Ann Arbor Public Schools board of education regular meeting/retreat (Aug. 1, 2012): The AAPS school board met Wednesday last week at Skyline High School to take care of some regular business and to conduct its annual retreat. The retreat included board self-evaluation and goal-setting for the coming year.
After a sometimes contentious discussion about the priorities of the board, trustees decided their main focus should be on building trust and relationships among the trustees. Board trustees determined that they needed to build on their trust of each other, in order to address the strategic plan and needs of the district.
Financial goals were also a prominent theme of the board’s discussion of priorities. While there was minimal talk of zero-based budgeting – a goal set forth at their previous regular meeting – trustees spoke of improving their forecasting and having a stronger role in advocating for structural financial change.
Setting a limit on the length of future board meetings was identified as a goal, despite some initial opposition. To limit the meeting time, trustees will set parameters for presentations and discussion periods – parameters that will be discussed at their next committee of the whole (COTW) meeting.
During the regular meeting, the board was presented a biology textbook adoption plan. The board also approved the purchase of computers and scanners as a part of the district’s effort to capture test scores and analyze them quickly at the building level, and tailor instruction to students based on those test scores.