February 27_ 2012 School Board News

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					                               BEMIDJI AREA SCHOOLS
                                SCHOOL BOARD NEWS
                                  FEBRUARY 27, 2012

                                                                                    By Dr. Jim Hess

Consent Agenda            The following Consent Agenda items were approved:
                          - Minutes from a Meeting held on January 23, 2012
                          - Current Bills and Special Checks Totaling $2,720,387.48
                          - Out of State Field Trip Request for JROTC
                          - Two Noncertified Staff Resignations
                          - Two Certified Staff Resignations
                          - Lane Advancements for Ten Teachers Totaling $24,799

Special Topics            Board Members acknowledged the award winning Bemidji Middle School
                          Science Fair Project created by Austin Nordstrom and Payton Christopherson.
                          This project won the fair at Bemidji Middle School and received Honorable
                          Mention in the Junior High Division at Bemidji State University and will be
                          allowed to compete at the State Science Fair. Bemidji Middle School Science
                          teachers Denise Black and Steve Sneide assisted in the presentation and
                          provided background information.
                          Bemidji High School Senior Zach Hewitt was recognized for his outstanding
                          academic achievement. Zach scored a perfect 36 on the ACT and is a finalist
                          for a Presidential Scholarship. Zach won the Bemidji State University Fall
                          2011 Math Contest with over 660 contestants from Northern Minnesota. He
                          is captain of the BHS Math League Team, a member of the Nordic Ski and
                          Tennis Teams, and a four-year member of the National Honor Society.

Student Representative    Katie Kovacovich and Erik Sorensen reported on the conclusion of many
Reports                   Bemidji High School winter sports seasons, VocalMotive’s and LaVoce
                          Ballo’s great showing at Waconia, Speech, Mock Trial competitors qualifying
                          for State competition, Kindness Week activities including Rachel’s
                          Challenge, and registration for classes for 2012-2013.

Effective and Efficient   Board Members reviewed three school calendar options for 2012-2013 which
Operations                featured various approaches to spring break. Option A did not include a
                          spring break. Option B scheduled a week-long spring break in March and
                          Option C provided for a shorter break around Easter in late March – early
                          April. For the past few years Bemidji Area Schools’ calendar has alternated
                          scheduling spring breaks. With this rotation, the 2012-2013 school year
                          would be a year to include a week-long spring break. We will seek input in a
                          short survey on the District’s Webpage as well as through the Parent Title I
                          survey which is currently planned for inclusion in Parent-Teacher
                          Conferences. Staff members are encouraged to share their views on the
                          calendars through participation in the on-line survey.

                          Jordan Hickman provided a negotiations update which included information
                          regarding the District/BEA Contract. As it currently stands, the tentative
                          agreement is scheduled for a membership vote on February 29th and if it is
                          accepted by a majority of members, it will be the subject of a School Board
                          vote next week.
                     Revised Policy SBR 700-60-1 - Protection and Privacy of Pupil Records was
                     approved on second reading. This policy will bring practices regarding
                     student information into compliance with current law and is recommended by
                     the Minnesota School Boards Association as a model policy.

                     Bruce Anderson, Principal at Northern and Paul Bunyan Elementary Schools,
                     submitted his retirement request. The Board accepted his resignation and
                     thanked him for his many years of service to children and the district.

Highest Level of     Kathy Palm, Director of Curriculum and Administrative Services, explained
Student Success      the major components of Minnesota’s waiver from No Child Left Behind,
                     which was recently granted by the U.S. Department of Education. Districts
                     will no longer be measured by a goal of 100% pupil proficiency by 2014.
                     Financial sanctions will not be taken from Title I funds through set-asides and
                     some of the punishments for not making AYP will be lifted. In return for
                     these waivers Minnesota students will have college- and career-ready
                     academic standards. Minnesota will address the achievement gap and intends
                     to reduce this gap by 50% in the next six years. Schools will be rated in this
                     new system of accountability, especially those top performing and bottom
                     performing schools through the Multiple Measurements Rating (MMR) and
                     AYP measures with new targets.

                     Kathy Palm also reported Bemidji Area Schools has been selected as a
                     Minnesota Reading Corps site for the 2012-2013 school year. Each
                     elementary will receive the services of a trained Literacy Tutor to help K-3rd
                     graders meet the goal of reading well by third grade.

Safe and Welcoming   Bemidji Area Schools has been asked to participate in a national study
Environment          conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The
                     School Health Policies and Practices Study helps this important agency
                     understand how schools contribute to the health and well-being of our
                     nation’s young people and the communities they serve. Data collected
                     from district staff will be included in this national study and report.

Upcoming Events      Special School Board Meeting – Wednesday, March 7, 2012, 7:15 a.m.
                     Regular School Board Meeting – Monday, March 19, 2012, 6:30 p.m.

Other                School Board Members were presented certificates from the Minnesota
                     School Boards Association for their leadership and service to the children,
                     schools, and community.

Closed Session       The School Board held a closed session to discuss negotiations strategy.

				
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