JUNCTION CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING

October 23, 2006

 

MINUTES

 

Board of Directors

 

Administrators

Mike Bonner, Chair

Randy Trummer, Vice-Chair

Denise Pratt

Judy Croce

Mike Brotherton

Jacque Gerdes

 

Kathleen Rodden-Nord, Superintendent

Wanda McClure, Business Manager

Kathryn Hedrick, High School Principal

Bill Bechen, High School Assistant Principal

Tom Endersby, Oaklea Principal

Amy Lesan, Laurel Principal

Alan Adler, Territorial Principal

 

 

 

 

Staff

Staff

 

Staff and Others

Stephanie White

Jill Case

Malcom McRae

Kate Gillow-Wiles

Kristi Stahl

Ahmed El-Sayad

 

Mike Thoele, Tri-County News

Daniel Sorensen, Student Representative

Dr. Marilyn Olson – U of O

Ron Brown – U of O

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Territorial is having their harvest party on October 31. They are looking for a few eager volunteers to help station the various activities they will have available for the kids. They are also looking for donations of small trinkets and prizes for those lucky kids who win activities. The Laurel Parent Group is back at it. The school-wide project this year is once again tie-dye t-shirts. That project will start on Wednesday and will be going until Thursday, November 2 nd. Each board member will be gifted with a tie-dye t-shirt. Denise – What time are you doing it? When can we come volunteer? Jacque – We will be operating every day from 8:30 until 3:00, and you can come in anytime and volunteer. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – Oaklea is going to be celebrating Red Ribbon week this week and Oaklea leadership students have planned an action-packed week to celebrate their stand against drugs. Oaklea urges you to drive by and check out their new electronic reader board; thanks to the generosity of both the Oaklea Parent Group and Country Coach. Fall sports will be concluding soon at Junction City High School; they had a really fun assembly this morning to honor fall athletes. I was, however, very surprised to see our staff beat our varsity girls in volleyball because our volleyball team is league champions. The culinary arts students, tomorrow, along with the JCHS choir will be welcoming the JC Soroptomists for lunch. A number of our students will be performing tomorrow night at Willamette High School for the Choral Festival. I am hoping that the board can join us on November 9 th at 6:00 p.m. at Shadow Hills for the Annual Junction City/Harrisburg Distinguished Services Awards. At that gathering they will be honoring a couple of our very own; Jean Phifer as Educator of the Year. Jean is a long-time elementary teacher at Laurel. We also will be having the opportunity to honor Zach Gerdes, who is being presented with the Youth Services Award. Zach is a senior at JCHS and sat in as the board representative last school year. Tickets are $25 and have to be purchased by November 3 rd. Contact Taryl at the Chamber to get your tickets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Mike Brotherton – In the past we have had discussions about people going to part-time and I still maintain that it is in our best interest to have full-time employees because we have full-time kids. This strikes me as puzzling because not only does she want to go part-time, she wants to specify exactly what hours she wants to be part-time. Normally it is the employer who matches not only what they need in the way of employees but what they need in the way of needs. It seems to be a trend that we are going more and more to less full-time and more part-time employees. There use to be a point when we didn’t have part-time. Chair Bonner – I actually had a conversation with the Superintendent about this because I noticed the same trend. It seems that each month we have a request for some type of change in hours or status and I am not sure how much time it takes with staff to coordinate and how much time it takes with the principals, but they were hired as full-time staff. Mike Brotherton – It obviously takes more time. If they want to work part-time, there are lots of places where they can work part-time. Jacque – Amy, you have had a lot of experience with that in the last few years. What do you think? Amy Lesan – If this was something I didn’t think would work, I wouldn’t have let it come to the board’s level. I have met with Michelle, she has a 2 year old at home and another one on the way; she is excited; she’s an amazing teacher; she’s a good community member; she’s somebody who is going to be in our schools for a long time. She has thought about taking the rest of the year off for parenting leave, but she is too involved with the kids in her classroom and that just wouldn’t work for her. She wanted the time in the afternoon so she could plan for the other part-time teacher to make sure that her kids were still getting what she really knows they need to get, and it is something that I am in full support of. I know that she will be just as dedicated, or more dedicated working part-time. Judy – Do we have another part-time person that she is going to be working with? Amy – No. Michelle is going to be gone for three months, so we will have a long-term sub in there and so it would make sense for that person to just continue on for the rest of the year so there is continuity. Randy – Do you think it is Michelle’s intent to come back full-time next year? Amy – Yes, that is her intent. Randy – So this would only be through June? Amy – Yes. Judy – April 2 nd, is that the first day back after spring break? Amy – I am not sure. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – I think that is the completion of her twelve-weeks of FMLA and it just happened to fall after spring break. Randy – What is the breakdown between full-time teachers that you supervise versus part-time? Amy – Right now I only have one part-time person. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – And that assignment is a half-time job. Amy – Yes. Most of the people that have been part-time have done it on a temporary basis because of parenting. I have a lot of young staff that are having babies right now and I think that is something that is very important to them. Chair Bonner – I am not questioning that, I am just seeing a growing trend of part-timers. Mike Brotherton – I don’t care about who the individual is, that is micro-managing. I bring it up because of our policy. Is it our policy to have part-time employees? It didn’t use to be. If it is going to be our policy that we welcome the new staff and that we encourage part-time employees then let’s make it a policy to do that and be done with it. If it’s not then we need to state that and bypass all this. Denise – I think that as our staff gets younger and more of the older teachers retire this is going to come up more instead of less. Mike Brotherton – Which is exactly why we need a policy, so they know what to expect up front. Jacque – The policy can go the other way too. If we want to have someone in a part-time position, who is a great employee, then we are stuck because of this policy. I like the administrators being able to use their best administrative judgment in determining whether or not this would work in a particular situation. I think our administrators are doing a great job. Denise – I am more worried about who the long-term sub is, actually, than who the part-time staff person is because I just want the kids to have the very best that they can have. Chair Bonner – I think for a lot of the students, the classroom is their stable situation. Amy – We just had parent conferences and Michelle spoke with all of the parents there about this. Chair Bonner – A child builds a trust up with a teacher and then he or she has to check to see what day that teacher will be in, and then that problem may have to be addressed right away but they don’t feel comfortable going to the other person that teaches the class. That is the problem that I see. Amy – Michelle will be there every day. Jacque – We had Ann and Cat do that for a few years and it worked. Amy – Yes, it worked very well. Jacque – We have such a small percentage of people who want to be part-time people. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – The one thing I would like to point out is that there is a provision in the Collective Bargaining Agreement that we have with the licensed staff that allows for job sharing, which implicates part-time employment for two people. I think in this particular instance, it’s obvious that Michelle is going to be out of the classroom for an extended period of time for leave that she is legally entitled to take for parenting. I have to trust Amy’s recommendation and judgment as the building principal and the person who supervises Michelle’s teaching when she offers this recommendation and states that she feels it would be better for the kids to have Michelle back part-time as opposed to not at all for the rest of the year.

 

A MOTION WAS MADE BY DIRECTOR TRUMMER SECONDED BY DIRECTOR CROCE, TO APPROVE THE REQUEST FOR MICHELLE DICKSON, TEACHER AT LAUREL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, TO MOVE TO PART-TIME (.50 FTE) FROM APRIL 2, 2007 THROUGH THE REMAINDER OF THE 2006-07 SCHOOL YEAR, AS PRESENTED. The motion was APPROVED unanimously by those board members present.

 

 

Chair Bonner – This is a little different conversation that we just had; this is to reduce the class sizes in PE at Oaklea in the 6 th and 7 th grades. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – This is just for the remainder of this trimester and through the second trimester because as Mr. Endersby explained at the last board meeting, in the third trimester there is another option for kids, which is choir, so he is fully anticipating that the class sizes for PE in the third trimester will be much more manageable. The board received a copy of Mr. Endersby’s letter where he was recommending Emily for this position, she is someone who has been with the school since last spring as she started her student teaching with Pacific University and she will be done in early December. So, initially she would be, if so approved, acting in a paid internship capacity under the licensure of a mentor teacher and then upon her licensure she would be the teacher of record. She is also the assistant coach for Gary Meininger for this winning volleyball team we have.

 

A MOTION WAS MADE BY DIRECTOR TRUMMER, SECONDED BY DIRECTOR GERDES, TO APPROVE THE HIRING OF EMILY BAUER AS A PART-TIME TEMPORARY PE TEACHER AT OAKLEA MIDDLE SCHOOL, BEGINNING OCTOBER 24, 2006 THROUGH MARCH 16, 2007, AS PRESENTED. The motion was APPROVED unanimously by those board members present.

 

 

 

Kathryn – This report that has just been handed out is the data, and we are just going to walk through it. We are going to be faster than I had anticipated, originally because of the circumstances, but please feel free to either ask your questions, or email me your questions; I’ll be more than happy to try and explain how we tried to present information graphically here. The first one is pretty simple information, looking at as of the 1 st of October; our enrollment by ethnicity and the one social economic indicator is the number of students who are the free and reduced lunch qualifiers. This gives you one snapshot of who our kids are.

 

Bill – Our attendance over the last few years has been averaging about 95%. I checked this year’s first quarter attendance and we are at 96.4%, so it’s a little bit better than what we have been seeing. The next page, Junction City discipline over the last three years and the first month of this year, shows the number of referrals processed for each month of the school year. You can see that there has been a decline each year since 2003. We have had 23 this last month and I think we are at 19 so far this month, but I didn’t include that data because it is not a complete month. Sports participation, the next page, shows the number of participants that we have recorded for last year and this fall. The two falls are pretty similar, around 200. One of the things that was obvious this fall was the size of our cheer squad; 7 last year, and 16 this fall. I think the coaches have made quite a difference there. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – I just wanted to say how wonderful it is to see the attendance rates increase and the disciplinary referrals decrease, and how those have been impacted by the administration and the intentional improvement of those areas. Thank you.

 

Kathryn – The next part that we are going to get into is the OSAT scores. We, of course, in following the Oregon State Assessments, test our sophomores in reading; writing (and they combine those to get the language arts scores); mathematics; science; and social studies (an optional test that we did in the fall). Starting with reading, you can see our percentages and scores in the progress category. Those students who received an ‘exceed’ mark, which is a RIT score of 249 and above, you can see that we are right about at 16% this year. ‘Met’ was 34%. ‘Did not meet I’ 35%, which is an increase from last year, and that is not a good trend. The ‘did not meet II’, which is getting to be slightly lower at 15%. We are pretty low in our numbers of ‘did not meet III’, at 1%. So our extreme poor scores aren’t there, but we do need to work on our ‘did not meet I’ and our ‘did not meet II’. Denise – So, if we work on ‘did not meet I and II’, we have 55 here who met. Are we satisfied with that, or would we like to get them to the exceed category? Kathryn – We only have one shot, so I can’t change that student’s score. We could encourage them, once they have met it, to take it again. To be real honest with you, that is hard to do with a high school student; to convince them to take a test over that they have already passed. Yes, we would like to see them get a higher score, but I am really concentrating on the lower ones, the ones who ‘did not meet’. KathrynWriting had 73% meet or exceed two year ago and 50% last year, so we experienced a significant slump in the scores. We can look at the categories that those fell into, which are the ‘did not meet I’ and the ‘did not meet II’. When you break it down, we are given what we call strands or content areas, and what we see is a weakness or trend that we need to improve literal comprehension in the reading and in the writing we have a combination of things that we need to work on; ideas and content, organization, sentence fluency, and conventions. We are scrutinizing those to see if we can see a particular trend. Chair Bonner – Is this saying that half the kids tested are below the standard? Kathryn – Correct. It is an area of concern because we are seeing a significant drop in our success rate. Because of the vagueness of testing, we are measuring a different group of students each year. So every class is a different group of kids; you are not measuring the same kid in terms of growth. It is still an area of concern for us and an area we need to attend to. Mathematics, again, 52% met/exceeded last year and 37% met/exceeded this year. It is an area of concern. There were some statewide trends, but that doesn’t necessarily explain it away. Something didn’t go right this year and what we need to do is concentrate and look at testing protocols and proctoring, and things like that. Denise – If we give the kids the information that they need, and we start aligning the curriculum from kindergarten through 12 th grade, shouldn’t that start to cut down on the huge numbers of kids who don’t meet? What do you need from us, as a board, to help you so that we can get a better flow from year to year? Kathryn – I would like to keep going and I can answer that when we are done. Science scores were 56% last year and are 60% this year. It is interesting to see, and we did it more for our curiosity more than anything else, the Social Studies test; the optional test. Kids took this the beginning of their sophomore year; took it cold not really knowing that they were going to take it, and these are the scores that we reached; 31% met or exceeded, and 69% did not meet. Some of this information hadn’t been taught to them yet since they took it at the beginning of the school year. If this test became a requirement we would really have to invert our curriculum because we are too late, the test should be taken at the end of their senior year, not at the beginning of their sophomore year. The next page is the 2005-2006 State Report Card for the high school. The pages after that are the AYP summaries. The little red buttons show the areas that we need to work on. For AYP we blend two years, so if we do less well in a year, we still carry that less well year even if the next year we do excellent. The significant subgroups that we have are: students with disabilities and economic disadvantaged. The other subgroups we don’t have enough students to constitute as significant. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – They are using the results of the Oregon State Assessments to determine whether we met the federal adequate yearly progress. Jacque – Under students with disabilities, it says that in English/Language Arts we did not meet; Academic Status we did not meet; and Graduation we did not meet. Do other schools have that same problem with students with disabilities, or is it just our school? Kathryn – I would say yes, but I would need to get you some data, I don’t know the data for the other schools. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – One of the provisions that they do offer when looking at the performance of students with disabilities is something that is called Safe Harbor. I think the federal government recognizes that perhaps the standards that are set for everyone needs to be looked at differently for kids with disabilities. So they allow us, if we can demonstrate that students make a 10% increase in their achievement level from one year to the next, as a group of students with disabilities, then we meet Safe Harbor and therefore we don’t miss the mark in that area of AYP. Bill – If you look at the next page and find ‘Academic Status’ for students with disabilities, you can see that there was an increase in the percentage from the 04-05 year to the 05-06 year. Kathryn – What I would like to talk about are some of the things that we are doing to improve. We have a governance model that includes a lot of different facets of teams and a site council that looks at curriculum initiatives. One of the curriculum initiatives that we began with the freshmen class is the Literacy Lab. When the board approved increasing the graduating requirements from 24 to 25.5 last spring it was one additional credit of English and .5 credit of math. We said that every student had to take half of that English credit and take this Literacy Lab class, which is taking 1.5 credits of English their freshmen year. We are hoping that this will help solve some of the problems that we are seeing. This all comes back to resources, and how we allocate these resources. Being able to have this class with ten teachers; I have five sections and it is team taught so that it spreads the curriculum across all subjects. Our Literacy team is training our other teachers in some of this as well. We do have alignment of our curriculum to state standards. It isn’t seamless and we will continue to work on a more seamless curriculum from the middle school to the high school. We are working on the testing procedures and protocols; we are hiring proctors, which we have done before. All of these things talk about concentrating on this, but what I really want to stress is that we are concentrating on good teaching and learning across the board. I am not interested in simply teaching for the sake of obtaining a score on a sophomore test, and then we are done. As we move through this process, I am hoping that the scores follow; that we do things that are sound teaching and sound curriculum and assessment results follow. It’s not a blind hope; we have looked at different schools and case studies and what other people have done. It still remains, however, that it is a different cat who walks in as a sophomore to take a test as a sophomore than it was as a sixth grader or an eighth grader. We need to look at the importance of the test. Do we want to give credit for the test? Do we want to acknowledge it in some way so that students find value in it? Because by the tenth grade they are a little skeptical. Denise – I think particularly the kids who aren’t successful, and that is one of my concerns, because it is so easy to lose a kid, period. Kathryn – Sure. We really have a great system, with Gary Giddens, and Jan Samuel, and Sonya Bennett, they are in there and have been where they are encouraging the student individually. Denise – You have a difficult task because reality is we will get these test numbers leveled out but these kids don’t get that year back. Kathryn – But this is one snapshot, I would hate to think that this is the sum total of their learning. Chair Bonner – When do you get the next picture? Kathryn – We don’t, not from them. Chair Bonner – How can we get that next picture? Superintendent Rodden-Nord – Give them another test. Kathryn – Test them in 11 th grade, 12 th grade, and exit exams. Jacque – Making sure everyone takes the PSAT and SAT. Randy – Are they looking at all at something similar to this; looking at all high schools across the state in the low met percentages? Are they looking at something that will help students in their junior and senior year? Kathryn – I am not sure what you mean. Randy – These additional tests that you are talking about. Kathryn – I have not heard that. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – What is happening right now at the statewide level with respect to Oregon State Assessments is they are going to be some adjusting to the cut scores and the passing scores. So that there is less of a discrepancy, or a huge drop off, between 8 th grade and 10 th grade, for example. What the hypothesis is, is that the passing scores are set too low for 3 rd, 5 th and 8 th, and maybe too high for 10 th grade. Although there seems to be less conversation about lowering the standard for 10 th grade and more conversation about bringing the cut scores up for those other grades. Kristi – Basically what they are saying to juniors and seniors is that if you didn’t meet as a sophomore, then take it again. So we are trying to, but the system isn’t really set up for that; to pull juniors and seniors to take the test again. But ultimately, the state really isn’t interested in those scores for juniors and seniors and those scores don’t get reported. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – Another issue is, and this is huge and may take a philosophical discussion that I am not sure we are prepared to have, first of all, we have to presume that the Oregon State Assessments are measuring important content and this content has been evaluated by teachers throughout the state. Everyone has agreed that this is stuff that is really important for kids to know and therefore we have to measure that they are getting it. Jacque – Is it? Superintendent Rodden-Nord – Yes. Although, it is a huge body of information and a huge set of skills, particularly once the kids get to the high school level, it is really hard to get all of that information taught at that time. I do think we need to look at other types of assessments, whether those are departmentally constructed assessments that the teachers come together, look at the curriculum, and find ways to establish whether the kids have mastered a subject. The piece of the Oregon State Assessments that is very frustrating for everyone is that it is not very prescriptive. You know that a kid either met it or didn’t meet it but it doesn’t tell you specifically what is it that this kid doesn’t know that we need to make sure they learn in order for them to be successful. It is huge, but this is the tool that we have to work with right now and so we have to really develop a keener understanding of why the kids aren’t doing as well as we want them to and see if there are gaps in our curriculum or issues with respect to when things are taught. There is a lot of work that needs to be done. Denise – How can the board help? How can we make this a team effort? Kathryn – I think part of it is a promotion of the test and a promotion to parents and how important this test is.

 

Kathryn – The next section talks about a post-secondary study that we are taking. In the fall we were asked by the board what kids’ plans were for after graduation. My questions were: How well are we preparing students for their “Next Step”? and What is the best course of study so all students can pursue post-secondary education or training? If you look at the back of this gold piece of paper you can see the data showing what credits students took in high school. If you look at student 1, they took 2.5 credits of math, never made it to algebra I; took 3.0 credits of language arts, didn’t take English as a senior; took 2.0 credits of science; took 3.0 credits of social studies; took 13.0 credits of solid electives; and took 2.0 credits of extra electives, which would be things like teacher aide. This student did not take the SAT and graduated with a 1.349 GPA; not a very successful student. What I need to do, and what we are looking at, is a study of all these variables. Can we see patterns? Can we see what the student took? What they wanted to do after high school? What they ended up doing?

 

Kathryn – There is an initiative from the U of O in differentiated instruction. Dr. Olson and Mr. Brown have a vehicle by which we are going to try to implement a freshmen class in terms of a self assessment as a learner. So now that we have done some things with our freshmen class, as Kristi and Ahmed will describe, we are going to continue this. Jacque – You have so much information here and I know we are short on time, but I would like to hear more about this. Kathryn – We can definitely come back at another meeting to continue this discussion if you would like.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Randy – I would like to encourage people to talk with Kate and others about 48, 45, and 41 and going to the OSBA site and looking at the projections out there; $1.2 million for Junction City for 41 and it is more like $1.3 to $2.9 million for 48. Jacque – School boards don’t endorse things, do they? Chair Bonner – They can, but I think I remember hearing Mike Tucker say that historically the Junction City School Board doesn’t typically endorse measures.

 

 

 

Adjourn at 6:50 p.m.

 

 

 

 

                                

Superintendent/Clerk             Chair, Board of Directors