The agenda was reviewed at the Executive Committee meeting held earlier in the week (which no School Board candidates attended which is unfortunate as it's where you see the real work done).
One item of note is the Board approval of the submission of the Highly Capable Grant to OSPI. I believe it was the push from Charlie but this item has been amended to state "Board approval to submit this grant application..." from "Board approval of the grant application ..." Charlie's point was that at the Intro to this item, the grant wasn't even attached so how could the Board approve something they couldn't see? This version just has the Board approving staff to submit the grant. Did any of the Board read it? Don't know. (Also the grant application says this was due July 1 but maybe they received an extension.)
To note from the application:
The formula for calculating district Highly Capable Program allocations has changed. The allocation is no longer a flat per pupil expenditure multiplied by a percent of the district’s basic education enrollment.
The new prototypical formula uses the same percent of enrollment but now generates state funding using the district staff mix factor and state funded salary amounts. Based upon this new formula, the actual rate per student will vary by district and may be higher or lower than in the past.
The district’s monthly allocation will be adjusted throughout the grant period (as it is currently) based on changes in reported enrollment. Also, there is no carryover provision for Highly Capable Program grants. Please work with your business officer to monitor any changes to your allocation during the year.
The amount is $403,142 and the district projects 1,879 students served by this grant (they needed 2.314% of the district's total basic ed FTE which is 1032). The totals by grade level are broken out in the grant with the highest number served (265) is in 6th grade. The district serves 721 in grades 1-5, 657 in grades 6-8 and 531 in high school. This is APP students only. (One thing I don't know about is Raven testing; this is listed as one assessment instrument the district uses. Anyone?)
There is also the Personnel report. Here you will find all the hires, retire/re-hires,retirements and "separations" (people exiting the system) in the district. It's an interesting list. One person of note - Jessica De Barros whose last day was August 8th. She would be the last of the Broad hires.
Here is where the superintendent approves the applications for conditional certification. Now either I heard wrong at the Executive Committee meeting or something changed this week but there are 3 TFA hires (plus the one who already has a teaching certificate who is going to Washington).
All the hires are women who are UW grads and all will be working at Aki Kurose. Two are journalism majors and the other is a history major. One has had previous experience at Aki through City Year so I suspect the principal felt she would be a good fit. One candidate said in January 2011 that she would like to be a political reporter but "the job market is hard to get into at the moment."
The district states:
Fiscal impact to this action will be negligible. There is no cost to the district, other than minimal
staff time, o apply to OSPI/PESB for a conditional certificate (the conditional certificate fees are
paid by the candidates themselves). The district match part of the Teach for America agreement
must be funded by private donors; no district funds will be expended.
None of these women have math or science degrees so we are still in the dark as to who our mystery donor is (remember the board game "Mystery Date" - who's behind the door?)
As for the "negligible" fiscal impact, well, that's simply not true. There is HR time, mentoring time (and they need extra help, remember?) and other overhead. And, they will likely be rotating out in 2 years, so there goes that money.
In the "whoa" category, there is a strange line under "Policy Implication" -
School Board policy F 01.00 calls for hiring for diversity and quality. The Teach for America
contract was initially entered into because of a belief that a broad candidate pool will result in
high quality teachers in each of our classrooms.
What does "initially entered" mean? Did something change?
Other Action items include MOUs with SEA and PASS and non-represented staff about the furlough days. There had been discussion at the Executive Committee meeting about mentioning the other represented groups who have chosen not to participate.
Also on the list of Action items is the King County Metro Transportation contract. It was reported that there were changes to the plan (suggested by Metro) that would save the district money but paying only for trips used. It may save as much as $100k per year. Michael DeBell pointed out that distribution to students as well as lost cards continues to be an issue.
So that's the Board meeting agenda. It is likely that few people will be calling to be on the Speakers List so it's a good time to address the Board. First thing Monday is when to call (252-0040) or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
It will also be an interesting meeting as it is the day after the primaries and we'll have a better idea of how the incumbents did.
To finish up on the report back from the Executive Committee meeting:
- Steve Sundquist pointed out that are "big issues around capacity planning." He says there needs to be community input on this issue.
- Michael DeBell states that the district needs a plan on capacity management outreach. He said, "The first day of school will see significant overcrowding at many locations." He said they needed to take the "emotional reaction" and be able to channel it into something constructive. He said they need a mechanism for people to express concerns and put them into action. No one disagreed with him on this point so remember this when school starts: they ALL KNOW there will be overcrowding.
- Susan Enfield said they are expecting a report from the Demographics Taskforce at the Board meeting on September 24. (All fine and well but that's WEEKS after school starts. What the plan for the issues Michael and Steve raised?")
- Michael also stated that the transition plan for the NSAP and the enrollment guide is the deadline and "we are working backwards."
- The Work Session prior to the Board meeting will be on Distribution Services. Sherry Carr was firm about needing management and oversight of contracts with vendors.
- Michael also expressed concern over the Legislature possibly coming in with new attendance law and how the district would handle this. (Susan Enfield mentioned - and it's an upcoming thread - that the Mayor's office is planning an initiative on this issue.) He said that there had been testing cheating in Atlanta and he worried over "attendance cheating" over the pressures that may come from any legislation.
Susan Enfield pointed out that they are hiring a new head of technology. Michael persisted and said that the Board needs to offer some guiding principles/vision because "we hear a lot from community on misdirection or lost opportunities." Sherry concurred with Michael.
They then discussed the issue of the superintendent search. He said that he wanted the new Board to have as much info from community as possible going into January (which is when they would need to start). He wants to know what the community wants from a superintendent. It sounds like they may do a survey and some public meetings.
Dr. Enfield mentioned that they have several names for the new Assistant Superintendent of Business and Finance (formerly CFO). Steve reminded her that the Board will be providing input on the hiring of upper management.
There was also mention about the furloughs and federal law and reminding staff NOT to work at all that day.
One interesting pushback was over the updating of Board policies. It seems like the staff is trying to push this through and the Board seems to be feeling some uneasiness with going too fast. Sherry pointed out that they are not on any deadline; it is work of their own making. She said she wanted it to be good work and it is risky not to allow the Board to ponder the ramifications of any changes. Michael concurred. He said he was a bit worried that he had received no questions from the public and that he wondered if they even understand this is going on. (The only feedback I've heard about was around the attendance policy.
They will be discussing these at the first Board meeting in September. We need to read through these policies because while some are just renumbered/renamed, many are complete overhauls that will affect your child's education.