Approved at 11/8/2011 Board Meeting
Regular Board of Education Meeting
Brookfield Central High School Cafeteria
October 25, 2011
Present: Allgaier, Brunner, Lambert, Gehl, Wartman, Wilson and Ziegler; Gibson
Brookfield Central and Brookfield East Student Representatives
President Tom Gehl called the meeting to order at 6:03 p.m. Public notice of the meeting was provided in accordance with Chapter 19.85 Wis. Stats. The Pledge of Allegiance was lead by Brookfield Central Student Representative TJ Reuteman. Motion by Bob Ziegler to approve the October 25, 2011 agenda. The motion was seconded by Meg Wartman and carried on a voice vote.
CITIZENS’ FORUM – No requests to speak.
STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE REPORT – Brookfield Central Student Representatives TJ Reuteman and Erik Oimen reported that boys and girls cross country teams have advanced to the state tournament, the football team begins tournament play this week, the Golden Harvest Thanksgiving Dinner is scheduled from 4:00-5:30 pm on November 16, and donations will be collected for Christmas Clearing House. Brookfield East Student Representative Stephen Browne reported that Kids Night is scheduled on Friday, December 9, students are preparing for first term exams, and several athletic teams are in State tournaments.
Matt Gibson reported that 2011-2012 Board/Student Representative discussion topics were identified in major areas of High School Block Schedule Implementation, School Environment, and Use of Technology and asked for priority items. They included a discussion of final exam assistance, looking at a “skinny” study hall time either on a daily basis or several times a week, discussion of the one-day parent conference date that had additional student involvement, and how to make WKCE testing more important to students. Dr. Gibson will discuss these topics with high school principals and Eileen Depka, Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services, and schedule the priority topics on upcoming agendas.
CONSENT AGENDA – Request for separate consideration of Youth Options Spring Requests.
Motion by Bob Ziegler that the Board of Education approves October 11, 2011 meeting minutes; a contract for Ann Myrold and leave of absence for Mary Weinand beginning November 8, 2011 through the end of the 2011-2012 school year; recognizing and extending congratulations to the commendations as presented; the payment of September checks from All Funds in the amount of $2,356,604.21; Net Amount checks issued by UMR in the amount of $982,800.88; H S Building program–Fund 72 check numbers 287 through 288 in the amount of $13,666.00; Payroll Direct Deposit check numbers 384961 through 387274 in the amount of $2,870,616.71; Payroll hand pay check numbers 228019 through 228029 in the amount of $9,130.84; Wire Transfers–WRS payment in the amount of $87,393.42; Wire Transfers–TSA’s in the amount of $21,810.81; ACH DEBIT–State Withholding in the amount of $216,260.53; ACH DEBIT–Federal Withholding in the amount of $996,167.30; ACH DEBIT–Delta Dental in the amount of $58,501.31; ACH DEBIT–Commercial Card in the amount of $212,719.74; ACH DEBIT–Liberty Mutual in the amount of $1,836.00; for a total of $7,827,507.75; per the check register dated September 30, 2011 and let the record show that the Board of Education has examined Receipts numbered 04018 through 04087, 36093, 36095 through 36108, 36122 through 36135, 36137 through 36163, 36184 through 36206; in the amount of $2,313,362.84; and rescinding policies 6177.1-Use of the Internet and 6177.2-Student Email. The motion was seconded by Jean Lambert and carried on a voice vote.
Youth Options Spring Requests: Jean Lambert asked if, seeing the number of students requesting Calculus III & Analytic Geometry, there consideration to offer the course in District. Eileen Depka reported that, if a sufficient number of students who made application for the Youth Options class enroll in the class, the course could be offered in District. Kathryn Wilson asked if there might be another regional high school offering the same courses requested by a student in the industrial technology area and if so, could the student attend on a cooperative agreement. Jim Darin, Youth Options Coordinator, reported that the student is enrolled in the program at WCTC, therefore, can attend under Youth Options. However, the request will be investigated for next year.
Motion by Jean Lambert that the Board of Education approves granting high school credit for students requesting college courses as presented. Furthermore, the Board agrees to pay Actual cost of tuition, fees, books and other necessary course materials for courses within the UW System; or, for private schools, $333 per semester credit and $222 per quarter credit (based on this year’s budget). The motion was seconded by Meg Wartman and carried on a voice vote.
2011-2013 CHAPTER 220 SEATS – Motion by Meg Wartman that the Board of Education declines to open new seats in the Chapter 220 program for the 2012-2013 school year due to financial considerations and that the Board commits to guaranteeing currently attending Chapter 220 students continued access to the District through the Chapter 220 program without reapplication at the established exit grade levels in 2012-2013. The motion was seconded by Jean Lambert.
Board discussion included Bob Ziegler presenting a report of Elmbrook Chapter 220 students and MPS students eligible for Chapter 220 comparing WKCE testing percentage of proficient and advanced and requesting that siblings be allowed to join current Chapter 220 students for the 2012-2013 school year and, although there are benefits of the program it is difficult to support additional seats due to financial considerations.
The motion carried on a voice vote.
2011-2012 FALL BUDGET ADJUSTMENTS/TAX LEVY – Motion by Glen Allgaier that the Board of Education approves the 2011-12 adjusted budget, with General Fund expenditures of $81,040,960 and expenditures for all other funds of $30,207,519, as shown on the attached budget; that the General Fund Revenue budget shows property taxes levied and certified in the amount of $65,967,774; that the combined Debt Service Revenues show property taxes levied and certified in the amount of $5,835,683; and that the Community Service Revenue shows property taxes levied and certified in the amount of $474,827. The motion was seconded by Bob Ziegler. Keith Brightman reported that the District is taxing up to the authority allowed by Statute.
The motion carried on a voice vote.
HILLSIDE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CLOSURE EFFECTIVE 2012-23013 SCHOOL YEAR – Superintendent Matt Gibson reviewed the rationale for school closure that is driven by declining resident enrollment (10 percent over the past ten years), excess elementary school capacity (five to six classrooms per grade level), and remaining revenue and expenditure gap (over $8 million) in the updated five year district financial plan—the cost savings from closing an elementary school is factored into the projected 2012-2013 budget. Dr. Gibson reported that, while a school closing is difficult and unpopular, it has been educationally compared using the District mission statement other difficult and unpopular budget choices of further raising class sizes and/or further reducing non-mandated educational programs and services and the higher priority from this comparison is class size and educational programs and services. It was financially compared to other enrollment management factors (Chapter 220, open enrollment, 4 year old kindergarten, and class size thresholds). This comparison showed that expenditure reduction and revenue enhancement decisions are needed on all of these factors to help close remaining gaps in the financial plan to sustain an Elmbrook education. Dr. Gibson reviewed financial history and projections for the school closure from the late 1980’s into the future; reviewed multiage grouping of elementary students studied by a budget study team and the team findings; reported that, pending action to close Hillside Elementary this evening, the projected timeline for redistricting scenarios would be discussion during the November 8 Board meeting with action during the November 22 Board meeting; and anticipating a potential school closure decision, elementary principals and other have begun meeting on transition planning.
Kay Bennig, Jake Bernotas, Chuck Bloom, Ginny Bruemmer, Elizabeth Eng, Jackie Florczak, Betsy Haushalter, Marla Kalfayan, Bruce Nattinger, Mark Nelson, Sandra Schultz, Karen Selkey, Steve Taipala, Aihsley Taipala, Linda Vavrik, Mary Wacker, Kerri Webber, Laura Weber, and Angela Wellsmith addressed the Board concerning delaying the decision to close Hillside Elementary until other expenditure and revenue areas are considered and exhausted and the economy rebounds, preference for Hillside students to redistrict intact if the decision is to close the school, due diligence has not been completed and a vote on closing Hillside should not be taken this evening, use a portion of the fund balance to keep Hillside open through the 2012-2013 school year, a budget override referendum should be considered rather than a vote to close an elementary school tonight, marketing the District to families of younger children, if the decision is to close a school to look at another elementary school in the District, if an elementary school must close education must be personalized for each student, and looking at a future Elmbrook education.
Board discussion included an expression of appreciation for comments made during the evening, making a decision to protect District students’ education, basing a decision on the District mission statement, prior budget decisions that reduced programs and services for District students, history of due diligence prior to tonight’s action, spend the same amount of time studying how to keep all elementary schools open as was spent on studying a school closure, await the vote on school closing until a final redistricting plan is complete, community engagement on redistricting would be scheduled at 6:00 and 8:00 pm on November 2 if action taken tonight to close Hillside Elementary, and additional information for consideration during redistricting discussions.
Motion by Meg Wartman that the Board of Education approves the closure of Hillside Elementary School effective 2012-2013. Seconded by Kathryn Wilson. The motion carried 6-1 on a roll call vote with Glen Allgaier, Dick Brunner, Tom Gehl, Jean Lambert, Meg Wartman, and Kathryn Wilson in favor and Bob Ziegler opposed.
SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH FIRM CONTRACT – Meg Wartman reported that the Board interviewed six superintendent search firms on October 19 and 20. Following interviews, the Board selected Ray & Associates as a leading firm to represent the District. The administration verified references and requested a draft contract. The Personnel Committee reviewed the draft contract at a meeting on October 24 and requested adjustments to the contract. With the changes, reflected in a document presented to the committee, there was unanimous recommendation to forward the contract to the Board for approval. The cost for the search firm’s consulting services and expenses should not exceed $20,900. Board members provided their review of Ray & Associates.
Motion by Glen Allgaier that the Board of Education approves the recommended contract with Ray & Associates as presented, contingent on completion of satisfactory reference verifications, to perform professional services related to a superintendent search process, with an amount not to exceed $15,000 for consulting services and $5,900 for search consultant expenses. The motion was seconded by Kathryn Wilson and carried on a voice vote.
The Board recessed at 9:44 p.m. and reconvened at 9:54 p.m.
READING ALIGNMENT RELATED TO 2012-2013 COURSE PROPOSALS – Eileen Depka reported that a slate of course proposals were presented to the Curriculum Planning Committee and Board Curriculum Committee on October 5. The slate of proposals will be further reviewed during the Board Curriculum Committee meeting on November 16. The Board Curriculum Committee requested a preview of two course proposals, Middle School Language Arts/Literature and High School English 11, prior to the November 16 meeting.
Middle School Language Arts/Literature is proposed to provide increased time for language arts. Reading scores have not declined during the past five years, but Language Arts scores are declining. One reason for decline may be that the language arts time of 49 minutes divided between reading, writing, grammar, speech, media literacy, and vocabulary. There is not equitable time dedicated to each area of the Common Core standards with the limited period for language arts. More time is being spent teaching reading and literature than other areas of language arts. Students in elementary school have 135 minutes devoted to reading and language arts combined and the time drops to 49 minutes in middle school. This course would provide more time for combination communication arts and language arts. Middle school principals are currently working with scheduling options that would provide increased time for this class.
High School English 11 is proposed for students not taking AP Language or Literature courses, to receive consistent instruction on Common Core standards. The course is proposed to offer students the opportunity to study important examples of American and British prose, poetry, and drama as well as complex nonfiction texts. Students would engage in topic-based research and literacy analysis writing.
Board discussion on the Middle School Language Arts proposal included that scheduling could limit elective blocks from 49 to 41 minutes or eliminate ACE, and lengthening the school was briefly discussed however, lengthening only the middle school day would not work with the transportation schedule. Several scheduling options for the course are being worked on by middle school principals, will be reviewed with staff, and presented during the November 16 Curriculum Committee meeting.
Board discussion on High School English 11 included a support for more instruction in core areas, current English requirements, whether AP course alternatives will provide adequate instruction on Common Core standards, grade 12 AP options detail will be reviewed during the November 16 Curriculum Committee meeting prior to Board review on November 22, and families of high school students may feel express a loss with the elimination of some elective choices.
2012-2013 course proposals are anticipated on the November 22 Board agenda as discussion.
2012-2013 BUDGET PARAMETERS/CALENDAR – Keith Brightman reviewed the 2012-1013 Budget Parameters and Calendar. Parameters reviewed by the Finance and Operations Committee include 1) Provide funding to support strategic targets for student improvement; 2) Maintain current class size guidelines; 3) Do not use fund balance as a long-term budget strategy; 4) Explore and develop additional ways other than fees (e.g. grant development and private sector funding) to increase non-property tax revenues; 5) Continue to support technology through a five percent increase in MIS/IT funding (not accomplished for 2010-2011 or 2011-2012); 6) Address facility needs both short term and long term through continuing funding for regular preventive building maintenance and maintaining Long Range Capital Outlay expenditures with an emphasis on continuing to address the long-range facilities needs of the District; 7) Develop a budget that maintains a General Fund balance between 15 and 20 percent as defined in Board policy; 8) Provide $500,000 funding to support Fund 73-OPEB Trust Fund which has estimated unfunded obligation for 2011-2012 of $3 million; and 9) Support overall changes in salaries and benefits that do not exceed the overall change in revenue (accomplished through package increases, FTE adjustments and class size management).
BOARD PRESIDENT’S REPORT – No report.
COMMITTEE CHAIR/LIAISON REPORT – Jean Lambert reported that the Legislative and Resource Development Committee spent time on 2011-2012 committee action plans during the October 19 meeting and scheduled a meeting at 4:00 pm on November 15. Meg Wartman reported that the Personnel Committee is meeting on November 3 to discuss focus groups for the superintendent search.
SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT – Matt Gibson expressed appreciation for audience participation this evening, the Board decision on school closing, and the next step of redistricting.
NOVEMBER 8, 2011 AGENDA ITEMS AND PROCESSES – Projected action items include Board Policy: Second Reading, and 2012-2013 Budget Parameters/Calendar. Projected discussion items include 2012-2013 Redistricting Recommendation and Transition Plan, 2012-2013 Open Enrollment Planning, Central Administrative Offices Relocation Update, Board Policy: First Reading, and November 22, 2011 Agenda Items and Processes. Board request to include testing data for subgroups for the Open Enrollment Planning discussion item and to include revised policies 1313-Gifts to School District Personnel and Board of Education Members and 1250-Community Member Visits to Schools on the November 8 agenda.
ANNOUNCEMENTS – No announcements.
Motion by Bob Ziegler to adjourn the meeting. The motion was seconded by Meg Wartman and carried on a voice vote. The meeting adjourned at 10:27 p.m.
/s/Thomas D. Gehl, President