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Regular Board Meeting on Monday, September 12, 2016

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Regular Board Meeting on Monday, September 12, 2016

You can download a PDF version of this issue of Board Briefs by clicking this link. 

 

BOARD MEETING

  • Citizens' Comments on Non-Agenda Items:
    • Shari Conditt spoke on behalf of the Woodland Education Association, thanking the board for the new contract. Conditt stated that the contract was fair and represented the needs of the teachers. She thanked the board for their ongoing support of educators in Woodland.

  • Reports to the Board:
    • Special Education Report: Deb Kernen, Special Education Services Director, answered Director Matt Donald’s questions about the increased enrollment number of special needs students and how the district is managing them. Kernen spoke about how Special Services is making necessary staffing adjustments to effectively serve children with disabilities while carefully watching the caseload. Superintendent Michael Green commented that Kernen does a masterful job and is a strong advocate for all kids. Director Janice Watts asked if the 285 enrolled special needs students was the highest Woodland has ever had and if other districts are seeing increases to which Kernen replied that the current enrollment is Woodland’s highest with previous years’ enrollments around 270. Kernen also noted that other districts in the area have seen increased enrollment numbers, too.
    • Teaching and Learning Report: Assistant Superintendent Asha Riley presented the results of the new educator training week and gave an update on Teaching and Learning throughout the district. Director Lesa Beuscher asked Riley if the new teachers are receiving extra help and guidance at the start of the school year and if this will continue throughout the year. Riley informed the board that the teachers would be meeting with her in a couple of weeks and again at the end of the school year to identify areas where they were supported effectively and areas where additional support would be useful. Riley also noted that the new hires receive support from instructional coaches and principals. The report documents can be viewed online: http://www.woodlandschools.org/node/5070
    • Director Steve Madsen thanked the administrative team for the topical bullet format used in board reports as it makes processing large quantities of information easier.
    • Superintendent Green thanked Directors Watts and Madsen for attending the All-Staff Breakfast on September 12.
    • Superintendent Green introduced the new student representative, Jamie Gonzales.

  • Correspondence:
    • Superintendent Green informed the board of an upcoming Washington State School Directors Association (WSSDA) Regional Meeting taking place on September 28, 2016 in Kelso.

  • Board Reports, Requests, and Comments:
    • Three board members indicated scheduling conflicts with the October 10 board meeting. It was agreed to cancel the October 10 board meeting.
    • Director Madsen commended Superintendent Green for an impressive presentation at the All-Staff Breakfast.
    • Director Madsen updated the board on a meeting between Superintendent Green and Woodland High School Principal John Shoup regarding the trust fund which provides scholarships for graduates and discussed a possible strategy to increase scholarship funding. Madsen suggested the board create a committee including community members and district staff to meet and brainstorm ideas on how to make the trust fund sustainable. Madsen agreed to convene and initially chair the committee. The board of directors unanimously approved a motion to create the Trust Fund Committee.

  • Discussion Items:
    • Effective School Boards: Chapter 6 – The board continued their book study with Director Donald commenting that the work of the administrative team makes him feel great as a board member. Director Watts noted that the board often works on long-range planning and does so very well. Director Sarah Stuart asked how the board can resolve issues, and also inquired if the board can offer additional assistance by creating new policies. Superintendent Green stated that the administrative team is working on these topics and will get back to the board in the future. Watts noted that the first question the district and board should ask regarding every decision is: “Is it in the best interest of the kids?” Director Donald noted that it can be difficult to remember all items identified for future planning and asked if it would be possible to create a running list attached to each meeting agenda. Chapter 6 summary viewable online: http://www.woodlandschools.org/node/5055
    • Legislative Priorities: Director Madsen asked all board members to email their top three legislative priorities for him to take to the upcoming 2016 Legislative Assembly on September 23-24, 2016.
    • 2016 State Mandated Assessment Results: Assistant Superintendent Riley presented a PowerPoint presentation with the 2016 state assessment results. Riley noted that, typically, the district performs at or higher than state averages, however, for the 2015-2016 school year, student performance was lower. Riley explained the district missed the mark, providing the board with next steps to improving future results. First, the district will implement the i-Ready Assessment System, a tool to help provide meaningful ongoing performance data to grades K-8. Second, the district will closely study and analyze student performance data and contributing factors. Third, the district is partnering with Washington State University Vancouver to collect and analyze data. Lastly, the district will develop refined district and school-level improvement plans. Director Donald noted that the presentation contained a lot of excellent information and also stated that he was confident the district would be fine in the future. Riley commented that she was disappointed, but not alarmed, with the assessment results, continuing by stating there is a lot of work to do but she is not worried. The presentation may be viewed online: http://www.woodlandschools.org/node/5064

  • Action Items:
    • Collective Bargaining Agreement between Woodland Public Schools and Woodland Education Association: The board unanimously approved the four-year collective bargaining agreement agreed upon on August 29 between the Teachers’ Union and district leadership. The agreement can be viewed online: http://www.woodlandschools.org/node/5054
    • Agreement with Fir Grove/Vista Children’s Center for the Placement of an Out-District Student: The board unanimously approved an agreement between Woodland Public Schools and Vancouver Public Schools (VPS) to permit students whose academic and behavioral needs cannot be met within Woodland Public Schools to be placed at Fir Grove Children’s Center, a VPS program. The agreement can be viewed online: http://www.woodlandschools.org/node/5071 

UPCOMING BOARD MEETING

Monday, September 26, 2016 at 5:30 p.m. at the District Meeting Room.