Balanced Calendar on Hold for AAPS

Also: Public input sought on superintendent interviews

Ann Arbor Public Schools board of education meeting (Dec. 8, 2010): At last Wednesday’s board meeting, trustees got an update on a partnership between the University of Michigan (UM) and Ann Arbor Public Schools (AAPS) on a developing program involving UM, Mitchell Elementary School and Scarlett Middle School.

One component of this initiative, formerly known as the lab school, is a “balanced calendar,” which features a shorter summer break, and includes optional intersessions – one or two-week long academic or enrichment activities held during breaks in regular instruction. At Wednesday’s meeting, Mitchell principal Kathy Scarnecchia reported that implementation of the balanced calendar will be delayed until 2012-13.  The delay comes primarily in response to concerns about different children in the same family ending up on different schedules, since the balanced calendar was planned to be implemented at Mitchell and Scarlett, but not at other AAPS schools.

The partnership’s planning committee is now considering other options, including moving all of Scarlett’s feeder schools to a balanced calendar, or allowing families to opt-in or opt-out of the partnership entirely. The board was uniformly in support of the balanced calendar, with multiple board members suggesting that it be expanded to the entire district.

Also at last Wednesday’s meeting, the board briefly discussed the process it would use to conduct interviews of the final candidates for the superintendent position, and the timeline for the remaining aspects of the search process. The board also got a first-quarter financial update with news that the state had restored nearly $4.3 million of the $20 million of funding cut during the last school year.

Mitchell-Scarlett-UM Partnership Update

The board received an update on the partnership between UM and AAPS that’s aligning resources to focus on raising K-8 academic achievement through innovative teaching and continuous learning, providing new opportunities for professional development and preparation of beginning teachers, and extending the function of the schools to serve as a community center for local families.

Mitchell-Scarlett-UM Partnership: Presentation

Lee Ann Dickinson-Kelley, AAPS interim deputy superintendent of instruction, introduced the members of the partnership’s planning committee: Joyce Hunter, Ruth Williams, Gerald Vasquez, Kathy Scarnecchia, and Ed Broom from AAPS; and Elizabeth Moje, Cathy Reischl, Tim Boerst, Debi Khasnabis, and Melissa Stull from the university. She noted that the team was pleased to be there, outlined the presentation they would give, and briefly responded to criticism of the partnership.

Dickinson-Kelley noted that development and innovation is complex, and that for everyone who has been engaged in the process thus far, there is someone else who feels they have not been included. She then urged everyone to remember that the goal of the partnership is to genuinely serve the children of AAPS. Finally, regarding working with UM, Dickinson-Kelley noted that UM and AAPS have a history of sustaining partnership commitments, and that other districts are envious of  AAPS’ connections to UM.

Scarlett’s principal, Gerald Vasquez, introduced the purpose of the presentation: to share information and address questions. Mitchell’s principal, Kathy Scarnecchia, added that Mitchell and Scarlett had been chosen for the partnership because their achievement data is wide-ranging. The schools have tried many things, she said, to narrow the gap and raise achievement across the board, and this partnership is exciting.

Cathy Reischl, UM faculty, and a member of the Mitchell-Scarlett-UM partnership planning committe

Cathy Reischl, UM faculty and a member of the Mitchell-Scarlett-UM partnership planning committee. (Photos by the writer.)

UM’s Cathy Reischl reported that the university sees this partnership as a long-term commitment, and she addressed the initiative’s name. The term “lab school,” Reischl said, has a long history and has meant different things to different people. This is not an experiment, she said, but an investment, and as the term “lab school” is problematic, it will no longer be used.

Reischl explained that UM is shifting its teacher education to focus on the study and improvement of education practice and to addressing issues of diversity. The partnership, she said, is an ideal way to put these two commitments into practice, and to disseminate what it being learned in both directions.

Reischl gave some examples of programs that are already in place that would be folded into the broader partnership, such as an after-school math program for elementary students staffed by student teachers, and professional development being offered by UM faculty to teachers of English language learners. In addition, Reischl said, the partnership sees opportunities for using STEM activities – that is, those focused on science, technology, engineering, or math – to bring AAPS students onto UM’s campus, and to experience learning success in that environment.

Scarnecchia reviewed the planning process the committee has used thus far, beginning with early meetings held last spring, and concluding with two parent information sessions held in November. At the session attended by The Chronicle on Nov. 18, over 80 parents participated in working groups to give feedback on the partnership in general and the balanced calendar specifically. Based on such feedback, as well as concerns raised by some teachers, Scarnecchia said, there are many compelling reasons to slow down the process of implementing the balanced calendar.

Scarnecchia stressed feedback had been both positive and negative, and that while some families were not in favor of the idea of a balanced calendar, many others are disappointed that the balanced calendar will not begin in 2011-12 as originally planned. She said the committee will be surveying all stakeholders in January, and is planning to start a balanced calendar with at least Mitchell and Scarlett, and possibly the other elementary schools that feed to Scarlett, in 2012-13.

Looking at the use of time in creative ways is important, Scarnecchia reiterated, and the intersession subcommittee of the planning team is looking at piloting an intersession in February of 2012 so that everyone can see what they are. She also briefly reviewed the work of the other subcommittees.

Vasquez then described how a balanced calendar would look in more detail. With this type of calendar, he said, the school year would end in late June and the next school year would begin in early August, giving students a 6-week summer break. The balanced calendar would be aligned to the district calendar, with the intersessions congruent to the district breaks. The curriculum would be the same, Vasquez stressed, and the official number of school days would be the same, because intersessions are voluntary.

By way of comparison, Vasquez offered Japan as an example, which has 243 days of school each year, while the U.S. has only 180. The overall goal of a balanced calendar, he said, is to look at using time in a different way in order to enhance the achievement of all students. A balanced calendar, Vasquez argued, can give struggling students a chance to catch up and successful students a chance to forge ahead.

Vasquez reviewed additional benefits of a balanced calendar, including: teachers have more time to reflect on practice; students regress with too much time off; extended day programs are most effective with at-risk students, and there is a significant subset of at-risk students at both Mitchell and Scarlett; students have opportunities to work with teachers in multiple contexts; and families would have more options for breaks during the school year.

If a balanced calendar were introduced, Reischl added, the one- or two-week intersessions would be voluntary. Intersession programs could be taught by UM faculty and student teachers, and would offer wonderful opportunities for both students and for student teachers. She noted that the types of activities offered by intersessions could be offered without the balanced calendar, but that restructuring the school year would offer opportunities to engage students in creative ways.

Mitchell-Scarlett-UM Partnership: Board Response

Dickinson-Kelley then invited feedback from the board.

Andy Thomas expressed wholehearted support for the partnership, calling it a wonderful opportunity for the district. He suggested that the intersessions could be used to provide electives. For example, he asked rhetorically: Who would not want to jump at the chance to spend an extensive session studying music using resources at UM’s School of Music?

Thomas also expressed disappointment at the postponement of the balanced calendar for a year, though he agreed it was a wise decision. He urged the committee to work toward a solution that would satisfy the largest number of people, whether it means combining all the feeder schools on the same schedule, having an opt-in/opt-out option, or running it as a magnet school. Either way, Thomas argued, “We really need to do this … We need to get over this idea that summer is sacred time … Let’s take a year and figure it out, and then move forward.”

Dickinson-Kelley responded that the planning committee is confident it will be able to craft an implementation plan that will be acceptable to a large number of people.

Christine Stead also thanked the “phenomenal partnership” for its hard work. “It’s not okay for us to not try to be innovative,” she argued. Noting that the U.S. is not internationally competitive, she encouraged the committee to consider moving the whole district to a balanced calendar in a year.

“We have a global achievement gap that is very serious,” Stead asserted, “not just among disaggregate groups. Don’t be too hesitant to continue to move forward.”

Stead advised the committee to spend more time and energy articulating the wealth that a balanced calendar brings, noting, “the value proposition for this is tremendous.” She also asked about the incremental cost requirements, including other programming for family support, such as coordinated child care through Ann Arbor Rec & Ed.

Simone Lightfoot echoed the sentiments of her colleagues, also expressing disappointment at the balanced calendar’s delay: “I’d like to see kids in school ’til 5 p.m.” Asserting that she is a staunch advocate for leveraging relationships with institutions of higher learning, Lightfoot suggested that other area schools of education could be brought into the partnership as well. Finally, she questioned whether there would be a way to offer intersessions to students from other schools.

Dickinson-Kelley said the committee was considering whether intersessions could be offered at feeder schools as well, if they were on the balanced calendar.

Irene Patalan said, “This needs to work – it is a key to reaching so many of our students.” She stated that a balanced calendar is the way of the future, but said she could “totally understand that emotional piece of reacting to losing summer vacation.” Noting that change is always difficult, Patalan said that after studying the proposal, she can see that vacation is not being taken away, just spread out. She asked when all AAPS students would be on vacation at the same time, once the balanced calendar is put in place.

Scarnecchia responded that the whole district would be off the month of July, for two weeks of winter break, and for one week of spring break. A one-week intersession would be added before winter break, and a two-week intersession before spring break. Students on the balanced calendar, Scarnecchia said, would likely not be given a break in February, as is typical of AAPS traditional calendar, but would likely start their year in August and have a break in September, allowing an intersession to take place before the MEAP test in October.

Patalan also asked about the communication plan being used to reach every affected parent regarding the development of the initiative. Dickinson-Kelley answered that two-way communication is important, and that in addition to the surveys planned for January, the committee will consider holding additional forums. Parents, she said, can also join subcommittees if they are interested in having a stronger role in planning. She also reiterated that family is very important to the partnership, and that outreach to families is a strong component of the initiative.

Susan Baskett thanked the UM partners, and the committee’s crisp articulation of its vision. She pointed out that the current, traditional calendar does not meet the needs of all students, and said she likes that this will give AAPS students something different. She asked whether the committee had already explored the viability of the opt-out/opt-in option.

Dickinson-Kelley responded that making the program optional is “on the table for consideration.”

Glenn Nelson applauded the partnership with UM, and reiterated that “one size does not fit all.” He suggested that the most important thing is to do it right first, and then figure out how to scale it up. “I’m really convinced this is the right thing for many of our students,” Nelson said. “I think after it’s tried, it will become clear that it’s the right thing for many more students … I have every confidence that we are going to do it and do it well.”

Deb Mexicotte seconded many of the words of her colleagues, highlighting that while it’s disappointing to delay the balanced calendar, “doing it right is important.”

Mexicotte offered the committee a few questions to consider for future presentations. She said she would like to understand the relationship between the partnership’s themes and UM’s goals of addressing equity and diversity. She also noted the importance of articulating what a balanced calendar would offer to high-achieving students.

Saying that she was appreciative of the partnership being able to continue in 2011-12 without the balanced calendar piece, Mexicotte said she saw the partnership as an opportunity to teach teachers better. She also suggested expanding the upcoming survey to all parents, to assess the level of interest across the whole community, since this is a pilot. “Then we can look at all the options,” she said.

Finally, Mexicotte urged the committee to remember that what has failed at other year-round schools was that they didn’t use the time they had any differently – the year was just longer. She suggested sharing data from other schools on a balanced calendar to better articulate to the AAPS community exactly how time was used differently. “I believe you did your due diligence,” she said, “but this community likes to see data.”

Mitchell-Scarlett-UM Partnership: Public Comment (Balanced Calendar)

Seven parents addressed the board regarding the balanced calendar originally proposed to begin in the fall of 2011 as part of the Mitchell-Scarlett-UM partnership – four opposed to it (Beth Ballbach, Amy Pufahl, Alison McCrystal, and Elizabeth Baker), and three in favor (Gloria Llamas, Marguerita Barrientes, and Wendy Blackman). Concerns raised about the balanced calendar included:

  • Different children from the same family could have different vacation schedules.
  • Even if all of Scarlett’s feeder elementary schools have the balanced calendar, the high schools will still have a traditional calendar.
  • Family time will be compromised or limited.
  • Students will not develop the athletic confidence necessary to be competitive, if they cannot participate in the full summer sports schedule.
  • The longevity of the plan’s funding is questionable.
  • Students who have to opt out to stay on a traditional calendar (if opting out is an option) would lose their peer groups.
  • Students would be unable to attend certain summer camps.

More than one parent threatened to leave the district, and said they knew others who would leave, if they had to follow a balanced calendar. One parent brought a petition opposing the balanced calendar with 80 signatures. Another warned, “This has a potential to create a great divide.” Parents cautioned the district to “pause, look at all aspects of this plan, and consider alternatives,” saying “one size does not fit all.”

Suggestions made by parents who addressed the board included:

  • Allow families to opt in or out of the partnership by making Scarlett and Mitchell schools of choice, and provide busing to all schools that students could opt for.
  • Allow students to remain in their home schools until they would naturally move up, while not requiring them to participate in the partnership.

On the other hand, parents in support of the balanced calendar urged the district to do what they know is best for students, and make the change. They pointed out that the 9-month school calendar is outdated, held over from when we were an agrarian society and needed children to help with summer harvest. They also noted that the achievement of U.S. students is lagging behind that of other developed nations due to a shorter school year.

One parent urged AAPS to consider implementing the balanced calendar district-wide, and argued that students waste the entire first month of a school year on review of the previous year’s work. Another commented that a balanced calendar has been shown to address achievement disparities and that, “Change is uncomfortable, but the benefits to our children are huge.”

Finally, Wendy Blackman, a grandparent of Mitchell students, spoke on behalf of parents who could not attend the meeting. “Just because a huge group of us are not here, and we don’t have a petition does not mean we are not in support [of the balanced calendar]. Our families are struggling – they are working two jobs. We work all year long to break that achievement gap.” She also encouraged the board to stick with their plan: “Do not take the easy way out. Make a change.”

Superintendent Search

The board is currently engaged in a search for a new superintendent, after Todd Roberts resigned earlier this year. Acting as interim superintendent, but not a candidate for the permanent post, is former deputy superintendent Robert Allen.

Superintendent Search: Update

Mexicotte led the board in a brief discussion about their expectations of the next visit from Ray and Associates, the firm hired by the board to assist with the superintendent search. She suggested that their next visit would need to be spread over two days, and suggested meeting at 4 p.m. on Feb. 9 and 10. Mexicotte suggested that the purpose of the set of meetings would be to narrow down the list of semi-finalists to the list of finalists to be interviewed, and to put together an interview process.

There was some question of whether or not Ray and Associates would provide the board with the resumes of the semi-finalists before the meeting. Board members also asked when all the resumes would be collected and available for review. Mexicotte said she would check with Ray and Associates to get answers to both questions.

Mexicotte also suggested that the board should collect input from the community regarding interview questions during the month of January so the information would be available before the working session with Ray and Associates.

The board reviewed how the interview process had worked during the hiring of Todd Roberts, who was the last superintendent hired. Mexicotte noted that there had been an all-day Saturday event last time, with the candidates rotating among constituent groups. Nelson suggested that the board may want to set an interview date sooner than its next meeting with Ray and Associates so that the community has time to plan to attend. Mexicotte suggested that perhaps the district could ask the community to be aware of a set of times, and then narrow it down based on the size of the candidate pool being interviewed and the interview model chosen.

Baskett requested that Mexicotte also ask Ray and Associates for recommendations on the interview process, and Mexicotte agreed to do that. She also asked board secretary Amy Osinski to find the previous interview agenda for the board to use as a comparison.

Lightfoot reminded the board that some parents have contacted them specifically to be included in the interview process, and suggested that if there is a parent interview panel, the board should use those names.

Superintendent Search: Public Comment (Salary)

A former AAPS bus driver for 21 years spoke to the board regarding his frustration at the salary range set for the incoming superintendent, given the mass layoff of transportation staff last June. Having not been hired by the the Washtenaw Intermediate School District (WISD), which is now contracting with AAPS to provide busing, John Ridesser asserted, “If you think it’s easy to start a new career after 21 years, it’s not. I’m 52 years old, and I haven’t found a job, and I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

Gloria Llamas, who also spoke in favor of the balanced calendar, added that to give the superintendent a raise while laying off other workers is “just wrong.”

Great Start Readiness Grant

Each year, in order for AAPS to receive grant funding through the Michigan Dept. of Education’s Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP), a resolution of participation needs to be officially approved by the board of education. Interim superintendent Robert Allen introduced this resolution to the board, noting that the total grant amount is $421,600. The pre-school program is designed to help at-risk four-year-olds prepare to enter school.

Lee Ann Dickinson-Kelley, AAPS interim deputy superintendent of instruction, added that the total funding sought represents an increase that will allow the district to serve additional students through the program.

Glenn Nelson applauded the preschool administration for keeping the program alive, and Dickinson-Kelley confirmed that GSRP revenue is redistributed among districts each year according to the success and longevity of their preschool programming. “Because we have a sustained and functional program,” she explained, “we received more funding.”

Susan Baskett asked about the grant’s distribution among programs, and Dickinson-Kelley explained that most of the $421,600 would go to the GSRP, but that $51,000 would go to First Steps, another pre-school program.

Dickinson-Kelley then explained that this resolution was “a little late” in getting to the board due to transitions as the pre-school level, and that it would be ideal if it could be approved this calendar year.

Outcome: This was originally a first briefing item. However, in response to Dickinson-Kelley’s request, the board agreed to treat it as a special briefing item. It was moved to the consent agenda for consideration and a vote, and was approved as part of the consent agenda.

First-Quarter Financial Update, Fiscal Year 2010-11

Nancy Hoover, AAPS director of finance and interim chief financial officer, presented a set of three resolutions for a first briefing by the board – two budget amendments, and the approval of first-quarter disbursements.

The first amendment would re-appropriate money in the district’s general fund. Hoover explained that revenue appropriations to the general fund increased by nearly $4.3 million due to AAPS receiving a higher foundation allowance than anticipated. AAPS had originally budgeted for an additional $268 per pupil cut that was then rescinded.

The fund’s expenditures were also amended by over $1 million in additional appropriations, primarily to fund contractually-obligated increases in teaching staff with the rise in student count. Hoover also noted that expenditures are down in transportation, as drivers and mechanics have been outsourced to the Washtenaw Intermediate School District.

Interim superintendent Robert Allen pointed out that the state of Michigan could still change appropriations for this year, even though the best current information says that the additional $268 cut, for which the district budgeted, is not coming. Trustee Christine Stead concurred, saying that the state’s January revenue conference “is not the only hurdle we need to overcome.” She urged the board to maintain fiscal responsibility.

The second amendment would reduce revenue appropriations to the athletic fund to $0, allowing the athletic department to spend its fund balance. It would increase the expenditure appropriations of the athletic fund by $372,688.

Deb Mexicotte asked how the athletic department will spend their fund balance, and Hoover suggested that a portion of the money would be used to transport students to athletic events. Mexicotte responded that this was a good idea, since the availability of student transportation was a big change to athletic programs this year.

The board then reviewed the first-quarter disbursements in more detail. Stead noted the increase in central services expenditures for the new grants coordinator and research coordinator positions, saying “it’s great to see them on there,” since they will lead to increased revenue.

Hoover pointed out that AAPS currently expects to add $3.29 million to its fund balance, bringing the projected fund equity to $20.93 million. Allen added that AAPS is adding a fourth amendment cycle to bring the budget more in line with the state’s eventual appropriations.

Andy Thomas questioned a few line items, and Hoover explained they were not true increases, but transfers within the lines to better reflect where budget needs are. She confirmed that “if you add up all the transfers, they net to zero.”

Mexicotte asked what other changes have actually occurred that had not been discussed yet, and Hoover reiterated that the majority of the modifications were related to increased staffing needs. She also noted appropriations for elementary math and science coordinators, supplemental pay for the Skyline High School health chair, and costs of the superintendent search.

Glenn Nelson commented that per-pupil funding often follows election year cycles, and that while state funding will probably be lower in 2011-12, it will likely increase again in 2012-13. Still, he said, per-pupil funding is currently lower than it was in fiscal year 2007.

Mexicotte reminded everyone that, last year, AAPS lost $20 million of funding mid-year. Responding specifically to media accounts of AAPS as having a budget surplus, Mexicotte asserted, “When people see ‘Four Million Dollar Budget Surplus,’ what they are really seeing is a $16-million budget cut that was dealt with by the sacrifices of our bargaining units.”

Outcome: The first-quarter financial update was a first briefing item, and will come back for a second briefing and vote at the next regular meeting.

Association Reports

At each meeting, the board invites reports from six associations: the Youth Senate, the Ann Arbor Parent Advisory Committee on Special Education (AAPAC), the Parent-Teacher-Organization Council (PTOC), the Black Parents Student Support Group (BPSSG), the Ann Arbor Administrators Association (AAAA), and the Ann Arbor Education Association (AAEA). At this meeting, the board heard reports from the AAPAC, the BPSSG, and the AAEA.

Association Reports: AAPAC

Ann Arbor Parent Advisory Committee on Special Education’s representative reviewed services offered by the district support team. She also advocated for greater attention to be focused on meeting the technological needs on special education children. The use of technology “frees people trapped inside their bodies,” she argued, and AAPS and Washtenaw County are not “up to speed.” AAPAC also suggested that there is great expertise in the community, and that professional development for teachers to learn how to incorporate additional technology in their classrooms could be provided at no cost.

Association Reports: BPSSG

Sylvia Nesmith reported for the Black Parents Student Support Group. She thanked the board for continued attention to student discipline, and said the group hopes for consistent application of policies and rules. As positive behavior support is implemented across the district, Nesmith argued, it should be instituted in a fair, culturally sensitive manner.

Nesmith also noted that the BPSSG appreciates opportunities to be included in district planning and initiatives. However, she said, there is no BPSSG representation on the district school improvement or equity leadership teams, and she asked the board to inform the group of how it could gain such representation. She also asked if there will be an opportunity for parent input in creating interview questions of the superintendent candidates. Finally, she expressed gratitude to Elaine Brown, AAPS assistant superintendent for student intervention and support services, for sharing her plans as well as tips and encouragement with the group.

Association Reports: AAEA

Brit Satchwell, president of the teachers’ union, reported that 17 teachers attended a recent conference on best practices in teaching and will be reporting what they learned to their colleagues. He congratulated AAPS on the upcoming launch of the Young People’s Project (YPP) as an after-school program at Scarlett Middle School. He reported that union leadership from the multiple districts participating in the newly formed International Baccalaureate school has been meeting to “hammer out” how to merge eight or nine different contracts into one that will be used for those who teach at the school. And finally, Satchwell expressed excitement about the reconvening of the district’s strategic planning process, which began in early December, and will be discussed further at the next board meeting.

Board Committee Reports

The board has two standing committees. The planning committee consists of: Christine Stead (chair), Susan Baskett, and Irene Patalan; the performance committee consists of: Glenn Nelson (chair), Simone Lightfoot, and Andy Thomas. Board president Deb Mexicotte sits on neither committee.

Performance Committee

Nelson reported that the performance committee met on Nov. 30, and reviewed the first-quarter financial report described earlier in this article. At the committee’s next meeting, they will discuss enrollment, including what they know and need to know about those who live within AAPS district boundaries, but who choose not to attend AAPS schools.

Planning Committee

Stead reported that the full planning committee has not met since the last board meeting but that a task force of the committee met to discuss education legislation reform. At a study session held just prior to Wednesday’s meeting, Stead had presented a set of principles created by the task force, and the full board will discuss legislative efforts at the next regular board meeting.

Superintendent’s Report

Robert Allen thanked the trustees, administration, and community members who participated in two days of work on the strategic plan in early December, which kicked off phase two of the strategic planning process. A detailed report on the updates to the plan will be presented at the next board meeting.

Among the accolades given in his report, Allen congratulated winning sports teams and players from the fall season, reported that the Forsythe robotics team won an award for “gracious professionalism,” and lauded the many middle school students recently chosen for honors choir or orchestra spots. He also encouraged viewing of rotating student art at the Balas administration building and St. Joseph Mercy Hospital.

Consent Agenda Approved

After noting that there were no questions regarding the proposed purchase of new computers for a computer lab at Pioneer High School, which was reviewed as a first briefing item at the last regular meeting, the board unanimously approved a consent agenda consisting of the annual financial report, 2010-11 grant awards, minutes approvals, the computer purchase, and the approval of the Great Start readiness grant described above.

Board Action Items

In a bit of perfunctory business, the board unanimously accepted the Washtenaw County Board of Canvassers official results of the Nov. 2, 2010 board of education elections. The five board members who secured their board seats on Nov. 2 – Deb Mexicotte, Christine Stead, Susan Baskett, Simone Lightfoot, and Andy Thomas, who were all unopposed in the election – were then officially sworn in to their positions by board secretary Amy Osinski.

Ann Arbor Board of Education oat of office

(Clockwise from bottom right, those with hands raised) Deb Mexicotte, Susan Baskett, Simone Lightfoot, Christine Stead, and Andy Thomas taking their oaths of office.

The board also voted to hold an executive session under the attorney-client privilege provision of the Michigan Open Meetings Act at 5:30 p.m., just before the next board meeting on Dec. 15.

Items from the Board

Glenn Nelson acknowledged the district’s recent celebration of the completion of the Comprehensive School Improvement Program, saying, “It was really rewarding and wonderful to reflect on all the good work that was enabled by the community when they passed that bond.

Present: President Deb Mexicotte, vice president Susan Baskett, secretary Andy Thomas, treasurer Irene Patalan, and trustees Glenn Nelson, Christine Stead, and Simone Lightfoot. Also present as a non-voting member was Robert Allen, interim superintendent.

Next regular meeting: Dec. 15, 2010, 7 p.m., in the fourth floor conference room of the downtown Ann Arbor District Library, 343 S. Fifth Ave. [confirm date]