regular meeting of the board of education
school district of somerset
May 18, 2009 Minutes
Roll Call was taken. Present were Tim Witzmann, Brian Moulton, Catherine Cranston, Marie Colbeth, Mike Connor, Robert Gunther and Marin Hansch.
Moulton moved, with second by Connor, to amend the agenda to move the "Approve Contract #4 for North Access Road and Walk/Bike Trail to Belisle Excavating," item to the second item on the agenda. Motion carried unanimously.
Cranston moved, with second by Colbeth, to move into 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 6:01 p.m. Motion carried unanimously.
Connor moved, with second by Hansch, to move into open session at 6:45 p.m. Motion carried unanimously.
Groups or Individuals Wishing To Be Heard
Witzmann read the rules for this portion of the meeting. No one came forward.
Approve Contract #4 for the North Access Road and walk/bike trail to Belisle Excavating
Cranston moved, with second by Moulton, to approve contract #4 for the North Access Road and walk /bike trail to Belisle Excavating. Russ Kivienimi of Cedar Corporation said nine sets of bid proposals were sent out, with five received and Belisle Excavating the lowest of the five. He said the award recommendation came in well below estimates and below the district's budget, including lighting construction. Kivienimi added the lighting costs from Excel Energy are coming in very favorable. Bid package #4 was a combination of three schedules--Schedule A for the North Access Road, Schedule B for the bus access driveway around the high school, and Schedule C for radius or
turn around improvements. Kivienimi stated a preconstruction meeting will be held in approximately two weeks. The project timeline is for construction to start immediately after the 2008-09 school session ends, with an anticipation of the project to be completed prior to the start of the new school year. There being no further discussion, the motion carried unanimously.
The Board of Education recognized Student Council Representative Johanna Smith for the great job she did throughout the year representing the high school student body during board meetings; President Witzmann said Smith was a tremendous asset to the board. High School Principal Shawn Madden thanked Smith for her dedication, stating she did a wonderful job of representing the high school student body at board meetings. Smith thanked the board and
introduced her parents.
The board recognized the 2009 State FBLA participants including Katie Carlson, Anna Christiansen, Ashley Duggan, Megan Duggan, Aminah Henne, Jacob Lange, Tyler Lindquist, MacKenzie Ott, Elizabeth Ottman, Jacob Perkins, Anne Plourde, Johanna Smith, Natalie Strese, and Rachel VanDam. Advisor Gwen Hennessey provided some background information leading up to state level. Hennessey said the group received a National Gold Merit Seal from
the state and indicated this may be the first time Somerset schools have receive the gold seal since 1999. Hennessey said it was an honor for the FBLA chapter and said the group did a great job. Connor awarded the participants with a certificate of achievement and thanked them for their hard work.
The board recognized the 2009 State Forensics participants including Dakota Belter, Alexandra Butler, Katie Carlson, Jered Deal, Anthony Howe, Katherine Kippes, Elizabeth Ottman, Johanna Smith, and Rachel Van Dam. Advisor Jeanne Germain said all nine members went to state, with some members performing group entries and some
performing individual entries. Germain described in summary each student's event. Moulton presented certificates to the students, thanking them for the good job they did and commenting that it was nice to see so many students involved in the many activities the school has to offer.
The board recognized the 2009 State Solo Ensemble Choir participants including Brittney Anderson, David Blair, Dana Carlson, Cylie Colbeth, Brianna Crichton, Joseph Egon, Holly Germain, Gina Hanzlik, Joseph Hinke, Riley Jackson, Jessica Lammers, Tayler Miller, Elizabeth Ottman, Amanda Prax, Hailey Ritter, Johanna Smith, and Natalie Strese. Advisor Rachel Erickson stated this year there was an unusually large number of students representing Somerset at the state level. She said Junior student Jessica Lammers received two outstanding awards. Erickson added there were many students who participated in more than one event. She said the Dynamics group received a first at state as well, and had been invited to perform the National Anthem at an upcoming Twins/Brewers game. Colbeth presented certificate awards to the students and thanked the advisors for their work with the students.
The board recognized 2009 State Solo Ensemble Instrumental participants including Alexandra Butler, Dana Carlson, Katie Carlson, Joseph Hinke, Megan Mitchell and Johanna Smith. Advisor Andrew Emerson said this group of students had an outstanding year, with eight events going on to state solo ensemble and receiving outstanding results. Emerson said some of the students performed multiple events and summarized all of the events which were performed by the students. Colbeth presented the students with certificates stating they had represented the district well. Witzmann then called on all graduating seniors present from these groups and asked each of them to state their plans after graduation.
The 2009 State Destination Imagination participants were not in attendance and will be recognized at the June board meeting. Meeting was recessed at 7:35 p.m., and reconvened at 7:50 p.m.
Colbeth moved, with second by Hansch, to approve the consent agenda, with a correction to the April 27th special session agenda to remove Colbeth's name from the moved to portion of the board treasurer nomination.
Approve Minutes of the Regular Session of April 20, 2009 of the School Board
Approve Minutes of special session of April 27, 2009 of the School Board
Approve payment of April/May Board Bills
Approve resignation of High School Science Teacher Erik Olson
Approve coaching and advising assignments
Approve renewal of annual TeacherInsight contract for one year for $3,250.00
Colbeth stated the Business Services Committee met and reviewed the 3rd quarter "Budget-to-Actual" analysis document, as well as the 2009-10 budget development document. Reports were presented in a very detailed and concise format. Colbeth thanked Bob Avery for keeping the committee up to date on budget items. Colbeth stated the
committee also reviewed the OPEB Valuation Draft Report for informational purposes and discussed the accrued liability, stating it is half of what it was three years ago.
Moulton reported that the Facilities Committee also met earlier in May to discuss exterior brick repair and repairs to the food service exhaust fan needed at the middle school. He said Tom Hanley from SDS Architects will bid out these projects on behalf of the school district. The Business Services Committee hopes to come back at the June board of education meeting with a vendor for the work.
Moulton said the committee also reviewed a request from a newly formed boys' tennis club looking for an opportunity to play at the high school level. Moulton stated the committee discussed cooperative opportunities with area school for tennis for the 2009-10 school year.
Moulton said an informational pamphlet and informational boards regarding the Spartan Fitness Center have been placed throughout town and at school buildings. Several informational meetings have also been held. Moulton said the Fitness Center building construction will be funded by donations. Moulton also mentioned the many benefits of the fitness center including health and character building. He said construction of the fitness center will also help to free up needed space that may be used for classrooms at both the high school and middle school.
Witzmann reviewed results of district goals from the recent Board Retreat in April. Witzmann reminded members they had asked administration to come back with action plan steps, which have been included in the packet. Witzmann asked that board members review each one tonight.
Character Education Goal: Witzmann asked board members if they had comments or questions regarding the action steps for the goal. Cranston asked how the goals for Character Education are assessed, and whether or not it was promoted and had positive results, or if there was a way to get feedback from the community. Principal Madden stated staff will be meeting with employers next school year in hopes of making that connection. Rosburg stated a survey could be implemented for each of the two parts of the goal. Board would like staff to capture feedback to measure the success of the goal in order to show what the district is trying to accomplish.
District Community Involvement Goal: Witzmann stated the board is working specifically on this goal. Board members wanted to leave items two through seven, however, they asked that items three through seven be more specific. After more discussion, board members would like to see items three through seven be changed to subheadings of a, b, c, d, and e.
Teaching and Learning Goal: Witzmann asked if there were any comments on these action plans. Cranston asked for assessment pieces for technology. All different forms of assessment would be inclusive. Berg explained MAPs is used at grade levels three through ten; MAPs also sets growth goals for students. Cranston added that the assessment is very specific to individual growth. Berg stated this is the district's second years using the MAPs assessments.
Superintendent Rosburg stated enrollment continues to fluctuate with slight increases and decreases, but has remained fairly consistent. Tentative committee meetings scheduled for June are the Business Services and Teaching and Learning committees. Rosburg asked board members to allow the Business Services Committee to meet on the second Monday of the month next month to allow the Business Services Manager time to pull together budget document information. The board agreed to have the Business Services Committee meet on the second Monday, June 8th. A Teaching and Learning Committee meeting will also be held that evening; both meetings will begin after the Alternative Education Graduation Ceremony event.
CESA 11 Representation: Cranston indicted her term as board representative with CESA 11 was over, and that the board would need to elect another representative this evening. She said she would be happy to continue those duties if the board so wishes. The board agreed to have Cranston continue in the capacity of CESA board representative, and to have her represent the Somerset School District at the 2009 CESA 11 Annual Convention on June 1, 2009. Cranston also mentioned the district will not be up for cluster election, so her term as board representative will be another three years.
Community Involvement: Witzmann stated there were many opportunities for board members to get out and about in the community in addition to sports events and including the upcoming Pea Soup Days events.
Board Committee Assignments: Witzmann stated two committee chairs changed with Robert Gunther becoming the chair of the Human Resources Committee and Mike Connor moving into the chair position of the Governance Committee. Witzmann stated the shift in chairs for the committees helps to balance all of the committees.
School liaison: Witzmann asked board members if they wished to continue the school liaison process and, if so, who should be assigned to which building. Board members asked for definition of what the board liaison does. Witzmann suggested sending this issue back to the Governance Committee to look at liaison positions and to look at
policy. He asked for input from each of the principals as to how they would like to see a school building liaison as it pertains to relationships with the staff and school information. Madden felt board visibility, accessibility, and approachability were important for staff. Wood indicated elementary staff would be happy to see board members come to programs or see what students are doing in individual rooms. Witzmann felt liaison positions would be valuable. He indicated this issue will be added to the June 8th Teaching and Learning Committee agenda and members will be assigned at the June full board meeting.
Pupil Services Report
Darren Kern, Director of Pupil Services, reported on feedback he received from the recent assessment of the Special Education Department. He stated Somerset School District had a successful assessment, though it was a challenge. Kern also stated it was an opportunity for growth for the department and the district. Kern stated many of the Somerset special education students participated in the Friendship Games which were held in Clear Lake this year. Next year Somerset will host the friendship games, which is slated for mid-May during the school day. Kern stated the ELL Access test results are in. He indicated that target annual growth measurements set by the state have been mostly met, with some work needing to be done with the 3rd through 8th grade area which does not yet meet the 50% mark.
Curriculum & Instruction Report
Ron Berg, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, reported on the MAPs (Measurement of Academic Progress) assessments, stating the tests had recently been completed. He reviewed some of the data before the board, noting that grade three though 10th grade students continue to rank high in reading in both 2007 and 2008. Students continue to progress in the Math area as well. Berg stated he will be able to give much more detail to the board in July when all test results are in and assessed. Cranston asked that board members be able to sit down and take a MAPs test--one in reading and one in math--to get an idea of the assessment. Cranston thought this would be an informative session for the board and may help them understand the process, the assessments, and provide vision of what the students are
learning. Berg will look into setting this up for test taking in the high school's red computer lab. Regarding the district's Strategic Plan, Berg stated staff completed the final leg of the careers planning piece with help from CESA 11, and that a three-page careers plan document will be rolled out to all three buildings in the fall.
Student Council Report
Student Board Representative Johanna Smith presented a report on high school student happenings, stating a lot has been accomplished this past month. This year's Junior Prom was a success, and next year's prom has been scheduled for Saturday, April 24th. Smith said elections for 2009-10 Student Council had been held and named the new council members, stating they will meet next week to discuss next year's class fund raising campaigns. Senior graduation robes and announcements were distributed, the senior picnic is scheduled for June 3rd at Interstate Park, and the seniors will be decorating the gym for their last week in school.
High School Update
High School Principal Shawn Madden recognized high school students of the month for April, thanking them for being quality students and thanking staff for their continued support of the Character Education program. Madden went on to report that the 3rd Annual Community Clean-Up Day, held on May 1st, was another successful day, with students and staff beautifying the school campus and surrounding community. Madden reported that the high school received the gold Governor's Health Award including $1,000. Last year the school received the silver award.
Madden and several staff will be in Madison on May 27th to receive recognition for the award. Madden said the Empty Bowls event was a success and thanked everyone for their support. The high school participated in the annual school bus race at Cedar Lake Speedway again this year, taking home a trophy for the best decorated bus. Madden thanked Becky and Eric Olson for their art and technical pieces and Richard Thompson for driving the bus. Madden also spoke to some of the comments seniors had last month with the board regarding their experiences in Somerset schools, stating he appreciated the insights from them and their honesty; Madden, however, felt that the district does indeed provide choices and options to students, citing program examples such as Youth Options, school-to-work, virtual school, etc.
Middle School Update
Middle School Principal Rick Lange reported that the 7th & 8th grade music students recently hosted a band/choir concert. On May 29th students will hold a thematic instruction day on the thematic units they've been working on throughout the school year. Lange invited board members to attend to see the culmination of the units. Lange reviewed some of the comments made by graduating senior students from last month's senior interview with the board. Lange stated that many of the comments regarding middle school experiences are from seniors who have not been in the middle school for four years, and that improvements have been made. Lange felt most of comments are
directed at high school because it is their most recent experience, and to remember that these senior student experiences from middle school are four years ago. Lange stated there have been many changes recently at the middle school level, including a freshman orientation program, a greatly expanded guidance department, and a plan in progress to put together orientation for the 8th grade students who are transitioning into high school. The middle school has also added encore courses for 7th and 8th grade title careers.
Elementary School Update
Elementary School Principal Cherrie Wood reported on highlights of elementary happenings, stating the school continues to enroll new students. Future school events include a third grade program, high school choir performance, fourth grade will be going to the middle school for orientation, sports day in June, and various field trips including Inter State Park, Warner Nature Center, Gibbs Farm and Baldwin Dairy. In the area of staffing, Wood stated there Somerset Board of were 19 applicants for the elementary media specialist position and interviews were completed. She also stated the elementary guidance position had been posted, with 27 candidates who have applied to date. Staff continue to work to refine report cards and are making good progress in this area. Wood added the elementary school entered the
Governor's Healthy Schools contest for the first time this year and received a silver award. Lastly, Wood indicated enrollment continues to climb in Junior Kindergarten, with over 100 students signed up for next year.
Business Manager Report
Finance/Budget Update: Business Services Manager Avery reported on the monthly cash flow report, stating there were no surprises and discussed third quarter budget to actual figures. Avery also discussed IT leasing amounts from last year vs. this year, and the need to record leasing expenditures and revenues. Banking proposal RFP were received from three banks. Bank interviews were held last week and went well. Avery said staff was satisfied with answers received from all three bank applicants.
On behalf of the Facilities Committee, Moulton moved, with second by Cranston, to approve contract for materials and installation of irrigation system for soccer fields and football fields to LeMire Landscaping. The committee reviewed a number of different systems and felt LeMire provided the most cost effective service. Motion carried unanimously.
On behalf of the Facilities Committee, Moulton moved, with second by Cranston, to approve the ornamental lighting plan from Xcel Energy for the North Access Road project. Cranston said there was a negligible operating difference in cost between ornamental and non-ornamental lighting. Motion carried unanimously.
On behalf of the Facilities Committee, Moulton moved, with second by Witzmann to approve Capital Maintenance Projects for 2008-09. Moulton commented it was a large list, but all items need to be completed. Witzmann stated the projects are being completed with operating dollars. Motion carried unanimously.
Teaching and Learning Committee
On behalf of the Teaching and Learning Committee, Cranston moved, with second by Moulton, to approve a "Watch D.O.G.S." pilot program for the high school for the 2009-2010 school year. Cranston said a community member brought this forward for board consideration, stating it is a volunteer program primarily for male parents/guardians to become more involved volunteers at the high school. Motion carried unanimously.
Business Services Committee
On behalf of the Business Services Committee, Colbeth moved, with second by Gunther, to approve the 2008-09 Budget Amendments. Colbeth stated Avery presented very clear data, and committee members felt the information provided was logical, with data laid out well and easy to read. Colbeth indicated the practice of budget amendments has changed somewhat in that the business office is doing the amendments throughout the year as information becomes available instead of at year end. Motion carried unanimously.
On behalf of the Business Services Committee, Colbeth moved, with second by Cranston, to approve Anchor Bank as the district's banking vendor. Colbeth said three banking organizations put in bids. Colbeth said she liked the fact that this year various staff was involved in reviewing bank bids, providing a well-rounded review. Avery stated the bank RFP was written as an up to five-year contract, with a 120-day notice that the district may remove itself from the contract if bank services are unfavorable. Motion carried unanimously.
Colbeth moved, with second by Connor, to adjourn at 9:31 p.m. Motion carried.
Tim Witzmann, President
Catherine Cranston, Clerk