The following are my notes taken live during the March 9th, 2022, Hamilton Southeastern School Board meeting. Because these notes are taken live, there could be errors if I misheard or caught something wrong. For the most accurate information on the meeting, you can find the video on the HSESchools.org site. These notes are rough in their presentation.
2.0 Snapshots of Success – 2022 Cornerstone Employer Award
As part of this year’s March Disability Awareness Month in Fishers, Geist Elementary is receiving the 2022 Cornerstone Employer Award, recognizing P.E. Teacher Rod Sutherlin and Cafeteria Manager June Barnes. Sutherlin and Barnes work closely with HSE Transitions student Ryan Kennedy. They exemplify providing meaningful work and employment opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
At the board meeting, a video was played highlighting the teachers. The video is included here:
3. March Disability Awareness Month
Amy Selby introduced Leslie Brown, HSE Autism Specialist, and Chrissy Pogue, HSE Transition Specialist, to share information regarding March Disability Awareness Month and events hosted by the Fishers Advisory Committee on Disability. The committee is with the City of Fishers and other and has been around since 2016. Inclusion, collaboration and acceptance of all members in our community. Other Cities are now doing disability awareness as well – Carmel is one that is now starting.
Several resources were shared, which are included here:
Item 1 (Video): Video Proclamation (Fishers Disability Awareness Month Proclamation from 2018, but still relevant today)
<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/c7CdHr2DwH8″ title=”YouTube video player” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen></iframe>
Item 2 (Resource): Events for the Month of March
There are a lot of events listed on the following page. You can scroll down to see the list of events as well as links to register for those that require registration. The Life without Limits Award Winner (Carter Gordon) is an HSE student. Christian Hamm was a teacher at Riverside prior to opening Smoothie King in downtown Fishers. The site also shows June Barnes and Rod Sutherlin from Geist Elementary School who were also mentioned in the previous item at this meeting.
March Disability Awareness | Fishers, IN – Official Website
Item 3 (Resource): Ally Toolkit
“Being an ally with those in our community”
Toolkits they did in the past went fast. They have some bagged kits available, but the following link has a digital toolkit that can be downloaded.
Be an Ally | Fishers, IN – Official Website
4. Consent Agenda
- 4.01 Board Minutes
- 4.02 Certified and Support Staff Reports
- 4.03 Claims, Payrolls, 403(b) and 457 Salary Reduction Agreements
These items are standard items that often get approved all at once. They are worth skimming on BoardDocs when you have time because you learn about happenings in our district, such as the lead teacher for a Social Studies department dropping the position, terminatinos
Michael Johnson was hired by HSE as part of the Board Docs. Mike retired from the Fishers Police Department after29 years and is not joining the Central Office team. He has been around our schools for years as the lead of the Student Resource Officers (SROs). He had done DARE, coaching, and other things prior. Mr. Johnson has a teaching degree, but has been hired for the School Safety team. This is a new position, Director of School Safety, although the school has had safety professionals in the district before. It was stated that they are restructuring Central Office.
5.01 Policy First Reading:
- I03.10 and E06.01 Copyright Compliance
- C03.00 Handbooks
- D11.00 Payment Procedures (policy)
The first read of the next set of policies was presented to the school board. “I” policies are from curriculum. “E” policies are from support services.
- The Copyright Compliance policies are the same policies in two different locations. They don’t need a corporate policy saying they won’t violate the law, so they are resending it.
- The Handbook policy has a slight revision. The change is that the school board will approve the handbooks annually rather than “prior to publication” since handbooks are posted online.
- The third policy is under fiscal management (“D”). It is a payment/procedure policy. They’ve expanded the list of pre-payments. This is a list of preapproved pre-payments.
These policies can be found on BoardDocs attached to the agenda with revisions shown.
Questions from the Board –
Suzanne Thomas asked when “annually” is for approving the handbooks. She asked if it should say something more specifics such as “prior to the school year.” It was stated that this suggestion can be taken back to the committee. It was also stated that there is a standard approval process each year (which has already started for next year). Overall, it was stated that it was pretty much a living document.
Julie stated that they have been reviewing them in April and May of each year for approval over the summer. She stated the policy is that they have to be update every year so they are happening.
Suzanne commented on the Copyright Compliance policies. She asked why the policy being pulled was originally added. If a legal person added it or if there was a reason to add them, then what is there a reason for there being two?
The response was that the policy was simply in two different areas. The policy committee does run changes through legal, so the recommendation has been to rescind the one version since there is no reason to have a policy saying the school system is not going to violate the law.
Michelle Fullhart asked if there should be a comment in the Handbook policy stating where the handbooks are located? It was stated the committee can talk about that the next time they meet.
Suzanne then asked about D11 policy. She asked what legal language these changes or the policy is trying to meet. She indicated the list of items seemed like a broad amount with some that seemed that could get pre-approval. She also asked if there was a cap on the amount pre-approved as well as what length of time frame these approvals cover.
The response was that the statutory law is IN36-6-x-12 (I didn’t get the full number). So, this is mandated. There are some things have to be addressed. For example, the workers compensation account only has a limited amount of money within it. If that isn’t replenished quickly, it can delay payments. There were other examples of when some of the items need to be handled. Sometimes things are due when they are due, which can happen between board meetings, which means they don’t have time for approval. The school isn’t allowed to pay late fees.
Suzanne asked about what happens if something is denied for approval by the board that was pre-paid.
Julie commented that the items being pre-paid are already approved. They are also items that are paid within a budget, so they are going to be paid anyway. They payments are signing a lease, but rather they are paying on a lease that was already approved.
6.01 Technology E-Rate Proposal
E-Rate refers t a federal program overseen by the FCC that provides discounts to public schools to offset costs of proving fast and reliable internet access. E-Rate reimbursement is based on district Free and Reduced lunch rate. Districts with Free and Reduced rates below 20% receive a 40% E-Rate discount, which is what HSE will get. The discounts apply to internet service and any required hardware to distribute internet to all classrooms.
Updating the 9 year old access points in the schools to increase internet speeds. The next upgrade would be 7 years. Other part of plan is to upgrade network hardware at FCJH, FJH, RJH, and DCE.
Details of this are on BoardDocs. The board approved a quote of $758,329 by Brookfield Group to cover these projects, of which the district will get 40% back in reimbursement. This was the best of three quotes that were received. This is within the 10 year technology plan, so it is an expected expense.
6.02 Approval of Bond Reimbursement Resolution
This is a standard bond approval process. The resolution for the roughly $24 million bond is available online. And was approved.
The board stepped back at this point and revoted on all the items in the agenda prior to this point. When voting, board members must both be seen and heard to be official. They therefore revoted with Brad Boyer (who was virtual) being on camera.
6.03 Request Approval of Lantern Road Elementary Renovation Architect
On January 31st they did a RPF. January 23rd response due, February 28th met and reviewed proposals. Seven architect firms responded. CSO ranked the best based on a matrix they created to rank the architects:
They asked for approval to use CSO as the architect. CSO has done a number of past projects. Once the architect is selected, then they will work together to right an RFP for the contractors to do the work.
The next steps with this project:
- After selecting the architectural firm, the next step in the process will be to work with them to create a Request for Proposals (RFP)to soliciting a responses from firms interested in being selected as the Construction Manager as Constructor (CMC). This RFP will likely go out in April.
- HSE Facilities is on the School Board agenda for the June 8th meeting to make a recommendation to award the contract to the selected CMC.
- Working with the CMC and architectural firm, HSE Facilities will bid the project and anticipates presenting for action the Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) for construction at the September 15 School Board meeting
It was asked why CSO is able to come in lower. Harry Delks stated that the range of quotes are all relatively close. CSO has done enough with our schools that they are more familiar with what needs to be done and with the district.
Michelle Fullhart mentioned that Fannint Howey did New Britton Elementary, which is the other “X” shaped school. She asked if new company (CSO) will work with Fanning Howey. Delks said they would work with the curriculum staff.
The update to LRE is a renovation, not an expansion. The only real ‘change’ is relocating the playground.
Michelle commented that we are likely to be doing renovations on all the older schools. She asked if we’d be using the same company going forward to roll forward what is being done and learned (“copy and paste”).
Harry Delk said that we are trying to give all the architects a chance. It was asked if Fanny Howey would have given a better deal since they originally built the building and did the similar NBE renovation. It was indicated that different people work in the firms, plus it isn’t as cookie cutter as you think. In the proposal, Fanning Howey was $110,000 higher than CSO as well. Best to do the RFP process and be good stewards.
This was approved 7-0
7. Board President Update
Julie Chambers highlighted a few things. HSE HS, Sponge Bob the Musical is coming. She had the opportunity to see HIJ Little Mermaid presentation. HSE art show at FHS happened this past weekend and was astounding as far as talent.
She also thanked Dr. Stokes. She indicated she saw Dr. Stokes at all the events and has seen the work Dr. Stokes is doing to respond to people, answer emails, and diving into the district.
8. Board Members Reports
Brad Boyer attended a redevelopment commission meeting. A report is on BoardDocs. There is a new development going in at the very southwest corner of the district that will be a big project for the city. This is the mixed use project at Allisonville and 96th.
He commented that the popular roundabout is going to replace the Michigan left at that location. I’m not sure if he was serious about his “popular” comment.
9. Superintendent’s Report – Matters of Corporation Interest
Assessments are beginning. Juniors took the SAT last week. This Juniors now are assessed using the SAT for assessment across the state.
Third Graders are being assessed for iRead from March the 3rd through the 18th.
We are up about 150 students as of the February ADM count as compared to last fall’s September count.
Armed Forces Commission was formed by the City in January. There is a staff member and student who are a part of the commission. This commission will be rolled out at a Veterans Day program.
Also commented it is “Spring forward” this weekend.
DISCUSSION (on SAT)
Michelle asked how the SAT would be baselined since it is an assessment. This year it will be about participation since there isn’t the ability to compare it to a previous year because not all students didn’t take it in the past. The test is required for all Juniors. They are not sure how the assessment will be used.
The ISTEP required people to retake to graduate, although there are wavers that will allow you to graduate if you didn’t pass. Not all colleges are asking for the SAT tests anymore.
Michelle commented that if there are no requirements, then a kid could put their name on the test and turn it in. The only measurement is did they take the test. It sounds like that is the case.
A child can retake the SAT on their own should they desire, but they would need to pay for it on their own. The school only covers the cost of once.
It was stated that they State is still determining how they will use scores if a student takes the test more than once. The example was if a student did better on the math on one, and the English on the other, then they could use the best score from each. At this time, nobody knows how the state is going to use the scores or allow them to be used.
9.02 April 13, 2022, DRAFT Agenda
Draft calendars on the next agenda. They are going to add next years’ calendars to the agenda for the next meeting as well. There was new legislation passed that limits the number of eLearning days schools can do, which means next year’s calendar needs reviewed.
Bond public hearing is at next meeting.
Michelle Fullhart asked if the Youth Assistance Program (YAP) could be put on the agenda at some point.
Free lunch stops in June. The program will not be extended.
Michelle Fullhart stated that Game Day was a record setting event.
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