• 2021-2022
  • Regular Meeting

Official School Board Minutes

Regular Meeting of the School Board
September 14, 2021

The regular meeting of the Board of Education of Independent School District 270 was conducted in person and streamed virtually on Tuesday September 14, 2021. The meeting was called to order at 7:01 p.m.

School Board members present: Treasurer Steve Adams, Vice Chair Shannon Andreson, Chair Jennifer Bouchard, Director Tanya Khan, Director John Kuhl, and Clerk Katie Pederson. School Board members absent: Director Fartun Ahmed.

Student Board reps present: None. Student Board reps absent: None. Staff members present: Superintendent Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed. Staff members absent: None.

Open Agenda — Public Comments on Agenda Items

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

Reports

Superintendent

Mhiripiri-Reed highlighted Hopkins Kindergarten class of 2034, Marketing and Communications department and overall school opening events.

Approval of Agenda

Adams moved, Pederson seconded, to approve the agenda as presented. Carried.

Consent Calendar

Chair Bouchard looked for a motion to add “School Board Goals” from the Workshop conducted prior to tonight's regular meeting for approval along with the consent calendar as presented. Pederson seconded, to approve the Consent Calendar as presented: A) Approval of Minutes — Organizational and Regular Meetings Conducted on Aug 17, 2021; B) Human Resources — Personnel Updates; C) Tax Levy Hearing Date, 2021; D) Insurance Renewals, 2021-22; E) Board Agenda Plan, 2021-22; F) School Board Goals. Carried.

Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer Adams highlighted expenses of interest. Adams moved, Kuhl seconded, to approve financial disbursements in the amount of $4,769,252.52 for the period of August 10, 2021 through September 7, 2021. Carried.

School Opening, 2021-22

Superintendent Mhiripiri-Reed, along with Cabinet and District Leaders, updated the board on the successful opening of our 2021-22 school year. Each of the following individuals shared a brief overview for their respective departments:

  • Elementary and Secondary Schools
    • Principals Leanne Kampfe and Jeff Radel
  • Innovation, Design & Learning and Specialized Services
    • Director of Innovation, Design & Learning,  Ann Ertl
    • Assistant Director of Innovation, Design & Learning, Allegra Smisek
    • Assistant Director; Learning Design Futurist, Tiffany Nielsen-Winkelman
    • Teacher, Lu Zeglin
    • Director of Special Services, Fhonda Contreras

Chair Bouchard moved and Adams seconded to recess at 8:26 p.m. and return at 8:41 p.m. Carried.

  • Transportation
    • Supervisor of Transportation, Derrick Agate
    • Director of Business Services, Tariro Chapinduka
  • Nutrition Services
    • Director of School Nutrition, Barb Mechura
  • Summer Programming
    • Director of Community Education, Alex Fisher
    • Summer and Extended Year Specialist, Paris Timmons
    • Youth Programs Coordinator, Jaleeza Smith-Breedlove                                 
  • Staffing
    • Assistant Superintendent, Nik Lightfoot
  • Facilities
    • Supervisor of Buildings & Grounds, Kevin Neuman

Redesigning Learning Parameters Community Engagement Sessions

Superintendent Mhiripiri-Reed informed board and community members of the upcoming Community Engagement Sessions guided by the Hopkins Public Schools Steering Committee. These sessions will gain community, staff and family input on the following topics: School Start Times; Year-Round School; Non-Traditional Spaces & Places; Grade Configurations. 

Input into Legislative Action Coalition (LAC) Platform

The District’s LAC Steering Committee is developing their platform for 2022. In preparation, input is being gathered from District administrators and residents. LAC Co-Chair Steve Adams, facilitated a discussion with Board members surrounding legislative priorities for the 2022 session. Chair Bouchard suggested adding staffing shortages and challenges for school districts. 

Tax Levy Certification

Director of Business Services, Tariro Chapinduka, explained that this presentation is typically two parts, however, due to only one meeting in September, the proposed tax levy certification will house preliminary numbers subject to change.
The proposed preliminary property tax levy is $59,210,536, an increase of $784,220, or 1.34% in comparison to PAY21 (FY22). 
He explained that the General Fund comprises the majority of the increase at $1,998,018. Within that increase, the following items were noted:

  • Voter Approved Levy Referendum revenue is increasing by a total of $329,168 (2%) due to a slight increase in student count from (FY21) enrollment projections. 
  • The Capital Projects Levy is increasing by $726,185 (6%) due to a slight increase in Net Tax Capacity (property value increase). 
  • Long Term Facilities Maintenance (LTFM) increased by $1,184,721 (35%) due to adjustments in our LTFM plan. 
  • Other General Fund levy components had minimal increase /(decrease) adjustments.

Additionally he noted:

  • The Community Education portion of the levy is increasing by a total of $46,450 (11%). Most of this increase comes from adjustment in School Age Care. 
  • The Debt Service Fund levy is decreasing by $1,203,456 or 7% due to reductions in our debt obligations.

Chapinduka explained that the Board can either certify this proposed property tax levy at a specific dollar amount or at the maximum, thus retaining flexibility if there are subsequent levy changes beyond the District’s control between now and the final levy certification.
He further noted that the Truth-in-Taxation hearing — as approved by the Board in September —is scheduled at 6:00 p.m. on December 7, 2021, to allow for citizen comments and input with the final levy approval on December 14, 2021 during the regular board meeting.
Adams moved, Pederson seconded to certify the proposed property tax levy at the maximum for the PAY22 (FY2023) levy cycle. Carried.

District Enrollment

Assistant Superintendent Lightfoot was joined by Director of Communications and Marketing, Jolene Goldade. Together they provided the board with historical data surrounding enrollment. Goldade highlighted the increase in enrollment at 6870 from 6618 projected scholars. The most notable increase falls within kindergarten.

Board member comments and questions surrounding what additional information would be helpful included: data on scholars choosing schools other than Hopkins, what those retention efforts are/have been, transfers to and from charter or private schools, do we have enough space and staff to accommodate for increased enrollment, and what qualitative pieces can be provided as to why and who these scholars and families are that choose to remain in the district. 

Board Member Reports

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

Incidental Reports

Bouchard moved, Adams seconded to approve the incidental reports. Carried.

Bouchard moved, Pederson seconded to adjourn the meeting at 10:35 p.m. Carried.

 

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Katie Pederson, School Board Clerk