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School Board Fall Work Session
Beaverton School District 48 
Merlo Station
October 8, 2018


 

Board Members Present:

Becky Tymchuk, Chair
Eric Simpson, Vice Chair
LeeAnn LarsenDonna Tyner 
Susan Greenberg 
Anne Bryan
Tom Colett

Staff Present:
  • Don Grotting, Superintendent

  • Ginny Hansmann, Deputy Superintendent of Teaching and Learning

  • Carl Mead, Deputy Superintendent of Operations

  • Gayellyn Jacobson, Chief Financial Officer

  • Sue Robertson, Chief Human Resource Officer

  • Maureen Wheeler, Public Communications Officer

  • David Williams, Administrator for Strategic Relations/Initiatives

  • Camellia Osterink, District Legal Counsel

  • Paul Odenthal, Executive Administrator for Facilities

  • Steven Sparks, Executive Administrator for Long Range Planning

Staff Present:
  • Ronda Haun, Administrator for Human Resources
  • Erica Marson, Administrator for Human Resources
  • Susan Rodriguez, Administrator for Human Resources
  • Craig Beaver, Administrator for Transportation
  • Mike Vetter, Administrator for Nutrition Services
  • Sheri Stanley, Administrator for Facilities Development
  • Aaron Boyle, Construction Operation Supervisor
  • Matt Lichtenfels, Program Specialist for Facilities
  • Nathan Potter, Administrator for Maintenance
  • Rick Puente, Public Safety Director
Visitors: 6
Media: 0

WELCOME– Becky Tymchuk

School Board Chair, Becky Tymchuk called the meeting to order at 3:00 p.m.

STRATEGIC PLAN REPORTS

Facilities Development -  Sheri Stanley
  • Facilities finished off the summer with the opening of the District’s newest school, Hazeldale Elementary.
  • Construction is currently underway for William Walker Elementary.
  • The new Bond Accountability members have been very engaged. 
  • Facilities is already looking forward to the next Bond.  The sooner they know they have an approved budget the more they will be able to help better serve the community. 
Energy Resources - Matt Lichtenfels
  • Beaverton has a number of Energy Star schools (31) and 14 certified Oregon Green Schools.  Beaverton’s Energy Star score continues to impress with 90 out of 100 possible points, placing the portfolio in the 90th percentile of similar school buildings across the country.  The Energy and Resource Conservation office continues to work closely with Facilities Development and the Maintenance Department.  Electricity usage has been increasing due to staffing increases, square footage increases, occupancy and with after-school programs and expanded summer school.  Natural gas is at a low and water usage is up. 
Maintenance, Custodial and Contracted Services – Nathan Potter
  • Work order completion is increasing but the ability to complete is climbing faster.  The Maintenance Dept. still maintains a work order backlog around 600.
  • Staffing, recruiting and hiring – it is still a challenge to find qualified staff to work for the District  because the market is still so hot with construction.
  • The increased technical complexity of systems being installed have created a situation where the department is being tasked to maintain more technologically complex systems that require more specialized labor, training and repair parts. It is no longer just a light switch on the wall but a computer that runs the lighting and control system.
  • They are trying to understand a budget informed standard of care, looking at levels of service tied to the budget and what it looks like to the customer.
  • The custodial program was a tremendous success in the opening of Hazeldale Elementary.  There were some small issues but nothing like in previous years.
  • The Maintenance Department’s emergency response has been a hidden success.  They are able to respond to disease outbreaks much more quickly than before.
  • Community use is still a concern with the already strained and under-resourced custodial staff.   They are revisiting how the schools are cleaned.
  • Contracted services is where the bulk of the money is spent.  236 projects and 548 work orders were completed in 2017-2018 (not counting Bond funded projects).
  • Market conditions are causing a decrease in the availability of design consultants and contractors to perform maintenance work.  The lack of competition results in non-competitive pricing and in some cases, no interest in performing some types of work.
Long Range Planning – Steven Sparks
  • Boundaries – elementary and middle schools have attendance imbalances that we need to pay attention to. 
  • UGB expansion is likely in the south part of the district.  The district will continue to have conversations with counterparts at the City of Beaverton.
  • Future Plan Update – staff will need to update the District’s 2010 Facilities Plan.   
  • A new community use evening has been designated (Tuesdays) to help increase community access to facilities and minimize the impact to the buildings.
  • The THPRD IGA is almost completed. 
Nutrition Services – Mike Vetter
  • The negative balance has changed from $15,000 to $25,400 (10 days difference in printing of report).  Nutrition Services (NS) have spent about $7,000 with mailings and phone calls attempting to collect payment.  Language has been added into policy that BSD may pursue payment through a collection agency.
  • Participation rates for the meal programs is showing a downward trend.  NS is seeking input from staff and families on the reason for the participation reduction.
  • Four elementary schools from Beaverton, Errol Hassell, Finley, Oak Hills and Rock Creek, are participating in a State Breakfast Challenge to boost percentages of students eating breakfast.
  • They have increased their focus on customer service, removing the barriers to make resources equitable for all families.
  • Mike believes that Beaverton has the best food served in the state. 
Public Safety – Rick Puente
  • The District has received 53 threat assessments since the beginning of school.  Public Safety is looking at other resources to help with the assessments. 
  • The Safety Office has received many questions regarding safety due to events that have taken place.  Although Beaverton is a role model for school districts all over the State, they still have weaknesses and vulnerabilities that need to be strengthen.  
  • This year Public Safety has started to roll out the visibility of Campus Supervisors to be identified as public safety, of where they are and what they do.
  • Rick has visited several PTO’s to speak on school safety in English and Spanish.  It has been a tremendous asset to reach out to our diverse community through these meetings.
  • He spent time with third graders at Rock Creek speaking about emergency management. 
Transportation – Craig Beaver
  • The department carried more kids in SPED and RGED.
  • Overall, costs are up by 13%.
  • A challenge in the future is the continuation of high school activity busses.  Ridership is much lower than anticipated.  
  • The cost estimates for Pre-K service beginning this year for five schools has been completed.  It was assumed students would utilize RGED buses whenever possible.  Implementation plans are differing due to students living beyond the planned attendance areas causing overloads of RGED students. 

Questions/Comments from Board members:

  • The hiccups that Facilities is experiencing - are they in terms of processes or outside entities like the City, County, etc.?  The biggest impact are the conditions that the City places on the District. Things that the District doesn’t see as necessary, the City does.  They want sidewalks bigger which would mean that we would need to provide lighting.  Bigger sidewalks do not impact the school and our projects cannot fund these City requested add-ons.  Another request is the alignment of roads that the City/County want the District to take care of.  Other challenges includes fees that are very steep.  Example:  the district received a $1,500 bill from the County to move one portable.  The City of Beaverton sent a bill for $40,000 for moving two portables.  The District continues to work with the City in trying to build a partner agency.  They meet with the City and the County every other week and are on the phone or email with them on a daily basis.  We are not creating impact but absorbing impact from new developments.  These are questions to have in the future with the Board and the City and why that impact is being passed on to local districts.  Are these policies that are coming from politicians or from the staff?   Some are both.  Examples over the last year are mainly City staff driven. 
  • Future transportation question – Are we still transporting kids that are grandfathered?  If so, what would be the cost savings for next year by not transporting these students?  Around $90,000.  
  • Drug use seems to be increasing at schools because of juuling/vaping.  How is that being approached?   Rick just attended a safe schools monthly meeting and received a presentation on the most current trends.  He was shocked at what is taking place in high potency, edibles and what kids are doing.  The accountability issue is not there for our kids – they think that it is OK.  Beaverton did have some students transported last year due to drugs.  We are looking at ways to provide the presentation and subsequent training for our Campus Supervisors and our SRO’s.  We also need to educate our staff and parents.
  • Second phase construction at Five Oaks?  How much progress are they making?  Five classrooms have been created in the upper gym.  You will start to see the entire building bump out.  The front entrance will be completely reconfigured.  There are construction walls inside the building.
  • “Back of the House Organics” – is that a fancy name for composting?  Yes.
  • What is the plan to get the additional custodians hired?  Trying to figure out the resourcing that would be needed and how those folks would be deployed.  Focusing on where those folks would go and why they are needed.  Looking at how to clean buildings and how we manage the staff.
  • What about boundaries at the elementary schools?   We need to take a look at central boundaries because of the imbalance.  Elmonica has 760 students, the new William Walker school will open up next year at 58% capacity.  Working on a proposal to present this year that would be effective next year.
  • What about costs at new schools compared to old schools?  We are seeing a reduction in energy costs.  Retrofits in older schools is lowering costs because of energy efficient equipment.  New schools are performing to design expectations.  Mountainside has been a little bumpy but has been adjusted.  Vose is 100% outside air. 
  • Is there anything we can do to mitigate the number of SPED incidents?  Special Ed continues to provide training and work with Risk Management. 
  • What efforts are we making to try to better understand the costs of our choices today as we plan for future bond measures?  A lot has been learned through the Bond.  Lighting control, theatrical control is where we are seeing how we can adapt some of our people to take care of the programming and maintenance of the systems.  We have some old systems that are reaching the end of their life.  If we can replace those systems in a non-emergency situation we can save the district money.  We need an infusion of cash into maintenance to help with the backlog and the deterioration of our existing buildings. 
  • Do we have a system for preventative maintenance where we prioritize?  Yes.   Do we measure the level of  deferred maintenance in such a way that we understand the additional cost we are taking on in future years? Probably not to the level that we should.
  • Why the reduction in free and reduced lunch participants?  Breakfast usage dropped 1% last year.  NS is trying to understand the hurdles that would draw more students.  Sometimes busses are late and there is  not enough time for students to get to the classroom to eat and reduced time for meals.  Some facilities are maxed out with the number of students in a lunch room leading to more lunch times.
  • Happy that vegetarian meals will be offered in the future.
  • Applicant flow for bus drivers, how many are we retaining year after year?  It has been flat in the last three years, about 35 – 40.  The applicant flow has slowed because we are near the number of drivers that we need.  Has that increased with the salary increases? No.  Many are retired and just driving for the benefits.  Pay is not the primary reason for the job.
  • In what areas are we at an impasse with THPRD?  We are moving forward.  The IGA has been adopted.  The two primary areas are:  1.  Middle school turf fields – extending the hours from 5:30 – 6:00 p.m. and 2.  The pool access time - THPRD does not want back to back practice because they want to have regular programming time for their swim lessons.  We agreed to accept where we are at right now and review the actual costs that we have and that they have.  If there are wide discrepancies than we will return to those specific items. 
  • We bring in about $700,000 in facility use and we have about $130,000 returned to schools?  Which school received the biggest return?  Believes that it was Bonny Slope.  Out of the $700,000 and what goes back to the school, what pays for monitors, custodial fees, etc. do we have a net?  The $700,000 is 100% rent and not staffing.  Staffing costs are billed separately and is a no-net loss.  Currently, the money goes into the general fund but this fiscal year it will be paying for the facility team software with the remainder going to Maintenance to supplement their budget because it pays for wear and tear.
  • Are there any best practices around the state regarding unpaid lunch fines?  Mike is on a state-wide committee to see how other districts are dealing with the problem and looking at a universal meal program for schools.  NS has a team of four people processing the applications every day. 
  • Appreciates Nutrition Services compassion and commitment to the district.
  • What do you have in store for the Middle School boundaries?  Information is not available at this time but it will be sent out in written form at a later date. 
Communications & Community Involvement  - Maureen Wheeler

Maureen introduced Community Involvement staff members.  They are very proud of their customer service.  In a recent survey the CCI team received high marks for customer service.  Volunteer services, community partnerships, the AVID program and communications and community engagement are programs that CCI supports. 

Questions/Comments from Board members:

  • Are the numbers for the Clothes Closet lessened by so many schools providing backpacks with food and clothing?  No, the numbers for the Clothes Closet were actually up for last year.
  • How we log volunteer hours participation – was there a shift in the way that we logged the hours?  In 2015 – 2016 a new system was introduced.  They have seen an increase in people using the system to log their hours in but it is still a challenge.  Are we at a point where all of the volunteer hours are being logged in?  The use has definitely increased but we are still not capturing everyone, especially with the after-school hours.
  • Talk about the partnership with Univision.   They just completed a two-year partnership with Univision, T & L and the Multilingual departments.  There were some great 30 and 60 second Spanish educational segments produced.
  • “Be Here Get There” campaign - is it a statewide campaign?  What is our role?  It is an effort to raise awareness and align with Supt. Grotting’s goals around student attendance. The state is hoping to roll out a campaign as well.  The District thought it would be important to roll out at the beginning of the school year.  How do you target certain populations of students in trying to get them back to school?  It is a message for every student.  Are there resources attached to this messaging?  All of our schools are working on this issue and we are trying to elevate the importance of attendance.
Human Resources – Sue Robertson

Some of the HR staff attended and introduced themselves:  Melissa Potter – University Partnership Liaison, Susan Rodriguez – HR administrator with licensed staff, Ronda Haun – HR administrator with classified staff and Erica Marson – HR administrator with elementary licensed and classified staff.  Since we have added Erica’s position two years ago we have doubled in disciplinary actions for both licensed and classified. 

Diversifying the workforce has been an emphasis for several years and for the entire State.  This is not just an HR issue but it is an issue for the entire district. We need to be creating a culture and climate that is open and inclusive to everyone. 

Questions/Comments from Board members:

  • Percentage of teachers reporting improved practice is only 81%.  What would bring that number up to 100%?  The lowest point for early release is around administrator directed collaboration time. 
  • The collaboration time was higher in 2013 – 2014.  There was a lot of training around professional learning communities and training then.
  • Distinguished teachers seems to be on an uptick, do we have more teachers becoming proficient?  Our administrators are doing a better job of evaluating staff.  Being in classrooms to observe has really helped teacher’s growth.
  • The retention percentage has declined some.  We did have some layoffs last year.  It may drop again next year due to budgeting.  Over time we lose people but many come back.  Retirements also have an impact. 
  • On the staff survey, how is that implemented, what is the process?  In place for 20+ years.  It comes out of T & L and IT collaboratively.  Usually it is given in the Spring.  Is it different from the TELL Survey?  Yes, it is different.  Execs and principals look very closely at their school data. 

ACTION ITEM – Consent Agenda

LeeAnn Larsen made the motion to adopt the Consent Agenda. Donna Tyner seconded and the motion passed unanimously by a vote of 7 to 0 by Becky Tymchuk, Eric Simpson, Anne Bryan, Tom Colett, Susan Greenberg, LeeAnn Larsen, and Donna Tyner

  1. Public Contracts

BE IT RESOLVED that the School Board authorizes the Superintendent or a designee to obligate the District for the public contract items as submitted at this meeting. 

MERLO STATION REPORT/BUILDING TOUR – Rachel Sip, Principal of Merlo Station

Rachel introduced Gretchen Mollers who works with Passages and Joni Thurber, Rachel’s Assistant.

Passages is a district program open to disconnected, struggling Beaverton School District students ages 16 - 20.  Without this program these students have 0% chance of graduating.

Last year there were 331 students enrolled.  65 students earned GED’s and 35 students received diplomas.  The program is a good academic return on investment and with students earning credit and becoming reengaged with their education.  Last year 40% of students were identified as Latino and 39% were identified as Special Ed.  Student mental needs has been skyrocketing as shown in the statistics below:

  • 70 - 74% of students have received counseling. 
  • 58% students this year have identified that they have mental health issues.
  • 38% have attempted suicide.
  • 41% of student identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, etc.

Questions/Comments by Board Members:

  • Does enrollment grow as the year goes on?  Yes.
  • Is Passages an all-day program? It could be but for the majority it is a temporary part-time choice.
  • How would students find out about the program?  Through home school counselor referrals and case managers.
  • How long has Passages been around?  11-12 years.  The program has been growing, previously only had two teachers but now they are up to six teachers.  Is it for upper classroom?  Yes.
  • How does it differ from other programs for younger children with social emotional needs that don’t fit into the regular environment?  Emotional Growth Centers are programs for these students.
  • What kind of support is available for the students contemplating suicide?  Staff help with non-academic barriers and they work very closely with their outside services.
  • What are the services and non-profits?  One-on-one counseling, sometimes group counseling with the family. In extreme circumstances kids will go to the Perry Center.
  • Are you finding that a lot of kids are self-medicating themselves?  Yes.  How do you transition them from self-medicating themselves?  Referring to services like mental health counselors and having open conversations.
  • Are we teaching them why it is important to reengage?  They know that students need extra support and provide that support for college classes.
  • There are options outside of the District that will work with them to catch up on their credits.

The Board took a break for a building tour by Principal Sip.

Rachel read an essay from a student about how they never thought that they would be a statistic as a homeless student.  That said student has had perfect attendance this year and is doing well as a senior. 

Merlo works as a staff to look at what is important for an alternative school to measure success. 

The majority of students are from AHS (27%), BHS (21%) and WHS (21%).  3% of students are 9th graders, 20% are 10th graders, 27% are 11th graders and 50% are 12th graders.  Having more 9th and 10th graders would be proactive in identifying student needs earlier.  Last year 29 moms and 2 dads were served. 

Questions/Comments from the Board:

  • Students reporting that one or more adults care about them – really surprised about how high that number is.
  • The number of homeless students is tragic at 25%.  Is it mostly families that are homeless and do you bring in resources to help?  Second Home is a resource that helps students to find stable homes.
  • Is this program the third largest in the State?  Beaverton offers the most targeted programs in the State.
  • Long time believer that alternative schools should not be rated.  Your success rate is those students that make it through in whatever time it takes. 
  • How is the new program Discovery doing?  Attendance rate is at 93% for this year.  Tardies for the year have been cut in half so far. 

ZERO BASED BUDGET – Gayellyn Jacobson

Board members participated in an activity of Budget Hold’em for Districts.  They were split into two groups of four with a set of cards including two wild cards.  The budget cuts needed to add up to $22M.  The cards are examples at this point and do not include everything.  The budget landscape changes daily.  Everyone received a budget scenario.  Board members were encouraged to think outside of the box. 

Budget Hold’em helped the School Board understand the difficult decisions and trades required during the planning and budgeting process. 

The meeting was adjourned at 7:15 p.m. 

Submitted by
Mary Hawkins

_____________________________________
Board Chair Becky Tymchuk