information regarding state funding.
Action Item: 9th and 11th Grade Literacy Curriculum and Professional Development
School board members unanimously approved the purchase of the 9th and 11th grade literacy curriculum, as well as the investment in professional development to support teachers using the new materials. The board first approved the new curriculum in January, and funds for the purchase of materials were earmarked within the board-approved budget for the 2019-2021 school year.
Action Item: CliftonLarsonAllen LLP Auditor Engagement Letter
The school board unanimously approved an engagement letter from CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, which explains the basic services they will perform in conjunction with our upcoming audit. The board voted at a previous meeting to approve the auditing firm as the district auditor for fiscal year ending June 30, 2020.
Action Item: Web Redesign Contract
School board members unanimously approved a contract with a new website vendor. The multi-year website vendor contract would replace the existing website hosting and maintenance costs. The one-time costs associated with designing and building the new site have already been built into the 2019-2020 budget.
Action Item: Final Reading Policy 406-Public and Private Personnel Data
School board members unanimously approved Policy 406- Public and Private Personnel Data.
Action Item: Oak-Land Tennis Court Resurfacing
School board members unanimously approved a project to resurface the Oak-Land Middle School tennis court at a cost of $54,600, which will be paid for by long term facilities maintenance funding. Work will begin as soon as possible.
Action Items: Transportation Contract and Lease Agreement
School board members approved a four year transportation contract with Metropolitan Transportation Network by a 4-3 vote. This will be a new vendor for the school district. The current transportation contract with Minnesota Central School Bus expires at the end of this school year.
Action Item: Hiring Strategy
The board voted 5-2 to extend the hiring pause, which was approved at the last meeting, until June 1 with the exception of a district-wide accounting position. The board will work with the administration to gather more information about future budget impacts and develop a strategy to move forward.