Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Board Meeting Recap

May 2017

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 the portion of the recording being referenced.

All supporting documents are also available online on Board Docs .

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

This Month's Highlights

  • Proposed Final Budget
  • Transportation Study - School Start Times
  • Keystone Exam - Class of 2017 Results
  • New 9th Grade Physical Education Course
  • 1:1  Chromebook Initiative Update
  • Ten Year Facilities Plan Update
  • BoardDocs

Proposed Final Budget

Transportation Study - School Start Times

  • The committee that looked into school start times helped focus the attention of the community on the importance of sleep and, in particular, the driving factors behind adolescents not getting enough sleep.  In addition to a later start time, the committee has identified good sleep hygiene, school day schedules, homework, and bus run length as points of emphasis for next year and beyond.

  • This month, the Board approved a transportation study to evaluate bus routes with an eye towards supporting our shift in school start times and to identify opportunities to reduce bus run times.

  • The study will be conducted by our transportation department with assistance from a company called Transfinder.  Transfinder is the provider of the district's transportation software and has expertise in transportation management.  

Keystone Exam - Class of 2017 Results

New 9th Grade Physical Education Course

  • This has been a topic of much conversation in recent months.  The course is designed to foster team building and cooperation among 9th graders using a "challenge course."  Students will be assembled in small groups and given physical challenges to overcome together.  The UCF Education Foundation is providing a $5,000 grant to help with the startup of this program.  Initially envisioned as a high ropes challenge course, the current proposal is for a low ropes challenge course using the outdoor classroom behind Patton Middle School.

1:1  Chromebook Initiative Update

  • This past year the middle school rolled out enhanced technology to support classroom learning.  The Chromebook 1:1 initiative has resulted in measurable improvements in the 5 C's (Creativity, Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Cooperation, Communication).

  • The rising 8th graders will be keeping their Chromebooks, taking them to the high school next year, and using them as 9th graders.  Decisions about the correct device strategy to use in the high school will be evaluated next year using results from this class.

Ten Year Facilities Plan Update

  • Well managed, safe and secure facilities are a foundation to a good learning environment. In March, the Board evaluated the current long range plan - testing to ensure that it supports the educational program while also "living within our means."  This "long view" allows the Board to better manage budgets and arrange financing as needed.  For the past several years, funds have been available to support the Plan - going forward there is a need to borrow.

  • After the March review, the Board asked for further details and alternatives.  These were presented and discussed in May.


  • Transparency is a core value of the district and we have been aware for sometime that the current system of making Board documents and policies available to the public has many limitations.  Meanwhile, advances in technology and software have expanded - allowing districts to now bring together the power of cloud computing, multimedia content, and process automation.

  • The Board agreed to purchase a new Board meeting/public document system named BoardDocs.  The system supports greater transparency through online search criteria of documents, meeting minutes, and Board meeting videos.  The system will replace our current policy center and Google based Board document files.

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