February 28, 2007

The Alleghany County School Board held a called joint meeting with the Covington City School Board on February 28, 2007, at 7:00 p.m. at Gleason Forum Hall, Clifton Middle School.

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, Terrie Wright and Ingrid Barber, Deputy Clerks

Chairman Whitehead presided and called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.  The call to order was followed by a moment of silence and the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.


(07-219) Presentation by Evergreen Consultants of Tallahassee, Florida: recommendations from efficiency reviews of Alleghany County and Covington City School divisions.

Mike Shook, Associate Director of the Virginia Department of Planning and Budget, said the efficiency review program is administered by his office.  He thanked both school divisions for participating in the program.  Mr. Shook said the department had conducted 26 reviews which are strictly on a voluntary basis.  The three goals of these reviews were: (1) to look for opportunities for improvement in operations; (2) to learn from other divisions; and (3) to look for savings on the non-instructional side in order to free up money to put into the classrooms.  He thanked Dr. Grimesey and Mr. Graham for the opportunity and stressed the superintendents did not have any control over the final recommendations.  He said there are many recommendations with some having the potential to free up savings and others simply offering ways to make operations more efficient.  In the end, he noted that it is up to the superintendents and the school boards to determine which recommendations they will implement. Mr. Shook then introduced Dr. Linda Recio, President of Evergreen Solutions.

Dr. Recio thanked both superintendents and their staffs for working with her team.  She said there were over 100 recommendations and each recommendation needed to be studied by the boards and staff to determine appropriate action.  She provided a summary of the process, a summary of recommendations for Alleghany County only, a summary of recommendations for Covington City only, and then a summary of recommended shared services.  Recommendations for shared services included: (1) purchasing commonly acquired office, custodial and building supplies, as well as fuel and vehicle maintenance supplies; (2) combining health insurance plans; (3) establishing a joint education foundation; (4) reviewing class times for both high schools, aligning the bell times to reduce the impact on Covington High School students, and enabling the Jackson River Technical Center to offer a fourth period; (5) sharing Alleghany’s Energy Manager; and (6) aligning school calendars. Dr. Recio then asked if any of the school board members had any questions.

Mr. Whitehead asked if the recommendation of the reduction of 14 teacher assistants in Alleghany County specified the individual schools at which the positions should be eliminated.  Dr. Recio said, “Yes.”  (It was later determined that the report did not include specific reference to the schools at which the positions would be eliminated.)

Mrs. Rebecca Rhea, Covington City School Board member, said Board members are likely to have more questions as they conduct more detailed study of the reports.  Dr. Recio said the superintendent and school board chairman would establish the appropriate protocol.  She encouraged board members to ask questions.

Mr. Jeremy Thomas, Covington City School Board member, asked Dr. Recio to explain how Evergreen determined health insurance savings. Dr. Recio said the estimated savings were based on previous experiences of other school divisions and based on industry standards.

MOTION:  That the Alleghany County School Board has received the presentation of the Efficiency Review.
                MOTION:  Mr. Tucker
                SECOND:  Mr. H. Fridley
                VOTE:   Unanimous


MOTION:  That the February 28, 2007 called meeting of the Alleghany County School Board be adjourned.
                MOTION:  Mr. Tucker
                SECOND:  Mr. Halsey
                VOTE:   Unanimous
                TIME:  8:10 p.m.