Official School Board Minutes

Regular Meeting of the School Board
May 4, 2021

The regular meeting of the Board of Education of Independent School District 270 was conducted virtually on Tuesday, May 4, 2021. The meeting was called to order at 7:03 p.m.

School Board members present online and in person: Treasurer Steve Adams, Director Fartun Ahmed, Vice Chair Shannon Andreson, Chair Jennifer Bouchard, Director Tanya Khan, Director Kuhl, and Clerk Katie Pederson. School Board members absent: None.

Student Board reps present: Keymora Searles (11) and Elliot Berman (12). Student Board reps absent:  None. Staff members present: Superintendent Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed. Staff members absent: None.

Open Agenda

Bouchard explained that Open Agenda is facilitated through a designated voicemail box for recorded messages to be played at the meeting as well as by comment card if attending the meeting in person. Bouchard noted that no Open Agenda comments were submitted.

Reports

Student Board Representatives

Searles and Berman updated the board on recent events surrounding clubs and activities at Hopkins noting decision day for seniors and that there are only eighteen (18) school days remaining!

Superintendent

Dr. Mhiripiri-Reed shared several updates surrounding Governor Walz’s visit to Alice Smith to support the passing of the Summer Learning Package, teacher appreciation week, recent COVID-19 data, and staff survey feedback.

Approval of Agenda

Adams moved, Kuhl seconded, to approve the agenda as presented. Those voting in favor thereof: Adams, Ahmed, Andreson, Khan, Kuhl, Pederson, and Bouchard. Those opposed: None. Carried.

Consent Calendar

Andreson moved, Adams seconded, to approve the Consent Calendar with the exclusion of the Gender Inclusion Policy as follows: A) Approval of Minutes — Regular Meeting Conducted on April 27, 2021; B) Human Resources — Personnel Updates; C) Policies in Second Reading [102]; D) Request for Proposal – Fresh Produce, 2021-22; E) Request for Quote – Beverage, 2021-22; F) Request for Bid – Milk & Dairy Products; G) Hopkins School District Tenant Lease Summary, 2021-22. Those voting in favor thereof: Adams, Ahmed, Andreson, Khan, Kuhl, Pederson, and Bouchard. Those opposed: None. Carried.

The Gender Inclusion policy was pulled from consent and moved to New Business.

Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer Adams highlighted expenses of interest. Adams moved and Khan seconded, to approve the financial disbursements in the amount of $926,426.38 for the period of April 13, 2021 through April 26, 2021. Those voting in favor thereof: Adams, Andreson, Khan, Kuhl, Pederson, and Bouchard. Those unable to vote: Ahmed. Those opposed: None. Carried.

Policies in Second Reading — Policy: Gender Inclusion

Vice Chair Andreson moved to pull the Gender Inclusion Policy from the Consent Calendar. She stated that at the Thursday April 29th engagement session, community members provided suggestions and feedback to the policy. These revisions are presented to the board in the consent calendar item C) Policies in Second Reading [102, Gender Inclusion]. Assistant Superintendent Nik Lightfoot presented the suggested changes to the board.

Andreson moved Adams seconded to approve the Gender Inclusion policy with the aforementioned changes in Second Read. Those voting in favor thereof: Adams, Ahmed, Andreson, Khan, Kuhl, Pederson, and Bouchard. Those opposed: None. Carried.

Policies in First Reading — Policy 514: Bullying Prohibition

Assistant Superintendent, Lightfoot reviewed policy 514 in First Reading, noting during its annual review and presentation to scholars, no changes were suggested, rather feedback requesting broader education on the policy and its influence.

Andreson moved, Adams seconded to approve policy 514 in First Reading; further, the Board directs the Administration to prepare the policies for approval in Second Reading at the next meeting (as part of the Consent Calendar). Those voting in favor thereof: Adams, Ahmed, Andreson, Khan, Kuhl, Pederson, and Bouchard. Those opposed: None. Carried.

Community Education Program Report

Director of Community Education and Engagement, Alex Fisher, provided board members with background on the effects of COVID-19 on Community Education Departments and programs over the past year. He was joined by fellow Community Education Directors to provide specific updates.

Assistant Director of Early Learning, Sara Chovan, shared successes of the EC programs including virtual screening options, virtual ECFE classes, expanded access to summer programming through partnerships with Schools and Community in Partnership (SCIP), ResourceWest and the Community Ed Department, and plans to develop one cohesive preschool program by combining Stepping Stones and Kaleidoscope. 

Youth Programs Coordinator, Lisa Walker, highlighted components of the out-of-school time programs. She mentioned Kids & Company’s undertaking of providing full day childcare for emergency workers, its partnerships with ResourceWest and distance learning achievements. She also touched on Youth Enrichment Classes including Royal Connections that hires Hopkins High School Students, the number of virtual community education options for kindergarten through adult age, and increasing scholarship opportunities.

Adult Options in Education Coordinator, Chelsea Ritland, shared the mission and vision of the department. Adult Options also transitioned to operating fully online for the year and into the summer. She mentioned the addition of Canvas classes, in-person technology help and the increased attendance from adult scholars.

Dre Jefferson, District Facilities Manager, explained how the department adapted to COVID-19 and CDC guidelines to maximize district spaces through rentals, leases, and events. A new sports and fitness training program called, Hopkins Fit Forward will be implemented for guests and members of Hopkins Fitness Center.

Lastly, Coordinator of Community Partnerships, Holly Magdanz, updated the board on community partnerships through Hopkins. This includes Royal Connections, where High School Students are hired to teach enrichment classes, the expansion of the AmeriCorps grant from one to fourteen AmeriCorps workers. She also noted the established financial aid assistance fund through ResourceWest and a recent no-cost contract with Hazelden Betty Ford.

Board members shared comments of gratitude and excitement for the Community Education Department and Leaders for its success in navigating the hardships of the pandemic and the new programs. 

Board Member Reports

Board members reported on recent educational activities/events in which they have participated.

Incidental Reports

Adams moved, Kuhl seconded, to approve the incidental reports.  Adams, Ahmed, Andreson, Khan, Kuhl, Pederson, and Bouchard. Those opposed: None. Carried.

Andreson moved, Adams seconded to adjourn the meeting at 8:43 p.m. Those voting in favor thereof: Adams, Ahmed, Andreson, Khan, Kuhl, Pederson, and Bouchard. Those opposed: None. Carried.

 

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Kathrine Pederson, School Board Clerk