LINCOLN PARISH SCHOOL BOARD
LINCOLN PARISH SCHOOL BOARD
Tuesday, April 5, 2011 6:00 p.m.
The Lincoln Parish School Board met in Regular Session on Tuesday, April 5, 2011, at 6:00 p.m. in the Board Room of the Lincoln Parish School Board Office, 410 South Farmerville Street, Ruston, Louisiana. Members present were Ms. Debbie Abrahm, Mr. Otha Anders, Mr. Michael Barmore, Ms. Lisa Best, Mr. Curtis Dowling, Mr. Danny Hancock, Ms. Mattie Harrison, Ms. Lynda Henderson, Mr. Trott Hunt, Mr. Eddie Jones (left before the meeting ended), Mr. George Mack, and Mr. Joe Mitcham. No board member was absent. President Anders called the meeting to order, and the invocation was given by Mr. Barmore. Ms. Best led in the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag. Mr. Anders welcomed board members, staff, and visitors to the meeting. Upon a motion by Ms. Henderson, seconded by Mr. Barmore, the Board unanimously voted by roll call to adopt the agenda with the deletion of two items: Recognition of Regional Student of the Year and Bids on Ruston High School field house. Upon a motion by Mr. Barmore, seconded by Ms. Abrahm, the Board unanimously voted to approve the minutes of the Regular Session held on March 8, 2011, as distributed. The Outstanding School Support Employee Awards Program provides an opportunity to honor outstanding employees in the elementary, middle, and high school levels who support and provide leadership in the operation of non-instructional activities within the school system according to Director of Auxiliary Services, Charles Owens. He reviewed the selection procedure and presented plaques to the following in order to recognize their contributions to the Lincoln Parish School System:
Christine Hanna Elementary Secretary/ bookkeeper at Glen View
Autrie Powell Junior High Cafeteria technician at Ruston Junior High
Gerry Briggs High School Maintenance at Ruston High
The Louisiana Department of Education has issued its allocation of Qualified School Construction Bonds. Business Manager, George Murphy, said Lincoln Parish is requesting $3,150,000 of their $10,000,000 allocation to construct the Ruston High athletic field house. He turned the floor over to the bond attorney. In the absence of Grant Schlueter, Jason Akers, bond attorney with Foley & Judell, presented a Resolution providing for the incurring of debt and issuance of $3,150,000 in revenue bonds. He said Community Trust Bank has offered to purchase the Qualified School Construction Bonds for .79% in order to help the school system. They would receive a tax credit from the federal government in lieu of additional interest from the School Board. Mr. Akers asked the Board’s pleasure on the very good value for the Board. Upon a motion by Mr. Dowling, seconded by Mr. Mitcham, the Board unanimously voted by roll call to approve the following:
Providing for the incurring of debt and issuance of Three Million One Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($3,150,000) of Revenue Bonds (Taxable QSCB) Series 2011, of the Parish School Board of the Parish of Lincoln, State of Louisiana, to be designated as Qualified School Construction Bonds; prescribing the form, terms and conditions of such Bonds and providing for the payment thereof; and providing for other matters in connection therewith.
As funds are available because the base bid was less than anticipated, Charles Owens, Director of Auxiliary Services, proposed to tear down the existing agriculture building and classrooms at Choudrant High and construct a new building. The estimated cost of this construction via change order would be approximately $700,000, and it would be up and running by late August. Architect Greg Wallace was in attendance to help with questions. Hearing none, upon a motion by Mr. Jones, seconded by Mr. Hancock, the Board unanimously voted to approve the change order authorizing the construction of a new agriculture building at Choudrant High School for approximately $700,000.
A previous twenty-five year Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with the City of Ruston concerning the Ruston High tennis courts expired this past September 2010, according to Superintendent Danny Bell. Through a CEA with the City of Ruston, he is hopeful that the Board will be successful in securing matching federal funds so that complex improvements can be made within the near future. Advantage needs to be taken of continuing the partnership with the City for the benefit of Ruston High School and the community. Upon a motion by Ms. Best, seconded by Mr. Mack, the Board unanimously voted to approve the Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between the City of Ruston and the Lincoln Parish School Board for future improvements to the Ruston High School tennis complex and authorize the president of the Board to execute the Agreement on the Board’s behalf. Only one proposed school calendar option for 11-12 was presented by Mary Null, Direction of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Programs. She noted that the state mandates testing and testing makeup dates and because of the way the holidays and days of the week fell, flexibility in the calendar was not an option as it had been in previous years. The proposed calendar started and ended much like the 10-11 calendar, but had an additional day off for Presidents’ Day and a combined spring and Easter break. Ms. Null asked for its adoption for the next school year. Upon a motion by Mr. Jones, seconded by Mr. Barmore, the Board unanimously voted to adopt the proposed calendar for the 11-12 school year as follows:
Lincoln Parish 2011 - 2012 School Calendar
Instructional Staff Workday August 15, 2011
All Staff Faculty Meetings August 16, 2011
Instructional Staff Workdays August 17-18, 2011
First Day of School-Students (1/2 day) August 19, 2011
September 5, 2011
Columbus Day October 10, 2011
November 21-25, 2011
Christmas/New Year Dec. 21, 2011-Jan. 2, 2012
End of First Semester
January 13, 2012
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day January 16, 2012
Staff Development Day January 17, 2012
February 17 & 20, 2012
April 2-9, 2012
Last Day of School-Students (1/2 day)
May 24, 2012
Instructional Staff Workday (1/2 day)
May 25, 2012
Because of the vital role of school bus drivers, lunchroom workers, custodians, secretaries, clerical personnel, teacher aides, bus aides, maintenance workers, and para-professionals in the efficient operation of the school system, Mr. Owens recommended that the Board adopt a Resolution designating April 25-29, 2011, as Support Personnel Week.
Upon a motion by Mr. Mitcham, seconded by Mr. Barmore, the Board unanimously voted to adopt the following:
That the Lincoln Parish School Board designate the week of April 25-29, 2011, as Support Personnel Week in Lincoln Parish, and copies of this Resolution be sent to each school in Lincoln Parish and also made a part of the official minutes of the Lincoln Parish School Board. Ms. Null presented four policies that Forethought Consulting had recommended for revision. They were: Buildings and Grounds Management (EB), Acceptable Use Policy for School Computer Systems and the Internet – Faculty and Staff Use (EFA), Employee Tobacco Use (GAMA), and Acceptable Use Policy for School Computer systems and the Internet – Student Use (IFBGA). She asked board members to consider the policy revisions with formal action to be taken at the May 3, 2011, meeting. The Board was reminded by George Murphy that each year schools are allocated funds from the 1979 sales tax fund to purchase instructional supplies. These amounts are distributed on a per pupil basis through the Business Department. Mr. Murphy proposed the same per pupil allocations from the previous year. The $78,641.75 distribution he recommended was:
Art K-12- $1.75 per student
Physical Education K-12- $1.75 per student
Library Supplies K-5- $1.25 per student 6-12- $1.75 per student
Music K-5- $1.25 per student 6-12- $1.75 per student
Magazines & Newspapers K-6- $3.00 per student 7-12- $3.25 per student
Science K-6- $1.50 per student 7-8- $3.00 per student 9-12- $4.50 per student
Upon a motion by Mr. Dowling, seconded by Mr. Barmore, the Board unanimously voted to approve the distribution of 1979 sales tax monies for instructional supply money in the total amount of $78,641.75. In order to comply with state law, Charles Owens requested permission to advertise for bids in order to purchase materials and supplies for the next school year. Upon a motion by Mr. Hancock, seconded by Mr. Hunt, the Board unanimously voted to grant permission to advertise for bids for duplicating paper, toilet tissue, paper towels, dust mops, gasoline, and diesel for 11-12. Knowing that literacy is the foundation of a good education and that almost 50% of students entering kindergarten are not ready, the Lincoln Parish school system is embracing a laser focus of literacy for all. This is also a state goal to address major academic gaps. Jan Murphy, Elementary Supervisor, shared introductory information; Debra Davis, SBLC Facilitator, presented the data for the past three years; and Mary Null summarized the initiative for the upcoming year. Lincoln Parish’s goal is to have 98% of first graders reading on grade level by the end of first grade and entering fourth grade on time. Extra time and individual attention will be focused on the 2% of first graders who are not reading on grade level by the end of the year, which is called Response to Intervention. Their power point presentation contained state and local critical goals and plans to be implemented within the parish for the 11-12 school year. An entire week of staff development has been planned for the week of May 9. Wanda Mitchell, Lincoln Parish Technology Coordinator, reported on the number of interactive whiteboard systems (Smart Boards, Promethean, and Mimio) currently in use within our parish schools. An additional 120 systems are needed to “outfit” the remainder of our core teachers’ classrooms. Debbie Pender, Technology Instructional Facilitator, shared video segments of Lincoln Parish students and teachers in various grade levels and subject areas as they incorporated the use of these interactive systems. March 2011 sales tax collections totaled $939,026 reported George Murphy. That was a 2.19% increase for the month and a 4.52% increase for the year. Audit recoveries were $17,480 for the month which was down 9.08 year-to-date. Collections in the 1967 and 1979 funds were $426,830, and $512,195 was collected in the 1993 and 2000 funds. In the financial statement for the month ending February 2011, Mr. Murphy said fund balances were about where expected. Every fund except two was in the black. As the year progresses, some of the funds will begin to have negative balances because sales taxes collections are not up to the amounts that were received two and three years ago. That will cause some deficits which were budgeted, and the general fund balance will also begin to decrease. The health/dental plan was down $103,624 for the month ending February 2011 and $40,665 year-to-date according to George Murphy. In his construction update, Charles Owens said construction at Choudrant Elementary is over 85% complete. He expects all of the work at the elementary school to be complete by the end of the month. Construction at Choudrant High is on schedule. He showed a few pictures including a shot of the current agriculture building. Mr. Owens called attention to the undersized electrical service going into it. The Board served as a Committee of the Whole, and the following Personnel Committee agenda items were considered after being recommended by Mary Null and James Payton, Transportation Coordinator: Resignation of Leigh McFarland as career choices teacher at the Career Academy effective March 4, 2011; and Employment of the following effective March 21, 2011: Sarah Rucks as bus driver in the Ruston area, replacing Darren Ambrose who resigned; Kenny Slocum as bus driver in the Ruston area, replacing J. B. Martin who resigned; and Levelle Thurman as bus driver in the Ruston area, replacing Larry Waldron who transferred. Upon a motion by Ms. Best, seconded by Mr. Dowling, the Board unanimously voted to approve the personnel recommendations. Mr. Jones left the meeting. In a Report of the Superintendent, Mr. Bell said that:
1. The Saturday, April 30, election regarding the extension of the Ruston School District millage is critical to the agriculture department and New Tech program at Ruston High School. He asked members to encourage people to get out and vote. The staff is meeting with service groups to share information on the proposal.
2. Not having information relative to the electronic bid process on the Ruston High School field house posted in an ample time frame delayed the bid by one week; therefore, bids will be accepted on April 7. A Special Called Session of the Board may need to be scheduled to consider the bids before the Regular Session of May 3. A representative from the Justice Department has been in and visited the Ruston District schools. They are going to be issuing a report that will be shared with the Board at a later time.
Following comments from Otha Anders about upcoming redistricting meetings, the meeting adjourned at 7:41 p.m.
Danny L. Bell, Secretary Otha L. Anders, President
1td: May 6, 2011