Minutes of the November 8th, 2004 meeting of the Smyth County School Board, as approved by the School Board at its December 13th, 2004 meeting

Marion, Virginia
November 8, 2004

The Smyth County School Board met today with the following members present: Jesse Choate, Laura Hall, Roger Nipper, Susan Sneed, Charles Doane, and Jerry Catron.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Catron, the board voted unanimously to approve the minutes from the October 11, 2004, October 25, 2004, and November 5, 2004, meetings as presented.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Catron, the board voted unanimously to approve the agenda after adding:

14.b. Consider recommendation on Retirement Bridge Plan. 19.a. Consider the following field trips: 1. Saltville Elementary School's fourth and fifth graders to attend the Christmas Musical at Freedom Hall on December 3, 2004; and 2. The foreign language and accelerated math students at Marion Middle School to visit the Southwest Virginia Governor's School on November 16, 2004. 19.b. Review Continuing Education Dropout Statistical Information.

During citizens' time, Catherine Smith, Co-president of the Smyth County Education Association, reported on the Instructional and Professional Issues Conference held in Williamsburg. She thanked the board for allowing the teachers to attend.

Laura Hall introduced members of the First United Methodist Church's Boy Scout Troop No. 93. They are working on their Citizenship in the Community Merit Badge, and one of the requirements is to attend a public meeting.

Rich Valley Elementary School had the highest attendance percentage in the elementary category for the month of October. Jeff Cassell, Principal of Rich Valley Elementary School, introduced Kim Buchanan, a third grader, and Jonathan Turley, a fifth grader, for having perfect attendance this year. The school received a certificate and will be retaining the flag from last month.

Kyle Rhodes, Principal of Marion Middle School, introduced Charlie and Timothy Kirby, sixth graders, for having excellent attendance. Marion Middle School had the highest attendance percentage in the middle school category. The school 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. Steve Reedy, Principal of Chilhowie High School, introduced Coach Laura Robinson. Coach Robinson introduced the members of the junior varsity volleyball team. They have won regular district championship, tournament championship, and with 20 matches are 20/0. The school received a certificate and a flag to fly at the school.

Marion Primary School had the most improved attendance percentage for the month of October. Kimberly Williams, Assistant Principal of Marion Primary School, introduced Destiny Asbury, a kindergarten student, for having improved attendance since pre-k. The school received a certificate and a flag to fly at the school.

Brenda Boone, Principal of Saltville Elementary School, introduced Janice Phillips and Mildred Surber, teachers at Saltville Elementary School, for their efforts in the "Kids Against Trash" Program and helping Saltville Elementary School be selected as one of Virginia's Naturally Exemplary Schools for the fifth year. She also introduced Michael Colston, teacher at Saltville Elementary School, for being selected as Southwest Virginia's Reading Teacher of the Year.

Kim Sturgill, Director of Pupil Personnel Services, reviewed policy changes/additions on the following topics: hazing of students, self defense, and dangerous objects, firearms, bomb threats, explosives, arson. On motion by Mr. Nipper, seconded by Mrs. Hall, the board voted unanimously to adopt the policies with the following corrections:

Hazing Policy - The principal of any school, at which hazing causes bodily injury, shall report the hazing to the superintendent or his designee and to the local Commonwealth Attorney.

Dangerous Objects, Firearms, Bomb Threats, Explosives, Arson Policy - 7.C. The possession or use of any item or material considered to have the capacity to create an explosion is prohibited unless specifically authorized by school officials.

Mr. Sullivan reported on the accreditation rating of Smyth County schools.

The board considered a request for the use of two school buses by Virginia Highlands Community College Educational Talent Search to transport Chilhowie Middle School and Northwood Middle School students to the University of Tennessee on Saturday, December 11, 2004. On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Catron, the board voted unanimously to approve the request.

The board heard Annual School Improvement Plans presented by:

a. Wayne Trivette - Atkins Elementary School; b. Mike Sturgill - Chilhowie Elementary School; c. Sue Tilson - Chilhowie Middle School; and d. Brenda Boone - Saltville Elementary School.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Nipper, the board voted unanimously to approve the revised Ad Hoc Committees, Advisory Committees, and Board Representatives for 2005 as presented.

Laura Hall reported on the "Key Work of School Boards" meeting held on October 25, 2004.

Mr. Sullivan reported on the public hearing held at George Wythe High School on October 14, 2004, concerning proposed revisions to the Standards of Quality.

The board considered delegates to attend the Southwest Virginia School Boards Consortium meeting in Roanoke on Wednesday, December 8, 2004. Laura Hall and Jerry Catron were appointed as the two representatives to the consortium.

The board received a list of staff members for each school in Smyth County.

Rick Blevins, Director of Human Resources and Auxiliary Services, updated the board on the school nutritional program, policy manual, and personnel handbook. He also discussed the Retirement Bridge Plan. On motion by Mr. Doane, seconded by Ms. Sneed, the board voted unanimously to approve Mr. Blevins' recommendation to move forward with the Retirement Bridge Plan and final decision would be made at the February 14, 2005, school board meeting.

Pursuant to 2.2-3711 of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, on motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Ms. Sneed, 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 student issues as authorized by 2.2-3711(A)(2) of the Code of Virginia.

During the student issue, Student A, parent, foster parent, Jason Shupe, Department of Social Services, Dale Holt, Principal of Marion Senior High School, and Sam McKinney, Assistant Principal of the Smyth Career and Technology Center, were present.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Doane, the board returned to the open meeting.

WHEREAS, the Smyth County School Board has convened a closed meeting on this date pursuant to an affirmative-recorded voted 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

Mrs. Clark was absent.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Ms. Sneed, the board voted unanimously to accept the principal's recommendation for Student A to remain at Project Return for the remainder of the 2004-2005 school year instead of returning to Marion Senior High School or the Smyth Career and Technology Center and to be evaluated during the summer of 2005 to determine whether or not Student A is entitled to return to both buildings.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Catron, the board voted unanimously to adopt the revised version of Carroll County School Board/Superintendent Evaluation tool to be used for Smyth County for 2004.

Elizabeth Roberts, Business Decision Support Analyst, reviewed revenue, expenditures, and cash flow figures through the month of October, 2004.

Mr. Sullivan briefed the board on a proposed Virginia Tobacco Commission grant for enhancement of our career and technical education program.

On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Doane, the board voted unanimously to approve the October payroll, paid October 29, 2004, checks #45374-45532.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Catron, the board voted unanimously to approve and pay current invoices in the amount of $560,554.27 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 invoices for utility payments made prior to the November 8, 2004, school board meeting in the amount of $28,425.43 from the County School Operating Fund, the same to be listed in the October warrant register.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Catron, the board voted unanimously to approve a field trip for Saltville Elementary School's fourth and fifth graders to attend the Christmas Musical at Freedom Hall on December 3, 2004.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Catron, the board voted unanimously to approve a field trip for Marion Middle School's foreign language and accelerated math students to visit the Southwest Virginia Governor's School on November 16, 2004.

The board reviewed the Continuing Education Dropout Statistical Information from 1966-2004.

Mr. Choate thanked Laura Hall for representing Smyth County by serving on the Legislative Policies and Resolution Committee.

Mr. Choate read an invitation from Marion Middle School for the board to join them for lunch on Tuesday, November 23, 2004; and an invitation from The Chamber of Commerce of Smyth County to join them at the Smyth County Capitol Holiday Tree Celebration on Sunday, November 21, 2004, at 6:00 P.M., on the Smyth County Court House Lawn.

The board was reminded of the called planning meeting on Thursday, November 11, 2004, in the School Board Conference Room at 3:30 P.M.

The board discussed plans for attending the VSBA Annual Convention in Williamsburg on November 17-19, 2004.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Catron, the board voted unanimously to adjourn the meeting.