MERCER ISLAND SCHOOL DISTRICT #400
                               BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING
                              School Board Minutes of May 13, 2010

Call to Order Regular Board Meeting
President Dingle called the board meeting to order at 7:02 pm. Board members Braman and
Frohnmayer were present. Director Myerson participated via a SKYPE session. Superintendent Plano
and Executive Directors Mack and Wright and Directors Schiehser and Morrison were also in
attendance, as well as elementary principals Loorem, Mellish and Rundle.

Establishment of Agenda
MSC Frohnmayer/Braman to accept the agenda. Vote 4-0. Director Strauch Eggers arrived at 7:04

Regional Spelling Bee Champion
Regional Spelling Bee Champion Kela Harrington was introduced. Superintendent Plano
congratulated Kela on her recent honor of winning the King and Snohomish Regional Spelling Bee.
Kela will travel to Washington, D.C. to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee on June 2-4. She
stated she didn’t think she would get past the third or fourth round (went to 13 rounds) and she had
been nervous. She thanked her teachers for their support as she trained for the spelling bee.
Superintendent Plano commented that the Mercer Island School District has never had a student get
this far in the competition and wished her the best of luck in the national competition.

Public Input
Elizabeth Celms of the Mercer Island Reporter shared this was her last week with the Reporter. She
is going to graduate school at Columbia University. She thanked the board for all of their honesty the
last three years as she has been the education reporter. She complimented the board of directors on
doing a wonderful job.

Governance Process Partial Monitoring OE-10
Work and Deliberation
Secondary Science Program Review
Superintendent Plano stated this program review is a “year-three” report that has been evolving for the
past few years. Executive Director Wright said the Secondary Science Program Review Committee
focused this year’s effort on aligning instruction to the new State Science Standards and evaluated
textbooks for new and growing courses. The board reviewed the history of the secondary science
course offerings since 1998 to the present.

During the 2009-2010 school year, the Secondary Science Review Team developed an initial list of
prioritized need in terms of review of curricular materials for:

    •   7th Grade Life Science
    •   High School Biology
    •   6th and 8th Grade Science
    •   Chemistry 2-3

Executive Director Wright stated the scope and sequence for the secondary program has already
been completed and later this evening the board will consider the adoption of the 7th Grade Life
Science textbooks as the current textbooks are out-of-date. The committee is recommending the
adoption of Life Science by Alton Biggs for implementation in the upcoming school year. The
secondary science team will continue to explore ways to involve students in extra-curricular and co-
curricular activities that involve science application, competition and research.

Executive Director Wright distributed a SAT II subject area tests historical data chart from the last five
years. The science data range is generally what would be expected compared to other subject areas
of math, writing and mathematics. The chart reflects strong scores, and the students are doing well
and are being accepted into top-tier colleges. She said that some colleges require 2 or 3 different SAT
scores while some don’t require any. President Dingle commented that it appears the high school
courses are well geared toward preparing students for the SAT II tests. She appreciated all of the
research and background that Ms. Wright has provided.
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                             MERCER ISLAND SCHOOL DISTRICT #400
                               BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING
                              School Board Minutes of May 13, 2010

Placement of Elementary Students
Elementary principals Loorem, Mellish and Rundle joined the Work and Deliberation session. They
stated the process of placing elementary students into teacher classrooms has evolved over the last
several years. Dr. Loorem shared that every spring a letter is sent home to parents explaining the
entire student placement process. Teachers work in grade level teams to create comprehensive and
strong learning groups. They do so, she said, without knowledge of who the classroom teacher will
be, but rather focus on the quality of the group, knowing that with the strong and capable teachers at
the elementary schools, any of them will provide an excellent program while meeting the needs of
each student in his or her classroom. The principals also include in the mailing a “Special
Considerations” form that parents may fill out in order for school teams to learn about special needs
that the parent wants the school to know regarding student – teacher placement.

Principal Rundle described the process as a very collaborative one between the teachers, while using
historical information from prior years. Data from past teachers, the student’s parents, and other staff
members who had one-on-one contact with the student, are compiled to make a comprehensive
student record. The teams refer to these forms as a resource when deciding how to group each class.
The principals stated that every effort is made to create cohesive groupings with the goal of creating
the best learning environment possible.

In response to a board member inquiry, the principals stated they only receive a handful of requests to
not have a particular teacher.

There was a brief discussion about “looping,” where a student would have the same teacher for two
years in a row. Principal Loorem shared she personally loved it when she was a teacher because the
second year the teacher would just pick up on the relationship that has already been established with
the students and parents from the prior year.

School board members commended the principals for their dedication and professionalism. Director
Strauch Eggers stated the system couldn’t work if it wasn’t for the principals’ skill and personal
attention to the process. She thanked them for all of their time-consuming efforts to try and ensure the
classroom groupings are the best possible so students may have a successful learning experience.
Ultimately, it would save time and energy if the student data could be more systemized and available
for review electronically. It is a work in progress.

The principals said classroom placement letters are usually sent out to parents a week before school
begins. This year, school starts on August 31, so the letters will be mailed out around August 24.

K-12 Special Education Resource Room Program Review
Superintendent Plano applauded Director of Special Education Pat Turner for the extremely
comprehensive report. The review of the Special Education Resource Room Program was initiated in
September2009 and included visits to resource rooms in every school, parent surveys, staff surveys,
focus groups, review of resource room IEPs, state records and records from comparison districts.

Director Turner shared three major themes that are included in the report:
    1. The students in the resource rooms on Mercer Island are doing very well. The district has a
        very strong program in place compared to other districts and we have very strong parent
    2. Through this process, Director Turner was able to become more involved in curriculum and
        instruction rather than just compliance in special education. She learned that we need to
        improve our curriculum, instruction and technology in order to be more effective for our
        resource room students.
    3. The district’s decision to embrace Response To Intervention (RTI) will really help create a
        unified system of delivery of services to help those students who struggle in school whether it
        is academically, behaviorally, or socially. By making some changes in the resource room
        program, we can then make some changes in the general education program in that process.

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                             MERCER ISLAND SCHOOL DISTRICT #400
                               BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING
                              School Board Minutes of May 13, 2010

Director Turner stated resource room students are defined as individuals with mild to moderate
disabilities who need specially designed supplemental instruction in special education in order to
benefit their general education instruction. Essentially, they are part-time special education students.
As part of the RTI model, students with an IEP (or any specially-designed instruction) may receive
services at varying levels whether it is in a special education classroom, resource room or general
education classroom.

The RTI model has three tiers:

        Tier 1: Differentiated instruction that occurs in the General Ed classroom
        Tier 2: Early General Ed intervention delivered as a “push-in” or “pull-out” model to
                supplement General Ed mainly in reading and math at the elementary level
        Tier 3: Intervention for students who require mostly specially designed Instruction. This
                includes “most” special education students.

Superintendent Plano shared that the RTI model is building the way for the general education teacher
to implement differentiated instruction.

Much time was spent discussing the fact that the district needs a more efficient analytical tool to
enable teachers to track student progress from year-to-year for all students: general education and
special education. A new data collection tool will enable teachers to determine what curriculum will
best suit a student to aid in their academic success. Executive Director Wright has been meeting with
software vendors to determine which product would be the best fit for the district.

The report’s recommendations are not limited to what we can fund immediately, so recommendations
will need to be prioritized and implemented as we can. This next year administration will be having
conversations with principals at the middle and high schools about having teachers provide a safety
net for students instructionally and provide some intervention when it is needed.

Director Turner stated now that the report is complete the district needs to look at how we want the
special education program to look and focus on our goals and design of the program. Some of the
district-wide challenges we face include:

    •   District-wide special education curriculum
    •   Consistent district-wide data collection system
    •   Reduce special education teachers’ workload
    •   Social Skills, Behavior and Mental Health Issues
    •   Professional development

Superintendent Plano stated as we get better at assisting students through RTI in Tier I and Tier II,
hopefully, less students will be referred to the resource room. Director Turner is doing research on
trying to look a common version of Tier I, II and III with different interventions. She said the resource
room is not just for students with behavior problems, but any student that needs some type of
assistance that can’t be provided in Tier 1. Currently, we have several high intensity students being
served in General Ed resource rooms, and it is very costly.

The special education program is looking at reorganizing how the elementary “pull-out” method has
been utilized so that students are not missing other core portions of the curriculum. They are looking
at ways to have the “pull-out” times not be during major curriculum times. Director Strauch Eggers
asked if there isn’t a way we could provide resources to our parents about intervention services and
guide them in the right direction with names of institutions, books and general services that are
available. She also felt sometimes there is tension between the resource room teacher and the parent
when they are establishing IEP goals and the delivery of services in the Resource Room.

In summary, Director Turner stated that one goal of this in-depth report was to make sure the district
was in compliance. Now we can move forward and focus on curriculum, how do we teach to close the
special education achievement gap and where do we go from here.
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                              MERCER ISLAND SCHOOL DISTRICT #400
                                BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING
                               School Board Minutes of May 13, 2010

MSC Braman/Strauch Eggers to approve the consent agenda with the revised Personnel Report.
Vote 5-0.

Items approved:
a. Approval of Warrants
    General Fund     May 14, 2010                        #92440-92556        $ 356,462.81

    Capital Projects     May 14, 2010                    #   3980-3980       $     2,046.56

   ASB Fund             May 14, 2010                  #13949-13972       $ 15,587.28
b. Approval of Personnel Report
c. Resolution #581 Delegating Authority to WIAA
d. Approval of International Travel to China for Executive Director Jennifer Wright, Directors Kathy
   Morrison and Michael Schiehser and MIHS teacher Mike Radow
e. Instructional Materials Committee Recommendation
            • Secondary Science Materials
f. Financial Report

Superintendent Plano visited Islander Middle School to observe their two “enrichment” days. The
experience gave teachers an opportunity to share some of their passions, as well as enriching the
teacher/student relationships.

MIEA president Mike Radow has indicated the MIEA executive board had concern that signing the
Race To The Top agreement would dilute teacher focus and add another level of work to their work
day. He will continue to try to influence the executive board. Superintendent Plano shared with
principals about applying to be a pilot district for the teacher/principal evaluation piece. He stated it
could have a tremendous effect if Mercer Island School District was selected as a pilot district and
could help guide how the templates are designed. The principals were very supportive.

The superintendent is meeting with King County to start discussion about becoming a Green District.
All of our schools have started composting, recycling and addressing sustainability issues. There are
only a few districts in Puget Sound that have become King County recognized as Green Districts.
Executive Director Mack has been meeting with principals, and we are moving forward with staffing.
With the Bridge the Gap funds raised we are able to restore the $500,000 budget reduction and may
even have an additional $100,000-$200,000.

Lastly, Superintendent Plano and Executive Director Mack took a tour of the new P.E.A.K. facility. He
stated it is a remarkable building and if any board member would like to have another tour, they are
offered at 3:30 p.m. daily. The P.E.A.K. “soft” opening is scheduled for June 28 or 29.

President Dingle stated the May 19 Key Communicator meeting is cancelled.

Board members firmed up the retreat date as Monday, June 28, and the superintendent’s evaluation
for Tuesday, June 29, at 6:00 p.m.

President Dingle attended a Mercer Island Schools Foundation board meeting. Their fundraising
efforts are now at $560,000. They are at 32% participation to reach the “challenge” which would be
another $170,000.

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                           MERCER ISLAND SCHOOL DISTRICT #400
                             BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING
                            School Board Minutes of May 13, 2010


        May 27, 2010
        Regular Board Meeting
        7:00 p.m.

        June 3, 2010
        Regular Board Meeting
        7:00 p.m.

        June 6, 2010
        Baccalaureate, 2:00 p.m.

        June 9, 2010
        Stanley Ann Dunham Reception
        4:00-6:00 p.m.

        June 10, 2010
        Senior Awards Reception, MIHS
        8:00 a.m.

        June 10, 2010
        Washington State Convention Center
        7:00 p.m.

MSC Myerson/Braman at 9:34 p.m. to adjourn the regular meeting of the board. Vote 5-0.

Gary Plano, Ed.D.                                  Adair Dingle
Secretary to the Board                             Board President

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