Monday, November 17, 2014

Board Briefs from November 12, 2014 Work Session

This information includes highlights of information received by the Ladue Board of Education at the November 12, 2014, Work Session.  This is an unofficial record.  Official minutes of each Board meeting are posted on the district website and are available for viewing at the Administrative Center after the Board approves them, typically two weeks after the meeting.

Board President Remarks
Board of Education Vice President Dan Regelean presided over the meeting in the absence of Board President Jeff Kopolow and congratulated Ladue Middle School on their official recognition as a National School of Character at a recent award ceremony in Washington, D.C.
      Superintendent Remarks
      • Superintendent Dr. Donna Jahnke commented on the outstanding 11-1 record of the high school's varsity football team.  The team will play their next playoff game against Jackson at SLUH on Saturday, November 15, 2014, at 1 p.m.
      • Dr. Jahnke also gave kudos to the LHWHS Boys Varsity Soccer team on their phenomenal season.
      • "Unsorted," a play exploring the concepts of identity and belonging is being presented on Tuesday, November 18 at 7 p.m. at the Ladue Horton Watkins High School cafeteria.   Dr. Jahnke thanked Lori Humphrey for her efforts to coordinate this performance being jointly funded by the Old Bonhomme Parent Teacher Organization and the Ladue Education Foundation.  
      • Dr. Jahnke noted that she and members of the administration and Board would be attending the City of Frontenac Planning & Zoning Meeting following the Board meeting.  It was thought the Planning & Zoning Commission might vote on the development proposed for the former Ladue Early Childhood Center property on Clayton Road which is currently under contract with Pulte Group.  (The matter was tabled until the next meeting which is currently scheduled for December 23, 2014 at 7 p.m.)

      Curriculum & Instruction Initiatives.  Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction Dr. Laura Brock updated the Board on the status of several curriculum initiatives.
      • K-12 Math Review.  This is one of six Priority Initiatives of the district's Strategic Plan.  In May, the Board received the findings of a study of the district's math program conducted by Dr. Barbara Dougherty, the endowed chair of math education at the University of Missouri-Columbia.  In September, a Math Cadre was formed to analyze the report and determine goals and objectives, as well as to set priorities for improving the district's K-12 math program.  An overview of the findings and initial action plan goals were included in this report to the Board and are anticipated to begin being implemented in the second semester of the 2014-15 school year.
      • Standards-Based Grading and New Report Cards.  Dr. Brock outlined the revised grading and reporting system currently under development for grades K-4.  The goal is to improve communication with parents by using clear proficiency levels that demonstrate student learning towards district standards.   The department is currently seeking input from teachers and will gather parent input next semester.  The K-4 pilot for the program will begin in the 2015-16 school year.  
      • STEM.  Dr. Kevin McColgan began working for the district on July 1, 2014 as the district's first STEM Coordinator.   Dr. McColgan is specifically applying his efforts in the development of long-range plans for the district's Project Lead The Way (engineering) programming.  He is also very involved in the K-12 Math Review process (outlined above) and how math can begin to tie more directly into the district's science programming.  
      • K-12 Technology Integration.  Efforts are continuing to identify ways in which technology can be used to improve instructional practices.  Technology training is no longer about how to use the tools, but in discovering ways the tools can enhance learning.  Dr. Brock noted there is tremendous support among teachers for the iPads deployed to all high school students in this school year.   
      Facilities Master Plan Phase I Timeline.  Dr. Jahnke led a discussion regarding the status of the research into a potential high school renovation.  An overview of the research and potential implementation timeline was reviewed.  In addition, the steps being taken this fall to identify a financial advisor, architectural services company and construction management agency were provided and discussed, as well as the points at which the administration will be seeking Board of Education direction and decisions.  

      Tentative Agenda Items for Business Meeting on Monday, November 24, 2014

        • SSD Reimbursement of Early Childhood Special Education Costs
        • Acceptance of Auditor's Report
        • Board Policy Changes
        • New Strategic Plan
        • 2015-16 High School Course Change Proposals
        • 2015-16 LECC Tuition and BASK/TAS Rates
        • 2014-15 Revised Budget
        • Board Policy Changes
      The next Board of Education meeting will be a Business Meeting on November 24, 2014 at 7 p.m. and will be held at the Administrative Center, 9703 Conway Road.