February 24 AAPS Board of Education Meeting

February 24 Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education Meeting Notes

On February 24, the Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education held a “regular” meeting with an irregular schedule. Instead of starting at the typical 7p, the meeting started at noon to discuss the Recommendation: COVID-19 Extended Continuity of Learning Plan. The board plans to vote on the monthly reconfirmation in this session and then reconvene until 7p for the remainder of the meeting. You can watch the meeting live on Zoom or on Xfinity Channel 18. The district typically posts the recording split into segments the day after the meeting.


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Table Of Contents

Summary

The meeting was split into two parts. Starting at noon, the board addressed the COVID-19 Extended Continuity of Learning Plan.

After reviewing the current CDC guidelines and in light of last week’s board request to expedite getting students back, Dr Swift recommended a return to school plan that starts March 25* with the most in need and PreK, Young 5, and Kindergarten students. After spring break, grades 1-2 will also return followed by grades 3-5 a week later. Middle and high school will begin a return on April 12 and may be affected by the national PSAT test administration that week.

The Board of Education voted 6-0 with one abstention to approve this plan. Trustee Querijero abstained over questions about the legitimacy of moving the meeting and vote to noon. However, he did express approval for the contents of the plan.

Note: Moving forward with the plan requires the vaccination plan moving forward and the availability of testing.


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Attendees

Present: Lazarus, Kelly, Johnson, Dupree, Gaynor, Kelly, Querijero, Baskett

Non-Voting Attendees: Swift, Osinski, Bacolor

All of the Board Members confirmed that they were attending from Ann Arbor or Ypsilanti.

Motion to approve the agenda by Baskett seconded by DuPree. Approved unanimously without discussion.

Information – Recommendation: COVID-19 Extended Continuity of Learning Plan

Dr Swift said there were three parts to this afternoon’s presentation:

  • Opening Remarks
  • Ms Bacolor with update on new CDC guidelines from February 12
  • Superintendent Recommendation

Opening Remarks

We’re holding this early to get information out as soon as possible. Developments as recent as yesterday.

AAPS team has invested thousands of hours in good faith effort to find our plan forward to return to classroom safely. The question has always been when, not if. We recognize this has presented challenges to everyone, students need to be in school, staff and parents have worked diligently and made sacrifices. We need to provide hte option for in school learning. The community needs this next step.

I want to reflect on something you have all thought about a lot. We just corssed the millestone of 500,000 individuals lost in the country to this pandemic. we understand the signifcant pain that many have suffered. We know each person’s experience is unique. The pandemic has been experienced differently by those who have lost family members, black and brown families, poverty, without access to qualirty health care.

It was recently reported in NYTimes that 69% of reported cases of MSIS in children have impacted Latino or black young people which they believe stems from socioeconomic factors that have disproportionately exposed communities.

We create a stated process with clear action steps to bring the plan forward over near and coming days to ensure across students, staff, and parent community that we continue to engage in conversations to make sure equity remains a heartbeat of reopening. We want to ensure ew live the value of equity across the return plan.

Health and Safety will remain a top priority. COVID school is not a one size fits all. We have set a course to provide an option for those who wish to move to in person. We will continue to provide the virtual choice for families who choose to remain virtual. We know a number of families are ready to turn the dial to an in school hybrid opportunity. We know for others they will choose to remain on their prior setting.

Two key and critical components have been vaccinations for staff. Certainly in the fall and summer we didn’t understand they would be coming, but now that they are available you have shared commitment to expedite teacher vaccinations. We want to thank those who have been involved at federal, state, and local level. Members of the board and I have been closely connected to decision makers across the spectrum. As of yesterday, we understand that we will be able to have vaccinations beginning this Saturday for teachers and personnel who are related to Stage 1 of in school hybrid. Secondly, we’ve been noting in our regular updates for the need of testing in our schools. This is critically important and a layer of confidence. We are delighted that in the last 3 days we have received commitment that we can offer in school rapid testing for students. That was the addition achieved recently. Prior to that we had it for the staff.

New CDC guidelines.Back in September you approved a set of metric. Back in November/December we expanded the list of other considerations. It has been noted in all our updates during the November-January Surge. As of February 12, there are a new set of guidance from the CDC. I know we take this in tandem with everything else. We want to share how our current data aligns with the CDC recommendations and how our 6 mitigation strategies aligns with CDC guidance.


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CDC Guidelines.

Ms Bacolor presented.

On February 12, the CDC released new guidance. It does some different things. 

  • It provides new indicators and thresholds
  • Replaces what we used in the fall, 
  • Ties community spread directly to school operations guidance.
  • Updates/repackages school recommendations
  • Adds vaccination as an additional level.

We looked at how to gauge community spread. The Bridge magazine retracted an article based on how they interpreted measuring transmission.

CDC is now looking at total new transmissions in the last 7 days. That’s different than the 7 day average. They’re using NAAT nucleic acid amplification test (PCR test). They’ve also set new thresholds for color system. 

How Washtenaw County looks for new way of looking at data. As of Sunday, There were 106/100K which puts us in high risk by High Transmission Risk. Percent Positivity at 1.8% is Low Risk.

Applying, this to CDC recommendations. At across all transmission levels, using their 5 mitigation levels including masks and diagnostic testing across all transmission levels. Elementary Schools in Substantial and High Transmission should be in hybrid or reduced attendance and physical distancing of 6’. Middle and high school should be in virtual.

CDC 5 key Mitigation Strategies vs AAPS Super Six & other protocols

Ms Bacolor shared the following chart


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To summarize, both use universal masking, physical distancing, cleaning protocols, and emphasize hand hygiene. Protocols like prescreening, contact tracing, and in school support will allow for contact tracing, isolation, and quarantining. AAPS also utilizes cohorting to achieve isolation and ventilation upgrades

Superintendent Recommendation

This is contingent on all teachers and staff at that stage having opportunity to have vaccinations.

March 25 – Stage 1 which only runs through Kindergarten now will have one day for each cohort before spring break (March 27-April 4)

Stage 2 is 1st and second grade who will return April 5 after spring break. Stage 3 on April 12 will bring back grades 3-5. Stage 4 is grades 6-12 and will also begin on April 12. April 12 is national PSAT test week and will affect secondary implementations. AAPS had no say in setting this date


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This provides a full Quarter of school year for in person. It lays a foundation for a strong in person summer and fall rollout.

Fall 2021 Preview

Dr Swift provided a preview for Fall 2021.

For Fall 2021, we look forward from Spring to Summer and Fall. We recognize COVID will remain with us through this time. Given what we know today, we are intent on a robust summer learning program to be detailed in March and our intent on a full return to school this fall. 5 Days per week of instruction for students and staff. If there is any unforeseen event that would change that, we would be in communication with trustees and community.

For 2021-2022 we will also offer the option to choose virtual delivery and will talk more about that in the coming weeks. We look forward to a robust return to school.

It is time to come together and place our full commitment to moving forward. We understand there is healing and restoration our children and community needs. Our success and our failure are tied together.


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Questions

Baskett: I’m fully satisfied that you’ve met the request we made last week. I move to accept

Seconded by Kelly.

Discussion

Querijero: A statement I prepared (I could not capture it all but the gist of it is below): Today I will abstain from voting this afternoon. I asked openly if it was within the board’s right to change it. Today I received a an email from a concerned citizen. I reached out to our attorney Mr Comsa and have not yet received a reply. I do believe we are within our rights. I informed other trustees of my concerns and my intention to vote. By abstaining I might be in violation of myself. Board members who abstain shall be required to state why they are abstaining. Please don’t read my abstaining as my opposition. I am happy to vote today tonight after the public commentary.

Kelly: While I disagree with Querijero’s issue with the code, I respect his opinion. I asked Dr Swift about the equity question. As Dr Swift noted, underserved communities have suffered more from COVID mortality. I asked about how we would be opening in ways that will be low risk for everyone. It is clear we will have a process to make sure it is a safe opening for everyone in our community. I also wanted to highlight that people will have really specific questions. That doesn’t come from Board Meetings, that comes from your school. 

The one question I have is how information will come to families who have children in special education. Obviously all families are invited to information sessions, but when information is specialized an individualized to students, how can families expect to receive that.

Swift: We will share information as we normally do and in the way we normally do. From teacher, special education or needs provider, etc. I am receiving a message that folks may not have heard correctly. This is for hybrid in person learning for those families that choose that – Monday/Tuesday for one cohort and Thursday/Friday for the other. That allows us to achieve the 6’. That is the plan.

Kelly: I am excited to support this proposal and yield the floor.

Gaynor: I want to thank the 740 person listening in to the panel currently. I’ve been working hard to reply to 400+ emails since our last meeting and Trustee Baskett as secretary and I’m sure other trustees. We do value and take into account the input we receive.

About last week’s meeting, it all came up suddenly and it probably could have come up sooner. I don’t apologize for sharing of options in public view. It isn’t always pretty. I wanted to ensure the vote wasn’t taken in the moment and it allowed us to get more information.


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DuPree: I had a few questions and want to be quick as I understand many of us are on our lunch hour. For those who stay virtual, will we still provide lunches and social options.

Swift: There is no diminishment of any programming we have been offering. We are scaling up a second program. On food we’ll continue with distribution and also have in person cafeteria food.

Lazarus: Thank you for the recommendation Dr Swift and the powers that be for bringing the game changing resources to our community to keep staff and children safe. This is what we’ve been looking for and asking for. I’m ecstatic it is here. I regret and apologize for the confusion last Wednesday provided in our community.

This is a game changer that we can provide options for families. We are allowing families to remain virtual, keeping staff safe. I want to quickly mention that in April of last year we did a full board resolution to suspend the Rule 1050 bylaw because of COVID. My understanding is it suspended all of our bylaws.

Gaynor: I want to emphasize this is contingent on vaccine availability. No staff will be forced back before they have the opportunity. 

There will be drawbacks to teaching and learning in this hyflex mode. As a former classroom teacher, it’s not the classroom I’m used to. But it is necessary. I understand many valid reasons to have students in school. I fully expect we’ll take every mitigation strategy seriously. It won’t be balancing off issues of having to introduce students to routines in person and even more attention paid to that to make sure things are safe. It’s a complex decision, I will be supporting this proposal.

Johnson: One quick comment. I want to thank Dr Swift and her team for soldiering through this. It’s been a long journey. I feel confident we have kept our promises to have a safe and successful return to school. We’re investing in our students in ways other districts may not – and especially in our teachers and staff that other districts may not. Part of that is having teachers in an environment where they feel safe and where we respect their abilities, safety and rights that they feel safe by their definition. 

We thank all the public servants we have worked with at all levels for this. As a community lets work towards keeping things safe across the city. We’ll hear more details what the implementation looks like.

Our goal isn’t to shock anyone. I think we’re ready for a vote.


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Monthly Reconfirmation of COVID-19 Extended Continuity of Learning Plan

I think we need to withdraw the motion and then read the official wording. Trustee Baskett, since you placed the motion can you amend it using the specific language.

Lazarus: I move to make a friendly amendment to Baskett’s motion with the proper text. Ms Osinski read the correct text

Osinski:

1. That the Board re-confirms the delivery of instruction provided for in the District’s Extended COVID-19 Learning Plan;

2. That the Board directs the Superintendent or her designee to report to CEPI, in the form and manner prescribed by CEPI, the instructional delivery method that was reconfirmed; how that instruction will be delivered for each grade level offered by the district, including prekindergarten, as applicable; and whether or not, as determined by the department in consultation with the center, the district is offering higher levels of in-person instruction for English language learners, special education students, or other special populations.

3. That each month, the District will re-confirm how instruction is going to be delivered during the 2020-2021 school year at a meeting of the Board, and at said meeting the District will solicit public comment from the parents and legal guardians of students enrolled in the District.

Trustee Baskett accepted the amendment.

Motion passed 6-0 with Querijero abstaining.

Motion to Extend and Recess 

Swift pointed out that the length of the meeting needs to be extended before reconvening.

Kelly moved to extend until 10p. Seconded by Lazarus

Approved. Baskett was not present, Querijero abstained.

Motion to recess to 7p by Lazarus. Seconded by Kelly. Motion carried with Baskett not present and Querijero abstaining.

Additional notes will be added at the 7p session.


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Reconvene Meeting

The meeting will reconvene at 7p. We will reconfirm attendance at this time.

Board Attendance: Johnson, Querijero, Lazarus, DuPree, Kelly, Baskett, Gaynor

AAPS Guests: Swift

Johnson proposes adding an information item for Dr Swift to summarize the back to school plan after public commentary. Moved by Gaynor. Seconded by DuPree. Unanimously passes..

Public Commentary

As is our practice, we will not cover public commentary. As of 1p, there are 205 comments that will be limited to 13 seconds each, rounding up to 15 seconds each. With such limited time per comment it is even harder to try to capture the context of the commentary. Comments are available on BoardDocs. Mr Cluley and Ms Osinski took turns reading.

President Johnson reminds everyone that the board and public can see the full content fo the commentary.


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Clarifications

I believe most of these issues will be addressed in the information item that will recap this morning’s action.Those emails went out to families late this afternoon. I think most of the trustees. As always we appreciate hearing from everyone – in addition to these 205 individuals, everyone else we have heard of through public commentary, emails, etc. I know the trustees & I spend a lot of time reading through the messages and thinking about patterns and needs throughout the district.

Querijero: I have a short statement to read. I abstained from this afternoon’s vote becaues I wasn’t sure of the legality of the supsension. I seen now that the board di have the authority to change the time. I recognize there are still many concerns about the return to in person learning. I don’t believe anyone should be required to enter buildings until March 24 to have the best protection. As trustee duPree has noted, we need to look at how discipline will apply in return. And the routines and how their impact on students – both those returning and those who remain virtual. In short we have set a date for return, but there is still a lot of work to do. Contrary to popular belief, I am sure trustees have read all the emails and some have I know I have and some have given me pause to think.

Johnson: I’d also like to make a brief statement. I’d like to thank citizens and officials who have helped advocate for the vaccine clinic, tests, etc that we need to open. This is what we need to ensure our teachers feel valued and are safe to care for our children. Our intention was always ready to get back in the building and said we wouldn’t

Our insistence on making vaccines available for our teachers has made them available for other districts across the county. This did not happen because people sent racist, sexist, misogynistic, threatening letters. These actions hurt our progress. Aside from last week which we regret, we’ve remained consistent all year. Recent strides int he last two weeks are allowing us to move to the next phase. I don’t want people thinking raising the temperature and going negative is the way to get us to move. I hope we can move together with a level of kindness. I want to publicly thank everyone who sent support over the last week. I can assure the community I’ll always weigh the options..

Reports of Associations

From AAPAC tonight read by Mr Cluley.

The report is available on Board Docs.

Responses

Gaynor: I really appreciated this letter. We received it earlier. I did ask that AAPAC include trustees in their invitations to meetings. I look forward to attending when I can.


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Information: Recap of Information Shared at Noon Portion

At that time we brought forth a recommendation to reopen our schools for the next phase, a hybrid in person learning opportunity. I’d like to recap for folks who did not see that this morning. There is a spot on the website front page with a link. We also sent out a full written version of this plan to parents, community members, and staff. That written communication also contains the link to the presentation from earlier today.

As we plan for these steps, we’re thinking not of only the obvious, but thinking of things like running hte buses daily, food delivery arranged, all the operations fo a large district. Hybrid learning allows us to remain in the distance requiement of the CDC and other experts. That date begins March 25 & 25 to get ou r youngest students at Preschool, Y5, & Kinder to get in and oriented. For many of them this is hte first time they are in school. Also the students with the greatest specialized needs – self-contained classrooms and small groups of middle and high school students. Those most in need of learning.

On April 5 First and Second graders who choose hybrid. April 12 will grades 3-5. Stage 4 is for Secondary students in grades 6-12. That specific schedule will be communicated through school principals. The week of April 12 is the state declared week for PSAT & SAT assessments. You will hear more information from principals.

We will continue delivery of virtual schooling and education in the same format as we have had it. The in school hybrid will sit alongside that. All of the supports, technology, food distribution will remain in place through the end of the school year.

I want to give a tremendous shoutout to teachers and staff who have redesigned and appreciate support as we’ve worked together to keep our students learning. With the addition of hybrid there will be some transitions to make. I appreciate that trustee Querijero mentioned it in his remarks.

It was mentioned during public commentary and I want to clarify. I know principals will clarify in building meetings next week. This is not a vote to choose one option or another. The question for parents and students is where is your child most comfortable. Either to remain in full virtual or to move to a hybrid setting. Hybrid is two days of synchronous in school, two days of synchronous virtual, and one asynchronous.

Parent survey will have two components coming out now. Elementary will receive at the end of this week asking to choose which setting at the dial you want for your student. Secondly, if you qualify for transportation, a second survey to register for transportation. Because of social distance requirements on buses, we will ask parents to register.

We can share today for 3 developments

  • Continued diminishment of cases in Washtenaw County & Ann Arbor
  • Provision of vaccination for teachers beginning with those involved in Stage 1. Prioritize vaccinations by stage of opening. First group of teachers..self contained, Preschool, Y5, & Kinder will receive their first dose by Saturday and the second by March 20. If there are staff with special considerations on vaccine timeline we will work through individually
  • In-school Rapid Antigen testing. We have been asking for since last fall. It allows a greater layer of protection and assurance for parents, students, and staff. Only with parent signed consent. 

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It is time now to come together and invest energies together to our shared commitment to children.

I a committed to work with everyone involved to reestablish trust and confidence in each other and our schools. I ask everyone to work together for the sake of our children. It’s a great day as we consider these next steps to move forward.

I will touch on request on clear statement on summer and fall. We will have an overview of summer learning plans and build on the robust planning from last summer with 5000 students enrolled. We field widest set of summer programing of any district around us. We will bring forward that plan with enrollment and registration in March. Probably both and virtual and in person opportunities. This summer we will still be in COVID and will need to meet all the needs. Ms Linden & her team are working not hat – and the hybrid plan.

Regarding fall 2021, it is with confidence that we are looking forward. It is important to note that a full 5 day a week instruction for student and staff has always been our intention and goal. But we recognize COVID gives us no guarantees. But form the experts, COVID case count should continue to decrease over the summer as folks are vaccinated. Given what we know today we anticipate a full return to school this fall. We will also continue to offer as a separate delivery a full virtual education experiences for 2021-2022 for students & families who choose to remain in virtual. It won’t be a blending of teacher doing both this fall.
We will remain in close communication about summer and fall. We look forward for a back to school buildings. We know work over spring and summer will set a strong foundation for Fall 2021.

Trustee Questions

Gaynor:

I understand that many details will be explained by individual schools. My question is about mitigation strategies for lunch when students are eating and drinking without masks. I’d like to know generally where they will be eating and who will be supervising and how it will be done sales.

Swift: We have a section of elementary community meeting dedicated to lunch and recess. I wonder if a team member can pop on and give more information.

Depending on space, groups of students will be assigned to a variety of socially distant locations. It may be classroom, multi-purpose room, even outdoors when the weather warms up.

Ms Margolis what would you add

Margolis: Chartwells food staff will be there and double staffing to start. They have designated added eating spaces to keep cohorts intact. We also have equipment ordered from CARES funds to pickup or delivered to the eating areas. We aren’t planning on come to cafeteria line to maintain social distancing. Each school has designated eating areas and are working on eating schedules so some will be on lunch, while others are on recess. There will be hot and cold meal plus a la carte items. We are still under free lunch and breakfast for all students. Pickup breakfast as they enter and take to cohort designated eating area or classrooms.

I worked with food service staff earlier this week and gave them updates.

Gaynor: Thank you. I’m still not clear how the staff will be protected in this environment. 

Swift: I appreciate our community that for families who remain virtual they will continue drive through pickup and deliveries will continue. A press release will be coming out, we reached 1 million meals distributed in the last year. That is breakfast, lunch, and now dinner for students and families. It is ongoing and will continue through June 30. 

Margolis: When we go to hybrid we will do one day a week distribution. All days will be Wednesday and additional late afternoon sites will be added at Carpenter and Scio Farms. These are larger areas. We are waiting to see what happens for summer and if we can continue this over the summer.

Swift: We always do summer food, but we’re hoping wider emergency distribution of food can continue.


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Gaynor: Can you confirm all staff- bus drivers, food service, custodians, etc. will have access to vaccines?

Swift: Every single person affiliated with our schools is in that group. It’s part of why it was such a big task – about 4100 individuals who need their vaccines. I want to point out that we have enough for the first stage. It is a step of faith and everyone who is working on the vaccination effort understands what we need week by week.

Querijero: While on topic of vaccinations, can you verify none will e required to enter before full vaccination.

Swift: We’re following up on that. There are some situations. Our finance staff has been going in all years to do payroll. They do follow all the mitigation strategies. Let me follow up with Mr Comsa and wrap back. We have no intention to place staff in closed classroom situations.

DuPree: I’m not sure if I asked this earlier. Students and families who need water bottles & masks, will they be provided.
Swift: Yes they will be provided. It’s covered in the principals meeting. We’re asking those things, and they will be provided if needed.

Johnson: We heard in public commentary that we need to follow CDC guidelines. I think the public thinks they are pretty binary, but there are several steps that are in place. Can you quickly share which recent developments helped us be CDC compliant for the first time versus where we were before.

Swift: Ms Osiniski you may want to pop up the slide. According to Feb 12 CDC guidelines we remain in high level. The way we are able to follow the guidance and plan for an opening is we can offer rapid antigen testing during school. We didn’t have that commitment from the state. We were in meetings with top docs in the state.

Bacolor: CDC guidelines say diagnostic testing is a key point for being able to open schools. The new CDC guidance reaffirms things we’ve been asking for since July. Vaccination is also an additional layer, we have testing available now.

Swift: It looks like we’ll need to continue to decline to meet hybrid learning for high school.

Bacolor: Yes, we’re in a long slow decline in the county. We’re just oner the high transmission and need to pop back into orange to get middle and high schools.

Johnson: This is why we can now open following CDC Guidelines.

About teacher vaccinations. There was a question on us posting how many teachers are vaccinated.

Swift: The decision to get a vaccination is a personal, medical decision. We won’t know if they get it, but we do know when we can send an invitation through Washtenaw County, IHA, and Michigan Medicine. Ms Bacolor can see the progress we are making through the body of employees. The specivid data of how many shots are in arms, we can’t know it is personal medical information.

Bacolor: We are hopefully because we have pipelines of staff who are getting vaccinated. A lot of people have gotten in and scheduled appointments for Saturday.

Johnson: I want to highlight that we wanted to have vaccine available as a condition. It is put to the teacher if they want to take the vaccine. We also said that the next phase requires that we have the next round of vaccinations. If you want to make sure we get to the next phase, focus your attention on helping us get those vaccines. It is outside of our control as a district. Hopefully we’ll keep this rolling at the pace it looks like we can do.

Gaynor: I heard from a high school teacher that he is hearing students are not aware that when they return in hybrid the environment and behaviors will be quite different than they are used to. I don’t know maybe more at the high school level. There are many mitigation strategies – masks, asocial distancing, teachers teaching in person and at home and teacher focus will be somewhat diluted.

Swift: I’m glad you brought it up. Schools are planning for orientation days. So everyone understand we’re not going back to before times school. It will be ad different look & feel. I heard some word on that today.

Gaynor: About emails and public commentary.  I know I spend many hours reading them. I appreciate all of them. I want to call attention to 2 that referenced emotional health nearly a year into the pandemic. 

Swift: I know those. That is the focus and priority as you would expect from our team.


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Second Briefings

The district will provide any updates for the second briefings on:

  • 2019 Bond: Air Conditioning & Lighting Upgrades at Burns Park & Angell Part I, Community Part I, and Tappan
  • 2019 Bond: Air Conditioning & Lighting Upgrades at Scarlett Part 2
  • 2019 Bond: Architectural & Engineer Services for Air Conditioning and Lighting Projects 2022-2023

Gaynor:

I want to thank Mr Lauzzana for sessions he held today with climate experts in the community. I appreciate that occurring and your leadership. As you know I am particularly interested in the sustainability. I’m concerned that public itneraction we expected in the fall is only about to occur. I understand the reasons why. Many of these votes are going to be on packages that include solar panels and LED lighting which I heartily endorse. But also not necessarily carbon neutral air conditioners. I appreciate your explanation and that there are many factors involved. A sa package deal I have to sort out how to do that. I will forego stories from when I was a kid. As a teacher I have spent many hot days suffering through it. There are some who are hotter than mine and not endurable. In the end, I am going to abstain on this vote because of the lack of public engagement. I am not a climate expert. I consider myself an advocate, but I look forward to hearing from those who know more than I. I know we are engaging and hope this will be the first and last vote I abstain on.

Swift: I appreciate your remarks. I want to clarify that these projects were explicitly noted in the campaign materials and described tot he detail of what we would do int he first years of this bond. We conducted more than 100 community engagement sessions during the bond where we laid out the plan and had feedback. While I receive and share your concern about getting out in the community, I want to remind folks that we would not have the opportunity to keep our bond commitment to forego these projects.

Querijero: I was also able to attend the Climate Summit yesterday with lots of community partners with many who have strong views on what sustainability means. From the feedback, they felt good about the presentation.

Baskett: I want to clarify or ask trustee Gaynor the reason for his abstention. What is your intent? What do you think it will resolve. Do you not like air conditioning.

Gaynor: I have to look , but if they include air conditioning I will abstain. For not having the public engagement that was promised.

Johnson: I think there’s a difference between promises and expectations. I think Dr Swift’s point is we are keeping with promises that were made on the ballot. I don’t want the public to believe we didn’t keep a promise.

Gaynor: I understand the reasons for the plan and why it’s done now. I’m making this one point as clear as I can. I’m not trying to be an obstructionist.

Kelly: I’d like to speak to this new trend of board members of abstaining. Board Members are expected to vote except for conflict of interest, and other just cause. Just cause has been defined as if your child has faced discipline that is being voted on. By not voting you are disenfranchising the people who voted for you. I hope we’ll move away from hat. Just a reminder, anything that is not a yes is effectively a no. We need 4 yes to approve. A no, absent, abstain are all the same as far as something passing.

Gaynor: I will yield to your reasoning. I understand your reasoning. I’m doing this with a  purpose and the purpose will be reserved.

Baskett: I was going to say what Trustee Kelly said and she said it more eloquently.  I’m confused why Gaynor

Querijero: I’d like to respond because I abstained earlier. For me the word expected reads differently than required.The distinction of that word and how I interpret it. I do recognize I haven’t gone through all the MASB trainings and don’t feel I need that to understand it.


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Consent Agenda

The Consent Agenda has two items:

  • Approve Minutes from February 7 meeting
  • Donations from Meijer of 10-$50 & 10-$100 gift cards for teachers

Motioned by Kelly, Seconded by Lazarus

Motion carries unanimously

Board Action

The Board will take additional action on three items.

  • 2019 Bond: Air Conditioning & Lighting Upgrades at Burns Park & Angell Part I, Community Part I, and Tappan
    • Motioned by Kelly, Seconded by Querijero
    • Approved 6-1 with Gaynor voting no
  • 2019 Bond: Air Conditioning & Lighting Upgrades at Scarlett Part 2
    • Motioned by Lazarus, Seconded by Baskett
    • Approved 6-1 with Gaynor voting no
  • 2019 Bond: Architectural & Engineer Services for Air Conditioning and Lighting Projects 2022-2023
    • Motioned by Lazarus, Seconded by Baskett
    • Approved 6-1 with Gaynor voting no

Items from the Board

Gaynor: I’ve lost many people over the last year, many due to COVID some not. Out of respect, I’d like to read a short poem by (I am not going to attempt the name) who passed this week.

Baskett: Our legislative advocacy committee has not yet met with how busy we have been. A few thing to mark on your calendar:

Michigan Association of School Board priorities. We all had opportunity to provide feedback on priorities. 

  • Increased mental health professionals in school
  • Expand access to quality internet & devices for all students & staff
  • Review & Implement new funding more equitably
  • Protect school aid and local funds from state changes
  • Universal preschool for all 4 years
  • School Aid fund only for PreK-12
  • Oppose any attempt to create vouchers 
  • Address teacher shortages & retain teachers

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Also, want to bring to everyone’s attention is standardized testing is on the horizon. Michigan requested a waiver, but it was denied. We will have input into when and how, but . Pending is whether federal government will accept locally development assessment.

Registration is open for Behind the Scenes at the Capitol. Other school districts have invited members of community as guest. It will be virtual on April 26 from 9a-noon. MASB Government relation staff takes us through how things are in Lansing, discussion of broadband access. It’s an opportunity to engage with state legislators. We in Washtenaw County have supportive legislators. 

I want to highlight Winter Institute of Michigan School Board. Interesting with conversation between sessions. Is what will be impact of incentives or mandates of more than 180 days of school.

I’d also like a review of our policies for any updates we need to do as we are in the cOVID review. Do we need to review attendance policy or graduation requirements.

I’d like to acknowledge work of the Equity team and presentation on the last PTOC meeting.

I’d welcome the opportunity maybe in a study session to look at their work. It continues to evolve. 

I have sent each of you work from NASB on dismantling racism and center for safe schools. Maybe the board could have a study session or professional development.

Finally, as a nod to Black History month, Dr King around science “Science Investigates, Religion Interprets.” (I couldn’t type fast enough to get the whole quote, but I found the quote online..)

“Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

Johnson: I know I’ve heard from folks in community about Black History and Curriculum. There is a place for our instruction and a role in equity. I think trustee Baskett’s point about reviewing the equity plan for the full board. I know a couple trustees and I talked about it and we do need to get this on the front burner as we transition to hybrid. There’s still a lot more to do in all areas.


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Adjourn

Motion to Adjourn by Gaynor, Seconded by Baskett. Motion passed unanimously. Meeting Adjourned at 9:38p.

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