Minutes of the December 10, 2007 Smyth County School Meeting

The Smyth County School Board met today in a regular meeting at 4:00 P.M., in the board meeting room, 121 Bagley Circle, Suite, 300, Marion, Virginia.

CALL TO ORDER

Chairperson Hall called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone.

The roll was called by the clerk, and the following members were present: Laura Hall, Roger Nipper, Jesse Choate, Susan Sneed, Charles Doane, and Jerry Catron. Kimberly Clark arrived at 4:10 P.M.

WORK SESSION

Kyle Rhodes, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, presented a PowerPoint presentation on the District Accreditation Process. He shared Quality Assurance Review (QAR team) interview questions for board members, and the school board discussed Smyth County Schools' mission, vision, and belief statements.

CLOSED SESSION

Pursuant to § 2.2-3711 of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, on motion by Mr. Nipper, seconded by Ms. Sneed, 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. Doane, seconded by Mr. Nipper, 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.

The agenda was removed from the consent agenda and amended as follows: add item VIII. D. Legislative lunch; and add item VIII. E. Hotel reservations for the 2008 VSBA Annual Convention in Williamsburg, Virginia.

CONSENT AGENDA

On motion by Mrs. Clark, seconded by Ms. Sneed, by 7-0 vote, the following was approved.

INFORMATIONAL REPORTS

The board received copies of the 2008 VASS Legislative Priorities.

The board received copies of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, Virginia Public Records Act, and the Virginia State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act.

The board received information on the 2008 Conflict of Interest Filing.

PRESENTATIONS/RECOGNITIONS

Marion Intermediate School had the highest attendance percentage in the elementary category for the month of November. Steve Miller, Principal of Marion Intermediate School, introduced Ethan Cress, a fifth grader, for having perfect attendance this year. They received a certificate and will be retaining the flag from last month.

Chilhowie Middle School had the highest attendance percentage in the middle school category for the month of November. Mike Davidson, Principal of Chilhowie Middle School, introduced Conner Hayden, an eighth grader, for having perfect attendance and for being the SCA President. Conner told the board about the SCA at Chilhowie Middle School and some of their recent activities. They received a certificate and the flag to fly at the school.

Chilhowie High School had the highest attendance percentage in the high school category for the month of November. Sam Blevins, Assistant Principal of Chilhowie High School, introduced Emily Doane, a twelfth grader, and Aaron Lundy, a twelfth grader, for having perfect attendance and for being offered scholarships to continue their athletic careers in college. They received a certificate and will be retaining the flag from last month.

Charles Doane had to leave at 6:10 P.M.

Dr. Robinson recognized Marion Senior High School for being recognized by U.S. News &World Report in its 2008 Best High Schools issue. The school earned a Bronze Award and were one of forty-one high schools in Virginia to be recognized.

Dr. Robinson recognized two teachers from Marion Middle School, Karen Blevins and Toni Grubb, for doubling the average achievement gain of the state in middle school mathematics.

Laura Hall presented plaques to Roger Nipper and Kimberly Clark for their dedicated service to the school board and school division. Both members expressed their thanks.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Jane Hale, a parent, expressed her concerns about racism in the schools, primarily inappropriate student comments and actions.

SUPERINTENDENT'S REPORT

Dr. Jeff Cassell, Director of Operations and Finance, reviewed revenue, expenditures, and cash flow figures for the month of November, 2007, fiscal year 2007-2008.

Tammy Johnson, Principal of Rich Valley Elementary School, reported on that school's Annual School Improvement Plan.

Brenda Boone, Principal of Saltville Elementary School, reported on that school's Annual School Improvement Plan.

Dr. Jeff Comer, Principal of Northwood Middle School, reported on that school's Annual School Improvement Plan.

Dr. Robinson updated the board on projects funded by additional revenue provided by the Smyth County Board of Supervisors.

DISCUSSION TOPICS

The board discussed plans for attending the VSBA Legislative Conference at the Richmond Marriott on February 7-8, 2008, and the Orientation for School Board Chairs/Vice-Chairs or Orientation for New Board Members and Superintendents at the Richmond Marriott on February 7, 2008.

Dr. Robinson discussed the fiscal year 2009 budget. He reported that the Governor's Proposed Budget would be presented December 19, 2007.

Dr. Robinson reminded the board that there will be two meetings in January. The first will be held on January 7, 2008. The other meeting will be held on Monday, January 21, 2008. A Public Hearing on the 2008-2009 Annual School Board budget will be held at the January 21, 2008, meeting. The board still plans to attend Marion Middle School for lunch on Wednesday, January 9, 2008.

Dr. Robinson updated the board on the facility study. The board received copies of dates and times for Public Charrettes on the future facility needs of Smyth County Schools.

The board made plans for a Legislative Lunch to be held on Monday, December 17, 2007, at noon, at the Smyth Career & Technology Center.

The board discussed hotel reservations for the 2008 Annual Convention to be held in Williamsburg, Virginia, on Tuesday, November 18, 2008, through Friday, November 21, 2008. The board will be staying at the Williamsburg Lodge.

QUESTIONS FROM BOARD MEMBERS

Laura Hall reminded everyone of upcoming plays to be held by Chilhowie Elementary School's first grade and Atkins Elementary School.

Mrs. Hall told the board that the high schools had just completed science fairs, and this past week a county-wide high school science fair was held. In addition, there is a county-wide middle school science fair in Chilhowie on Wednesday, December 12, 2008. Dr. Robinson will share the results from these science fairs with the board.

ACTION ITEMS - MOTION REQUIRED

The board considered approval of a school sign for Chilhowie Middle School as presented by Mike Davidson, Principal of Chilhowie Middle School. On motion by Mr. Catron, seconded by Mr. Nipper, by 6-0 vote, this was approved.

The board considered an update to the Smyth County Schools' High School Approved Reading List (second reading). On motion by Mr. Catron, seconded by Ms. Sneed, by 6-0 vote, this was approved.

The board considered a revision to the Student Code of Conduct: Part 7 Dangerous Objects, Firearms, Bomb Threats, Explosives, Arson (second reading). On motion by Mrs. Clark, seconded by Mr. Choate, by 6-0 vote, this was approved.

CLOSED SESSION ITEMS

On motion by Mrs. Clark, seconded by Ms. Sneed, by 6-0 vote, the board accepted the following resignations:

On motion by Mrs. Clark, seconded by Mr. Choate, by 6-0 vote, the board hired the following as recommended by the superintendent:

On motion by Mrs. Clark, seconded by Ms. Sneed, by 6-0 vote, the board approved up to twelve work weeks of unpaid Family Medical Leave during any 12-month period for Susan R. Chapman, an instructional aide at Marion Middle School, effective November 13, 2007.

On motion by Mrs. Clark, seconded by Ms. Choate, by 6-0 vote, the board hired Sidney Blankenbeckler for the Rye Valley Young Farmers & Community Open Shop.

On motion by Mrs. Clark, seconded by Ms. Sneed, by 6-0 vote, the board transferred Elizabeth Gailliot from a full-time school psychologist position to a part-time school psychologist position.

On motion by Mr. Catron, seconded by Ms. Sneed, by 6-0 vote, the meeting was adjourned.