Notes by Karina Lande.
Parent. Corbett Community Member. Concerned Citizen.
* A quick update regarding the meeting Wednesday night. The board did not vote on the bond yet. This has been tabled until September 3rd. It seems very likely to those familiar with the law, that this has been intentional as I am sure you know that the district could not send the persuasive mailers, like the two I have received recently with Randy’s name on them, after the board votes because these types of things can not legally come from the school without risk of complaints to the Secretary of State’s office. [ Select here for an opinion piece written on this bond | Select here for more information ]
Karina Lande’s Board Meeting Notes 8/21/2013
Director Purvine had a pre-arranged absence & was not present.
The board is now following policy regarding public comments. You still need to fill out a card to speak, but there is now the option to speak after each action item is discussed. Which I feel is nice so you can state your thoughts regarding a specific topic at the time that it’s being considered by the board. You may also still make general comments after principal reports.
Approval of the last meetings minutes were tabled as they do not have them prepared yet.
Community member Tom Layton spoke regarding the bond and his desire for the inclusion of an 8 lane regulation track. He feels it is the one thing the school has been missing for 40 yrs. He thinks it is more important than football & baseball fields, and would be great for the community. Their are 44 kids in track this year, and the cost to put in a track is $1.5 million.
See document for the full agreements. CSD adopted this last Oct. and are reviewing it for renewal. The following statement was discussed.
“The board commits itself individually and collectively to stand by it’s code of conduct to “speak with one voice”, to maintain a positive culture and orderly decision making processes, and to do it’s work openly.”
(Topic was also discussed with the representative from Oregon School Board Association at the workshop the previous week.)
All board members present agreed it was fine. Annette Calcagno stated she wanted to clarify that “speaking with one voice” is not a gag order and that the board members still have individual rights to express their personal opinions when talking with friends or others in the community.
Charlie O’neil agreed and stated “as in training (OSBA Workshop) once board has voted & approved something you don’t go out actively saying negative things about it. You say yes the board voted but these are the reasons I don’t necessarily agree.”
Annette Calcagno – “Yes just separating your individual opinion from that of the board.”
Randy Trani – “I would say that’s a slippery slope, if you spend 10 seconds on way board voted & 20 minutes on reasons why you don’t support that, that is not the “one voice” I heard them talking about. It needs to be fair to why the board decided.”
Annette Calcagno – “what she said was (at OSBA workshop) just make sure your separating the two. This is my personal opinion – because they are two different things – it all comes back to your 1st amendment right to have a personal opinion. The balance may not be there but as long as your separating the two (your opinion from the boards) your going to be ok within the law of the policy.”
* The OSBA workshop was a training session that took place as a special meeting here in Corbett. There was also a 3 day OSBA conference in July. Director Purvine, and Director Calcagno attended this conference in it’s entirety. Director Mickelson missed the first day and it was not clear how much he stayed for… No other board members attended this conference.
Annette Calcagno stated she thought the conference was great & she learned a lot. She also said there are a lot of anti bullying laws coming up & thinks Corbett should begin some programs addressing bullying.
Todd Mickelson stated he was personally disappointed in the conference & didn’t feel he got much out of it.
Some info regarding the next discussion.
( Current CSD practice for staff hiring is Randy Trani selects whom to hire, the board is given a name & position being hired for and they must vote to approve the hires. However current CSD board policy states that board members should be given the persons job application in order to make a sound vote. They currently are not given any information. This was also discussed at the OSBA workshop. Todd Mickelson asked the OSBA representative why they are voting to approve new hires if it’s just a formality. It was stated yes it is legislative law that the board approve all staff hirings. Directors Purvine & Calcagno asked if they should have any kind of information in order to make an educated decision and insure we are hiring the most qualified applicant. It was stated yes some valid data should be provided to board members. )
Directors Purvine & Calcagno submitted requests to Randy Trani asking for the applications of recent & current hires, per our existing board policy. ( see policy below )
Request for information action item.
Mark Hyzer – “move that the board deny the request for generation of reports from Directors Purvine & Calcagno on August 18/19.”
Charlie O’neil – “I move to 2nd it.”
Mark Hyzer speaking to his motion;
“The request for information on applicants for positions at the school is not something that we’ve ever done in my experience on the board. I think if it’s something the board wants to do, that’s something the board should discuss & request as a board.”
Bob Buttke – “I think this is a management decision and information Randy should have and whoever he has appointed to make hires and we’ll approve the contracts as recommended by the superintendent which is what’s supposed to happen. The less we have access to information the less chance there is that info getting out. That part is Randy’s job, Randy should do it and we should be denied access.”
Annette Calcagno – “This should not even be a resolution. Board policy says that you will give the information, it does not say board will approve giving it. Second of all, we are making decisions on stuff we have no information on. This is a standard thing for school boards and I have asked many. They give the information to make an educated decision on what’s being voted on because it is a law, that’s why we vote on it. We need to be informed on the things we’re voting on, it’s not that we’re “not trusting” Randy, it’s “trust but verify” that’s our job as a public official is to verify the information. It’s something the board should be doing. The policy says that we will get it (the information) it doesn’t say it (the request) needs to be approved. I don’t think it’s right, we’re trying to get information to make educated decisions, which is what this board should be doing. I don’t agree with this at all. Without the information, how do you make a good decision? You don’t and I will no longer be voting yes on items that I don’t fully understand. That is not our job. We should all be asking for more information. We’re not trying to cost the district money. This is your job. This is a very sensitive position, I take it very seriously, the legalities and ethics of it. The violations we could have. We need to be doing this job, and that’s all it is – we’re trying to do the job. I feel like we’re being attacked just because we are asking questions.”
Charlie O’neil – “I’ll be voting for this resolution because other schools don’t have these policies. I don’t know where this policy came from but it’s good it was brought to our attention that it’s in our policy because it shouldn’t be there. The main thing about trust though is I guess your saying you would vote against the superintendent based on something you read in an application? We hire a superintendent that is an expert in education, who has read the applications and some lay person on board feels that they can make a better decision than he did, doesn’t make any sense to me. Those are the reasons I am voting against it.”
Todd Mickelson – “So I’m still confused, I know we talked about this in our workshop but my question was why are we voting on hires?”
Charlie O’neil – “The OSBA lady explained it’s in the statutes. But really all this requires is for us to vote. We don’t actually need to make a decision on who to hire, we’re just taking the recommendation of the superintendent and we vote to let him hire who he wants to hire to make the school run the way he wants it to run.”
Randy Trani – “This policy we should repeal because it can expose the district to liability if we were to divulge personal information. The request is a considerable time cost to staff. That’s why I put it on the agenda (for approval) it would cost time.”
At this time it was asked if any audience member wanted to speak, so I did.
Karina Lande – “I was at the OSBA workshop and Todd asked why they were voting, others asked what information should we have? She did say no to having the entire application but clearly stated board members are entitled to have information regarding applicants, such as the college attended, degrees earned, any other recognitions or special training, as well as experience & qualifications, in order to make an informed decision. So to sit there and say they are not privy to a hires information is wrong.”
Randy Trani – “I believe she said, that’s how they did at Reynolds, not that it’s what required. We’re talking about our district policy that does state they should get the application & we’re advising we get rid of that policy ASAP. We may want to amend our policy to include one similar to Reynolds.”
Karina Lande – “I think the issue some board members are having is they are being asked to vote on new hires but are given zero information beyond a name & position applied for. In order to say “yes this person is the best applicant, yes this person is a qualified teacher and we’ll vote to approve” – that is all they are asking for (some information).”
Bob Buttke – “We do have the information, Randy is certifying to us they are certified teachers and that’s all we need.”
Charlie O’neil than stated there would be no back and forth discussion.
The board than voted 5 to 1, request for hires information denied.
I will need to contact the OSBA woman to find out if it was her reference to Reynolds policy or if that is a state requirement in order to clarify that. However the bottom line is our board members are being asked to vote on items without being given any valid information to base a vote on. As a parent I want to know our school board is doing their job, that they are verifying that we are hiring the most qualified person for the job, and not just being a rubber stamp. For the record the board has voted by majority to blatantly refuse to follow their own policy. Perhaps the policy needs to be changed to limit access to personal information as mentioned above but until such time you still must follow your current policy, as that is the law.
This is not a trust issue, the state mandates the board must approve all hiring, in order to do so they must be given adequate information. Pretty cut and dry to me. Yet it appears the majority of our board is not interested in following law & policy or doing their job in it’s entirety. Seems many would prefer to have our superintendent make all the decisions and they just approve. This is not the purpose of a school board. The same reason we have The Senate, The House of Representatives AND a president. We have a superintendent AND a school board.
Financial Reports noted we overspent our budget by $110,000. last year. $60,000 of that overage was in appropriations of the general fund & support services. Their were some grounds keeping maintenance issues, the gym floors were resurfaced earlier this year, there were emergency HVAC & septic repairs. Randy Trani states regarding the $110,000. overage that with a $10.5 million budget that should put it in perspective and we’re not perfect.
Annette Calcagno asked Randy to explain the septic repairs. He stated that they were putting in new irrigation for the football field, they had a brand new employee as well as volunteers working on the project. He notes “these are the costs of volunteerism”. Apparently they hit a drain field pipe while adding the new irrigation, they repaired that and continued to run it straight through the drain field. This caused a natural drainage to occur onto Evans Rd. DEQ got involved, it was repaired and is now done correctly. Due to these complications the fields will not be ready in time for our first home game and so we are looking into renting Barlow’s field. This may also require the purchase of special cleats for our team to play on their field.
It was noted we have 45 new resident students this year that bring an increase of around $200,000. in state funding. Class sizes on the main campus are larger than at Springdale, any new students from here on out will be encouraged to enroll at Springdale to try to balance class sizes.
SRO candidates are being interviewed and a selection will be made very soon.
There has been some tweaking to the wording of the bond paperwork, the $15 million dollar amount is now included. Randy proposed tabling the vote and holding a special meeting to do so on September 3rd at 7pm. This was approved.
There is a new project timeline and the architects will produce the final conceptual design renderings at the Sept. 3rd meeting.
Please see documents for further information. Hope you all have a great first week getting the kiddos back to school!
Karina Will Lande
Orig. Code(s): GCD
Hiring of Licensed Staff
The superintendent shall process applications for teaching and principal vacancies. His/Her recommendations are then submitted to the Board for their consideration and action. The superintendent will include the applications of the finalists.
In accordance with the provisions of law, “No hiring or written contract of any teacher is valid unless a teacher, on or before the date employment is to begin, holds a valid teaching license.”
Licensed personnel are responsible for providing the superintendent with a current copy of official transcripts. They shall be kept on file to be used in making reports and verifying placement on the salary schedule. The transcripts should be on file by September 30 the first year and each year thereafter when
additional credits have been accrued.
END OF POLICY
Hiring of Licensed Staff – GCD