Board Meeting Minutes – January 24, 2012

Regular board meeting – Jan. 24, 2012

Board members in attendance:  Andrea, Tiffany, Brad, Shelley, Genevieve, Casey, Mark, Michael
Board members absent:  None
Others in attendance:  Jon Vogel, Dawn Bolotow, Lori Skiles, Jen Wozniak, Wendy Donohue

The meeting was called to order at 6:15 pm.

The Board approved the Dec. 2011 meeting minutes.

Teacher Presentation:  Several months ago, Jen utilized her staff development dollars by attending a one-day workshop called Boys Advocacy and Mentoring. Jen wanted to go to this workshop because she felt that she wanted to do a better job teaching writing to boys and connecting with boys. Typically, boys are really good at expository writing, but often struggle with imaginative writing. At the workshop, participants discussed that various strategies for working with boys and motivating them academically. Jen felt that Springwater does a really good job with our “boy positive” ways, but if we were to look at special education referrals and behavioral referrals, typically boys are in the forefront. Jen suggested that a PLC next year might be “Boy Achievement.”  This would also be a good way to celebrate what Springwater is already doing well.  Jen and Wendy shared information about how they’ve started implementing some of these strategies with boys in their classroom.

Parent Council (Lori Skiles):  Peace, Love and Pancakes will be happening on February 10th, since it’s a Friday Field Study day. Lori has set up a volunteer sign-up online. Tree planting will also take place that day.  Grades 4-8 will participate in tree planting, and the younger grades will have another planting activity.

Linda Pomeroy is working on restaurant night outs. She is setting up a night at Noodles restaurant on April 12th. She will get the communication out to parents. Linda is also working on getting McMenemins to do another dinner night out.

Community Service day is on March 9th. Casey wanted to get a group of people to come to assist with planting some trees. Jon suggested he get holes dug ahead of time to prepare for the first Thursday, March 1st, “School Beautification.”  Dawn shared that the community service day needs to be a coordinated day if kids are on campus, and this is a teacher work day, so the teachers should not be disturbed. Shelley suggested that this not take place on campus, because in the past it has not been as successful. Instead, we need to offer the working parents a weekend work party to get more people to the school who normally cannot help.

Room Parents are starting to work on auction classroom projects.

Jog-A-Thon will be combined with Grandparent’s Day on Thursday, May 31st. Dawn will greet the Grandparents in the gym. Grandparents could also help with the jog-a-thon. We could also utilize grandparents to boost our volunteer groups.

The Board discussed the need to reinvigorate our volunteers, particularly for Read Naturally, Lunch Duty, and Friday Field Study. Personal phone calls home from Room Parents may be the most effective way to encourage everyone to volunteer where they are able.

Principal’s Report:  Dawn is really impressed with the level of support she has received. Dawn has worked on some bus issues with Dorothy and Claudia, and it seems to have smoothed problems out. Dawn has had many conversations with the staff to discuss some both SW’s long-term needs and immediate needs. Stacey Younger has done a fabulous job organizing the “Battle of the Books” and getting judges organized, starting February 1st and ending in mid-February. Regionals will be held on March 3rd at Canby HS.

Policy Amendments:
The Board discussed proposed changes to policy regarding maternity/paternity leave (Policy No. 110).  The Board discussed the financial implications of allowing staff to use paid sick leave while on maternity/paternity leave.  The Board delayed a vote until next month, when there would be time for more discussion.

The Board next discussed the Student Double-Promotion/Retention, Policy No. 120. There needs to be a wording change from “Exceptions will always be made after prior notification and explanation to the student’s parents, but the final decision will rest with the school authorities on double-promotion, and with parents on retention. Students will not be retained or promoted without parent permission” to “Staff will meet with parents to provide information and to obtain parent input prior to any final decision regarding double-promotion or retention. No student will be double-promoted or retained without the consent of both the school and the parents.”  The Board unanimously approved these amendments.

The Board next discussed modifications to Policy No. 121, Lottery/Wait List.  The wording was altered to state that will be no testing in early for kindergarten. The policy will say, “Only students who will be five years of age by Sept. 1 of the upcoming school year may submit applications for the lottery.”  The Board unanimously approved this amendment.

Finally, the Board discussed changes to Policy No. 124, Job Shares, and decided to add:  “The board will consider, on a case-by-case basis, requests for a subsequent year of job sharing so long as this would not result in more than one job share existing during any given school year.”  The Board unanimously approved this amendment.

The Board discussed the change in positions next year:  Jen will job share with Laura, and Wendy will be a candidate for the full-time 4/5 position. Also, Jen and Wendy will work full-time during Loren’s paternity leave, together covering his class during the leave period.  Once a teacher elects to job share, his/her position is reduced to .5 FTE, which is all the teacher has a right to return to in subsequent years (unless a full-time opening is available).

Staffing / Hiring Update:  The Board discussed hiring for teaching and principal positions.  Dawn provided an update regarding the support being provided for the 8th grade class, including Michelle Blanchard’s (counselor) weekly work with the class, Dawn’s in-class time, the hiring of an outside teacher for chemistry, and Bev Forney’s work on Capstone.  Dawn provided an update regarding students’ progress on the Capstone Projects and planning for 8th grade Outdoor School, as well as a teambuilding exercise (like a day of ropes courses) prior to ODS.

Andrea discussed a procedure and timeline for the principal hiring process.  The Board agreed upon the job description and minimum qualifications for the position.  The consensus was to post the position on Ed Zapp and Craigs List, both of which advertise nationally.

Charter Renewal:  Springwater was renewed by a unanimous vote of the OCSD Board.  Andrea and Dawn will be working on proposed amendments to our charter agreement and negotiating that agreement with OCSD.  We will also need to address renewal and terms for our special education contract and our lease agreement.

Open Houses:  Andrea provided relevant information regarding the upcoming Open Houses.

Tech Update:  Dawn updated progress made on setting up a computer lab.  Teachers will be initiating planning for scope and sequence of technology instruction for students from grades K-8.  This will help guide our discussion as to what new technology – both for students and staff – needs to be purchased.

Dawn shared cards from the students for Board Appreciation Month.

The meeting adjourned at 10:00 pm.