School Board Special Meeting and Workshop
Unofficial Clerk's Summary
12 January 2012
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, January 12, 2012. The meeting was called to order by Chairman Leslee Boyd at 6:03 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.
Board member Tracy Brunnette administered the Oath of Office for the three re-elected School Board members - Ron Kath, Jim Gelbmann and Leslee Boyd.
Chairman Leslee Boyd presided over the election of officers. Marsha Adou moved a slate of candidates for the positions of Chair, Vice-Chair, Clerk and Treasurer of the School Board. Marsha Adou nominated Leslee Boyd for Chairperson; Tracy Brunnette for Vice-Chair; Laurie Johnson for Clerk; and Ron Kath for Treasurer. There were no other nominations for the officer positions. Ron Kath seconded the nominations. Motions were made and seconded to approve the officer positions as nominated. Motion was carried.
The School Board approved the organizational items for 2012. They included: Readopt School Board Policies and Regulations; Designate District Service Center as Meeting Site for the School Board; Appoint Director of Finance as Assistant Treasurer; Resolution to Designate Bank Depositories; Resolution for Investment Authorization; Authorize Director of Finance and Account Specialist to make Electronic Fund Transfers; Authorize Signatures for Petty Cash Checks; Authorize Director of Finance and Finance Specialist to sign Student Activity Fund Checks; Authorize Early Claim Payments; Authorize use of Chair, Clerk and Treasurer Facsimile Signatures; Designate South Washington County Bulletin as Official Newspaper. A motion was made and seconded to approve the Organizational Items for 2012. Motion was carried.
Denise Griffith, Director of Human Resources, presented a resolution proposing discipline of an employee. The resolution is as follows: WHEREAS, the School Board has reviewed a draft of a letter to an employee informing the employee of discipline that is being proposed by the School District; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the School Board of Independent School District No. 833, South Washington County Schools, as follows: The School Board hereby approves the letter setting forth the proposed discipline and the basis for the proposed discipline; The School Board Chair is authorized and directed to sign the letter on behalf of the School Board; The District's Director of Human Resources is directed to have the approved letter personally served on the employee, and to place a copy of the letter in the employee' personnel file. Pursuant to Minnesota Statutes Section 13.43, subdivision 2, the specific reasons for the proposed discipline, the nature of the proposed discipline, and the letter are private data on the employee until final disposition of the proposed disciplinary action. A motion was made and seconded to approve the resolution as presented. Motion was carried.
Chairman Boyd acknowledged that there were members in the audience who were present to speak on the non-renewal of the Superintendent's contract topic. After careful consideration of regular special meeting and workshop protocol, she invited those interested to address the board on this topic.
Richard Kveton, district resident, expressed his disappointment with the School Board's decision to not renew the current Superintendent's contract.
Joyce Thalacker, retired district teacher, asked the board to reconsider their decision to not renew the current Superintendent's contract.
Jim Blass, district resident, expressed his disappointment with the School Board's decision to not renew the current Superintendent's contract.
Lois Williams, district resident, asked the board to reconsider the School Board's decision to not renew the current Superintendent's contract.
After audience members spoke on this topic, Chairman Boyd made a statement saying, in summary, that the decision to not renew the Superintendent's contract was made after careful consideration and regardless of how each member voted, board members will continue to be focused on the students and staff of the school district.
The special meeting adjourned at 6:21pm.
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, January 12, 2012. The meeting was called to order by Chairman Leslee Boyd at 6:25 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, and Aaron Nielsen, principal from Malloy, Montague, Karnowski, Radosevich & Company (MMKR), independent auditors for South Washington County Schools, presented information on the district's financial statements for FY 2010-2011. Again this year, an unqualified (or "clean") opinion was received, which is good news and supports the hard work of employees in all departments of the district. Aaron Nielsen went over the full financial documents which included the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, Student Activities Accounts Report, Special Purpose Audit Report, and the Management Report. The results disclosed no instances of noncompliance that are required to be reported under federal Government Auditing Standards. The auditor did report one finding based on their testing of the district's compliance with Minnesota laws and regulations relating to the timely payment of vendor obligations. Overall, the audit included examining, on a test basis, evidence assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall financial statements. The school district has applied for the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting given by the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO) for a sixth time. This item will be on the January 26, 2012 School Board agenda for approval.
Aaron Bushberger, Director of Finance, presented preliminary information about the 2012-2013 General Fund Budget. For the current 2011-2012 budget, 79% of the General Fund revenue comes from the state. Other sources of revenue include property taxes (15%), federal aid (4%) and other local sources (2%). On the expenditure side, 86% of the budget goes to salaries and benefits. Other expenditures (14%) include utilities, tuition, supplies and materials, postage and contracted services. Over the past decade, funding provided from the state has not kept up with the pace of inflation. The state has utilized "shifts" to balance their budget. A payment shift means that the state withholds their payments made to school districts. This does not change the revenue total but it does change when districts receive their cash causing many districts to have a cash flow problem. The state had been on a 90/10 payment schedule but for the 2011-2012 year, they changed that to a 60/40 payment schedule. The state has also utilized a Property Tax Recognition Shift. Again, this does not change the revenue total, but it does chance when school district receive their cash. Key assumptions for the 2012-2013 budget include:
Enrollment change = 0%
Salaries and benefits = known
Increase in tuition/utilities = 5%
$2.5 million annual contribution to Internal Service Fund restored for 2011-2012
State revenue change = known
Factors on the budget include enrollment estimates, Internal Service Fund contribution, Operating Referendum expiration, and uncertainly of the Integration revenue for 2013-2014 and beyond. The anticipated net result of the budget projections for 2012-2013 is deficit spending in the amount of $7,258,730 which would be covered through the current fund balance. Future projections show continued deficit spending due to no increase in revenues and inflationary increases in expenditures built into the budget projections. The fund balance policy of the district calls for a 5%-9% fund balance at the end of the fiscal year. By 2013-2014, it is projected that the district's reserve will be well below the 5% threshold at -2%.
At their January 26th regular meeting, the School Board will approve preliminary staffing ratios so those will be factored into the budget parameters. In January and February, district administration will be working on their "Budgeting for Excellence" process which will include recommendations for staffing ratios and budget adjustments. In March, the board will review and approve the staffing ratios and budget adjustments. The detailed General Fund budget is scheduled to be approved by the School Board at their June 18, 2012 regular meeting.
Mark T. Porter, Superintendent, and members from the Superintendent's Cabinet, provided an update to the "Pathway to Excellence" Strategic Plan.
Keith Ryskoski, Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education, provided an update to Strategic Objective #5, Leader in Technology and Innovation. Accomplishments towards this objective include an extensive inventory process being completed, technology supporting the elementary math adoption, identification of internal network and server needs, implementation of Safari Montage, currently reviewing proposals for online/hybrid course instruction, and creating a survey of students/families on the use of technology. Processes underway include the development and implementation of the District Technology Steering Committee, offering instructional resources and professional development, and work as it relates to staffing and budgeting.
Denise Griffith, Director of Human Resources, provided an update to Strategic Objective #4, High Performing Workforce. All Principals have completed the Ventures for Excellence training for teacher selection. Assistant Principals and Administrators/Supervisors are in the process of their training. Standardized evaluation criteria for office professional job applicants have been established. All district job descriptions are scheduled to be updated by March 1, 2012. Hiring competencies have been integrated into professional development and training, and performance appraisals. Standardized methods and criteria for all employee evaluations have been developed.
Dave Bernhardson, Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education, provided an update to Strategic Objective #2, Creating a Culture for Success. A student and family survey will be developed to establish baseline data to support future School Improvement Plans (SIP's). Also, an Emergency Preparedness Committee is in the process of being created that will work with building SERT (School Emergency Response Teams) teams, evaluate the current emergency preparedness plans and assess existing security measures.
Rick Spicuzza, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Assessment, provide an update to Strategic Objective #1, Learning for Lifelong Success. There is a vested interest in the learning outcomes for all students in District 833 and raising the achievement gap that exists. The Action Planning Team developed the Vision Cards that will provide greater clarity for all stakeholders.
Mark T. Porter, Superintendent, talked about the planning process for the 2011-2012 Annual Review. In January and February, communications regarding the review will be shared with both internal and external audiences. Also, the administrators that are responsible for specific strategic objective areas will form Action Planning Teams. Those teams will meet in March and April to review the objective areas and recommend any proposed updates. On Thursday, May 17th, a review session will be held for the larger Strategic Planning Team. All of this information will be presented to the School Board at their May 24th regular meeting.
Chairman Boyd presented the Superintendent Search process item to board members for discussion. Leslee asked board members whether they wanted to use an outside consulting firm for the search process or to do it in house. Board member Kath suggested Dragseth Consulting for the process as the board has used this firm before for a Superintendent search. The Board has also worked specifically with Ken Dragseth on two of their retreats so Ken knows the current board members and is knowledgeable about our school district which would be beneficial. Board discussion included those agreeing to use Dragseth Consulting for this process, and those that desired to do an RFP (request for proposal) process to compare services and pricing. Board members agreed to review a proposal from Dragseth Consulting . They will discuss the proposal and make a decision on how to move forward at a workshop session prior to the January 26 regular School Board meeting.
The workshop adjourned at 9:35pm.