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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