On May 8th, the Board met at 6:30 pm for their regular monthly meeting. Ms. White was unable to attend but the other four Board members and the Superintendent were present.
The meeting kicked off with a spotlight by Glennwood 3rd grade students playing their recorders. The students did a great job!
We also recognized our retiring staff members for their years of service to the students in our district. This recognition is one of my favorites! Right up there with the annual teacher-of-the-year recognition.
Three people signed up for public comment. One speaker shared Decatur Farm to School news and events. Two parents spoke about the recess policy.
My comments centered around how we are trying to be more efficient with our meeting time as a Board and how I am carrying this practice into other meetings. I provided an update on our recent SCLT meeting, our work toward providing guidance to SLTs next school year, and how we will handle SCLT meetings going forward.
Mr. Jones shared how proud he is of the band and music program at Decatur High School since the directors were in attendance. He talked about how the DHS and RMS ribbon cutting was a success and shared praise for Noel Maloof and the CSD Operations Team for a job well done with these projects. Mr. Jones thanked Susan Hurst and others who chipped in on all of their hard work on the budget and their efforts on the well thought out, complex, equitable plan for how we staff our schools.
Dr. Huddleston shared a brief update on the work of the Equity teams and provided the Board with an overview of equity work to-date. We expect to receive the results of the Equity Needs Assessment later this month.
Special Education Evaluation Report-
Frances Holt introduced the team from Georgia State University to share the Special Education Evaluation report. The report can be found here. We will come back at a future meeting for discussion and possible recommendations.
Staff Recruitment and Retention-
David Adams, Staff Support Executive Director, shared two reports–a Living Wage Report and Salary Report. He also shared an update on the work of the Staff Support Department–benefit system upgrades, studying how other districts use leave banks, and credit unions to name a few.
Short-term Spanish Instruction Initiatives-
I shared about a meeting we had recently with K-5 Spanish teachers. A couple of takeaways from the meeting- -we want to explore more immersive opportunities for staff and student development, more exchange opportunities, and developing a better ways to assess and monitor progress..
We have a draft regulation for how we handle and monitor barriers to participation in courses and activities. We are setting up a process to allow us to know all of the fees that we are asking students to pay and how to make fee payments anonymous for students unable to pay or for families that wish to pay more than the requested amount.
Heidi Whatley shared the latest enrollment numbers from March.
Talley Street Update-
We shared a brief update on the lower elementary school at Talley Street. The Board voted on the final boundary map at the April meeting. Construction-related activities have begun. We have started a joint venture with the City on a transportation study. There is a open house public meeting on Tuesday, May 15, at the Talley Street Public Works building.
Principal Hiring Update-
We have announced several principals-
- Greg Wiseman, Renfroe Middle School
- Kristy Beam, Glennwood Elementary School
- Tanisha Sanders, Oakhurst Elementary School
The Winnona Park Elementary principal position posting has closed and we have conducted staff and community focus groups.
Fiscal Year 2019 Tentative Budget-
Susan Hurst shared the Fiscal Year 2019 Tentative Budget. Tax data will not be available from the County until May 11, so this draft was nearly identical to the previous draft.
Unstructured Break Time-
The Board discussed changes to our unstructured break time (recess) policy and as a result an updated version will be brought to the next regular meeting.
The Board discussed our annexation evaluation worksheet and desire to use it to evaluate the project up for approval at the May 21 City Commission meeting. We also discussed the desire to hold a joint work session with the City, or at least have some Commissioners in attendance, during our already scheduled work session next Tuesday.
Board Work Plan-
We discussed adding the following items to the Board Work Plan:
- Administrative response to the special education program evaluation
- Staff protection policy
- Restorative justice discussion
The Board adjourned to executive session to discuss personnel matters.
The meeting adjourned at 10:22 pm.
Who was there: Board Members Tell, Caiola, Jones, and Goebel; Superintendent
What official actions were taken: Approval of consent agenda