Minutes of the February 14th, 2005 meeting of the Smyth County School Board, as approved by the School Board at its March 14th, 2005 meeting

Marion, Virginia
February 14, 2005

The Smyth County School Board met today with the following members present: Laura Hall, Roger Nipper, Susan Sneed, Charles Doane, and Jerry Catron. Mr. Catron, Vice-chairman, presided.

On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Nipper, the board voted unanimously to approve the minutes from the January 10, 2005, and January 20, 2005, meetings as presented.

On motion by Mr. Nipper, seconded by Mrs. Hall, the board voted unanimously to approve the agenda after adding 7.b. Update on the chimney at Chilhowie High School from Sam Musick, Director of Maintenance and Transportation; and 16. Other items of interest - a. Inform the board about a Special Education Transition Grant from Susan Sneed.

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. Catherine Smith, Co-president of the Smyth County Education Association, thanked the board for their efforts and service.

Mr. Catron acknowledged that the third week in February is "VSBA School Board Clerk Appreciation Week." Mr. Sullivan 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 Ms. Sneed, the board voted unanimously to officially designate the third week in February as "School Board Clerk Appreciation Week" and to adopt the VSBA proclamation.

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 Dray Speer, a fifth grader, for having perfect attendance. The school received a certificate and will be retaining the flag from last month.

Kyle Rhodes, Principal of Marion Middle School, introduced Chris Gore and Ryan Hester 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 percentage in the high school category. Steve Reedy, Principal of Chilhowie High School, introduced Will Blevins and Ryan Wheeler, seniors, for being finalists in the Lee-Jackson Scholarship Essay contest. The school received a certificate and will be retaining the flag from last month.

Northwood Middle School had the most improved attendance percentage for the month of January. Betty Webb, Guidance Counselor, accepted the certificate and flag on behalf of the students and faculty.

Mr. Sullivan reviewed the 2004-2005 school calendar and days missed due to inclement weather. As of February 14, 2005, Smyth County had missed four days of school.

Mr. Catron opened the public hearing to receive recommendations for the 2005-2006 school board budget.

Jane Leaman, Administrative Assistant at Atkins Elementary School, presented salary and pay scale requests for administrative assistants.

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

Catherine Smith, Co-President of the Smyth County Education Association, presented requests on behalf of teachers and administrators regarding salary and employee benefits.

Brenda Hopkins, a teacher at Marion Primary School, asked for the board to consider teachers at the top of the pay scale in next year's budget.

Mr. Catron 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.

Catherine Smith, Co-President of the Smyth County Education Association, informed the board that March 2, 2005, is designated as "Read Across America" day. English teachers will have hats on sale for $5.00 each.

Mr. Sullivan reviewed revenue, expenditures, and cash flow figures through the month of January, 2005.

The board considered bids for the purchase of desks, chairs, and tables for Marion Primary School. On motion by Mr. Doane, seconded by Mrs. Hall, the board voted unanimously to approve the lowest bid from J. H. Pence, Co., Blacksburg, Virginia, in the amount of $27,511.00 and for the school board to advance $15,000.00 from the County School Operating Fund Budget for help in purchasing these items as recommended by Sam Musick, Director of Maintenance and Transportation.

Sam Musick, Director of Maintenance and Transportation, updated the board on repair of the chimney at Chilhowie High School.

Rick Blevins, Director of Human Resources and Auxiliary Services, reported on the Retirement Bridge Plan for the 2005-2006 school year. On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Nipper, the board voted unanimously to continue the Retirement Bridge Plan for the 2005-2006 school year as the final year of this program.

Rick Blevins, Director of Human Resources and Auxiliary Services, presented policy recommendations for maternity leave. On motion by Mr. Doane, seconded by Ms. Sneed, the board voted unanimously to adopt the policy provisions for maternity leave as presented.

The board heard policy recommendations for "Selling, Soliciting, Advertising" as presented by Mike Sturgill, Principal of Chilhowie Elementary School, who served as chairman of a special revision committee. The board requested for the committee to do further research on updating the present policy and present it at a future board meeting.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Nipper, the board voted unanimously to approve a letter of request for continued approval of waiver of Pre-Labor Day opening requirements for the 2005-2006 school year.

The board considered a list of individuals to serve on the Board of Directors of the Smyth Career and Technical Foundation. On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Doane, the board voted unanimously to approve the list of individuals as presented.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Ms. Sneed, the board voted unanimously to approve a field trip for Marion Middle School special education students to see the movie Because of Winn-Dixie sometime after February 18, 2005.

The board received a preliminary report on the latest SOL scores for Smyth County High Schools.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Ms. Sneed, the board voted unanimously to approve the January payroll, paid January 31, 2005, checks #46601-46769.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Nipper, the board voted unanimously to approve and pay current invoices in the amount of $532,285.18 from the County School Operating Fund, the same to be listed in the warrant register.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Doane, the board voted unanimously to approve and pay current invoices in the amount of $241,679.19 from the County School Debt and Capital Outlay Fund, the same to be listed in the warrant register.

On motion by Mr. Nipper, seconded by Ms. Sneed, the board voted unanimously to approve invoices for utility payments made prior to the February 14, 2005, school board meeting in the amount of $69,562.48 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 with inventory reports for January 12, 2005.

Linda Kelly, a teacher at Marion Senior High School, presented a proposal to the board for a course entitled "Teachers for Tomorrow" (Teacher Cadet Program) to possibly be offered at the high school level. On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Ms. Sneed, the board voted unanimously to approve the Teacher Cadet Program as a possible offering at Marion Senior High School depending on staffing arrangements within present staff and to use it as a pilot model, if successful, for Chilhowie High School and Northwood High School to have the same opportunity to offer the program.

Pursuant to 2.2-3711 of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, on motion by Mr. Doane, seconded by Mrs. Hall, 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. Doane, seconded by Mrs. Hall, 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 conduced 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. Choate and Mrs. Clark were absent.

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

  1. Accept the resignation of Andy Rhudy as the wrestling coach at Chilhowie Middle School;
  2. Hire Michael Henderlite as the wrestling coach at Chilhowie Middle School;
  3. Hire Monica Porter as the boys' assistant track coach at Marion Senior High School;
  4. Hire Misty Tilson as the assistant girls' track coach at Marion Senior High School;
  5. Hire Gabriel Long as the head boys' tennis coach at Marion Senior High School;
  6. Hire Mark Merz to teach one period of sixth grade exploratory music for the remainder of the school year at Chilhowie Middle School;
  7. Accept the resignation of Vanessa Evans as cafeteria custodian at Marion Primary School;
  8. Hire Dennis Billings as cafeteria custodian at Marion Primary School;
  9. Hire Kristen L. Stump as a fourth grade special education aide at Chilhowie Elementary School; and
  10. Hire Dr. Darrell Thompson as the Director of Federal Programs.

Susan Sneed informed the board about an $85,000.00 Special Education Transition Grant available for special education students' transition to the work force. The Mount Rogers Service Board will make the application. If this grant is approved, it will be specifically for Smyth County EMH students.

On motion by Mr. Nipper, seconded by Ms. Sneed, the board voted unanimously to adjourn the meeting.