Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education Meeting - December 9

AAPS December 9 Board of Education Meeting

On December 9, the Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education held a regular meeting with a large focus on the 2019 Bond Preliminary Phase 1 Plan. You can watch the meeting live on Zoom or on Xfinity Channel 18 (note the audio was not working on the Channel 18 feed at least for the beginning of the meeting). The district typically posts the recording split into segments the day after the meeting.


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Summary

Public Commentary heavily featured commenters supporting the letter sent to AAPS and signed by over 100 local physicians advocating for a change in metrics and a return to school. The letter signed by physicians can be found here.

Ms Minnick provided an update on the October budget and how it compared to last year. General Fund balance is up. There are changes in how quickly the fiscal year was completed, starting fund balance, and retirement revenue is now received from the state quarterly instead of monthly.

The Board received a First Briefing on the Phase 1 Plan for the 2019 Bond. This is largely the same as what was covered in last week’s study session. Planning has been under way for the last year. Work will start with the elementary schools, then high school, and finally middle schools. The first major projects are construction of a new Mitchell School and improvements at Pathways to Success High School. All middle schools and Community High School will receive air conditioning in the next summer or two. The Northeast sector of elementary schools will have a feasibility study in 2021 to consider options for a staging school site and how best to handle rapid development in that sector. The goal of the first briefing is to have a plan to begin communications and development of advisory groups on 1st Quarter 2021.

There was a first briefing on the purchase of new food service equipment. This will allow improved food quality in lunches both while delivering food to classrooms in a COVID return to school and in a post-covid world with the cafeterias in use. Additionally, grab and go breakfast carts will improve equity by making breakfast available for all students and reducing the stigma of students receiving free and reduced cost breakfasts. Food service has already been using new equipment that allows them to assemble meals like TV dinners that are frozen and easy to reheat – currently t home for to-go meals but also at school for lunches. They have transitioned to using more sustainable materials that are biodegradable or compostable instead of the styrofoam containers that many student, parent, and other advocacy groups have been working to eliminate.

The board approved expenditures to replace the freezer at Scarlett middle school. This was covered in a First Briefing at the last board meeting.

Finally, the board approved a meeting schedule for January-June 2021.


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Call to Order

I missed the start of the meeting. I was finishing dinner and recorded it from Channel 18. When I started the recorded meeting on Channel 18, it lacked audio. I joined in the middle of public commentary.

Attendees

The meeting was attended by:

Board: Johnson, Kelly, Lazarus, Nelson, Gaynor, Lightfoot, Baskett

Board Assistant: Ms Osinski

AAPS: Swift, Cluley, Lauzzana, Minnick, Rice, Davis, Margolis

Moment of Silence

The board held a moment of silence for Delia Anne (Dee) Johnson, a paraprofessional at Bryant/Pattengill who passed away on November 27..


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Public Commentary

Public Commentary is available on Board Docs. Letters submitted as public commentary are often read quickly and truncated to fit in the allotted time. Sharing the link to the posted public commentary means they are reported in a more complete and accurate manner – and without me having to guess at name spellings or paraphrasing to keep up with the pace they are read at.

Response

Due to the number of comments (over 100), President Johnson requested that Dr Swift respond with a written response.

Johnson: Thank you for your comments. We will read the physicians letter and respond to it. We do read and respond to every email and comments we get.

Swift: Thank you for all who have joined us this week. Every week we send an update and try to address the questions that have written that week. Certainly we won’t be able to respond to every question, but we will provide an update on where the district is and where our progress is. Our first students to transition will be our youngest and most vulnerable. We continue to have that plan ready to go. This week we will pay particular attention to this weeks questions and the letter we have received from the physicians.


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Reports of Associations

PTOC

AA PTOC activities are well under way. Mr Cluley read the letter. The next meeting will be a roundtable about the role of a PTO during a pandemic. Their November meeting was a success with a topic of how will we serve all children with Dr Swift, Ms Parks, Ms Linden, & Dr Fidishin. Hopefully the full letter will be posted.

Information

Monthly Budget Monitoring Report: October

Ms Minnick shared the October monthly monitoring report. During last Wednesday’s Finance Committee, it was previously reviewed by the finance committee and is brought to the full board this evening.

General Fund cash and investments is much higher than last year. In part because of an improvement of timeliness in closing books, different expenditures, etc. Spending is down $4.18 million and revenue is up $4.8 million. It also looks like the starting value was about $3 million higher.

Of note, the Community Services Fund & Food Service Fund has seen less income and more expenditures.

Nelson: Ms Minnick, a repeat from the finance committee, the State revenues do not yet reflect changes in state funds. In your judgement on how the changes in enrollment and retirement will change these estimates.

Minnick: There are a number of factors at play. The numbers at state say suggest they are not far off from August conference, but our enrollment numbers have declined. But we budgeted for a per pupil reduction. So those may offset. The retirement revenue has been changed from being received on a quarterly basis instead of monthly basis which will affect reporting monthly. I believe we are still on track at this time.

Nelson: The point I want to drive home is Ms Minnick is not just reading reports from the state, but she is thinking about what is the next report from the state going to show.I really appreciate that kind of anticipation in your work. I wanted the public to know that.

Nelson: One comment more than a question. The community services area is showing a deficit in all of the tables. I am very concerned that our district out of this pandemic is as strong as we can. One of my concerns is the community service area. I went back and looked at the audit and I see last year there was a reduction in the fund balance of $1.2 million even as the general fund increased around $2.2 million. I also recall that one of the difficult decisions we made (and I don’t disagree with) was to lay off our child care worker team and that child care work is very important to our district and many families need an arrangement where they can drop their child at the school on their way to work and know they are well cared for and will transition to school day and similarly in the afternoon. <I got a text and missed part of the comment>How can that come roaring back and be that good vibrant part of the district.

Minnick: You mentioned the health service staff. When those staff become employed in those ways, that does not affect the community services fund. That gets moved to the General Fund.

Kelly: I always appreciate hearing Nelson’s comments. My question is a little add-on to his first question. Can you remind us of the upcoming dates we should expect thing like information from Lansing.

Minnick: January is the Consensus revenue Conference hosted by the state with UM economists and other professionals that project state revenues and the treasury department and state budget department. They look at income tax, sales tax, other revenue sources. They look at current fiscal year and the next fiscal years. It is the foundation for the Governor’s proposed budget which is usually released in February. That kicks off our budget planning for the following school year.


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First Briefing

2019 Bond: Preliminary Phase I Plan

Note: This was covered in last week’s study session. See our notes from that meeting..

Swift: While we have been working on our COVID plans we have also been working on the Phase 1 of the plan for the 2019 Bond Funds. We will do it in two parts. I will share a brief introduction, then Mr Lauzzana will move into the body of the plan.

Introduction by Dr Swift

We will share first briefing today and second briefing next week. In January-March we will be hosting community forum events – at least virtually to start.

We are the 4th largest district in Michigan, covering 125 square miles including the entire city of Ann Arbor and parts of 8 surrounding townships. We own 35 buildings with 3.4 million square feet. and 723 acres.

AAPS Core Values

  • Educational Excellence
  • Equity, Opportunity & Social Justice
  • Health, Safety, & Well Being
  • Responsible Stewardship
  • Engaged Community & Ann Arbor Community Schools

Our value is to deliver projects with quality, durability, on time and on-budget. The number 1 value in Ann Arbor is the local neighborhood school. Tonight’s view is the long view to position our schools not just for this generation but for generations to come.

Even though this is a first briefing, this is a long time endeavor starting in 2015 with the last bond with no increased levy and a 2017 increase to the sinking fund. The goal of the sinking fund was to show a beginning of the updating and upgrading of the school buildings.

In 2018 & 2019 there was an independent facilities condition assessment completed for all schools – an average age of 63. This was used to draw the parameters of the capital bond that was approved by voters in November 2019.

From January-December 2020 a lot of preliminary work has happened to develop a plan that would work for the first 10 year of the bond. The first series of the bond sale was in June 2020 and raised $151 million.

Initial work included paving, roofing, and HVAC and some air conditioning to allow more summer programming. There have been indoor & outdoor active learning space renewal – playgrounds at all 21 elementary & K8 campuses, gym floors replaced & refinished, running tracks, tennis courts, and stadium turf at high school fields. Renewal projects at A2STEAM at Northside Pathways Campus, Allen (after their flood), Mitchell, and Bryant Pattengill. And modular classroom additions at Burns Park, Carpenter, King, Mitchell (2 additions), Thurston, and Wines. In sustainability and environmental responsibility they opened the Freeman Environmental Education Center, installed 5 large solar arrays, energy efficient LED lighting, 500 trees planted and storm water improvement.

AAPS values a quality education for every child. AAPS Buildings and grounds are aging and in need of major capital investment. The quality of the built environment directly impacts student achievement, the core mission of the district, and the quality of the programs offered to enrich students. This is a generational endeavor. We have beautiful schools and properties as a result of the foresight and sacrifices of previous generations. Not is our responsibility to prepare for future generations.

We look forward to setting our calendar in January-mid march to collect feedback from the community.


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Preliminary Phase I Plan

Mr Lauzzana provided his own brief introduction repeating some of Dr Swift’s introduction. Some new data:

Schools Built: 1922: Bach & Community. A few other schools were opened in the yeas before WWII. Post WW II, 22 schools were opened in 24 years. Skyline was built in 2008. The average age of buildings is 63 years. Michigan is one of 12 states to provide no support for K-12 school construction.

Early Projects

This includes solar and other renewable energy, air conditioning and air quality improvements, energy efficient LED lights, outdoor learning enhancements, music, arts, science, & athletics improvements, small group and special needs learning spaces, and continued replacement and enhancement of musical instruments & furnishings, building management system upgrades, bus fleet & technology replacement, roofing, paving & stormwater

Intermediate Summer Projects

Intermediate summer projects are for schools who se major project occurs later in the plan. Customized to each school, but won’t be projects that will be lost when the major project is done. Examples are the Bryant/Pattengill’s media center and Pioneer’s cafeteria.

Major Projects

With the average age of 63 there is work that cannot be completed in a summer. Constructing Staging Schools will provide a temporary relocation while construction is ongoing at home school. Staging locations in each quadrant of the city to complete major project at all elementary buildings and K-8.

Major projects are the core of the bond work. Schools will be evaluated for replacement, deep retrofit, or a combination of saving part of a building like the cafeteria and gym while replacing the classroom wings.

Evaluation criteria for replacement/retrofitting:

  • Academic Program Implications
  • Construction first cost & operating costs
  • Impacts on health, wellbeing, & universal access
  • Environmental sustainability including embodied carbon and operating carbon emissions.

School investment is prioritized by Capital Investment needs, Matriculation, and Housing projects.

From the facilities assessment study, investment needed ranges form $283/sq ft at Carpenter to $55/sq ft for Allen (they had a major reconstruction after a flood in 2016).

Elementary schools have highest need followed by high schools.

Matriculation: AAPS wants to minimize the number of times a student is disrupted by the construction. For example they don’t want a student disrupted in elementary, and again in middle school, and a third time in high school. By starting with the highest needs at elementary, and moving to high school, and then back to middle schools students should not be impacted multiple times in their school years.

Middle schools will receive significant summer renovations with AC, ventilation, lighting, and fire suppression since their major projects will be later.

Housing development is another consideration in which schools to renovate when. All but one school are within City of Ann Arbor. Many outlying areas outside the city also have upcoming housing development.


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Staging Plans:

The city is broken into 4 quadrants – NE, SE, SW, & NW.

Plan begins in SE with a new Mitchell school while the existing school is occupied. The old Mitchell will then be used as a staging site for the other schools in the sector while their buildings are renovated – Burns Park, Angell, Pittsfield, and Pattengill. Allen, Bryant, and Carpenter will not need staging. Mitchell planning will start in 2021 with construction starting in 2023. 

The NE Sector is challenging because there is development pressure and no staging site is found. A study is planned for 2021 with at least 6 options for staging, but none seem ideal yet.

The SW Sector also has enrollment pressure along AA-Saline corridor. Their planning will occur in 2023-2024 Dicken & Lakewood won’t need staging.

The timeline for the NW Elementaries & K8 (both are located in the NW area) is further out, so it will include intermediate projects in summers 2026-2028. A staging site is planned for 2029.

Middle Schools will have their major projects starting in 2032. They will have intermediate summer projects in 2029 & 2030.

High School improvements will start with a major project at Pathways to Success in 2022 and 2023. The original building was an elementary school and in use now as a high school. They are expanding with a new gym and more of a community college feel. 

Community HS will get renovation including air conditioning lighting, & fire suppression starting in 2021 & 2022.

Other buildings: The Preschool building is in good shape and can just have summer projects. Freeman will see outdoor learning and site enhancements. The Balas building will have an office utilization analysis in 2021 to see what its future is. Either with virtual work or making their work more public facing. The transportation building is in bad shape and needs some upgrades with interior updates, outdoor seating, and more.

Other investments include infrastructure for music, arts, & science, buses, technology , roofing & solar energy, paving & stormwater, & building management.

There will be theater updates & modernizations including rigging systems, STEAM lab improvements.

The district continues to invest in new buses and retire old buses. We have 132 buses and have just received initial electric buses.

They will continue to invest in infrastructure and security like wifi, core networking, data storage, and more. Move to a Buildings management system that is integrated rather than individual systems.

They will continue to replace roofs as needed and add solar. As roofs are replaced if there is good solar access, solar panel arrays will be added. Parking lots will be patched, resealed, repaired, biking and walking routes will be improved, and stormwater management will be added.


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Community Involvement

Community Stakeholders can learn more and ask questions:

  • Community Organization Presentations’Public Town Halls
  • Topical Presentations
  • Stakeholder surveys
  • Thought exchange engagement
  • Bond advisory committee
  • Bond working groups
  • School design committees for major projects
  • a dedicated web page on a2schools.org 
  • Board of Education meetings

Next Steps: 

  • December 2020:
    • 2nd Briefing
    • Board Approval of Phase 1
  • January-March 20201
    • Community Engagement Process
    • Form Bond Advisory Groups with applications bringing Q1 2021
  • April 2021
    • Gather Community Engagement feedback & report to board
  • Spring/Summer 2021
    • Bond Advisory Groups Begin meeting

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Trustee Questions

Nelson: This is very exciting. I am impressed by what we have done so far and the steps that have gone so well. I have the feeling tat looking at the timeline and the scale of projects that the Mitchell project will be one of the most visible next steps. To continue this wonderful track record we need to be sure that Mitchell goes really well, and I think it will. What are we going to do to make Mitchelll projects something we ae all proud of.

Lauzzana: You are right it is our opportunity to demonstrate to the community what our vision is. We’re developing a pre-cursor to early design steps is developing a sustainable and other design guidelines. There are several green building rating systems like LEED green building and several others. WELL occupant well being, Sites which looks at the grounds, and more. And looking at what to take from each. Good daylight, safety, energy efficiency, etc. They all talk about the value of commissioning who is with you format eh beginning to closeout and beyond and they make sure the intention of the design is carried out by the construction professionals. They’ll test the envelope to make sure it is as airtight as it should be or test HVAC to make sure it is running optimally.

We are excited about the Mitchell project and are int eh early stages of making sure wie have the framework.

Nelson: I’d just add that the school design committee with the local neighborhood people interacting with the professionals is exciting too. The professionals bring the knowledge but the people in the neighborhoods bring they experience, needs, culture, colors, designs, etc. that make the Mitchell neighborhood school.

Lauzzaana – One of the thing we’re looking at is how do we enhance the neighborhood school. Community use wasn’t always discussed int eh past. But designing the school for community use – after school athletics, community groups, student groups, etc. The right facilities and safety & security. For example opening just a portion of the school.

Swift: I was muted, but you actually took the words out of my mouth. To me the strength of the first project is having engagement right in the neighborhood community with staff and students and parents and community. We want every school to feel like the neighborhood it is built in. And it’s my commitment to have it with all projects.

Nelson: One other question: In a way it’s more important for a committee meeting, but I didn’t think of it then. Carpenter is way a t the top of capital needs diagram but it is labeled without a staging project. Why can it be fixed when it has so many needs with the students not having to leave? It’s not that I’m doubt6ing you’ve thought of it. I’m just curious why it turned out that way

Lauzzana: We see Carpenter with two primary options. We feel there is enough land area to replace the building on site while occupying the old building and then demolish the old one and restore play areas. You may have lack of playgrounds, but you could remain in your home school.

Kelly: I know today’s agent i called a first briefing, but this doesn’t feel like our first exposure. I don’t have questions because we’ve been looking along the way and I’ve already asked them including at the study session last week. I appreciate your team’s work. When I joined in 2016, it felt like there was a lot to do, it was months after the Allen flood, it was just going out of the great recession, and when I walked in with the list of needs for the sinking funds and had lots of catching up. The magnitude of the need is incredible. I don’t think any of us can thank the community enough for recognizing the need. We’re not doing cleanup anymore, we’re doing rebuilding. We’re recognizing what we’ve been given and it’s our turn to give to the future.


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Lazarus: Thank you for the thoughtful presentation. I want to reiterate what Trustee Nelson said about how important the Mitchell project is and to make it a great success. This is a brand new elementary school. The last time this community did a project of this type was 43 years ago with Logan. There are people in this community who have never seen a new school go up like this. We’ll learn together how this engagement process works as we go through this.

I do have a question and I’d be remiss not to bring this up at the planning stage. Planning is the most important stage to be fiscally responsible with your money. This is where you want to make changes and test things and make sure when the shovel goes in ground you know exactly what you want to do. It’s expensive to make changes then. We mentioned northeast section is a difficult area. Everyone can see the developments with Toll Brothers & Pulte and I know the schools are busting at the seams. And we’er taking a year to figure out how to really develop that area. Is there a way to get community’s input during that process. And see where people’s opinions are on the overgrowth happening in that area. I think if we’re transparent and open with the community> I’d like to see if not a design team, but something int hat community where we hear early on from them.

Swift: Trustee Lazarus I appreciate you raising that. I see us doing focus groups and more to see what is on people’s mind. We know congestions, traffic, roundabouts. I see a whole series of community engagement to see what is on people’s mind and seeing how they’re managing with 3 schools that are quite full and more development coming into the area.

Johnson: You forgot about Skyline built in the last 43 years

Lazarus: I was talking about neighborhood elementary schools

Gaynor: I just want to remark on the irony of talking about new schools when the pandemic is on and having the long discussion with the community on returning to in person. 

Trustee Lazarus poingt on community involvement is key.

First briefing this week, Second Briefing this week. Are ewe voting next week? What are we voting on?

Swift: Yes, the goal is to vote on a preliminary plan to take this out to the community with the bookend in April to bring feedback back to a  board presentation.

Johnson: You said that perfectly.

Gaynor: There’s no spending authorization here? it’s just to continue with the plan

Swift; We have not spent from this bond prior to this time. We’ve taken funds from sinking fund. We didn’t want to take from his until then. We’ll continue to work with finance committee, but it might be the case that some paving, roofing, etc. will come from the bond but not to the finer details of the plan.

Johnson: Any spending from January -April or more would have to go through Finance Committee first and have briefing there. 
Swift: We will be logging that on our bond website and keep it all clearly noted there.


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Lightfoot: That leads to my point and the differentiation in the bond and millage and how it is different. As much as we can use Ms Osinski’s color coding skills and pictures it would be most helpful. How to help allay the question of didn’t we just give you money.

Johnson: Trustee Lighfoot brought up what I was giong to bring up last. First, thank you for the presentation. There aren’t any surprises an only improvements. Back to he point of millages renewals and sinking funds, and the bond. As we got to the public along with construction we should note which funds are used and when things will happen.

Swift: We actually had that slide in the campaign materials and will pull that forward into these presentations.

Johnson: Along those lines, one thing is Huron High school locker rooms, facilities, and all that. We do have sinking fund money. I think it was slide 22, Huron HS is on that list. Are we thinking about addressing that, if not we should have discussion on that.
Swift: We actually have a number of enhancement on athletic needs. We have noted concerns from Huron. The question will be is this something that needs to be part of major redone or is it something we can do now.

Lauzzana: That’s an important point. When we look at Huron indoor athletic facilities. We want to take the time to confirm the layout is what will serve us for decades to come. Space is properly utilized. While we can say replace all lockers, if we did that first, we may say in five years we needed more/less, in a different place. It is important to do this in a comprehensive way. We have partners and high school athletics is a specialty design and sometime in 2021 we are looking to engage with a firm that has that expertise to do the comprehensive studies. Skyline doesn’t have visitor locker rooms. Pioneer stadium has some issues, etc. What is the future of high school athletics, changes to rules

Johnson: About Community Involvement, I’d love to see what’s coming out. I hope the community gets engaged. Thanks to the bond team for putting that together. Last thing, I love the Pathways idea and look forward to seeing that develop.

( I apologize to Trustee Johnson and those reading the notes. My daughter came in to talk to me on her way to bed and wanted to know what was going on and I missed some of the discussion)

Food Service Equipment

Swift: We are continuing to refine our thinking around COVID informed food service. Special guests from the Food Service team are Ms Victoria Davis and Ms Margolis.

The Finance Committee thought this was a good idea and I agreed to share more information on what these pieces of equipment will allow us to do. This will help us maintain student cohort group. Food may need to go to classroom or other place that is not the congregant cafeteria.

Ms Minnick is proposing ordering in 2 phases. I want to emphasize that we are ready to go for food service when we return using a box lunch approach without this equipment. But Ms Davis does things beautifully and to keep that high caliber of food going out to the classroom, they need these carts and other items. This will also help us both during COVID and beyond.

Minnick: When in person instruction resumes, we anticipate students remaining in cohorts and staying in their classrooms. That means delivery of breakfast and lunch to classroom or hallways. This is particularly challenging in buildings with multiple forms. We can go tomorrow, but this equipment will create efficiencies.

  • Mobile one drawer freezers for ice, milk, fruit, etc. Not every elementary currently has freezers.
  • Transport carts to serve meals and a la carte offerings to classrooms and will replace current fleet of carts that are old and in poor condition. They will be used int eh future as well for catering and other service models.
  • Grab & Go pickup stations to be placed at strategic location. Eliminates large groups of students having to go to the cafeteria. They are highly customizable. Room temperature, warm foods, and can be plugged in to maintain heat, or carry insulated bags for cold items. We have a few in the district and they have reduced wait times in cafeterias.
  • Breakfast merchandising cart. We already have a few placed near the school entry for grab and go service on the way to classrooms. They would all be used in a COVID informed and beyond.

Grand total was $119K for the freezers, transport carts, and pickup stations and $62k for breakfast merchandising. This comes from 2015 bond or CARES. Eligibility ends December 31 for CARES. Pending board approval at the next meeting we can still qualify for CARES.

We are considering phasing the purchase and ensuring pricing and supply chain remains viable.


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Davis: I am passionate at getting our students the best quality food and I’m excited at the opportunities our students will have to have food they haven’t had before delivered to classroom. We’ve already gotten new equipment to package foods that we are using for the to-go meals and will continue to use in the school setting. These new items will help us serve children homemade products. For example, Fettuccini Alfredo and it will be like a TV dinner and it will be moist & hot. We don’t want to supply just a cold meal box lunch type meal. It will be efficient when students can grab breakfast off the bus. It helps students not be segregated by free/reduced meals and others. Everyone is offered a breakfast in the morning. Fresh baked muffins, yogurt parfaits, etc. Breakfast carts are used throughout the country.

Margolis: I just have to say my jump in exposure with food services the last few months as we’ve worked through our plan but when we’re back in a hybrid and when we’re back in full force. The food offerings Victoria has come up with is just amazing. It’s beyond food I’ve seen delivered to our kids. It’s beyond what I’ve seen delivered to our kids in the past. We’ve just upped our game. I don’t know of other districts matching what we’re doing and how we’re feeding our students.

Lazarus: I serve on finance committee and we had a robust conversation. Trustee Nelson and I were on opposite sides of the table and by the end we switched. Victoria you said it’s a nice service for our communities in terms of equity. I have witnessed kids in school where they get free breakfast and they’re forced to eat it in front of other kids who don’t. But it becomes a stigma and they don’t want to eat even though they’re hungry. It’s a wonderful way to equalize it. There are probably other kids who are hungry but don’t qualify.

In hybrid, some districts were doing classroom lunches and had problems and had to take kids to the normal lunch room. Can you explain to me and the other trustees – How would we differ, have you talked to other districts to make sure we don’t end up there? In our committee I see how we could use it going forward post-pandemic, but I want you to expand on how we should use it in hybrid.

Davis: From the food aspect we are doing food a different way starting the last week. We package meals like a TV dinner. They’re biodegradable units our food goes in, gets sealed & frozen. That’s why we need freezers in elementary schools. It’s a non-touch way. It will be heated in the school for a good quality meal. Everything will be in a  sealed container. Teachers don’t have to open packages. Only cellophane top will need to be disposed in trash. The rest will go in compost. The same things we send families at home will be what we feed kids at school.

Margolis: We’ve been working on this plan since July. We think it is so important to keep student cohorts together. That’s our commitment. We’ll deliver meals to Y5-2. Older kids will be staggered to pickup meals and return to classroom. It’s important we aren’t in the cafeterias. We are really committed to the individual classroom cohort. We’re working with the nurses on food allergies. Depending on allergy we’ll have plans for how to address eating in classroom. We’ve also talked about how & where teachers will be eating their lunches.


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Lightfoot: I want to thank Ms Minnick for her stewardship of CARES dollars. And making sure we’re taking advantage and use that money first. Victoria – your passion comes through. Thank you for giving them the best meals we can with a frozen style meal and keeping us ahead of what others can do.

Nelson: Trustee Lightfoot said what I was thinking of saying. Ms Davis and Ms Margolis it’s a pleasure to thank you in person for this effort. We do sing your praises regularly. We’re so proud of what’s being done for the children and families in our community. We realize it didn’t happen without a lot of planning and hard work. 

Lightfoot: I missed you Ms Margolis. Thank you for all of that.

Kelly: I do want to make sure we have a chance to appreciate the incredible efforts of this team to fee dour children without missing a beat. I believe in real food and dignity and I think what you’re describing and ability for all children to have access is great. I’m excited to see it in action. One question is if we’re talking about raising the level are we anticipating a change in the cost of food service for using this equipment to the best of its abilities.

Swift: I don’t believe in relationship to this. But as you are aware, there are times we have to make an incremental increase just because it is that time again. There is not a cost increase associated with this purchase. If there is one forthcoming, it would be one we were coming to because of reimbursement or other concerns.

Minnick: Trustee Kelly in terms of increased cost for improved quality of foods, I would anticipate we would offset with more revenue and increased sales. Oftentimes pre packaged can be just as costly as preparing the whole food. Hopefully student participation will grow as a result of food quality.

Swift: President Johnson, there is a question: Liz & Victoria does this mean the styrofoam might go away? I’m not trying to put you on the spot, but inquiring minds will want to know. Our students and board want the styrofoam to go away.

Davis: To the best of my ability we have been developing relationships because of COVID and more suppliers have stepped up to provide more sustainable products at a lower rate. Just about everything we send out now is biodegradable or compostable. I’ve been working with students on sustainability committees since I joined AAPS.

Margolis: Everything I have seen has been in sustainable. I want to add that the way the meals are packaged and the containers make the meals more appealing. The little Chinese food boxes, clear containers, etc. makes them appealing.

Baskett: I won’t repeat all the accolades you deserve. Thank you for bringing this forth. I think it will make us have a stronger and better food service. Thank you Ms Margolis for bringing up presentation. I used to work in food service and presentation was key. Ms Minnick what is anticipated time of arrival? It sounds urgent for us to put this into play.

Minnick: Suppliers have indicated if we release the PO late next week we would have delivery mid-late January. But if they are delayed we can switch back to classroom feeding using box lunch formats.

Lightfoot: Thank you for reminding us of desire to move away from styrofoam. What we’ve seen in other places is an uptick in plastic use. Have you seen an uptick in that like with cutlery?

Davis: They do make cutlery that is made with cornstarch that biodegrades. We don’t send that to homes because we’re hoping families have cutlery to eat with. The small plastic containers we have are biodegradable.


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Second Briefing

Scarlett Walk-In Cooler

Swift: I don’t believe there have been any changes since the first briefing.

Lauzzana: I confirm no changes.

No trustee questions on the briefing.

Consent Agenda

The Board voted on the following items in the Consent Agenda:

  • Approve Annex #AN-2011: Scarlett Walk-In Cooler
  • Approve Minutes from December 2, Study Session
  • Approve Minutes from November 18 Regular Meeting

Trustee Gaynor motioned to approve the consent agenda. Seconded by Trustee Lazarus. No discussion. The Consent Agenda passed unanimously.

Board Action – January-June 2021 Meeting Schedule

Note: the proposed schedule for January-June 2021 is on the Board’s version of Board Docs but not posted on the public version yet.

Gaynor moved to approve the calendar. Seconded by Nelson. 

Lazarus: A question on why there is no performance or finance committee meetings on this.

Swift: We will fill in committees. The goal is to approve regular meetings. You will have an amended one with the committees when the new committees convene in January. 

The meeting schedule passed unanimously.


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Items from the Board

Kelly: Michigan Association of School boards held a weekend professional development trainings. I participated in a couple including one on board self-evaluation. There are differences from the superintendent tool, but similar. With our upcoming board retreat, I would like to bring this to executive committee to see if it makes sense to include it. One of the times they especially recommend using it is at time of transition and onboarding of new trustees. As we know, we have 2 trustees retiring and being replaced by new trustees in January. I will bring that up to Exec and give everyone a teaser.

Gaynor: I want to thank everyone who contributed to Public Commentary and looking forward to Dr Swift’s reply. There have been articles and interviews on both sides and I know it is of utmost concern to everyone. I know we’re all studying the data and studies and trying to make the best decision.

Johnson: I’d like to thank trustee Kelly for starting our new board orientation started and getting the new trustee-elects up to speed. Trustees you should have the remaining training dates and I encourage you to drop in and support them.

Adjourn

Moved by Kelly seconded by Gaynor. The meeting adjourned at 10:55p by unanimous vote.

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