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Author Topic: School board meeting 6-15-2011  (Read 11313 times)
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« on: June 18, 2011, 12:52:41 PM »

The Budget committee met first at 7:30. 

The General fund is currently at $278,388 and will end at $427,000 if the budget falls into line.  This is important since with the new legislation the second year of funding will not get an increase.  Capital projects fund is at $43,000 and will end at $93,000 which is important since we will need to do septic upgrades.  The money will be there next year unless it is decided to start this summer.  Bus fund will go from $33,800 to $58,800 so we can build it up again for a new bus.  Dr. Trani feels this is a good budget and is happy with it.
Budget committee member Ed (? did not get his last name) asked about the TSCC audit saying that we have again overspent our budget.  His question was, does anyone on the board think this is a problem?  Board members Buttke, O'Neil and Mickelson felt that the budget is a goal.  Board member Aho said that yes, he thinks its a problem.  The numbers for this year's audit shows an overspending totaling around $375,000, but he believes that Randy is on track with making sure this doesn't happen again with the hiring of Kristi Folgel.  Randy said that yes, they did overspend, and that is why the General Fund carryover went from $700,000 down to $289,000, creating the fiscal problems that have occurred this year.  Ed asked how the board would be able to defend a headline that said that for the last seven out of eight years the Corbett School district has overspent their budget?  The plan is to give the changes from this year a chance as the year closes on the 30th of June.
School Board
The school board meeting began with a presentation from McKinstry's employee Spencer Morgenthau.  Spencer presented information on the Technical Energy Audit that is funded by Senate bill 1149.  This money is currently in a trust account at ESD.  Senate Bill 1149 is earmarked for hiring a company to come in and do an audit of how well the school building is functioning.  The money can not be accessed until the firm is hired, so McKinstry is one of six in the area that qualify to do the work.  A preliminary audit has been done and it is believed that Corbett is currently losing between $70,000 to $90,000 per year on inefficiencies.  The total amount of annual expenditures on utilities for heating is around $200,000, so the wasted dollars would fall between 1/4 to 1/2 of the cost. 

The preliminary report says that the boiler is not efficient, there appear to be failed steam traps and the buildings have single paned windows. 
The company uses the energy use index of: million btu's, per square foot, per year to compute current costs, and cost savings that would be measured once the work is done.  The company will guarantee that you will save the cost of the equipment and work over the life of the equipment, or they will make up the difference.  So, for the new system, they would break down the cost, divide it over the lifecycle of the product, and over the 20 years of the equipment the cost savings would pay for the equipment.  So, over the approximate 20 years of the asset, the $80,000 difference that would not be going to the oil company would go to pay for the cost of the contract. 
Todd Mickelson asked if a portion of the job is outside of the company's realm if they would make recommendations for who to do the work.  Spencer said the largest part of the job is the building work, not the audit, and their company has to do the work to get the guarantee that they offer.  The monitoring to compute the savings is done by the company and billed to the school, and he said it is expensive.  The guarantee may be for one to twenty years, but five is average due to the cost of testing.  If the savings do not occur they do look for behavioral issues, like people leaving on lights or heat over the weekends and holidays.
Grade school report was given by DeeDee Hanes.  They had a great portfolio night.  Michelle Dawkins and Victoria Hubler will be attending a Place-based gardening session at Lewis and Clark.  Mrs. Perry donated a table at the Grange art show for the grade school to sell their art work.  There is interest in the pre-school that will be discusses later in the meeting.  Isabel Rickert and Savanah Paul won an art contest for grade schools in the gorge, the subject was "wind water wow". They have their pictures on display at The Gorge Dicovery Center in The Dalles till Oct.

They are re-doing Special Education, adding some days to Doris Bowman's contract so she can track all of the kids from K-12 as a case manager.  The school is sending two aides and a teacher to a workshop to learn more about autistic children as we are getting some high needs kids into our school next year.  The program is being designed by a certified teacher, but most of the work will be done by aides, with monitoring by the teacher.
The response to the pre-school idea has been cost subjective.  Some people are excited, some people think it is too expensive.  They do appear to have enough for one full classroom.  The program varies from coming one day, to five days, to half days when it works for the schedule.  Friday is Daycare, not Pre-school. 
Lori Luna talked about the Middle School and High School end of year.  Wildhorse was a lot of fun and the eighth grade promotion went well.  All progress reports should be finished and mailed out by now, with narrative reports in the Middle School.  Mrs Luna read a letter from herself about how great the middle school is doing and said she will be going to Mexico again this year to continue her Masters in Spanish.  She has gone the last three years but will be down there at the same time four Corbett students will be down as exchange students.
Board Recognition was given to the two leaving members, Brian James and Maureen Childs.
Board certified the election results.
Board resolutions on financial matters:
3.1 Adoption of supplemental budget:  Money came in to the district from a previous years adjustment to the amount of $205,938.  This money goes into the General Fund except for $45,000 that will be sent to the Charter for their adjustment.
3.2 Closing of fund balances: There are some unnecessary funds which were closed by this action.
3.3  Fund balances in accordance with GASB 54:  Changes funding to new fund classifications.
3.4  Adoption of Budget:  All funds budget of $10,569,362 with a General Funds budget of $8,578,730.  The differing amount of $1,990,632 is now on file in the district admin office.
3.5  Making Appropriations:  Funds listed in the board packet.  Not available at meeting for others.
3.6 Imposing Tax:
3.7 Categorizing the tax: Permanent rate of tax: $4.5941/$1,000 for education.  Debt service levy: $744,681.
3.8 Recommendation - TSCC: The board will consider the recommendations of TSCC regarding expenditures exceeding appropriation authority for the audit year ending June 30, 2010.
3.9 Report: Dr. Trani said the Charter will be getting another $50,000 in from other districts for education of their special education students.  The ending balance of the budget will probably go up but they won't know until the August meeting.  We have a moral obligation to pay for all tests.  The check written for the AP test this year was $60,317.  The Charter will be paying $27,401 and there were donations of $30,608.  There is an amount remaining to be owed of $2,308 from the General fund, but if the ODE refuses again to pay for the free lunch test the cost could go back up to $7,308.  The July paycheck will be cut in July this year instead of in June so there will be some adjustments on the budget.  June will probably still change on amounts paid due to Healthcare costs, unemployment is due and there are other unknowns.
3.10: Qualified School Construction Bond:  As of 5/27/2011 the district has been officially notified that the million dollars is available to Corbett if they want to pursue it.  The State has issued an extension on needing to issue bonds to 9/30/2011 and there is the allowance of one more extension.  So the last day for issuing bonds is 12/31/2011.  The district is working with Peter Fry and Aaron Blake to do a piecemeal RFP- they met on June 13, 2011 with Mark Wilson and interested parties to do a walk through on the survey.  The firms are all requesting X-rays to determine if seismic upgrades are required.  This will run $1,000 to $2,000. 
Consent agenda items 9.1 to 9.7
Approved contract for DeeDee Hanes Grade school principal/ K-12 Special Education Director, $94,760.
Approved guidelines for proposed salaries for the Supervisor/Confidential employees.
Resolved confirmation of Dacia Loeung K-2 teacher effective 8/23/11 to 10/9/11.
Resolved job share contract for Victoria Hubler and Dacia Loeung, K-2 teachers for 2011-2012.
Confirmed resignation of John Neighbors, .88 FTE Instructional aide
Approve additional days for Debbie Schnieder.
Approve additional days for Doris Bowman, adding 28 days to 2011-2012 contract.
7.1  Confirm McKinstry proposal for audit as presented at meeting.
7.2 RFP's for Springdale feasibility study.  Pre-bid conference already held on 6/13/11.
8.0 Co-Curricular activities
8.1 pre-school program approved for three and four year olds.  Mrs. Hanes and Dr. Trani tried to come in lower than other pre-school costs, only one is lower in the area.  They balanced this with the need to generate income and support the program.  Friday care will be daycare, not pre-school so pay to staff can be lowered.  They will be providing a good program based on "Letter-land".  High school students will be incorporated into the program, like the Culinary arts program, but will be a developmental psychology course put together with Mr. Young's help.  The District will be paying for a certified teacher even though this is not necessary for pre-school so the students can be used to assist.
9.8 Vacant personnel positions
There are vacant positions for unpaid Varsity football coach, and paid position for .88FTE Instructional aide.
10.0 Policy Updates
10.1 Regulation regarding facilities use: There are no expenses with the use of the facilities.  You'll want to pick up a copy or go on-line as non-profit organizations will be charged $25 per hour for various facilities, and for profit will run $50 an hour.  This will include charging for the use of the parking lot for event parking.  Waivers are available for special circumstances.  There will be a "delicate" talk with the Fun Festival for next years event, a donation will be requested for this year to help Mark Wilson with clean up.  (I was told by the FunFestival the next day that a $1,000 donation has been requested as of their meeting on 6/15/11, conversations with the district were being held as this amount will strongly influence the ability of the festival to donate funds to the local clubs and scholarships.)
10.2  Approval of the third reading on the Public communications plan.  Mark Hyzer and Jeff Aho spent time with Randy and made a change to the final line on the policy stating that there is a partnership between the board, superintendent and Community.  The Community members are: Linda Traxler, Dirk Itawa-Ryll (sp), Vance Rogers, Reed Mueller, Jeff Aho, Liz Miller, Kristie Stafford, Jeremy Townsey-French, Randy Trani, Lori Luna, Phil Pearson and DeeDee Hanes.
Superintendent's report:  Randy's report was a power point regarding his early years in Alaska, living in a homeless shelter for a year and his dream of being a basketball player, but his teacher told him he might want to learn how to spell basketball first.  Some people have called him a Michael Jordan, but he isn't.  Power points on AP tests, incomplete's and testing were shown, then Randy discussed the fact that the kids have to take AP classes.  This is done because 13, 14 and 15 year olds can't make good decisions.  They would choose to Not take an AP class because their current girlfriend is taking regular studies.  We sacrifice these students choices to make better 16, 17, 18 and 19 year olds.  In addition, it is easier to pass an AP class than a regular class.  As long as the student is trying the teacher will make sure they pass, maybe not with an A, B, C, it may be a P, or it may be a grade as if the class was not an AP but a regular class, but as long as the teacher can see that the student is putting effort into the class, they will pass.
Randy said our teachers are Gods and if they want something, he will make sure they get it.  If a teacher comes to him in the Fall asking for $30,000 in new books, they get it, he's done it before.  This is because they are Gods, they are Professionals and they are the Experts.  They get what they want.
Matters for the good of the order:
Brian James: its been an excellent ten years.  He used to be the field trip Dad because he wanted to see what was going on with the kids and the school.  He thanks Mrs. Luna for teaching him so much, and his children too.  His son has told him that other individuals in the military with him are unable to take tests and study and he appreciates learning that while in Corbett.   
Charlie O'Neil:  He agrees with Dr. Trani, our teachers are Gods and the board will support them no matter what.  The last fourteen to fifteen years on the board has shown that turning the authority over to the leaders and letting them work has been the best thing.  He, Bob Buttke, Tim Sommverville, Sis and to some extent Brian made our success today possible and he will always love Bob Dunton because he gave us Randy Trani. 
Maureen Childs:  When the board hired Bob Dunton he was different than any other Superintendent they interviewed.  He was weird, a little crazy and brilliant.  Some people have accused the board of being a rubber stamp board, but they are a smart board.  Everyone has seen the success and it will just continue.  Her granddaughter was born on Monday and she can tell she is a gifted child and wants to see her come to Corbett, attend multi-age classes and take a million AP tests.  The board has given the power to the Administration, who has given the power to the teachers, and as a board we need to give the teachers the best we can.  There has been talk about transparency and academic fraud, but ask the kids how they are doing.  If you don't listen to the children you will fail the children, and if your heart isn't in it for the kids you will be a failure.  Don't listen to the "swirl" that is going on out there, listen to the kids.
Meeting was adjourned.
If you have questions for me, please send them to me at :

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« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2011, 11:10:07 AM »

Thanks for the update Tori.  I was unable to make the board meeting and appreciate your reports about what it happening.  Keep up the great work and I had to ask a few other people about the "teachers are gods" statement because I didn't think that was appropriate and likely will alienate some people.  I know Randi gets passionate while speaking and to have Charlie repeat the comment reflects on his poor judgement.  The shortfall on the budget was interesting and it will be great to have the budget straightened out.  Should we also look at the overspending (under Bob Dunton) the last 7 of 8 years, or is that water under the bridge?  Where was the money overspent? 

Another note does bill 3681 change anything?  I saw the bill passed on Oregon Live:

If we had students coming in to CSD that is $5,400 per student.  Maybe this is a way to get closer to balancing our budget.  We could cut one charter classroom and have that be more students for CSD.

If the charter were to close and allow kids to tranfer in to the CSD what would that look like?  My kids have their friends that are charter students and having them in the same class so that they can study together would be great.  The multi-age classroom has been a bit of a stretch and it would be nice to have only two grades instead of what it is now.  I see changes coming slowly and look forward to better results for all students.  It seems that we really don't need the charter anymore with this from what I have read and understand what Bob told me a couple of years ago when starting the charter.

Thanks again for your hard work Tori.  SEW
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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2011, 09:40:43 AM »

Please keep in mind that the purpose of having formed a Charter School at Corbett was to give out of district families the control to have their children attend Corbett.   If you "close" the charter, any out of district families are at the mercy of their neighborhood school districts to grant permission to attend Corbett.  Given the current state of education funding in Oregon, most districts do not allow out of district transfers because they want to keep the funding in their district.  So the concept of reducing charter enrollment or closing the the charter in hopes of getting inter-district transfers into Corbett Public doesn't have a high probability of succeeding.  This was why the Charter was formed in the first place. 
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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2011, 09:19:20 PM »

Skierhood, I am aware of other schools in the past not releasing students.  The link posted is a law, that was passed, which makes schools unable to force students to stay in their district.  This allows students the choice from Reynolds, Barlow, Centennial, Gresham, or any other school attend Corbett CSD.  If we change some classrooms back to CSD instead of charter this will economically.  Unless that is if there is a different agenda you may know of.  I have heard about a charter agenda and hope this doesn't happen for our community school's future. 

Corbett is not out of the woods yet and I look forward to seeing you at the next board meeting.  SEW 
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2011, 09:40:47 AM »

   The Senate and House bill that passed is going to make it the decision of the district of destination to choose to allow students in, rather than the district that is being left to deny the students leaving.  This means that Oregon is moving closer to a School of Choice based system, something that was addressed to Senator Thomsen and Representative Johnson when they came to meet with the community in March.  So, as long as a district has space it will be up to the district to allow the students in.  That means that when the next school year rolls around, the option for parents will be out there to either place their students in the Charter or District side, depending on what they prefer. 
   Also, the remote elementary school bill went through both House and Senate saying that the 8 mile dividing line (which we have been hung up on due to Sweetbriar elementary) is waived if the next elementary school is in a different district.  So... Corbett will be getting the extra funds for having a remote elementary school!  I don't know how much this will be, but once I find out I'll let you know.
   The option for schools in Multnomah county to opt out of using the ESD for Special Education appears to leave more money in the pocket of the schools based on what I'm reading.  The overall funding will drop from 4.75% to 4.5%, but the system is supposed to be more efficient by not having to pay for twice the Admin cost and other cost associated with sending the program through the ESD. 
   Skierhood, I do have an e-mail list that I send all the updates I get to and would be happy to put you on if you are interested.
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