3-17-2008

 

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P.O. Drawer 140, 100 Central Circle
Low Moor, VA 24457
Office (540) 863-1800

MINUTES

REGULAR MEETING OF THE ALLEGHANY COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD

March 17, 2008

The Alleghany County School Board held its regular meeting on March 17, 2008 at 6:00 p.m. in the Gleason Forum Hall at Clifton Middle School.

PRESENT: R. Joe Anderson; Stacey P. Bryant; H. Hunter Fridley; Robert A. Fridley; David W. Halsey; and Randall S. Tucker, Vice Chairman; Michael L. Whitehead, Chairman. Also present: Robert P. Grimesey, Superintendent/Clerk; and Lorie C. Bess, Deputy Clerk.

Chairman Whitehead 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 members of Girl Scout Troop #2001.

Chairman Whitehead announced the addition of an agenda item for the closed session portion of the meeting: Section 2.2-3711.A.7, Potential Litigation.

Chairman Whitehead announced the removal of an agenda item for the closed session portion of the meeting: Section 2.2-3711.A.2, Student Matters.

(08-247) APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF FEBRUARY 18, 2008 REGULAR MEETING
MOTION: That the Board approve the minutes of the
February 18, 2008, regular meeting.
MOTION: Mr. Hunter Fridley
SECOND: Mr. Tucker
VOTE: Unanimous

(08-248) APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF MARCH 3, 2008 WORK SESSION
MOTION: That the Board approve the minutes of the March 3, 2008, work session.
MOTION: Mr. Halsey
SECOND: Mrs. Bryant
VOTE: Unanimous

COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION

(08-249) OPENING REMARKS AND WELCOME BY BRENDA SIPLE, PRINCIPAL, CLIFTON MIDDLE SCHOOL

Mrs. Siple read the following statement: “Dr. Grimesey, Chairman Whitehead, Members of the School Board: I would like to welcome you to Clifton Middle School. Being in attendance at a number of school board meetings throughout this year, I feel a deep appreciation for all that you do and I believe that you truly do have the best interest of all of the students and employees in Alleghany County Public Schools. I am pleased to inform you this evening of the number of students who are a part of extra-curricular activities at CMS this spring. We have 45 students involved in our spring musical, 80+ students participating on the track team, and approximately 15 students involved in the JV athletic programs at AHS. We continue to offer after school tutoring one day a week plus Algebra Readiness several times a week. Student participation has increased this school year for all of our after school events. I am very proud of the commitment that the staff of Clifton Middle School has made to our students and each day I feel very blessed to be a member of this staff.”

(08-250) SPECIAL PRESENTATION BY CAST OF CLIFTON MIDDLE SCHOOL, PRODUCTION OF THE MUSIC MAN

Member of “The Music Man” cast performed a song and dance routine from their production, which is being directed by Mr. Josh Craft. Mr. Craft thanked the School Board for giving the students the opportunity to give their presentation and he presented each Board member with two complimentary tickets to the show. He then invited everyone to the presentation, which will be held on March 28 at 8:00 p.m., March 29 at 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. and March 30 at 3:00 p.m.

(08-251) SCHOOL BOARD COMMENDATIONS

Mr. Rob Fridley and Mr. Sherman Callahan presented certificates of commendations to Seth Bradley, Daniel Mace, and Daniel Nicely for their demonstration of the Six Pillars of Character Counts.

Mr. Halsey and Mrs. Putman presented certificates of commendations to Tonya Jones and Jerry Morgan for their outstanding service to the students and staff of Clifton Middle School.

Mr. Hunter Fridley, Mr. Rob Carpenter and Mr. Kenny Higgins presented a certificate of commendation to Lee Anne Bowling-Angle as the Chamber of Commerce Teacher of the Year winner.Mr. Hunter Fridley and the principals of the various schools presented certificates of commendation to the following Chamber of Commerce Teacher of the Year finalists: Clifton Middle School, Ingrid Zas-Fris; Boiling Spring Elementary, Sandy Davis; Callaghan Elementary, Lynne Clarke; Falling Spring Elementary, Jennifer “Nikki” Burton; Mountain View Elementary, LeeAnn Gray; and Sharon Elementary, Jill Harlow.

(08-252) Jennifer Seckner, CMS PTA, SUPPORT FOR SCHOOL BOARD DIRECTION ON ALLEGHANY HIGH SCHOOL

Mrs. Seckner read the following statement: “Good evening and welcome to Clifton Middle School. My name is Jennifer Seckner, Vice President of the PTA and a mother of two children at CMS and an 11-month old who will be a future student of the Alleghany School system. I would like to thank the School Board members, the school administration and all of the employees of the Alleghany County Schools for all of your hard work over the past several years while I have been involved in the schools. I have been very impressed with the teachers and staff not only at CMS and Sharon but also countywide for their dedication to our students and to their future. During the past couple of years there have been many “hot” issues regarding our County and schools such as government and school consolidation and the building of a new AHS. I, along with many of the citizens in this County, have read the articles in the local paper, and following the news from that standpoint. When I was asked to speak tonight, that’s when I did my research and came across some interesting facts that I would like to share with you. Did you know that....

1. Based on a documentary called “Two Million Minutes” that a student who starts 9th grade has exactly that amount of time before they graduate from high school?

2. That this documentary shows that the US is in a crisis compared to China and India with chronically low scores in math and science.

3. This program reveals that less than 40 percent of US students take a science course more rigorous than general biology and a mere 18 percent take math coursework beyond two years of algebra and one year of geometry and 50 percent of all college freshmen require remedial coursework.

4. Meanwhile, both India and China have made dramatic leaps in educating their middle classes. Compared to the US China now produces eight times more scientists and engineers and India puts out 3 times as many as the US and we are comparable in the size and population to both of these countries.

We are in a global crisis and it’s up to the local, state and federal governments to step up to the plate and take care of these issues. Congressman Ben Chandler of Kentucky introduced a bill called the 21st Century High Performing Public School Facilities Act in July of 2007. This legislation would allow for the construction, modernization, or repair of schools to make them safe, healthy, high-performing and technologically up to date. This bill is still sitting in the House waiting to be passed. I have contacted Rick Boucher regarding the status of this bill and I am waiting on his reply. Congressman Chandler has a website called “Hot Topic” and an article called “Congress to the Commonwealth: Do Our School Facilities Make the Grade?” In this article he states that “The learning environment is a huge component of our children’s overall educational experience. First and foremost, schools should be safe and accessible. Second, they should be equipped with the best technology available. After reviewing numerous studies from school districts across the nation, the US Dept .of Education concluded in 2000 that good school facilities are an important precondition for student learning. With all other factors being equal, each study showed that academic achievement levels are lower in schools with poor building conditions. Dilapidated school facilities threaten not only the academic achievement of our children, but their health and safety as well. For instance, children are more vulnerable to contaminants such as asbestos and lead paint, still found in many of our old school buildings. Air quality even affects students’ ability to concentrate. In addition to structural deficiencies in our nation’s schools, outdated technologies can have a devastating effect on our kids’ academic potential. Technology has allowed us to accomplish the unthinkable. We can communicate with people across the world quickly and cheaply and we have endless amounts of information right at our fingertips. No longer can our children successfully compete with their peers, both in school and when they eventually enter the workforce without a comprehensive knowledge of technology. Our local schools, especially Alleghany High School, need to keep up with the pace of our ever changing world and offer modern science labs, computer based learning tools and a library that can hold its own with the rest of the country and the world. We need to build our children’s knowledge and expertise locally so they can compete globally. I hear a lot of negative comments about our declining population and fear of how can we afford a new high school. As the saying goes “it’s quality, not quantity.” I don’t care if we have 20 students in Alleghany County, they deserve the best education there is to offer. Personally, I live close to the Botetourt County line and I don’t feel a joint high school in Covington is feasible for those on the eastern end of the county. I feel we would lose a lot of students to either James River or Rockbridge should we decide to go that route. Just remember, the next Alleghany student we properly educate may be the next entrepreneur who brings his or her business and jobs back to our County. There are ways to fund the building of new schools without overtaxing our citizens, such as the legislation I referred to earlier. Let’s find ways to make it happen and as Nike says, “Just Do It.” Thank you for your time.”

(08-253) SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER QUESTIONS AND REPORTS

Mr. Mike Whitehead

Mr. Whitehead thanked Mrs. Siple for hosting the meeting. He also recognized and thanked Mr. Cletus Nicely, member of the Board of Supervisors, for attending the meeting. He congratulated all teachers for their commendations and stated he is very proud of each of them. He commended the 105 CMS students who had perfect scores on the SOLs and what a great accomplishment that is. He commended the elementary teachers for their foundation work in helping the students achieve. He thanked Mr. Craft and students for the presentation and stated he was looking forward to seeing the entire play.

Mr. Rob Fridley

Mr. Fridley thanked Mrs. Siple for her remarks and for hosting the meeting. He noted the School Board is facing tough budget situations right now but the members are striving to put the employees at the top of the list. He thanked and congratulated all the teachers for their commendations. He also thanked Mr. Craft for the presentation. He commented he hoped everyone enjoys their much deserved spring break. He also stated he appreciates all the feedback and comments he receives from employees directly, through surveys and through the advisory committees.

Mr. David Halsey

Mr. Halsey thanked Mrs. Siple for hosting the meeting. He congratulated all teachers on their commendations and commented that every teacher in the division is a “teacher of the year” in his opinion. He stated that many citizens of the community are saying that Alleghany County is dying, and while that is not his opinion, he wanted to encourage everyone to invest in our community.

Mrs. Stacey Bryant

Mrs. Bryant thanked CMS for hosting the meeting and Mr. Craft for the play presentation. She congratulated the three students who received commendations for the Six Pillars of Character and the teachers for their recognitions.

Mr. Randy Tucker

Mr. Tucker thanked Mr. Nicely for attending the meeting and stated it was good to see all the parents there as well. He stated the school division is providing a quality education to our students and it shows with all the commendations that are presented at each meeting. He thanked Mrs. Zas-Fris for her work for the past three years and stated he wished she could stay with the division.

Mr. Joe Anderson

Mr. Anderson said he agreed with the remarks of the other Board members.

Mr. Hunter Fridley

Mr. Fridley thanked Mrs. Siple and CMS for hosting the meeting and also thanked Troop #2001 for leading the Pledge of Allegiance. He also thanked Mr. Craft for the presentation. He congratulated Lee Anne Bowling-Angle on her commendation and stated she is a “tough act to follow.” He thanked Ms. Seckner for her comments. He stated he also appreciates calls from employees and citizens who have issues but always tries to ask them what they would do to remedy the situation. He congratulated the students on their SOL commendations. He commented he did not believe that Alleghany County is dying but is in fact, surviving.

Dr. Bob Grimesey

Dr. Grimesey reported there was a large audience for the Celebration of the Arts program on March 15 and offered his compliments to the students, staff and parent volunteers on a successful event.

BUDGET AND FINANCE

(08-254) Payment of Bills
MOTION: That the Board approve the payment of the bills as presented.
MOTION: Mr. Halsey
SECOND: Mr. Hunter Fridley
VOTE: Unanimous

(08-255) Budget Report

Dr. Grimesey stated the material that was provided was for information purposes.

1

School Operating Fund

$1,583,619.28

2

School Textbook Fund

$409,939.05

3

Alleghany Foundation Nursing Grant

$88,536.50

4

Governor’s School

$70,425.71

5

Construction

$0

6

Scholarship

$81,744.38

7

Alleghany Foundation Mental Health Initiative

$13,460.16

8

Alleghany Foundation CMS Recreational Facilities

$133,607.47

9

Alleghany Foundation Teacher Recruitment Grant

$18,282.10

Grand Total

$2,399,614.65

(08-256) ANNUAL SCHOOL DIVISION AUDIT

Mrs. Ingrid W. Barber, Director of Budget and Finance, provided the board with a report regarding the Annual School Division Audit for fiscal year ending June 30, 2007. She stated that the audit was outstanding, and that there were reportable no material weaknesses or deficiencies. She said that this was attributed to the hard-working staff members in all departments in the Central Office. She reported that Mr. Corbin Stone, of Robinson, Farmer, and Cox was unable to attend the March 17th meeting, however, she confirmed that she would reschedule with Mr. Stone for a later meeting date.

(08-257) CAFETERIA REPORT

Keven Rice, Director of Administrative Services, reported that the cafeteria fund net cash balance at the end of February was $204,150 which represents an improvement over February 2007 of $64,343 and $9,589 over the previous month.

SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONS

(08-258) Calendar Information:

Dr. Grimesey reminded Board members of the following upcoming meetings:
-6 p.m. Tuesday, March 25 – Joint budget work session with Board of Supervisors at County Government Complex
-6 p.m. Monday, April 7 – Regular meeting at Falling Spring Elementary School
-6 p.m. Monday, April 21 – Regular meeting at Alleghany High School

(08-259) AUTHORIZE COMMENDATIONS FOR 105 CMS STUDENTS WHO SCORED 600 ON 2007 SOL TESTS
MOTION: That the Board approve the commendations for 105 CMS students who scored 600 on their 2007 SOL tests.
MOTION: Mr. Hunter Fridley
SECOND: Mr. Tucker
VOTE: Unanimous

(08-260) PROPOSED 2008-2009 SCHOOL DIVISION BUDGET

Dr. Grimesey presented the final draft of the proposed 2008-2009 Alleghany County Public Schools operating budget. The $30,888,978 budget included increased projected expenditures of $631,343, which represents a 2% increase over the 2007-2008 budget. The projected expenditures are balanced by a total increase of $680,343 in state revenues less a projected reduction in federal funds of $49,000 for total anticipated revenues of $631,343. Given no formal confirmation from the Department of Education, Dr. Grimesey explained that the Virginia State Senate’s budget was used as a guide for revenue estimates since it appeared to be most closely aligned with the final compromised budget that was approved by the General Assembly. Dr. Grimesey added that the proposed budget included no increase in local revenues for the third consecutive year. As a result, the local contribution to the School Board budget is projected to remain at $9,275,060 for the fourth straight year. Based on the plan presented by Dr. Grimesey, the local government’s 2008-2009 contribution will drop to 30% of the total School Board budget. After peaking at 39% in 2003-2004, the local government’s percentage contribution to the School Board’s budget has declined steadily in each of the past five years, he noted. Key projected expenditures include a 2.5%-plus-step salary increase and the School board’s percentage contribution of a 2.2% increase in health insurance premiums. Most other projected expenditures were limited to fix cost increases and Dr. Grimesey noted that he was very disappointed with the number of very worthy items that could not be included. Dr. Grimesey expressed his hope that additional funds may yet emerge from the final Department of Education budget calculation sheets and the General Assembly’s reduction of the rate of local contribution to the state retirement fund. If so, he told the School Board that he might return at a later date and request the Board’s consideration of an amendment that might drop several items and add an additional .5% to the salary increase line. Dr. Grimesey reviewed related budgets associated with the textbook fund, the Medicaid fund, the cafeteria fund and the capital improvement fund. He recommended the School Board’s approval of the budget as presented.

Chairman Whitehead asked if funds could be taken out of the textbook fund and redirected to salaries. Dr. Grimesey replied they could not. Chairman Whitehead added that he was bothered that the Board could not offer a 4% pay increase for the employees and he is afraid it makes our division fall even further behind other school divisions on pay scales, which can make teacher recruitment difficult. He also commented the school division and School Board have always been good stewards of their budget. He stated the Board of Supervisors need to be mindful of the fact that the School Board is not asking for a budget increase this year and has not for the past three years. There were no other questions or comments.

MOTION: That the Board approve the proposed 2008-2009 school division budget, as presented.
MOTION: Mr. Tucker
SECOND: Mr. Halsey
VOTE: Unanimous

(08-261) FOLLOW-UP TO JANUARY 22, 2208 SCHOOL BOARD RESOLUTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH AHS

Mrs. Barber provided the Board with a report regarding the status of the literary loan application. She said that the application was uploaded online to the Department of Education (DOE) on February 11, 2008, and a hard copy was also sent on February 14, 2008 to the DOE. She said that the DOE acknowledged receipt of the application. She stated that there were other steps in the process that will come at a later date.Mr. Rice then reported he received four responses to the Request for Proposals from construction consultants. Of the four, three have been chosen to return with a presentation. Those on the interview committee include Mr. Rice, Mr. Wayne Perkins, Maintenance Manager, Mr. Randy Tucker and Mrs. Stacey Bryant. Mr. Rice stated he anticipates offering a recommendation to the School Board on April 7, 2008.

(08-262) Capital improvement update

Mr. Rice presented the Work Request Completion Report for February.

FIELD TRIP REQUEST

(08-263) 110 CMS 7TH GRADE STUDENTS TO WASHINGTON, D.C., APRIL 3-4, 2008
MOTION: That the Board approve the field trip request as recommended by the Superintendent.
MOTION: Mr. Tucker
SECOND: Mr.
Rob Fridley
VOTE: Unanimous

(08-264) 44 CMS SCA MEMBERS AND PEER HELPERS TO NEW YORK, N.Y., JUNE 4-6, 2008
MOTION: That the Board approve the field trip request as recommended by the Superintendent.
MOTION: Mr.
Hunter Fridley
SECOND: Mr. Tucker
VOTE: Unanimous

(08-265) COMMUNICATIONS

Dr. Grimesey stated the material that was provided was for information purposes.
-Parent Advisory Committee to the Superintendent
-Teacher Advisory Committee to the Superintendent
-Safe School Committee

Mr. Whitehead shared with Board members an invitation from Total Action Against Poverty (TAP) for their Heart Award Annual Dinner that is to be held on March 29, 2008, 6:30 p.m. at Granberry United Methodist Church.

CLOSED SESSION

(08-266) CODE OF VIRGINIA: PERSONNEL 2.2-3711.A.1 and POTENTIAL LITIGATION 2.2-3711.A.7
MOTION: That the School Board enter closed session to discuss Personnel and Potential Litigation as
authorized by the Code of
Virginia Sections 2.2-3711A.1 and 2.2-3711.A.7.
MOTION: Mr. Hunter Fridley
SECOND: Mrs. Bryant
VOTE: Unanimous
TIME: 7:57 p.m.

MOTION: That the School Board return to open session from closed session.
MOTION: Mr. Tucker
SECOND: Mrs. Bryant
VOTE: Unanimous
TIME: 8:45 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. Hunter Fridley
SECOND: Mrs. Bryant
ROLL CALL VOTE: Mr. Anderson – YES Mr. Halsey - YES
Mrs. Bryant – YES Mr. Tucker - YES
Mr. H. Fridley – YES Mr. Whitehead – YES
Mr. R. Fridley – YES
7 -YES 0-ABSENT 0-NO

TIME: 8:46 p.m.

________________________________________ _______________________________

Chairman, Alleghany County School BoardClerk

PERSONNEL(08-267) Personnel actions
MOTION: That the Board approve the personnel actions as recommended by the Superintendent.
MOTION: Mr.
Rob Fridley
SECOND: Mr. Anderson
VOTE: Unanimous

OTHER BUSINESS

(08-268)Additions to agenda

There were no other additions to the agenda.

ADJOURNMENT

MOTION: That the March 17, 2008 regular meeting of the Alleghany County School Board be adjourned.
MOTION: Mr. Hunter Fridley
SECOND: Mrs. Bryant
VOTE: Unanimous
TIME:
8:47 p.m.

_______________________________________ ______________________________

Chairman, Alleghany County School BoardClerk