Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Tonight’s school board meeting agenda (February 9)

The board actually has three meetings tonight: one in closed session as part of our ongoing evaluation of the superintendent, one regular board meeting (agenda here), and one work session (agenda here).

Some of the items on the agenda(s):

  • The bell schedule. The board now has input from the task force and from two listening posts and may be ready to make a decision. The community input leaned heavily toward starting the elementary schools before the secondary schools. There was a lot of discussion about starting elementary school as early as 7:45 or as late as 8:00. To remain roughly cost-neutral, we’d need to start secondary schools at least 50 minutes later, and we save almost $200,000 annually by making it 55 instead of 50. If the elementaries start at 7:45, the secondaries could start at 8:35 and would get out at 3:45 or 3:50. If the elementaries start at 8:00, the secondaries could start at 8:50 and get out at 4:00 or 4:05. Agenda info here. For a more complete discussion, see this post.

  • Attendance area transitions. Last year, the board had to change our secondary boundaries in anticipation of opening Liberty High School in 2017. Technically, the board didn’t actually set the boundaries for the new high school; it just determined the “feeder system.” It decided to use a (mostly) “clean” feeder system: Southeast Junior High kids would go to City High; Northwest Junior High kids would go to West High, and North Central Junior High kids would go to Liberty High. It also determined which elementary schools would feed into which junior highs. All of those changes were set to go into effect in 2017. At tonight’s meeting, we’ll discuss whether it makes sense to implement those changes as to junior high students in 2016 instead. Info here. (This is a very complicated topic that’s hard to summarize briefly—I hope to post something longer on it soon.)

  • We’ll hear a report on the district’s efforts to implement a multicultural/gender-fair curriculum. Info here.

  • We’ll hear an update from the committee working on revising the district’s policy about pesticide and herbicide use on school grounds.

  • We’ll hear the quarterly financial report. Info here.

  • At the work session, we’ll continue our discussion of our process for drawing new elementary attendance zones in anticipation of opening two new elementary schools in 2019. Info here, here, and here.

Feel free to comment on anything you see (or don’t see!) on the agendas.

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