BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING

 

MINUTES

January 23, 2006 – Boardroom

 

Board of Directors

Administrators

Judy Croce, Chair

Denise Pratt

Mike Tucker

Jacque Gerdes

Randy Trummer

Kathleen Rodden-Nord, Superintendent

Kathryn Hedrick, High School Principal

Bill Bechen, High School Assistant Principal

Tom Endersby, Oaklea Principal

 

 

 

Staff

Staff

Others

Stephanie White

Jill Case

Chris Meyer

 

Tabitha Carson

Kate Gillow-Wiles

Trish Litton

Mike Thoele, Tri-County News

Zach Gerdes

Judy

Bill Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

Superintendent Rodden-Nord – I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you, our school board members. As you heard when we were over at the high school for dinner this evening, by proclamation of the governor, January is designated as School Board Appreciation Month and I know that the students, the staff, and the community as a whole join me in thanking you for all of your service to our district. We very much appreciate it. Thank you!

 

 

At the high school, our boys’ basketball team remains undefeated and in a tie with Pleasant Hill. The match up is tomorrow at Pleasant Hill. I hope you have the opportunity to go watch some excellent basketball. They will be hosting Marist on Friday, and will be traveling to Siuslaw tomorrow night. Please come and show your Tiger Pride. Also, at half-time of the basketball game on Friday night there will be a brief ceremony to honor Ty Harden, a 2003 graduate of JCHS who is now a junior at the University of Washington, and the only member of the Huskies’ soccer team to be named to First Team All-Pac 10. Ty is the first Junction City soccer player to have his jersey retired and only the third Junction City athlete to earn this honor. Ty and his parents, Franny, a former district employee, and Rob, a former school board member, will be in attendance for this ceremony. Coming up in a few weeks, on February 14 th, our high school sophomores and juniors will have an opportunity to go to the Career Fair to be held at the Lane County Fairgrounds. Cameron Bittle took a group of 12 th graders up to Salem last Friday for a We the People competition. Prior to going I had the opportunity to judge the kids as they had a little mini competition, as did Mr. Tucker and Mr. Thoele, and it was a wonderful experience.

 

Oaklea Middle School was awarded a grant from the Chalkboard Project that will allow Oaklea to use the EdLine, on-line parent information service, school-wide next year. They are piloting it this year with just the 7 th grade. This program allows parents to log in and check their children’s attendance, work completion, and access other important information about what is happening at school. Oaklea Middle School 7 th and 8 th grade boys’ basketball teams will be starting up with their games this week; check with Oaklea for a copy of their game schedules. As an aside, I would like you to know that long-time JCHS football coach, Mark Henderson, has “gamely” taken on the role of assistant boys’ basketball coach at the middle school. I am sure the kids are thrilled to have him as their coach! Also, I would like you to know that in the first weeks of school after winter break, Oaklea students raised over $2,000 for the Oregon Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society in memory of our beloved middle school counselor, Casey Wahi. Casey is greatly missed by students, staff, and the community, but her legacy of compassionate and caring work with our students will live on.

 

Territorial will be having a “reading counts” assembly this Friday. Volunteer Jennifer Carr has organized this parent-driven initiative to encourage students to read at home more often. Students count the minutes they read, everyone who participates is rewarded, and kids and classrooms who read the most are rewarded more. Parents also have organized a Reading Fun Night at Territorial on January 27 th to emphasize reading as a fun family activity. Territorial’s Artist in Residence program will be kicking off on January 30 th with two weeks of dance and movement exploration.

 

On the first Friday of every month at the Laurel Media Center, there is a free family media night. All families with children ages 12 and under are welcome to come and check out books, use the computers, and enjoy a story with a guest reader. Also at Laurel, the Family Resource Center began its parenting series, Make Parenting a Pleasure. This is a free, 8-week class that provides child care and dinner. Twenty adults and 18 children showed up for the first session last week.

 

Finally, mark your calendars for the Junction City Connection spaghetti dinner and silent auction to be held Tuesday, February 28 th at 6:30 p.m. at the Viking Sal Senior Center. Entertainment will be provided by the after school kids’ club members; you can make your reservations by calling 302-7481.

 

 

There was a consensus of the board that leave of absence requests be placed back into the consent agenda. Kathleen will provide additional information regarding each request for a leave of absence in the board packets. The fact that one leave is granted does not set a precedence for the next leave; they will be considered individually even though they are part of the consent agenda.

 

 

Consent Agenda

 

 

A MOTION WAS MADE BY DIRECTOR PRATT, SECONDED BY DIRECTOR TRUMMER, TO APPROVE THE CONSENT AGENDA, AS AMENDED. The motion was APPROVED unanimously by those board members present.

 

Approve 2005-2009 contract with licensed employees – Superintendent Rodden-Nord – I would like to ask JCEA President, Kate Gillow-Wiles, if she would like the opportunity to address the board about the contract prior to your consideration. Kate Gillow-Wiles– I wanted to thank the school board members who worked on the bargaining team; it was a lot of work and we really appreciate it. I wanted to talk about the calendar. Several teachers have been telling me that they have been talking to their administrators about dissatisfaction with the school year this year with having blocks of professional activity days. One thing in particular has been the science fair at Oaklea. Janet Dunham said that because it takes so much amount of time, and teachers use to have the time during the professional development days, but now they do not have that time; that they simply cannot do this anymore and the kids are losing out because there is not the planning time to take care of that particular piece. A lot of teachers are telling me that they are putting in a lot of extra time to try to prep for those extra days and they are doing a lot more at home. I know of two teachers who were in school buildings this weekend to do planning. I myself do my planning on the weekend. They are really feeling concerned about that loss of professional time to do the planning that is needed to deliver the best curriculum to the students. I want to thank those of you who got to Casey’s memorial service; your presence was really appreciated. Your presence is also appreciated at any school function. I know Territorial invites you to all of their functions. One thing that I was asked to convey is to please come into classrooms and visit. The teachers voted to accept the contract, it wasn’t unanimous, but it was the majority. Jacque Gerdes – When we took some of the professional development full-days away, we were trying to put extra time backing with the late start and early release? Kate Gillow-Wiles – Yes, and it doesn’t work. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – We will be surveying the staff as a whole. I think some of the dilemma is when we try to do these things in a way that allows us to maintain the bus routes, we schedule a late start for everyone. That may work ok for the high school staff who are accustom to that, but some elementary teachers might say that the kids come even later, or don’t show up until lunch time. There are some nuisances we definitely want to get a handle on. One of the things I remember being really important to the board was the notion of trying to maximize instructional time and also to look at developing a calendar that was representative of what is happening elsewhere in the county. What we found was that our district had the smallest number of instructional days of anybody in the county, except for one district that has a four-day week and another district who’s staff was asked to take 10 days and 20 days of cuts due to their financial issues. The board wanted to make sure that our kids were getting at least the average amount of time as other kids. That same philosophy held true in bargaining when we looked at making a change in the number of paid holidays. There was an acknowledgement that our paid holidays for our licensed employees was lower than what the other districts were and there was an acknowledgement that if we were looking to make the instructional time average we should be fine with making the paid holidays average as well. With this trial period with the early release and late start days, once you factor those hours of time without kids in, what we are actually looking at is about 10 hours of added instruction over the course of the school year. We will continue to look at it and get feedback from the staff and from the parents about their feelings about late start or early release versus more professional development days versus more instructional days. The thing that we have heard over and over from parents in the community is that kids seem to have too many days off of school and that they have more days off than anybody else. As we are facing higher standards and increased expectations for academic achievement I think we really need to look at the time our kids are in class. We haven’t yet found that perfect balance between affording our staff the planning time, or the professional development time, along with affording our kids the optimal instructional time. This was an idea that percolated from the teaching staff to the administrative team as we were planning the calendar. Jill Case – More instructional days, actually, came from some of the teachers as well, as did the idea of late start and early releases.

 

A MOTION WAS MADE BY DIRECTOR PRATT, SECONDED BY DIRECTOR GERDES, TO APPROVE THE 2005-2009 CONTRACT WITH THE LICENSED EMPLOYEES, AS PRESENTED. The motion was APPROVED unanimously by those board members present.

 

Superintendent Rodden-Nord – Mike Bonner could not be at the meeting tonight but wanted everyone to know that he would have voted yes on approving the contract.

 

Approve the Northwest Youth Corp. outdoor program/alternative education program for the remainder of the 2005-06 school year. - Superintendent Rodden-NordBill Bechen is going to be speaking to you about this issue. We have a young man at the high school who is facing expulsion and who has demonstrated prior to that that he was in need of an alternative placement. In the process of trying to find the right placement for this student, some of the options that the board had approved for alternative placements this year really weren’t matching up with the needs of this student. Bill did some investigation into this program, it’s on the state approved list and it’s accredited. Bill did make a site visit and this is one of those instances where it seems that in order to meet the needs of a particular student, it would be good to add this program to the list for the rest of this year and then when we come back around to making recommendations for alternative education programs to the board in June we will have evaluated how this student did, presuming you approve this, and we can know if this will be a good alternative education placement to add to the list as a whole. Bill – We can only offer this program to this student; we don’t know if he is going to accept it. Placing students in an alternative setting it’s not a one size fits all, just like our high school. This program is pretty small, 13 staff members and 55 students. It’s accredited by the state. Kids can earn a high school diploma or an adult basic. There are levels; kids get assessed when they come in and get put into appropriate academic groups. The cost is 80% of the ADM. The students always start from the site every morning, whether they are going out or staying in for that day and LTD bus passes are supplied by the school and the bus stop is right out front. Mike Tucker – Do we have to offer transportation? Bill – Transportation is the responsibility of the student in the case of an expulsion. Denise – Is this unique? Are there other outdoor programs in the area? Bill – There was an article in Saturday’s newspaper about a place over in Bend; it’s not like that but it is outdoor based; it is unique for the area. Northwest Youth Corp. has been around for a while (since 1984) and it really emphasizes team work, hard work, work ethics, as well as the academics. Chair Croce – So instead of expulsion this student would be placed here? Bill – In this case, no. Chair Croce – Do you then recommend this placement after the student is expelled? How does that work? Bill – I have recommended this to the parent and student in prior meetings. Chair Croce – What happened if the student drops out of there? Where is our role there? Have we washed our hand of them? Bill – That is a really hard question. I would like to say, no, we never wash our hands of a student. This has been a pretty lengthy process with this one individual and I think we have come to a pretty reasonable conclusion that our system is not working and it’s beginning to show itself in disciplinary issues. With Northwest Youth Corp., if they find that the student is not a good fit there, they have an exit process where they actually look for another placement. Kathryn Hedrick – In any expulsion, we provide an alternative educational opportunity and what we are asking is that this program be added to the list of programs to recommend. Theoretically, should the student be expelled and attend there, it’s very conceivable that the student would return to JCHS at some point. Mike Tucker – I imagine, if a student has been expelled that the parent would be involved and would be encouraging the student to follow some sort of alternative course. Denise Pratt – I think it’s exciting to find something that we might not be currently offering that may work for a child that wasn’t succeeding at JCHS. Good for you for finding it. Jacque Gerdes – Thanks for going out and trying to find a place that’s appropriate for this student.

 

A MOTION WAS MADE BY DIRECTOR GERDES, SECONDED BY DIRECTOR PRATT, TO APPROVE THE NORTHWEST YOUTH CORP. OUTDOOR PROGRAM/ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION PROGRAM FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE 2005-06 SCHOOL YEAR, AS PRESENTED. The motion was APPROVED unanimously by those board members present.

 

D.   Approve hiring of Tabitha Carson as .50 FTE, temporary 6 th grade teacher at Oaklea Middle School, beginning December 5, 2005 through the end of the 2005-06 school year.Superintendent Rodden-Nord – At one of the last board meetings there was some discussion about the large class sizes in the 6 th grade at Oaklea. We did some brainstorming and Jill looked into the grants that she manages and found that we had some carryover funds that would just about cover a part-time 6 th grade teacher at Oaklea and it would also meet the requirements of this particular fund. Mr. Endersby set about trying to figure out a graceful way of introducing a new 6 th grade teacher into the building several months into the school year and found Ms. Carson. From everything I have heard she has been a fabulous fit thus far and the kids are happy to be in her class and the 6 th grade teachers have been very grateful to have some extra help. Jacque Gerdes – They say it makes a huge difference in their day. Tom – It really did reduce class size from around 35 to something more reasonable like 27-28, which is still large, but certainly better. Tabitha did student teach at Oaklea, so the 6 th grade teachers already knew her. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – She is here tonight as well.

 

A MOTION WAS MADE BY DIRECTOR GERDES, SECONDED BY DIRECTOR TRUMMER, TO APPROVE THE HIRING OF TABITHA CARSON AS .50 FTE, TEMPORARY 6 TH GRADE TEACHER AT OAKLEA MIDDLE SCHOOL, BEGINNING DECEMBER 5, 2005 THROUGH THE END OF THE 2005-06 SCHOOL YEAR, AS PRESENTED. The motion was APPROVED unanimously by those board members present.

 

 

E.   Approve hiring of Ceridwyn Gipson as .50 FTE, temporary language arts teacher at Oaklea Middle School, beginning January 24, 2006 through the end of the 2005-06 school year. – Superintendent Rodden-Nord – Again, we ended up with some carry over funds through the NCLB and Jill asked for special permission from the state to use the carry over funds for this position and they were very supportive. Ceri Gipson is who Oaklea found. She has been working very closely with Mark Schroeder and Joe Forward. Tom Endersby – It’s actually a very similar situation in 8 th grade where we had a large group of students. We also wanted to strengthen the transition between 8 th grade and 9 th grade in the language arts area.

 

A MOTION WAS MADE BY DIRECTOR TRUMMER, SECONDED BY DIRECTOR GERDES, TO APPROVE THE HIRING OF CERIDWYN GIPSON AS .50 FTE, TEMPORARY 8 TH GRADE LANGUAGE ARTS TEACHER AT OAKLEA MIDDLE SCHOOL, BEGINNING JANUARY 24, 2006 THROUGH THE END OF THE 2005-06 SCHOOL YEAR, AS PRESENTED. The motion was APPROVED unanimously by those board members present.

 

F.   First Reading and Approval of Policy – JFCG/KGC/GBK – Tobacco Free Environment – Revision – Superintendent Rodden-Nord – There have been some changes in the Oregon Administrative Rules which expands the restriction of tobacco at any location under the jurisdiction of public schools. The new rule applies to all students, staff, and visitors at all times. You probably have heard our wonderful sports announcer, Malcom McRae, announce at all sporting events that Junction City High School is a tobacco-free campus and that staff, students, and visitors are prohibited from using tobacco products at any time on district grounds or at district-sponsored events. Essentially, these are revisions to the policy that was in existence. The policy already was implemented more strictly; we have already been having tobacco free campuses and making those kinds of announcements and having signage and announcements in newsletters. The policy change is very consistent with what the practice has been in recent years. Jacque – I see that it goes to tobacco free environment and alcohol and drugs are taken off, what happens with alcohol and drugs now? Superintendent Rodden-Nord – We have an alcohol and drug free schools policy also, so this was a little redundant.

 

A MOTION WAS MADE BY DIRECTOR GERDES, SECONDED BY DIRECTOR TRUMMER, TO APPROVE POLICY JFCG/KGC/GBK – TOBACCO FREE ENVIRONMENT, AS PRESENTED. The motion was APPROVED unanimously by those board members present.

 

G.   Second Reading and Approval of Policies.

 

 

Superintendent Rodden-Nord – There was one question that did come up about the board member qualifications policy and I wanted to reiterate that this policy only precludes someone who is an actual employee of the district from serving on the board, it does not prohibit a spouse of an employee from serving on the board. The other thing is, that while he is not here tonight, having a law enforcement officer on the school board, he is going to see things in our policies that we don’t. The prior policy ECAB was titled Vandalism/Malicious Mischief/Theft, Mike Bonner let us know that there was no such thing as malicious mischief, that it in fact was criminal mischief. We checked with OSBA and I think they probably will recommend that change state-wide.

 

A MOTION WAS MADE BY DIRECTOR TUCKER, SECONDED BY DIRECTOR PRATT, TO APPROVE POLICIES AC - Nondiscrimination, BBBA – Board Member Qualifications, AND ECAB – Vandalism/Criminal Mischief/Theft, AS PRESENTED. The motion was APPROVED unanimously by those board members present.

 

Mike Tucker – I had noticed that our new maintenance supervisor was here tonight with his wife. I have heard nothing but good things about his performance in the five months that he’s been here. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – This is Chris Meyer, our new facilities director, and he has been with us since September. I could probably talk for hours about how great it has been to have him here. He and Derik, our lead maintenance worker, are an amazing team and in a matter of months they have caught up on work orders that have been open for a while. He is chairing the safety committee for the district; he is really vigilant about getting information about different kinds of alerts we need to be aware of. Chris has tremendous expertise in heating and cooling systems and we are so grateful that he does because he is able to deal with some of the idiosyncrasies of our systems without it costing us an absolute fortune in contracting out for those services. Plus he’s just a really nice guy, he is very pleasant to have around; very unflappable so far. Chris and Judy were invited to the dinner tonight. I also asked Chris to come and observe a board meeting because he will be at the next meeting to share with you some of the most immediate facilities concerns.

 

 

Craig – There are two districts, Eugene and Salem, that have raised quite a ruckus over the fact that they have to travel. It was interesting listening to the arguments at the meeting and seeing how some people view the world versus themselves. One comment was that, ‘those people chose to live in a rural area and we chose to live in a metropolitan area, so why should we be punished for that?’ What’s going on right now is that Eugene and parts of Salem have gone to the State Board of Education trying to get this repealed. OSAA believes that they have followed their own guidelines and have done everything by the book. They have asked a number of people to talk about their situation and I am one of the people they have asked. Their attorneys will be talking with me and I have talked with our administration to get approval. We have been playing LaPine and going over the mountain for 12 years. We are now going to be going over the mountain to Sisters too. The reason we don’t yell about that is because when you look at the big picture and what was done, the big picture is for the welfare of kids throughout the state, not just kids in Junction City. The obvious problem is travel in the winter and our practice in the past when we go to LaPine in the winter is we spend a little extra money and take a charter. This adds a whole level of safety. You have drivers who are experienced, you have a lot more wheels on the road, and we have never had a problem with that. So, they have asked me to speak to that in some kind of a deposition and I am going to do so because I really believe this is a good plan for everybody. I just wanted you to know that they are going to talk to me, so my name could come up.

 

 

Kathryn Hedrick – I would like to announce that Junction City High School was accredited, fully because we were able to put the FTE back in the counseling center.

 

 

  

Superintendent Rodden-Nord – I would like to introduce Trish Litton, one of our new budget committee members. Trish is a mom of three young men that attend our schools. We were grateful that Trish was willing to step in and help us with our budgeting process. She is an alumnus of Junction City School District. She has some expertise from the business world with the budgeting process; and also will come with the heart and concerns of a mom who has kids in our district. Welcome!

 

 

  

 

The meeting adjourned at 7:40 p.m.

 

 

 

 

                            

Superintendent / Clerk           Chair, Board of Directors