BOE 6-24-7894

AAPS Board OKs Labor Deals, Policy Changes

Ann Arbor Public Schools (AAPS) board of education regular meeting (June 24, 2015):

7:02 PM Huron High School auditorium continues to fill up. The trustees are not seated, most likely still in their executive session.

7:12 PM So far, approximately 200 people are in the audience for tonight’s meeting, and more continue to enter the auditorium. Trustee Andy Thomas is the sole trustee at the table.

7:16 PM Vice President Christine Stead and Trustees Donna Lasinski and Susan Baskett approach the table.

7:19 PM President Deb Mexicotte and Trustee Patricia Manley have now sat down.

7:21 PM Superintendent Jeanice Swift and Trustee Simone Lightfoot have joined them. The entire board is present, but the meeting has not yet been called to order. The audience has grown to ~275 people, many wearing blue Support Ann Arbor Teacher shirts.

7:24 PM Mexicotte calls the meeting to order, apologizing for the delay. She says they had a special reception to honor one of the “area’s foremost educators.”

7:25 PM During the approval of the agenda, Stead makes a motion to move the discussion of contract ratifications to follow public commentary. Instead of it being one of the last items they discuss, it will be one of the earlier items covered. Mexicotte mentions that they will be recessing back to executive session after information item C for a closed session. They will be “engaged in conversation for some amount of time,” then will come back to finish business. Motion is passed.

7:27 PM AAPS Preschool Renamed to Ann Arbor Public Schools Dr. W. Scott Westerman, Jr. Preschool and Family Center

Swift, Mexicotte, Lee Ann Dickinson-Kelly, Assistant Superintendent Instruction & Student Support Services, and many others honor Dr. Westerman, supporting the recommendation to rename the district preschool to the Ann Arbor Public Schools Dr. W. Scott Westerman, Jr. Preschool and Family Center. Dickinson-Kelly says Westerman embodies “kindness,” “inclusiveness,” and “respect.”

Michelle Pogliano, AAPS preschool principal, excited to have the preschool renamed to honor Westerman, as he has a passion for “serving those with a history of being underserved.” It will “carry on the legacy of an exceptional leader.”

Dr. W. Scott Westerman flanked by BOE President Deb Mexicotte (L) and Superintendent Jeanice Swift (R)
Dr. W. Scott Westerman flanked by BOE President Deb Mexicotte (L) and Superintendent Jeanice Swift (R)

Liz Margolis, former district Communications Director, acknowledges Westerman’s impact on the past five district superintendents. He offered her “sage advice, wise counsel, and an open ear.”

7:46 PM Many others continue to recognize Westerman’s commitment and dedication to education. Westerman is described as a “servant-leader.” The President of Michigan Radio WUOM says: Westerman’s “value to the system cannot adequately be expressed.” A standing ovation is given.

7:54 PM Dickinson-Kelly gives Westerman a binder of letters in support of the renaming in his honor.

7:55 PM Westerman is given the opportunity to speak. He asks if anyone “had a basket,” since he “would be a basket case before the event is over.” He talks about “Agents of Change of AAPS 1967-71,” highlighting some of the key issues he worked through while he was district superintendent: racism, sexism, sex education, constitutional issues. He chokes up, saying, “It was a privilege to serve this community.”

8:19 PM Mexicotte says they have hear “sufficient support” for the nomination for the renaming of the preschool. The motion for the renaming is approved unanimously by the trustees.

8:20 PM Former trustee Glenn Nelson presents Westerman with a binder of letters, email messages, pictures, and stories honoring his legacy. The binder will be kept at the W. Scott Westerman, Jr. Preschool and Family Center.

8:23 PM Student Presentation Ted Talk: Ché Carter – Principal of Clague Middle School and Charles Graham – Skyline High School rising senior

Swift notes that it’s interesting how the topic of this talk dovetails with the topics Westerman talked about. She says there is “no better time” to do the work of equity than right now. Carter has worked to prepare a summer program that will “help level the playing field” for students, says Swift.

This summer, Carter says they will partner University of Michigan and the Children’s Defense Fund to bring a Freedom School program to Clague, designed to prevent summer learning loss. Only five sites in the state of Michigan. Students pulled from AAPS middle schools, students who were in “the bubble range,” those who could benefit from more support over the summer, but who might not be struggling yet. Says he will be back with data for the board after the program is completed.

8:31 PM Student TedX Talk

Charles Graham, Skyline High student, delivers a TedX talk
Charles Graham, Skyline High student, delivers a TedX talk

Skyline High School rising senior Charles Graham presents “How the African American Race Degrades the African American Race.” His presentation focuses on what it means to be black, asking how stereotypes turn from fiction to fact. He says that because he read Harry Potter, shopped at Whole Foods, he canoed – he was called white. When he entered high school, he decided to “act black,” his first act was to read the Urban Dictionary. Didn’t work for him. But when he was a freshman, Trayvon Martin was shot and killed. He saw the connection between him and Trayvon – he is “just as black as anyone else.” He’s going to give a definition of “‘acting black’: getting good grades, going to college, doing good, doing well, taking care of your children. Acting black is being president of the United States. It’s overachieving; it’s overcoming.” Gets a standing ovation.

8:41 PM Graham gave the talk previously at the Skyline TedX Youth@Ann Arbor Talk – will be accessible on the TedX Youth website. It will be titled “The Oreo Category.” His parents stand up to much applause.

8:42 PM Lightfoot says he’s “impressive,” asking if he is in college. Graham will be heading to George Mason University for a week over the summer where he will be studying and practicing law, then he’ll be applying for college this next year. Baskett thanks his parents, noting that she knows his mother. Lasinski says that perhaps when he’s 90, “they’ll have a building to name after” him. Manley says if she had a son, she would want him to be like him. Stead says she is sorry that Graham’s generation is still dealing with racism. Mexicotte says as an American and as a white person, she has had to constantly reflect on the role race has played in so much tragedy. She asks how can we help fix the great sin of America – starting with slavery and continues to today. But students like Graham give her hope.

8:51 PM Special Recognition for Inaugural Graduation for Washtenaw International High School (WiHi)

Swift notes that 19 out of the 71 graduates were from AAPS. All of the AAPS graduates are planning on attending college in the fall. Rigorous graduation requirements at WiHi: more science, World Languages – at least five credits of second language. Idea of bringing IB program to Washtenaw County came from Ann Arbor. At least invested in that consortium for two more years, with 50 slots available at each grade level.

8:55 PM Public Commentary 

Forty-five minutes is allotted for public commentary. According to Executive Assistant to the BOE Amy Osinski, 13 are signed up, which gives each speaker 3 minutes 27 seconds.

Aina Bernier, AAPS teacher and parent: Ann Arbor Public Schools are in crisis. She reads the Call to Action put out by Support Ann Arbor Teachers.

AAPS Teacher Aina Bernier speaks during public commentary
AAPS teacher Aina Bernier speaks during public commentary. The pink sheets raised in support are the text of the “Call to Action” issued by the Support Ann Arbor Teachers movement.

Bernier adds: Call to action has grown from alarming action we have found ourselves in. Call to action represents invitation to board to work together. Board is frustrated by Lansing, but this should not be a struggle of Lansing politicians against Ann Arbor. Should be our board, teachers, parents against Lansing. We should not respond by terror to actions of Lansing. Need bold brave leadership from board. Join with AA teachers. Refuse to allow fear to rule collective actions. [Given a standing ovation]

9:00 PM Allison Denomme: parent and substitute teacher. Chemical burns from improperly cleaned toilets, slip and falls from ice. Didn’t happen when we took care of our staff prior to privatization of custodial staff. First custodial staff, then bus drivers, now looking at teachers. What will happen when the backbone and life blood of our district leave. What will have been gained, what value added? We ask so much of teachers, yet we can’t bargain win good faith with them. Ask that board bargain fairly and openly with teachers. And hold these meetings so children can attend in a meaningful way.

9:03 PM Mike Smith: AAPS teacher. Still amazed by his colleagues. Amazed by the board. Because I think we’ve become confused. Negotiation versus dictation. Not negotiating, but telling. 8 ways to bust a union: 1. hire a union-busting consultant. 2. wait-and-see argument when employers hire union-busting consultant. 3. [didn’t catch] 4. send letters to teachers and families. 5. hold meetings to sweet talk (likening to emails received earlier in the year sent by Swift) 6. denies and delays rights 7. spring a last minute surprise (say that AAEA refuses to negotiate. 8. disturbed that teachers have been spoken to by their principals. Let’s try negotiating instead of dictating.

9:07 PM Rusty Fuller: AAPS teacher, AD at Slauson, parent. Concerned at direction of what’s going on. Has worked closely with Balas. Cuts to athletic departments has been painful, but we got it done working together. Outsourcing – have to believe you think this is the only way. But hopes that this is the last possible alternative. Not ideal to remove bargaining contracts. Seems as if you have switched agendas very quickly. We had another year before the current extension expires. We had no expectation for any kind of raise. Before, had done in collaboration with the union, but seems as if this is not the case moving forward. Could work with teachers. Worried that the pressure you feel to manage the district is causing you to move in ways without collaboration. Recognizes that the board is made up of good people, but in the last month, they’ve lost us. Could you please push the pause button, table the measures and meet with teachers over the summer.

9:12 PM Sharman Speiser – retired educator. Teachers are our community’s most precious resource. Need to feel secure. AAPS has a long history of treating employees with respect – by not honoring current contract, you are not honoring the community’s trust. The way the state is treating its public employees is not a model of how employees should be treated. The board’s words and actions are already having a profound impact on the community. Those who will be most affected will be students.

9:15 PM Dan Rubenstein, district parent. Opposes union busting. At the June 10 meeting, he heard Stead and Mexicotte deliver patronizing lecture at how much the board has done. Robbing teachers of their voices. How tone deaf. those teachers are the ones who have “done it”. No one mentioned increasing compensation. Board’s logic seems to be: need to attract new students. New students require new programs. New programs must be opened by breaking contract. What has the union done to block the programs. Support growth strategy but do not understand why teachers need to be dis-empowered. 1. commit that no one in the district would receive compensation increases. 2. embark on own listen and learn tour. 3. better samples. 4. drop unfair practices case. hope you drop the rhetoric of caring for all children implying that no one else doesn’t. teachers should be treated as active partners.

9:19 PM Robin Zynda, district speech and pathologist – heard “sustainability” of the district last board meeting on 6/10. she too is concerned about sustainability. Worry that board’s actions say the opposite. AAPS has a history of charging ahead with reckless speed. District’s health and taxpayers have paid the price by policies pushed through boards focused on short-term gain. More focused on “running fast than running well.” District is exceptional because of its teachers – won’t be able to keep them around if something isn’t done. Teachers will see AAPS more as a stepping stone rather than a destination. Support the Support Ann Arbor Teachers Call to Action. Delay would cost little, but would increase

9:24 PM Ted MacTaggart UM Oncologist: injury to one, injury to all. High time we all stood up and told BOE enough. No more attacks on our teachers, no more attacks on our children.

9:25 PM David Rossiter – product of AAPS: “well on my way to being an activist again.” really impressed with open carry discussion from school board. Took what was coming from Lansing and said “not in Ann Arbor.” Dismay when heard how they are reacting with teacher contracts. Instead, should adopt a policy similar to what they decided about open carry in schools: “not in Ann Arbor.” AA taxpayers regularly passes millages, would support board with that policy. Should give fairness and honesty. Honor past contracts. Calls for wage increases. Catch up with cost of living increases. Work with teachers in good faith to resolve all outstanding issues.

9:29 PM Irene Patalan: former trustee. Came to honor Westerman. But also wanted to celebrate the first graduating class of WiHi. She thanked all the impassioned speakers for allowing her to change the subject from teacher contracts to a celebration of WiHi.

9:32 PM Quinn Strassel, Community High teacher: says that he had two experiences today: First he sat in on a Zingermans company meeting. Open book management. Second event, heard Graham and Westerman at tonight’s meeting. Important to remember our success hasn’t happened by accident. Struck by fact that Westerman thanked members of the community for suing the district. AA has a unique history of leadership – is that our new model of leadership: Be happy it could be worse? Board has an opportunity to be brave and make a change.

[loud cheering from audience]

9:37 PM Board Action Items

Contract Ratifications:

Swift: bringing forward four agreements re: contracts.

David Comsa, Deputy Superintendent Human Resources & Employee Relations, recommends ratification of tentative agreements between four bargaining groups: AFSCME-TSP (American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employee – Technical Support Personnel), AFSCME Custodial, ASCSA (Association of School and Community Service Administrators), and AAAA (Ann Arbor Administrators Association). The same settlement was reached for non-bargaining groups: Class 01 (Central Administration), Class 03, and Class 09. Comsa says he is very pleased with the agreements and thanks the union leadership.

No questions from board.

Stead motions to approve: move that BOE approves tentative agreements: for ASCSA, AAAA, AFSCME Custodial, and AFSCME-TSP. For 2015-16 only. Also same settlement reached for non-bargaining classes 1, 3, and 9.

No discussion from the board.

Swift: grateful for the opportunity to work with each of the groups. subsequently ratified by all of the union membership. Pleased with what can be accomplished with collaborative work. Increase 1%, maintain all benefits. Milestone as district is getting stronger, and they are able to do just a bit more for the employees. She notes they are “paving the way to a sustainable future” for the district.

9:43 PM Association Reports

AAEA: Linda Carter, president. Would like to join chorus of praise for Westerman. The AAEA represents 1200 hardworking teachers who make this district “exceptional.” She asks: what is happening in Ann Arbor? She says they know what is happening in Lansing. The AAEA has stood with district in opposition to many of the measures from Lansing. Set to vote tonight on termination of collective bargaining unit. What about public dialogue, what about communication. You meet at the middle of the night where parents need to be home with their children, and when teachers need to be resting to prepare for the next day of school. AAEA calling for you to stop “right now. Not tomorrow, but tonight.” It’s not too late to repair some of the damage done. She asks that they delay implementation of anti-union, anti-teacher policies, saying that the AAEA remains ready to stand in collaboration. Add an amendment to the agenda to revise the meetings of the AAPS BOE that discussion of policy takes place at a decent hour.

No other association reports.

9:53 PM Board Committee Reports

Performance Committee:

Thomas: committee met yesterday. Discussion of online courses offered by AAPS. 87% growth of online classes taken at AAPS. Most online classes taken by 11 and 12 grade students, largest majority of classes taken by students at Skyline. In AA, 78% of students who sign up for online classes complete them. Administration is looking at ways to improve that percentage, possible additional support. Will continue offering more online courses next year. Health, government, economics, and some math, such as geometry. Fifth graders use online classes to take sixth grade math.

Heard from Bryant, Pittsfield, and Tappan – Focus School Reports

Planninng Committee: Stead: Not met since last board meeting.

Governance Committee: Mexicotte: has not met since last board meeting.

9:58 PM Information Reports

Annual Summer Custodial Cleaning Plan & GCA Update

9:59 PM Marios Demetriou: meets with GCA [contracted custodial] team on a weekly basis. Currently 33 employees who used to work for AAPS, now works for GCA. Currently have 134 custodians working in schools. Monthly principal survey data collected. Demetriou shows a slide of collected data from September 2014 to May 2015. Thomas says he is struggling with the pie charts that Demetriou has presented, asking for a different color scheme. Lightfoot asks for larger font size in the report. Mexicotte asks that both of those changes be made before being made public.

10:04 PM Lasinski asks what each letter grade meant for the grading scale. Demetriou says it was up to the principal’s judgement. He noted that in C or D graded schools, there were areas they weren’t happy with. But then those issues would be addressed immediately with GCA. He noted that the first year is always the “most difficult.”

10:06 PM Lasinski asks if there were trends over the course of the year. Demetriou says they had their “ups and downs.” Clean up equipment did not come until April, so the winter months were difficult. There was significant turnover in the first three months. Again reiterated that the first year was a transition year.

10:08 PM Thomas asks for clarification about how custodial staff were maintaining outside areas as opposed to grounds crew. Demetriou says garbage pick up, some snow removal. Thomas asks if there was a bunch of trash around the school, that would be the custodial crew. Demetriou clarifies that if it were 10 feet from the school, it would be the custodial staff.

10:10 PM Lightfoot asks if GCA were present at the meeting. Demetriou looks around the auditorium and says no. Swift apologizes, saying she thought they were supposed to be there this evening. Mexicotte says there could be room for GCA to be there at the next meeting, if the board decides to have another meeting next week.

10:11 PM Summer clean up plans were distributed in June to building principals. On a weekly basis, district administration will monitor progress, touring schools. Demetriou says joint review committee meetings are conducted quarterly. Goals for Year Two, which begins July 1: All buildings 100% and ready for admin/student arrival, execute impactful summer cleaning plan, improve principal survey grades, reduced employee turnover, and increased experience of employees.

10:16 PM Thomas notes that GCA has received lowest marks in cleaning restrooms and classrooms. He asks if there is a plan in place to address cleaning those two areas. Demetriou says training is on-going, and they are using some different products so they are “doing a better job.” Tim Gruszczynski Executive Director, Physical Properties noted that the training has been improved, as has the equipment. Thomas reiterated that he wanted to know from GCA about their specific plans to improve classroom and restroom cleanliness.

10:19 PM Lightfoot says she has struggled with outsourcing, saying she hasn’t seen the results that have been promised. She is interested in the challenges GCA has faced, those “unexpected barriers” that they have found. She wants to know why the turnover has been so great. Lightfoot also asked about the make-up of the joint review committee, wondering when principals, teachers, and students could weigh in on the condition of their schools. Swift noted that they ask principals to pass along concerns from teachers and parents. Swift says she “doesn’t want them to have to send them.”

10:25 PM Baskett says that when the board voted to hire GCA [a vote she did not make] they were ensured that the company would exceed their expectations. She said that she sees “a whole lot of inspecting, but not a whole lot of cleaning.” Baskett clarifies that the expectations for the summer clean-up goals were the same before they privatized. She said she heard more complaints since they’ve privatized, but that there are no new goals to indicate GCA was “catching up” on work needed to be done. She asks how the standards for cleanliness are set, saying it would help if GCA were there to help clarify. Baskett asks what they are willing to tolerate in terms of cleanliness. Mexicotte says that there is criteria against what the expectations are put, saying that perhaps they need a refresher on that contract.

10:29 PM Swift says that is the motivation for the weekly site inspections over the summer. Those inspections will be held by Swift, Demetriou, and the GCA site supervisor. Baskett says now asking top paid admin to walk the floors with the company hired to clean our buildings – that cost should be factored in when looking at the cost savings of privatization. Mexicotte says they did ask for the report on a short time frame, saying that they should approach as an on-going process. She also says that they should look at historical data for complaints, to actually compare the numbers of complaints prior to privatization.

10:34 PM Baskett says she is just disappointed that they are at this point, that they should have asked for this report of the oversight of GCA before.

Transportation Planning FY 2015/16

10:35 PM Swift acknowledges that it is a big deal to transition transportation for a district of AAPS’s size. AAPS has moved from WISD providing transportation to Durham School Services for the upcoming school year.

10:36 PM Demetriou introduces four representatives of Durham. He talks over the requirements for hiring drivers, detailing recruitment efforts. So far 90 drivers have been sent offers, with 88 of them being returned. 30 of AA monitors sent offer letters, 24 of them have been returned. There have been recruitment efforts.

10:40 PM The bus fleet is being inspected. All buses will be equipped with GPS device and EVIR (electronic vehicle inspection report). A route study for the fall is currently underway. On August 21, there will be route dry-runs.

10:43 PM Lightfoot asks about summer school, of which there are 33 routes. Routing for summer school was handled through WISD as it had been done previously. Lightfoot asks who parents should call with complaints. A Durham representative says that parents should call the district transportation department, located off of Boardwalk.

10:48 PM Lightfoot commends Durham for retaining so many of the drivers from before. Durham is looking to hire about 20% overage, so they would hire about 30 more drivers. This would help cover field trips, etc. Demetriou says starting driver wage is $16/hour. Monitor wage starts at $12/hour.

10:50 PM Thomas also confirms target staffing level. Durham says they don’t look at providing adequate staffing as “a choice, but it’s what they must do.”

10:53 PM Lasinski raises the concern about routing. Average commute time for students. She says she would not see it as a flaw if bus routes were changed the first month of school, seeing it instead as Durham listening and learning.

10:55 PM Baskett asks if they anticipate any challenges to getting the additional 30 drivers for the beginning of the school. Durham says that roughly 30-50% of applicants are people who they are interested in potentially hiring. Baskett says that when they hired Durham, they were also getting additional items such as the GPS.

11:01 PM Manley asks what the total number of drivers and monitors they will have at the end of hiring: 119 drivers and 33 monitors. Currently have 88 and 24 hired.

11:02 PM Lightfoot emphasizes focusing on smarter route planning.

Additional Meeting – next Tuesday

11:03 PM Mexicotte suggests the possibility of meeting next Tuesday. Some of the items would be able to be ratified towards the end of the year. Only Stead would not be able to present. Mexicotte notes that tonight they would vote on the special briefing (a special briefing is a briefing that is voted on at the same meeting that it is first introduced – sometimes presented if there is a time-sensitive issue), along with any second briefing item this evening that had no discussion. All other items would be moved to a meeting next Tuesday.

Special Briefing: 2015 Bond: Bus Purchases

11:05 PM The bus purchase is brought forward to the board as a special briefing so that the buses can be purchased before June 30, 2015 to avoid a 2% price increase. The item could not be brought to the board earlier because the bond funds were not available until the June 18, 2015 bond closing. The Bond Millage passed in May 2015 included funds for purchasing new buses to replace the District’s aging fleet.

Currently, the district owns 129 buses and will immediately retire 13 of those buses, bringing the fleet down to 116. The recommendation is for the district to replace 23 buses for the 2015-16 school year. The goal over the next five years is to purchase an additional 23-24 buses per year. The buses will be purchased through the Michigan School Business Officials (MSBO) state-wide bid. The recommendation is to purchase International buses, which is the same type of bus as the current fleet.

The base bus price is approximately $80,000 but additional options were recommended for safety reasons and preventative maintenance. Air conditioning was added as an option because of IEP requirements, as well as longer athletic trips and field trips. Previously, WISD did not provide athletic and field trips.

The purchase of 23 buses in the amount of $2,295,152 must be made before June 30, 2015 in order to save 2% on the bus costs. This purchase will be funded from the 2015 Bond funds.

11:12 PM Thomas compares base price of $80,000 for a bus to $97,000 cost. Air conditioning at $7,300 is part of the cost. Additional costs: longer lasting brakes, more durable stainless steel step wells. By spending a little more money up front, should save money. GPS and EVIR will be provided by Durham, not part of the increased bus cost.

11:19 PM Baskett clarifies that International buses are indeed an American brand.

11:21 PM Mexicotte says she is troubled by not putting air conditioning in the preschool buses, despite their $14,600 cost. She said she was willing to add that to the cost. Air conditioning was going to be put in the regular and the special education buses.

No additional discussion.

Second Briefing Items or Confirming Consent Agenda

11:25 PM Mexicotte is running through the Second Briefing Items to move them to consent Agenda.

  • Everyday Math – Phase II, Grades 3-5 – Baskett asks what happens if they do not purchase the Everyday Math upgrade. Dawn Linden, Executive Director, Elementary Education says that it would be “very problematic.” It would leave them with materials that are very dated and not aligned.
  • Northside STEAM – Bid Pack 4
  • Playground Wood Chip Resurfacing Project
  • Rec & Ed Lifelong Learning and Team Sports Contracts
  • Tech Bond – Elementary Project Lead The Way
  • Grounds Maintenance Annual Contracts – Manley asks if this is about the contracts. Mexicotte assures it is. No discussion.
  • Chartwells Breakfast & Milk Rate Increase
  • 2015 Bond Bid Pack 7 – Security Equipment Upgrade
  • 2015 Bond Bid Pack 8-Server Expansion – Data Storage Upgrade
  • Northside STEAM Phase 2 Bid Pack 4: Athletic Wood Flooring
  • Revised Policy 5800-Anti-Bullying/Cyberbullying, New Policy 2700 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Procedures & Guidelines – Swift points out both items requested by Baskett last meeting have been added.
  • New Policy 5060 – Student Participation in Assessment Programs – no changes. Was amended between first briefing and additional first briefing. Language has not changed since that time.
  • Bus Purchase with additional $14,400 for air conditioning added to preschool buses

11:31 PM Consent Agenda

Unanimously approved.

11:35 PM Additional Meeting Scheduled for Tuesday, June 30

6:30 PM Executive session for negotiation and attorney/client privilege. 7:00 PM Regular meeting to focus on climate survey. Location TBD.

11:35 PM Recess back to executive session

Mexicotte recesses the board to head back to the executive session they were in prior to the start of the evening’s regular meeting. They will be back to complete any additional items. Two of those items: highlights from the 2014-15 year and the superintendent 360 evaluation might be pushed to the June 30 meeting.

11:38 PM Board votes to extend meeting to 1:00 AM.

The board must vote to extend any meeting past 12:00 AM. Mexicotte says that it is a proactive extension just in case they need to extend past midnight.

11:47 PM About 30 people remain while the board is in executive session. It is rare for people to stay while the board recesses back to executive session. A Bach Elementary teacher tells me they don’t have to teach tomorrow, so they are there.

A blurry photo of the people who stayed while the BOE recessed to their executive session.
A blurry photo of the people who stayed while the BOE recessed to their executive session.

12:56 AM Still about 25 people in the auditorium. The board has not yet returned. Must return in the next three minutes to vote to extend the meeting past 1:00 AM.

1:12 AM The board returns to the table.

1:12 AM Mexicotte moves to extend the meeting to 1:30 AM, anticipating that they would be out in a few minutes. Unanimously approved.

Agenda Planning

Mexicotte rolls over the Highlights from the 2014-15 school year and the 360 Superintendent Evaluation to next Tuesday’s meeting. Approved unanimously.

Items from the Board

1:13 AM Thomas said he came here with the expectation that this was going to be a contentious meeting. His mood was lifted when he received a nice thank you notes from a Dicken Elementary teacher and her students who received a grant from the Karen Thomas Fund.

1:15 AM Baskett recognizes Susan Westerman. Congratulated former Roberto Clemente High School principal Dr. Ben Edmondson, who recently hired as Ypsilanti Community Schools superintendent. Also remembered Dr. White, long time Pioneer High School principal; Mary Corsi Kelley, Huron High social worker – both long time educators who have recently passed.

1:18 AM Lightfoot enjoyed retirement party on June 18. Mexicotte echoed her sentiments, saying it was one of her favorite events of the year.

1:19 AM Thomas said he would be happy to escort anyone to their cars this evening, because the lights are out. Mexicotte says the lights were restored to the parking lot – were on a timer to shut off at midnight. [When I returned to my car, the lights were not on.]

1:20 AM Stead appreciated teachers, families, community members who came to the coffee hours she and Lightfoot had held. Looking forward to having more in the future. Superintendent eval – informal a couple of months ago. formal superintendent eval this evening (part of why they reconvened to executive session). They typically release a statement, along with data and trends from over the past two years.

A brief statement was read by Stead, essentially saying the board “fully supports” the leadership of the superintendent and looks forward to working with the superintendent moving forward. The statement in its entirety will be publicly released. Official Superintendent Evaluation Statement

1:26 AM Mexicotte encourages public to attend next Tuesday, June 30 meeting.

1:26 AM Meeting is adjourned.

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