Minutes of the October 14th, 2002 meeting of the Smyth County School Board, as approved by the School Board at its November 11th, 2002 meeting

Marion, Virginia
October 14, 2002

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

On motion of Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Choate, the minutes of the last meeting were approved as presented.

On motion of Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Choate, the agenda was approved after adding to item 6.a.--hear from Mr. Catron on ways of reducing school finances; and adding to item 16--other items of interest - receive some informational handouts from Dr. Winters.

Linda Kelly, teacher at the Smyth Career and Technology Center, made a request from the Smyth County Education Association for approval from the board for her and one other person to attend an instructional and professional issues conference in Richmond on October 25 and October 26, 2002. They will be having special workshops on National Board Certification. The request for a professional leave day to attend this conference was approved on motion of Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Choate.

Mr. Sturgill, principal of Chilhowie Elementary School, recognized Lelia Rash, third grade teacher, for being Southwest Virginia's Reading Teacher of the Year.

Brenda Boone, assistant principal of Saltville Elementary School, recognized Shirley Ballou, fourth grade teacher, as the Virginia Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year. She received a $5,000.00 check. Ms. Ballou is now in the running for the National Teacher of the Year. Ms. Ballou, Marita Sauls, and Michael Colston received an Excellence in Education Award from Virginia Tech for writing "Our Virginia," which is being used to teach social studies SOL skills.

Barry Glenn, Executive Director of the Jobs for Virginia Graduates, presented Dr. Winters and the board a national awards plaque, which was earned by last year's class at Marion Senior High School. Mrs. Sallie Moss was the teacher of the program.

Dr. Hopkins presented Mrs. Laura Hall, board member, with an Award of Honor Certificate from the Virginia School Boards Association.

The board heard a presentation from Will Mahone, President of Smyth County Community Hospital, on the school-nursing program. He asked the school board to enter into an agreement with the hospital to apply for Carilion Foundation grant funds to support health programs for children. The school board's grant application would request funding for the school nurse position currently funded by the hospital. Mr. Mahone guaranteed the board that the hospital would pay any additional costs for the position above what the grant covers or will fund the entire position if the grant application is denied. He asked the school board to enter into this arrangement with the hospital for three years. On motion of Mr. Grinstead, seconded by Mr. Choate, the board accepted the hospital's proposal.

Dr. Winters reviewed the 2002-2003 revenue, expenditure, and cash flow figures. He pointed out that sales and use tax is $59,596 over the budgeted amount for July and August. Dr. Hopkins also pointed out that salaries and wages expenditures in both elementary and secondary were right where they should be. Jerry Catron, board member, asked the board to consider eliminating out-of-state travel for school employees in an effort to trim the budget. Dr. Winters reported that plans for out-of-state travel had already been made for this year. The board will reconsider out-of-state travel next year during budget preparation.

The board received the independent auditor's report from Bostic, Tucker and Company, P.C. on school activity and cafeteria funds for the year ending June 30, 2002. The board asked Dr. Winters to bring back suggestions from school principals on ways to correct problems and unintentional errors listed in the report. A decision to accept the auditor's report was tabled until the next meeting.

The board reviewed policy revisions 3.22.1 Selling, Soliciting, Advertising and 3.23.2 Marketing of Products/Insurance Plans/Investment Options. On motion of Mr. Grinstead, seconded by Mr. Catron, the board approved the additions to the draft policies.

Dr. Winters reviewed average class sizes for 2002-2003. The board asked him to bring back for the next meeting a list from each school on the number of employees they have at their school in each position.

On motion of Mr. Catron, seconded by Mr. Doane, the board accepted the bid from Harris Office Furniture, Co., Inc. of Roanoke, Virginia, in the amount of $100,490.84 for furniture for Chilhowie Elementary and Chilhowie Middle/High additions.

The board discussed closing tennis courts at Marion Senior High School during the winter. The board asked Dr. Winters to write a letter to the town council and the recreation department for their input since the town had paid 1/6 of the original cost. Dr. Hopkins made a request to see if the Marion Police Department would monitor the courts at night. This will be discussed again at the next meeting.

On motion of Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Grinstead, the board approved requests for field trips from the schools as presented.

On motion of Mr. Campbell, seconded by Mr. Grinstead, the board approved the 2002-2003 Schedule for School Visitations after making the following changes:

  1. Visit Smyth Career and Technology Center in November instead of Atkins Elementary School; and
  2. Visit Chilhowie Elementary School in December instead of Marion Intermediate School.

On motion of Mr. Catron, seconded by Mr. Choate, the board approved the Smyth Career and Technology Center Advisory Committee as presented.

On motion of Mr. Grinstead, seconded by Mr. Choate, the board approved the Gifted Advisory Committee after adding Laura Hall as the board member for the committee.

On motion of Mr. Choate, seconded by Mr. Catron, the board approved the Special Education Advisory Committee as presented.

On motion of Mr. Grinstead, seconded by Mr. Choate, the board approved the Title I and Title VI Advisory Committees as presented.

The September payroll, paid September 30, 2002, checks #36150-36246, was approved on motion of Mr. Choate, seconded by Mr. Doane.

On motion of Mr. Choate, seconded by Mr. Campbell, current invoices in the amount of $733,589.42 from the County School Operating Fund were ordered paid, the same to be listed in the warrant register. Mr. Grinstead abstained.

On motion of Mr. Grinstead, seconded by Mr. Campbell, current invoices in the amount of $383,558.51 from the County School Debt and Capital Outlay Fund were ordered paid, the same to be listed in the warrant register.

Dr. Winters reported that an in-depth review of the telephone system was being conducted, and the school board would be getting bids for long distance service.

Dr. Winters gave the board a state/division three-year summary from the Virginia Department of Education regarding 2001-2002 SOL testing scores for all schools in all subject areas.

Dr. Winters gave the board a copy of the Smoking Regulations Policy. The American Lung Association is urging school divisions to seriously consider adopting a more stringent policy. Their recommendations would prohibit the use of tobacco products by anyone on school property at any time. The board will discuss this again next month.

Dr. Winters gave the board copies of Smyth County Schools Dropout Report for 2001-2002 and Continuing Education Dropout Statistical Information from 1966-2002.

Dr. Winters gave the board copies of fund raising activities for each school for the 2002-2003 school year.

Mr. Catron moved that during the first meeting of school principals following this scheduled meeting of the school board they be informed to instruct their teachers, custodians, cafeteria workers, and secretaries to submit their responses, suggestions, and ideas about coping with budgetary reductions. Their responses should be given to the individual school principals, and each principal should place the unread, written ideas in a collection envelope. After a two-week time period, the principal should seal the envelope and bring unopened to the superintendent's office. When notified by the superintendent's office that each school has responded, a tabulation committee composed of Susan L. Sneed, Betty Webb, Karen Chamberlain, and Jerry Catron will tally the suggestions and present the results to this board. Mr. Choate seconded the motion. The results will be brought back at a future meeting.

On motion of Mr. Doane, seconded by Mr. Choate, the board accepted Barker Building Company's proposal in the amount of $67,500.00 for additional work requested for Chilhowie Elementary School.

On motion of Mr. Doane, seconded by Mr. Choate, the board accepted Barker Building Company's proposal in the amount of $21,500.00 for additional work requested for Chilhowie Middle/High Schools.

On motion of Mr. Doane, seconded by Mr. Choate, the board accepted the proposal from Southwest Electrical Company in the amount of $30,000.00 for upgrading the fire alarm system at the Chilhowie Elementary School building and bringing it up to code specifications.

Mr. Doane requested that the building committee conduct another study on the cost to add ventilation to Chilhowie Middle/High Schools.

Pursuant to 2.1-344(A) of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, on motion of Mr. Campbell, seconded by Mr. Grinstead, the board voted to convene a closed meeting for the purpose of discussing the following specific matters: staff resignations, hiring of support staff, and a proposal for reconfiguring nursing assignments as authorized by 2.1-344(A)(1) of the Code of Virginia.

On motion of Mr. Grinstead, seconded by Mr. Choate, the board then returned 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:

WHEREAS, 2.1-344(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: Yes: 6 No: 0

Mr. Campbell had to leave.

On motion of Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Doane, the board approved the following new hires as recommended by the superintendent:

  1. Jennifer Cannon - Marion Middle School - Special Education Instructional Aide
  2. Jill Eddy - Marion Middle School - Special Education Instructional Aide
  3. Barbara Cannon - Chilhowie Elementary School - Kindergarten Inclusion Special Education Aide

On motion of Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Grinstead, the board accepted the resignations of Lisa Keen, part-time school nurse and Susan Chapman, special education aide at Marion Middle School.

The board discussed the proposed school nurse distribution model. This model will be used temporarily until staff can advertise for a part-time nurse.

On motion of Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Choate, the board accepted the announcement of the forthcoming retirement of Mr. Carlisle Hostetter, principal of Marion Senior High School.

The board named Mr. Danny Newman and Mrs. Emma Brabson as co-interim principals for Marion Senior High School. The superintendent will move forward with advertising the position of principal at Marion Senior High School.

Pursuant to 2.1-344(A) of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, on motion of Mr. Grinstead, seconded by Mr. Choate, the board voted to convene a closed meeting for the purpose of discussing the following specific matters: hiring of personnel as authorized by 2.1-344(A)(1) of the Code of Virginia.

On motion of Mr. Grinstead, seconded by Mr. Doane, the board then returned 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:

WHEREAS, 2.1-344(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: Yes: 6 No: 0

No action was taken.

On motion of Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Doane, the meeting was adjourned.