Minutes of the September 9, 2002 meeting of the Smyth County School Board, as approved by the School Board at its October 14, 2002 meeting

Marion, Virginia
September 9, 2002

The Smyth County School Board met today with the following members present: James H. Campbell, Jesse Choate, Charles Doane, Jerry Catron, Paul Grinstead, and Laura Hall. Mr. Campbell presided as chairman.

On motion of Mr. Choate, seconded by Mr. Doane, minutes of the August 13th and August 26th meetings were approved as presented.

On motion of Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Choate, the agenda was approved after adding 5.b. Hear a presentation from Terry Hawthorne, Director of Technology, on the technology section of No Child Left Behind; adding to 17.a. Other items of interest - hear from Mr. Catron and Mr. Doane; and adding 17.b. Closed session - to discuss two legal matters and a personnel matter.

The board heard a presentation from Linda Kelly, teacher at the Smyth Career and Technology Center, on the National Board Certified Teacher Academy Project. Mrs. Kelly and Joanne Groseclose, teacher at Marion Intermediate, had attended a regional meeting in Roanoke on July 12th about promoting National Board Certification in areas where there are not that many National Board Certified teachers. There are six National Board Certified teachers in Southwest Virginia and four of these are in Smyth County.

Ed Worley, principal of Smyth Career and Technology Center, gave an update on the status of the vocational education program. Enrollment as of September 4th was 265. The Middle Fork Childcare Center is looking at an alternative site for their program. Cheryl Dancy, teacher of A+ and Cisco Academy, shared with the board a multimedia presentation on her program at the career center.

Terry Hawthorne, Director of Technology, discussed the Six-year Educational Technology Plan. The plan is a major revision of the Technology Plan adopted in 1995. On motion of Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Choate, the board adopted the plan. On motion of Mr. Grinstead, seconded by Mrs. Hall, the board authorized schools to assess their instructional staffs' mastery of the technology standards for instructional personnel and issue certificates that certify that staff has met those standards.

Dr. Winters reviewed revenue, expenditure, and cash flow figures for 2002-2003. He pointed out that total local appropriations and expenditures had been reduced by $142,059. The Literary Loan for the Wastewater Treatment Plant at Rich Valley/Northwood Middle is moving along as planned. Dr. Winters told the board that two major concerns on revenue were ADM and sales tax. He thinks we will be under the 5,029 projected ADM. On the expense side, we need to stay within budget on maintenance, fuel, and personnel.

Dr. Winters reviewed the duties of the school resource officers. This is the last year for the grant, and the board will have to decide if they want to continue this next year. The board would like to have input from the principals concerning the need of the resource officers in their schools.

Dr. Winters reviewed the Early Retirement Incentive Program. On motion of Mr. Choate, seconded by Mrs. Hall, the board voted to have retirees fulfill their obligation of 10/20 days by doing substitute teaching.

On motion of Mr. Grinstead, seconded by Mr. Catron, the board adopted the pay schedule for substitutes as presented. Degreed substitutes or teachers substituting in excess of 10 days will be paid at a rate of $136.72 per diem instead of a rate based on their year's experience.

The board received a copy of the 2002-2003 revised school calendar.

The board received copies of the approved health insurance renewal rates for 2002-2003. On motion of Mr. Catron, seconded by Mr. Grinstead, the board voted to conduct a diligent search beginning September 10, 2002, and concluding May 1, 2003, to identify other health insurance providers, gather information about them, and invite them to make presentations to the board in a public meeting as a means of eliminating any perception of being in lock-step with the current provider. Dr. Winters recommended that the board should seek employees' view of what they expect in an insurance provider.

The board reviewed plans for commemoration of September 11. Each school had developed its own special observances. Dr. Winters encouraged board members to attend some of these activities if possible.

The policy revision for middle school promotion/retention was tabled until the October meeting. This will give principals a chance to circulate the policy at their school for additional comments.

The board received a revised Parent Handbook for Smyth County Middle Schools.

The board considered a revised contract for PT and OT services from Heartland. On motion of Mr. Grinstead, seconded by Mr. Choate, the board voted to approve the contract provided clarification is made to the last page. The final contract will read: Partial payment of $50,000 will be divided in twelve equal installments.

Dr. Winters reported on the triennial school census. The total number of persons ages 5-19 reported to the Virginia Department of Education was 6,227. He also pointed out that sales tax is distributed based on the triennial school census. Dr. Winters gave an update on data on the opening of school. As of Friday, September 6th, membership was up to 4,991.

The board considered the No Child Left Behind Application. On motion of Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Choate, the board voted to approve Phase II, Consolidated Local Application, P.L. 107-110, No Child Left Behind.

On motion of Mr. Catron, seconded by Mr. Choate, the board approved the school activity and athletic calendars for 2002-2003 as presented.

On motion of Mr. Choate, seconded by Mrs. Hall, the board approved the visitation schedule to visit schools during 2002-2003 with the following changes:

(1) Add Marion Intermediate for December, 2002 (2) Change April, 2003 to visit Chilhowie Middle/High instead of the Central Office.

The August payroll, paid August 30, checks #35855-35920, was approved on motion of Mr. Choate, seconded by Mr. Grinstead.

On motion of Mr. Choate, seconded by Mr. Grinstead, current invoices in the amount of $388,836.99 from the County School Operating Fund were ordered paid, the same to be listed in the warrant register.

On motion of Mr. Choate, seconded by Mr. Catron, current invoices in the amount of $812,679.09 from the County School Debt and Capital Outlay Fund were ordered paid, the same to be listed in the warrant register.

Mr. Catron moved that plans for any travel outside the Commonwealth of Virginia, whose costs are borne by the school system, be cancelled for the remainder of this school year. The sole exception to this would be required travel by an agent or agents of the school board concerning applicants for the position of school superintendent. The motion did not get a second. Dr. Winters will bring back to the next meeting a report explaining the financial impact out-of-state trips have on the budget.

Mr. Catron moved that supervisors and maintenance personnel be so informed that their work be for what they were hired. The motion did not get a second. This will be reviewed at the next meeting.

Mr. Doane discussed the fact that Chilhowie Elementary School has six classrooms that do not have windows. He feels that air conditioning needs to be added to these rooms while the builders are still there.

Mr. Doane discussed that Chilhowie Middle School needed exhaust fans in the gym to move the air while the construction is being done. He would like to send these two requests to the building committee and get cost figures on how expensive it would be. The building committee will schedule a meeting to discuss these two requests.

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, two legal matters as authorized by 2.1-344(A)(7) of the Code of Virginia, and a personnel matter 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

Dr. Hopkins was absent.

On motion of Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Choate, the board approved Helen Cason for the position of physical education aide at Marion Primary School as recommended.

On motion of Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Choate, the board voted that any school board employee that serves as an election official can take a personal leave day or an unpaid leave day for that purpose.

No action was taken on the two legal matters.

Mr. Campbell reported that there were now twenty-two applicants for superintendent.

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