New board member seated on Scottsbluff school board

January 10, 2019

SCOTTSBLUFF — Scottsbluff Public Schools Superintendent Rick Myles presided over the Jan. 8 regular Board of Education meeting because of the re-organization of board positions.

Prior to board position election, Ashley Hobbs, board secretary swore in new board member Lori Browning. Browning replaces Kyle Long on the board.

Myles opened up nominations for the board president with nominations accepted by previous board president Ruth Kozal and board member Robert Kinsey. Nominations for Mark Lang and Paul Snyder were declined. The nominations were closed as the board motioned to conduct election for president via secret ballot. Hobbs collected the ballots and read the results aloud. The first three rounds of voting resulted in a tie between Kozal and Kinsey, but after the fourth vote, the board selected Kinsey as the new president.

With Kinsey presiding over the meeting, he opened nominations for vice president. Kozal was the only nominee and all board members voted in favor of her fulfilling that role.

Under the consent appointments and designations, the board approved Hobbs as secretary and Lavon Hood as treasurer. Perry Law Firm was approved as attorney and Dana F. Cole & Company as auditor. Additional designated attorney is Douglas, Kelly, Ostdiek, Snyder, Ossian, Vogl and Snyder PC. Board member Snyder abstained. Regional West Physician’s Clinic is the school physician and Myles is the federal authorized representative. Platte Valley Bank, US Bank, First State Bank, First National Bank, and Nebraska Liquid Asset Fund are depositories for funds.

The meeting agenda and Dec. 10 minutes were approved as presented.

The board approved the expenditures without Douglas, Kelly and Ostdeik at $2,071,335.59. The Douglas, Kelly, Ostdeik expenditure of $262.50 was also approved. Snyder abstained.

Browning was selected as a board representative on the Scottsbluff Foundation. Mark Lang and Terry Gilliland will retain their positions as Valley Alternative Learning Transitional School (VALTS) board representatives. Kozal, Snyder, and Kinsey will retain their positions on the curriculum and instruction/Americanism committee. Facility committee representatives will be Lang, Kozal, and Gilliland. Kinsey, Snyder, and Browning will serve on the finance committee. Snyder, Gilliland, and Browning will serve on the student services committee.

Ella Powell and Ella Anderson received recognition for their participation in the Sing Around Nebraska Honor Choir. Longfellow Elementary music teacher Charnele Long shared that through her membership in the Nebraska Choral Directors Association, students have several opportunities. One of them is to audition for the Sing Around Nebraska Honor Choir, which is a smaller version of All-State Choir. Powell and Anderson recorded a vocal scale recording of ‘My Country Tis of Thee’ and solo selection of ‘Amazing Grace.’ Out of 350 auditions sent in, they were two of 133 students chosen to sing at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln last November.

Bear Cub Preschool Principal Jodi Benson presented an update on the target implementation plan. Students’ academic success is based on developmental milestones data that teachers review to identify targeted areas for each student. The 2018-19 academic year is the first of three years for implementation of the pyramid model and evidence model, which helps teachers set goals in the classroom and gives them tools to prepare students for kindergarten.

“This pyramid model that we’re implementing is a program that enhances our social and emotional behavior health and well-being of all children,” said Benson.

Roosevelt Elementary also opened a new 4-year-old classroom, which currently has 20 students. The students will attend kindergarten at Roosevelt and have started to develop their social and academic skills while becoming apart of the school community. Benson also said the school is working on a Bear Cub Preschool grant, which is due in early February to expand to another room at Roosevelt to address the needs of the community and district.

The board readopted Policy 1005.03a entitled ‘Parental and Family Involvement in Schools.’ The board readopts the policy annually.

The board completed the annual review of Special Education recommended caseloads for option purposes. The district bases the numbers off of teacher caseload. Executive Director of Student Services Wendy Kemling noted that the numbers have remained fairly constant since inception about 10 years ago. The numbers act as a guide for the district to accept or decline an option student in a specific building within caseload areas that include: speech, occupational therapist, physical therapist, resource, multi-categorical and sever needs programs, and behavioral. The board accepted the caseload recommendations.

Mike Mason, Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction, proposed changes to the 2019-2020 academic calendar. With the implementation of the new evaluation system, the teachers and principals will meet to review the evaluations as well as conference scheduling, Mason recommended the October 23 and 24 conferences occur all day rather than a half-day. Such arrangement will allow for longer conferences and give principals and teachers time to discuss evaluations. The spring parent-teacher conference dates were changed to March 24 and 26. The academic calendar was approved as amended.

The district purchased 107 laptop computers to replace teacher laptops at the high school, Choices, and ReConnect. The board awarded the bid to Staples at a cost of $660.12 each for a total of $70,632.84. Funding comes from the yearly IT budget for hardware replacement. The older laptop units will be repurposed if possible.

The board also approved the purchase of three virtual server hosts and a storage area network server (SAN). The servers run 24/7 and have a recommended replacement timeframe every 3 to 4 years. The board accepted Sterling Computer bid for Dell Computers with three servers at $15,528.87 and a SAN at $16,635.76. The total cost is $32,164.63.

The board approved the 2019 strategic plan as presented and welcomed Browning to the board.

Upcoming meeting dates at the district office: Curriculum and Instruction/Americanism committee - Jan. 18 at 11:30; Facility committee - Jan. 10 at noon; Finance committee - February 4 at 11:30 a.m.; Student Services committee - Jan. 17 at 11:30 a.m.

The board entered into executive session for the purpose to discuss potential litigation The next regular Board of Education meeting is Feb. 11 at 6 p.m. at the high school.

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