Minutes of the March 14th, 2005 meeting of the Smyth County School Board, as approved by the School Board at its April 11th, 2005 meeting

Marion, Virginia
March 14, 2005

The Smyth County School Board met today with all members present.

On motion by Mr. Catron, seconded by Mr. Nipper, the board voted unanimously to approve the minutes from the February 14, 2005, meeting as presented.

On motion by Mrs. Clark, seconded by Mr. Catron, the board voted unanimously to approve the agenda with the following changes: 10.b. Cancel the request from Marion Middle School for a special education field trip on Wednesday, March 16, 2005, to the Wohlfahrt Haus Theatre in Wytheville; and add to 18. Other items of interest - a. Consider scheduling school board meetings in different areas of the county.

Catherine Smith, Co-President of the Smyth County Education Association, requested professional leave for ten teachers to attend the Virginia Education Association Convention at the Hotel Roanoke on April 14-16, 2005. Teachers would need one-half day of leave on Thursday, April 14, and a whole day on Friday, April 15, 2005. On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Ms. Sneed, the board voted unanimously to approve the request.

Jerry Catron read a request from Robin Abel, a cafeteria worker at Saltville Elementary School, for the board to consider in the 2005-2006 school board budget an increase for all cafeteria workers.

Chilhowie High School had the highest attendance percentage in the high school category. Steve Reedy, Principal of Chilhowie High School, introduced Whitney Lundy, a twelfth grader, for having excellent attendance. The school received a certificate and will be retaining the flag from last month.

Chilhowie Elementary School had the highest attendance percentage in the elementary category for the month of February. Mike Sturgill, Principal of Chilhowie Elementary School, introduced Brittany Gilbert, a fifth grader, for having perfect attendance and for placing second in the DAR Contest for the fifth grade. The school received a certificate and a flag to fly at the school.

Sue Tilson, Principal of Chilhowie Middle School, introduced Steven Hawthorne, a sixth grader, for having good attendance and for placing first in the DAR Contest for the sixth grade. Chilhowie Middle School had the highest attendance percentage in the middle school category. The school received a certificate and a flag to fly at the school.

There was not a most improved attendance certificate or flag for the month of February. Jeff Comer, Principal of Northwood Middle School, introduced Ryan Comer, Zak Comer, and Kaylan Brickey for placing in the recent DAR Contest competition.

Rick Blevins, Director of Human Resources and Auxiliary Services, reviewed the 2005-2006 school calendar. On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mrs. Clark, the board voted unanimously to approve the calendar with the following changes:

  1. The teacher workday in schools between the first and second semesters will be on the 91st day of the school year; and
  2. The last day of school will not be extended beyond June 14 unless all other efforts to meet the state instruction guidelines have been exhausted.

The board received information concerning the VSBA Governor's Conference Mini-Workshops scheduled for Tuesday, July 19, 2005, in Richmond.

The board considered plans for attending the 2005 VSBA Southwest Regional Forum in Galax on Tuesday, April 26, 2005.

Mr. Sullivan reminded the board of the following scheduled dates for future meetings:

  1. Thursday, March 17, 2005, beginning at 5:30 P.M. - School board work session to review the budget;
  2. Tuesday, March 29, 2005, beginning at 5:30 P.M. - Public hearing for the 2005-2006 school board budget; and
  3. Thursday, March 31, 2005, beginning at 5:30 P.M. - Called meeting of the school board to adopt its 2005-2006 budget.

Rick Blevins, Director of Human Resources and Auxiliary Services, presented a policy addition to clarify student eligibility for participation in programs sponsored by Smyth County Schools. On motion by Mrs. Clark, seconded by Mrs. Hall, the board voted unanimously to approve the policy addition as stated: Any student that is not enrolled as a full-time student in the Smyth County Public School System will not be eligible to participate in any Smyth County School-sponsored activities. These activities include, but are not limited to individual course offerings, forensics, chorus, athletic, or academic teams, field trips, etc.

Rick Blevins, Director of Human Resources and Auxiliary Services, presented a change in the policy to more clearly define "Compensation for Substitute Personnel" for long-term substitutes. On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Catron, the board voted unanimously to approve the policy as stated: After ten (10) consecutive working days as a substitute for a specific employee on extended leave, a substitute teacher, or an individual substituting in a support capacity, will receive the level of compensation to which the substitute, based on experience and certification, would earn as a full-time, regular employee at step zero (0) on the current Smyth County School Board Pay Scale. The substitute, as a temporary employee, will not be entitled to any additional benefits to which regular, full-time employees are entitled, except as prescribed by law.

The board heard a request from Northwood Middle School for a special education field trip on Friday, April 22, 2005, to the Gatlinburg Aquarium. On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Catron, the board voted unanimously to approve the request.

The board heard a request from Marion Middle School for a special education field trip to Virginia City (in Wythe County) sometime during the middle of April, 2005. On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mrs. Clark, the board voted unanimously to approve the request.

Mr. Sullivan reported on the Transportation Committee and Budget Committee meetings that had been held.

The board received copies of the first draft of the 2005-2006 school board budget.

Elizabeth Roberts, Business Decision Support Analyst, reviewed revenue, expenditures, and cash flow figures through the month of February, 2005.

The board considered amendments to the 2004-2005 school board budget as presented by Mr. Sullivan. On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Doane, the board voted unanimously to approve the amendments as presented.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Catron, the board voted unanimously to approve the February payroll, paid February 28, 2005, checks #47012-47154.

On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mrs. Clark, the board voted unanimously to approve and pay current invoices in the amount of $472,313.03 from the County School Operating Fund, the same to be listed in the warrant register.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Ms. Sneed, the board voted unanimously to approve and pay current invoices in the amount of $131,416.65 from the County School Debt and Capital Outlay Fund, the same to be listed in the warrant register.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Ms. Sneed, the board voted unanimously to approve invoices for utility payments made prior to the March 14, 2005, school board meeting in the amount of $56,327.49 from the County School Operating Fund, the same to be listed in the February warrant register.

The board received an updated draft copy of the Six-Year Plan.

Pursuant to 2.2-3711 of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, on motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mrs. Clark, 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 and consultation with legal counsel as authorized by 2.2-3711(A)(7) of the Code of Virginia.

Mr. Frank Kilgore and Mr. Don Hammer, attorneys, were present for part of closed session dealing with Anna Marshall.

On motion by Mr. Catron, 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 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: 7 Nays: 0

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

  1. Accept the resignation of Bonita F. Frazier as an instructional aide at Marion Primary School at the end of the school year;
  2. Accept the resignation of Tracy O. Campbell as a teacher at Marion Primary School at the end of the school year;
  3. Hire Wanda Hess as a part-time cafeteria worker at Atkins Elementary School;
  4. Hire Sara Johnson as a part-time cafeteria worker at Chilhowie High School;
  5. Hire Eric Albano as the head boys' varsity soccer coach at Marion Senior High School;
  6. Hire Dr. Jim Gates as the assistant boys' varsity soccer coach at Marion Senior High School;
  7. Hire Matthew Hill as the assistant junior varsity baseball coach at Chilhowie High School;
  8. Hire John Jackson as the head junior varsity baseball coach at Chilhowie High School;
  9. Hire Larry Russell as the assistant varsity baseball coach at Chilhowie High School;
  10. Hire Tim Poston as boys' assistant track coach at Marion Senior High School to replace Monica Porter, who was hired last month and declined the offer;
  11. Approve twelve weeks of Family Medical Leave for Stephanie Halsey, an instructional aide at Marion Primary School; and
  12. Approve twelve weeks of Family Medical Leave for Tina Frazier, a teacher at Marion Senior High School.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Catron, the board voted to hire Dr. Michael M. Robinson as assistant superintendent as recommended by the superintendent. The motion passed with six ayes and one nay.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Catron, the board voted that Anna Marshall was to remain on suspension without pay for the remainder of this contract year (this includes pay checks through August 31, 2005), she be placed on probation for a period of two years with her salary frozen at the 2004-2005 contract rate, that she complete a satisfactory evaluation during this probation period, and a reprimand be issued and placed in her permanent file. The motion passed with six ayes and one nay.

The board considered a schedule for holding school board meetings in the different areas of the county. They decided to move one during the spring and one during the fall. On motion by Mrs. Clark, seconded by Mr. Catron, the board voted unanimously to hold the Monday, May 9, 2005, school board meeting at Northwood Middle School. This will be advertised in the newspapers.

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