2-19-07

        MINUTES

REGULAR MEETING OF THE ALLEGHANY COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD

February 19, 2007

The Alleghany County School Board held its regular meeting on February 19, 2007, at 6:00 p.m. at Jackson River Technical Center.

PRESENT: R. Joe Anderson; R. Wayne Botkins; H. Hunter Fridley; Robert A. Fridley; David W. Halsey; Randall S. Tucker, Vice Chairman; and Michael L. Whitehead, Chairman. Also present:  Robert P. Grimesey, Superintendent/Clerk and Terrie 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 and the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance led by Greg Bartocci, Shaila Lockhart, and Wendy Price.

Mr. Whitehead announced the following additions to the agenda:  Item #07-213 – Tammie Looney, President of the Boiling Spring Elementary School PTA; Item 07-214 – Joleen Feazell, member of the Alleghany County Council of PTAs and PTOs; Item 07-215 – Revision to 2006-07 School Calendar; Item 07-216 – First phase upgrade of Alleghany High School intercom and communications system.  He also announced a correction to Item 07-199.  He noted that it would be an “information” item and not an “action” item.                                                 

(07-187) APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF JANUARY 22, 2007, REGULAR MEETING
             MOTION: That the Board approve the minutes of the January 22, 2007, regular meeting.
                            MOTION:  Mr. H. Fridley
                            SECOND:  Mr. Tucker
                            VOTE:    Unanimous

 (07-188) APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF FEBRUARY 5, 2007, Work Session
              MOTION: That the Board approve the minutes of the February 5, 2007, work session.
                            MOTION:  Mr. Botkins
                            SECOND:  Mr. Anderson
                            VOTE:    Unanimous

 COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION

 (07-189) OPENING REMARKS AND WELCOME BY TOM BEIRNE, DIRECTOR, JACKSON RIVER TECHNICAL CENTER

Mr. Beirne welcomed everyone to the Center.  He said that February is Career and Technical Education month and he thanked the Board for all their support.  Mr. Beirne mentioned several activities that will be taking place in the near future: (1) Open house on Wednesday, 21st, (2) 9th graders will tour the building; (3) Skills USA will compete in Roanoke, and (4) Career Fair at Dabney S. Lancaster Community College.

 (07-190) REMARKS BY BOB UMSTEAD, PRESIDENT, ALLEGHANY EDUCATION ASSOCIATION

Mr. Umstead reported that he meets with Dr. Grimesey on a regular basis and that the Association feels that the salary increase proposed for the 2007-08 school year is very reasonable.  He noted that the Association also supports the other budget items that have been proposed.  He said the School Board members have a lot on their plate at this time.  Mr. Umstead added that we have quality teachers and the quality of education is very good. He pointed out that the School Board looks very carefully at what is presented to it, and, in return, the education association strongly supports the Board.  “We need to draw young people to replace the teachers we lose and building a new high school would be a good start,” Mr. Umstead said.  As a teacher at Clifton Middle School and coach at Alleghany High School, Mr. Umstead said he hears many compliments from outsiders who visit our new middle school when they come to games, conferences and other functions.  He concluded that it would be good to have a new high school that would elicit similar compliments from visitors.

 (07-213) Remarks by Tammie Looney, President of the Boiling Spring Elementary School PTA.

Mrs. Looney said she wished to share a few concerns that PTA members have regarding the future of Boiling Spring Elementary.   She said that she was speaking for the parents who want to take a firm stand and let the Alleghany Highlands Concerned Citizens Group know that they would not allow them to presuppose our thoughts on the education of our children.  She said if Boiling Spring parents wanted their children to go to another school within the county or within the city, they would have applied for non-resident status. Mrs. Looney said she wanted the Board to know regardless of consolidation, regardless of mergers, regardless of a new elementary/middle school, they did not want Boiling Spring Elementary closed.  She said the PTA is concerned that there may be other government officials aligned with this concerned citizens group that support closing Boiling Spring. The PTA urged the Board to make good factual decisions by asking if Boiling Spring closes, what is the community going to lose?  She said the PTA trusts the School Board to make the right choice.  Mrs. Looney repeated a quote made previously by Mr. Randy Tucker, board member, who said, “Our school system should in no way move backward from where we are now.  We have set a new benchmark for ourselves, and the only way for the community to prosper is for Alleghany County to move forward to do whatever it takes to ensure that the children have the best education possible in the most modern facilities that we can afford.”  She said she was grateful that Mr. Tucker and other board members have the children’s education as their top priority.  Mrs. Looney concluded, “your support for our schools and our community is truly priceless.”

(07-214) Remarks by Joleen Feazell, Member of the Alleghany County Council of PTAs and PTOs

Ms. Feazell spoke on behalf of the Alleghany County Council of PTAs/PTOs.  She said the council understands that the Board would like to see a solution to the growing problem of our deteriorating high school and the council would like you to know they support any efforts towards a new high school construction.  She said the council would like for the Board to continue its work to answer questions about a school system merger with Covington, or shared services.  Mrs. Feazell said the council believes it is in our best interest to look at all the information gathered from the architectural study and the efficiency study and make an informed decision about the future of our schools.  She asked the Board to “turn a deaf ear to the rude and silly comments of a few and look towards the prize of a better future for our children.”

(07-191) SCHOOL BOARD COMMENDATIONS TO OUTSTANDING REPRESENTATIVES OF JRTC CLUBS

Mr. Beirne and  Mr. Tucker presented commendations to Matt Crizer, DECA; Greg Bartocci, Skills USA; Shaila Lockhart, FCCLA; Wendy Price, HOSA; and Patrick Pullen, FBLA for serving as outstanding representatives at Jackson River Technical Center.

(07-192) SPECIAL PRESENTATION BY CAST OF ALLEGHANY HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL PRODUCTION OF OKLAHOMA

Under the direction of Amanda Tuell, Alleghany High School students Cullen Truett and Rhianna Herr introduced a scene and song from the play, “Oklahoma,” which will be presented on March 1-4, at Alleghany High School.  The cast members presented each board member with complimentary tickets to the production.

(07-193)        RECOGNITION OF FEBRUARY SCHOOL BOARD APPRECIATION MONTH

In recognition of School Board Member Appreciation Month, Dr. Grimesey offered his most sincere congratulations and thanks on behalf of the division to the school board members.  He then presented each board member with a gift and certificates of commendation from the Virginia School Boards Association and Alleghany County Public Schools.

(07-194)        SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER QUESTIONS AND REPORTS

Mr. Whitehead thanked Mr. Beirne for hosting the meeting.   He said it was always a pleasure to be here and the faculty and staff do a wonderful job.  He commended all who received commendations for their hard work.  Mr. Whitehead also thanked the people who showered the Board with gifts in recognition of School Board Appreciation Month.  Mr. Whitehead said that his wife is a teacher at Boiling Spring Elementary School and she had shared with him some concerns from the faculty and students.  He noted that teachers had expressed concern that they might lose their jobs and that students were worried that their school was going to be closed.  He said the teachers need to focus on teaching and not on the opinions of others.  He assured everyone that decisions will be made on facts and not the opinions of individuals or small groups. He noted that there will be two meetings, February 21 and 28, where facts will be offered.  Mr. Whitehead said he will do everything in his power to see Boiling Spring Elementary School will stay open.  We need to focus on teaching, he said.  The Alleghany County School Board and the Covington City School Board will make decisions based on facts and not on opinions, he added.  “We are blessed with the quality of teachers who teach our children,” he concluded, “and this Board sees that every day.”

Mr. H. Fridley thanked Mr. Beirne for hosting the meeting.  He thanked Mrs. Looney and Mrs. Feazell for their comments and he applauded all the Boiling Springs people for showing up and standing together for their school.  Mr. Fridley went on to say that we have a terrific school system.  He noted that he had two children who went through the system and his daughter is a teacher and his son works in Chicago.  He assured everyone the Board was going to look at all the facts and he knew it was going to be hectic and overwhelming.  Mr. Fridley said he was looking forward to the next two weeks and promised that the Board will filter what is said.

Mr. Halsey thanked Mr. Beirne for his hospitality and congratulated all who received a commendation.  He echoed what Mr. Fridley said and noted that there will be a lot happening in the next few weeks.  He said Board members don’t always agree on things, but they come together and do what they feel is right.

Mr. Tucker thanked Mr. Higgins, Mr. Beirne and Dr. Grimesey for all their support.  He said Boiling Spring school turns out some of our best students.  He said that our school system is one of twenty-five out of 132 school systems that have made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).  On top of that, we have a school that has been nominated as a Blue Ribbon School.  “Alleghany County Schools will in no way go backward,” he concluded.  “We will do the best we can.  We have great talent in you system.”

Mr. Anderson commended Mr. Whitehead for speaking with passion, and he endorsed everything Mr. Whitehead said. 

Mr. R. Fridley said he had served on the Board for six years and he has enjoyed every moment of it.  He said the Board works very hard and appreciates all the work done by the employees.  “We have a lot to look forward to in the next two weeks,” he said.  “We have to thank Dr. Grimesey, who has chosen visionary people who can see what we need.”  Mr. Fridley concluded that “we want the best possible environment for our children.”  He told everyone to be patient and we will get there.

Mr. Botkins said he has served proudly on the Board for four years.  During that time, “we have stayed the course and we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

BUDGET AND FINANCE

(07-195) Payment of bills
             MOTION:  That the Board approve the payment of the bills as presented.
                             MOTION: Mr. Botkins
                             SECOND: Mr. Halsey
                             VOTE: Unanimous

(07-196) Budget report 

                Dr. Grimesey reported the following fund balances:

1

School Operating Fund

$1,225,680.25

2

School Textbook Fund

$327,704.08

3

Alleghany Foundation Nursing Grant

$225,884.10

4

Governor’s School

$29,476.62

5

Construction

$00

6

Scholarship

$77,059.31

7

Alleghany Foundation School Efficiency Study Grant

$0.00

8

Alleghany Foundation Falling Spring Walking Track

$0.00

9

Alleghany Foundation Teacher Recruitment Grant

$45,255.77

Grand Total

$1,931,060.13

(07-197) Cafeteria Report

Keven Rice, Director of Administrative Services, reported that the cafeteria fund net cash balance at the end of January was   $143,964.40.  This balance represents an improvement of $29,207.08 over the prior month due primarily to the deposit of a quarterly Federal CLOC (cash in lieu of commodities) payment.

SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONS

(07-198) Calendar Information

Dr. Grimesey reminded the Board members of the following meeting dates: February 21, 7:00 p.m. – Joint meeting with Covington School Board at Covington High School, presentation of CHS architectural study by OWPR, Inc; February 28, 7:00 p.m. – Joint meeting with Covington School Board at Clifton Middle School, presentation of efficiency review report by Evergreen Consultants; March 5, 6:00 p.m. – Work session at Central office complex to discuss budget, CHS architectural study and efficiency review; and March 19, 6:00 p.m. – Regular monthly meeting at Clifton Middle School.

(07-199) Report on AHS-JRTC CTE student achievement factors

Mr. Beirne explained that an Alleghany High School-JRTC “Completer” is a student who has completed a course of study and met all the course requirements.  A Board member asked if a student completed a welding course, would they be a certified welder?  Mr. Beirne said that the Department of Education recognized Industrial Certification/Credential as long as the instructor has taken and passed a course in order to receive the certification.  Mr. Beirne said that dual enrollment is offered at JRTC and is an effort of the staff and Dabney S. Lancaster Community College.  JRTC offers the classes and the students can get college credit.  He said that the center is building on this and it is a great opportunity.  He thanked the School Board for their support.

(07-200) Five-year progress report on 6-8 grade structure at Clifton Middle School

Sarah Campbell, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction, and Brenda Siple, Principal, Clifton Middle School, presented a report on a recent evaluation of the effects of the restructuring of grades 6-8 when the new Clifton Middle School opened in 2001.  She explained that prior to the opening of the school sixth and seventh grade students had a curriculum that was limited in scope and quality simply because the students were housed in elementary schools.  Consequently, curricular offerings from school to school were inconsistent and based on an elementary model.  Because of the opportunities that exist at the new Clifton Middle School, student enrollment in advanced math courses, foreign languages and band has increased dramatically; SOL math scores have steadily improved; and fine arts programs, supervised activities, and athletic programs have expanded.  Ms. Campbell ended by noting that the progressive initiatives that have been implemented for sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students would not have been realized without the opening of the combined Clifton Middle School.  Mr. Rob Fridley presented a commendation to the Clifton Middle School faculty, staff and administration for their successful implementation of the Middle School Design: 2001-2006.

(07-201) Preliminary fall 2006 SOL test performance

Mrs. Campbell explained that the preliminary results of the fall Standards of Learning assessment indicated that Alleghany High School and Clifton Middle School were well on their way to earning full accreditation for 2007-08.  Clifton Middle School had 100%  pass rate of all students who took the math 8 or Algebra 1 assessment; and 74.1% of all students passed who took grade 6 or 7 social studies assessment.  Alleghany High School had an 80% pass rate in math, 84.8% pass rate in science, 87.8% in English/writing, and 78.8% in social studies.

(07-202) Request for waiver of Pre-Labor Day opening requirement

Mrs. Campbell presented a request for the Board to approve the submission of the Pre-Labor Day waiver. She explained that the school division had met the requirement of the waiver in that schools had been closed for “good cause” an average of 8.2 days per year during five of the last ten years.
                     MOTION:  That the Board approve the waiver of Pre-Labor Day opening requirements
                                     MOTION:  Mr. H. Fridley
                                     SECOND:  Mr. Halsey
                                     VOTE:  Unanimous

(07-215) Revision to 2006-07 School Calendar

Mrs. Campbell presented a request to revise the 2006-07 school calendar due to the fact that schools had already been closed nine days for inclement weather as of February 15, 2007.  The proposed changes included: realigning the second semester to balance the three six week periods; changing March 19 and March 20 to student days; designating March 20, as an early release day for staff development; changing March 26, to an early release day for parent conferences at Alleghany High School and Clifton Middle School; and making June 12, the last possible student day.  Ms. Campbell explained that these changes were being recommended in order to provide as much instructional time as possible prior to the administration of the SOL assessments.
                   MOTION:  That the Board approve the revisions to the 2006-07 School Calendar
                                   MOTION:  Mr. R Fridley
                                   SECOND:  Mr. Botkins
                                   VOTE:  Unanimous

(07-203) Grant Proposal for
Restructuring Jackson River Governor’s School

Dr. Grimesey apprised the board of a grant proposal to the Alleghany Foundation on behalf of the Jackson River Governor’s School.  The purpose of this grant is to support the restructuring of the Governor’s School by increasing the director from a part-time position to a full-time position.  He asked the board to approve the submission of this grant.
                  MOTION:  That the Board approve the Grant Proposal for Restructuring Jackson River Governor’s School
                                  MOTION:  Mr. Anderson
                                  SECOND:  Mr. H. Fridley
                                  VOTE:  Unanimous

(07-204) Grant Proposal for Improvement of Recreational and Athletic Fields and Facilities at CMS-MVES

Mr. Rice reviewed a grant proposal to The Alleghany Foundation for upgrades to the recreational and athletic facilities at Clifton Middle and Mountain View Elementary Schools.  The proposal is for the first phase of a five-phase (five year) project that incorporates a 70 percent contribution by the Foundation, a 20 percent contribution by the school division, and a 10 percent contribution by the County.
                MOTION:  That the Board approve the Grant Proposal to The Alleghany Foundation for Recreational Facilities Enhancements
                               at Clifton Middle and Mountain View Elementary Schools.
                               MOTION:  Mr. R. Fridley
                               SECOND:  Mr. Anderson
                               VOTE:  Unanimous

(07-205) Proposed 2007-08 operating budget and food services budget

Ingrid Barber, Director of Budget and Finance, presented the first formal draft of the proposed 2007-2008 school operating budget.  She reported that anticipated state revenues based on the Governor’s proposed budget were $608,075.  She reviewed a list of anticipated expenditures that were broken into the categories of basic personnel costs, competitive personnel costs, instructional related costs, and administrative costs.  The total cost of the anticipated expenditures totaled $608,075.  Keven Rice introduced the first draft of the 2007-2008 cafeteria budget and the capital improvement plan.  He stated that there would not be an increase in lunch prices for the upcoming year. 

(07-206) Capital Improvement Update

Mr. Rice presented the Work Request Completion Report for January. He also reviewed the flooding of Alleghany High School since Gathright Dam was completed in 1979:

·         1985 - $2,500,000 in damage

·         1992 - $4,000 in damage

·         1996 - $75,000 in damage

·         2004 – School did not flood, but Mountaineer Drive did which impacted access to the school

Note – Alleghany High School was flooded in 1972 as a result of Hurricane Agnes and it earned the distinction of being the most extensively damaged school in Virginia at that time.

(07-216) First phase upgrade of Alleghany High School intercom and communications system

Mr. Rice presented a recommendation to approve an expenditure of $18,639 to upgrade the intercom system at the high school.  This upgrade includes replacing the control electronics, adding an AM/FM tuner and CD player, and adding intercom service to the corridors via the installation of 13 speakers.  Any replacement of existing classroom speakers and/or wiring found to be defective will be over and above the $18,639.
                    MOTION:  That the Board approve the first phase upgrade of Alleghany High School intercom and communications system.
                                    MOTION:  Mr. H. Fridley
                                    SECOND:  Mr. Tucker
                                    VOTE:  Unanimous

 Field Trip Requests

(07-207) 35 AHS Black Heritage Club members to North Carolina A&T University, Greensboro, NC, March 16, 2007
            MOTION:  That the Board approve 35 AHS Black Heritage Club members to North Carolina A&T University, Greensboro, NC,
                           March 16, 2007.
                             MOTION:  Mr.Tucker
                             SECOND:  Mr. R. Fridley
                             VOTE:  Unanimous

(07-208) 6 AHS Youth & Government Club members to Model General Assembly. Richmond, VA, March 29-31, 2007
            MOTION:  That the Board approve 6 AHS Youth & Government Club members to Model General Assembly, Richmond, VA,
                           March 29-31, 2007.
                           MOTION:  Mr. H. Fridley
                           SECOND:  Mr. Anderson
                           VOTE:  Unanimous

(07-209)    Communications

The School Board received summary notes from the following meeting:
            Parent Advisory Committee to the Superintendent
            Teacher Advisory Committee to the Superintendent
            Minority Advisory Committee to the Superintendent
            Safe School Committee
            First Semester 2006-07 Attendance Summary
 

CLOSED SESSION

(07-210) CODE OF VIRGINIA: PERSONNEL 2.2-3711.A.1; PUPIL PERSONNEL 2.2-3711.A.2, and REAL PROPERTY 2.2-2711.A.3  
            MOTION:  That the School Board enter closed session to discuss Personnel, Pupil Personnel, and Real Property as authorized
                            by the Code of
Virginia Sections 2.2-3711A.1, 2.2-3711.A.2, and 2.2-3711.A.3
                            MOTION:   Mr. R. Fridley
                            SECOND:   Mr. Tucker
                            VOTE:  Unanimous
                            TIME:  8:20 p.m.

             MOTION:  That the School Board return to open session from closed session.
                             MOTION:   Mr. Botkins
                             SECOND:   Mr. Anderson
                             VOTE:   Unanimous
                             TIME: 9:18 p.m.

                                                                 
CERTIFICATION OF EXECUTIVE SESSION

The Chairman requests a motion to certify that to the best of each member’s knowledge:

  1. Only public business matters lawfully exempted from opening meeting requirements by Virginia law were discussed in the closed
    meeting to which this certification applies; and
     
  1. Only such public business matters as were identified in the motion convening the closed meeting were heard, discussed or
    considered by the School Board.

               MOTION:   Mr. H. Fridley
               SECOND:   Mr. R. Fridley
               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 –    Yes                                                                                                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                              __________________________________

                                                                                                                                       Clerk

PERSONNEL                 ATTACHMENT I

(07-211) PERSONNEL 
            MOTION: That the Board approve the personnel recommendations as presented by the Superintendent.
                          MOTION:  Mr. R. Fridley                                                               
                          SECOND:  Mr. Anderson
                          VOTE:   Unanimous

 (07-212) DISPOSITION OF SUPERINTENDENT’S RECOMMENDATION RELATED TO PUPIL PERSONNEL CASE #07-04
              MOTION: That the Board approve the personnel recommendations as presented by the Superintendent.
                             MOTION:  Mr. H. Fridley
                             SECOND:  Mr. Halsey
                             VOTE:   Unanimous

 ADJOURNMENT
             MOTION:  That the February 19, 2007, meeting of the Alleghany County School Board be adjourned.
                             MOTION:  Mr. Tucker
                             SECOND:  Mr. Anderson
                             VOTE:   Unanimous
                             TIME:     9:20 p.m.