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August 24, 2020 at 4:00 PM - Policy Committee

I. Opening
Discussion:  The virtual meeting opened for attendees to arrive at 3:45pm. No deliberation or decisions were made prior to the start of the meeting. A meeting of the Board of Education’s Policy Committee came to order at 4:03 pm at the call of Committee Chair Moore.  This meeting was held virtually due to Covid-19 and streamed live at:
II. Staff Updates (5 min)
II.1. Suicide Prevention policy - update on engagement efforts
Discussion:  Mary Kane share that the Suicide Prevention Policy is out for engagement, which has been slowed because of summer break, but that staff is creating a plan and will bring it back to the committee.
II.2. Student Conduct and Discipline - status update
Discussion:  Liz Large shared that the Student Conduct and Discipline policy is on hold for negotiations with the Portland Association of Teachers (PAT). She shared that the current policy does not violate any laws, while we wait for the revisions to be negotiated, and that we would always follow law over a district policy. There was a question regarding whether part of the policy could be approved while waiting for PAT negotiations. Liz Large stated that it is typically hard to change part of the policy and get to a place where it’d be satisfying and that it’s likely better to wait to approve the full policy. Director Moore requested a best estimate of how many revisions might be needed and how long it might take to complete the policy.
III. Items/policies for discussion (105 min)
III.1. User Guide and Community Engagement Plan
Discussion:  Rachel Lent provided an overview of the newly created policy revision user guide and community engagement plan, which has been complied to provide an outline and support staff who are experts in an area related to a policy when the policy is being considered for revisions.  She noted that there are four phases to revisions, adding that step one includes using the RESJ lens and developing a community engagement plan. Director Moore shared that the guide was created because the committee did not have a methodology for soliciting input, and the guide will provide methodology for soliciting input and moving that engagement towards the front end of the process.  

There was discussion to define policy holders and who initiates policy changes. There was discussion regarding board involvement in the engagement process and engagement timeline. Committee members shared that they would like more involvement in the engagement process in order to make informed decisions.
III.2. 8.70.040-P Preservation, Maintenance and Disposition of District Real Property
Discussion:  Director Moore shared that the committee would look at the Preservation, Maintenance and Disposition of District Real Property Policy, but that they would not discuss any specific situation or instance. Liz Large added that the idea is to consider when the district could deviate from the financial gain / market value based decision making, in special circumstances, based on district values. It was noted that the current policy does state that a special situation could be cause for deviation, but that there is no direction to guide that decision. There was discussion regarding what potential reasons for deviation would be. Areas that were brought up to be considered include consideration of communities that are being served in the building by the external partners, identifying different criteria for rent/lease reductions vs sales of property, including specific language for charter schools, and applying the Racial Equity and Social Justice (RESJ) lens. Liz Large stated that staff will look at the policy based on conversation and present a redline policy with revision suggestions, as well as a few minor unrelated revision suggestions.
III.3. Complaint Process - End-of-year report and discussion of potential policy revisions, process improvement
Discussion:  Stephanie Soden-Back shared that the complaint policy requires a yearly report, which has been completed and sent to the board for the 2019/2020 school year. Lidia Lopez Gamboa shared that since the policy was initiated in 2014, there has been an increase in complaints received. She shared that the district has identified a few areas in the policy that could possibly be revised / clarified. Ms. Lopez Gamboa shared that the areas identified were to provide clarity in what is meant by provide assistance in filing a complaint, being more specific regarding who can file a formal complaint, and including specification on whether the same person can submit multiple complaints on the same concern once the board has ruled on the specific concern.

There was a question regarding how families resolve issues without an ombudsman. Director Kohnstamm shared that there should be more consideration in the policy regarding where the complaint process begins at the school level, with possibly providing a mediator at the district level, in lieu of an ombudsman. Stephanie Soden-Back shared that they are trying to support administrators working with complaints and that they are creating a position in Office of School Performance which will work with administration to informally take care of concerns. Julia Brim-Edwards shared that it would be nice to have a process outline available for complainants and the board so that they know what the process is, including when they would be in an executive session or not.

Director Moore requested more narrative with the numbers in the annual compliant report.  She shared next steps, including that staff will return to the next meeting with revision suggestions and a proposal for engagement.
IV. Public Comment - (5) Two-minute slots (10 min)
Description:  To request to sign-up for public comment please send an email with your first and last name, and topic to, or call Kara Bradshaw at 503-916-3906.

Requests for Public Comment will be processed in the order that they are received, and should be received by 12:00 pm on August 24, 2020. Once your spot is confirmed, instructions for addressing the board will be sent to you via email.
Discussion:  None.
V. Adjourn
Discussion:  Committee Chair Rita Moore adjourned the meeting at 6:08 pm.
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