December 9, 2013 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.

CALL TO ORDER

Chairman Choate called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone.

The roll was called by the clerk, and the following members were present: Jesse Choate, Bill Veselik, Susan Williams, Susan Sneed, Dick Ryan, and Mac Buchanan. Jerry Catron was absent.

CLOSED SESSION

Pursuant to § 2.2-3711 of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, on motion by Mr. Veselik, seconded by Mrs. Williams, by 6-0 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, discussion or consideration of admission or disciplinary matters or any other matters that would involve the disclosure of information contained in a scholastic record concerning any student of any Virginia public institution of higher education or any state school system as authorized by § 2.2-3711(A)(2) of the Code of Virginia, student exemption from compulsory attendance by reason of bona fide religious training or belief as authorized by § 22.1-254(B)(1) of the Code of Virginia, and consultation with legal counsel and briefings by staff members or consultants pertaining to actual or probable litigation, where such consultation or briefing in open meeting would adversely affect the negotiation or litigating posture of the public body as authorized by § 2.2-3711(A)(7) of the Code of Virginia.

On motion by Mr. Veselik, seconded by Mrs. Williams, by 6-0 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: 6, Nays: 0.

CONSENT AGENDA

Chairman Choate called for a moment of silence for Samantha Shupe, a seventh grade student at Northwood Middle School, who passed away over the weekend after a long illness.

CONSENT AGENDA

On motion by Mr. Veselik, seconded by Mrs. Williams, by 6-0 vote, the following was approved.

PRESENTATIONS/RECOGNITIONS

Chilhowie Elementary School had the highest attendance percentage in the elementary school category for the month of November. Sanders Henderson, Principal of Chilhowie Elementary School, introduced Sarah Blevins, a fourth grader, for having perfect attendance. The school received a certificate and the flag to display at the school.

Chilhowie Middle School had the highest attendance percentage in the middle school category for the month of November. Sam Blevins, Principal of Chilhowie Middle School, introduced Alyssa Dishman, a sixth grader, for winning the school’s Spelling Bee Contest. The school received a certificate and will be retaining the flag from last month.

Northwood High School had the highest attendance percentage in the high school category for the month of November. Stan Dunham, Principal of Northwood High, shared some of the many accomplishments of Cody Davidson, a twelfth grader at Northwood High School. Cody was unable to attend the school board meeting. The school received a certificate and will be retaining the flag from last month.

Chairman Choate presented a plaque to Susan Sneed for her service as a school board member serving the Royal Oak District and Dick Ryan for his service as school board member serving the Chilhowie District.

Tim Duncan, Principal of Northwood Middle School, introduced Jake Estridge, a sixth grader, for being selected as a good citizen for the month of November at Northwood Middle School. The other good citizen of the month for November is Jazmyne Mitchell, an eighth grader.

Marion Senior High School had the most improved attendance percentage for the month of November. Mike Davidson, Principal of Marion Senior High School, introduced Branika Scott, a twelfth grader, for receiving one of eight All-State Actor/Actress Awards from the State Theatre Festival. In addition, he shared that Daisy Sturgill, a tenth grader, received one of the eight All-State Actor/Actress Awards from the State Theatre Festival. He also introduced Anthony Bowling, a twelfth grader, and shared some of his many track accomplishments for the past two years. The school received a certificate and the flag to display at the school.

Mr. Davidson introduced Amanda Hanshew, volleyball coach at Marion Senior High School, and shared some of the volleyball team’s recent accomplishments. He also thanked Mrs. Hanshew for their efforts in raising over $3,000.00 for breast cancer awareness charities during their annual Volley for the Cure match.

Mr. Davidson introduced Lynn White, Deborah Thomas, and Dana Smythe, teachers at Marion Senior High School. They each shared information about a book they will be publishing on Smyth County members of VFW Post 4667. Each member of the post will have the opportunity to tell their story.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Cathy Smith, Vice-President of the Smyth County Education Association (SCEA), presented board members with a booklet written by Ralph Stokes entitled Chilhowie (Valley of Many Deer). She shared information about Chilhowie’s recent 100-year celebration. She thanked Ms. Sneed and Mr. Ryan for their years of service to the Smyth County School Board. In addition, she shared information about the 2014 Virginia Education Association (VEA) Legislative Agenda and Lobby Day being held on January 27, 2014.

SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT

Dr. Robinson reviewed revenue, expenditure, and cash flow figures for the month of November 2013, fiscal year 2014.

Dr. Robinson reviewed the 2014-2016 Composite Index of Local Ability-to-Pay.

Dr. Robinson shared information regarding a Cell Phone Tower Marketing Agreement.

Dr. Robinson shared information about a part-time instructional aide’s position for first grade at Sugar Grove Combined School.

Dr. Robinson provided an update on facilities.

Allen Asbury, Project Manager, provided an update on the renovation project at Marion Elementary School and the construction of Oak Point Elementary School.

DISCUSSION TOPICS

Dr. Robinson shared information about a series of webinars hosted by VSBA regarding budget and finance as they relate to public schools. The dates are December 17-19, 2013 from noon to 1:00 P.M.

Dr. Robinson shared information about the upcoming VSBA Orientation sessions to be held in Richmond, Virginia on January 28, 2014.

QUESTIONS/COMMENTS FROM BOARD MEMBERS

Mr. Ryan commented on his past four years as a member of the school board.

Ms. Sneed commented on her past nine years as a member of the school board.

Board members thanked Mr. Ryan and Ms. Sneed for all their years of service to the Board.

ACTION ITEMS–(MOTION REQUIRED)

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

On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Veselik, by 6-0 vote, the policy was approved.

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

The Board considered approving a recommendation for course name changes in the Program of Studies and a request for the Smyth Career & Technology Center to offer solar power-photovoltaic and thermal courses. On motion by Mrs. Williams, seconded by Ms. Sneed, by 6-0 vote, these were approved.

The Board considered approving the following job description:

The Board considered approving The Standard as the provider of short and long-term disability insurance for VRS Hybrid Plan employees. The Standard is the plan being promoted by VACO. On motion by Mr. Veselik, seconded by Mrs. Williams, by 6-9 vote, this was approved.

The Board considered approving a request to the Board of Supervisors for traffic improvement at the intersection of Highway 11 and Brown’s Subdivision Road. On motion by Mr. Ryan, seconded by Mr. Buchanan, by 6-0 vote, this was approved.

CLOSED SESSION ITEMS–(MOTION REQUIRED)

On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Veselik, by 6-0 vote, the Board accepted the following resignations:

On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Veselik, by 6-0 vote, the Board approved the following new hires as recommended by the superintendent:

On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Veselik, by 6-0 vote, the Board approved the following resignation in coaching/extracurricular activities:

On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Veselik, by 6-0 vote, the Board approved the following:

On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Veselik, by 6-0 vote, the Board approved the superintendent’s recommendation for religious exemption for Case # 2013-14, Case # 2013-15, Case # 2013-16, Case # 2013-17, Case # 2013-18, and Case # 2013-19.

CLOSED SESSION

Pursuant to § 2.2-3711 of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, on motion by Mr. Veselik, seconded by Mr. Buchanan, by 6-0 vote, a closed meeting was declared for the purpose of discussing the following: consultation with legal counsel and briefings by staff members or consultants pertaining to actual or probable litigation, where such consultation or briefing in open meeting would adversely affect the negotiation or litigating posture of the public body as authorized by § 2.2-3711(A)(7) of the Code of Virginia.

On motion by Mr. Veselik, seconded by Mrs. Williams, by 6-0 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: 6, Nays: 0.

ADJOURN

On motion by Mr. Veselik, seconded by Mr. Buchanan, by 6-0 vote, the meeting was adjourned.