SOUTH WASHINGTON COUNTY SCHOOLS SPECIAL SEPT. MEETING MINUTESDistrict 833
School Board Special Meeting Summary for September 13, 2012
13 September 2012
Pursuant to due call and notice thereof, a special meeting of the School Board of Independent School District 833, South Washington County, was held on Thursday, September 13, 2012. The meeting was called to order by Chairman Leslee Boyd at 6:02 p.m. at the District Service Center, located at 7362 East Point Douglas Road South, Cottage Grove, MN. School Board members present were Marsha Adou, Leslee Boyd, Tracy Brunnette, Jim Gelbmann, Laurie Johnson, Ron Kath and David Kemper. Superintendent Keith Jacobus was present.
A motion was made and seconded to approve the consent agenda items. Consent agenda items included resignations and terminations, leaves of absence, and new employees/change of status.
Dennis Cheesebrow, Founder of Teamworks International, provided training to board members on the topic of Excellence in Governance. Teamworks International offers consultants to work with mission-focused organizations to build capacity for long-term success. He provided a guide called ELS (Education Leadership System) that is geared toward aligning adults in the district around the areas of continuous improvement, accountability and delivery of the district's mission. The Education Leadership System (ELS) is an established approach for aligning School Boards, administration, staff and the public to increasing learning for all students. ELS clarifies the roles, responsibilities, and relationships that are most often at the source of tension and conflict among groups of adults. The things that make ELS effective and beneficial are:
•Clarification of the adults' roles which allows board to govern well, administrators to manage well and the staff/public to consult well.
•Acknowledgement that there are differing authorities at play, and differing interests of the adults in the district.
•Partnership across the adults through tools, processes, language and images which are designed to help increase levels of trust, competence, transparency and interdependency.
•Unity through focus on learning and development for all students.
•Identification of student learning achievements and gaps through effective use of data and analysis.
•Development of partnerships as a capacity of the district, not just the individuals, to promote a robust and resilient response to change.
There are six groups of adults in ELS:
•District Board of Education
•District Administrators and Principals
•Schools' Programs and Staff
These six groups of adults have three key purposes:
•Governance - authority held by the School Board
•Management - authority held by the Superintendent, Administrators and Principals
•Consultation - authority held by staff, students, parents, public
While there is some overlap in roles and responsibilities, it is important to understand the differences between these groups, especially in terms of authority. ELS encourages each adult to operate "in their own sandbox" which will increase accountability, transparency and interdependence of action for all. Those with the authority in management have five major roles:
•Resource management to develop a district operational plan and long range facilities, finance, human resources and technology plans
•Performance management which involves employee development and coaching, employee appraisal and accountability
•Continuous Improvement through VisionCards, the strategic roadmap, school and department improvement plans and monitoring reports
•Procedures and practices which includes district policy and informing board ends/limitations policy
•Parent and community relations which includes decision making processes, advisory councils and public relations
Governance questions are largely concerned with "why", "to what end", "at what cost" and "through what policies". They can usually be addressed by using various tools and practices. Identifying practices will assist the board in working with greater focus and will lead them to speaking with one collective voice. The key purpose of a board is to provide Excellence in Governance, acting as stewards of public trust and the institution of public education. That includes district governance and policy, operational oversight, board governance policy, Superintendent relations, and public engagement.
The special meeting adjourned at 8:50pm.