LIVE BLOG: November Board of Education Meeting – November 11, 2013

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The meeting will begin soon.

2:19 pm – Board meeting called to order.

BOARD PRESENTATIONS:

Financial Update 

ChiefFinancial Officer, Chuck Burbridge, presented the financial forecast before the board at the November 11th meeting.

Presentation Link: http://www.atlantapublicschools.us/cms/lib/GA01000924/Centricity/Domain/1/FY 2013 Financial November 4 Board Meeting 11 05 2013.pptx

COMMITTE OF THE WHOLE meeting now beginning:

Report No. 13/14-1706 Authorization to revise policy KG Use of School Facilities (Final Approval)

THE SUPERINTENDENT REPORTS:

Policy KG has been revised to update the language and clarify the manner in which Atlanta Public Schools allows outside groups to use school and administrative facilities. The board requested a review of this policy at its meeting on September 9, 2013. The revisions reflect changes made to the policy at the October 7, 2013 meeting of the board’s policy review committee.

RECOMMENDATION:

The board should approve the revision of policy KG.

REASON:

To clarify the board’s vision for the use of school facilities by community organizations.

Policy KG has been revised to update the language and clarify the manner in which Atlanta Public Schools allows outside groups to use school and administrative facilities. The board requested a review of this policy at its meeting on September 9, 2013. The board accepted the revision of policy KG for first reading at the October 7th meeting.

Additionally, board Policy KG states that all requests for use of school facilities for a period longer than one week shall be referred to the Board of Education for approval.  The board approved a list of permits that were submitted for ratification and/or approval consistent with the Policy KG.

Report No. 13/14-1710 Authorization to Revise Policy JGF Student Safety (First Reading)

THE SUPERINTENDENT REPORTS:

Policy JGF has been revised to reflect new legal requirements that will go into effect in January 2014. Following the 2013 session of the General Assembly, the Return to Play Act became law and requires that local boards of education adopt a policy regarding concussion management for youth athletes. Policy JGF Student Safety has been revised to meet the requirements of this new law, O.C.G.A. 20-02-0324.1. The Atlanta Public Schools Athletics Department has already incorporated best practices in concussion management and return-to-play procedures for injured athletes into its manuals, training for coaches and programs for students.

RECOMMENDATION:

The board should accept the revision of policy JGF for first reading.

REASON:

To reflect policy requirements of the Return to Play Act, O.C.G.A. 20-02-0324.1.

*Discussion underway about how APS treats and resolves issues of concussions.  Ms. Muhammad requests an update from the district.  Superintendent Davis asks Rebecca Kaye, Policy Director, to explain the policy behind APS’ stance on the issue.  Dr. A. Kirijan, Chief of Organizational Advancement, asks if the Board can wait until Athletic Director Jeff Beggs arrives to discuss the issue.  The Board agrees.

Report No. 13/14-1711 Authorization to Revise the 2013-14 Staff Calendars

THE SUPERINTENDENT REPORTS:

The current 2013-14 staff calendars have been revised to change the January date for staff furlough to later in the second semester. This change will allow a greater amount of time to analyze the budget to determine whether furlough days will be needed.

The superintendent requests that the January 6, 2014 furlough date be rescheduled to May 27 for traditional calendar staff and to June 2 for year round calendar staff. January 6, 2014 will be a teacher professional learning day. For bus drivers and monitors the January furlough date will be rescheduled for May 26, 2014.

RECOMMENDATION:

The board should approve the revisions to the 2013-14 staff calendars.

REASON

To provide additional time to analyze the budget to determine if furlough days will be needed.

*Discussion taking place around the need for furlough days.  APS will decide some time in the future if the district should keep all budgeted furlough days or take away at least one day.

Report No. 13/14-1712 Authorization to Approve Centennial Place Conversion Charter Petition and Enter into and Execute a Contract Agreement

 

THE SUPERINTENDENT REPORTS:

On May 6, 2013 the Atlanta Board of Education passed a resolution encouraging the exploration of a public/private collaborative K – 8 pilot program at Centennial Place Elementary. Over the past few months, Atlanta Public Schools Office of Innovation staff and our external partner, Integral New Schools Atlanta, have worked closely together with Centennial Place staff, parents, community members and other stakeholders, developing a K – 8 plan for Centennial Place. The goal of this plan is to give the school greater flexibility, higher levels of accountability, and deeper relationships with external partners targeting and supporting the school’s STEAM focus.

The school will open with 585 students in grades K -6 and add one grade each year until reaching full capacity in Year Three with 775 students in Grades K – 8. The current Centennial Place building will be expanded to serve these additional students.

A conversion charter school model was chosen for this pilot as this model gives the school broad flexibility and sets aggressive performance targets within a site-based management model. Centennial Place will be governed by a local board constituted of members representing Atlanta Public Schools and the Integral Group and other key strategic community and business partners.

Several community meetings have been held to gather community input on this project. As required by law, Centennial Place parents and school staff participated in a secret ballot with two-weeks’ notice and the majority support the conversion plan.

The school has proposed several innovative measures including the creation of enhanced career pathways for teachers, numerous hands-on learning experiences for students and the creation of “Data Days” embedded in the school calendar allowing decision-making to occur immediately following data-collection periods.

RECOMMENDATION:

That the Atlanta Board of Education accept the recommendation of the superintendent to approve the conversion charter petition for Centennial Place School, and that the board chair and superintendent be authorized to sign any documents required for the charter school including, but not limited to, the Atlanta Public Schools charter agreement, state charter documents, state or federal grant applications, grant budget forms, and minor modifications to the charter agreement.

REASON:

Georgia law requires local boards to approve or deny charter school petitions submitted locally within 60 days of submission.

*Kinnane:  The vote itself, my understanding of the charter law is that a petition that comes before the BOE has been voted on….On October 2nd, we read a petition then, we have now read another petition and I will give that it’s not much different, but it is a new petition.  My read is that it would be the same petition, having been voted on by the parents and voted on by the teachers that comes to the BOE…not two different petitions.

Allen Mueller:  If I understand, in your view you are asking if there should be one petition.

Kinnane:  Yes, the petition coming before us today was voted on by the majority of the faculty, correct?  My point is…

Mueller:  There was material added to the petition between the time the parents voted on it and the staff voted on it and the only changes were points added about the transition.

Kinnane:  I think its a stronger petition, but what we are being asked to do within the charter law….

Mueller:  I’m not sure if I answered your question to your satisfaction.

McDaniel:  Petition A was voted on by the parents. Petition A1 was voted on by the teachers.

Butler-Burks:  The teachers did vote on A, but they voted it down.  The teachers voted on A1, but not the parents.

Mueller:  We sought and were given guidance by DOE.

Legal:  I will look at the statute.  So I’m clear, the first question is do the parents have to go back and vote on petition A1?

Kinnane:  Yes.  How many students do we have enrolled at Centennial?

Mueller:  About 500.

Kinnane:  So we had 213 parents show up at that meeting, 208 voted in favor of it.  That is not 50%+1.

Mueller:  That is not how the statute is worded.  It is the majority of parents present.

Kinnane:  My concern is not about the Centennial Place issue.  Its about this being the first ever vote on a conversion charter in the history of APS.  So how we read that law, is important and could determine future charters coming into the district.  I don’t have questions about the vote, but the fact that we did not….I guess you’re saying we had a strong number, but what if we had 50 parents show up and 26 voted in favor…what then?

Mueller:  A strong effort was made to bring parents there.  If 50 parents showed up and a strong effort was made, it’s the folks that actually show up who get to vote…that is how I read the statute.

Kinnane:  That doesn’t go along with the principal of the thing.  The intention of the vote is that you have the majority of the parents present for the vote.

Mueller:  You might shift the focus the effort that is made to get the parents there.  So it is the parents that show up…there is no way to make sure every parent shows up.

McDaniel:  So we have two technical questions that legal will get back to us.

Butler-Burks:  I can’t believe to say how uncomfortable I am about this.  I can’t recall a time when we were making such a huge decision for the district and we were not briefed on it. Not to have any conversation as a board in a work session around conversion charters in general…[explains that she heard about the meeting from the general public before hearing about it from APS]. We haven’t been given any information outside of the disc we got with the actual petition.  There are so many unanswered questions as it relates to a conversion charter…  There are 4 other schools lined up to do this in January because of how simple it seems.  Not that it is, but sometimes perception is reality.  I’ve never known us not to have some type of work session or individual phone call…I can’t support it for those very reasons.  We’ve actually been pushing Toomer away from it.

Davis:  I’m a little confused by that statement.  When this was discussed in August we talked about the primary issues being structure and governance and that we would have a charter structure at Centennial and traditional in the Jackson cluster.

Butler-Burks:  That is not in the resolution.

Mueller:  For the specific things they were requesting in their petition, the best way to get there was with a charter.

Butler-Burks:  There was a very strong campaign at the parent meeting, from what I understand…there are some people that think that the only way to go K-8 is with a conversion charter and that is not true.

E. Johnson:  It seems like the charter people are running everything.  That’s a concern for me.  I won’t say it’s not a good petition, but there are too many questions.  I would like to pull this until we have a conversation and bring it back next month.  

Muhammad:  There has been a recommendation that we remove it and Ms. Burks has expressed some concern…what are we trying to clarify?

E. Johnson:  I want to know what the impact will be on the district as a whole with conversion charters and charters as a whole.

Muhammad:  I think I heard Ms. Burks asking why conversion charter?

Burks:  I had several questions.  I’m ok with voting no and not removing it at all.  1.  What does it mean for the district overall and 2. Can you go K-8 without going charter and I would like to see as much emphasis put on the one for the Jackson cluster as this one.  I have a lot of concerns. 

Muhammad asks about Jackson cluster.

Butler:  According to the resolution we passed, yes.  It was asked to look at what are the options for those two as a pilot and a test and we’ve had a lot of interest, emphasis and financial support around the Centennial one and I haven’t heard if there was as much interest and support around the Jackson cluster.

Davis:  Centennial is first because they’ve been working on it for quite a while.  With respect to the Jackson cluster, we have had 2 community meetings in that cluster and we have collected the data and we are analyzing it not.  There are some other studies coming out of that cluster and that will be incorporated into whatever recommendation we make to this Board.  The work at Centennial started quite a while ago.  The work is ongoing in the Jackson cluster.

Muhammad: So, if a majority of the parents and teachers have agreed…if the school and supporters and partners and others, if they are in support of it…

Burks: I’m not sure if we as a district have had any conversation around conversion charters.  What does it mean for the teachers and staff, financial implications, what precedent are we setting as a district as it relates for a conversation charter.  And while we have put K-8 on hold for the next 5 years, we don’t have anything about 6-12 or others.

Davis:  We said we would look at the structure impact and governance impact for these 2 pilots for 5 years…which would inform policy.  We are not advocating that we make wholesale policy changes.  It seems like we want the outcomes before we do the pilots.  We are not saying that this is the first of many.

Burks:  We as a Board have a right to give input on a pilot.

Davis:  As a policy making board, we are not asking you to make a policy judgement.  

Burks:  Taking a vote today is making a policy judgement.

Davis:  What we are giving you today is the opportunity…

Burks:  But the board has to vote on it, point blank.

Davis clarifies that the ability to convert to charters would be limited to this resolution for 5 years.  At the end of the 5 years the BOE would then analyze the 2 pilots.  

Davis: We do not have a K-8 school in this system but there are a number of K-8 schools in the city.  When we look at the 6-8 experience we see that our schools are not as competitive and we asked the question, what is it that makes those schools more effective?  We wanted to take 2 schools, put them both in K-8 with charter governance over one and traditional over the other and then compare the two.

Muhammad:  When would this begin?

Mueller:  2014

Muhammad:  Would a month delay…?

Mueller:  If we delay here, that will cause a delay in the state and I’ve asked them.  If we delay here the state board will not be able to consider until March. 

Kinnane:  What is coming today to us is huge.  To answer your question Ms. Muhammad, I have concerns.  Technical concerns and about the precedent we are setting.  I also do think there is some interpretation of the read of the law.  In terms of the petition itself, I absolutely appreciate that a tremendous amount of work has gone on around this.  It is a great petition.  I do have concerns about the governance board.  

Amos:  I am even more concerned where the workings of this buildings have once again let down the stakeholders.  We have parents who have followed the process as laid down by this building and now they are being told to wait.  What about our parents who have gone thru this process?  If we get to the end of this pilot process without policy structure, I think it is setting them on a bad course.  I think discussion and action would be the best place to go.  I see that it asks to approve the charter petition and enter into a contract agreement. That contract agreement would be?  What exactly is execute a contract agreement?

Mueller:  The charter process involves 2 basic contracts, one generated by the state board of education.  If approved, these are the contracts that the board chair has seen many times and signed around goals, buildings, etc.  The law also allows the district to enter into a second contract as long as it does not conflict with the state contract. The specifics of the second contract have not been nailed down.

Amos:  Could only the approval of the petition go forward to the state?

Mueller:  Yes, the state doesn’t care about the contract piece.

E. Johnson:  We do need to ask what are positives and negatives on the staff if we move forward.  We need more information.

English asks Deputy Superintendent Karen Waldon how she believes this K-8 structure, the additional flexibility…how does this impact or better the school.

Waldon:  Early on when I came into the district there was discussion around the K-8 model.  We’ve seen evidence of traditional K-5 and 6-8 effective schools as well as effective K-8 schools.  The structure depends on the right leadership, right teaching structure….  I believe we have evidence across the country of successful K-8 schools.

English:  What about the flexibility piece they are requesting?

Waldon:  In terms of this particular request, I’m not sure what you want me to comment on regarding that. I believe you have a request for a petition that has a body that governs this school.

English:  I’m asking broadly…I’m assuming somewhere someone looked at this and said it is a good idea…I want to know how this is going to impact kids.

Waldon: I think you must put in place measures that tell you whether the school is making progress.  It will depend on a review on a regular basis of progress being made.  I don’t see that the governance structure will take anything away from that.  Centennial is one of our highest performing schools.  

Davis:  One thing that is clear is that you will be without the transition impact at 5th grade.  Again, I want to stress that this is a pilot.  This is not a wild risk to take, other schools such as this exist.  

Mueller explains that more face time based on longer days, time to examine data immediately after it is available and strategic partners who help to plan the curriculum of the school will all be a part of the conversion charter.

Burks:  Two of the three things you mentioned, we are already doing.  One is the GATech/Coke/Aquarium partnerships.  The other is Centennial is a year round school with longer days, longer years.  

Mueller:  We are talking a matter of degree.  The flexibility of being a charter allows those partners to teach at the school.

Burks:  I just want to be clear that two of the three components are already there.  Will Toomer be ready for K-8 at the beginning of the year to do an equal comparison.

Davis:  I don’t think they need to start at the same time.  I doubt they will be ready for the fall.

Burks: If one starts at year one and the other at year 3 of year 5, there is no way to compare.

Davis:  We would hope that there would be learnings throughout the entire pilot based on the structure.  We would be looking at things unique to each one.

Burks:  Is there someone in research and evaluation that could speak to comparing two structures and both starting at the same time to make a comparison.

Davis:  We are talking about two different groups of kids and we are comparing outcomes.

Burks: Initially you were saying we were comparing them to each other.  Now I’m hearing…

Davis:  The point I’m trying to make here is that we are looking at the operations of a school.  The only thing we are comparing is the value-add, which in itself is going to be different.  We are not taking a cluster and splitting them in half.  We already know there will be differences in performance, but what we are trying to watch is the impact of governance and the impact of structure.  If one does far better than the other, is is attributable to the governance independent of the school structure or is it the school structure itself.  We’re starting one with a traditional structure and the other with a charter and I don’t know if it is necessary for them both to start on the same day at the same time.

Muhammad:  We have some K-8’s we have approved that are charter.  But this will be the first school that is conversion over to a charter from the traditional operating model.

Davis:  That is correct.  Our charters are start-up.

Muhammad:  I’m trying to see how this is so major that…I’m trying to understand the difference.  It’s not like it’s new.  

Mueller:  The conversion charter requires a vote by the parents and staff.  The start-up charter does not.  A conversion is by its very nature more closely integrated with the district.

Muhammad:  Is a conversion charter better to receive donations from partners?

Mueller:  There are going to be folks that are partners who serve on the governance board of the school.  They would be funded on a per pupil basis, however.

Muhammad:  I can understand some of Mr. Johnson’s concern.  We hardly ever hear about the progress or lack of progress in our charters.  We don’t get on a consistent basis what is happening in the charters as a part of our overall update.

Mueller:  Performance and data is delivered (CRCT) is delivered in the same was as traditional schools.

Muhammad:  That is the academic side, but best practices have not been shared.

Mueller:  We do put out an annual report that has test scores and more qualitative information as well.  3 schools in the Jackson cluster…

Muhammad:  Why do you think a conversion is best for Centennial?

Mueller:  The thing I think that has been missing, when you look at the kind of innovation on the charter school side, the challenge is that no matter how much we try to bring charters in to work with traditional schools…just from a funding perspective, start-up charter schools the state publishes a worksheet and that’s how funding is given.  Conversion charters don’t get a worksheet and we as a district must figure this out.  Here we get a chance to look at a project that is home-grown, is based on what has been going on at the school since the beginning, to let folks in the school put together a plan and take the reigns, developing something from the inside.  This is bubbling up from inside and for me that is very exciting.

Kinnane;  I think we’ve all read the petition.  I do think it is going to do great things for the kids.  We do have, I do think, we, the conversation mostly has been here, our obligation as a board taking a vote and doing it well-informed and being comfortable with doing that.  It feels like….I have plenty more questions…we need to make certain we are doing it all within the powers that we’re supposed to be doing it.  We need a comfort around the vote and what it does for the system. 

McDaniel:  I would like to move it to discussion and action.

End conversion charter discussion.  Athletic Director Jeff Beggs answers earlier questions about concussions.

Jeff Beggs:  We have found that our concussions have gone down.  All of our coaches in every sport have to go thru the National Federation of High Schools training.  They have to go thru that.  We know that most concussions happen at the practice level.  If the student athlete shows signs of a concussion, before they can come back and be cleared to participate they must have a Dr.’s release.  That is where our partnership with Morehouse School of Medicine and Atlanta Medical Center come into play.  If we have an issue at any of our schools we can get a resident or Dr. out there within 30 minutes and I don’t know of any other district that has that.  We also have medical personnel at games and they have the authority to pull students out of games.  The things we have done far exceed the GA return to play act.  We also, this is a big part of this, we put every athlete thru the impact concussion program.  I think it is the best on the market.  They take a pre-test before the season and if something happens they take the test again.  If they don’t pass the test, they are held out.  We’ve had kids out as long as a month.  We are in the middle of doing post-tests now.

Report No. 13/14-1713 Recommendation to Approve a Charter Amendment Allowing Drew Charter School to Change its Enrollment Preferences

THE SUPERINTENDENT REPORTS:

In its 2013 session, the Georgia State Legislature passed House Bill 283, allowing enrollment preference to be given to children who matriculate from a pre-kindergarten program which is associated with a named school. Drew Charter School is requesting to amend its charter to allow students in the Cox Pre-K Program, located at Drew Charter School and Pre-K students attending the East Lake Sheltering Arms Earl Education and Family Center to receive priority kindergarten admission into the Drew Charter School Kindergarten program.

This proposed change is aligned with Drew Charter School’s mission to serve as a cradle-to-college pipeline and will allow the school to continue serving children who attend the Pre-K program at the charter school and allows teachers to more intentionally link Pre – K to kindergarten instruction and reduces transitions for students moving from Pre-K to kindergarten.

This proposed change will not change the school’s planned enrollment numbers in any grades and does not impact Drew’s budget. Admission to the prioritized Pre-K program mirrors the priorities currently used for students enrolling in Drew’s kindergarten program.

RECOMMENDATION:

That the Atlanta Board of Education accept the recommendation of the superintendent to approve the proposed amendment to Drew Charter School’s enrollment priorities to include children graduating from Pre-K programs associated with the charter school.

GAINS AND LOSSES

 *Mr. Ronnie Price has been named Chief Human Resources Officer for Atlanta Public Schools.  

Ronnie J. Price, Sr., is a human resources administrator, entrepreneur and a civic leader. He lived in the county of Albemarle, Virginia for over 20 years and most recently in Williamsburg, Virginia He has a B.A. in Business and Political Science, with a minor in Economics and a MA in Public Administration. He has completed all requirements for the PhD degree in Government but the dissertation. All academic work completed at the University of Virginia. 

He has worked in the HR field in academia for 25 years and 8 years within undergraduate and graduate student affairs specifically with Engineering programs at Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science School. 

Most recently he served as the Associate Vice President for Human Resources at the College of William and Mary.

Report No. 13/14-1122 Authorization to Enter into and Execute a Contract to Provide Computer Hardware and Installation Services

THE SUPERINTENDENT REPORTS:

The Atlanta Public Schools procurement services department solicited vendors to provide computer hardware and installation services.  Four (4) proposals were received and evaluated (list of bidders attached).

RECOMMENDATION:

That the superintendent be authorized to enter into and execute a contract with Prosys Information Systems to provide computer hardware and installation services. This contract shall be for one (1) year with four (4) one-year available options to be exercised at the discretion of the superintendent.  This contract is conditional upon the firm’s ability to comply with requirements set forth in the solicitation document.

REASON:

To provide computer hardware and installation services.

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

The estimated annual cost of this contract is $4,000,000.

FUNDING SOURCE:

Funds are available in various general fund accounts.

Report No. 13/14-1123 Authorization to Enter into and Execute Contracts for Plumbing Supplies

THE SUPERINTENDENT REPORTS:

The Atlanta Public Schools procurement services department solicited vendors to provide plumbing supplies.  Five (5) proposals were received and evaluated (list of bidders attached).

RECOMMENDATION:

That the superintendent be authorized to enter into and execute contracts with Ferguson, Inc., HD Supply Facilities Maintenance and Noland Company to provide to provide plumbing supplies. These contracts shall be for one (1) year with (4) one-year available options to be exercised at the discretion of the superintendent.  This contract is conditional upon the firm’s ability to comply with requirements set forth in the solicitation document.

REASON:

To provide plumbing supplies.

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

The estimated annual cost of these contracts is $600,000.

FUNDING SOURCE:

Funds are available in general fund account number 100-6713-6100 and various capital and SPLOST accounts.

Report No. 13/14-1124 Authorization to Transfer Funds for Board of Education Elections and Superintendent Search

THE SUPERINTENDENT REPORTS:

There is a need to transfer funds for the Atlanta Board of Education elections and superintendent search.

RECOMMENDATION:

That the superintendent be authorized to transfer funds between divisions in the general fund for the Atlanta Board of Education elections and superintendent search.

REASON:

To fund the Atlanta Board of Education elections and superintendent search.

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

The estimated cost is $600,000.

FUNDING SOURCE:

Funds are available in various general fund accounts.

Report No. 13/14-4316 Authorization to Transfer Lease Agreement with Latin Academy Charter School, Inc. from the Former Anderson Park Elementary School Property to the Former Capitol View Elementary School

THE SUPERINTENDENT REPORTS:

On July 11, 2011, the Atlanta Board of Education approved the Latin Academy Charter School (Report No. 11/12-1601).  On March 5, 2012, the Atlanta Board of Education approved Latin Academy Charter to lease the Rosalie Wright Elementary School (Report No. 11/12-4309).  On July 9, 2012, the Atlanta Board of Education approved Latin Academy Charter to lease Anderson Park Elementary School (Report No. 12/13-4300).  Due to the amount of repair work required to maintain the Anderson Park Elementary School facility, the Latin Academy Charter is requesting to transfer the Anderson Park lease agreement, with an option to purchase, to the former Capitol View Elementary School located at 1442 Metropolitan Parkway for the operation of their charter school.  The terms of the current lease will remain the same.  Pursuant to the state law, no lease payments may be charged to charter schools.  The lessee will be responsible for all utilities, maintenance, capital improvements, operating expenses, and insurance requirements for the facility.  The lessee will have the option to purchase the property at any time during the lease term with a 120-day written notice to exercise the purchase option. Latin Academy Charter has submitted letters of support from the local NPU.

RECOMMENDATION:

That the superintendent be authorized to enter into and execute a lease agreement with Latin Academy Charter School, Inc. for the former Capitol View Elementary School.

*Concern expressed by BOE members around attendance zone for students.  Currently Latin Academy has not changed its attendance zone to give the Capitol View community priority, however Mueller points out that only 2 of the current 200 children currently attending the school live in the current priority attendance zone.  Questions are also raised about the idea of giving Latin Academy an option to purchase the building.

Amos:  This is about neighborhood jumping.  They were granted a building, couldn’t renovate a building and now here they go jumping to another building.  When you draw the comparison to a building and the number of students attending, that doesn’t hold up.  Who is to say that more than 2 kids will attend in the new attendance zone.

Davis:  I know per the law charter schools have first crack at a building, but I don’t know if the law is silent about moving.

Mueller:  The law does not address jumping or selling.  The wording is very general.

Report No. 13/14-4317 Authorization to Ratify and Approve all Permits for Use of School Properties that have a Term of Longer than One Week at Various School Sites

THE SUPERINTENDENT REPORTS:

Policy KG states that all requests for use of school facilities for a period longer than one week shall be submitted to the Board of Education for approval.  Included is a list of permits that are being submitted for ratification and/or approval consistent with the Policy KG.

RECOMMENDATION:

That the Board of Education ratify and approve the attached list of use permits.

REASON:

To comply with the current Policy KG.

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

The district will receive fees according to the term and fee schedule of the permit.

Report No. 13/14-4318 Authorization to Enter into and Execute a Construction Management at Risk Contract with J.E. Dunn Construction Company for the Additions and Modifications

THE SUPERINTENDENT REPORTS:

Proposals for construction management services have been submitted for Bunche Middle School additions and modifications project.  The proposal from J E. Dunn Construction Company represents the best value for district. Design documents are currently being completed by the Architect.  The construction manager can begin conducting activities in preparation to implement  the first phases of project.  The scope of this project is consistent with the updated recommendations per the BuildSmart Facilities Master Plan.

RECOMMENDATION:

That the Board approve awarding a Construction Management at Risk contract to J..E. Dunn Construction Company for a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) not to exceed $ 29,900,000 for total construction of this project.

REASON:

To provide for the implementation of the Atlanta Public Schools construction Program consistent with the overall BuildSmart Master Plan and capital construction budget and schedule.

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

The cost is expected not to exceed $ 29,900,000 and will be supported by the approved Capital Construction budget to accommodate the needs-driven scope of this project.

FUNDING SOURCE:

Funding for this project is available in the Capital Construction account.

2.03, 2.04, 2.06, 4.01 all pulled from agenda and will be brought up for discussion and action.

This ends the consent agenda.

Agenda approved.

——————————————————————–

DISCUSSION AND ACTION:

Ms. Muhammad discusses an action item for the Howard building but the sound is inaudible.

Washington High School:  APS is sending home weekly updates to parents on the environmental upgrades taking place at Washington High School. View the latest reports and parent letters:  http://www.atlantapublicschools.us/Page/39112

Amos: I would like to say thank you for moving forward.  All of the problems that were identified, we have identified solutions as well and we are actually moving forward to getting it done and I would like to say thank you.

Furlough Day:  CFO Burbridge says that the furlough day agenda item was brought so that employees would have a better chance to plan for the projected January day off.  He is hesitant to remove the day until later in the school year, but is comfortable with pushing it further into the year.  “Things look manageable, but they have to be managed.”

Burbridge:  We are looking for additional time to study the expenditures.

Motion on the floor is to cancel the furlough day instead of moving it to May. Motion carries.

Latin Academy/Capitol View:  Amos reads documentation that supports his earlier comment about Latin Academy.  Asks that the BOE denies the changing of the lease.  Davis asks legal if we can deny their request to move into the building.  Legal will consult and provide answer after executive session.

Amos:  It is more about the building they are in than the children they are serving.  They conveyed they had a full understanding of what renovations needed to be done at Anderson Park.

Mueller:  The school leader told me that they would have to replace 90% of the building at Anderson Park to bring it up to reasonable working conditions.

Meister:  Do we have any minimum standards that we look at before we allow a charter to look at a building?

Mueller:  No we do not.  We don’t go thru and say this is acceptable and this is not.

Meister:  Maybe that is something we should put in place.  How many students do they anticipate having?

Mueller:  90 in year 1, 180 in year 2 and 270 in year 3.  They are currently in year 2.

Meister:  If they moved that would not impact their priority zone?

Mueller:  When we had community meetings, they did hear from the Capitol View community who wanted this…but we could negotiate/stipulate that they give both Dixie Hills and CV priority.

McDaniel:  We will hold this decision until after executive session.

PRESENTATIONS:

Superintendent Davis:

Mr. Chair, I would like to pause to acknowledge two special individuals.

APS continues to attract, retain and support talented employees.

Two talented employees – of the countless many across APS – are in the audience.

Georgia Trend magazine AND the Atlanta Business Chronicle recently named Sonya to their 2013 list of “Forty Under Forty.” That is, 40 outstanding Georgians under the age of 40

Sonya made the list because she is a bold advocate for children who do NOT have permanent housing.

There are approximately 2,200 homeless students attending Atlanta’s public schools.

Sonya is the district’s homeless education liaison, who works every day with social workers in our schools and community partners to get students the services/support they need to succeed in school.

Examples of services/provisions she coordinates: extra instruction/remediation, referrals for housing, school supplies, transportation, clothing/school uniforms, and more!

Sonya does her job well and with unrelenting passion.

She is also the newly elected president of the Georgia chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. She has been with APS since 2010.

We are proud of her and fortunate to have her talent in APS.

Please join me in congratulating Ms. Sonya Hunte.

The Association of School Business Officials recently named Holly as a “certified administrator of school finance and operations.”Why is this important? First, the certifying association is a reputable, international professional organization for school business officials.

Second, the certification process is intensive. Certification is granted only to highly qualified individuals who pass an exam, maintain the highest professional standards and show how they support quality education services.  Holly made the cut.

Only a handful of individuals in Georgia have achieved this type of certification.

And Holly is the first and only person at APS.  Holly has been with APS since 2009.

She has earned several promotions and is now the director of accounting for special revenue funds.  We are proud of her and fortunate to have her talent in APS.

Please join me in congratulating Holly Morales on her achievement.

The Board is now entering into executive session.  This blog will continue when the Board returns.

—————–

6:21pm

Board continues executive session.  The live blog will end for tonight, however you can catch the legislative meeting on Comcast Channel 22 beginning Wednesday.

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