District 911 hires Truebenbach as Director of Teaching and Learning

Tim Truebenbach served as principal of IMS/Minnesota Center

The Cambridge-Isanti School District has a new Director of Teaching and Learning.

Tim Truebenbach

During the regular school board meeting Thursday, May 24, the board approved hiring Tim Truebenbach as its new Director of Teaching and Learning.

Truebenbach, the principal of Isanti Middle School and Minnesota Center, has been filling the position since the resignation of Susan Burris in mid-April. Truebenbach will officially begin in the new position July 1.

The district is currently advertising to fill the vacant IMS/MNC principal position with an application closing date of June 1.

Superintendent Bruce Novak explained the district had 18 applicants for the Director of Teaching and Learning position, and brought in eight candidates for an extensive two-hour interview process that included a written assignment addressing current issues and programs.

“All the applicants we brought in to interview were very close and any one of them could have done the job,” Novak said. “We had 14 people as a part of the interviewing process and it came down to the perception of the interviewers. We did have internal candidates apply for the position and it’s a really good feeling knowing you have that kind of quality people working in the district.”

Transportation Update

Transportation Director Mike Nelson gave an update to the board. He explained the school district covers 251 square miles with approximately 5,100 students enrolled in the district.

Of the 5,100 students, 4,277 students are eligible to ride the busses to school and live outside the one-mile walking boundary. Of the 4,277 students eligible to ride, approximately 65 percent of those do so.

The school district has 52 bus routes, and drivers drove approximately 800,000 miles this past school year. Nelson explained transportation stays busy over the summer with Community Education programs and extended school year programs.

He explained the annual state inspection was just completed for all of the district’s 94 student transportation vehicles and the inspections went very well.

Nelson said he is currently looking at purchasing cameras for some of the busses, and is working with different vendors for the best price. He said there were cameras on two busses this year, and the behaviors really improved.

“Cameras are really a good thing for both the students and the drivers,” Nelson said. “It offers more protection for both the students and drivers.”

Nelson explained the cameras the district is considering are digital cameras that will work in all different temperatures.

Board Member Lynn Wedlund said looking into cameras for the school busses is a good move for the district.

New school designations

Truebenbach touched briefly on the new tool called Multiple Measurement Rating (MMR) that the Minnesota Department of Education will now use to gauge school performance.

Under the MMR, the Department of Education will look at four areas:

• Did the school meet its performance target?

• Did individual students meet their growth target? Are students making expected progress?

• Did the school make progress closing its overall achievement gaps?

• In the case of high schools, did the school increase its graduation rate?

The Department of Education will begin using new designations to identify only those schools that receive federal Title 1 funding. The new designations based upon the MMR are:

• Reward Schools – The 15 percent of highest performing Title 1 schools in the state.

• Focus Schools – The 10 percent of Title 1 schools showing the largest achievement gaps in the state for one or more groups of students.

• Priority Schools – The bottom 5 percent of Title 1 schools on the MMR; the most persistently low-performing schools.

Truebenbach noted the Minnesota Center was designated a ‘Reward’ school and none of the schools in the district were designated a ‘Focus’ or ‘Priority’ school.

Truebenbach explained the new designations are based on older data and test scores and the new data will be released in the end of July or early August.

In other action the board:

• Approved the principals contract for July 1, 2011 – June 30, 2013 that included a 3.83 percent total package increase.

• Approved the food service contract for July 1, 2011 – June 30, 2013 that included a 4.5 percent total package increase.

• Approved increasing the lunch prices for the 2012-13 school year by $.5 with the exception for reduced price lunches. New K-5 lunch prices will be $2.10; 6-12, $2.35 and adults $3.30.

• Approved the World Language Department of CIHS to take a tour of France June 11-21. Nine students and two teacher chaperones have committed to the tour and the students and teachers paid for the trip themselves.

• Approved the capitol budget for equipment and facilities for 2012-13. The equipment budget totaled $700,130 and the facilities budget totaled $1,539,017. The facilities budget includes $1.1 million for the CIHS kitchen remodeling project and flooring replacements at IPS, IMS, and CIHS. All of the schools parking lots will also be restriped. The facilities budget also included $150,000 for the adult enrichment center (former Armory building) that will include a roofing replacement project and space needs study. It’s expected to open this fall for adult community education and adult enrichment classes.