Welcome and Introductions

Deputy Superintendent Eva Collins welcomed committee members, thanking them for volunteering their time, and introduced Dick Withycombe, who will facilitate the committee process. Committee members introduced themselves. The 10-person membership includes three booster club or PTSA representatives; a representative of the Bellevue Schools Foundation; three school activity/athletics directors or advisors; and three central office administrators (the activities/athletics director and director of finance and budget, in addition to the deputy superintendent).

The group discussed whether there are gaps in membership: voices that should be added. The only potential gap identified was elementary school parents; and one committee member undertook to try to recruit someone. The conversation acknowledged the district’s intent to keep the Phase II committee small and to incorporate outreach activities that introduce other voices into the process. If an elementary parent is not added to the committee, that voice will be one outreach focus.

Committee Charge

This committee is an outgrowth of the earlier Donations Policy Review Committee, which presented its recommendations to the school board on April 18, 2017. Five committee members also served on that earlier committee.

Eva said the first committee’s report identifies this committee’s focus as athletics and activities; however a formal charge will not be given until the next meeting, after the incoming superintendent has had an opportunity to confer with the school board president. At that time, this committee may reconsider its name, to make sure it aligns well with the charge.

She distributed documents prepared by the earlier committee, including minutes of their April 19 meeting; the school board questions that framed their work; the recommendations they submitted to the board; and their April 28 memorandum to the board.

Committee Process

Eva told committee members she envisions monthly meetings with committee members conducting outreach activities between meetings that are designed to inform and gather input from all stakeholders. The committee will be expected to complete its work by January and to report to the school board no later than February 2018. Committee members will play a role in preparing and presenting that report.

District staff member June Han will read and summarize available research on public school donation policies and practices. Eva will send that report to committee members as soon as it is prepared, along with copies of relevant district policies.

The committee tentatively agreed to meet on Wednesdays (2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.), if that time works for the committee members who were absent today. Based on an expectation that it will, the first meeting was scheduled for the afternoon of September 6.

Building on Previous Efforts

Saying he wanted to build on past successes, Dick asked people who had served on the first committee what they regarded as that committee’s successes.

  • We learned a lot about how other schools and the school district function.
  • We came to the realization that implementation is just as important as policy, and that implementation is about more than procedures. An example: the importance of training, especially given turnover in parent leadership.
  • We tried to sort out what belongs in policy and what belongs in procedures.

Dick asked those committee members to send him one-or-two paragraphs reflecting on their experiences on the Donations Policy Review Committee before the September meeting.