Minutes of the January 12, 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 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, Jerry Catron, and Jim Coulthard. Charles Doane was absent.

ORGANIZE THE BOARD FOR 2009

Laura Hall announced that she would not be a candidate for the chairperson's position this year.

Dr. Robinson presided for the election of a chairperson. On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Ms. Sneed, by 5-0 vote, the Board elected Jesse Choate as the chairman for the 2009 calendar year. Mr. Choate did not vote.

Mr. Catron thanked Mrs. Hall for the service she has provided the Board as chairperson.

Mr. Choate asked for nominations for vice-chairperson. On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mrs. Hall, by 5-0 vote, the Board elected Jerry Catron as the vice-chairman for the 2009 calendar year. Mr. Catron did not vote.

Mr. Choate asked for nominations for clerk. On motion by Mr. Catron, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, by 6-0 vote, the Board re-appointed Darlene Doyle as the clerk of the school board for the 2009 calendar year.

On motion by Mr. Coulthard, seconded by Mr. Catron, 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 2009. On motion by Mr. Coulthard, seconded by Ms. Sneed, by 6-0 vote, the Board approved the committee assignments as presented.

On motion by Mr. Catron, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, by 6-0 vote, the Board approved the payment of salaries on the last banking day of each month except for the month of December. Payment would be made on the last day scheduled for work before the winter break begins.

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. Coulthard, seconded by Mr. Catron, by 6-0 vote, the Board approved the attorneys/law firms as listed.

CLOSED SESSION

Pursuant to § 2.2-3711 of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, on motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, 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 and student disciplinary matters as authorized by § 2.2-3711(A)(2) of the Code of Virginia.

On motion by Mr. Catron, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, 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.

Charles Doane was absent.

On motion by Mr. Coulthard, seconded by Mrs. Hall, by 6-0 vote, the agenda was removed from the consent agenda and amended as follows: add item VII. C. Smyth County Board of Supervisors' request to reduce spending by seven percent for fiscal year 2009; move item IX. Action Items to item X; make item IX. Questions from Board Members; delete item X. C. 18. Policy GCPA-R Procedures for Reduction in Work Force - Professional Staff (First Reading); delete item X. C. 24. Policy GDPA-R Procedures for Reduction in Work Force - Support Staff (First Reading); move item X. I. Consider action on closed session items to item X. J.; move item X. J. Adjourn to item X. K.; and add item X. I. Consider who signs payroll and vendor payment checks.

CONSENT AGENDA

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Catron, by 6-0 vote, the following was approved.

The Bank of New YorkMM/NWH Project$36,082.37
US BankSaltville Elementary$31,724.29
US BankMarion Primary$1,738.47
US BankWWTP$2,435.62
US BankAdministration Fee$500.00

PRESENTATIONS/RECOGNITIONS

Sugar Grove Combined School had the highest attendance percentage in the elementary category for the month of December. Gary Roberts, Principal of Sugar Grove Combined School, introduced Devin Mitchell, a sixth grader, for having perfect attendance so far this year. They received a certificate and the flag to display at the school.

Marion Middle School had the highest attendance percentage in the middle school category for the month of December. Mariann Blevins, Assistant Principal of Marion Middle School, introduced Tristan Roberts, a seventh grader, for having perfect attendance. 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 December. Mike Sturgill, Principal of Chilhowie High School, introduced Courtney McAllister, a twelfth grader, for having perfect attendance. They received a certificate and will be retaining the flag from last month.

Northwood Middle School was the winner of the Most Improved Category for the month of December. Betty Webb, Guidance Counselor at Northwood Middle School, accepted the certificate and flag on behalf of the school.

No other students or employees were present for recognition.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Jane Hale, a community member, thanked Dr. Robinson and school board members that attended the meeting with Timothy Johnson from the U. S. Department of Justice. She asked the Board to consider the suggestions he made regarding the SPIRIT Program.

Jane Hale invited the schools to participate in the Community Food Drive for a National Day of Service to commemorate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Linda Kelly, President of the Smyth County Education Association, requested permission for thirteen members of the association to serve as delegates to the VEA Delegate Assembly April 23-25, 2009, in Hampton, Virginia. On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, by 6-0 vote, the Board approved for thirteen members to attend.

Linda Kelly expressed concerns from the Smyth County Education Association regarding the budget and the closing of the Southwestern Virginia Mental Health Institute Program.

SUPERINTENDENT'S REPORT

Dr. Cassell reviewed revenue, expenditures, and cash flow figures for the month of December 2008, fiscal year 2008-2009.

Dr. Cassell reviewed the Governor's Proposed Biennial Budget for 2008-2010.

Dr. Robinson reviewed the request from the Smyth County Board of Supervisors to reduce spending by seven percent for fiscal year 2009. This would result in a reduction of approximately $620,000.00.

DISCUSSION TOPICS

No topics were listed for discussion.

QUESTIONS FROM BOARD MEMBERS

Jerry Catron expressed appreciation from Northwood High School for the improvement to the auditorium lighting and electrical system.

Sam Hambrick commented on the tour taken by the Board to the Museum of the Middle Appalachians in Saltville, Virginia. On motion by Mr. Hambrick, seconded by Ms. Sneed, by 5-0 vote, the Board requested for Dr. Robinson and his staff to make a study as to when each grade level should make a trip to the museum. Mr. Catron abstained.

Ms. Sneed commended the Smyth County Education Association for their report and concerns about the budget.

ACTION ITEMS - MOTION REQUIRED

The Board considered approving Phase I of a Master Facility Plan for Smyth County Schools as presented by Dr. Robinson. On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Ms. Sneed, by 6-0 vote, this was approved.

The Board considered approving a Bullying Prevention Month Proclamation. On motion by Mr. Coulthard, seconded by Ms. Sneed, by 6-0 vote, the proclamation was approved.

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

On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Catron, by 6-0 vote, the policies were approved.

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

The Board considered deleting the following polices:

On motion by Mr. Catron, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, by 6-0 vote, the policies were deleted.

The Board considered adding The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness by Simon Weisenthal to the high school reading list. On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Catron, by 6-0 vote, this was approved.

The Board considered approving the bid for the purchase of kitchen ovens for Marion Senior High School and Chilhowie High School/Chilhowie Middle School. On motion by Mr. Coulthard, seconded by Ms. Sneed, by 6-0 vote, the lowest bid in the amount of $10,845.34 from Douglas Equipment, Bluefield, West Virginia, was approved.

The Board considered approving the bid for partial replacement of the roof at Northwood Middle School. On motion by Mr. Catron, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, by 6-0 vote, the lowest bid in the amount of $25,000.00 from Marion Roofing and General Contracting was approved.

The Board considered approving the revised 2009-2010 Budget Calendar. On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, by 6-0 vote, the calendar was approved.

The Board considered who signs payroll and vendor payment checks. No change was made.

CLOSED SESSION ITEMS

On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, by 6-0 vote, the Board accepted the superintendent's recommendation for expulsion for student discipline Case #2009-01 which may be re-evaluated in August with the following conditions:

On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, by 6-0 vote, the Board accepted the following resignations:

On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, by 6-0 vote, the Board transferred Chrystle Gates from chorus teacher at Marion Middle School and Marion Senior High School to elementary music teacher division-wide.

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