Corbett School District Regular School Board Meeting
Wednesday December 17, 2014
The below notes were taken by Karina Lande from the notes from school District Employee, Debbie Schneider. You can also find approved minutes here of this meeting.
* NOTE: This web site is provided as a courtesy for those interested in following along with the happenings in our district, especially those that live in Corbett. This site and these board notes are not meant to replace official CSD board meeting minutes. Thank you to Karina Lande for sharing the below update from the above meeting. Audio is also available if anyone questions the content of what is presented from her notes.
*This was the month the Eaton’s submitted their letter to the board recommending the remodel plan.
Introduction and Comments of Guests and Representatives
Chairman O’Neil mentioned that most comments appear to be regarding the G.O. Bond. As it has not been successful so far, things to come may help us.
*This was the month the Eaton’s submitted their letter to the board recommending the remodel plan.
April Eaton, parent/patron, spoke on the G.O. Bond, and is in favor or renovation of the CMS and feel lots of folks agree, especially with three G.O. Bond failures.
Eric Eaton, parent/patron, spoke as a house renovator and doesn’t understand why we need to tear down CMS. He believes we should work with architect on space and flexibility. He hopes whoever is on task force has love for the building to fix it as he does.
Marnie Freeman, parent/patron, spoke on agenda items 8.1 and 8.2. Watched the G.O. Bond fail and talked to people. Don’t think reason to have another as lots think it is an increase in size that caused failure. Think possibly could pass for new building with 15 – 20,000 square feet but needs community support be approached differently. Find compromises to get fixed and move forward.
Craig Schommer, patron, moved here in 1987. He has no dog in the fight. His family has been General Contracting since 1937 and has built over 100 schools, a process they know. He has known Terry Rommel (Rommel Architecture) for over 40 years. He came to two meetings of the first facilities steering committee (2013) and saw chaos and could see how it would go. Familiar with long term needs and encourage to take a different view, a 50 year master plan. People specialize in this and what evolves and get it down to an organized fashion and prioritize then take to community. Has seen lots of projects fail because of no plan but hard to get (G.O.Bond) passage without taking the ball in hand.
Karen Hawley, patron/parent, spoke about the closing of the middle school building. She believed it would only further divide us. A plan to reinvent or remodel needs to be investigated and if doable would be fine. A slight square footage increase would be OK, as believe kids, teachers and community deserve it and it could be great.
FINANCIAL REPORTS / MATTERS
Report Information Item – Chairman O’Neil noted information handout for the Board.
Presenter: Kristy Andrew-Business Manager reported that November property taxes and SSF Revenue up around $200,000 showed positive increase in the November report. No significant changes otherwise, as concentrated on ongoing audit and early payroll. December report will show more of the expenditure details. Victoria Purvine asked if she could email if questions. Ms. Andrew answered “of course”. *Note the mention of our revenues up by $200,000…. but not a specific explanation of why.
RESOLVED that the Board approved the renewal terms of Budget Committee Members Stuart Childs, Position No. 6 and Marguerite Perry, Position No. 7 to three year terms expiring December 2017.
Superintendent Trani’s Report Information Item
December 18 a certain Santa’s helper will have books for each student K-8 and for the Santa library if they are returned. Starting a tradition to have a book over winter break to read and will start earlier than the week before break to shop and wrap next year.
Regarding closure of the middle school;
Randy – The Oregonian reporter wanted to know options and the “wild fire” was started with the question being out of context in the article about closing the middle school building.
Here’s an excerpt from the November board meeting where this was in fact a resolution….
Resolution – to direct superintendent to form a task force to research and make recommendations to the board by the Dec 17th meeting regarding alternative housing facilities for students, as well as a timeline for future bond campaigns and suggestions for possible closure dates for the middle school building for classroom use due to significant seismic & fire/ life safety concerns.
Victoria – I do know that there’s discussion going around in the community already that at principals chats they’re already discussing closing the middle school, there’s discussions of putting kids temporarily in the gymnasiums. It’s already being talked about (by staff/admin) so to me it seems like we’ve already jumped the gun here, and we’ve already started it?
Charlie – Bob what do you think?
Bob – I agree with doing it (the task force).
David -it’s true there’s been discussion of what do we do and it’s my feeling we shouldn’t keep the kids in the building any longer than we absolutely have to.
Back to current meeting:
Victoria Purvine asked about CMS building section closure. Are we taking off item 8.2?
Dr . Trani answered no, up to facilities committee.
Annette Calcagno added that people are getting the idea from last month’s resolution, not a rumor by a reporter.
Randy continues his report;
PSAT/SAT scores–all 10th graders have taken PSAT now for at least 11 years. Achievement expected to be in increments of 25%, but 40% are in top quartile and more than 14% in top half in math. We are underrepresented in the bottom quartile. Top end ed is both negative and positive drop in CCS testing. SAT math scores in last 8 years for CSD divided in two four year increments, but in the last five to eight years we’ve met 52nd percentile average in nation, with 61% tested. Recently 60th percentile met score and 70% tested. 10th grade PSAT reading more than 33 % in top quartile and more than 63% in top half. Our third quartile almost at nation’s average, but slightly underrepresented. In the SAT for the last four years in 70th percentile with 70% tested. Goal is 100% taking SAT in next four years. The National Center for Educational Statistics shows 35% of the nation take pre-calculus before graduation and 95% of our students do before graduating.
Handout from David Gorman through Dr. Trani regarding CSD Relationship between District Size and Class Size on first side, and Relationship Between Recommended MS & HS Space and District Size on second side. Dr. Trani explained this is based on architectural standards.
David Gorman explained he did this because we hear lots of numbers and he’s used to it as an engineer. Since his head was swimming, thought it could be grasped better by graphics. The left “y” axis is student class size and the right “x” axis is total district, to help with ideal class size. The building size depends on class size. He agreed with Mr. Schommer about master planning to help with the discussion. The back side of the handout “x” axis is District size and “y” axis is MS/HS without CAPS. The line of dashes represents fixed horizontal size. Recommended space is minimum or bottom of range. He used 120 (to 140) square feet for MS and used 160 (to 200) square feet for HS. The difference shows the space deficit. So this begs the question to cut enrollment or increase space.
Victoria Purvine suggested MS and HS space showing and you’re taking all students K-12. (Graph shows only space of the 2 buildings but total district students in the other buildings not calculated in the space graph.)
David Gorman said in District, relating to subset as a fraction.
Victoria Purvine believed looked like just MS/HS.
David Gorman answered it is figured and factored into graph.
Victoria Purvine argued should have the space and bond discussion with remodel as possibility.
There was Board discussion and Chairman O’Neil thanked David Gorman and said this is a process we’re in. David Gorman said he would continue work with clarity for graphs. Charlie O’Neil asked if operating expenses all the same.
David Gorman said Dr. Trani provided numbers. Fixed costs to run and under 680 students, finances fall apart. (Anyone else notice how all these student number talks revolve around either district only (680) or what we are at now? Why is there never a compromise? Say 900-1000?)
Charlie O’Neil noted good way to see lower numbers but there is less everything if less students. David Gorman believed this is based on how we run now.
Victoria Purvine states she believes in 1999 there were about 780 kids and 21-22 kids in a class.
Division 22 Assurances 2014-2015
Select here to download/review the Division 22 PDF ( Districts must report their status with regards to the Division 22 Standards to their communities by January 15, 2015 )
Dr. Trani explained each year a declaration made, with this year reduced number of qualifying assurances to report on. DeeDee Hanes, GS Principle, helped with the report.
Victoria Purvine asked for a clear report on the web site for transparency for the community. She also did not see the equal opportunity affirmative action statement on the web site. What about instructional hours and 12th graders release time?
Dr. Trani suggested we could have the Division 22 Assurance form in the next Board packet. The Board votes on our school calendar yearly. For the 11 years Dr. Trani has been here we get paid to instruct seniors and have them here a full day, seven periods.
Victoria Purvine also felt the Board policy for complaints and appeal of decisions is not prominent and that we should update our policy manual as a whole.
Report from Facilities Task Force Information Item
Chairman O’Neil and Dr. Trani thanked Michelle Dawkins, Intermediate Teacher and Jean – Paul Soulagnet, Physical Education Teacher/Athletic Director, for reporting.
Mr. Soulagnet said he has been here 20 years and that CMS was much more adequate when he first came here. He mentioned that volunteers are tasked with questions, the first being “providing a learning environment that is in the best educational interest of students” and the second being safety of the CMS building (see 8.2). The task force listed out priorities, taken from a Virginia guideline report about minimum square feet, which tied in with David Gorman’s handout (see 4.0). The largest classroom in CMS is Ms. Robertson’s at about 1088 square feet. Common space is a concern with morning meetings for 260-270 kids in the old, cramped, tiny gym area of CMS. There is no lab . Great to have all on single campus for connection and morale of students, staff and community. As is an example in the pride of our newest CGS building, that impacts student achievement. If a G.O. Bond were planned for May, it would be too soon if the State decided to match dollars. He loves this District and knows staff is in process for next steps to happen.
Ms. Dawkins, about 20 years here, and CMS was CHS then. The task force is determining is CMS should be CHS. As a past student at David Douglas HS and Barlow HS, she says our labs are not efficient enough to get kids ready for next steps. The technology is available, but our base here does not meet that. If remodeling can meet, great, would need to look at costs. Open to all possibilities for preparing our children for next generation. The task force will invite others (Board members and community) in next steps.
Victoria Purvine suggested as an advisory committee need to keep public meeting minutes.
Dr. Trani said task force of Superintendent can meet without meeting notice.
Victoria Purvine argued about if recommendation to Board. Chairman O’Neil suggested Ms. Purvine phone or email these questions to Superintendent Trani. Hmmm why not ask questions of our superintendent in a public meeting?
Victoria Purvine asked who is on task force.
Mr. Soulagnet answered that it is volunteer teachers and administrators.
Ms. Dawkins said the first meeting consisted of all CMS teachers, some CGS teachers and Mr.Soulagnet. They have tried to get lots of building representatives. The second meeting was smaller but included more CHS representatives.
The CGS was not built just like teachers would have wanted, so they are vetting out those kinds of issues (ex. carpets, labs) as a starting point. She felt G.O. Bond was a little rushed. This should be better and will invite in more.
Chairman O’Neil explained the reason educators on task force now were because of these kinds of questions. Superintendent Trani has latitude with task forces. Did the current task force decide about changing CMS to CHS?
Ms. Dawkins replied that they hadn’t talked about it, but CHS would be a great CMS. Thought there should be a high school design and more high school teachers invited.
Charlie O’Neil asked if that was because of size. Ms. Dawkins said maybe would be additional question to the number of students needed for District size. Mr. Soulagnet said fear seems to be bringing in more students. The national average is 30 students per classroom.
Victoria Purvine mentioned couple of years ago we had talked caps on students at 1250 max, and then last year you asked for no limits, which is a concern.
Charlie O’Neil corrected that the discussion of the Board was not more than 1250. We can’t live with the decisions of a future Board.
Victoria Purvine reminded the next year we made it no fewer than 1250. (They made the max the new minimum) Charlie O’Neil said necessary for State funding.
Ms. Dawkins said the advisory task force talked about it and think we have a good size now sustaining at 1250 as a goal number, for community and for G.O. Bond, even if arbitrary. Has grown a lot but need Board to take that number to find square footage and remember that storage is important.
*Note: In 2013/14 we had 1,348 students, this year we have somewhere between 1,310-1,320….yet this 1250 number is always used?
Victoria Purvine concerned and questioned what community will actually compromise for in building size.
Chairman O’Neil suggested that later there could be possible surveys.
Dr. Trani thanked the advisory committee and suggested that educational questions will require more experts and input from more folks.
Buildings/Facilities Recommendations Action Item
Todd Mickalson moved and Mark Hyzer seconded:
RESOLUTION: that the Board directed the Superintendent to continue to lead a task force to research and make regular reports and recommendations to the Board regarding alternative housing facilities for Corbett School District students, as well as a timeline for future bond campaigns and suggestions for possible closure dates of the Middle School Building for classroom use due to significant concerns about providing a learning environment that is in the best educational interest of students and that provides space that is educationally adequate and equitable, addresses concerns around social equity issues such as ADA and Title IX, is both efficient and modern, promotes positive morale amongst students, staff, and the community while simultaneously addressing pressing health concerns posed by the building with regard to air quality, hazardous materials, fire/life safety, and seismic instability.
Victoria Purvine asked if this is a mission statement.
Dr. Trani answered that the question tries to accomplish what facility task force is looking at.
Victoria Purvine asked about dates.
Dr. Trani said the task force is ongoing.
Chairman O’Neil reminded that there will be a report at each Board meeting.