The following is an unofficial summary of the meeting.
Report for Information: Demographic Report
School board members reviewed a demographic report, which analyzes and projects enrollment trends for the next 10 years. The board commissioned the new demographic study to help them as they plan for the future. The study shows that enrollment is projected to grow by 55 to 180 students in the next five years, and predicts by 2029-30 enrollment will grow from the current 8,380 to 8,881 to 9,153 students. It is predicted that overall growth across the district will be slowed because of factors such as our aging population, low birth rates and economic concerns/uncertainty in the wake of COVID-19.
Report for Information: Distance Learning/COVID Update
Superintendent Pontrelli provided an update on the district’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The report included details about summer programming, professional development and curriculum writing, as well as an update on the work underway to prepare for fall. Several scenarios for the start of the 2020-2021 school year are being developed as we await further direction from the governor and Department of Education, including blended learning, distance learning and traditional learning with social distancing.
Report for Information: 2020-21 Preliminary Budget
As a continuation from the May 14 meeting, school board members reviewed elements of the preliminary budget for the 2020-2021 school year. This included a review of funds separate from the general fund, such as nutrition services fund, building construction, debt services and community services. The board will take action on the preliminary budget for 2020-2021 at a future meeting.
Report for Information: Read Well by Third Grade Plan
The school board heard a report on the Read Well by Third Grade Plan, which provides an overview of how the district is working to ensure reading proficiency for students. The plan outlines the district’s assessment process, interventions, professional development and more. The state requires the district to have a plan in place, and for it to be annually reviewed and approved by the school board. The board is expected to vote on the plan at a future meeting.
Report for Information: Second Reading of Policies
School board members reviewed several policies as part of a second 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 a final reading at a future meeting.
Action Item: Hiring Strategy
The school board approved an updated hiring process for the 2020-2021 school year, which will be re-evaluated before the staffing process begins again for the 2021-2022 school year. The process places the hiring of new or filling of vacant positions on hold until requests are reviewed by administration and the personnel working group and brought to the board for approval. The board also approved the hiring of numerous pending positions that had been part of the initial hiring pause approved by the school board in May. This included a variety of paraprofessionals and other positions that are required in order to offer required and/or district programs.
Action Item: World’s Best Workforce Plan
School board members approved the goals of the World’s Best Workforce (WBWF) plan. The goals are being recommended by the WBWF Committee, which is made up of community members and district staff. Stillwater’s plan, which is embedded within the district's strategic plan, meets the goals of Minnesota’s World’s Best Workforce legislation. Goals have been developed in each of the areas defined by the state, including: All children are ready for school; all third graders can read at grade level; all racial and economic achievement gaps are closed; all students are ready for college and career; and all students graduate from high school.
Action Item: Chromebook Purchases
The school board approved the purchase of 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.
Action Item: Student Information Systems
School board members approved a contract with PowerSchools to provide a new Student Information System. The district has used Skyward for more than 20 years and will be making a switch to a new vendor to provide a more integrated environment for teachers, parents, and students.
Action Item: 2020-21 Illuminate Education Contract
The school board approved the annual contract with Illuminate Education. This is the platform used to file data, store assessment records, produce report cards and transcripts, generate data reports for analysis and student placement, and provide teachers access to look at their student’s history of learning and assessment. This is an annual contract that is included in the school-board approved budget.
Action Item: Lake Elmo Appraisal
School board members approved an agreement with CBRE, Inc., Kevin Meeks to conduct an appraisal of the Lake Elmo bus terminal for a fee of $3,000.
Action Item: Final Reading Policy 520 – Student Surveys
School board members approved the Student Surveys policy.