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Somerset School Board Meeting

Thursday, May 28, 2009 - 11:41am

REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION SCHOOL DISTRICT OF SOMERSET March 23, 2009 Minutes Gunther moved, with second by Moulton to move to Executive Session in Accordance with Wis. Statutes 19.85 (1), (c) for the purpose of discussing performance, compensation, and benefit data of administrators, teachers, support staff, and supervisory support staff employees at 5:45 p.m. Motion carried unanimously. Roll Call was taken. Present were Tim Witzmann, Marie Colbeth, Catherine Cranston, Robert Gunther, Marin Hansch, and Brian Moulton. Absent was Mike Connor. Colbeth moved, with second by Moulton, to move into open session at 7:00 p.m. Motion carried unanimously. Colbeth moved, with second by Moulton, to approve the agenda. Motion carried unanimously. Witzmann read the rules for groups or individuals wishing to be heard; no one came forward. The Somerset Board of Education was unable to recognize special education instructor Nancy Klaas as the 2009 Kohl Fellowship Recipient this evening. Ms. Klaas will be rescheduled to attend the April 20, 2009 meeting. Moulton moved, with second by Colbeth, to approve the Consent Agenda: A. Approval of Minutes of the Regular Session of February 16, 2009 B. Approve payment of February/March Board Bills C. Approve hiring of Mollie Leiser as long term substitute for Early Childhood Special Education teacher D. Approve hiring of Kelly Walczak as long-term 4th Grade substitute teacher E. Approve retirement of Elementary School Special Education Teacher Cynthia Isaac F. Approve resignation of Special Education Aide Kimberly Barta G. Approve Youth Options Applications H. Approve early graduation of Michael Collins, Amanda Colombo, Lindi Damico, Heidi Martell, Jenny Nelson, Shayleen Ottman, and Page Secrest

I. Approve Spring Coaching Assignments for the 2008-09 season J. Approve Post-Prom Facility Sponsorship and $1,200 Facility Fee K. Approve 2009-2010 School Calendar Motion carried. Russ Kiviniemi of Cedar Corporation presented preliminary plans of the campus second driveway North Access Road. Kiviniemi said Somerset Village Public Works Department suggested placing a notification sign at the driveway's entrance informing drivers it is not a public street. Board asked how significant soil boring tests are on the north end of the campus with low, wetland areas. Kiviniemi stated that, if needed, the low-lying areas would be sand lifted, but it would be localized and other options could be looked at. Cedar Corp suggested the district work with Xcel Energy for lighting of the walk/bike trail as Xcel provides this as a service and may be more cost effective for the district. Xcel Energy also maintains the lights and poles. Xcel offers two different styles of lighting. Board asked Kiviniemi to work with Xcel on a cost estimate of the two lighting designs. Witzmann stated the school district is interested in "going green." Kiviniemi said going green, such as with LED lighting, is very expensiveĆ³approximately two to three times more than standard lighting. He also was not sure if Xcel offers "green" lights, but will look into it. Kiviniemi stated that, working with Xcel, they would be able to get the lighting started in June. Witzmann thanked Rosburg for informing the Meadows residents of plans for the driveway access and receiving feedback from them. Kiviniemi presented information on driveway bids and contracts for Alternatives 1 and 2, stating the bids are solely for the driveway, with no sidewalks included. Kiviniemi recommended Alternative #1 as the least costly of the two options. Board members discussed the question of future expandability of the high school building if using Alt #1, but agreed it provided a better route. Kiviniemi stated the radius of the curve in Alt #1 could be altered somewhat. Asked how much expanding the roadway in Alt #1 would cost, Kiviniemi said approximately $35,000 to $45,000, or about $70 a linear foot. He said Cedar Corp is trying to work grades to hopefully avoid a retaining wall on the north end of the campus. Kiviniemi also spoke to the proposed Cedar Corp contract, stating the contract is split between design, planning and engineering services ($3,500) and construction services ($2,400). The Facility Committee will meet in April to look at final plans, timelines, and project bidding to bring forward to the full board. Board discussed the North Access Road and walk/bike trail lighting plan, and agreed having a trail on both the east and west side of the road was functional. Some discussion regarding whether or not the entrances will be wide enough for turning movement of cars, buses and trucks. Gunther stated that the standard for entrances is 22 or 24 feet wide to accommodate two-way traffic, noting that the Somerset Village standard is 24 feet. Gunther said he felt the district would be fine with a 22 feet-wide entrance.

Moulton gave a recap of the results of the Inclement Weather Survey provided to parents/guardians of school children. Though the district has not delayed school for over 17 years, the results of the survey found most parents supported school start delays due to weather. Board members felt the results of this survey should be made available on the district web site and at the fall school Open House, along with inclement weather information. Witzmann said he appreciated Rosburg getting this feedback from parents. Business Services Manager Robert Avery reported on 2009-2010

Budget Development, bringing the board's attention to changes in revenue variables in the budget. He said there were no requests for new staff, but replacement staff would be needed. Avery also reported on the potential fiscal impact of the open enrollment process, stating the open enrollment information provided had been updated as a result of the Teaching and Learning Committee's recent meeting. No action was required for lawn care bidding at this time as the lawn care contract is a two-year contract. Rosburg stated health care policies were reviewed at the March Governance Committee and were brought forward this evening for a first reading. He said the committee reviewed the policies which were clarified and updated, with no significant changes. They will be brought back to the board in April for a second reading and approval. Witzmann discussed the "Big Idea" initiative, saying this information was presented at a recent WASB convention and placed on tonight's agenda for review. Witzmann said this initiative may be a good opportunity for the board to meet with the community as it is designed to give more time for dialogue with staff and community. Witzmann asked board members to contact Witzmann or Superintendent Rosburg for any feedback on the initiative. Superintendent Rosburg reviewed current school enrollment numbers at 1,593 JK through 12th grade, stating numbers are down slightly. Upcoming committee meetings tentatively slated for Monday, April 6, 2009 include Facilities, Teaching & Learning, Business Services and Governance Committees. A Board of Canvassers session is scheduled for April 8, 2009, to verify results of the April 7th election. Board members chose Robert Gunther to participate on this year's Board of Canvasser's meeting. Rosburg stated this year's Board Retreat is scheduled for Monday, April 27, 2009 from 5-9:00 p.m. The board will review district goals at the retreat, and how the goals mesh with the strategic plan. Board members will also review a draft strategic plan for next year. Board members agreed to hold the retreat in the district office board room. Rosburg added that he has been talking with DNR personnel about removing trees from the North Access Road area. He felt the district could sell the trees if they are marketable, and sell the smaller trees for pulpwood. The trees range in diameter between 4" to 10" or bigger. Rosburg will bring more information before the board after continued talks with the DNR. Board member Cranston provided an update on CESA 11 happenings. She said CESA is responsible for the Head Start program, which is currently undergoing a federal review. CESA board members will become more involved in the Head Start federal review. Cranston said CESA is providing Smart Board training opportunities for staff development purposes through the STAR Academy program. Witzmann reported on many upcoming school events for community involvement including the Empty Bowls event at the high school. He stated the recent music and arts festival was nicely done at the middle school, and gave kudos to the art and music staff, stating they did a great job again with the festival. Elementary School Principal Cherrie Wood provided a building update, stating that currently 89 Jr. Kindergarten children have completed registration for the next school year, compared to 56 students at this time last year. She said 115 Kindergarten students are currently enrolled for next year, with these numbers looking high compared to last year's numbers. Upcoming elementary school events during April and May include a career fair on May 8; area community members have been invited to talk to students about what they do for a living. Wood extended an invitation to board members to talk with students as well. Wood stated students continue working on various thematic units. Business Manager Robert Avery provided a review of the year to date cash flow, stating tax receipts are coming in behind projections. Avery said the district should do alright with the projected cash flow, but will continue to monitor the projections. Avery then reviewed budget development issues, stating the open enrollment chart was updated to reflect the recent Teaching and Learning Committee meeting. He said administration is working on their budgets and will present them to Avery for review. The budgets will be brought forward to the May and June Business Services Committee meetings. Avery said he became aware of the need for a third Jr. Kdgn route in late February. If the board were to approve the route, he is hoping to implement it next week. Darren Kern, Director of Pupil Services, was unable to attend tonight's meeting. Rosburg said specific questions relating to special education, gifted/talented or ELL programs may be directed to Kern during the week. Ron Berg, Director of Curriculum & Instruction, reported the district's math adoption committee meets this week to implement a change in the math program at the middle school to expand 7th and 8th grade math opportunities. Berg said the district received formal approval for Project Lead the Way and will have meetings to get the project underway. Berg said letters will go out to community members inviting them to become part of an elementary foreign language committee to discuss what foreign language should be taught at the elementary level. Berg added that the district strategic plan will be brought to the board for review at its board retreat. Johanna Smith reported on student happenings during the Student Council Report portion of the meeting. She stated student council members completed the benefit fund raiser for the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society, which brought a total of $883.25 funds raised. Juniors continue their work on promenade backdrops for the April 25th Junior Prom. Most seniors have ordered their graduation caps and gowns for graduation. High School Principal Shawn Madden read the names of February students of the month, congratulating them and the help of staff for their continued success with the Character Education program. Madden said he and several other staff will be attending an upcoming seminar in Chicago for enhancement training for Character Education. Madden reminded members that staff and students will be hosting the Empty Bowls event this Thursday and invited everyone to attend. Madden said the green and healthy team has 20 members, with some re-designing for this year's green group. The high school guidance and health care providers have been doing great things since the beginning of the school year; Madden said this has been a tremendous benefit for all students. Middle School Principal Rick Lange extended congratulations to the district's music and art instructors for the wonderful job on this year's Fine Arts Festival. Eighth grade students are working on a Holocaust thematic unit. Area community members have given various presentations to the students regarding the Holocaust and its effects. Students will be taking a field trip to Park Square Theatre to see The Diary of Anne Frank performance. Fifth grade is working on a Westward Movement thematic unit. The 6th grade class changed their units to "Think Green" and will look at green inventions which impact the community and world. Destination Imagination students will compete at an upcoming event in Chippewa Falls. The middle school will hold play performances for their play, "The Universe and Other Stuff," on April 3, 4, and 5, 2009. Students will participate in the "Hoops for Hearts" American Heart Association fundraiser event on April 9th. On behalf of the Facilities Committee, Cranston moved, with second by Moulton, to approve the driveway bids and contracts for Alternatives 1 and 2 with Cedar Corp. Some board members asked for clarification of the motion and wanted to include some of those items presented by Mr. Russ Kiviniemi of Cedar Corp at tonight's meeting. Cranston moved to amend, with second by Moulton, the motion to read as follows: Approve driveway bids and contracts for Alternatives 1 and 2 with Cedar Corp for the total planning, engineering, design, bidding and construction services up to $5900. Motion carried. On behalf of the Facilities Committee, Moulton moved, with second by Cranston, to approve the North Access Road and walk/bike trail lighting plan. After some board discussion to clarify design and purchasing of street lighting systems, Moulton moved to amend, with second by Cranston, to approve North Access Road and walk/bike trail lighting plan with Xcel Energy. Motion carried. On behalf of the Facilities Committee Moulton moved, with second by Witzmann, to approve prioritized capitol maintenance projects for budgeting purposes. Rosburg informed board members that the goal of the motion lays out a time line and prioritization of the district's capital maintenance projects which is a priority list the Business Services Department will build into the budget. Having the list prioritized gives the Business Services Department the opportunity to deal with them one at a time. Moulton moved to amend the motion, with second by Witzmann, to approve proposed prioritized capitol maintenance projects for budgeting purposes. Motion carried. On behalf of the Facilities Committee, Moulton moved, with second by Cranston, to approve the Athletic Out-Building Floor Plan. Hansch asked when the public will be approached for fundraising. She asked that the public have a complete list of what the total cost of the project will be including costs for items such as lockers, sewer, water, landscaping, etc., so the public may see what is being requested and that the district will not need to come back at a later date for more money. Motion Carried. On behalf of the Human Resources Committee, Witzmann moved, with second by Colbeth, to approve making up two inclement weather days. The two make-up days are slated for Friday, June 12, and Monday, June 15, 2009. Rosburg provided some background information regarding this recommendation, stating that, due to inclement weather days and school closings, the district was two days short of the DPI requirements for school days. Summer school will start one day late, on Tuesday, June 16 with Brad and Sandy Nemec as summer school coordinators once again this year. Motion carried. On behalf of the Teaching and Learning Committee, Cranston moved, with second by Hansch, to accept eight currently attending students for open enrollment who are reapplying due to change of buildings, accept seven currently attending students who are attending on tuition waiver, approve one currently attending student who may be moving out of the district, deny open enrollment to five new students consisting of one elementary school student, one middle school student, and three high school students, and approve all student applications to transfer out of Somerset School District. Motion

carried. On behalf of the Teaching and Learning Committee, Witzmann moved, with second by Moulton, to approve adding a third mid-day JK bus route. Avery provided some information for the proposed third route, stating there have been behavioral issues on the two routes with many four-year-olds sitting together in limited seating and the routes have been long. A third route will help to cut down on behavior issues and allow faster transporting of students. After no further discussion, motion carried. Motion by Colbeth, with second by Hansch, to move to Executive Session in Accordance with Wis. Statutes 19.85 (1), (c) for the purpose of discussing performance, compensation, and benefit data of administrators, teachers, support staff, and supervisory support staff employees at 9:35 p.m. Motion carried unanimously. Colbeth moved, with second by Gunther, to adjourn at 10:00 p.m. Motion carried. Tim Witzmann, President Catherine Cranston, Clerk