It’s already February and time for another board meeting. Here’s a brief run-down of the agenda for the Thursday, Feb. 4, meeting. The study session begins at 5:30 and the regular board meeting begins at 6:30 pm.
Here’s the link to stream the meeting: http://new.livestream.com/accounts/10429076/events/3542310
Study Session: Legislative Update/Platform Review
The boardwill revise its legislative priorities and receive an update (also see the the Jan. 31 legislative update here). As has been the case in past years, Ed Bowditch continues to serve as the district lobbyist.
Sadly, one bill of special interest in Jeffco has already been sent to the “kill committee.” Senator Andy Kerr and Representative Tracy Kraft-Tharp proposed Senate Bill 16-101 to hold School Boards more accountable by creating a five-member ethics commission within the Department of Education to hear ethics complaints against members of school district and charter boards.
Then onto the regular meeting at 6:30 pm.
Honors, Recognition and School Reports
- PeaceJam Rising Stars Awards: Arvada West High School students
- Big Idea Project winner, teacher Brian Halsey of Columbine High School
- Kaiser Permanente’s Thriving Schools: Emily O’Winter, Jeffco Healthy Schools Coordinator
That’s followed by individual member school reports and public comment. Sign up here to address the board during public comment part 1, but remember that only this part is reserved only for items on the agenda. If you want to speak on other items, sign up for public comment part 2.
Among other items, the consent agenda includes contract renewals for Addenbrooke Classical Academy, Compass Montessori Wheat Ridge and the New America charter schools. It also includes a contract modification for Two Roads Charter School that would allow it to operate an online K-5 program. The board discussed this at the Jan. 28 study session and an update in request to their questions is included in Board Docs.
It also includes a few revised board policies and contract awards. Last year at this time, 13 licensed staff (mainly classroom teachers) resigned. This year, we see only 4 resigning.
7.01 Student Achievement and Growth: MAP Fall and Winter Results
Among the highlights: Jeffco’s reading performance exceeds MAP national norms in upper level performance ranges (“high” and “high average”) in ALL grade levels; and, Jeffco’s sophomores improved their math performance in the “high average” category.
Challenges include declines in “high” and “high average” winter MAP reading and math in most grade levels; and, persisting performance gaps for certain subgroups (e.g. Hispanic, Black, free/reduced lunch eligible, students with disabilities). We hope the board will ask Jeffco’s experts how our district can better replicate the successes and reduce the challenges, while also carefully asking district experts whether the “declines” on the test are an indication that schools need to be covering content more effectively or whether they are an issue of students adjusting to a new test format. In other words: the board should carefully consider how we use these tests to keep tabs on student achievement and how we can improve it, while also remembering that even these scores only represent a single snapshot on a single day.
8.01 CASB (Colorado Association of School Boards) Membership
We’ve been anticipating this item on the agenda since the new board members took office. As you’ll recall, WNW refused to renew Jeffco’s longstanding membership in the organization. Superintendent McMinimee told the new board members that he thought there were multiple benefits in renewing Jeffco’s membership, including additional legal and other resources. Our new board members have already benefit from some of those resources at CASB’s annual meeting, and we look forward to seeing Jeffco be part of that larger organization again.
9.01 – 9.04 Policy Work
Policies being reviewed include:
- Governance Process Policies 1-17
- EL-5, Financial Planning/Budgeting
- EL-6, Financial Administration
- EL-11, Communication and Counsel to the Board
After that, there’s the second part of public comment and the board calendar.
Don’t forget to attend one of the upcoming community forums to weigh in on the budget and other priorities. Due to this week’s snowstorm, the Monday evening forum at Pomona High School has now been moved to Wednesday, Feb. 10, from 6 – 7:30 pm.
Here’s the full list:
Sat., Feb. 6
- Arvada West High School auditorium, 9 – 11:30 am.
Wed., Feb. 10
- Evergreen Fire House auditorium, 7:30 – 9 am
- Deer Creek Middle School cafeteria, 3:30 – 5 pm
- Pomona High School library, 6 – 7:30 pm
Remember to weigh in and make your opinion heard!