Minutes of the October 13, 2008 Smyth County School 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

Chairperson Hall 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 Mr. Coulthard, seconded by Mr. Choate, 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 and student issues as authorized by § 2.2-3711(A)(2) of the Code of Virginia.

On motion by Mr. Doane, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, 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.

The agenda was removed from the consent agenda and amended as follows: add under item III. E. Field Trips/Fundraisers - Field trip requests from Chilhowie High School, Marion Senior High School, and Northwood High School for their senior trips and a field trip request from Chilhowie High School for a band trip; change the Enrichment Resource Program field trip from two nights to one night; add item VI. F. On-Time Graduation Rates; and add item IX. A. 17. Policy GAB/IIBEA: Acceptable Computer/Network System Usage (second reading).

CONSENT AGENDA

On motion by Mr. Choate, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, by 7-0 vote, the following was approved.

INFORMATIONAL REPORTS

The Board received a copy of the October appropriation request to the Smyth County Board of Supervisors.

The Board received a copy of the 2007-2008 Superintendent's Annual School Report Financial Section.

The Board received a copy of revenue and expenditure financial data for the Food Services Program.

The Board received a copy of the 2007-2008 CTE Credentials Report.

PRESENTATIONS/RECOGNITIONS

Chilhowie Elementary School had the highest attendance percentage in the elementary category for the month of September .Dennis Carter, Principal of Chilhowie Elementary School, introduced Alex Ball, a fifth grader, for only missing one day of school since the second grade. They received a certificate and the flag to fly at the school.

Marion Middle School had the highest attendance percentage in the middle school category for the month of September. Brandon Ratliff, Principal of Marion Middle School, introduced Will Dakin, an eighth grader, and Raleigh Dakin, a sixth grader, for all their accomplishments this year. They received a certificate and the flag to fly at the school.

Chilhowie High School had the highest attendance percentage in the high school category for the month of September. Mark Halsey, Athletic Director of Chilhowie High School, introduced Tyler Sheets, Aaron Clampitt, Will Brooks, and Cody Hafley, senior members of the golf team. They won the Hogoheegee District regular season and tournament championships. They received a certificate and will be retaining the flag from last year.

Dr. Robinson presented Blake Frazier with a Commendation Certificate for the 2008 Media Honor Roll Program from the Virginia School Boards Association for his support of public schools through his announcing on WZVA - 103.5 & 102.5 radio stations.

Dr. Robinson presented Dan Kegley with a Commendation Certificate for the 2008 Media Honor Roll Program from the Virginia School Boards Association for his support of public schools through his reporting in the Smyth County News and Messenger.

Dr. Robinson recognized Sam Cregger and Valerie Booth, fifth grade teachers at Chilhowie Elementary School, as being named the "2008 Wal-Mart Teachers of the Year." They received a check for $1,000.00 for their school and $100.00 gift card for their classrooms.

Mrs. Hall presented Mr. Catron, Mr. Choate, Mr. Coulthard, Mr. Hambrick, and Ms. Sneed with a Certificate of Recognition from the Virginia School Boards Association for their participation in the VSBA School Board Academy. Mrs. Hall presented an Award of Achievement to Dr. Robinson for his participation in the VSBA School Board Academy. Dr. Robinson presented Mrs. Hall with an Award of Distinction Certificate and pin for her participation in the VSBA School Board Academy.

Mr. Catron commented on how nice it was for the certificates to be signed by Laura Hall as the President of the Virginia School Boards Association.

Dr. Robinson recognized Teresa Hash from Marion Intermediate School for being the Region 7 Teacher of the Year, and she will be competing at the state level for the Virginia Teacher of the Year Award.

Mrs. Hall commented on how much she enjoyed seeing pictures on the school division and school web pages.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Jane Hale, a parent, expressed her concerns about alleged racist comments in schools. Mrs. Hale asked for sensitivity training in the schools, especially when dealing with minority students.

Mrs. Shields, a parent, expressed her concerns about the football program at Marion Senior High School.

SUPERINTENDENT'S REPORT

Dr. Cassell reviewed revenue, expenditures, and cash flow figures for the month of September 2008, fiscal year 2008-2009.

Dr. Cassell reviewed the Report of Audit Findings and Recommendations by Hicok, Fern, Brown & Garcia. Mr. Choate requested for the Board to receive a copy of each school's report.

Dr. Robinson reported on the replacement of the existing student information system from SASI to PowerSchool. The change will be completed for use in the 2009-2010 school year.

Dr. Robinson reported on the Virginia Department of Education School Accreditation Report. Mr. Choate requested that a letter be sent to each school from the Board thanking them for a job well done.

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

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

Kimberly Williams, Principal of Marion Primary School, reported on that school's Annual School Improvement Plan.

Tammy Johnson, Principal of Rich Valley Elementary School, reported on that school's Annual School Improvement Plan.

Brenda Boone, Principal of Saltville Elementary School, reported on that school's Annual School Improvement Plan.

Dr. Robinson discussed On-Time Graduation Rates. Overall, Smyth County School's On-Time Graduation Rate exceeded the state average.

DISCUSSION TOPICS

The Board discussed plans for facilities improvements. There was a general consensus of the Board that replacing Marion Intermediate School and renovating Marion Primary are priorities. In addition, consideration should be given to making both elementary schools have K-5 grade configurations. The Board authorized Dr. Robinson to start setting up community meetings.

QUESTIONS FROM BOARD MEMBERS

Ms. Sneed inquired about parent/teacher work nights being held after the end of a school day. She would like for principals to be reminded to ask their faculties how they would like to hold these.

ACTION ITEMS - MOTION REQUIRED

The Board considered the following policies for approval (second reading):

On motion by Mr. Choate, seconded by Mr. Catron, by 7-0 vote, the policies were approved.

On motion by Mr. Choate, seconded by Mr. Catron, by 7-0 vote, the previous motion was amended to include Policy GAB/IIBEA: Acceptable Computer/Network System Usage (second reading) for approval.

The Board considered policy additions and/or changes for the following (first reading):

The Board considered approving a Virginia Public School Authority (VPSA) Reimbursement Resolution. On motion by Mr. Choate, seconded by Ms. Sneed, by 7-0 vote, the resolution was approved.

On motion by Mr. Choate, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, by 7-0 vote, the Board approved the following advisory committee recommendations as presented:

On motion by Mr. Coulthard, seconded by Mr. Doane, by 7-0 vote, the Board declared a list of equipment presented as surplus.

The Board considered approving the following professional firms to provide architectural and engineering services on a contractual basis by contract:

On motion by Mr. Coulthard, seconded by Mr. Choate, by 7-0 vote, the firms were approved.

The Board considered bids for installation of auditorium lighting at Marion Senior High School, Chilhowie High School, and Northwood High School. On motion by Mr. Choate, seconded by Mr. Catron, by 7-0 vote, the Board approved the bid from RGM Erectors.

The Board considered bids for cafeteria tables for Saltville Elementary School and Marion Intermediate School. On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Catron, by 7-0 vote, the Board approved the bid from J. H. Pence Company.

The Board considered approving Title I School Parent Involvement Policies. On motion by Mr. Choate, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, by 7-0 vote, the policies were approved.

The Board considered adding Eragon by Christopher Paolini to the High School Reading List. On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, by 7-0 vote, this was approved.

CLOSED SESSION ITEMS

On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, by 7-0 vote, the Board approved the following resignations:

On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, by 7-0 vote, the Board approved up to a total of twelve work weeks of unpaid Family Medical Leave during any 12-month period for Joyce Sexton, a bus driver in the Marion area.

On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, by 7-0 vote, the Board hired the following:

On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, by 7-0 vote, the Board accepted the resignation of Mark Frye as the 7th grade boys' basketball coach at Northwood Middle School.

On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Choate, by 6-0 vote, the Board hired Tammy Doane as the SCA sponsor at Chilhowie Middle School. Mr. Doane abstained.

On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Coulthard, by 7-0 vote, the Board hired the following in coaching/extracurricular positions:

On motion by Mr. Catron, seconded by Mr. Doane, by 7-0 vote, the meeting was adjourned.