• 2021-2022
  • Regular Meeting

Official School Board Minutes

Regular Meeting of the School Board
November 9, 2021

The regular meeting of the Board of Education of Independent School District 270 was conducted in person on Tuesday November 23, 2021. The meeting was called to order at 7:00 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: Oscar Wolfe (11), Imani Kerre-Mongi (12), Angel Riley (12). Student Board reps absent: None. Staff members present: Superintendent Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed. Staff members absent: None.

Open Agenda  

Vice Chair Andreson, surprised Treasurer Adams with the news that he won MSBA’s (Minnesota School Board Association) highest award, the All-State Award. Only 7 board members are selected per year from the nearly 2,300 across Minnesota. A recognition video and snippets from recommendation letters were shared.

Chair Bouchard made a public comment surrounding the recent unrest at Hopkins High School as well as the mental health crisis with scholars across districts. She highlighted an upcoming Holistic Student Safety discussion at the December 14, 2021 Workshop in partnership with Superintendent, Dr. Mhiripiri-Reed and High School Principal, Crystal Ballard.

Public Comment — Items on the agenda

Parent Sam Black addressed the board about the Learning Parameters Redesign project.

Reports

Student Board Representative

Wolfe (11) and Kerre-Mongi (12) explained concerns scholars hold with COVID-19 vaccinations and possible mandates. They also shared scholar perspectives on the recent events at Hopkins High School and its effect on mental and social health.

Superintendent

Dr. Mhiripiri-Reed made a statement to Board and community members in response to the events at the High School and the current climate. She went on to highlight events in the district including the read-a-thon at Alice Smith Elementary and our Maintenance Staff.

Approval of Agenda

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

Consent Calendar

Pederson moved, Andreson seconded, to approve the Consent Calendar as presented: A) Approval of Minutes — Regular Meeting Conducted on November 9, 2021; B) Human Resources — Personnel Updates; C) Policies in Second Read [401, 404, 406, 413, 456]; D) QComp Site Goals 2021-22; E) MSHSL Cooperative Sponsorship - Wrestling; F) Signing of Updated Joint Powers Agreement with West Metro Schools Network Collaborative. Carried.

Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer Adams highlighted expenses of interest. Adams moved, Pederson seconded, to approve financial disbursements in the amount of $2,770,412.33 for the period of November 3, 2021 through November 15, 2021. Carried.

Policies in First Read

403: Discipline, Suspension And Dismissal Of School District Employees
407: Employee Right To Know-Exposure To Hazardous Substances
408: Subpeona Of A School District Employee
409: Employee Publications, Instructional Matters, Inventions And Creations
414: Mandated Reporting Of Child Neglect Or Physical Or Sexual Abuse

Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Lightfoot and Vice Chair Andreson noted that the presented policies are very standard in nature and no changes were presented for board discussion.
 
Andreson moved, Adams seconded that the Board approves the above policies in First Reading; further, the Board directs the Administration to prepare the policies (with suggested revisions) for approval in Second Reading at the next meeting (as part of Consent).

Learning Parameters Redesign 

With the help of Data Scientist, Dr. Abby Holm, and Data Specialist, Pamela Carman, Dr. Mhiripiri-Reed presented history and a final update to the Board for the Learning Parameters Redesign Recommendations for ‘grade reconfiguration’ and ‘school start times’. The Learning Parameters Redesign team has chosen to place a hold on two of the four originally presented topics; ‘year-round school’ and ‘non-traditional spaces and places’. 
Dr. Holm re-shared pertinent quantitative and qualitative data from spring and fall survey results, community imagining sessions, board work sessions and steering committee research to map out the input used to guide the recommendations.
Mrs. Carman presented the feasibility study results and pros and cons for each topic to inform start time and configuration decisions. She shared three different scenarios for School Start Times framed from desired outcomes and challenges.

School Start Times 

  • Desired outcomes include secondary scholars to begin school later at 9:00 a.m. and elementary scholars to begin school earlier at 8:00 a.m.
  • Challenges include: managing the stakeholder impact, navigating transportation inefficiencies and Kids & Company (before and after school care) inequities.

A significant factor for each scenario is transportation. Per Hopkins Public School Policy 707, Hopkins is obliged to abide by multiple transportation elements including bus route time limits, residential boundaries and municipal hazards. Carman explained the financial impact each scenario would have on the district and before and after school care.

Grade Reconfigurations

Carmen shared the feasibility of grade reconfigurations in two scenarios highlighting the significant effect on before and after school care cost.

  • Desired outcomes include moving grade 9 to the high school and grade 6 to the junior high schools.
  • Challenges include family preferences to keep grade 6 at the elementary level, stakeholder and financial impact.

She went on to explain the pros and cons of implementing the recommendations for the 2022-23 school year or the 2023-24 school year. 

Recommendation

Dr. Mhiripiri-Reed presented the final recommendations as follows:
Collapse to 2-transportation tiers and swap start times (early for elementary / later for secondary) in SY2022-23.
Transition 6th graders to middle school and 9th graders to HHS in SY2023-24.

Board members shared questions and comments on the presentation. Vice Chair Andreson requested to edit the presented recommendation language to include the possibility of a 3-transportation tier.

After discussion, Mhiripiri-Reed and Chair Bouchard clarified that the recommendation will be edited to “swap start times (early for elementary / later for secondary) in SY2022-23” omitting “collapse to 2-transportation tiers with the assumption that administration and board members will operate the process with the necessary tired system as needed.
Adams moved, Khan seconded to approve the presented and revised recommendations for implementation of the Learning Redesign Project for SY2022-23 and beyond. Carried.
 

Board Member Reports

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

Public Comment Items — Not on Agenda

Parents Anthony DeGiulio, Kathleen Provenzano, Sara Waterman, Jennifer Lorinser, Angela Acevedo, parent and staff member, Mike Harris, and scholar Rachel Zuraff addressed the Board with comments and concerns related to the recent events at Hopkins High School.


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

 

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Katie Pederson, School Board Clerk