Board Meeting Nov 9 2010

This is for our Canisius EDA 600 Leadership class. Module 2 deals with a mind map of a school board meeting.

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Board Meeting Nov 9 2010 by Mind Map: Board Meeting Nov 9 2010

1. Opening

1.1. The school boad vice chairperson began the meeting acknowledging the loss of a high school student within the school district.

1.2. A sixth Grade student from Lakeview Middle School began the meeting with a moment of silence for the student who lost his life then said the Pledge of Allegience. This same student was then honored for his accomplishment of winning a regional writing contest on Hispanic Hertiage Month.

1.2.1. This seems to be a very positive way to open up a meeting, as you will focus on the good things before jumping into controversial things. (RZ) Recognizing accomplishments is so important. Furthermore, I think it was great that the student was there and led the opening part from the moment of silence to the pledge. WOW! What good leadership skills and a great way to take action. (KM)

2. Strategic Update

2.1. The update focused on four areas of the strategic plan for the district; graduation rate, AP results, ACT results, and SAT results.

2.1.1. Graduation Rates- There was a discussion of the change in how graduation rates have been calculated over the years. The method of calculating what counts as a graduate has become more restrictive. Orange County's current graduation rate is 76% which is close to the state average. The district's goal is 90% graduation rate. There are gaps between the graduation rates based on the race of the students. They must decrease these gaps to reach their goal The school should be looking into programs that increase minority attendance, participation in academic content areas, technical school options (BOCES) and family involvement. These supporting programs along with a community link will assist students in having more options to further their education and hopefully increase graduation rates (AS).

2.1.2. AP courses The district has increased the number of students that are enrolled in AP classes from a little over 2,000 in 2001 to a little over 20,000 in 2010. The problem is that there is a decrease in the percentage of students that receive a 3 or higher on the exam in that same time period. It bothers me that high stakes testing and AP tests are valued to such a high extent, as the stress grows on the students to do better. Obtaining high scores does not always equate to a more successful student, but the politicians and media will argue with that as they publish the scores in the paper and TV. (RZ) AP courses are assistive to students who are looking to further their education (college). These courses offer opportunities to waive courses once they are in college. I feel that current trends are having teachers...teach to a test and not true content. Maybe breaking down the curriculum and instruction will help identify the gap that is leading to less proficient scores. (AS) They must increase student success.

2.1.3. ACT Results Act scores declined from 2004 to 2007 and have since leveled off. Organge County results are far below national average and slightly below the state average

2.1.4. SAT Results SAT results for both reading and math were flat from 2006-2009, but showed a significant increase in 2010. The increase is attributed to an increase in tutorial programs and an increased emphasis on Prep for the SAT.

2.2. The board members questioned what the district is going to do to improve graduation rates and specifically the racial gaps.

2.2.1. Mrs. Gordon wanted to make sure that the data collection was accurate in documenting students who left the district so that they are not penalized for those students She had previously worked on a committee with the state to address this discrepancy. Ms. Gordon definitely showed strong opinions. Her district is lucky to have her in that she is a voice and could be a huge factor in making changes to help move the district forward with her knowledge and probing for answers and accountability. (KM)

2.2.2. The conflicting ideas of social promotion and retention and their impact on graduation rates was breifly discussed It seems like a list of specific goals here would make sense, especially when you list target accomplishment dates, who is in charge, and if funding is needed to accomplish. That can help setting priorities. (RZ)

2.2.3. Several issues were brought up in regards to accountability, for example how students are being tracked if they left the district. I think this is an important issue to be looked at , because as it stands presently this lack of information is hurting their data of what could ultimately show an increase if students were tracked properly. (KM)

2.2.4. As mentioned by several of my group members, tracking, data collection and an understanding that students who leave the district/state all have an impact on some the statistics is essential when sharing these statistics to stakeholders who are unaware of the make-up of these statistics. Educating those who see poor percentages will help people see that there are components that schools have no control over (ie. moving away). (AS)

3. Consent

3.1. 4.01-Requested approval of personnel agenda, covers transfers, retirements, etc.

3.2. 4.02-Request to designate Nov. 8-12 as National School Psychology Week

3.3. 5.01-Code Of Conduct

3.4. 5.02 thru 5.06 deals with expelling students from school

3.5. 6.01- Approve grant applications from local vendors

3.6. 6.02- Approve grant applications to obtain computer hardware

3.7. 11.01 thru 11.03- deals with approving business deals between district and community, such as property ownership

3.8. 12.01 thru 12.03- deals with construction related issues such as hiring construction managers

3.9. 15.01 thru 15.05- deals with approving meeting minutes from past meetings

4. Public Hearing

4.1. School Projected Calendar: There was an extensive conversation about the this specific committee, what stakeholders were included, what work was performed and how the decisions were made for the upcoming school years. This team was composed of various stakeholders: transportation, unions, PTA, Buget personnel, student input, and a single teacher. This team was then divided into three sub committees that addressed three major topic areas: FCAT testing, religious holiday's and bad weather days. Upon the conclusion a recommended school calendar for the next two years was established and proposed before the board. The union member president stated that the ratio of the stakeholders involved in creating the calendar was 17:5 (district to others) making the final proposal heavy in district input versus staff input. Various board members responded with their feelings and opinions regarding the composition of the committee and the final proposed calendar. The calendar was approved by the board.

4.1.1. The decision to not change the dates of spring break to include Good Friday was in part due to the district wanting to aviod making accommodations for certain religious holidays and not others. (KS) It was interesring that in spite of the careful planning and involving stakeholders, this item was still very debateable. I think no matter what you are not going to please everyone. The bottom line, it should be about what is best for students. (KM)

4.1.2. It sure did seem to be a big issue of concern, as the school calendar has a lot of variables. Noting what worked in the past is a good practice. (RZ)

4.2. Article 15: Closing school due to bad weather. Should the school board add days onto the end of the school year to make up for potential school days off due to bad weather? It was suggested that the district should consult the districts lawyers and various unions to get a general consensus about this goal.

4.2.1. This discussion included the need to be aware of the potential effects of hurricane season. As the Superintendent noted, the previous school year had adjusted the schedule with ease when taking into consideration the need to close school the year before. He elluded to the fact that he felt comfortable "playing it by year". (AS)

5. Committee Reports

5.1. Mrs. Moore reported on two areas. Her meeting with Central Florida's School Board Coalition and the Communications Committee

5.1.1. At the last Central Florida's School Board Coalition meeting they discussed the new legislative agenda and picked the following priority areas: funding, class size, teacher quality and accountability, and inequities with virtual schools.

5.1.2. The Communication Committee had an active role in contacting the staff, community, and Realtors Association in an effort to help the school board pass a one million dollar referendum. The voters in Orange County passed the tax increase I suspect there will always be voters that do not approve, and local papers are the venue they choose to express their displeasures instead of at the actual meeting. We see this in letters to the editor. (RZ) Tax payers play a pivitol role in the funding of the school. The majority vote determines how the funding will be effected. Tax payers come from all forms of livelihood affecting the way they vote in school budgets. School officals, board members and school members should make sure they spread the information around educating people who may not have a student currently enrolled in the district and may not have a personal interest in learning about the new trends/needs. (AS)

6. Highlights

6.1. Media and Education- Awesome job at hosting a convention. Librarians represented district well for their best practices

6.1.1. 2012 Florida Band for District A Music for Marching Band- highlights best sounds from middle school, other ratings include students recognized for academic Achievements, respect and self-discipline. I thought this portion of the board meeting was important. It showed the active involvement of the board members in school events. It also is a great way to create a positive culture through recognition of the different stakeholders in the district. (KS)

6.1.2. I think it is critical for a board to highlight what is going on in their district. I wonder if they go beyond the scope of their meeting to recognize staff, students, and parents in their day to day settings? (KM)

7. Future Meetings

7.1. 18.01-11/16/10-Statement of policy agenda for work sessions and Board reorganization

7.2. 12/6/10 Rule Development Workshop: Decentralization Policies, Wellness Policy, Board Participation, Board Organization

7.2.1. I am impressed with the professional development that takes place for the Board members. I am curious if this is typical of all boards? (KM)

7.2.2. Currently my school is going through a Deaf Accredidation Program review. This is an area that one of the subgroups are discussing; How to get board members together more frequently for professional development. I wonder how larger schools are able to effectively and efficiently provide these opportunities. (AS)

7.3. 12/9/10 Board Retreat

7.3.1. What a great opportunity! I would suggest going somewhere that works on team building. A place such that works with ropes courses, trust falls etc. (AS)

7.4. 12/14/10 School Board Meeting

8. Non-Consent

8.1. 16.01- deals with the leasing company that is affiliated with the district, and issues with leasing to community

8.2. 16.02- deals with expulsion of student from school and summer school, committed level 4 offense

9. Attorney Reports

9.1. Issues- School Board vs. VOA Associates

9.1.1. School Board vs. Engineering Services

9.2. 19.01-Request 2 Executive Sessions

10. Announcements

10.1. Ronald Blocker, District Superintendent announced that West Creek Elementary promoted Staffing Specialist, Krista Bixler as the school's assistant principal. Krista spoke to the group thanking her predecessor Dr. Patricia Bixler for her support.

10.2. A birth announce of a district employee was shared with the group. Congratulations were shared by all.

10.3. Alex Hadleberg was promoted to the senior director position of Orlando Tech school effective late December. Alex's wealth of experience will be utlized to help place an emphasis on the integration of career technology within the school.

11. Leadership Theories

11.1. Patriarchy- There were times that this type of leadership was represented (Gordon) particulary w/ the debate about the school calendar. It seemed that Gordon couldn't let the debate go- she appeared very head strong and didn't seem able to negotiate (KM)

11.1.1. It seemed that past experiences with creating a calendar caused board member Gordon to have more concerns than new board members (KS)

11.1.2. School schedules and calendars all seem to have chaos within it's development stages. This occurs because there are numerous parties and individuals that have highstakes in it's development. Board member Gordan struggled in this development process as she felt the distribution was unequal and unjust to all stakeholders involved. During this discussion I felt as if this was a hot topic year to year. (AS)

11.1.3. I've witnessed sessions like this where there seems like no possible decision can be made, and it usually boils down to one person. It would be great if there could be a method to avoid using so much time, maybe tabling the issue after so many minutes? (RZ)

11.2. Stewardship- Overall I felt that this meeting was run through this lense. Shared accountability and responsibility was demonstrated. The Superintendent seemed to work well with the others recognizing their opinions and complimenting things that were going well. (KM)

11.3. Democratic/Participative - In a school board information is given from stakeholders, there is a discussion, and then the board makes a decision. This was illustrated in the approval of the calendar, non-consent, and consent decisions in this board meeting. (KS)

11.3.1. I think having the info ahead of time makes it much more productive, as the meeting is for asking questions and not to be presented with materials for the first time. (RZ)