Board Connection – January 13, 2014

HCS_circleThe Hilliard City Schools’ Board of Education met during an Organizational and regular meeting on Monday, January 13, 2014. The following highlights some of the major items discussed and decided. For additional information about the board, visit the district’s website at www.hilliardschools.org.

Organizational Meeting

Swearing in newly elected members

Treasurer Brian Wilson administered the oath of office to three board members who were re-elected to serve on the board in November 2013. Each member will serve a four-year term from January 2014 – December 2017. Congratulations to Paul Lambert who is serving his second term, Andy Teater who is beginning his third term on the board and Lisa Whiting who is starting her eighth year on the board.

Election of Officers

Each year during the Organizational Meeting, the board elects two members to serve as President and Vice President of the board. These officers run the regular meetings and serve as leaders among their peers. Congratulations to Andy Teater who will serve as President for the second consecutive year and Heather Keck who will serve as Vice President. Teater previously served as Vice President for three years and has served as President twice. This is Keck’s first year to serve as an officer on the board.

Meeting Dates, Standing Authorizations and Committee Appointments

During the Organizational Meeting, several annual items are approved including dates for regular meetings, several standing authorizations and which board members will serve on various community and administrative committees.

In general, the board meets on the second and fourth Monday of each month. A list of the specific dates, times and locations of meetings is provided on the district’s website at www.hilliardschools.org/school-board/meetings/.

To help with the day-to-day management of the district, the board establishes various standing authorizations including the employment of temporary personnel, appointing a purchasing agent, allowing the district to dispose of excess property valued less than $10,000 and transportation of non-residential students and impracticality determinations. These authorizations are for specific purposes that provide the flexibility and support that is needed to operate the district between board meetings. However all other actions must be approved by the board at a regular or special meeting.

Each board members serves on one or more committees during the course of the year. Board members will serve on the following committees in 2014:

  • Hilliard Parks and Recreation Commission – Heather Keck
  • Classified Labor Relations Board – Doug Maggied
  • Hilliard Schools Buildings and Grounds and Permanent Improvement Committee – Heather Keck and Doug Maggied
  • Hilliard Education Foundation – Lisa Whiting
  • Policy Review Committee – Heather Keck and Lisa Whiting
  • Superintendent’s Advisory Committee (serving during the 2014-15 school year) – Paul Lambert
  • Interschool Parent Teacher Organization – Andy Teater
  • Hilliard Schools Insurance Committee – Paul Lambert
  • Ohio School Boards Association Legislative Liaison – Paul Lambert
  • Education Advisory Committee – Paul Lambert and Andy Teater

Regular Meeting

Recognition and Program

Educreation: iPad App Use Enhances Student Learning

Second grade students at Ridgewood Elementary School demonstrated how using personal electronic devices can enhance the learning process during a brief presentation. The students shared how they used iPads and the app Educreation to take a simple writing lesson to the next level. Students wrote stories and then drew pictures on the iPad that supported their story. They then recorded their voices reading the story and put it all together to create a complete digital book.

The projects address several areas of the district’s Continuous Improvement Plan (CIP) including:

  • Student success will increase through rigorous curriculum design, instructional best practices and purposeful environments that maximize learner autonomy and the capacity to thrive in the 21st century; and,
  • Student learning will be driven by diverse curricular options, using Ohio’s new learning standards as a framework to promote deeper understanding and skill development.

Recognition of Master Teacher and National Board Certified Educators

The board recognized seven teachers who have earned the status of either Ohio Master Teacher or National Board Certification. Ohio Master Teachers demonstrate excellence inside and outside of the classroom through consistent leadership and focused collaboration to maximize student learning. Applicants submit a lengthy portfolio that is then reviewed for seven different areas as specified by the Ohio Standards for the Teaching Profession. Once the initial certification is earned, educators may also renew their Master Teacher status. Congratulations to the following Hilliard City Schools’ teachers who earned or renewed this certification:

  • Angela Davoll – Hilliard Station Sixth Grade School;
  • Jay Cauley, renewal – Hilliard Weaver Middle School;
  • Shawn Malone – McVey Innovative Learning Center;
  • Jean Shackle, renewal – Hilliard Memorial Middle School; and,
  • Amy St. Pierre, renewal – Britton Elementary School.

National Board Certification is an advance teaching credential that is earned through a rigorous, peer-reviewed process that ensures teachers have proven skills to advance student achievement. National Board Certified teachers may renew their credentials every 10 years. The board recognized the latest educators to join this elite group:

  • Debbie Bryant, Avery Elementary School; and,
  • Samantha Bortz, Hilliard Preschool.

Since 2008, 94 Hilliard Schools’ teachers have earned their National Board Certification and an additional 55 teachers met the criteria for Ohio Master Teacher status. Retaining high-quality educators that promote student learning helps the district meet its mission of ensuring every student is ready for tomorrow.

Action Agenda Items

Personnel

Congratulations to the following staff members who are retiring:

  • Anne Gee, math coach who has been with Hilliard City Schools since August 1989;
  • Cindy Sasser, reading intervention teacher who has been with Hilliard City Schools since August 1979; and,
  • William Wheeler, technology teacher who has been with Hilliard City Schools since August 1984.

Purchase and Lease of Property Owned by the Board of Education

Superintendent John Marschhausen, Ph.D. recommended that the board accept an offer from Help All Kids Play, Inc. to purchase approximately 100 acres of land in the amount of $35,000 per acre and to lease approximately 24.3 additional acres of land in this same area. The land is located at Cosgray Road and was purchased by the board 10 years ago as the site of the third high school. When the community made clear that the site was not favored, the district was responsive, found another site that the community preferred and then began seeking a buyer for the land on Cosgray Road. That was seven years ago and it has been for sale ever since. The agreement will provide $3.5 million that the district may use for Permanent Improvement Building needs. Ohio Law does not allow for this type of funding to be used in the General Fund that pays for day-to-day operations of the district. The additional 24.3 acres is to be leased at the rate of $1 per year for the sole purpose of recreational fields. The contract includes a deed restriction that prevents Help All Kids Play from using the space for single or multi-family housing and all final details must be completed within the next 90 days. Help All Kids Play, Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that assists economically challenged youth to participate in extracurricular activities.

Reports and Information

First Reading of Policy Revisions

The board held the first of three readings of 13 different policies which are being considered for revision. These policies are:

  • CBA – Qualifications and Duties of the Superintendent;
  • DI – Fiscal Accounting and Reporting;
  • DID – Inventories (Fixed Assets);
  • DJG – Vendors (Beginning Band/Orchestra Instruments);
  • EEA – Student Transportation Services;
  • EEAA – Walkers and Riders;
  • EEAC – School Bus Safety Program;
  • EEACD-R – Drug Testing for District Personnel Required to hold a Commercial Driver’s License;
  • GCBC-R – Professional and Certificated Staff Fringe Benefits;
  • GCD – Professional Staff Hiring;
  • IGBEA-R – Reading Skills Assessments and Interventions (Third Grade Reading Guarantee);
  • IKE – Promotion and Retention of Students; and,
  • JECBA – Admission of Exchange Students.

The board will hold three readings before voting to approve the changes to the policies. You may view the specific proposed changes to each policy on the district’s website at www.hilliardschools.org/board/policyrevisions/011314policyrevision.pdf.

Enrollment Report

The board received an updated enrollment report from January 3, 2014. The report indicates that the district has 15,871 students in Preschool through 12th grade currently enrolled in the district. Hilliard City Schools is the ninth largest school district in Ohio.

Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent John Marschhausen, Ph.D., updated the board on several initiatives throughout the district including:

  • School Board Recognition Month – January is School Board Recognition Month. Marschhausen recognized each board member and thanked them for their service to the community and the more than 15,800 students in our schools.
  • Two-hour delays – Hilliard City Schools will begin using two-hour delays in order to provide more options for students to be in school during times of inclement weather or poor road conditions. Marschhausen noted that this option will provide more flexibility to provide quality instruction to students without having to make up calamity days and promised not to close schools after calling for a delay. You may read more about this decision in this week’s Get Connected blog.
  • Update on Technology Task Force – Marschhausen informed the board that the separate student, staff and community groups of the Technology Task Force have completed their initial work and will be coming together for a joint discussion on January 21. The groups are still on target for presenting their findings and ultimately the district’s recommendations regarding future use of personal devices and technology systems in the classrooms to the public later this spring.
  • Grade Point Average Discussion – During the January 27 board meeting, Marschhausen will have an update regarding the district’s ongoing discussions related to recent grade point average changes to honors courses at the high school level. The district has been exploring options to see if a different option can be found that would address some parent and student concerns about the way these changes might impact class rankings.
  • Legislative Update – Marschhausen asked board members to assist the district by contacting legislators regarding Senate Bill 220 that looks to adjust the payment structure of dual enrollment courses. These are classes that students take in high school that allow them to earn high school and college credit at the same time. Marschhausen noted that the bill as presented could have a significant economical impact on the district and it would actually cost more to implement the legislative options than what the district has currently negotiated with area college partners. Hilliard City Schools will continue to monitor the progress of this bill and reach out to various legislators to help them understand the implications this type of bill would have on the district.