The Mineral Point School Board held its regular monthly meeting Monday.
One item that required timely action was approval of academic standards.
The Wisconsin Association of School Boards recommends that each school board include an agenda item regarding academic standards in the agenda for the first meeting that it is practical to do so after the effective date (7/14/15) of this requirement.
The budget act specifically requires that school boards must annually include an agenda item for the first school board meeting of the school year (i.e., the first meeting after July 1) that clearly identifies the academic standards adopted by the board that will be in effect for the school year. (Note: This change became effective July 14, 2015.); and annually, notify parents/guardians of students enrolled in the district of the academic standards to be used for the upcoming school year prior to start of the school term.
The Mineral Point School District follows the state standards as adopted by the State of Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction as an outline of base expectations. The related accountability and testing is conformed to as appropriate to be in compliance with all state and federal laws. Where appropriate, classroom materials have been aligned to the most recent and rigorous standards available including the Common Core Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and Model Academic Standards.
Superintendent Luke Francois stated this new requirement came down so late in the game this year from the state that the district cannot reasonably align to another set of standards for this coming school year as materials are in place to use the current standards and teachers are ready.
Board President Larry Steffes asked for confirmation and received it reiterating the board must approve standards every year and this is a requirement handed down from the state.
Board member Lisa Hay stressed the board is just voting on standards, not testing or curriculum, and that most of the standards being voted on are not Common Core based.
Steffes added the outcome of the vote will not change the Mineral Point curriculum and addressed a concern from a constituent that felt this may be a backdoor effort to instill Common Core in Mineral Point’s Schools.
Francois stated again the standards are the same ones the teachers have already been teaching to, but the difference is now the district needs to publicize what the standards are.
The approval of the academic standards as presented passed 4-2 with Hay, Steffes, Julie Stephenson, and Jeff Basting voting yes and Larry Dolphin and Glenn Kinch voting no. Matt Lindsey was absent.
A list of the standards used by the district is available here with hyperlinks to details on each standard:https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicItemDownload.aspx?ik=37383204
Francois also added the district must inform parents of the most recent accountability state report card that was issued last fall for the 2013-14 school year. The district Exceeds Expectations at the district, high, middle, and elementary levels. In addition, he informed the board there will be no report card from the state this year as it is changing to a star rating system for next year.
–The school board will be participating in a book study with the administration team on a title called “School Board Fieldbook: Leading with Vision.” Francois stated the book details ways to help boards and administrators work together.
–Francois updated the board on the Taher Food Service Contract. Taher met the required criteria the school board proposed at last month’s meeting which mainly includes providing the 2014-15 year end financial report and agreeing to a $0 liability for the district next year where Taher would absorb any deficit, minus unforeseen expenses.
Basting said he is still upset the district is not collecting anything for utility rent from Taher as they are using school facilities to run their business. He is also wondering if the quality of the food will decrease in an attempt by Taher to close a deficit gap.
–Francois updated the board on enrollment projections, which he stated the most current projection is up seven students from his March projection.
The numbers below do not take into account that early childhood and Pre K students do not count for a full 1.0 FTE and does not factor in additional summer school enrollment. The numbers below will not be final until a third Friday in September count is conducted.
Early Childhood 2; Pre K 38; Kindergarten 52; First Grade 44; Second Grade 56; Third Grade 54; Fourth Grade 52; Fifth Grade 54; Sixth Grade 64; Seventh Grade 51; Eighth Grade 43; Ninth Grade 53; Tenth Grade 46; Eleventh Grade 57; Twelfth Grade 56.
–Approved a resignation request from Heidi Nelson, Instructional Assistant, unanimously. Francois said the position will be posted, but the student population is being watched to see if the need exists to rehire.
–The credit card statement of activity was approved unanimously, however, Hay stated she would like to see a double check of all transactions to make sure the board policy is being followed appropriately.
–The social media policy’s editorial revisions were approved with Kinch being the lone no vote. The revisions include taking out District Administrator verbage and replacing it with Communications Director.
–Roger Palzkill gave a facilities/capital maintenance projects update that highlighted many areas as follows. He stated this summer the front doors at the middle/high have been replaced, the sidewalk by the ag building redone, and asbestos tiling in more elementary classrooms removed. On the list for the upcoming year include possibilities of roof work, water heater replacement, elementary parking lot replacement, middle/high cafeteria floor tile and carpet replacement, rain gutter work, and instillation of more motion sensors.
–The next regularly scheduled board meeting is set for Monday, September 14 at 6:30 pm.