Dickinson Public Schools Unapproved School Board Meeting Minutes October 7, 2019; 5:00 p.
Dickinson Public Schools
Unapproved School Board Meeting Minutes
October 7, 2019; 5:00 p.m.
Professional Learning Lab
The Dickinson Public School Board held a regular meeting on October 7, 2019, at the Professional Learning Lab. Board members present: President Brent Seaks, Vice President Kim Schwartz, Board Member David Wilkie, Board Member Michelle Orton, and Board Member Jason Rodakowski. Others present were: Superintendent Shon Hocker, Assistant Superintendent Keith Harris, Director of Instruction Melanie Kathrein, Director of Student Services Sheri Twist, Business Manager Kent Anderson, Dickinson High School Principal Kevin Hoherz, Dickinson High School Assistant Principal Jay Hepperle, Dickinson High School Assistant Principal Tad Schye, Dickinson Middle School Principal Marcus Lewton, Heart River Elementary Principal Susan Cook, Berg Elementary Principal Tracy Lecoe, Lincoln Elementary Principal Tammy Peterson, Jefferson Elementary Principal Sara Streeter, Prairie Rose Elementary Principal Nicole Weiler, Prairie Rose Elementary Assistant Principal Richard Smith, Roosevelt Elementary Second Grade Teacher Sara Berglund, The Dickinson Press Reporter Kayla Henson, and School Board Secretary Twila Petersen.
Call to Order - Board President Seaks called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m.
Public Participation - There were no requests for public participation.
Addition/Removal of Agenda Items or Removal of Items from the Consent Agenda - Mrs. Schwartz moved to accept the agenda and the consent agenda, as presented. Mrs. Orton seconded the motion. A voice vote was taken on the motion. The motion carried unanimously.
Approval of the Consent Agenda - Mrs. Schwartz moved to approve the consent agenda, as presented. Mr. Wilkie seconded the motion. A voice vote was taken on the motion. The motion carried unanimously.
Superintendent's Report - Superintendent Hocker addressed the Board. He announced Dickinson Public Schools was awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Education for over $1 million to be distributed over five years. He explained these funds would help the District pursue its goal and objective of being a High Reliability School (HRS) System. This grant will also provide funding for 40% of the salary for the Public Relations Coordinator. Additionally, the grant funds will help promote the District through various other avenues.
Dr. Hocker also reported the District's student enrollment is up 219 students compared to this same time last year. The kindergarten enrollment is at 408 as of last week Friday. At the high school level, 228 seniors will be graduating in the spring with 298 eighth graders transitioning to the high school next fall. That is an increase of 70 students. There will be a net gain of 58 students in 2021. Within the next two years, there will be a total of 128 additional students at the high school without taking any additional growth into consideration.
Business Topics - Informational Topics
Principal Reports - Prairie Rose Elementary Principal Nicole Weiler addressed the Board. She explained some of the initiatives at Prairie Rose to becoming a High Reliability School. A survey was implemented receiving information from parents, staff, and community.
Ms. Weiler reported the staff has had a great deal of discussion regarding mental health. The discussion included how to support staff, collaborate, and receive additional education on mental health. The staff at Prairie Rose Elementary are trying to make more connections with the students and build a positive relationship. Additionally, the staff has been utilizing the skills from Professional Learning Communities, Leader in Me, Multi-tiered Systems of Support, and Nonviolent Crisis Intervention.
Prairie Rose staff have been meeting with families to develop the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Ms. Weiler commended the Prairie Rose staff for their hard work on all the programs.
Board Member Orton thanked Ms. Weiler and the Prairie Rose staff for all they are doing for the students and families. She has been following the work that is being done by the staff and praised them for their diligence.
Dickinson Middle School (DMS) Principal Marcus Lewton addressed the Board. He explained the middle school did a quantitative survey. The survey generated data to show the strengths and weaknesses of the school. A link is provided on the website for the presentation Dr. Lewton shared with the Board.
One of the areas showcased in the survey is the perception of the faculty and staff has regarding the school environment as being safe and orderly. Another strength at the middle school is the teachers feeling they have formal roles in the decision-making process regarding school initiatives. One area that needs additional discussion pertains to the perception of the students, parents, and the community regarding the school environment as being safe and orderly. Dr. Lewton explained that some of the information from the school cannot be shared with the parents and the community; however, the middle school could do a better job of clarifying with the parents and community. The largest area that needs improvement was to have formal ways of receiving input from students, parents, and the community regarding the optimal functioning of the school. Dr. Lewton explained they have been reviewing the social media platforms and ways of creating dialogues with families.
To address the formal ways of receiving input, Dickinson Middle School has created a social media mission statement to go along with several new links on its website for suggestions, recognitions, celebrations, and an anonymous reporting system. The links are not meant for criticism of individuals or departments.
Board members thanked Dr. Lewton and Ms. Weiler for the updated information they shared. This agenda item was informational only. No action was requested.
ACT Testing - Dickinson High School (DHS) Principal Kevin Hoherz addressed the Board. Available on the website utilizing the BoardDocs link is a letter he has drafted to send to the parents of DHS students announcing the decision to utilize ACT as the official assessment test for DHS.
Freshman and sophomore students at DHS will have the opportunity to complete a pre-ACT. All DHS juniors take the ACT unless an administrator gives them an exemption based on an IEP. The students' progress may be monitored each year.
President Seaks thanked Principal Hoherz for the information regarding the decision to adopt the ACT as the assessment test at DHS. This agenda item was informational only. No action was requested.
Student Mobility Report - Available on the website is the District's 2018-2019 Inward Migration Report and the 2018-2019 Outward Migration Report. Superintendent Hocker addressed the Board. This report is created annually to share with the Board. It shows the number of students that are coming into and exiting from the District and is broken down by state. This agenda item was informational only. No action was requested.
Superintendent's Formative Evaluation - President Seaks reminded the Board members to log into the Rocky Mountain Evaluation portal and complete the evaluation on Superintendent Hocker. He requested Board members complete the evaluation by November 1 to allow him time to share the information with the superintendent before the November Board meeting. This agenda item was informational only. No action was requested.
Business Topics - Action Topics
Budget Input and Development Committee Update - Available on the website are the minutes from the October 2 Budget Committee Meeting. Mrs. Schwartz moved to approve the Budget Committee's recommendation of filing the Amended 2019-2020 Budget with General Fund expenditures of $52,465,659, Capital Projects Fund expenditures of $7,246,871, Debt Service Fund Expenditures of $8,171,634, Food Service Fund expenditures of $1,700,000, and filing of the Amended Certificate of Levy for $17,497,829. Mrs. Orton seconded the motion. A roll call vote was taken on the motion: ayes-5 (Wilkie, Rodakowski, Schwartz, Orton, Seaks), nays-0, absent-0. The motion carried unanimously.
2019 North Dakota School Boards Association Convention - Mrs. Orton moved to appoint Dickinson Public School Board Members Jason Rodakowski, Brent Seaks, Kim Schwartz, and Michelle Orton as delegates and David Wilkie as an alternate delegate for the North Dakota School Boards Association Convention. Mr. Rodakowski seconded the motion. Discussion: Board Member Schwartz stated she is unable to attend the convention and recommended an amended motion appointing her as an alternate delegate. Mrs. Orton amended her motion and moved that Dickinson Public School Board Members Jason Rodakowski, David Wilkie, Brent Seaks, and Michelle Orton be appointed as delegates and Board Member Kim Schwartz be appointed as an alternate delegate for the North Dakota School Boards Association Convention. Mr. Rodakwoski seconded the motion. A roll call vote was taken on the amended motion: ayes-5 (Rodakowski, Schwartz, Wilkie, Orton, Seaks), nays-0, absent-0. The motion carried unanimously.
Available on the website is the schedule for the Law Seminar and Convention. Also available is the North Dakota School Boards Association Government Affairs Resolution Report.
School Board Policy Revisions, First Reading - Available on the website are policies with recommended revisions from the North Dakota School Boards Association noted in red text. Mrs. Schwartz moved to approve for first reading the revisions to policies ABAB, School Year and Calendar; ABCE, Prohibition on Aiding Sexual Abuse; and policy ACBF, Medical Marijuana, as presented. Mr. Wilkie seconded the motion. A roll call vote was taken on the motion: ayes-5 (Schwartz, Orton, Wilkie, Rodakowski, Seaks), nays-0, absent-0. The motion carried unanimously.
Announcements - On behalf of the school board, President Seaks thanked St. John's Lutheran Church for its $10,000 contribution to the outstanding student lunch balances. He also thanked Conoco Phillips for the donation of the tables for the Professional Learning Lab. The Brady Martz Firm delivered treat baskets to employees at various buildings and he thanked them for this gesture.
Adjournment - At 5:27 p.m., Board President Seaks declared the meeting adjourned.
Brent Seaks, Board President
Kent Anderson, Business Manager
Twila Petersen, Secretary
(Published: October 18, 2019)