10-21-2013 Regular Meeting

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REGULAR MEETING OF THE ALLEGHANY COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD

October 21, 2013

 

The Alleghany County School Board held its regular meeting on October 21, 2013, at 6:00 p.m. at Clifton Middle School, Covington, Virginia.

 

PRESENT: William W. Angle; Robert A. Fridley, Vice Chairman; Amber D. Kerns; Norman L. Persinger, Jr.; John P. Reynolds; Benjamin J. Truett, Chairman; and Jacob L. Wright. Also present: Sarah T. Campbell, Superintendent/Clerk and Lorie C. Bess, Deputy Clerk.

 

ABSENT:

 

Participation in the moment of silence and the Pledge of Allegiance, led by members of the football, volleyball and cheerleading teams.

 

Chairman Truett announced the following addition to the agenda:

1. Under agenda item #14-102, Policy Revisions, the Board will consider approval of two additional policies. The polices are IICA and IICA-R.

2. Agenda item #14-104, “Discussion of Policies BG and GBB”. This is an information item and will be inserted after agenda item #14-102.

 

CLOSED SESSION

(14-80) CODE OF VIRGINIA: PERSONNEL 2.2-3711.A.1

MOTION: That the School Board enter closed session to discuss Personnel Matters, as authorized by the Code of Virginia Section 2.2-3711.A.1.

MOTION:Mr. Persinger

SECOND: Mrs. Kerns

ROLL CALL VOTE: Unanimous

TIME: 6:03 p.m.

 

MOTION: That the Board adjourn from Closed Session and reconvene to the regular meeting.

MOTION: Mr. Angle

SECOND: Mr. Fridley

ROLL CALL VOTE: Unanimous

TIME: 7:00 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
  2. 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. Fridley

SECOND: Mr. Persinger

ROLL CALL VOTE: Unanimous

TIME: 7:07 p.m.

 

 

________________________________________ _______________________________________

Chairman, Alleghany County School Board Clerk

 

Chairman Truett announced the following addition to the agenda:

1. Closed Session will be continued after agenda item #14-103, pursuant to the Code of Virginia § 2.2-3711.A.1 Personnel Matters. The Board will take action on agenda item #14-81, “Personnel Actions”, following the Closed Session.

 

(14-82) APPROVAL OF MINUTES

a. September 16, 2013 Regular Meeting

b. September 19, 2013 Called Work Session

c. September 23, 2013 Work Session

MOTION: That the Board approve the minutes, as presented.

MOTION: Mr. Persinger

SECOND: Mr. Fridley

ROLL CALL VOTE: Unanimous

 

COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION

(14-83) OPENING REMARKS AND WELCOME BY BRENDA SIPLE, PRINCIPAL, CLIFTON MIDDLE SCHOOL

Mrs. Siple read the following statement: “Dr. Campbell, Chairman Truett, Board Members, parents, students, and guests. Welcome to Clifton Middle School. It is my pleasure to have you here this evening. I am very proud of my faculty, staff, and students for Clifton Middle School continuing to receive Full Accreditation on both the state and federal levels and we will continue to work hard and work together to achieve this status for the 2013-2014 school year. Our doors are always open for you to come spend a day with us. We encourage you to visit in classrooms or take a bike ride with a gym class to experience the excitement from the middle school perspective. On behalf of my faculty and staff, I thank you for all you do for the administration, staff, and students of the Alleghany County Public School Division. Thank you.”

 

(14-84) REMARKS BY PTO REPRESENTATIVE

Edna Dial, PTO vice president, welcomed everyone to Clifton Middle School. She reported on PTO events, such as the open house held for incoming 6th grade students, an end of the year picnic, and sponsoring Teacher Appreciate Week. She thanked the Board for its dedication to the students.

 

(14-85) SCHOOL BOARD COMMENDATIONS

Students who earned a perfect score on their spring 2013 SOL assessments

Dr. Campbell noted there were 34 students who received perfect scores on their SOL tests and that Clifton Middle School would present the certificates to the students during a reception at the school.

 

VSBA Academy Awards

Amber Kerns, Norman Persinger, Jr., and Benjamin Truett received a Certificate of Recognition. Dr. Campbell received the Award of Honor.

 

(14-86) REMARKS BY TINA CONNER

Ms. Conner stated she would share an email that was sent to Board members the week prior. The email reads: “I have been added to the meeting agenda on Monday night; however, I believe expressing my concerns first in this manner is best. Due to time restraints at the central office, and the restriction of being able (or not being able) to obtain information at the school level, I am unable to obtain as much information that I had hoped to have by the Monday meeting.These concerns have been expressed at the most recent Parent Advisory Committee and feel that the concerns should also be shared with each of you. The first concern I have pertains to support in the 4th grade class at Sharon Elementary School. I have had many parents question the amount of support that is available. We currently have a class of 27 students, with only one teacher to support this class. From my understanding, the Title One/Remediation teacher is scheduled to be in that class for limited times: Reading: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday – 8:50 to 9:30 in the classroom; Tuesday and Thursday – 8:50 to 9:30 for individual reading practice with 9 students, while the other students are broke up in groups of 9 with the teacher and a specialty aide; and

Math Remediation – 2 days a week from 2:30 – 3:00. There is no support for any other subjects and while I believe that good faith effort has been placed with the resources available, it is not enough. I have had parents tell me that when they ask their children if they asked questions when they didn’t understand something, the child’s response was, “Mom, there isn’t enough time.”I believe the teachers are doing as much as possible to give each child what they deserve; however, one teacher cannot support every student with a 1 to 27 ratio. Sharon has 1 teacher listed as Title 1 / Remediation, (I believe with 50+ students that currently qualify for assistance) and this is the teacher that is pulled from her Title 1 / Remediation duties to assist in 4th grade. Another concern involves the number of aide support that is available. From my understanding, there is one aide at Sharon that is not marked as Special Education. This aide is solely used to support JK/K. Sharon has 2 classes for JK/K; one class of 22 and one class of 23, and this number may have increased.I have volunteered in much smaller class sizes at the JK/K level and I honestly do not know how the teachers do it. I have had parents express concern; however, a student at that level cannot express the issues in the classroom so it is much harder to determine the negative impact that these large classes will have on the children in the year to come. With this large number, the aide is unable to assist in any other areas of the school. I would like a deeper look into (1) Individual class sizes per grade in each elementary school, (2) the number of students that qualify for Title 1 or Remediation and the support that is available, and (3) the number of non-special education aides (and special education aides) in each school compared to each school’s enrollment. The numbers may justify the current resources, but if not, I would like to see if there are any changes that can be made to provide equal support. Another concern I have involves the financial support of field trips. I have researched the policy on fees through the VA Department of Education and have emailed the Director of Policy for the Virginia Department of Education for clarification. I have attached the policy and the link to the Superintendent Memo #103-13 (http://www.doe.virginia.gov/administrators/superintendents_memos/2013/103-13.shtml) which states that each school board must have a policy on the fees that are charged, but does not actually prohibit from charging fees for instructional or educational trips that are not a requirement of the class. I can provide that email or contact information if requested. At an elementary school level, most field trips are not considered “required”. There is not a grade assigned nor will the absence from the trips have a negative impact on the child’s education.I understand that lawyers were consulted prior to the implementation of the policy, and that the school board voted to approve the policy. However, I do believe that with a deeper dive into the actual policy and the memo from the VDOE superintendent, you will also see that charging a student for a field trips falls within the VDOE guidelines. I believe that everyone voted to approve the policy with good intentions; however I ask that we take a second look at this policy, its intentions, and the way it has been interpreted. I would like each of you to read over the VDOE policy and compare it to the Alleghany County Policy to determine if the way our policy is written would allow charging for the non-required field trips. If the determination is no, how do we change our policy to reflect the VDOE standards? The school cannot take on more financial burdens and PTO’s should be able to use their funds for things that will create a better experience for each child within the school. The PTO’s in our school district, I believe, have always provided assistance for any student that was financially unable and would continue to do this; however, paying for every student for every field trip is not necessary based on VDOE regulation. One final comment I have is to move the Closed Session portion of the meeting back to the end of the agenda. I appreciate you taking the time to read over my concerns and thank you for the time that you put into serving the community. Thank you.”

 

 

(14-87) SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER COMMENTS

Mr. Wright thanked Ms. Siple for hosting the meeting and congratulated the students and staff on the SOL scores.

 

Mrs. Kerns thanked the PTO for their hard work and dedication to the students. She thanked Tina Conner for her comments.

 

Mr. Persinger stated the students and teachers do a great job and congratulated them on their outstanding SOL performances.

 

Mr. Reynolds thanked Ms. Siple for hosting the meeting.

 

Mr. Angle commended the staff for all they do for the students and stated although the Board cannot give them what they deserve, he expressed his gratitude for their dedication.

 

Mr. Fridley stated it was a good first six weeks’ of school. He commended the Jackson River Governor School program and encouraged more participation by students.

 

Dr. Campbell thanked Ms. Siple, Amy Dew, Josh Craft, and all staff members for all they do and stated it does not go unnoticed.

 

Mr. Truett stated the middle school is a nice facility and he enjoys visiting there. He congratulated Ms. Siple and her staff on their full accreditation status and noted he realizes there can be many challenges with middle school aged students. He thanked the PTO for their assistance to the students. He thanked Tina Conner for her comments and being involved.

 

BUDGET AND FINANCE

(14-88) BUDGET REPORT

 

School Operating Fund

$444,349.37

School Textbook Fund

$1,118,145.60

Alleghany Foundation Nursing Grant

$58,346.26

Governor’s School

$88,460.66

Scholarship

$79,680.25

Alleghany Foundation Mental Health Initiative

$6,921.78

School Capital

$2,360,792.50

Medicaid Reimbursement

$648,616.17

Grand Total

$4,805,312.59

 

(14-89) PAYMENT OF BILLS

MOTION: That the Board approve the payment of the bills, as presented.

MOTION: Mrs. Kerns

SECOND: Mr. Persinger

ROLL CALL VOTE: Mr. Angle - YES
Mr. Fridley - YES
Mrs. Kerns - YES
Mr. Persinger - YES
Mr. Reynolds - NO
Mr. Truett - YES
Mr. Wright - NO
5 -YES 0 – ABSENT 2 - NO

 

(14-90) SEPTEMBER 30, 2013 STUDENT MEMBERSHIP REPORT

Mary Jane Mutispaugh, Director of Instruction, reported the division’s preliminary September 30, 2013 average daily membership as reported to the Virginia Department of Education was 2,410. This level is 158 students less than our 2012 September 30 membership and 85 less than the 2,495 upon which our current budget is based.

 

(14-91) SCHOOL ACTIVITY FUND AUDIT REPORTS

Dr. Campbell presented the 2013 School activity and cafeteria funds audit report for informational purposes. The auditing firm of Robinson, Farmer, Cox Associates completed an audit and determined that the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the cash receipts, disbursements, and balances for the school activity and cafeteria funds. The auditors did make some minor recommendations, and these recommendations were addressed directly with each of the applicable principals and bookkeepers/secretaries. The results of the 2012-2013 school activity and division cafeteria funds audit reaffirm our long-standing practice of sound financial management in these areas. Our staff is to be commended for their consistent success in managing these funds, she stated

(14-92) CAFETERIA REPORT

Dr. Campbell presented the cafeteria report. The report reflects an ending net cash balance of $402,545.

SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

(14-93) CALENDAR INFORMATION

Dr. Campbell reminded the Board of the following meetings:

-October 23, 6:00 p.m. – Joint meeting with Covington School Board at JRTC
-November 12, 12:00 p.m. – Jackson River Technical Joint Board of Control meeting at JRTC
-November 18, 6:00 p.m. – Regular monthly meeting at Alleghany High School
-November 20-22 – VSBA State Convention in Williamsburg
-November monthly calendar

(14-94) DISCUSSION OF BUS ROUTES

Mr. Wright stated he had received complaints about too many “dead head” miles being driven. He requested and received bus driver monthly reports to review. Upon his review of the reports, he suggested students should meet in one central location to be picked up and have fewer buses on the road. He stated he feels this issue needs to be researched to see if there is a possibility of cost savings.

 

 

(14-95) RESOLUTION DESIGNATING NOVEMBER 18-22, 2013 AS AMERICAN EDUCATION WEEK

Chairman Truett read the resolution.

MOTION: That the Board recognizes November 18-22 as American Education Week, as presented.

MOTION: Mr. Wright

SECOND: Mrs. Kerns

ROLL CALL VOTE:Unanimous

 

 

(14-96) APPROVAL OF TEXTBOOK ADOPTION COMMITTEE

Board members were provided with a list of committee members.

MOTION: That the Board approve the members of the Textbook Adoption Committee, as presented.

MOTION:Mr. Angle

SECOND:Mr. Fridley

ROLL CALL VOTE:Unanimous

 

(14-97) CONSIDER APPROVAL OF OPPORTUNITY EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION (OEI) RESOLUTION

Dr. Campbell explained new legislation from the General Assembly, which was subsequently approved by the Governor, created the Opportunity Educational Institution (OEI) and the Opportunity Educational Institution Board. She explained this legislation mandates that the OEI Board take over supervision and operation of any local public schools that have been denied accreditation and it authorizes the takeover of any local public school that has been accredited with warning for three consecutive years. In response to this legislation, the Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA) and the Norfolk City School Board have filed a lawsuit declaring the OEI legislation unconstitutional stating that it violates the Constitution of Virginia in that it usurps the role of local school boards in supervising and managing the public schools of the Commonwealth. School boards around the state have expressed interest in showing support of this lawsuit. She recommended approval of the resolution.

MOTION: That the Board approve the Opportunity Educational Institution resolution, as presented.

MOTION:Mr. Angle

SECOND: Mr. Fridley

ROLL CALL VOTE: Unanimous

 

(14-98) CONSIDER APPROVAL OF HIGH STAKES SOL RESOLUTION

Dr. Campbell explained this resolution is not intended to eliminate SOL tests, but rather to reform and amend the current system. Mr. Wright stated several teachers had been in contact with him and encouraged his support of this resolution.

MOTION: That the Board approve the SOL High Stakes resolution, as presented.

MOTION:Mr. Wright

SECOND: Mr. Reynolds

ROLL CALL VOTE:Unanimous

 

(14-99) ON TIME GRADUATION RATE REPORT

Jan Hobbs, Director of Human Resources and Pupil Personnel, gave the following report: Alleghany High School achieved an 85.6% On Time Graduation Rate for the 4 year cohort graduates of the class of 2013. The state average was 89.1%. The dropout rate was 4%, which is a significant improvement over last year’s rate of 9.1%. The state average was 5.9%. The Federal Graduation Indicator benchmark is 80% and Alleghany High School had 82.35%. The Federal Graduation Indicator only includes students who earned a Standard or Advanced Studies Diploma. The state Graduation Completion Index benchmark is 85% and AHS had a completion index of 90.94%.

 

(14-100) CONSIDER RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF AMERICAN EDUCATION WEEK

This item was erroneously placed on the agenda twice, as agenda item #14-95 and #14-100.

 

(14-101) CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT AND OPERATIONAL MAINTENANCE UPDATE

Board members were provided the work orders in their agenda packet. Dr. Campbell reported the high school upgrade project was progressing as planned.

(14-102) POLICY REVISIONS:
a. Policy BDDH, “Public Participation at School Board Meetings”

MOTION: That the Board approve revisions to Policy BDDH, as discussed.

MOTION:Mr. Angle

SECOND: Mr. Fridley

ROLL CALL VOTE:Unanimous

 

(Amber Kerns departed the meeting at this time. It was 8:05 p.m.)

 

b. Policy IICA, “Field Trips” and IICA-R, “Guidelines for Field Trips”

MOTION: That the Board approve revisions to Policies IICA and IICA-R, as discussed.

MOTION:Mr. Angle

SECOND: Mr. Fridley

ROLL CALL VOTE:Unanimous

 

(14-104) DISCUSSION OF POLICIES BG, “BOARD-STAFF COMMUNICATIONS” AND GBB, “STAFF INVOLVEMENT IN DECISION MAKING”

Mr. Reynolds stated he feels there could be improvement in the communication process. Mr. Reynolds and Mr. Wright expressed concern that employees are discouraged from speaking with Board members about any concerns they may have or responding to requests for information. Dr. Campbell explained that employees are instructed to forward requests for information to the administration so that information can be provided to all Board members, and not only to the member making the request. This is to ensure that all Board members receive the same information, at the same time, she explained. The Board requested that Dr. Campbell send a notice to all employees encouraging them to speak openly to Board members about their concerns.

 

(14-103) COMMUNICATIONS

Dr. Campbell stated these documents were provided for information purposes.

a. Classified Advisory Committee

b. Minority Advisory Committee

c. Parent Advisory Committee

d. Teacher Advisory Committee

e.JRTC Monthly report

 

CLOSED SESSION

CODE OF VIRGINIA: PERSONNEL 2.2-3711.A.1

MOTION: That the School Board enter closed session to discuss Personnel Matters, as authorized by the Code of Virginia Section 2.2-3711.A.1.

MOTION: Mr. Fridley

SECOND: Mr. Angle

ROLL CALL VOTE: Unanimous

TIME: 8:48 p.m.

 

MOTION: That the Board adjourn from Closed Session and reconvene to the regular meeting.

MOTION: Mr. Angle

SECOND: Mr. Fridley

ROLL CALL VOTE: Unanimous

TIME: 8:56 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
  2. 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. Angle

SECOND: Mr. Fridley

ROLL CALL VOTE: Unanimous

TIME: 8:58 p.m.

 

 

________________________________________ _______________________________________

Chairman, Alleghany County School Board Clerk

 

PERSONNEL

(14-81) PERSONNEL ACTIONS

MOTION: That the Board approve all personnel actions, as discussed in closed session and recommended by the Superintendent.

MOTION: Mr. Wright 
SECOND: Mr. Fridley 
ROLL CALL VOTE: Unanimous

OTHER BUSINESS

(14-104) ADDITION TO THE AGENDA

 

Mr. Wright requested an item be added to the agenda to discuss an audit of the financial records.

MOTION: That the Board add to the agenda to discuss an audit of the financial records. 
MOTION: Mr. Wright 
SECOND: Mr. Reynolds
ROLL CALL VOTE: Unanimous

 

(14-105) DISCUSSION REGARDING REQUEST FOR AN AUDIT OF FINANCIAL RECORDS

MOTION: That the Board direct Dr. Campbell to receive bids for obtaining a full audit of the financial records.

MOTION: Mr. Wright

SECOND: Mr. Reynolds

ROLL CALL VOTE: Mr. Angle - NO
Mr. Fridley - NO
Mrs. Kerns - ABSENT
Mr. Persinger - NO
Mr. Reynolds - YES
Mr. Truett - NO
Mr. Wright - YES
2 -YES 1 – ABSENT 4 - NO
The motion failed.

 

 

MOTION: That the Board add to the agenda to discuss an update on the proposed joint school system.

MOTION: Mr. Angle

SECOND: Mr. Reynolds

ROLL CALL VOTE: Mr. Angle - YES
Mr. Fridley - YES
Mrs. Kerns - ABSENT
Mr. Persinger - NO
Mr. Reynolds - YES
Mr. Truett - YES
Mr. Wright - YES
5 -YES 1 – ABSENT 2 - NO
The motion failed due to a lack of a unanimous vote to add it to the agenda.

 

 

 

ADJOURNMENT

MOTION: That the October 21, 2013 meeting of the Alleghany County School Board be adjourned.

MOTION: Mr. Angle

SECOND: Mr. Fridley

ROLL CALL VOTE: Unanimous

TIME: 9:00 p.m.

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________________________________________ ______________________________________

Chairman, Alleghany County School Board Clerk