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Agenda Review 3-13-13

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Agenda Review Meeting Summary

Attended: Brentley, Hazuda, Holley, Isler, McCrea, Sumpter, Shealey
Absent: Colaizzi and Fink

The items summarized below will be voted on by the board at the next legislative meeting on Wednesday, March 20th at 7:30pm.

Do you want more details? The full board packet of all agenda items can be found HERE
Do you want to hear the comments of Board members? Video archives of Board meetings can be found HERE.
Do you have an opinion you’d like to share with the Board before they vote? Testify at the Public Hearing on Monday, March 18th. You must register to speak before noon on the 18th to be on the list. Instructions for how to register can be found HERE

Education Committee Agenda Items:

Programs the board will be voting on next week will be:
• 17th Annual African-American CAS Symposium
• Providing extended school year services for students with disabilities
• Summer programming to prepare students for AP or IB courses next school year
• A revised Career and Technical Education plan that will expand CTE programming to include a Carpentry program at both Westinghouse and Carrick High Schools, and an RHVAC program at Allderdice High School
• An expansion of Take your Father to School Day that includes teen fathers that will be funded by the Heinz Endowments
Policies the board will be voting on next week will be:
• A revision to Board Policy 308 that outlines who is required to have clearances to spend time in schools, the type of clearances that volunteers must have and the process for getting those clearances.
• Revisions to Board Policies in Section 900- Operations of the Board. This is a series of 21 different policies that were updated over the past few months.

Business and Finance Committee Items:

The board will be voting on 7 contracts next week with contractors or consultants that offer a variety of services to the district. 
The district actions the board will be voting on next week will be:
• The renewal of Dr. Lane’s contract to extend her position as superintendent to June 30th, 2016.
• Approval of the Hazelwood-Almono TIF Plan. TIF stands for tax increment financing- it’s a plan for financing redevelopment in a community by allowing modifications to property tax payments for a certain amount of time to incentivize developers to invest. The city, county and school district must all approve a TIF plan before it can be enacted.
• An amendment to tuition-based early childhood programs to include an after school program for preK-5th grade.
Main comments and questions:
• Several board members commended the district for the expansion or continuation of the programs proposed by the district. Take Your Father to School Day will be May 17th, with a City Council proclamation ceremony on April 9th.
• Board members also questioned the effect of the CAS Symposium, AP and IB Preparation programs on making advanced courses more accessible to African American students and requested for specific data for evidence of impact.
• A couple of Board members recommended that in the future, several policies not be packaged as a single agenda item, but each policy should be an individual item within the agenda.
• The proposed contract for Dr. Lane was not included in the agenda review packet. Mr. Weiss, the solicitor, apologized and said it would be provided. A couple of Board members were disappointed that the contract draft was not available in hard copy at the meeting.
No specific agenda items were pulled for further discussion at next week’s legislative meeting.

Implications for Achieving Educational Equity:

Supporting African American students who are taking CAS courses and helping students prepare for AP or IB courses is important work. However, it still leaves questions in my mind about whether or not the criteria for admission to CAS, AP or IB courses may be too complicated. I also worry that we will become reliant on the temporary solution of extra preparation courses when the real solution is to prepare students for advanced work through their regular coursework. Is the preparation programming required because the admission process requires excessive data for justifying advanced course placement? Does the district have a goal relative to when they will know summer preparation courses aren’t needed and students are adequately prepared in their regular coursework?


Written by Mayada Mansour, A+ Schools’ Program Director.