Summary of May 23, 2016 Shoreline School Board Meeting

Friday, June 10, 2016

Marilyn Leverson (center) with school board and Superintendent Miner

By Marianne Deal Stephens

Prior to the meeting, the District hosted a reception honoring 2016 Shoreline Schools Teacher of the Year Marilyn Leverson.

Superintendent Rebecca Miner called Ms. Leverson a “champion for all children in her school” and Kellogg Principal Lisa Gonzales described how watching her teach is like going to “Math Wonderland.” Many parents, students, and colleagues spoke about Ms. Leverson’s impact as a teacher, colleague, and parent. When Ms. Leverson finally took a turn at the podium, she graciously described how she learns from all of her colleagues and students, and said that “I am here because of all of you.” 

For more, see the District News Release announcing the award and a video of 2016 Shoreline Schools Teacher of the Year Reception.

When the Board Meeting convened, Director Wilson noted that Directors Dick Nicholson and Dick Potter were both away on family matters.

The night’s unanimously approved Consent Agenda included:
  • Resolution Declaring Teacher of the Year and Teacher Appreciation Week;
  • Resolution Declaring Arts Education Month;
  • Adoption of DIMC Curriculum Recommendations; 
  • Acceptance of $9,905.46 Gift from Shorecrest Boosters for a lighting system; 
  • Approval of Extended Field Trips, including qualifying Shorewood tennis players to the State Tournament in Kennewick in May; Shorewood football players to camp in August; Lake Forest Park 6th graders to Camp Orkila for Outdoor Education in September. 
New Administrators Introduced
Assistant Superintendent Brian Schultz introduced three educators newly appointed to administrative positions.
  • Lisa Gonzales, currently Principal at Kellogg Middle School, will begin as Shorecrest High School Principal at the end of this school year. Assistant Superintendent Schultz commented on Ms. Gonzales’ work on “dignity, humanity, and equity,” saying that the District is “thrilled to have her return to Shorecrest.” (See Shorecrest Principal Selected, District News release.)
  • Heather Hiatt will succeed Lisa Gonzales as Kellogg Middle School Principal. Ms. Hiatt currently serves as Assistant Principal at Shorecrest; Assistant Superintendent Schultz quipped that Ms. Hiatt and Ms. Gonzales will be changing places. (See Kellogg Middle School Principal Selected, District News Release.)
  • Maria Stevens will become the new Director of Teaching and Learning following the retirement of Dr. Terry Poff at the end of the current school year. Ms. Stevens has served in several roles over the course of her career, most recently as a principal for Evergreen Public Schools in Vancouver. Mr. Schultz thanked the SEA for their partnership in the hiring process; Shoreline teachers submitted the qualities and attributes they sought for this role. (See Shoreline Schools selects new Director of Teaching and Learning.)

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports Update
The District is in the process of implementing Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) in all schools, though different levels and schools vary in the stage of implementation. PBIS explicitly teaches students the expectations of school culture. The presentation team included: Director of Student Services Amy Vujovich; Directory of Secondary Student Services Scott Irwin; Shorewood Assistant Principal Nancy Elder; Briarcrest Elementary Principal Jonathan Nessan; and Briarcrest Elementary Counselor Kelly Akemann. 

Source: Shoreline Schools

Director of Student Services Amy Vujovich explained that “while some children arrive at school able to pick up the behavioral skills necessary, not all do.” PBIS ensures that all students “receive the same core content” for behavior and provides “common language by staff as students go from the classroom to the playground to the lunchroom.” As a responsive system, PBIS also offers intensive support for students who need it, and should “level the playing field.”

Director of Secondary Student Services Scott Irwin addressed the question “Why PBIS in Shoreline?” Director Irwin described how several District priorities come together in PBIS, including social-emotional support, classroom management, equity, and teacher practice and evaluation. He described how the PBIS work “ties in directly” with Dr. Tanisha Brandon-Felder’s work on equity. Through both PBIS and the AVID program, staff teach the sometimes hidden expectations of school culture.

Briarcrest Principal Jonathan Nessan gave an example of PBIS implementation at his school. A sixth grade teacher has made videos of “the right thing at the right time.” Mr. Nessan noted the power in the videos, saying that viewing them “is enough for most kids” to learn the appropriate behavior. Briarcrest is working on different kinds of interventions; the staff has had success stories where they have figured out “how to help a student not be disruptive.”

Shorewood Assistant Principal Nancy Elder commented that, while we have “amazing schools,” we have to “explicitly teach what it means to be a student.” She explained how PBIS can help educators address achievement gaps. Ms. Elder also outlined the PBIS implementation process. The elementary schools are much further along than the high schools, though all buildings are committed and have processes in place.

Director Mike Jacobs inquired about the differences between schools. Ms. Elder explained that, while there will be collaboration between schools, and a general set of common expectations, there may be some differences based strictly on the building. Director Vujovich clarified that “it is important that every building puts their stamp on it.”

Board Vice President Debi Ehrlichman asked whether parents are hearing the PBIS vocabulary. Director Vujovich explained that each school will figure out how to get the word out, and Director Irwin added that “you know it is working when you hear from parents that kids are teaching them.”

For more on PBIS, see Shoreline Schools PBIS Implementation Update.

March and April Financial Update
Director of Finance and Business Services Mark Spangenberg presented the latest financials. On the 2015-16 General Fund Actuals, he pointed out that April has the highest total fund balance of the year, over $28 million. Since May and June have the lowest apportionments of the year, the high April End Fund Balance will not continue through the coming months. He offered a few brief notes on changes in numbers, including: a decrease in transportation revenues; a decrease of State general revenue due to lower enrollment; an increase in classified pay; increases due to midpoint salary adjustments; increases in benefit expenditures due to the addition of academic coaches and elementary counselors.

In the May Enrollment Report, Director Spangenberg noted that the District has a total student head count of 9295, which is 189 more than last year but 126 below budget. The last time we were at this level was in 2007-2008.

Board Vice President Debi Ehrlichman asked if he has a number of incoming kindergarteners. Mr. Spangenberg said that the District is running 50-60 above this year.

Comments from the Community
President of Shoreline STEM Terry Stevens-Ayers offered a report on the recent STEM festival at Shoreline Community College. She mentioned that the organizers were “impressed with the energy and enthusiasm of students” and that they are grateful for the support of their sponsors and the support of Superintendent Miner and the School Board.

Action Item: Policy 3115, Homeless Students
The update to Policy 3115 was passed unanimously.

Board Reports and Communications
Shorecrest Student Representative Rachel Semon reported that the Shorecrest musical was excellent, and that the seniors were looking forward to the Shorecrest Senior Prom, scheduled for June 4 at the Seattle Art Museum. [The Shorewood Senior Prom was scheduled for the same evening, at the Future of Flight Aviation Center in Everett.]

Director Mike Jacobs said briefly that “there was a lot of baseball and a lot of tears” since the teams did not advance postseason. [However, several Shorewood players were named to the Herald’s 3A 2016 All Wesco Baseball Team.

Board Vice President Debi Ehrlichman attended the “exceptional” last Shorewood Culinary Arts Dinner of the year, as well as the recent STEM Festival where she loved talking with the kids. She also appreciated the opportunity to sit in on Dr. Brandon-Felder’s equity class.

At the last PTA/ Superintendent Coffee, Director of Teacher Professional Practice and Evaluation Anzara Miller and Assistant Superintendent Brian Schultz presented the same information that the Board heard in a recent Study Session (See previous article). Ms. Ehrlichman said that the parents “received the information very well.”

Ms. Ehrlichman congratulated Shorewood Principal Bill Dunbar on his recent award [see Shorewood Principal Presented with UW Mentor Award (see previous article) and Shorecrest students who earned honors in biomedical research [see Shorecrest Students Earn Honors at Student Bio Expo.]

Board President David Wilson ended the public meeting and the Board adjourned to Executive Session to review the performance of a public employee.


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