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.