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SOUTH WASHINGTON COUNTY SCHOOLS SPECIAL DEC. MEETING MINUTES

Wednesday, December 28, 2011 - 12:00am

District 833 School Board Special Meeting and Workshop

Unofficial Clerk's Summary 01 December 2011

Pursuant to due call and notice thereof, a special meeting of the School Board of Independent School District 833, South Washington County, was held on Thursday, December 1, 2011. The meeting was called to order by Chairman Leslee Boyd at 6:00 p.m. at the District Service Center, located at 7362 East Point Douglas Road South, Cottage Grove, MN. School Board members present were Marsha Adou, Leslee Boyd, Tracy Brunnette, Jim Gelbmann, Laurie Johnson, Ron Kath and David Kemper. Superintendent Mark T. Porter was also present.

Aaron Bushberger, Director of Finance, presented information related to taxes payable in 2012. According to Minnesota statutes, School Districts must hold a public hearing (previously was known as 'Truth in Taxation') to present information related to the taxes payable in 2012 and allow for public input. The State statute was changed during the 2009 legislative session allowing school districts to hold their public hearing at a regularly scheduled meeting. In prior years the hearing was required to be held on a separate date. State law requires school districts to present information on the current year budget and actual revenue and expenses for the prior year. The law also requires districts to present information on the proposed property tax levy including the percentage increase over the prior year and specific reasons on why taxes are being increased. The School Board certified the proposed levy for taxes payable in 2012 at their October 6, 2011 special board meeting. The School Board certified the proposed levy at $53,580,298. The recommended final levy is $53,434,021. This reduction is due to the issuance of refunding bonds, approved at the October 27, 2011 school board meeting, which will reduce the levy by $146,277.

Aaron explained information as it relates to the Homestead Credit Shift since that is a change this year and will affect most taxpayers. The 2011 Legislature repealed the Homestead Credit Shift and replaced it with a Homestead Market Value Exclusion. The repealed law provided a reduction in the amount of taxes due, after the counties had calculated tax rates and initial tax bills and depended only on the value of the property, not on the tax rate. It affected only homestead properties with values less than $413,000. Credit was subtracted proportionally from the portions of the tax bill attributed to each city or township, county and school district. The new law reduces the calculation of "tax capacity" on residential homesteads with a market value of less than $413,000 by excluding a portion of the value from tax capacity. The exclusion reduces the total tax base for the political subdivision and therefore affects tax rates and the taxes of all properties. For our school district, the exclusion reduced total tax capacity by 4.73% which is virtually the same as the state average, so the impact on our taxpayers will be similar to the average school district. Final levy certification for property taxes payable in 2012 is scheduled for the December 15, 2011 School Board meeting.

Denise Griffith, Director of Human Resources, presented a tentative agreement between South Washington County Schools and the Kids Club Supervisors, Local 70. The two-year agreement will be effective July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2013. Members of the bargaining unit approved the tentative agreement on November 30, 2011. The economic costing of the tentative agreement includes salary schedule improvements of $0.10 per hour year 1, and $.15 per hour year 2. Longevity remains the same, with the cap removed. The agreement includes a decrease in employee contributions for health insurance. The district will continue its current contributions of $578.81 dollars per month for family coverage of all three health plans (Select, Open Access and High Deductible), and $330.75 per month for single coverage of the three plans. Employees opting for the High Deductible plan will receive a $50 per month VEBA contribution for both family and single coverage. Employee hours have increased from approximately 37.5 to 39 hours per week, to 40 hours per week during the school year. A motion was made and seconded to approve the recommendations as presented. Motion was passed.

The special meeting adjourned at 6:51pm.

Pursuant to due call and notice thereof, a workshop of the School Board of Independent School District 833, South Washington County, was held on Thursday, December 1, 2011. The meeting was called to order by Chairman Leslee Boyd at 6:57 p.m. at the District Service Center, located at 7362 East Point Douglas Road South, Cottage Grove, MN. School Board members present were Marsha Adou, Leslee Boyd, Tracy Brunnette, Jim Gelbmann, Laurie Johnson, Ron Kath and David Kemper. Superintendent Mark T. Porter was also present.

Keith Ryskoski, Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education, presented the recommendations for the intra-district transfer and open enrollment parameters. This was discussed in detail at the November 3 School Board workshop and November 17 regular meeting. Intra-district transfers, Board Policy 509.1, provides the opportunity for District 833 families to request to have their students attend a school other than the one assigned by attendance boundaries. If approved, transportation arrangements are the responsibility of the parent/guardian. Open Enrollment, Board Policy 509, provides the opportunity for non-resident families to attend a District 833 school. The open enrollment statute allows the board to pass a resolution to limit the open enrollment of non-resident students to a number not less than 1% of the total enrollment at each grade level in the district. The following summarizes the administrative recommendations for the application of board policy 509.1, Intra-district Transfers and 509, Enrollment of Non Resident Students, for the 2012-2013 school year.

Elementary Schools (bold statements are new or revised)

1. Intra-district transfer requests for the 2012-2013 school year may be granted on a space available basis subject to the approval of the Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Schools.

2. Acceptance of a student under an intra-district transfer shall be determined after the staffing levels for the schools have been determined and shall not increase the number of students at a grade level within the receiving school beyond 90% of the established classroom cap for that grade level.

3. Zero intra-district transfers will be considered to Liberty Ridge Elementary School for the 2012-13 school year due to capacity constraints.

4. Acceptance of a student under an intra-district transfer shall not increase staffing requirements at the school receiving the student.

5. Students approved for an intra-district transfer in one year shall be included in the enrollment projections of the receiving school in future years for staffing purposes.

6. Kindergarten students with an elementary sibling attending a school under an intra-district transfer the year the kindergarten student will be enrolled will also be enrolled in the intra-district transfer school unless requested otherwise.

7. Applications for consideration for transfer to another elementary school should be submitted by April 6, 2012.

8. If the number of intra-district transfer requests exceeds the available space in a grade level, the order of approval shall be determined by selecting names through a random drawing process.

9. Parents/guardians are responsible for providing transportation to and from school in every instance where an intra-district transfer has been approved.

10. Families must reapply if requesting enrollment at a school outside the assigned attendance boundary when school transitions occur (elementary to middle; middle to high school).

11. The School Board shall review the outcome of the intra-district transfer policy for elementary schools and make recommendations for the 2013-2014 school year.

Middle Schools (bold statements are new or revised)

1. Intra-district transfer requests for the 2012-13 school year may be granted on a space available basis subject to approval of the Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Schools.

2. Transfer approvals will be limited to a net +/- 3% above or below the assigned attendance boundary enrollment per grade level at Oltman and Woodbury Middle Schools.

3. Intra-district transfers to Cottage Grove Middle and Lake Middle Schools will not be approved due to capacity constraints.

4. Acceptance of a student under an intra-district transfer shall not increase staffing requirements at the school receiving the student.

5. If the number of intra-district transfer requests exceeds the available space in a grade level, the order of approval shall be determined by selecting names through a random drawing process.

6. Students approved for an intra-district transfer in one year shall be included in the enrollment projections of the receiving school in future years for staffing purposes.

7. Applications for consideration to transfer to another district middle school outside the assigned attendance area should be submitted by January 13, 2012.

8. Parents/guardians are responsible for providing transportation to and from school in every instance where an intra-district transfer has been approved.

9. Families must reapply if requesting enrollment outside the assigned attendance boundary when school transitions occur (elementary to middle; middle to high school).

10. The School Board shall review the intra-district transfer policy and make recommendations for middle schools for the 2013-2014 school year.

High Schools (bold statements are new or revised)

1. Intra-district transfer requests for the 2012-2013 school year may be granted on a space available basis subject to the approval of the Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Schools.

2. Transfer approvals will be limited to a net +/- 3% above or below the assigned attendance boundary enrollment per grade level at Park High School and Woodbury High School. Preference for enrollment will be given to students in grades 11 and 12 who request transfer to the International Baccalaureate Program at Park High School.

3. Intra-district transfers to East Ridge High School will not be approved due to capacity restraints.

4. Acceptance of a student under an intra-district transfer shall not increase staffing requirements at the school receiving the student.

5. If the number of intra-district transfer requests exceeds the space available in a grade level, the order of approval shall be determined by selecting names through a random drawing process.

6. Students approved for an intra-district transfer in one year shall be included in the enrollment projections of the receiving school in future years for staffing purposes.

7. Eligibility for athletic participation related to transfer to a different school will be under the rules and guidelines of the Minnesota State High School League. MSHSL has ultimate authority in these matters. ("Note: the MSHSL already recognizes International Baccalaureate as an exception to their transfer eligibility policy.")

8. Applications for consideration to transfer to another district high school outside the assigned attendance area should be submitted by January 13, 2012.

9. Parents/guardians/students are responsible for providing transportation to and from school in every instance where an intra-district transfer has been approved.

10. Families must reapply if requesting enrollment outside the assigned attendance boundary when school transitions occur (middle to high school).

11. The School Board shall review the outcome of the intra-district transfer policy for high school students and make recommendations for the 2013-2014 school year.

OPEN ENROLLMENT FOR NON-DISTRICT RESIDENT STUDENTS: (bold statements are new or revised)

It is the recommendation that for the 2012-2013 school year that District 833 allow enrollment of

nonresident students at 3% of each grade level enrollment for elementary, middle and high schools. An exception would be for Liberty Ridge Elementary, Cottage Grove Middle, Lake Middle and East Ridge High Schools which would be closed to additional open enrollment students due to anticipated capacity constraints. Schools/grades meeting or exceeding the thresholds for intra-district transfer considerations have also met the criteria for being closed to open enrollment. Open enrolled students would continue at their assigned school throughout their years at each level. Families must reapply, indicating their preferred school, when school transitions occur (elementary to middle; middle to high school). The district retains the right to assign nonresident students to sites other than direct feeder schools when these transitions occur, based upon capacity and program considerations.

At the November 17 meeting, Board members discussed this item and asked questions, several that related to the sibling preference issue at the secondary level. Board members stated that they would like to see the secondary sibling preference numbers before they move forward with this item.

Below are the current numbers of siblings in corresponding grades for each student attending a secondary school on an approved intra-district transfer. For example, of the students attending East Ridge High School on an intra-district transfer, there are 3 siblings currently in 6th grade, 14 currently in 7th grade, etc. Spanish Immersion students are not reflected in these numbers.

School 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th

ERHS 3 14 10 3 1 3

PHS 0 6 8 3 0 3

WHS 0 1 1 2 1 4

Middle School 4th 5th 6thEnrollments

CGMS 1 1 1School Currrent 2012-13+sibling 2013-14+sibling

LMS 1 0 0ERHS 17171807+17=1824 1879+28=1907

OMS 0 1 0 PHS 1852 1851+14=1865 1847+17=1864

WMS 0 3 0WHS 1785 1794+8=1802 1763+5=1768

Keith Ryskoski went over the information that is on the district website related to intra-district transfer requests. Also, a letter is sent out each year to Kindergarten students eligible for sibling preference informing them of the intra-district transfer option that is available to them. Kindergarten students with an elementary sibling attending a school under an intra-district transfer the year the Kindergarten student will enroll will be automatically approved to attend the same intra-district transfer school pending the submission of an intra-district transfer request. Board members thanked Keith for bringing in this additional information. This item will be brought back to the December 15 regular board meeting for possible additional discussion and approval by the School Board.

Mike Vogel, Assistant to the Superintendent for Operations, presented alternatives to address future Liberty Ridge Elementary capacity issues. This was discussed with board members at their workshop session on November 17, 2011. Administration's purpose with this report is to present again the alternatives available to resolve the enrollment and capacity issues at Liberty Ridge Elementary School beginning with the 2012-13 school year. Liberty Ridge Elementary enrollment has grown by 220 students over the last two years. Housing starts in the next several years are expected to equal or exceed those of the last two years. There are in excess of 400 platted lots available for construction in the Liberty Ridge attendance boundary. It is projected that enrollment will exceed capacity at Liberty Ridge by approximately 200 students by the start of the 2014-2015 school year. To address the future overcrowding issue, it will be necessary to either adjust the attendance boundary to reduce future enrollment by a minimum of 200 students or make additional space available by purchasing and adding on to the currently leased space at Liberty Ridge Site 2. Dependent on the alternative selected by the School Board, there are a number of lesser steps that will need to be taken for the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 school years. If the school board elects to adjust attendance boundaries to relieve the overcrowding, the change would be required for the 2013-2014 school year. The district would remain obligated to the lease agreement for Liberty Ridge site 2 at an annual cost of $168,000 for 2011-2012, $176,400 for 2012-2013, and $184,400 in 2013-2014. The district holds an option for the 2014-2015 school year at an annual lease amount of $190,300. The cost of the Site 2 lease is a qualifying lease levy expense that calculates to approximately $5 annually on a $250,000 home - based on the 2011-2012 lease cost. If the attendance boundary adjustment creates an attendance boundary for Valley Crossing Community School, ISD 833's annual revenue will be reduced by approximately $7,000 for each student assigned to Valley Crossing ($5850 general education aid, $900 operating levy, $250 operating capital). There are likely to be other general fund expenses associated with an attendance boundary change which cannot be calculated until the nature and extent of the boundary change has been determined.

2012-2013 impact on students/families

• Close Liberty Ridge to future open enrollments and intra-district transfers

• Rescind open enrollment and intra-district transfer agreements for Liberty Ridge students with the exception of the 2011-2012 4th grade students

• Shift neighborhood groups W38 and W38A to Middleton effective 12/15/11(currently no students)

• Shift Neighborhood group W33 to Middleton with the exception of the 2011-2012 4th grade students effective for the 2012-2013 school year.

• Eliminate the School Readiness Classroom.

• Limit the number of sections of all-day Kindergarten housed at the main campus.

Acquire and Expand Liberty Ridge Site 2 Financial Impact

The estimated expense to purchase Liberty Ridge Site 2 and add the proposed 12,500 square foot addition is $4,500,000 which equates to $200 per sq ft of building space. That cost is comparable to what it would cost to add a 22,500 square foot addition onto an existing building. For comparison purposes, the cost per square foot for the 2007 Cottage Grove Middle School and the 2008 Grey Cloud Elementary School additions were approximately $190 and $192 respectively.

After consulting with MDE staff, the district has determined that the cost of acquiring the existing 10,000 square foot Liberty Ridge Site 2 building and the adjacent property would be a qualifying lease levy expense. Further, 2,000 square feet of the addition (20% of the original space) would qualify as a lease levy expense. The total qualifying expense would be approximately $2.9 of the $4.5M or roughly 2/3's of the projected expense. Ehlers and Associates, the district's financial consultant, has estimated the annual lease payment for borrowing $4.5M over 15 years @ $8,550 per $100,000, or $385,000 annually. The annual lease levy for 2/3's of that amount on a $250,000 home is approximately $8.

The 1/3 of the annual lease/purchase cost of acquisition and construction of Liberty Ridge Site 2 and the addition not allowable as a lease levy expense would be funded through other non-general fund budgets such as the Bond Referendum fund balance or the Operating Capital budget.

2012-2013 impact on students/families

• Close Liberty Ridge to future open enrollments and intra-district transfers

• Shift neighborhood groups W38 and W38A to Middleton effective 12/15/11(currently no students)

• Shift W33 Kindergarten students without siblings at Liberty Ridge to Middleton

Administration requests that the School Board direct staff to prepare an administrative recommendation for the December 15, 2011 School Board meeting that would authorize staff to proceed with negotiations to acquire Liberty Ridge Site 2 and the adjacent property and to commence planning for construction of an addition to the site that would include: commissioning of an architect to prepare the design and bid documents, submittal of review and comment documents to MDE, and submittal of preliminary plans to the City of Woodbury for review and approval. This item will likely be brought back to the December 15 regular board meeting for possible additional discussion and approval by the School Board.

The School Board and Superintendent went into a closed session at 8:45pm to discuss labor negotiations strategy. Denise Griffith, Director of Human Resources, and Aaron Bushberger, Director of Finance, were also in attendance.

The workshop adjourned at 10:01pm. 12/28


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