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Author Topic: School Board Meeting 5/18/11  (Read 9025 times)
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« on: May 23, 2011, 07:52:48 AM »

This is a personal account of the School Board Meeting of 5/18/11
The formal meeting minutes will probably be out in August.

The meeting started with DeeDee Hanes speaking on the Grade school projects.  The PTA has been working to make their studying of the Gorge project self sustaining and had $200 donated to them by the Corbett Education Foundation and $200 from the School Board.  With this money they made greeting cards with Matt Leamy donating the work and Heidi Hauker (sp?)  designing the logo.  Michelle Dawkins and Megan Shaw were integral to the project and it looks like they may have raised $1,200 at the Art Fair last weekend. 

The Outdoor project to study wetlands received a grant for $11,000, and the Oregon Children's Theater donated tickets to the middle school students  to see " A Wrinkle in Time".   The cafeteria staff has volunteered a person to work with the children who need help to meet the benchmarks and Tracie Swanson had a full house for her dance night.  June 1st is portfolio night for those who have younger kids, (it wasn't mentioned about the older ones) and there is a five day school week next week for those of you whose child did not let you know. 

They are looking at 35 kindergartner kids for next year, planning in the 40's.  Twenty parents are interested in pre-school and there will be a 1,900 postal patron mailing for the pre-school program and the enrichment program.  (Some interest is coming in from adults who would like some classes offered to them, which will be looked into maybe next year.)  This month is School Board appreciation month, a gift pack of the Gifts of the Gorge made by the students was given to the board members.

Mrs. Luna from the Middle school said the kids were at Wildhorse for two days and that event tends to eclipse All when it comes around as the students look forward to going.  They are wrapping up a poetry unit and are looking at the last of the State testing.  Student led conferences will be next Tuesday the 24th.  Mrs. Luna had the opportunity to take all interested Spanish students to a play recently.

Mr. Pearson talked about the going on's at the High School.  The last of the AP tests were finishing up on Thursday and graduation will be at New Beginnings again this year.  Hector Kent was presenting scientific findings at Timberline regarding data and findings taken at Buck Creek by the students.  The findings were being given to either the Department of the Interior or the Forest Service.

Band took 2nd in State, missing first by only two points.  This was the first year they have competed in a higher level, please tell Mr. Killgore congratulations if you see him.  (And the kids too!)

There were 71 calculus exams taken by the 10th graders - State average was 54%, Corbett came in at 73.9%.  Mr. Pearson feels very good about pushing math as no one every says, I had too much math!  Of the calculus students, 48 should be getting 3 or above in their AB exam.  In the International math assessment test the USA is beaten by everyone but Austria in the world.  If students take one exam, take, not pass but take, one AP math exam the USA beats everyone.  So, in Corbett, 25% of the kids in High School would outscore the World in math.  So maintain the status quo.

Audience comments: Three minutes unless extended by the Chair.

Andrew Hanes: graduated in 2007- Corbett, 2011 University of Southern California.  Came to Corbett in fourth grade, thanked the Board as a whole for his education, said that the amazing level of interpersonal relationships with the teachers and the academic rigor of test- PSAT-PSAT again and AP test helped him get his Aerospace engineering degree.

Eric Stevens:  Just completed another budget cycle, and we are in Survival mode.  He encourages the board with the new members to get on the Visionary side of things and show the Community - what is the next step?  What are the boards goals, visions, where is it going and what can I do?  What is the Vision, and what is Really Needed?  Budgets are what they are, funding is what it is, some things you can't do anything about.  But regarding the things we can, what do we do to make the necessary changes , not just tweak.

Alex Gray:  Corbett graduate 2007, Willamette University 2011.  Thanked the board for his education. 

Gary Law: June 7th there will be a meeting at the Fire Hall for the SSCA at 7pm.  They will be looking to elect new board members.  The SSCA want to be allowed to give input into the new plans for the Springdale school and the RFP's that are being put out to determine what needs done on the school.  SSCA hasn't been able to get a sub-committee meeting with the School since December and wants to know what is going on, why there haven't been meetings and the Want To Be Invovled!  Asked the Board to Please Meet with them, and everyone to call the Superintendent and insist he meet with the SSCA and get a meeting.  Everyone is invited to the meeting on the 7th.

Mike Wilson: OSBA report by John Young says on page 12 under Superintendent pools in Oregon that a compensation package should be on par with a private sector CEO.  Under the Charity navigator, a CEO running a business with the same size of budget as we have should be making around $120,000 in the NW. 

Clair Klock:  Has spent 10 years muddling studying on this thought and he has watched the Corbett schools over this time increase in ranking and he has come to the conclusion that this is being done by the systematic elimination of students with behavior and emotional problems.  This is legal, but it is not right.  Of course with this practice you get fewer disruptions, and teachers love to teach in this environment.  With this practice we should expect higher scores, and we wouldn't be getting the differences between other Public schools if they ran their schools in the same way, instead Corbett would fall back.  We need to stop comparing Corbett to other Public schools and start comparing it to Private schools, as that is how Corbett is being run.

Financial Matters:
Dr. Trani:  With a twelve year low for pupil funding we are still projecting where the year will end.  The final numbers could still creep up slowly,   With the new health care plan we have saved around $140,000 in premiums/ cost and are in a pretty good financial position now.  Teachers will come back to work one day to add back the furlough day and we will be getting more money in still from the small HS funding. 
The lunch program is "running flat" and they will have to move $24,000 to $25,000 from the General fund before closing the books to balance at the end of the year.  We will be raising lunch prices next year to try and eliminate this difference next year.
The Board set tuition of full day kindergarten to $200 a month, which is $25 per day.  This is not half Day or full Day kindergarten, this is half Time or full Time kindergarten.  Students who come half time will be in school for two of the four days, not four half days.

Board will increase cost of lunches by $.25.  Milk prices will stay the same.
Confirm updated activity fees: Middle schools: $30 activity card, $25 PE uniform
                                                    High schools:  $40 activity cards
Confirm updated sports fees: no breaks for additional sports or family cap.  Corbett MS: $150.00, Charter: $175.00, Corbett reduced lunch: $75.00, Charter reduced lunch: $87.50
                                                   Corbett HS $200.00, Charter HS $250.00, Corbett reduced lunch $100.00, Charter reduced lunch $125.00
                                                   Charter cost are $25 higher to compensate for no transportation funds coming in on these students to help cover bus costs.

Resolved to approve the return of Dacia Loeung from leave of absence from the Charter school back to the District, effective for next year.
Resolved to lay off two full time teaching positions.
Confirm resignation of Barbara Belmore, elementary secretary assistant.
Tabled 3rd reading of public communications program Policy KB.  (discussion came during Superintendent report.  Notes to follow in that area.)

Springdale School: 
Randy is being assigned to get three RFP's for an architectural firm to come in and do a first tier survey regarding what needs to be done to the school.  This is to be capped at no more than $10,000.  There can then be a second tier survey which needs to be no more than $30,000.  The other schools who required a vote of the community prior to taking out a loan did not all pass their bonds so there is money available for Corbett.  The current adjustments to the funding of the schools makes Dr. Trani more comfortable in spending money towards this project and we need to get a Number before deciding if the loan should go forward. 

Boosters: Chris D: The Boosters have been working with Randy to put together a proposal where the Boosters get the pay to play and pay all cost of the Athletics, plus 1/3 the cost of the Athletic Director.  This would involve collecting all money from pay to play and enforce payment by requiring proof of payment prior to getting a uniform.  (which I think is very smart).  The entire cost that will need to be managed will be around $171,000.  The Boosters will then send a check to the school for $50,000, which is the $40,000 that transportation should run, plus the AD's 1/3.  There was discussion from board members regarding the payment process with Mr. Buttke wanting all pay to play money collected by the school and then sent to the Boosters.  This proposal ended up being the one passed.

Superintendent's contract:

Randy asked that the board re-write his contract with "tightening up of the language regarding 'just cause' and attorney fees".  The only change to the contract is the language with his salary remaining at $130,000, monthly mileage at $450 and his insurance being capped at the same rate as other employees.

Superintendent's Report:

A.  Scores for grades on assessment tests:

3,4,5:  Average of six scores we lag behind the State by 7.5%  We use Saxton Math system and the changing of the test has the kids testing material they haven't covered yet.  (Test changed in 2007 according to web site).  Fourth grade writing tests are abysmal, but we don't want to change the method of teaching to chase the tail of State testing.  Trust the Professionals to do their job.

6,7,8: Average of test has us leading State by 4.5 points across all tests.

HS- don't know the State average, the assessment tests have been moved to 11th grade.  Currently we have 98% of our Eleventh graders getting a passing grade 236 or higher) in Reading, 86%  passing math assessment (236) , 86% passing tests in science assessment, (240).  We also have 60% of our Freshman class passing these tests.  (Writing test is 40 or higher, we did not get those numbers.)

We have the lowest drop out rate in Multnomah County and the highest retention rate and test scores.

B.  Moving kids out

We have a 75% passing rate in High school math, and we would drop to 55% if we were moving kids out.  This would involve moving 23 students out of every class, or almost 100 students.  Even if the students move to another District their test scores stay with the originating district, so kids in other schools affect our scores. 

C.  Wildly inflated cost of AP tests.

The cost that are thrown around regarding the AP tests are wildly inflated.  The Corbett School District spent only $21,000 on AP test last year, or 3/10 of one percent of the budget.  This year the school will only spend $11,000 on the test.  This equates to $20.00 per test.  Information is being misstated.  We got donations to help pay for the test, and if the State would pay for our free and reduced lunch people the cost would be zero. Charlie O'Neil said the $11,000 was a deal for what parents and students get for benefit.

(Aside:  I spoke with Randy after the meeting when he congratulated me on becoming a board member.  I pointed out to him that I had gotten a request from him, stating that I needed to send in $79 per test for my child.  This is not $20 per test, which I'd be happy to write out all day long.  I also mentioned to him that I have gotten all of my numbers and information from him, so if there are mistakes being put out by people, he might want to consider the source of information.  Randy assured me he was not talking about what I have said, but said some people have said AP tests cost $400,000 and have caused the ruin of the school.  I have never heard either of these things, but he said he has.  He said that the cost to the Parent is $79, but the school received $28,000 in donations that were used to pay for the test.  They are not considering that "cost."  They are apparently only looking at what comes out of the General fund when they consider their numbers for cost.  The Charter paid for their tests, but again, if we are saying approximately 965 tests were to be given this year, and times it by the now $79 per parent cost, my number earlier was low.  This cost would be slightly over $76,000.  Regardless of where the money comes from, we need to be discussing the check that is written, as that is the actual expense.  A breakdown of where the money was pulled from would be great, but we need to stick with the same cost basis when discussing the numbers instead of making that a moving target.)

D.  Senate Bill 1149: Energy audit

The McKenny Industries came up and made suggestions on how to save money on energy costs.  They are suggesting a all buildings bio-mass boiler to heat the schools.  This would have no impact on the General fund and would be cost neutral as no money would come out of pocket.  Construction would need to start in September.  (This appears to be a grant program, but no information on the program was distributed.)  Randy also mentioned that since we will need to be building a new middle school in the next seven to eight years as the current building is falling down around us, we need to figure out how to tie in new construction to the boiler system if we go that route. 

E.  Enrichment program

There are 42 students enrolled in the program at a revenue of about $10,000 in fees.

F.  Resolution services

We will have four special needs students this coming year who will require us to take money out of the Resolution services fund.

G.  Communications plan

This summer Randy would like to pick a number of people to be on a volunteer board regarding communications with the community.  Todd asked how people will be selected and Randy stated there is no secret agenda, he will appoint people he has in mind and it will be genuine and aboveboard.  The inititive says the Superintendent will get the Board's support, not that the Board will do the communicating, rather the administration will do the communicating.  Jeff Aho asked if the Board is included in Administration?  Randy said the paper is an Olive branch and if it causes angst to drop it. 

Jeff said no, it is very important to have a plan, but he'd like to see it as a partnership between the Board and the Superintendent.  What are the Boards goals and objectives with communication, how do we measure success?  If you set the bar and go to that bar, but not any higher, (Corbett School District) then you are not reviewing as you go and as Mr. Stevens pointed out, what is our Vision.  It all goes back to this.  How do we let the community know that we have their interest in mind?  He has been told by CSD/Sup that volunteerism can cost you money, but as you need the community, you need to have volunteerism, what about having people volunteer to be on committee?  What do we use to measure our success? You need to have a quantifiable way to measure.

Charlie O'Neil said that is why the Board does self-evaluations every year, so they can rate how well they are doing. 

Maureen Childs suggested that Jeff take the time to read what his responsibiliies as a board member are regarding communication.  Their job is to direct policy, and they are directing Randy.  Maybe Jeff could put a workshop together so they could discuss this, if he wants to lead it. 

Agreed to table the third reading until June meeting, giving them all a chance to discuss the policy.

( I took numerous pages of notes, I may have missed a couple of items typing them up, but I think they are accurate.  There are a couple of you, (at least six of you) who where at the meeting so if I made a mistake please let me know so I can correct it.  Thanks for showing up, next month bring a friend too!)

double trouble
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« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2011, 11:36:11 AM »

"Resolved to approve the return of Dacia Loeung from leave of absence from the Charter school back to the District, effective for next year."

Does this mean that Dacia Loeung will be teaching a district class rather than the charter class that she has been teaching?
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« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2011, 04:41:28 PM »

Yes.  She will be co-teaching with Mrs. Hubler.  Both are teaching two days a week, same classroom. 
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