JUNCTION CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING

August 28, 2006

 

MINUTES

 

Board of Directors

 

Administrators

Mike Bonner, Chair

Randy Trummer, Vice-Chair

Mike Tucker

Judy Croce

Mike Brotherton

 

Kathleen Rodden-Nord, Superintendent

Wanda McClure, Business Manager

Kathryn Hedrick, High School Principal

Tom Endersby, Oaklea Principal

Amy Lesan, Laurel Principal

Alan Adler, Territorial Principal

 

 

 

 

Staff

Staff

 

Staff and Others

Stephanie White

Kate Gillow-Wiles

Cheryl Glasser

 

Mike Thoele, Tri-County News

KVAL – 2

Others – 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our high school athletes survived “daily doubles” last week and are looking forward to their opening contests. The boys’ soccer team will have their first home match next Tuesday, the fifth, at 4:00. The first home match for girls’ soccer is scheduled for Thursday, September 7 th, and volleyball’s home opener is two Mondays from tonight, September 11 th. We will also have our home opener for football that week, on Friday, September 15 th at 7:00. We won’t be able to see our cross country team at home until their Junction City Invitational on October 3 rd at 4:00. Please be sure to check the high school website for links to the calendars for athletics and other upcoming activities.

 

As you know, we have had a couple of big maintenance projects underway this summer. The reconstruction of the track will be complete after the striping is done, hopefully by the middle of this week. The new wooden gym floor at Oaklea is done, and it looks absolutely gorgeous. We will be asking for our community’s support and cooperation as we strive to preserve and maintain our improved facilities. The Laurel roofing project is nearing completion, & the security cameras around the high school campus have been installed and are ready to go online.

 

We had our new teacher orientation this morning, and the staff we have hired seem to be the cream of the crop. We look forward to the positive contributions that they will make in helping all our students achieve at high levels. These new staff members will be introduced to their colleagues at tomorrow morning’s “welcome back” assembly at Territorial Elementary. The morning will start with refreshments at 7:45 and the program at 8:15. I invite the board to attend. One of the cool things that will be happening at this year’s staff kick-off is that small teams from each school will be sharing with the district staff as a whole special projects and initiatives that will be underway at their schools this year. Despite the challenges that we will inevitably face, we are going to have a terrific year, and I thank each of our board members for the important part they play in ensuring that our district does the best possible job of engaging, inspiring, and educating our students.

 

Judy Croce – I have noticed new gates and fences in two areas around the district. Could you please explain those? Superintendent Rodden-Nord – One of them is outside the district office lot and the other one is behind Laurel in the gravel parking lot. With the Laurel gate, we found that there was some neighboring property that over the years there has been some tension about access to the parking lot and the fact that a lot of gravel and dust was being kicked up. It is an expense to the district to have to do dust abatement back there. It has pretty much been a parking lot for the buses to drop off and pick up kids, and also for some limited staff parking. Before putting the gate up we had a discussion with Matt Knox from JCA and asked what their thoughts were on it and they have been very positive about it because they have had some concerns about people parking back there to access the ball fields for games. The district office fence came a little too late because we had a fairly major break-in in our FFA room the week before the gate was installed. The way that room was accessed and the items were stolen is they came through the district office parking lot. Those are just some areas where over the years have become harder to supervise and monitor. The intention is that the lot will be accessible at all hours that the district office is open for business and also for approved facilities use. We are hoping that constructing this fence and gate will cut down on vandalism and maybe even injuries. Chair Bonner – The fences and gates will only be good if they are shut and locked. We have had fences behind the east wing of the high school that have been locked open. Are those gates going to be looked at getting shut and locked at the same time? Superintendent Rodden-Nord – That is something that the high school can definitely look into. Judy Campbell – My only concern with the fence at Laurel is that there isn’t a break in the fence for walkers and bicycle riders to get through. They have to go all the way around. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – I think there was probably some thought into that, Judy, about people having access at the end of Oak Street and then for baseball activities, and so on. The push has been for people to use the grassy parking area off of Rose Street. Part of the idea was to keep traffic back there behind Laurel to a minimum and having an opening would allow for people to park back there and walk through.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

A MOTION WAS MADE BY DIRECTOR TUCKER SECONDED BY DIRECTOR CROCE, TO APPROVE THE RESIGNATION OF JEREMY LONG, TEMPORARY TEACHER AT OAKLEA MIDDLE SCHOOL, EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, AS PRESENTED. The motion was APPROVED unanimously by those board members present.

 

 

Randy Trummer – Wanda, the $535,000 that is what is budgeted in the 200 funds making the assumption that we would have all this? Wanda – Yes. When we do the budget in the spring, we don’t know exactly how we are going to spend the money. So we fine tune it and that is what Jill has done here, she has fine tuned it. The total amount of money is in there but it isn’t exactly budgeted the way that it was put in. Chair Bonner – Is that money consistently the same amount each year? Wanda – It is close. It is a little bit more this coming year that what we had last year, but I allowed for that in the budget. Judy Croce – Where do the security cameras at the high school fit into the No Child Left Behind grant? Wanda – Title IVD. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – And that is an approved use of that grant money. For each of those separate entitlement grants, there is a specific amount of money allotted and then they tell you the types of things you can use the grant money for.

 

A MOTION WAS MADE BY DIRECTOR TRUMMER, SECONDED BY DIRECTOR BROTHERTON, TO APPROVE THE NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND CONSOLIDATED SUBGRANT APPLICATION, AS PRESENTED. The motion was APPROVED unanimously by those board members present.

 

 

1.   Approve the hiring of Daniel Baumann as temporary .60 FTE PE teacher at Laurel Elementary School, temporary for the 2006-07 school year only.

 

2.   Approve the voluntary transfer of Cat Jenkins to temporary, grant-funded, .50 FTE reading coach and assessment coordinator at Laurel Elementary School, temporary for the 2006-07 school year only.

 

Judy Croce – Wasn’t she going to job-share again this year? Amy Lesan – That was a possibility if we weren’t able to work this out with the grant. Judy – Then what happens with Ann? Amy – She is full-time this year. Judy – Is she ok with that? I know she wanted to work part-time last year. Amy – Yes, she is ok with it.

 

3.   Approve the hiring of Kourtney Shreve as 1.0 FTE self-contained special education teacher at Laurel Elementary School, beginning the 2006-07 school year.

 

Chair Bonner – I got to meet Kourtney this morning at the new teacher orientation, and she is very confident.

 

A MOTION WAS MADE BY DIRECTOR TRUMMER, SECONDED BY DIRECTOR CROCE, TO APPROVE THE FOLLOWING HIRING RECOMMENDATIONS FOR LAUREL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: DANIEL BAUMANN AS TEMPORARY .60 FTE PE TEACHER; CAT JENKINS AS TEMPORARY, GRANT-FUNDED, .50 FTE READING COACH AND ASSESSMENT COORDINATOR; AND KOURTNEY SHREVE AS 1.0 FTE SELF-CONTAINED SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER, AS PRESENTED. The motion was APPROVED unanimously by those board members present.

 

Superintendent Rodden-Nord – This is the position that is temporary due to the leave of absence that the board approved for Rhonda Myers at the end of last year. Rhonda is in Mexico increasing her proficiency with the Spanish language. Peggy is the person Tom is recommending to fill in while Rhonda is out on leave. Chair Bonner – Tom, I understand that she speaks several different languages? Tom – She speaks at least four, so I think we will be well served.

 

A MOTION WAS MADE BY DIRECTOR TRUMMER SECONDED BY DIRECTOR CROCE, TO APPROVE THE HIRING OF PEGGY EHLERS AS TEMPORARY .50 FTE ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNER TEACHER AT OAKLEA MIDDLE SCHOOL, TEMPORARY FOR THE 2006-07 SCHOOL YEAR ONLY, AS PRESENTED. The motion was APPROVED unanimously by those board members present.

 

 

Chair Bonner – She has already served in this position last year in a temporary capacity and Kathryn is delighted to recommend her for this position.

 

A MOTION WAS MADE BY DIRECTOR BROTHERTON, SECONDED BY DIRECTOR CROCE, TO APPROVE THE HIRING OF ERIN HOLTEY AS 1.0 FTE COUNSELOR AT JUNCTION CITY HIGH SCHOOL, BEGINNING THE 2006-07 SCHOOL YEAR, AS PRESENTED. The motion was APPROVED unanimously by those board members present.

 

 

Chair Bonner – Nila has five years of special education experience. She has worked with middle school kids as well as students of elementary school age. She has worked in under-served and under-funded schools, creating many of her own materials. She is going to be district-wide going from school to school? Superintendent Rodden-Nord – She is going to have three different assignments; she is going to be part-time at Territorial to address the needs of their kids on IEPs, which is a very small number, she will be doing remedial writing instruction at the middle school, and then serving the students at the Haag Home for adjudicated youth. All of those were very small assignments, Andy Meskil filled parts of the two latter assignments and now with his new assignment as a social studies teacher at the middle school, it seemed like a good time to take that .25 piece that Korrinne Ross had last year at Laurel and put them all together and try to find one person who could do all those things. Judy Croce – Is it Nila’s choice to work .75? Is it funding? Are we paying .75 benefits? Superintendent Rodden-Nord – Yes, we are paying prorated benefits at .75. Judy – Is there a full-time need in this position? Superintendent Rodden-Nord – It’s been kind of variable just because of the numbers of kids. At points in time there probably is a need for a full-time person to do all those things. I think Tom will have her assigned to two periods of writing instruction; there are 3 kids on IEPs at Territorial this year; and Tony is expecting about 9 kids at the Haag Home this year. Chair Bonner – It’s my understanding with adjudicated youth is that the county that they committed the crime in and/or the county that they live in is responsible for that student. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – For the purposes of receiving their education, they are considered residents of our district and we are responsible for their education, and we can make a claim to the state for them as resident pupils. The services at the Haag Home are funded partially by general fund ADM generated revenue and then the potential (which is a fairly recent development) for time to be charged to the Neglected and Delinquent part of the grant, which doesn’t start until September 30 th. It may be that at the next board meeting a recommendation be made to increase the FTE for this position, using that fund.

 

Mike Tucker – Special education and remedial, aren’t those the same thing? Superintendent Rodden-Nord – No, they are not. Special education is for students on IEPs, students that are identified as having a disability; and then there are students who may be in need of remedial instruction, like the Haag Home kids, or they might be kids that are not achieving the standards and are not identified as having a disability.

 

A MOTION WAS MADE BY DIRECTOR CROCE, SECONDED BY DIRECTOR TRUMMER, TO APPROVE THE HIRING OF NILA CHRISTENSEN AS .75 FTE SPECIAL EDUCATION AND REMEDIAL TEACHER WITH THE JUNCTION CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT, BEGINNING THE 2006-07 SCHOOL YEAR, AS PRESENTED. The motion was APPROVED unanimously by those board members present.

 

 

 

 

Superintendent Rodden-Nord – We had two postings for Speech Language Pathologists and we had great difficulty in securing the services of a licensed Speech Language Pathologist. When it became clear that we were not going to get qualified candidates to fill these positions, we reposted the positions requiring a special education license with the thought that we would probably have to do what we did two years ago and contract out for some of the services that can’t be provided by a special ed licensed person, but yet have that special ed person implement the services on the IEP that they can. Randy Trummer – Gayle Davies is a licensed SLP? So, the other 1.6 FTE will be working under the direction, or under the oversight of Gayle? Alan Adler – Actually, they will have an emergency license from TSPC that is actually a Speech Language License. This is just for one year and is an alternative license that TSPC put out because there are so few Speech Language teachers. Randy – So if by chance that we were able to find a SLP in the middle of the year, what would happen to these other teachers? Superintendent Rodden-Nord – We started posting those positions in probably January of this year, and I would anticipate we would do that again for next year. That would be a nice problem to have, if we had someone show up and be properly licensed and want to work for the district full-time in that capacity. At that point, what we would be offering to these people, pending the board’s approval, are contracts for this school year only. Chair Bonner – We have Nila Christensen at .75 and then we have a .4 and a .6. Is there a reason we didn’t increase one up to 1.0 and decrease another one down to .5 and then have two employees with more hours, saving us insurance on the other person? Superintendent Rodden-Nord – I think the jobs are different and when the principals were interviewing and processing through the applications, I don’t really know if Nila would be qualified to implement language programs in the same way that the principals feel these other folks would. Gayle is a retiree; she worked in the Springfield School District for a number of years as a SLP, so that is the maximum amount of time that we were able to expect from her. It was more of a desire to match the right people with the needs, rather than try to combine positions to reduce the number of bodies. Chair Bonner – The reason I ask is because one of the resignation letters from last year said that it was really not with the hours that they were working, but driving from building to building, it was costing them to work. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – Last year we had somebody at .25 on a pretty particular assignment at Laurel and that was one of those pieces that went to making this .75 position.

A MOTION WAS MADE BY DIRECTOR CROCE SECONDED BY DIRECTOR TRUMMER, TO APPROVE THE FOLLOWING TEMPORARY HIRING RECOMMENDATIONS: STACY HOWARD AS TEMPORARY 1.0 FTE SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER AT LAUREL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL; JANIE SHUEY AS TEMPORARY .60 FTE SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER WITH THE JUNCTION CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT; AND GAYLE DAVIES AS TEMPORARY .40 FTE SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST WITH THE JUNCTION CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT, AS PRESENTED. The motion was APPROVED unanimously by those board members present.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chair Bonner – There was something that I wanted to bring up and I talked with Stephanie about it briefly, and I think I talked with Kathleen about it. At the end of meetings I would like to put an agenda item for Board member comments for things that aren’t on the agenda; things that they have heard in the community, or things they just want to talk about, which works right into what Mike Brotherton wants to talk about. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – I would just ask, as a courtesy to me, that if you have something on your mind and you know you are going to bring it up at the end of the meeting, if you could give me a little heads up so that if there is information I could bring that would be helpful to the discussion, I could get it prepared.

 

Mike Brotherton – I had talked with Kathleen earlier today and it has to do with the administrative assignment for Amy. This is Amy’s fourth year as principal at Laurel. Before Amy was Kathleen and Kathleen had a couple of counselors, she had a dean of students, and I think there was an assistant principal tossed in there at some point. Over the years we have kind of whittled that down to where there is now just Amy and a counselor. We started out with Tom coming over part-time to help facilitate things and we carried that one for the second year. Last year we didn’t. Now this year we are coming back again to having Bill come over to Laurel to offer support. I would put out that maybe what we have done, as a board, is we have restricted or cut back on administrative staff to the point where it is not working anymore. If three out of the last four years we have had to have someone come in to help her, it’s kind of an indication that there is a need for some type of permanent position that we can go forward with. Obviously it wasn’t brought up in the budgeting process and we moved people around and we are hiring people. The administrators have a solution now, and I think the staff is doing a great job of coming up something that is working within the budget and won’t cost a lot to do it. But, it will help Amy, but at the same time has to be a pain to Kathryn, losing her assistant principal. We have some people that are going to replace him, but they are in a training mode, which means they are going to need more of Kathryn’s time. It’s a workable thing, but it’s not a long-term solution. The point I am trying to make is that over the last four years there has been a demonstrated need for this type of person at Laurel and I would suggest we start looking at funding that permanent position and do away with these temporary things. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – I certainly appreciate your bringing this up and your acknowledgement that this has been an ongoing, long-term issue since we cut the support that I had. I think what’s happened is when the administrative team gets together and generates budgetary recommendations for your consideration; really and truly the last thing they think about is their own workloads and what their needs are. They are thinking about what specialists we would want the kids to have, what we want class sizes to be like, who needs new materials, and so it is not even something that came up on their radar screen, even though we all know it has been a need that we have addressed in kind of a hodge-podge fashion. It is something that needs to be put on the table and have a conversation about what our administrative FTE is relative to other districts our size in context of what our needs are. Is that a conversation for now, since the budget has been firmed up and we have what may be a very workable plan to get us through this year? Or, do you want to hear more about this later? Mike Brotherton – When you look at yourself as opposed to other districts, there are lots of variables, you can never measure the difficulty of the students. We have a school here [ Laurel] that does very well; they win awards, and I would hate to mess around with them to the point where they aren’t doing so well. Chair Bonner – You have to look at the burnout factor as well. Mike Brotherton – What Am has to look forward to is one patch after another patch after another patch. Amy Lesan – I appreciate the conversation being brought up. It is a big job and I am excited about the job-share with Bill this year. I do hope that we discuss this for a permanent plan in future years. Randy Trummer – Going back to what like-schools have as far as administrators. I think it would be really interesting to look at the AYP results and look at everything from Laurel up. Look at Prairie Mountain, Willagillespie, Gilham, Harrison, Siuslaw. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – Prairie Mountain is a great example because it is a very large school, it is K-8, but they have a principal and an assistant principal and have since it was a K-5 school. Randy Trummer – It would be nice to also look at the elementary schools that are lower than Laurel in reading and math and take a look at those to see what is comparable. Mike Brotherton – I would like to suggest, not to commit us to anything, but maybe to go back and see what type of other possibilities there might be other than the gracious one that they put forward, what the cost might be, and how we might pay for it and let us know. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – You would like me to come to the next meeting with some possible options and what the cost might be. Would you also like a report on how this has gone for the month that it has been implemented? Mike Brotherton – No, that would be micromanaging; you will do fine. I am just saying that from a board standpoint that something we have done in the past we have taken away and it might be time to put it back. Chair Bonner – I know that the houses that are going up are going to be in the 200 range, plus and they are going to go up fast. If they are anywhere like the neighborhood that I just moved into, there is going to be a lot of little elementary kids. Just on my one block there is going to be 8 new kids going to Laurel here in the next year to two years, and that is only 8-9 homes. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – It might be time for us to think about getting the demographics study, which would be a cost but it would also perhaps give us a more educated guess about what we are looking at. Is that something that the board would like us to start looking into? Randy Trummer – I think that is a really good investment. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – Before we do that, I will give you a notion of how much it costs & see if you want to make that investment now.

 

Judy Croce – All of those little kids grow up, and I totally understand why we are doing it, but we have been putting money into hiring aides and the reading program, but then we look right in front of us at our scores and what happened to the high school? Nothing against the high school, but we need to put a little more assistance there. It’s just as important to meet those kids’ needs at the high school than it is at Laurel. Chair Bonner – Do they have SMART programs geared toward different grades? Kathryn Hedrick – Not that I know of at the high school level. We are doing a lot though in terms of literacy, so we are attending to reading. We don’t necessarily get the volunteers at high school that the elementary schools do. I’d be happy to talk with the board during our high school update about what we are doing to address those declining scores. Randy Trummer – I would be very interested in hearing something about that within the next couple of meetings. How is it that middle schools are so successful with AYP and why is it that 8 th graders who are 10 th graders aren’t testing very well? And it’s not just Junction City. I would be interested in hearing from you what you think some of those indicators are. Mike Brotherton – Kathryn, don’t you think that when a vast majority of the high schools don’t meet that standard that it just could be that the standard was written badly? Kathryn – No. I can only speak to Junction City High School, but I’d be happy to speak to you about some global things as well.

 

Adjourn at 7:48 p.m.

 

 

 

 

                                

Superintendent/Clerk             Chair, Board of Directors