1-23-06

MINUTES

REGULAR MEETING OF THE ALLEGHANY COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD
January 23, 2006
School Board Conference Room

PRESENT: R. Joe Anderson; R. Wayne Botkins, Vice Chairman; H. Hunter Fridley; Robert A. Fridley; David W. Halsey; Randall S. Tucker; and Michael L. Whitehead, Chairman. Also present:  Robert P. Grimesey, Superintendent/Clerk and Terrie S. Wright, Deputy Clerk.

Chairman Whitehead presided and called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.  The call to order was followed by a moment of silence followed by the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.

(06-164)  APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF December 12, 2005 REGULAR MEETING
MOTION: That the Board approve the minutes of the December 12, 2005 meeting
                               MOTION:  Mr. Halsey
                               SECOND: Mr. Tucker
                               VOTE:  Unanimous

(06-165) APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF January 11, 2006 CALLED MEETING
MOTION: That the Board approve the minutes of the January 11, 2006 meeting.
                                MOTION:  Mr. H. Fridley
                                SECOND: Mr. Anderson
                                VOTE:  Unanimous

Mr. Whitehead announced one addition to the agenda:  Item 06-186, Rev. Calvin Robinson wished to speak to the Board concerning the Martin Luther King holiday and the proposed 2006-2007 school calendar.

COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION

(06-166) School Board commendations to Callaghan Elementary School’s international intern teachers

Mr. H. Fridley and Mrs. Nancy Moga, Principal, Callaghan Elementary School, presented commendations to Nikako Nakamura of Japan and Michaela Klotz of Germany. 

(06-167) Shelly Dudley, Jamestown 2007 Celebration

Shelly Dudley, Alleghany Highlands coordinator for the Jamestown 2007 Celebration, reported on her committee’s work to date.  The committee is developing activities in association with the 400th anniversary of the establishment of the Jamestown settlement, she said.  The committee’s primary goals are to promote community pride and create an awareness of the historical significance of our area.  She thanked the School Board for its resolution in support of the celebration, and she mentioned some of the activities that have already taken place, and some others that will take place in the near future.

(06-186)   Rev. Calvin Robinson speaking on behalf of Martin Luther King Holiday

Rev. Robinson asked the Board to table their vote on the 2006-07 school calendar for one month to reconsider the proposed designation of the Martin Luther King Holiday as a teacher workday.  He said that if this could not be done this year, he would like see it reinstated in the 2007-08 calendar.

(06-168) School Board Member Questions and Reports

Mr. Halsey thanked Ms. Dudley for her presentation on the Jamestown 2007 Celebration.  He told Ms. Klotz that he hoped she had enjoyed her stay here and wished her a safe journey home.

Mr. Tucker wished Mrs. Klotz well.  He said that he had much fun as a judge during the “Winnie the Pooh” contest at Sharon Elementary last week.  He added that Sharon is doing a lot of things and that the library is playing an important part in the instructional program.

Mr. H. Fridley thanked Ms. Klotz and Julia Linthicum, Ms. Klotz’s host, for being in attendance.  He also thanked everyone in the audience for their attendance.  He said Board members receive newsletters from all the schools so they are kept up-to-date with all the happenings in the schools.  Mr. Fridley also indicated he attended the Christmas Program at Callaghan Elementary School and it was very enjoyable.

Mr. R. Fridley thanked Mrs. Moga for hosting intern teachers and exposing our children to different cultures.  He also thanked Dr. Grimesey for keeping the Board updated on the legislative issues.

Mr. Anderson endorsed what everyone had said.  He said that he had been attending the administrative budget committee meetings and that he has been impressed with the work that the administration has put into the budget development process.  He also said that he had attended an employee health insurance committee meeting that day and it was very informative.

Mr. Botkins Ms. Klotz for being here and he complimented her on her English language skills.

Mr. Whitehead thanked Mrs. Moga for having international teachers in her school and he also thanked Mrs. Linthicum for opening up her home to Ms. Klotz.  Mr. Whitehead thanked Rev. Robinson for his input on the school calendar and he also thanked him for being the speaker at Alleghany High School’s Baccalaureate service last June.  He also said that it was hard to believe that the first semester of school was over.

BUDGET AND FINANCE

(06-169) PAYMENT OF BILLS
                 MOTION:  That the Board approve the payment of the bills as presented.
                                   MOTION:  Mr. Botkins
                                   SECOND: Mr. H. Fridley
                                   VOTE:  Unanimous 

(06-170) BUDGET REPORT

Dr. Grimesey reported the following fund balances:
       Fund I Operating                          $1,208,931.84
       Fund 2 Textbook                          $   178,498.82
       Fund 3 ARF                                   $        4,501.21
       Fund 4 Gov. School                     $     43,555.13
       Fund 4 CIP                                    $   338,354.52
       Fund 6 Scholarship                    $     71,649.46 

 (06-171) Cafeteria Report

Dr. Grimesey gave the cafeteria fund balance report.  The fund balance at the end of December was $49,041.71.

SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

(06-172) Calendar Reminder:

Dr. Grimesey reminded the Board of the budget work session on February 6, 2006, in the school board conference room.

(06-173) Projected State Revenues Based on Governor’s Proposal 2006-2008 Budget

Dr. Grimesey said the administration projects that former Governor Mark Warner’s proposed in his 2006-2008 biennial budget will provide Alleghany County Public Schools with $2,039,135 in increased state funds.  The projected total includes an increase in sales tax revenues of $160,543 and in basic aid of $1,878,592.  He cautioned Board members that estimates based on the Governor’s budget are subject to change.  The General Assembly’s eventual plan for funding necessary transportation improvements could play a major role in the amount of state funding received by public education, Dr. Grimesey added.  He also noted that the locality is contributing 34.1% of the School Board budget during this current year, which is the lowest percentage contribution in the past seven years.  Mr. Whitehead and Mr. Tucker expressed their hope that the $2.03 million in new state funding would enable the School Board to avoid requesting any new local funds from the Board of Supervisors this year.  Mr. Rob Fridley stated that he felt the Board of Supervisors should be expected to make some contribution of new funds to next year’s school budget, even if it is a small amount.  The remaining board members said they were not prepared to make any commitment to avoid asking for additional local dollars this year.

(06-174) Projected Costs Associated With Various Levels of Salary and Health Insurance Increases

Dr. Grimesey provided cost figures on employee salary increases ranging from 1.5% plus step to 4.5% plus step.  An increase of 1.5% plus step would cost $663,708, Dr. Grimesey said, and an increase of 4.5% plus step would cost $1,991,124.  Given a projected 3.5% rate of inflation for 2005, Board members asked Dr. Grimesey to focus further budget development on increases of 3% to 3.5%.  A 3.5% plus step increase would cost $1,548,652, Dr. Grimesey reported.  He also noted that increased local contribution rates established by the Virginia Retirement Service (VRS) on the existing payroll contributed $730,390 to the projected overall new cost of salaries for 2006-2007.  Mr. Whitehead noted that Governor Warner demonstrated foresight about the increased VRS contributions insurance premiums.  In response to the school division’s high rate of claims, current estimates by Anthem call for premium increases between 30% and 40%.  A 30% rise would cost $661,412, he said.  Based on the current funding rules applied by the School Board, a 30% increase would require $506,083 in new spending.  Several School Board members requested that the administration cap new School Board premium contributions at no more than $200,000 as it conducts further budget development.

(06-175) Employee Survey on Budget and School Calendar

Dr. Grimesey presented a report published by Dr. Wayne Worner, Dean Emeritus of the Virginia Tech College of Education, based on an employee survey he administered in November and December of 2005.  The survey sought employee input on the development of the budget and the calendar.  In the first section of the survey, employees were asked to distribute $1 among a set of potential new cost items, including salary and health insurance premiums.  Dr. Grimesey said employees demonstrated strong preference for investing as much new money as possible into salary and health insurance contributions with very little variation among other potential cost items.  In the second section of the survey, employees were provided with an open-ended invitation to offer input on the development of the calendar.  Forty-seven percent of employees expressed no opinion or expressed support for the current calendar and the current method of calendar development, Dr. Grimesey reported.  Among the remaining respondents, he said, there was much variation and disagreement.  No pattern emerged that justified changes in either the current calendar or the current method of calendar development.

(06-176) Preliminary Projected 2006-07 Expenditures

Dr. Grimesey announced that he had decided to withhold further presentation of projected new costs for 2006-2007 until the School Board had the opportunity to respond to his previous presentations on projected revenues, and on projected costs associated with the range of increases in salaries, VRS contributions and health insurance premiums.  He stated that further discussion of other possible expenditures would occur during the School Board’s February 6 work session.  Mr. Anderson noted that he hoped that the Board could allocate increased funding for the arts in the 2006-2007 budget.

(06-177) Proposed 2006-07 School Calendar

Mrs. Mary Jane Mutispaugh, Supervisor of Instruction, recommended that the two versions of the 2006-07 School Calendar, which were submitted to the School Board during the December meeting, be approved with the understanding that the pre-Labor Day draft become the official calendar when and if the division qualifies for the “good cause” waiver.
               MOTION: That the Board approve the 2006-07 School Calendar as presented.
                                                MOTION:  Mr. Tucker
                                                SECOND: Mr. H. Fridley
                                                VOTE:  Unanimous 

(06-178) Disposal of Surplus Equipment

Dr. Grimesey presented a list of surplus items to be placed for sale to the general public.  The sale would be conducted February 3, 2006 at Central Elementary School.
              MOTION:  That the Board approved the sale of surplus equipment as presented.
                                                MOTION:  Mr. H. Fridley
                                                SECOND: Mr. R. Fridley
                                                VOTE:  Unanimous 

(06-179) Installation of Camera Security System at Clifton Middle School and Mountain View Elementary.

Dr. Grimesey asked the School Board to contract with First Witness Inc. for the installation of a camera security system at Clifton Middle School and Mountain View Elementary.  He said that this project would be the first of a series of projects to provide security monitoring for each school.  The contract budget amount is $75,000.
              MOTION:  That the Board approved a contract with First Witness Inc. in the amount of $75,000.
                                                MOTION:  Mr. Tucker
                                                SECOND:  Mr. H. Fridley
                                                VOTE:  Unanimous 

(06-180)   Contract for Network Services

Dr. Grimesey asked the Board to approve the new nTelos networking contract requested by the instructional department.  The increased service will upgrade elementary school band width to T1 capability.  The total contract cost for one year will be $54,799.68, and the contract will cover a five-year term beginning with the service start date of February 1, 2006.   
              MOTION:  That the Board approved a contract with nTelos in the amount of $54,799.68.
                                                MOTION:  Mr. Tucker
                                                SECOND:  Mr. Halsey
                                                VOTE:  Unanimous

(06-180)   Capital Improvement Update

Alex Kessinger, Director of Administrative Services, gave a status report on capital improvements.  Mr. Kessinger indicated that the Boiling Spring water plant was in the finishing stages and was scheduled for inspection in February.  The Central Office complex will begin work within the next two weeks.

(06-181)   Policy GBM “ Professional Staff Grievances”

Dr. Grimesey requested that the Board approve revisions to Policy GBM “Professional Staff Grievances.”  The policy was adopted by the State Board of Education and became effective in May 2005.  The new version contains one minor change in the practice of questioning a witness during a panel hearing.
              MOTION:  That the Board approved the adoption of Policy GBM “Professional Staff Grievances.”
                                                MOTION:  Mr. H. Fridley
                                                SECOND:  Mr. R. Fridley
                                                VOTE:  Unanimous
 

(06-182)   Communications

The School Board received the following communications:
      -          Parent Advisory Committee to the Superintendent
      -          Monthly School Resource Officer Reports (including AHS November and December reports)

(06-180)   Capital Improvement Update

Alex Kessinger, Director of Administrative Services, gave a status report on capital improvements.  Mr. Kessinger indicated that the Boiling Spring water plant was in the finishing stages and was scheduled for inspection in February.  The Central Office complex will begin work within the next two weeks.

(06-181)   Policy GBM “ Professional Staff Grievances”

Dr. Grimesey requested that the Board approve revisions to Policy GBM “Professional Staff Grievances.”  The policy was adopted by the State Board of Education and became effective in May 2005.  The new version contains one minor change in the practice of questioning a witness during a panel hearing.
             MOTION:  That the Board approved the adoption of Policy GBM “Professional Staff Grievances.”
                                               MOTION:  Mr. H. Fridley
                                                SECOND:  Mr. R. Fridley
                                                VOTE:  Unanimous

(06-182)   Communications

The School Board received the following communications:
      -          Parent Advisory Committee to the Superintendent
      -          Monthly School Resource Officer Reports (including AHS November and December reports)

CLOSED SESSION

(06-184) CODE OF VIRGINIA: Personnel 2.2-3711.A.1; Real Property 2.2-3711.A.3 and Competitive Bargaining or Negotiating 2.2-3711.A.30
              MOTION:  That the School Board enter closed session to discuss Personnel,  Real Property and Competitive Bargaining
               or Negotiating authorized by the Code of Virginia Sections 2.2-3711.A.1, 2.2.3711.A.3 and 2.2-3711.A.3.
                                                MOTION:  Mr. R. Fridley
                                                SECOND: Mr. Anderson
                                                VOTE: Unanimous
                                                TIME: 7:29 p.m.

                MOTION:  That the School Board return to open session from closed session.
                                                MOTION:  Mr. Botkins
                                                SECOND: Mr. Tucker
                                                VOTE:  Unanimous
                                                TIME:
8:25 p.m. 

CERTIFICATION OF EXECUTIVE SESSION

WHEREAS, the Alleghany County School Board has convened an executive meeting on this date pursuant to an affirmative recorded vote and in accordance with the provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act; and

WHEREAS, Section 22.1-.3712.D of the Code of Virginia requires that a recorded vote of this School Board be conducted in order to certify that the executive meeting was conducted in conformity with Virginia Law:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Alleghany County School Board hereby certifies that, to the best of each member’s knowledge, (1.) only public business matters lawfully exempted from open meeting requirements under the law were discussed; and (2.) only such public business matters as were identified in the motion by which the closed meeting was convened were heard, discussed or considered in the meeting by the public session.       
                                         MOTION: Mr. H. Fridley
                                         SECOND: Mr. Tucker
                                         ROLL CALL VOTE: Mr. Anderson –  Yes                        Mr. Halsey - Yes
                                                                            Mr. Botkins –     Yes                         Mr. Tucker - Yes
                                                                            Mr. H. Fridley - Yes                           Mr. Whitehead – Yes
                                                                            Mr. R. Fridley - Absent                                                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                                _________________________________

                                                                                                                                                                Clerk

PERSONNEL

(06-185) PERSONNEL                                                         Attachment I                                                                                                    
               
MOTION: That the Board approve the personnel recommendations as presented by the Superintendent.
                                                 MOTION: Mr. Tucker
                                                 SECOND: Mr. Halsey
                                                 VOTE:  Unanimous

(06-186)   Other Business

ADJOURNMENT

                 MOTION:  That the January 23, 2006 meeting of the Alleghany County School Board be adjourned.
                                                  MOTION: Mr. Anderson
                                                  SECOND: Mr. Botkins
                                                  VOTE:  Unanimous
                
                                 TIME:  8:28 p.m.