Ashland School District No. 5, Jackson County, Oregon - The Board of Directors met in regular session February 13, 2006, 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
Amy Korth, Classified Representative
Anna Cochran, Student Representative
Jeanne Peterson, Executive Secretary
I. Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 7:02 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 welcomed visitors. Gerry Pare and the Ashland High School Orchestra performed stringing telegrams for the Board.
V. Consent Agenda
1. Approve minutes of work session of January 6, regular session of January 9, executive session of January 23, work session of January 24, and executive session of February 6, 2006.
a. Employment Recommendation
Jan Lippenholz was recommended as a temporary .20 English as a Second Language Teacher for the balance of the school year at Helman School. This is a new position funded by the general fund.
Rebecca DeSalvo, Ashland High School Science Teacher, submitted a letter requesting a .33 resignation effective the end of this school year. She will retain a .67 position. It was recommended that her request be approved as presented.
c. Request for Leave of Absence
Krista Menold, Helman Elementary Teacher currently on maternity leave, requested a miscellaneous unpaid leave of absence for the 2006-07 school year. It was recommended that her leave be granted as requested.
d. Retirement Requests
Kate Nehrbass, English as a Second Language Teacher at Walker Elementary, submitted her letter of intent to retire the end of this school year. It was recommended that her retirement be accepted as presented.
Russ Otte, Ashland High School Choir Teacher, submitted a letter of intent to retire effective May 31, 2006. He further requested a 1039 contract to complete the balance of this school year. It was recommended that his request be granted as presented.
Kathy Vann, Ashland High School Counselor, submitted a letter of intent to retire effective February 28, 2006. She further requested a 1039 contract to complete the balance of this school year. It was recommended that her request be granted as presented.
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
There were no public requests.
1. Superintendent Contract Update
Chair Parker announced that the Board refused to accept the resignation of Superintendent Di Chiro in an executive session on Friday, February 10. The Board and superintendent discussed contract language that related to working out issues of mutual concern. The Board values Superintendent Di Chiro’s hard work and dedication to Ashland Schools over the past six years. The Board is optimistic that relations between the superintendent and the Board have taken a permanent positive turn. The contract is expected to be finalized soon, and public input will be taken on the final product before action is taken.
Superintendent Di Chiro reported that, as a result of negotiating her contract with the Board, she intended to submit a letter of resignation because she did not feel there was a possibility of a relationship based on mutual trust and respect. After discussing this with the Board, she decided to continue negotiations for a three-year contract for the following reasons: (1) The Board made commitments that will improve the relationship between the Board and superintendent. (2) Ms. Di Chiro’s relationship with administrators, teachers and staff is extremely important. (3) The District needs to pass a facilities bond in November. Superintendent Di Chiro explained that concerns about her contract renewal have resulted in criticism of the School Board. She hoped those negative feelings could be put to rest, and that everyone could work together on ensuring that Ashland students receive a quality education.
Vance Littleton thanked the Board and the superintendent for their hard work on this issue, and for making decisions that put the students and the district first. He hoped the Board and superintendent could continue to lead the district.
Paul Kay offered his support for a prompt renewal of Superintendent Di Chiro’s contract. He urged Superintendent Di Chiro to continue her work in the district.
2. Student and Staff Representative Reports
Anna Cochran, student representative, reported on the Guys and Dolls Musical, spring sports, poetry reading, and Black History Month.
Amy Korth, Classified Representative, thanked the food service staff, Lydia Tolley and Sodexho for their hard work.
Diane DeMerritt, certified representative, thanked the Board for working to resolve the superintendent’s contract, and reported on the NCTE regional conference, a photo exhibit at Ashland High School, the Science Bowl teams, Paul Huard being nominated for Who’s Who in America, the Ashland Middle School Brain Bowl Teams, Bellview Expectations, and Bellview Math night.
3. Bond and Facilities Report
Director Patton reported on the student survey, the community forums, the district website, and the Ashland High School Master Plan.
4. Location of Elementary Schools
Chair Parker explained that this issue was raised because the Bond and Facilities Planning Committee asked the Board which sites would be preferred if elementary schools were rebuilt. Chair Parker asked the Board to consider a process to resolve this issue. Superintendent Di Chiro reviewed where students live and where they are attending elementary schools. She further reported that the Continuation Center, an alternative program at Ashland High School, will be moving into Lincoln after spring break, and that Lincoln could be used for temporary housing if Ashland High School is remodeled. Director Amrhein felt long term plans for Lincoln should be considered and this should be done in conjunction with the Bond and Facilities Planning Committee.
5. Report on Food Service Program
Jeff Ashmun and Lydia Tolley of Sodexho gave a PowerPoint presentation reviewing the food programs offered at each school including environmental changes, new services, training, communication techniques, menus offered, and meal participation. Chair Parker expressed interest in providing more organic products and obtaining products from local farms. Superintendent Di Chiro announced that the Board will hear a report on the food programs from the Site Councils at the April Board Meeting.
Sue Graham reported that Lydia Tolley has been very open and helpful to the Site Council at the high school.
6. Update on K-8 Committee
Superintendent Di Chiro reported that Tim Brandy and Pat Scalo are interested in expanding their program to become a K-8 program. The district is still seeking a third teacher to work in the program. The K-8 Committee met last week and reviewed the proposal. The work is still in progress.
7. Report on Strategic Planning
Chair Parker reported that the Board met in work sessions with Kate Dickson and district administrators to discuss strategic planning, and decided to broaden the discussion to include the community. The Board has scheduled a Summit called the Ashland Public Schools in a Rapidly Changing World to which the public would be invited to join the Board in a discussion to find common ground, continue commitment to community engagement and to move the district forward in imagining what our schools would look like after the next 12 years. Superintendent Di Chiro suggested scheduling the summit for September. Director Patton felt the strategic planning needed to occur sooner to give direction to the Bond and Facilities Planning Committee. She suggested discussing the location of the elementary schools at the next budget work session. Chair Parker and Director Patton will work with Superintendent Di Chiro and Pam Lucas to determine when to discuss the location of the elementary schools.
8. December Financial Report
Pam Lucas reported that the district is still on schedule financially for this year.
VIII. Unfinished Business
3. Kindergarten Task Force
Susan Hollandsworth, Joanne Feinberg, Mary Hodges, and Chris Stokes reported on the recommendations of the Kindergarten Task Force for next year and responded to questions. It was recommended by the committee that the kindergarten instructional day be .75 of the regular elementary day. Kindergarten teachers would be .80 full time equivalency, and each kindergarten classroom would receive the support of a 5 hour educational assistant. Music, Physical Education, and library would be included in the instructional day. The total cost of additional teacher time and educational assistants is $224,637. The committee recommended that the additional costs of the teachers be split between the general fund and Title I so the total impact on the general fund would be $164,997.
Director Alexander moved that the Board accept the proposal, fund the $164,997 to create .75 kindergarten at all of the schools next year, and hope that it will be sustainable. Director Mar seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Director Amrhein moved to extend the meeting one-half hour. Director Patton seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
9. Ashland Schools Foundation
Susan Bacon reported on impact grants, buy in for books, and the annual fund drive in April.
10. Board Report
Board members reported on the Martin Luther King celebrations, Family Math Night, Senior Projects, Winter Fine Arts Festival, Willow Wind Benefit, SOSP Grounds clean up on March 4, the superintendent contract process, and the Guys and Dolls Musical at Ashland High School the first week o March.
11. Superintendent Report
Superintendent Di Chiro reported that Montessori School submitted a proposal to lease a portion of Lincoln School. Chair Parker, Director Patton, Superintendent Di Chiro and Pam Lucas will meet with representatives from Montessori to hear the proposal, and will report to the Board. Superintendent Di Chiro further reported on the hiring process for a Bellview Principal and Director of Educational Services. Both positions will be posted February 17 until March 17. Interviews will occur after spring break. Superintendent Di Chiro has not yet heard from Mike Broomfield, and will inform the Board of that status by email or letter.
IX. New Business
1. Adopt Educational Service District Resolutions
Superintendent Di Chiro reviewed the proposed 2006-07 Educational Service District Resolutions. Director Amrhein moved that the Board adopt the proposed ESD resolutions for the 2006-07 school year as presented. Director Alexander seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
VIII. Unfinished Business
1. Board Policy Revision – First Reading
At the regular meeting of January 9, the Board considered Policy EBB – Accident Prevention and Safety Procedures, and EBB-AR – Regulations Regarding the Application of Pesticides. The item was tabled until a report could be heard from the Subcommittee on Herbicide and Pesticide Use.
Directors Alexander and Marr reported on their findings on herbicide and pesticide use. They recommended working towards a long-term goal of using herbicides or pesticides in the least possible way. However, it is difficult to meet the district needs right now, especially considering the baseball field, without using herbicides and pesticides. Directors Alexander and Marr would like to determine the least application of herbicides and pesticides. One way to accomplish that is to explore organizing volunteers or Jackson County Work Crews to pull weeds. Director Alexander expressed thanks to Director Amrhein’s family for their efforts in encouraging Solid Ground Landscaping and JM Construction to volunteer their time and heavy equipment to scrape, grade, and reshape the baseball field. Director Alexander explained that one application of herbicides will be needed in the dirt infield of the baseball field since weeds have returned.
Director Marr distributed a copy of the Parks and Recreation Department’s policy on how herbicides are used. Their approach is similar to that of Jackson County. One of the large problems with landscape maintenance is the shrub beds. Ways to reduce herbicide use include using volunteers to pull weeks or to lower the standards of maintenance.
Chair Parker suggested revisions to the administrative regulation.
Director Marr moved that the meeting be extended 15 minutes. Director Amrhein seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Director Alexander asked that the district enforce item 7 of the administrative regulation, which relates to signage when a product is used.
Director Marr asked that the following items be included in the administrative regulation: refrain from broadcasting applications; do not spray within 15 feet of a playground facility. Superintendent Di Chiro asked that Directors Alexander and Marr meet with her and Pam Lucas to continue amending the administrative regulation.
Superintendent Di Chiro stated that there is a termite infestation and a rat infestation at the district office. She obtained two quotes and learned that there doesn’t appear to be a way to handle the termite problem without pesticides. She suggested handling the termite infestation over spring break and adjusting the work schedule for district office employees.
Sue Graham reported that Extreme Heat was used in California.
Superintendent Di Chiro has not yet obtained suggestions on how to handle the rat infestation. Director Marr wanted further discussion before finalizing how to handle the rat infestation.
2. Waterline Property
Superintendent Di Chiro excused herself due to a conflict of interest.
Pam Lucas reported that she received two market evaluations for the property ranging from $190,000 to $275,000. Following discussion, Director Marr moved that the district place the Waterline Property on the market at a price to be determined by the business manager. Director Alexander seconded and the motion passed with the following roll call vote: Alexander – yes; Amrhein – yes; Marr – no; Parker – yes; Patton – yes.
Superintendent Di Chiro rejoined the meeting.
X. Announcements and Appointments
An Executive Session will be held February 17, 2006, from 10:00 a.m. to Noon in the District Board Room in accordance with ORS 192.660 (2)(a) to review administrative and licensed personnel.
A Budget Committee Work Session will be held on Monday, February 27, 2006, at 7:00 p.m. in the District Board Room to discuss development of the 2006-07 budget.
The next regular session will be held on Monday, March 13, 2006, at 7:00 p.m. in the Ashland Council Chambers.
Director Marr suggested scheduling a work session to discuss efficiency and schedule meetings for the balance of the year. Superintendent Di Chiro will work to schedule the meeting for Friday, February 17, following the executive session.
Director Amrhein announced that a joint subcommittee meeting will be held on February 22 at 1:30 p.m.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 10:45 p.m.
Jeanne Peterson, Executive Secretary