September 13, 2004
The Smyth County School Board met today with the following members present: Jesse Choate, Laura Hall, Roger Nipper, Susan Sneed, Charles Doane, and Jerry Catron.
On motion by Mr. Catron, seconded by Mr. Nipper, minutes from the August 9, 2004, and September 7, 2004, meetings were approved as presented.
On motion by Mr. Catron, seconded by Ms. Sneed, the agenda was approved after adding:
During citizens' time, Catherine Smith, Co-president of the Smyth County Education Association, made a request for four teachers to attend a conference in Williamsburg on November 5-6, 2004. Teachers would miss one day of school and require substitutes. On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Catron, the board voted unanimously to approve this request.
Susan Sneed, board member, acknowledged the reception of letters from teachers concerned about the salary scale, and she expressed her thanks to them for taking the time to send the letters to board members.
Jeff Cassell, Principal of Rich Valley Elementary School, introduced his daughter Emily. As a third grader last year, she had scores of 600 on all four of her SOL tests. Mr. Choate, Chairman of the Board, presented Emily with a copy of her scores.
Mr. Sullivan recognized Jesse Choate and Laura Hall for their participation in the VSBA Academy. He presented Mr. Choate with a Certificate of Recognition and Mrs. Hall with an Award of Distinction Certificate and a distinctive pin.
Mr. Sullivan reported on the opening of schools in Smyth County. As of September 7, 2004, enrollment was 4,891. This total does not reflect night school totals. The budget for 2004-2005 was based on 4,850. Mrs. Hall encouraged all board members to go on opening day to a school of their choice.
Mr. Sullivan reviewed the school activities for commemoration of September 11, 2004. Mr. Nipper expressed his thanks to all schools for participating in this program.
On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Catron, the board voted unanimously to approve the school activity and athletic calendars for 2004-2005.
Mr. Sullivan updated the board on the 2003-2004 SOL scores and AYP status of Smyth County schools. This information was preliminary and final scores/status will be available in the next several weeks. Mr. Choate suggested that the superintendent send out thank-you letters to staff and schools after final scores are in.
On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Nipper, the board voted unanimously to approve the visitation schedule to visit schools during the 2004-2005 school year as presented by Mr. Sullivan.
Laura Hall reported on the 2004 VSBA Hot Topic Conference she attended in Charlottesville. Also, November is "VSBA Take Your Legislator to School Month." The board discussed plans for doing this again this year.
Mrs. Hall updated the board on plans for a "Key Work of School Boards" work session.
Elizabeth Roberts, Business Decision Support Analyst, reviewed revenue, expenditures, and cash flow figures through the month of August, 2004.
The board set Thursday, September 30, 2004, at 3:00 P.M., for a called board meeting to discuss budget issues and personnel matters.
Sam Musick, Maintenance/Transportation Supervisor, presented bids on the heating system for the Marion Senior High School Agriculture Shop. On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Catron, the board voted unanimously to accept the low bid from R & M Heating and Cooling, Inc., Marion, Virginia, in the amount of $29,900.00 as recommended by Mr. Musick.
Sam Musick presented two bids for consideration for repair of the track at Chilhowie High School. The board would like for Mr. Musick to bring back to the September 30, 2004, called meeting costs for a rubberized track.
The board heard a request from Suzanne Jennings, Executive Director of the Smyth County Community Foundation, for the Smyth County School Board to serve as the fiscal agent for the new "Right Start" project coordinator to work with schools' health and physical education teachers grades K-5. This position will be a 220-day contract, and the school board will be reimbursed for salary and benefits. Ms. Amy Smith has been employed for this position and will start Monday, September 20, 2004. On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Nipper, the board voted unanimously to approve this request.
On motion by Mr. Doane, seconded by Mrs. Hall, the board voted unanimously to approve a revised policy - 5.09 Part-Time Employment as presented by Rick Blevins, Director of Human Resources and Auxiliary Services. The revised policy states:
Substitute teachers, homebound teachers, summer school teachers, or other professional or support staff employees excluding bus drivers working 35 (thirty-five) hours or less per week will be classified as part-time or temporary employees. Such employees shall be entitled to those benefits required by law, but none of the other personal benefits or leave programs applicable to full-time employees will be available.
On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Catron, the board voted unanimously to approve a request from Virginia Highlands Community College for the use of a school bus for an Upward Bound meeting to be held on Saturday, September 18, 2004.
On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Ms. Sneed, the board voted unanimously to approve a request from the Saltville Historical Foundation for the use of a school bus to be used as a shuttle on Saturday, October 2, 2004.
The board heard an update from Rick Blevins, Director of Human Resources and Auxiliary Services, on the Retirement Bridge Program. The board requested for Mr. Blevins to bring a recommendation for the Retirement Bridge Program back to the board at the October meeting.
Mr. Sullivan updated the board on the efficiency study request made to the Secretary of Education, Dr. Belle Wheelan. Smyth County will not be included as one of the school divisions to undertake the study this fall, but may apply for the study to be held in the spring. On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Ms. Sneed, the board voted to remain on the state's list and for the superintendent to explore some other possibilities for the study. The motion passed with 5 ayes and 1 nay.
Mr. Sullivan updated the board on the financing of the wastewater treatment plant at Northwood Middle School through the Virginia Public School Authority subsidy program.
The board heard a report from the transportation committee regarding the payment of school buses for the 2004-2005 school year. The committee recommended that the school board would not purchase the handicap bus at $58,174 and three (3) other vehicles for $38,000 and would request for the Board of Supervisors to transfer $96,705 from capital outlay building improvement to operations bus replacement to cover the amount needed for purchase of all ten (10) buses with no installment purchases needed. On motion by Mr. Doane, seconded by Mr. Catron, the board voted unanimously to approve this request as presented by the transportation committee.
Pursuant to §2.2-3711 of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, on motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Ms. Sneed, the board voted unanimously to convene a closed meeting for the purpose of discussing the following specific matters: resignations, hiring of personnel, and other personnel issues as authorized by §2.2-3711(A)(1) of the Code of Virginia and the consideration of a recommendation for a student(s) as authorized by §22.1-254(B)(1) of the Code of Virginia.
On motion by Mr. Doane, seconded by Mr. Nipper, the board 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; 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.
Ayes: 6 Nays: 0
Mrs. Clark was absent.
On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Nipper, the board voted unanimously to approve the following as recommended by the superintendent:
On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Ms. Sneed, the board voted unanimously to approve the requests for twelve (12) students to be exempt from public school attendance by reason of religious training or belief as authorized by §22.1-154(B)(1) of the Code of Virginia.
The board received a list of all new hires for the 2004-2005 school year.
On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Catron, the August payroll, paid August 31, 2004, checks #44662-44701, was approved.
On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Catron, current invoices in the amount of $836,657.46 from the County School Operating Fund were approved and ordered paid, the same to be listed in the warrant register.
On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Catron, current invoices in the amount of $72,565.65 from the County School Debt and Capital Outlay Fund were approved and ordered paid, the same to be listed in the warrant register.
On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Nipper, invoices for utility payments made prior to the September 13, 2004, school board meeting in the amount of $18,559.97 from the County School Operating Fund were approved, the same to be listed in the August warrant register.
The board discussed plans for attending the 2004 VSBA Annual Convention to be held in Williamsburg, Virginia, November 16-19, 2004.
On motion by Mr. Doane, seconded by Ms. Sneed, the meeting was then adjourned.