GBAPSD Board Meeting of Education Meeting: September 16, 2019

(upbeat music) Announcer: The views and
opinions in this program are not those of
CESA 7 or Spectrum. (cheerful music) Brenda: I’d like to call the
regular Board meeting to order. First we’ll do roll call, Sandy. Sandy: Becker? Andrew: Here. Sandy: Maloney. Katie: Here. Sandy: McCoy. Laura: Here. Sandy: Shelton. Kristina: Here. Sandy: Sitnikau. -She’s coming at six. Sandy: Vanden Heuvel. Eric: Here. Sandy: Warren.
Brenda: Here. Okay, we have six
Board members present, and we’ll have the seventh
Board member joining us at six o’clock. At this point, I’d like
to entertain a motion to convene in closed session. Katie: I move that the Board
convene in closed session pursuant to Wisconsin
statute, 19.85 (1)(C), considering employment,
promotion, compensation or performance evaluation
data of any public employee over which the governmental
body has jurisdiction or exercises responsibility, and pursuant to Wisconsin
Statute 19.85 (1)(F), considering financial, medical,
social or personal histories or disciplinary data
of specific persons, preliminary considerations of
specific personnel problems or the investigation of charges
against specific persons except where (b) applies
which, if discussed in public, would likely have a
substantial adverse effect upon the reputation of
any person referred to in such histories or data, or involved in such
problems or investigations, to wit, staff investigations
and executive assistant hiring. The Board will convene in
open session at 6:00 p.m., pursuant to section 19.85
(2) Wisconsin Statute to consider the balance of
the agenda which will include an open forum, system
and monitoring reports and the superintendent’s update. Brenda: Is there a second? Kristina: Second. Brenda: Sandy? Sandy: Becker? Andrew: Aye. Sandy: Maloney? Katie: Aye. Sandy: McCoy? Laura: Aye. Sandy: Shelton? Kristina: Aye. Sandy: Warren? Brenda: Aye. Sandy: Vanden Heuvel? Eric: Aye. Brenda: Carried six zero. We’ll convene across the hall. The Board meeting to order. We took roll call
at five o’clock. I’d also like to point out, er, introduce our two intra-city
student council members: Luke Pisoni, who’s president
from Southwest High School, and Paige Desser from
Preble High School. Also, to my left is Dr.
Michelle Langenfeld, our superintendent,
and to our far left is Sandy Heller,
our Board secretary. Andrew: And Rhonda’s here now. Brenda: And Rhonda’s here. Katie: I move to… that the Board reconvene
in open session pursuant to Section 19.85
(2) Wisconsin Statutes to consider the
balance of the agenda. Brenda: Is there a second? Eric: Second. Brenda: Sandy? Sandy: Maloney? Katie: Aye. Sandy: Warren?
Brenda: Aye. Sandy: Vanden Heuvel? Eric: Aye. Sandy: Sitnikau? Rhonda: Aye. Sandy: Becker? Andrew: Aye. Sandy: McCoy? Laura: Aye. Sandy: Shelton? Kristina: Aye. Brenda: Carried six zero. And then we’ll move to Pledge
of Allegiance, please rise. All: I pledge
allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic
for which it stands, one Nation under
God, indivisible, with liberty and
justice for all. Brenda: And I’ve asked Kristina
to lead our Mission Statement. Kristina: We educate all
students to be college, career, and community-ready,
inspired to succeed in our diverse world. Brenda: Thanks, Kristina. And then… (clears throat) Like to remind
members of the public that you can view the
Board agenda and handouts, as well as minutes
from past meetings by visiting the District
website at Click on our district and then Board of
Education on the left. And then on that left
menu, you will find a link to agendas and minutes. This link will take you to a website called
Agenda Manager, where all Board
agendas, minutes, and handouts from Board
meetings are housed. We’ll move on to our open forum. The Board will
provide our community with two different opportunities
during tonight’s meeting to speak before the Board. The first opportunity is
during our open forum. The second opportunity
is during agenda items where indicated by public
comment on our agenda. All speakers must
fill out a form indicating their
desire to speak. If you wish to speak during
tonight’s open forum, you may do so with respect
to items that are posted on tonight’s agenda
or any other matter you wish to share
with the Board. Please know that Wisconsin’s
Open Meetings Law prohibits the Board
from conducting business on matters brought
during this Open Forum. The Board also will
permit public comment during agenda items as
noted on the Board’s agenda. During this public
participation time, consistent with State
and Federal laws, Board members may engage in
dialogue with the speakers. In order that all
voices are heard, the Board will
suspend engagement until all speakers have
had a chance to speak. The process for speaking during our agenda
items is as follows. The Board will first
hear the presentation and discuss the agenda item before calling on those
who desire to speak. If you want to speak during
a specific agenda item, please fill out a form and
give it to the Board secretary at any point during the meeting. If you desire to speak and
haven’t yet filled out a form, just indicate that to
the Board secretary and you can fill out
a form afterwards. The Board secretary
will provide the names of those wishing to speak to the Board member
conducting that part of the meeting and you
will be called upon to speak at the
appropriate time. Please keep your
comments to five minutes. Prior to starting your comments, please provide your
name and address. At this time I have two
people who would like to speak during the open forum,
and I’ll call them up in the order received. First is Michael Schwartz. -Hello.
-Hello. -Michael, there’s a little
talk-button on your microphone. -There you go.
Michael: Thank you. Hello, my name is
Michael Schwartz, I live at 322 South
Van Buren Street, in the Navarino neighborhood. Thank you for allowing
this opportunity, kind of intimidating with
you all sitting around here, feel like I’m at the
principal’s office, which did happen.
(laughing) I am the executive director for
the Oral Health Partnership. We have been so thankful to partner with the school, and to see a lot of children
in need of dental care. So, thank you for
that, Board members. I know you go through a lot
of work, a lot of trouble, and so thank you for your time
on behalf of the community. I’m here tonight to talk about the search process for Dr.
Langenfeld’s replacement. I have seen some comments
in different places saying, “How dare you,” you know,
“use a search firm for this, “I think you should
only do LinkedIn”. And so, I’ve been a part
of two successful searches, and it is critically
important to me to say that while it is true that you can get good
candidates through LinkedIn, for the scope of this search, because we want to
find someone so great to replace Dr. Langenfeld, I think you would be negligent if you did not
engage a search firm for this level of search
for our community. I feel passionate about this because I’ve experienced
it personally when using a search firm. I’m not sure you, as a board, have the resources,
the time, you know, nor the expertise to vet
candidates appropriately like a search firm would do. I don’t know that you can find
all the candidates nationwide to bring into our district, the type of person
that we need, and… I think that’s it. I hope you will, yeah,
hear that recommendation. Brenda: Thank you, Michael. (microphone clicks off) -I turned off the talk button. Brenda: (chuckles)
Alright, thanks. Next, Alex Mineau, is that,
am I reading that correctly? -That’ll work. Alex: Is it workin’? We’re good. Good Evening, thank
you for having me. I’m gonna mostly read from a
prepared statement that I have. But first of all, my
name is Alex Mineau. I live at 2819 West
Pennwood Circle, and I’m also currently in my
tenth year in the district. And I’m from this district in Green Bay as
well, my whole life. I recently just
found out yesterday that one of our topics tonight, and even found out today that it’s probably mostly
just an update, is class size. But it’s definitely something that with my wife and
colleagues, and myself, has been a huge topic
that’s on our mind, and something, obviously, that
we deal with all the time. But since it’s something that you’re currently gonna
be touching on tonight, I just wanted to at
least put in my 10 cents, and at least give you an idea of where I’m coming
from, from the things that I see in some
of our schools. So, I guess to get started, I’m here to provide
some perspective on the realities in
many of our schools, obviously not all. But I feel it’s of
major importance, and it’s something
that we probably need to consider addressing
sooner than later. I’ve taught phy ed, health,
and Spanish in our district at many grade levels,
and I’ve taught in six of our schools so far, so pretty good perspective. And class size is an issue that, in our district
especially, it is an issue, especially since some of our
schools have more at-risk and high-needs students than many, many schools
across the state. And many east side
schools, as you know, are very overcrowded
to begin with. The reality is, class
size can be nothing, but, it can be everything
at the same time. The make-up of a class
is one of the main things I want to touch upon, that
really matters the most. Make no mistake, I’m not alone
when I share the description, the following
description of just one of the classes I’ve had,
in very recent memory. 32 students, 15
special ed, nine ELL, and you do have to
look deeper though. Because some of those
kids, with those labels, those are high-achieving, and can be well-behaved
kids as well. You know, and then
some times they’re not. But similarly, regardless
of language or IAP, many students present
other challenges. You know, one student was
out of school in two months, because his behavior
was so extreme, swearing at students,
running out of class daily. Most of the
students’ test scores in that class were
below proficient and their skills
behind grade level. Very rarely were a number
of them prepared for class, and a lot of them were absent
at least one day a week. To emphasize what we see, I had an eighth grade girl that I had last year.
-Alex, Alex, can I just. Alex: Yes? (talking quietly offscreen) Alex: Okay, to continue
somewhat where I left off, just to make sure we’re being,
I guess safe and private, and covering all
bases, definitely
something I’m aware of. But there are, I would say this, there are many teachers,
including myself, that have had
students that have, you know, talked to them
about committing suicide. That’s a huge topic
of concern right now in students that are dealing
with lots of depression. And this is something that, a lot of us teachers,
we deal with every year. Many students, not
just usually one. But, the point is,
is that class size and the make-up of the class matters more than you can often
imagine, especially in 2019. I mean, no longer do kids come from fairly
homogeneous backgrounds with minimal complexities. I mean, our classes have
so many diverse needs. They can have very
high level needs today, and it’s somewhat not
like what it used to be. I think, some of the things
we often think about, we all realize this, so. (sighs) Try to speed
up a little bit. The big thing is we’re
all looking for progress. We’re all looking for
our kids to achieve, and to take that next step, and I feel like adequate
progress, the progress we want, is going to be very hard to
obtain unless we start thinking about how many kids we
put in front of teachers. The kids who perform well
present some challenges. A class like that
is totally doable, but it’s much more complex. The age, the grade
level, the class, the teaching space,
para-support, all
those things matter. As a middle-school teacher,
the idea that 32 kids as a cap, work is very arbitrary. Again, it neglects the
complexities of our schools, our kids, and all
of their needs. Some of the common responses have been, “There’s
nothing we can do, “the cap is 32,” “It’s out of my
control,” or sometimes, just kind of ignored. So, I mean imagine 65 kids in one regular-sized gym, not a old really large,
triple high school gym, and trying to be
productive and safe. That’s stuff that
we see everyday in a
lot of our schools, and it just doesn’t really work. It doesn’t allow you to make really any significant progress. To finish, I implore
you to please learn more from teachers, about the
severity of this issue, and how we can go forward. Too many kids in a class and ones with so many challenges
is what wears on teachers. Obviously, we’re having
a hard time finding a lot of teachers, and
qualified teachers, who can do a good
job and are willing to stick it out for a while. Please understand that I don’t
feel like this is a want. If we expect, again,
to reach our goals, to have positive change in the
lives of all of our students, we need smaller class sizes. Please make this a focal
point going forward so that hopefully
we can all benefit. Thank you for listening. Thanks, Alex.
Thank you Alex, yes. Alex, Dr. Langenfeld wants
to ask you a question. Thanks, hi Alex. Good Evening. You have to turn your, every
time you turn yours on, you turn her off. It’s gonna go bounce
back and forth. I can just do it without. No, go ahead, you’re good. You guys can use
your teacher voices. Yeah, we do have those.
(laughing) Thank you. Thank you for coming forward and having this
important discussion. And you talk about make-up
of a class and so forth. One thing you said that,
if you could provide more information to Mr.
Magas, or me, or someone. I’m concerned about the
comment, “Just ignored.” One of the requests that I know that has been asked of
our executive directors is to carefully monitor
and hear the voices, and that may not have
always been the case. It certainly is the case now. So, I just put that
out on the table too, so, if you have
other information or specific
information, you know, please let us know. Because again, the monitoring
of these numbers is daily. And I just, I think that
we all agree the importance and the complexities
of the children served, the right supports have
to be there as well. So, anyway, thank you
for coming forward. Andrew. Uh, yes a question, and you can feel free if you
don’t like any of my questions, you can pass if you
want, that’s fine too. The idea of there being a overall cap of total students in the middle and high school, does that solve, does that
take care of the problem if you have some big
ones, or no, and why? So, you have a 32, but then you’re gonna have
something lower, so you’re not gonna go
over 150, for example. Um, I guess I don’t entirely
understand your question, but I think, to maybe answer
it, and tell me if I’m wrong. I think the thing is is that, (stammers) at the very least, we have
to look at reducing the cap, if we are going to have kind of that hard cap, to an extent. You know, you think about SAGE, and there’s a reason that that, you had a SAGE number
for certain schools, and it’s kind of
the same concept that when you’re
trying to address such a wide array of needs
at such a high level, that you’re only one teacher, and you talk about
building relationships. That’s so much that
I’ve heard every year I’ve been in the district, and everything
that I believe in, but you can’t when
you’re being pulled out, and around, so many
different ways. And if… 32 can work, if you have a class that everybody’s on board,
they’re doing what they need, they don’t present
a lot of challenges. But that number can
be just unimaginable if you start to get
four, five, 10 kids that are runnin’ out of class, that have significant needs based on whatever
their circumstances. And so 32 can, like I
said, it can be perfect, it’s totally manageable,
and it could be, you need 18 in that class, so, it’s hard to pin one solution,
but at the very least, you have to start looking at
how to reduce that number, particularly in our
most needy schools, with our most amount
of challenges, whether it’s behaviorally,
academic, and so forth. Okay, I thought
you would maybe say something similar to this. So you’re not, I was just
trying to clarify, I guess, the idea of, well, if we’re gonna be
really big in one class, giving a smaller one,
there’s more to it than that, because there might be, that might potentially, you could be very readily able to handle everyone’s needs
in the the smaller class, but the large class,
you may or may not, and the fact that
it averages out to a certain lower number… Doesn’t help the large class. Alex: Yeah, I can see that. I think that would
probably be accurate. And just to give
one quick example, I took an additional
student to one of my classes this year from another teacher. Because there were two
new six grade students that had severe disability
and they needed a para. But that para was supposed
to be with both kids at our, in two different
classes and that can’t happen. So, I took that one on
so that at least we could benefit from having that
para with two students. But that class was the
first, the first question was what number does that
put us at, 32, or 33. And those are all
the dynamics of what we have to figure out. And that’s just those two kids. It didn’t account for
what the makeup was of the other kids, so. Brenda: All right,
thank you Alex. -Thanks Alex. Brenda: Oh, okay. Rhonda: So you’ve been
here for 10 years, right? So when you started, can
you kinda take us to where, where your class sizes
were 10 years ago? Maybe even, you know, just
kinda like split it in two, what that looks like? Alex: Again, trying to
answer that question and still be mindful of
time and agenda items. (sighs) So, I’ve taught at a number
of different schools, in capacities and
different subject areas and I know this, for example, this year out of my 10 sections,
8 of them are over 30 kids. You know, like two are not. Last year, I believe, I only
had 5 or 6 of my sections that were over 30 kids. And there’s many reasons for
that, it’s not that simple. But the reality is I’ve
had a lot of classes over the last 10 years that have
been at more than 30 kids and in a very consistent
amount of those times, I just don’t ever, I feel
like I’m over stretched and I can’t give those
kids what they need and be as successful,
regardless of my ability, you know, as a teacher. I would say the other thing
too, is a lot of it is dependent on school sometimes. You know, some of
our schools that have just a lot of kids
and parents wanting to send their kids there? I’ve had super large
class sizes with 32 kids and they’re all on the
ball, they’re all great. And they’re all a lot
of family support. And it’s a piece of cake. And then you can really get the kids to do some
amazing things. And then some schools
I’ve been at where, you know, there’s really
been no rhyme or reason or consistent pattern that
I’ve noticed personally. But that’s also
dependent on the school. In enrollment some of our
schools have changed so much that’s been a huge factor too, so I know one of things
that we’re looking at is what’s happening
with enrollment and I think that’s a
huge piece of this but there’s really no one, clear,
easy, linear answer for you. But, um. Brenda: Okay, Andrew. Andrew: I’m also just
wondering too have you, have you at any point
used the official class size review procedure? Alex: No, I’m not very
overly well versed on that. -Yep? Michelle: Quick question,
Alex, you teach, do you see different numbers
in different content areas? So you have physical education, do you see that
being your highest. I don’t know what
we’re talking here. Sometimes that happens where
just trying to get a sense of if there’s different
requirements or different caps at different levels
of different courses. (faintly speaking) Alex;So, yes, there
are, and I believe, I could be corrected
if I’m wrong in this but I believe there actually different caps for
different aged, ages, and also content
areas, for example, electives like specials,
they have a higher cap. And, I believe the difference
is like 3 or 4 kids per class. And it goes from like
28 to 32, and again, I could be just off on that. But electives typically
end up getting a lot more kids put in them. Whether it’s phy ed or
art or other things. And especially when, and
maybe this is me being, when I was a so called
Snobby Spanish Teacher. When that’s a high
school credit class or what I would maybe poorly
term as an academic elective when there’s more
advanced, it’s harder and, you know, there’s a
lot more going on. That 32 is really tough. But as a phy ed teacher, that
32 can be much more manageable because intellectually
it’s just, not as complex. So, there are the differences
in the numbers and also between content areas
that can make a difference too, and there are differences. Brenda: Thank you, Alex. -Thanks, Alex. -Thank you, Alex. All right, I’d entertain
a motion under minutes? Katie: So moved. Brenda: Is there a second? Eric: Second. Brenda: All in favor? All: Aye. Brenda: Opposed? Okay, the minutes
have been approved. Next is Monitoring Reports and that will be
facilitated by Laura McCoy. Laura: On the agenda tonight
is class sizes update. (footsteps) (bangs) -It’s so quiet. (laughs) John: Bringing a little
hydration just in case I’m up here for a little bit and just with the dry
throat with the Fall. But just wanted to make sure
that we are ready to go. Class size is a, oops, I dunno if the TV
over here is working? (faintly speaking) If this monitor works? So class size as you just
heard from our comments and from other discussion
is a serious topic. It’s something we
take very seriously. We work on staffing
throughout the year. Throughout the summer. And the time that
we’re in right now, the first two to three
weeks of the school year is a time at which we
are working together to balance class size. And make sure that our
classes are as equitably serving students as possible. As well as considering the
needs of the thriving workforce. So, the, it is a
little bit early (bangs) to look at class size. Generally, the class sizes are more permanent after
third Friday count which is coming up
this Friday, so. Our information at that
point will be more concrete and I think that as well
there are always things that we’re working to smooth out as far as enrollment
dips or also enrollment where
classes are high. So. (clicks) Clicker is not working. -Point it towards the screen. Sorry. (clicks) (clicks) Oh, there. Thanks. (clicks) So, you don’t mind? Thank you. So our, I apologize,
just one second. Let me get it back in. So basically the purpose
of tonight is to provide a preliminary, and this is very
much a preliminary snapshot on our current
class enrollments. And please note that this
information is in flux prior to the third Friday count and many adjustments
are still being made, particularly at the
secondary level. The information basically
to put together the report, it is a frozen point as of
about Tuesday of last week because we needed the
information in the system and then have that
information reported up so it could be put into reports and then linked
into our document. And so that was, this
is the most current information we had when
preparing the report. But it doesn’t fully
represent the current reality nor the post third
Friday reality. So. Our staffing process. Initial decisions are
made in the Spring. And we look at a variety
of different things in the springtime when
we’re going through our staffing cycle. And I’ve worked in the
staffing area as a teacher, as an administrator
and then now, as a person who
is co-coordinating
people who are doing the staffing overall. But we base it on a number
of different drivers and I think that’s really
important to think about. What are the things that
drive our decision making? And then what are we viewing
as our primary drivers and secondary drivers
in that decision making? We, if we could serve all
the purposes, the intents that we would like to, we would
have very low class sizes, we would have all
students getting every class that they wanted. There are many things
that we’re striving to work towards together. We also look at
enrollment projections. And our enrollment
projections in the Spring showed that we were declining. That we had declining
enrollment as well as when we looked at our
estimates of projected revenue and expenditures, we were
uncertain about our revenues. When we’re looking at the
state bi-annual budget we did not have concrete
information as to what the results were going to
be of the state budget. And the forecast from
our best analysis from our financial
perspective was that we should not expect the worst,
but be careful and be cautious in case of a rainy day. And so with that, the
Spring data called for 2% reduction in expenditures
overall as a district. Not just staffing
but that comes into buying of different things. Curriculum adaption
and staffing overall. But as we’ve expressed
before, staffing is one of the largest
expenditures of the district and so it does constitute the
vast majority of the budget. And so, we are looking at 2%,
we have to look at all areas including staffing. (clicks) So, again, we prioritize
from different means. We look at, what are
the student requests? Some classes we have
have students with five students
requesting something. Sometimes we have thirty-five students
requesting something. It’s challenging,
it’s really great when you end up with a
perfect number of students requesting a singular class. If you end up with fifty
students requesting a class, that’s great! Because you can split it
into two separate sections. It gets a little harder
when you have something like thirty-five students
selecting a class cause we don’t necessarily
want to run a class with that many students. But if we split that class, then it is taking a moderate
large amount of resource. And we’ll talk about
that a little bit, a little bit later in
the scheduling process because there are a number
of different factors that go into that. And, Erica, I know, you,
as a former administrator did scheduling more at
the elementary level, but the elementary level can
have it’s challenges as well. But when it comes to
secondary scheduling there are additional factors. And those come into,
what are the classes that the students are taking
when they aren’t taking the particular class
that you’re looking at. And as a for instance, I’m
just going to give an example of something that occurred
sometimes when I was scheduling. If we had a student that
wants to take Orchestra, but they happen to be in
a foreign language class that doesn’t have
high enrollment, in this case, in my
school it was German, it was really
challenging because you couldn’t create a schedule that had German and Orchestra
unless you were splitting an already small class
of German into two very, very, small sections. And you didn’t
necessarily have somebody, when you’re looking at
one person teaching, you couldn’t necessarily
create two Orchestra classes at the same time
because you only have one Orchestra teacher
teaching that. So I can go into greater
depth and I’d be glad to walk people through
some individual examples and as well, when we
look at tonight’s data and there are individual
situations that come up. I’d like us to take
the time to go back and talk with our principals
and executive directors related to initial
concerns that may come up. Because there are some times
extenuating circumstances. Sometimes in a very small school we might have a track of
students that can’t be split, for example, if they’re
physically are not additional classrooms
and the number is right there on the edge, sometimes we’ve offered
additional supports, like, a para-professional
in class to assist. We would prefer to
split, but sometimes we’ve had to look at
that option as well. So we also look, of course,
and quite importantly are are school policies,
our school board policies. What are the guidelines,
what are the policies say, and what do the rules say. And we’ll be going
into that as well. So, as I expressed before, we’re doing the work, we were careful
about our staffing but we also were very
careful to include extra money in our
budget in case there were situations that needed
to be addressed. As you can see from
our reports, there are some classes that have
a high level of students or we end up with students
transitioning at the very end, into a school. And we end up with a
class size that’s too high to run at that amount. So we’ve budgeted $2 million
to anticipate hot spots, basically, hot spots that
might emerge based on enrollment shifts and
identification of student needs. Sometimes we end
up with students, as our person before mentioned, that have intensive
additional needs. And there are times we need
to add a para-professional or we might need to add
an additional ELL teacher or an additional
special ed teacher because of those student needs. So, we have actually added
more than $1 million of that $2 million that we set
aside to additional staffing, looking at teachers, counselors, and other support positions. So, we have spent that thus far. It’s not that we wouldn’t
look for other funds within if we exceeded that amount, but that is what we’ve
allocated in addition to what we’ve allocated
for staffing thus far. So, we also in the
past two years prior, in the 18, 19 school year. And the year before that,
in the 17, 18 school year, also spent an additional
$2 million on staffing over what we spent
the prior year. Because we wanted to make
sure we were addressing the changing student needs. And all that time that we added, $1 million this year and $4
million in the two years prior, is when we had basically
flat enrollment or declining enrollment. I would say that there
are additional needs that need to be addressed. But when the student
population is staying the same and we’re adding $5 million
into additional staffing, we hope that that results
in some additional supports. (bottle squeaks) So, again, there is a
process for looking at fluctuating enrollment. And I am going into
detail about this because I know sometimes
things just don’t seem to make logical sense when
you look at just a number. So understanding our process that we go through is important. So we do have very frequent
monitoring of our numbers. Daily monitoring, sometimes,
a couple of times a day. The executive directors
are working together and then with me to look
at different numbers in different classes. Particularly at the elementary
because the elementary is in a state of
flux at all times. Secondary is in a
state of flux as well but once the schedule
is set, it is harder to add FTE just as
a straight up add to that system to make it work. So also, the school
teams in conjunction with the executive director
evaluate the situation and they look at possible
solutions for those situations. Quite often, we’ll
end up reallocating or adding additional
staff to that situation to take care of things. And then also at the
beginning of the school year when we have certain
hot spots that we know might be a factor. We also have emeritus
teachers who are lined up to serve within those schools. So, if McCullough has a
grade level that we know is going to be high, and
we’re not 100% sure how many, because when the
students walk in, not all of the students
that are registered necessarily end up
showing at the beginning. We still want to make
sure that we have somebody there to be
an extra pair of hands, an extra pair of eyes, and a caring person to
form those relationships and work with our kids. So, we have emeritus
teachers who are working in those buildings with
fluctuating enrollment for the first several
days and weeks. (water splashes) Then, we have our class
sizes, size policy. Our rule policy, and then
the class size procedures. As well as, we do look at
our AGR ratios as well. So, if you can click on
the class size policy for just a moment. You’ll see that that is a
relatively basic policy. It outlines the
parameters of scheduling but it does not go deep
into the actually guidelines on what we do in
scheduling situation. As you know quite often
a policy will lay out, kind of, the framework
for how the rule and the guidelines work from there. And if you click
on the next link, that is our class staffing guidelines. And it does get a
little interesting cause it talks about how, what is the process in
detail that we go through when we’re looking
at our class sizes. We try to keep our numbers low and there are guidelines
for which we look at that. And as Mr. Becker was asking
some questions around, how does it work when you
have an overall average of students in class
versus maybe having a bubble of huge class and
then several smaller classes. When people schedule, they
do try very, very hard. It’s a complex process
and it’s something people spend a lot of time in. And it can be kind of
like a puzzle, in fact, some people really enjoy
the work of scheduling. I got to the point where
it was really interesting to see how even you
can make those classes, how you can work the Rubik’s
cube of the master schedule to make sure things are
shifted to best serve kids. But it is a skill, and it
is something we work with our principals on
through the support of the executive directors. And also we have, previously,
years ago, worked with consultants who had
done some work with us related to scheduling. So that guideline
offers the guidelines for what we do when we schedule as well as our procedures
that we go through when we’re look at various
options of class size. So if you note, our secondary, the guidelines and
procedures for secondary and the guidelines
for our elementary, all of our policies
and procedures have been followed in
the scheduling process. And when we look at. The ratio of one to 150
students, at the secondary. We do not have any
teaching situations in which people are over 150,
that I’ve been made aware of, and I confirmed that
with Dr. Wiegand. And I also asked her to check have you had any concerns that
were brought to principals that you haven’t
brought to me yet, or things that haven’t
been addressed yet, and she said that she checked,
she double-checked on Friday, and there hadn’t been any
concerns at that point. That’s not to say
that there hadn’t been a side conversation between
a teacher and a principal about a particular number
in a particular class, and it was dealt with, but it wasn’t a
complaint or a concern that was brought up at a level that was requesting
it to be addressed. If we could go back
to the presentation. So we also look at
our Achievement Gap
Reduction schools, and we have ratios for
those classes, as well. Our Executive Directors,
particularly for Elementary, they’re looking at those numbers in our higher poverty schools. Previously, Achievement
Gap Reduction looked at, it used to be called SAGE, and it gave a set cut for where
the class size needed to be for those high poverty schools. But the state did recognize that there were some
other things that, if schools felt that it
would be more impactful to put some of the money
into professional learning for working with the students, and other supports for students, that was something that
the state gave guidance on, and gave us some leeway on. But we have still, unlike some of the
districts in the state, we still set a pretty high bar, meaning quality, but a low number for
the number of students that we have in
those AGR classes. And so we have
followed those policies with each of our elementaries, and our Executive
Directors for Elementary report that the
numbers are better than they’ve seen in
years, so that is positive. Next slide. So now, we have our
preliminary reports for Elementary and for
our Secondary school. And then, as you saw on
that one slide, again, just a caveat, that these
are preliminary numbers, and it all gets more finalized
after the third Friday count. So we have our information there related to, if you
look at the chart, we have our averages, as of… I’m sorry, 9-10-19. And then, looking at 9-10-19
for the classroom sizes because, as we pointed out, we can say the averages
look really good. I mean, on average,
we have about 20 kids in each of our
elementary classes. But we also wanna make sure that we’re looking
at the outliers. What about classes where we have a very
high number of students and a very low
number of students? Like, for instance, you
see there are 31 students in fourth grade at
one of our schools, and we wanna make sure that we
are addressing those issues. I actually have a slide with
some additional comments and I can bring up the comments on what that
particular issue is. But in most situations, it’s a situation in which
we’ve hired a paraprofessional, or in we’re in process of
hiring another teacher, but these are in
a state of flux. So if you’re hearing concerns, and you have concerns that people are asking
to have addressed, I’d ask that you send
those concerns to me, through the Superintendent, and I can make sure that
they’re addressed immediately through our Executive Directors. Then, if you take a look
at our Secondary report… Sorry, just clicking in there. And I have multiple
elementaries open on my page, so I’m just gonna get into
that myself so I can see it because those numbers are
quite small on my page. Sorry. So, if you look
at those numbers, you’ll see that
we have the ratio for the number in each class, as well as the
averages for the class. And then we have the range. I thought the
range was important because if you look at
English-Language Arts, oh, my gosh, there are 30
classes that are over 30 in ELA. That is concerning. That is something that
needs to be addressed. When you look at the range, it does mitigate a little
bit of that concern. I’m not saying that anything
over 30 is what we want, but you’ll notice that
26 of the classes over 30 have either 31 or
32 students in it, so they’re over the number
that we would like, overall, but it’s not like we have 30 classes with 38 students
in it, for instance. And I’m just trying
to explain the effects of where we are on those pieces. So… I’m just refreshing because my link is not opening. So if you want to go back
into the presentation, and click to the next slide. Go ahead. (woman speaks faintly) (woman laughs) -Go ahead, Michelle. Michelle: I just
have a question. So John, if I’m a person at
home looking at this chart, can you just walk across a line so they know what
they’re looking at? ‘Cause if you don’t
know, I’m not sure… Maybe it’s really clear to
people at first glance, I see. Just grab Middle School Math, for example.
John: Sure. Michelle: Maybe and
just walk across it, or whatever you have up. Thanks. John: It’s having a hard time clicking into my attachment, so I was moving on a
little more quickly there. But if you look at our
Middle School classes, just as a for instance. You said take a look
at Middle School Math, so let’s take a look
at 6th Grade Math. You see that is the
line number five in the Excel sheet, and so you see that in
the Middle School Math, we have 46 sections. That means there are
46 different classes of 6th Grade Math being taught throughout the
district at any time, and this is within
our comprehensive middle and high schools. When we look at our
specialty schools, the numbers, generally, are
a little better than that. When we look at JDAL and Aldo
and some of those schools, the numbers are better. But these are our
comprehensive schools because we wanna
look at, roughly, apple-to-apple comparison. So you’ll see that
there are 46 sections, and the average in
those classes is 26.2. Looking at how
many staff members teaching middle
school 6th grade math have a number greater than the
Board policy of 150 students, there are zero. Those with a number over 30,
we have four classes over 30, and of those four sixth grade
middle school math classes, we have three with 31,
and one class with 32. So then, if you look
past that, we see, as far as the minimum
class size that we allow, in most classes, we
have a minimum of 20, but in math, it is 19, and we have one class
that is below 19. Our maximum class size that
we look for within this is 32. Yes?
-Michelle. Michelle: Would it
be fair to say, then, there are four classes
over 30 right now, three at 31, and one at 32? My question to you is this. I’m looking at it through
the lens of a parent, and I just happen to
have a child in the 32. What is the district
doing about that? John: Press the button. Basically, there are
a variety of supports that we try to give. We try and make
sure that there’s differentiation and
support within the class. Sometimes there is
an additional person team-teaching in those classes. Sometimes it might be a
class with a high number of ELL or special ed students, and there might be a
co-teaching situation, in which you have two
teachers in that class, or there might be a
paraprofessional in that class. I wouldn’t say that’s the
case in every situation. There are classes with a
high number of students. Speaking to my son on
Sunday about his classes, he had an AP class
with 39 kids in it, so there are certain situations. And that wasn’t here, but there are certain situations in which we have a high
number of students in classes. We do try very hard
to keep it below 30. So if we look at, let’s look at a high
school example, then. If we look at High School… Let’s look at High
School English. There’s some numbers
there that are… And again, as I said, this is our first
dip into the water to see what the numbers are because you want to do this. You want to see, “Oh, my
gosh. Here’s a high number. “What are we gonna do about it?” So let’s look at English. We have a total of
179 English classes being taught in
our high schools, with an average
of 25.43 students. We have no teachers teaching
more than 150 students. And then, when we look at the
number of sections over 30, it is 30, which, in my
mind, when I saw that, that’s something that
we wanna make sure that we’re addressing. We did have 16 of
those classes have 31, 10 classes have 32, and then there are a couple of
classes that, at this point, as of the measure
of this, had 32, or, I’m sorry, 33, 34, or 35. As far as the number of
classes with less than 20, we actually have 21 sections
of less than 20 students. And that comes down to
scheduling imperfections and ways that, and I’m not trying to blame
the people scheduling, but there are sometimes
certain drivers that make you put more students in one section than another because of other classes
that they may take or things that are other
drivers within the schedule. We try to mitigate that
as much as possible, but those are the
places at which we were. You also see that, when you scan down that
Less Than 20 column, you’ll see that we have a lot
of classes with less than 20. That is the one place where we have deviated
from Board policy. The Board policies do indicate that we should look at
the classes under 20, and we should eliminate
classes under 20. But we have been careful about keeping many of our
classes that have under 20 for a variety of reasons. One is, we have heard
that a secondary driver, in addition to class size, is also that we wanna make sure that student voice
and student selection and ability to
take their classes is important to us, as well. I also think that once we’ve
made a commitment to students around a particular pathway, or training that
they’ve engaged in, we wanna make sure that we have those
classes there for them. So if they’ve taken Spanish III, we wanna make sure that they’re
able to take Spanish IV, even if there aren’t that
many students for it. So that’s a factor that goes
into our decision-making related to those classes. Any other questions related
to these aspects, thus far? All right. Slide Ten. Thank you. In summary, we recognize that our students needs
do continue to grow. We want to make sure
that we’re responsive to the relationship building
that we’ve talked about. We wanna make sure
that we’re responsive to the trauma and
needs that we have. And very importantly, because it’s the mission
for us as a school, we wanna make sure that
every kid, every student, is getting a very
high-quality education. So class size is vital to us. I mentioned the 2017 referendum because there have been
people that have questioned, “Well, you passed a
referendum on operationa costs “during the 2017 referendum. “Didn’t that take
care of class size?” What that actually did, and we’ve talked about
it each year at this because we wanna make
sure we’re clear on it, it addressed part
of the concern. It allowed us to maintain the class size
averages that we had without making reductions. Had we not passed
that referendum, we would’ve had to eliminate, in addition to quite a bit from our supply budgets
and everything else, we would’ve had to look at
up to a hundred staff members that would’ve been reduced. So that was a saving element from the community
and from the Board, supporting us during
that referendum, but it did not allow us to go beyond where we
were at that point. Also, I think I’ve said
it about six times, third Friday is next week, which is actually this week now, and our student enrollment,
in general, has been flat, but we do continue to
allocate additional resources. Again, we’ve reallocated over a million dollars
in staffing this year, since we started looking at
the numbers again in August, and we will likely end up using the entire two million that
we’ve set for staffing, and may need to look
at additional resources because our first priority is making sure our
students are well-served. And Next Steps. Continue to analyze and
address emerging needs. Another factor, and I’ve heard
a lot of conversation around, this is a strong
priority for the Board and for the community. If that is the case,
and I believe it is, then taking a look at
the policies, as a Board, taking opportunity now, not
necessarily in this minute, but taking an opportunity to put together a group to look at those
class size policies and consider changes so that, as we go into the
staffing cycle… Our staffing begins around the beginning
of the calendar year. As we are in that process, if we’re changing policy, we would like to know
those changes in policy so that we can plan accordingly and make sure that we have
those resources in place. We’ve also talked
about, perhaps, other districts have looked at, through referendum
and other measures, looking at operational
referendum and
things of that nature that can further
reduce class size, and further make sure that we have additional
supports in our classes. So that is something
that the Board may want to consider, as well. And again, we also
try to improve our staffing allocation process, in making sure that we
have full coordination between the schools,
our school supervisors, Human Resources, and
Central Registration. Making sure those procedures and things that we have in place are firing on all cylinders gives us the best information
for real time decision making, and those are factors that
we’re looking at, as well. So this is our general update
on class size, at this point. If there are specific
questions or concerns, as I mentioned before, we’re glad to look
into those, as well. Laura: Eric, and then Andrew. Eric: First, I just
have a mundane question about third Friday count. Does that third Friday count just take the kids who are
in the buildings on that day, or if there was a flu outbreak and 200 kids weren’t in
school on that third Friday, does that mean we’re
200 short because… Just sort of a
clarifying question. I’m not really sure
how that works. John: I’d like to
phone a friend on that. Eric: Yeah.
(Eric laughs) John: No, just kidding. I think that it
does have to do with the number of students in place. I’m sure that if we had, and I know that there are… I can’t cite the
exact procedures, but if we did have… Vickie’s coming, ’cause
she has been a counselor, and she has the answer to that. Vickie: What do you push? This one?
John: Yep. Vickie: Hi. Eric: Hi, sorry. I maybe shouldn’t ask that. I was just curious. Vickie: That’s okay. There’s actually a period
of time after that date that we can still
qualify a student. Eric: Okay. So we want everyone
to be there, but… All right, thank you for that. Secondly, I mean, I appreciate
all the information, like I emailed you. It was very fascinating. Scheduling is
incredibly complicated. There are books, and you
can go to a conference to learn tips on
how to schedule, so I appreciate the
great information, organized in a way
that I felt like was pretty easy to understand. I also understand the difficulty
between making decisions and how that impacts
a variety of people, so I think back to your example of a student who wants to
take German and Orchestra. You may be able to find a way
to meet that student’s needs, but maybe that means there’s
33 kids in the German class, and that’s the only way that
it works for that student. So now it creates a high number, but it’s helped to meet
the needs of the student. So I’m sure there’s constantly
moving parts and pieces to all of that. My question is this, and it’s probably a
little bit hypothetical, so if you say, “Pass,” similar to Andrew,
feel free to pass. I’m interested in
what you mentioned about considering changes
to existing policies. Personally, and similar
to Alex’s point, I believe that
relationships are important. I believe there are
kids that are coming with more and more trauma. I’m worried about
secondary trauma. I would be interested
in having a conversation around potentially
making some changes. Maybe taking a K-2, maybe
saying instead of 32, we want 30, understanding. But what I don’t have
a good understand of, what are the
consequences of that? What does that mean
for our overall budget? I’m not asking you to go back and create a hypothetical
staffing situation, but I guess, could you
react to that question? John: Sure, and I think that that’s a very
important point. As we know, there are
effects and ripples from all the choices we make. If there are things
that we want to do that change class size, then we have to make sure that
we have the funding available to ensure that we can
pay those staff members. We wanna make sure that we have a generous benefits
package for our staff, and making sure that
that is something that the Board has made clear that that’s important to them. We wanna make sure that we
have reasonable pay increases that keep up with Cost of Living and allow people to
earn a livable wage, as an educator. Those are factors. We also look at where can we
find other financial resources that we can look through
through efficiencies. So what are the things we can do to find efficiencies
within the system? We also can look at reductions in other staff of other sorts, which is something
we’ve done this year. We looked at, when we
made the reductions of 2%, we looked at, first, we
said the classroom teacher and those who are
directly supporting kids are the primary people
that we want to avoid Reducing if we had
to reduce and we made bigger reductions in our district office administration and things of that
nature than we would have that went far beyond
the two percent there. So those are just
a few examples of, not necessarily hypotheticals, but recent past case
pieces where we had to look at what are the
possible ramifications. But I think we all join
you in thinking about, what can we do to make
sure that every kid and every teacher
have the best possible staffing in the classroom? Laura: Andrew? Andrew: Thank you. I have several
questions and none of the questions are about
the quality of the report, none of the questions are
about the amount of work. There’s an incredible amount
of work that goes into it. What I’m going to here
with some of my questions, I think just has to do
with the fact that I seem to be coming back to often of big district problems, right? If we were a one
high school district, maybe there’s nothing you can
do with a certain class size because even if you spent
the extra money to split it, you’re out of room
in the building, and building by building,
that might be true too. So with the
understanding that there are some absolute drivers like, can’t split a class because
there is no more room available in the building. What I am concerned about, I’ve asked this a lot and I think I’m closer
to understanding, but there’s really no, are there anything in board, is there anything in
board policy at all that is a true hard cap? John: There are a few
things in the board policy that are hard cap, particularly at secondary. The hardest cap is
that we won’t exceed 150 students per teacher, and that’s something that
we did not do this year. But, there’s a lot
more guideline than
there is hard cap, and I think that that allows for some autonomy within guardrails, but I also realize that
sometimes we need to tighten up the guardrails in
certain situations and make sure that
if there are things that don’t seem
supportive of students or don’t meet the current
needs of the board, since these policies
were written, that we’re more
than willing to look at addressing and
changing those policies. Andrew: Okay, so, and in
fact, now, while I am a little bit glad to
see that we didn’t go over 150 for any teacher, even that is
prefaced in the rule with an effort will be made. But it’s important
to know, like, what things since none of these, all of these things are
guideline, effort, attempt. Obviously if there’s
no teacher over 150, that’s one that we’re
treating as a hard cap. So what I heard from
one speaker Dave, of what I’ve heard over
the past couple of years in talking to staff is, just a much bigger concern
about the outlier high class than my average being lower because I’m making
connections and relationships with kids if it’s
18 or if it’s 25, but if it’s 32, that doesn’t make it easier to do in the one with 18. So where I think one
thing we need to look at is where 150 seems to
be the primary driver, I would much rather
see maybe there be, you know, some,
although even that, then we’re talking about… It’s not the most
important thing, I think the individual
high class sizes is more important. How many times, and if the, if this doesn’t happen until
after the third Friday, that’s okay, but, how
often is the class size, how often is the class, and the class size
relief committee is only even available to K 6? The formal? John: The formal
K-6 class size is, it is K-6, but we do
look at any situation that comes forward
and try to resolve it. I have had a number
of times within, a number of times even today, that I’ve talked
to administrators from the executive directors and signed off for
additional staffing. We’ve pretty much, when things are brought to us and it can be addressed through the addition of staff, for the most part we have added. It is challen– Like, let’s just say, in
a particular situation, if the number is for, family and consumer
ed at middle level happen to be high. It isn’t always, it seems like the
logical solution is just hire one more family
and consumer ed teacher. Some subject areas, there is a very limited number of people that have
a certification and it’s hard to recruit for
that and it might sound like excuse-making,
but this is the reality of some of the situations
that I’ve encountered and I know others
have encountered. So, it might be that
the logical solution is just to add a
staff member for that. But the reality of
it might be that you have exhausted efforts
to try and find somebody and you wanna make
sure that the classes are taught at a level
of rigor and excellence that you don’t wanna
just have a, you know, a warm body teaching the class, you want to make sure
that it’s somebody who knows the subject area well. You might also find
that it might not just be adding for that one
particular section, it might involve multiple
adds for multiple subjects to shift the schedule
to make it work. It does, and I said
Rubik’s Cube before, because it is, a master schedule is very much like a Rubik’s Cube, that if I add an extra section of German third period, that is going to change
15, 20 students’ schedules, and it’s going to
change the schedules of probably 30 other
teachers in the district as kids are coming out
and adding those classes. So, I think if we have
those changes early, we can build that into
the master scheduling. It’s harder for us to just
add afterwards at the end, so the more
preventative we can be in any schedules
changes we wanna make, the better off we’ll be. But I do think, I
do join you, Andrew, in thinking that we wanna take a look at some of the schedule, or the scheduling
policy changes. Andrew: Okay, but,
and I , and I do, but this is, you
know, this is going to be part of the tension,
I think, between board, you know, board involvement and administrative
flexibility and I think, I think it’s, I
think it’s not okay to have such a loose policy, although I do think
there are times where there maybe could
be exceptions and maybe the rule, maybe
there’d be a procedure where exceptions would
come to the board for approval. There could be, I
mean, to, I guess, it’s hard to pick
an obvious example. If you had Chinese at a school, and in Chinese two,
there were 38 kids, and, however, you were unable, you attempted and
were unable to find a certified teacher in
a rare teaching field and you just
couldn’t do it, okay, I get, that will
happen once in a while ’cause that’s a big
district problem. But, I’m just really concerned to see how many of
these, and I regret not speaking up more about this, 2 million in cuts, and I guess that’s my fault. That is a, that was an opinion and a perspective
of, do you budget, do you budget safe? Or do you budget
safe so there’s no possibility
of any surprise? But when you do that, then you have these
high class sizes. I think I can
probably limit myself to one last question here. How many, how many open, like just to get an idea as to how many of these
might have a chance to be addressed, how many, how many FTE of open
teacher positions do we have right now, trying to
address some of these? John: So it is in
a state of flux, like I signed several
staff requisition forms yet this afternoon,
so, some things are in a state between
conversation with a principal about a recent shift, maybe they got three
new students into a particular class
and they’re just today had that conversation
and somebody’s going to write a staff form for tomorrow. I know I signed off on two
or three this afternoon. So, it would be hard for
me to say how many of these will yet be addressed
through current staffing, but I have told our
executive directors if there are things we can solve by adding additional
staff at this point, we’re going to do that, because
I know it is a priority. Teri, I’m not sure if
you have a specific number that you’d like to share, or… Teri: (inaudible) John: Come up. Teri: I would hesitate
to give an exact number because it fluctuates
literally almost by the hour. It’s been a moving, a bit
of a moving target that way so we just did as
John explained, add some positions, so
those would remain vacant. We’ve been able to
successfully fill the positions as we’ve been posting
and going through the interview process so,
we are I would say within a time period,
been able to successfully fill the positions. I believe right now
we currently have, well, I would hesitate to
throw a number out there, but I am aware of four
right now that we have posted at the
elementary level that would include some special
education positions that were just added. Andrew: What about secondary? Teri: I know that there
are some candidates that are in progress
that have been recommended that for
a variety of reasons have some delays on
their start times due to release from
current contracts. or due to their
licensing and relocating. At this time, I am not aware of any vacant secondary positions but I would have
to go back and look at the data. Andrew: Okay, so
that would mean though, it’s hard, and maybe I’m
missing something here, but it’s, in, this
is a snapshot in time and some of these,
34 of them, 35s, maybe even today you
signed requisitions to create a new
posting, and I get that, but if we were to
just look at trying to reduce classes from, how many of the over 30s are we, are you thinking
we’re gonna try to do something about
versus let it run big? Are, in the end,
is this number of over 30 are you expecting it to drop off a little,
drop off almost to nothing? Half of them go away? John: I would say
our aim is to reduce as much as possible. I think it depends, sometimes it comes down
to, and again, this, because the snapshot
nature of this and looking at it now
before the third Friday and before people have
had a couple weeks, sometimes it’s not even an issue of adding additional resources. Sometimes it’s that
we had three people move in that needed
this common schedule and suddenly it bumped
from a class of 29 to a class of 32. And, a principal
looks at that number, or an associate principal
and they take a look and they say, “oh, well
these two students could move to this different section.” They talk to those individuals, they shift a couple of schedules and make it happen. Other times, it, the next phase would also be
looking at overloads. Sometimes, quite
often, when there’s, when there are one
or two sections of type of class within
a particular school, it doesn’t necessarily
make sense to hire a full time person to
work in that school or split amongst a
number of schools, so I might talk to
somebody who is teaching in that subject area and say,
if you would be interested, we can pay you an
overload to teach an additional section of
this, so that we can bring our numbers down. And so we look at that,
and I’ve authorized those quite a bit as well. And then that third
piece as you mentioned, there is the hiring
piece that we look at making sure that we’re
hiring for those positions so we do have a number of
those positions as well. Again, for secondary,
it is a little harder to insert staff into
a schedule that is already in place
because of the nature of ripple effect. If you change one
student’s schedule, that means that
it’s going to affect multiple teachers’
class load and it also is going to affect
that individual. If you’re dissolving
a class or two or a section or two into
multiple sections, then sometimes the
ripple of that, you have to make sure that you are able to take
care of that and not make the situation
worse rather than better because of the
addition of staff. Andrew: Okay, but
there’s, you know, there, it seems to me that the number, if we’re gonna
make a serious dent in these high class sections, and I’m just talking
about the 120 in core academic subjects. I’m not unconcerned
about the others, I’m just focusing first
to the core academics because those in
the, to some extent are probably easier
to find people because of broader certification ranges. If we have 120 sections,
it just seems to me like there should be, if we’re making a serious, if there’s an effort
to make a serious dent in the number of large classes, I would think you would have, certainly know that a
lot more than four people are going to have to be hired. Yes, some through overloads,
although that’s the most likely to cause ripple
effects, I would imagine. Some through overloads, some through
rebalancings, some of the numbers are not gonna be
right on third Friday, but even if a few
of these are right, this is a lot of staff,
and I guess I wasn’t really prepared to even
thinking I would hear less than a 20 or so open hires, just given this high
number and I would have thought that was
low, so I’m just… So, go ahead, Dr. Langenfeld. Laura: Go ahead, Michelle. Michelle: John, do
you have any numbers that, what Alex spoke about
earlier is spot on in my head. Sometimes it’s not the numbers, it’s who else is in
there and what kind of additional supports. And I know we’ve added
a significant number of paraeducators to our classes. Do you have any sense
out of the classes that Mr. Becker
is talking about, that, or, could
we get that data? I’d like to know
how many have more than one adult in the
class because that matters. Sometimes you can
have 32 but if you have the supports in the class, and there’s really two adults, one teacher and
one paraeducator, or I walked into a classroom,
a kindergarten classroom, that looked like
a lot of students and I stood there for
a while and looked and there was an emeritus
teacher in there. I didn’t know what the
plan is as a follow-up, but there were two
teachers in there, or actually it was a student
teacher, so I apologize. That was incorrect. It was a teacher and
a student-teacher. I’d like to know that as well. And you know, just like
with the EGR when they flexed it a little bit. I think that’s one point. The other point is I
can’t agree with you more that the policies that
are in place right now to Andrew’s points
don’t have caps on them and to reset the board
priorities around what they expect is really
gonna be helpful, so a retreat or something
that I know John you’ve talked about,
so I’ll talk to Brenda and Andrew and see, get
your feedback on that so that we can move
that too, so, thanks. Laura: Kristina? Kristina: Thanks John. I just had a quick
comment, and this is not to say that all of the other
courses aren’t critical, but, PE in middle
school, there’s nothing that comes close to
the number of classes. We have 57 classes
in PE with over 30. That’s really alarming to me. The next clo–, the
closest that we get is social studies at 35. And I, you know,
speaking as a former physical education teacher,
the best of the best, that is incredibly challenging. And when we think
about policy and how policy drives practice,
form follows function, it’s something that I
would like to consider as a board, just
putting that out there for food for
thought that in the, is this rule 343.2, under middle school staffing, it says individual
music and PE classes may be an exception to
this class ratio guideline, so you see, while I
understand music tends to be higher because you
have all the instruments and the different
pieces, but I do think that that goes back
to the policy piece because, you know, Alex
cannot be successful if, even if he’s under
150, those extremely large classes are extremely
challenging. So you don’t have to
comment on that now, but just wanted
to point that out that that was quite
alarming to me. John: I appreciate
that and I think when we do our work
taking some teacher voice and opportunities for
that will be important just as a particular piece. Sometimes our music teachers, and I’m not saying
this is the case with every music teacher,
sometimes they particularly want a
higher number in the class because they’re looking
for greater vocal range within a choir or
it might be a band where you want to make
sure you have all the instruments represented,
but I certainly don’t want to make
any blanket statements and we will definitely
take a look at that. -Thanks, John. Laura: Rhonda. Rhonda: I just also wanted
to mention that it says in the high school staffing
in the rule as well, that physical education classes may be an exception to
this class ratio guideline. So, we obviously have
a teacher that spoke, came forward and spoke to this. I’ve also heard from
other physical education teachers in the
district as well, and I think it’s definitely
sooner than later, that we address that. But it’s just kind of a, you know there’s like
a blank check in place, and that seems to be almost
immediate need, if you ask me. I have a question, so it’s,
you’ve stated a few times and it was stated before when we all met before
about class sizes, it continues to be said
that it’s a Board priority, okay in this community priority. My question is, because we might not be here, a few of us might not be here. There might not always
be Board members who are willing to come forward and maybe teachers and
community members that aren’t willing to go to Board members, because maybe it
doesn’t go anywhere. So, but that’s what’s
happening today and I think it’s
important to know, and I personally
would love to know as an individual Board member, what is the district’s position
on class sizes in general? So, we talk about best practice for so many things that we do. What does the district, you know because there’s
a lot of numbers and we, you know kind of like juggle
that around make graphs, but what is the
district’s position on how class sizes effect
teaching and learning? Because I would hope that, that would actually be
what’s driving everything. And, that is something
that, is just, it’s known, it’s
concrete, it’s understood. I would really like
to know what that is. John: Sure. And, I don’t speak
for the entire district, I’m only a representative
of the district, but I think of course we
start with the policies, when we look at what it is that
we believe around something, we look at what are the polices? What are the legal guidelines? Because that’s the first
parameter that you want to make sure, and the first
gate through which you want to make sure
things are passed. Then you do have to look
at what is best practice and what is best
for our students. But again, there are
multiple factors that go into that “What is
best for students”. If we run, if we don’t
run Chinese because we want to keep class size
low in another area, then, you know,
that is a factor. So it’s weighing
individual student choice, it’s weighing the needs
of the individual students in the classes, but as a whole, class size is very important
to making sure that the relationships are in
place, that student needs are understood, and that
they can be addressed in an individual
differentiated way, that we’re able to
understand our students in what it is for that
connection with family, because family engagement
is also really critical. So, there are a number of
different things that go into what our philosophy
on class size is. This might not be the
most popular thing, but I think that it is a factor, it’s not the only factor. I’ve taught classes with
thirty students in it and I’ve had classes that
have functioned quite well. I’ve also taught classes
that have had a very low number of students in it,
that sometimes the energy in the classroom
just wasn’t there, because I had six students
taking a language class and it was hard to
get things moving. So I think that we have
to look at the individual circumstances of each
of our decisions. But we need to make sure that
we have prioritized drivers, and the first driver is
that we have a successful, highly-trained educator
serving each of our kids, and that the ratios are low
enough so that we can have meaningful relationship and
support of all students. Rhonda: Okay, so I know you
don’t speak for the district but, I think it would be, I know there would be a lot of teachers in the district who,
were really that’s we’re talking about their
working conditions. And I continue to hear
about these issues. So, I think it would be
important and they’re wondering how you feel about class
size in relation to behavior to, you know there was a
mention of a class where there was a student
that two months in, was not in school anymore. Is it possibly because
of a class size? I think before we even go in and craft policy and numbers, and you know loads of, case loads of students, by the
way nobody’s ever said to me, “I have too many, my
class loads too big”, it’s never been that,
to me personally. It’s always been “my
class size is too big”. So, I think it’s important
to have an understanding of what we’re
committed to and why. You know, physical
education being an exception there must have been
some best practice, in order to craft
this, I would assume. But when we go to other
classes, in, you know in looking into some
of the schools that people have reached out about,
some of the core classes, there have been discussions
about the integrity around lab classes.
That it’s not actually, we’re not able to even
deliver the, you know, the community thinks we’re
doing STEM, STEAM work but we’re not able to, again
I mentioned this before, but we’re not able to
deliver the integrity of those classes because
of the class sizes. And again, to go on
and on about numbers, as Alex had said, and it’s true, and I’ve heard this
from others as well. It’s really about the
make up of the students. And, you know, you also
mentioned something about teachers coming forward and that’s kind of like your, kind of your barometer, right? They come forward,
we address it. I think it’s important
that we never discourage teachers from coming
forward at all. And that’s happening right now, and I think that’s
really too bad. But, I’m very grateful
that there are people that trust to come forward
and to share their thoughts. Because they’re
at their wits end, they’re ready to, they’re
actually looking for other jobs. So this is something,
I think that, you say it’s a factor,
but it’s a huge factor for retention of staff. I’m honoring that, that
they talk about this a lot. So, I’m hoping that we
truly develop something, whatever it looks like, and
we are using their voices. And we aren’t discouraging
them from coming forward. And my last question would be, are you coming back
after the third Friday because I’m wondering
why we’re not, you know, you keep
saying it’s preliminary, we don’t have this, that. Are you coming back
after the third Friday, so that we can, I’m
just wondering why maybe we didn’t wait until after that. John: I mean, I think
I, that’s something that I was hoping for as well. Just because it’s easier to, really look at what is our
current reality at that point. So maybe in October,
we could take a look during our meeting
time, during October, we can take a look at that. And, I think that the questions
you raised are important. I think it’s something that I
could give a statement here, but I’d like to really, I really would like to
give it some thought. Because if we’re asking
“What is our Philosophy?”, “What are our values?”,
“What are our drivers?”, there are certain things
that are clear to me and there are things
that I believe. I believe that it’s important that we serve all kids well. And, that is multi-faceted. It comes down the being, we have to make choices that are both thinking about the needs
of the thriving workforce, because we want to make
sure that we’re retaining, and keeping our
best teachers here. And, we also have to think about “What are the needs of
the individual students?”, and “What are the
needs of the parents?”, and also we do have a budget, within which we have
to meet the budget. So those are all factors
that the board works with, and that we work with in
making decisions around what our priorities are. Laura: Michelle. Michelle: Thank you,
I know we’ve had some pretty important
discussions, and often we come back to policy. And, I go back to, this
is not John’s philosophy, it’s not Michelle’s philosophy, it’s not Vicki’s, it’s
not one single person, it is, as Rhonda mentioned,
it is a collective district policy, so looking back at
the dates on the policy, it’s been long overdue, I guess for a really
robust conversation. We have a different environment. Students that are coming to us, Alex did a really nice job of
characterizing the fact that our student demographics,
not necessarily demographics, but what students
bring to the classroom, may look different, and
I think it’s a really important time to have that
really critical discussion, because, there are classrooms, right now, that may not have the supports that
they feel they need, and what do we need to do there, and the numbers may not
always tell the whole story. So I just think it goes
right back to what we’ve been trying to do. To be
responsive to what we know. And that’s add the additional
resources as needed, when people come forward. Vicki and John in
particular have, we’ve pretty much given
them the ability to say “okay, you talk to your
Executive Directors, you talk to your
Special Ed Director, and you tell us what you need.” Because at the end of the day, their listening to the teachers, their listening to
the supervisors, and Principals and staff
to be able to address that. So we may have tightened
on the one end, the two percent, Andrew
that you talked about. But, the reality is that we’ve
been, we are very responsive to address it as
quickly as possible. It’s not perfect, but we
have a lot of children moving in and out yet, and we have
some students who may even appear on three
different class rosters in three different schools. So we’re working
on that right now. (crosstalk) Laura: Go ahead Andrew Andrew: Okay, thank you. So, I mean, part of
why this is here, part of why, I mean I asked for it
to be sooner than later, I mean as part of this, I guess I wanted to
make sure that this was, We have this out in
the open so that it, if we waited till October, heard a report and the Board
felt differently than the Administration about
what to do for this year, now it’s already mid October
and it’s getting pretty late. September’s kind of late too, but it’s not nearly
as bad as October. So I guess what I’m wondering is as we see what plays out
over the third Friday count, I’m wondering what the
mechanism or process is if the Board feels if
the Administration
comes back and says “This is what we’ve
done, this is how many of those high class sizes have gone to better sizes, and of those remaining, here’s how many have
a second adult.” Second adult is
certainly relevant, and sometimes the only
solution in a full building. What happens next and
when does it happen if the Board looks at it and says “No, we want to
tell you to do more and spend more and do it?” Do we need an agenda
placeholder in October? I don’t know, I’m
just. (cross talk) Brenda: What do you mean
by agenda placeholder? Andrew: Well, if we,
if someone wants to, if we want to do some kind
of a motion or a interim, you know, vote on some
kind of board directive, if we come back and say no
the number of over thirties is still too high, this year, even though you did
reduce some of them, and maybe that
won’t come to pass. I’m just wondering, not so much, just how it would
even be addressed and when it would be after
we see how things play out. (cross talk) Laura: Go ahead Kristina: Sorry, Laura: No, that’s okay. Kristina: I mean, at the
very least we could just add it to our October
agenda just as an update. I think that would
make a lot of sense. Because these numbers are
in flux and at least for me, at individually, it’s
nice to see these, I don’t want to say
more frequently, ’cause I’m not asking
on a daily basis, but then it’s, the context
of the conversation is a little more on going, rather than a blip
here and a blip there. And, actually I had a
question, ’cause I was watching the video from the spring, when we talked
about class sizes. Did we have a conversation
about a data platform where we would have
access to this information more regularly, or did I
imagine that? (cross talk) Okay. Can you tell me again, where
we are with that then, John? John: Sure, that’s
a great question. And actually tomorrow we’re
having our preliminary meeting with Illuminate, which
is the company with whom we’re working for our
data visualization tools. And, that will allow us greater
access to this information. And, part of my hesitancy
about numerous reports, is that, just as a for instance, because our data is not
as easily accessible, the work to put together
the elementary and secondary report was probably 20
hours each, approximately. And, so we need
to make sure that we have that monitoring piece. It’s not that we don’t
look at master schedule and have conversation
with individual principal and individual pieces there. And you do note that in
my third bullet point, I said improvement of
our systems between schools, human resources
and central registration. When we have multiple
different data systems they don’t always talk
to each other well, and that’s really
what we’re hoping for and what we’re planning for. And what we will
expect from our vendor is that we will have
better access to clean immediate data that we
can make better decision on. So, I don’t see any
problem with coming forward with an additional report. I think that if we’re
looking for deep, this might not be what
the Board wants to hear, but if we’re looking at
deep significant change in all the numbers, there’s progress
that can be made, but the real change has to be for what does the next
years numbers look like. It’s not to say that I
can’t hire, you know, three new PE teachers
for middle school and bring those numbers down. It’s not to say that we can’t
hire for certain pieces, but if we say “Every school
you get half a million dollars to put into extra staffing”, at secondary for instance, that might completely
blow up every kids schedule in that school. And, if it’s bringing
a 31 to a 29, in a particular instance, I’m not sure that is
the first priority. Because, I do think that
there is a difference between teaching 31 and 29 kids, but if it meant, I don’t
want the number to be the only driver that we look at. The number is very
critical and I believe that lower class size
is better for kids, but we have to look at what are the realities
of that situation. I’m hoping that the Board
will trust my work with the Executive Directors
and the Principals, to say “We’re going to
bring down the class sizes as much as possible for
those high numbers.” That will cost money though. Like, what if, are we
saying we want to spend two million, three
million, four million, like, what is, we’ll have
to look at what is the budgetary impact of that. I think that we can make
some prudent decisions that will have
significant impact, but if it costs ten
million dollars to bring every class under 30, is that
what we want to do right now? Because we don’t have
that in the budget, but, do we want
know what I’m saying? Like, I feel like we have a
little bit of a loose directive. I can address it and I
can address it deeply, but I will need some time
to really reflect on this and come back and make
some prudent decisions. And I think that we can do
so in conjunction between the Superintendent and
the Board President and Vice President perhaps with
other input from others just to make sure that
we’re factoring that in. But, we’ll do our best,
and I’ve already said that we’re gonna make
lowering these class sizes a high priority
for us right now. Laura: Go ahead Kristina. Kristina: Just a follow up, so for this data, I’ll
just call it a dashboard. What’s the timeline on
something like that, I’m just curious? When if we were to
go with this company or something similar. John: So, we are going
with this company, so it’s a set deal. Tomorrow’s meeting
is actually the, kind of the initial
planning set up meeting. And, they estimated
that it would take between three to six
weeks to make sure all the data was in and
that it was usable. And that will be more
readily available. Now, what we want to
make sure that we have for public access and what
we have for access within, it will be far easier for
us to produce reports. So that will be helpful. I do look at, there are other systems that will
need to change too, to make sure all the information
is as accurate as possible. Thinking about our central
registration processes, there were some hiccups
and things that we were working on there to
make sure that we know the numbers on day
one, what they are. We’re also working with,
Teri Willems has worked really well with our
Human Resources Department and has looked at different
system improvement pieces. Once piece that
we’ve discussed is we need a system that really
takes a deeper look at our staffing, so
that we have that, rather than just having
it in Google sheets and other mechanisms, making sure that it’s in a
format that plays well with central registration information
and with our budgets, because we have to make
sure all three are working together, so that we have
a clear picture of what we’re spending on staffing, for whom and how
it’s being allocated. Kristina: So you’re saying
that, if you have that then the next time in October it
should not take 20 hours. Thankfully yes. (inaudible) Sure. Rhonda: Okay, I just want to
make sure I understand. There was a mention
of a class of 35 and that there was a
decision not to split that, because then there would be 15. That was used in an example,
you had talked about and this has happened actually
in other areas as well. I would really
like to understand why 35 would be better than 15. John: I think, we have fiscal realities of what we had forecasted when we were looking
at our state budget, we had recommendations
for what we needed to do, to make sure that we were ready depending on what the
biannual budget was. If we had staffed differently, the situation had been
worse from the state, we would have been in a very challenging situation
economically. That has changed to a degree, I think the reality
is still not finished, but it is better than it was. But when we give set
allocations for our principals and they are following
our guidelines, there are occasions where
it might also be better for the teacher’s schedule
and the student’s schedule. And that was a
hypothetical situation. There might be a situation
in which there is an AP class that only one teacher can teach and it can only be offered
at one time during the day, because of the other
classes that somebody takes where we might decide it is
better to keep that as a 35 than to split it, because
splitting it might mean building complete additional
class structure and completely changing the
master schedule at this time, as opposed to just
adding a section. So it might be disrupting
hundreds of kids schedules, tens of teachers schedules
and course loads, completely shifting things. In that case, I would
say it would be better to keep it with 35
than to allocate that. But if we are ahead of the curve when we are looking
at our staffing, when we’re looking at what
it is we are able to add, given that this is a
clear priority now, based on what the
board is saying, we can look at that
for the coming year. Rhonda: Okay, so when
those decisions are made, when those decisions to do that and everything you
just explained that
goes along with that, I really hope that we
are asking the teachers what they feel about that. And what that
looks like to them. And I’d like to know, other
than the fiscal piece, the staffing or the
scheduling piece, what do you feel about a
classroom of 15 students in regards to
culture and climate, potential behavior
issues, as opposed to 35? I think that what’s I
continue to hear about, that’s what I hear
about all the time. John: I think if
I were teaching, most classes I’d prefer to
have 15 students in that class. I think it would be a
better learning environment, it’d be a better situation. I think sometimes,
I think literally when you get below 10 or 12 there is kind of a
synergy drop in energy. That is a factor. There is research, some of the
meta-analysis research shows that the effect of class
size is not as significant. That is something that is
still out there to consider. But I can’t say that when you
have 35 kids in a single class that it isn’t harder
to teach that class. It is better to have that
smaller class size when we can. That is important. I think it is also important, you mentioned let’s ask the
teachers what they need, let’s ask the
teachers and I think, you’ve always made
a point of this, it’s important to think of
not just the teacher needs, but what are the student needs and what are the
family needs too. And especially in this process
there are certain practices that allow more voice
for parents and families that have greater
access to advocate for what they want and need. And so if we’re really, if we’re going to tackle
this at a deep level I’d like to make sure that we do have to think
of the teacher needs, the teacher and adult need
within the building is important when we’re thinking about
our thriving workforce and we also have to think
about what our student needs and what are our
families needing, particularly those that
might have less voice. And making sure that that is a factor in our
conversation around this. Laura: Looks like that’s
it, thank you John. John: Thank you very much! -Is there anyway to get
some air moving in this room? (inaudible) -Thank you Brenda, you
have super powers. Eric: Can I get a soda? (laughing) Brenda: All right, thanks Laura. Next is our
superintendent’s updates. And I’ll turn that
over to Dr. Langenfeld. Michelle: Thank you, I’m going
to start with the calendar and we have a number of
things coming forward. There’s a special board meeting on the 24th of this
month yet at 5:30 and then we move into October and I know we are going
to hear very shortly from the school
start time taskforce, but they’re going to be
meeting on October 2nd at the Cesa 7
office at 6 o’clock and then we’ll have a special
board meeting on October 7th. And this is starting
the budget process, so this is the board
deliberation and approval to not accept the
budget at this point, but to take the budget and then start having
larger conversations. So that’s October 7th. And then October 7th
also, we have the teacher and learning work session
meeting at 6 o’clock. The organizational support
work session meeting immediately
following after that. And then on October 15th, this is really important, we
invite all off our community to please come in and weigh
in on the public engagement section regarding the
2019/2020 budget at 6 o’clock. Of course we always make it
possible for anyone to weigh in through the district
communications piece, if people just want to add
public comments on that as well or obviously reach
out to board members, so that everyone’s
voice can be heard. October 16th, again another
school’s start time task force at Cesa 7 at 6 o’clock
and then on the 21st the public hearing and
special board meeting to adopt the budget, the
district budget at 6 o’clock. And that’s on the 21st, immediately following is
the regular board meeting. And then on October 24th, we have the inter-city district
student council meeting with the board at
7:30 in the morning. And then fall recess
on October 25th, the school is closed that day. So that’s just schools,
just to keep that in mind. So that’s the
calendar coming up, the next item I have Brenda,
there have been some requests to have board members
serve on advisory teams. So I’ll turn that
over to you quickly. Brenda: Yeah and I know,
we’ve had three advisory teams that have been in place
for a number of years, one is the Bay
Link Advisory Team, one is City Stadium Automotive and the other is Bridges
Construction and Renovation and these meetings,
I know Kristina, you’ve been going to Bridges’
correct? Have been, last year? Kristina: Yes. Brenda: And then I’ve
been going to Bay Link and Katie’s been doing
the City Stadium, So I guess at this point
Laurie Peacock sent me an email asking is board members are
still willing to do that. I think it’s a good opportunity
for us, as board members, to get to know our
business and industry and post-secondary partners, as part of the process
of those three programs. So at this point, if you’re
still interested in doing that we’ll just leave it as is, unless somebody has a real
strong interest in attending. The meetings are, Bay
Link and Bridges’, are every other month
from 7:45 to 8:45 am and I think they’re on Fridays. Well, I know Bay
Link was on Friday and I think Bridges
also was on Friday. And then City Stadium
Automotive meetings are just two meetings, one in the fall and
one in the spring and those are
right after school. Kristina: I’m good. Brenda: You’re good, Kristina? Michelle: I’m fine too,
the City Stadium Advisory meeting is Monday the
7th of October at 3:30. Katie: What time is
our budget meeting starting? Because I have 4
o’clock on my calendar. It doesn’t say time on this. It’s 4 o’clock, okay. Brenda: So that
would be all of us, none of us would be
able to attend that. Katie: Right, so I can
go and give our regrets
and come back here Brenda: Okay, so if any
of you have strong interest in any of these
areas let me know and we can rotate the
meeting, if you want. All right that was
all for that, thanks. Michelle: The next item
I have is success stories, a couple of things
that are occurring, one thing occurred today and another successful
opportunity tomorrow, we have a new program
adopt a school and Associated Bank and
Big Brothers Big Sisters actually started
working together and they have adopted
Fort Howard Elementary. And what it means is the Big
Brothers Big Sisters Program has been very successful over at Fort Howard
Elementary School. A lot of great mentoring
and support of children who need the additional
opportunities and access sometimes afforded
them and I know that our Mayor Gengrich had
been a part of the program over there at some point as well and supported getting
the students to be able to go down to visit
the state legislature. So today was the kickoff of that and the invitation
to our community is to our business
community partners to be able to provide
mentors for students and really make
it an opportunity where the employees can come
and actually be part of that. They chose Fort Howard
Elementary in particular because they were close
by Associated Bank and I think its a
really great opportunity to expand the Big Brothers
Big Sisters Program that has shown some
significant results supporting our
children and families, so that kicked off
today and the invitation obviously is to invite
other businesses to come and be a part of that. I know that we had Brian
Johnson one of the Alder people talking about the
possibility of his schools that he represents as well, maybe someone could adopt them. And I know Laura McCoy was there representing our
board today as well. The other piece that you
probably are well aware of is we have the actual formal
ribbon cutting ceremony tomorrow at Baird Elementary
and Baird was intended to be a place in space
where we demonstrate what 21st century
classrooms look like and I think its done a really
good job of doing that. We had, as mentioned last time, thirteen hundred
people participating, but it is a huge
debt of gratitude to our community and to
our parents and families and those that worked that
referendum really really hard, as well as the board members
participating community, it’s a great example of how
important investments are. I anticipate the
school will grow. They have a capacity of 600, but I also think it’s important in January we’re going to
do the ribbon cutting here, but in January people will be
invited to see all the spaces and when you look at schools, who may have
received remodeling, some of the same
places and spaces and modern learning
spaces you see at Baird, you will see at Danz Elementary, you will see at Eisenhower, you will see at Martin, you will see at
many of our schools that have been in our
neighborhoods for some time. So that’s kind of exciting
and I think the intention and hope when we went out
for that last referendum is that we would also have
those same opportunities for schools who may not have had the renovation opportunities now. But in the future recognizing
how important it is for kids. So those are two big
success stories going on and lots more to come I’m sure. Great things happening
and I encourage people to, I know we have
community connections or education
connections going out via email to families
here this week, so there will be a lot more
updates in them as well. And so the next piece, when
do you take public comments after the school
time task force? I just don’t want to We do the presentation first. Okay, so at this
time in the audience, folks who have been
waiting very patiently, we have Jeff Dickert from Cesa 7 and Aaron Malczewski from Cesa 7 and I believe Reid
Welsh as well. But I also, as I invite
you up from Cesa 7 to talk about
school start times, I know that we’ve had two
board members and staff heavily engaged and one sits
to my left, Christina Shelton and Rhonda Sitnikau have
served well on this board and this facility task force, school start task force as well. Can I say something? You can. And I want to honor that
I’m going to be honest, I haven’t been to a
meeting in the past month because I took a new
job, so I apologize, but I will be back. But you’ve attended several. I’ve attended, but
I haven’t been there and there’s a good reason, so don’t give me
too many praises. They have a lot more
work they’re doing, so we’ll talk about that. So thank you. All right so the latest
planning duty times? The one that looks
like an ear or a mouth. Got it, perfect okay. I’d just like to introduce
myself, Jeff Dickert, Agency Administrator at CESA 7. Aaron Malczewski, our
Business Development Director and works on a lot of
these projects as well and from the
community our chair, Reid Welsh, is the
chair of the committee. So, we’re here today to talk
a little about everything. You have received,
prior to the meeting, and I know it’s up there,
we have a Google Doc that I’m sure, you’ve
gone through and
looked at everything. I’m kind of going to
take you through it and then it’s just kind
of a report to the board and then we’ll take a
few questions, okay. Planning to walk you
through it piece by piece. So if you look at the document, the task force committee
charge, you can read that but I always like to read that, we start every
meeting with that, to unbiasedly recommend to the Green Bay Area Public
Schools Board of Education school start times that
coincide with research and subsidiary issues
and that’s a big task. And so the first
thing that I have on your documents
is the timeline and we are following the
timeline fairly well. We’ve stayed on task and
we’re doing fairly well. We’re probably going to
run a little longer now as we get to it, but we really talked
about us bringing to you, a presentation to the
board around December. And we’re still on track. We’ll see if some
of the other things can keep us on that as well, but you’ll notice that, as we’ve talked previously
with some board members and so on there’s
a lot for you to do after we bring this to you. This isn’t like we’re
bringing something, you’ll go oh thanks,
Jeff and we’re all done. So there’s a lot of
things in there for you and even if there
is a recommendation or if you choose
to do something, you know we’ve really
looked at the school year starting in 2021. So, you know, I just
want to always bring that to your attention, that
there is a lot of work to do after whatever the
taskforce brings forward, so you’re ready for that. The second document you had, which you could have clicked on, is the task force members
and their attendance and Christina probably
doesn’t want to look at the last month on that, but we have members
that come and go and so on and we
have standard people that make just
about every meeting. But we march on and
continue on at each meeting and it’s very important
that we do that. We don’t step back and review, we continuously move forward. The website, The Green
Bay Public Area Schools, has really really
stepped forward and we’d like to thank
Laurie and her staff, we do have a school start
time study web presence on your website page and I even saw,
thank you Laurie, that its even one
of the lead things you have on your scroller and we’ve also put
something in the news at all of the different sites
of each one of your schools, so that there’s more
and more information and presence coming
about the task force and things that may be coming. So again, we appreciate
that and thank you Laurie. The next document is the
meeting dates and topics and this is really where
the work really came around, we’ve laid everything
out since the March 6th and we started with the
intro and then research and you can see all of
the things we’ve done. Some of the toughest work
and I’ll be honest with you, that we had to march through, was all of the
subsidiary issues, all the different things
that are going to play in from busing athletics,
kids schedules and all of the other
things that we had to study and look at, play
a big role in this and so its nothing that we
can just wipe to the side, but we put it to the side now, while we are going to run the
survey and come back to it. So this kind of gives you
an idea of where we’re at. The month off is
why we’re here today and we’re going to be talking
a little bit about the surveys so we are ready as a task force
to start doing the surveys. We need more information. We kind of got an idea
of where we all sit, the question is where
does everybody else sit, so our task force really
has come up with a tool that Aaron has created and
it’ll be a google survey, electronic version one of the restrictions is
it’ll be only one response per device. The dates that we’re talking
with Lori and them would be we’d open it on
Monday, September 23rd and then we would close it
on Monday, September 30th. And we have a meeting, I think
you announced that, Michelle, October 3rd or 2nd,
somewhere, you know, two days after this is closed. So, we need this information. It’s vital for us to stay
on schedule and to continue our work. We’ve talked with Lori and
others that the delivery mode will be through the district
email and other links in district communication
tools that you have, and we’ll be getting this out. The participants will be
the all staff, so we’ll have all district staff. And if you clicked on
it, you can see Erin’s, I guess it’s actually
Erin’s picture up there, but Erin’s created it. It shows it’s about 52 pages. It won’t be 52 pages
for each staff member. But, all the staff members
combined in the survey will make up 52 pages. So, it’s gonna look
different in the format. You’ve all received surveys
that are in SurveyMonkey, or we happen to use Google. Once you check in and you
say, you know, what you are, a classroom teacher and
what school, bang, bang, off it takes you
into the survey. And in most cases, it’s only
depending upon this or parents or so on, the most we
have is seven questions. And so, each one of the
surveys will be sent out then to staff and so you’ve seen
the all district staff. I just gave you a smaller
copies of the parents’. And we’re building that
also with the districts. And we’re working
with Lori’s staff. We’re taking care of
the Spanish conversion. They’re taking care of the
Hmong and Somalia versions. So, we’ll have that for those. And I’ve been told that
when we send them out through your system,
they recognize, through your registration in
Infinite Campus or whatever, which version they
want at their house. So, we’ll be getting that to
them and so that’ll take care of the parents. And we’ll also be doing
the students as well. And the students will be
identifying at their levels and so on. And we’ll be sending that,
somehow we gotta figure that out a little bit yet
with administration. So, we’ll be doing that as well. And then, outside of
your organization, we’ll also be sending
it to bus drivers and just seeing where they’re
at on running the routes and so on, if
times would change. And then, after that, all
of the results will help us start formulating what I
would call driving questions for the scenario
feedback sessions. And then, of course,
the data would assist us with the recommendations
to the Board of Education. So, the scenario things will
actually be a feedback section. And if you click on the last
one there, that gives you the scenario feedback. You’ll see this. It’s very similar, in a way,
to the cafes that we’ve ran for you prior. But, in this case, if you
flip over to the second page, we’re gonna get much more
specific about the input we’d like to receive. And, so, we’re gonna lay out
some scenarios that might come forward from the
different surveys. And so, I’ve just put some
sample questions there. These may or may not even
be close to the questions. But we would ask something like,
“What would be the positive “and negative effects of
starting all elementary schools “at the same time?” Then we’d listen and
we’d put stuff together. We might ask ’em about a
starting time for elementaries. We might ask ’em
for starting times for middle and secondary. We might ask, “Hey, if we
make some changes, are you for “or against a zero hour?” “Hey, if we make some changes,
are you for or against “a ninth hour, a tenth hour?” What are some of the
limitations that we can see coming forward so when we
make a recommendation to you, we’ve already kind of
vetted all of this. And, if you look on that
second page, our committee is recommending that we
would run these sessions within the four quadrants. So, we’d run it four
times, one in each quadrant for the staff members. Any staff member can attend. We would work for getting
the student feedback a little more specific. This is gonna be as specific. We’d work with the
intra-city council to get on their schedule and take
some of their time at a meeting and work with them and
get their feedbacks, representing the
students in this area. And, then, we
would work with the Superintendent’s
Parent Advisory Council and we would do the same thing. We’d have those parents be
the representative group, and we’d ask ’em some
of these questions and then get their feedback. So, it’s not as wide open as
when we had your cafe sessions and anybody from
anywhere could attend, and we were just trying to
get some generic information. These would be much more
scenario feedbacks and we want to know if we are starting
to get on the right track with some of the things that
came to us from the surveys. But, we also know from our
subsidiary issues, we have to ask those questions
’cause they’re out there. We just can’t ignore those. And then, last but not least,
our final goal would be by December 2nd, and I’m not
sure that’s gonna happen, but that’s what we kinda
promised, is we would have our final report for you. And that’ll be probably
somewhere in the
70, 80 page report. A lot of it would be documents
that we would have fed in and so on, similar to
what you’re seeing today. It’s rare anymore that
anybody’s writing and typing out 80 page reports. There’s more links to documents
that everybody would have. And then it’s something
that we can share out on the website, you can
share out at your meetings. There’ll be something that’d
be a nice live document that you could use. So, that was a lot of stuff. That’s where we’re at. That’s what we’re doing. Reed, did you have
anything you wanted to add? Reed: Thought you were gonna
throw something at me there. Well, first of all,
I commend the board for researching this. This is gonna be an
important item down the road. And I also commend
CESA Seven for their very systematic approach to
looking at this issue, too. So, I think Jeff and Aaron
have done an excellent job, as well as the committee
members that are showing up. Just, a quick background. I’m a retired educator. I was in education for
39 years and I retired as a superintendent in
Abbotsford, Wisconsin. But I spent my entire
career in Abbotsford, too, and I always felt pretty
lucky they didn’t kick me out after 39 years. But, it was a good run
and a couple years ago, because of family, we moved
over here to Green Bay. And, I have a vested
interest in public education. I think boards have a tremendous
task in front of them, and I commend the
work of any board. And the fact that you’re
taking on this issue, I think, is just that indication
of a board that wants to support kids in the
best possible way, too. Like I said, I
commend Jeff and Aaron. The meetings have been on point. Like I said, they’ve been very
sequential and systematic, and I think, by the time
we’re all said and done, the board will have the
information in front of them to make a good decision. Jeff: So, now, I guess
we’ll open it up. If you have some
questions or, if not, we’re fine with that also. Do we need to shut it off? Brenda: No. -Go ahead. Brenda: When someone else
talks, it’ll shut you off. Andrew and then Eric. Andrew: I’d like to talk
about the student input
on the committee. There, if I’m reading this
correctly, that outside of the ICSC chosen
representatives that have been to six out of the nine
meetings, that the rest of the student representatives,
if I’m reading correctly, are zero or one. Were we gonna be told
about that at some point or offered a chance
to boost or replace student representatives? Jeff: Well, it’s not my
committee or I don’t
control that. So, if you guys
would like to, yeah, we have the attendance
here for you. I don’t, I’m not as concerned,
I think the students that have been attending
do a wonderful job. Yeah, I mean, would we
like more kids to come? Well, we hold it on Wednesday
night and I’m not sure of what their interest
is at this point. I know they’ll have a lot
of interest eventually. I know that’s coming. And I think that’s
part of why we’ll talk with the Student Council
as well, when we’re there. The selection, I wasn’t
involved in the selection of any of these, but I
do know that there were quite a few interested. We had a lot of them at the
first couple of meetings, but, as everything else,
they set their own priorities of attending or not. So, yeah, I don’t have a
great answer for you there. Andrew: Yeah,
’cause when I brought
it up, we had to bring it back to you twice just to even
have your written materials, say at least five
students on it. So, I just really hope that,
and, so, when, if there were. So there were a lot of
students at the first meeting and then it tapered off? JEff: Yeah, I think
if you look at it, between the first two meetings,
there were several students that were there. And, I don’t know if it’s
rides or whatever but, yeah, there are participation, and even when you’ll see there
was, like, some parents that were there originally
and then came back three to four meetings later. We just keep moving with
the people that show up and then we’re marching forward. Andrew: Okay,
just ’cause the number
of student representation, of meetings attended by
students, are six out of nine, six of out nine, one,
zero, zero, and zero. Okay, so that means
it just really almost could make a person wonder. And the ICSC members are
the ones who were six. Are there more? JEff: One of the ICSC members
I know was one of the zeros as well, and then her brother
was also one of the zeros. I do not know about the
5th you’re talking about. Andrew: Okay. All right, that’s all I have. Brenda: Eric’s next. Eric: It’s really quick. I’m just curious about
how this got started. So, it was before I got on
the board, we were going. And so, I’m just wondering
where the conversation came from and how we got here. Michelle: Actually, if
I recall this accurately,
it was a request on Rhonda Sitnikau’s part,
asking for that and hearing. And it came up in Student
Council and we decided to take it on. Brenda: Yeah, it’s been a
request from ICSC off and on through the years. So, finally decided to take
it on ’cause it’s a big, as you can see, a
massive project. Eric: Yeah, I mean, I think
it’s one of those things that you hear about all the time
and then anytime somebody tries to suggest, you’re like,
“Well, what about busing? “And what about sports? “And what about?” And so, then, everyone’s
like, oh yeah, let’s not talk about that. So, I appreciate the– Katie: You will have the
answers in December. (laughing) Jeff: I don’t know about the
answers, but, yeah, go ahead. -Brenda, didn’t they, wasn’t
there a previous attempt, like a genuine previous
attempt some years ago to talk about this? Brenda: It’s been talked about
but we’ve never had this– -Something this– Brenda: this comprehensive
a look at it, at least not since I’ve been on the board. -All right. Brenda: Probably not prior. Rhonda, I think you’re next. Rhonda: So, I hear
your concerns, Andrew,
and I’m interested in what do you think we
should do about that? Because, obviously, I
think it would be great to have as much student voice
in this process as possible. What do you think about that? Like, what do you think
we should do about that? Andrew: I suppose, and
certainly not everyone can make all meetings, including, you
know, including board members, and that’s fine. But, I think if, I think there
must be some reasonable point where we would go
to ICSC and say, “Maybe we need a different one.” But I don’t think we have
the mechanism in place for how we make that ask yet. And, I guess, I’m
a big proponent of
ICSC being the people to fill things, either
with their own members or helping the
district find maybe some underrepresented groups
that aren’t on the council. Both ways. But, the students not,
that had nothing to do with ICSC directly,
um, have one, those two or three are, a
one, a zero, and a zero. So, obviously, whatever
method was done to get non-council member
kids didn’t work. Brenda: I thought you said there
was only one, Luke, on that list that’s not ICSC. -Yeah, could you
point out the three that you’re talking about? I’m looking. Andrew: Yeah, I just didn’t. I guess I didn’t know if I
wanted to name student names here, but– -Give the numbers. Andrew: Okay. Brneda: There’s 39, there’s 29,
looks like those are two zeros. There’s, uh, oh,
that one’s coming. Andrew: I’ve probably– Twenty-nine and 39 are
the only two I see that, do you see those? Andrew: Well, I– Brenda: Are they ICSC? -Thirty-nine is an ICSC
member and I’m not sure if 29 and 39 are related,
but they do have this, you know them. Brenda: Oh, yeah, they’re
both brother, sister. -And also their
parent is on this list and she has had zero attendance. -Yeah. -So, yeah. Brenda: Go ahead, Rhonda. Rhonda: Students, what
do you think we should do to encourage them? I think, you know, you
probably know more than anyone. What should we be
doing about this? -To get more students
involved in it? -Yeah. Rhonda: Do you have any
thoughts, I mean, how– -I mean, the survey
will help a lot. -Click here. -The survey
will help a lot. But, has, after the survey
results have been in, does student input
matter as much? Or is it just
collecting data and? Jeff: That’s a good question. So, after the surveys
are completed, then
we will come back to your council with a,
we’ll run our own session just for the students. So, then all of their input
will be, will probably add some ideas then and we’ll
be really interested in what the students
think regarding zero, I just used the example, zero
hour, 9th hour, 10th hour. How about starting at 10:30,
would you be okay with that? 9:30, 8:30, 6:30, you know. So we’ll have a lot of different
ideas and that’ll really help us drive what
the students feel. And so, you guys
as representatives,
will be a big driver in that. But, again, we’ll be asking
those same things of parents and staff as well. So, in the triad of everything,
you’re one of the three that would have influence. Brenda: After the survey. Jeff: After the survey,
that’s correct. -So, then, is it as
important for ICSC members or other students to go to
the task force meetings? If you are already? -Yeah,
another good question. Jeff: Well, after the surveys,
yeah, if they would be at the meeting, they
could also help us with the driving questions. ‘Cause what we’re going to
do at the next meeting after is take all the surveys,
Erin’ll have them all completed, and then we’re hoping
that that’s gonna lead us to some obvious questions
that we want to ask. Or, something we’ve
found out on the survey that we didn’t cover that we
wanna learn something about, that came out. And, one of the things
that’s interesting, because we do get, from the
students that did attend and from the staff and
from parents that attend, we get their ideas of
what’s very important. But that may not
be everybody’s idea of what’s very important. So, we need to take a
look at that as well. And then ask some leading
questions about that. So, yeah, so we would
like some people right after the survey,
if we could get some. Brenda: Kristina? Kristina: I just wanna make a
general comment to go back to your question as
how did this come up. It’s because it’s
what’s best for kids. But no, but
seriously, slow clap. Sorry, let’s liven
it up a little bit. No, I think one of the
first meetings that we had, I think that was what was
so, just, mind blowing, was that, people would say,
“Yeah, but” and then it’d be like, “Yeah, but the
research says this.” “Yeah, but.” “But the research says.” And, so, it was just
like this beautiful, and all of the things that
people brought up are universal. I mean, there are some
specifics to our community. There’s always going to be. But the big ticket
items, the concerns, are pretty universal. And, I just thought it was
great that the group really just kept coming back to we
can solve, it seemed like we can solve these issues
because it’s best for kids. And the way that you all have
facilitated those meetings, the ones that I’ve
been to, you have done a really nice job
elevating everyone’s voice, and I just wanted to
thank you for that. Because it’s, it is an
incredibly big project. Reed: It was an extensive review
of research, too, considering, you know. And delving into those
subsidiary issues that are gonna affect the
decision that you make down the road, so. You know, it was work. It was homework. Jeff: Oh, we still
got a lot of work. Reed: Yeah. Isn’t done yet.
-It is work. Brenda: Rhonda. Rhonda: Off the top
of your head, can you
list or maybe mention a few school districts
that are considering this or have done this
already in the last year? JEff: Well, we know Madison
Schools did some changing of their times and I believe
we’ve looked at, yeah, there in the implementation,
just starting. And I believe they only did K-8. We visited Oshkosh,
which is nearby. And Oshkosh was a
little different than you folks because Oshkosh
was in a budget crisis, two years ago, three years ago. -Three years ago. Jeff: Three years
ago, and hence, they went from a
K-12 busing situation to what you folks do currently
and run shifts of busing. Hence, you needed shifts
of school start times, and so they moved and
changed everything and had, as we found out,
very little push back because it was a budget
crisis that saved jobs. And when you save jobs and so on people are more
willing to change. So it was something
that change happened. In our case, there
isn’t any crisis, so it’s gonna be a
little different for us. So those will be the two that came out on top
of our heads here. We had heard something
about Appleton, but I haven’t confirmed anything about Appleton
doing anything yet. But those are the two we know. One moved and the
other one is moving. So that’s the kind of
two we had studied. Aaron: What was great
with the Oshkosh one was we got to kind of
hear about their process and things that
were outcomes that they didn’t see
coming as outcomes. And we got a chance to
look at that up front and be proactive and
ask those questions. And what if this
scenario happened, and what if this, what if that, how does that currently work? So really kind of
allowed us to look ahead through the lens of the
work that they’ve done before we even get
to those crossroads to understand what to look for. So that was real
helpful to go meet with Oshkosh and learn
about their process. Jeff: And we’re thinking,
maybe as we go through this whole thing and
wherever we get to it might behoove
you board afterwards in that time I said
there’s work time there. Maybe you might wanna
visit one of them and take a tour, and look at. And then, board members
to board members. Ask ’em what happened
and how do you take care of that problem
with athletic activities or extra curricular,
how’d you do that? And you’ll get some
good answers from them because if Oshkosh can
do, Green Bay can do it. Brenda: Thank you very
much for your time and for being here this evening. Michelle: Did you ask for
public comments on that? Brenda: There isn’t anybody. Michelle: Okay,
all right, so then you have the last
one, cue in Eric. Thank you.
Brenda: Thank you. And then, our last item
under superintendent’s report is the selection of
superintendent search consultant and I’m gonna turn
that over to Eric, who’s being taking a leadership
role in our research. Eric: Thanks Brenda. The selection of our
next superintendent is probably, not
probably, I think it is the most important task
that the board will perform. And, as a board, our success
in that search process is gonna affect our
entire district, our entire community
for years to come. So I think it’s
extremely important that we find the right fit. Critical components
of this search are gonna be the feedback
from and the communication with everyone in our
community including students, families, district staff,
community members and others. I think we’re
committed to a search that’s informed by
inclusive feedback that helps us to find
the best candidate. And, with this in
mind, I believe it’s in our best
interest to contract with a search firm
to lead and inform that process to ensure
that we get it right. Last Wednesday we interviewed
two search firms for consideration and had
some time to deliberate. And, since then, some of us have conducted background checks,
asked clarifying questions, and received feedback
from our community. So, with all that
information in mind, I would like to
make a motion that Hazard, Young, and
Attea Associates be contracted in an amount
not to exceed $33,500 to assist the Board of Education in the superintendent search. Katie: Second. Brenda: Rhonda? Rhonda: I have a lot of notes
written down about this, so I’m gonna try to
be clear, succinct, express myself the best I can. I have not heard from one
person that I should vote for a search firm
and that’s the truth. And that doesn’t have to do
with just social media comments. It actually has to do with, since Superintendent Langenfeld
announced her retirement, and that we would be looking
for a new superintendent, this is something that
I heard consistently. So that’s a fact
and I’m sharing that because I have to live
with this vote and decision and I think, as you said,
it’s very important. It’s a very critical vote. I have a few questions
that were on my mind, have been on my mind, but as
we’re getting around everything I just have some
questions about this so. Will the firm, if
we hire the firm, will that eliminate
the options of other people applying
for the position? What’s the answer to that? Eric: No, I think that
anybody is open to applying. In fact, that was a
question that we asked Hazard, Young, and
Attea, and they said that they will let us know
everybody who’s applied if we want to see
that information. Rhonda: Okay so, but if
there are, how are we going to direct that, in general,
if there are people out there in our community
that want to apply for this? Are they just gonna know
that that’s who they go to? Eric: Yeah, I mean, I would
imagine that there would be information posted
on our website. If you’re interested
in applying go here. Certainly Hazard, Young,
and Attea’s website, and we can promote that in
any way that we see fit. I don’t know exactly what
the application process will look like, but yes, that
will be made very public. Rhonda: So it’s true that
we’re actually going to have this on our
website as well? We’re going to be marketing
this to some degree ourselves? Eric: Absolutely. Rhonda: Okay. So the conversations
around this, in what I’ve been hearing,
what I’ve thought about, the comments are made that
we have to do the search because it will bring
us the best candidates. I’m not sure that I
understand how we know that. Because what, based
on the interview with Hazard, Young, and Attea,
I want to say it right, they provided us information for placements
that they’ve made. But the placements that
they typically made they just discuss
the amount of time that that superintendent
was there. So we’re really basing
this on a tenure. So we have superintendents
that actually stayed for four years or eight years or whatever it is, 12, 14 years. What we don’t have and
what we don’t know, and what I would
be interested in, the gentlemen who
came forward tonight and talked about a
search firm that was used for his company, or other
people that use search firms, I think it’s very
unusual to find where you have
people come forward to apply for a
job but they don’t bring you some
testimonial evidence that they actually
did something that made differences and
were game changers in regards to school districts. We don’t have any
information related to teaching and learning,
culture and climates, student achievement and
wellness, enrollment numbers. We don’t have any of that. What we know is that there were superintendents that
actually stayed, right? The discussion came from
all around the fact that they were placing them
and they were staying. As far as we know, and I
had mentioned this before, that we don’t really know
what it’s like to teach, to attend, to live
in that community. We don’t really understand
and we don’t really know and we don’t have that
information to know that, in fact, they placed
good candidates. They placed candidates, period. We don’t really know if
they placed good candidates. I think in order to
know that we would have to have information
and hard data around all of those things
that I mentioned. Frankly, I’m kind of
annoyed with myself that I didn’t ask that
but, to be honest, I think they should
have provided that. -Sorry, I was gonna ask.
-That’s okay. -You go ahead and
call the meeting. -Okay (laughing) Kristina: I think that what
you’re bringing up Rhonda is really interesting
cause it’s something that I think working
with any search firm for any hiring position,
it’s difficult to know where the search firm’s
responsibility begins and ends. Because, ultimately,
we are the ones that have to hire
the best candidate. I see their role as
increasing the likelihood of getting the best,
helping us find and mine, the best candidates possible. That doesn’t mean that
person isn’t here. But I do believe that
looking nationally and opening up as
many doors as we can and turning over as
many rocks as we can to find those folks is what will increase the likelihood
that we find them. But it’s our responsibility
to oversee that process and to hire them and to
interview that person with clarity of
what our purpose is and what our forward thinking belief is around
public education. So I think, to me,
that’s why it makes it so difficult to know
if there is an answer to your question cause
I actually looked to try to find some data on firms
of what is their likelihood. And I speculate that
perhaps that relationship between the firm and the hiring
board might make it mucky. And that doesn’t
make you feel good about your question, or
that’s not a great answer. It is unfortunate
that we live in a society that this
is, in my belief, what you have to do for
a hire of this magnitude. It would be great if the systems were so streamlined
that we could just put something out
on the internet, the internets, and
get a bunch of people. But the truth is, is that
the scope of the work, the reach of the candidates,
the depth of knowledge that these candidates
will need, the licensure, is so grand that I
can’t imagine us. Now, if we were
full time employees and we all did this
as our full time job and we could spend
50 hours a week working on this,
that would be great. But I worry about us
being able to reach those candidates with
our time limitations. I just wonder about
the possibility and the likelihood that we’d be able to reach all those people. So, sorry I’m rambling,
but that’s yeah. Rhonda: Thank you. But when Hazard, Young,
and Attea, spoke to, and I had asked the
question personally, I said “So what does
your reach look like?” Because the discussion
we hear often is about a national reach,
a broad reach, right? Broad is the term. I asked, “What are the
numbers around that because you don’t
have it included? So do you happen to
know when someone actually employs
you and they pay for a broad national reach,
what does that look like?” And they said, “80% regional
local and 20% more broad.” So when I hear those
numbers I’m not feeling that that’s what I’m going to be
getting in the first place. So those numbers
themselves don’t tell us that we are ensuring the reach and the broad reach
that we’re desiring. -Go ahead. Eric: Andrew I’ll let you go. Andrew: Okay, so I have
my rule about needing to be 85% or more
okay with something, otherwise I’d have to vote no. On the topic of whether or not to have a search
firm, I am rock solid, 100% that we need to
have a search firm and my preferred firm,
by a substantial margin, is Hazard, Young, Attea. I think it’s not
likely that our next superintendent will
come from outside of Wisconsin or a
surrounding state. But that’s not the reason that I’m okay with paying
a search firm. Yes I did mention in the
open interviews that I did raise some concern
that the finalist with one of the firms
one of the times was, not only Wisconsin,
but within 100 miles. But what a firm can do
that we can’t individually, collectively, and
I’ve been asked some of these questions too. “Well can’t you just screen
resume’s, what about your HR?” And I would go, “Yep, yep
our HR can screen resume’s, they’re excellent at it,
they do it all day everyday. And, yep, they could do it for superintendents just as
well as everyone else.” But, what’s different is,
for the 99.9% of hiring we do that isn’t
a superintendent, the conventional
systems make sense. They work, but you’d
need to reach out and that was a reason
that I was concerned about certain search
firms who would have, who weren’t among the
final interviewees that may of had
membership conflicts that they couldn’t approach a
sitting superintendent. I think it’s very important
that we’re working with someone who
has a wide network, that can and will
approach people who are happily working and
try to get them to apply. In addition to, yes,
there are a certain number of people who already
have made up their mind to apply before we ever
chose to use a firm. And maybe among that list
is our final candidate. But this is too
important not to know, not do everything we
can to know for sure. Which involves a
search firm for me. (low conversation) Katie: I agree with you Andrew,
I intend to support this. They did provide five
pages of superintendent search history and
references in the PDF that we used when
we were screening. It’s on pages 19 through 23. So those are people
that could be contacted. I think longevity in a
superintendency speaks well. If a superintendent
isn’t working out, they’re not likely, or
they’re not doing good things for the district
they’re not likely to stay in the
district for very long. So I don’t find the
longevity, off-putting at all. Rhonda: I would emphatically
disagree with that statement. Katie: That’s your right. Eric: Any other discussion? Laura: Also I just wanna
note that it would be highly inappropriate
to have in-house people screening
for their next boss. (low conversation) Eric: You were
making that comment just in general,
not in response to.. Brenda: Well it’s in
general, it’s why we need, your comment is why we
need to have a search firm so that we aren’t asking our HR staff to screen
their next boss. Eric: Okay. Rhonda: Under no
circumstance would I be asking that to be happening. I fully understand the conflicts with that as well, for sure. But it’s kind of a, it’s like a bird in the hand thing,
we have to do it, right? We feel like we have to do it. But I’m not doing it knowing
that this firm has made, our district needs a game
changer, we need a champion. I have no evidence in my hands or in my fingertips
or access to know that that’s actually what
I’m doing today. So, for me personally, it’s
like well, okay, why not. But that’s not really
what this is in general. And again, I feel
like if it was such a, there a lot of people, not
even just on social media, that have said this to me
in the last few months. This is the status quo, it’s
doing it the way we’ve done it. You made some changes,
I appreciate that. But it is what we’ve done so. Eric: Any other questions? Kristina: Oh, sorry, Andrew. This is an honest question
for you cause I really want to know what your
opinion is on this. Do you think that a school
district of our size, with the board that we
have, I’m not gonna us, do you think that we
would have the capacity to go through all of the things that we would need to
do to hire, source, all of the pieces
that go into it? Do you think that
we have the capacity and the skill to do that? Rhonda: I think our
community has that capacity. Kristina: Yes, but
we would be the ones that would have to lead that. So we would have
to be the leaders in all of that process,
the whole process. So do you think that we
have the capacity here to lead the community
through that process? Rhonda: I have to think that
altering a school start time and all the logistics
involved and what goes into it all of what that’s
gonna look like, I think that’s significantly
more difficult than this. I don’t know if
it’s more important, but if we’re
talking about what’s more significantly
difficult, I would say that change is actually
more difficult logistically. So knowing that, I
mean, we have CESA 7, who are fantastic and
they’ve done great work. I just wonder about if,
because I don’t know if anybody really imagines
that we’re all sitting around. Is it impossible to go
into our own community and work with people who,
because we already know that Hazard, they’ve mentioned, and they’ve been
honest they’ve said, 80% of our candidates
are regional local. They already told us this. We know this. So I’m not sure if the goal
is reach, a broad reach, we’re not buying
that with $33,000. We know this. If the goal is to take
the pressure off of us, I do believe that
there are things that I would think there’s
people in this community that have the,
they have, we have a lot of resources
in our community. We have a lot of people that
can do some amazing things. I can’t imagine that
we would discount that or maybe not even consider it. Because I feel like if I knew, if it was even reversed,
if it was 20% of the people were not, it was regional local. And they were able to go
and far and lift every rock and they grabbed urban
school districts, these great
superintendents or leaders and brought them
forward, but that’s just not what they’re,
they’re not saying that. They’re not telling us that. They’re telling us that 80%
of the time it was regional. So, that’s, I just, I’m
kind of caught up on that. Andrew: If I thought there
was a way to do it ourselves I’d certainly be
more open to that. But what I just can’t get
past is I don’t think, and if the resource does exist. Well, in fact there
were, some of the bidders were firms that included
people closer to home. But they were
still search firms. I mean that’s what we’ve put the bid out for
was search firms. Ultimately, for
me, I don’t see how we’re going to, how
we would find enough people with enough
specialty knowledge. I mean, first of all,
let’s just pretend no one from around,
from outside of Wisconsin or surrounding
state will apply. I hope they do and
I think some will, but let’s just say
we knew for sure it was gonna be all regional. I don’t know where we
go to find resources. It’s not like we can,
well actually, we could. We could take, we
could have a meeting and closed session and
decide about which, who’s gonna contact
which superintendents. But let’s just say
we had enough time to do that for all the good ones in the multi-state
region and try to get the sitting
ones to come to us. They’re probably not gonna
give us the time of day. But if they have an
established relationship with someone that they’ve
known through work and they’re part of their
state over the years, which I think Hazard
can bring to us, those conversations might happen that would never happen with someone just
approaching them cold. And to me it’s all
about the ability to recruit people who
are happily working and try to get them
to come here anyways. And I want those people
to be in the pool and if we tried to
do it ourselves, there would be far fewer them. And it would be almost
nobody who’s not looking. That’s what I would say. Eric: Any other comments? Rhonda: For me,
personally, the goal is not to recruit
someone who’s happily working and to bring them here. My goal is to
bring, like I said, somebody that’s going to
come in here and champion and be a game-changer
because they have already. It’s also worth mentioning that the members of
that organization, they came from
districts that have, they all came from
districts that had like 3,000, 4,000 students
in their district. So, I’m not also convinced that they have the
expertise when it comes to an urban school district
with significant needs. I mean, there’s that as well. So I’m not sure I
understand the risk because I don’t
have in front of me someone that has a broad reach. I don’t have in front
of me people that have experience in urban
school districts. I don’t have in front
of me information that they actually
place superintendents and that they
actually went forward and made significant changes
when it comes to teaching and learning, enrollment
numbers, culture and climate. I don’t have that
in front of me. But on top of that
and the cherry and the thing I
always talk about and it means a
lot, I have no one telling me to vote
for a search firm. So I will not be
supporting this. Eric: All right,
any other questions? All right, called to vote, what do you say, call to vote? Brenda: Vote closing. Sandy, do your thing. (group laughter) Sandy: McCoy?
Laura: Aye. Sandy: Shelton?
Kristina: Aye. Sandy: Becker?
Andrew: Aye. Sandy: Maloney?
Katie: Aye. Sandy: Sitnikau?
Rhonda: No Sandy: Warren?
Brenda: Aye. Sandy: Vanden Heuvel?
Eric: Aye. Brenda: Carried six
one, thanks Eric. Eric: Yup. Michelle: Eric, can you
remind me what was the total? Eric: 33,500, it will
not exceed that number. And, in fact, we
will have control over kind of how much we spend. So it will never
exceed that amount and will most likely be
less and that’ll be up to us to make those
decisions in terms of advertising or things
of that nature. Michelle: Thank you. Andrew: Do we still
have our people negotiate a contract with them? -I have in the past with other districts that I’ve worked for. Andrew: Okay, I just
don’t, I’m just not, we’re a big player
and quite frankly, I don’t believe in
paying sticker price. And we’ve had very good results in contract negotiations before. So maybe we can get
even a little better. If not on the base
price, maybe a little differential on one of
the add-ins or something. Brenda: All right, thanks Eric. Let’s see, next is Intra
City Student Council Report. I’ll turn that over to Luke. Luke: All right,
so clubs are starting up and as far as I know
they’re going well. It’s cool to see all
the announcements. Especially at my school
of people joining clubs and all that and having
the freshmen get involved. Fall Sports are halfway done
which is surprising to me. It’s really crazy. Cross Country is more
than halfway done. It’s different for football,
it goes a little bit later. Homecoming starting up, our
school’s homecoming is Saturday. I don’t know about… The other? Yeah, I know that other
schools are later, but we’re all excited for that. We have the Green Bay Area
Public School Marching Showcase October 5th which is
a really cool event. And this year the Blue
Gold Marching Band from Eau Claire, Wisconsin
is coming to join us. There’ll be over a thousand
students on the field playing, and so we’re all very
excited about that. And then, as for ICSC
for a dress code update, we, am I allowed to, okay. (group laughter) We have a draft, it’s
not completed or ready to be proposed at all,
but we have a draft that has been made
and I like it. (group laughter) -Keep talking
Luke, keep talking. Luke: All right, am I allowed
to say any specifics? -On concepts, absolutely. Luke: Okay, some of the
specifics of the concepts of the draft would be,
again this is a draft, this is not going to
be proposed for sure. But, that students, the
whole gender-bias of male and female would
be kind of destroyed. Especially in middle
schools regarding straps and shorter shirts, oh
my gosh, shorter shorts. (group laughter) -It’s a long night Luke. Luke: Hats would be allowed
in school on all levels, and those are obviously
the two biggest pieces. And we have met with
all the principals. Me, Hannah, our Vice President
and Nora, our secretary. We’ve met with all
the principals of
the school districts. High schools and middle schools to talk about it and
it’s been really cool to see their different
perspectives. And we had our first
meeting of the year, just last weekend, so that’s it. -Thanks Luke. Brenda: All right,
thank you Luke. All right, let’s see
next is District Events. I don’t know if there’s anything anybody wants to announce right? And then we’ll move on to Board Members School
Visits update. Is there anybody, I’ll start. I had a great,
actually ended up twice at N.E.W. School of
Innovation and then also, John Dewey Academy and
just talking with some of the teachers there
about how excited they are for the
new school year. Especially of course
the N.E.W. Innovation, cause that’s all brand new. Just some teachers
that are really, this was before school started, just really excited to get
the school year started and really some innovative
approaches to teaching. So it’ll be exciting to see what opportunities those
students have this year. Kristina? Kristina: I’ve been to a few,
but I just wanna share one thing that I thought
was really awesome about the new charter
school in JDAL was the exploration of
gender neutral bathrooms to ensure inclusivity
of not only the students but also the staff and
that was really intentional on their building planning
and it just sort of brought a larger conversation
with the GLSEN folks and GS, Gay, Straight, yeah GSA sorry I’m getting
my letters right. Just about inclusivity
around the district and just, it’s just fun
to have conversations with our students and staff
when they feel empowered to really make bold decisions and they can just do
it and they know that it’s what’s best for
our school building. So, it was just really inspiring and I am really
looking forward to hearing what comes
out of that building. The lessons learned,
and what the great work, because I really see those
pieces being integrated into all of our schools
across the district. So I just wanted to share that. Brenda: Eric? Eric: For more personal
reasons I spend time at both Red
Smith and at OAK. The construction
process at Red Smith is amazing to see
how fast they’re, I can see no one wants to
lay cinder blocks in the snow so they are moving, but
it’s great to see that. And then, the new
facility at OAK, not quite ready for
the kids to move into. So, we’re still
following the old process but I talked to
James this morning and he said that they’re
like two to three weeks out for them getting in their
new space, so that’s great. And then the only other
school I had a chance to get into was to take
a tour of the new Baird. Just what a beautiful
facility for our students and I can’t imagine
for those fourth or fifth grade
students who’ve been in the old Baird for
their entire career and now get rewarded with
this beautiful facility that they’ve been
waiting so long for. So, that’s it. Brenda: Is your hand up? Go ahead. Rhonda: I was invited in to
visit Lombardi actually prior to school starting
and had a nice lengthy visit with
the principal there. And I also went to see
the new OAK building last week and got a tour and was able to see that space as well. And then I received
an invite to come back to Lombardi to see the
new orchestra room, which I will be doing
hopefully next week. Brenda: Katie? Katie: I attended SAIL and it’s
an acronym and I don’t know. It was a professional
development for learning teens from Washington and
Franklin at Washington. I had the opportunity
to pop in and meet with some of
the staff there. I spent two or three
days moving furniture at Howe Elementary
School because I made the mistake of
walking down the hallway with the dolly and
then making eye contact with someone who
needed something moved. (laughs) So I did that, then attended
Howe’s family gathering. Their open house turns
into a community party in the afternoon, attended that. And also attended the Back to
School readings that you did. Brenda: Laura? Laura: I went to a
lot of the same things. The WildLife Sanctuary,
the tour at Baird. The SAIL training, I
spent the morning there. That was really interesting. Listening to Franklin
and Washington Middle School teams
make their way through this
professional development. I learned a lot. Went to the open house at the N.E.W. School of Innovation,
I hadn’t been in there. Outside of that building
is not, I gotta say, from my point of view
not terribly appealing. But when I went
inside, I was really, really struck at
how beautiful it is and they’ve done such
a good job there. Jason gave me a tour
and he has a lot to be proud of, he and his team. I was at Fort Howard today for the big check, Boys
and Girls Club check. And then I had a lot
of fun going last week to the 9/11 Bleacher
Climb at West. Giant room full of
kids, sweaty kids, climbing the bleachers
and just a lot of really good energy
and a lot of various, groups coming together
to commemorate 9/11. I had a really, it
was, I don’t wanna say I had a good time cause
its a solemn occasion. But the kids were great and
I’m really glad I went to that. That’s it. Brenda: Okay, oh Andrew? Andrew: I’m looking to
do more over the next month and get into a bunch
of different schools. I did go to N.E.W.
and Dewey twice over the last month
and it’s really having, at one time, my
full-time employment was in that building and
just seeing what’s been done since then is really,
really amazing inside. I didn’t want to
just to go on notice cause this area checked
into long before Kristina was on the
board but it is great that they have made
sure to be cognizant of gender neutral bathrooms
in the buildings there. And I also, as of
several years ago, verified that we have that
option in all of our buildings and multiple options in
all but the tiniest ones. So, had been doing that,
and it’s great to see it be addressed right upfront
in a new building too. Brenda: Okay, next is our
Teaching and Learning Report and that’ll be facilitated
by Katie Maloney. Katie: We have no action items
and that concludes my report. Brenda: All right,
thank you Katie. Katie: Set the
bar a little high. Brenda: Next is
Organizational Support and that’ll be facilitated
by Andrew Becker. Andrew: We have one discussion,
public comment and action item. I move that the
Board Of Education minutes and annual
notices be posted in the Press Times
with meeting notices posted in the Green
Bay Press Gazette. Kristina: Second. Brenda: Sandy? Sandy: Warren?
Brenda: Aye. Sandy: Becker?
Andrew: Aye. Sandy: McCoy?
Laura: Aye. Sandy: Sitnikau?
Rhonda: Aye. Sandy: Maloney?
Katie: Aye. Sandy: Shelton?
Kristina: Aye. Sandy: Vanden Heuvel?
Eric: Aye. Brenda: Carried seven zero. Andrew: I’ll move the consent
items as presented be approved? Kristina: Second. Brenda: Sandy? Sandy: Sitnikau?
Rhonda: Aye. Sandy: Maloney?
Katie: Aye. Sandy: Warren?
Brenda: Aye. Sandy: McCoy?
Laura: Aye. Sandy: Vanden Heuvel?
Eric: Aye. Sandy: Shelton?
Kristina: Aye. Sandy: Becker?
Andrew: Aye. Brenda: Carried seven zero. I will now entertain a
motion for adjournment. Katie: So moved. Brenda: Is there a second? Eric: Second. Brenda: All in favor? All: Aye. Brenda: Opposed,
we are adjourned. (even tempo music) Announcer: You
have been watching the Green Bay Area Public School District’s Board of
Education meeting. Please visit the school
district’s website, to view
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