5/11 School Board Meeting Group 6

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5/11 School Board Meeting Group 6 by Mind Map: 5/11 School Board Meeting  Group 6

1. Board Disposition (EC)

1.1. The Orange County Board of Education consists of professionals dedicated to ensuring the best education possible to the students it services. There was little "human" interactions or sharing of learning within classrooms. Isn't that an important point at each meeting? How are students achieving? How are pedagogical initiatives improving learning and teaching? What vision do we have to enhance engagement? Is this done at another meeting or time? (EC)

1.1.1. Board of Education members include professionals within the community such as judges and lawyers as well as representatives from within the school district (MG) Citizens from the community are allowed to present statements / comments / concerns to the Board of Education, however very few were in attendance (MG) Teachers from the district are always invited to Board of Education meetings, however there were not many in attendance. From this particular meeting, it is difficult to gauge if they are welcomed on a regular basis to share learning and pedagogy. (EC)

1.2. The Board was very orderly in following the agenda. The methodical approach allows for a coherent and useful meeting. I thought the Board was engaged and asked pertinent questions. I also thought it was important that they formally announced their upcoming meetings and work sessions. (PC)

1.2.1. The Board of Directors focus is overall policy for the district. For example, they would set a goal for the district of improving standardized test scores in math. That is an objective and measurable goal. It is then the responsiblity of the superintendent and other school administrators to come up with the specific actions/changes in curriculum or instruction that will be taken to reach that goal. (PC) As administrators, one would think that each would have a monthly update of their buildings and/or leadership areas. They are the leaders implementing goals, so they should be present at some board meetings to share with the Board of Education. (EC) https://www.ocps.net/Documents/pocketfacts2009.pdf The Orange County Public Schools have 180 schools, educating over 175,000 students, and employing over 21,000 people. The oversight responsiblity of this Board is tremendous. (PC)

2. Committee Reports (PC)

2.1. The Orange County Board is a member of the Central Florida School Board Coalition. The coalition shares information on best practices and new initiatives between member districts. It is also a political lobbying group, providing a unified voice for common purposes. (PC)

2.2. The Orange County Board of Education is currently creating an initiative titled, Leadership Orange. This program offers a year-long "course" for local business leaders and community members to become educated on district policy. Each session of the class will focus on a different area of interest and will involve various situations for the "students" to solve. This solutions will be presented to the BOE for consideration when making decisions. (EC)

2.2.1. The Orange County Board of Education includes a communication committee that focuses on referendum issues and updating the public on district policy, elections, proposals, etc. (EC)

2.2.2. Communications Dept. exists to help foster relationships with stakeholders (parental involvement, legislative outreach) (PC)

3. Leadership Theories (MG)

3.1. The School Board is directed by a central figure (MG)

3.1.1. The director of the school board chooses the best course of action dependent upon situational variables (MG) Participation, contributions, and input from school board members assist in the decision making process by the Board director (MG) Relationship building is important to the Board and the district. Their "Leadership Orange" initiative seeks to improve connection between business, community, and schools. The Board advances their vision by including stakeholders and making them advocates for the district (PC)

3.1.2. The School Board develops the Strategic Plan for the district. They see the big picture. That is the vision and the blueprint for change. The leadership style is democratic as the Board oversees and the district facilitates integration between businesses, the community, and schools. (PC) The Superintendent is responsible for implementing the Strategic Plan. The leadership theory of situational leadership applies to him. (PC) In the meeting, he formally recognizes the achievement (award winning) of a staff member who is retiring. This is an example of an affiliative leadership style. He is not only acknowledging this particular employee, but creating good will among all the staff. (PC) He uses a coercive style of leadership when he promulgates and enforces the rules with the staff and the students. (PC) The Superintendent is responsible for the implementation of the Leadership Orange program. Using a democratic leadership style, he encourages consensus through participation. (PC) With the help of a facilitator, business, community, school admin, and parents discuss real issues and problem solve with possible solutions. Stakeholders buy into the vision. (PC)

3.2. The School Board operates in a Democratic manner with decisions being made via a majority vote (MG)

3.3. Systematic orderly procedure of events is evident (MG)

4. Influences Affecting Behavior and Decisions (EC)

4.1. The Coalition Board includes BOE members from neighboring districts. This board meets to discuss timely topics and to ensure open lines of communication between districts and politics. (EC)

4.1.1. The Coalition Board represents Central Florida as a whole (MG)

4.2. Community leaders are invited to the BOE meetings and the BOE is currently organizing a program called Leadership Orange. This will allow for community leaders to become educated on school district policy and the BOE will invite this group to provide feedback and input into their decisions. (EC)

4.3. Politics is a clear component to the BOE's decision making and they are not afraid to support policy makers. Even when there is some question about the components of a bill, they decline resisting the bill. (EC)

4.3.1. The Board and the district's attorney discussed the costs of unfunded mandates. This is the cost of providing services that are required of the district by the State. These services increase costs to the district, but have no revenue stream attached to them. This becomes an important political issue as well. (PC)

4.4. Personal interests play a huge role in decision making among the BOE. Each member comes from different professional and personal backgrounds, thus looking at decision making through various lenses. Lawyers think in terms of law while the superintendent thinks more of education. Having differing perspectives is an essential component of any BOE. (EC)

4.4.1. The School Board is quick to acknowledge the efforts of those involved in programs that have achieved success (MG)

5. Overview (JL)

5.1. Opening: Color Guard (JL)

5.1.1. Students presented at the BOE meeting and shared information on their program as well. Although the BOE seemed "cold" towards them, they did express their appreciation for taking the time to attend and asked them to shake their hands. This seemed like a formality rather than authentic encouragement. (EC)

5.1.2. I thought that having students involved in the opening of the meeting was a great way to get it started. Kids like this, the ones in the Color Guard, are the ones that tend to go on to be leaders in their chosen field. Getting them involved in education now can only yield good results later. Future teachers? School board members? (JL) Joe's comment about getting the kids involved in the board meetings is a positive way to start the meeting. It was an honor to have this group represent the school. However, the board did not do a great job expressing their support and dedication to this program, or the kids in general. They were a bit too "stiff" around the kids, which can be intimidating to students. Board meetings should be a place to celebrate learning from kids and they should feel comfortable joining the meetings. Certainly, there is a level of professionalism among the BOE, but there was a clear line of distance between them and the students. (EC)

5.2. Strategic Plan Update (JL)

5.2.1. 5/10 Proclamation Building and Safety Month - Report by the COO of Code Compliance was fact filled. We were informed of The Strategic plan update and report of the building safety and health codes. How important is the information for school leaders? How does this affect success in our schools?(SN) The Chief Operations Officer and two other district employees updated the board on how the district handled safety and health compliance in a building project. The board is considering naming May and Building Code Compliance Month. Their presentation explained how they followed Florida State Laws on Building Codes and Fire Codes. (JL)

5.2.2. District employees updated the BOE on the current state of their program. In particular, the Building and Health Codes and Fire Building Codes representatives shared their update. Additionally, it is clear that the superintendent is expected to maintain an open line of communication with the BOE and update them on important topics. (EC) The purpose of the Committee Reports are to allow the Board to monitor progress of implementation of Strategic Plan as well as ensure that they fulfill their oversight responsibility. (PC)

5.3. Consent (JL)

5.3.1. No residents took the opportunity to address the board, the Superintendent had no new staff members to introduce ("bad economy"), then the Superintendent asked for several minor changes to the agenda, all of which were approved by the board. (JL)

5.4. Reports (JL)

5.4.1. Board members gave a variety of reports, for example a board member discussed a plan to allow students to bring their own wireless devices to school. (JL)

5.5. Highlights (JL)

5.5.1. One school board member took the opportunity to commend the code enforement folks on their presentation. He noted, however, that they had already left. (JL)

5.6. Future Meetings (JL)

5.6.1. The Superintendent used this time to point out the achievements of one particular school led by a principal who will be retiring. He then covered what will be covered during future school board meetings. (JL)

5.7. Attorney Reports (JL)

5.7.1. The school board attorney updated the board on several legal issues facing the disctirct. He strongly suggested having several audits performed. The board did not seem to be open to this, noting it would be "extensive and expensive." A board member commented that the board does need to be more "in tune" with the audit process. (JL)

6. Ethical/Unethical Behavior (SN)

6.1. • Ethical-Superintendent mentioned a teacher that was being released from their instructional duty by the person’s initials, not by name

6.1.1. • Ethical-Communication committee wants to do outreach related to education, but warned all board members to be careful how they communicate to the community during the election year • Ethical-School board attorney requested an external audit of the facilities department, transportation department, and spending in the district. Wanted to protect the integrity of the school system. Ethical or Unethical?-Does the Board of Education provide ample opportunities for the community to share their concerns or questions? They invite the community to the meetings, but are there other avenues for community members to use to communicate with the Board? E-mail? Video conference? Information "coffees"? Informal meetings around the community?

6.2. • Unethical-Decision to not join the Central Florida Public School Coalition and veto the conforming bill #5101 –based on the political climate(due to this being an election year) o One board member “rolled over” to join the majority to not veto although the bill was “full of junk , and had issues not good for our school district” Was this the just decision for the students? How will the children benefit from no veto? Was it right not to fight for a better bill?

6.2.1. • Unethical- There were concerns about the relationships between the internal auditors and the departments. Red flags were raised when a building permit took fourteen days Concerns are evident regarding cost of services and overspending (MG) On several occassions, board members and the superintendent joked about budget issues. It is clearly on everyone's minds. (JL) Specific mention was made at the meeting concerning the district budget due to cuts in State Aid. This makes efficiency and "doing things better" of real importance. If you can save money in areas of purchasing, transportation, and facilities, you don't have to cut instructional costs. Our purpose is to do the best for the kids. (PC)

6.3. Ethical/Safety considerations were presented to the board on each decision and conversation they are faced with. In particular, the update on building codes ensures the health and safety of the students, faculty, staff, and administration within all of their buildings. Additionally, there is currently a case including the NAACP that the board must reside over, and any input must be from ethical values rather than personal interest. (EC)