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COVINGTON CITY SCHOOL BOARD

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					                         COVINGTON CITY SCHOOL BOARD
                                    Minutes
                                November 8, 2010

The Covington City School Board held its regular monthly meeting in the Board
conference room on Monday, November 8, 2010, at 6:30 p.m. with the following
members in attendance:

      Danny Warlitner, Chair
      Richard Fuhrman, Vice-Chair
      Eddy Clemons
      Ron Morrissette
      John Woodzell

Superintendent Tom Long was present as were Ellen Nipper, Director of Instruction;
Melinda Snead-Johnson, Director of Student Services; and Rebecca Irvine, Clerk.

Mr. Warlitner called the meeting to order, and those in attendance recited the Pledge of
Allegiance.

RECOGNITION/DELEGATION

Vice-Mayor Buddy Brown addressed the Board regarding the upcoming 2011 – 2012
budget. He noted that payments on the $27.5 million debt to build the new schools will
soon be due, and budget will need to get leaner to meet this obligation. He urged the
Board to make budget cuts and save as much money as possible.

Mr. Long noted that he and the Board appreciated the City’s efforts in funding schools
well beyond the required local match. The Board did not expect City Council to cover
significant state fund reductions last year, and he will be presenting a conservative 2011
- 2012 budget for Board consideration later in the meeting.

Mr. Woodzell commented that indeed the schools were operating on fewer funds for the
current (2010 – 2011) school year than the previous year (2009 – 2010) due to state
fund reductions.

Mayor Rob Bennett addressed the Board on behalf of City Council regarding the
opportunity for public comment at Board meetings. Mr. Bennett asked why the verbiage
“public comment” is not on the agenda. On behalf of City Council he requests that
“public comment” be added to the agenda after the Superintendent’s Reports and prior
to Personnel. Mr. Bennett feels that the Board needs to improve opportunities for public
comment and welcome citizen input.

Mr. Clemons noted that he also wanted to open up channels of communications and the
opportunity for public comment.
MINUTES – NOVEMBER 8, 2010

Mr. Morrissette noted that rarely are citizens present to address the Board, and when
citizens are present he feels they deserve a response from Board or staff.

Mr. Woodzell noted that he feels that the current agenda provides ample opportunity for
public comment and any citizen that wishes to address the Board is recognized.

Mr. Bennett and Mr. Clemons both noted that they felt they had been denied the
opportunity to speak at previous meetings when they were not on the agenda.

Mr. Fuhrman noted that he felt all Board members are willing to listen to the public at
Board meetings, but some issues are not appropriate for discussion at public meetings.

Mr. Clemons noted that he felt procedures and time limits could be put in place to
provide for structure and orderly meetings, but the input from the public is important and
citizens need to know they are welcome.

Mr. Long reviewed the Board policy on Public Participation at School Board Meetings
that models the Virginia School Board Association’s policy.

The Covington City School Board recognizes the importance of receiving public input in
all educational matters. The Board welcomes and encourages individuals and
organizations who have concerns or suggestions to appear and present their views at
school board meetings. Any citizen may address the Board at any regular meeting
under “Delegations”.

Mr. Long noted that the current Board policy provides an opportunity for the matter to be
placed on the agenda, and thereby notify the public of what items will be discussed at
each meeting.

Mr. Long noted that a notice had been printed in the newspaper, posted on the website,
and distributed to staff and Covington Education Association members inviting
input/recommendation for the 2011 – 2012 Budget to be discussed at tonight’s meeting.
He received no comments.

MINUTES

Mr. Morrissette noted that, based on a review by the Virginia School Boards Association
attorney, the motion at the October 11,2010 meeting to list “Public Comment” with
Recognition/Delegation on the Board agenda was approved.

Mr. Long noted that he had extensive discussions with the Virginia School Board
Association’s attorney regarding the vote to list “public comment” with
Recognition/Delegation on the agenda. The attorney’s recommendation was for the
MINUTES – NOVEMBER 8, 2010

Board to formalize its procedures and, after having done so, take another vote on the
issue.

Upon a motion by Mr. Morrissette, seconded by Mr. Clemons, the Board unanimously
approved the following addition to the minutes of October 11, 2010: The motion to allow
public comment passed based on the Board policy of using Robert’s Rules of Order.

FINANCE

Upon a motion by Mr. Fuhrman, seconded by Mr. Woodzell, the Board unanimously
approved payments of warrants totaling $802,315.37.

Mr. Long presented a preliminary budget for 2011 – 2012 totaling $11,185,427, based
on an average daily membership of 840 students. Funded Fall membership for the
current year is 873, thus a projection of 840 for next year is realistic. This budget
includes state revenues for FY 2012 based on the Biennium budget adopted by the
General Assembly in 2010. Federal Jobs for Education Funding totaling $213,888 is
included in this preliminary budget, which projects a year-end balance of $250,000 to be
reappropriated by the City.

Mr. Long noted that the expense budget is on target and includes: debt service
payment of $300,000; earned increments/step increases for 108 employees; a 10%
increase in health insurance costs; and funding for a school resource officer at CHS.
However, revenues are unpredictable, and any action by the State to reduce the
General Fund will result in a different amount of local funds needed to meet targeted
expenditures.

Mr. Long reviewed the results of a staff survey regarding the budget. Results indicate
that staff would prefer a reduction in benefits over salary reductions and a salary freeze
over staff layoffs.

POLICY BDDE – RULES OF ORDER

Mr. Long reported that Elizabeth Ewing with the Virginia School Board Association has
recommended that the Board formalize its procedures by adopting the most recent
version of Roberts Rules of Order with an alternative standing rule establishing the
definition of majority.

Upon a motion by Mr. Woodzell, seconded by Mr. Fuhrman the Board approved a as
standing rule that a majority of the Board members present constitutes a majority with
respect to voting. A roll call vote was taken, and Mr. Clemons and Mr. Morrissette voted
no.
MINUTES – NOVEMBER 8, 2010

Upon a motion by Mr. Woodzell, seconded by Mr. Fuhrman, the Board voted to revise
Policy BDDE as follows: “adopts the most recent version of Robert’s Rules of Order as
its’ rules of order. With respect to voting, the Covington City School Board also
establishes an alternative standing rule establishing the definition of majority. Majority
shall mean a majority of the members present. An abstention is not a vote.” A roll call
vote was taken, and Mr. Clemons and Mr. Morrissette vote no.

Upon a motion by Mr. Woodzell, seconded by Mr. Fuhrman, the Board voted to rescind
the vote from the October 11, 2010 meeting listing “Public Comment” with
Recognition/Delegation on the Board agenda. A roll call vote was taken, and Mr.
Clemons and Mr. Morrissette voted no.

Mr. Morrissette made a motion, seconded by Mr. Clemons to list “Pubic Comment” with
Recognition/Delegation on the Board agenda. A roll call vote was taken and Mr.
Fuhrman, Mr. Woodzell, and Chairman Warlitner voted no. This motion was not
approved due to lack of a majority.

COMMITTEE & JOINT BOARD REPORTS

Mr. Clemons presented information regarding the Jackson River Governor’s School.
Enrollment in the Governor’s school has increased this year.

SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORTS

Mrs. Snead-Johnson distributed a brochure on the Early Childhood and Pre-
Kindergarten Programs and reported that Covington City Pre-School programs were
recently recognized by the Virginia Department of Education as being a four year cohort
participant to provide Inclusive Placement Opportunities for Preschoolers.

Mrs. Snead-Johnson reported that the Division has been selected by the Virginia
Department of Education to participate in the Response to Intervention (RtI) cohort. RtI
is a multi-tiered approach to help struggling learners. Students’ progress is closely
monitored at each stage of intervention to determine the need for further research-
based instruction and/or intervention in general education, in special education or both.

Mr. Long reported that 388 parent/teacher conferences were held on October 25, 2010:
158 at CHS; 108 at JWIS; and 122 At EPS.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

Upon a motion by Mr. Morrissette, seconded by Mr. Woodzell, the Board unanimously
approved an executive session to discuss matters in relation to the Code of Virginia,
Section 2.2-3711 (1) Personnel.
MINUTES – NOVEMBER 8, 2010

Upon a motion by Mr. Fuhrman, seconded by Mr. Woodzell, the Board came out of
executive session at 9:05 p.m.

Upon a return to open session, the Board agreed to certify the closed session under the
Code of Virginia, Section 2.1-3711 (1) Personnel upon a motion by Mr. Fuhrman,
seconded by Mr. Woodzell. A roll call vote was taken with all members voting yes.

PERSONNEL

Upon a motion by Mr. Morrissette, seconded by Mr. Woodzell, the Board unanimously
approved the following appointments:

      Nathan Hale                  Volunteer – JV Baseball Coach
      Caprice Laws                 Volunteer – Girls Basketball Coach
      Seth Lamb                    CHS Assistant Wrestling Coach
      Robert Wood                  Bus Driver (as needed)
      Teresa Lyons                 Substitute Bus Driver

Upon a motion by Mr. Fuhrman, seconded by Mr. Woodzell, the Board unanimously
approved funding for a School Resource Officer for Covington High School. The School
Resource Officer will be employed by the City Police Department and the School Board
recommends that an officer with previous experience at CHS be assigned.

ADJOURNMENT

The Board adjourned at 9:08 p.m.




________________________                              _____________________
Danny Warlitner, Chair                                Rebecca Irvine, Clerk

				
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