8-21-2017 Regular Meeting Minutes

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MINUTES

REGULAR MEETING OF THE ALLEGHANY COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD

August 21, 2017

 

The Alleghany County School Board held its regular meeting on August 21, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. at Central Office Complex in Low Moor, Virginia.

 

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

ABSENT: 


COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION

(18-37) SCHOOL BOARD COMMENDATION:   ABCD Award – Lucas Conner

 

(18-38) PUBLIC COMMENT

Cindy Fox (547 White Oak Lane) read the following statement:  Mr. Chairman, Members of the School Board, and Mr. Kotulka, thank you for allowing me to speak tonight on behalf of myself and those present from Clifton Middle School (CMS). First, I would personally like to thank each of you for volunteering your time to serve as a member of our School Board. I would also like to extend a warm welcome to our new board member, Mrs. Morgan.   In late July, I was approached by a CMS parent asking what in the world was going on in our school and with our school board. I had no idea what they were talking about. They told me to go on Facebook and see the video links. Since I don’t do social media, I found the videos on YouTube. As I was listening and watching these videos, so many emotions came over me. First, I was stunned, then angry, then very hurt and sad.  In the video, someone mentioned “the behavior at CMS”. Another board member stated that “accreditation denied is pretty bad” and “we must be accredited this time next year and nothing less”, “teachers need to be held accountable for what is done in their classroom”. I agree that accreditation is very important. Do you not think that we as teachers hold ourselves accountable every day? We hold ourselves accountable when our student comes in crying because they had to move in the middle of the night.  We hold ourselves accountable when a student is hungry because they have no food at home.  We hold ourselves accountable when a student is poorly dressed and has no self-esteem or feeling of self-worth.  We hold ourselves accountable when a student is acting out and disrupting our classroom.  We hold ourselves accountable when our student misses 30+ days of school.  We hold ourselves accountable when our student is just barely getting by on survival mode. We as teachers have comforted, we have clothed, we have fed, we have disciplined, and we have given our unconditional love and understanding. We work above and beyond trying to reach our students where they are.  Is it fair to point fingers as to who is at fault because we didn’t make accreditation?  Is it the School Board’s fault? The Superintendent’s? The Administration? The  staff? The parents? The students?  We need to work together and not against each other. We encourage each one of you to take a couple days off from your job and come to CMS and spend it with us in our classroom and see the challenges we face each day. I’m not making excuses; I’m just stating the facts. The fact that we missed accreditation by less than 1 percentage point in reading overshadows all of the other outstanding SOL achievements we have in Civics, Math, and Science. We need to celebrate the positives that happen at CMS each day. We are excited about our new Principal, Mrs. Rowe. You will never find another group of middle school teachers who will do everything in their power to make sure their students succeed. I am so proud to work with this group of people at CMS. Thank you again for allowing me to share my feelings and please come and visit us!”


(18-39) SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER AND SUPERINTENDENT COMMENTS

Mr. Wright thanked Mrs. Fox for her passion and noted these issues will be discussed at the upcoming board retreat on September 29.  He congratulated Lucas Conner on his ABCD award.  He noted Clifton Middle School rolled out their Chromebooks today.  He thanked all the Clifton Middle School teachers who attended in support of Mrs. Fox.  He reported he watched the solar eclipse earlier that day at Mountain View Elementary and heard many “wows” from the students and staff. 

Mr. Persinger thanked Lucas Conner for his hard work and dedication.  He noted during the reorganization meeting there were more people interested in the Jackson River Technical Center board positions than in the past and he felt the appointments were not handled properly.  He stated he feels the Board does not always adhere to Roberts Rules of Order.  He stated the Board should stick to the agenda as it is written and not allow members to speak about something not on the agenda.  He thanked the Clifton Middle School staff for speaking and stated he was glad they are willing to talk about things.  He said he believes there is a resource issue, not a staff issue, and that teachers need to hold the central office and the superintendent accountable for supplying the resources they need.  He concluded by stating he would not be apologetic for his prior comments because it is not acceptable to not be accredited. 

Mr. Lane congratulated Lucas Conner on his award and successful implantation of the One-to-One Initiative.  He thanked the Clifton Middle School staff for their passion and stated he would love to spend a day in one of their classrooms and he would be in touch to schedule that.

Mrs. Morgan thanked the School Board members, Central Office, and staff for entrusting her to serve on the Board.  She thanked Lucas Conner for his dedication to the Chromebook initiative.  She thanked Mrs. Fox and the Clifton Middle School staff for their dedication and passion.  She noted she had toured all the schools during her board member orientation and saw first-hand how dedicated the teachers are. She stated she would like to spend a day in a classroom. 

Mrs. Seckner commented that she had served as a substitute at Clifton Middle School and has seen what they do, which is more than prep for an SOL, more than review for tests.  She stated she supports all the Clifton Middle School staff and will schedule a day in the classroom.  She stated she watched the solar eclipse at Sharon Elementary School earlier that day and thanked Mr. Kotulka and Mrs. Mutisipaugh for staying open for classes so the students could experience this event. She stated it was very exciting to see the happy faces on the students.  She welcomed Mrs. Morgan to the Board and thanked Mr. Conner for his hard work with the Chromebooks.    

Mr. Franson congratulated Lucas Conner on his award and thanked him for his extra work.  He thanked the Clifton Middle School staff for their comments.  He stated it is evident the staff love the kids and want them to be the best they can be.  He stated we need to teach kids more than how to pass an SOL and if a student struggles in reading at the elementary level, that will follow him through middle and high school.   He said he would schedule a day to spend in the classroom. 

Mr. Tucker reported he watched the solar eclipse at Mountain View Elementary.   He thanked the Mountain View Elementary teachers for taking the school out of being a focus school.  He thanked the Clifton Middle School staff for attending the meeting and stated teachers are the lifeblood of the division.  He stated public education is the most discriminating business there is and he thinks the world of each of them for what they do.  He invited Mr. Persinger to discuss his parliamentary procedure concerns with him after the meeting.  

Mr. Kotulka stated the school year is off to a good start and thanked all staff for making it happen. He stated he was once a teacher and he remembers what it is like to be in the classroom, and he appreciates everything they do.  He welcomed Mrs. Morgan to the Board and stated she will be a great addition.  He thanked Mrs. Mutisipaugh for her management of the solar eclipse event and making sure everyone had their glasses.  He stated he does hold himself accountable but he cannot manage individual school buildings because he is not there on a daily basis.  He stated he does hold principals accountable, as well as central office administrators.  He stated it is true that SOLs are important, but not as important as getting kids ready for life.  He encouraged Mr. Persinger to speak with him about his questions or concerns before board meetings.


(18-40) CONSENT AGENDA

The following items were included for approval.   

A.  Approval of Minutes of July 10, 2017 Reorganization/Year End/Regular Meeting and July 26, 2017 Called Meeting
B. 
Approval of payment of bills
C.  Cafeteria report – June year-end, July 2017
D.  Communications/Monthly Reports

      1.  JRTC monthly report

MOTION: That the items listed on the consent agenda be approved as presented.
MOTION:  Mr. Lane     
SECOND: Mr. Franson   
ROLL CALL VOTE: Unanimous


BUDGET AND FINANCE

(18-41) BUDGET REPORT

School Operating Fund

$2,393,377.28

School Textbook Fund

$1,186,891.43

Alleghany Foundation Nursing Grant

$88,557.08

Governor’s School

$158,770.02

Scholarship

$76,724.55

Alleghany Foundation Mental Health Initiative

$19,071.43

School Capital

$2,070,905.46

Medicaid Reimbursement

$486,750.83

Technology

$29,999.57

Grand Total

$6,511,047.65

 

SUPERINTENDENT REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

(18-42) CALENDAR INFORMATION

Mr. Kotulka reminded the Board of the following meetings:

- September 12 – 12:00 p.m. – JRTC Joint Board of Control meeting at JRTC
- September 18 – 6:00 p.m. - Regular monthly meeting at Sharon Elementary School
- September 29 – 9:00 a.m. – Board retreat/annual training at Merry Go Round Farm
- September monthly calendar
- November 15-17 – VSBA Annual Conference in Williamsburg

 

(18-43) APPOINT ONE REPRESENTATIVE TO THE JACKSON RIVER GOVERNOR SCHOOL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Chairman Tucker appointed Danielle Morgan to serve on the Jackson River Governor’s School Executive Committee.

 

(18-44) APPOINT BOARD MEMBERS FOR SPECIAL COMMITTEE

Chairman Tucker appointed Craig Lane, Jennifer Seckner, and Jacob Wright to serve on a committee to create guidelines and procedures for board governance.   The committee will be called the Special Committee on Board Governance.  The committee will set their own meeting dates, which will be advertised, and report back to the Board a summary of their discussions. 


(18-45) PRELIMINARY REPORT ON STATE ACCREDITATION STATUS AND SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT TIMELINE

School divisions in the Commonwealth of Virginia are bound by a dual system of accountability.  Schools and divisions must meet state accountability standards and federal accountability standards.    For this year, federal accountability is operating under the approved Virginia’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) waiver application.  Final data will be provided to school divisions and will be available through school quality profiles on the Virginia Department of Education website.  Preliminary results indicate that three schools in Alleghany County will be fully accredited under state accreditation standards-Callaghan Elementary School, Mountain View Elementary School and Sharon Elementary School.  One school will be accredited with warning in math-Alleghany High School.  One school will be accreditation denied-Clifton Middle School; however, we are currently in the process of appealing this designation. 

 

(18-46) CERTIFICATION THAT SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS HAVE REVIEWED AND APPROVE OF SCHOOL CRISIS PLANS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CODE OF VIRGINIA § 22.1-279.8

Code of Virginia requires School Boards to annually review the written school crisis plans. 

MOTION:  That the Board certifies its review and approval of school crisis plans, as presented.
MOTION:  Mr. Wright  
SECOND: Mr. Lane
ROLL CALL VOTE:  Unanimous   

 

(18-47) DISCIPLINE, CRIME AND VIOLENCE REPORT

Board members were provided a copy of the 2016-2017 Discipline Summary. This data has been submitted to the state as part of our annual Discipline, Crime and Violence Report. Administrators reported 1270 discipline referrals for 2016-2017; 440 at Alleghany High School, 439 at Clifton Middle School, and 391 at the elementary schools. Not all discipline referrals are reported to the state because they have a discipline sanction that is considered a minor offense. The total number of referrals is an increase of 50 from the previous year.  School Resource Officers (SRO) reported 344 referrals. For clarification purposes, some categories of the SRO report do not match the division’s summary report. This is a reflection of different terminology used by law enforcement and the Department of Education.  Based upon our data reported, no school within the Alleghany County Public Schools is considered persistently dangerous. 

 

(18-48) ANNUAL HOMEBOUND REPORT FOR 2016-2017

Fiscal Year

Budget

Actual Cost

16-17

$36,601

$21,991

15-16

$20,000

$37,021

14-15

$40,000

$33,929

13-14

$40,000

$21,780

12-13

$40,000

$56,054

 

 

Fiscal Year

Temporary

Temporary w/IEP

Full Year

Full Year w/IEP

Total

16-17

10

9

0

2

21

15-16

3

8

1*

3

15

14-15

10

6

0

5

21

13-14

6

7

0

3

16

12-13

7

10

0

8

25

 

*     This represents the efforts of 14 instructors with 27 different students over the course of the 2016-2017 school year. 

 

(18-49) ANNUAL HOMESCHOOL REPORT FOR 2016-2017

Grade Level

Homeschool

Religious Exemption

K

9

 

1

11

 

2

6

4

3

8

1

4

6

2

5

4

2

6

5

4

7

4

 

8

5

1

9

11

 

10

11

1

11

8

2

12

5

5

Total

93

22

 

The overall total of students educated in the home was 115 for the 2016-2017 school year. This is an overall increase of 12 students.

 

(18-50) EARLY CHILDHOOD DOOR AT MOUNTAIN VIEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Federal law requires school divisions to provide appropriate services for two year olds identified as special education eligible.  For a school division to start a class for two year olds in an elementary school would cost upwards of $100,000 per school year for the staffing of the program.  This does not include the cost of building modifications or the cost of equipment that would be needed to supply the classroom.  Working cooperatively with the Early Childhood Program operated by the YMCA to address this issue, there would be a need for a second egress from a classroom to have a class for two year olds.  The school division would be able to place children in this age appropriate class in the early childhood program operated by the YMCA and provide services there. The YMCA has agreed to provide $7,000 towards the installation of an egress door.  This item was presented for review at the July meeting.

MOTION:  That the Board approve installation of an additional exit door in a classroom at Mountain View Elementary School for the Early Childhood Special Education – 2 year old students.
MOTION:  Mrs. Seckner 
SECOND: Mr. Wright
ROLL CALL VOTE:  Unanimous      


(18-51) CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT AND OPERATIONAL MAINTENANCE UPDATE

Board members were provided the work orders in their agenda packet.     


(18-52) SCHOOL SECURITY EQUIPMENT GRANT PROGRAM

An itemized list of security projects for each facility requested in the grant was presented.  The total amount of state funding that has been requested for the 2017-18 school year is $82,188.80 and the 25% local match is $21,677.20 for a total of $108,386.00.

MOTION:  That the Board approve the School Security Equipment Grant application, as presented.
MOTION:   Mr. Franson  
SECOND:  Mrs. Morgan
ROLL CALL VOTE: Unanimous    


(18-53) APPROVAL FOR RESURFACING OF TENNIS COURTS AT CLIFTON MIDDLE SCHOOL

This is for the repair and resurface of the cracks in the six 15-year-old tennis courts at Clifton Middle School.  Upon completion, the tennis courts will have a new playing surface and new lines.  The total cost for the project will be $22,500. 

MOTION: That the Board approve resurfacing the tennis courts at Clifton Middle School, as presented.
MOTION:   Mrs. Seckner 
SECOND:  Mr. Wright
ROLL CALL VOTE:  Unanimous   


(18-54) ANNUAL REPORT ON ENERGY MANAGEMENT OUTCOMES

The annual energy report was presented. 


(18-55) UPDATE ON ONE-TO-ONE INITIATIVE

An update on the One-to-One initiative as it pertains to:

  1. Chromebook Distribution- AHS
  2. Chromebook Distribution- CMS
  3. Elementary Schools’ Network Installations
  4. Parent Meetings
  5. Staff Training- SAMR

 

(18-56) UPDATE ON APEX TOWER PROPOSAL

Apex Tower has offered a lease agreement proposing the construction of a cell tower on the Clifton Middle School/Mountain View Elementary School property. The proposed pad site (100’ x 100’) is to be located near the river on the Mountain View Elementary side of the property. Per the proposal, Apex Tower will construct an access road that will extend from Gleason Drive to the pad site.

Final Negotiated  Proposal

  • $16,800 annual rent
  • 3% annual escalation
  • 10% revenue sharing of fees paid to Apex by carriers locating on the tower
  • 40 year term

Apex Tower will own the tower and at termination (by either party at conclusion of the 40 year term), Apex Tower will remove all components of the installation to a depth of eighteen inches below grade.  The lease has no impact on other potential right-of-ways.  The Agreement is being reviewed by our attorney and the proposal will be presented for action in September.


(18-57) REPORT ON STUDENT RETENTIONS

Schools

2016 - 17

2015 - 16

2014 – 15

2013 – 14

2012 – 13

Alleghany High School

12

21

29

 

27

29

Clifton Middle School

0

0

7

9

2

Callaghan

1

0

1

4

1

Mountain View

2

5

18

14

6

Sharon

0

0

3

1

0

Total students retained

15

26

58

55

44

 

(18-58) REPORT ON SOL RETAKES AND ABSENTEEISM

The School Board requested information on the number of students taking expedited retakes who passed and the number of students missing 10% of the school year and SOL scores.

Alleghany High School

Alleghany High School - expedited retakes - 89/274 passed = 32.4%

Alleghany High School – 11 students taking SOLs missed 18 or more days

Students eligible for retests:

  1. Identify students who are eligible for a retest by August 28, 2017, including students who are eligible for a writing retest.The list of eligible students will be submitted to Mrs. Hobbs for review and verification.
  2. Individual retest plans for each student will be finalized and submitted to Mrs. Hobbs by September 11, 2017, for review and verification.
  3. Intervention strategies will include:
  1. Identifying areas of intervention using student performance detailed report (SPDR);
  2. Providing targeted intervention; and
  3. Practicing higher level thinking skills.

Students eligible for expedited retakes

  1. Expedited retest remediation plan submitted to Mrs. Hobbs for review by November 20, 2017,
  2. Identify students who are eligible for expedited retests by the end of the day as listed below

a. English – December 5, 2017
b. Science – December 6, 2017
c. Social Studies – December 7, 2017
d. Mathematics – December 8, 2017

     3. Staff who are providing the remediation shall be provided individual student SPDR
         reports the next day after the test dates listed above.

Clifton Middle School

Clifton Middle School - expedited retakes - 64/134 passed = 47.7%

Clifton Middle School – 66 students taking SOLs missed 18 or more days

  1. Parents will be notified and a conference requested regarding our remediation plan to ensure that the students will be present for all remediation sessions and retake testing sessions.The student and parent will sign a contract stating they have received this information and will adhere to the plan.
  2. Remediation will take place over a four to five-day span
  3. Each subject will have a minimum of 6 hours of remediation in all tested areas.The students will receive remediation during their 66 minute class periods as well as Falcon Time.
  4. Students will be homogeneously grouped based on:
    1. reporting category
    2. strand and standard
    3. individual detail by question
  5. Students will be remediated by the teacher of record as well as another teacher within the department using the data listed above.Special Education teachers will be utilized as needed to meet the needs of any students with Individualized Education Plans.

 

Callaghan Elementary School

Callaghan Elementary School - expedited retakes - 19/29 passed = 65.5%
Callaghan Elementary School – 6 students taking SOLs missed 18 or more days

Plan:

1.  Address and provide remediation in the weak areas as indicated by the Student Performance by Question data
2.  Provide a minimum of 5 hours of remediation in the subject
3.  Talk personally with parents about the importance of the retake
4.  Provide extra practice at appropriate websites such as IXL, and IA

 

Mountain View Elementary School

Mountain View Elementary School - expedited retakes - 34/74 passed = 45.9%
Mountain View Elementary School – 32 students taking SOLs missed 18 or more days

This past school year, we found that one team had a higher success rate with re-takes.  We want to use that model for next year at each of the grade levels.

  • Students were grouped during instruction time in three groups with all the retake students in one group.  
  • During the instructional time, students would remediate in the SOL during the hour of instruction in addition to power-up time.  These students actually received close to 10 hours of remediation this way.
  • By keeping the instructional rotations, the students could also review for upcoming SOLs while the students who needed remediation could get both.
  • The teachers used the performance by question to review and reteach. 

 

Sharon Elementary School

Sharon Elementary School - expedited retakes - 13/24 passed = 54.10%
Sharon Elementary School – 4 students taking SOLs missed 18 or more days

Plan:

1.  Provide at least 5 hours of individualized remediation, more if teacher feels that student can benefit and needs it
2.  Collaboration/co-teaching of staff outside of the normal subject matter teacher
3.  Use of remediation and other expert staff to assist in remediation of students
4.  Pull out for small group or 1:1 instruction with weak area focus that doesn’t come from a time period in which the child would normally be involved in more “interesting” activities/electives


(18-59) REPORT ON NON-RESIDENT/NON-DISTRICT STUDENTS

School Board Regulation JEC-R states non-resident and non-district students must complete an application to attend a different school from the school he/she should attend due to residency.  As of August 8, 2017, 121 non-resident applications have been accepted for the 2017-18 school year; 61 non-district applications were accepted; and 14 applications were denied attendance in Alleghany County Schools. Students denied access were because of the students failing to follow all policies, rules and regulations of the Alleghany County School System.  Numbers for the 2016-17 school year were provided for comparison.


(18-60) FOLLOW UP REGARDING ATTORNEY ATTENDING REGULAR BOARD MEETINGS

Mr. Kotulka offered the following costs associated with having an attorney attend regular board meetings each month.  Mr. Kotulka recommended the Board not approve funds for this purpose. 

            a.  Reed Smith, LLP - $3,400 per meeting - $51,000 per year (15 meetings)
            b.  Guynn and Waddell, P.C. - $710 per meeting - $10,650 per year (15 meetings)

MOTION:  That the Board not hire an attorney to attend board meetings.
MOTION:  Mr. Franson
SECOND: Mr. Lane
ROLL CALL VOTE: Unanimous   


POLICY REVISIONS

(18-61) POLICY GCBD-RE, “ANNUAL LEAVE: TWELVE MONTH EMPLOYEES”

Regulation GCBD-RE, “Annual Leave:  Twelve Month Employees”.  Revisions clarify annual leave credit and years of service.  This item will be presented for approval at the September meeting.

 

(18-62) POLICY GCA-R1, “ORGANIZATION CHART”

Policy updated to reflect new staff and title changes for Transportation Manager and Administrative Assistant for Division Support.

MOTION:  That the Board approve the revisions to Policy GCA-R1, Organization Chart, as presented.
MOTION:   Mr. Wright
SECOND:  Mr. Franson
ROLL CALL VOTE:  Unanimous    


OTHER BUSINESS

(18-63) ADDITION TO THE AGENDA

There were no further additions to the agenda.


CLOSED SESSION

(18-64) CODE OF VIRGINIA: PERSONNEL MATTERS 2.2-3711.A.1., STUDENT MATTERS 2.2-3711.A.2, AND SCHOOL SAFETY REPORTS

MOTION: That the School Board enter closed session to discuss Personnel Matters, Student Matters, and School Safety Reports as authorized by the Code of Virginia Sections 2.2-3711.A.1, 2.2-3711.A.2, and 2.2-3711.A.19.
MOTION:   Mr. Wright
SECOND:  Mr. Lane
ROLL CALL VOTE: Unanimous
TIME: 7:55 p.m.

MOTION: That the School Board return to open session from closed session.
MOTION:  Mr. Lane 
SECOND: Mr. Franson
ROLL CALL VOTE:  Unanimous
TIME: 9:29 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. Lane  
                                    ROLL CALL VOTE:    Mr. Franson – YES
                                                                        Mr. Lane - YES
                                                                        Mrs. Morgan - YES
                                                                        Mr. Persinger - YES
                                                                        Mrs. Seckner - YES
                                                                        Mr. Tucker - YES
                                                                        Mr. Wright - YES                                 

                                                                        7 -YES           0 – ABSENT              0 -NO   

                                   TIME: 9:31 p.m.                       

           Randall Tucker_School Board Chairman_Signature               Lorie Bess_School Board Clerk_ Signature
 Chairman, Alleghany County School Board                                    Clerk

 

PERSONNEL

(18-65) PERSONNEL ACTIONS

MOTION: That the Board approve all personnel actions as discussed in closed session and recommended by the Superintendent.
MOTION:   Mr. Wright  
SECOND:  Mr. Lane
ROLL CALL VOTE:  Unanimous   


(18-66) DISPOSITION OF PUPIL PERSONNEL

a. Case #17-43

MOTION:   That the Board approve the disposition of pupil personnel case #17-43, as discussed in Closed Session.
MOTION:   Mr. Franson
SECOND:  Mr. Wright
ROLL CALL VOTE: Unanimous

 

(18-67) BOARD MEETING EVALUATION SURVEY

Board members were provided an evaluation summary from the July meeting. 

 

ADJOURNMENT

MOTION:  That the August 21, 2017 meeting of the Alleghany County School Board be adjourned.

MOTION:  Mr. Wright 
TIME: 9:32 p.m.


           Randall Tucker_School Board Chairman_Signature               Lorie Bess_School Board Clerk_ Signature
 Chairman, Alleghany County School Board                                  Clerk