Minutes of the January 7, 2008 Smyth County School 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 Hall called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone.

The roll was called by the clerk, and the following members were present: Laura Hall, Sam Hambrick, Jesse Choate, Susan Sneed, Charles Doane, and Jerry Catron. Jim Coulthard arrived at 6:00 P.M.

ORGANIZE THE BOARD FOR 2008

Dr. Robinson presided for the election of a chairperson. On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Catron, by 6-0 vote, the board elected Laura Hall as the chairperson for the 2008 calendar year.

Mrs. Hall asked for nominations for vice-chairperson. On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Doane, by 6-0 vote, the board elected Jerry Catron as the vice-chairman for the 2008 calendar year.

Mrs. Hall asked for nominations for clerk. On motion by Mr. Doane, seconded by Mr. Choate, by 6-0 vote, the board appointed Darlene Doyle as the clerk of the school board for the 2008 calendar year.

On motion by Mr. Choate, seconded by Mr. Doane, by 6-0 vote, the board set the meeting time of the school board meetings for the second Monday of each month at 5:00 P.M., at the Smyth County School Board Office. The board will meet in the individual districts on a rotation basis with one meeting scheduled in the fall and one meeting scheduled in the spring. Advance notice as to the change in meeting location would be advertised.

The board reviewed Ad Hoc Committee Assignments for 2008. The revised list will be brought back to the next board meeting for approval.

On motion by Mr. Catron, seconded by Ms. Sneed, by 6-0 vote, the board approved the payment of salaries on the last banking day of each month.

The board considered the use of the following attorneys/law firms for legal counsel for the board. Elizabeth Ewing, Don Hammer, ReedSmith, and The Education Law Group of Timberlake, Smith, Thomas, and Moses, PC. On motion by Mr. Choate, seconded by Ms. Sneed, by 6-0 vote, the board approved the use of the attorneys/law firms listed.

CLOSED SESSION

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

On motion by Mr. Choate, seconded by Mr. Doane, 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

On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Choate, by 7-0 vote, the agenda was removed from the consent agenda and amended as follows. move item X. D. Action on closed session items to item X. E.; move item X. E. Adjourn to item X. F.; and make item X. D. Ad Hoc Committee Assignments for 2008.

CONSENT AGENDA

On motion by Mr. Choate, seconded by Mr. Catron, by 7-0 vote, the following was approved.

INFORMATIONAL REPORTS

The board received the results from the county-wide high school science fair and the county-wide middle school science fair.

The board received information from Covenant Engineering, Inc. regarding cracks in the masonry walls of the gymnasiums at Chilhowie High School and Marion Intermediate School.

PRESENTATIONS/RECOGNITIONS

Rich Valley Elementary School had the highest attendance percentage in the elementary category for the month of December. Tammy Johnson, Principal of Rich Valley Elementary School, introduced Dalton Carter, a third grader, for having perfect attendance so far this year, and he also had perfect attendance last year. They received a certificate and the flag to fly at the school.

Marion Middle School had the highest attendance percentage in the middle school category for the month of December. Brandon Ratliff, Principal of Marion Middle School, introduced Kelsey Marchant, a sixth grader, for having perfect attendance. 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 December. Sam Blevins, Assistant Principal of Chilhowie High School, introduced Hillary Overbay, a twelfth grader, for having perfect attendance and for other academic and extracurricular achievements. They received a certificate and will be retaining the flag from last month.

Sugar Grove Combined School was the winner of the Most Improved Attendance category for the month of December. Gary Roberts, Principal of Sugar Grove Combined School, introduced W. K. Dalton, a fifth grader, for having perfect attendance this year. They received a certificate and the flag to fly at the school.

There were no other students or employees present for recognition.

PUBLIC COMMENT

No citizens were present to speak during public comment.

SUPERINTENDENT'S REPORT

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

Gary Roberts, Principal of Sugar Grove Combined School, reported on that school's Annual School Improvement Plan. He presented each board member, superintendent, and clerk with a "Caught Being a Great G.R.O.V.E.R." sticker.

Dr. Robinson reported on the Governor's Proposed Biennial Budget for 2009-2010. He distributed copies of the Budget Book for Smyth County Schools, budget development calendar, and budget priorities and proposed revenue budget for fiscal year 2009. He reviewed revenue projections and the budget development calendar.

Mr. Choate and Mr. Doane left at 6:30 P.M.

DISCUSSION TOPICS

The school board decided to wait until a later board meeting to discuss a school board retreat.

QUESTIONS FROM BOARD MEMBERS

Mrs. Hall reminded the board of the upcoming dates and times for the Public Charrettes on the future facility needs of Smyth County Schools. The first one is scheduled for January 7, 2008, at 5:00 P.M., at Chilhowie High School.

Ms. Sneed inquired about the two (2) days that have been missed so far this year due to bad weather and what this would do to the school calendar. Dr. Robinson reported that if no more days were missed, it would move the end of the first semester to January 17, 2008, with January 18, 2008, being a teacher workday. This will also add two (2) days to the end of the school year.

Mr. Coulthard asked if extracurricular activities were cancelled if school was cancelled. Dr. Robinson reported that if school closed early on a day, the activities would be cancelled for that night. If school is closed for the whole day and it clears up, the extracurricular activities may continue if approved. If a student cannot get there, it is not to be counted against them.

ACTION ITEMS - MOTION REQUIRED

VSBA has declared January as Bullying Prevention Month. The board considered a Bullying Prevention Month Proclamation. On motion by Mr. Catron, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, by 5-0 vote, the proclamation was approved.

The board considered a request from Virginia Highlands Community College Educational Talent Search Program for two (2) school buses and two (2) bus drivers on Sunday, February 3, 2008, for a trip to Knoxville, Tennessee. On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Catron, by 5-0 vote, the request was approved.

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

These policies will be brought back to the next board meeting for a second reading.

The board reviewed Ad Hoc Committee Assignments for 2008. The revised list will be brought back to the next board meeting for approval.

CLOSED SESSION ITEMS

Jim Coulthard arrived after closed session had ended and will not vote on any of the following.

On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Catron, by 4-0 vote, the board accepted the following resignations:

On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Hambrick, by 4-0 vote, the board approved the following transfers:

On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Catron, by 4-0 vote, the board hired Amy Rapoza as a Pre-K Teacher at Atkins Elementary School as recommended by the superintendent.

On motion by Mr. Catron, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, by 5-0 vote, the meeting was adjourned.