Dickinson Public Schools Unapproved School Board Meeting Minutes Thursday, October 7, 2021; 5:00 p.
Dickinson Public Schools
Unapproved School Board
Thursday, October 7, 2021;
Professional Learning Lab
A complete recording of the October 7, 2021, School Board Meeting is available on the Dickinson Public Schools website utilizing the BoardDocs link.
The Dickinson Public School Board held a regular meeting on October 7, 2021, at the Professional Learning Lab. Board members present were President Brent Seaks, Vice President Kim Schwartz, Board Member Michelle Orton, Board Member David Wilkie, and Board Member Jason Rodakowski. Also present were Interim Superintendent Dr. Marcus Lewton, Business Manager Stephanie Hunter, Lincoln Elementary Principal Tammy Peterson, Roosevelt Elementary Principal Henry Mack, Lincoln Elementary Title I Look-Alike Instructor Trina Kudrna, Elementary Assistant Principal Richard Smith, Roosevelt Elementary Title I Instructor Amber Berg, Roosevelt Elementary Strategist Jenna Nokes, Career and Technology Education (CTE) Director Aaron Anderson, Mr. Scott Meschke, and 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.
Approval of the Consent Agenda or Addition/Removal of Consent Agenda Items - Mrs. Schwartz moved to approve the consent agenda as presented. Mrs. Orton seconded the motion. A voice vote was taken on the motion. The motion carried unanimously.
Approval of Agenda - Mrs. Schwartz moved to approve the agenda as presented. Mr. Wilkie seconded the motion. A voice vote was taken on the motion. The motion carried unanimously.
Interim Superintendent's Report - Interim Superintendent Dr. Lewton referenced last month's approval by the Board of the boiler update at Berg Elementary. Posted on the website utilizing the BoardDocs link is the amended agreement with J.E. Dunn Construction regarding the Guaranteed Maximum Price for the heating system upgrade.
Dr. Lewton explained Cash-Wa Food Distributors will be ceasing operations on November 1. The District has secured and signed a new contract with Sysco Food Distributors. Dr. Lewton thanked those individuals in the District for their hard work in securing a new food distributor.
The absences due to COVID are at approximately 1% of the students and approximately 2% of the employees. This has been constant over the past five weeks. Dr. Lewton noted this was having an impact on the classrooms. He thanked those individuals that have gone above and beyond to cover classrooms or other areas where there was an employee absence.
Business Topic - Discussion Topics
Principal Reports - Lincoln Elementary Principal Tammy Peterson, Roosevelt Elementary Principal Henry Mack, Roosevelt Elementary Strategist Jennifer Nokes, Lincoln Elementary Interventionist Trina Kudrna, Roosevelt Elementary Title I Instructor Amber Berg, and Lincoln Elementary Assistant Principal Richard Smith addressed the Board. Posted on the website is a presentation prepared by the team of presenters. The team presented information regarding Response to Intervention (RTI).
Principal Peterson shared a visual of comparing the traditional classroom and the numerous transitions over the years. The current classroom makeup could include up to 50% of the students whose families might be struggling financially. There could be 1/3 of the students in a classroom impacted by COVID in their student learning and falling below grade level. Additionally, there could be behavioral, self-control, or trauma concerns. Mrs. Peterson explained how Response to Intervention is extremely important to many students.
Principal Peterson distributed a handout reflecting the last "normal", non-COVID school year for the students. Each student would need to go back three years to a time that was pre-COVID to have a normal school year.
The video presentation included diagrams of creating fairness for all students; Professional Learning Communities and its impact in the buildings; resources available for students; Tier 1, 2, and 3 support systems; and additional services provided at the schools.
There were two video clips shared. One clip was students explaining their learning journey. Another video was three teachers explaining the standards, assessments, and proficiency skills.
Mrs. Kudrna and Mrs. Peterson explained the three tiers for Response to Intervention support.
President Seaks inquired regarding the process to identify those students struggling with needs, whether academically or financially. Principal Peterson responded there are several tests for students to identify the student's reading and mathematics levels. There is an ACE testing used to identify students who may have experienced trauma or other struggles.
President Seaks thanked all those that provided input with the presentation and shared information with the Board. This agenda item was informational only. No action was requested.
Summer Building and Grounds Update - Assistant Superintendent Harris addressed the Board. He updated the Board on the summer projects that were completed. Projects proposed to the Board in the spring were completed under budget. The largest project was at the high school where approximately $300,000 was spent. Approximately $290,000 was spent on projects at Heart River Elementary. This agenda item was informational only. No action was requested.
Student Mobility Report - Available on the website are two reports reflecting the inward migration of students and the outward migration of students. Assistant Superintendent Harris addressed the Board and reported as of October 1, 2021, the District has 3,799 students. This number of students is up 87 from October 2020 and up 176 students from May 2021. The District is still down 95 students in comparison to the student enrollment from May 2020.
Since September of 2020, 529 students exited the District. There were also 464 students that moved into the District. Even though we had a 2% student increase, 26% of the students the teachers have this year are new compared to the start of the school last year. This high mobility rate causes challenges with trying to consider continuity of learning and intervention programs. This agenda item was informational only. No action was requested.
Budget Input and Development Committee Update - Available on the website utilizing the BoardDocs link are the minutes from the October 5, 2021, Budget Input and Development Committee Meeting. This agenda item was informational only. No action was requested.
CTE Academy Update - CTE Director Aaron Anderson addressed the Board. Mr. Anderson stated a grant application was submitted to the North Dakota Department of Career and Technical Education on September 30. The District is waiting for the awarding of the $10 million grant to be utilized for the startup of the CTE Academy. The District was recently notified there were guidelines released related to the funding. This will delay awarding the grant funding. Mr. Anderson reported there were ten applicants for the first $35 million grants.
The North Dakota Department of Career and Technology and the North Dakota Department of Higher Education have approved the Joint Powers Agreement. The entity will be officially established at a meeting potentially at the end of October or early November.
Student surveys will be going out soon to all students in Southwestern North Dakota. The input from the survey will help guide the programming of the academy.
This agenda item was informational only. No action was requested.
Soccer and Softball Complex Update - Interim Superintendent Lewton addressed the Board. He presented information on behalf of DPS Activities Director Guy Fridley. Dr. Lewton explained the sports complex being built near the Biesiot Activities Center will provide better playing conditions for the DPS students involved in soccer and softball. There will be nine fields. Approximately 90% of the complex is financially funded through a 10-year payoff plan.
Mr. Fridley has contacted the North Dakota High School Activities Association to request the complex be utilized upon completion to host state athletic events. These events will be a positive impact to the economy of the community. This agenda item was informational only. No action was requested.
Interim Superintendent's Formative Evaluation - President Seaks requested Board members log into their Rocky Mountain account and complete the evaluation before October 29. This agenda item was informational only. No action was requested.
Self-Funded Health Insurance Committee Update - Available on the website are the minutes from the September 20 and 23rd Self-funded Health Insurance Committee Meetings. Also posted is a presentation that was shared by the Hayes Corporation. The presentation summarizes a proposed 2% premium increase noted on page 7. This agenda item was informational only. No action was requested.
Business Topics - Action Topics
Self-Funded Health Insurance Premium - Mrs. Schwartz moved to approve the recommendation of the Self-funded Health Insurance Committee as per the attached (posted on the website) for the health insurance premiums for the 2022 calendar year with premiums to be effective January 1, 2022. Mrs. Orton seconded the motion. A voice vote was taken on the motion. The motion carried unanimously.
Amended Budget and Certificate of Levy for 2021-2022 - Available on the School Board website utilizing the BoardDocs link are the following documents: 2021-2022 Statement of Budgeted Revenue, Expenditures and Projected Fund Balances, Expenditure Fund Summary, Revenue Budget Summary, the DPS 2021-2022 General Fund Budget projecting a deficit of $2.2 million, the Certificate of Levy mill levy comparison from 2020 to 2021, the Taxable Valuation Comparison from 2020 to 2021, and the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction 2021-2022 Final Budget. Board action was required for the Certificate of Levy and the final budget to be submitted before the October 10, 2021 deadline.
At the recommendation of the Budget Input and Development Committee, Mrs. Schwartz moved the Board approve the filing of the Certificate of Levy for 113.70 total mills and $17,918,183; total General Fund Expenditures of $59,417,333.94; Capital Projects Fund Expenditures of $2,332,710; Debt Service Fund Expenditures of $4,270,468.33; and Food Service Fund Expenditures of $2,000,886.52. Mr. Wilkie seconded the motion. A roll call vote was taken on the motion: ayes-5 (Rodakowski, Orton, Wilkie, Schwartz, Seaks); nays-0; absent-0. The motion carried unanimously.
Board Appointed Delegates for the 2021 North Dakota School Boards Association Convention - Mrs. Orton moved that Board Members Brent Seaks, Kim Schwartz, Michelle Orton, and Jason Rodakowski be appointed delegates from Dickinson Public Schools for the North Dakota School Boards Association 2021 Convention. Mrs. Schwartz seconded the motion. A voice vote was taken on the motion. The motion carried unanimously.
School Board Policy Revisions, First Reading - Mr. Wilkie moved to approve the first reading of the revisions to policy ABBE, Displays of Religious Objects or Documents; policy ACBC, Use of Animals in District Schools and in Curricular Programs; and policy KADA, Weapons Prohibition on School Property-Public, as presented. Mrs. Orton 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.
School Board Policy Revisions, Second Reading and Final Adoption - Mrs. Schwartz moved to approve the second reading and final adoption of the revisions to policy BCAB, Board Meeting Procedures; policy FAAA, Open Enrollment; and policy FAAD, Tuition Agreements as presented. Mrs. Orton seconded the motion. A roll call vote was taken on the motion: ayes-5 (Rodakowski, Orton, Schwartz, Wilkie, Seaks); nays-0; absent-0. The motion carried unanimously.
Announcements - Board President Seaks explained the registration and housing will open in October for the 2022 National School Boards Association Convention. President Seaks noted the District was operating on a deficit budget. He felt the investment for Board members to attend the convention would be beneficial. Dr. Lewton explained there are ESSER funds for attending a convention. Board members were unsure if they would be able to attend in person and were not opposed to allowing Board members to attend the conference.
Interim Superintendent Lewton recognized Mrs. Susan Cook whose funeral was today. He added she was a great principal at Heart River Elementary for many years. Her motto was every student matters.
Adjournment - At 5:57 p.m., President Seaks declared the meeting adjourned.
Brent Seaks, Board President
Stephanie Hunter, Business Manager
Twila Petersen, Board Secretary
(Nov. 3, 2021) 2909375