Minutes of the December 8, 2008 Smyth County School Board Meeting

The Smyth County School Board met today in a regular meeting at 5:00 P.M., in the board meeting room, 121 Bagley Circle, Suite 300, Marion, Virginia. Due to a technical problem with the recording equipment, an audio record of this meeting is not available.

CALL TO ORDER

Chairperson Hall called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone.

The roll was called by the clerk, and all members were present.

CLOSED SESSION

Pursuant to § 2.2-3711 of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, on motion by Mr. Choate, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, by 7-0 vote, a closed meeting was declared for the purpose of discussing the following: personnel issues as authorized by § 2.2-3711(A)(1) of the Code of Virginia.

On motion by Mr. Coulthard, seconded by Ms. Sneed, by 7-0 vote, closed session ended.

CERTIFICATION OF CLOSED MEETING

WHEREAS, the Smyth County School Board has convened a closed meeting on this date pursuant to an affirmative-recorded vote in accordance with the provision of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act; and

WHEREAS, § 2.2-3712(D) of the Code of Virginia requires a certification by this school board that such closed meeting was conducted in conformity with Virginia Law:

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Smyth County School Board, by roll call, hereby certifies that, to the best of each member's knowledge (i) only public business matters lawfully exempted from open meeting requirements by Virginia Law were discussed and (ii) only such public business as were identified in the motion by which the closed meeting was convened were heard, discussed, or considered.

VOTE: Ayes: 7, Nays: 0.

On motion by Mr. Doane, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, the agenda was removed from the consent agenda and amended as follows: move item IX. D. Consider action on Closed Session items to item IX. E.; move item IX. E. Adjourn to item IX. F.; and add item IX. D. Consider approving equipment listed on handout as surplus.

CONSENT AGENDA

On motion by Mr. Catron, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, by 7-0 vote, the following was approved.

PRESENTATIONS/RECOGNITIONS

Marion Intermediate School had the highest attendance percentage in the elementary category for the month of November. Mary Stump, a third grade teacher at Marion Intermediate School, introduced Timmy Charapich, a third grader, for having good attendance. They received a certificate and will be retaining the flag from last month.

Marion Middle School had the highest attendance percentage in the middle school category for the month of November. Brandon Ratliff, Principal of Marion Middle School, introduced Erika Barton, an eighth grader, for having perfect attendance. They received a certificate and the flag to display at the school.

Chilhowie High School had the highest attendance percentage in the high school category for the month of November. Mike Sturgill, Principal of Chilhowie High School, introduced Kayla Martin, a twelfth grader, for having perfect attendance. They received a certificate and will be retaining the flag from last month.

Dr. Robinson congratulated Marion Intermediate School's First Lego League team for placing fifth in the regional competition.

Dr. Robinson recognized Teresa Hash, a teacher at Marion Intermediate School, for being a semifinalist for the annual McGlothlin Awards for Teaching Excellence.

Mrs. Hall congratulated Marion Middle School and Marion Senior High School on the performance of their drama students at recent competitions.

PUBLIC COMMENT

No citizens spoke during public comment.

SUPERINTENDENT'S REPORT

Dr. Cassell reviewed revenue, expenditures, and cash flow figures for the month of November 2008, fiscal year 2008-2009.

Dr. Cassell reviewed the Secure Rural Schools Act. The Smyth County Board of Supervisors chose the state payment option for receiving these funds. This option should result in increased federal funds for the school board budget.

Mike Sturgill, Principal of Chilhowie High School, reported on that school's Annual School Improvement Plan.

Danny Newman, Principal of Marion Senior High School, reported on that school's Annual School Improvement Plan.

Stan Dunham, Principal of Northwood High School, reported on that school's Annual School Improvement Plan.

Sam McKinney, Principal of Smyth Career and Technology Center, reported on that school's Annual School Improvement Plan.

Dr. Robinson reviewed a Pandemic Flu Response Plan for Smyth County Schools.

DISCUSSION TOPICS

The Board discussed the VSBA Legislative Conference to be held February 12-13, 2009, at the Richmond Marriott, Richmond, Virginia. Mrs. Hall encouraged Board members to attend if possible so they could be seen and heard during these crucial budget times.

The Board made plans for the Legislative Luncheon to be held at noon on Thursday, December 11, 2008, at the Smyth Career & Technology Center.

Dr. Robinson discussed revenue projections and possible budget reductions for fiscal years 2009 and 2010.

Dr. Robinson reported on the three community meetings which were held to gather input about the Facility Master Plan. Everyone who spoke at the various meetings seemed to support some facility improvement project. Three facility improvements were consistently presented during the meetings. These included:

  1. Build a new elementary school in the Marion area, renovate Marion Primary School, and make both schools K-5;
  2. Something must be done to address classroom space at Rich Valley Elementary School; and
  3. Something must be done to improve school and athletic facilities at the high school level.

Dr. Robinson will present a plan at the January board meeting for consideration.

QUESTIONS FROM BOARD MEMBERS

Susan Sneed congratulated Steve Wright, a teacher at Marion Senior High School, for completing the National Board Certification process.

Sam Hambrick inquired about a representative being present at a community meeting to be held on Tuesday, December 9, 2008, at 10:00 A.M. Dr. Robinson will be in attendance.

ACTION ITEMS - MOTION REQUIRED

The Board considered the following policies for approval (second reading):

On motion by Mr. Choate, seconded by Mr. Catron, by 7-0 vote, the policies were approved.

The Board considered policy additions and/or changes for the following (first reading):

The Board considered deleting the following policies:

On motion by Mr. Choate, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, by 7-0 vote, the policies were deleted.

The Board considered approving the 2008-2009 addendum to the Six-Year Technology Plan. On motion by Mr. Choate, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, by 7-0 vote, this was approved.

The Board considered approving equipment listed in handout as surplus. On motion by Mr. Choate, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, by 7-0 vote, this was approved.

CLOSED SESSION ITEMS

On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, by 7-0 vote, the Board accepted the following resignations:

On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, by 7-0 vote, the Board accepted the retirement of Bobbie Caudill as bus driver.

On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, by 7-0 vote, the Board hired the following:

On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, by 7-0 vote, the Board approved up to a total of twelve work weeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period of Family Medical Leave for Sherry Greer, teacher at the Southwestern Virginia Mental Health Institute.

On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, by 7-0 vote, the Board accepted the resignation of Matt Hanshew as head boys' basketball coach at Marion Senior High School.

On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, by 7-0 vote, the Board hired the following in coaching positions:

On motion by Mr. Catron, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, by 7-0 vote, the meeting was adjourned.