Special Education Millage Renewal on November Ballot

Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education regular meeting (September 27, 2017): Forsythe Middle School, 1655 Newport Rd

** Due to a technical problem, I was not able to live blog this meeting. I was, however, able to live tweet the meeting on Twitter. You can see the meeting unfold at @annarbivore. I also copied and pasted the tweets here. See them below.**

The Ann Arbor Public Schools (AAPS) Board of Education (BOE) trustees will vote themselves into executive session at 5:00 PM this evening, discussing a attorney/client privilege item. Executive sessions are closed to the public. The regular meeting begins at 7:00 PM.

During the regular meeting, the trustees will hear two information items: the Special Education Renewal Millage and the monthly budget monitoring report for August.

A Pediatric Therapy Associates Contract is the only first briefing scheduled.

Second briefings will be held for four items. The first is a 2015 Bond Piano Purchase of 26 Steinway pianos for installation in all middle and high schools for a total cost not to exceed $1,197,162. The purchase would be use monies from the 2015 Bond.

The second item is a 2015 Bond Phase II Classroom Furniture Implementation. Phase I of the classroom furniture implementation was completed over spring and summer 2017 in 14 schools. This second phase would add an additional nine schools to that list. The $3,536,250 purchase would be paid from the 2015 Bond.

A 2015 Bond Phase III Model Classroom Furniture Purchase would provide the purchase of two model classrooms for each of the five high schools. The estimated cost of the model classroom furniture is $355,000 and would be paid from 2015 Bond funds.

The final second briefing item is the biennial Rec & Ed Catalog Production Bid Recommendation, for a two-year contract to Michigan Web Press in an amount not exceed $150,000. The contract covers the printing of four seasonal catalogs and one Summer Camps catalog.

Voting will be on the Piano Purchases, the Phase II Classroom Furniture Implementation, Phase III Model Classroom Furniture Purchase, and the Rec & Ed Catalog Production Bid Recommendation.

Board action will be taken to certify the Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB) voting delegates.

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**To have the meeting chronicled in one spot, I have copied and pasted my tweets from this meeting. **

The agenda was approved. President Stead moved to remove Board Actions B and C. The items were removed.


 AAEA President Linda Carter recommends developing a district wide policy of how to deal with high temperatures.


Stead asks they look at future agenda items. She notes some legislation percolating in the MI House and Senate.

Stead encourages people to contact their legislators.

Stead thanks Carter for drawing attention to the high temps. She suggests the Exec Committee takes a look at that to make policy.


Super Jeanine Swift thanks students and staff for working through the high temps this past week.

Swift says they will prioritize money to provide A/C relief in schools.

Swift celebrates 58 National Merit Semi-finalists district wide. AAPS students account for 11% of students in Michigan.

Swift highlights schools and programs around the district: ‘s new outdoor classroom, ‘s soccer team, .

Currently, there are 39 students from Toyota City, Japan visiting AAPS for the week. Next week, students from Hikone, Japan will visit.

District liaison between AAPS and community partners has taken a job with UofM’s Ross Business School. She will be missed.

Mark your calendars for the Allen Elementary rededication on October 25 at 5:30PM. Swift says Allen will serve as a “kind of prototype.”

Trustees present at tonight’s meeting: Gaynor, Manley, Kelly, Vice Pres Baskett, Pres Stead. Absent: Lightfoot and Mitchell.

COMMITTEE REPORT: Subcommittee for Superintendent Eval Review.

State law mandates they use a research-based tool for the evaluation.

Baskett: as VP, responsibility to lead the evaluation. The subcommittee has a recommendation. Baskett explains the process they used. They reviewed two models in depth: MASB model and the Blaha model. Recommendation: MASB model.

Will use MASB model, along with the 360 Evaluation they have been using. Reco was based on efficiency and it allows for additional metrics.

Training required was a one day session as opposed to the three day training of the Blaha model. Meets the legal requirements.

Baskett says they will “all be learning this together.” It’s a learning process. Continuing with the 360 Eval to provide community feedback.

Next steps: approve the tool, then hold a training session. Either November 1 or Oct 11 or Oct 18. Training should be with MASB trainer.

All the tools will be made public, so public can know what Superintendent Swift will be evaluated on.

Swift will do a self-assessment. If any trustee has concerns about it, relay concerns to Baskett who will ask for further info.

Turnaround for trustees will be on December 1. Superintendent’s request: a closed session to go over her eval.

Metrics can be added to the tool, but cannot be subtracted. January = all tools and goals have been reviewed and agreed upon.

Informal updates in June and August. Based on self-eval, trustees eval, 360 Eval. Baskett asks for questions and concerns.

Stead confirms that the committee’s recommendation is to move to a school year timeline. Baskett says it ties to student growth.

Stead is surprised that is the recommendation of the subcommittee is to move from a academic year to a calendar year.

Clarification: It’s to move from an academic year to a calendar year.

Swift says the majority of the district data comes through the fall. If the eval ends in June, there are some metrics that might be missing.

Manley asks why Stead is surprised. For students, says Stead, the year begins in Sept. She’s deferred to the academic year as the true year.

Baskett says Swift and admin are doing work all year round. Manley says the training will be important for the trustees.

Baskett says they could elect a different cycle, if they decided. Stead: it puts a lot of work on Swift to have documentation by 11/1.

Swift says they will make the timeline the board chooses work. No matter when, they will make it work, knowing the first year is baseline.

Gaynor brings it back to teacher eval. Says it’s important to reflect on it.

Stead says it’s important they have their priorities straight. Swift and teachers are dealing with implementation of 3rd grade reading law.

Social and emotional supports, strategic planning emphasis, and millage to pass. Stead says she doesn’t want to compromise Swift.

Baskett says tying it to the election cycle is compelling because the board that is working with Swift now are the ones who would eval her.

If not tied to election cycle, the board members who evaluate Swift might not be the ones who worked with her over the past year.

Baskett asks that the trustees carve out time to work on the eval. It’s time consuming and thorough.

Baskett asks if her colleagues on the committee want to add anything. Manley notes that a strategic plan is part of it.

Baskett asks trustees to look at their calendars for training dates. The training will take three hours. May be done before a regular mtg.

Kelly says the MASB eval doesn’t replace the 360 Eval. Baskett says they decided to continue with the 360 Eval, which is all community.

Baskett says “we are Ann Arbor.” The community wants to give input, which they can do with the 360 Eval.

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