Present: Beckie Alexander, Lianne Knych, Meg Hoyt, Jane Onsrud, Becky Dankowski, Scott Bordon, and Sarah Linnes-Robinson Director of KFNA, Chris Sur, KFNA President
The committee meeting was called to discuss a proposal coming from KFNA Staff to hold an informational table for school choice at the KFNA table at the Kingfield Holiday Farmers’ Market. Some committee members felt this promotional opportunity should be used for Lyndale School only. There was a feeling from many committee members that KFNA is not promoting Lyndale School strongly enough as the neighborhood’s guaranteed school.
Many committee members expressed their fears at neighbors not giving Lyndale School a fair look as an option by families. According to Hoyt, “My biggest fear is people not looking beyond the front of the door.”
KFNA Staff stated the problem she was hearing in the neighborhood was people feeling disenfranchised from the entire public school system. She stated that she feels that encouraging families to look at all their options and not feel forced into any one would serve the larger goal of getting them reinvested no matter which school they attend.
Alexander stated that she felt that as a community our responsibility is to the local school. If we were going to expand to promote all the educational options it should also include private.
Staff restated the mission of the committee which was developed at the last meeting which is to “advocate for youth and the schools they attend.”
There was debate that the support from the neighborhood association for Lyndale should be stronger than for other schools since historically the neighborhood had no neighborhood school, and now that it does it has a responsibility to support the neighborhood school. Some committee members and Staff disagreed with this and felt the neighborhood should support the schools that children attend, and this could be done alongside celebrating the new postion of Lyndale as a community school guarentee.
A discussion was held about information on the KFNA website. Many wanted this to be used a promotional spot for Lyndale School. Dankowski and Knych argued that information on all the school choices should be provided. Agreement was reached that Lyndale should be at the top with information about it as the community school choice for the neighborhood. It should also include a link to the school. Other information could include tour dates and a school button. Other public schools would also be listed, however. It was decided that high school should be included on the website too. Please note that at the time of writing these minutes high school, information has not been put on the website yet.
Discussion was also held about the upcoming Holiday Farmers’ Market—the school committee stated that they had requested to be present at this final market. This request was not reflected in the previous committee minutes, nor had staff recalled this request when she put forward the proposal for all schools to be present. The committee reaffirmed they would like to be the group that staffed the table at this final market. Although many felt that it should provide information exclusively on Lyndale since everyone in the neighborhood is aware of their school choices, the group agreed to making available information on all public school choices K-8 at the table also.
Linnes-Robinson said she had already pulled this information together for elementary school choices for Kingfield residents and it had been proofed by District staff. She will expand it to include middle schools for the market.
Committee members said that the Lyndale School Transition Team is working on marketing including info in newsletters, events, and open houses and tours and a school-led PR campaign for Lyndale; they asked how KFNA will support this marketing. Staff responded that as with all groups, the school can request inclusion in email notices as events come up, but the newsletter is ready to go to print and another will not come out until March. The current issue does contain a story on Lyndale School which announces and celebrates its new status as a community school guarantee for Kingfield. There was strong interest from some committee members that KFNA play a stronger role in this marketing and a discussion was held on the difference of marketing for the school vs. community building at the school and the difference of promoting Lyndale School as the neighborhood school vs. promoting Lyndale School as one of the options. No consensus was reached on the differences or the manner in which KFNA should be involved.
There was a brief discussion about how the neighborhood association could assist with identifying and informing non-choosers about school options. There was a discussion about marketing vs. disseminating information. No next steps were indentified or committed to besides providing information for people to attend the choice fair held by the district DT on January 9.
There was interest expressed by Bordon in investigating “safe routes to school” for the neighborhood.
A next meeting date was not decided on due to the impending holidays and staff’s over-committed schedule due to the project organizer hiring process.
Minutes provided by Linnes-Robinson, 12/1/09.
Board members present: Arthur Knowles, Dave Saddoris, JobyLynn SassilyJames, Chris DeParde, Chris Sur, Alex Bauman (new member), Marshal Onsrud, Scott Bordon, Tom Parent
7:03 Meeting called to order by Chris Sur, President
None present. In absentia, Sarah Linnes-Robinson relayed the concerns of one neighbor regarding traffic at 39th & Pleasant. Linnes-Robinson contends that overall traffic calming measures need to be examined. Saddoris asked if this was 35W-construction related, but Linnes-Robinson did not seem to think so. The Redevelopment Committee was determined to be the appropriate place to address some of these issues. Scott Bordon commented that the easiest way to create safer streets is by increasing pedestrian usage, bringing up the discussion of “Safe Routes to School”, a national organization that promotes walking to school.
Appointment of new Board Member:
Jeff Bajek & David Potosky have resigned from the board. Alternate board member Alex Bauman appointed to the board by Sur. Diana Schleisman, the other board alternate, has been notified about the additional vacancy. Sarah Linnes-Robinson will follow up with her for December’s board meeting.
November minutes: Parent commended Bordon for the thoroughness and clarity of last month’s minutes. Sur noticed several minor grammatical corrections which he will correct via e-mail with Linnes-Robinson. Motion by Arthur: Approve minutes. Second: DeParde. Unanimous (Sur abstains).
September minutes: Motion by Arthur: Approve September minutes with notation that all votes recorded in minutes are accurate, but records of whom voted which way have been lost. Second: DeParde. Unanimous (Sur abstains).
Approval of Direct Mail Letter:
JobyLynn moves approval. Second: DeParde. Unanimous (Sur abstains).
Project Organizer Hiring:
Linnes-Robinson reviewed 23 potential candidates, brought 7 to the Executive Committee for review. Three candidates were interviewed. The board approved an offer to the strongest candidate. If she declines, an offer may be made to the secondary candidate.
Review of Publicity & KFNA’s role re: School Choice:
Sur recapped that issue came up at Youth & Schools Committee (YSC) meeting last night, as the broad scope of the Committee, particularly in this time of Changing School Options, dictates a fair amount of information distribution. There are some concerns about whether this information should be coming from the neighborhood, whether it represents a particular agenda (pro-Community School v. general information).
Knowles thinks the two different articles slated for the Kingfield Newsletter is appropriate for KFNA, as it both promotes the community school while accurately conveying options. Onsrud likened the dichotomy to the Farmers Market: while there are many markets in the City, KFNA promotes the local one and it’s critical at this time of transition to actively promote the community school. Sur believes that information is key and an informed neighborhood helps prevent some disenfranchisement of those that aren’t aware of the options, so full information should not be precluded in an attempt to push the community school. JobyLynn likes both articles, but has concerns that the Lyndale school article might seem too subjective and opens up the newsletter for criticism as being biased. DeParde states that it was important to remain neutral during the CSO process, but now that Lyndale is the neighborhood school KFNA should actively advocate for Lyndale. Bordon says that while there was a difference of opinion at the YSC meeting, he felt that there was no confusion about direction for the newsletter articles. Linnes-Robinson was trying to clear up confusion about what the focus of the Committee is (promote community school or try to represent all options available to Kingfield residents).
Bordon shared that direction from YSC was that primary responsibility was to community school. YSC is concerned that misinformation might come from KFNA and information should be supplied by School Board. Onsrud thinks that school information should come solely from YSC. Knowles reiterated the importance of the Board’s guidance and the autonomy of all committees, such as the newsletter. Sur shared that he has concerns that the credibility of the YSC and KFNA will be compromised if there is a perception of bias or of withholding information. Bordon thinks that staff should not be spending time writing articles that should be coming from Minneapolis Public Schools and the article should only point people to district resources.
Linnes-Robinson wants clarification on why she needs to be seeking approval for an article about an issue that has written about many times in years past, as she does not do this for any other committee. What is role of the neighborhood association in sharing the changing options? Onsrud shared his displeasure that the board did not wholly support the community school, a characterization which Sur, DeParde and SassilyJames immediately objected to.
Bordon would like to see confirmation from MPS about veracity of information contained in Linnes-Robinson’s informational newsletter article, but otherwise is fine with the direction, and inclusion, of the article.
Role of Committees in KFNA
Bordon asked for clarification of role of Committees within the structure of KFNA. He and some YSC members feel as though the Executive Director has free reign in regards to actions regarding the schools issue, sometimes at the detriment to Committee direction. DeParde referred Bordon to bylaws for relationship of Committees to Board, Staff to Committees and Staff to Board. Sur recommends that role of Committees would be best explored at the next board meeting, as some research and reflection (and additional time) would benefit the discussion.
Email Policy Amendment
Amend item #6 “It concerns Kingfield as an Open Area for public schools;” to “It concerns public schools for Kingfield residents” Motion by Parent. Second: Alex. Bordon asked if intent could be wrapped up in another existing item; group decision was that it could not, with the possible exception of #3, but it could not hurt to enumerate. Unanimous (Sur abstains).
Motion by DeParde: Arthur to be NRP electorate. Second: SassilyJames. Unanimous (Sur abstains).
Linnes-Robinson ran through monthly balance sheet. New reimburseables are due in November. Linnes-Robinson asks for direction from board to ask for return of money repaid for housing loan program by end of year. General direction for the organization is to contract as much money by year end.
Bauman discussed BFIP grants at most recent meeting and recapped the plans for the SE corner of 38th & Grand. Linnes-Robinson shared that the mayor announced at the Nicollet Square ground breaking that Nicollet Avenue will be re-done in 2012. Linnes-Robinson and Mark Hinds, the Executive Director of the Lyndale Neighborhood Association, will be meeting with public works soon to discuss process.
The “triangle” option seems to have the most traction. While members of the Park department were present, formal process of including the Park Board has not yet begun.
Explored ways of contracting the CEE and green commercial building money at the last meeting. Community Garden site planning begins this week.
Should be at printer by the end of the week.
Youth and Schools
Committee staffed the Farmers Market twice, with 8 different volunteers, with good results. Promoted movie nights at King Park with 60-75 people showing up. Efforts to make movie night a monthly endeavor. Committee to staff holiday Farmers Market.
With Bajek’s resignation, DeParde to make a point to attend CPAS meetings. Committee had bonfire last weekend, with about 30 attendees.
Motion to adjourn by Arthur, 8:57 p.m.
Chris Sur presented the following:
Board members, I am making the following motion:
“Whereas the Board of KFNA is accountable and responsible for the actions of the its committees and employees;
Whereas KFNA has historically provided information to the neighborhood about school choice options and whereas the school choice process has changed dramatically this year; and
Whereas there is disagreement among the committee and the board as to the content of a Kingfield Newsletter article on school choice;
I hereby move that, if the content of the Newsletter article on school choice is approved by Jackie Turner of the Minneapolis School District, then Chris Sur, president of the board, and Sarah Linnes-Robinson have authority to edit the article to shorten it, and to submit the article to be published in the Kingfield Newsletter with a notation that the article has been approved by the Minneapolis School District.”
If there is a second for the motion, Board member please vote via e-mail, replying to all.
Votes in favor came from:
Tom Parent, Marie Wolf, Chris DeParde, Dean Muldoon, Scott Bordon, Alex Bauman, JobyLynn Sassily, James, Arthur Knowles
(And just want to add that, although I wasn’t at the meeting last night, I believe that KFNA has been consistent throughout this process that our role is to provide Kingfield residents with the best and most accurate information. That was our goal before the current attendance plans were settled on, and should be our goal now. I have heard many positive things about Lyndale, and believe that it can readily stand on its own merits).
I believe had this article been distributed to the Youth & Schools Committee at our Monday Night meeting we could have resolved the issue at the committee meeting. Knowing Jackie Turner/MPS approved the article I believe addresses the committees’ concern about providing such information (I apologize to committee members if this is not accurate reading). I said at Board Meeting if Jackie Tuner approved it was okay with me.
Further, I believe that we are “dusting up” over a relatively minor difference of perceived emphasis. I believe that we are all in essential agreement. We want to support our new community school and view it as a great asset for the Neighborhood. We also have many students from the Neighborhood attending some other schools and while promoting Lyndale school we should not ignore these other schools. The Board created (with the help of volunteers) a “Youth and Schools” committee, not a “Youth and Lyndale School” committee. The larger question of the relationship between the Board, its committees, and staff needs further elucidation, but again, I do not believe that we have basic disagreement.
Lastly, I would like to again apologize for my extended outburst at the last Board meeting. It was sincere, to the point, and, I believe, justified. But it was not in “good form”.
Arthur H. Knowles
Thinking Out of the Box: A CALL FOR ARTISTS
Creative solutions, unusual juxtapositions, innovative use of materials…Kingfielders are a revolutionary crowd! This year’s 5th Annual Community Art Show asks local artists and community members to create 2-dimensional or 3D art that expresses their creativity and presents something outside of the ordinary 4-sided straight walls of our regular world.
A twist of words, a repurpose of materials, an invention of sound or sight, an image that leaps off the wall…let your mind go free and think out of the box!
Registration Deadline: March 10, 2009
Artwork Due: March 13 and 14, 2009
Selected pieces hung for predisplay at Anodyne@43rd
All pieces sold by auction Saturday, March 20
To register, visit www.kingfield.org or call 612-823-5980 AFTER December 15,2009!
Thank you for helping make Kingfield the great neighborhood that it is—a fantastic place to live, play, and work! We know you are the key to being a successful thriving urban neighborhood and our job, as your neighborhood association, is to support you getting involved, creating change, and building connections in your neighborhood. As I mentioned in a recent column in the Kingfield Newsletter, there is a lot going on in the neighborhood about which we can be excited. The Kingfield art show is an ever-growing event, the newly-independent Kingfield Farmers Market had a fantastic season, and we are reminded of the beautiful result of the recent Walldogs on Nicollet event every time we drive down that avenue.
As we look to the future, the neighborhood faces challenges, including a continuing struggle to reduce crime and fill vacant storefronts, and ongoing efforts to transition the neighborhood to its new community school, the Lyndale School. The Kingfield Neighborhood Association (KFNA) is a non-profit community-building organization committed to help the neighborhood face community challenges, and I ask that you consider supporting your neighborhood association with a financial contribution. We use your donations, in conjunction with countless hours of volunteer time by you and your neighbors, to help Kingfield define issues and create solutions that impact our neighborhood.
With your support in 2009, KFNA did the following work:
• Initiated the community process to establish two community gardens in Kingfield;
• Received approval by the MPLS Arts Commission in October to pilot a new graffiti prevention technique wrapping utility boxes with local artists’ photographic images of our community;
• Organized 3 blocks in the northeast section of the neighborhood to address graffiti issues in their alleys. The results of this mural painting project are block-long art galleries that are working to prevent graffiti, plus the process helped neighbors build connections with each other;
• Facilitated and funded home energy assessments for over 200 neighbors;
• Hosted 400 neighbors and highlighted neighborhood artists in our annual spring community art show;
• Created a new Youth and Schools Committee to advocate on behalf of the youth of Kingfield and address challenges such as the transition to Kingfield’s new community school;
• Established an HOURCAR car-sharing hub at 3800 Nicollet;
• Began the work and provided support for the establishment of a Dog Park at MLK Park;
• Informed you of local issues and events through a quarterly newsletter and a weekly e-mail notice, and maintained our website at www.kingfield.org to keep everyone current about Kingfield news and events;
• …and much, much more!
The majority of KFNA’s past funding, NRP, is winding down and there is a great deal of uncertainty as to what support the successor program will provide. Consequently, the need for private contributions by residents is greater than ever. If every Kingfield household donates just $20 to KFNA, we can pay for our general operating costs for the entire year. And if you are able to donate $30, $50 or $200, you can make a huge difference in helping KFNA serve the neighborhood and you.
Anything you can afford is appreciated! Donations to KFNA are tax deductible and can be mailed or made online at www.kingfield.org. Every dime is spent on working to make Kingfield an even better place to call home. Remember, KFNA is you – and with your help, we can continue building a better Kingfield.
Chris Sur, KFNA President
Come ring in the holidays with a unique and enjoyable concert of classical, folk and holiday music with the Mill City Accordions, under the direction of Dee Langley, and their special guests, Wild Hollow (violin, clarinet, and freebass accordion).
The 2nd Annual MCA Holiday Concert will be Sunday, December 20th at 2 P.M. in the Pilgrim Lutheran Church Gymnasium, 3901 1st Ave S in Minneapolis. The entrance to the Gymnasium is on Stevens Avenue.
The concert is open to the public, light refreshments will be provided. Suggested donation $5
Please come and join us for this festive and warm celebration of the Holiday Season, Good Yule!
December 7th, 2009 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
$25 per person
Sip sparkling, light & bold wines featured at La Chaya Bistro. Chef Juan Garcia will also prepare small bites to accompany the wine.
Visit www.lachaya.com or call 612.827.2254 to make a reservation.
Church of the Incarnation, 3801 Pleasant Avenue South, Saturday, December 5 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 5th and Sunday, December 6th from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon.
It includes: baked goodies, Christmas crafts, holiday gifts, Saturday’s Mrs. Claus’s soup kitchen, silent auction, Sunday pancake breakfast, and handmade quilts, hats, mittens and scarves.