The following are my notes taken from the October 12th, 2022 HSE School Board meeting. These notes were taken while listening to the meeting, so they are not presented in the best manner and might contain errors based on what I heard. For the most accurate information on the meeting, you can view the video of the meeting on the HSESchools.org website.
Meeting called to order at 7:04pm
2.01 Fishers High School Tutoring Club
The Snapshot of Success focused on the Fishers High School Tutoring Club. This club had 20 tutors last year (when they started). It has nearly 50 now if I heard the number correctly. High school kids tutoring the lower grade levels – specifically the three Junior High Schools.
From Board Docs:
Fishers Tutors started in October 2021. The mission of this student-driven club is to prepare middle school students for high school by helping them with their schoolwork and offering extra academic support. Fishers Tutors aims to help students academically as much as they can before students enter into the next phase of their academic career when their GPA begins to accrue. The pandemic put a lot of stress on students and caused some students to fall behind, so Fishers Tutors was created to provide support to students who need help with any subject.
The group also was awarded a Project AWARE Student Led Engagement Grant in March 2022 to assist them in their work at the junior high school.
The following video was shown in the meeting:
The board asked club members a number of questions.
- They offer all subjects. Most popular are STEM related, math and science. They do English and Social Studies as well.
- They go to the specific Junior Highs and tutor within the libraries. They are looking to do tutoring within the FHS as well for other students that need help.
- They were asked which what their favorite subjects were for tutoring. Most said math, which is great to hear because that is where the recent scores from iLearn showed that help could be used.
- One board member commented that spending time with older kids is also an incredible part of the program because it can help motivate the younger kids.
- The question of whether they would help the other high school set something up like this. The answer was yes, of course.
- The Junior Highs each have a sponsoring person. Parents can ask the principals at the Junior Highs for the right contact if they want to connect their kid with the right teacher for help.
3.0 Public Comments
Nobody signed up for public comments. There is a public Budget meeting which doesn’t require advance signup to speak because it is a public meeting.
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
No questions. Passed 7-0
5.01 Policy First Reading (Informational):
Many of the following are rescinded. It was asked if this language was moved elsewhere or why they were being removed. The response was that per the school lawyer, the removed ones are either covered elsewhere or in state law. Nothing will be removed that isn’t covered somewhere else.
- E05.00 Food Services Management;
- Elsewhere – in 5.01
- J05.02 Student Government;
- Student government policy was removed because it was something that should be done within the buildings. “Student Voice” drive a lot of the clubs and such. It was under advisement by legal council that the policy was not needed since student government is happening. It was stated that in 1999 a lot of things were written down, redundant and put into manuals. Now it is not needed. The question is whether there is oversight happening. It was pointed out that the student government policy did not have any oversight within it.
- J06.03 Contests for Students;
- J06.05 Interscholastic Athletics;
- J06.06 Intramural Sports;
- The board doesn’t really oversee these, so policy doesn’t need to happen.
- J06.08 Extracurricular Academic Standards;
- J07.03 Student Accidents;
- Was asked why this was removed.
- D07.03 Personal Debts of Employees;
- D10.04 Sales Calls and Demonstrations;
Some changes in the following
- K07.00 Visitors to School;
- K07.01 Attendance at School Events
- Spelling error pointed out.
- Question on changing the word “bar” with a word that is different such as “restrict” or other words. The response was that the words that were suggested are more what a coach or other would do, the board holds the legal final authority, so it is a last resort and thus bar is used. It was agreed they could look at the wording and look at adjusting.
- Last paragraph, clarifying on the position of “designee”. This term is used throughout the policies to be consistent and not have to change wording if a role title or changes. Non-school people don’t get access without permission from the designees. Students would fall into school personnel. If the football coach asked someone to take video, then the coach is the designee for the district and that would be allowed. They want to know who is on the field, why they are on the field, and such. This is to protect those there. This policy does not prohibit a parent or anyone from taking picture sand such. It is more to keep people off the field.
The purpose of removing some of the policies is to streamline them and to remove things that really are not necessary.. We adhere to the ISHAA rules is in the handbooks
It was asked that if future policies discussions could include a few words by each policy to say something like “Rescind” or “duplicate” and possibly a word or two of explanation. This should help in the future to streamline discussion (but not stop discussion). It was also noted that board members can ask for clarifications prior to the meeting to help streamline the meetings.
Note that the policy changes were an informational item, so they will be back to a board meeting for approval. additionally, you can find the specific changes to the policies on the agenda on Boarddocs.
5.02 Employment Supports Update (substitute teachers & food service staff)
Substitute Teacher Report
There is a slide presented. It started with Substitute Growth:
We should have 600 subs. Active subs have subbed at least 5 times in the last 30 days. They have hired more, but it ebbs and flows. They hired 11, but lost 4.
Brad Boyer asked What is the third designation that totals the 438 since 193 and 135 doesn’t equal 438. Subs that did one or two times in the last 30 days aren’t active.
Fill rate is around 74%. This includes teachers that fill during their prep period.
Question asked – where are most of the vacancies happening? Size of the school impacts the number of vacancies. Two new elementary schools are very large, so they tend to have more vacancies. They are looking at building size as part of determining how to fill vacancies.
Diane has come on board. What is shown on this slide is what she has done in the first 30 days. Subs are “our guest teachers” and are a valuable part of the team. They have modified the training to be about 90 minutes from about 3-1/2 hours. Diane knew what would be important to know the first day, so the focus was on that first day, why the subs are there, how to handle classroom and student behavior, how to work with teachers, front line, employee self-serve (pay stub review, etc.). Focus is to make it an experience to where they will want to come back.
Second 30 days….
The feedback has been great for Diane working with the buildings and her flexibility. There is collaboration with the buildings and building subs. On first eLearning day, fulltime subs got professional development.
There was a lot of discussion and information presented around the slides.
Recruiting and Marketing
They have set down recruiting and marketing plans. They are highlighting subs, and more. After the first posting to Instagram there were 13 new applications. They are reaching out ot a number of places to try to bump up the sub team.
Janet commented that contacting new subs a few days after their first assignment is a great thing. Diane stated she wants to get other career type people subbing. Getting plubmers, HVAC people, or racecar drivers will help kids see that what they are learning is important regardless of the career.
They are also looking to target realtors, mortgage companies, or other groups to do substituting. They might then do something as a promo for those groups like featuring the company at a board meeting.
Want to have the best subs.
It was suggested that the foundation is working on an alumni database, so those kids might have the number of hours needed. It was stated they have some of the kids at the beginning of the year and some said they would be back at the end (before and after school)
The Next 30+ Days….
They are working to make changes to the web sites. They want to make it better, faster, and more fun. Looking at competitor sites.
Anyone interested in subbing should contact them.
Subbing is a great way for parents to see what is happening in the school classrooms. You can pick and choose when you want to do it. You don’t have to sub all the time.
Food Service Update
Food service has had around 100 applications since around the end of July. Interviewed around 80 and hired around 50. It has been a whirl wind. They take 4 steps forward and 2-1/2 back each week. They are evaluating and looking at how they can improve the program. Looking to see if there is a better way to do things so they can slim things down.
They aren’t going to easily fill the open 30 positions needed to get fully functioning. Most of the open positions are in the high school. Staff is working through the issues and has a great attitude.
They are continually trying to find how to get more employees. They can hire people for a variety of different hours such as 4 or 5-1/2 hours. Parents, guardians, grandparents are helping. They have advertised through Indeed and gotten a few applicants. Working with the academy and with groups to see if there are people there that can help.
Boyer asked if there were people who want to work just one day a week. It was stated those people would go to ‘sub’ status. People who have resigned or don’t want to work full time go to sub status. Most of those people go to one building.
Having the additional staff would help with the speed of the lines and such. It was stated that the lines move, but kids complain and don’t always move if they are on their phones and want to stay with their friends.
There are some lines or food areas that are not open at the high schools, but most of the lines are. They primarily just don’t have coffee. There was the question of whether high school kids would work. It was said that kids don’t tend to want to do this.
5.03 Public Hearing on Budget
Slides from the presentation:
Huge increase in the utility cost. This is a $500,000 increase across all locations for a full year.
Built in expectations for costs increases. The items on the slide are where increased costs are coming from.
Debt Service Funds
Debt funds are based on repayment schedules. They don’t really fluctuate other than new debt.
Referrendum debt are things people voted on such as the CCAs and an extra elementary (maybe).
Things that the district has to do. Don’t have to advertise in newspapers anymore. Information is online. The Form 3 is online that shows all the funds.
Not expecting tax rate to go up. They
Bus Replacement Plan
Around 17 new buses each year. They have to keep buses at least 12 years. With three-tier bussing, milage is going up quickly. After 12 years buses have to be inspected twice a year.
A board member asked about bus codes. The codes on a bus is for tracking or could be a manufacturer designation. A is about CDL, but that’s all internal information for the transportation department.
Capital Projects Plan
The budget adoption is expected on October 26th, 2022 at that board meeting. (My Comment: What is interesting is that this meeting was a Public Meeting for the budget; however, the board never walked through the standard process of opening the public meeting to allow for public comments. I doubt there would have been any comments, but it was odd they didn’t walk through the standard hoopla that usually happens. Maybe I missed something!)
An image of the notice to the public on the budget follows. You can see a total budget of around $287 million dollars.
5.04 Preliminary Determination Hearing for Lantern Road Elementary Project
I didn’t hear anything on this, so I assume it was tabled or removed from the agenda
6.01 Additional Appropriation Hearing and Resolution
This item was removed / tabled from the agenda
6.02 Pursuit Institute (formerly HCCCA)
This item was tabled from the agenda
7. Board President’s Report
8. Superintendent’s Report – Matters of Corporation Interest
Fall Break next week.
NBE is doing an international event at the school.
As she shared in her update. First quarter is finished and she believes they have done a great job. She met with the RJH students. They voted on the best thing, which was that the teachers in their building support them and hear their voices. Dr. Stokes said that the students appreciate the teachers and the admin does to.
8.02 October 26, 2022, DRAFT Agenda
Action items from tonight be on the next agenda. Appropriation hearing and Pursuit Institute. There will be a custodia update, exceptional learning update, and a transportation update.
Suzanne Thomas pointed out that HHS is 8-0 and will be competing against 8-0 Brownsburg.
Meeting ended at 8:20pm