January 12, 2015 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

Chairman Choate called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone.

The roll was called by the clerk, and the following members were present: Jesse Choate, Bill Veselik, Susan Williams, Stephen Marion, and Wayne Carter. Paul Grinstead arrived at 5:20 P.M. Mac Buchanan was absent due to an illness.

ORGANIZE THE SCHOOL BOARD FOR 2015

Dr. Robinson presided for the election of a chairperson. On motion by Mrs. Williams, seconded by Mr. Veselik, by 5-0 vote, the Board elected Jesse Choate as the chairman for the 2015 calendar year.

On motion by Mr. Veselik, seconded by Mr. Carter, by 5-0 vote, the Board elected Susan Williams as the vice-chairperson for the 2015 calendar year.

On motion by Mrs. Williams, seconded by Mr. Veselik, by 5-0 vote, the Board reappointed Darlene Doyle as the clerk of the school board for the 2015 calendar year.

On motion by Mr. Veselik, seconded by Mrs. Williams, by 5-0 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 continue to meet twice a year in other areas of the county on a rotation basis with one meeting scheduled on Monday, April 13, 2015 at Northwood Middle School and one meeting scheduled on Monday, October 12, 2015 at Chilhowie Elementary School.

On motion by Mrs. Williams, seconded by Mr. Veselik, by 5-0 vote, the Board approved the payment of salaries on the last banking day of each month except for the month of December. For December, payment will be made on the last school day scheduled prior to the holiday break.

The Board considered the use of the following attorneys/law firms for legal counsel for the Board: VSBA Legal Services, Reed Smith, and The Education Law Group of Timberlake, Smith, Thomas, and Moses, PC. On motion by Mr. Veselik, seconded by Mrs. Williams, by 5-0 vote, the firms were approved.

CLOSED SESSION

Pursuant to § 2.2-3711 of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, on motion by Mr. Veselik, seconded by Mr. Marion, by 5-0 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.

Mr. Grinstead arrived for closed session at 5:20 P.M., and did vote on the closed session items.

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

PRESENTATIONS/RECOGNITIONS

Saltville Elementary School had the highest attendance percentage in the elementary category for the month of December. Brenda Boone, principal of Saltville Elementary School, introduced Terri Totten, guidance counselor at Saltville Elementary School, who introduced Paige Olinger, a second grader, and Tristin Olinger, a fifth grader, for having perfect attendance. The school received a certificate and the attendance flag to display at the school.

Chilhowie Middle School had the highest attendance percentage in the middle school category for the month of December. Michael Berry, a teacher at Chilhowie Middle School, introduced Cameron Hutton, an eighth grader, and Colby Crutchfield, a sixth grader, for being actors with the Drama Club. The school received a certificate and the attendance flag to display at the school.

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 Logan Childress, band director at Chilhowie High School, Jessica Jones, Allyson Whitt, Kaitlyn Tickle, and Rachel Bryant, senior band members. He shared information about their outstanding fall marching season. The school received a certificate and the attendance flag to display at the school.

Rich Valley Elementary School had the most improved attendance percentage for the month of December. Shannon Harris, a teacher at Rich Valley Elementary School, introduced Hannah Wilson, a fourth grader, for having perfect attendance. The school received a certificate and the attendance flag to display at the school.

Terry Hawthorne, Director of Technology, shared information about the 2014 Smyth County Schools’ Coding Challenge. The Coding Challenge is designed to encourage interest in computer science careers among Smyth County students and help students develop their problem solving and logical reasoning skills. Ten students mastered the Challenge, which required them to solve Level 10 of the web-based Blockly maze. Some worked in teams while others solved the maze as individuals. Those honored were Zackery Tuell, Jonathan Phelps, and Austin Evans of Chilhowie Middle School; Nick Hale and Jordan Tuggle of Marion Middle School; Katie Jo Blevins, Jacob Turley, and Will Russell of Chilhowie Middle School; Kevin Patrick of Marion Senior High School; and Patrick Jahnig of Chilhowie High School. They received certificates of recognition from Chairman Choate.

Gary Roberts, principal of Atkins Elementary School, introduced Jill Henderson, Assistant Director of School Health and Wellness for the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association, and Bobby Combs, President of the American Dairy Association of Virginia and a member of the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association. Also, present were Ashley Cannon, a teacher at Atkins Elementary School, and Aidan Melvin, a fifth grader at Atkins Elementary School. The school received a grant again this year for the Fuel Up To Play 60 Program through the National Dairy Council and National Football League in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A check for $3,850.00 was presented to the school for fitness activities and healthy eating choices.

Catherine Morlock, a teacher at Atkins Elementary School, shared information about a Blazing Bulldog 5K Race to be held in May to help with funding projects at the school.

PUBLIC COMMENT

No public signed up to speak.

PUBLIC HEARING–2015-2016 SCHOOL BOARD BUDGET–6:15 P.M.

Chairman Choate opened the public hearing to receive input on the 2015-2016 school board budget.

Shannon Harris, President of the Smyth County Education Association (SCEA), presented results from an employee survey created and analyzed by the SCEA and shared a newspaper article from the Washington Post.

Chairman Choate declared the public hearing closed.

SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT

Julie Bear, Director of Finance, reviewed revenue, expenditure, and cash flow figures for the month of December 2014, fiscal year 2015.

Dr. Robinson provided an update on the Budget Committee Meeting held on Wednesday, January 7, 2015.

Dr. Robinson updated the Board on the number of concussions last year and this year resulting from high school sports. In addition, he shared that the school division would start participating in ImPACT testing for concussion management through the support of the Smyth County Community Hospital Health Trust.

Dr. Robinson provided an update on facilities.

DISCUSSION TOPICS

Dr. Robinson shared information about the VSBA Capital Conference to be held January 26-27, 2015 at the Richmond Marriott.

QUESTIONS/COMMENTS FROM BOARD MEMBERS

Mr. Marion commented on the SCEA survey and expressed his concerns for the need to have some kind of raise for employees.

ACTION ITEMS–(MOTION REQUIRED)

The Board reviewed School Board Committee Assignments for 2015. On motion by seconded by Mr. Marion, seconded by Mr. Grinstead, by 6-0 vote, the Board approved the assignments as amended.

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

On motion by Mr. Veselik, seconded by Mr. Marion, by 6-0 vote, Policy IZB Test and Examinations was approved and, by 5-1 vote, Policy IZD Examination Exemption was approved.

The Board considered approving the following policy additions and/or changes (third reading):

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

Allen Asbury, Facilities and Energy Manager, reviewed bids and alternate bids for Chilhowie High School roof replacement. On motion by Mr. Veselik, seconded by Mr. Marion, by 6-0 vote, the alternate bid from Abingdon Roofing in the amount of $122,692.00 was approved.

The Board considered approving a job description for bus drivers. On motion by Mr. Grinstead, seconded by Mrs. Williams, by 6-0 vote, this was approved.

The Board considered approving a VSBA Resolution naming February as Bullying Prevention Month. On motion by Mr. Veselik, seconded by Mr. Marion, by 6-0 vote, the resolution was approved.

The Board considered compensating a Chilhowie High School teacher to teach a fourth block during second semester and give up their planning. On motion by Mr. Grinstead, seconded by Mrs. Williams, by 6-0 vote, this was approved.

The Board considered a called school board meeting for Monday, January 26, 2015 at 5:00 P.M. This time did not work well for several members and Dr. Robinson indicated he would check with them on other possible dates for a called meeting.

CLOSED SESSION ITEMS–(MOTION REQUIRED)

On motion by Mrs. Williams, seconded by Mr. Veselik, by 6-0 vote, the Board accepted the following resignations:

On motion by Mrs. Williams, seconded by Mr. Veselik, by 6-0 vote, the Board transferred the following:

On motion by Mrs. Williams, seconded by Mr. Veselik, by 6-0 vote, the Board approved additional compensation for Jerry Young to teach an extra class of Geometry, Part I at Chilhowie High School.

ADJOURN

On motion by Mr. Veselik, seconded by Mr. Grinstead, by 6-0 vote, the meeting was adjourned.