Board Work Session Agenda/Minutes 5-16-16

attachments in pdf

May 16, 2016 Board Work Session
Meeting Room B - 7:45 PM
Panorama Village Building
240 Villa Crest Dr.
State College, PA 16801

I.       Call to Order

II.      Development of Board Guiding Principles

III.    Public Comment

IV.    Adjournment

MEETING ROOM B -­ 7:45 p.m.

Ms. Concepcion called the State College Area School District Board of School Directors work session to order at 7:55 p.m. With the agenda before them, she asked board members if there were any changes; there were no other changes.

A copy of all materials distributed to board members for discussion and/or action is included with the official minutes, unless otherwise indicated.

Board members present: Amy Bader, Gretchen Brandt, Amber Concepcion, Dan Duffy, Penni Fishbaine, Scott Fozard, David Hutchinson, Jim Leous, Laurel Zydney
Superintendent: Robert O’Donnell
Business Administrator as Acting Board Secretary: Randy Brown
Student Representative: James Graef
District Personnel: Mike Hardy, Jason Perrin, Linda Pierce
Guests: Gus Colangelo, Linda Colangelo

Gus Colangelo spoke on Guiding Principles as follows:
           Be Prepared, timely and respectful,
           Work through the Superintendent, board leadership (includes committee chair)
           Goal Oriented
           Seek to Understand
Instead of adopting PSBA’s, he noted the Board could create their own so they are “owned,” sometimes, local is better. Are the above good for this Board and should the committee chair(s) be added to Board Leadership definition? The local principles do not replace PSBA, but add to it; PSBA suggests Boards adopt their principles. The group discussed: consider PSBA guiding principles, PSBA guiding principles for public value, approve and sign, encourage to live up to, adopt PSBA document without changes, supports PSBA organization, PSBA guiding principles provide a framework, local should be protocol, local document is the guidelines for board to follow, supports, sees the local protocol within the PSBA guiding principles and does advocate earnestly. They are written broadly, we have passed resolutions showing support, and if we adopt PSBA guiding principles do we need anything else? Dr. O’Donnell has asked for clarification of roles and responsibilities and is also looking to be more specific than the PSBA document, but this will help; by fleshing examples, will help with protocol; may look at roles and responsibilities later, this will be helpful as well as a job description for Superintendent.

Dr. Colangelo noted there were several large items grouped together related to listening, questions prior to Board meetings and during the meetings. It was decided to change this section to -­ Choosing Your Questions Wisely -­ by asking clarifying questions, important questions, relevant questions and not re-­asking the same question. Discussion occurred: Questions, most of the time, take administration away from their daily work, the committee structure has helped with this, questions ahead of time can be helpful to be prepared, questions are for more information, and when possible, share questions in advance of board meetings with Board Leadership. There should be no surprises. The intent of a discussion is the beginning, middle and end but should have ability to continue if needed. A suggestion was made that the first meeting is information with questions;; the second meeting is discussion;; and the third meeting is action. It was noted that some were not sure about a six-­week wait for something to get approved. Board Leadership could consolidate if needed.

Working Through the Superintendent
Next, the group discussed working through the Superintendent. Spoke about different scenarios and at all times, to the public, you are a board member. When people approach you about a District matter, listen, but really should not discuss, and make Superintendent aware. There is a chain of communication and the public needs to understand that chain instead of contacting board members.

Goal Oriented
Dr. Colangelo and board members spoke on the following:
   ● Setting and focusing on measurable goals with timelines
   ● Align annual goals with strategic plan
   ● Monitoring progress toward annual goals, and make adjustment during the year
   ● Focus on multi-­year strategic planning
   ● Focus on big picture, no minutia
   ● Bring an informed perspective

Seek to Understand
   ● Should ask clarifying questions to learn
   ● Do active listening
   ● Pursue collaboration
   ● Engage in dialogue, not monologue
   ● Listen as if you are wrong
   ● Be open minded and reflective
   ● Have a growth mindset
   ● Consider who is not represented in the conversation

Future Planning
Have the PSBA Guiding Principles on the 5/23/2016 agenda to discuss for Board to adopt. Board Leadership will review Protocols, circulate with the Board, review in a public meeting and adopt board operating protocol for meetings. Board leadership should draft Board roles/responsibilities, as well as update/refine the superintendent job description.

III.       Public Comment
There was no public comment.

IV.       Adjournment
The State College Area School District Board of School Directors work session was adjourned at 9:33 p.m.

Formatted by,

Mary Jenn Dorman
Board Secretary