Oct. 3 | Special Regular Session
Moment of Silence
Vice President JJ Ehlers invited those in attendance to join in a moment of silence in remembrance of the victims of the hurricanes and earthquakes, and the recent violence in Las Vegas.
New Board President Elected
Andrew Caplan was elected as the new board president, replacing Julie Eihausen who stepped down as president Sept. 30.
Business administrator Todd Hauber presented the official Oct. 1 enrollment overview. The district’s total enrollment for 2017-18 is 4,823 students, a decrease of 68 students from last year.
Summit County Mental Wellness Overview
Aaron Newman, Summit County Mental Health director, reviewed portions of the county’s Mental Wellness Strategic Plan. He commended the school district for being a driving force in addressing this issue and being a founding member of the Summit County Mental Wellness Alliance. Petra Butler represents the board on the Alliance and said the issues that have come out of the Alliance are monumental and need to be addressed. Butler said schools cannot provide everything and is anxious for the community resources to play their parts as well. Mary Chrisa Smith, who coordinates Communities That Care, said there are youth who are struggling and parents who need education about mental health and substance abuse. Smith thanked the school district taking the lead and showing leadership in this area.
Board to Hold Information Meetings
Board members will begin holding information meetings to engage community members and organizations. The Board hopes to increase community engagement while providing community members, parents, business owners, non-profits, or other entities to share information with board members in an informal setting. Theses meetings will also be used for community or constituent presentations that may not fit within the current board meeting goals. The information meetings will be held the second Wednesday of the month, alternating times each month from 1-3 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. and will be held at various school locations. Interested constituents should contact the board president to be placed on the schedule.
Debrief of Strategic Planning Community Meeting
Anne Peters: “Thanks to the community for their incredible support. I felt we received some constructive collaboration. As a new Board member it also allowed me to see first-hand the diversity within our district. Let’s not lose our momentum; we need to keep moving forward.”
Andrew Caplan: “In terms of moving forward, the meeting was wonderful. Several expressed interest in smaller breakout groups to flesh out the various themes. Having a small breakout format and allowing people to attend the ones specific to their interests would go a long way. My two take aways were academics, and student wellness — these were not included in our five themes. What is academic success? How to we engage that? As a Board we need to simplify the communication around our goals. We also need to hold ourselves accountable to our mission, vision, values, and repeatedly communicate that to our public. Our failure in the past is that we stay silent for a long time, then come down with a huge plan. We need to do the work leading up to explaining why we are doing something and how we got there.”
Petra Butler: “My number one take away is that we need to follow through. We have momentum so let’s make sure we follow through on it. Academics is part of everything we do and from a communications perspective we need to make sure the public knows about them. The ‘one size fits all’ category is too broad and we need to figure out a better way to describe that category. Student wellness is also a topic that fits into all the themes. As a board we need to be held accountable for what is happening in our district.”
JJ Ehlers: “I was surprised at how many people don’t really know what is going on. We have to figure out more effective ways to tell our story. We need to get our story out and help the community understand all the great things we are doing. I also learned that people want to understand the demographics of the district.”
The Board will review the input it received at the meeting on Oct. 12 at 10 a.m. at the District Office.
Appointment of New Board Member
The board approved preferred characteristics for those interested in applying for the open Board seat that will be vacated Feb. 5 by Julie Eihausen. The board will hold information sessions in October, with applications due Nov. 2, interviews conducted Nov. 7, and selection announced Nov. 21.
Revised Policies Adopted
The board approved revisions to the following policies: Policy 4010—Travel and Conference Reimbursement, Policy 10086—Anti Discrimination, and Policy 10090— Prohibition of Corporal Punishment.