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Author Topic: School Board Meeting 4/20/11  (Read 3466 times)
Victoria
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« on: April 29, 2011, 07:19:12 AM »

This is a personal account of the School Board Meeting of 4/20/11
The formal meeting minutes will probably be out in July.
.....................

Principal reports were pretty standard.  The Middle school kids were on their beach trip, fundraising is going on for the Wildhorse trip.  Mrs. Luna invited everyone who wants to come in to morning meetings at 8 am  and on May 6th there will be a concert put on by the Students to raise money for music and sports.  Mrs. Swanson was mentioned as an amazing teacher who will be doing a community hoedown again sometime this Spring (no date announced) and Holly Dearixon is working hard.
 
Phil Pearson gave the High School report and had Chris James come up and show the underwater manipulator that the robotics class is designing to compete with this Spring.  The idea behind this years project is to be able to mend oil wells and Jeff Aho's dad, Dave, had been helping the kids immensely putting thoughts into plans and legos into metal.  (Originally they designed it in legos.)  Its a pretty amazing looking little device and I hope they do well.
 
Prom will be this Saturday at the ViewPoint Inn.  Those of you with kids old enough I'm sure are already aware of this fact.  It starts at 8pm.
 
Band is headed off to 3A State on Wednesday, May 11th.
 
Graduation is scheduled for the same church as last time and will be May 30th. 
 
Our next presentation by Phil was regarding how our students are doing compared to other schools once they leave Corbett.  Hannah Coleman received a full ride scholarship to Dartmouth this year which is great! Hannah came to us from the Phonics Phactory as a freshman and I understand her parents sent a very nice thank you letter to the Phactory saying that Hannah couldn't have done what she has without the firm foundation she received in her earlier years. 
Our kids who head off to Mt Hood are doing about the same as other students who get a 2.0 G.P.A., and slightly better than other kids getting a 3.0.  Those who head off to the State schools maintain about the same G.P.A. as they did in High school, maybe slightly better.  So our kids who are leaving Corbett are doing fine.
There was some discussion with Randy and Phil about the 11th grade assessment test.  Randy said that we are at 85% in the Reading test and 90% in the math tests for assessments and our kids take the tests as 9th graders, not 11th, so we are not leaving any of the kids behind and are taking care of all the students, not just the AP students.  All the kids are doing fine.  (Now, this left some of us a bit confused.  I sent request for clarifying information to Randy and the attachment is above.  We are NOT scoring at these numbers, which is the impression I got, along with those around me, but that is the percentage of kids who have Passed the assessment test.  A passing schore is 236 in reading with a possible 302.  Randy said what is really important to note is that our kids take the 11th grade assessment tests as Freshman, but the information I got from another District says they do too.) 
 
Jennifer Prince spoke about keeping the Outdoor School.  She is willing to head up funding for the program and offered some suggestions for alternative ways to fund the project.  She submitted her report for the records so they should be included in the papers you can pull up on line.  Jennifer reported that so far the box tops program has brought in $847.50 to the PTA and they have collected over 9,000 labels to be used for supplies.
 
Gary Law said the Little League cars were parked neatly at the Springdale school and thanked Kristi Stafford for organizing that, he really appreciated it being done.  He asked about the Springdale school and why no action was being planned at this meeting.  (No response was given at this time, but later in the Meeting Randy said he doesn't feel comfortable releasing money to go towards a survey until he knows the exact financial state for this year.)
 
Cara Kaser from the Parks and Rec department spoke on the National Historic Registration for the Springdale school.  There will be an official nomination letter coming the week of the 25th.  A publicly owned building can be registered without the consent of the owner.  So, it does not require the school board or the Superintendent's okay to put it on the register.  The benefits of putting it on the register is that there are grants available to fix the school up.  Some of the funds are contingent on a non-profit arm running the funds, which the Springdale School Association is in place to do.  The down side mentioned is you have to go through Multnomah County Historic review board and get permits, but you have to get permits anyway.  (though, when I went to Gresham and asked about the permits pulled to do the work listed in the School Board minutes so I could find out the costs, since no one would tell me, I was informed that Corbett School District hadn't pulled any permits for the work done.)  This is a small magnitude nomination and this is considered a "duh" nomination.  It's public, a school and hasn't had any major renovations done on it.  It is a property that will have a major impact on the local community and should get a high ranking on the list.  It will probably not get through the entire listing process until October.
 
The school year calendar for next year was voted on.  Two options were presented, one starting August 22nd, and one for August 29th.  Randy told the Board that their most important job is the education of the students and familial needs are second, and starting on August 22nd would be the best in that case.  It doesn't matter when K-8 start, but there is less time for learning before taking the AP tests in the High School and the High School students don't get enough time to study for the tests if we start later.  However, he didn't see this working this year for the parents so he suggested the 29th as a start date, and that was passed by the Board.  Randy said it is the fault of the school that they have not been educating the public about the AP tests.  Yes, we give a lot of tests, but we are in the Elite company of over 30% participation rate for students in AP testing, which is unheard of in other schools.  (We also have mandatory AP classes which is the difference between other schools)  We are also Elite because we got a notice from the College Board by maintaining the number of tests with a 3 or higher on scores.  We have increased our percentage of 3's  by 4% from 2008 to 2010.  We are Elite in this area too.  He pointed out that you won't find any of this information in the Oregonian, because they won't publish these releases.  However, you could find it in the Wall Street Journal.
 
We had a visiting School Board member from the Reynolds District who went over some information with us after the meeting.  Seeing the executive session at the end of the night is very strange.  Reynolds has their executive session an hour or two before the regular meeting so the decisions can be shared with the public during the regular meeting, which I know many of us have been commenting on all along.  The other item was the number of times the Charter gets mentioned in our meetings.  (I explained that the Charter is part of our financial's, and that lead to a whole other discussion). 
 
There is an article called "The Public Good vs The Ohio Imagine Schools" which parallels some of the practices going on in our local school.  I am including that attachment if anyone wants to read it.  Its not the same, but there are some major similarities.  The main one being " We finally concluded that what was desired from the administration (of the school) was for the board to be a rubber stamp rather than a governing body." Dr. David Welch, former board member of an Imagine school near Columbus, Ohio.  I see this in our meetings and I find it very frustrating.  Mark Hyzer brought up a point regarding moving monies around in the budget.  He said that the Board had agreed to move $100,000 from the General Fund to the Capital Improvements account and Randy said,  he'd decided not to do that.  It is the job of the School Board to direct the Superintendent, not the other way around.  I see it in the Budget committee meetings too.  Why is the committee there?  Dr. Trani says what number he wants, and that seems to be that.  I can see why some of the members don't show up.
 
Don't forget Kristi is looking for a person to be Stand-Up and take on the Red and Black. 
 



* Report on ImagineSchools2010.pdf (1141.11 KB - downloaded 855 times.)
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breezy
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« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2011, 09:27:47 PM »

To Victoria and anyone who gives a report on a public meeting they’ve attended, I want to say THANK YOU for posting a report. I can’t make it to most of these meetings and the school takes months to post the minutes so I appreciate this. Also, the official board minutes DO NOT include the eye rolls, pencil tapping and general rudeness that oozes from Maureen Child’s so I read them with a grain of salt.

I downloaded this pdf you posted. A report called “Public Good vs. Private Profit  Imagine Charter Schools, Inc”.
I found some similarities to our own charter/public situation. Here are a few quotes from this I wanted to share.
“even as many charter schools boast their smaller size as an educational advantage over traditional public schools, schools managed by Imagine schools, Inc. clearly see larger enrollment as the path to financial viability.”  “The reliance on increasing enrollment to eliminate deficits seems to have taken a toll on the academic performance of Imagines’ schools” (There is a chart showing how the academic performance declines as enrollment increases)   ME - Sounds similar to the focus of our own school board and administration these past 2 ½ (or more) years; A focus on the bottom line at the expense of our small community school.

The director/owner of these publicly funded yet ‘privately run’ charter schools encouraged his employees to “disregard and minimize the power of appointed school boards. School board members have resigned in frustration over what they describe as cooperate disregard for the governance role. We finally concluded that what was desired from the administration (of the school) was for the school board to be a rubber stamp rather than a governing body” said one former board member interviewed for this study. “The school wanted YES men around the table”.  ME – If you have seen our school board in action the past 4½ years (maybe longer?) this is a good description of what I have witnessed.

ME- I can remember when Dunton wanted a “rent reduction” for his charter school. This was when he was on both the Charter and Public school boards. He convinced most of his board to give him this reduction.  He didn’t get it, because of community pressure. He wanted NO transfer students to be allowed into the district. All but 2 of his board (including the 3 incumbents who are up for renewal of their board seats) voted to give him his way, and then later voted to change it because of community pressure.

I think all 3 of the current board members who are up for reelection have become or have been “yes men” (women) rubber stamps.  Please read the Board Policy for community relations and ask yourself “Have these board members fulfilled this policy?” If they haven’t VOTE FOR SOMEONE ELSE.

http://policy.osba.org/corbett/AB/AB%20G1.pdf

District-Community Relations Goals and Objectives

The Board’s goal of achieving positive district-community relations are:

1. To develop public understanding of all aspects of district operations, ascertain public attitudes toward
issues in education and identify the public’s educational expectations for their students;
2. To secure adequate financial support for the educational program;
3. To help citizens feel responsibility for the quality of education provided by their schools;
4. To earn the public’s confidence with regard to district staff and services;
5. To foster public understanding of the need for constructive change and solicit public advice on
achieving educational goals;
6. To involve citizens in solving educational problems;
7. To promote cooperation between the district and the community and to share the leadership for
improving community life.

Achieving these objectives requires that the Board and staff, individually and collectively, express positive
attitudes toward the schools in their daily contacts with parents, community members and one another;
make systematic, honest and continuing efforts to discover what the public thinks and what citizens want to
know; interpret district programs, problems and accomplishments; develop an active partnership with the
community in working toward improvement of the educational program; and take an active interest in the
needs of the community to find ways to make the community a better place to live.

END OF POLICY
Legal Reference(s):
ORS 332.107
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