4-7-2008

 

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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

April 7, 2008

The Alleghany County School Board held its regular meeting on April 7, 2008 at 6:00 p.m. at Falling Spring Elementary School.

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

ABSENT: H. Hunter Fridley; David W. Halsey

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 Derek Walton, Adam Livesay, and Garrett Robertson.

Chairman Whitehead announced the addition of a discussion topic under agenda item #08-287, closed session. During closed session, the Board will discuss the possible disposal of real property as permitted under Virginia Code § 2.2-3711.A.3, he announced.

Chairman Whitehead also announced the addition of Item #08-290, Remarks by Mr. Bob Umstead, President of the Alleghany Education Association, regarding the proposed 2008-2009 operating budget.

(08-269) APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF MARCH 17, 2008 REGULAR MEETING

MOTION: That the Board approve the minutes of the March 17, 2008, regular meeting.
MOTION: Mr. Tucker
SECOND: Mr. Rob Fridley
VOTE: Unanimous

(08-270) APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF MARCH 25, 2008 WORK SESSION

MOTION: That the Board approve the minutes of the March 25, 2008, work session.
MOTION: Mrs. Bryant
SECOND: Mr. Tucker
VOTE: Unanimous

 

COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION

(08-271) OPENING REMARKS AND WELCOME BY DEBORAH FARMER, PRINCIPAL, FALLING SPRING ELEMENTARY SCHOOL Mrs. Farmer read the following statement: “Chairman Whitehead, Members of the Board, Dr. Grimesey: Welcome to Falling Spring! We are pleased to be able to host your spring meeting here tonight. Dr. Grimesey suggested I might inform the Board of some outstanding events that have happened here this year. After much thought, I took that suggestion to our staff and then to our parents. No one could come forward with a particular occurrence that could be labeled “outstanding”. I believe that is due to the simple fact that “outstanding” is the status quo at Falling Spring! You can see the pride our custodians take in caring for our school when you drive on the grounds and enter the building. You can feel the wonderful atmosphere as you walk down the halls and receive friendly greetings from the smiling faces of our staff. You notice it in the actions of our students as they busily tackle their work in the classrooms. You observe the support and interactions from our many parents. When I visited Disneyland earlier this year, a powerful voice would greet the people every morning by saying, “Welcome to the happiest place on earth!” I do believe I could greet our students and staff each morning with “Welcome to the most outstanding school in the Highlands!” I am honored to serve at this school and for our system.”

(08-272) REMARKS BY SUE WATSON, PRESIDENT, FALLING SPRING ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PTO

Mrs. Watson read the following statement: Good evening Chairman Whitehead, Members of the Board, and Dr. Grimesey. Welcome to Falling Spring Elementary School. My name is Sue Watson and I am the president of the Falling Spring PTO. I have two children enrolled here, and know that they are receiving an excellent education. We have a great school filled with eager students and teachers who strive to meet their needs. I have lived in Alleghany County for approximately two years, having previously taught elementary school in Illinois and Georgia. This academic year I accepted the position of PTO president. Utilizing my experience as a teacher and parent, along with input from the PTO Board, we have implemented some exciting activities for Falling Spring. I would like to share some of these with you. In September, we instituted Birthday lunches. Once a month parents of children who have a birthday that month are invited to come and eat lunch with their child. The student is given a birthday card, a Falling Spring pencil, and an eraser. They are also given a cupcake to enjoy with their lunch. The parents are given an opportunity to purchase a hard back book, which is placed in the library in honor of their child. Upon purchase, a name plate is added to the cover page, and a picture is taken of the child holding the book. These pictures are currently hanging in our library, and will be placed inside each book at the end of the year. So far this year, our legacy is 36 new books added to our library. And, we still have 80 students who have not celebrated their birthdays yet!We also have initiated Wonderful Wednesday’s. On the first Wednesday of the month we serve breakfast to the staff. As you can imagine, this has been met with a positive response. We are excited to tell you about our upcoming Carnival this Saturday. We have planned 10 games, a cake walk, two inflatables, balloons, tattoos, and face painting.Horse and pony rides will also be available for a small charge.There will be snow cones and popcorn for sale. The Falling Spring Rescue squad will be here with an ambulance and fire truck. The local radio station will be doing a live broadcast from our playground, and the Alleghany Sheriff’s Dept. will be here with McGruff and Lucy. The Falling Spring Ruritans will be selling hot dogs. We have Julie Mendozza making silhouettes and Trooper Mann with his State Police car. A special clown will be roaming the halls ready to make everyone laugh. And, special baskets which have been made by our student body will be raffled in the library. Tickets are available now, so don't miss the chance to tell your friends, family and neighbors about this fun filled day! Please spread the word! All proceeds will benefit the children of FSE, as we plan to purchase a new projection system for the library. We have given each of you a wristband for the carnival. We hope you can attend, but if not please give it to someone who would enjoy it. This past fall, we had a frozen food and flag fund-raiser, and raised $2,800. We also earned $550 from a magazine drive. Our PTO is very active in supporting our students by giving each teacher an annual allotment, providing money for field trips, and contributing to various programs such as funding for the DARE graduation. In closing, I wish to speak about a subject that affects all of us. In the short time I have lived here, there has been a great deal said and written about the future of our area regarding a new high school. Having toured the current facility, I want you to know that our PTO supports your progress toward a new high school. We look forward to the day that Falling Spring students can walk through the front doors of a new high school! Please do not let the June deadline for the purchase of the property pass us by.”

(08-273) SCHOOL BOARD COMMENDATIONS

Mrs. Bryant and Mrs. Farmer, with the assistance of Falling Spring’s third, fourth, and fifth grade teachers, presented certificates to the following students who earned perfect 600 scores on their Spring 2007 SOL tests: Emily Arrington, Chloe Bruce, Brittney Chambers, Lauren Downer, Morganne Durham, Maddie Harmon, Ty Hugus, Sarah Kettlety, Casey Lofton, Mariah Mays, Emma McCoig, Mary Oliver, Bradley Paxton, Jenny Quantz, Garrett Robertson, Tyler Sizemore, Eric Spraker, Tristen Stone, Amanda Wheeler and Jack Wright. Hannah Dunaway was absent.

Mrs. Bryant and Mrs. Farmer presented a certificate of commendation to Emily Arrington for being the school division Spelling Bee winner.

Mrs. Bryant, Mrs. Farmer, and Nikki Burton presented a certificate of commendation to Mr. Andrew Glisson for his outstanding service to the students and staff of Falling Spring Elementary School. A slideshow was shown in honor Mr. Glisson.

(08-290) REMARKS BY MR. BOB UMSTEAD, PRESIDENT OF THE ALLEGHANY EDUCATION ASSOCIATION, REGARDING THE PROPOSED 2008-2009 SCHOOL OPERATING BUDGET Mr. Umstead thanked the Board for the opportunity to speak. He stated he has been reading the newspaper and has been saddened by the comments that have been made by other local Boards regarding our community. He stated the AEA previously asked Dr. Grimesey for a 5% increase for all employees and Dr. Grimesey replied that 5% was not realistic but 4% would be presented to the Board for approval. He stated the AEA appreciates and respects the work done by the Board and Dr. Grimesey, as well as all employees. He reported Alleghany County received approximately $1.2 million in new property tax revenue from the recent reassessment; however, the School Board did not receive any of those funds. He noted the School Board is not asking the Board of Supervisors for any extra funding, only level funding. He stated our school division lags behind other divisions, statewide and nationwide, in salaries and that the teachers deserve fair compensation. He asked the Board to honor the 4% salary increase for all employees. He commented he respected the School Board and he also is behind the School Board on building a new high school.

(08-274) SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER QUESTIONS AND REPORTS

Mrs. Stacey Bryant

Mrs. Bryant thanked Mrs. Farmer for hosting the meeting. She congratulated the students on their SOL scores and Mr. Glisson on his commendation.

Mr. Rob Fridley

Mr. Fridley thanked Mrs. Farmer for hosting the meeting. He congratulated the students, teachers, administration and parents on their SOL commendations. He thanked Mr. Umstead for his comments and stated the Board works very hard each year during the budget process and does its best to look out for all employees. He noted the Board has a genuine interest in helping the employees with the health insurance increase. He congratulated Mr. Glisson on his recognition.

Mr. Randy Tucker

Mr. Tucker thanked everyone for attending the meeting. He thanked Mr. Umstead for his comments and assured him that honesty and integrity have always been portrayed by the Board members and they will continue to do what is right for the employees.

Mr. Joe Anderson

Mr. Anderson stated Falling Spring is a great school and has great teachers and students. He congratulated the SOL students on their achievement. He reminded everyone of the Arts and Crafts Center reception on Tuesday, April 8, 2008 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Arts and Crafts Center in Clifton Forge. He encouraged everyone to attend.

Dr. Bob Grimesey

Dr. Grimesey echoed Mr. Anderson’s invitation to the Arts and Crafts reception and stated it is a great opportunity to see the artwork from our high school students. He reported he had an “Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader” competition with the Falling Spring students last year and is looking forward to a rematch on May 15 with this year’s fifth graders. He announced to the Board members that he had received a signed petition from students supporting a swim team and that a copy was placed at their seats. He noted this additional information should be placed with the “communications” section of their agenda packet.

Mr. Mike Whitehead

Mr. Whitehead stated it is a pleasure to be at Falling Spring. He commended Mr. Glisson on his service and the SOL students on their achievement. He also congratulated Emily Arrington on winning the Spelling Bee. He commented that he realizes all our educators love the children and do an extraordinary job. He stated Mr. Umstead was correct in saying that teachers are not paid enough for what they do but the division is blessed to have each one of them. He echoed Mr. Fridley’s comment that the Board works very hard each year for salary increases for its employees.

BUDGET AND FINANCE

(08-275) ANNUAL SCHOOL DIVISION AUDIT FOLLOW-UP BY CORBIN STONE OF ROBINSON, FARMER & COX

Mrs. Ingrid Barber introduced Mr. Corbin Stone. Mr. Stone stated the school audit went very well. He noted there were no management findings and all records were in order. He commended Mrs. Barber and staff for their good work. Mr. Stone provided a handout to the Board detailing upcoming changes in audit standards. He stated the audit next year would certainly be more detailed and he would expect to have management findings as a result. He also provided the Board with a copy of the Alleghany County Financial Data Sheet. He noted the fund balance has dropped each year since 2002, except for 2007. He stated he is hopeful that this reveals a turning point for a growing fund balance. Chairman Whitehead asked Mr. Stone where the Risk Assessment standards are mandated from. Mr. Stone replied they come from the American Institute of CPA’s, and the Federal Office Management Budget (OMB). Chairman Whitehead suggested that Mrs. Barber consider presenting an in-service for employees to explain how the budget process works because many employees do not know. Mrs. Barber and Dr. Grimesey would study ways by which to help employees gain a better understanding of the budget process.

SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONS

(08-276) Calendar Information:

Dr. Grimesey reminded Board members of the following upcoming meetings:

-6 p.m. Monday, April 21- Regular meeting at Alleghany High School
-5 p.m. Tuesday, April 29 – VSBA Blue Ridge Region meeting at Radford University
-Friday, May 2 – VSBA Workshop: Budget & Financial Reports at Charlottesville Omni
-6 p.m.
Monday, May 19 – Regular meeting at Central office complex
-Friday, June 6 – VSBA Workshop: School Law Update at Charlottesville Omni

 

(08-277) AMENDED 2008-2009 SCHOOL DIVISION BUDGET Dr. Grimesey reported he recommended and the Board approved the original proposed budget during its March 17 regular meeting. He noted that the original budget had to be amended following issuance of final state revenue projections by the Virginia Department of Education on March 20. The amended budget was presented to the School Board and the Board of Supervisors during their joint work session on March 25. He explained that he was now prepared to review the amended budget and to request formal approval of it by the School Board. Dr. Grimesey said the amended budget still seeks no increase in local funding from the Board of Supervisors. He reported he contacted eight school divisions, which are similar to Alleghany County, and all eight had sought increased local funding from their Boards of Supervisors in at least one of the two previous years. He added that five of the eight are seeking increased funding from their Supervisors for 2008-2009. He noted that Alleghany County projects to receive $1.1 million in new property tax collections in 2007-2008 and he was proud of the fact that the School Board was not receiving a “single dime” of that new funding. He pointed out that the School Board’s restraint over the past three years has contributed greatly to the County’s improved fiscal condition. Dr. Grimesey then reviewed the amended budget paying particular attention to items that were revised. He reported the amended budget includes a 4% plus step increase for all employees. He also noted the AHS swim team was not included and informed the Board that swimming is the only sport AHS lacks in order to be equal to other schools in our district. Mr. Tucker asked how many students were interested in a swim team and Dr. Grimesey replied approximately 2-3 dozen, clarifying that it is a high school team and does not include middle school students. Mr. Anderson asked if there is a possibility that Congress will restore the supplemental forest reserve funding. Dr. Grimesey stated he has talked with Congressman Goodlatte and he believes the division may still receive the supplemental forest reserve funds. Mr. Anderson asked if those funds could be used for a swim team, if received. Dr. Grimesey replied he would recommend that the Board take a look at the budget at the end of the year for any surplus line items that might provide adequate funds to provide for the start-up of a swim team. Dr. Grimesey recommended that the School Board approve the amended budget with projected revenues and expenditures totaling $31,190,874 and with no request for increased local funding in 2008-2009.

MOTION: That the Board approve the amended 2008-2009 school division budget, as recommended by the Superintendent.
MOTION: Mr. Tucker
SECOND: Mrs. Bryant
VOTE: Unanimous

(08-278) REVISED SCHOOL DIVISION SPECIAL EDUCATION PLAN Dr. Elizabeth Heath presented the Special Education Annual Plan. She noted two major changes, which were (1) working on reestablishing a Special Education Parent Resource Center and (2) working towards a reverse inclusion model in our currently self-contained early childhood Special Education classes. It was very well received and there were no questions or comments from the Board members. Dr. Grimesey commended Dr. Heath’s presentation and thanked her for her hard work.

MOTION: That the Board approve the revised school division Special Education Plan, as presented.
MOTION: Mr.
Rob Fridley
SECOND: Mrs. Bryant
VOTE: Unanimous

(08-279) RECOMMENDATION OF ALLEGHANY HIGH SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION CONSULTANT Keven Rice, Director of Administrative Services, reported that four proposals had been received from construction consultants. He noted that the proposals were evaluated by a committee that consisted of Mr. Rice, Mrs. Bryant, Mr. Tucker and Mr. Wayne Perkins, Maintenance Manager. He added that three consulting firms were invited to make presentations and to be interviewed by the committee with Dr. Grimesey present. Mr. Rice then recommended that the School Board appoint Arcadis, Inc. to provide consulting services in the event that the Board proceeds to request proposals from construction teams to construct a new high school under the Virginia PPEA process. Dr. Grimesey concurred with Mr. Rice’s recommendation.

MOTION: That the Board approve Arcadis as the Alleghany High School Construction PPEA consultant, a recommended by the Superintendent.
MOTION: Mrs. Bryant
SECOND: Mr. Tucker
VOTE: Unanimous

(08-280) RECOMMENDATION OF CONTRACTOR FOR CLIFTON MIDDLE SCHOOL ATHLETIC FIELD IMPROVEMENTS Mr. Rice presented the bid results for the Clifton Middle School athletic field enhancements. Three bids were received, all of which significantly exceeded the project budget. As a result, Mr. Rice recommended that the school board reject all three bids. Mr. Rice noted that he is in the process of reviewing potential project modifications with the engineering firm for the project, and plans to re-bid the project in late May or early June.

MOTION:That the Board reject all bids received for the Clifton Middle School Construction consultant, as recommended by the Superintendent.
MOTION: Mr. Rob Fridley
SECOND: Mr. Tucker
VOTE: Unanimous

(08-281) SCHOOL BUS PURCHASES Mr. Rice stated that bids had been received from three companies that manufacture school buses. He noted that the school division must purchase 3.5 buses per year to stay within the Department of Education guidelines to replace school buses by the end of their 12th year. The division purchased four buses last year and needs to purchase three buses this year to maintain the replacement schedule. Two of the buses recommended are 77 passenger and one is a 60-passenger special needs bus. All three come equipped with automatic chaining devices for winter weather usage. He recommended that the Board approve the bid from Sonny Merriman in the amount of $228,095.

MOTION: That the Board approve the purchase of three school buses by Sonny Merryman, Inc. for a total amount of $228,095, as recommended by the Superintendent.
MOTION: Mr. Tucker
SECOND: Mrs. Bryant
VOTE: Unanimous

(08-282) REQUEST FROM BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA TO LEASE TRANSPORTATION SERVICES Mr. Rice presented a recommendation to approve the lease of six school buses and school bus driver services to the Boy Scouts of America for a community service project they will be conducting in the Alleghany Highlands (primarily Alleghany County) during June 2008. The Boy Scouts will bring approximately 1,000 scouts and leaders to the area for one week to work on hiking trails and campgrounds in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests. The scouts and leaders will be housed primarily at the Boy Scout camp in Goshen. They require daily transportation from Goshen to the various work sites, to and from public transportation, and for evening recreational activities. In exchange for providing this service, Alleghany County Public Schools would be compensated for all driver wages and related fringe costs plus $0.65 per mile for operational costs. The particulars of this lease arrangement would be governed under a school division generated contract approved by the school board attorney. Several Board members expressed concern that the $0.65 mileage rate was too low and asked Mr. Rice and Dr. Grimesey to re-evaluate the rate prior to formal Board action on the Boys Scouts’ request.

MOTION: That the Board table the request from Boy Scouts of America until April 21, 2008, at which time a new mileage rate will be established and the Board will reconsider the recommendation.
MOTION: Mr. Anderson
SECOND: Mr.
Rob Fridley
VOTE: Unanimous

(08-283) CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT UPDATE Mr. Rice presented a revised work request completion analysis report for the School Board’s review. He noted that the format of the report was revised to make it easier to use and to more accurately portray the performance of the maintenance operation.

FIELD TRIP REQUEST

(08-284) 23 MOUNTAIN VIEW ELEMENTARY STUDENTS TO WASHINGTON, D.C., MAY 28-30, 2008 Dr. Grimesey noted to the Board that he received a letter from Teresa Johnson in which she requested the dates of the trip be changed from May 28-30, 2008 to June 4-6, 2008 due to SOL test dates. All Board members were provided a copy of the letter.

MOTION: That the Board approve the field trip request, with the date revision, as recommended by the Superintendent.
MOTION: Mr. Tucker
SECOND: Mrs. Bryant
VOTE: Unanimous

(08-285) 31 NEW AND REVISED POLICIES AND REGULATIONS AS RECOMMENDED BY VSBA AND ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF Dr. Grimesey noted each Board member was provided with a summary sheet and copies of all policy revisions to review prior to the Board meeting. There were no questions or comments from Board members.

MOTION: That the Board approve the policy revisions and regulations as recommended by the Superintendent.
MOTION: Mrs. Bryant
SECOND: Mr. Tucker
VOTE: Unanimous

(08-286) 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
-Signed petition by students in support of an AHS swim team

CLOSED SESSION

(08-287) CODE OF VIRGINIA: PERSONNEL 2.2-3711.A.1, STUDENT MATTERS 2.2-3711.A.2, AND REAL PROPERTY 2.2-3711.A.3.

MOTION: That the School Board enter closed session to discuss Personnel. Student Matters, 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. Rob Fridley
SECOND: Mr. Tucker
VOTE: Unanimous
TIME: 7:40 p.m.

MOTION: That the School Board return to open session from closed session.
MOTION: Mr. Rob Fridley
SECOND: Mr. Tucker
VOTE: Unanimous
TIME: 9:25 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. Tucker
SECOND: Mr. Anderson
ROLL CALL VOTE: Mr. Anderson – YES Mr. Halsey - ABSENT
Mrs. Bryant – ABSENT Mr. Tucker - YES
Mr. H. Fridley – ABSENT Mr. Whitehead – YES
Mr. R. Fridley – YES
4 -YES 3-ABSENT 0-NO
TIME: 9:26 p.m.

________________________________________ _________________________________
Chairman,
Alleghany County School BoardClerk

PERSONNEL

(08-288)Personnel actions

MOTION: That the Board approve the personnel actions as recommended by the Superintendent.
MOTION: Mr. Rob Fridley
SECOND: Mr. Tucker
VOTE: Unanimous

(08-289) REVISIONS TO SELECT JOB DESCRIPTION

MOTION: That the Board approve the revisions to job description JD-3-5A, School Psychologist-12 Month, as recommended by the Superintendent.
MOTION: Mr. Anderson
SECOND: Mr.
Rob Fridley
VOTE: Unanimous

OTHER BUSINESS

(08-291)Additions to agenda

Chairman Whitehead requested the addition of agenda item 08-292, Disposition of Pupil Personnel case #08-04.

MOTION: That the Board add disposition of Pupil Personnel case #08-04 to the agenda.
MOTION: Mr.
Rob Fridley
SECOND: Mr. Anderson
VOTE: Unanimous

PUPIL PERSONNEL

(08-292) DISPOSITION OF SUPERINTENDENT’S RECOMMENDATION IN PUPIL PERSONNEL CASE #08-04.

MOTION: That the Board approve the pupil personnel action as recommended by the Superintendent.
MOTION: Mr.
Rob Fridley
SECOND: Mr. Anderson
VOTE: Unanimous

ADJOURNMENT

MOTION: That the April 7, 2008 regular meeting of the Alleghany County School Board be adjourned.
MOTION: Mr. Rob Fridley
SECOND: Mr. Anderson
VOTE: Unanimous
TIME: 9:28 p.m.

______________________________________ _____________________________________
Chairman, Alleghany County School Board Clerk