Minutes of the December 14, 2009 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

Chairperson Choate 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. Coulthard, seconded by Mrs. Williams, 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, student issues as authorized by § 2.2-3711(A)(2) of the Code of Virginia, and probable litigation as authorized by § 2.2-3711(A)(7) of the Code of Virginia.

On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, 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: move item IX. D. Consider action on closed session items to item IX. E.; move item IX. E. Adjourn to item IX. F.; and make item IX. D. Consider approving Race to the Top Memorandum of Understanding.

CONSENT AGENDA

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

PRESENTATIONS/RECOGNITIONS

Chilhowie Elementary School had the highest attendance percentage in the elementary category for the month of November. Sanders Henderson, Assistant Principal of Chilhowie Elementary School, introduced Alex Adams, a third grader, for having perfect attendance. They 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. Mike Davidson, Principal of Chilhowie Middle School, reported on the Fuel Up to Play Program. Chilhowie Middle School is 1st in the state and 20th in the nation. He introduced Elisha Untiedt, an eighth grader, for being accepted to the House of Delegates Page Program. They received a certificate and will be retaining the flag from last month.

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 Kayla Hayden, a twelfth grader, for being a member of the chorus and achieving all-district in chorus. They received a certificate and will be retaining the flag from last month.

Marion Intermediate School had the most improved attendance percentage for the month of November. Steve Miller, Principal of Marion Intermediate School, introduced Olivia VanHoy, a fifth grader, for having perfect attendance since she started school. They received a certificate and a flag to display at the school.

Brad Haga, Interim Assistant Principal of Marion Senior High School, introduced the school's drama teacher Todd Necessary. Mr. Necessary recognized Callyia Collins, Emily Long, and Sam Taylor on their accomplishments. Brooke Davis was not able to be present.

Dr. Robinson shared an article that was published in the Jobs for Virginia Graduates state newsletter about Smyth County Schools JVG Program.

Dr. Robinson shared information and the school division's appreciation for the Smyth County Masonic Lodge's donation of United States flags that flew over Mount Vernon and a portrait of George Washington for each school and the central office.

Mr. Choate presented Mr. Doane with a plaque for his service as a school board member.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Stephen Marion, President of the Smyth County Education Association, presented budget considerations on behalf of employees.

SUPERINTENDENT'S REPORT

Dr. Cassell reviewed revenue, expenditure, and cash flow figures for the month of November 2009, fiscal year 2009-2010.

Dr. Cassell reviewed the fiscal year 2009 Smyth County Audit completed by Brown, Edwards, and Company.

Dr. Cassell explained the new Fixed Asset Report for Smyth County Schools.

Dr. Cassell shared information about our GASB 45 report.

Dr. Robinson reviewed a new substitute handbook for Smyth County Schools.

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

Brandon Ratliff, Principal of Marion Middle School, reported on that school's Annual School Improvement Plan.

Damon Mazoff, Principal of Northwood Middle School, reported on that school's Annual School Improvement Plan.

Gary Roberts, Principal of Sugar Grove Combined School, reported on that school's Annual School Improvement Plan.

Dr. Robinson shared information regarding the implementation plan for an Economics and Personal Finance course.

DISCUSSION TOPICS

The Board discussed the VSBA Orientation for New School Board Members to be held February 18, 2010, at the Richmond Marriott in Richmond, Virginia.

The Board discussed the VSBA Legislative Conference to be held February 18-19, 2010, at the Richmond Marriott in Richmond, Virginia.

QUESTIONS FROM BOARD MEMBERS

Mrs. Williams requested an update on paperless agendas. Dr. Robinson will have information regarding this at the retreat to be held for the board.

Mrs. Williams inquired about the Smoking Policy brought before the Board. Dr. Robinson is working on a revised policy to bring back to a future meeting.

Mrs. Williams inquired about the roof at Marion Senior High School. Dr. Robinson reported that Marion Roofing had repaired the roof. Mr. Hambrick requested a letter be sent to Marion Roofing thanking them for their work.

Mr. Hambrick reported on the meeting he attended in Williamsburg regarding the Nuts and Bolts of FERPA Requests, Subpoenas and FOIA Requests.

Mr. Hambrick requested an update on how the school division was handling diversity training and our bully prevention program. Dr. Robinson reported that diversity/sensitivity training has been implemented with all new employees as part of the orientation process. In addition, many staff have been a part of our bully prevention training which focuses on acceptance and understanding that all students are different and those differences should be respected. Students in elementary schools have training in these areas through classroom guidance. At the middle school level this is done through the Olweus Bully Prevention program and at Marion Middle School through their effective school-wide discipline efforts. At our high schools, Keith Deltano spoke to students last February about being more accepting of students who are different than themselves and is scheduled to do so again this February.

ACTION ITEMS–MOTION REQUIRED

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

On motion by Mr. Catron, seconded by Ms. Sneed, 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 Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Catron, by 7-0 vote, the policies were deleted.

On motion by Mr. Coulthard, seconded by Mrs. Williams, by 7-0 vote, the Board approved the bid and payment of the invoice for two (2) 2008 Chevrolet Uplanders from Marion Automotive Group in the amount of $12,900.00 each.

The Board considered approving bids for cafeteria equipment. On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mrs. Williams, by 7-0 vote, bids from Douglas Equipment and Bristol Supply were approved as presented.

The Board considered approving a bid from P.I.W., Inc., in the amount of $14,792.00 for the installation of carpet in the libraries at Chilhowie High School and Chilhowie Middle School. On motion by Mr. Doane, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, by 7-0 vote, this was approved.

The Board considered approving the Race to the Top Memorandum of Understanding. Mr. Hambrick made the motion to give the superintendent the authority to use his discretion after the Board's discussion and discussion with Chairman Choate to proceed with the Memorandum of Understanding. Mr. Coulthard seconded the motion. The motion passed by 6-1 vote.

CLOSED SESSION ITEMS

On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, by 7-0 vote, the Board accepted the retirement of Shirley Doane as cafeteria worker at Chilhowie High/Chilhowie Middle Schools.

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 approved up to a total of twelve work weeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period of Family Medical Leave for the following:

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

On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, by 7-0 vote, the Board approved a change from 5 hours per day to 5.5 hours per day for Christina Hankins a cafeteria worker at Chilhowie High/Chilhowie Middle Schools.

ADJOURN

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