New School Location
But last night, Superintendent Manuel recommended more public input was needed. This prompted the board to kill its earlier motion to spend money evaluating the Winchester location. Ken Hoover warned that just because the motion is no longer being considered does not mean that the Winchester site is no longer a consideration. He said the board could make a new motion to evaluate the Winchester property at a later time. As a side note: about a dozen citizens addressed the board during citizens-to-be-heard regarding the new school site, many of which were adamantly opposed to the Winchester location.
During his report, Superintendent Manuel revealed his plans to move forward in the site selection process. He appointed a Site Analysis Committee consisting of Germantown city commission members: Dike Bacon (Planning Commission), Jennifer Sisson (Zoning Commission), Janet Geyer (Economic Development Commission), and Michael McLaughlin (Financial Advisory Commission). Each one will bring an area of expertise to the discussion. Bacon of Hednak Bobo Group, will be the architectural expert along with a representative from A2H. Sisson, an attorney with Sisson & Sisson, will provide legal guidance. Geyer from Crews Realty, will represent interests in real estate and city development. McLauglin, Financial Controller at Tower Ventures, will offer financial guidance. Serving alongside the committee members will be ambassadors that include PTA presidents from the three elementary schools and Houston Middle as well as school board member, Betsy Landers. Board Secretary, Vijaya Subramni, will keep the minutes for the meetings.
Mr. Manuel plans to hold a second community forum on November 15th and release a second survey by the end of November. His recommendations target December 5th as the date the board will discuss approval of a new school site. However, as pointed out by Shelia Hahn during the time for citizens-to-be-heard, a new board will have been elected by then and will likely be sworn-in during that meeting. Ms. Hahn expressed her concern that new board members would not be able to make a decision on a school location at the same meeting where they were just sworn into office.
The timeline was clarifed later in the meeting when Lisa Parker asked what would happen if the committee or board needed more time. Linda Fisher assured her that the dates were flexible and more time would be given. After which, Ms. Parker made some rather interesting remarks. She stated that the board has always known a new school would be needed south of Poplar and they discussed that before they were even elected to the board. She went on to say that she knew whatever the board decided, even if unpopular, it would be the right decision because "we've made the right decision up to this point because our schools are excellent."
Before the meeting adjourned, Ken Hoover moved the executive committee to establish the selection criteria for site evaluation. Betsy Landers seconded the motion. After some discussion where it was stressed that the criteria would be decided based on community input, the motion passed.
GMSD LEA 2016 Compliance report
Revision Policy HR 5.602 Staff Time Schedules
BUDGET AMENDMENT - 37
Revision FM 2.200 Annual Operating Budget
Revision Policy FM 2.403 Surplus Property Sales
Revision Policy IP 4.606 Graduation Activities
Revision Policy SP 6.413 Concussion
New Policy IP 4.210 Credit Recovery
New Policy IP 4.211 Work Based Learning Program
GMSD Audit contract FY 16-17
Dr. Dan Haddow reported to the board on the AdvancED accreditation process.
Dr. Meredith Park gave the board a quarterly update on the strategic plan. She was able to report on three of the indicators: ACT scores; reading on grade level; and graduation rate. To meet the goal of increasing the number of students who scored at least a 21 on the ACT, Houston High offers an ACT prep course, an optional after-school ACT boot camp and is considering a similar boot camp for the summer. In addition, the school is promoting ACT awareness. March 21 is the date juniors will take the test and October 22 is the date seniors will be allowed to re-take the ACT test. The district is seeing growth in reading levels in the early grades. 13% of kindergarteners begin the school year being able to read on grade level. By first grade, it jumps to 63% of students starting first grade reading on grade level. Natalie Williams did suggest that the district look at other reading indicators than the current STARR test which is administered on a computer. She said that teachers need to hear their students read aloud rather than just have them answer questions on a computer. Regarding the graduation rate, the district was able to improve its numbers by tracking down students who moved away or transferred to new schools. The state considers those students to be drop-outs if GMSD is unable to prove enrollment in another high school.
Josh Cathey reported to the board an updated version of the 5 year facilities plan. You can view the plan here. New information was provided for enrollment numbers, teacher ratios, maintenance costs, etc. Mr. Cathey mentioned that he was tracking service calls and gathering input from plant managers to anticipate future priorities. He plans to present bid requests to the board in December. The next big deferred maintenance project will likely be a partial roof replacement at Houston High.