School Board Notes 3.20.2023
March 20 Meeting Highlights
The minutes from the March 20, 2023 meeting will be reviewed and approved by the School District 197 School Board at the Monday, April 3, 2023 meeting. For more information about meeting agendas and minutes, please CLICK HERE.
Action Item - Approval of Agenda
The motion carried (7-0)
Action Item - Approval of Consent Agenda
Superintendent Olson-Skog introduced Mr. Rob Sahli who was recently named the next Principal for Moreland Arts and Health Sciences Magnet School. Mr. Sahli will begin his duties on July 1, 2023 following current Principal Mark Quinn’s retirement.
The motion carried (7-0)
Comments to the School Board
One community member attended to talk about class sizes in the district and talked about how higher class sizes, especially in the lower grades, impacts students.
Community Survey Results
Peter Leatherman from The Morris Leatherman Company presented results from the recent residential community survey. Telephone interviews were conducted between February 6-23, 2023 with a random sample of 400 School District 197 households and parents. Both samples are projectable within +/- 5.0% in 95 out of 100 cases. Of the individuals sampled, 69% have lived in the district for 11 or more years, 79% were 35 years old and over and 48% are college graduates.
Top items liked most about the school district included teachers, good academics, variety of programs/broad curriculum, and the size of the district. Top issues facing perceived by respondents were the lack of funding, large class sizes, high taxes and staff shortage. In terms of specific perceptions of the school district (spending money effectively; accountability; good value; proud; communications; satisfaction in decision-making; safe; etc.), perceptions are quite positive. The overall satisfaction with learning and achievement in the district, 83% expressed a strongly agree or agree, which has been very consistent over the past five years and exceeds suburban metro averages. In terms of overall satisfaction on job performance amongst the School Board, administration, principals and teachers, those areas were quite positive (~90% approval or higher, depending on group).
On the topic of financial management, 62% provided an “excellent” or “good” which exceeds suburban metro averages. In terms of the district’s Strategic Framework, 54% were aware of the goals with 95% of those individuals believing it focuses on the right things to address educational needs. All of the goals in the framework were either very or somewhat important to the community. Parents rely more on electronic means as their preferred method of communication. Additionally, the mailed newsletter ranks high as being an effective means followed by the district website.
First Reading of Policy 524, Internet and Electronic Resources Acceptable Use and Safety Policy
Dave Sandum, Director of Technology, presented the first reading of Policy 524, Internet and Electronic Resources Acceptable Use and Safety Policy. This policy requires an annual review. Mr. Sandum stated that the school district continues to use a modified version of the MSBA model policy in order for it to include up-to-date technology tools and cover the district’s localized technology environment in which students are using district devices on and off school property. Information for compliance with a new Minnesota Statute 124D.166 has been included in the policy that limits on screen time for children in preschool and Kindergarten. This statute requires engagement from a teacher or other students for individual screen use which is our current practice. Addendums have been included with the policy that provide guidelines for ethical online behavior by students, employees’ use of social networking, and classroom use of social media tools. Two new addendums have been added for compliance with a new Minnesota Statute 13.32 that relate to school-issued devices and notification regarding technology providers. References to all five addendums are included throughout the policy. Board members pointed out two minor areas that need to be updated as it relates to gender reference. This policy will be brought back for a second reading at the April 3 School Board meeting via the consent agenda.
First Reading of Policy 522, Sex Nondiscrimination, Title IX Grievance Procedures and Process
Superintendent Olson-Skog presented the first reading of Policy 522, Sex Nondiscrimination, Title IX Grievance Procedures and Process. This policy requires an annual review. Several changes have been made to the policy included several definition changes and additional language on Title IX. Board members asked if this policy could be offered in other languages and disseminated in a broader way, and for language related to procedures should a complaint be filed against the Title IX Officer. Superintendent Olson-Skog will check into this. This policy will be brought back for a second reading at the April 3 School Board meeting via the consent agenda unless Superintendent Olson-Skog suggests otherwise.
First Reading of Policy 722, Public Data Requests
Superintendent Olson-Skog presented the first reading of Policy 722, Public Data Requests. Several changes were recommended based on Minnesota state statute including definitions, additional sections and updates to legal references. Board members asked if this policy could be offered in other languages and disseminated in a broader way. Superintendent Olson-Skog will check into this. This policy will be brought back for a second reading at the April 3 School Board meeting via the consent agenda unless Superintendent Olson-Skog suggests otherwise.
Board Goal Update-Legislative Action Committee Exploration
Board Members Marcus Hill and Jon Vaupel reported on the progress made regarding the exploration of a Legislative Action Committee (LAC). The purpose of this committee would be to assist School District 197 with advocacy for education-related legislation. Board members and the Superintendent have had informal feedback meetings with various community members and have had conversations with other school districts about this type of committee. The board planning committee will be reviewing policies and procedures from other School District LAC’s and will generate a proposed timeline for establishing one in ISD 197. Student Representative Buzzell asked if students would be invited to participate in this group as well and that is being considered. This will be brought back to a future board meeting with formal recommendations.
The motion carried (7-0).