Ashland School District No. 5, Jackson County, Oregon - The Board of Directors met in regular session September 12, 2005, at 7:00 p.m. in the Ashland Council Chambers. Present were:
Heidi Parker ) Chair
Ruth Alexander )
Amy Amrhein ) Board Members
Mat Marr )
Amy Patton )
Juli Di Chiro, Superintendent
Pamela Lucas, Business Manager
Diane DeMerritt, Certified Representative
Anna Cochran, Student Representative
Jeanne Peterson, Executive Secretary
I. Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Chair Parker.
II. Pledge of Allegiance
III. Roll Check
A roll of the board was taken and all members were present.
IV. Welcome Visitors
Chair Parker announced that the Board held an Executive Session in accordance with ORS 192.660 (1)(a)(d)(e) on Friday, September 9, 2005, at 1:00 p.m. in the District Board Room to discuss the superintendent’s contract, labor negotiations, and real property transactions.
Chair Parker asked if there were any additions or revisions to the agenda. Director Mar moved that a report be added on the Ashland Education Survey. Director Ruth seconded and the motion passed unanimously. Director Mar moved that a new business item be added to review the school grounds maintenance contract and discuss the June motion regarding herbicides. Director Alexander and the motion passed with the following roll call vote: Alexander – yes; Amrhein – no; Marr – yes; Parker – yes; Patton – yes.
Chair Parker welcomed visitors.
V. Consent Agenda
1. Approve minutes of Work Session of July 28, Regular Session of August 8, and Work Sessions of August 22 and 23, 2005.
a. Employment Recommendations
Lynn Fain was recommended as a temporary full time 3/4th grade teacher at Walker Elementary replacing Martha Wilhelm who is on a leave of absence for the first semester.
Sophy Huck was recommended as a .67 probationary Math Teacher at Ashland High School replacing Mark Wolfe who was a temporary teacher last year.
Amy Isackson was recommended as a Temporary 1.0 Math Teacher at Ashland High School replacing Jennifer Losinski who is on leave for the first semester.
Melody Noraas, a retired Middle School Science and Special Education teacher, was recommended as a .20 Site Based Special Education Teacher on a 1039 contract at Ashland Middle School replacing Kate Sullivan who is on a .20 leave of absence.
Joleen Nagareda was recommended as a Temporary full time 2/3rd grade teacher at Bellview Elementary. This is a new position funded by the general fund.
Carmen Perez was acknowledged as a Fulbright Exchange Teacher from Peru. She will be teaching Spanish at Ashland High School replacing Dana Rensi for this year.
b. Retirement Requests
Meredith Pech, Walker Elementary Teacher, requested early retirement effective September 30, 2005. She further requested permission to complete the 2005-06 school year on a 1039 contract. It was recommended that her request be approved as presented.
a. Southern Oregon Child Study and Treatment Agreement
The 2005-06 Southern Oregon Child Study and Treatment Center Agreement for the Youth Advocacy position at Ashland Middle School was recommended for approval. The total of $33,348 reflects a 3.5% increase over the previous year due to the cost of living.
Director Amrhein moved that the Board approve the consent agenda as presented. Director Alexander seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
VI. Hear Public Requests not a part of the agenda
Melissa Mitchell-Hooge reported on the Ashland Parks and Rec Meeting of August 5 where they approved sharing the cost of water at Briscoe and Lincoln through the end of the year contingent upon City approval. She asked when this item would be put on the School Board agenda. She expressed concern that the relationship with Ashland Parks and Rec needs to be improved. She suggested that the School Board and Parks and Rec begin monthly meetings to work on preserving the playgrounds of Briscoe and Lincoln.
Derick DuVivier discussed the recent survey on parent satisfaction expressing his concerns regarding overcrowding and lack of full-day kindergarten classes
1. Ashland Education Survey
Barbara Heyerman and Joanne Fineberg reported on a survey they conducted to determine parent satisfaction for the Ashland Public Schools. They suggested that the district develop an exit questionnaire to ask parents why they are leaving or why their children are no longer in the public schools. They further asked that the district advertise the work session of September 26 when the kindergarten program will be discussed.
2. Student and Staff Representative Reports
Anna Cochran, student representative, reported on Fresh Start, a senior sleepover, a freshman day barbeque, foreign exchange students, Wilderness Charters School trek, and athletic events.
Diane DeMerritt, certified representative reported on the photography exhibit at Ashland High School, a high school French class taking the CIM test, and the organic garden at Ashland Middle School.
3. School Start Up and Enrollment Report
Juli Di Chiro reported on the enrollment numbers from the first week of school, which will undoubtedly change. Overall the district has 121 fewer students this year. She reported elementary classes sizes as follows: Bellview – 21.3; Helman 21.7; Walker 22.7. A more indepth report on class sizes will be made at the October regular meeting.
4. Bond Committee Update
Director Patton reported that the Bond Committee met for the first time on August 24. Carol Davis is the Chair and Marylee Oddo is the Vice-Chair. A Steering Committee was appointed as well as a Communications Committee. The district facilities study was completed and is available at the District Office. A website on the Bond Committee should be operational by the end of the month. School tours for bond committee members will be held September 17. Tours of Briscoe and Lincoln will be held September 22. The next meeting of the Bond Committee is on September 28 at 7:00 p.m. in the Ashland High School library.
5. Board Reports
Board members reported on the Ashland Schools Foundation; the joint session of the City of Ashland, Ashland School Board, and Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission; donation of Lincoln Library books to the Katrina efforts, the community clean up at Briscoe and Lincoln organized by the Save our Schools and Playgrounds Committee
Chair Parker reported on rumor control explaining that the kindergarten program discussion was not put on tonight’s agenda because there was not enough time for indepth discussion. That topic will be discussed in a work session on September 26. She addressed the rumor that she tried to keep the public away from a meeting last month in which the Board discussed board/community relations. Ms. Parker clarified that she thought it was an Executive Session and apologized. She addressed a third rumor about keeping the press away from executive sessions. She expressed surprise on the Board’s part that the media was not present at the meeting. She encouraged community members with questions about conduct on the part of Board members to call or email board members directly to find out what happened.
6. Superintendent Report
Juli Di Chiro thanked everyone who worked hard to make a smooth opening of school this year. She announced that printed AQEM booklets are available to the public. Ms. Di Chiro asked that the Key Communicator’s Network meeting be scheduled.
7. District Financial Report
Pam Lucas, Business Manager, reported that the audit has been completed and the district has a $2.5 million carryover of which $1.7 million was committed in the 2005-06 budget. She recommended that the balance of $834,000 be retained as a beginning fund balance for next year. Juli Di Chiro reported that the Budget Committee members would like to meet with the school board in November to see what happened after the 2005-06 budget was approved.
VIII. Unfinished Business
1. Bond and Facilities Committee Membership
Director Patton moved that the Board appoint Bill Epstein and Sandy Royce to serve on the Bond and Facilities Committee. Director Marr seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
2. Lincoln School Lease Process
Juli Di Chiro reported that the district received an offer from the Siskiyou School to lease a portion of Lincoln School.
Julie Gower spoke on behalf of Genna Southworth thanking the Board for its willingness to consider the proposal. Ms. Southworth looked forward to negotiations.
Director Marr explained that the Siskiyou School’s offer is not for the entire building, and the Board will still entertain lease offers.
Director Amrhein moved to table this discussion until the October regular meeting. Director Mar seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
3. Board Policy Revision – Second Reading
Board Policy Revision BD/BDA, Board Meetings/Regular Board Meetings, was presented for second reading.
Director Alexander moved that the policy be amended to read: With a successful motion of the Board, a meeting may include up to but no more than two thirty-minute extensions. Director Amrhein seconded and the motion passed with the following vote: Alexander – yes; Amrhein – yes; Marr – yes; Parker – no; Patton – yes.
Director Marr moved that the Board pull the second reading of the Board Policy from the agenda. Director Parker seconded and the motion failed with the following vote: Alexander – no; Amrhein – no; Marr – yes; Parker – yes; Patton – no.
Director Amrhein moved that the Board approve Board Policy Revision BD/BDA as amended for second reading. Director Patton seconded and the motion passed with the following roll call vote: Alexander – yes; Amrhein – yes; Marr – no; Parker – yes; Patton – yes. A copy of the revised board policy is attached hereto and becomes a part of these minutes.
IX. New Business
1. Establish Annual School Board Goals
Chair Parker announced that, in accordance with Board Policy BK, the Board will establish annual school board goals. She explained that the Board and district administrators brainstormed a list of 24 goals. She reviewed the five top priorities of staff.
Following discussion, the Board asked for public input.
Paul Copeland expressed concern that goals have not yet been established and the year is well underway. He was also concerned that the Board gathered input from the staff on goals but not the community. Barbara Heyerman urged the Board not to underestimate what can be done in a short period of time. Ron Bailey stated that , if the Board focuses on stabilizing enrollment, programs will flow from that. Without stabilized enrollment you won’t need programs. Sue Graham urged the Board to have vision and determine a mission. Focus on the big picture. Chris Holzshu asked the Board to make the goals measurable.
Director Mar moved that the Board accept the following goals for the 2005-06 school year: (1) Stabilize district enrollment by providing innovative programs and showcasing existing excellence; (2) Increase academic challenge and ensure that all students are making continuous academic progress; (3) Support health and wellness of students and staff; (4) Address the district’s long range financial and facilities planning needs; (5) Improve communication and community involvement in schools. Director Amrhein seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
The Board took a break at 9:25 p.m. and reconvened at 9:32 p.m.
Director Marr stated that community input on goals is important, and encouraged community members to develop subgoals and bring them to the Board Special Session on goals when it is scheduled. Director Marr asked that next year’s goal setting process begin in January and be completed by April.
2. Approve Changes in Student Handbooks
Changes in the Ashland Middle School Student Handbook and Willow Wind Student Handbook were presented to the Board for consideration.
Director Amrhein moved that the Board approve the changes in the Ashland Middle School and Willow Wind Student handbooks as recommended. Director Marr seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
3. Announce Budget Committee Vacancies and Establish Process and Deadline for Filling Vacancies, and Discuss November Budget Meeting Plans
Juli Di Chiro explained that Arthur Reynolds resigned as Budget Committee Member this past year and Any Dungan’s term ended June 30, 2005. Therefore, there are two budget committee vacancies with terms from now until June 30, 2008. She reviewed the proposed press release and questions from last year.
Director Amrhein moved that the Board use the same process as last year to appoint new budget committee members. Director Alexander seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
The Board scheduled a Work Session to be held on November 28, 2005 to meet with budget committee members to review what has happened since the budget was approved and plan for next year’s budget.
4. Board Policy Revisions – First Reading
The following board policy revisions were presented for first reading:
IBDJA – Relations with Home School Students
IGBH – Multiple Learning Options
Director Amrhein moved to extend the meeting 30 minutes. Director Alexander seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Minor revisions were made to both policies. Director Amrhein moved that the Board approve IBDJA and IGBH as amended for first reading. Director Patton seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Administrative Regulation KJA-AR, Materials Distribution, was presented for Board approval.
Public input was received as follows. Sue Graham recommended that non-profit organizations provide standards as part of the criteria. She also recommended that the minimum screening procedures for staff be required. Peter Cotton spoke about having a timeline to follow for approval of a flier.
Several minor revisions were made to the administrative regulation.
Director Amrhein moved that the Board approve Administration Regulation KJA-AR as amended. Director Marr seconded and the motion passed unanimously. A copy of the administrative regulation as approved is attached hereto and becomes a part of these minutes.
5. Adopt Criteria for Superintendent’s Evaluation
Director Amrhein moved to extend the meeting until 10:45 p.m. Director Patton seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Director Amrhein recommended that the Board retain the original evaluation form for the superintendent and attach the Board goals.
The Board made revisions to the original evaluation form.
Director Alexander moved that the Board accept the standards as they existed last year, as amended, for the superintendent’s evaluation. Director Marr seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
6. Review School Grounds Maintenance Contract
Director Marr reported that in June the Board approved a contract and asked for future discussion on herbicides. He asked to clarify the Board’s position on that. He further wanted to clarify that the Board is open to further negotiations with the Ashland Parks Department and Jackson County.
Director Marr moved that no herbicides shall be used on district grounds or facilities by the district or its agents. Juli Di Chiro explained that Jackson County did spray herbicides during the break. Director Marr had a serious issue that the herbicides were used because he understood they would not be used based on the June motion. Ms. Di Chiro explained that the herbicides were used over the break just as the Parks Department had used them in the past. The Board can change that policy, but there is no urgency at tonight’s meeting because spraying will not occur again until Spring Break. Director Marr withdrew his motion.
Director Marr moved that no herbicides shall be used on district grounds or facilities by the district or its agents without direct prior school board approval. Director Alexander seconded.
Director Patton moved and Chair Parker seconded that the Board extend the meeting to 11:00. The motion passed with the following vote: Alexander – no; Amrhein – no; Marr – yes; Parker – yes; Patton – yes.
Director Marr moved to table the herbicide discussion. Director Alexander seconded and the motion passed unanimously. This item will be discussed at the October regular meeting.
X. Announcements and Appointments
The Board scheduled a Special Session to be held Friday, September 16, at 10:00 a.m. in the District Board Room to continue work on the Board Goals.
The Board announced the Car Free Day to be held September 22, 2005.
A Bond and Facilities Planning Committee Meeting will be held on Saturday, September 17, 2005, at Ashland High School from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. to tour the district facilities.
A District Surplus Sale will be held on September 17 at Lincoln School from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The Board will hold a Special Session on Monday, September 26, 2005 at Helman Elementary School from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. to discuss the Kindergarten Program.
A Bond and Facilities Planning Committee Meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 28, 2005, at 7:00 p.m. in the Ashland High School Library.
The next regular session will be held on Monday, October 10, 2005, at 7:00 p.m. in the Ashland Council Chambers.
Agenda items to be discussed at the October meeting include: herbicides and school grounds maintenance, class size report, K-8 community, drug and alcohol report, board policy on standing committees, report on kindergarten discussion of September 26, Demographer’s report, SOSP Task Force report, update on Lincoln School lease offer from Siskiyou School.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 11:01 p.m.
Jeanne Peterson, Executive Secretary