• 2021-2022
  • Regular Meeting

Official School Board Minutes

Regular Meeting of the School Board
August 17, 2021

The regular meeting of the Board of Education of Independent School District 270 was conducted in-person and streamed virtually, on Tuesday, August 17, 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: Keymora Searles (grade 11) & Imani Kerry-Mongi (grade 12). 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 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. New to the 2021-22 school year, the Board has added an additional option to make public comment on items not on the agenda. Individuals who wish to do so would follow the two processes listed above. Several Open Agenda comments were submitted.

  • Hopkins Public Schools parents: Yen, Kristina, Jesse, Toni, Zhiming; submitted public comments via voicemail in support of masking for K-12+ students and staff.
  • Hopkins Public Schools parents and community members: Ellie, Carey, Jessica, Kristen and Aimee; shared public comments in-person both for and against masking in schools for K-12+ students and staff.

At 7:25 p.m. Chair Bouchard called for a recess due to technical difficulties with the YouTube stream. The meeting resumed at 7:40 p.m.

Reports

Student Board Representatives

Searles and Kerre-Mongi updated Board members on events/activities they participated in over the summer and expressed excitement for the upcoming school year!

Superintendent

Superintendent: Mhiripiri-Reed highlighted summer events and programming with a focus on the upcoming engagement sessions for students, families, stakeholders surrounding schooling parameters.

Approval of Agenda

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

Consent Calendar

Pederson moved, Khan seconded, to approve the Consent Calendar as presented: A. Approval of Minutes — Regular Meeting & Executive Session Conducted on June 1, 2021; B) Human Resources — Personnel Updates; C) Contract Update — Community Education Coordinators Handbook; D) Proposal for Out of State and/or Overnight Travel — Cross Country Team. Those voting in favor thereof: Adams, Andreson, Khan, Kuhl, Pederson, and Bouchard. Those unable to vote: Ahmed.

Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer Adams highlighted expenses of interest. Adams moved, Khan seconded, to approve financial disbursements in the amount of $15,124,319.27 for the period of May 25, 2021, through August 9, 2021. Those voting in favor thereof: Adams, Andreson, Khan, Kuhl, Pederson, and Bouchard. Those unable to vote: Ahmed. Those opposed: None. Carried.

Hopkins Public Schools Health and Safety Measures for the 2021-22 School Year - Resolution

Assistant Superintendent Lightfoot was joined by Mary Jo Martin, Lead Nurse, Julie Kaczmarek, Benefits Coordinator, Jeff Goldy, Environmental Health and Safety Coordinator and Laura Kelzer, Eisenhower School Nurse. They provided the board with background and framing related to the proposed health and safety measures for the 2021-22 school year.

Martin shared that during the 2020-21 school year Hopkins Public Schools recorded 76 positive cases and 501 quarantines for staff and 250 positive cases and 3,342 quarantines for students. She noted that most of the positive cases were transmitted through community or households with roughly two transmitted within schools. Kelzer shared that although we are still waiting for CDC guidelines, the close contact guidelines along with vaccinations and masking will likely aid in decreasing the number of quarantines for the upcoming year.

According to Martin, an estimated 85% of staff are fully vaccinated, 46-49% of secondary scholars are fully vaccinated and 50-52% of secondary scholars partially vaccinated. 75% of the partially vaccinated scholars numbers have received their vaccine within the last two weeks and are not yet eligible for their second dose, giving a promising outlook for the upcoming weeks.

Goldy highlighted that in addition to the four “W’s” Hopkins students and staff are asked to practice, (Watch your distance, Wear a mask, Wash your hands, When you are sick, stay home) the district will continue to focus on maximizing ventilation mitigation and facilitating disinfection when needed. Kaczmarek reminded staff to reach out with questions and concerns related to contact tracing and COVID-19.

Board members shared comments and questions surrounding staff and scholar responses from previous years, possible testing measures and vaccination incentives. The mitigation responded with examples of success in scholar responses, updates from MDH on new testing options as well as the lack of need for staff incentives on vaccinations with our high vaccination percentage. Lightfoot also noted the importance of back to school readiness within our early learning scholars and mask wearing.

Dr. Mhiripiri-Reed confirmed that Hopkins’ new Online Academy is also an option for scholars and families sharing concerns around COVID-19 and mask mitigations with enrollment open through Aug 20, 2021.

Bouchard read the proposed resolution, asking for a motion:

  • WHEREAS, Minnesota Statutes Section 123B.09 vests the care, management, and control of independent districts in the school board; and
  • WHEREAS, the Superintendent of Independent School District 270 [hereinafter the “Superintendent”] is responsible for the management of the schools, the administration of all School District policies, and is directly accountable to the School Board; and
  • WHEREAS, when responsibilities are not specifically prescribed nor School District policy applicable, the Superintendent shall use personal and professional judgment, subject to review by the School Board, pursuant to School District Policy 302, Superintendent; and
  • WHEREAS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) and the Minnesota Department of Health (“MDH”) have determined that the COVID-19 pandemic is currently ongoing and may remain ongoing for an unknown time; and
  • WHEREAS, the Minnesota Department of Education (“MDE”) has issued and may continue to issue written guidance for Minnesota schools on educational issues related to COVID-19; and WHEREAS, the MDH has issued and may continue to issue written guidance for Minnesota schools on public health issues related to COVID-19; and
  • WHEREAS, the Superintendent and the administration of the School District have conferred with the School Board regarding COVID-19 health and safety measures, the current CDC, MDE, and MDH requirements for each, and other relevant information; and

    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the School Board of Independent School District No. 270 as follows:

  • WHEREAS, based upon the collective consideration of these factors, the Superintendent has recommended to the School Board that the following Hopkins Public Schools COVID Mitigation Measures be implemented beginning on August 18 in preparation for the 2021-2022 school year:
  • Section 1: The Superintendent is hereby directed to implement the Hopkins Public Schools COVID Mitigation Measures to open the 2021-2022 school year. As circumstances warrant and guidance from the CDC, MDH, MDE change, the School Board authorizes the Superintendent to adjust those mitigation measures as needed.
  • Section 2: The Superintendent is hereby authorized, after consultation with the School Board Chair and notification to the School Board, to select and implement a different Model for the School District or any specific school buildings without School Board action if the Superintendent reasonably believes that prompt implementation of a different Model is necessary, and that constraints of time and public health considerations render it impractical to hold a School Board meeting to approve the implementation. The Model selected and implemented by the Superintendent shall continue in effect unless and until the School Board, in consultation with the Superintendent and appropriate school district staff and public health officials, deems it in the best interest of the School district and its students to implement a different Model. 
  • Section 3: The Superintendent will provide regular updates to the School Board regarding the School District’s efforts to implement COVID-19 related educational and public health guidance issued by the MDE and the MDH, respectively.

Adams moved, Andreson seconded, to pass the proposed Hopkins Public Schools Health and Safety Measures for the 2021-2022 School Year Resolution. Those voting in favor thereof: Adams, Andreson, Khan, Kuhl, Pederson, and Bouchard. Those unable to vote: Ahmed. Those opposed: None. Carried.

Revised Policy — 808:Face Coverings

Vice Chair Andreson, shared the minor changes to policy 808 and noted that no changes were made by the Monitoring Committee. She recommended that this be passed in first reading.

Adams moved, and Pederson seconced, that the Board approves policy 808 — as listed above — in First Reading. Those voting in favor thereof: Adams, Andreson, Khan, Kuhl, Pederson, and Bouchard. Those unable to vote: Ahmed. Those opposed: None. Carried.

Board Member Reports

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

Kuhl moved, Adams seconded, to adjourn the meeting at 9:15 p.m. Carried.

 

 

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Katie Pederson, School Board Clerk