1/7/21 Organizational Meeting
The following is an informal summary of the meeting.
Prior to the meeting the board met in closed session to review employee contract negotiation parameters.
New Board Members and Board Officers
New school board members Katie Hockert, Matt Onken and Dr. Annie Porbeni were sworn into office at the start of the meeting. The board also elected new officers: Bev Petrie, chair; Alison Sherman, vice chair; Annie Porbeni, clerk and Matt Onken, treasurer.
The board recognized staff in the district who are working to support the social and emotional needs of students.
As part of the annual organizational meeting, board members voted to approve a variety of organizational resolutions as part of the consent agenda.
Report for Information: Enrollment Survey
School board members reviewed results of a survey of students who have left the district this year, as well as those who have opted for 100% online learning. Stillwater, like districts across the state and nation, has seen a decrease in student enrollment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey results indicate the district can expect about 50-55% of the students who left this year to return post-pandemic. Of those students who opted for 100% online learning this year, about 20% would be interested in a fully online learning option even after the pandemic. District leaders will utilize data from the survey as they plan for staffing next year, as well as consider things like facility needs and attendance boundaries both short and long term.
Report for Information: On the Dial Learning Update
Superintendent Lansfeldt reviewed information about changes to Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan, as well as made a recommendation for the board to approve a plan to slowly bring students back to school (see action item below). New guidance from the state prioritizes in-person learning for students in grades preK-5. Under the new guidelines, districts can choose to return to in-person as long as they use updated mitigation strategies and a phased-in approach to slowly bring back students - starting with the youngest and most dependent learners.
Report for Information: School Board Committee Assignments and Working Groups 2021
Board members discussed committee assignments for the coming year, and will vote to approve those assignments at a future meeting. Board members serve as representatives to various groups that support the district, like Northeast Metro 916 and the Minnesota State High School League. Members also serve on working groups in the areas of finance and operations, legislative, policy, community engagement and personnel.
Report for Information: Contract Reviews - December 11, 2020- December 30, 2020
School board members reviewed recent contracts for goods and services equaling less than $50,000.
Report for Information: School District Calendar
The board reviewed two draft calendars for the 2021-2022 school year. One calendar would start school the week of August 31 and wrap up on June 2, while the other option would delay the start of school until after Labor Day and end the year on June 8. In both calendars, spring break would be held the week of March 7. The board is expected to vote to approve a school calendar at the next board meeting.
Action Item: Establish 2021 Calendar of Meetings
The board did not take action on this item, but will have further discussion at the Jan. 12 board work session. Director Onken has requested that the board consider changing board meetings from Thursday evenings.
Action Item: Establish 2021 Board Member Salaries
School board members voted 7-0 to approve their salaries for 2021 at the current rate. Each elected school board member receives an annual salary of $4,750. The elected board chair receives an additional $500 for a total annual salary amount of $5,250.
Action Item: Learning Model Change
School board members voted 6-1 to approve a plan to slowly return students to school. January 25 and 26 will be transition day for K-5 “On the Dial” students and teachers. (NOTE: These will be regular school days for all 100% online learners and all middle and high school students). Kindergarten, first and second grade students will return to school on Wednesday, January 27. Students in grades 3-5 will return to school on Wednesday, February 10. Students will start out coming to school four days per week and continuing to learn from home on “C” days. On March 1, all students will return to school five days per week.
Middle and high school students will remain in distance learning at this time. District leaders will continue planning for an eventual return to school for secondary students as well.
The next regular school board meeting is yet to be determined. Board meetings are expected to be conducted electronically and web streamed live on YouTube until CDC recommendations related to the COVID-19 situation change.