Thursday, June 23, 2016

Board Recap - Special Year End Edition

June 2016

Our Board meetings are always streamed live and are available on our Youtube Channel - The "U" Tube.  To make things simpler, improve transparency and increase the usefulness of this document all Youtube links now take you directly to that portion of the recording.

All supporting documents are also available online on Board Docs

Questions?  We answer any and all questions - we're always happy to hear from


Highlights from this Month's Board Meetings

  • Honoring Retirees

  • IB/AP Capstone Committee Report

  • Welcome Devin Layton - New Patton Assistant Principal

  • 2016-2017 Budget Approved

  • Wellness Committee Update

  • Climate Survey

  • High School Delayed Start Time Recommendation

Honoring Retirees

Teachers matter - they matter a lot.  The Board and administration recognize that the single most important factor in student success is the classroom teacher.  We are fortunate to have some of the best in the business.  Each year we honor retiring teachers and invite them to our Board meetings where they are recognized and honored for their service.  Below is a list of teachers leaving us this year with a link to their tribute (where available).  We thank them all and wish them the best going forward.

Ann Bielle - UHS

Jodi Byrne – UHS

Dan Cipollini – Patton

Barbara (Bobbe) Curry – CFE

Audrey Frank – Transportation and Food Service

Cheryl Fulginiti (school nurse) - UE

Jim Fulginiti - Patton

Valerie Harris (Cafeteria Manager) – Food Service

John Horn – Transportation

Janet Jennings – Patton

Beth Kelisek (library para)- CFE

Susan McDermott – UHS

Marita Miller – Patton

Dennis Nelms – UE

Mary O'Connor - UHS

Jean Russell - CFE

Susan Shelley - UHS

Anita Spizzari – Patton

James Wanstall – Transportation

Ricardo Williams(Custodian) - UHS

IB/AP Capstone Committee Report

UCF embraces a culture of reflection and continuous improvement.  In keeping with that theme the Board set an emerging goal to evaluate the International Baccalaureate (IB) program.  The program is offered in some very prominent school around the country and is held in high regard around the world.  This month a preliminary report was reviewed with the Board.

The International Baccalaureate Program is a comprehensive, rigorous, two year curriculum for high school students beginning in the Junior year.  It is designed as a deliberate compromise between the goals of specialization and breadth. Students are encouraged to demonstrate a strong commitment to learning, both in the mastery of content and the development of the skills and discipline necessary for success in a competitive world.

The committee also evaluated the AP Capstone program as an additional or complementary program.  AP Capstone builds on the current AP program, adding two additional courses.  AP Seminar is offered to juniors and AP Research is offered senior year.  The two-course sequence provides students with the critical thinking and research skills needed to succeed in college and stand-out in the admission process.

  • Common Elements - 2 year diploma programs, external assessments, critical thinking, long term research and allows for cross curricular connections

  • Distinctions

    • IB has been around longer and is better known and regarded

    • AP Capstone initially fits in with current program


  • There is much more work to be done.  It is a 2 to 3 year process to become an accredited IB provider.  

  • The committee at this point would not recommend AP Capstone.  They stated a variety of reasons, chief among them is that it is a very new and unproven program.

  • Further review of the high school schedule should be looked at - lots of alternative schedules have been implemented by other schools and are worth further investigation

  • The committee thinks that IB may have exciting implications for adoption by UCFSD

  • Many questions about costs, staffing and PD have yet to be studied and should be evaluated next

Next Steps

  • The Board will take this report into consideration and review options as part of its 2016-2017 goal setting and planning process this summer.

Presentation - PowerPoint

Welcome Devin Layton - New Patton Assistant Principal

After reviewing 100 applications and putting the finalists through a rigorous evaluation program the administration is pleased to announce that Devin Layton will be the next Assistant Principal at Patton, filling the vacancy left by Jim Fulginiti.

Watch the video including comments from John Sanville, Tim Hoffman and Devin Layton

2016-2017 Budget Approved

The budget process that started in December concluded this month with the final 7 - 2 vote at the final meeting of the year.  The budget document is available online.

The budget spending plan supports the existing program as well as the costs of new technologies (the Canvas learning management system and Chromebooks for all middle schoolers) with additional professional development to support the program.

This year, a new staffing model was developed and approved.  The staffing guideline can be used to evaluate staffing needs based on student enrollments.  This model improves transparency, manage class sizes  and ensures consistently high standards.

In the past few months the budget discussions narrowed to the funding plan.  Planning for future contributions to the staff retirement plan (PSERS) and deciding how best to fund the 10 year capital plan requires long range, strategic financial planning.  Discussions on how best to balance current needs, long term needs and tax rates has been a central focus of the Board for the past few months.

In the end, the Board approved a budget that supports the current program, new initiatives and long term needs with an average tax increase of 2.66%, using about $74,000 of reserve funds.

Watch the final discussions on tax options and the final vote

Wellness Committee Update

Wellness is a concept that has gained traction in our district.  This committee has helped evaluate and implement some important processes and has served as an incubator for other ideas as well.  As a result of this committee's work, new concussion policies and protocols were introduced.  The High School Late Start Initiative was reviewed and supported by this committee.  This past month the committee also reviewed high level results of the recently conducted climate survey.

Elise Anderson and John Sanville have recommended that the Board create a Board-level Wellness Committee with a focus on the "Whole Child".  There are currently six Board committees and they are; Finance, Curriculum and Ed Tech, Personnel, Policy, Legislation and Communications. The Board will consider this recommendation during their summer Board retreat.

Climate Survey

The climate survey is the first step in a continuous improvement process that focuses on the environment of a school.  The survey provides input on 13 dimensions in 6 categories, including safety, teaching and learning,  relationships, institutional environment, social media and staff perceptions.

This first step (conducting the survey) provides input into a cyclical process that starts with evaluation of findings, leading to developing and implementation of improvement plans and then circles back to resurveying - to assess success and to keep a gauge on these important issues

The next step for the principals, in the fall, is to work with their staffs to evaluate the findings.

We thank all of the stakeholders who took their time to provide valuable input.

Take a look at the high level presentation to the Wellness Committee.  The results were terrific!

Review the Presentation

High School Delayed Start Time Recommendation

Our district has been on the forefront of this idea for the past two years.  It started in 2014-2015 with a class project.  In 2015-2016 the IU's Student Forum got involved and recently the Student Forum (our very own UHS High school student Matt Daniels is now the president of this group) concluded its study and is going around the county making formal presentations to each district.

The Student Forum has found strong quantifiable evidence for starting high school in the morning at 8:30.

The Student Forum has also evaluated the experiences of districts who have implemented delayed start times and has provided information on known obstacles that have been overcome and tradeoffs that have been made.

The Board would like us to spend the next year evaluating how UCF might implement this proposal.  This year-long evaluation will involve all stakeholder groups, with plenty of opportunities for discussion and debate.A committee headed up by Ken Batchelor and Jeff Hellrung will be formed to focus on this opportunity and to provide a recommendation to the Board.

Student Forum Presentation to the IU Board

Student Forum Recommendations

Hanover Group Research Findings

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