((( NOTE: This is my rough notes. I’ll look at possibly cleaning these up over the next 24 hours. These notes are rougher than my normal ramblings! )))
The following are my rough notes taken live during the September 22nd, 2021 Hamilton Southeastern School Board meeting. Because these were taken primarily in real-time, there might be transcription errors, typos, and other issues. For the most accurate coverage of the HSE School Board meetings, you should watch the live streams, attend, or watch the recording after the meeting. The recording of this meeting can be found on the HSE Schools site.
The numbers listed in the following sections relate to agenda item numbers:
The meeting started at about 7:04pm.
2.01 Dillon O’Rourke
From the HSE Boarddocs site:
While 2020 was a challenging year, circumstances did inspire some people to start new journeys and try new things. This was the case for Dillon O’Rourke, HSEHS freshman and artist/owner of D1 Customs. During quarantine, Dillon started researching and following artists and shoe customizers on YouTube and social media. He saved up his own money for equipment and specialty paints and started experimenting with different patterns, styles, and techniques. He began customizing shoes for friends and family and decided to try to make it a business. Since his first pair of custom shoes in April 2020, he has created over 40 unique, customized shoes for local business owners, HSE staff and students, and a professional athlete. He hopes to continue to help people share their individual style through his artwork and specialty shoes.
At the board meeting, they showed a roughly 1-minute video that showed the work that Dillon does. He has created his own company where he does custom painted shoes. Dillon was highlighted in the snapshot because of what he has done with entrepreneurship, which is one of the elements of the employability covered in our schools. https://d1customs.studio/ is Dillon’s site.
Justin has a pair of shoes from Dillon that were painted with school colors. Dillon indicated that was probably his favorite pair that he has created. Dr. Stokes commented she would like to have a pair of boots done – one with FHS and one with HSE. The board asked a number of questions. Dillon is able to customize any leather shoes. Dillon was asked how his parents have helped. Being that he is only 14, he doesn’t have a credit card to order shoes, so they’ve helped there! Check out the board meeting video to hear some of the questions.
3. Consent Agenda
Consent agenda passed 7-0 without any discussion.
4.01 Public Comments on Posted Agenda Items
Covered in individual items.
5.01 Information and Planning for 2022 Redistricting
This topic was also covered at the previous HSE School Board meeting.
They have decided to refer to this as redefining boundary lines instead of redistricting. Slides were presented in the meeting; however, these were not posted to the Board docs site in advance. Slides had small text so were not the easiest to read during the meeting. (Update: I’ve added images from the slides to this document.)
Time line –
The timeline is the big dates for the board. There would also be meetings that take place with the impacted buildings. This would happen before the November date in the timeline.
Janet asked if the community stakeholders were going to be a part of some of the meetings. Will there be meetings for the community? The answer was “we value the input of our community and they want to minimize the impact.” They do want the input from some of the neighborhoods that will be impacted. Dr. Stokes mentioned that they had a meeting to the PTO people in the various schools (This is the SAC meeting that I reported on).
Suzanne asked what they meant by boundary lines. It was mentioned that this was for the boundary lines for Deer Creek. Suzanne asked if this was the government district lines (she used different words). This is about the boundaries used to determine which schools a child will go to. This plan they are doing is only going to impact the elementary schools impacted as a result of opening Deer Creek. They are looking to minimize impact on schools. (Again I commented a little on this in my SAC notes).
They are using software that the transportation department has to help with this. It is powerful software that maps where kids are. It is complicated because they allow for transfers that impact the mapping.
The intent is to open Deer Creek at 80% capacity next fall (Fall 2022) so as to have room for growth that is happening in Wayne Township.
A board member asked about the company that was discussed in a previous meeting to do a demographic survey. It was indicated that they are not looking to do a corporate wide redistricting, so they don’t feel at this time there is a need for a third party to do demographics. They are simply pulling data similar to what they pull for schools. They are still very early, but using the numbers from transportation, they will be able to move expeditiously.
Brad Boyer asked if there are 700 kids, then it seems like there will be 560 kids at the new school. Durbin has about 350, so there is only about 200 kids that will be redefined. Dr. Stokes commented that the building is slated for 750. They indicated that they intent was to try to keep it at or under 600.
The goal is to try to impact as few schools as possible. They don’t know if others schools will be impacted yet.
Dr. Stokes commented that one of the concerns of parents was whether parents would have the option to stay where they currently are. They are looking into this. They don’t want to overload any schools, so they will have to look at capacities. Michelle commented that in the past, grandfathering was only offered for kids that were going to be in the top grade level of the school without transportation being provided. If this is what is determined, which Dr. Stokes stated is a common practice, then it would only apply to the incoming 4th graders. Again – all of this is being looked into.
Dr. Stokes commented that it is really the “attendance lines” more so than “boundaries.
It was asked what was meant by bullet 2 on one of the slides (Slide image below).
The response was that the plan is to share the information learned. As an example, the data from the transportation department on how boundary lines could be changed would be shared.
Suzanne commented that in a previous redistricting, there were options presented. She asked if there would be more than one choice. There were 3 in a previous redistricting. The response was that, yes, they are hoping to have options and they will post information online.
(Kim Logan) :
Indicated that a lot of the information presented in the meeting is information that should have been presented in advance. She has been on the planning commission, so she would have expected to see the information in advance. She gets information a week in advance. We couldn’t prepare because the information was not shared in advance.
Dr. Stokes stated that the slides are there now. They didn’t want to attach something the board might not be okay with. The slides were not there at 7:00 when the meeting started.
I agree with the public speaker and had planned to raise the issue after the meeting. The slides absolutely should have been posted in advance. It was an admin fail in my opinion that they were not there. This approach goes against what had been pushed by the board in the past, which was to have all documents on Board Docs at least 24 hours in advance. To not post slides that are going to be publicly presented anyway is a huge hit against transparency. The board should have been sent the slides in advance as well.
6.01 Permission to Advertise Budget
Advertisement on the various aspect will be on the corporate web site by October 1st. There will be other postings as well. Budget, levies, capital project plans, buses, and more. Operation funds have to be posted. Capital spending over a certain amount also have to be presented.
October 13th – Public hearing of budget. Budget is presented to board. Public can comment
October 27th – Adoption of budget – which has to be done before November 1st.
Approval to advertise passed 7-0
6.02 K02.00 Gifts/Donations to Schools; I05.03 Responsible Use of Technology and Internet Use Policy – Second Reading
The board covered 2 policy items that had also been presented at the September 9th meeting. Policy I05.02 Access to Materials Related to Personal Analysis, Evaluation, or Survey of Students; Consent for Participation was not brought back to this meeting. The two policies covered were:
- K02.00: Gifts/Donations to Schools
- I05.03: Responsible Use of Technology and Internet Use Policy
Not a lot of new comments in the presentation.
The proposed policy changes the gifts from 2500 to 5000. The questions were – why was the policy changing? Is this aggregate? The 2500 seemed to be a viable level. Commented that information should be posted that says what gifts and such are provided and what strings if any are attached. Lots of good comments.
There to talk about the technology policy. Question regarding policy to be aligned with Child protection acts. He referenced within the policy that the school is doing protection. He commented that some of the protection needed is for items that are in the libraries and within the schools. He also said policy is that teachers are to use a corporate account when communicating. Suggested that this should include teacher talking to teachers and any corporate communications. He then mentioned a comment on the definition of what is pornography and referenced that some of this is within the school libraries (this seemed to be off the topic of electronics). He commented that engaging the students… that a teacher putting out a Tweet is engagement and could be a violation. He asked for transparency on building a website as far as websites teacher are using so parents can know without a freedom of information act.
Suzanne asked if there is a current policy for hardbound (non electronic) materials in the schools. Is there a policy regarding tangible works. There is a separate policy on this as well as how parents can review materials. Suzanne was simply trying not make the point that there is a policy to address the tangible/print items.
Suzanne also mentioned a typo.
5(N) had a concern on this item. She felt that more information was needed about third party applications. There are opportunities where students might have to add an app. Personal information might need to be added. She believes parents need to be informed if this is ever going to happen. The admin will work with the technology folks (including Jeff Harrison) to come up with a policy around this.
Jeff commented that there are apps that students can use without any personal information being used. There are apps that do have terms of services that they need to determine what is needed. Many apps have an age 13 cut off. (He didn’t say, but this is a result of COPPA).
The policy says that if kids need to create an outside account, the school is going to work to protect them. The details of this process would be created based on the process.
Janet Pritchett asked if the school already does this. Suzanne indicted there are times when a second email is needed and then this leads to spam, and more.
Julie commented that the policy is to protect kids. Getting to the level of detail of notifying parents goes beyond a policy. That is something that should be done by the district as far as procedures.
Jeff Harrison commented that there has only been one application that has ever been used that cost and it was at the K-1 level and they bought enough licenses in the first few years so now there is no fee. There are some apps the district has bought for exceptional learners.
Michelle commented asked if there is ever a time the district has had when a parent has needed to install software that required a credit card? Jeff said pretty much, No.
Suzanne mentioned an application where an application was installed that required a fee of $2.99. She is saying that a parent should be informed when there is an app that is either optional or not optional. Brad agreed that there should be something in place to prevent this whether a policy or procedure. Brad commented that if it is a procedure, then something needs to happen to make sure it happens.
Julie commented that a policy can always be changed if the procedure doesn’t happen, but the school board shouldn’t overstep. Additionally, if the board waited to have policies perfect, they would never pass policies. The admin stated they could follow up on the policy.
Device Manager is installed on non-school devices. If this is installed, then the school is able to push the software. By not giving the kid an iTune password, the child would not be able to install anything that costs because all the software is within the school’s portal. If a teacher added software within the school year, then that software would be added to the portal. If a person is using the device manager, then a student should not be able to install apps that are not approved. Dr. Stokes commented that the teachers union and admin can notify teachers they need to follow process.
Suzanne reiterated her concern was the chance of kids needing to share personal information. If the right policy is drafted, then this would alleviate Suzanne’s concern. The admin said they would do this and attach the procedure to the policy on Board Docs.
Michelle commented that a shout out to a student on social media would be a violation of 6(g) of the policy. She indicated that 6(g) seems to be about personal conversations and not a shout out.
BOTH policies were presented in a single motion. This was changed to vote separately.
- First policy K02.00 on gifts passed 7-0
- Second policy I05.03 on internet passed 6-1, Suzanne – no
7. Superintendent’s Report / Matters of Corporation Interest
Dr. Stokes spent the morning at Fishers High School. There was a national merit scholarship semi-final scholarships. There were also four board members there.
At Fishers High School, a program involved with Duke Power Energy Midwest had a STEAM competition (Science, Technology, Engineer, Arts, and Math). The students in this program met yesterday and today with several teams. The kids were working with all the STEAM skills in what they were doing. The students are working to design powerlines that would go into the school from a solar array. This is a competition. This is followed with 8 weeks of work. The group was pulled from different subject matters and levels. Janet asked if there were specific ages because she noticed Juniors.
Dr. Stokes also mentioned that Thorpe Creek was awarded the Blue Ribbon School. More information at https://www.hseschools.org/happenings/news/u-s-department-of-education-announces-2021-nationa
HIJH was a Blue Ribbon winner roughly 9 years ago. Geist was a winner about 5 years ago. There were others many years ago as well. The admin will put together a list for the board on this.
Dr. Stokes also commented on the need for gainful employment
- We are fully staffed with transportation, but they would like to have 10 to 15 more drivers to have routes operate better.
- Food services has 24 open positions with 9 of these having pending applications. There are 3 fulltime positions and 12 part time positions.
Fox 59 and CBS 4 has shared information on the needs for hiring for HSE and other schools. There was a food service employee fair. They have done social media advertising and have gotten 12 employees as a result. They continue to cast the net.
Dr. Stokes also commented that Friday is an e-learning day. The J Everett kids still have class.
Next Meeting Agenda
The electric bus item is tentative. They are waiting on a letter before they present. The hope to have that letter by the next meeting.
Suzanne asked if there was any incentive programs for hiring. The HR department is looking into this. You can’t do this for just one area. They have to make sure that if something is done it is equitable.
Michelle asked if there was a need to vote o the redistricting information that was presented. The answer was that the documents presented were a bit internal, but that they decided to share with the board.
Board Member Reports
Julie commented that she went through training to be a sub. She said the process of enrolling and training was good. She thanked those training. She also commented that subs are still needed. Doing the training was easy. (Note: for board members, they can’t get paid so she is doing it as a volunteer).
Dr. Stokes commented that “We do not want to close schools because of a shortage of teachers, so if you have time….” I asked Dr. Stokes about substitutes yesterday and she commented that it is still a struggle to get those signed up to actually come into the schools to sub.