Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education regular meeting (April 18, 2018): Forsythe Middle School, 1655 Newport Rd
Tonight’s Ann Arbor Public Schools (AAPS) Board of Education (BOE) regular meeting begins with a moment of silence for the passing of former AAPS superintendent W. Scott Westerman, Jr. Westerman passed away earlier this morning.
The student winners of the Optimist International Oratorical Contest will present in front of the board.
A preview of the Summer 2018 Academic Programs will be given as the sole information item. No board action is taken on information items.
Four first briefing items will be presented: 2015 Bond – Classroom Enhancements: Phase III Furniture Purchase, High Schools & Additional Classrooms; Disaster Mitigation Services; Pattengill Structural Restoration; and Ductwork Replacement: Skyline Natatorium.
Items up for second briefings: Tech Bond Purchase: Teacher Laptop Refresh; Tennis Courts Renewal Projects; A2STEAM Air Conditioning; Lawn Maintenance Service Contract; and a District Security Service contract.
Voting tonight will be to approve the Teacher Laptop Refresh; the Tennis Courts Renewal Project; the Lawn Maintenance Service Contract; the District Security Service Contract; and the A2STEAM Air Conditioning.
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Present: Vice President Susan Baskett, Trustees Harmony Mitchell, Patricia Manley, Jeff Gaynor, Jessica Kelly, Simone Lightfoot; David Comsa, Deputy Superintendent Human Resources General Counsel
Absent: President Christine Stead; Superintendent Jeanice Swift
The student winners from the Optimist International Oratorical Contest read from their essays: “What Are the Roots of My Optimism?”
- 3rd Place: Tony Fata, Pioneer High student; bronze medallion and $100
- 2nd Place: Aaron Garrett, Huron HS; silver medallion and $300
- [Garrett is Trustee Mitchell’s son]
- 1st Place: Abdul Kizito, Huron HS; gold medallion and $500
PUBLIC COMMENTARY: None
Ann Arbor Education Association (AAEA): President Linda Carter talks about what happened Elementary Education Caucus Meeting. Manley and Kelly both attended. One of the most pressing issues of the caucus was about the new furniture. The AAEA voted to recommend a Yes vote on the AAPS Operating Millage. She recommends getting yard signs to advertise the millage vote.
Baskett says she is glad to have the endorsement of the AAEA for the Operating Millage.
There is no President’s Report, as Stead is absent today.
Comsa presents the Superintendent’s Report, in lieu of Swift. He shares highlights from around the district.
E3 Awards were won by three AAPS entities: one school and two teachers: Carpenter Elementary; Patricia Jenkins, Skyline High School; Lisa Cope, Carpenter teacher. Pioneer Orchestra Program presents “Tagore on Soul and Strings,” the first time this music has been played on Western instruments.
All three comprehensive high schools will have plays open this week and next. Huron High: The Tell-Tale Farce; Pioneer High: In the Heights; and Skyline High: Shrek the Musical.
Patengill Elementary: a fire in the restroom led to the evacuation of the school this morning. Patengill was closed today for clean up. Comsa thanks the Patengill administration for their “excellent leadership in assuring everyone’s safety.”
A video about the millage is shown.
Planning: Manley says the committee has not met since last week’s regular meeting. Next meeting: May 17.
Finance: Mitchell reports on the meeting held earlier tonight. They discussed furniture purchase for high schools. Next meeting is May 2 at Balas.
Performance: Lightfoot says next meeting is April 26 at Balas. She invites the public to attend.
Governance: Nothing to report
Baskett reiterates that the committee meetings is “where the sausage gets made.” She encourages the public to attend so they can see
INFORMATION ITEM: Summer School 2018
Lee Ann Dickinson-Kelley, Assistant Superintendent Instruction & Student Support Services, updates the Board on the Summer School offerings for 2018.
Dickinson-Kelley says the says main goals behind summer school offerings is to prevent summer slide and allow students to recoup or gain credit. She introduces the leadership of the summer school program.
Summer School Attendance in 2017
- 400 students attended SLI (Elementary Summer Learning Institute)
- 90 middle school students attended
- 32 incoming 9th graders participated in Academic Youth Development (AYD)
- 700 students earned high school credit
Student Intervention and Support Services for 2018
- Westerman Preschool & Family Center (July 2-27)
- Preschool Extended School Year
- Preschool to Kindergarten Transition
- King (July 2-27)
- Extended School Year
- Project Read
Elementary Summer School 2018
- Session I: July 9-July 20
- SLI for current grades 1&2
- Session II: July 23-August 3
- SLI for current Grades 1&2
- Fractions Academy for current Grade 3
Overview of Elementary SLI
- Successful and Enduring SLI Practices
- Fractions Academy
- targeting current 3rd graders
- one 2-week academy
- targeted instructional focus
- Learning for all
- Integrated project time
- project based instruction
- 2018 theme: understanding birds of prey; connecting to how citizens can take action to help injured animals
- Technology infused opportunities
- rotational model
- students engage daily with ELA and Math on individualized learning tasks
- rotational model
- Enhanced community partnerships
- foster grandparents
- AADL book give-away
- High school and college student volunteers
- Leslie Science Center presentations
- Fractions Academy
Dickinson-Kelley says they continue to include a great percentage of students. She attributes the offered two sessions as a reason why there has been greater participation from families. She says there will be an additional offering of after-care program for working families.
- finding ways to support students who decline
- limited number of seats in Fraction Academy
- leveraging opportunities for instructional rounds
- establishing class lists and bus routes
- family informational meeting: May 30th at Allen Elementary
- continuing professional development for staff
- building connections with Community Centers
- pursuing a child care option for after-care
Middle School & Academic Youth Development
Priority enrollment period for students who need a boost in middle school. It will continue from now until May 15. Transportation, breakfast and lunch, and free tuition will be provided to middle school students.
Middle School ELA Camp
- Day camp serving 180 current 5th-8th graders
MS Math/PTLW Camp
- Day camp serving 180 current 5th-7th graders
- co-taught by math and PTLW teacher
Community Center Opportunities
- Plans in place for
- Hikone, Bryant, Green Baxter
- Plans in place for growing the
Academic Youth Development
- Day camp for 60 students entering 9th grade
- designed for students entering algebra I and algebra IB
- growth mindset
- college connection
- 0.5 high school elective credit
High School: (housed in Pioneer HS)
High School Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II
- Algebra I students
- waive tuition for Algebra I students who did not receive credit
Summer School English
- students will focus on building foundational skills
- coursework will emphasize power standards to set students up for success in their next course.
Summer Online Options/Blended Learning
- self-paced learning options that adjust to individual student schedules
- opportunities to accelerate and continue learning
- facilities schedule flexibility by allowing students to complete graduation requirements
- scholarships are available for students who demonstrate need
- ensuring students are recovering credit for graduation
- sometimes students aren’t able to participate in summer learning opportunities
- working to eliminate all barriers. Providing transportation, breakfast and lunch, child care after elementary programming
- to ensure they are engaging students in rigorous preparation for future success
- HS informational meeting: June 12
- MS Informational meeting: June 13
- On-site counselor and librarian
- Monitor success into the year
- Parent workshop introducing PSAT/SAT for 2018 and link to Khan Academy
- Summer ESL Academy at Scarlett for current grades 3-7
- EL at Thurston for current grades 3-5
- EL at Clague for current grades 5-8
Building-Based Summer Programs – funded through Title I
Programs are available at nine Title I elementary schools. Check out the district website for more information. Students are recommended by their teacher and building principal.
Questions from the Board
Lightfoot asks to be reminded why students have to fail before they are put into summer school free of charge.
Dickinson-Kelley says that once they fill up seats at the middle school level with students who have failed, they will open it up to the district middle school population at large. Both building and teacher capacity drives the ability of the offerings.
The district is staggering the start times for middle and high school students, in order to keep them more separated, given they will both be housed at Pioneer HS.
Lightfoot asks about enrollment trends. There was a slight decline from 2016 to 2017. Dickinson-Kelley says they always make sure to follow up with families who choose to decline to enroll their students. They are expecting 468 students in 2018.
Kelly asks what the hours of the day the program runs. Dickinson-Kelley replies that it is form 8:30-3:30 for the Elementary sessions. Aftercare would be provided until 5:30-6:00, ideally. Middle School and High School sessions are at varied times.
Kelly asks what a “priority student” is at the middle school level. The district looks at different indicators such as M-STEP or NWEA scores. When a student has an indicator, the district extends an invitation.
At the high school level, students can recover credit by either retaking the course over the summer or doing an individualized online course for skills that are needed to be passed. If students were given an incomplete in the course originally, if they retake the course, it refigures their old grade.
Mitchell asks about the Preschool to Kindergarten transition. She asks how students are identified and how parents are notified about the program. Dickinson-Kelley says they are initially looking at students in self-contained classrooms as they determine the list.
Gaynor says that he heard from elementary teachers who were surprised and concerned that they weren’t asked for feedback when recommending students to the program. Dickinson-Kelley says the initial invitation list was created by the central administration, looking at test scores and grades as an indicator. Teachers should have heard from Balas by now. Dickinson-Kelley says that if Gaynor hears differently, please let her know so they can improve their practice.
Manley asks what happens if a course a student received an Incomplete in is not available at summer school. Dickinson-Kelley says that is when they use some of the online and blended opportunities.
Baskett refers the trustees to the summary pages that are in their report. She asks about the music program, since it wasn’t discussed. Band, orchestra, drum line, will be offered. Baskett asks if there is a limited number of seats for the summer music program. She asks how soon families can start enrolling their students. Dickinson-Kelley says enrollment is open right now for it.
Baskett asks if there is a limited number of students who can enter the preschool to kindergarten program. Dickinson-Kelley says the program is still being developed, so she doesn’t have a firm answer to that.
She asks about the cost of the child-care option, saying she thinks it is a good idea. Childcare for SLI is free.
Middle school programming – it will be offered to priority students first, but after May 15, enrollment is open to all middle schools students. Baskett asks about transportation to AYD, which is hosted at Eastern Michigan University. AAATA bus passes are offered to students to get them to EMU.
Baskett asks about blended learning and Community Resource (CR) programming. Blended learning allows for online courses supplemented by an in-person teacher presence. CR programming is available through the summer, run out of the Community High CR offices.
Baskett asks Dickinson-Kelley to remind the community about the dollars that are put into summer school programming. The budget line item is about $1M, and it is supplemented by various grants. Baskett says the budget shows the district’s commitment to summer school programming.
8:54 PM The trustees take a five minute break.
9:12PM The meeting resumes
FIRST BRIEFING ITEM: 2015 Bond – Classroom Enhancements: Phase III Furniture Purchase, High Schools & Additional Classrooms
Comsa notes that as was done in Phases I and II, the furniture was selected through a combined effort of teachers, parents, and students. The total cost for the Phase III purchase is not to exceed $3M. All five high schools will get new furniture, as will the newest Young 5s classrooms and some purchases that were missed in earlier phases.
Kelly relays comments from the Elementary Education Caucus regarding the furniture. Teachers have several concerns: lack of professional development on how to use the furniture; less storage than they used to have; staggered schedule between core classrooms and special classrooms.
She asks if they spend up to the $3M in this phase, she wonders what money will be left in order to address issues such as storage.
Dawn Linden, Executive Director Elementary Education, responds to the issue of lack of professional development. She says that she understands teachers might need more PD in order to better use the furniture. She is not sure if there is going to be enough money in the pot to address providing furniture to the specialary classrooms.
Manley asks if the high school furniture is more traditional furniture or some of this new furniture. All classrooms will offer standing desk options and various seating options. Linden says students learn differently now and can’t be expected to be taught to in rows of desks.
Gaynor says he doesn’t understand the point about choice. He wonders about the standing options – does it mean some students have to choose to stand? Linden says that there will be seats for all. He asks who is making the decision of how teachers are going to teach regarding the furniture.
Merri-Lynn Colligan, Executive Director Technology & Information Services, responds to Gaynor’s question. She addresses the issue of space in the classroom, giving the example of smaller rooms at Community.
Gaynor says $3M is not an inconsiderable amount. He asks if there was enough “good furniture” in the district to be able to mix and match with the old furniture. Linden says they have done a good job of repurposing a lot of the old furniture. She emphasizes the mobility of the new furniture, to allow teachers to teach they want to teach.
Linden says their committee work was around what was best for students. She says they have to adapt to how students learn, and students now, she says, prefer discussion. She says they need to give teachers and students time to adjust to the new furniture.
Kelly asks if a teacher is struggling to make their furniture in their room, is a consultation available for the teacher. Linden says she and Colligan are available to come into classrooms.
Baskett says she’s only heard positive feedback about the furniture. She counters Gaynor’s point of mixing old with new by wondering who gets the new furniture and who gets the old furniture. It was a commitment to the community when the 2015 Bond was passed.
FIRST BRIEFING ITEM: Disaster Mitigation Services
AAPS solicited a qualified and experienced disaster recovery contractor to perform water, fire, and natural disaster and other emergencies. Emile Lauzzana makes the recommendation to approve a two-year contract to current vendor SunGlo Restoration Services of Novi, MI. The district only pays the contractor when their services are needed.
Lightfoot clarifies that the board is simply approving the use of this particular company. There is no money necessarily attached to it yet.
FIRST BRIEFING ITEM: Pattengill Structural Restoration
The computer room at Pattengill has settled in excess of two inches, which has caused cracking in the concrete block wall and depressions in the concrete slab. The repairs will include injecting sub-surface grout, tuckpointings, floor leveling, new VCT tiles, stabilizing structural steel and painting. Lauzzana says it is far from a safety issue, but they are looking to get ahead of any other issues.
The recommendation is to go with Pullman SST, Inc of Trenton, MI in the amount of $52,400. Funding will be provided from the Sinking Fund. The work will be completed over the summer.
FIRST BRIEFING ITEM: Skyline High School Natatorium Ductwork Replacement
Lauzzana says the ductwork has failed at the Skyline Natatorium, due to the high humidity. They need to replace it with more standard metal ductwork, rather than the fabric ductwork that is currently used.
The contract is to go with Quality Wire Systems of Ann Arbor in the amount of $124,900. Funding will be provided from the Sinking Fund. Baskett asks if there is any warranty on the materials, to which Lauzzana says he is not aware of any. The workmanship warranty is for 12 months. The work will be completed over the summer.
SECOND BRIEFING ITEM: Tennis Courts Renewal Project
No changes, other than Clague MS courts being removed from the list. No discussion.
SECOND BRIEFING ITEM: Teacher Laptop Refresh
SECOND BRIEFING ITEM: Lawn Maintenance Contract
SECOND BRIEFING ITEM: District Security Contract
SECOND BRIEFING ITEM: A2STEAM Air Conditioning
To be voted on:
- Tech Bond Purchase: Teacher Laptop Refres
- Tennis Courts Renewal Project
- Lawn Maintenance Contract
- District Security Contract
- A2STEAM Air Conditioning
Outcome: The consent agenda is unanimously approved.
Gaynor wants to be on the record to express his concern with the increasing number of student assessments. He wants this on the docket for a future meeting. He also is concerned about the amount of money spent on software for student and teacher use. Baskett asks if he wants to discuss the amount of software or if he would like to address funding for libraries.
ITEMS FROM THE BOARD
Manley brings forward some of the discussion from the Elementary Education Caucus. There were some concerns about the budget and teacher contracts that will be up come January. They asked the board to do all they can to make sure the two-year contract is fulfilled.
Comsa says he had the opportunity to meet with the salary committee. It is in both of the administration’s and the union’s best interests to have the highest fund balance available. He understands the union’s concern, and they are working with them.
Kelly says the teachers were feeling overwhelmed by too many new additions to the curriculum. Personal Learning Plans (PLPs) and report cards received most of the attention. They highlighted some issues that Kelly feels the board should take a look at in order to make sure it is meeting their overall goals. Teachers invite trustees to their school buildings in order to see the day to day operations.
Gaynor invites everyone to a Chat with a Trustee at Songbird Cafe on Plymouth Rd, on Thursday 4/19 from 6:45-8PM. He reads from an article published in the Detroit Free Press regarding school testing in Michigan.
Mitchell asks the community to support the high school plays that are happening over the next couple weeks. She says to her son Aaron Garret how proud she is of him. She says that he feels she is the roots of his optimism, but he is the root of hers. She offers congratulations to him and to the other winners of the oratorical contest.
Baskett says she attended the Listen & Learn tour at both Carpenter and Bryant Pattengill. Some of the parents need a little encouragement to dream big as Carpenter and Bryant Pattengill are being reimagined. She will be visiting Mitchell and Scarlett to show off the IB programming there.
10:09 PM MEETING IS ADJOURNED