REGULAR SCHOOL BOARD MEETING MINUTES
The regular school board meeting of the Board of Directors of Lane County School District #40, Creswell, Oregon, was held Wednesday, November 13, 2002 beginning at 7:00 p.m. at the Creswell High School Library, 33390 Nieblock Lane, Creswell, Oregon, 97426, with Chair Dersham presiding.
BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT IN ADDITION TO CHAIR DERSHAM:
BOARD MEMBERS NOT PRESENT:
ALSO PRESENT: Dr. Rick Stuber, Superintendent
Judy Hillman, Business Manager
Ellen Adler, Director of Special Education
Joel Higdon, Technology Director
Jacque Robertson, Creslane Principal
Shirley Burrus, CMS Interim Principal
Bob George, CHS Principal
Karen Narmore, CHS Vice-Principal
Marilyn Cruzan, Administrative Secretary
Alana Listoe, The Chronicle
01. Action, establish a quorum
Chair Dersham announced there was a quorum.
02. Pledge of Allegiance
04. Action, approve agenda/add items
Mr. Honer moved to approve the agenda. Dr. Curry seconded. Chair Dersham advised that an action item to approve the Willamette ESD managing the District Office move would be added as item 17. Dr. Robertson requested an addition to item 6 regarding information from the Communications Committee. THE MOTION WITH AMENDMENTS CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
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05. Action, approve the October 9, 2002 minutes.
Dr. Robertson moved to approve the October 9, 2002 board meeting minutes. Mrs. Freske seconded.
Dr. Curry suggested that the minutes be changed to reflect the discussion and questions that were raised that resulted in her no vote on the motion and that is that the Strategic Planning Committee did recommend that the three sub-committees be formed with the advice that they were to break into groups and to discuss the specific charges. They broke into groups and discussed the charges as put forth by Dr. Stuber. Her sub-committee for alternative education at Creslane modified their charge somewhat. They thought that it would become the charge for that committee. It seems to have been forgotten that they came back and said this is what our charge actually is. She would like that reflected in the minutes of the last board meeting.
Dr. Robertson amended his motion to include the requested change to the minutes. Mr. Honer seconded. Mr. Ehrich asked that Dr. Curry give the specific language she would like to see. Dr. Curry stated that at the last meeting the board voted to accept the charges as put forth at the Strategic Planning meeting that Dr. Stuber had presented. She would like the minutes to reflect that her reason for the no vote is that she felt the charge for the one sub-committee should have reflected what that sub-committee came up with. The board chose not to acknowledge that sub-committee’s revised charge. They voted to accept the Strategic Planning Committee’s proposal with the original charge. She would like to have that stated as the reason for the no vote.
Mrs. Thompson asked Dr. Curry what was different from what the board approved. Dr. Curry stated that the difference is the charge that Dr. Stuber had presented to the group was to the effect that they would research alternative education programs for the school. The committee added “to research and develop a plan for a potential alternative education”. It is very different to say we’re going to develop a plan or we’re going to research and think about it and maybe we’ll develop a plan and maybe we won’t. The charge the sub-committee saw was to develop a plan. They believed that was the intent of Dr. Stuber’s original statement but it wasn’t spelled clearly, so
the sub-committee changed it that night. The sub-committee did agree on what the new charge would be.
Dr. Robertson clarified that the statement Dr. Curry would like to have included is that she opposed the motion because it did not reflect the sub-committee’s revised charge. Mrs. Dersham asked if it was just to state why she voted no. Dr. Curry stated that it was important to her and the board to have in the record why she voted no.
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Dr. Robertson amended his motion to change the minutes to show that board member Curry voted no because she objected to the wording of the charge that the board accepted that did not include the charge that the sub-committee for the alternative education program at Creslane came up with.
Dr. Stuber stated that it was not an option for the board to accept the amended sub-committee’s charges. There were a number of things presented to the Strategic Planning Committee. The Strategic Planning Committee was offered the opportunity to accept, not accept or amend any of Dr. Stuber’s recommendations. This was clearly stated in the documentation that evening.
It is up to the Strategic Planning Committee to adopt something and send it to the board. The vote was taken on each item and it was requested at that time if anyone wanted to change anything they could do that and it would be the Strategic Planning Committee recommendation that would be presented to the board. The board could only approve what the Strategic Planning Committee recommended. That was the text given to the board. The board did not have the option because the Strategic Planning Committee did not offer the sub-committee’s version. The board responsibility at the meeting was to approve or not approve the Strategic Planning Committee recommendation.
THE AMENDED MOTION CARRIED AS FOLLOWS:
DR. CURRY – YES
MRS. DERSHAM – NO
MR. EHRICH – YES
MRS. FRESKE –NO
MR. HONER – YES
DR. ROBERTSON – YES
MRS. THOMPSON – YES
06. Information, Trustees Reports
A. Heery Construction Report
There was not a report.
B. SP Finance Subcommittee Report
The report is included in the board packet.
C. CMS Facilities SP Subcommittee Report
The report is included in the board packet.
Dr. Robertson distributed a communication developed by the Strategic Planning Communications Committee that will be going out to 3900 taxpayers in the district. He also reported that a high priority for the committee is to obtain funding for a reader board for either the middle school or a more effective one downtown.
D. SP Alternative School Subcommittee Report
The report is included in the board packet.
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E. Lane School Boards Association Report – Mr. Ehrich
Mr. Ehrich reported that Mr. Linniger is no longer the chair of
that association. The chair is currently being shared by two
members. The group discussion centered around the current
OSBA leadership. Strong consensus of the group at that meeting
was very critical of OSBA’s leadership in terms of not taking on the
school financing issues more aggressively and following up on many
things the executive staff had been asked to pursue. That is what
warranted the resolutions that were drafted and will go to the floor
at the OSBA Conference for consideration by the OSBA membership.
Mrs. Dersham advised that two cards were sent out last month from the board. One was to Mrs. Craig, the other to Mr. and Mrs. Mercer.
07. Information, Supervisors Reports
Mrs. Dersham asked Dr. Adler to respond to a question on the Safe Schools grant. Dr. Adler explained that the alternative school funds and the child development specialist position are both part of the whole grant.
A. Renaissance Math demonstration by Middle School Staff
Mrs. Burrus, principal of Creswell Middle School explained that the school was able to obtain the program through the CSRD grant they were awarded in June in the amount of $78,000. The Renaissance program is computer based and is used to help students improve their reading and math. Mrs. Burrus stated that the reading portion will be up and running by the middle of January.
Jody Young, CMS teacher, Kim Jordan, CMS staff and, Xochile Yellowhorse, Devan Isanhour, Naomi Baker, CMS students reported on the program to the board.
B. Foreign exchange student presentation
Olga Shirnina, a foreign exchange student from Russia attending Creswell High School this year, gave a presentation to the board on the city she lives in, her education in Russia and customs in her country.
08. Information, Student Representative Report
Collin Lyons reported that Homecoming was a success. The volleyball team went to the state tournament.
09. Information, Business Manager Report
Mrs. Hillman reported that there appears to be a negative balance on the Business Manager’s report because the expenditures are recorded in the data processing system as they occur. Revenues, such as basic school support, are deposited into our account at the local government pool and we are sent a notification after the fact. We have received approximately $472,000 for basic school support that is not reflected on the month end report.
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10. Information, Superintendent Report
Dr. Stuber reported that Dr. Hoagland was at the October board meeting to present a donation check for $495.00 donation to the Creswell High School Athletic Fund. He left before the board had a chance to recognize him. Dr. Hoagland was unable to attend tonight’s meeting. Dr. Stuber referred to the letter in the board packet regarding SATURN. The Office for Human Research Protection has suspended the project.
12. Action, post revised policies District Mission Statement AD, and Petty Cash DJB.
Dr. Robertson moved that the board post the draft of revised Policy AD, District Mission Statement. Mr. Ehrich seconded. Dr. Curry read the statement aloud. She advised that in the sentence “Preparing students for success: developing knowledge, skills, and abilities that will serve them as students, citizens, neighbors, workers, and family members…” the committee would like an alternative word for “workers”. Dr. Robertson suggested that since the policies will be posted in the buildings if anyone has a suggestion they should contact the policy committee. THE MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
Dr. Robertson moved that the board post the draft of revised Policy DJB, Petty Cash. Dr. Curry seconded. Dr. Robertson explained that a request came from the buildings to the business manager, Mrs. Hillman. The letter addressing that request is in the board packet. The current policy just allows for petty cash to exist at the district office. The other question to the board is the amounts to be inserted in the policy. Mrs. Dersham stated that what is being proposed is $100.00 in each school with a maximum expenditure out of the fund of $25.00. This is supported by Mrs. Hillman THE MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
13. Action, personnel report
Mrs. Freske moved to approve the personnel report. Dr. Robertson seconded
Dr. Curry asked if an additional ten hours was being added to transportation. Mrs. Hillman explained that an eight-hour special education driver retired. The position was divided into two positions. The addition of two hours was due to an increased need for special education transportation. THE MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
14. Action, approve OSEA Memorandum of Understanding
Dr. Stuber reported that due to the change in custodial staffing some 12-month positions became 11-month positions. These changes require a change in the collective bargaining agreement language. Dr. Stuber recommended board approval of the memorandum
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Mr. Ehrich moved to approve the OSEA Memorandum of Understanding. Mrs. Freske seconded and THE MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
15. Action, appoint Budget Board Members
Mrs. Dersham advised that two budget board member terms have expired. School board members are responsible for recommending candidates to the board. Mrs. Thompson and Dr. Robertson need to bring a recommendation to the board for the budget position they are responsible for.
Mrs. Thompson recommended Mr. Gary Clark as a budget board member. Dr. Robertson reported that he has not received an answer from the person he contacted. He will bring a recommendation to the December board meeting.
Dr. Curry moved to approve Mr. Gary Clark as a budget board member. Mrs. Thompson seconded and THE MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
16. Action, retired teachers insurance request.
Mrs. Dersham asked Mrs. Hillman to give the board an overview of the issue. Mrs. Hillman explained that the business office was directed to review the bargaining agreements to ensure that current practice was in compliance with the bargaining agreements. During that process, the question came up as to whether the insurance cap applied to retirees. It appeared that it did. The question was then sent to the negotiation committee and they determined that the retirees should have the cap applied to their insurance. There is an October first deadline for the insurance open enrollment. This discussion did not start until the last of September. The insurance premiums went up substantially this year. Because the employees share the cost of the insurance both associations reviewed new policies and made changes in what was being offered in order to lower premiums. Those changes didn’t happen until everyone came back for the new school year. When the decision was made that the cap applied, retirees were given an opportunity to change their plan choice because they would now have a premium to pay. The insurance company did extend the open enrollment for the retirees only until the negotiation committee met and then the names were turned in to the insurance companies.
Dr. Stuber stated that the action of the negotiations committee has caused two reactions. One is from the retirees who are asking the board this evening to reconsider the committee decision. The other action is a grievance filed by the collective bargaining unit. The issue this evening is the request by the retirees for the board to reconsider the committee decision. The grievance goes through a process within the school system. There is no provision for that to come before the board. Given the data provided and in reviewing the collective bargaining agreement, there are a number of ways to take the whole matter. Dr. Stuber said he believes that the negotiation committee came to the proper conclusion. The conclusion is that the district is required to provide health insurance benefits for retirees. It doesn’t say regardless of cost. The committee did review previous collective bargaining agreements with reference to retirees and caps etc. Recent premium increases have caused a
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new phenomenon where the cap does not cover the premium for the retirees. There is no specific language to do one thing or the another. The only specific language we do have dictates that there is a cap and that health insurance is provided.
Mrs. Freske, chair of the negotiation committee, reported that the negotiation committee met on October 14 at the district office to discuss and review the collective bargaining agreement language as it pertains to the medical benefit provisions for retired certified employees from the Creswell School District. Mrs. Freske read the minutes from that meeting. The minutes are enclosed in the board packet for full board review. As noted in the minutes, the committee heard from the retirees present, Mrs. Hillman, and Dr. Stuber on the sequence of events, the impact of the associated cost to the retirees and the district and the language in the collective bargaining agreement. The negotiation committee based its decision on the contract language, historical data, and ORS 243.303. The committee is asking the full board to support their decision.
Mrs. Dersham advised that the district was not aware of the situation until the end of September. The cap has been applied to one individual. It should have been applied to more individuals last year but was not due to an oversight.
The board discussed the language in past and present bargaining agreements regarding retiree insurance benefits and the intent of the district in providing those benefits.
Dr. Robertson pointed out that the language in the bargaining agreements does not include the work “cap”. There was a specified dollar amount. The language does not appear to have changed from 1996 to 2002.
Mr. Honer moved to table the issue until the board has time to review further information.
Mr. Honer asked if our attorney had been consulted. Dr. Stuber said he had talked to OSBA this morning. It depends on how you define past practice. Some of the board have mentioned that the district does have a past practice and others define it as an incorrect administrative decision. It was not past practice and was not approved by the board. To define the one-year absence as past practice would be up to an arbitrator to determine. He will refer this to an attorney or OSBA if that is the board directive.
Dr. Curry seconded the motion.
THE MOTION FAILED AS FOLLOWS:
DR. CURRY – NO DR. ROBERTSON - NO
MRS. DERSHAM – NO MRS. THOMPSON – NO
MR. EHRICH - NO
MR. HONER – YES
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Mr. Ehrich moved to affirm the negotiation committee’s decision regarding retiree health insurance premiums. Mrs. Freske seconded.
Dr. Curry referred to the annual accounting of insurance of what has been paid and what has not been paid in 2001-2002. It appears that the cap was applied in only one case and not applied in four. She asked if this gives evidence of past practice.
Mrs. Hillman explained that when the one employee came to the point where they were not covered by the cap, the cap was applied. In 2000-2001 there was another employee where the cap should have been applied. The accounts for the 2000-2001 year were set up by the previous payroll clerk as the transition between payroll clerks was occurring. Mrs. Hillman believes that an oversight occurred during this transition. The cap should have been applied to the second person that year. This oversight was then carried over into 2001-2002 when the cap should have been applied to all retirees
Dr. Curry said she sees ample evidence of past practice. The fact is it was not applied for one year except for the one individual. Dr. Curry said that now is the time to review and make clear the early retirement incentive. The district needs to honor their commitment and what she sees as the intent.
Dr. Robertson asked what the process was to go to arbitration. Dr. Stuber said the retirees have not filed a grievance.
Dr. Curry stated that she doesn’t believe that it is about cost but about what our word is worth. If you think about cost it would be about $35,000 this year and that would be an entry level position and when offering early retirement incentive part of the reason is a benefit to the district so they can hire entry level people.
Dr. Robertson replied that the problem with that solution is that it perpetuates itself every year. It also uses figures that are not necessarily relevant. He would like to obtain an attorney’s opinion.
Mr. Honer felt that the board was being asked to make a decision without all the necessary information.
Mr. Ehrich stated that information was before the negotiation committee and they discussed it in depth and there was a strong consensus for the recommendation to the board.
Mrs. Thompson said that this is not an easy decision and was not so for the committee either. She agrees with Mr. Honer and Dr. Robertson on obtaining a legal opinion.
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Dr. Curry pointed out that this is time limited for people who have already taken early retirement. In the future she is certain that the policy committee or negotiation committee will be very clear for anyone entering the agreement in the future. It will be clarified after this, but to clarify it now may not be the just thing to do.
Mr. Ehrich clarified his motion. The district has established the benefit with the premium dollar amount that will be paid. Even by applying the shared split over that amount, the benefit to the retirees has increased several hundred dollars a month over the last three or four years. The expense has increased and he thinks that it would be inconsistent not to provide those benefits in the same manner we do our regular employees.
Mrs. Dersham added that she was on the negotiation committee and it was never the intent to give the retirees more than the district was giving their regular employees at the time. The cap has been there for some time. However, the cap didn’t come into play because up until last year it was a mute point. It is unfortunate that the board was not made aware of this sooner and as Mrs. Hillman explained this was an oversight that should not have been.
Mr. Ehrich added that the bargaining unit selected the plans. There may have been other less costly plans available with the same coverage. Mr. Honer said when speaking of intent it appears that when an employee is considering early retirement they are interpreting the language that it is the intent of the district to pay the cost of the defined benefit. Dr. Curry said that regarding intent, one retiree has stated there was a conversation at the time of their retirement with two district employees who said that medical insurance would be fully paid for five years. The retiree would have to pay for dental and vision but medical insurance would be fully paid. That was a verbal agreement. Mr. Ehrich said the committee discussed this. The problem is that no one can make a verbal agreement to obligate the district to such an agreement.
THE MOTION FAILED AS FOLLOWS:
DR. CURRY: NO
MRS. DERSHAM: YES
MR. EHRICH: YES
MRS. FRESKE: YES
MR. HONER: NO
DR. ROBERTSON: NO
MRS. THOMPSON: NO
Dr. Robertson moved that the district obtain legal counsel for an opinion on whether this would create a separate class and what we are obligated to. Mrs. Thompson seconded and THE MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY. The board directed Dr. Stuber to consult the district’s attorney on this matter.
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17. Action- Approve the Willamette ESD Management of District Office Move
Dr. Robertson reported that the Bond Oversight Committee met this evening prior to the board meeting with representatives of Willamette ESD. It is the recommendation of the Bond Oversight Committee to approve Willamette ESD to manage the district office move and associated construction and that Heery be relieved of those management duties.
Dr. Robertson moved that the board approve the Willamette ESD to manage the district office move and associated construction and that Heery be relieved of those management duties. Mr. Ehrich seconded.
Dr. Stuber explained that when projects were prioritized out of the $750,000 the amount projected at that time for the district office move was $250,000. When Dull Olson Weekes came back to the Bond Oversight Committee the amount they projected was around $500,000. The committee found that unacceptable. Bill Leach from Willamette ESD informed the district that Willamette ESD did similar work for other districts and asked if the district would consider a proposal from them. The proposal was presented to the
committee tonight and the project was priced out at roughly $300,000. Within the bid there are some cost savings to be recognized by House Bill 1149 that would amount to about $12,000. There will be additional savings because some of the work will be done by Willamette ESD staff rather than contractors. Willamette ESD projects savings of another $40,000. This takes the cost down to $248,000, which is in the neighborhood of the original amount. The oversight committee is comfortable that the project can be done by Willamette ESD and is making that recommendation to the board. Dr. Stuber met with Heery and the architect and they have no problem backing out of the project.
Mrs. Freske asked if there could be a monthly report to the board on the project. Dr. Stuber said the timeline to move would be the last of March or first part of April.
19. Action, adopt resolution regarding Athletic passes
Dr. Robertson moved that whereas at its October 9, 2002 regular meeting, the Creswell School Board was made aware of the Oregon Government Standards and Practices Commission (OGSPC) Staff Opinion No. 00S-023 regarding improper dispensation and use of school event “passes”, including “Sky-Em Passes”; the Creswell School Board hereby resolves that school board members will not accept reduced or free admission to district events, when free or reduced admission is not made equally available to the public. Also, the
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Creswell School Board further resolves that the Creswell School District Administration is to assure district event admission practices for employees, are consistent and adhere with OGSPC Staff Opinion No. 00S-023. Mrs. Freske seconded.
Mr. Ehrich stated that he prefers a different approach. The resolution does not allow passes to be provided for board members working at an event.
Dr. Robertson said that he took the resolution language directly from the opinion. The OGSPC officer that he talked with said board members are not receiving free nor reduced admission if they are working. That opportunity is available to the public as well.
Mr. Ehrich thought the burden should be placed on the individual accepting a benefit not available to the public. If the passes are not provided will there be a provision if a board member is asked to attend an event as a board representative. Mrs. Dersham said you would have to be there for a specific purpose.
Dr. Robertson said accepting the pass is a mute point. It is accepting the benefit.
THE MOTION ADOPTING THE RESOLUTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
20. Discussion, High School Graduation Requirements
Dr. Robertson reported that the high school administration had requested that the policy committee revise the graduation requirement policy. The policy committee would like to recommend a work session for the entire board to review the issue. The policy committee would then develop a policy to be posted in December and adopted in January. Dr. Stuber suggested involving the high school site council. A work session would also give the public an opportunity for comment.
Mr. Honer expressed concern if changing the requirements would eliminate a teaching position. Dr. Stuber said that some of the changes would allow someone to work in the alternative school.
The board decided on a work session to be held on December 4 beginning at 6:00 P.M. in the high school library.
Board requests for December
Finance Committee Recommendation
Adopt the school calendar
OSBA Convention Report
Creslane Student Presentation
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ADJOURNMENT: The board meeting adjourned at 9:45 P.M.
Dr. Rick Stuber, Superintendent
Connie Dersham, Chair