Board of Education Official Meeting Minutes

UTICA COMMUNITY SCHOOLS
BOARD OF EDUCATION MINUTES
Joan C. Sergent
Instructional Resource Center
14201 Canal Road
Sterling Heights, MI  48313

 

UTICA COMMUNITY SCHOOLS
BOARD OF EDUCATION
Joan C. Sergent Instructional Resource Center
14201 Canal Road
Sterling Heights, MI  48313
December 8, 2014

 

Attending:  C. Klenow, G. Klida, R. Ross, M. Templeton, K. Krolczyk, D. Nesovski

Absent:        J. Prybys

1-2.      Meeting Called to Order
Board President Dr. Carol Klenow called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. followed by The Pledge of Allegiance.

3.         Minutes
Motion by Klida, support by Krolczyk, that the minutes be approved as presented.

Motion carried unanimously.

4A.      Elementary Honors Choir Recognition
Superintendent Dr. Christine M. Johns welcomed the Elementary Honors Choir and their families.  She commented on the beautiful concert she attended at Henry Ford II where the full Elementary Honors Choir performed impeccably. Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning Mr. Robert Monroe commented on their dedication evidenced by the summer camps and after-school practices they attend, as well as their busy performance schedule.  He introduced the choir members in attendance and directors Jessica Nicol, Dana Gress and Susan Rosso.  The students performed three songs for the Board of Education and guests.

4B.      UCS Foundation for Educational Excellence Recognition
District liaison to the UCS Foundation for Educational Excellence Dr. Robert A. Martin stated that the Foundation is a non-profit 503c organization comprised of area business and community leaders.  It is funded through membership, donations, fundraisers and memorials. Since its inception, the Foundation continues to support public education through the Superintendent’s Scholarship Fund, which is open to all UCS seniors. Academic as well as CTE scholarships are awarded. Specific criteria based on leadership and merit are used in awarding these scholarships.

Dr. Martin stated the Foundation held its annual Arts and Idols Gala, chaired for a sixth successful year by Mrs. Gene Klida. He also said the funds raised from the Arts and Idols Gala provided $1,000 scholarships for approximately 30 UCS seniors this year. It enabled these students to attend schools such as Michigan, Michigan State, Oakland University, Macomb Community College, Michigan Technological University, as well as Columbia, Brown and Ohio State universities and the College for Creative Studies.

Dr. Martin introduced the president of the Foundation, former UCS Board of Education member, retired Roseville city manager and former UCS parent, Mr. Steve Truman.  Mr. Truman thanked the fine arts teachers, Dr. Martin and Mrs. Klida for the work they do on behalf of the Foundation.  He presented Dr. Klenow, Dr. Johns and Mrs. Klida with a check for $35,000 raised for the UCS Superintendent’s Scholarship Fund.

5.         Superintendent’s Report
Dr. Johns stated this time of year always brings several opportunities to see the incredible talents of our students in the many plays, concerts and competitions at our schools.  She attended the annual UCS ThunderQuest at Henry Ford II High School, which is the largest regional Lego Robotics tournament.  She stated that approximately 55 teams participated in the event that promotes skills UCS considers critical for the future success of students:  innovation, problem-solving and an understanding of systems and technology.  She thanked Switzer Elementary Principal Mr. Jake Palmer and Executive Administrator of Schools Mr. Mike Bender for their support at this event.

Dr. Johns stated the tournament demonstrated again why UCS is a hotbed for robotics education in this region. She said UCS represented only 23 percent of the teams at ThunderQuest, but won 45 percent of the awards and took 50 percent of all the first place spots.  Teams from Burr, Crissman and Messmore elementary schools qualified for the state competition.

Dr. Johns also stated that members of the Board of Education recently met for breakfast with students from each of our comprehensive high schools, Utica Academy for International Studies and our alternative education programs.  She said the students shared their perspectives and ideas for improvement with Board members on day-to-day experiences within our schools.  Topics ranged from plans for college and careers, to academic rigor and athletics.  In addition, a performance by the school jazz band set a positive tone for the program and is another example of why we were named one of the best communities in the nation for music education. She thanked Eisenhower High School for hosting the event and the Food Service department for preparing the meal.

6.         Community Correspondence
Community correspondence from Kathy Walters, the Bright family, the Stacey family, the Abraham family and the Maltese family was acknowledged.

7.         Public Communication
There were no requests for public communication.

8.           Change in Regular Board of Education Schedule
Dr. Klenow recommended that the December 22, 2014 Board of Education meeting be canceled due to the holiday break. She stated the change to the regular meeting schedule will be posted in accordance with the Open Meetings Act.

Motion by Ross, support by Krolczyk, that the Board of Education cancel the Monday, December 22, 2014 regularly scheduled meeting.

Motion carried unanimously.

9.         Changes in Certified Personnel
Dr. Klenow recommended the changes in certified personnel since the last presentation to the Board of Education on November 24, 2014 be approved.

Motion by Templeton, support by Nesovski, that the Board of Education approve the changes in certified personnel as presented.

Motion carried unanimously.

10A.      Financial Report – Part I
Executive Director of Business and Finance Ms. Jill Tomyn reviewed information on Part I of the Financial Report for Utica Community Schools as of November 30, 2014.  Inquiries regarding this report may be directed to Ms. Stephanie Eagen, Assistant Superintendent for Business Services or Ms. Tomyn.

The Board of Education accepted the report as presented. 

10B.      Schedule of Bills Report
Ms. Tomyn reviewed information on the schedule of bills for the General Fund.  Prior to the Board of Education meeting, all pertinent information necessary to process payment of the bills was reviewed by Dr. Robert A. Ross, Treasurer of the Board of Education, in conjunction with Ms. Evelyn Bihl, Controller. Inquiries concerning the schedule of bills may be directed to Ms. Eagen or Ms. Tomyn.

General Fund:
GENERAL FUND (November) - SPECIAL ...................... $ 18,440,435.71
GENERAL FUND (11/26/14) ............................................ $ 2,971,952.22
GENERAL FUND (12/03/14) ............................................... $ 169,106.60
General Fund Total                                                    $ 21,581,494.53

The Board of Education accepted the report as presented. 

10C1.     Contract Award – McGraw Hill K-2 Reading Series
Wonders by McGraw Hill is the reading series recommended for purchase to continue the focus on a comprehensive literacy program that integrates phonics, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension.  As was previously shared with the Board of Education, the 2001 series in kindergarten through second grade does not fully align with the standards expected for today’s learners.  Wonders will enable teachers to provide 21st Century learning skills that will incorporate a balance of nonfiction and fiction reading and writing with a focus on critical reading, writing, thinking, speaking and listening skills.  Students will have the opportunity to engage in information in a print and digital format. Integration of technology with literacy instruction will allow students to be self-directed and accountable, yet provide flexibility for teachers to scaffold and differentiate instruction.

In June, 2014 the Curriculum Leadership Council and the Curriculum Subcommittee of the Board of Education reviewed the reading series kindergarten through sixth grade.  The Board of Education approved the reading series kindergarten through sixth grade and authorized the contract for grades three through six on June 23, 2014. 

This request is for a second contract for kindergarten through second grade that completes the reading series implementation.  It has been reviewed by the Business and Finance department and the Curriculum Subcommittee of the Board of Education. This purchase will be funded through 31A grant funds.

Motion by Klida, support by Templeton that the Board of Education approve the purchase of the reading series Wonders by McGraw Hill for kindergarten through second grade in the amount of $650,635.80 with an additional amount not to exceed 8% shipping cost to be implemented in the 2014-2015 school year as presented.

Motion carried unanimously.

10C2.    Contract Award – Imagine Learning
Imagine Learning Language and Literacy is a software based language acquisition program that makes the general education curriculum more accessible to English learner students.  The program focuses on building academic vocabulary and language comprehension needed as a foundation for literacy. It is geared for kindergarten through seventh grade but will benefit EL basic level students in eighth through twelfth grade depending on their learning needs.

Last year this program was offered to the four elementary buildings with the highest EL populations (Burr, Schwarzkoff, Schuchard and West Utica) and supported our EL basic and low intermediate students. This contract is to renew the current licenses for the four elementary schools and continue the program for all EL basic and low intermediate students across the district.

This contract has been reviewed by the Curriculum Subcommittee of the Board of Education.  All costs will be covered by the Title III Limited English grant.

Motion by Klida, support by Templeton, that the Board of Education approve the Imagine Learning Language and Literacy Software contract in the amount of $90,000.00 effective January 2015 through January 2016 as presented.

Motion carried unanimously.

11.        Board Announcements
There were no Board announcements this evening.

12.        Adjournment
Motion by Klida, support by Ross, to adjourn at 7:44 p.m.

Motion carried unanimously.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Mrs. Michele Templeton, Secretary
Utica Community Schools
Board of Education

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