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December 10, 2018 Board Minutes

Arapahoe-Holbrook Public School

Board of Education – Regular Meeting

Conference Room

December 10th, 2018 7:00 pm

 

President Dennis Roskop called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm.

 

President Roskop announced that the Arapahoe-Holbrook Board of Education follows the rules of the Open Meetings Act which is posted. 

 

The following members were present: Dan Warner, Chad Carpenter, Rodney Whipple, Dennis Roskop, Brad Schutz, and Lisa Anderson.

 

The following member(s) were absent: None.

 

Also present was Dr. George Griffith, Superintendent, Bob Braithwait, Principal, and Cassie Hilker, Board Secretary.  Visitors were present.

 

A motion was made by Whipple and seconded by Anderson to approve the agenda as presented.  AYES: Carpenter, Whipple, Roskop, Schutz, Anderson, and Warner.  Motion carried 6-0.

 

Roskop opened the meeting up to the visitors and asked for public comment.  Heidi Thomas presented the board with a brochure on a work-based learning program.  As of tomorrow she will be finished with this semester’s class and will be endorsed as a work-based learning instructor.  She is happy to provide more information if the board is interested in pursuing a work-based learning program for the district.  To get Perkins funds the district has to have an endorsed vocational teacher and the district will now have that.  We can have vocational programs which we do, but now we will be able to apply for additional funds.  The brochure shows some of the benefits of the program and the specific programs.  The school would have to create a work-based learning class and connect that to vendors within the community.  She is happy to answer any questions the board may have at any time.  Roskop asked if anyone had any questions.  No response.  Roskop stated that the board will review the information.  Whipple asked if Thomas was saying that we currently do not have an endorsed work-based learning teacher.  Braithwait confirmed that they do not currently have a work-based learning teacher.  Thomas stated that they will after tomorrow.  Schutz asked what classes some of the other schools are offering.  Thomas stated that she has not contacted the schools that already have the program about what classes they are offering.  The state provides a list of classes.  Large communities can provide a very diverse group of classes where a small community is more limited to a certain area, for example ag or tech.  They would have to decide if they wanted to be diverse or specific.  They would possibly be able to get funding for innovative programs.  There is a store in Cody-Kilgore that is run by their work-based learning program.  Braithwait stated that the grocery store in town had closed and because of the work-based learning program and the school it was re-opened.  It is run entirely by the work-based learning program students.  Roskop thanked Thomas for her presentation.  No other public comment.

 

REPORTS

 

Braithwait reported that the K-6 Christmas program was moved to December 17th at 7:00 pm.  It will be outstanding.  The 7-12 Christmas program will be tomorrow at 7:00 pm.  The Morning Preschool Open House will be on Monday, December 17th at 9:00 am and the Afternoon Preschool Christmas Program will be on December 19th at 2:00 pm.  The Christmas Moratorium for practices is December 22nd – 26th.  The school and gyms will be closed.  The Title I Audit is this year and will take place on December 13th.  He stated that himself, Mrs. Helms, Dr. Griffith and Cassie will be meeting with NDE to discuss the paperwork.  It went well last time and he is confident it will go well this time.  We were selected again this year by NAEP for the Nationwide Report Card.  It is an honor to be selected for this and we have been selected far more than our share and that is a good thing.  Paperwork is completed.  This will take place with our 4th and 8th graders in February.  The Girls Freshman/Sophomore Basketball Tournament was tonight.  It was nice to be able to run it in two different gyms.  We started it at 4:00 pm and his suggestion would be to start it at 5:30 pm next year.  This way practices could still be held after school and parents would not have as much time away from work.  It was over by 6:00 pm tonight.

 

Griffith reported that he is hoping that the sewer issues have been addressed at this time.  They pulled out some items.  He is not sure why it worked as long as it did and then clogged up two weeks in a row.  They did open up the ground to make sure there were no collapsed pipes and there wasn’t.  They filled it back in and then ran a larger snake through the pipes and it got stuck so they had to dig everything back up and cut the pipe.  Once they did that they were able to snake it at a straight shot.  He doesn’t think they would have the problem if it was a straight shot, but they had to make a turn to miss the water service line.  He would have preferred a 22 ½ degree elbow instead of a 45 degree elbow.  With the old concrete in the elementary wing, the flooring company was concerned about how it will turn out.  He told they to do their best to feather it with floor level and it will be acceptable and pouring new concrete will not guarantee better results.  He will be attending the Legislative Preview in Lincoln on Wednesday.  Mr. John Hansen with the Nebraska Farmers Union will speak regarding the property tax relief proposal from the Nebraskans United Coalition.  He received a form from them that explains a lot of misconceptions about farmers and provides a lot of good information.  He was highly educated from the document.  Nebraskans United is a group of education and farm/ag interests working together to find a solution to the property tax situation with an emphasis on protecting K-12 education.  He has been selected to participate in the Inaugural International Society for Technology in Education (STE) Digital Leadership Summit on January 18th – 20th in Santa Clara, California.  This comes with free registration, membership, two nights stay, and all meals.  He would only have to pay for the cost of a flight and an additional night at the hotel because the meetings will run late on Sunday.  He will be flying back on Monday, January 21st.  If he needs to he will take a couple vacation days.  They will be working on a local plan for our district.  They will have their Title I Audit on Thursday at 9:00 am.  Mrs. Helms pretty much has everything ready to go.  He thinks they need to look at the lighting situation.  Currently, it is set up with an external control company that controls all of the lights.  They claim it is too complicated for any of us to learn.  His recommendation is to make the controls manual and go with outside light sensors for the outside lights.  After the first year, they will have to start paying a fee to stay with the external control company.  They just don’t have as much control with the outside system as they would like.  They are still working on that.  Warner asked if they control all of the interior lights as well.  Griffith stated that they control gym lights.  The way the switches are set up is that once they are turned on they will stay on for four hours and they can’t shut them off.  They control outside lights and kitchen lights.  He would like to have more control of the lights and not have to pay a fee for the service.  Right now he does not see the service as beneficial.  Whipple asked if this was just for the new part.  Griffith stated that it is for the new part.  Schutz stated that the sooner they can get control of the lights the better.  Griffith thinks they may have us confused with Arapahoe, Colorado.  Warner asked who signed us up for the program.  Griffith stated that it was part of the construction project and through Clark Enersen.  Hilker asked how many days ahead would they have to notify the company that they do not want to renew the service.  Griffith stated that he would have to look at the contract for that information.  Warner asked if it could be terminated.  Griffith stated that the first year is free.  Schutz asked if the program is on a laptop or something.  Griffith stated that there is a little computer device that we can punch codes into and other information.  Some has to be done at the switch.  The gym lights we would have to call in to have the settings changed.  We have tried to get that corrected twice already.

 

Board Member Reports – Whipple stated that they attended the State Conference and it was a good conference.  He went to an Ag session.  High Plains School was presented and they are very aggressive.  They have a 10 acre plot that they take care of.  They have made arrangements with several vendors like High Plains John Deere, Valley, Orthman.  They come in and plant and till and they have a pivot.  They have livestock.  They do welding.  Carpenter stated that they have 72 students total in their high school and they have an Ag program that would rival Lincoln’s.  They have a no-till field going for the next five years and they have a company that will test the compaction.  They do a lot considering the size of school they have.  They have a one-tower pivot in their backyard that waters the lawn.  They have a community garden.  They have various livestock.  They have a very, very good Ag teacher and he would do anything.  Whipple stated that the teacher was originally from that area and returned.  It looks like they went around and made relationships with vendors in the area.  That got him thinking about the vendors in our area.  They did say it was self-supporting and that no money comes from the school.  The city brought them water to the pivot.  It was very impressive.  He went to a session on mental health in school systems.  He often wonders how beneficial things like this would be for our staff to hear.  Schutz asked who the speakers were for that.  Whipple stated that one of the speakers was a girl from Colorado, originally from Nebraska.  She started up a website called girlswithideas.com.  She had a lot of out of the box ideas.  She was a great speaker.  She keyed in on alternative methods.  An ESU in southeast Nebraska has been very proactive and is farming out a lady to many of the surrounding area schools.  They are identifying 70% suicide ideations, 60% trauma, and 55% family/peer.  He did think it was interesting that nothing was mentioned about safety, meaning the mental health of students wanting to harm people.  She replied that she had one.  67% of the educators feel unprepared on how to handle mental health situations.  He also attended a session on what is new from Washington and Lincoln.  They talked about SROs, property taxes, and marijuana/drugs in our school system.  They talked about transgender and how schools are dealing with it.  They talked about state aid and retirement and the 180 day sit out.  Immigration was a hot topic.  7.4% increase in state aid.  Kids that do not score high on a test would likely flourish in tech classes.  He thanked the district for allowing him to go.  He was also able to see the busses.  Anderson stated that she went to a session put on by the Hastings Board of Education.  They shared their boardology.  They discussed ways to be better collaborators with their school and district.  One was that the board has a Staff Appreciation Day where a board member(s) and the principal go around to each classroom and thanks the teacher for their hard work and service and gives them a little gift all in front of their class.  They used car wash tokens.  She thought they could come up with something and she told Griffith that she would be willing to do something like this.  Schutz stated that they used to do that.  Anderson stated that they also had one board member that was a legislative liaison.  This board member tries to develop a relationship with our legislative representative and has interaction.  They also talked about how they set goals at their board workshops.  They do five year goals, not one year goals.  She went to the Tech Showcase Friday morning and one class of 5th graders showed off all of the things they were doing with their iPads.  She asked Griffith if a teacher or two would come to our board meeting in January to show us some things they are doing with their iPads.  Whipple was very interested in that as well.  He shared some pictures he took of that event.  It was very interesting how in depth some of the grade schools are in programming and robotics.  Some invented space suits, virtual reality things.  It was phenomenal stuff.  Anderson stated that most of it was pretty inexpensive.  They had little cubes that were about $15 a piece and they were holograms.  They could put their iPads up to them and the cube will display it.  They had rubber drones that were about $50 that they could run with their iPads.  Carpenter stated that the session that got him was the one put on by a superintendent and his wife.  They talked about their son that committed suicide a couple of years ago.  It was very powerful.  Roskop stated that some of the sessions he attended were about curriculum based education and how there has been a shift in the last three years from pushing to get every kid to college.  They have taken a step back and realized that they still aren’t getting every kid to college.  Now they are moving towards getting students some career technical education.  If a student wants to get their CNA they can get the certification coming out of high school and they can get jobs right out of high school.  It also involves developing relationships with the community colleges and tech colleges more than the four year colleges.  It was very interesting.  They provided information on how to start the process.  The lady giving the presentation works for NASB and was from Elwood.  They now have a lot of the larger schools done and now they are trying to figure out how to incorporate it into smaller schools and communities.  They have moved from a school based setup to more of a regional based setup.  Local board members from area schools were also in attendance and he discussed working together to move forward with this concept and they were interested.  He attended the State Board Education session and they are still focusing on equality throughout; each student having an equal opportunity to education.  He believes they have a strong board and they are headed in the right direction.  They took questions from large schools and then had to answer the other side for the smaller schools.  They had main speakers that make us think about what we do and provide a different perspective.  He appreciated the opportunity to go and participate.  There are a lot of things that we can bring back and start in our school and we talk about a lot of those things when we go out to dinner.  This will help going into strategic planning and looking at where we are spending those dollars and how we are making sure we are spending them to the best of our ability to educate all of our students.

 

Board Committee Reports – Warner stated that the Negotiations Committee met with Griffith this past week and that will be discussed later on in tonight’s meeting.  He stated that the Transportation Committee met and that will also be discussed later on in tonight’s meeting.  Roskop stated that they had an OAC meeting a couple weeks ago.  They are getting closer and moving forward.  They are pushing and there are a lot of people in the school right now getting things done.  Next week we will have the punch list and we are going to start moving stuff in on the 14th.  It is moving forward and we are getting there.  They have released the music room back to us.  It sounds like everything is still on schedule with the time frame.  The Finance Committee met prior to the board meeting and had nothing to report.

 

ACTION ITEMS

 

A motion was made by Whipple and seconded by Carpenter to approve the Consent Agenda as presented.  AYES: Whipple, Roskop, Schutz, Anderson, Warner, and Carpenter.  Motion carried 6-0.

 

A motion was made by Schutz and seconded by Anderson to approve claims including the General Fund, Equipment Depreciation Fund, Lunch Fund, and Building Fund totaling $427,378.60.  AYES: Roskop, Schutz but abstaining from Claim No. 30287 to the Arapahoe Public Mirror for $878.47, Anderson, Warner, Carpenter but abstaining from Claim No. 30350 to W&J Repair for $318.75, and Whipple but abstaining from Claim No. 30290 to ATC for $351.85.  Motion carried 6-0.

 

Griffith stated that his last walk through of the building was this morning with the Advisory Committee.  They are getting a lot closer and things are looking pretty good.  It is coming together.  He recommends paying the Pay App.  Whipple stated that it states we are at 92.73% complete for the project.  A motion was made by Warner and seconded by Carpenter to approve the payment of the Hausmann Pay App #017 in the amount of $365,999.83.  AYES: Schutz, Anderson, Warner, Carpenter, Whipple, and Roskop.  Motion carried 6-0.

 

Griffith stated that Change Request #102 was basically for insurance repairs from the June 30th hail storm.  It includes rooftop unit exhaust fan covers, new alumaguard jacketing on rooftop units 3 and 4 exterior ductwork.  He recommends approval.  Schutz asked if any of this damage is close to the flat roof that we are having trouble with.  Griffith stated that it is, but it doesn’t cover the flat roof itself.  It covers the new rooftop units that had damage and the vents going into the gym that got damaged.  Schutz asked if one of the units sits on the flat roof.  Griffith stated that there are two units sitting on the new roof.  Roskop stated that this will be paid from the insurance money that was deposited into the building fund last month.  A motion was made by Whipple and seconded by Warner to approve Change Request #102 in the amount of $13,948.47.  AYES: Anderson, Warner, Carpenter, Whipple, Roskop, and Schutz.  Motion carried 6-0.

 

Griffith presented Change Order #001.  These are items that were approved and since we have depleted the contingency fund these items are in addition to the total price of the project bringing it to $10,940,512.06.  Whipple asked if Griffith could explain the costs associated with the hail damage line item on the change order.  Griffith stated that since there was a claim on the construction project the repairs are run through the construction project as well.  It is technically added to the total amount, but they did get an insurance check for $386,000.  Roskop stated that the line item Whipple is asking about is the windows that were on site and damaged during the June 30th hail storm that had to be replaced.  A motion was made by Schutz and seconded by Carpenter to approve Change Order #001 in the amount of $91,788.06.  AYES: Warner, Carpenter, Whipple, Roskop, Schutz, and Anderson.  Motion carried 6-0.

 

Griffith presented Change Order #002 and stated that it is for an additional $35,201.01.  This change order will bring the total cost of the project to $10,975,713.07.  Anderson asked about the substantial completion date showing as 12/14/2018.  She asked how they came up with that date and if they thought they would be all done by then.  Roskop stated that substantial completion doesn’t mean that they are completely done with the work.  It means that they are done enough to turn over the building and allow us to move things in.  Anderson asked if that date is also when the one year warranty starts.  Griffith confirmed it was.  A motion was made by Schutz and seconded by Whipple to approve Change Order #002 in the amount of $35,201.01.  AYES: Carpenter, Whipple, Roskop, Schutz, Anderson, and Warner.  Motion carried 6-0.

 

Griffith presented a surplus list with various items primarily located in the high school.  The items on this list are items that could be demolished on January 14th if not sold.  The last item listed is salvage rights.  The buyer must provide proof of liability before they will be allowed access to the building for the removal of items.  The salvage rights means that they can come in and remove doors, windows, lights, plumbing and other fixtures, basically anything that is not sold or removed by us.  These items are already ready to go on the Auction Time Website, they just need to have them declared as surplus.  Schutz asked if there was a certain date for inspection set so people can come in and look at what they are bidding on.  Griffith stated that all of the information will be available online.  Schutz asked if they were not allowing physical inspection.  Griffith stated that he would have to check on that.  Schutz stated that if they are interested in the salvage rights they will need to come in to inspect it to know what they are bidding on.  Griffith agreed.  Warner stated that all of the items on this surplus list have to be removed by 1/11/19 and asked how that will be scheduled.  Roskop stated that they have to set a date for the auction.  Schutz asked when the auction is going to be.  Griffith stated that as soon as he knows the surplus list is approved the date will be set.  Tammie Middagh stated that there is going to be an ad in this week’s newspaper with all of this information.  Griffith stated that it will run pending approval from tonight’s meeting.  He stated that Hamel is aware that Griffith will be calling him to confirm everything tomorrow morning.  Whipple asked if the ad will have all of the information about where to go on the Auction Time website.  Griffith stated that it would.  Roskop asked if the ad states that the school will not be held liable if they are injured while removing items.  Griffith stated that they have to have proof of liability.  Roskop stated that the buyer’s proof of liability covers the buyer if they damage something while removing the item they purchased.  Our liability will still be in force if someone gets hurt while they are taking it out.  He asked if there is language in there saying that they will not hold the school at fault if they are injured while removing the goods they purchased.  Griffith stated that is the purpose of the statement included that states the buyer must provide proof of liability before access is granted.  Roskop re-iterated that does not mean they are covered if they get injured on our property.  That statement means that if they damage something that is not theirs they are liable for that.  We need a right of waiver from all buyers.  Just because the buyer has liability coverage does not mean that if they get injured while on our property that it would not be under our coverage.  We need to have a right of waiver for them to come onto our property to take our stuff.  That also needs to be included in the auction and on the ads.  Schutz stated that he thinks it needs to be included in the motion as well.  Roskop doesn’t disagree that the buyer needs to also provide proof of liability insurance in case they damage something else while on our property.  He agrees with that.  He asked if the salvage rights are sold all in one.  Griffith confirmed that they were.  Schutz asked if the district was responsible for removing all of the Freon from the compressors being sold.  Griffith stated that is included in the contract of the demolition.  They are actually going to pull it back and seal it off so it remains in the unit.  Whipple asked if there are any other risks by having them tear things out of that building, specifically asbestos.  Griffith stated that based on the last inspection they are supposed to be asbestos free.  Roskop asked if this includes everything that is in the bus barn.  Griffith stated that it did not.  The reason for that is because there is so much stuff that needs to be gone through and put on a surplus list.  Roskop asked if this list is just getting the stuff out of the high school so that they can tear it down.  Griffith confirmed it was.  Roskop added plus a couple vehicles.  Griffith agreed.  Hilker asked if salvage rights was for only inside of the high school.  Griffith confirmed it was.  He stated that they also have a tractor they own that is not running that he was thinking about adding to the list.  A lot of electronics are messed up on it, but he added that it could be put on the next list.  Schutz asked if the fee to Hamel’s is a percentage of the sales.  Griffith stated that the fee is 20% of sales plus 5% for processing payments.  Schutz asked if that fee was straight through and if there was a maximum or minimum.  Griffith stated that there is a minimum, but not a maximum.  Schutz asked what the minimum was.  Griffith stated that it was $2,500.  A motion was made by Anderson and seconded by Warner to approve the surplus list as presented with the addition of the right to waiver verbiage.  Whipple stated that it makes him nervous but he is for it.  Schutz asked what the date was for the demolition.  Griffith stated that it is scheduled for the week of January 14th.  Roskop stated that the building will be set up to be non-functional the week of January 7th.  They will come in then to shut off water and gas.  Leising will also have to do some precautionary things to ensure they don’t damage the shop.  Schutz stated that he has no idea what these items will bring, but has concerns about the fee structure.  If this sale brings $9,000 and then the other sale brings $9,000 and it is a $2,500 each time.  Griffith stated that it is not for each sale.  The contract is for everything.  This is just the first list that he can get on due to the timeframe.  Schutz asked if we are guaranteeing him $2,500 for two sales or as many as we want to have.  Griffith stated that it is just for two sales.  It is all set up to be one sale but he said we would start with these items due to the timeframe and then finish up with the other items.  Roskop clarified that Hamel has agreed to 20% of sale of all items and a minimum of $2,500.  Warner added that it also has no sunset on final completion.  Griffith stated that he is not aware of a sunset but he will call him to make sure.  Warner stated that they may not get around to having another sale until the fall.  Griffith stated that he hopes it is sooner than that because they need the bus barn back.  He has been out there scanning all of the inventory items.  Warner stated that he doesn’t know the value of a lot of these things.  Griffith stated that having the sale online is beneficial because there are people that have rentals that are interested in these kinds of items for their properties.  AYES: Whipple, Roskop, Schutz, Anderson, Warner, and Carpenter.  Motion carried 6-0.

 

Griffith shared a document showing the 124 students the district is required to provide transportation for and the 106 students the district is not required to transport.  The committee discussed one route that could be combined with another route.  They also discussed leasing busses.  One idea that was talked about was leasing a couple busses now and then another couple later on.  The payments will go up and rates are uncertain so he got quotes on leasing four big busses and two mid-busses.  One quote was for four big propane busses and two gas mid-busses.  The original lease payment over five years was going to be over $100,000, but after including trade-in of our busses the payment is down to $90,797 per year for five years.  Propane busses are higher.  He was brought information about having an on-site propane tank and that cost was around $20,000.  He could contract propane at $1.35.  Roskop asked if they have anyone certified to fill the propane busses.  Carpenter stated that certification is no longer required.  They looked at them at the state conference.  They have automatic vents and vent themselves.  Most stations where they would fill up will shut off as soon as the tank is full.  They come with two adapters, one for the old style and one for the new style.  They will not get as good of fuel mileage as the diesels, but they can contract propane at $1.35 per gallon and get a $0.38 rebate at the end of the year.  Schutz asked who they would get the rebate from.  Carpenter stated that it is from the government.  Schutz asked if it was federal or state.  Carpenter stated that it was federal.  He stated that he and Stonerook talked to Loomis who recently switched over to propane busses and they really like them.  They went to Norfolk and back on one tank of fuel.  Their local Coop comes out to fill the busses once per week and more if needed for other travel needs.  Schutz asked if there was anywhere to fill in Arapahoe.  Carpenter stated that there was not and they would have to fill in Edison.  Whipple stated that there is an app to let drivers know where propane filling stations are located.  Carpenter stated that at a lot of the stations they will have a guy come out and fill the busses up for them.  He stated that Loomis loves their busses.  They are quiet and have been maintenance free so far.  There is a guy in Kearney that can work on them now.  Whipple stated that the warranty work can be done on site.  Carpenter stated that propane doesn’t get as good of mileage, but they are going to turn the two mid-busses into gas instead of diesel.  Warner stated that with this proposal the district will still maintain ownership of one big bus and one mid-bus.  Griffith agreed and stated that they will keep the 2016 bus and the 2010 mid-bus for spares.  Carpenter stated that the 2010 mid-bus is handicap ready.  Schutz asked what busses they would be trading in.  Carpenter stated that they will trade in 2014A, 2014B, 2003, 2004, 2004 mid-bus, and 2006 mid-bus.  Griffith stated that it is six for six.  Tyler Cox stated that some vendors will include a fueling station in their contracted price of propane and those prices would be higher and around $1.45.  He has contacts that he would be happy to share with the board when the time comes for that.  Griffith appreciated the information and was glad to hear it.  Cox stated that the lease has the annual payments and then at the end of the term there is a balloon payment that would be paid if the district wants to keep the busses.  The district is not obligated to buy the busses.  The buyout is optional.  Whipple stated that is a little different than what they thought in the committee meeting.  He thought they would be paid off in the five years.  Schutz asked what that buyout would be and he asked if there were any mileage limitations.  Cox stated that the mileage is limited to 15,000 miles per year per bus and the buyout would roughly be the same amount as a payment.  Carpenter stated that Stonerook’s bus drove about 13,000 miles last year.  Cox stated that they base that amount off of bus values in five years with 75,000 miles on them.  For a lot of the schools they have been giving them a little more of a trade in value at the end to incentivize them into signing another lease.  Schutz asked if it would be all or nothing.  He asked if they would have to turn all of the busses back in or keep all of the busses.  Cox stated that it is not all or nothing.  The district could pick the two they like and go from there.  Whipple asked about the incentive.  Cox stated they would rather have the busses back and they usually offer about 10-15% of the trade in value at the end.  Griffith stated that all of the leased busses would be under warranty during the five year lease term.  Cox agreed.  The transmission is a seven year warranty with unlimited miles.  The transmission warranty is the only warranty that will outlive the lease.  He stated that he spec’d the busses the exact same way as the diesel only with propane.  One way they make up a little ground on fuel is by setting the transmission to an economy shift.  Roskop asked if the recommendation of the transportation committee is to move forward with the lease.  The committee members confirmed that was their recommendation.  Whipple stated that there was also discussion of eliminating a route.  Carpenter stated that they also talked about centralizing pickups so that they are not going door to door.  Schutz stated that he saw on Griffith’s sheet that some kids get on the bus at 6:45 am.  Warner agreed that is a big day and stated that they can’t afford to run extra routes to shorten their days either.  Schutz understood.  Warner stated that it is unfortunate and stated that some of the routes chase each other around and they aren’t very efficient that way.  Schutz stated that he went through Holbrook this morning at 7:05 am and saw an Arapahoe bus and he came back through at 7:30 am and saw a bus from a neighboring district.  He then wondered if that had anything to do with students deciding which district they will attend.  Roskop stated that they are probably picking up at the times they are to get students to breakfast.  Schutz agreed but stated that the kids going to the other district are probably eating breakfast as well.  He was just wondering how they were doing it.  Braithwait stated that it might be the other end of the route too.  Griffith stated that they quit going to Cambridge and the route that picks up in Holbrook also picks up kids in town on the southwest side of the highway.  Whipple stated that at the committee meeting they discovered that the district is paying about $2,200 per student in transportation.  They are also trying to be fiscally responsible.  Warner stated that those were some rough numbers that included all transportation, activities, fuel, etc.  It wasn’t just route costs.  Carpenter stated that the repairs from the year before to last year jumped $31,000.  Whipple stated that he would like to get as many students as they could get.  He did ask about the fiscal gains and losses.  Griffith stated that they used to just go to the four corners and he thinks it was changed during Curnyn’s time.  He stated that looking at enrollment numbers over the last five years they have stayed relatively flat.  Right now they go house to house in Beaver City and that takes time.  Schutz stated that could easily be changed by making a central pickup location.  Hilker stated that they also go house to house in town too.  Schutz stated that it has gotten to be a bit ridiculous.  They need to get some efficiencies.  Roskop stated that part of that started with preschool.  The preschool policy says that they will pick them up and drop them off.  Griffith stated that time could be saved by having a central drop off on the southwest side of Arapahoe and the southeast side of Arapahoe.  Roskop stated that the other concern was kids crossing the highway.  Griffith stated that to combine a route they are looking at going back to how it used to be and getting the Beaver City kids at the four corners.  Anderson asked if they were required to pick up preschoolers if it wasn’t in policy.  Griffith stated that they are required to provide transportation for special ed students.  Anderson stated that her kids were at the beginning of the preschool time and they weren’t picked up and dropped off.  It didn’t start out that way.  Whipple stated that they are only required to provide transportation to students in the district.  Schutz stated that he doesn’t have any arguments with this proposal, but they have to talk more about administration down the road and he is wondering how they pay for all of this.  We keep doing extra and he doesn’t think they can keep raising taxes.  There has to be an offset somewhere.  There is talk about wanting to hire two administrators and how do we pay for that and where is the offset.  Griffith stated that he has some recommendations under personnel in discussion.  Warner stated that he agrees with Schutz and stated that if they follow the transportation rotation schedule previously established they would be buying a bus or two every year.  We can get into this lease and build that budget in over a five year period of time and eliminate our repairs.  In the long run if they can keep this number down and in five years time they aren’t looking at $120,000 per year for a lease this could save the district some money since our fleet is so old.  They would probably need to update something every one of the five years.  Carpenter stated that they spent $59,594 in repairs and the majority of it was on three busses.  Griffith stated that the propane busses do take less oil during an oil change.  Cox stated that he did bring information about the propane busses.  There is a lot of information.  The first couple of pages go over who Blue Bird is and who Roush is and how the propane system works.  The last couple of pages show the cost savings of a propane versus a diesel.  There is the fuel savings, but there is also savings in oil.  The propane takes 7 ½ quarts of oil during an oil change where the diesels take about 24 quarts.  There are no fuel filters and no DEF system.  A lot of the maintenance headaches are eliminated with this bus.  Some positive feedback they get about these busses is the environmental impact is less and they are very quiet.  The information provided talks a lot about the advantages of propane over diesel in the long run.  Anderson asked if things like replacing lights, batteries, heater blower motor would be covered under the lease.  Cox stated that those items would be covered.  The heater blower would be covered under the warranty.  The lights are LED and they will likely last longer than the lease, but if they are smashed that is on the district.  The batteries have a seven year warranty so that would outlive the lease as well.  There are many benefits to going with a lease.  The thing that scares some is that they don’t own the busses at the end, but a district can plan and budget better with a lease.  Anderson asked Carpenter if they can change the oil.  Carpenter stated that they can change the oil, but if any warranty work needs to be done they would call Blue Bird and they would send their mechanic here to fix it.  We wouldn’t have to get the bus to them.  Schutz asked how many miles they could go until an oil change.  Cox stated that the recommended oil change mileage is every 5,000 miles.  The oil is synthetic.  He met Stonerook when he came down to evaluate the busses for trade in.  One thing that Blue Bird and Roush do is provide service training.  They can be sent on Blue Bird’s dime to get trained.  Anderson asked if the fuel tax credit was the only government incentive.  Cox agreed.  Every once in a while there are grants, but often they can’t be done on more than one bus or on a lease.  The $0.38 per mile rebate is the best one to take advantage of.  Schutz asked if the $1.35 quote was from the local Coop.  Griffith stated that it was and he got it from Stonerook on Friday.  Other schools are looking at moving to propane and he is fairly certain that Roush will be here when the busses are delivered to go through them with the drivers.  Schutz asked if Cox’s company was the only one that put in a bid.  Griffith stated that they were the only company that would do a lease.  He heard back from Master’s today, but they are not willing to do anything with propane.  Cox asked who they talked to at Loomis.  Carpenter stated that they talked to the superintendent.  Cox stated that they have a Thomas propane bus and they are itching to get rid of it.  Carpenter stated that they told them not to waste their money on a Thomas propane bus.  Cox stated that Roush is contracted with Blue Bird, Schwans, and the Domino’s pizza delivery vehicles with the ovens built into them.  Schutz asked when the busses would show up and when the lease would start.  Cox stated that on any bus order they are looking at about a 90 – 120 day delivery time.  The big busses were quoted with air conditioning which is an add on that adds another 2 – 3 weeks.  The district could expect the busses around the end of the school year.  Griffith asked when the first payment would be due.  Cox stated that the payment would be due on receipt.  The finance company will be working with the district before the busses arrive.  Anderson asked how long they have been in business.  Cox stated that Nebraska Central has been in business for 38 years.  Blue Bird has been in business about 126 years.  The partnership with Roush for propane goes back about 5 years.  Schutz asked who the leasing company is.  Cox stated that the in-house leasing department is partnered with Wells Fargo.  He did shop around and the Wells Fargo in-house had the best rate.  They quoted 4.2% and the others came in at 4.99%.  A motion was made by Carpenter and seconded by Whipple to approve the leasing of 4 big propane busses and 2 gas mid-busses over a five year term and trading in 2014A, 2014B, 2003, 2004, 2004 mid-bus, and 2006 mid-bus.  AYES: Roskop, Schutz, Anderson, Warner, Carpenter, and Whipple.  Motion carried 6-0.

 

A motion was made by Schutz and seconded by Carpenter to enter into executive session at 8:43 pm for the purpose of negotiations.  AYES: Schutz, Anderson, Warner, Carpenter, Whipple, and Roskop.  Motion carried 6-0.

 

A motion was made by Warner and seconded by Schutz to exit executive session at 9:08 pm.

 

A motion was made by Warner and seconded by Carpenter to approve the superintendent contract as presented.  Roskop stated that the State of Nebraska abides by the Superintendent Transparency Act.  The contract term will run from July 2019 thru June 2021.  The total salary increased from $111,000 per year to $122,000 with all other benefits staying the same except for eliminating the cell phone stipend of $35.00 per month.  AYES: Schutz, Anderson, Warner, Carpenter, Whipple, and Roskop.  Motion carried 6-0. 

 

DISCUSSION ITEMS

 

Griffith shared the proposed mission statement with the board that the staff recommends.  Schutz asked where this would be printed.  Griffith stated that it would go into board policy, the handbooks, and it is part of the school improvement plan.  They have one more meeting before it goes for approval.  Roskop stated that it will be an action item at the next board meeting.

 

Griffith shared the bullying policy.  He stated that this is the second reading.  It needs to be reviewed annually independently of other policies.  This is what we got from Perry Law and is what he would recommend for approval at the next board meeting.  Roskop asked if they are required to have public comment on this policy.  Griffith stated that they will at the next meeting.  Roskop stated that they need to set that prior to the regular meeting.  Griffith stated that they need to have that meeting notice in the paper as well.

 

Griffith stated that he reviewed the Extracurricular Drug Testing Program Policy more in depth and made some recommended changes.  He needs to visit with Braithwait on some of them.  The big change is that the policy will be in effect starting the first day of fall activity practices and ends the last day of the state competition of spring activities.  The next change is under “Second Offense” and it was just a legal terminology change.  The Third Offense requires the student to obtain an assessment and comply with the assessment recommendations within 90 days.  The Fourth Offense states that the student will be ineligible for one year without any chance to reduce the term of ineligibility.  He ran into a situation where a student was ineligible and cleaned his act up but couldn’t participate because the policy stated two years.  He prefers to give kids every chance to walk the straight line.  Braithwait stated that he researched the RPAC schools and the area schools that they compete against.  He stated that there are 11 out of 24 schools that are currently drug testing.  There are 7 or 8 that are looking to implement something in the next year or two.  There are 3 or 4 that aren’t looking at it at all.  Whipple stated that he attended a session at the state conference where they talked about marijuana primarily.  They believe that marijuana will be legal in the state of Nebraska in the next 2 – 3 years.  Roskop added for medical purposes.  Whipple stated that was even debatable during the discussion.  They thought medical for sure, but did discuss recreational.  He asked the Perry Law lawyer how many schools in the state of Nebraska have a policy like this and the lawyer told Whipple that less than 18% of the schools in the state of Nebraska have a policy like this.  He asked about the proponents for a policy like this.  The lawyer asked Whipple what our current policy is and he asked if we have identified a problem.  Whipple asked what we do today.  Griffith stated that every school district had to adopt something and we did that but we don’t have any guidelines established.  We do alcohol testing of all students coming into a dance, but that is all students and it is not random.  They did have an attempted selling of marijuana.  It ended up not being marijuana, but the intent was there.  They have had students indicate that this is needed.  Braithwait stated that he had three seniors come to him about this in the fall.  They told him that we have a massive problem even in the junior high.  A mother last week came in very upset that her child got marijuana from another student.  It wasn’t on school grounds so there wasn’t anything he could do about it.  It evolved into a different situation where it wasn’t a student that they got it from.  He is just dealing with more and more of these kinds of situations.  Whipple stated that they are here to educate.  He asked if they are holding assemblies and asked what else they are doing to educate kids about the use of drugs and alcohol.  Braithwait stated that they had DeMoine Adams in and he talked to kids about drugs and alcohol and cyber-bullying.  Hilker asked what grades he talked to.  Braithwait stated that he talked to grades 5 – 12.  His feel is that they have some younger kids that are involved in this and even if they do legalize it there will still be an age limit.  He wants the transition to go as smooth as possible and if he can make it smoother by implementing this policy now that is great.  If this is something that the board isn’t sure he is fine with that to.  If he was still going to be here he would be a stronger proponent of getting this implemented.  Whipple stated that a proponent would be detection and intervention because we care about our kids.  Braithwait agreed.  Whipple stated that we also want a successful atmosphere and no peer pressure.  He doesn’t want the feeling that every time something is presented to the board that they always have to say yes.  He wants to make sure that they consider the opponent side of things.  One is that extracurricular activities deter kids from getting into trouble.  Warner stated that he doesn’t think this will reach the kids that have issues with this.  He would like to add study hall to the extracurricular activities somehow.  This way if we suspect there is a problem they can do something.  Whipple stated that this is a difficult issue.  He doesn’t want to speak up and sound like he is a proponent for illicit drug use, but he is also a proponent for the fourth amendment.  He wants to make sure that they recognize what the fourth amendment does.  Braithwait stated that it is no different than alcohol.  Whipple stated that it depends on what drug they are talking about.  Braithwait stated that now they test for alcohol.  Whipple stated that he didn’t hear that was their policy.  He thinks that they need a policy to follow if they suspect alcohol and drug use.  One that allows them to take action, not necessarily a random drug policy.  He agrees that it may not even touch the ones that need the help.  We are aware that harder drugs leave the system within 24 hours.  Now we may be identifying a drug that doesn’t leave the system for months.  He isn’t a proponent for any of that.  He wants to make sure that they don’t deter kids.  He is not worried about the kids that aren’t going to get into trouble; he is worried about the ones that are on the edge.  He is worried about the ones that may choose not to participate because such a policy exists.  Braithwait stated that is a great point.  Griffith stated that is why he created more outs for kids so they have the chance to come back in.  He also wants to increase and make sure they are covering the education side of things in Family & Consumer classes and Health classes.  That should definitely be our focus more than anything.  Whipple agrees with that.  Braithwait stated that he understands Whipple’s argument and stated that he has been tossing this idea around for the last three years.  The motivation is to get more kids involved and hoping that if they want to be involved they realize that they need to clean up their act.  He also hates to think that they are deterring kids from the possibility of being involved by having this.  He never thought about that.  Whipple stated that athletes and musicians should be looked up to and held to a higher standard.  He also thinks that faculty and staff should be as well, but they aren’t talking about that.  Braithwait stated that is a negotiated item, but he would be for that.  Whipple stated that we put our children here all day long and we are going to test the kids but not the adults in charge of them.  Hilker stated that she agrees that if they are going to hold kids accountable for something like this they need to do the same for staff.  Griffith stated that he has always had the philosophy that what we expect of our youngest we should also expect of our oldest and even the board.  Whipple stated that his main concern is the kids that may choose not to participate and maybe that is not even a number in this size of school.  Braithwait stated that is the strongest argument as an opponent and he never thought about it.  He was thinking more along the lines that they could get kids to clean up so they could be a part of something.  He doesn’t want to lose one kid because of this.  Whipple stated that an Uncle brought it to his attention.  He was a master of taking those kids and getting them to participate.  It is just something to consider.  Braithwait stated that there may be other ways to reach those kids without this.  He also wants this on the table for these discussions.  Whipple stated that 18% or less have this policy in place in Nebraska.  Griffith stated that he agrees with Warner’s study hall comment.  He thinks they need to continue looking at something that will address this in a different way and they will work on that.

 

Public Comment – Roskop stated that Heidi gave the board a brochure to discuss.  Griffith stated that what she presented goes along with the reVision process and other things they have been discussing in the area of career and technical education.  Work-study and job-shadowing are two options.  A lot of it is looking at what we can do and what we can offer.  They have been looking at the CNA option and trying to find a way to work it out.  Unfortunately, some of the community colleges make it far more difficult.  One option they can look at is partnering with the local Good Samaritan since they already have the program.  They could look at giving the kids a period or an extended period to go there and get that education for school credit and get their CNA certification.  CNA’s make pretty good money.  They are also looking at adding a couple of math classes for college credit and that leads into other career opportunities.  There is a discounted program that we can get for 3 years for our K-6 grades.  The kids can go in every week or every two weeks and do a lesson on different careers.  This would help drive their focus.  Schutz asked about the camera systems on the new busses.  Griffith stated that the camera systems in the old busses are rather ineffective.  The new ones that we bought will be taken out and installed in the new busses.  Schutz asked if they have received any applications for the principal position.  Griffith stated that he has received about 8 or 9 applications.  There are a couple of high quality candidates on paper anyway.  Schutz stated that there were some questions in the board packet.  Griffith stated that he provided questions for the board to review so they can start thinking about what questions they would like to ask the applicants.  Schutz asked when the deadline was for applications.  Griffith stated the application deadline is December 21st.  Roskop stated that interviews will be scheduled the week of January 14th

 

A motion was made by Roskop and seconded by Carpenter to enter into executive session at 9:34 pm.  AYES: Anderson, Warner, Carpenter, Whipple, Roskop, and Schutz.  Motion carried 6-0.

 

A motion was made by Carpenter and seconded by Whipple to exit executive session at 10:18 pm.

 

Roskop stated that they continued the discussion about staffing.  They will continue to do what is best for our staff.  They will probably look very strongly at this during the Strategic Planning Meeting in January.

 

Americanism Committee Meeting, Monday, December 10th, 2018 following the Regular Board Meeting.

Finance Committee Meeting, Monday, January 14th, 2019 at 6:00 pm in the Conference Room.

Anti-Bullying Policy Review Hearing, Monday, January 14th, 2019 at 6:45 pm in the Conference Room.

Regular Board Meeting, Monday, January 14th, 2019 at 7:00 pm in the Conference Room.

 

A motion was made by Whipple and seconded by Carpenter to adjourn the meeting at 10:19 pm.

 

 

 

 

________________________

Respectfully submitted,

Cassie Hilker, Boa