3-20-2017 Regular Meeting Minutes

Printer friendly PDF

ACPS Logo

MINUTES

REGULAR MEETING OF THE ALLEGHANY COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD
March 20, 2017

 

The Alleghany County School Board held its regular meeting on March 20, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. in the Gleason Forum Hall at Mountain View Elementary School in Covington, Virginia.

PRESENT:   Gerald E. Franson; R. Craig Lane; Norman L. Persinger, Jr.; Jennifer S. Seckner; Benjamin J. Truett, Vice Chairman; Randall S. Tucker, Chairman; and Jacob L. Wright.  Also present: Eugene P. Kotulka, Superintendent; and Lorie C. Bess, Clerk.

ABSENT:  

Chairman Tucker announced the following revisions to the agenda:

1.   During Closed Session, the Board will discuss Real Property associated with potential land acquisition, pursuant to the Code of Virginia Section 2.2-3711.A.3.

2.   Agenda item #17-260, New Tech Update, will be an action item and will follow agenda item #17-238.


COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION

(17-233) OPENING REMARKS AND WELCOME BY APRIL EASTON, PRINCIPAL, MOUNTAIN VIEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

April Easton, principal, welcomed everyone to Mountain View Elementary School.  She recognized and thanked her staff for their support of the students.  She thanked the School Board for their continued support.  She stated the school is improving and she is proud of everyone’s efforts. 

(17-234) REMARKS BY MOUNTAIN VIEW ELEMENTARY PTO REPRESENTATIVE

Donnie Kern spoke on behalf of the PTO.  He stated they are a 501-C non-profit organization now, with a fund balance of $12,000.  He noted the PTO is working on an anti-bullying program to encourage self-esteem.  He stated they will have a Science Fair, walkathon, and field day.   He also reported they are planning to make a Carly Simmons Memorial garden.  

(17-235) REMARKS BY SCA REPRESENTATIVES

Abigail Bush, Lakin Cantrell, and Orchid Tucker represented the SCA.  The SCA suggested improved school lunches and noted that lunch trays are not ecofriendly.

(17-236) SCHOOL BOARD COMMENDATIONS:

Mountain View Elementary students who earned a perfect score on their spring 2016 SOL tests: Grade 5:  John Brewster, Kadence Bradberry, Noah Brown, Jakob Bowser, Lane Crawford, Rongxing Fu, Sara Howard, Faith Meadows, Ryan Moles, Kevin Shifflett, and Tempblum Tucker               

“ABCD” Staff Awards: Debra Buckner, Toni Jackson, Laura Rogers, Michelle Timbrook

Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year Finalists:

                  Alleghany High School:   Lucas Conner
                  Clifton Middle School:  Jennifer Taylor
                  Callaghan Elementary School:  Cathy Drummer
                  Mountain View Elementary School:  Michelle Via
                  Sharon Elementary School:  Jeremy Bartley

       Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year:  Jeremy Bartley, Sharon Elementary School

       VSBA Art Contest Individual School Winners:  

               Alleghany High School:  Brent Barr
               Clifton Middle School:  Sabrina Burks
               Callaghan Elementary School:  Brianna Brown
               Mountain View Elementary School:  Mason Dawson
               Sharon Elementary School:  Abigael Riley

VSBA Art Contest Regional Winners: Abigael Riley, 1st place; Sabrina Burks, 3rd place

 

(17-237) PUBLIC COMMENT

New Tech Program:

The following comments were heard from students Gilbert Davis, Jakob Rice, Gabe Meadows, Jordan Davis, and Jessica Gadd:

  • Students learn the basics in Kindergarten through Grade 5.Grades 7-12 should be hands on learning.
  • Students should be able to build their own schedules so they don’t take classes they don’t need.
  • Not all students learn the same way, some are traditional learners and some are hands-on/tactile learners.
  • Students should be in a class for their specific learning styles.Some are tactile.Some are visual.If we are not in the proper learning environment, we are “bored to death”.
  • Projects should be based on specific skills of what we want to learn.We need to work with like-minded students.I am a multi-tasker; I have to be busy all the time.

The following comments were heard from teachers:

Bob Umstead – New Tech is no different than what we did 50 years ago in education.  Please do not let our neighbor down the road dictate what we do here, this is for the students.  This will help them develop leadership skills.  Education should be wide open.  Let’s listen to the students, they are telling us what they need to learn. 

Melinda Hinkle – Not everyone learns the same way, some are visual learners, some are auditory, and some are both.  Very few people are auditory learners.  The purpose of New Tech is to have hands on learning to meet the needs of these students and teach them how to bring everything together, across all subject areas.  

Jackie Almarode – I do hands on projects in my classroom every day.  This gives students the ability and freedom to learn their way.  While New Tech may not look financially correct, I believe it will turn out productive citizens to the community by offering people that can do more than sit behind a computer. 

Sadie Dickson – I am a huge fan of project based learning.  I have had personal experience with this and I know it helps students get the skills they need for beyond school, instead of just teaching them how to pass an SOL test. 

David Vanderford – Students need social and communication skills, as well as learn what teamwork is about.  This learning style can help students enter any field, because they will learn to rely on each other and their community. 

(17-238) SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER AND SUPERINTENDENT COMMENTS

Mr. Wright congratulated everyone on their awards.  He thanked everyone for attending the meeting.

Mr. Persinger thanked everyone for attending the meeting and supporting the school.  He congratulated the teachers for their Educator of the Year nominations.  He congratulated the students on their SOL scores and the VSBA art winners. 

Mr. Lane thanked Mrs. Easton and staff for hosting the meeting.  He commended the teachers on their nominations for Educator of the Year.  He congratulated the art winners and recognized two of the students as regional winners. He thanked those that spoke regarding the New Tech program, especially the students for letting the Board know the best way they learn.

Mrs. Seckner commented she appreciates the large crowd attending the meeting.  She thanked the Cub Scouts for leading the pledge and Donnie Kern for his update on the PTO.  She commended the students on their SOL awards and artwork.  She recognized the teachers who were nominated for Educator of the Year and Jeremy Bartley on being the division winner.   

Mr. Franson stated the students and staff have done a great job and their extra efforts show through.  He congratulated the Educator of the Year nominees.  He thanked those who shared their comments regarding the New Tech program and stated students need to know how to pass a “life test”, not an SOL test. 

Mr. Truett stated there was a lot of positive energy in the room. He stated there has been a lot of momentum this year and things have moved quickly.  He stated the Board needs everyone’s support and he is looking forward to great opportunities ahead.  

Mr. Tucker offered his condolences to the Edmund Byer family.  Mr. Byer was a retired bus driver who recently passed away.  He thanked Mr. Kern for his work with the PTO and for their support of the school.  He congratulated everyone on their awards.

Mr. Kotulka stated Mountain View has great staff members and overall great community support.  He reported Lucas Conner, teacher at the high school, recently was awarded a $5,000 grant for the robotics team. 

(17-260) NEW TECH UPDATE

Chairman Tucker thanked everyone for their comments regarding the New Tech program.

MOTION: That the New Tech Program be housed at Alleghany High School, instead of Jackson River Technical Center, as was previously approved at the January 23, 2017 meeting.

MOTION:  Mr. Lane   
SECOND: Mr. Truett
ROLL CALL VOTE:     Mr. Franson - YES  
                                    Mr. Lane - YES
                                    Mr. Persinger - NO
                                    Mrs. Seckner - YES
                                    Mr. Truett - YES
                                    Mr. Tucker - YES
                                    Mr. Wright - YES  


(17-239) CONSENT AGENDA

The following items were included for approval:

A.  Minutes of February 6, 2017 Called Meeting and Work Session
B.  Minutes of February 20, 2017 Regular Meeting
C.  Approval of payment of bills
D.  Cafeteria report
E.  Communications/Monthly Reports
      1. JRTC monthly report
      2. Classified Advisory Committee
      3. Minority Advisory Committee
      4. Parent Advisory Committee
      5. Teacher Advisory Committee
F.  Field trip – CMS to New York, NY, May 10-13, 2017

MOTION: That the items listed on the consent agenda be approved, as presented.

MOTION:  Mr. Wright    
SECOND: Mr. Truett  
ROLL CALL VOTE: Unanimous                                    

                                                                       

BUDGET AND FINANCE

(17-240) BUDGET REPORT

School Operating Fund

$2,455,543.50

School Textbook Fund

$1,184,838.38

Alleghany Foundation Nursing Grant

$53,649.04

Governor’s School

$88,858.76

Scholarship

$76,923.66

Alleghany Foundation Mental Health Initiative

$10,665.45

School Capital

$1,322,381.57

Medicaid Reimbursement

$486,404.70

Technology

$29,999.57

Grand Total

$5,709,264.63

 

(17-241) ANNUAL SCHOOL DIVISION AUDIT

A copy of the FY 2016 audit was provided in advance to each Board member.  The audit was performed by Robinson, Farmer, Cox Associates.  The audit concluded that the School Board ended the year “in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America,” and offered no recommendations.   


(17-242) APPROVAL OF 2017-2018 SCHOOL DIVISION OPERATING BUDGET

Mr. Kotulka reviewed the School Board’s proposed 2017-2018 operating budget via a PowerPoint presentation.  He explained that the budget had been built on an enrollment of 2080, which is 20 fewer students than last year.  The budget will be presented to the Board of Supervisors on March 22, he noted.

MOTION: That the Board approve the 2017-2018 operating budget, as presented.

MOTION:  Mr. Truett     
SECOND: Mrs. Seckner  
ROLL CALL VOTE:     Mr. Franson - YES  
                                    Mr. Lane - YES
                                    Mr. Persinger - NO
                                    Mrs. Seckner - YES
                                    Mr. Truett - YES
                                    Mr. Tucker - YES
                                    Mr. Wright - YES         

(17-243) APPROVAL OF 2017-2018 CONTRACT FOR HEALTH INSURANCE SERVICES

The Commonwealth of Virginia Local Choice health benefits program provides medical, dental, vision, and wellness coverage to local governments and school divisions.  Our division has been a participant in this program since 2010.  It was recommended that the division continue to participate in The Local Choice, to continue to offer the Key Advantage 250 and Key Advantage 1000 plans, and to add a High Deductible Health Plan/Health Savings Account option for a total of three plan offerings. 

MOTION: That the Board approve the Local Choice as the division health insurance provider, as presented.

MOTION:   Mr. Franson    
SECOND:  Mr. Lane
ROLL CALL VOTE: Unanimous            


(17-244) APPROVAL OF SALARY SCALES

The administration developed new 36-year salary scales, which were reviewed by the Board in previous meetings.  Mr. Kotulka recommended approval of the scales.

MOTION: That the Board approve the new salary scales, as presented.

MOTION:  Mr. Truett     
SECOND: Mr. Lane  
ROLL CALL VOTE:  Unanimous           

 

SUPERINTENDENT REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

(17-245) CALENDAR INFORMATION

Mr. Kotulka reminded the Board of the following meetings:

- March 22, 6:00 p.m. – Joint work session w/ Board of Supervisors at ACGC   
- March 25 – Celebration of Arts at Masonic Theater, 5:00 Art Show, 7:00 Concert
- April 11, *6:00 p.m. - Joint Board of Control at JRTC (*dinner meeting)
- April 19 (*Wednesday), 6:00 p.m. – Regular meeting at Sharon Elementary School
- April monthly calendar

 

(17-246) REVIEW OF 2017 STAFFING PLAN FOR K-12 SUMMER SCHOOL PROGRAM

Summer school for K-8 students will be held at Mountain View Elementary School and Clifton Middle School from May 30-June 22, 2017. Summer School for students in grades 9-12 will be held at Alleghany High School May 30 through July 20, 2017.  Breakfast and lunch will be available for all students at no charge.  If new courses are offered at Alleghany High School, the cost for the course will be $200.

Recommendations for summer school employee appointments will be included among those that will be considered under the personnel section of the agenda at the next meeting.  All positions are contingent upon student enrollment in the program. 

                   

(17-247) CLIFTON MIDDLE SCHOOL AND MOUNTAIN VIEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT UPDATES

Kim Crandall, principal of Clifton Middle School, and April Easton, principal of Mountain View Elementary School, provided updates on their improvement plans. 

 

(17-248) RESOLUTION FOR VSBA BUSINESS HONOR ROLL

The VSBA Business Honor Roll shows appreciation to a company’s ongoing support of the community’s public schools.  Lewis Gale Hospital Alleghany and WestRock were recommended as nominees for the VSBA Business Honor Roll.  Mr. Truett read the resolution.

MOTION: That the Board recommend Lewis Gale Alleghany Regional Hospital and WestRock for the VSBA Business Honor Roll, as presented.

MOTION:  Mr. Wright    
SECOND: Mrs. Seckner  
ROLL CALL VOTE: Unanimous            


(17-249) RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT EDUCATION WEEK

The resolution supports April 1-7, 2017 as Local Government Education Week.  Mr. Truett read the resolution.

MOTION: That the Board approve the resolution in support of April 1-7, 2017 as Local Government Education Week, as presented.

MOTION:  Mr. Franson    
SECOND: Mr. Lane  
ROLL CALL VOTE: Unanimous          

(17-250) OVERVIEW OF SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER PROGRAM

The division funds two school resource officers through the Alleghany County Sheriff’s Department. 

Chris Fisher provides oversight of the SRO program on behalf of the Sheriff’s Department.  He also serves as the DARE Officer.  Clinton Phillips is assigned at Alleghany High School and began with the division in August 2015.  Laura Rogers is assigned to Clifton Middle School and began with the division in February 2016.  Officers Phillips and Rogers provided information on programs they hope to integrate into the schools in the future.

 

(17-251) CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION LOCAL PLAN

The Perkins Grant provides funding for the Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs.  The funds received from this federal grant are used to support programs in Technology Education, Business Education, Family and Consumer Sciences, and Agricultural Education.  The CTE plan will be presented at the April meeting for approval. 


(17-252) NEW CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION COURSES AT CLIFTON MIDDLE SCHOOL

Clifton Middle School is planning to implement a new schedule for the 2017-18 school year.  With the implementation of this schedule, the plan is to offer three additional Career and Technical Education courses.  The state department must approve the new course applications, but the School Boards’ approval is also needed.  The courses include 7th grade Keyboarding, 8th grade Make It Your Business, and 8th grade Career Investigation Phase I.  These courses will be presented for approval by the Board at the April meeting.

 

(17-253) UPDATE ON GREENHOUSE AT ALLEGHANY HIGH SCHOOL

An update was provided by Jan Hobbs.  She explained the next steps include:

  • Meet with architect to discuss other locations
  • Complete a site survey
  • Complete geo borings if recommended by the architect for the new locations.
  • Receive an estimate and specifications from the architect.
  • April or May - Put the greenhouse out for bid.
  • May or June - Have School Board approve a bid.
  • June – July Begin building the greenhouse.
  • By December 2017 – complete the greenhouse


(17-254) APPROVAL OF WEB FILTERING SOFTWARE

The school division’s IBoss web filter license, threat management license, and hardware replacement warranty are renewed annually in March.  Quotes were received from three vendors.  The service was last renewed in March 2016 at a cost of $23,790.00.  Acceptance of BorderLAN’s quoted price of $23,790.00 was recommended.

MOTION: That the Board approve BorderLAN for web filtering software at a total cost of $23,790.00, as presented.

MOTION:  Mr. Lane   
SECOND: Mr. Truett 
ROLL CALL VOTE:  Unanimous           

 

(17-255) ONE-TO-ONE INITIATIVE UPDATE

Updates were presented on the One-to-One initiative as it pertains to:

  • Chromebook Staff Training: Alleghany High School / Clifton Middle School
  • Chromebook Deployment: AHS
  • Device Configuration: Clifton Middle School
  • Device Configuration: Elementary Schools
  • Kajeet
  • Out-of-School Connectivity Survey

 

(17-256) APPROVAL OF SPECIAL EDUCATION ANNUAL PLAN

This plan was presented to the Board for review at its February 20 meeting and approved by the local Special Education Advisory Committee February 21, 2017. 

MOTION: That the Board approve the Special Education Annual Plan, as presented.

MOTION:  Mr. Truett     
SECOND: Mr. Lane  
ROLL CALL VOTE:  Unanimous           

(17-257) TRANSPORTATION REPORT

The Board was given a brief overview of proposed schedule and route changes for 2017-2018.

(17-258) CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT AND OPERATIONAL MAINTENANCE UPDATE

Board members were provided with capital improvement and maintenance reports. 

(17-259) POLICY REVISION

a. Policy GBEA, “Unlawful Manufacture, Distribution, Dispensing, Possession, or Use of a Controlled Substance”

MOTION: That the Board approve Policy GBEA, as presented.

MOTION:  Mr. Wright     
SECOND: Mr. Truett  
ROLL CALL VOTE:  Unanimous           

OTHER BUSINESS

(17-261) ADDITION TO AGENDA

There were no further additions to the agenda.

CLOSED SESSION

(17-262) CODE OF VIRGINIA: PERSONNEL MATTERS 2.2-3711.A.1, STUDENT MATTERS 2.2-3711.A.2, REAL PROPERTY 2.2-3711.A.3, AND DISCUSSION OF SCHOOL SAFETY REPORTS 2.2-3711.A.19.

MOTION: That the School Board enter closed session to discuss Personnel, Student Matters, Real Property, and School Safety Reports, as authorized by the Code of Virginia Sections 2.2-3711.A.1, 2.2-3711A.2, 2.2-3711.A.3, and 2.2-3711-A.19.

MOTION:  Mr. Truett   
SECOND: Mr. Lane
ROLL CALL VOTE: Unanimous                                               
TIME: 8:24 p.m.

 

MOTION: That the School Board return to open session from closed session.

MOTION:  Mr. Wright   
SECOND: Mrs. Seckner
ROLL CALL VOTE: Unanimous                                               
TIME: 9:06 p.m.

 

CERTIFICATION OF EXECUTIVE SESSION

The Chairman requests a motion to certify that to the best of each member’s knowledge:

  1. Only public business matters lawfully exempted from opening meeting requirements by Virginia law were discussed in the closed meeting to which this certification applies; and
  2. Only such public business matters as were identified in the motion convening the closed meeting were heard, discussed or considered by the School Board.

                                    MOTION:  Mr. Wright  
                                    SECOND: Mr. Truett   
                                    ROLL CALL VOTE:     Mr. Franson - YES   
                                                                        Mr. Lane - YES
                                                                        Mr. Persinger - YES 
                                                                        Mrs. Seckner - YES
                                                                        Mr. Truett - YES
                                                                        Mr. Tucker - YES
                                                                        Mr. Wright - YES                                 

                                                                        7 - YES        0 - ABSENT        0 - NO

                                    TIME: 9:07 p.m.           

_____________________________________          ____________________________

    Chairman, Alleghany County School Board                                  Clerk


PERSONNEL

(17-263) PERSONNEL ACTIONS

MOTION: That the Board approve all personnel actions as discussed in closed session and recommended by the Superintendent. 

MOTION:  Mr. Truett  
SECOND: Mr. Lane 
ROLL CALL VOTE: Unanimous

 

MOTION:  That the Board approve a two year extension of the superintendent’s contract, as discussed in Closed Session.

MOTION:  Mr. Truett  
SECOND: Mr. Franson 
ROLL CALL VOTE:     Mr. Franson - YES  
                                    Mr. Lane - YES
                                    Mr. Persinger - NO
                                    Mrs. Seckner - YES
                                    Mr. Truett - YES
                                    Mr. Tucker - YES
                                    Mr. Wright - NO                       

 

(17-264) REVIEW OF PERFORMANCE EVALUATION REVISIONS

The proposed revised administrator evaluations are specific to operational administrators. These parallel our current format utilized by our instructional staff and administrators as designed by James H. Stronge and adopted by our division.  This version seeks to evaluate our professional role within the division that differs from instruction while maintaining a uniform evaluation format.  The proposed revised school counselor performance evaluation is also modeled after our adopted model designed by James H. Stronge and revised in 2016.  Both revisions are proposed addendums to our currently approved evaluation systems.  The revisions will be considered for approval at the April meeting. 

                                               

ADJOURNMENT

MOTION:  That the March 20, 2017 meeting be adjourned.

MOTION:   Mr. Wright 
TIME: 9:11 p.m.


______________________________________         ___________________________

   Chairman, Alleghany County School Board                                    Clerk