Board Meeting Minutes – February 21, 2012

Regular board meeting – Feb. 21, 2012

Board members in attendance:  Andrea, Tiffany, Brad, Shelley, Genevieve, Casey, Mark, Michael
Board members absent:  None
Others in attendance:  Jon Vogel, Dawn Bolotow

The meeting was called to order at 6:10 pm.

The Board approved the Jan. 2012 meeting minutes.

Open House Update:  Andrea updated the board on Open House attendance and wait list numbers. The board discussed options for advertising Springwater to the community to build our wait list.

Budget Update:  Number of students is at 191. We received a grant of $2600 for our garden. The additional cost for Loren’s paternity leave is $3300, and for Laura’s maternity leave is approx $5000.

Principalʼs Report:  Dawn is observing in the classrooms and is having conversations with teachers about their goals. Dawn will be recommending that we renew the contracts with all staff other than the temporary contracts.  Dawn shared a very positive report on the recommended candidate to substitute for Laura during her maternity leave. Her name is Kassandra Paige. She had very good recommendations, a stong math background, and she taught a very effective lesson.  Andrea made a motion that we hire Kassandra Paige on a temporary contract, from the date that Laura leaves on maternity leave through the end of the current school year, based on Dawn’s recommendation and the endorsements from Laura and Loren.  Casey seconded the motion. The board voted all in favor.

Dawn discussed timelines for negotiations of our renewal contract and lease agreement with the District; for the hiring of the 4/5 and 8 teaching positions; possible reconfiguration of grades for next year; and contract negotiations with the teachers for next year.

Dawn shared that:

1. OCSD administrators Larry Didway, Chris Mills, and Wes Rogers joined Springwater to share with our Peace, Love and Pancake Feast. The mayor was also in attendance. The students planted thousands of trees and shrubs with Metro.

2. Some of the students in class wrote letters to the president, and he wrote back to them, which generated a great deal of excitement and enthusiasm.

3. We are having installed four solar panels on one of our portables, due to a grant from Solar First. Four of our students are relating their Capstone projects to solar power.

4. Shelley is working with Springwater and Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District to get rain gardens up and running.  One of the Conservation District employees will come to the school as a guest speaker for the students whose classes are involved in the project, and we will use the existing barrels (dependent on recommendations from the Conservation District).

5. Dawn shared information she had gathered from students and teachers about the “Families” program that staff initiated this year.  Kids shared with her that they liked sitting with their Families during morning groups, and kids enjoyed the Predator and Prey game played by Families.  No students reported hating Families or wanting to eliminate the program. Several students wanted more time with their grade level peers on recess. The teachers reported plans to continue building on the sustainability education aspect that has been introduced at lunch time. 

Shelley asked if this survey really polled all students, and Dawn said that she had only surveyed a sampling of students. Jon said that the PLC groups are getting a survey out to all of the students prior to Spring Break. It will be a paper survey. The classroom teachers will be giving the surveys. Shelley and Tiffany suggested that the surveys be a relevant reflection as to how “all” students were feeling so that the board could follow through with feedback to families. Genevieve suggested that the results be not only given to the board, but also be reported to the whole community in some manner.

Leave Policy No. 110:  The board discussed the recommended changes to this policy that had been introduced last month, and voted all in favor to amend the policy as recommended.  The board discussed adding a sick leave bank to the policy, and decided to ask Jon to take the issue back to the staff for their input.

State of the School:  The board decided to try to schedule the annual State of the School address in April, concurrent with an arts showcase to show the community what students have worked on all year in their artists in residence program.  Tiffany will talk to the artists to generate some proposals regarding structure and date for the evening presentation.

(Dawn left the meeting at this point)

Principal Hiring Process:  Andrea informed the board that out of approximately 25 applications received, only four met the minimum criteria that the board had set in the principal job description.  Of those four, one withdrew his application after learning that he could not work for Springwater and simultaneously draw PERS retirement, and a second applicant did not respond to Andrea’s attempts to contact her.  Andrea reviewed the resumes and reference checks of the remaining two candidates. 

Given that neither presented as strong candidates, Andrea proposed that we use a process similar to that employed by school districts when a strong inside candidate for a job position is in the running – the inside candidate is interviewed first, and then outside candidates are pursued only if the decision is made not to hire the inside candidate.  Andrea shared that Dawn had decided to apply for the position, so an inside candidate did exist for the position.  The Board decided to proceed with the process initially outlined by having the hiring subcommittee meet to review the applications and decide who would be in the finalist interviews.

Next steps were summarized:

Dawn would inform staff that she was formally applying for the position;
Andrea would seek confidential input from staff regarding their work with Dawn to date;
Andrea would convene the hiring subcommittee (comprised of board and staff members who had indicated an interest in serving on the committee) to review the applications and make a decision as to who would be part of the final interview;
The final interview(s) with all board and staff members will be scheduled for the week of March 5th.

The meeting adjourned at 9:20 pm.