Agenda Plus
School Board of Clay County
District Multi-Purpose Center, Corner of Walnut Street and Gratio Place, Green Cove Springs, FL
February 27, 2024 - School Board Workshop
Date: Feb 27 2024 (9:10 a.m.)
Invocation  (Given at preceding Special meeting)
Call to Order  (Present: Erin Skipper, District 1; Mary Bolla, District 2; Beth Clark, District 3, Michele Hanson, District 4; Ashley Gilhousen, District 5; and Superintendent David S. Broskie)
Workshop Items
1. Neola Presentation

Superintendent Broskie introduced Annette Martinson and Tom Wittmer, Neola, who provided an overview of services Neola offers to facilitate the development of board bylaws and policies, as well as administrative guidelines/procedures and forms.  District staff would work with Neola to develop policies that ensure compliance with state statutes, and Neola will update policies twice per year based on changes in state and federal statutes as necessary.  Neola will work directly with board members as policies pertaining to board governance are addressed. A series of templates that may be used as a starting point are provided, with options for choices of direction to arrive at a unique policy. Neola will provide BoardDocs access through the development of policies and then following their finalization, adoption, and publication to the OneClay website.

2. Penda Presentation
Penda Board Workshop Presentation.pdf

Katie Ruelas, Science Curriculum Specialist, provided an overview (attached) of Penda, a supplemental science resource that provides support for small groups, Exceptional Student Education students, and English Language Learners students.  Results of a teacher user survey, Penda usage data, and achievement statistics data were shared.  State science benchmarks as well as the science instructional model were also reviewed, reflecting 83% of teachers want to continue using Penda for the 2024-2025 school year.

Mrs. Bolla inquired about the work progress of students who may not be able to finish the assignment during their class time and was advised the progress is saved so students may resume where they left off.  Mrs. Bolla appreciates the differentiated instruction and the ability for students to start on the proper level, be tested for mastery, and move on through their achievements.

Mrs. Skipper asked if there are tests that allow students to practice and was advised there are baseline, mid-year, and mock assessments in subject areas for students to take a practice test similar to what they will take in Synergy.  Mrs. Skipper would like a year-to-date, side-by-side screenshot of all programs and the screen time for each program.  Mrs. Gilhousen indicated caution should be exercised in the reading and analysis of this data because not all classrooms utilize the program.  Mrs. Hanson questioned the amount of technology the district has in relation to the time students spend on the technology.

Mrs. Hanson expressed concern about the program being utilized appropriately, stating that some teachers use this program for a graded homework assignment and as an independent learning tool without employing pre-taught lessons.  Superintendent Broskie indicated that this is a supplemental resource tool with standards embedded vertically across the curriculum, one piece of the entirety of science curriculum, and that professional development will include additional guidance for this program. 

Following this presentation, a recess was taken at 10:39 a.m. and the meeting resumed at 10:53 a.m.

3. Review of Draft Book Challenge Policy
02.23.2024 Clean Library Media Challenged Materials Policy .pdf
02.2024 Secondary Library Book Access Level Form.pdf
02.2024 Elementary Library Book Access Level Form .pdf
Elementary Library Book Access Levels.pdf
Secondary Library Book Access Levels (3).pdf
02.2024 CCDS Specific Material Objection Form 6A-7.0714 .pdf
Library Challenge Process Flow Chart (1).pdf
School Board Presentation_ Book Challenge .pdf

Superintendent Broskie introduced Jennifer Collins, Supervisor of School Improvement and Leadership Development, and Dr. Cynthia Johnson, Supervisor of Instructional Resources, who reviewed the attached visual presentation re the draft Challenged Materials Policy - Reconsideration or Review of Library Materials.  

Mrs.Hanson indicated her disappointment that the presentation did not represent her work over the past six months.  She stated that she refuses to give up informed parental consent and indicated that the documents presented reflect all opt-out, which she stated is not informed consent, and stressed the need to make parents aware of the potential for there being materials in school libraries that are not appropriate for students.  With regards to the amount of work placed on media specialists in an opt-in policy, she suggests using technology to make it easier for media specialists, requiring parents to make informed consent through the portal, with parents being aware that there are themes in the libraries that may not be appropriate for all families.

Mrs. Skipper stated that all parents do not always know about content and she also supports utilizing technology to have all forms be electronic.  She asked Mr. Blocker if the proposed community standards could be implemented for future purchasing by the media specialists, and Mr. Blocker confirmed these standards may be applied to purchasing.  Mrs. Hanson indicated there is a well-defined rubric for purchasing that included media specialists' input as well as examples for all categories.

Mrs. Bolla expressed hesitance about community standards but appreciates books being flagged with mature themes.  

Mrs. Clark expressed concern with parents who don't speak English and received confirmation that Clay County Schools utilizes software to provide translation for the information.

Media specialists in attendance then posed questions:

  • How can a love of learning be fostered with barriers?
  • What about students who don't have the ability to go to a public library?
  • Where is the trust in media specialists to purchase and label appropriate books that challenge students while keeping them safe?
  • How can the inability of some parents to fill out a form be managed?

Mrs. Skipper confirmed with Mr. Blocker that a disclaimer could be utilized to meet the requirement for informed consent, and Mr. Broskie indicated that the disclaimer could be added.

Additional discussion and clarification re general, general unlimited, and limited access occurred.  Mr. Broskie requested direction from the board re moving forward to advertise the proposed policy while work continues to occur on related procedures.  Board consensus was to move forward with advertising the proposed policy changes. 

4. 2024-2025 Proposed Allocations
FINAL 2024-25 Staff Allocation PPT.pdf

Superintendent Broskie reviewed the attached presentation and allocation package presented to board members under the guiding principles of stability, fiscal conservativeness, flexibility, and transparency which incorporates student projections.  An overall summary of proposed allocation changes at all schools and district offices was provided, including the financial impact of recommended allocations.  

Dr. Melanie Sanders, Director of Exceptional Student Education, responded to Mrs. Hanson's question re the distribution of school site specialists and the proposed new service model for schools to receive increased, focused ESE services.

Dr. Susan Legutko, Assistant Superintendent of Business Affairs, discussed the reorganization of one of her departments and additional oversight in a second department, indicating more support is needed to provide clear oversight of school internal accounts activities and Employee Benefits and Risk Management will be restructured under one supervisor of both areas.

Mrs. Clark commented on Clay being one of two counties nationwide with a large number of military ESE families being directed to Clay schools for services.

Mrs. Skipper asked about the support for early literacy as one of the strategic plan goals, inquiring specifically about supplementing assistance within the K-3 classrooms and expanding the use of small groups to strengthen early literacy support.  Mr. Broskie advised Clay now has an early literacy department to provide those resources to students and that the adoption of science and reading materials is an additional step in the right direction.  Heather Teto, Chief of Elementary Education, indicated that a stronger component of the Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) is being established to facilitate problem-solving and educate teachers by providing the necessary tools.  Jennifer Shepard, Director of School Improvement and Professional Learning, indicated there are twelve personnel on the K-12 literacy team for support.

5. Review Draft Agenda for Regular School Board Meeting on March 7, 2024

Superintendent Broskie noted that the Neola contract, if approved on the March agenda, would allow the process of policy revision to begin in April.  Mr. Blocker will be attending the policy workshops along with designated staff and recommends the two-year contract option to align with the anticipated length of the process.

Mr. Broskie also pointed out the job descriptions contained on the personnel consent agenda that correlate with several of the proposed new allocations.

Questions from the Audience  (None)
Superintendent Comments  (None)
School Board Attorney Comments
6. School Board Attorney Comments

Jeremiah Blocker, School Board Attorney, thanked the board for its patience as business is addressed and extended appreciation to Mrs. Hanson for her work on the library media book policy.

School Board Comments
7. School Board Member Comments

Mrs. Skipper requested that focus be given for media specialists to begin purchasing books again.  Mr. Broskie indicated that once clear community standards are established and adopted, purchasing may resume.  Replacement books and research materials may be purchased immediately.

Adjournment  (1:30 p.m.)
Superintendent of Schools Board Chair