Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education regular meeting (June 13, 2018): Forsythe Middle School, 1655 Newport Rd
The Ann Arbor Public Schools (AAPS) Board of Education (BOE) trustees will vote themselves into executive session at 5:00 PM this evening, citing attorney/client privilege. Executive sessions are closed to the public. The regular meeting begins at 7:00 PM.
The meeting will begin with a performance by Clague Middle School’s 7th Grade Chamber Ensemble, led by Abby Alwin.
Several scholarships will be presented tonight. Senator Rebekah Warren will present her Envision Michigan Fund Scholarship. The 2018 AAPS Partner Scholarships by Chartwells, GCA, and Durham Transportation will be presented. There will also be a 2018 AAPS Community Scholarships presentation, along with the 2018 Chartwells Farm to School Mini Grant Award presentation.
Tonight will mark the second briefing of the 2018/19 budget. It will also mark the second public hearing on the proposed budget. These items are earlier in the meeting, presumably to allow members of the public to speak earlier in the evening.
After the public hearing, the meeting resumes its usual progression through the agenda.
Two information items will be presented to the board: the Monthly Budget Monitoring Report for May and a preview of AAPS Environmental Responsibility and Sustainability.
The trustees will hear eight first briefing items. Those include: Middle School Math Purchase; 2017/18 Budget Amendment; Project Read Phase II Purchase; Mitchell Elementary Cafeteria Enhancements; Haisley Elementary Renovations: New Classroom and Computer Lab; Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) Membership Renewal for 2018/19 School Year; Federal Grant Procurement; and a Sunset Review of the 5000 Series Policies. No action is taken on first briefing items.
The recommendation is to award the tennis courts renewal contract to Anglin Civil of Livonia, Michigan, in the amount of $1,113,401, paid from the Sinking Fund.
On April 18, a fire occurred at Pattengill Elementary in a Boys restroom. The subsequent emergency restoration costs totaled $27,544.02. Due to the extent of the damage, the bathrooms will require renovation. The renovations will be a total amount of $89,735.65. Funding will be provided through an insurance claim in the amount of $92,279.67 with the $25,000 deductible paid from the Sinking Fund if approved.
The trustee will vote on the second briefing items when they vote on the consent agenda.
Board action will be taken to vote on approving the 2018/19 Budget.
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7:09 PM Executive Assistant to the Board of Education Amy Osinski announced that the trustees are running late, as they are still in executive session.
Present:President Christine Stead; Vice President Susan Baskett; Trustees Patricia Manley, Jeff Gaynor, Jessica Kelly, Simone Lightfoot; Superintendent Jeanice Swift (non-voting member)
Absent: Trustee Harmony Mitchell. Mitchell had a death in the family.
7:38PM President Christine Stead calls the meeting to order.
The agenda is unanimously approved without discussion.
The Clague Middle School 7th Grade Chamber Ensemble performs for the trustees. Orchestra teacher Abby Alwin was going to lead the students; however, she had to leave early. Clague’s PTO President, Margaret Baker, introduces the students instead.
Trustee Jeff Gaynor tells them their performance was “very lovely.” Trustee Patricia Manley agrees, saying it was “really beautiful.” Trustee Jessica Kelly acknowledges the hard work the students put into practicing.
SPECIAL RECOGNITION: Envision Michigan Fund Scholarship Presentation
State Senator Rebekah Warren presents the Envision Michigan Fund scholarship to Community High student Sam Uribe-Botero. She reads an excerpt from the recommendation from the winner’s counselor.
SPECIAL RECOGNITION: 2018 AAPS Partner Scholarships Presentation: Chartwells/GCA/Durham
Superintendent Jeanice Swift says how grateful the district is for the scholarships that district partners give AAPS students.
GCA, who does the janitorial work for the district, provided $20,000 for five scholarships. Each recipient receives $4,000 to study business or a business-related field. Scholarship winners include: Charlie Hickman, Community; Dominque Littlefield, Pioneer; Mateo Marchan, Skyline; Joiya Sims, Skyline; Yixue (Elicia) Rong, Huron.
Chartwells, the district’s food servicer, provided $10,000 for two scholarships. Each recipient receives $5,000 to study a culinary-related field. Scholarship winners are: Bree Linton, Community; Elizabeth Panteleon, Huron.
Durham, transportation for the district, provided $20,000 for scholarships. The money didn’t come in time for scholarship distribution to students, so it will be used next year.
SPECIAL RECOGNITION: 2018 AAPS Community Scholarships
Jenna Bacolor, Executive Director Community Division, gives some background on the AAPS Community Scholarships. When the AAPS Education Foundation closed, 22 scholarship funds transferred to the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation (AAACF) or AAPS. Most of the funds memorialize students or staff.
The scholarship application process has now been streamlined so there is one online application for all scholarships. Bacolor thanks some of the scholarship founders who are in attendance.
The next steps are to:
- continue to develop the web presence
- publicize opportunities to support scholarship funds
- review amounts awarded and requirements
- for next year:
- much longer application window
- more outreach about scholarship availability
- Mason Cox, Community High
- Trevor Dial, Huron High
- Maizie Montgomery, Pioneer High
- Molly Dahle, Pioneer High
- Justin Carthage, Community High
- Elaina Baker, Huron High
- Angelo Soto, Pioneer High
- Joyce Grace Ho, Pioneer High
- John Creal, Pioneer High
- Lawrence Eiden, Pioneer High
SPECIAL RECOGNITION: Chartwells Farm to School Mini Grant
Bacolor thanks Chartwell for being a member of the collaborative and supporting the farm to school movement. Jessica Luck, Eberwhite Elementary K-2 special education self contained cross categorical teacher, accepts the grant for an all-access sensory garden at Eberwhite.
Swift thanks all the community partners who financially support district students. She addresses the transition of the Educational Foundation into being housed under the umbrella of the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation.
Aldo Pando, recent district graduate: Asks the trustees to support the African American Humanities course at Pioneer. He says that a recent trip to the DIA with a former African American Humanities teacher was the most Black history he had been taught over the course of his high school career. He personally would have really appreciated being able to take that course in high school. It would have made him feel seen and that the district cared about Black students.
Molly Raynor, Neutral Zone literary arts director: she speaks in favor of the African American Humanities class, as well. It’s frustrating that the district doesn’t fully offer the course. As a district alum, she recalls the impact the course had on her Black friends who took the course at Pioneer when it was offered.
To clarify, Swift says they have revived the class at Pioneer. There is about 350 student enrollments across the three comprehensive high schools.
SECOND BRIEFING: Proposed 2018/19 Budget
By law, the trustees must pass a balanced budget by June 30. Swift says there are no changes of significance since the last meeting the budget was presented. Marios Demetriou, Assistant Superintendent Finance & Operations, walks through the budget.
Demetriou first highlights AAPS millages that are being levied. For the 2018/19 budget, the district is estimating enrollment will be 17,938. The 2018/19 foundation allowance will be $9,410. Revenue will be:
- local revenues: $87,531,229.
- state revenues: $122,861, 777
- total revenues: $248,788.060
- total expenditures: $251,216,140
Ending Fund Balance: $15,619,000
Lightfoot asks if any of the one-time expenses fall within mandates from the State. Demetriou says there are no more financial incentives for best practices. Swift says the testing continues, but the $65,000 incentive from the state is not being continued.
Gaynor asks about revenue incentives, noting some income such as cell phone tower revenue. Demetriou says in this budget, there is no assumption that revenue will continue. He says they will be working to find ways of increasing revenue, but currently there is nothing concrete.
Gaynor also asks about the wage increases which are locked in for parapros and office professionals, but not for the AAEA. In order for the wage increases to go to the AAEA, the fund balance has to be at 9.5%. A complete audit will be done and will be completed and presented to the board around mid-November. Demetriou says he expects very little change, and the fund balance will sit around 7%.
Stead says she is proud of the work the district has done to mitigate the financial damage from the State. In 2008, AAPS’s foundation allowance was $9,783 per student. In 2018, it will be $9,410 per student. Without inflation, that differential is approximately $5M. With inflation, it’s approximately an $11M difference. AAPS is the only district in Washtenaw County in which the foundation allowance is less than what it was 10 years ago.
Lightfoot asks if the budget includes any additional support staff to which Swift says it does not. Lightfoot is disappointed. She wants more support staff, such as counselors.
Stead brings it back to the political context. One of the expenses that has risen is the pension fund. The cost of MPSERs have increased from around 12% to 36.53% over the past 15 years. And with the increase in the number of charter schools in Michigan, there are fewer schools paying into the pension fund, which means the schools that are paying into the fund carry a higher burden.
Gaynor appreciates that Stead brings up the continual financial struggles public schools put up with from the state. Gaynor wants the budget to be broken down more granularly in materials for the public. Demetriou says that if the board wants to see all the detail of the budget, he would be more than happy to provide it to them. If there are specific questions regarding the budget, he asks that the trustees send them to him.
Gaynor brings up the example of the increased use of technology and software, wondering where those costs are accounted for. Swift says that she is happy to provide those.
Stead reads out the name of some of the documents that are available on the district website, noting that the district is transparent with their finances. She says that the budget tends to be higher level and the more granular decisions happen in public and can be tracked through historical documents.
Stead notes tonight’s budget presentation is a summary, as the budget has been presented two different times at previous meetings.
No one is present to speak. The public hearing is closed.
9:07 PM Stead asks the board to move some items on the agenda, acknowledging the math teachers who will present a first briefing item.
REPORTS OF ASSOCIATIONS
PTO Council: Steve Norton. PTOC is an umbrella organization that is comprised of members of all PTOs and PTSOs in AAPS. Recent news: a new Executive Board has been elected for next year. In the final meeting for the year, they took input for the topics to discuss next year. Norton says that it has been an honor to work with the board and board members, as well as an honor to represent the PTOC.
Stead thanks Norton for his inordinate service to the district. While he has been a representative of the PTOC, he also leads Michigan Parents for Schools. She thanks him for his leadership in the Ann arbor Citizens Millage Committee. Norton says as partial compensation, his two children in AAPS received excellent educations.
FIRST BRIEFING: Middle School Math Program Purchase
Swift says this is an update of the math program that has been used since 2005. The district has piloted a number of materials in order to determine a recommendation.
Swift says folks might wonder why they are looking to purchase curriculum. The last time they purchased middle school math curricula was in 2005. There is a new set of Michigan math standards and there are more students. The curricula the district is recommending is the Connected Math Program 3 (CMP3) to be paid in three annual installments of $139,000.
Lee Ann Dickinson-Kelley, Assistant Superintendent Instruction & Student Support Services, presents along with some district math teachers. There is a need for new materials, as the current State of Michigan K-12 Standards for Mathematics was adopted in 2010. The last curriculum adoption for middle school happened in spring 2005 (CMP2).
The district reviewed 10 recommended mathematics programs. They evaluated the programs against a rubric that established best practices.
Dickinson-Kelley walks through the mathematics curriculum review process that was used. Initially, the process began in the 2016/17 school year. Connected Mathematics Program 3 and College Prep Mathematics (CPM) were piloted. At the end of the year, there was no consensus, so the process was begun again in 2017/18. All the teachers read research articles, and CMP3 and CPM were piloted again. Twenty-nine teachers were in favor of moving forward with CMP3, seven teachers were not. Dickinson-Kelley says that some of the strategies that teachers value in CPM can be implemented in CMP3, as well.
Proposed implementation and roll out 2018-19 school year:
- Training of teacher-leaders beginning June 18, 2018
- Hold monthly “users group” meetings
- Intensified training for Scarlett IB
- Expand consultation for A2STEAM with project based learning
- Design implementation for Ann Arbor Open multi-grades
- Ongoing support and training embedded throughout the 2018-19 school year
Gaynor asks about the differences between the two programs, wondering why the recommendation is to go with CMP3. CMP3’s desire to work with the Ann Arbor Community Centers is a positive. There are also issues with clearinghouses with CPM. Gaynor asks about the instructional videos that are part of the CMP3 curriculum.
Baskett makes a note of the fact that because of the name, College Prep Mathematics makes it sound as if that is the only program that teaches college preparatory math. A teacher says that she can carefully and confidently say that CMP3 also adequately prepares students for college prep math.
Baskett asks if during the piloting program, parents and students were asked for feedback. She also asks if teachers noticed anything about student learning during the pilot process or if there were any lessons learned about cultural relevance. She asks how this program will address any achievement disparities. Baskett asks if there are examples of lesson plans if trustees want to do a deeper dive into the curriculum. She also expresses her interest in hearing from the “naysayers,” the teachers who did not want to go with CMP3.
Dickinson-Kelley says she wants parents to feel adequate and to know how to get additional support for their students. CMP3 is stronger in mathematic practices and preferred by special education curriculum specialists.
Manley’s concern is that they are coming back with a watered down program. She wants to make sure that CMP3 is rigorous and prepares students. Dickinson-Kelley says that CMP3 teaches concepts in a deep, systematic way.
Stead says it would be wonderful to hear from the teachers how CMP3 will impact the students. A teacher says CMP3 produces “collaborative, problem solving young men and women.” She says it scaffolds math concepts in a solid way.
10:11 PM Stead suggests that they skip committee reports, as most of what committees discussed
BOARD PRESIDENT’S REPORT
Stead says that as everyone is nearing the end of the school year, the state legislature is sneakily revising the State’s Social Studies curriculum. She says the board needs to have a response to the changes. She wants to find the most effective way of communicating the board’s views on
A Republican senator, Patrick Colbeck, has worked to delete the word “democracy” and “democratic” in the state’s social studies curriculum, as well as diminish the role of the NAACP, the role of naming the indigenous peoples by tribe, the role of LGBTQ. It is not an acceptable change in rewriting in a “very Orwellian way” the history of our state and the country. Colbeck wanted to delete the phrase “core democratic values” because there was no phrase “core republican values.”
Swift shares highlights from around the district, most notably the more than 1,200 graduates of the 2018 class. She thanks staff members, from preschool through high school, for their part in the achievement of the graduates.
She talks about the Listen & Learn tour, as well as the online feedback that will be compiled and reflected on as the school year comes to a close.
A video highlighting the year’s theme of “Inspire!” is shown.
10:29 PM The trustees opt to take a brief break.
10:45 PM The meeting resumes.
INFORMATION ITEM: May Monthly Budget Monitoring Report
Swift says she gave the trustees a head-up on how there is more cash going out than coming in this month. There is a natural ebb and flow.
- Revenues: $214,865,475
- Expenditures: $217,848,956
For the month, the district received $13,637,828, which is unusual for the district. The district usually receives more. Expenditures of $21,907,196 are normal.
For the month, there is a reduction to the fund balance of $8,269,368. YTD, the district has used about $2,983,481 of the Fund Balance. Demetriou says he expects that to correct to about a $2M deficit.
INFORMATION ITEM: AAPS Environmental Responsibility & Sustainability Preview
Not only is being environmentally responsible good for the environment, but it can be good for the district’s bottom line, says Swift. Environmental sustainability will be part of the emerging strategic plan. One of the biggest steps that has been made by the district this year has been bringing Emilie Lauzzana in, says Swift.
The goal this evening is not to bring a formal plan but to give the trustees a brief preview of what Lauzzana is thinking.
Lauzzana gives an overview on the impact climate change will have on Michigan. Climate change responses: mitigation, adaptation, resilience. He heads up the Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee, which has identified five topic team areas. He walks through those areas: students, staff, and community engagement; building energy and water usage; waste reduction; indoor environment; site and grounds.
AAPS Next Steps for Optimized Learning Environments:
- Hear: Sound field systems
- Breathe: Air filters and ventilation
- See: LED lighting (solar powered)
- Feel: Climate control systems
- Think & Learn: Sustainability curriculum
Lightfoot asks about the makeup of the advisory group. She asks if it is diverse enough, if there is a cross-section of the community. She also asks if students will be weighing in on the use of the Freeman School. She wants to engage students on the district’s green work. Lauzzana confirms there are two separate committees, one for the Freeman School and one for the Environmental Sustainability. He says there is not as much diversity as he would like to see. He will put another call out in the fall.
Kelly says the information Lauzzana brought about how the environment impacts learning is new to her. She appreciates it being framed in such a manner.
Manley thanks Lauzzana for the presentation. She and Baskett are slightly confused about the charts he presented. Baskett asks about how priorities will be determined. She asks if recommendations will be made districtwide or if it will be implemented piecemeal. Lauzzana says the goal of the committee is to come up with recommendations to offer to Swift, who will bring them in front of the board.
Lightfoot wonders how they are going to balance this group with the other advisory group with the bond money with other district priorities. Lauzzana says there are a lot of opportunities to create things that are win-win situations where energy costs are decreased and the environment is improved.
MOTION TO INCREASE MEETING TIME
The trustees vote to extend the meeting time by one hour.
FIRST BRIEFING: 2017/18 Budget Amendment
Swift says they are coming within a .0002 difference of where Demetriou projected where they would be. The next few weeks, she says, they will work vigilantly to roll more revenue into this.
The proposed final amended general fund budget:
Revenues (increase by $2,740,463)
- Local: $1.4M increase to reconcile final tax collections
- State: $372K to increase to reconcile state aid
- Federal: $23K decrease based on an award adjustment
- Other: $1M increase for additional ACT 18 revenue
Expenditures (increase by $2.8M)
- $2.1M increase for wages and benefits based on current year staffing
- $700K increase for contractual service adjustments
- Proposed revenue less expenditures results in a net change of ($1,893,000)
FIRST BRIEFING: Project READ Phase II Purchase
Project READ was first implemented in the district in 2016. While it is an elementary literacy program, the district uses it at whatever level it is need. Phase II will cost $111,396.60, which includes materials and training.
Phase II will provide for implementation of Project READ Tier II and Tier III instruction. Components of Project READ: phonics, reading comprehension, linguistics.
- Provide Project READ materials to teacher consultants and resource room teachers
- Train teacher consultants and resource room teachers in use of Project READ
- Continue implementation support for teachers currently trained in Project READ
Gaynor asks about the effectiveness of the program. Swift says they will take that as a question and will return with an answer for him.
Manley has asked what kind of improvement they have seen since beginning to use the program a couple years ago. She wants hard data. The data is available.
Baskett asks how many children will be impacted. With the Phase II implementation, there is the potential to impact all students who receive resource help at the elementary level, as well as at the middle and high school levels. The program is expanding out of the self-contained classrooms into Tier II and Tier III.
Baskett asks if they are looking to impact students over the summer. There are currently 60 students who will be receiving Project READ support over the summer.
FIRST BRIEFING: Mitchell Elementary Cafeteria Enhancements
In order to more efficiently serve the growing student population at Mitchell, the recommendation is for enhancements to the cafeteria to accommodate an additional service line, for a total of two. The total cost will be $143,460. Funding is to be provided by the Sinking Fund.
Baskett asks what exactly are they paying for. Lauzzana says they are looking to combine two rooms for the kitchen prep area.
While looking at the bids, Gaynor says that it is good that the union shop comes in competitively. He wonders why Heaney General Constructing came in lower for this bid and higher for the Haisley buildout.
FIRST BRIEFING: Haisley Elementary Renovations: New Classroom and Computer Lab
In order to create an additional classroom and modernize the computer lab at Haisley, AAPS competitively bid out the job. The recommendation is to go with Construction Solutions, Inc out of Brighton, for a total of $215,800. Funding will be provided out of the Sinking Fund.
Lightfoot wonders how this fits with the district’s overall plans. She sees this as potentially helping in the short term, but might not be helpful in the long term.
FIRST BRIEFING: MHSSA Membership Renewal for 2018/19 School Year
This is a pro-forma renewal that the district does every year. The membership renewal is essentially the district saying that they want to continue competing in high school sports.
The membership comes at no cost for the district. The board has to support it, but there is no cost.
FIRST BRIEFING: Policy 3040: Federal Grant Procurement
Stead says this is an update that was recommended by the administrative team. Swift says the new proposed policy is in the 3000s. They are bringing it forward at this time because it is now clear that they will not receive federal funds if they don’t adopt this policy. Swift says that these are all practices the district abides by but does not officially have set in policy.
FIRST BRIEFING: Sunset Review 5000 Series Policies (Student)
The governance committee’s job is to do sunset reviews of the board’s policies. They present some recommended changes to the 5000 series, which deals with students.
There is a recommended change to Policies 5120, Tuition Enrollment; 5150 Student Attendance; 5170 Elementary Reclassification – Acceleration; 5200 Progress Reporting; 5300 Field Trips; 5400.R.03
12:47 The board votes to extend the meeting by another 45 minutes.
[At this point, I am leaving. I will update the blog to determine voting on the consent agenda plus the board action.]
SECOND BRIEFING: Tennis Courts Renewal
SECOND BRIEFING: Pattengill Fire Restoration & Renovation