MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING by decree

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									                MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING
                              December 19, 2006

A regular meeting of the Board of Education was conducted at 7:00 p.m. in the Board Room of
the Administration Building located at 3801 North Campbell Street, Valparaiso, Indiana, on
Tuesday, December 19, 2006. Members of the Board of Education in attendance were: Mr.
Douglas McMillan, Mr. Mark Schmidtke, Dr. James Bernard, Mr. Tom Sanders, and Ms. Mary
Idstein. Members of the administration in attendance were: Dr. Michael Benway, Mr. Steven
Hewlett, Dr. John Hutton, Dr. George Vrabel, and Mr. David White. The Board’s legal counsel,
Mr. David Hollenbeck, was also in attendance.

The meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance.

There were no additions or corrections to the minutes of the Special Meeting of November 17,
2006, the Regular Meeting and the Executive Session of November 21, 2006, the Special
Meeting in Executive Session of December 1, 2006, and the Special Meeting of December 7,
2006.

Mr. Mark Schmidtke made a motion to approve the minutes of the Special Meeting of November
17, 2006, the Regular Meeting and the Executive Session of November 21, 2006, the Special
Meeting in Executive Session of December 1, 2006, and the Special Meeting of December 7,
2006. Dr. Michael Benway seconded the motion. The motion carried.

Mr. Tom Sanders made the motion to approve the November claims for payment. Ms. Mary
Idstein seconded the motion. The motion carried.

Mr. Stephen Hewlett presented the financial report ending November 30, 2006. He reported that
the General Fund balance was $9,695,884.91; Debt Service Fund balance was $3,913,740.70; the
Capital Projects Fund balance was $2,692,761.85; the Transportation Operating Fund balance
was $1,910,858.43; the Transportation Bus Purchase Fund balance was $231,107.43; the Self
Insurance Dental Fund balance was $95,603.79; and the Self-Insurance Health Fund balance was
$3,489,031.94. The total balance for all funds, including grants, was $24,616,505.59. Mr.
Hewlett also reported that an investment report ending November 30, 2006, was attached to the
November financial report.

Dr. James Bernard noted that the balance in the Self-Insured Health Fund has been steadily
increasing; Mr. Stephen Hewlett responded that insurance payments for the last 18-24 months
have been ahead of expenses, resulting in a steady growth in the balance.

Mr. Mark Schmidtke stated that the news press has given substantial coverage to the anticipated
delay in the release of property tax bills for 2007 and asked Mr. Stephen Hewlett about any
foreseeable impact the delay may have for Valparaiso Community Schools. Mr. Stephen
Hewlett stated that the major impact would be with debt repayment. Consequently, lease
anticipation notes could be arranged in May or June, and these would sustain additional cost for
30-60 days interest due on the notes. Another option for defraying general operating costs could
lie with making inter-fund loans, providing there are sufficient allocations in all the funds to
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make this possible. Mr. Stephen Hewlett said the cyclical shortfall could likely continue on an
annual basis because of the introduction in 2006 of trending, a new assessment tool implemented
by assessors’ offices throughout the state.

Dr. Michael Benway provided the Board with a communication about trending from Umbaugh &
Associates, a firm specializing in assisting school districts with their funding needs. The
communication indicates that the ratio of selling price to assessed value is computed, taking into
consideration the number of units sold which are of similar value, and applying an equal share of
the average ratio to each unit, thereby achieving an assessment without conducting an actual
physical inspection of each unit.

Mr. David Hollenbeck commented that between assessments, the trending process incrementally
increases the assessed evaluation. The assessors’ calculations are then submitted for review by
the appropriate governance agency and may be returned for correction before being resubmitted
to receive certification prior to release. The year 1999 served as the base year for changes to the
assessment process; it would be from this point forward that assessment calculations and
application of the trending ratio would be made.

Mr. Stephen Hewlett also attended a meeting which was hosted by the Porter County Council on
Saturday, December 16, 2006, 9:00 a.m., at the County Government Center. Officials made
reference to a previous occasion when Porter County administered a provisional tax bill and
indicated how that experience has been insightful to the inherent difficulties involved with that
process. Meeting attendees also heard a report about those counties that recently completed their
assessments, inclusive of the trending application. The report reflected only a portion of the
counties that were completed; however, it was noted that trending percentages in that sample
ranged as much as 1-1/2% to 18-20%.

Dr. Michael Benway spoke of the governor’s proposal to allow taxing districts to raise money at
the local level to make up for shortfalls, but there is no provision for school districts to raise
money. Both he and Dr. John Hutton had met with several state legislators who were
sympathetic to the school districts but readily admitted there was no current provision for school
districts’ funding shortfalls.

The Board made the report and the addendum containing requests from personnel employed by
the Valparaiso Community Schools to attend meetings or conferences a matter of record of the
Board meeting of December 19, 2006.

Mr. Doug McMillan asked if there was anyone signed in under Public Participation. There were
no patrons signed in under Public Participation.

The Board made the following donations a matter of record of the minutes of the Board meeting
of December 19, 2006:

       a.      a donation in the amount of $500.00 to the FROG reading program and a second
               donation in the amount of $500.00 to Mr. David Wakeman’s and Mrs. Karen
               Niketh’s third grade classes at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School from Mrs.
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              Kathy J. Rankin, grandmother of one of the students at Thomas Jefferson
              Elementary School; and

       b.     a donation in the amount of $1000.00 to the band program at Valparaiso High
              School from Mr. Ed Spelde and Mrs. Susan Spelde, parents of Ms. Allissa Spelde.
              Ms. Allissa Spelde graduated from Valparaiso High School and was a band
              member and she was also a member of the Purdue University band program
              where she had the opportunity to play in Carnegie Hall.

Mr. Doug McMillan thanked the patrons for their generosity and contributions to the Valparaiso
Community Schools’ educational and music programs.

The following requests were submitted by Dr. Larry Stuber, sponsor of the Debate Team at
Valparaiso High School, to permit that team to participate in the following field trips.

       a.     a request for the Debate Team to travel to Ben Davis High School in
              Indianapolis January 5-6, 2007, to participate in a debate tournament.
              Approximately 15 students would participate in this competition and they would
              be chaperoned by Dr. Larry Stuber, Mrs. Chriselle Waters, and Mr. Don Scheffer;

       b.     a request for the Debate Team to travel to Concord High School in Elkhart
              January 25-26, 2007, to participate in a debate tournament. Approximately 15
              students would participate in this competition and they would be chaperoned by
              Dr. Larry Stuber, Mrs. Chriselle Waters, and Mr. Don Scheffer;

       c.     a request for the Debate Team to travel to Kokomo High School on February 2-3,
              2007, to participate in the Indiana State Debate Tournament. Approximately 18
              students would participate in this competition and they would be chaperoned by
              Dr. Larry Stuber, Mrs. Chriselle Waters, and Mr. Don Scheffer.

       The cost to participate in the debate competitions listed above would be $40.00 per
       student and the entire cost would be paid from the Student Activity Fund at Valparaiso
       High School.

Dr. Larry Stuber and Mrs. Nancy Collins, sponsors of the Speech Team at Valparaiso High
School, have submitted requests for the Speech Team to participate in the two speech
competitions listed below:

       a.     a request to travel to Southport High School in Indianapolis, March 23-24, 2007,
              to participate in the Indiana State Speech Final Competition. Only speech
              students qualifying for this competition would participate in the Indiana State
              Speech Final Competition and they would be accompanied by Dr. Larry Stuber
              and Mrs. Nancy Collins; and

       b.     a request to travel to Indiana University, Bloomington January 5-7, 2007, to
              participate in the Indiana University Speech Tournament. Approximately 18
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              students would participate in this competition and they would be chaperoned by
              Mrs. Nancy Collins and an appropriate number of parents.

       The cost to participate in the two speech competitions listed above would be $40.00 per
       student and the entire cost would be paid from the Student Activity Fund at Valparaiso
       High School.

A request has been submitted by Dr. Larry Stuber and Mrs. Chriselle Waters, sponsors of the
Valparaiso High School Mock Trial Team, to travel to Indianapolis March 9-11, 2007, to
participate in the Indiana State Mock Trial Competition. Only those students who qualify for
this competition would participate in the Indiana State Mock Trial Competition. Dr. Larry
Stuber and Mrs. Nancy Collins would chaperone this event.

The cost to participate in this competition would be $40.00 per student and the cost would also
be paid from the Student Activity Fund at Valparaiso High School.

Mr. Mark Schmidtke made a motion to approve the field trip requests presented to the Board.
Mr. Tom Sanders seconded the motion. The motion carried.

Dr. Michael Benway reported that the Board of Education is scheduled to award bids for tax
anticipation warrants in the amounts of $7,718,000.00 for the General Fund, $951,100.00 for the
Debt Service Fund, and $725,500.00 for the Retirement/Severance Bond Debt Service Fund for
calendar year 2007. It is anticipated that these would become due and payable on December 31,
2007.

The majority of school districts in the state of Indiana issue tax anticipation warrants to meet
cash flow obligations. The Valparaiso Community Schools, like all other school districts
throughout the state of Indiana, receives June and December property tax settlements from the
county auditor. The Valparaiso Community Schools also receives a limited amount of property
tax revenue in the form of advanced draws from the Porter County Auditor which are charged
against the June and December property tax settlements. Schools in the state of Indiana
traditionally receive tuition support distributions from the state of Indiana on a monthly basis.
Dr. Michael Benway noted that that the fund amounts listed above are not received in a manner
which permits the district to meet cash flow obligations in the forms of payrolls and payments to
vendors throughout the school year. On a number of occasions Valparaiso Community Schools
has received eleven payments rather than twelve.

State statute permits a school district to borrow an amount not to exceed 80 percent of the
anticipated local property tax revenue and projected tuition support payments in the form of tax
anticipation warrants to meet cash flow requirements.

Dr. Michael Benway deferred reporting about the received bids to Mr. Stephen Hewlett and Mr.
David Hollenbeck, who were involved in opening and tabulating the bids for the tax anticipation
warrants at the appointed time and date. Mr. Stephen Hewlett reported that six bids were
received; of these, First National Bank bid $5 million on the General Fund and all of the Debt
Service and Pension Debt Service Fund at 3.45%. City Securities was agreeable to accepting the
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balance of the General Fund, $2,718,000.00, at 3.668%. Other bid participants were Horizon
Bank, J. P. Morgan/Chase, and Net City Investments of Cleveland, Ohio.

Mr. Stephen Hewlett requested that the Board consider the bids proposed by First National Bank
and City Securities, and should the Board find the proposals to be satisfactory, to recommend
their approval.

Mr. Mark Schmidtke made a motion to approve First National Bank’s bid of $5 million on the
General Fund and all of the Debt Service and Pension Debt Service Fund at 3.45% and City
Securities’ bid for the balance of the General Fund, $2,718,000.00, at 3.668%. Dr. James
Bernard seconded the motion. The motion carried.

Dr. Michael Benway requested that the Board of Education authorize approval for administration
to balance accounts in the General Fund and the Transportation Fund for the 2006 budget year.

The State Board of Accounts requires that a school district’s fund accounts not show deficits at
the termination of the budget year. The Board’s authorization to allow the administration to
balance accounts would permit the transfer of appropriations from selected major budget
classifications to other major budget classifications to balance accounts in the General Fund and
the Transportation Fund. The transfers would not require the expenditure of more money than
the total amount appropriated in the 2006 General Fund and the 2006 Transportation Fund
budgets as adjusted by additional appropriations, reductions, and encumbrances. A report of all
transfers would be made to the Board of Education at the regular meeting in January, 2007, and
the Board would be requested to make the transfers a matter of record of that meeting.

A motion was made by Ms. Mary Idstein to authorize approval for administration to balance
accounts in the General Fund and the Transportation Fund for the 2006 budget year. The motion
was seconded by Mr. Tom Sanders and the motion carried.

The following personnel items were presented to the Board for approval:

       a.     a letter requesting a Family Medical Leave submitted by Ms. Kathryn Miller, a
              food service employee at Valparaiso High School, beginning December 4, 2006,
              and continuing through January 18, 2007;

       b.     a letter requesting a Family Medical Leave submitted by Mr. Don Oehlman, a
              bus driver for the Valparaiso Community Schools, beginning November 11,
              2006, and continuing through the end of December, 2006;

       c.     a request to rescind a letter of intent to retire at the end of the 2006-2007 school
              year submitted by Mrs. Cynthia Stalbaum, a business teacher at Valparaiso High
              School;

       d.     a letter of resignation submitted by Mrs. Jean Chelich, a media specialist at
              Valparaiso High School, effective immediately;
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       e.     a letter requesting a Family Medical Leave submitted by Ms. Jan Bays, an
              instructional/paraprofessional at Memorial Elementary School, beginning
              December 6, 2006, and continuing through December 18, 2006;
       f.     a letter of intent to retire at the end of the 2007-2008 school year submitted by
              Mr. Ronald Vendl, Principal of Thomas Jefferson Elementary School;

       g.     a letter requesting maternity leave submitted by Mrs. Jean Sienkowski, a fourth
              grade teacher at Central Elementary School, beginning April 20, 2007, and
              extending through the end of the 2006-2007 school year;

       h.     a letter of resignation submitted by Mrs. Elizabeth Jo Berry, a custodian at
              Benjamin Franklin Middle School, effective January 5, 2007;

       i.     a letter of resignation submitted by Ms. Katherine Lund, a school bus aide for
              Valparaiso Community Schools, effective December 11, 2006;

       j.     the employment of Ms. Ebonie Johnson as a food service employee (assistant
              cook) at Thomas Jefferson Middle School beginning December 4, 2006;

       k.     the employment of Ms. Pamela White as a food service employee (cashier/food
              prep) at Thomas Jefferson Middle School beginning December 4, 2006;

       l.     the employment of Ms. Diane Morton as a Title I paraprofessional at Flint Lake
              Elementary School beginning January 3, 2007;

       m.     the resignation of Mrs. Linda Ferrari, a paraprofessional at Parkview Elementary
              School, effective immediately; and

       n.     the employment of Ms. Kellee King as the Thomas Jefferson Middle School
              eighth grade girls “B” basketball coach for the 2006-2007 school year.

Mr. Tom Sanders made a motion to approve the personnel items presented to the Board and
Mr. Mark Schmidtke seconded the motion. The motion carried.

Before adjourning, Mr. Doug McMillan took a moment to acknowledge Ms. Mary Idstein in
attendance at her first meeting as a Board member. Ms. Mary Idstein was warmly welcomed by
her colleagues on the Board and administration with a round of applause.

There being no further matters to be brought before the Board, Mr. Mark Schmidtke made a
motion to adjourn; the motion was seconded by Mr. Tom Sanders and the motion carried. The
meeting adjourned at 7:30 p.m.
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MINUTES OF THE EXECUTIVE SESSION OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION
                          December 19, 2006

An executive session of the Board of Education was conducted immediately following the
regular meeting of the Board in the Board Conference Room of the Administration Building
located at 3801 North Campbell Street, Valparaiso, Indiana, on December 19, 2006. Members of
the Board of Education in attendance were: Mr. Douglas McMillan, Mr. Mark Schmidtke, Dr.
James Bernard, Mr. Thomas Sanders, and Ms. Mary Idstein. Members of the administration in
attendance were: Dr. Michael Benway, Mr. Stephen Hewlett, Dr. John Hutton, Dr. George
Vrabel, and Mr. David White. Mr. David Hollenbeck, legal counsel for the Board, was also in
attendance. The executive session was held pursuant to IC5-14-1.5-6.1(b)(2)(B). No subjects
were discussed other than the subjects specified in the public notice.

								
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