Minutes of the January 8, 2007 Smyth County School Board Meeting

Marion, Virginia

The Smyth County School Board met today in a regular meeting at 5:00 P.M., in the board meeting room.

CALL TO ORDER

Mr. Choate called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone.

The roll was called by the clerk, and the following members were present: Jesse Choate, Laura Hall, Susan Sneed, Charles Doane, Jerry Catron, and Kimberly Clark. Roger Nipper was absent.

ORGANIZE THE BOARD FOR 2007

Dr. Robinson presided for the election of a chairperson. On motion by Mr. Catron, seconded by Ms. Sneed, by 6-0 vote, the board elected Laura Hall as the chairperson for the 2007 calendar year.

Mrs. Hall asked for nominations for vice-chairperson. On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Choate, by 6-0 vote, the board elected Jerry Catron as the vice-chairman for the 2007 calendar year.

Mrs. Hall asked for nominations for clerk. On motion by Mr. Choate, seconded by Mr. Doane, by 6-0 vote, the board appointed Darlene Doyle as the clerk of the school board for the 2007 calendar year.

On motion by Mrs. Clark, seconded by Ms. Sneed, 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 for October and one meeting scheduled for April. Advance notice as to the change in meeting location would be advertised.

On motion by Mrs. Clark, seconded by Mr. Catron, by 6-0 vote, the board approved the Ad Hoc Committee Assignments for 2007 as presented.

On motion by Mr. Choate, 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 Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mrs. Clark, 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. Choate, 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; Roger Nipper was absent.

Jerry Catron had to leave at 6:00 P.M., due to illness.

CONSENT AGENDA

On motion by Mrs. Clark, seconded by Ms. Sneed, by 5-0 vote, the following was approved.

INFORMATIONAL REPORTS

The board received information on upcoming meeting dates.

PRESENTATIONS/RECOGNITIONS

Atkins Elementary School had the highest attendance percentage in the elementary category for the month of December. Patty Warren, Principal of Atkins Elementary School, introduced Jordan Atkins, a fifth grader, for having perfect attendance since kindergarten; Dylan Harris, a fifth grader, for having perfect attendance since kindergarten; and Dylan Wagoner, a fifth grader, for having perfect attendance since kindergarten. They received a certificate and a flag to fly at the school.

Chilhowie Middle School had the highest attendance percentage in the middle school category. Sam McKinney, Assistant Principal of Smyth Career and Technology Center, introduced Conner Hayden, a seventh grader, for having perfect attendance this year. 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. Sam McKinney introduced Tyler Hayden, a twelfth grader, for having perfect attendance since the seventh grade. They received a certificate and will be retaining the flag from last month.

There was not a most improved category for the month of December, 2006.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Betty Webb, President of the Smyth County Education Association, requested approval for up to four (4) substitutes so teachers could attend Teacher Lobby Day in Richmond in February. She also requested approval for up to twelve (12) substitutes so teachers could attend the Virginia Education Association Convention in Virginia Beach on April 19-20, 2007. Ms. Webb told the board that March is "Read Across America Month." Vince Groseclose will be serving as the chairman for the schools in Smyth County. On motion by Mrs. Clark, seconded by Mr. Choate, by 5-0 vote, the board amended the agenda. Item X. F. Consider action on Closed Session Items will be moved to item X. G. and Item X. F. will be to Consider approval for teachers to attend Teacher Lobby Day and the Virginia Education Association Convention.

SUPERINTENDENT'S REPORT

Brandon Ratliff, Principal of Sugar Grove Combined School, reported on that school's Annual School Improvement Plan.

Jeff Comer, Principal of Northwood Middle School, reported on that school's Annual School Improvement Plan.

Elizabeth Ballard, Business Decision Support Analyst, reviewed revenue, expenditures, and cash flow figures for the month of December, 2006, fiscal year 2006-2007.

DISCUSSION TOPICS

The board considered the new board chair, vice-chair, and superintendent attending the VSBA Orientations for New Board Members, Superintendents, Board Chairs/Vice-Chairs on Thursday, February 8, 2007, in Richmond, Virginia.

The board discussed the VSBA Legislative Conference to be held February 8-9, 2007, in Richmond, Virginia.

The board considered the agenda for the school board retreat to be held at the General Francis Marion Hotel on Wednesday, January 17, 2007, at 9:00 A.M.

Dr. Robinson reviewed the Governor's Introduced Amendments to the 2006-2008 Biennial Budget.

QUESTIONS FROM BOARD MEMBERS

There were no questions from any of the board members.

ACTION ITEMS - (MOTION REQUIRED)

The board considered line item adjustments for the 2006-2007 budget. On motion by Mr. Choate, seconded by Mrs. Clark, by 5-0 vote, the line item adjustments to the budget were approved.

The board considered budget amendments to the 2006-2007 budget totaling $532,685.00 to be presented to the Smyth County Board of Supervisors. On motion by Mrs. Clark, seconded by Mr. Choate, by 5-0 vote, the amendments were approved.

The board considered changes to dates for development of the 2007-2008 school board budget. No action was taken at this time to make any changes.

The board considered a policy recommendation for "Procedure for Adjusting Grievances of Classified Staff." This was the first reading and will be considered again at the next board meeting.

On motion by Mr. Choate, seconded by Mr. Doane, by 5-0 vote, the board approved up to four (4) substitutes so teachers could attend Teacher Lobby Day in Richmond in February, and the board approved up to twelve (12) substitutes so teachers could attend the Virginia Education Association Convention in Virginia Beach on April 19-20, 2007.

CLOSED SESSION ITEMS

On motion by Mrs. Clark, seconded by Mr. Choate, by 5-0 vote, the board accepted the following resignations:

  • Jessica M. Edmiston as a physical education aide at Marion Primary School, effective December 20, 2006;
  • Dorothy Gillespie as a full-time food service employee at Marion Senior High School, effective December 31, 2006; and
  • Amy Cornett as a part-time food service employee at Sugar Grove Combined School, effective December 20, 2006.
  • On motion by Mrs. Clark, seconded by Ms. Sneed, by 5-0 vote, the board hired Crystal Kestner as the head girls' softball coach at Marion Senior High School.

    On motion by Mrs. Clark, seconded by Ms. Sneed, by 5-0 vote, the board transferred Melissa McKinnon from Marion Intermediate School to a math teaching position at Marion Middle School to replace Mariann Berry.

    On motion by Mrs. Clark, seconded by Mr. Choate, by 5-0 vote, the board hired the following instructional aides:

    On motion by Mrs. Clark, seconded by Mr. Choate, by 5-0 vote, the board hired the following food service employees:

    On motion by Mrs. Clark, seconded by Mr. Doane, by 5-0 vote, the board hired Samuel R. Blevins as the assistant principal at Chilhowie High School to replace David Ellison. He will begin no later than March 1, 2007.

    On motion by Mrs. Clark, seconded by Ms. Sneed, by 5-0 vote, the meeting was continued to Tuesday, January 16, 2007, at the Smyth Career and Technology Center immediately following the Community Forum that begins at 5:00 P.M.