Minutes of the November 13, 2006 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

Chairman Choate called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone.

The roll was called by the clerk, and all members were present.

CLOSED SESSION

Pursuant to § 2.2-3711 of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, on motion by Mrs. Clark, seconded by Mr. Nipper, by 7-0 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.

Dr. Mike Robinson, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, was present for the closed meeting.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Nipper, by 7-0 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: 7
Nays: 0

CONSENT AGENDA

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Nipper, by 7-0 vote, the following was approved:

INFORMATIONAL REPORTS

The board received a draft outline of the 2007 Virginia Association of School Superintendents' Legislative Priorities.

The board received a listing of all Smyth County School Board employees, their location, and position.

The board received information on the open enrollment for disability insurance with Prudential and the number of employees participating.

PRESENTATIONS/RECOGNITIONS

Marion Intermediate School had the highest attendance percentage in the elementary category for the month of October. Steve Miller, Principal of Marion Intermediate School, introduced Daisy Sturgill, a third grader, for having perfect attendance. They received a certificate and a flag to fly at the school.

Mike Sturgill, Principal of Chilhowie Middle School, introduced Will Barker, an eighth grader, for having perfect attendance in the seventh grade so far this year. Chilhowie Middle School had the highest attendance percentage in the middle school category. They received a certificate and a flag to fly at the school.

Chilhowie High School had the highest attendance percentage in the high school category. Steve Reedy, Principal of Chilhowie High School, accepted the certificate for the school. They will be retaining the flag from last month. Mr. Reedy told the board that Justin Farris could not attend the meeting, but he is a twelfth grader with perfect attendance this year.

Northwood High School had the most improved attendance percentage for the month of October. Steve Johnston, Principal of Northwood High School, introduced Matt Wilson, an eleventh grader, for being the winner of the Best Actor Award for the Hogoheegee One-Act Play Competition and Amber Perry, an eleventh grader, for winning the Best Actress Award in the Hogoheegee One-Act Play Competition. The school received a certificate and a flag to fly at the school.

Laura Hall thanked the newspapers for all their coverage and pictures of different school activities going on around the county.

Laura Hall reported on seeing the two mobile computer labs at Rich Valley Elementary School. She said the school had just completed a workshop day on how to use the labs.

Dr. Robinson introduced Debby Hanshew, English Teacher at Marion Senior High School, and her AP English students. They made two presentations to the board. One was on a Four-Day School Week and one was on School Uniforms. The board was given a scale so they could rate their presentations.

PUBLIC COMMENT

John Sage with Wytheville Community College introduced himself to the board. He is working out of the Smyth County Education Center in Atkins, Virginia. He said the spring schedule is now out, and he talked about some of the classes available.

SUPERINTENDENT'S REPORT/INFORMATIONAL UPDATES

Mr. Sullivan reviewed the audit report for school year 2004-2005.

The board reviewed some possible dates and facilitators for the school board retreat. They asked Mr. Sullivan to check to see if January 17, 2007, or January 24, 2007, would be available to meet with Rodney Young, Attorney with Timberlake, Smith, Thomas & Moses, P.C., in Stanton, Virginia.

Patty Warren, Principal of Atkins Elementary School, reported on that school's Annual School Improvement Plan.

Dennis Carter, Principal of Chilhowie Elementary School, reported on that school's Annual School Improvement Plan.

Mike Sturgill, Principal of Chilhowie Middle School, reported on that school's Annual School Improvement Plan.

Kyle Rhodes, Principal of Marion Middle School, reported on that school's Annual School Improvement Plan.

Mr. Sullivan thanked Dr. Robinson for his work on the new format with the same content for the Annual School Improvement Plans.

Mr. Sullivan reviewed revenue, expenditures, and cash flow figures for the month of October, 2006, fiscal year 2006-2007. The board requested for the superintendent to inform employees ahead of time when group life is going off of holiday.

Mr. Sullivan updated the board on the building project to secure the main door in each of the schools.

Mr. Sullivan reported on the Joint Legislative Luncheon held at Chilhowie Elementary School on Friday, November 10, 2006.

DISCUSSION TOPICS

Mrs. Hall shared some materials she brought back from the National Association for Gifted Children Convention held in Charlotte, North Carolina.

QUESTIONS FROM BOARD MEMBERS

There were no questions from any of the board members.

ACTION ITEMS - (MOTION REQUIRED)

On motion by Mrs. Clark, seconded by Mr. Nipper, by 7-0 vote, the board approved a field trip request from Wytheville Community College's Educational Talent Search for a visit to Biltmore House and Gardens on Tuesday, December 5, 2006, for 8th graders from Marion Middle School and Sugar Grove Combined School who are involved in the Educational Talent Search program.

The board considered a request from Marion Senior High School for their Senior Trip to central Florida in the spring of 2007 as presented by Danny Newman, Principal of Marion Senior High School. On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Doane, by 7-0 vote, the board approved the request.

The board considered a request from Chilhowie High School to add Horticulture I and Horticulture II to that school's course offerings and to build a greenhouse at that school as presented by Dr. Mike Robinson. On motion by Mr. Catron, seconded by Mrs. Hall, by 7-0 vote, the board approved the request.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Catron, by 7-0 vote, the board approved a request, contingent on need, to add a special education instructional aide's position at Northwood Middle School to be in compliance with a disabled student's IEP.

The board heard an update from Rick Blevins, Director of Human Resources and Auxiliary Services, on the School Board's SunTrust Retirement Bridge escrow account. On motion by Mrs. Clark, seconded by Mrs. Hall, by 7-0 vote, the board approved moving the investment arrangement from an equity of 80% fixed, 20% variable to 100% fixed as recommended by the insurance committee.

The board considered bids on restructuring of the baseball bleachers at Marion Senior High School stadium as presented by Sam Musick, Director of Maintenance and Transportation. On motion by Mrs. Clark, seconded by Mrs. Hall, by 7-0 vote, the board approved the bid from J. H. Pence Company, Blacksburg, Virginia, in the amount of $14,700.00.

The board considered bids for paving of parking lots at Chilhowie High School and Marion Senior High School. On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Doane, by 7-0 vote, the board approved the bid from W-L Construction to pave four lots for $154,199.70 as recommended by Sam Musick. This work is to be completed by June 1, 2007.

The board considered bids for the architectural designing of a HVAC System at Northwood Middle School. On motion by Mr. Nipper, seconded by Mr. Catron, by 7-0 vote, the board approved the bid from CAN-Engineering, Inc., Marion, Virginia, as recommended by Sam Musick. The design fee on this work will be $20,000.00 plus reimbursable expenses for travel and printing not to exceed $2,500.00.

The board considered a policy on "Gang Activity or Association" as presented by Mr. Sullivan. On motion by Mrs. Clark, seconded by Mr. Catron, by 7-0 vote, the board approved this policy as presented.

The board considered changes to the Exam Exemption Policy and the Tests and Examinations Policy (second reading) as presented by Dr. Mike Robinson. On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Catron, by 5-2 vote, the board approved these changes to the policies as presented. Mrs. Hall and Mrs. Clark opposed.

The board considered "Dates for Development of the 2007-2008 School Board Budget". On motion by Mrs. Clark, seconded by Ms. Sneed, by 6-1 vote, the board approved the draft schedule and will revise the dates as needed. Mr. Nipper opposed.

CONSIDER ACTION ON CLOSED SESSION ITEMS

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Ms. Sneed, by 7-0 vote, the board accepted the resignation of Kermit Nelson as the athletic director at Chilhowie High School, effective November 30, 2006.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mrs. Clark, by 7-0 vote, the board accepted the retirement of Glenn C. Weller, the band director for the Chilhowie schools, and Noel Collins, the band director for the Marion schools, effective at the end of the 2006-2007 school year.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mrs. Clark, by 7-0 vote, the board accepted the retirement of Patricia Phillips, a teacher at Chilhowie Elementary School, effective at the end of the 2006-2007 school year.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Ms. Sneed, by 7-0 vote, the board accepted the resignation of Suzanne Ammons, an instructional aide at Marion Middle School, effective November 13, 2006.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mrs. Clark, by 7-0 vote, the board accepted the resignation of Vicki Medlen, an instructional aide at Chilhowie Elementary School, effective November 13, 2006.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mrs. Clark, by 7-0 vote, the board accepted the resignation of Jessica Medley as the junior varsity softball coach at Marion Senior High School.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Ms. Sneed, by 7-0 vote, the board accepted the resignation of Marlee Bertram, a food service employee at Sugar Grove Combined School, effective November 13, 2006; Cindy Chatham, a food service employee at Chilhowie Elementary School, effective October 27, 2006; and Ralph Montgomery, a custodian at Saltville Elementary School, effective January 1, 2007.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mrs. Clark, by 7-0 vote, the board hired the following as recommended by the superintendent:

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Doane, by 7-0 vote, the board hired Mark Halsey to replace Kermit Nelson as the athletic director at Chilhowie High School, effective December 1, 2006.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Ms. Sneed, by 7-0 vote, the board hired the following:

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mrs. Clark, by 7-0 vote, the board approved up to twelve weeks of unpaid Family Medical Leave for:

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Ms. Sneed, by 7-0 vote, the board hired the following in coaching positions:

On motion by Mrs. Clark, seconded by Ms. Sneed, by 7-0 vote, the board approved the request for a field trip for the fourth graders at Marion Intermediate School to visit the Crab Orchard Museum located in Tazewell, Virginia, on Thursday, November 30, 2006.

On motion by Mr. Nipper, seconded by Ms. Sneed, by 7-0 vote, the board continued the meeting to Tuesday, November 28, 2006, at 5:00 P.M.