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LINCOLN PARISH SCHOOL BOARD Ruston, Louisiana

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LINCOLN PARISH SCHOOL BOARD
Ruston, Louisiana
REGULAR SESSION
Tuesday, January 3, 2012 6:00 p.m.
The Lincoln Parish School Board met in Regular Session on Tuesday, January 3, 2012, at 6:00 p.m. at the Lincoln Parish School Board, 410 South Farmerville Street, Ruston, Louisiana. Members present were Ms. Debbie Abrahm, Mr. Otha Anders, Mr. Michael Barmore, Ms. Lisa Best, Mr. Danny Hancock, Ms. Mattie Harrison, Ms. Lynda Henderson, Mr. Trott Hunt, Mr. Eddie Jones, and Mr. Joe Mitcham. Mr. Curtis Dowling and Mr. George Mack were absent. President Anders called the meeting to order and delivered the invocation. The ladies led in the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag. Mr. Anders welcomed board members, staff, media, and other guests. Upon a motion by Mr. Barmore, seconded by Ms. Harrison, the Board unanimously voted to adopt the agenda as printed. Upon a motion by Ms. Henderson, seconded by Mr. Hancock, the Board unanimously voted to approve the minutes of the Regular Session held on December 6, 2011, as distributed. The Election of Officers for 2012 was the next item on the agenda. Mr. Anders turned the floor over to the secretary, Superintendent Danny Bell. Mr. Bell declared the floor open for nominations for President for 2012. Mr. Barmore nominated Otha Anders. Hearing no further nominations for president, Mr. Bell declared that nominations were closed, and Mr. Anders was selected as president for 2012. Danny Bell asked for nominations for vice president for 2012. Mr. Barmore nominated Joe Mitcham. Mr. Bell asked for further nominations. Hearing none, he declared that nominations were closed, and Mr. Mitcham was selected as vice president for 2012. Mr. Anders and Mr. Mitcham thanked the Board for the vote of confidence and for the way they conduct themselves. The Board served as a Committee of the Whole, and the following Personnel Committee agenda items were considered after being presented by Mary Null, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Programs:
1. Retirement of Eva Williams, special education at the Youth Rescue Center, effective January 16, 2012.
2. Resignation of the following:
Kristy Powell, pre-k teacher at Lincoln Parish Early childhood Center, effective December 9, 2011; Daryl Savage, math teacher at Ruston High, effective January 9, 2012; William Major, special education teacher at Ruston High, effective December 21, 2011; and Quarvay Winbush, P.E. teacher at Ruston Junior High, effective January 16, 2012.
3. Employment of the following:
Maggie Ritter as pre-k teacher at Lincoln Parish Early Childhood Center effective January 3, 2012, replacing Kristy Powell who resigned; and Stephanie Milton, elementary teacher at Simsboro effective January 17, 2012, replacing Tina Fair who resigned.
4. Employment of the following school food service employees effective January 3, 2012:
Lena Anderson, manager at I. A. Lewis, replacing Janice Nelson who moved to clerk/technician; Antionette Collins, manager at Grambling High, replacing Cindy Finley who transferred; and Andrea Montgomery, manager at Simsboro High, replacing Julia Norman who transferred. Upon a motion by Mr. Jones, seconded by Ms. Abrahm, the Board unanimously voted to accept the personnel recommendations as presented. The Principal of Ruston High School, Mike Milstead, gave a report on a new program that has been implemented, Laying the Foundation (LTF). He said in 08-09 they had begun to look for a better way to differentiate between Honors and College Prep classes. In addition, they had heard about the development and potential implementation of Common Core. They came across LTF which was a way to prepare teachers for teaching pre-Accelerated Placement (AP) classes. It also included the Common Core standards and was a way to begin the cross-walk between Louisiana Comprehensive Curriculum and Common core. Following training in Arkansas and Texas, every trained teacher spoke to him about the excellence of the training and their belief that even teachers not teaching honors or AP would find the program helpful. It was demanding of kids, but doable they believed. After two to three years, the benefits became obvious in what the students and teachers were achieving in the classroom. LTF came to them and asked if they would consider being part of a case study as a validation of the training. LTF personnel spent time at the school in the fall filming and interviewing for a case study. Mr. Milstead showed the short film that was a result and a validation of their training. Superintendent Bell complimented Mr. Milstead and his faculty on their diligence and hard work. Ms. Null said that RHS teachers are now teaching LTF practices to the other 6th through 12th grade teachers in the parish. George Murphy, Business Manager, called attention to figures on the December 2011 sales tax report and noted that $931,616 was collected. This was a .6% increase compared to the same month last year, and a 1% increase year-to-date. He noted that while collections are up from last year's, they probably will not reach the 5% that was budgeted. Recoveries through audits were $53,887 which was down 8.64% for the month and 1.794% year-to-date. Collected in the '67 and '79 fund was $423,462; $508,154 was generated in the '93 and '00 fund. Moving on to the November 2011 financial statement, he said there was not much change compared to the same month last year. The sales tax funds are going to have lower fund balances than expected unless those collections really pick up. A small amount of property tax money was received in December, but the bulk of it will be received in January. All of the other funds are about the same. Mr. Murphy reported that the health care fund through the month of October 2011 was down $281,466, and year-to-date was down $1,745,333. He noted that small problems have been encountered in the transition to a new carrier. Insurance cards did not go out as expected; however, temporary cards should be received in the next day or two. Mr. Murphy still believes Blue Cross can help keep the program solvent. In the absence of Charles Owens, Mr. Bell provided a construction update with pictures of construction at Choudrant High and of the Ruston High field house. Work at Choudrant is almost finished with a mid to the end of January completion projection. Their parking lot will be done during the summer. Bids on the ag and New Tech additions at RHS should be coming up soon. According to Jason Akers, bond attorney with Foley & Judell, the Consolidated School District No. 1 Special Operating and Maintenance millage and Ruston Special Operating and Maintenance millage will expire with the collection of the 2012 and 2013 assessments. The Ruston tax is for 2.61 mills with a collection period of ten years and currently generated approximately $594,000 annually. This tax was approved by voters to help pay for a portion of the utility cost in the Ruston School District. The parish wide tax is for 10.25 mills with a collection period of ten years and currently generates approximately $3,639,000 each year. Additional funding for textbooks, instructional supplies, and school buses; maintenance and operation of school buildings and facilities; offsetting reductions in federal and state funding; health care for employees and retirees; and unfunded state and federal mandates were the purposes of the original tax. The money generated by these millages is vital to the fiscal operation of the Lincoln Parish School Board. Mr. Akers presented a resolution in order to call an election in Ruston School District No 1 on Saturday, April 21, 2012, to authorize the renewal of the Ruston School District special tax, to make application to the State Bond Commission, and for other related matters. Upon a motion by Mr. Jones, seconded by Mr. Mitcham, the Board unanimously voted by poll vote to approve the resolution in order to call an election on April 21, 2012, for voters to consider the renewal of the Ruston School District No. 1 Special Operating and Maintenance Tax. He presented a resolution calling for an election on Saturday, April 21, 2012, to authorize the renewal of the Consolidated School District tax, to make authorization to the State Bond Commission, and for other related matters. Upon a motion by Mr. Barmore, seconded by Ms. Harrison, the Board unanimously voted by poll vote to approve the resolution calling for an election on April 21, 2012, for voters to consider the renewal of the Consolidated School District No. 1, Lincoln Parish, Special Operating Tax. The following six policies needed revising according to Ms. Null: Purchasing (DJE), Bids and Quotations (DJED), Dismissal of Employees (GBN), Employee Conduct (GBRA), Education of Students with Exceptionalities (IDDF), and Testing Program (II). Forethought Consulting thinks these will be the last policy changes to come out of the 2011 legislative session. She asked members to study the revised policies and noted that a vote would be taken on them at the February meeting. In a Report of the Superintendent, Mr. Bell said:
1. He included information in packets that is to be sent to the media to inform individuals that they may have input in the naming of athletic facilities at Ruston High as approved by the Board in December.
2. At the request of Ruston 21, a State of the District Report will be presented on Wednesday, January 25, at 11:30 at the Lincoln Parish Library. Accomplishments and challenges will be shared with the community. Board members were invited to attend.
3. Also placed in portfolios were invitations to the Student and Teacher of the Year Awards Gala on January 30 at 6:30 p.m. at the Ruston Civic Center and the Academic Awards Banquet on February 13 at 6:00. Members should RSVP to the appropriate persons.
4. The LSBA Convention has been scheduled for March 1 - 3 in Lafayette. The six required continuing education hours can be acquired by attendance at the convention. Members should RSVP to Becky Gemelli as soon as possible in order for registration and travel plans to be made. With no other business to come before the Board and upon a motion by Ms. Best, the meeting adjourned at 7:02 p.m.
Danny Bell, Secretary Otha Anders, President
1td: January 17, 2012

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