JUNCTION CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING

November 27, 2006

 

MINUTES

 

Board of Directors

 

Administrators

Mike Bonner, Chair

Randy Trummer, Vice-Chair

Denise Pratt

Mike Tucker

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

 

 

 

 

Staff

Staff

 

Staff and Others

Stephanie White

Cheryl Glasser

Kate Gillow-Wiles

Kristi Stahl

 

Mike Thoele, Tri-County News

Taylee Pratt, Territorial Student

Michael Pratt

 

 

 

A MOTION WAS MADE BY DIRECTOR TUCKER, SECONDED BY DIRECTOR CROCE, TO REMOVE DISCUSSION ITEM B – POSSIBLE USE OF BREATHALYZER FOR JCHS ACTIVITIES, FROM THE AGENDA. The motion was APPROVED unanimously by those board members present.

 

 

 

 

 

Laurel students recently enjoyed National Book Character dress up day, which culminated in a costume parade and a book exchange. Laurel students also were so proud to raise over $550.00 for Thanksgiving dinners for Junction City families in need. Laurel teachers have been busy working on refining the K-3 math continuum and developing common assessments, and the reading and writing committees have been previewing language arts materials prior to our adoption of new materials for next school year.

 

Oaklea’s winter athletics for 7 th and 8 th graders are in full swing, and the participation has been great. The Oaklea parent group just completed the fall book fair, and by all accounts it was very successful. Whatever profits are earned by the book fairs are donated to the media center for the purchase of library books. The Oaklea parent group also just held a Family Fun Night for 5 th and 6 th graders – there was popcorn, bingo, and prizes for all. We want to make sure that everyone is aware that the fall music assembly and concert has been moved to December 14 th, due to a scheduling conflict. The evening concert will feature musicians from 6 th, 7 th, and 8 th grades, and should be a wonderful event.

 

The high school’s fall concert happened recently, and was well attended and well received. The high school just concluded a food drive which resulted in a significant donation to the Junction City Local Aid; the food drive was a competition between our high school administrators, and Ms. Hedrick won the honor of getting to lip sync at the winter assembly on December 15 th. Your invitations and more information will be forthcoming! High school athletes have moved on from fall sports to the winter ones, but we want to be sure to recognize the athletes that were named for all-league honors. For volleyball, senior Erin Iskra was named the league’s most valuable player, as well as being named first team, all league. She is joined on the all-league first team by Katie Rear and Traci Garner. Second team honors were awarded to Katie Nash. Coach Gary Meininger was named Coach of the Year. In football, Kurt Fielder was named to the defensive first team, Nick Reerslev to the second team, and honorable mentions to Cody Garner and Tanner Strasheim. On offense, Zach Gerdes, Brian Harper, Andrew Martin, and Nick Reerslev were named to the all-league second team, with honorable mention to Mike Ferrer and Chris Horn. In girls’ soccer, first team all-league honors went to Andrea Ceniga and Kaitlyn Nord. Senior Carlynn Crymes was named to the second team and Nikki Sherman, Mia Pederson, and Becca Taylor all received honorable mentions. In boys’ soccer, senior Josiah Kellerman was named to the second team while senior Jeff Hunts earned an honorable mention. It is not just our high school athletes who are winning honors – it is also our high school scholars. We learned today that the National Merit Scholarship Board has invited both David Taylor and Zach Gerdes to apply for a special scholarship. We are proud of our students, and we wish them all the best!

 

In addition to a Laurel third grade teacher recently being named the Junction City Chamber of Commerce’s Educator of the Year, we also would like to congratulate JCHS media specialist, Gary Giddens, Territorial Elementary fifth grade teacher Barbara Coolman, and Laurel Elementary music specialist Debbie Adams, for being named as recipients of SELCO mini-grants. Also, community events reminder, the Junction City Light Parade will happen on December 1 st. This is always a wonderful time for kids and families, so come, no matter what the weather.

 

And finally, for the board: thanks to each of you for attending the OSBA sponsored board leadership work session last week. I felt it went very well, and it seems that most of you agree. Also, you may have read recently about the Oregon Board of Education’s plan to consider changes to graduation requirements. COSA sponsored a regional meeting in Lane County last week – and some information and some surveys are at each of your spots. We will try to schedule a work session for you in early January to review this information in depth and to weigh in as a board. Following that meeting, our high school will sponsor a public forum for parents and other interested patrons. Stephanie – The only Monday that we would be able to hold a work session is the 8 th of January; otherwise, we will have to look at other days of the week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

A MOTION WAS MADE BY DIRECTOR TRUMMER, SECONDED BY DIRECTOR BROTHERTON, TO APPROVE THE CALENDAR FOR BUDGET PREPARATIONS 2007-08, AS PRESENTED. The motion was APPROVED unanimously by those board members present.

 

 

Mike Brotherton – In the past we have had a lot of exchange students, about ten of them, and in each one I have gone through the applications and they look great on paper. This sounds like a great opportunity. The point is, we have had some great exchange students, we have had some that haven’t been so great, and we have had some that haven’t worked at all. What you see on paper doesn’t necessarily mesh with reality. I am a little bit concerned with what we will have for a replacement and the fact that they are being paid by another organization. Do we really have any control over this person at all since they are not an employee? I am really concerned about Kristi’s replacement. Kristi – I will take that as a compliment. Jacque – Congratulations for being picked as one of the finalists. It would be great to add some diversity to the teaching staff. Kathryn, how do you feel about this as the supervisor? Kathryn – The Fullbright Exchange Program has been in effect since 1947, and I trust their review process, which was much like the process Kristi had to go through. Kristi – I do know that Fullbright has had people who have changed their mind mid-way through and wanted to go home. Chair Bonner – Does that force you back? Kristi – No, Fullbright has to step in and take responsibility to find a replacement. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – One thing that came up was the issue of probationary status and what happens with Kristi’s status while she is on leave. That would be one of the issues that we would have to resolve, I would think that the district’s position on that would be that Kristi wouldn’t accrue an additional probationary year while she is gone because we can’t evaluate her. Kate – That is something that the association is willing to work through. Mike Tucker – Will this replacement teacher meet the requirements of being highly qualified? Kristi – I stay on your books for that year; I am the teacher of record.

 

A MOTION WAS MADE BY DIRECTOR BROTHERTON, SECONDED BY DIRECTOR GERDES, TO APPROVE A ONE-YEAR PAID LEAVE OF ABSENCE FOR JUNCTION CITY HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER KRISTI STAHL FOR THE 2007-08 SCHOOL YEAR FOR THE PURPOSE OF PARTICIPATING IN THE FULBRIGHT TEACHER EXCHANGE PROGRAM, WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT IF SHE IS NOT SELECTED FOR THE PROGRAM, THE LEAVE REQUEST WILL NOT BE APPROVED, AS PRESENTED. The motion was APPROVED unanimously by those board members present.

 

 

Randy – I have a question about policies, in general. When Betsy with OSBA came to do the work session, she mentioned having our policies online and having OSBA manage our policies. How much does that run a district? Wanda – I am not sure, but I can look into it. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – I think their policy review process, where they spend a year going through, section by section, the policies with the board, runs about $5,000. We have asked them to do a table of contents review, which is $500 and that will at least give us a starting place. Stephanie has been trying to do this section by section. The issue of having our policies more accessible to patrons and staff; it would be great; but we don’t have the manpower to get things posted on the web. We will get more information and bring it back to you at the next meeting.

 

A MOTION WAS MADE BY DIRECTOR TUCKER, SECONDED BY DIRECTOR TRUMMER, TO APPROVE POLICIES IGBAE, IGBAF, AND IGBAG, AS PRESENTED. The motion was APPROVED unanimously by those board members present.

 

 

 

Kathryn – This handout shows the number of things that we are addressing at the high school in a holistic school improvement plan. We need to improve our assessment scores, but we need to do a whole lot more as well. There are a number of initiatives that we have in order to do that. We have been talking to our faculty and talking to site council, and on the 30 th of November, we will have a site council meeting where a lot of the things that I will talk about here are actually going to be formalized into proposals.

 

1.   Assessment Protocols

 

a.   Proctors have been trained, hired, and utilized;

b.   Administered Social Studies (Optional) Test;

c.   Have first round of Math and Reading completed;

d.   Students have been identified and learning strategies being re-taught;

e.   Developing and/or implementing additional assessments to get attainment numbers faster and more precisely.

 

 

 

a.   We opened an additional section of Geometry A for failing students – giving those students a NP for fall term – but allowing them to come back and try it again with different techniques.

b.   We increased sections of Algebra IA to remediate students similarly. What we sacrificed in the process is being able to offer Applied Botany, a course that we cut, so we could free up a teacher to teach these classes.

 

 

 

 

a.   We are going to offer Reading winter trimester for the approximately lowest 12 freshmen and 10 sophomores. They are going to take Reading as an elective credit in addition to their Language Arts credit.

i.   Alan Stockman will be teaching Reading and Malcom McRae will be teaching the corresponding Language Arts class;

ii.   We are working with Robert Young, ESD Reading Specialist, both with the Reading class and the Literacy Lab.

 

b.   Throughout the high school, teachers have incorporated literacy strategies and will continue to identify and reinforce those strategies in remaining weeks.

c.   We are working toward our own Literacy Coach configuration; additional resources for the inefficient reader are needed.

d.   Language Arts department will be undergoing a textbook (program) adoption process for use in Fall 2007. Health classes will be adopting new textbooks in Fall 2008.

 

Randy – Kathryn, it says that you are going to offer Reading to the lowest 12 freshmen and 10 sophomores; how do you identify who those kids are? Is that by a GPA across the board? Is it through an assessment? Kathryn – Yes, through an assessment. Randy – Are most of those kids on an IEP to begin with? Kathryn – No, about half. The sophomores have already taken round one of the OSATs, so we have a score for that. We also have a reading test called Oral Reading Fluency, which is designed to, by the fluency of the reading, show a correlation between the comprehension levels. These kids have been in class with the literacy teachers for a trimester, so a teacher can diagnose students as well. Chair Bonner – The numbers 12 and 10, is that to keep the class sizes low? Kathryn – Yes. Chair Bonner – What about the 13 th freshman and the 11 th sophomore? Kathryn – They are going to continue to get services in their language arts credit; this was just the breaking point of the very lowest that we felt needed the most intensive help. Denise – On the math, was there any consideration given to going away from the trimester system, where a kid is struggling with math may not be able to take the follow up for the next course until the next year? Maybe that is different now. Kathryn – It isn’t necessarily different, but what we are doing is we are putting in a measure to not let the kid move on. For example, if we told a kid to take Geometry B and then come back and take Geometry A, we fall into that idea. Because we are now telling the kid that we are going to have them take another class in the winter and then take Geometry B in the spring, what in essence we have done is have the kid take math the whole year long. The price you pay for that is enrollment in elective offerings. Denise – And it flows well and a child, if they fall behind, is not in danger of graduating without what is required for them to graduate? Kathryn – What we are saying is that we are continuing to prop students up; we are going to offer another section instead of assuming a student can move on, because they can’t move on; they haven’t demonstrated the proficiency to move on. So we are going to have them retake the class, where they wouldn’t have before. Mike Tucker – Denise, are you saying that sometimes a student can’t take another class until the third trimester, or even the next year? Denise – Kathryn is saying that isn’t a problem anymore. Kathryn – It is still a problem, overall. What I am saying is that for these kids who we have identified as having the most intensive needs, we are requiring them to take an additional trimester of math. Denise – I guess my question was, if we had looked at the possibility of going back into quarters, might that have helped those kids more? Kathryn – That hasn’t been discussed. I think that you will find that any system has its advantages and disadvantages on that. We could look at it, but it hasn’t been discussed yet. Chair Bonner – Where in the trimester do you usually find that a student is not going to make it at the end of the trimester? Kathryn – Trimesters are pretty short; they are only 12 weeks long. The answer is different for different kids. Certain kids you can tell right away don’t have the attendance or the abilities, etc. and those kids have an opportunity at that point to change classes. As it gets later and later in the term, it gets harder to move kids around. We do work on a system where it is never too late, every day is a new day and you come back and try harder. The reality is that at a certain point you have to stop and start again. Mike Brotherton – It’s quite obvious that forcing the high school to initiate programs and incur costs for something that should have been done ten years prior is ridiculous. These kids have made it through 9 years in our district and they still can’t read. The problem isn’t going to be fixed in the high school; the problem is going to be fixed in the second grade. Kathryn – To be fair, we don’t necessarily have the data to demonstrate that those kids are from us. They may be kids who move in from another district. Mike Brotherton – Yes, you are always going to have those kids. We end up at this point because we haven’t done a very good job in prior years. We let kids skip through the hoops. Now we are in high school and we are trying to teach kids how to read; it’s a little bit late, people. It’s a great program and I am all in favor of it, but we have failed for the eight years prior. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – What we have are a set of standards that the state has established that are going to be compelled to change this year; we don’t know how yet, but the federal government has come in and told the state of Oregon that your test scores are a mess because of the data that we have. We have 92% of our third graders demonstrating that they are meeting the standards of reading; we have 90% in fifth grade; we have 87% in eighth grade; and then it’s probably as much a function as the standards not being smooth that the kids get to 10 th grade and all of a sudden we have 50% of the kids meeting the standards, and sometimes less. I think the issue is, if we have kids that are demonstrating that they are not achieving, irrespective of their grade level, irrespective of whether they were ours or some other district’s, we have an obligation to do what we can to help them achieve as much as possible. Mike Brotherton – I don’t see us doing anything in the primary grades. We give lots of lip service, but we have never put a dime down extra than what they already have. We just tell them that they need to teach the kids how to read, but we don’t give them anything to do it with. We don’t give them smaller classes, we don’t give them more resources, we don’t give them anything. And what’s happening is now the state, or the feds, are getting involved and telling us that we are doing such a pathetic job of it that they are going to make us do what we should have done by ourselves already. Jacque – I think the district has been viewing it as a priority. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – All of the Title I programs are directed there. You are bringing up some great points that I think need to be worked through with the board. I think the perfect time to do that is when the board has their goal-setting work session in January. In the meanwhile, the achievement data from the high school reflected some concerns and I think the high school has done an admirable job of coming to the board tonight to explain what their plans are. Mike Brotherton – My last comment is: In the eight years I have been here I have been talking about this very thing, and now we are taking those kids who were in kindergarten back then and we are teaching them how to read in high school. We talk about doing it, but we never do. Mike Tucker – High school hasn’t changed much since I was in it. Everyone was nice and everyone stayed in line and did their homework until they got their car keys and found someone to buy beer for them. Life changes when you get a little bit of freedom. I think part of it has to be a personal motivation; the teachers can teach all they want, but if the kids are not interested being in school, they won’t participate. I just wish there were some studies on that this is a natural progression for some children. They are not going to go to college, they are not interested, and we can offer them programs, but they have to be motivated to do it.

 

 

a.   Site Council will entertain a proposal by the math department that we not transcript any math courses lower than Algebra I content.

b.   The math department will also seek alternative routes to granting credit for the .5 addition already approved.

 

i.   Career Technical applications courses;

ii.   Seek to develop and implement additions to Computer Technology courses including applications.

 

 

 

 

Mike Brotherton – We have a relatively high drop out rate, high being anything above zero, and anything we can do to intercept this and make things better for these kids, I am all in favor of it. Kathryn – We had a 3.9% drop out rate two years ago and a 2.6% rate last year, so it is declining. I think that it is actually one of our achievements. Honestly, I am not sure that zero drop out rate is the right rate.

 

Mike Tucker – That was well put, thank you. Jacque – The whole thing was well put, I am very impressed because it really does show that you are there for the kids. Randy – So these initiatives are already in forward motion? Kathryn – To some level, yes. I do want to thank Mr. Brotherton; he attends a number of our site council meetings, and we do have one on the 30 th, and we have one the 14 th of December at 3:20 p.m.

 

 

 

A MOTION WAS MADE BY DIRECTOR GERDES, SECONDED BY DIRECTOR PRATT, TO MOVE DISCUSSION ITEM B – BUDGET COMMITTEE APPLICATIONS – TO AN ACTION ITEM. The motion was APPROVED unanimously by those board members present.

 

A MOTION WAS MADE BY DIRECTOR GERDES, SECONDED BY DIRECTOR CROCE, TO APPOINT GARY ISKRA AND KELLI FOUNTAIN TO THE VACANT BUDGET COMMITTEE POSITIONS #3 AND #4, RESPECTIVELY. The motion was APPROVED unanimously by those board members present.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adjourn at 7:30 p.m.

 

 

                                

Superintendent/Clerk             Chair, Board of Directors