Below is a recap of the April 14, 2020, Nampa School Board meeting. Supporting documents can be found at https://www.boarddocs.com/id/nsd131/Board.nsf/Public
The meeting was called to order via Zoom at 6:37 p.m. Chairman Kim Rost and Trustees Heather Lewis, Mike Kipp, Mandy Simpson and Allison Westfall were present.
Nampa Education Association Comments: NEA President Eric Maine expressed that he was proud of the part teachers have played in handling this current crisis. He also thanked support staff who have gone beyond the norm to be there for students and families. He noted that the NEA is committed to providing enrichment opportunities, finishing contract negotiations, and looking forward to the fulfilling and powerful days that lie ahead.
Trustee Comments: Trustees expressed appreciation for staff and parents who are going above and beyond to be adaptable in educating kids, and for voters for providing the financial support
Public Comments: Chairman Rost read two public comments that were recently added to Board Docs: Julie Allen asked to cancel the remainder of the school year due to risks related to COVID-19; Dr. Karen Cross encouraged the district to reopen schools as COVID-19 does not pose a great danger to children.
Trustee Kipp commented that online education has been going on across the country for 20+ years and asked if Dr. Cross would cite some of the research she based her comments on.
Trustee Westfall asked to move the Iowa HVAC Bid Award to New Business. The remainder of the Consent Agenda was approved by the Board.
- Approval of Minutes: Regular Board Meeting - March 10, 2020
- April Enrollment Report
- Approval of Monthly Personnel Report
- Canyon County Statement of Receipts - February 29, 2020
- Approval of Accounts Payable & Student Activity Funds Reports
- Iowa HVAC Bid Award
- Disposal Notification - Scism Portable
- Approval of Cabling Bid
- Approval of Network Switching Bid
- Approval of Nutrition Services Bid
- Authorization of Emergency Closure March 17-19 and March 30, 2020
Iowa HVAC Bid Award: Trustee Westfall asked what source of income was earmarked for this project. Superintendent Paula Kellerer discussed the need for the project and reminded the board that this is the top priority on our facilities needs list. Operations Director Peter Jurhs stated that this will be paid for with state lottery funds, which can only be used on construction and maintenance projects for student-occupied buildings; they cannot be diverted to salaries. Chairman Rost asked to see costs for planned projects in the coming year. The only project ready to go is playgrounds, and an update on those will be on the May agenda. The board approved this project.
Soft Closure Update: Superintendent Kellerer reminded the board that the State Board of Education has instructed schools to stay closed through the end of the school year, with opening possible under some conditions and benchmarks that will be clarified in the April 16 State Board meeting. Unless things change dramatically, she noted that it is not our intent to reopen before the end of the school year. The governor has a press conference on April 15 that should provide direction on the stay-at-home order. Nampa City Council meets the evening of April 15, and IHSAA on April 16. The district is working on a number of key items, such as grading expectations, work load expectations, CARES Act, graduation plans, end-of-year processes and registration, etc., for the coming year. In response to a patron’s question, she said the process for distribution of caps, gowns and other end-of-year items will come from individual schools.
She then shared results of a survey of teachers through the end of week two regarding connecting with students, student engagement, learning environment, access to tools and materials, and connection with professional learning communities. Another survey was sent to students and parents. Results included gratitude and recognition of hard work, and concern over work load and the number of learning platforms. Finally, she presented a preview of the results from the Graduation Survey, which is still open. Preliminary decisions on our direction could be determined by the end of the week.
Families First Update: Human Resources Director Gwen Hamlin reviewed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which provides additional sick leave or FMLA for COVID-19 related reasons, under certain circumstances.
Budget Discussion: Finance Director Randy Dewey provided information about budget issues related to COVID-19 and our ADA allocation from the state. The state is allowing districts to apply for a waiver. Our potential revenue reduction is approximately $200,000. Also, the governor has asked for a 1 percent holdback in our general fund budget, which comes to around $900,000. The district is working through steps to address this reduction. Finally, a 5 percent minimum holdback is expected for next year. Mr. Dewey then gave an overview of the CARES Act stimulus payment, which is expected to be about $3-3.5 million, distributed through Title 1 funds.
Grading Discussion: Assistant Superintendent Gregg Russell gave an update on the discussion around grading during the soft closure. Considerations include work load, equity and achievement gains. At the secondary level, no grade will be harmed or lowered due to this situation, but opportunities are available to improve that grade. We also have relaxed requirements related to how many pieces of evidence are needed to determine mastery of a standard.
Monthly Budget Status Report: There were no questions about this report.
Policy #1300 - District Policy: A motion was made, and failed, to accept the proposed revision for a first reading. A second motion to leave Policy 1300, page 2, line 33-34 as is, and bring changes to lines 19-21 on the following page back for an additional reading, passed.
Revised Policy #4105 - Public Participation in Board Meetings: Motion to approve this policy passed.
Suspend Policy #2700 - High School Graduation Requirements: Motion for a temporary suspension of Point #2 of this policy passed.
Policy #2370 - Homebound, Hospital, and Home Instruction: No action taken.
Update Policy #5340 - Certificated Employees Evaluation: Motion for a temporary update of this policy passed.
Revised Policy #2210 - School Closure: Motion to approve this policy revision failed.
Policy #7236 Employees Paid with Federal Funds & Unexpected or Extraordinary Closures: Motion to approve this policy passed.
Second Reading Policies #3455 - Closed Campus - Schools, #3450 - Student Vehicle Parking and Revised Policy #3090 - Foreign Exchange Students: Motion for a second and final reading of these policies passed.
Second Reading Policies #3560 & #5390 - Video Surveillance: Motion for a second and final reading of this policy passed.
Second Reading Policies #5240 - Sexual Harassment/Sexual Intimidation in the Workplace, #5260 - Abuse and Neglected Child Reporting and #5265 - Employee Responsibilities Regarding Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying: Motion for a second reading of these policies passed.
Second Reading Revised Policies #1150 - Agenda Planning and #1200 - Annual Organizational Meeting: Motion for a second reading of these policies passed.
Legal Update: Board attorney Mark Hilty addressed the process for when a tort claim is brought forward against the district, with an eye toward the role of the trustees.
Board Self-Assessment: Trustee Simpson rated the meeting as satisfactory.
Upcoming Meetings: The next regular board meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. May 12, 2020.
Adjournment: The board recessed into executive session at 9:33 p.m. to consider human resource issues. After resuming open session at 10:25 p.m. the meeting was adjourned.