Welcome and Introductions

Deputy Superintendent Eva Collins welcomed committee members. Because several of them could not attend the first meeting in June, she reintroduced facilitator Dick Withycombe, who asked committee members and visitors to introduce themselves.

Half of the committee’s eight members are parents, half staff members. Dick noted that the question of expanding membership to increase diversity was raised at the last meeting and set aside in light of plans for multiple engagement activities as the process moves forward. However, the committee may choose to revisit that decision.

Among those attending for the first time was John Harrison. An executive director who oversees athletics and activities programs as well as school administrative teams, he also serves on the school board policy committee. The new superintendent has given Eva new assignments, so John will take over primary responsibility for this committee, although Eva intends to remain involved at some level.

Meeting Norms

Dick reviewed his expectations for the committee process.

  • The first donations committee gathered an enormous amount of materials, and their work will be of great value as we move forward.
  • He will work to make this an engaging process in which all committee members have genuine opportunities to share their perspectives.
  • He prefers making decisions by consensus, taking the time to develop recommendations everyone can support with confidence and integrity. He will not play a role in decision making; that will be the role of committee members.
  • People can assume that meetings will start and end on time.
  • He urged people to attend whenever possible because full participation benefits both the committee process and its outcomes.
  • He would appreciate committee members turning their name cards to indicate they wish to speak.
  • At the end of each meeting, committee members will have an opportunity to help build the agenda for the next meeting.
  • Each meeting will be summarized, and those summaries will be posted on the district website as well as sent to committee members.
  • Meetings will be open to the public. Visitors will have an opportunity to submit written comments, which will be sent to committee members along with comments submitted on the website.
  • Committee members will have an opportunity to review their draft report before it is finalized and will be encouraged to participate in its presentation to the school board.

Dick said he would “work to make possible a genuine discussion of important and sometimes difficult issues, in which you each feel free to participate and free to express opinions that could be valuable to reaching decisions.” In return, he asked committee members to give him “honest feedback if you feel things are not going well, so we can share responsibility for the process.”

Summer Activity

Eva said she went ahead with the June meeting, even though several staff members couldn’t be there, to give people an opportunity to meet each other and to learn about the overall process. That meeting also served to identify the need to clarify the committee charge, and Eva took that request to the board policy committee over the summer.

June Han, a member of the district’s research office, has completed her information-gathering task. Eva said the volume of information is so great, that portions will be introduced as relevant to committee deliberations. The OneNote notebook will also be made available to committee members who want to use the information that way.

Committee Charge from the Board

John walked committee members through an overview of the district’s donation policy work, “Donation Policy Committee Charge Clarification,” which includes the Phase One recommendations, as well as the requested clarification. The board has charged the Phase Two committee with using the information compiled by the original committee to answer a set of specific questions, the answers to which “should guide the second committee as they draft recommended revisions to Pol icy 6114 and draft revisions to the administrative procedure to the policy (6114P).”

In addition to this handout, committee members received copies of the current Policy 6114 and of Procedure 6 I 14P. John told the committee that board policy establishes parameters and procedures provide operational detail.

The committee discussed a member’s observation that the board’s charge appears to focus on athletic and other extracurricular activities, although there are donors (e.g., the Bellevue Schools Foundation and Microsoft) that contribute significantly to curricular programs. John said he would ask for clarification at the next board policy committee meeting. Dick said that clarification is important because it affects the scope of the committee’s work, including the identification of stakeholder groups. He suggested that, if the board doesn’t intend to include curricular donations in Phase Two, this committee may choose to recommend a future study of such giving.

John will work with District Director of Athletics and Activities Jeff Lowell to develop a matrix that identifies examples of giving by category ( curricular, co-curricular, noncurricular, athletics) and that aligns with the committee charge, as clarified at the next board policy committee meeting. They will send that out to committee members as soon as possible.

Overview of Committee Process

Dick reviewed the meeting sequence by committee task, today’s meeting being meeting 1.

  • Meeting 2: Analyze the existing policy and procedure for potential revisions, to provide central office staff on the committee a framework for drafting a revised policy and procedure for committee review. (September 26, 4:00-6:00 p.m., Odle Middle School)
  • Meeting 3: Review the policy and procedure drafted by staff between meetings to identify preliminary changes. Identify stakeholder groups and develop engagement strategies. (October 24, 4: 15-6: 15 p.m., central office)
  • Engagement Activities (November)
  • Meeting 4: Report and synthesize input from the various stakeholder engagement activities that took place over the previous month. Discuss the committee’s preliminary policy and procedure changes in light of stakeholder comment. (December 6, 2:30-4:30 p.m., central office)
  • Meeting 5: Complete the review of the committee’s preliminary policy and procedure recommendations in light of stakeholder input and adopt final recommendations. (January 3, 3:00-5:00 p.m., central office)
  • Meeting 6: Review the draft of the committee’s report and prepare for its presentation to the school board. (January 17, 2:30-4:30 p.m., central office)

Eva talked about the stakeholder engagement activities between meetings 3 and 4. Once the committee has identified critical groups, they will decide how best to engage each one and who can best do that. They will also create a feedback protocol so everyone is asking the same questions. There are a variety of possibilities ( e.g., conducting forums or focus groups, attending already scheduled meetings, surveys, interviews). She said it won’t be an overwhelming task because the stakeholder activities will be divided among committee members. She also said it’s very important because it brings other voices to the table and informs the committee’s review of current policy and procedure.

Eva told the committee there isn’t a “hard deadline” for the completion of their work, but that the board has been told to expect their report around the end of the first semester (late January/early February).

Next Meeting September 26

To prepare for the next meeting, Dick asked committee members to review the board charge and the current policy and procedure to identify gaps and areas that aren’t clear to them.