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January 14, 2019 Board Minutes

Arapahoe-Holbrook Public School

Board of Education – Special Meeting – Principal Interview with Ms. Kimberly Ide

Conference Room

January 14th, 2019 4:25 pm

 

President Dennis Roskop called the meeting to order at 4:28 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: Chad Carpenter, Rodney Whipple, Dennis Roskop, Brad Schutz, and Lisa Anderson.

 

The following member(s) were absent: Dan Warner.

 

Also present was Dr. George Griffith, Superintendent, Cassie Hilker, Board Secretary, and Principal Interview Candidate Ms. Kimberly Ide.  No other visitors were present.

 

A motion was made by Carpenter and seconded by Schutz to excuse the absence of Warner.  AYES: Carpenter, Whipple, Roskop, Schutz, and Anderson.  Motion carried 5-0.

 

A motion was made by Whipple and seconded by Anderson to approve the agenda as presented.  AYES: Whipple, Roskop, Schutz, Anderson, and Carpenter.  Motion carried 5-0.

 

INTERVIEW

 

Roskop asked Ide how she deals with bullying.  Ide stated that bullying is different in different degrees.  The consequences are different based on the bullying behavior that has taken place.  A waiver should not be given for the first bullying offense.  A consequence should be given right away when the bullying occurs.  Schutz asked Ide what she has done to address school safety in regards to threats like drugs, alcohol, guns or irate parents and what can she bring to improve our school policy.  Ide stated that she and Griffith spoke about this earlier.  She stated that she has been a principal in two different schools.  At one of the schools she had an irate parent come in and they were able to access the building because they were buzzed into the first door.  They added a second door to keep them from accessing the whole building.  She thinks that is a concern here.  Once they are buzzed in that first door the second door should remain locked.  That way if there is a threat it can be stopped right there.  Whipple asked Ide if she has experienced any safety issues beyond parent issues.  Ide stated that she has had guns brought to school.  She used a resource officer to help take care of that situation.  They then ran through the whole school to make sure no other weapons were on site.  Whipple asked if she had any experience with bringing drug dogs in.  Ide stated that she has not dealt with bringing drug dogs in.  Griffith stated that Ide’s grade level has been in the lower grades.  Ide agreed and stated that they would be surprised what goes on.  Carpenter asked Ide what the major qualities are that she seeks in a teacher and how would she help them if they were struggling.  Ide stated that she looks for someone that wants to learn and doesn’t think they know everything already.  She used to be an Instructional Coach for one of her Districts and had an Instructional Coach.  She would observe teachers frequently and find the ones that are struggling and then model and coach and teach with them to improve their instruction.  Schutz asked if an Instructional Coach was like being a mentor.  Ide stated that it is kind of like a mentor.  Whipple asked Ide about the use of technology for instruction.  Ide stated that she has experience with technology and instruction, but she is sure some of the kids at the school have more skills than she does.  If she was to model and coach with a teacher using technology that is something she would have to work on.  When she coaches with teachers she does a lot of research to make sure she is correct.  Whipple asked if any of the books at her previous schools were online for the kids.  Ide stated that they were online.  Whipple stated that something they are proud of here at the school is that they are 1 to 1 K thru 12.  Ide stated that she asked about that and was impressed that it is all the way through Kindergarten.  Anderson asked Ide what her greatest professional strength is.  Ide stated that her greatest professional strength is professional development.  She has done a lot with professional development over the years.  She thinks that she brings an interesting approach to it in that she wants to engage the teachers and make them feel like they are a part of it.  Sometimes professional development has a negative feel to it for teachers and that is not how she approaches professional development.  It is very much engaged.  The teachers are the experts and we just have to get the information we want out of them.  Her greatest weakness is that she has stacks of stuff on her desk.  If she puts it away she might forget it so it has to be left out.  Schutz asked for more specific information on what she does for professional development.  Ide stated that it is teacher training.  When she observes teachers she is looking for specific things.  Based on those findings we may be strong in some areas and not so much in other areas and that is what she focuses her professional development on.  Schutz asked Ide about tenuring teachers.  He asked if she has ever gotten to a point where the teacher just isn’t getting it.  Ide stated that she has had that happen and has had to let teachers go.  Whipple asked Ide what her three best leadership qualities are and to describe a situation where one of these qualities was exemplified.  Ide stated that she is fair, kind and has a policy of no drama.  The quality of no drama was exemplified when the new school was created that she went into.  The teachers were not happy about going into that new school.  It was something forced upon them and the families by the District.  She had a very open door policy where people could come in and vent their frustrations but also sending back out why they are here and that this is the right thing to do and with this change we can provide the best service.  Her last employer put in his letter of reference that she ran a no drama school.  In her opinion they are there for kids and not to cause drama.  Roskop asked Ide to describe her philosophy on discipline.  Ide stated that discipline should be fair but some people have had many chances for fairness and then you have to take it from where it is.  We really need to get to know kids.  Know their home life and know what is going on with them so that they are disciplined correctly.  Discipline doesn’t always mean something negative.  As an example, she had a student that visited her office frequently and through her discussions with that student she found out that the home life wasn’t that good.  She set up where that student would visit with her in the morning, she would check on him during the day where he could see her, and then they would visit at the end of the day.  Those techniques kept that student out of her office for other reasons.  Sometimes discipline is bringing about the positive.  Schutz asked Ide what the principal should expect from teachers and staff.  Ide stated that they come to work every day ready to make a difference in children’s lives.  That is what they are here for.  They are here to educate them but to also make a difference in their lives either educationally or developmentally or in any way possible.  Anderson asked Ide what teachers and staff should expect of the principal.  Ide stated that they have an open door policy and that fairness is applied to all policies.  Carpenter asked Ide what changes she has made in her school since becoming a principal.  Ide stated that she changed the literacy program in their school.  With the new mandates from the state about failing students they needed to apply a new way of doing literacy so that they met the needs of the failing students.  She developed a program so that those failing students got an extra 30 minutes per day with Para support to increase their literacy skills.  Griffith asked Ide if that was the MTSS model.  Ide stated that it was the MTSS model.  Griffith stated that MTSS stands for Multi-Tiered System of Support.  Whipple asked if there are annual goals established for current staff and if so how are they determined and how are they achieved.  Ide stated that they definitely have annual goals established by the staff.  They will make their annual goal and then they sit down with her and they review the goal together.  If she feels like their goal is not quite where it should be she will add another goal for the staff member.  When she meets with them for their formal evaluation they are to bring information on how they have moved towards their goal.  At that point they decide if the goal needs to be changed or stay the same and what steps need to be taken to meet that goal.  Whipple asked Ide what she does if a staff member does not meet their goal.  Ide stated that she sits down with the staff member and they re-visit the goal and find a different way to meet the goal.  It could be professional support from someone else or herself.  They look at the steps taken towards the unmet goal and then determine what steps to add to meet the goal.  Schutz asked Ide if they determine or establish a goal by test results or something else.  Ide stated that it can differ by teacher.  If test scores are really low then test scores are something she would put in there.  Otherwise, she likes for them to choose something that they can personally relate to.  Griffith asked what part of her philosophy she would insist on.  Ide stated that she would insist that all children be treated fairly.  It is easy to say, but not easy to do.  She wants them to have fair access to the same education being that they deliver instruction so that they can get it.  That may mean a teachers instruction may have to change and that is what needs to happen.  Roskop asked Ide how she has helped teachers and staff improve student achievement on measures such as state assessments, local assessments, college or career preparedness.  Ide stated that she likes to use MAP data which is reading data.  They take the baseline data and within that they look at where each student falls within that data.  It is a requirement that the data be shared with the parent at conferences.  They then take those gaps and look at it within the program and it shows what areas students did well in and what areas need work.  The teachers then break down what students fall in what areas and then they drive their instruction for those students in those areas.  They track the data as they take the tests.  Roskop asked how many times per year they did MAP testing.  Ide stated that they did it three times per year because they relied upon the data so much.  Whipple asked Ide about her experience with tools in the classroom such as smartboards, smartpens, iPad apps and so on for those students that may not learn in the same way as others.  Ide stated that the faculty uses these kinds of things and she could as well.  We definitely want to find the best way to prescribe learning to the child and technology is a great way to do that.  Schutz asked Ide if she thinks schools should be single point of service providers and if so why.  Ide stated that is a double edged sword.  They have to provide for kids.  She doesn’t want to say that the school is the single point of service.  We know of the services that are available and we have to be able to direct the kids into the services that they need.  We know kids best.  We need to find out what they need and whether it is a community liaison or a church we need to direct those kids and their families to the services.  Anderson asked Ide what skills or interests she has that could benefit our extracurricular programs and what role would she have in supporting them.  Ide stated that when she was in high school she went out for every extracurricular activity.  She thinks that her interests in them would support expanding them and encouraging children to take part in them.  Roskop asked Ide what two school she has been at.  Ide stated that she has been at Morton and Sandoz in Lexington.  Carpenter asked Ide how she would involve parents in the education of their children.  Ide stated that we have to look at that in as many different ways as we can.  Of course, requiring them to come to parent teacher conferences is something we do and we have that one-time shot of hitting them.  She noticed on the website that we have the Parent-Student Survey.  We should take those results and really look at them and determine what parents want and what they are willing to do.  Find out what they feel like they are missing out on in their child’s education.  Then supply opportunities for them to find out about things.  They could have a math night for parents on things they can do to help their kids with math.  Invite parents in to share their interests.  Communication often with parents, especially on the positive, is important.  In her old school, they had a number of parents who couldn’t read or write.  They would have a night where parents could come in and they could just show them how a school day would go.  Some nights they taught them how to do their taxes.  We really need to look at what our population needs and what would interest them to get them into the school.  Whipple asked Ide if she actively sat in and participated in the IEP meetings.  Ide stated that she did.  Ide stated that she spent some time reading minutes of prior meetings.  She stated that she feels like the board really takes into consideration all of the decisions that are made and not just the cost, but how it affects students in the building.  Roskop stated that he appreciates that because they don’t always hear that.  He asked Ide if she had any questions for the board.  Ide asked when the position would begin.  Roskop stated that the contract starts August 1st.  Ide asked if the board and Griffith would be willing to have a principal that takes on more of a professional development role within their other roles.  After visiting with some of the teachers today, a lot of them have a negative reaction to professional development.  That is common because a lot of them think it is a waste and they could be getting so many other things done in their classrooms.  She really thinks they could get the bang for their buck from teachers through professional development, modeling and coaching, going into the classroom frequently, providing feedback and them giving me feedback.  The board is fine with that.  Schutz stated that we are all guilty of getting stuck in a rut.  Ide stated that sometimes that is tough to see themselves and when it can be addressed in a positive light along with someone that will help provide tools.  One thing she suggested to the teachers in their meeting was having the opportunity to observe other teachers.  They could then sit down and visit about what they saw that went well and what didn’t and what could they apply in their classrooms.  They all spend a lot of time together but they are really oceans and don’t get to see what each one is doing.  This could build relationships between them.  She realizes that the school has been two pieces and bringing it to one would be important.  Schutz stated that there is a lot more diversity in the classes and it makes it more difficult for the teacher to hit both spectrums of students.  He asked Ide if she sees that happening.  Ide stated that she used to be in a school that was 87% minority and they had to construct classrooms to meet the needs of those students because there were so many.  The numbers here are smaller so having individual classrooms for these students would not be possible, but it would be great to be able work with the teachers to work on the scaffolding techniques to help these students catch up.  It is very important.  Schutz stated that 15-20 years ago they didn’t have students in the school that couldn’t speak English and now that is common.  Whipple stated that as a board member they are all for improving the education of the students and trying to provide tools, techniques, technology, and curriculum.  The hardest part for him is getting feedback on how those things are being used.  Ide stated that they can only provide so much and not knowing if it is being used is a concern.  Whipple wonders if those things are getting to the students that need them.  It has been difficult as a board member to get that kind of feedback.  He is not saying they don’t have a good relationship with the Administration because they do.  Determining if they are getting the most out of what they are providing has been difficult.  Ide stated that is something that could be done through continuous walk-throughs of classrooms.  She would look for specific things, consolidate the data and then get a good picture of how those materials are being used.  It is similar to actual teacher instruction.  She does walk-throughs on that as well to see if they are truly using the instruction materials that they say they are.  An example is that when kids get into class they should have something to work on right away, but someone has to take attendance.  That is only five minutes, but it is five minutes of everyday and that adds up to a lot of time.  It is not about “I gotcha” when she goes into classrooms, it’s about determining if we are doing all of the things we say we are doing.  We need to be honest with ourselves and if we are not doing those things how are we going to improve.  That will drive the professional development that staff finds so boring.  It will get professional development to mean something to staff.  Griffith stated that he was big into professional development and still is, but one of the things he has seen is the amount of time focused on school improvement.  He asked Ide how she overcomes that.  Ide stated that you have to say you are going to do it and do it.  In the morning she has five teacher names on her desk and her goal is to hit those five teachers’ classrooms no matter what happens throughout the day.  That is why it has to be on her desk and why it is messy because it has to be there so she knows she is going to do it.  It will really happen.  There are so many other things like the discipline and everything else that is going on in the school that she has to take care of.  If it isn’t made a priority and broken down into chunks it can seem insurmountable.  Roskop asked Ide if she has any questions that she wished the board would have asked.  Ide stated no.  She has been asked many questions throughout the day.  She has gotten interesting questions from all of the groups.  This was the first time she had a Student Council interview her and that was very interesting.  They had a lot of good questions.  She would encourage her to do that again.  It was a good group of kids.  The classified group had different questions and the certified group had different questions.  It really covered the gamut of things.  The board will really get a good picture of all of the candidates with the various questions.  Roskop stated that he appreciated Ide coming in and stated that they will have a better idea of what is going on by the end of the week.  Ide thanked the board.  Whipple asked Ide if she would be available by August 1st.  Ide stated that she would be.  Whipple asked Griffith if he asked Ide about moving into our District.  Griffith stated that he did and Ide would move to the District.  Whipple asked if there would be children moving into the District.  Griffith stated that there would be no children.  Her kids are grown.  Roskop suggested starting the interviews with asking them to tell the board a little about themselves.  It may loosen the candidates up a bit.  She did a great job. 

 

A motion was made by Whipple and seconded by Carpenter to adjourn the meeting at 5:08 pm.

 

 

 

 

________________________

Respectfully submitted,

Cassie Hilker, Board Secretary