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.
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, Bill Veselik, and Paul Grinstead. Susan Williams and Todd Williams were absent due to scheduling conflicts. Wayne Carter arrived, after closed session, at 6:10 p.m.
Pursuant to § 2.2-3711 of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, on motion by Mr. Veselik, seconded by Mrs. Williams, by 4-0 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.
On motion by Mr. Veselik, seconded by Dr. Grinstead, by 4-0 vote, closed session ended.
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: 4, Nays: 0.
On motion by Mr. Veselik, seconded by Dr. Grinstead, by 4-0 vote, the following items were approved.
|Regions Bank||Payment/Literary Fund||$40,000.00|
|Regions Bank||Interest/Literary Fund||$64,800.00|
Attendance awards were presented to Sugar Grove Elementary School, Northwood Middle School, and Chilhowie High School.
Dr. Carter presented the Award of Achievement for participation in the VSBA School Board Academy to Mr. Buchanan, Dr. Grinstead, Mr. Choate, and Mrs. Williams.
Ms. Debbie Cassell, with the Virginia Professional Educators, presented information about a mini-grant and scholarship available two times per year to teachers for both classroom and travel purposes. The deadline for entry is either November 15 or June 15.
Julie Bear, Director of Finance, reviewed revenue, expenditure, and cash flow figures for the month of September 2016.
Dr. Carter provided an update on facilities.
Dr. Carter discussed a Security Grant Award, in the amount of $28,000.00, with a required local match of $7,000.00, for security systems to be updated at Chilhowie Middle School, Northwood Middle School, and Smyth Career & Technology Center.
Dr. Carter provided an update on the JAM program which is the Junior Appalachian Musicians program located in Marion. There were over 100 musicians that participated last year and they are hopeful that there will be even more this year. Transportation to the Henderson building will be provided by District Three as well as several Smyth County school buses near the Marion area. The JAM program will support Saltville Elementary School through the school’s 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant. Representatives from the Jam program will visit Rich Valley Elementary School and Northwood Middle School on Thursdays to work with students in that area. The cost is $10 per session and there will be 10 sessions in the fall and 10 sessions in the spring. If students are on free or reduced lunch, the cost will be $5 per session. There are also scholarships available for students that aren’t able to afford the cost.
Dr. Carter provided an enrollment update as of September 30, 2016. Current enrollment, as of that date, was 4,360 students, which is 92 students less than this time last year. However, we budgeted for 4,319 students, so we are above the budgeted amount.
Dr. Carter, as well as Dr. Cole Spencer, provided a health insurance update. There is currently a proposal to look into a state-wide Local Choice health insurance plan, in hopes it would be more cost effective. There would also be additional options that are currently not available to employees. The plan would not begin until July 1, 2018 and there would be a 3 year commitment if we should decide to enroll. Presently, Smyth County has only expressed interest and we are waiting for additional information before making any commitments.
Dr. Carter discussed the Project Based Learning initiative. Smyth County had several teachers attend the training and we are gaining more interest in this type of teaching strategy.
Dr. Carter provided a progress report on the Division Improvement Plan for 2015-2016. Several items highlighted were:
Dr. Carter shared information on the following meetings/conferences:
Mr. Buchanan stated the project at Northwood Middle School is continuing; however we are facing regulatory requirements for handicap bathroom facilities as well as other issues. The project will move forward as funds sought through donations and grants are received.
Mr. Choate announced that preliminary interviews for the Superintendent search would run from October 12 through October 26, 2016. If additional interviews should be necessary, the timeline may be extended.
The Board considered approving the following policy additions and/or revisions (second reading):
On motion by Mr. Veselik, seconded by Mr. Buchanan, by 5-0 vote, the policy was approved.
The Board considered approving the Smyth County Schools Professional Development Plan for 2016-2017. On motion by Mr. Veselik, seconded by Mr. Buchanan, by 5-0 vote, the plan was approved.
The Board considered approving the Capital Improvement Plan for 2016-2021. On motion by Mr. Buchanan, seconded by Mr. Veselik, by 5-0 vote, the plan was approved.
The Board considered approving the Parent Advisory Committee for Title I for the 2016-2017 school year. On motion by Dr. Grinstead, seconded by Mr. Veselik, by 5-0 vote, the committee was approved.
The Board considered approving the Gifted Advisory Committee for the 2016-2017 school year. On motion by Mr. Veselik, seconded by Mr. Buchanan, by 5-0 vote, the committee was approved.
The Board considered approving the Title VI, Part B, Subpart 2 Rural and Low Income Grant application. On motion by Mr. Veselik, seconded by Dr. Grinstead, by 5-0 vote, the application was approved.
The Board considered a change to the 2016-2017 Smyth County Schools Calendar. On motion by Dr. Grinstead, seconded by Mr. Veselik, by 5-0 vote, the change was approved.
On motion by Mr. Veselik, seconded by Dr. Grinstead, by 4-0 vote, the Board approved the following resignation:
On motion by Mr. Veselik, seconded by Dr. Grinstead, by 4-0 vote, the Board approved the following new hire as recommended by the superintendent:
On motion by Mr. Veselik, seconded by Dr. Grinstead, by 4-0 vote, the Board approved the following extracurricular hires:
On motion by Mr. Veselik, seconded by Mr. Buchanan, by 5-0 vote, the meeting was adjourned.