Minutes of the February 13th, 2006 meeting of the Smyth County School Board, as approved by the School Board at its March 13th, 2006 meeting

Marion, Virginia
February 13, 2006

The Smyth County School Board met today with the following members present: Jesse Choate, Laura Hall, Roger Nipper, Susan Sneed, and Jerry Catron.

On motion by Mr. Catron, seconded by Mr. Nipper, the board voted unanimously to approve the minutes from the January 9, 2006, and January 17, 2006, school board meetings as presented.

On motion by Mr. Nipper, seconded by Ms. Sneed, the board voted unanimously to approve the agenda with the following changes: delete from item 14. - Consider transfer of $160,000.00 from 61000 Category of budget to 64000 Category to cover increased heating fuel costs; change item 14. to read - Consider a line item transfer of $5,000.00 in the 65000 Category from line item 9001 to 9000; add to item 22. Other items of interest - a. Tuesday, February 21, 2006, is scheduled for a school board budget planning meeting at 5:00 P.M.; and b. Laura Hall to speak on the upcoming Legislative Conference to be held in Richmond on February 16-17, 2006.

Pursuant to 2.2-3711 of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, on motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Nipper, the board voted unanimously to convene a closed meeting for the purpose of discussing the following specific matters: personnel issues as authorized by 2.2-3711(A)(1) of the Code of Virginia.

On motion by Mr. Nipper, seconded by Ms. Sneed, the board voted unanimously to return to the open 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: 5 Nays: 0

Mr. Doane and Mrs. Clark were absent.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Catron, the board voted unanimously to accept the resignation from Barbara Cannon as a special education aide at Saltville Elementary School and accept the resignation from Melvin Holman as a bus driver at Chilhowie Elementary School.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Ms. Sneed, the board voted unanimously to hire the following as recommended by the superintendent:

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Catron, the board voted unanimously to hire Jamison C. Smith as a county-wide technology technician in a new position as recommended by the superintendent.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Catron, the board voted unanimously to approve a request for twelve weeks of Family Medical Leave for Robert Hutton, a bus driver at Sugar Grove; approve a request for twelve weeks of Family Medical Leave for Melissa Jones, an instructional aide at Atkins Elementary School; and approve a request for three extra days of Family Medical Leave for Heather Hayden, a teacher at Marion Primary School.

Mr. Sullivan acknowledged that February is "Virginia School Board Appreciation Month." On behalf of the Virginia School Boards' Association, Certificates of Appreciation were presented to each board member for their commitment and service to the children of the Commonwealth of Virginia as a school board member. Mr. Choate shared with the board thank-you cards and posters made by students at Saltville Elementary School for board members.

Mr. Choate acknowledged that the third week in February is "VSBA School Board Clerk Appreciation Week." Mr. Choate presented a Certificate of Recognition to Ms. Doyle for her dedicated work and service to Smyth County schools. On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Nipper, the board voted unanimously to officially designate the third week in February as "School Board Clerk Appreciation Week' and to adopt the VSBA proclamation.

Northwood High School had the most improved attendance percentage for the month of January. Steve Johnston, Principal of Northwood High School, introduced Matt Prater, an eleventh grader, for being the first in his class, having a 4.2 Grade Point Average, and scoring 2140 on his PSAT which puts him in the 98th percentile. The school received a certificate and a flag to fly at the school.

Marion Intermediate School had the highest attendance percentage in the elementary category for the month of January. Steve Miller, Principal of Marion Intermediate School, introduced Katherine McCarty, a fourth grader, for having perfect attendance for the past two years. The school received a certificate and a flag to fly at the school.

Kyle Rhodes, Principal of Marion Middle School, introduced Gray Wilson, an eighth grader, and Lauren Wilson, a sixth grader, for having perfect attendance. Marion Middle School had the highest attendance percentage in the middle school category. The school received a certificate and will be retaining the flag from last month.

Chilhowie High School had the highest attendance in the high school category. Steve Reedy, Principal of Chilhowie High School, was present to accept the certificate. The school will be retaining the flag from last month.

There were no other students or staff present to be recognized for outstanding accomplishments.

Mr. Sullivan reviewed the 2005-2006 school calendar and days missed due to inclement weather. As of February 13, 2006, Smyth County had missed five (5) days of school. The first ten (10) days of school missed to be made up would be added to the end of the school calendar.

Mr. Choate opened the public hearing to receive input on the 2006-2007 school board budget.

Betty Webb, Co-President of the Smyth County Education Association, presented requests on behalf of teachers and support staff regarding salaries and employee benefits. Ann Cunningham, Principal of Marion Primary School, presented requests on behalf of administrators regarding salary scales and benefits.

James Box, a bus driver, presented salary and employee benefit requests for the bus drivers.

Mr. Choate thanked the groups for coming and indicated all requests for all employees would be referred to the budget committee for study. The public hearing was then closed.

During citizens' time, Joanne Groseclose, a teacher at Marion Intermediate School, informed the board that Thursday, March 2, 2006, is designated as "Read Across America" day. This is an annual event to promote reading. On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Catron, the board voted unanimously to support "Read Across America" day and for each school to have an activity appropriate to its grade level.

Elizabeth Roberts, Business Decision Support Analyst, reviewed revenue, expenditures, and cash flow figures through the month of January, 2006.

The board heard a report on "Career Pathways" as presented by Mr. John Williams, President Ed-Connect, Inc.

The board considered a proposal to participate in a readiness study and begin the process to achieve District Accreditation through SACS as presented by Dr. Mike Robinson, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction. On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Catron, the board voted unanimously to approve this proposal.

The board considered adoption of Health Books K-10 as presented by Dr. Mike Robinson. On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Catron, the board voted unanimously to approve the adoption of Health Books K-10 in the amount of $54,106.94 as presented and recommended by Dr. Robinson.

The board considered an agreement with Konica/Minolta for copiers/printers as presented by Terry Hawthorne, Director of Technology. On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Catron, the board voted unanimously to allow the school board and schools to participate in this contract on an individual basis for individual products. Mr. Hawthorne is also to review this contract before signing.

The board considered requests from Wytheville Community College and Virginia Highlands Community College for a school bus to be used in their respective Summer Regional Governor's Schools on designated days in June and July, 2006. On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Nipper, the board voted unanimously to approve these requests.

The board considered a request for the use of one school bus by Virginia Highlands Community College Educational Talent Search Program to transport Chilhowie Middle School and Northwood Middle School students to the University of Tennessee on Saturday, March 11, 2006. On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Catron, the board voted unanimously to approve this request.

The board considered bids on bleacher purchases/upgrades for Marion Intermediate School, Chilhowie High School Stadium, and Northwood High School Stadium as presented by Sam Musick, Director of Maintenance and Transportation. On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Nipper, the board voted unanimously to accept the bid from J. H. Pence Company, Blacksburg, Virginia, in the amount of $61,400.00 for bleachers at Marion Intermediate School. A decision on bleacher upgrades for Chilhowie High School Stadium and Northwood High School Stadium was tabled for a future board meeting since there is a possibility of a donor for these projects.

Sam Musick updated the board on other building/maintenance projects.

The board considered a line item transfer of $5,000.00 in the 65000 Category from line item 9001 to 9000. On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Nipper, the board voted unanimously to approve this transfer.

The board heard a report from the Transportation Committee which met on Wednesday, February 8, 2006, at Saltville Elementary School.

Rick Blevins, Director of Human Resources and Auxiliary Services, presented a policy recommendation for Smyth County Schools Breakfast/Lunch Charge Policies and a policy revision to 5.09 Part-Time Employee Classification for consideration from the board. On motion by Mr. Catron, seconded by Ms. Sneed, the board voted to approve the policy recommendation for Smyth County Schools Breakfast/Lunch Charge Policies as presented. The motion passed with three (3) ayes and two (2) nays. On motion by Mr. Catron, seconded by Mr. Nipper, the board voted unanimously to approve a policy revision to 5.09 Part-Time Employment as presented.

The board considered adoption of updated "Procedure for Adjusting Grievances" approved by VDOE and effective May 2, 2005, as presented by Rick Blevins. On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Catron, the board voted unanimously to approve this updated "Procedure for Adjusting Grievances."

The board considered offering two new courses, Criminal Justice and Culinary Arts, at Smyth Career and Technology Center beginning with school year 2006-2007 as presented by Ed Worley, Principal of Smyth Career and Technology Center. On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Nipper, the board voted unanimously to approve the two new courses.

The board considered the annual request of a Waiver of Pre-Labor Day opening requirements for school year 2006-2007. On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Nipper, the board voted unanimously to approve this request.

The board received a preliminary report on the latest SOL scores for Smyth County High Schools as presented by Dr. Mike Robinson.

On motion by Mr. Nipper, seconded by Ms. Sneed, the board voted unanimously to approve the January payroll, paid January 31, 2006, checks #51779-51937.

On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Nipper, the board voted unanimously to approve and pay current invoices in the amount of $633,158.75 from the County School Operating Fund, the same to be listed in the warrant register.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Ms. Sneed, the board voted unanimously to approve and pay current invoices from the County School Debt and Capital Outlay Fund, as follows, the same to be listed in the warrant register:

The Bank of Marion Wire Transfers 45.00 Treasurer of Virginia Marion Senior High School 113,728.00 Treasurer of Virginia Marion Middle School 34,832.18 TOTAL: $148,605.18

On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mrs. Hall, the board voted unanimously to approve invoices for utility payments made prior to the February 13, 2006, school board meeting in the amount of $130,478.53 from the County School Operating Fund, the same to be listed in the January warrant register.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Nipper, the board voted unanimously to approve payments for textbooks to publishers in the amount of $3,387.09 for the month of January, 2006.

Mr. Sullivan reminded the board of the school board budget planning meeting scheduled for Tuesday, February 21, 2006, at 5:00 P.M., at the school board office board meeting room.

Laura Hall spoke on the upcoming Legislative Conference to be held in Richmond on February 16-17, 2006. She encouraged all board members to attend.

On motion by Mr. Catron, seconded by Mrs. Hall, the board voted unanimously to adjourn the meeting.