10-19-2015 Regular Meeting

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MINUTES

REGULAR MEETING OF THE ALLEGHANY COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD

October 19, 2015

 

The Alleghany County School Board held its regular meeting on October 19, 2015, at 6:00 p.m. at Clifton Middle School in Covington, Virginia.

PRESENT:  William W. Angle; Amber D. Kerns; R. Craig Lane; Norman L. Persinger, Jr. Benjamin J. Truett, Vice Chairman; and Randall S. Tucker, Chairman; and Jacob L. Wright. 

Also present:   Eugene P. Kotulka, Superintendent; and Lorie C. Bess, Clerk.

ABSENT:   


Chairman Tucker announced the following additions/revisions to the agenda:


1. Agenda item #16-121, “Consider approval of Policy JFCD, Weapons in School”, is changed from an action item to an information item. A new regulation for this policy will also be discussed.

2. Agenda item #16-123, “Discussion of proposal for Joint Schools”. This item will be inserted after agenda item #16-122 and is an information item.



MINUTES

(16-96) APPROVAL OF MINUTES

        a.     September 21, 2015 Regular Meeting

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

MOTION:   Mr. Truett
SECOND:  Mr. Lane  
ROLL CALL VOTE:   Unanimous

 

COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION

(16-97) OPENING REMARKS AND WELCOME BY BRENDA SIPLE, PRINCIPAL, CLIFTON MIDDLE SCHOOL

Ms. Siple read the following statement:  “Mr. Kotulka, Chairman Tucker, 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 at Clifton Middle.  I would like to assure you that our goal for this school year is to be a fully accredited school by this time next year.  Staff is working diligently to prepare students for testing while also addressing the needs of the whole child.  I cannot tell you that this does not come without creating a lot of stress caused by additional hard work and a strenuous time commitment, but I can tell you that our teachers are willing to do what it takes to get the job done.  Our doors are always open for you to come spend a day with us.  We encourage you to visit in classrooms, attend after school activities, and become involved in the excitement from the middle school student 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.  Many positive comments were expressed with the raise that staff will receive.  The support and dedication in your role as board members is greatly appreciated.   Thank you.”

 

(16-98) REMARKS BY PTO REPRESENTATIVE

Amanda Sargent read the following statement:  “I was asked to speak to you this evening about the activities of our CMS PTO.  I am Amanda Sargent, the faculty representative on the PTO Advisory Board.  The PTO’s aim is to provide and support activities that enrich the school experience for students here at CMS.  Teacher are also supported, primarily through providing small tokens of appreciation, such as cookies from Club Car on work days, which is very much appreciated and enjoyed!  But, the main focus is on the students.  One special event is a pre-orientation/welcome evening for rising 5th graders.  This event is held every spring.  This event has been very well received, with a large turn out each year.  Teachers and administrators meet with students and their parents to help them understand and prepare for things such as schedules, moving to different rooms in the building throughout the day, locker use, “dressing out” requirements for gym, increased student responsibility for keeping up with assignments, use of a planner, increased amount of work and study time outside of the school day, and the fun of school dances, after school activities, club days, etc.  Another featured event is the Character Counts reward/recognition day, which is held at the end of each semester.  Students who have received at least one Character Counts slip during the semester are invited to a gathering during the final portion of one school day.  The slips are given to students by any teacher, administrator, or staff person who observes a student doing something that represents one of more of the Pillars of Character, which are Honesty, Responsibility, Caring, Respect, Fairness, and Citizenship.  PTO members come ahead of time that day and decorate the cafeteria and also bring refreshments for the students. They have also gone out into the community to gather special gift card prizes from businesses such as Pizza Hut, Hardees, Wal-Mart, and the Covington movie theater.  Names are cut from all Character Counts slips that have been earned during the semester and placed into baskets, separated by grade level.  A drawing of names from those baskets issued to award the fit card prizes.  This event has also been very well received.  The number of students receiving Character Counts slips has been growing each semester since we started this recognition program.  The PTO also sponsors the annual end of the year picnic provided to our students in conjunction with the school’s field day events.  After school clubs are invited to request funds from the PTO if they are in need of some financial support.  The club sponsor and some students from the group requesting funding are asked to attend a PTO Advisory Board meeting to explain what their club does and how the requested funds will be used.  Spirit Wear is offered for sale to students and staff, featuring a falcon logo that was designed by a CMS student several years ago.  The PTO also sells refreshments during intermissions of the CMS spring musical, and during some of the home sports events.  Mrs. Siple asked me to conclude with an expression of her appreciation for all that the PTO provides for our student and teachers here at CMS”

 

(16-99) SCHOOL BOARD COMMENDATIONS

Clifton Middle School students who earned a perfect 600 score on their spring 2015 SOL assessment

Grade 6:  Andrew Crance and Gabriel Meadows
Grade 7:  Madison Meadows and David Donnan
Grade 8:  Logan Arritt, Morgan Keith, Jordan McPeek, Richard Morgan, Marley Booth, and Tristan Brown

ABCD Awards (Above and Beyond the Call of Duty):  Patty Anderson, Cindy Fox, and Tonya Jones

Ms. Siple read the following statement:  “Two years ago when Mrs. Buckner told Patty Anderson that she would like to extend the summer feeding program to additional sites so that more students could participate, Patty volunteered to find a site in Clifton Forge to begin the program.  Patty found volunteers and the program began.  It was important to her to extend the program into Covington after the first year in Clifton.  Again, Patty found volunteers and a site and the program was extended into Covington.  This year the program grew with mini golf lessons being offered in Clifton and free books being given to children in Covington.  Although this program could not be provided with the hard work of Mrs. Bucker and her cafeteria staff, as well as the cooperation from the town of Clifton Forge and Lisa Hicks at the Covington Library, the dedication from CMS staff members Patty Anderson, Cindy Fox, and Tonya Jones is what truly keeps the program going.  Each day Patty would come to CMS to pick up the lunches where she often delivered to both the Clifton Forge and Covington sites.  At the Covington site, Patty was assisted by Cindy Fox and Tonya Jones as well as Sharon Campbell from Mountain View Elementary School.  I would like to share some information about these three ladies.  Patty volunteers her time at CMS as sponsor of the Tennis Club and Students for Christ Club.  She also chaperones and assists with other after school activities.  IN the community, she volunteers at the Brian Center, is a lay speaker for her church, and is President of the Lexington Chapter of the PEO, which is an educational organization.  Cindy Fox is a sponsor of the Peer Helpers and assists with the Students for Christ Club at CMS.  She serves on the attendance committee and is the webmaster for CMS.  Cindy volunteers her talents and knowledge of technology by assisting anyone that needs her help.  She is on the board for the Jackson River Credit Union and an active member of her church.  Tonya Jones is a member of Shenandoah Valley Reading Council where she was past president and new serves as chairperson of the Teacher of the Year Committee.  She is the foundation grant person for the Virginia State Reading Association.  She is also a member of Delta Kappa Gamma.  Tonya teaches adult Sunday School and is very active in her church.  All three of these ladies are very worthy candidates for going Above and Beyond the Call of Duty.”

 

(16-100) PUBLIC COMMENT

There were no citizens wishing to address the Board.

 

(16-101) SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER AND SUPERINTENDENT COMMENTS

Mr. Wright stated there was a great crowd in attendance and thanked everyone for attending.  He thanked the Peer Helper students for leading the pledge and Ms. Siple for hosting the meeting.  He commended the PTO for what they are able to do in the schools and thanked Amanda Sergeant for her comments.  He thanked Kenneth Wright and Christian Conrad for their support in making Alleghany High School a w!se Blue Star Award School.  He congratulated everyone who received a commendation. 

 

Mr. Lane thanked everyone in attendance and agreed it was a great crowd.  He thanked Ms. Siple and staff for hosting the meeting and the dinner.  He stated it is obvious by the awards we present that we have very bright students in our school division.  He stated there is a positive energy in the schools right now and he expects that will continue.  He commended the recipients of the ABCD awards and thanked them for their support of the summer feeding program. 

Mr. Persinger thanked Ms. Siple for hosting the meeting.  He commended everyone that received an award.

Mrs. Kerns congratulated the students on their SOL awards.  She thanked Patty Anderson, Tonya Jones, and Cindy Fox for their assistance with the summer feeding program and stated it is a program that is very important because she often worries that students do not eat proper meals over the summer.  She congratulated Alleghany High School, Mr. Wright, and Mr. Conrad for earing the w!se Blue Star Award for financial literacy. 

Mr. Angle asked all middle school staff members to stand and thanked them for their support of the students.

Mr. Truett stated middle school is a special time in a student’s life and the staff does a lot to support the students, parents, and community.  He sated the school division is headed in the right direction.

Mr. Tucker thanked the Peer Helpers for leading the pledge.   He thanked Ms. Siple and cafeteria staff for the dinner.  He thanked Ms. Sergeant and stated the PTO is a core building block of the school.  He congratulated the recipients of the SOL and ABCD awards.  

Mr. Kotulka thanked Ms. Siple and staff for hosting the meeting and noted the large crowd in attendance was a positive sign.   He recognized the recipients of awards and thanked them for their hard work.  He noted his “office hours” in each school has begun and is going well and encouraged anyone to stop and talk with him at any time.  He stated the rigors of testing are increasing but he is confident the staff will meet the challenge and achieve the higher standards.   

 

BUSINESS AND FINANCE

(16-102) BUDGET REPORT

 

School Operating Fund

$159,289.69

School Textbook Fund

$1,355,904.29

Alleghany Foundation Nursing Grant

$58,383.80

Governor’s School

$111,435.45

Scholarship

$77,807.59

Alleghany Foundation Mental Health Initiative

$10,860.34

School Capital

$1,506,691.87

Medicaid Reimbursement

$464,303.75

Technology

$21,987.41

Grand Total

$3,766,664.19

 

(16-103) PAYMENT OF BILLS

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

MOTION:   Mr. Truett
SECOND:  Mr. Angle   
ROLL CALL VOTE:  Unanimous

 

(16-104) CAFETERIA REPORT

Mr. Kotulka presented the September cafeteria report. He reported a beginning cash balance as of September 30 is $437,116, which is a 0.77% decrease from last year.  During 2014-2015, school revenues increased by $24,801 and expenditures increased by $13,193, he noted.   

 

(16-105) SCHOOL ACTIVITY FUND AUDIT REPORTS

Keven Rice, Director of Finance, presented the school activity fund audit report.  He explained on an annual basis a certified public accounting firm is engaged to audit the financial records of each of our schools’ activity funds and the division’s cafeteria fund. Robinson, Farmer, Cox Associates recently completed an audit of the aforementioned entities for the 2014-2015 fiscal year and have submitted the final results of their audit. In the opinion of the auditors, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the cash receipts, disbursements, and balances for the school activity and cafeteria funds. Three of the five schools plus the division cafeteria operation received no recommendations or comments. Two schools received minor recommendations, and these recommendations have been addressed directly with each of the applicable principals and bookkeepers/secretaries. The results of the 2014-2015 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, he concluded.

 

(16-106) CONSIDER APPROVAL TO RETURN FUNDS TO COUNTY OF ALLEGHANY

The school division ended fiscal year 2015 with a fund balance of $1,150,690.59. Of this total $26,067.48 was transferred to Fund 11 – Medicaid Reimbursement and $122,180.63 was transferred to Fund 2 – Textbooks with the remaining balance of $1,002,442.48 transferred to Fund 10 – School Capital. Of the amount transferred to Fund 10, $400,000.00 is being retained for contingency, $192,000.00 is being retained to supplement the 1.5% salary increase should the state not continue the compensation supplement for such in fiscal year 2016-2017, and $129,755.80 is being used to pay off the VRA loan on the Boiling Spring Water Plant.   If approved, the remaining balance of $280,686.68 will be returned to the County. 


MOTION: That the Board approve returning $280,686.68 from the fiscal year 2015 year-end fund balance

to the County of Alleghany, as presented and recommended by the Superintendent. 

MOTION: Mr. Angle

SECOND: Mr. Wright

ROLL CALL VOTE: Mr. Angle - YES

Mrs. Kerns - YES

Mr. Lane - YES

Mr. Persinger - NO

Mr. Truett - YES

Mr. Tucker - YES

Mr. Wright - YES





6 -YES 0 - ABSENT 1 - NO

 

(16-107) CONSIDER APPROVAL TO PAYOFF VRA LOAN FOR BOILING SPRING WATER PLANT

Mr. Rice recommended the Board utilize a portion of the Fund 10 - School Capital balance to pay off the Virginia Resource Authority (VRA) loan for the Boiling Spring Water Plant. The Fund 10 balance as of September 30, 2015 is $1,506,691.87.  Payoff of the loan will result in the avoidance of future interest expense of approximately $10,699.66, a reduction in long-term liabilities on our balance sheet, and

simplify the county’s efforts to market the site.  Once the loan is satisfied we will receive a refund of the debt service reserve account of approximately $21,568.00. The debt service reserve account was required by VRA on the settlement date of the loan in 2001. The initial reserve amount was $17,025.00 and has been earning interest for the past 14 years via the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Local

Government Investment Pool.

MOTION: That the Board approve paying off the Virginia Resource Authority Loan in the amount of $129,755.80, for the Boiling Spring water plant , as presented. 

MOTION:   Mrs. Kerns
SECOND:  Mr. Truett   
ROLL CALL VOTE:  Unanimous

 

(16-108) SEPTEMBER 30 STUDENT MEMBERSHIP REPORT

Our preliminary September 30, 2015 average daily membership (ADM) as reported to the Virginia Department of Education is 2,187.8.  This level is 15.8 students more than the 2,172 upon which our 2015-2016 budget is based, and is 84.9 less than the September 30, 2014 membership of 2,272.7.

The average daily membership is a cumulative average of our division-level enrollment from the first day of school through September 30.  It incorporates prorated membership for students who leave or enroll in the division during this time period.  The September 30 average daily membership is a major component in the process by which the Virginia Department of Education computes our annual funding.

 

SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

(16-109) CALENDAR INFORMATION

Mr. Kotulka reminded the Board of the following meetings:


-November 9, 1:00 – Administrative Budget Committee at Central Office

-November 10, 12:00 p.m. – Jackson River Technical Joint Board of Control meeting at JRTC

-November 16, 6:00 p.m. – Regular monthly meeting at Alleghany High School, including Public Hearings

on Capital Improvement Plan and Comprehensive Plan

-November 18-20 – VSBA State Convention in Williamsburg

-November monthly calendar

(16-110) RESOLUTION DESIGNATING NOVEMBER 16-20 AS AMERICAN EDUCATION WEEK

Mr. Truett read the resolution. 

MOTION: That the Board approve a resolution designating November 16-20 as American Education Week, as presented.

MOTION:   Mrs. Kerns
SECOND:  Mr. Angle   
ROLL CALL VOTE:  Unanimous

 

(16-111) APPROVAL FOR DISPOSAL OF SURPLUS ITEMS


Mike Isbell reviewed the list of surplus items.  Board members discussed options for disposal, including a public sale on November 7, 2015.  The public sale will be advertised in the newspaper, as required by law.  
MOTION: That the Board declare the listed items as surplus and authorize disposal of such, as
outlined in policy and recommended by the Superintendent. 

MOTION:   Mr. Angle
SECOND:  Mr. Truett   

ROLL CALL VOTE:   Unanimous

 

(16-112) APPROVAL OF BUS FUEL MILEAGE REIMBURSEMENT RATE

Based on current fuel expectations for buses, Mr. Isbell recommended that the mileage reimbursement remain $1.25/mile for use of Alleghany County School buses effective for the 2015-2016 school year. This rate has remained unchanged since the 2012-2013 school year.  Mr. Isbell completed the calculations and the total per-mile operating cost for a bus is currently $0.89.  This rate does fluctuate with the cost of fuel, parts, and labor.

MOTION: That the Board approve the bus mileage reimbursement rate of $1.25 per mile, as presented. 

MOTION:   Mr. Wright
SECOND:  Mrs. Kerns   
ROLL CALL VOTE:  Unanimous

 

(16-113) CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT AND OPERATIONAL MAINTENANCE UPDATE

Board members were provided the work orders in their agenda packet.   Mr. Isbell reviewed the reports.   

 

(16-114) CONSIDER SUBMISSION OF APPLICATION TO PARTICIPATE IN THE NEW TECH NETWORK”

Mr. Kotulka explained that The New Tech Network is a program that transforms schools into innovative learning environments.  The project based learning approach engages students with dynamic, rigorous curriculum.  The administration requested approval from the Board to submit a joint application with Covington City School to begin the preliminary work to implement a New Tech Academy.  The application is non-binding but is necessary to begin the process of planning with the New Tech Network team.

MOTION: That the Board approve the submission of a non-binding joint application to participate in the New Tech Network, as presented. 

MOTION:   Mr. Angle
SECOND:  Mr. Lane   
ROLL CALL VOTE:  Unanimous

 

(16-115) SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT UPDATE

Jan Hobbs presented the school improvement update.  She explained that administrators from Clifton Middle School and Mountain View Elementary School, along with division level personnel, have attended two of five state led trainings for school improvement.  The emphasis this year is on formative assessments.  This analysis will be an ongoing process, she noted.

 

(16-116) ON-TIME GRADUATION REPORT

Ms. Hobbs presented the report.  A cohort group is students who began school as ninth graders during the 2011-2012 school year and graduated within 4 years.  On Time Graduation Rate Graduates are defined as students who earn Advanced Studies, Standard, Modified Standard, Special and General Achievement Diplomas. The state OGR rate is 90.5%.  Alleghany High School had 88.7% of the 231 students graduate on time compared to 86.3% last year.  The dropout rate for the state is 5.2%.  Alleghany High School had a dropout rate of 5.6% compared to 7.3%.  A Graduation Completion Index (GCI) of at least 85% is required for full accreditation.  Alleghany High School’s Graduation Completion Index is 91.51% compared to 89.95% last year.  The Federal Graduation Indicator includes students who earned a Standard or Advanced Studies Diploma.  The benchmark is 80%.  Alleghany High School had a rate of 81.7% compared to 80.28% last year.

 

(16-117) STUDENT RETENTION INFORMATION


As requested at a previous meeting, Ms. Hobbs presented the student retention information.

 

(16-118) DISCUSSION OF COMPREHENSIVE IMPROVEMENT PLAN


Mr. Kotulka presented the Draft Five Year Comprehensive Plan for Alleghany County Public Schools.  The draft includes various refinements based on continued input offered by the staff and advisory committees.  The Plan is posted on the division website through November 15, 2015, making it available for public review and input.  A School Board work session will be held on November 11 to review the Plan.  The Board will be asked to consider final adoption of the Plan during its meeting on December 14, 2015.  Once approved, the Plan will be made effective as of January 1, 2016.

 

(16-119) DISCUSSION OF FIVE-YEAR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PLAN


Mr. Kotulka presented the Draft Five Year Capital Improvement Plan for Alleghany County Public Schools.  The draft includes various refinements based on continued input offered by the staff and advisory committees.  The Plan is posted on the division website through November 15, 2015, making it available for public review and input.  A School Board work session will be held November 11 to review the Plan.  The Board will be asked to consider final adoption of the Plan during its meeting on December 14, 2015.  Once approved, the Plan will be made effective as of January 1, 2016.

 

POLICY REVISIONS:

(16-120) DISCUSSION OF POLICY BDDH/KD, “PUBLIC PARTICIPATION AT SCHOOL BOARD MEETINGS AND POLICY BDDH-R/KD-R, “REGULATIONS PERTAINING TO PUBLIC PARTICIPATION AT SCHOOL BOARD MEETINGS

Policy BDDH/KD and Policy BDDH-R/KD-R were discussed.  The Board will consider approval of these policies at the next regular meeting.

 

(16-121) CONSIDER APPROVAL OF POLICY JFCD, “WEAPONS IN SCHOOL”

This item was changed from an action item to an information item at the start of the meeting.  Board members were given a draft revised policy and draft regulation to review and will be asked to consider their approval at the next regular meeting. 

 

(16-122) COMMUNICATIONS

This information was provided for information purposes.


a. JRTC monthly report

b. Classified Advisory Committee

c. Minority Advisory Committee

d. Parent Advisory Committee

e. Teacher Advisory Committee

 

 

OTHER BUSINESS

(16-123) DISCUSSION OF DRAFT PROPOSAL FOR JOINT SCHOOLS

Mr. Kotulka presented a draft proposal for joint schools.  The proposal included items such as governance, equalization of salaries, transportation, maintenance, staffing, superintendent, Alleghany High School, Covington High School, Covington City Football field, shared programs and positions, funding and budget, and capital improvement and major repairs to buildings.

 

CLOSED SESSION

(16-124) CODE OF VIRGINIA: PERSONNEL MATTERS 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. Truett

SECOND: Mr. Angle

ROLL CALL VOTE: Mr. Angle - YES

Mrs. Kerns - YES

Mr. Lane - YES

Mr. Persinger - YES

Mr. Truett - YES

Mr. Tucker - YES

Mr. Wright - YES





7 -YES 0 - ABSENT 0 - NO

Time: 7:53 p.m.

*Mr. Angle departed the meeting at 8:15 p.m.

MOTION: That the School Board return to open session from closed session.

MOTION: Mrs. Kerns

SECOND: Mr. Truett

ROLL CALL VOTE: Mr. Angle - ABSENT

Mrs. Kerns - YES

Mr. Lane - YES

Mr. Persinger - YES

Mr. Truett - YES

Mr. Tucker - YES

Mr. Wright - YES





6 -YES 1 - ABSENT 0 - NO

Time: 8:20 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: Mrs. Kerns

SECOND: Mr. Truett

ROLL CALL VOTE: Mr. Angle - ABSENT


Mrs. Kerns - YES


Mr. Lane - YES


Mr. Persinger - YES


Mr. Truett - YES


Mr. Tucker - YES


Mr. Wright - YES







6 -YES 1 - ABSENT 0 - NO


Time: 8:21p.m.

                                    

___________________________________          ________________________________

Chairman, Alleghany County School Board                     Clerk

 

PERSONNEL

(16-125)PERSONNEL ACTIONS

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

MOTION: Mrs. Kerns

SECOND: Mr. Wright

ROLL CALL VOTE: Mr. Angle - ABSENT

Mrs. Kerns - YES

Mr. Lane - YES

Mr. Persinger - NO

Mr. Truett - YES

Mr. Tucker - YES

Mr. Wright - YES





5 -YES 1 - ABSENT 1 - NO

 

ADJOURNMENT

MOTION: That the October 19, 2015 meeting of the Alleghany County School Board be adjourned.

MOTION: Mrs. Kerns    

TIME: 8:22 p.m.

___________________________________       ________________________________

Chairman, Alleghany County School Board                           Clerk