Meeting Agenda/Notes - January 27, 2015

State College Area School District

OUR MISSION:  To prepare students for lifelong success through excellence in education.

January 27, 2015 Board Communications Subcommittee Meeting

10:30 a.m.  -  Lower Conference Room

131 W. Nittany Avenue

State College, PA  16801

I.    Call to Order

II.    High School Project 60% Review Information Fair

    Wednesday, February 18, 2015

  • Student Overview - HS South Cafeteria 9:15 - 10:45 a.m. {work session}

  • Teacher Overview 3:40 p.m.

  • Board members to let Mary Jenn know if attending, 5 or more will advertise for a work session.  Same set up as 30% review with breakout sessions around the cafeteria space.  Easels, Post-it Paper and Markers for breakout sessions for student questions and comments

  • Public Information Fair - 6:00 p.m. HS South Auditorium

  • Handouts / Information-Sign In Table / Feedback Process

    • Large Group Overview 6:10 - 6:30 p.m.

    • Small Group Discussions via Optional Breakout sessions

      • Session One 6:40 - 7:10 p.m.

      • Session Two 7:15 - 7:45 p.m.

      • Session Three 7:50 - 8:20 p.m.

    • Open Sessions until 9:00 p.m.

    • Optional Public Comment 8:30 p.m. (auditorium)
      Breakout Sessions/Conversations/Feedback

Project Financing

Bell Schedule Planning & Implementation

Educational Model & Floor Plan


LEED/sustainability & Mechanical Systems

Site Plan & Construction Phasing

Communicating / Promoting the Event

III.    Financial Flyer

IV.    Project Website        

  • Calculator

  • Updated Financial Information

  • 60% Review Documents - how can we show updated floor plans effectively?

  • Construction Timetable - when, where, what

  • Outline for how website will function to keep community up to date during construction.

V.    Public Comment

VI.    Adjournment


January 27, 2015 Board Communications Subcommittee Meeting Notes
10:30 a.m. Lower Conference Room
131 W. Nittany Ave. Accepted Notes
State College, PA 16801

I.      Call to Order
Jim Leous began the Board Communications Subcommittee meeting at 10:40 a.m. Mr. Leous noted that the communications focus for the High School project would turn to finance, then to building construction, and block scheduling would be discussed also.

Present: Sara Brennen, Randy Brown, Amber Concepcion (by phone), Scott DeShong, Penni Fishbaine, Mike Hardy, Jim Leous, Jacque Martin, Ann McGlaughlin, Bob O’Donnell, Ed Poprik, Chris Rosenblum, Scott Thomas

II.     High School Project 60% Review Information Fair
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
The 60% Review Information Fair would have a similar structure as the 30% review. There will be a student overview with high school students at 9:15 in the morning. Ms. Dorman will advertise the student overview as a work session. Mr. Leous and Ms. Concepcion will attend, and other board members will let Ms. Dorman know their availability to attend.

It was noted the bell schedule discussion would fit into phasing, but is a seventh room needed specifically for a bell schedule discussion? We could combine site plan and construction phasing as a single room to keep the number to six rooms. Mr. Poprik added that Mr. Harlow, himself, and Massaro representative could lead the site plan/construction phasing session. Mr. Hardy and Mr. Johnson could lead the Educational Model/Floor Plan, with Mr. DeShong leading the bell schedule discussion.

The overview session will begin in the auditorium and then people will go to the breakout sessions. Will have easels outside each room to announce designation of session and in each room for the scriber. Ms. Dorman and Ms. Montovino will handle the set up arrangement. Dr. O’Donnell and Ms. Concepcion can introduce the session and the open sessions worked well for the 30% review. It was noted that the comment cards were also useful and that we will use them at the 60% review.

Communicating / Promoting the Event
Mr. Rosenblum will draft an email to send to the principals, who will then send onto their parents. Timing for Dr. O’Donnell to send the email will be the week of February 2 and for principals to send the email will be the week of February 9. Discussed: the email going out during the February 12 A-Team meeting, could be helpful to send a brief email reminder a few days before, and also do a pop-up on the website on Monday, February 16. Spoke on reaching retirees, a bulletin for Channel 190 Comcast (for Cable News 4), CNET and WPSU Community Calendar. Ms. Brennen will create a Facebook post that we can boost, and then send a reminder later. She has posted Save the Date information on District and State of State High Facebook pages, and on the State High Project website. Could design a graphic to share on Facebook and also share as a Facebook calendar event. Radio stations may do a free announcement and Jerry Fisher already said that he would record a free commercial. There is a list of clubs, a month-by-month spreadsheet and the Constant Contact list. We could do a print invite and spoke on where the invite would go, the contacts at various retirement homes, and sharing a spreadsheet. Ms. Brennen will create the document and share it out with the subcommittee and the entire Board, then everyone can add their community contact information to the spreadsheet. This list would be useful for the duration of the High School Project. A contact will be made to Ms. Lenker about advertising to the Alumni Association. We have the quarter-century club and want to reach retired teachers. Municipality officials also need to be added to the mailing list/ spreadsheet.

The subcommittee discussed fliers and having them in Schlow Library, State College Borough Building, the various municipalities, and post offices. Mr. Leous and Ms. Stahl will appear on Jerry Fisher’s radio show Tuesday, February 10 at 8:00 a.m., and this will be advertised on social media. Ms. Concepcion will appear on the Kevin and Jeff radio show Wednesday, February 11, 8:30 a.m.
Dr. Pawelczyk is unable to attend but either Ms. McGlaughlin, Ms. Zydney or Ms. Fishbaine will attend with her.

III.    Financial Flyer
Communication on Finance:
Mr. Leous noted the press release for last night’s Board meeting was good. Ms. Concepcion added that press releases are a fantastic communication tool. Prior to board meetings, we could attach the press release to the agenda, and then could attach post-meeting notes afterwards. We could tweet a link out to parents or post on Facebook, use our digital communications channels to do more direct communication, and get the most mileage out on them. They could serve as a quick digest to the meeting. People could access from the Press Releases area and the Board meeting notes. Mr. Rosenblum added that later, when posting online, we could add information as needed. Easy-to-digest preview and also meeting review.

Ms. Concepcion added that she would like to see press releases reflected more on the next day’s stories. Mr. Rosenblum explained the early deadlines being filed by 9:45 or 10:00 p.m. The real value is in follow-up stories, and he would try to encourage those stories also. Mr. Leous recommended using analogies, needing to talk to people about things they understand, such as, mortgages or construction loans. While it’s not exactly a mortgage, we can use the analogy as a tool.

Ms. McGlaughlin noted that the State High Project finance section on the website needs to be updated. Much has happened on finance since the referendum, and we should add a timeline of pertinent decisions that impact things. It was suggested to use pop-ups on the website. They discussed cautioned against putting out a calculator now because we only have projections, and Mr. Brown’s date for the decisions moving forward would be helpful. The Business Office has been working on a page that has the history of district financing information on the web, but it’s not easy to find online through the navigation. Search does work. It could be useful to meet with editorial boards, could lead to an editorial. Have a detailed way to explain the rationale and thoughts behind State High Project finance. We could also write an op-ed piece board president and vice president doing something together. We could also do during the 90% review and at other key points during the project. The Web content from the State High Project that is now outdated is saved in the Schoolwires content management system.

Communication when High School construction starts
A proposed idea was discussed with having a drone covering the High School Project site, students could build it, but we would need a clear guideline. It would be good to have daily updates from construction to keep people involved in the project, and we have mounted video cameras in the past. Mr. Poprik noted that daily updates may not be needed because the staging of the project will not change daily. The high school video class could do a timelapse video, but how would we communicate regular construction impact updates? The goal would be to set this up the first day of school and in the first semester, would be behind fences. Mr. Poprik noted that he would be onsite daily and we need to figure out who would be the most impacted, i.e., pool attendees, Sports n Shorts program, etc. Dr. O’Donnell noted that Mr. DeShong and the high school advisory group will advise for the State High Project website. The group meets the 2nd Tuesday of the month, noon-1:00 p.m. at the North Building and will think of things as parents and how they will use the facility. Also discussed what Massaro can offer on the project website with posting photos and project updates, can also add to the blog. They will be doing these things anyway.

Ms. Concepcion disconnected from the meeting by phone at 11:45 a.m.
The following items would be acted on:
      ● Board person will follow up with Foxdale about how best to communicate with residents
      ● Board person will follow up with Mr. Vernon about retiree lunches
      ● Board person will follow up with representative about Brookline
      ● Board member to contact person at Shellers Bend
      ● Ms. Brennen will share out the spreadsheet of contacts for organizations
      ● Communications staff will advertise on Facebook, Twitter, website, print mailing, local bulletin boards, and January eNews.
      ● Board president will draft an op-ed about financing
      ● Follow up with Massaro about how they can update the public about construction progress
      ● Identifying items needed for Information Fair breakout session rooms

IV.    Adjournment
Mr. Leous adjourned the Board Communications Subcommittee meeting at 11:58 a.m.

Formatted by,

Mary Jenn Dorman
Board Secretary