Minutes of the September 11, 2006 Smyth County School Board Meeting

Marion, Virginia

The Smyth County School Board met today in a regular meeting at 5:00 P.M. in the board meeting room.

CALL TO ORDER

Chairman Choate 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. Nipper, seconded by Ms. Sneed, the board voted unanimously to convene a closed meeting for the purposes of discussing the following specific matters: personnel issues as authorized by § 2.2-3711(A)(1) of the Code of Virginia.

Dr. Mike Robinson, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, was present for the closed meeting.

On motion by Mrr. Clark, seconded by Mr. Nipper, the board voted unanimously to return 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; 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

AGENDA

Mr. Doane had to leave at 5:45 P.M.

CONSENT AGENDA

On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mrs. Hall, the board voted unanimously to approve the following:

INFORMATIONAL REPORTS

The board received copies from each school outlining their planned activities for commemoration of September 11, 2006.

The board received information on middle school math SOL tests.

The board received information regarding accountability and Virginia Public Schools. The board received information on the Sixth Annual Summit of the National African American School Board Members Council.

The board received copies of enrollment figures for day ten of this year compared to day ten of last year.

PRESENTATIONS/RECOGNITIONS

No students or employees were present for presentations or recognition.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Sam Hambrick requested for the board to consider the middle school philosophy of education. With a child in middle school, he said he sees things happening that were not part of what was developed originally for the middle school concept.

Johnny Cornett, member of the Dugout Club, spoke on the Marion Senior High School's baseball field and improvements needed. He requested that this be given the highest priority for any current or future funding. Mr. Sullivan assured him that the board would work on these needed improvements.

SUPERINTENDENT'S REPORT/INFORMATIONAL UPDATES

Mr. Sullivan reminded the board that the public hearing by the Smyth County Board of Supervisors to consider amendments to the 2006-2007 School Board Budget to allow expenditures of remaining funds from the 2005-2006 budget was scheduled for Tuesday, September 12, 2006, at 4:00 P.M.

Elizabeth Ballard, Business Decision Support Analyst, reviewed revenue, expenditures, and cash flow figures for the month of August, 2006, fiscal year 2006-2007.

The board considered registration and other plans to attend the VSBA Annual Convention in Williamsburg, Virginia, on November 15-17, 2006. On motion by Mr. Catron, seconded by Ms. Sneed, the board voted unanimously to urge Laura Hall, President-elect of the Virginia School Boards Association, to seek various studies to make a change in venue for the VSBA Annual Convention.

DISCUSSION TOPICS

Kimberly Clark requested for the board to take another look at considering a roll call vote for each action item voted on. Mr. Sullivan told the board he would put this on the agenda as an action item for the October meeting.

Mrs. Clark encouraged everyone to attend the public hearing on the remaining funds from the 2005-2006 budget scheduled for Tuesday.

Kimberly Clark discussed "Project Right Start" and told the board that funding for this nutritional program from the Smyth County Community Foundation would end after this year. She wanted the board to consider the possibility of funding this project next year. Mr. Sullivan told the board that he would take a look at this.

Mrs. Clark requested that the board start thinking about holding a retreat for the school board as recommended from the Efficiency Study. Mr. Sullivan told the board that he would put this on the agenda for discussion at the October meeting.

QUESTIONS FROM BOARD MEMBERS

Laura Hall thanked the superintendent for his letters sent to Delegate Bill Carrico and Senator Phillip Puckett regarding the sales tax money.

Mrs. Hall reported that the survey on technology from the NSBA that Mr. Choate was invited to participate in was now complete with the help from Terry Hawthorne, Director of Technology, and Dr. Mike Robinson, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction.

Susan Sneed asked the superintendent to check and see if drivers' education teachers were paid $20.00 per hour like the summer school teachers. She was told they were only paid $12.00 per hour. Mr. Sullivan assured her he would check on this and make a correction in payroll if necessary.

Susan Sneed invited all board members to an Open House, sponsored by the Smyth County Special Education Advisory Committee, to be held at the Smyth Career & Technology Center on Thursday, October 5, 2006, from 6:00 - 9:00 P.M.

ACTION ITEMS - (MOTION REQUIRED)

The board considered school activity and athletic calendars for 2006-2007. On motion by Mrs. Clark, seconded by Mrs. Hall, the board voted unanimously to approve the schedules as presented.

The board considered fundraising activities for 2006-2007. On motion by Mrs. Clark, seconded by Ms. Sneed, the board voted unanimously to approve these fundraising activities as presented.

The board considered the schedule for school board visitation of schools during the 2006-2007 school year. On motion by Mrs. Clark, seconded by Mr. Nipper, the board voted unanimously to approve the revised schedule. The board will meet at 12:00 noon on the Wednesday prior to the board meeting at the following schools:

Smyth Career & Technology CenterOctober, 2006
Northwood Middle SchoolNovember, 2006
Chilhowie Middle SchoolDecember, 2006
Northwood High SchoolJanuary, 2007
Marion Senior High SchoolFebruary, 2007
Chilhowie High SchoolMarch, 2007
Sugar Grove Combined SchoolApril, 2007
Marion Intermediate SchoolMay, 2007

The board considered setting the locations for two regular school board meetings to be held elsewhere in the county (one in the fall and one in the spring). On motion by Mrs. Clark, seconded by Mrs. Hall, the board voted unanimously to schedule the October meeting at Saltville Elementary School and the April meeting at Atkins Elementary School. These changes in locations for the regular school board meetings will be advertised.

The board considered the purchase of Writing/Grammar Resource Books for middle/high schools' English classes as presented by Dr. Mike Robinson. On motion by Mrs. Clark, seconded by Mrs. Hall, the board voted unanimously to approve the purchase.

The board considered the addition of a first grade teaching position at Sugar Grove Combined School due to increased enrollment. On motion by Mrs. Clark, seconded by Ms. Sneed, the board voted unanimously to approve this position.

The board considered changes to the Exam Exemption Policy and Tests and Examinations Policy. The board encouraged school board staff to take a close look at these policies and bring back to a future board meeting for consideration.

The board considered adjustments to the Grade Scale Policy. On motion by Mr. Catron, seconded by Ms. Sneed, the board voted unanimously to approve the revised grading scale.

The board considered a budget amendment for 2006-2007 to be presented to the Smyth County Board of Supervisors. On motion by Mr. Nipper, seconded by Ms. Sneed, the board voted unanimously to approve the amendment in the amount of $38,671.00 for Project Charlie for Chilhowie Elementary School and Chilhowie Middle School.

The board considered adoption of Title I, Part A, 2006-2007 Parent Involvement Policy. On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Nipper, the board voted unanimously to approve the policy.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Nipper, the board voted unanimously to accept the resignation of Rebecca Buck, a food service worker at Atkins Elementary School, effective September 1, 2006.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mrs. Clark, the board voted unanimously to hire Deborah Suzanne Ammons as an instructional aide at Marion Middle School to replace Ashley King.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Catron, the board voted unanimously to hire Judy Atkins in a head cook position at Atkins Elementary School to replace Rebecca Buck.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mrs. Clark, the board voted unanimously to accept the retirement of Jim Sullivan, Superintendent of Smyth County Schools, effective December 31, 2006.

On motion by Mr. Catron, seconded by Ms. Sneed, the board voted unanimously to continue the meeting until Wednesday, September 20, 2006, at 5:00 P.M.