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District 834 Summer 2023 School Board Meetings

Following is a group of District 834 reports over the summer:

May 9, 2023 District 834 Stillwater School Board Study Session

Operational Planning (03:05)

Last November the school board began working with Teamworks, a MN based school consulting firm, that is helping them develop the district’s operational plans, school board governance, work plans, and goals. During the May 9 study session, the consultant provided an overview of the process, including the mission, core values and vision. The board and administration then worked in groups to review the district guiding change document drafts, long-range planning, and long-range facilities planning. The consultant reviewed the operational plan including the desired daily expectations for students, families and staff based on the Classroom Theory of Action. The school board maintains a three-to-five year plan, so that structure and protocols are always in place.

Document Development (27:28)

The Board divided into two groups: one group focused on the financial guidance change document and the other focused on the facilities change document. The documents addressed: the current reality, the unacceptable, and the desired results, as well as, actions, whom they affect, and at what cost. Both groups worked on a vision statement describing the conditions that they want to develop over the next three-to-five-years. Teamworks will make edits to the document and bring it back to the board.

The link for the agenda/minutes is here. The link for the recording is here.

June 13, 2023 District 834 School Board Study Session

Annual Renewal PowerSchool Suite (02:24)

Funding was approved for the PowerSchool Suite for the 2023-2024 school year. This is the student data information system/student data management system and contains all data for the district. Work is being done to have all data systems communicate with each other.

Q-Comp Annual Report (10:20)

The annual Q-comp report was presented. Q-comp stands for Quality Compensation. It is an alternative teacher/professional pay system used to recruit and retain highly qualified teachers. The four components include: career ladder opportunities, job-embedded professional development, teacher development evaluation plan and performance pay.

Long -Term Facilities Maintenance Plan (38:14)

The Ten-year plan for District 834 was presented, including approximately ten million in funding for repair and replacement projects in summer 2024.

Preliminary Budget Update (42:28)

Fiscal year 2024 preliminary budget and influencing factors were provided. The preliminary budget will be presented to the board on June 27 for approval.

Board went into closed session to:

  • Engage in discussion with legal counsel regarding litigation in the matter of Metropolitan Network vs. ISD 834.

  • To develop or consider an offer to purchase or sell real property.

The link for the agenda/minutes is here. The link for the recording is here.

June 22, 2023 District 834 School Board Special Meeting

Resident Survey Results (05:00)

The Morris Leatherman Company conducted a random sample of 625 Stillwater area residents between May 31 and June 12 to assess residents’ willingness to support a tax increase to pay for schools. The average interview time was five minutes. The first question asked about a property tax increase for safety and security, additional space at Oak-Land Middle School, and replacing both Lake Elmo and Anderson Elementary Schools. The second question asked about a separate package for an Early Childhood Center, an addition to Afton Lakeland Elementary, a new High School auditorium and a baseball/softball complex. The first package would be a $175 million bond. The second package would be an $80 million bond. The presenter recommended tabling the $80 million bond. During the board discussion, most agreed to have a bond only for items with the first question. A recommendation will be made at the next school board meeting.

The link for the agenda/minutes is here. The link for the recording is here.

June 27, 2023 District 834 School Board Business Meeting

Public Comment (07:52)

One person gave recommendations for technology infrastructure and data security.

New School Policies (12:15)

Superintendent Michael Funk reported that, largely in response to the legislative session, there are thirty new policies for review and update, eight to ten of which will be presented for board review in July. Most will be model policies from the MN School Board Association. Strategic Direction-Resolution on General Obligation Bonds (15:46)

A resolution determining the necessity of issuing general obligation bonds was presented and passed. A chart displayed the tax impact on various properties. The bond would:

  • Replace Lake Elmo and Anderson Elementary Schools.

  • Add onto and remodel Oak-Land Middle School.

  • Improve safety and security at all schools in the district.

Special Election to fill Vacancy of School Board Appointee (30:01)

Director Lauer is an appointed board member for that opening and in November there will be a special election to fill the remaining three years of the four-year term. Ten-year Facilities Maintenance Plan Passed (31:00)

A ten-year facilities maintenance plan passed approval for the 2023-24 plan.

The 2023-24 preliminary budget was approved (40:30)

Since expenditures exceeded revenue, spending reserves were discussed.

Ethnic and Cultural Studies Course approved (53:38) An ethnic and cultural studies II course was approved by the board. Districts are required to offer the course, but students are not required to take it. Board went into closed session to consider strategy for labor negations.

The link for the agenda/minutes is here. The link for the recording is here.

July 11, 2023 District 834 School Board Business Meeting

Superintendent Report (03:30)

Michael Funk discussed community engagement on the referendum. Board Recognitions (07:20)

The board recognized Community Thread and United Way for their support of the schools and the community.

New School Policies (12:37)

The board was given eleven new policies, including the 2023 MN Legislature Model Policies. Most have added definitions and explanations. Discussion items included:

  • Tobacco-Free environment policy now allows the Native community to carry tobacco for ceremonial purposes.

  • Bullying policy now includes school responsibility for bullying between two district students online (off school property) any time and any place.

  • Transportation policy now includes training regarding all transportation methods to and from school – including walking, biking, bus, etc.

  • Concern about potential for role conflict between parents and school was considered.

  • The district will have their law firm provide education to staff.

Resolutions adjusted (53:56)

The following resolutions were adjusted after meeting with county election staff:

  • Resolution to determine the necessity of issuing general obligation bonds and calling for a special election on November 7.

  • Resolution calling for special election on November 7 to fill a school board vacancy.

The link for the agenda/minutes is here. The link for the recording is here.

August 8, 2023 District 834 School Board Study Session

Strategic Direction - Operational Plan for 2023-24 (02:15)

District 834 Operation Plan was presented and includes:

  • Purpose

  • Who we are (our beliefs)

  • Strategic direction

  • Focus (literacy; equity and inclusion; social and emotional learning and mental health, key strategies)

  • Theme for the year “Expect More”

District Handbook Update (19:23)

The District Handbook will include an overview of policies. Parents will be required to sign that they have reviewed the policies and procedures in the handbook.

MN Department of Education Review (20:21)

The district was given a good response from the MN Department of Education to information submitted on the referendum. The information must be published, and a public meeting must be held to allow review of the comments.

2023 MN Legislative Model Policy revisions (23:04)

Revised policies presented:

  • Policy 603 - Curriculum Development

  • Policy 604 - Instruction Curriculum

  • Policy 618 - Assessment of Student Achievement

  • Policy 620 - Credit for Learning

  • Policy 624 - Online learning

The board went into a closed session to:

  • Consider an offer to purchase or sell property.

  • Evaluate the performance of an individual.

  • Conduct the Superintendent evaluation.

The link for the agenda/minutes is here. The link for the recording is here.

August 22, 2023 District 834 School Board Business Meeting

Public Comment (07:11)

One person expressed concerns regarding Anderson Elementary School. Another person voiced concerns about the Ethnic Studies course curriculum.

Superintendent’s Report and Evaluation (14:50)

Michael Funk shared his observations, including: Students continue to be stressed from COVID; Staff is working hard to meet student needs and more emphasis needs to be placed on developing the staff; Turnover at the district level has been high and has significantly impacted the budget.

After completion of his first year with District 834, results of Dr Funk’s 2022-2023 performance review were shared. He received high marks in all aspects.

School Policies presented: (42:52)

  • Policy 621 – Literacy and the READ Act First Reading

  • Policy 602 – Organization of School Calendar and School Day First Reading

  • Policy 534 - Amended School Meal Policy approved.

Resolution approving land purchase agreement (01:09:00)

The purchase of land for Lake Elmo Elementary School on Lake Elmo Ave and 10th Street, at $4.5 million, was approved, pending a successful referendum.

Referendum update (01:16:00)

A video for the public about the referendum was presented.

The link for the recording is here. The link for the agenda/minutes is here.

End of 2023 Dist 834 summer reports



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