Tuesday, September 29, 2020 - 10:11 am

Deputy Superintendent Sherri Cyra provided a brief enrollment update, noting the District is about 250 students below projections for the 2020-21 school year, at the Board of Education regular meeting on Monday, Sept. 28.

Board president Annette Ashley presided over the meeting at the District Services Center, while other Board members participated remotely. The School Board has been meeting virtually since mid-March.   The District projected K-12 enrollment to increase by approximately 130 students to 7,342 for 2020-21. Instead, it was at 7,091 as of late last week. MCPASD is more than 100 students below projections at the elementary level, 75 students below projections at the middle level and 45 students below projections at the high school level.   She reminded the Board this is not the Official Third Friday count. She and Assistant Superintendent of Operations Lori Ames will present that report in October after certifying the District's enrollment. 

She noted the agenda included the actual enrollment is by attendance area, whether students are in the Universal or Fully Virtual instructional model. The actual enrollment chart also includes staff no matter which model they are currently working in.   Cyra noted page 8 of the presentation breaks down the students in Universal modelalong with those in Fully Virtual model in grades K-6. The chart also includes the number of students in the Universal and Fully Virtual models in grades 7-12. 

She noted the presentation also included the District's projections for 2020-21 and last year's enrollment. There are also pages with charts depicting the trends at each level over the past few years.  

In other news from Monday's meeting:

* Director of Student Services Barb Buffington and Assistant Director Cindy Malcheski provided their state-mandated annual report on the seclusion and restraint data.   The report includes definitions of physical restraint, which is a restriction that immobilizes or reduces the ability of a student to freely move their torso, arms, legs, or head, and seclusion, which is an involuntary confinement of a student, apart from other students, in a room or area from which the student is physically prevented from leaving.    The report notes that District staff are trained in Non-Violent Crisis Intervention. Eleven classes were offered to staff on a voluntary basis in 2019-20. Refresher face-to-face training will be provided to approximately 200 staff this year.   There were 122 total cases of seclusion and-or restraint in 2019-20, which was 117 fewer than the year before. In all, 22 students were involved in the cases, compared with 43 in 2018-19. The report notes the number of incidents are lower compared to previous years in part due to school closures starting in mid-March due to COVID-19 and changes in placement for a few students.   

* Annette Ashley noted all of the public comments will be available on the District website, along with comments from previous virtual meetings. She briefly summarized the letters that were asked to be shared, including an online petition asking that schools be reopened for students that has been signed by more than 550 people.    Ashley also noted the Board had received 70 emails since its last meeting on Sept. 14 asking that K-2 students return to school buildings and another 40, including 20 from staff, requesting that students remain virtual. A few other emails requested that schools open for students in 4K-4, 4K-5, 5-8 or 4K-12. 

 * As part of her superintendent's report, Dana Monogue thanked the community members who have reached out to her office and provided their perspective and feedback on the start of the school year and the decision about whether to bring students back into school buildings.    "Your feedback helps us get better and improve our efforts to effectively communicate and improve the experience for all students,'' she said.