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LINCOLN PARISH SCHOOL BOARD

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LINCOLN PARISH SCHOOL BOARD
Ruston, Louisiana
REGULAR SESSION
Tuesday, November 2, 2010 6:00 p.m.
The Lincoln Parish School Board met in Regular Session on Tuesday, November 2, 2010, at 6:00 p.m. at the Lincoln Parish School Board, 410 South Farmerville Street, Ruston, Louisiana. Members present were President Otha Anders, Mr. Michael Barmore, Ms. Lisa Best, Mr. Curtis Dowling, Ms. Mattie Harrison, Mr. Trott Hunt, Mr. Jim Kessler, Mr. George Mack, Mr. Ted McKinney, and Mr. Joe Mitcham. Ms. Lynda Henderson and Mr. Eddie Jones were absent. President Anders called the meeting to order. The invocation was given by Mr. Mack, and Ms. Best led in the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag. Mr. Anders welcomed board members, staff, members of the media, and special guests. Upon a motion by Mr. Kessler, seconded by Mr. Barmore, the Board unanimously voted by roll call to adopt the agenda as amended adding one item of New Business: Ruston High School improvements. Upon a motion by Mr. Barmore, seconded by Ms. Harrison, the Board unanimously voted to approve the minutes of the Regular Sessions held on October 5, 2010, and October 20, 2010, as printed.
Cathi Cox-Boniol, Lincoln ACHIEVE Coordinator, had the pleasure of introducing two outstanding science teachers. She shared background information on the Middle Grades Science Teacher of the Year by the Louisiana Science Teachers Association, Stacy Campbell, including the fact that she is an I. A. Lewis STEM teacher. Her husband, Chris Campbell, was selected as the Louisiana Earth Science Teacher of the Year; he teaches junior high science courses Simsboro. Ms. Cox-Boniol expressed her pride in the Campbells for being chosen for these honors and presented plaques to them in recognition of the same. She allowed the Campbells to share brief comments with the Board. They thanked the Board and the administration for their support and said it was an honor to teach for Lincoln Parish. 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: Retirement of the following: Betty Peoples, ELA teacher at Career Academy, effective November 22, 2010; Diane Soper, psychologist with Pupil Appraisal, effective November 29, 2010; and Tina Fair, teacher at Simsboro Elementary, effective October 25, 2010. Resignation of the following: Leslie Windsor, teacher at Ruston Elementary, effective October 25, 2010; and Sharon Purvis, math teacher at Ruston Junior High, effective November 1, 2010. Point of reference for Jan Murphy, elementary supervisor at the Central Office who will retire June 30, 2011, instead of January 2, 2011. Leave without pay request from Lauren Dixon, teacher at Glen View, effective January 3 and through January 14, 2011. Sabbatical leave request from Merideth Boyd, English teacher at Ruston High, effective January 18 and through May 27, 2011. Retirement of Helen Mitchell, custodian at I. A. Lewis, effective October 25, 2010. Upon a motion by Mr. Barmore, seconded by Mr. Mitcham, the Board unanimously voted to approve the administration’s personnel recommendations. Sales tax collections for the first four months of the fiscal year were down significantly from the same four months two years ago; however, collections for the month ending October 31, 2010, were $1,203,063 which was up 7.48%. Year-to-date the fund was up 6.28%, according to George Murphy, Business Manager. For the month, $10,831 was recovered by audits which was an 81% decrease. Year-to-date audit collections were down 54%. In the 1967 and 1979 sales tax fund, $546,847 was collected, and $656,215 was added to the 1993 and 2000 funds. Moving on to the self-insured health care fund, he noted that it was up $183,321 for the month ending September 30, 2010. Year-to-date the fund was up $352,741. A truancy/drop out report was the next agenda item. Ronny Volentine, Child Welfare and Attendance Coordinator, said he works closely with the Truancy Assessment and Service Center TASC), which was instituted by the District Attorney’s office. Patsy Bullock, TASC Coordinator, was in attendance as well as Andy Shealy, Assistant District Attorney and Project Director. Mr. Volentine communicated that the number of unexcused absences was down compared to last year. Administrators, counselors, and teachers work very hard to emphasize attendance and to develop good relationships with students in an effort to positively influence them. He is at schools regularly meeting with students to get them engaged and moving forward. Focused counselors do a great job following up on students who leave the system in his opinion. Mr. Volentine said it’s been a pleasure working with Mrs. Bullock and her staff. Mrs. Bullock said from the first day of school in August 2010 until November 1, TASC has received 184 referrals. For the same time period last year, they had serviced 227. She said they are getting referrals much earlier this year because of a reduction in the number of excused absences before having to repeat a grade. Of those 184 children, 158 children are being serviced with counseling, tutoring, or some other service. They receive referrals for severe behavior infractions, suspensions, absences, and retentions. TASC personnel have participated in most schools by communicating with parents about truancy and relevant laws. Mrs. Bullock believes that has made a huge impact this year. She said they are enjoying working with Carlos Wilson, an employee of the school system, who has been assigned to work with TASC this year. Mr. Shealy said fifteen TASC sites in the state have been cut to about ten. He believes the Board’s help has been a factor in Lincoln’s TASC not suffering any deeper cuts or closure. The provision of a LPSB full-time employee, Carlos Wilson, has been a major help. However, considering the overall state of the State, he is very concerned about continued funding for the truancy program. Because of a request by a board member for concrete goals for New Tech @ Ruston (NR@R), Cathi Cox-Boniol, Director, was in attendance to share those which focus on three broad areas: attendance, academic achievement, and student behavior. There was some discussion concerning the lack of homework, the ease of the program, and not having clear goals regarding scores on standardized testing. Ruston High Principal Mike Milstead said following spring testing their data would be available for comparisons between New Tech and regular education students. He believes the end-of-term course test scores for the 100 NT@R students will average higher than the entire ninth grade. Sales tax collections have increased slightly during the first three months of the fiscal year; however, they are still less than collections from two years ago. George Murphy noted that over the years the system has accumulated a reserve in the sales tax funds for the purpose of maintaining the salary supplement amounts paid to employees in years where tax collections are in decline. For this year, George Murphy and Superintendent Bell recommended paying salary supplements in the same amounts as last year: $2,450 to certified personnel and $1,225 to support personnel. Upon a motion by Mr. Kessler, seconded by Ms. Best, the Board unanimously voted to approve the payment of salary supplements on November 19, 2010, in the amounts of $2,450 to certified personnel and $1,225 to support personnel. Approximately one acre of land to the south of Choudrant High has become available for purchase at the appraised price of $9,000. Considering that the school is land locked, Superintendent Danny Bell thought it would be a wise investment. Upon a motion by Mr. Hunt, seconded by Mr. Kessler, the Board unanimously voted to grant permission to finalize the sale of property located to the south of the Choudrant High School campus for the appraised price of $9,000. Superintendent Bell said Ruston High School has two items that need to be considered for funding: The New Tech addition for $2,100,000 and a new agriculture building for $1,200,000. The current bond millage of 11.5 for the Ruston District could be extended for five years and would allow approximately $3,415,000 in bonds to be issued. This would fund the projects and allow for contingencies. Foley Judell, bond counsel, would prepare the necessary documents for the Board to consider and vote at the January meeting to go before the voters in April 2011 for a Ruston d istrict millage extension. He asked for permission to move forward with the funding plan. Upon a motion by Mr. Kessler, seconded by Mr. McKinney, the Board unanimously voted to move forward with the funding plan for the Ruston High School improvements. In a Report of the Superintendent, Mr. Bell said:
1.Preliminary information relative to graduation rates and the state goal of 80 was placed in portfolios. Graduation rates increased at Dubach High (94.1), Ruston High (83.2) and Simsboro High (80.0). Choudrant High’s (86.0) dropped slightly.
2.The Academic Awards Banquet was coming up on Monday, November 8, 2010, at 6:00 p.m. at the Ruston Civic Center.
There being no further business, and following a motion by Ms. Best, the meeting adjourned at 6:59 p.m.
Danny L. Bell, Secretary Otha L. Anders, President
1td:December 15, 2010

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