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February 10, 2020 – School Board Regular Meeting

Brooklyn Center Community Schools’ School Board met for a regular meeting on Monday, February 10, 2020. These are the highlights. 

SUPERINTENDENT CONTRACT EXTENSION

Brooklyn Center Community Schools’ school board members voted unanimously to renew Dr. Carly Baker’s superintendent contract. The board voted to approve a new three-year contract with Dr. Baker during the February 10 regular meeting. Dr. Baker’s new contract will start July 1, 2020 and extends through June 30, 2023. 

CENTAUR SPIRIT RECOGNITION

Josh Fraser, principal of Brooklyn Center Middle and High School, recognized three staff members for their work as brand ambassadors. First, Josh recognized Stella Sola. Stella again went above and beyond to support a family in significant need. While the details are private, everyone should know how much she steps out of her technical work time to continue her role as a family liaison and brand ambassador. Second, Josh recognized Michael Reed. For those that don’t know, Mike has been busy printing and installing brand posters, window logos, banners, and much more to help support the branding process and to help folks feel pride for their space. This work is above and beyond the scope of his day-to-day roles and responsibilities. Third, Josh recognized Emma Nicosia. Emma has spent countless hours beyond her teaching day setting up an amazing opportunity for our 7th grade students to visit the Osprey Wilds Environmental Learning Center. Due to her efforts, the Center is paying for the entirety of our 7th grade overnight trip coming up in March.

Jeff Wilson, principal of Earle Brown Elementary, recognized Hanna Hermanson for bringing six glockenspiels to the elementary music program. Hanna uses every resource and connection available to go above and beyond for our students!Jeff also recognized Cecelia Lauermann for creating choir classes for fourth and fifth grade students. This additional duty is for students who are interested in joining choir class. Students will meet once a week to get this program up and running. 

Jena Carlson, director of curriculum and instruction, recognized the Earle Brown third grade teacher team, including Courtney Hoyt, Jessica Kiczula, Patti Martineau, Rachel Mynahan, Kristin Priem, and Leanna Sevitts. The third grade team has embraced STEAM best practices and been at the forefront of curriculum integration at Earle Brown. The team is currently working with Alexandra Holter, EB STEAM coordinator, in regular after-school work sessions to develop a new STEAM-integrated unit for their students that will be taught for the first time later this year. Each of these teachers has demonstrated an incredible willingness to think about instruction differently, collaborate, and take risks in trying something new.

Jessica Richter, director of early learning, recognized Tara Drey and Dr. Carly Baker for staying dedicated to the rebrand and keeping our core values in mind every step of the way! I have heard very positive things and staff are excited for the online store to purchase BCCS attire!

Tammy Albers, director of human resources, recognized Michelle Ford. Michelle is often an unsung hero who not only has a vast workload which she works tirelessly to complete in an accurate and timely manner, but she is also willing to lend her expertise and advice to make any project better. Most recently, Michelle has been instrumental in the set up of the TeachPoint system including responding to questions, attending webinars, reviewing the system set up, consulting with another district and setting up license requirements. Michelle is a true team player and does it all with a positive attitude. 

Jim Langevin, director of operations, recognized Terry Bollin, transportation lead mechanic. Terry was vital with the installation of all of our new branding signage recently hung at all of our locations. Terry, thank you very much for your assistance, we could not have done it without you! 

Dierdra Yarbro, director of special services, recognized Julie Gloege, special education resource teacher; Sara Anderson, special education resource teacher; and Jen Tousignant, special education coordinator, for coming together and supporting the special education department in completing additional due process requirements for students while we work to fill open special education positions. We are in the process of hiring two full-time resource teachers and hope to have new staff in place within the next couple of weeks.

Michelle Ford, director of data and accountability, recognized Anne Clausing and Ellen Morehouse for stepping up to cover a need in ACCESS testing at the middle and high school. They work every day to support teachers with curriculum and instruction, and they have gone above and beyond to support their colleagues in a time of need. They are both incredibly intelligent leaders with a strong commitment to our students, staff, and community here in Brooklyn Center. Michelle is proud to work alongside them. Ellen has put in extra work to make sure we are doing our best for our American Indian students and our special education students, and to make sure that teachers have the knowledge and materials they need to support all of our students. Anne takes initiative and seeks out additional supports and resources for teachers and uplifts teachers who are working hard to improve student learning and achievement in their classrooms. Anne also organized additional in-house training for herself and her colleagues that support teachers on the topic of student interventions and individual student supports.  

Michelle also recognized Paul Sackaroff for going the additional mile with parent and student communications.  He uses features in Synergy to ensure every student can view or download notes, materials, presentations, and assignments right from ParentVue or StudentVue.  This has been a great help to the students and to the parents and staff who are supporting them. He also shared his process with his PLC and is always seeking out new learning and understanding for himself as a professional. Paul also strengthens relationships and challenges student thinking in his chess after-school program. He has provided his chess players with the opportunity to play in online tournaments against other students across the state. His players know that to improve their own skills, they need to seek out players better than they are. One lesson that they have learned is that you often learn more when you lose than you do when you win. In education this is perhaps one of the toughest lessons, since failure is often perceived as a negative and a place to give up, instead of a way to learn how to do things better.  

Seth Ryan, director of community engagement, recognized Longkee Vang. He is a constant team player, someone who is always looking at best practice and ways he can better serve the students at BCS. This year, Longkee and the BCCS Youth Programs team was selected to be a part of the University of Minnesota and Wilder foundation Youth Equity Cohort. He has really immersed himself in the cohort through observations of other programs, meeting with other organizations’ mentor programs and examining ways that he can bring what he is learning back to the BCCS community. 

Tara Drey, director of communications, recognized the following people for helping out during the brand launch:

  • Mike Reed
  • Becky Eisenbraun
  • Jim Langevin
  • Terry Bollin
  • Dr. Carly Baker
  • Jen Cardinal
  • Debbie Beach
  • Kathleen Heider
  • Seth Ryan
  • Kayla Sammons
  • Renee Starr
  • Longkee Vang
  • Carrie Donovan and nutrition services staff members

Without the help of these staff members, we wouldn’t have had banners printed and installed or staff events planned and executed. Thank you to this great group of staff members for all of your teamwork! 

PRESENTATIONS

American Indian Education
Jena Carlson, director of curriculum and instruction; Ellen Morehouse, curriculum and instruction coordinator; and Clarissa Leino, kindergarten teacher, presented an update about American Indian Education. Students have been engaged in drum and dance lessons, beading activities and field trips to learn more about Native American culture. Click here to view the presentation from the meeting.

Student Showcase: Earle Brown Elementary
Jeff Wilson, principal of Earle Brown Elementary, presented about the newly formed Student Council at Earle Brown. Two students also presented about how student council will benefit all Earle Brown students.

CESO Internal Audit  
Bob Noyed, senior strategic consultant from CESO, presented findings from the Internal Audit. The audit consisted of focus groups and interviews with staff from throughout the district and was conducted in October and November. Click here to view the presentation from the meeting.

ACTION ITEMS

The board took action on the following items:

  • Approved the Superintendent Contract for 2020-2023
  • Approved the update to the Bus Driver Pay and Benefits Guide
  • Approved an overnight field trip
  • Read the first reading of the following revised board policies:
    • 522 Student Sex Nondiscrimination
    • 524 Internet Acceptable Use and Safety Policy
    • 616 School District System Accountability