The Nampa Board of Trustees meets the second Tuesday of each month. Below is a recap of the February 13, 2018, meeting.
CALL TO ORDER – 7:30 p.m.
The meeting was called to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were Trustees Allison Westfall (chair), Kim Rost, Mandy Simpson, Janelle Stauffer and Mike Fuller. The audience joined the Board in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
The agenda was amended to include consideration of administrative leave for an employee.
Trustee Comments: Trustee Simpson had the opportunity to watch Nampa School District dance teams compete at Centennial High School. She reported that all three schools did an outstanding job representing the district.
Chairman Westfall attended a graduation ceremony at Gateways and commented on how inspiring it was. She also said she was contacted by Sen. Jeff Agenbroad regarding requiring training for all teachers around suicide.
The consent agenda was approved as presented.
A. Approval of Minutes: Special Board Meeting Executive Session - January 16, 2018
B. Approval of Minutes: Special Board Meeting Regular Business - January 16, 2018
C. Approval of Accounts Payable & Student Activity Funds Reports
D. Canyon County Statement of Receipts - December 29, 2017
E. Acknowledgement of February Enrollment Report
F. Columbia High School Band Uniform Bid Award
G. Out of State and Overnight Trip Requests
3. NEW BUSINESS
Student Spotlight — Treasure Valley Leadership Academy: TVLA Principal Emmett Wemp introduced student Bethany Kuckler, who wrote and produced an informational video about the school. Bethany said that the small student population contributed to a strong sense of community and that she enjoyed being able to work at her own pace. Principal Wemp spoke about the school’s future growth, stating that the facility could accommodate 50 students at each grade level, and one grade level will be added each year for the first four years (currently all students are in ninth grade). He also noted that as the school grows it will be funded by the state money based on average daily attendance.
Request for Proof of Representation from Nampa Education Association: The board approved the request for the NEA to begin gathering the required signatures from 50 percent plus one of certified staff. This will grant them the power to negotiate a new contract on behalf of all teachers. The first meeting of the negotiations team is slated for March 19, 2018.
Notification to State Agencies of Boundary Revisions: The board approved notifying state agencies of the boundary change that will take effect in the coming school year. These boundaries are based on the outcome of the fall election moving a section of the Nampa School District to Vallivue School District.
Legislative Priorities: The board passed a resolution to adopt the legislative priorities identified in the board packet.
Retention Survey Results: Superintendent Paula Kellerer presented the results of a survey sent to all district staff regarding satisfaction with current policies and procedures, and things the district could do to better retain staff. Thirty-seven percent of staff responded, and 828 comments were recorded and grouped into common themes. Overall, close to 90 percent of employees indicated they are either satisfied or very satisfied at the district. Seventy-five percent indicated they are planning to return next year, and 20 percent had not yet decided (the district’s current turnover rate is about 11-12 percent). Administrators will continue to review results to determine what the district is doing right, or what it needs to get right, to retain great staff.
Board Development Scenario Discussion: Trustees discussed a chapter in the book “How Not to be a Terrible Board Member,” debating whether or not it was ethical to accept passes to district events that parents and community members would be required to pay for. Consensus was that the answer depended at least in part of why they were attending the event — to be visible and available to community members, or to watch a child perform? The board agreed to decide at a later date how high a priority visibility is.
Scheduling of Board Member Training: The board will take a new Doodle Poll to determine a date for Idaho School Board Association training. None of the previously suggested dates worked for all trustees.
Monthly Budget Status Report: Finance Director Randy Dewey reported that all numbers in the current budget report are as expected and administrators across the district are focusing on saving money where they can. Budget planning for next year will begin after the state budget committee sets funding for 2018-19.
4. POLICY REVIEW
First Reading Policy #3530, #3540, #3545, #3550, #3560, #3570, #3610 and #3620 (student-related policies). In regard to Policy #3545: Student Interviews, Interrogations or Arrest, Superintendent Kellerer noted that while an attempt will be made to contact parents in the event of an interview or arrest, it is not always possible or appropriate to do so in advance. She stressed the importance of being able to make critical decisions in some situations without waiting for parental consent. A second reading of the policy will include separate language for victims at the request of trustees. A short discussion followed on Policy 3570 (Student Records) and Policy 3530 (suicide). Trustees approved the policies for a first reading.
First Reading Policy #8605 Retention of School Records: Trustees approved the policy for a first reading after asking that a sentence be removed referencing a deleted chart.
Revision to Policy #9020 Certificated Employee Evaluation: Trustees approved a change to this policy differentiating functions of certificated staff (instructional and pupil personnel).
Nampa Education Association Comments: NEA President Terri Bentley reported that the association is busy filling committees and will be out in schools collecting authorization cards. She noted that the district has not recognized a Teacher of the Year for several years, although results of the retention survey presented earlier in the meeting showed that staff wanted recognition for their good work. She said she is looking forward to a closer look at the retention survey data. She concluded by sharing that the NEA executive team will hold a retreat soon in Garden Valley.
Superintendent Comments: Superintendent Kellerer reviewed the district’s graduation numbers recently released by the state. Overall, the district’s graduation rate is 77.8 percent. The rate for just the three traditional high schools is 81 percent. Highlights include increased percentages for LEP students (76.9 percent; 80.3 percent for the three traditional high schools), and closing the gap between White and Hispanic students.
She also reported on the recently created suicide awareness and prevention committee, consisting of district and community advocates. Members include school resource officers, Saint Alphonsus, St. Luke’s, Southwest District Health, counselors, and social workers. The committee has met twice and has looked at the information we currently have and potential areas for training related to cause and response. Attention is now moving toward prevention. She noted that suicide is not a K-12 issue, it is a community issue.
Finance Director Dewey presented information on the annual bus transportation audit. The audit showed a considerable increase in the marks for training over last year. We expect to receive the ISBA recommendation on bus policy soon, and it will be updated for the March board meeting. An issue identified in the audit around supervision of bus loading area at schools is being reviewed with school staff.
Trustee Comments: Trustee Simpson offered kudos on the increased graduation rate for economically disadvantaged students.
Board Assessment of Meeting: There was no assessment of the meeting.
Upcoming Meetings: The next regular meeting is at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 13.
Executive Session: The board recessed into executive session to discuss on personnel issues at 9:30 p.m.
Adjournment: Trustees returned to open session. Action was taken on personnel issues and the personnel report was approved. The meeting adjourned at 10:15 p.m.