On the agenda for Tuesday’s School Board Meeting


The next Regular School Board meeting is this coming Tuesday, October 13. See Agenda here. In this post, I’ll highlight items of interest.

Minutes of Past Meetings (Consent Agenda)

The Consent Agenda portion of the overall Agenda includes the recommended approval of the minutes of the last four meetings:

  • August 18 Work Session on Policies
  • September 8 Regular Meeting
  • September 8 Final Budget Hearing
  • September 15 Work Session on the Strategic Plan

I recommend reading the minutes. They condense hours of discussion into easy-to-read summaries, including the names of all public speakers and the agenda items addressed by each. It’s a good way to review or learn what happened.

2015–16 Strategic Plan (Consent Agenda – Item B15)

At its September 15 Work Session, Board members heard a presentation on and discussed the 2014–16 Strategic Plan that had been approved and put in place three years ago. On Tuesday, the Board will be asked to approve by consent the Goals, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Strategies for the last year of that three-year plan.

All Goals and KPIs approved three years ago remain unchanged for the upcoming year, with the exception of those KPIs that are linked to shifts in legislative mandates, test scores, or have been accomplished. The proposed Year 3 Strategies supporting progress towards the KPIs were developed based on the results of work completed in Years 1 and 2.

The Year 3 Plan submitted for Board approval is here. I encourage you, as an informed voter and community member, to look through it.

Labor Agreements (Consent Agenda – Items E91, E92, E93, E94, E95 and E96)

Of note:

  • Collier County Education Association (CCEA or Teachers’ Union) (Agenda Item E94):
    • Step salary increase on revised salary schedules.
    • One-time performance award for employees receiving a 2014–15 final evaluation rating of Effective or Highly Effective.
    • Reinstatement of a tuition reimbursement program.
    • Revision of supplemental pay.
    • Estimated cost $4,900,000.00.

    • Performance salary increases for school-based administrators per Florida Statute.
    • Salary increase for all other non-bargaining unit employees.
    • One-time performance award for school-based administrators who receive a 2014–15 final evaluation rating of Effective or Highly Effective.
    • Estimated cost $1,100,000.00.

    School Board Polices (Unfinished Business)

    At this meeting, the Board will consider Second Readings of 16 School Board policies.

    Of particular interest to me is the broadened definition, which I support, of “protected classes” in Policies 3122 Nondiscrimination Equal Employment Opportunity (Agenda Item C5), 3362 Zero Tolerance for Discriminatory and Harassing Misconduct by Staff (Agenda Item C8), and 5517 Zero Tolerance for Discriminatory and Harassing Misconduct by Students (Agenda Item C11 ). As proposed, it would be impermissible to discriminate in the District on the basis of:

    race, color, sex (including sexual orientation and/or gender identity), age, religion (including religious beliefs), disability, genetic information, national origin, ethnicity, ancestry, pregnancy, political affiliations, and/or marital status.

    The Board will also consider a First Reading of Policy 3211 Whistleblower Protection (Agenda Item C6 ). This policy was previously heard as a First Reading at the August Policy Work Session; changes suggested were substantive enough that the policy is coming back for a First Reading. To me, the proposed changes seem to address the current distrust by the junior Board members of the Board Chair and Superintendent. That said, I don’t object to the policy as proposed for Tuesday’s consideration.

    2016 Legislative Platform: Greater Florida Consortium of School Boards (New Business – Agenda Item E90)

    At its August 11 meeting, the Board unanimously adopted the District’s 2016 Legislative Platform, consisting of four items that together ask the state for more funding and more local control over testing and accountability. See My Report on the August 11 School Board Meeting. It is admirable that the District limited their request; that focus on money and testing underscores these topics importance to our community.

    This month, the Board takes up the proposed 2016 Legislative Platform of the Greater Florida Consortium of School Boards, a group representing the school boards of Broward, Lee, Martin, Miami-Dade, St. Lucie, Charlotte, Collier, Monroe, Palm Beach, Pinellas and Sarasota counties.

    Board member Roy Terry represented the Collier School Board at the meeting at which the proposed Platform was drafted.

    Unlike the focused, limited CCPS Platform, the Consortium’s Platform runs to seven pages. It consists of five Priority Goals (each with a number of sub-requests) and a number of Additional Issues. The Priority Goals, which will be printed and distributed to Legislators, address:

    • Constitutional authority / governance / unfunded mandates
    • Funding
    • Optional capital outlay levy (2.0 mills)
    • Charter schools
    • Accountability and state testing program

    The Additional Issues address matters related to governance, funding, capital outlay, accountability, and other. If adopted, these issues will provide direction to the Consortium’s lobbyists if needed during the legislative process.

    Under the Consortium’s bylaws, if any of the 11 school boards rejects any issue, that issue will be removed the GFCSB Platform. No amendments are permitted.

    I was pleased to see that the four items in the CCPS Legislative Platform also appear in the Consortium’s Platform.

    Next up: Work Session on Blue Zones October 20

    The Blue Zones Project was addressed by the Board at its September 8 meeting, after hearing 29 public speakers on the topic. At that meeting, as requested at the August Board meeting, District General Counsel Jon Fishbane reported on his review of the Blue Zones pledge and Blue Zones documents, and provided an overview of seven existing, relevant School Board policies:

    • Policy 8510 Wellness
    • Policy 8500 Nutrition Services
    • Policy 2417 Comprehensive Health Education
    • Policy 2410 Health Services
    • Policy 5512 Tobacco Free Environment
    • Policy 7430 Risk Reduction Program
    • Policy 5830 Student Fund-Raising

    You can view Mr. Fishbane’s comments on this YouTube video, courtesy of our friends at Great Schools, Great Minds. If you haven’t checked out GSGM’s websiteFacebook Page or YouTube Channel yet, I encourage you to do so.

    At that September meeting, District participation in a Blue Zones pilot project at four schools (Lake Park Elementary, Sea Gate Elementary, Gulf View Middle, and Naples High) was approved with a 3-to–2 vote, Erika Donalds and Kelly Lichter voting no.

    Then, given the extensive discussion that had just occurred, Board Chair Kathleen Curatolo suggested that the Board consider a different topic for its October Work Session other than Blue Zones, previously scheduled for that meeting. But that was not to be. Instead, the Board decided to keep Blue Zones as a topic for the October Work Session, specifically to address two questions:

    1. How are the wellness councils selected? and
    2. How is the pilot success going to be measured?

    Stay tuned.

    If you are unable to attend this Tuesday’s Regular Board meeting or the October 20 Board Work Session, and want to give comments to the Board and/or Superintendent, you can email them:

    Kathleen Curatolo – curatoka@collierschools.com
    Erika Donalds – donale@collierschools.com
    Kelly Lichter – lichteke@collierschools.com
    Julie Sprague – spraguju@collierschools.com
    Roy Terry – terryro@collierschools.com
    Superintendent Kamela Patton – patton@collierschools.com

    Help me reach more Collier County voters by sharing this post with your friends. You and they can subscribe to Sparker’s Soapbox by email at www.sparkers-soapbox.blogspot.com, “like” me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sparkers.soapbox or follow me on Twitter @SparkersSoapbox.

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