At the Hastings School Board meeting on Aug. 23 rd , Superintendent Tammy Champa may not have had any announcements or recognitions to share but Director Lisa Hedin anticipated many in …
At the Hastings School Board meeting on Aug. 23rd, Superintendent Tammy Champa may not have had any announcements or recognitions to share but Director Lisa Hedin anticipated many in the upcoming weeks as the start of school is just around the corner and students are still “soaking up those last days of summer.”
Champa commented that back to school is in the air everywhere you look, and she recognized all the work being put into welcoming the staff and students back to school. As new school staff started on Aug. 24, the big staff kick off for all district staff was held on Aug. 29 at the Hastings High School Auditorium.
Director Jessica Dressely discussed Development Adoption and Implementation of policy where changes were made regarding policy to state that public comment will be allowed during the public comment session of the board meeting.
Hedin spoke up, “We have received some public comment with regard to that point, and to be clear, the policy as it is written does not allow public comment immediately following the policy. It says public comment prior to the board taking final action.”
She further explained that at least three readings are posted which makes it about a three-month period and the public is allowed to comment during any period of that time.
Dressely agreed and added, “There is a procedure also for when somebody wants to suggest changes for the policy committee to consider and that’s to bring it to the superintendent or the policy chair or a board member.”
As the board procedures were discussed, Dresseley stated her excitement that these procedures will help to onboard new members and give everybody more clear vision of what everybody’s supposed to be doing.
Director Carrie Tate asked how the agendas can be determined.
“Who can request agenda topics be placed on a committee agenda?” she said. She asked if it has to come from the majority of the board or if individual board members can suggest to the committee chair.
Dressley went on to discuss Policy 621, this new policy from Minnesota School Boards Association is due to the enactment of the Read Act policy.
Dressley stated, “The policy committee recommends that we fast track this policy and adopt it at the September Board meeting.”
Director Mark Zuzek remarked that it is almost verbatim to what the Read Act says.
Hedin said this will be an action item at the Sept 27th board meeting. She added that they do not have flexibility as “this is pretty much the legislative language.” She wanted board members to be aware of the timeline so that they can submit any comments or recommendations prior to Sept. 11 when the policy committee meets again.
As the school board unanimously passed the superintendent goals, Hedin commented, “I will point out that we covered these goals in a robust discussion at the Aug. 16 work session. There was a conversation about having something with regard to student behavior and discipline engaged in there, but this is a pretty large set of goals. We do have a commitment from Superintendent Champa that we will receive quarterly reports from our principals with regard to student behavior and discipline throughout this school year. It’s obviously a piece of import to the district and to the school board.”
As the school board meeting was winding to a close, Hedin stated that the next business meeting would be Sept. 27. She shared that in the beginning of this meeting there wasn’t a recognitions and celebrations portions but, “I anticipate that the intent will be in all future meetings during the school year, we will have a student component and a student celebration recognition portion of every public board meeting because we want to make sure that students receive the recognition that they well deserve, and that the community can see the range of opportunities and activities that our students are succeeding in.”
On behalf of the school board, Hedin ended the meeting with the comment, “Let’s have a great school year! I’m so excited! We’re weeks and days away from school starting and while I don’t have any students in that loop anymore at the public-school level, it’s in the air and it is exciting, and I know we all wish our students and our staff just a terrific year and we stand with you, and we want to do what we need to do to support your success.” Her comments were met with big smiles and nods from the board members as she further mentioned that it’s an exciting time of year.