October 23 Meeting Highlights

October 23 Meeting Highlights

The minutes from the October 23, 2023 meeting will be reviewed and approved by the School District 197 School Board at the Monday, November 13, 2023 meeting. For more information about meeting agendas and minutes, please CLICK HERE.

Action Item - Approval of the Agenda

The motion carried (7-0).


Action Item - Approval of the Consent Agenda as Amended
● Approval of Minutes of the October 9, 2023 Regular School Board Meeting
● Approval of Personnel Recommendations
● Administrative Review of Policy 421, Gifts to Employees
● Administrative Review of Policy 521, Student Disability Nondiscrimination
● Final Reading of Policy 509, Enrollment of Nonresident Students
● Final Reading of Policy 613, Graduation Requirements
● Approval of Field Trip for Key Club Students

The motion carried (7-0).


Comments to the School Board
No one was in attendance to provide comments to the School Board.


Social Studies K-12 Curriculum Review Report
Cari Jo Drewitz, Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, Miles Lawson, Secondary Curriculum and Gifted and Talented Coordinator, and Katie Shetka, Elementary Curriculum Coordinator, presented the K-12 Social Studies Year 2 Curriculum Review report. Recent legislative changes overlap with the social studies content and will require additional attention from the team in the 2023-2024 school year. New requirements include ethnic studies; Holocaust, genocide of Indigenous peoples and other genocide education; and personal finance.

In the fall of 2022, nine programs were selected for the review team to consider. The committee narrowed the program list down to explore more thoroughly. After considering the feedback from the team, it was decided that Studies Weekly would be implemented for K-4 Social Studies. The recommendation for next steps at the middle school are to move forward with a product exploration for the Houghton Mifflin- Harcourt and McGraw Hill programs. Each program would be reviewed for one full quarter the following year. The team will also use the Training Academy structure to help provide time and compensation for preparing for the program explorations. The recommendation for next steps at the high school are to move
forward with a program exploration for the Savvas and McGraw Hill programs. Each program would be reviewed for one full quarter the following year.

The team will also use the Training Academy structure to help provide time and compensation for preparing for the program explorations.
The team will continue their collaborative planning for social studies instruction implementation, conduct product explorations, and arrive at consensus for both the middle and high school levels on which program to recommend for implementation in the fall of 2024.


First Reading of Policy 516, Student Medication
Sara Lein, Director of Special Programs, presented a first reading of Policy 516, Student Medication. This policy was last updated in May of 2020. The current policy adheres to the district’s processes and procedures currently in place. The policy was reviewed against MSBA’s model policy and continues to mostly match that language. Based on this review, the following changes are recommended:

  • In section III, Requirements, a paragraph was added related to storing of drugs or medications
  • In section III, Requirements, a section was added related to procedures for unclaimed drugs or medications
  • Legal references have been updated

Under Section III, K, 7, “grades 7-12” will be left in the policy for clarification of a secondary student definition.Additionally, at the end of this paragraph, a sentence will be added stating “Students in grades PreK through grade 6 are unable to possess or self-administer non-prescription medications.”

This policy will be brought back to the November 13, 2023 meeting for a second reading, via the consent agenda, with these additional changes.


First Reading of Policy 516.5, Overdose Medication
Sara Lein, Director of Special Programs, presented a first reading of Policy 5165, Overdose Medication. The 2023 Minnesota legislature enacted legislation requiring school districts to maintain a supply of opiate antagonists at each school site. The Minnesota School Board Association (MSBA) has created a model policy in response to this new legislation. The provisions of this policy outline the requirements of the law with respect to the use of Naloxone (Narcan) in schools. This is a new policy for the school district. As a means of enhancing the health and safety of all students, staff and visitors, the school district will acquire, store, and administer doses of an opiate antagonist, specifically Naloxone (Narcan), and administration devices or kits for emergency use to assist a student, staff member, or other individual believed to be experiencing an opioid overdose while at school district activities.

Under Section III, B, the end of the paragraph will be changes to this sentence: “The school district’s Naloxone Coordinator will be the Chemical Health Coordinator.”

This policy will be brought back to the November 13, 2023 meeting for a second reading, via the consent agenda, with this additional change.


Action Item – Approval of 2023-2024 Superintendent Goals
Superintendent Olson-Skog presented the 2023-2024 Superintendent goals. The goals were first presented to the board at their September 18 meeting. Annually, most of the superintendent's goals are detailed in the Strategic Implementation Plan. Again, for 2023-24, the proposed superintendent's goals will include all the district-wide implementation targets/goals. Those include:

  • Goal 1: The superintendent will oversee the implementation of operational plans in support of the strategic plan.
    • Goal 1a: The superintendent will oversee the implementation of operational plans in support of the social and emotional learning focus area.
    • Goal 1b: The superintendent will oversee the implementation of operational plans in support of the equitable systems and support focus area.
    • Goal 1c: The superintendent will oversee the implementation of operational plans in support of the career exploration and preparation focus area.

Two additional goals focus on the upcoming referendum:

  • Goal 2 - The superintendent will oversee the communication of the two requested levies.
  • Goal 3 - Based on the referendum's outcome, the superintendent will oversee the budget planning and/or adjustments for the 2024-25 school year as required within the parameters of board policy and in alignment with the strategic framework.

Both the planning and the results board committees provided input into these goals. The planning committee reviewed the implementation targets. The results committee reviewed the feedback provided by staff members on the superintendent's performance to ensure it was represented appropriately in the superintendent's goals.

The motion carried (7-0).


Action Item–Approval of Resolution to Retire Policy 500, Student Handbook
Peter Mau, Assistant Superintendent, presented a resolution to retire Policy 500, Student Handbook, from the district policy manual. The current District 197 policy is not based on a MSBA model policy. There are internal procedures for distribution of both a staff and a student handbook at the district level. Each handbook explains the appropriate procedures, rules and regulations and explains all relevant policies as required by law.

The motion carried (7-0).


Enrollment Update
Peter Mau, Assistant Superintendent, presented an enrollment update. Enrollment is centralized in School District 197. The Minnesota Department of Education uses October 1st counts for a variety of funding and reporting functions. The school district allows for intra-district transfers. At the elementary level, a little over 20% utilizes this transfer process while nearly 12% utilize it at the middle level. Administration uses projections to plan for budgets and staffing. For this year, the projected number for elementary was 1,928 with October 1 counts at 1,931. At the middle level, projected was 1,485 with October 1 at 1,520. At the high school level, projected was 1,554 with October 1 at 1,656. This totals 140 students over projection. Total enrollment with Branch Out and PreK is 5,335. Of this number, 53% are students of color; 20.8% are special education students; 14.23% are English Learners; and 46.9% receive free &reduced-price meals. The school district accepts open enrollments as well. Historically, the school district has a net gain in student open enrollments.


Proposed 2024-2025 and 2025-2026 District Academic Calendars
Cari Jo Drewitz, Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, presented the proposed 2024-2025 and 2025-2026 district academic calendars. This is the first year that administration has brought two consecutive calendars for board approval. It stemmed from a suggestion made through the Meet and Confer committee. The intent is to give staff, students and families more planning time. Changes could be potentially made to the 2025-2026 calendar before finalizing a year from now.

2024-2025
The 2024-2025 school calendar includes the continuation of a transition day for students in the beginning grade of our elementary, middle and high schools. The first day of school for students in Kindergarten, grade 5 and grade 9 will be the day after Labor Day, Tuesday September 3.  The first day of school for students in grades 1- 4, 6-8 and 10-12 will be Wednesday September 4. The last day of school is Thursday, June 5.

2025-2026 Draft
The 2025-2026 draft school calendar includes the continuation of a transition day for students in the beginning grade of our elementary, middle and high schools. The first day of school for students in Kindergarten, grade 5 and grade 9 will be the day after Labor Day, Tuesday September 2.  The first day of school for students in grades 1-4, 6-8 and 10-12 will be Wednesday September 3. The last day of school is Thursday, June 4.

Both calendars include 6 professional development days for our licensed staff and 6 grading and preparation days. Both calendars include 169 or 170 school days for students.  The minimum number of days required by MN state statute is 165 days. Licensed staff work 185 days. The school year consists of four quarters. Administration has tried to balance the number of days in total for quarters 1 and 2 with the number in quarters 3 and 4. This is important for the high school students that earn their credits based on a semester (2 quarters). 

The administration acknowledges historical privilege for dominant cultural and religious holidays (e.g. the winter break is always timed around Christmas and the federal holidays that surround both it and the new year). In an attempt to mitigate the impact on major religious holidays, the school administration has developed an administrative procedure around school events and religious holidays. This will be brought back to the November 13, 2023 meeting for approval.


Adjournment

The motion carried (7-0).