To watch the YouTube of this meeting click here.
Special Budget Work Session
Prior to the regular meeting the Board had a work session regarding the FY23 Budget. Basically, the budget is still in flux. The Budget Office offered some suggestions and is continuing to work hard to come up with more ways to address the critical labor shortage. The Board will hold the next budget meeting on May 4th where they plan to finalize budget recommendations, so they can submit the final budget on June 8th.
The Board moved to direct the Superintendent to continue to analyze and report back, which carried Unanimously.
Three consent agenda items were pulled for discussion by Trustee Church, items 2.03 Board Minutes, 2.13 Renewal of Commercial Lease Agreements and 2.23 Board Policy on Board Meeting Protocols.
The remainder of the consent agenda items 2.02, 2.04-2.12, & 2.14-2.22 were passed unanimously.
2.03 Board Minutes Trustee Church spoke on how his address to the Board was not transcribed into the record unlike those of the rest of the public. The Board listened and then moved to adopt the minutes. The motion passed 6-1. Trustee Church dissented.
2.13 Renewal of Commercial Lease Agreement - Trustee Church requests that the Board look at the land the District owns and leases to see if money can be saved. The Board listened, but everyone carried the motion unanimously.
2.23 - Board Policy 9110 pertains to Meeting Protocols - Trustee Church is concerned that the revisions to Board Policy 9110 will silence voices, because in this present board configuration where there is only one dissenting voice, he will not be able to pull items from the consent agenda to express concern. So one board member will have no voice as it takes two trustees to put something on the agenda and with this change will now require two trustees to pull it off. This really is a serious and silencing change to board meeting protocols.
President Taylor redirects the conversation, because they have already discussed these changes in a policy meeting. However, wanting to pass these changes makes us question her often articulated sentiment to bring more chairs to the table for conversation. In this case, not only is a Trustee silenced, but so will his constituents and diversity of thought. President Taylor moved to continue forward without changes, carrying the motion 6 -1. Trustee Church dissented.
Items for Presentation, Discussion, and Information (No Action)
3.01 PRESENTATION AND DISCUSSION ON THE THREE FEDERAL GRANTS (Title 1 Funds)
Title I Part A (big A), is to improve the academic achievement of the disadvantaged, receiving a formula grant of almost $11 million. These are federal funds for free and reduced lunch and other programs to improve the achievement gap of the economically disadvantaged over their more advantaged peers. As a little background, in 1965 Title I funding started with the Johnson Administration's war on poverty and through reauthorizations of that law, Title I continues to exist.
Trustee Minetto asks if there is lots of data that shows Title I funds help children learn more and do better in school? The answer by Joe Ernst, Chief Accountability Officer is that there is mostly monitoring that comes from site data which he feels is meaningful. They see some of their Title I schools do really well. Not really an answer, but as President Taylor points out the only true way to know is to compare when the schools do without the means to make them economically equal. Otherwise, there is no control group. But as she puts it, hungry kids don’t learn. (Just a thought wouldn’t it be interesting to require Title I schools to have small class sizes and then compare them to the remaining schools with large class sizes. Can small class size increase educational success, decrease unwanted behavior and make teachers happier?).
Trustee Nicolet - what support are we providing our principals and teachers so they can understand the dynamics of their school population to make informed decisions on how to spend their Title Funding? Joe Ernst answered that they have two coordinators to sit side by side with principals. They have also developed a template and Data Profile Booklets that lists comprehensive information on each school to drive us to the goals the school is trying to achieve. Stakeholders, staff committees, students all having voice to the goals of the school.
Trustee Nicolet, trying to understand equity when Title I schools who can go above and beyond and can get a Dean and AP, she wonders how we equitize that across all their schools. (Great question and showing the conundrum and fallacy of equity.) Answer from Brian Prewett, Title I Director- Title I is equitable, but not equal.
Sounds like some great opportunities for kids who are homeless and basically economically disadvantaged, get the funding due to economics. Those at the table noted they want to break the belief that low income students can’t be high performing as they have some very high performing Title I schools. They also voiced they have high expectations for all students. We agree it sounds great other than a questionable perception that the public believes low income children can’t achieve. I would be curious how many people in this country actually have that belief? We also believe it is great that the Title I money follows the student, their example of a child who gets a scholarship to a private school, but still needs uniforms or has other expenses.
Trustee Nicolet asks about free lunch - prior to COVID every student had the opportunity to fill out a free lunch application. During COVID all students ate for free. Now that COVID has ended they are back to the problem that sometimes students who need free lunch do not get it because, which he blames especially on the last administration, they are scared to fill out any forms. (Noted) But Mr. Brian Prewett, the Title I Director, Amber Hilberg Title I Grant Coordinator and maybe Denise Benson Team Up Coordinator,as best we can assess, have figured out a way around this by working with the state. They will increase the number of CEP schools, those schools that are already qualified for free lunch without the students/families having to fill out any forms. About 40% of schools in the community are now CEP schools. The workaround is completed by going into Infinite Campus and using the information contained therein to get a community qualified, and thereby a school CEP certified. With this new method no forms are needed to get free lunch when your whole school gets qualified. No one on the Board blinked an eye or asked about the cost ramifications. Nicolete called this a COVID silver lining. We are not exactly sure of what she is referring to, but something within this topic. We all agree students need to be fed, but to not analyze or look at the expenditure of almost half of the schools in our district needing free lunch?
Title I (little a) - competitive grant funding this year was roughly $3 million to support underperforming Title I schools that are CSI (Comprehensive Support and Intervention School).
Title IV Part B (TEAM UP) - competitive grants for all CSI or Targeted Support and Intervention (TSI) schools, which families must be engaged to enroll in these after school programs. Funding provides staff, supplies, snack/dinner, STEM, Art, Music, Sport, Robotic, Civic Engagement etc. Students have to actively enroll in the after school program.
3.02 PRESENTATION AND UPDATE REGARDING THE SUPERINTENDENT’S TASK FORCE FOR SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIALS (Presentation & Discussion Only)
Dr. Troy Parks, Chief Academic Officer, gave a quick synopsis of what the Task Force has accomplished to this point:
1) Debie Stears, was appointed the Task Force Lead
2) The Taskforce dove into the NV Academic Content Standards in regards to how Social Studies and English Language Arts are structured and put together
3) Different WCSD Departments gave presentations on curriculum
4) They also took a deep dive into adopted core curriculum and how the books are put together, which lay a foundation for their future work. It is intended that the Task Force will meet in May, engaging with adopted K-5 ELA material in order to make a recommendation to the Superintendent on whether ELA supplementary materials are even necessary.
Upon Trustee Church’s question, they went over how the Task Force was selected. The rendition was a little disjointed and confusing but it seems to be the community members and parents applied then the Accountability Department had criteria and a blind screening process they used for selection. The principal association seemingly chose the principals and teachers? Dina Ciaramella - Curriculum & Instruction Rep and Jenni Anderson - Distance and Blended Learning Rep had to be on it to facilitate (Why would they be members and not just facilitators?) Student voice department chose the students.
Trustee Minetto - Do we have any idea of a timeline? Superintendent McNeill answered that it will depend on the recommendation brought to her by the Task Force after their May meeting. She will then make a recommendation to the Board.
3.03 EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES AND TRANSITIONING STUDENTS TO KINDERGARTEN (Presentation & Discussion Only)
Tina Springmeyer, Director of Childhood & Family Services Department and Nevada Pre-K Content Standard Coordinator, indicated her area has four focuses: Early Childhood Education (grant funded programs - ESSER, Head Start, Title I, NV Ready/NV Pre-K), Infant and Toddler Teen Parent Program, The Nevada Registry, Nevada Pre-K Standards & Early Guidelines Programs. Their mission is to prepare children to be successful in school by building a strong home-school connection with parents to support their children through education and school readiness. Currently serves 1300 students with 90 classrooms throughout WCSD, 52 Special Education, 38 grant funded and 3 teen parent programs located in 55 area schools.
Frogstreet is their guidance as well as Nevada Pyramid Model Partnership, providing strong social emotional learning (SEL) practices and the students are thriving. They also focus on NV content standards. As SEL seems to be a focus, the question is always is it racially divisive SEL or plain old SEL that Ms. Springmeyere notes in her answer to President Taylor?
President Taylor asked if there is any data showing children who go through Pre-K do better in Kindergarten? Answer -There seems to be no formal assessment yet because it is not required by the state. However, Ms. Springmeyer says there is a lot of research that if they focus on social emotional learning, by helping with self regulation; like how to play nice and how to play well with others, learn what is expected of them in K,... it will be helpful. (This is the kind of social emotional focus we can all support).
Regular Board Meeting Ended and the Special Board Meeting Began
4pm Special Board Meeting to Choose Superintendent
Three hundred and eighty one people completed and submitted the Bryan Group's Superintendent Candidate Feedback Survey. All the Trustees voted for Dr. Enfield with the exception of Trustee Church who voted for Dr. Hobbs. New Superintendent Selected
Motion to select Dr. Enfield subject to the negotiation with the Board and approval of the final contract. Motion carried 6-1. Trustee Church dissented.
2.02 DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION TO DETERMINE THE INITIAL CONTRACT TERMS TO BE OFFERED
President Taylor will advise Dr. Enfield that she was selected to be the next WCSD Superintendent. The Board hopes contract negotiations will start immediately and that Dr. Enfield can start as soon as possible to overlap with Superintendent McNeill.
Prior to the Board meeting ending the Board had three items to decide:
The Effective Date: Motion that the effective date of this agreement is as soon as possible and no later than June 13, 2022. Motion carried, unanimous.
Term of the Agreement: Motion that the term of the agreement is to negotiate a start date until June 30 2025. Motion carried, unanimous.
Salary and Performance Bonus: Motion that the Board authorizes the Board Counsel, President, and Vice President to enter into negotiations with the future superintendent and bring all items back to the Board for approval including all parameters discussed tonight as soon as possible. Motion carried, unanimous.