School Board Update

May 21, 2020

Meeting Overview

Each month the board is presented with non-action and action items for their consideration. A few noteworthy items from May 21st's meeting are included here:


Items Approved by the Board

  • Gifts and Donations
  • ISD 911 Mutual Aid Agreement 2020
  • Meal Prices 2020-2021
  • Memorandum of Understanding Between C-I Schools and Education Minnesota, Cambridge-Isanti Local 7040
  • Non-Renewal of Out of Field Permission and Tier 2 Teachers
  • MSHSL Membership
  • Dissolution of Girls Hockey Coop
  • New Girls Hockey Coop Agreement
  • Online Learning Provider Application
  • Distance Learning Grading

Full board agenda can be found here

Superintendent's Report - Dr. Rudolph

As you can tell by the amount of information included below by Directors regarding plans for the end of this year, looking ahead to next year, and responding to and considering guidance that seems to continuously change, there is a lot happening throughout our district at this time. We are especially excited to celebrate our seniors, our retirees, and our annual Bluejacket Celebration award winners during this time of the year. Although these celebrations aren’t happening as we had envisioned or planned, the heart that has gone into the planning to make them extra special has not gone unnoticed. Our teams are putting in long hours and working diligently to make sure that we can celebrate and finish the school year (that was like no other) in the Bluejacket Way!


As we look to the summer and fall, we continue to build multiple versions of many plans. These versions are all dependent on the guidance that we receive about what we can or cannot do in accordance with the Minnesota Department of Education, Minnesota Department of Health, and the Governor.


We have also been working with our community partners to explore ways to partner and help serve our families into the foreseeable future. We are looking for ways to connect and partner with our local small businesses as they return to help promote and support their success. If there is one thing I have learned this year as a new superintendent, is that our community is full of amazing people who love and support one another. As a school district, we want to find innovative ways to continue to do so during this unprecedented time.

Administration Report Highlights

ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES and HUMAN RESOURCES

by: Human Resources Department


We are getting ready to celebrate 243 staff members at this year’s Bluejacket Celebration on May 28th! 169 staff members were nominated for one of five annual awards: The Friend of the Cambridge-Isanti Community Award, the PBIS Award, the “Bluejacket Way” Above & Beyond Award, the Support Staff Person of the Year Award and the Teacher of Excellence award. We’ll also be congratulating 49 staff members who have reached a years of service milestones, having been a proud Bluejacket for 15, 20, 25, 30, or 35 years, and we’ll be celebrating 26 wonderful staff members who are retiring from our district this year.


There has been much discussion and collaboration recently among district administration in streamlining our hiring processes. We look forward to an even better, and more thorough, hiring process moving forward.


We have completed our annual insurance open enrollment period and staff have been really appreciative of the personal attention that was given from the benefits counselors and our Human Resource department. We heard a lot of positive feedback during our first ever, entirely virtual, open enrollment period.


We have also continued to support staff during the Covid-19 pandemic. Our free employee assistance program has offered staff members a multitude of resources during these unprecedented times and the Human Resources Departments doors are always open.


FINANCE AND OPERATIONS

by: Christopher Kampa, CFA


Finance

The Covid-19 situation has presented unprecedented challenges for school districts across the nation. We have had to develop new methods for teaching our students, communicating with our families, delivering food services, and providing working arrangements for our staff. We have been grounded in our mission to meet the needs of our students and be a valuable community partner to our residents.


It is still unknown what school will look like next year for our students and staff. We don’t yet know if students will be back in the schools full-time, part-time, or not at all. Each of these scenarios has different financial ramifications and challenges that will continue to impact every facet of our organization. Therefore, we are planning for every scenario to identify our limitations and identify creative solutions to these challenges.


Food Service

This was definitely a challenging year in Food Service, to say the least. Clearly our biggest hurdle to overcome was how to adjust to a whole new world of individual meals, drive-up service, and mobile pickup sites. In the beginning, all plans expired in 24 hours. We went from serving 171 meals (bags containing breakfast and lunch) at two sites on our first day, to a high of serving 1,995 at 4 sites at our peak. Obstacles were many; folks were working in kitchens they had never been in before, and crews of 4 were now crews of 10+ trying to mass produce lunches while maintaining social distancing. Reliable deliveries became scarce as all districts started ordering similar products, and things like plastic bags started becoming very hard to track down.


I could not be prouder of how this department rose to this challenge. All of these folks had the same challenges with childcare, family members they were concerned about, and all the new worries everyone else was experiencing. Their selflessness and dedication to taking care of kids was never more apparent during these times. Huge thanks to our Head Cooks: your experience was invaluable and your ability to pull off the impossible never ceases to amaze. Huge thanks to our Cooks: your ability to keep teams together and make the complicated manageable is so crucial to keeping it all running. Incredibly huge thanks to our Food Service Assistants: there is nothing less stimulating than making your 400th turkey sandwich for the day and I'm sure you are all seeing plastic bags in your sleep - thank you so much for your hard work, this place would fall apart without you. Massive thanks to our Food Service Administrative team for navigating all of the site registration, waiver applications, compiling of meal counts and general maintenance of sanity in the office. Thank you as well to our new friends in Transportation for helping with our meal sites, our community for their patience as we tried our best, and most of all to whoever decided I get to lead this team. What an absolute privilege.


Transportation

Our Annual DOT State Inspections took place the week of May 4th and all vehicles passed their inspections. Like golf, the goal is to get the lowest score possible as the DOT awards points for violations. Buses that receive a score over 25 points will not be allowed on the road. To-date fifty buses have been tested and the highest score we’ve received is two points. Our maintenance staff once again has done a great job of preparing the buses for inspection.

A big thank you for our drivers who are driving child care transportation, food delivery, and educational materials delivery for the students of our district.


Building & Grounds

Covid-19 has forced Minnesota school districts to develop new methodologies for keeping our schools safe and clean. We normally spend the summer getting our buildings ready for the upcoming school year. Because of distance learning, we have had extra time to prepare our buildings and ensure we are ready if students return in the fall. The extra time has also allowed us to perform maintenance activities above-and-beyond our traditional routine. Our custodial staff has done an outstanding job of working through the changes and adapting to any necessary changes as we proceed in each building.


The High School summer construction project began this week. Demolition crews are on site, prepping the areas for the construction of each of the areas. We are remodeling five special education rooms to be compliant with Special Education requirements, phase three of the heat pump replacement plan, and remodeling four restrooms to meet ADA standards. We expect the construction to be completed by the first week of August.


New Facility

We are happy to once again report that building construction on the Woodland Campus is ahead of schedule and under budget. Most construction activities will be completed by June and furniture will be delivered in mid-July. The asphalt was poured this week and only a few finishing touches remain.

This will be a great facility for our Cambridge-Isanti students and provide unique educational opportunities for the programs located there.


COMMUNITY EDUCATION

by: Dave Maurer


Emergency Child Care has been averaging 55-60 children each day between the two sites. We are planning our summer child care program to start after the school year ends.

Preschool and Early Childhood Family Education programs end in the next week. From feedback from parents, they are very appreciative of the distance learning and the SeeSaw contacts by teachers.


TEACHING & LEARNING

by: Dr. Brenda Damiani


Many district level teams have met in the last couple weeks to finish up any end of the year items and to begin planning for the 2020-21 school year. We are grateful to the staff and parents who participate on these teams and who guide and support the work of the department.


The teams who have met are as follow:

● District Assessment Committee

● District Technology Committee

● District Curriculum Committee

● District Professional Development Committee

● District Instructional Leadership Team

● Teaching and Learning Advisory


Technology:

The technology team continues to support the students and staff of Cambridge Isanti School during the distance learning mandate.


● We are currently working on Chromebook collection plans for the end of the school year in conjunction with the principals of each building.


● This week ERATE funding was approved for our leased fiber internet connections we receive from Midcontinent for CMS, IMS/MNC, IIS/SFAS, and the bus garage. Additionally, we received approval of ERATE funding for the Woodland Campus construction associated with internet connection, the leased fiber connection, and the network equipment being installed in the facility. This funding covers 60% of our costs associated with these services, which equates to a total savings of $51,710 for the 2020-21 school year.


● The website design team of Ray Sperl, Rance Eberhardt, James Klimek, Terri Olson, Patrick Morrow, and Michael Porta continue to work with Blackboard in the development of the new Cambridge-Isanti Schools Website.


Online Learning Provider Application:

The Online Learning Provider Task Force of Ray Sperl, Jeremy Miller, Patrick Morrow, Jim Godfrey, Brenda Damiani, and Steve Gibbs continue to work on the development of the application to become an MDE approved online learning provider for the 2020-21 school year.


Federal Programs:


● We submitted an amendment to our Indian Education Program Plan which has been approved by the MN Department of Education that will allow us to provide 1/2 day professional development for our History/Social Studies teachers on teaching multiple perspectives and equity related to Indian Education. It will also allow us to cover the costs for the teachers to do a standards review, 2 full days of curriculum writing, and funds for the purchase of curriculum materials resulting from the process.


● The ADSIS budget revision for the 20-21 SY has been approved by the Department of Education.


● All building level PBIS teams as well as the District PBIS team have been chosen as recipients for a mini grant from MN Department of Education. These funds will be used for PBIS planning and sustainability efforts.


Curriculum:

In order to create a quality distance learning program, the curriculum teams were put on hold mid-March. The following teams will begin or continue writing for the 2020-21 school year:


● Grades 6-8 Health

● Grades K-5 English Language-Arts

● Grades 6-8 English Language-Arts

● Grades 9-12 English Language Arts

● Grades 6-12 Social Studies (as mentioned in Federal Programs above)

● Grades K-12 Music/Art

● Grades K-12 Phy Ed


The Grade 6-8 Middle School Math Team will implement the newly adopted Envision Math program by Pearson (now Savvas). They have created a scope and sequence and will begin to work on common assessments.



STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES

by: Julie Williams


Special Education

Corrective Action Plans

Throughout the Spring I’ve continued to work with staff on ensuring we are following the action steps outlined in our Corrective Action Plans (CAPs) as part of our MDE Review from the 2018-2019 school year. We now have 9 out of the 12 CAPS completed and approved. The last few will be completed in the next few weeks.


Extended School Year - ESY

With guidance for summer programming shared late last Thursday from MDE and additional guidance from MDH, we will be moving forward with offering ESY as a distance learning model. It is not feasible to follow the guidance and offer in-person programming. Teacher ESY positions will be posted for the session but we will not be hiring IA’s for ESY this year.


Brookside Academy

Although the planning looks different than we had anticipated pre-pandemic, planning for Brookside Academy has been moving forward this spring. Travis Fuhol was hired as the SpEd Coordinator for Brookside Academy. We have also had 4 teachers move from other buildings to Brookside Academy for Fall 2020. We recently hired a staff member from outside the district and have 1 more opening to fill to complete our staffing for the fall. We will then have hired 6 teachers and have room to grow with capacity for 2 more teachers (for a total of 8). Travis and I have met several times to discuss curriculum, transitioning students, etc. He will be meeting with the new staffing group soon to get further input regarding curriculum needs. I have worked in collaboration with RRSEC as we work to transition students to the new program next year. We do have some students that will remain at RRSEC for next year for various reasons as we wanted to ensure successful transitions for all students. Also, there are several students that are in the process of transitioning to one of C-I’s mainstream buildings, so they will continue that transition next year. Travis will start connecting with families and students who will be attending soon and we will be inviting them in for individual meetings/tours in August (or when guidance allows). It is great to see the pieces come together within a program we have been planning for several years!