November 14, 2016 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 Jesse Choate called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone.

The roll was called by the clerk, and the following members were present: Mac Buchanan, Jesse Choate, Wayne Carter, Paul Grinstead, Susan Williams, Todd Williams, and Bill Veselik.

CLOSED SESSION

Pursuant to § 2.2-3711 of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, on motion by Mr. Veselik, seconded by Mrs. Williams, by 7-0 vote, a closed meeting was declared for the purpose of discussing the following: personnel matters as authorized by § 2.2-3711(A)(1) of the Code of Virginia.

On motion by Mr. Veselik, seconded by Dr. Grinstead, 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 Mr. Veselik, seconded by Mrs. Williams, by 7-0 vote, the following items were approved.

PRESENTATIONS/RECOGNITIONS

Attendance awards were presented to Atkins Elementary School, for the most improved, Rich Valley Elementary School, Northwood Middle School, and Chilhowie High School.

PUBLIC COMMENT

There were no comments during public comment time.

SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT

Julie Bear, Director of Finance, reviewed revenue, expenditure, and cash flow figures for the month of October 2016.

Dr. Carter provided an update on facilities.

Dr. Carter presented the Class Size Report detailing the average class size to teacher ratio for Kindergarten through Grade 5, Middle School, and High School.

Dr. Carter presented the annual data concerning school and division improvement. According to the data, enrollment consistently continues to decline. The data also disclosed that all Smyth County schools are fully accredited, with the exception of Marion Middle School which is partially accredited: approaching benchmark – pass rate. He also discussed improvement in SAT and ACT Scores along with dual enrollment courses offered throughout the division.

Dr. Carter discussed the professional development opportunity held on November 8, 2016 for all bookkeepers. EPES, our bookkeeping software provider, conducted a webinar that morning and, later in the afternoon, one of the bookkeepers conducted a training session.

Dr. Carter announced that a Legislative Luncheon will be held at Smyth Career & Technology Center on Thursday, December 1, 2016. The Smyth County School Board, Smyth County Board of Supervisors, and area legislators are all invited to attend.

DISCUSSION TOPICS

Dr. Carter shared information on the following:

QUESTIONS/COMMENTS FROM BOARD MEMBERS

Dr. Grinstead discussed new classes that would be offered through the A. Linwood Holton Governor’s school, such as cybersecurity. In addition, concerns have been raised through the Southwest Virginia Governor’s School about poor performance in algebra and inadequate writing skills.

Mr. Buchanan provided an update on the construction of the baseball, softball, and practice football fields to be located beside Northwood Middle School. Due to more stringent regulatory requirements than expected, a board of directors was appointed to oversee the process. Fundraisers will be conducted and grants are being sought, in order to assist with the necessary funds.

ACTION ITEMS—(MOTION REQUIRED)

The Board considered approving the Mountain Community Action Program lease agreement for 2017. On motion by Mr. Veselik, seconded by Dr. Grinstead, by 7-0 vote, the lease agreement was approved.

The Board considered approving participation in the Elgin Children’s Foundation Dental Program. On motion by Mrs. Williams, seconded by Dr. Grinstead, by 7-0 vote, participation was granted.

The Board considered approving a volunteer form for work on the Northwood Middle School baseball field project. On motion by Mr. Buchanan, seconded by Dr. Wayne Carter, by 7-0 vote, the form was approved.

The Board considered approving the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Advisory Committee for 2016-2017. On motion by Mrs. Williams, seconded by Mr. Veselik, by 6-1 vote, the committee was approved.

The Board considered holding a Budget Committee meeting on Tuesday, November 29, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. at the Central Office. On motion by Mrs. Williams, seconded by Dr. Grinstead, by 7-0 vote, the meeting was scheduled.

The Board considered appointment of a new Superintendent for Smyth County Schools. On motion by Mr. Buchanan, seconded by Dr. Grinstead, by 7-0 vote, Dr. Dennis Carter was appointed Superintendent, effective January 1, 2017.

CLOSED SESSION ITEMS—(MOTION REQUIRED)

On motion by Mrs. Williams, seconded by Mr. Veselik, by 7-0 vote, the Board approved the following retirement:

On motion by Mrs. Williams, seconded by Mr. Veselik, by 7-0 vote, the Board approved the following resignations:

On motion by Mrs. Williams, seconded by Mr. Veselik, by 7-0 vote, the Board approved the following new hires as recommended by the superintendent:

On motion by Mrs. Williams, seconded by Mr. Veselik, by 7-0 vote, the Board approved the following extracurricular resignation:

On motion by Mrs. Williams, seconded by Mr. Veselik, by 7-0 vote, the Board approved the following extracurricular hire:

ADJOURN

On motion by Mr. Veselik, seconded by Mr. Buchanan, by 7-0 vote, the meeting was adjourned.