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Highlights from the October 22nd Board Meeting

Below are highlights of the October 22nd Board of Education meeting.
Please remember, these are just highlights and should not be considered the official minutes.

During the work session, Matthew Gillaspie, managing director at Piper Jaffray, led a discussion on general obligation bonding. The district will issue $55 million in bonds as a result of the successful vote September 11th to build two 5th-6th grade intermediate buildings. The Board of Education reviewed a summary of four potential bond structuring options, deciding to move forward with a plan to issue $10 million in bonds in 2018 and the remaining $45 million in 2019. The board’s intention has been to issue the bonds with the least impact to annual tax rates. Exhibit 301.1 (the complete summary of the structuring options reviewed by the School Board) can be viewed on the board website agenda and exhibits page. The exhibit also includes the district’s next steps in issuing the bonds and an estimated timeline of the process.

The topic of discussion then shifted to innovation in the district. Bob Read, director of innovations, discussed the success of the district’s first Innovation Day held October 8th. During the event, 36 participants from seven districts learned about Linn-Mar’s efforts and successes with PBIS, Blended Learning, and Standards Based Grading. Due to the success of the event, the Teaching & Learning Department hopes to expand the event in the future to include the elementary level and technology integration.

The possibility of magnet schools in the district was also discussed with the School Board. Read indicated that the district continues to explore the possibilities and learn about magnet schools from other districts. Moving forward, Read intends to visit and learn from other magnet schools, attend the National Magnet Schools Conference, and create building leadership teams to learn, prepare and plan for possible district magnet schools.

Before bringing the discussion to a close, the group discussed 1:1 student devices. Read pointed out the many benefits of 1:1 including enhanced learning, expanded student choice and Blended Learning. Representatives from Novak, Oak Ridge and the High School spoke about how they use 1:1 in their classrooms and how it truly benefits students from the elementary level through high school. It was stated that 1:1 isn’t just 21st century learning, but that it is essential learning for today’s students.

During the regular meeting, the School Board approved the appointment of Sofia Mehaffey to the board through the completion of the term in November 2019. Mehaffey is expected to join the board for the next meeting Monday, November 5th.

The board also discussed their recent visit to Indian Creek Elementary, saying that they were all impressed by the visit and the building tours given by the students.

The next board meeting will be held on Monday, November 5th at 5:00 PM. To view the full agenda and exhibits, visit the Board/Policy website.