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Board of Education Meeting Recap (February 1, 2021)

The following is a brief recap of the February 1, 2021 Board of Education Monthly Meeting:
Following the approval of the agenda, the Teaching and Learning Department gave a Performance Data presentation. Title I program specialist, Caroline Brown, gave an update on Grades 3-8 failing grades for the first semester, which went up from 1,358 to 5,853 from 2019-2020 to this school year. The update was given to help Board members understand how COVID-19 and hybrid face-to-face and remote learning have impacted students and academic success. Board members Strickland and Henderson challenged the Teaching & Learning Department to develop support strategies to help increase student success. The Teaching & Learning Department noted that the report was incomplete and was a data snapshot. The report did not reflect high school performance data, growth and learning information, and/or how data might compare to other school districts across the state. 
Assistant superintendent for human resources, Dr. Yvette Smith Mason, presented the following policies for information and first reading:

 Policy 6400-Goals of the Purchasing Function
 Policy 6421-Pre-Audit and Disbursement Certifications
 Policy 4010-Student and Parent Grievance Procedure
 Policy 5060-Responding to Complaints
 Policy 7220-Grievance Procedures for Employees
 Policy 6401-Ethics and the Purchasing Function
 Policy 6402-Participation by Historically Underutilized Businesses
Following the Public Comment period, assistant superintendent of student services, Dr. Marcia Manning, brought before the Board a request to establish a standalone middle grades Community Developmental School Program (CDSP) at Greenwood Middle to better support middle grades CDSP students with significant cognitive disabilities. Essentially, beginning in August 2021, eleven rising 6th grade students from the CDSP program at Meadow Lane Elementary and eight rising 6th and 7th grade students from Edgewood Community Developmental School will be brought together to make up a new middle grades CDSP at Greenwood Middle. Eight rising eighth grade students at Edgewood will remain at Edgewood next year to limit transitions. Dr. Manning shared that the program would create an opportunity for rising middle grades CDSP students from Meadow Lane Elementary and Edgewood to receive individualized care on the same campus with non-disabled peers as their Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) allow. She noted that Greenwood Middle was selected because it is immediately located across the street from Meadow Lane Elementary, where the stand alone elementary CDS Program is located and allows for traditional and CDSP elementary students to transition together into middle school. Manning shared that Greenwood Middle has a newer ADA compliant wing built around a decade ago, which will provide the CDS Program four large classrooms and a nurse’s office. The building will also offer its own exterior entrance for parents and will only require the addition of an exterior sidewalk awning and some minor renovations to the restrooms in order to add lifts and changing tables.

Board members had many questions for Dr. Manning, Sonja Emerson (Executive Director for the Exceptional Children's Department) and Edgewood principal Kevin Smith. Board member Strickland expressed concerns that the eight Edgewood families were not included in the planning conversation earlier in the process. Board member Henderson also suggested that the Board consider adding more money in for Edgewood when budget discussions occur later in the Spring. After much discussion, the Board unanimously approved Dr. Manning's CDSP request.  
The Board unanimously adopted the following two proclamations:
Career & Technical Education Month
School Counselor Month
Career and technical education director, Beverly Boltinhouse, and math coordinator, Andrew Bass, presented information about a Department of Defense grant funded summer camp. Click on STEMKAMP program to view the presentation and agreements. The camp will take place at Meadow Lane Elementary and can have up to 125 students. It will first target military connected and then at-risk populations with any remaining seats available to any student. A fee of $40 will be imposed, though students who complete the program will have the $40 reimbursed. The Board unanimously approved the program and fee. 
The following policies were brought before the Board for action. The Board suspended its policy to approve two policies on first reading. Dr. Mason, along with Policy Committee Chair, Len Henderson, shared updates and answered questions about the policies. All policies were reviewed and approved unanimously.
Policy 1725-Title IX Sexual Harassment-Prohibited Conduct and Reporting Process (First Reading)
 Policy 3460-Graduation Requirements (First Reading)
 Policy 1010-Board Authority and Duties
 Policy 1100-Governing Principles
 Policy 1200-Smoking and Tobacco Products
 Policy 1510-School Safety
 Policy 1760- Prohibition Against Retaliation
Chief Finance Officer, Leslie Rouse, presented the following Purchase Orders and Contracts, which were unanimously approved. She then presented Budget Amendment #1 for the 2020-2021 fiscal budget. The amendment reflects the more than $5 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds that the district has received this budget year. The Board unanimously approved the amendment.  
The Board approved its consent agenda, which included past meeting minutes, a personnel report, donations, and student reassignments/transfer requests.
Before moving to closing comments, Board members had the opportunity to view the first Board Recognitions since social distancing and other restrictions were put in place last March due to COVID-19. Using video technology, the Communications & Public Relations Department presented three Video Spotlights which recognized the following achievements:
  • WCPS Teacher of the Year, Scott Hardy, for recently competing in the regional Teacher of the Year Competition
  • WCPS Principal of the Year, Sheila Wolfe, for competing in the regional Principal of the Year Competition
  • Wayne Early/Middle College High & Wayne School of Engineering for earning a 100% graduation rate in 2019-2020.
The full meeting can be viewed by clicking on Video Link. This meeting and past meeting videos can be viewed by clicking on the following Board Meeting Videos Link. The February 1, 2021 Meeting agenda and associated materials presented to the Board can be viewed by clicking on Meeting Schedules & Agenda Link.

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