KUSD board met last night
- The board voted to discontinue the reimbursement of the $25 advanced placement examination fees to students. School board member Pam Stevens had first made a motion to table the issue until she got clarification that the gifted and talented program is not a “special program,” but that motion failed. Vickie Brown-Gurley, assistant superintendent of teaching and learning, assured Pam Stevens that she would provide her with a written response to that effect. School board member Carl Bryan thought that the discontinuance of the reimbursement would remove the incentive for the students to take the test. “Where’s the students’ skin in the game?” Bob Nuzzo commented that, when the students pass the advanced placement test with a three, four, or five score, that gives them college credit. ”That’s a 10 to 1 return on their investment. It’s a simple decision. That’s their skin in the game.”
- The four-year graduation cohort analysis report was reviewed and accepted unanimously. There is a 46-page support document available for review. Anderson Lattimore, assistant superintendent of educational accountability, stated that the district is making progress for students of color and those with disabilities. “The trending is positive over the years,” he said. There had been a negative public comment at the start of the meeting about this very issue.
- Another agenda item had to do with Policy and Rule 6300 – Curriculum Development and Improvement, and Administrative Regulation 6300. Again, there had been two negative public comments, saying that the board was trying to put the power into one person’s hands (the superintendent’s). Michele Hancock, school superintendent, made a few introductory comments. “It is not my intent to cut out the board or the parents from curriculum review. We are not cutting out anyone from having a voice.” Basically, a review is being conducted of all board policies to update them and, if they are really a procedural document, to move them to a curriculum handbook. School board member Jo Anne Taube amended the policy to read that the ”Superintendent of Schools and the Board of Education” would have final approval. The version being reviewed had only read the “Superintendent of Schools.” There was much discussion among the board members on this item. Board members Nuzzo, Gallo, and Pam Stevens voted against the amended version. Gallo thought that this policy “would continue to bottle-neck the process. This policy would continue to make sure that the process is slow and cumbersome. Some board members have an issue with giving up control and letting people do their jobs.” Nuzzo agreed. The roll call vote was 4 to 3. Since this was the first reading, it would come up again for a vote at the December meeting.
- There was not very much discussion about the following Policy and Rule 6621 – Interlibrary Loan Procedures. This policy, again, is antiquated, dated, and not being followed. It will be updated and taken out of the board policies and placed in a procedural handbook. It was accepted unanimously.
- Tina Schmitz, director of finance, spoke on the Policy/Rule 3420 – Purchasing. This policy is meant to tighten financial controls by spelling out who can sign for puchases, the fact that a second signature is now required (by either the superintendent or an assistant superintendent), and lowering the limit as to how much can be purchased (from $50,000 to $25,000). This policy was also accepted unanimously.
- The board then went back to the self-evaluation report of the board, which, too, had received a negative comment from a citizen on the report. Lattimore explained to Taube that anyone who he felt had an important role in the preparation of this three-inch binder was listed (even if they are now retired or not with the board any longer). The report was approved unanimously.
(If you’d like to read more details about any of these items, click here. You will then be directed to the KUSD standing committees article: KUSD Standing Committees Meeting Report.)
Hancock had many positive accolades for the Bradford football team, and she invited everyone to a community-wide recognition program for the team, which will take place on November 30th at 7 pm in the Bradford High School Field House.