4-2-07

       MINUTES

REGULAR MEETING OF THE ALLEGHANY COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD

April 2, 2007

 

The Alleghany County School Board held its regular meeting on April 2, 2007, at 6:00 p.m. at Falling Spring Elementary School.

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

ABSENT:  Robert A. Fridley; David W. Halsey

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 and the singing of the Star Spangled Banner led by Falling Spring School students. 

(07-244) APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF March 19, 2007, REGULAR MEETING
             MOTION: That the Board approve the minutes of the March 19, 2007, regular meeting.
                           MOTION:  Mr. Tucker
                           SECOND:  Mr. H. Fridley
                           VOTE:  Unanimous

(07-245) APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF March 27, 2007, Work Session
             MOTION: That the Board approve the minutes of the March 27, 2007, work session.
                           MOTION:  Mr. H. Fridley
                           SECOND:  Mr. Anderson
                           VOTE:  Unanimous

(07-246) APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF March 28, 2007, Work Session
             MOTION: That the Board approve the minutes of the March 28, 2007, work session.
                           MOTION:  Mr. Botkins
                           SECOND:  Mr. Anderson
                           VOTE:  Unanimous

 

COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION

(07-247) Opening remarks by Debbie Farmer, Principal, Falling Spring Elementary School

Mrs. Farmer welcomed everyone and said this has been an amazing year at Falling Spring.   She said the school’s reasons to celebrate include: home of the Division Spelling Bee Champ; the Destination Imagination Team is going to compete in the State Competition on April 14th; home of the Chamber of Commerce Elementary Teacher of the Year; the Falling Spring football team again captured the recreation league “Super  Bowl” and the  boys’ & girls’ basketball teams won the lower bracket recreation championships.   Mrs. Farmer noted the number of students who scored a perfect 600 on one or more of the SOL tests.  She also noted that 51% of all 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders scored over 500 for passed advanced designation. She concluded by saying that the faculty and staff stand behind the Board in its efforts to replace the high school.  “We all agree that renovating the existing high school is not a valid option,” she said. “We appreciate the steps you have recently taken to move forward.  It is promising to see how closely aligned our governing boards are in this mission.”

(07-248) Remarks by Margaret Sizemore, President, Falling Spring Elementary PTO

Mrs. Sizemore said the Falling Spring Elementary School PTO would like to commend the School Board for all its efforts and its cooperation with the Board of Supervisors to reach a consensus concerning the school merger issue.  Mrs. Sizemore said it would be nice if Covington would join in reaching our goal of a new high school.  She said the PTO recognizes that the effort has been made and no compromise is within reach at this time. Therefore, the PTO supports the consensus to move ahead with a new high school whether there is a merger or not.  She concluded by reminding the Board of the sacrifices that have been made by parents and teachers to express support in these issues.

(07-249) Remarks by Shawn Truett, Alleghany County Council of PTAs and PTOs

Mrs. Truett said that she was wearing several hats as she spoke.  She is co-chair of the County Council of PTA/PTO’s, vice president of the Sharon Elementary PTO, a third grade teacher at Sharon Elementary and a parent and tax payer in Clifton Forge and Alleghany County.  First, she invited everyone to attend the Jamestown 400th Anniversary Celebration on June 1. She said that every school in the county will exhibit historical projects that may include the history of Jamestown, our local history, or history of the United States. Mrs. Truett said she would also like to share a few brief thoughts as a parent, employee, and tax payer. She said she has attended meetings where citizens voiced concerns about what we have lost as a community.   She said her family experienced first hand many of the changes.  Her family had owned several businesses in the past that are long gone. She said we can’t change what has happened, but we can do the things necessary to make a better future for our community and children.  Alleghany County has so much to offer as a home and it lies within one hour of many sought-after destinations, she said. She added that she has read all the information available to the public and she has concluded that she supports pursuing the resolution made on December the 11th to acquire property, have an architect develop a design and an accurate cost estimate, determine our capacity to fund this project, and apply for placement on the literary loan list, so we can begin rebuilding our community.  She concluded by telling the Board she hopes others may choose to follow their lead.  She said she knew that taking a stand to move forward requires a great amount of courage and dedication.  She thanked the Board for having both of these qualities and for being innovative leaders in our community. 

(07-250) SCHOOL BOARD COMMENDATIONS

Mrs. Farmer and Mr. Botkins presented a commendation to Makala May for being the Division Spelling Bee Champion.

Mr. Botkins, Susan Byer and Patricia Howard presented commendations to third graders Emily Arrington, Chase Carper, Morganne Durham, Courtney Gillespie, Adam Livesay, Casey Lofton, Ashley Mann, Levi Peters, Jennifer Quantz, Kaitlyn Rickett, Hillard Rooklin, Eric Spraker and Derek Walton.  Mr. Botkins, Jennifer Burton and Frank Higgins presented fifth graders Sarah Arrington, Shane Clarke, Ryan Coats, Austin Cole, Mary Fix, Tanner Harmon, Hayden Lewis, Makala May, Addison Morgan, Chloe Reid, Neil Seldomridge and Lacey Shifflett.  These students were recognized for earning a 600 score on one or more of their SOL tests.                                            

Mr. Anderson and the principals of the various schools presented certificates of commendation to the following Chamber of Commerce Teacher of the Year winners:  Alleghany High School Teacher of the Year winner:  Lynda R. Jennings; Clifton Middle School Teacher of the Year winner: Mike Isbell and Elementary School Teacher of the Year winner: April Easton.

Mr. Anderson and the principals also presented commendations to the Chamber of Commerce Elementary School Teacher of the Year finalists:  Cynthia Ferris, from Boiling Spring; Donna Rhodes, from Callaghan; Cynthia Wheeler, from Mountain View; and Shawn Truett, from Sharon.

Mr. Botkins, Jennifer Burton, Lorri Moore and Stephanie Harmon presented commendations to J.B. Bartley, Akasha Traver, Bradley Paxton, Tiffany Vance, and Alex Salyards for their Demonstration of the Six Pillars of Character Counts.

(07-251) SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER QUESTIONS AND REPORTS

Mr. Tucker thanked Mrs. Farmer for Falling Spring’s hospitality.  He also congratulated the students for achieving 600 scores on their SOL tests.  He said all our schools celebrate this accomplishment and the students’ achievements were no accident as it takes all our teachers to help our students accomplish this.  He congratulated Makala May for being the division spelling bee champ.  Mr. Tucker also thanked Mrs. Sizemore and told her the Board would not compromise on our quality of education. He thanked the students, parents and staff for being in attendance.

Mr. H. Fridley said he would like to follow up on a statement made during the March 28 work session indicating that neither the School Board nor the Board of Supervisors has received any information about the position of tax payers regarding Alleghany High School. He said, for the record, the Alleghany County School Board had received a very clear message from non-parent and parent tax payers regarding Alleghany High School in the fall of 2005.  He said the Virginia Tech Center for Survey Research conducted a a scientific random sample of all of our citizens, both parents and non-parents. The tax payers stated the following to the School Board:

         ►How important is it for Alleghany County to invest in building new high school facilities in the next five years? 

                              Very/Somewhat important 86% for all and 91% of parents

         ►Do you think renovation, new construction, or another alternative is most appropriate for Alleghany High School?

                              New construction   53% for all and 55% for parents

         ►To what extent do you agree that the community should be willing to sacrifice or compromise on other programs
            and services to accomplish this task?

                              Strongly/Somewhat agree 80% for all and 80% for parents

         ►Taxes should be increased to help fund the reconstruction of Alleghany High School.

                              Strongly/Somewhat agree 50% for all and 58% for parents

Mr. Fridley noted that the survey had a 3.5% margin of error.  Mr. Fridley added that, in her presentation to the School Board last February, Dr. Susan Willis-Walton said she was very impressed that 50% of respondents already supported increased taxes on behalf of renovation or construction of the high school.  Dr. Willis-Walton concluded that the 50% on a tax question represented a very strong community support. Therefore, Mr. Fridley said the school board does know what the tax payers want.

Mr. Anderson thanked Mrs. Farmer for the hospitality and the meal. He congratulated the students for their success with the SOLs and he also congratulated the staff for their hard work.

Mr. Botkins thanked Mrs. Farmer and congratulated all who had received an award.  He said all can’t have a perfect score but he encouraged all students to do their best so they can say they had given it their all.  Mr. Botkins said it was an honor to serve on the School Board. He said he has been teaching some college classes lately and the experience has increased his respect for the educators even more.

Mr. Whitehead thanked Mrs. Farmer and congratulated the young people for their commendations.  He told them to keep up their good work.  He said that our teachers are heroes, and we are blessed to have heroes like them who have the love and compassion for our children. He said the Falling Spring renovation and expansion demonstrated that the School Board has a vision for our students.  It does not have tunnel vision. He concluded that the School Board a lot of hard decisions to make, but it has confidence and it will do its best.

BUDGET AND FINANCE

(07-252) School Division Audit Report

Ingrid Barber, Director of Budget and Finance, presented the annual school division audit and recommendations to the Board.  She stated that overall the division audit went very well.  Mrs. Barber then introduced Corbin Stone, of Robinson, Farmer, and Cox who provided the Board with additional general information regarding the audit.  Mr. Stone covered information regarding select financial data of the School Board and Alleghany County.  He also discussed new audit standards issued by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants for the upcoming school year. 

SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONS

(07-253)  Upcoming School Board meetings and in-service training opportunities

Dr. Grimesey brought to the attention of the School Board members the VSBA training opportunities in May and June. 

May 2, 2007 – VSBA Blue Ridge Regional Forum; May 4, 2007 – VSBA Hot Topic Conference and June 1, 2007 – 2007 VSBA School Law Conference.  He also noted that the School Board’s next regular meeting will be at Alleghany High School on April 23.

(07-254) Status of Action Plan for Attainment of 100% Graduation Rate by 2014

Mary Jane Mutispaugh, Supervisor of Instruction, presented the 100% Graduation Rate Action Plan to the Board.  She explained that the plan is the result of the work of three subcommittees and is an evolving working document.  The plan provides strategies intended to assist the school division’s effort to meet a 100% graduation rate by 2014 in order to comply with the requirements of “No Child Left Behind.”

(07-255) Instructional Staffing Plan Based on 2007-08 Budget and Enrollment Projections

Sarah Campbell, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction, provided a report on the anticipated 2007-08 division staffing plan. She noted that there are no anticipated staffing changes with the exception of one custodial reassignment at the elementary level that will result in a slight decrease in the overall elementary FTEs.

(07-256) Results of fall, 2006 Youth Risk Behavior Survey

Mr. Fred Vaughan, Director of Student Services, presented a PowerPoint presentation with results of the 2006 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS).  Administered to students in grades 8, 10, and 12, the survey measures areas of risk related to safety behaviors, depression and suicide, substance abuse, sexual behaviors, diet, and exercise.  The findings of the 2006 YRBS reveal progress in reducing safety and violence-related behaviors, Mr. Vaughan said.  He added, however, that they also suggest a slight increase in sexual activity that is comparable to national averages.  Mr. Vaughan reported that he plans to conduct focus group interviews with survey participants to gain a broader perception of survey questions and responses.  The Safe Schools Committee will analyze data as well as the YRBS Community Action Groups that include a focus on activities for youth, education-related to sexual risks, a central resource registry, violence prevention, and mental health resources. 

(07-257) Revised Job Descriptions: Cafeteria Manager and Executive Secretary to the Director of Administrative Services

Rob Carpenter, Director of Human Resources, said that the proposed job descriptions reflect a shift of four performance responsibilities from the Executive Secretary for Administrative Services to the Division Cafeteria Manager. The responsibilities focus on monthly cafeteria reports and commodity receipts and deposits.
            MOTION:  That the Board approve the revised job descriptions: cafeteria manager and executive secretary to
                            the
Director of Administrative Services
                            MOTION:  Mr. H. Fridley
                            SECOND:  Mr. Botkins
                            VOTE:  Unanimous 

(07-258) School Bus Purchases

Keven Rice, Director of Administrative Services, presented a recommendation to purchase four, 77-passenger International buses from Kingmor Supply at a cost of $268,944.  These are 2008 model buses with 2006 model (brand new) diesel engines.  New emission standards which took effect January 1, 2007, required newly designed diesel engines.  By purchasing the 2006 model engines, we are able to avoid mechanical problems frequently associated with first-year systems and components.  Three of the four buses are equipped with luggage compartments which will be very beneficial for field trips and athletic activities.  Kingmor Supply was the lowest of the three bidders by $22,668 and $16,332 respectively.
            MOTION:  That the Board approve the purchase of four (4) school buses from Kingmor Supply
                           MOTION:  Mr. Tucker
                           SECOND:  Mr. H. Fridley
                           VOTE:  Unanimous 

(07-259) Capital Improvement Update

Mr. Rice presented the Work Request Completion Report for March.  He also noted that the flashing school-zone lights were installed at Falling Spring Elementary School.

Field Trip Requests

(07-260)) Update on Planning for Summer AHS foreign Language Department Field Trip to Puerto Rico

Dr. Grimesey referenced a written report from Alleghany High School that had been included in the packet.  He noted that the foreign language department has met its planning benchmarks to date.  He added that the School Board already had approved the trip and that the report was submitted merely to fulfill a previous request from the Board.  Board members expressed no further questions.

(07-261) 90 CMS 7th graders to Washington, D.C. & Baltimore, MD, April 4-5, 2007
             MOTION:  That the Board approve 90 CMS 7th graders to
Washington, D.C. & Baltimore, MD, April 4-5.2007
                            MOTION:  Mr. H. Fridley
                            SECOND:  Mr.Tucker
                            VOTE:  Unanimous

(07-262) 30
Mountain View SCA Students to Washington, D.C., May 30-June 1, 2007
             MOTION:  That the Board approve 30 Mountain View SCA Students to Washington, D.C., May 30-June 1, 2007
                            MOTION:  Mr. Tucker
                            SECOND:  Mr. Botkins
                            VOTE:  Unanimous

(07-263) Extend regulations GCBD-RA and GCBD-RAA to include full-time cafeteria employees

Mr. Rice presented a recommendation to provide full-time cafeteria workers with the same sick leave benefits available to all other division employees.  Full-time cafeteria employees currently receive eight non-accruable sick days per year.  Mr. Rice stated he believes this change will be cost neutral because staff will be encouraged to accumulate sick leave versus using it before losing it as they are encouraged to do under the existing arrangement.
             MOTION:  That the Board approve to extend regulations GCBD-RA and GCBD-RAA to include full-time cafeteria                              employees
                             MOTION:  Mr. H. Fridley                  
                             SECOND:  Mr. Anderson
                             VOTE:  Unanimous
 

(07-264)  Communications

The School Board received summary notes from the following meetings:
            Parent Advisory Committee to the Superintendent
            Teacher Advisory Committee to the Superintendent
            Classified Employee Advisory Committee to the Superintendent
            Minority Advisory Committee to the Superintendent
 

CLOSED SESSION

(07-265) 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. H. Fridley
                             SECOND:   Mr. Tucker
                             VOTE:  Unanimous
                             TIME:  8:00 p.m.

              MOTION:  That the School Board return to open session from closed session.
                              MOTION:   Mr. Anderson
                              SECOND:   Mr. Botkins
                              VOTE:   Unanimous
                              TIME:
9:10 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 open 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. Botkins
                        SECOND:   Mr. H. Fridley
                        ROLL CALL VOTE:        Mr. Anderson –  Yes      Mr. Halsey -
Absent      
                                                            Mr. Botkins – Yes          Mr.Tucker - Yes
                                                            Mr. H. Fridley – Yes       Mr. Whitehead – Yes
                                                            Mr. R. Fridley – Absent    

______________________________________                              _________________________________________

Chairman, Alleghany County School Board                                                                      Clerk
 

PERSONNEL                                          ATTACHMENT I

(07-266) PERSONNEL
            MOTION: That the Board approve the personnel recommendations as presented by the Superintendent.
            MOTION:  Mr. Tucker
            SECOND:  Mr. H. Fridley
            VOTE:   Unanimous

ADJOURNMENT 
            MOTION:  That the
April 2, 2007, meeting of the Alleghany County School Board be adjourned.
            MOTION:  Mr. H. Fridley
            SECOND:  Mr. Botkins
            VOTE:   Unanimous
            TIME:     9:12 p.m.