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Ruston, Louisiana
Tuesday, October 2, 2012 6:00 p.m.
The Lincoln Parish School Board met in Regular Session on Tuesday, October 2, 2012, 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, Mr. George Mack, Jr., and Mr. Joe Mitcham. No board member was absent. President Otha Anders called the meeting to order, and Mr. Dowling gave the invocation. Ms. Abrahm led in the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag. Mr. Anders welcomed visitors to the meeting. Mr. Anders acknowledged that George Mack, Jr., was no longer an interim board member. As he had no one qualify to run against him, he had recently been sworn in to replace his father, George Mack, Sr., serving district 11 on the Lincoln Parish School Board. He welcomed him aboard. 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. Jones, the Board unanimously voted to approve the minutes of the Regular Session held on September 4, 2012. Beginning the federal programs report was Kathy Shipp, Special Education Supervisor. She noted that students that have been identified with disabilities are served through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or as modified in 2004 to be the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA). The services they received through the Acts are: educational special instruction services, speech/language therapy, occupational and physical therapy, adaptive PE, and counseling. For the students with disabilities child count, preschool numbers this year are 91 (up from 90 last year). In K-12, 549 are served (down 61 from 610 last year) for a total of 640 IDEA child count students (down 60 from 700 last year). Child count is different from MFP count--child count only calculates students with disabilities while MFP calculates students with disabilities and gifted and gifted/talented. In the MFP count, there are 948 students (down 81 from 1,029). The 640 IDEA number indicates that 10.9% of the student population in Lincoln Parish are students with disabilities. That is comparable to the state average of 11.4%. She believes interventions and improved teaching in the classrooms have contributed to the lower numbers. For gifted and talented, 4.7% students fall into that category compared to 3.9% statewide. The percentage of students with more significant disabilities is one the rise, especially with autism. The learning disability pupil/teacher ratio is 21 or 25 students for each teacher; however, 4 autistic students per adult is the maximum. Special education students are served in 3 settings: inclusion, resource, and self-contained. The system's graduation cohort rate last year was 37.1% of the students with disabilities exiting with diplomas, which was 10 students. The state rate was 30%. The system's drop out rate was 4.7%, or 6 students, compared to the state rate of 6%. For certificates of achievement, 7.4% of the students completed their high school career and exited usually due to age. Special education students are tested as well as their peers. However, 2014 will be the last year for the approximate 140 students to take the alternate assessment II tests. All special education students except for those at the lowest levels will begin to take the ACT. Ms. Shipp administers 3 budgets: IDEA preschool of $32,650, IDEA Part B which is for the k-12 students (or age 6 - 22), of $1.278 million (down 12% from last year), and ESY of extended school year budget of $24,259 which is for special education students who qualify under the state's criteria for summer school. She must spend the same amount of special education dollars on students in private schools and voucher schools as she does on the public school students. For any student with disabilities that enrolls in virtual schools, the state will deduct IDEA funds from the school system's portion for their accommodations. The federal program report was completed by Willie Washington, Federal Programs Supervisor. He summarized general information relating to Title I, II, III, IV, and VIB. Total allocations for all of the Title programs was $3,291,080 which reflected a 1% decrease in federal funds. For Title I, Part A, improving the academic achievement of the disadvantaged, LEAs are given an allocation based on the number of low-income children, ages 5 - 17, living in Lincoln Parish. The Title I allocation is $2,653,169 which reflects a .68% decrease. Twenty-eight full-time and fifteen part-time persons are paid with Title I, Part A funds. February 1st free and reduced data is used to determine if a school is eligible for the federal funds. All of the schools with 75% and above must receive Title I services regardless of grade configuration. Ten public, three private, and the lab schools are currently being served with some type of Title program. He shared some district and school initiatives that are being utilized by the different Title allocations. Some of the district and school initiatives were: instructional support, technical service, professional staff development, parental involvement, community activities, homeless program, extended day, instructional and behavior support, class-size reduction teachers, additional paraprofessionals, purchasing of instructional materials and supplies, educational technology, parental involvement activities, professional staff development, and travel. In summary, his commitment is to align the federal programs with the state's critical goals for achievement. George Murphy, Business Manager, reported that sales tax collections for the month of September 2012 were $996,931 which was a 1.63% decrease compared to the same month last year. Year-to-date those collections were down 4.62%. Recoveries through audits were $8,353 which was down 76% compared to the same month last year. Year-to-date that fund was up down 45%. In the 67 and 79 sales tax fund, $453,150 was collected, and $543,780 was collected in the 93 and 00 fund. In his financial statement report for the month ending in August 2012, Mr. Murphy called attention to sales tax revenues which are a little less than expected. They budgeted for a break-even year instead of the 4.62% drop currently being experienced. The General Fund was up $3.691 million year-to-date, and the five mill maintenance fund as well as the ad valorem tax funds were all showing deficits until collections are received. The total fund balance is still up $37.193 million. Superintendent Danny Bell distributed a Student Scholarship for Educational Excellence summary for Lincoln Parish in 2012-13. He noted that the maximum pupil allocation from the state averages $4,780 with the local at $3,753. On per pupil for the district, $8,534 has been calculated for Lincoln Parish. Our Lady of Fatima has one student and charges tuition of $4,550. New Living Word has 68 students that had been in Lincoln Parish public schools and 11 kindergarteners who never attended a public school. Their tuition is set at $6,300. The loss of those 80 voucher student was significantly less than the 419 for which entities had received preliminary approval by the Department of Education. That would have subtracted approximately $3.2 million from the school system's allocation. He also noted that the state and local share of additional funding for various other programs such as Darbonne Woods and the La Virtual Academy would also be subtracted. There is still some confusion on quarterly scholarship deductions but he did say that $9,502 had been deducted from September funding. He reminded the Board that student counts will be made quarterly throughout the year, and as children transfer back into the public school system some of the remaining money will be recaptured. The total loss due to scholarships of $608,730 has been calculated. The projected loss for scholarships for budget planning was $1,002,000. Many more options for students and parents including scholarship schools, virtual learning, and course providers combine to deduct close to $700,025 from the school system's coffers. Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Programs, Mary Null, continued with a personnel report. She voiced the following:
1. Retirement of the following:
Donald Carmichael, interim adaptive P.E., effective September 30, 2012; and James Sandifer, agriculture teacher at Ruston High, effective September 28, 2012.
2. Resignation of the following:
Kathy Faucheux, Spanish teacher at Ruston High, effective September 18, 2012; and Cassie Maxwell, math teacher at Simsboro High, effective September 17, 2012.
3. Employment of the following:
Patricia Taylor, teacher at Simsboro Elementary, effective August 27, 2012, due to class size reduction; and Stephanie Thomas, special education at Howard School, effective August 13, 2012, replacing Marcia Colvin who retired.
4. Retirement of bus driver in the Choudrant area, Frederick Johnson, effective September 14, 2012.
5. Resignation of the following bus drivers in the Ruston area: Sammy Bozeman, effective August 29, 2012; and Dennis Mason, effective September 4, 2012.
6. Employment of the following effective September 24, 2012:
Becky Brawley, bus driver in the Choudrant area, replacing Frederick Johnson who retired;
Margaret Spivey, bus driver in the Ruston area, replacing Sammy Bozeman who resigned;
Alva Shaw, bus driver in the Ruston area, replacing Dennis Mason who resigned; and Jimmy Hinson, bus driver in the Choudrant area, replacing Robbie Griffin who resigned.
A Power Point construction update was narrated by Charles Owens with slides showing the Ruston High ag shop and New Tech buildings which are both on schedule. At Choudrant High School, the renovation is complete excluding resurfacing the tennis court. In addition, a sprinkler system, new flag pole, and new sign/marquee are giving the front a face life. An old asphalt walking track will be replaced with a new 4” deep by 5' wide concrete track. Following a month of study, Ms. Null asked the Board to approve thirteen policy revisions, two new policies for addition, and the deletion of a single policy. Upon a motion by Ms. Best, seconded by Mr. Hancock, the Board unanimously voted to approve the revision of the following policies: Powers and Responsibilities (ABB), School Board Policy (BD), Line and Staff Relations (CD), Investigations (GAMC), Evaluation of Personnel (GBI), Promotion (GBJ), Employee Discipline (GBK), Personnel Transfer (GBM), Resignation (GBO), Employee Attendance (GBRB), Sabbatical Leave (GBRHA), Sick Leave (GBRIB), and Substitute Personnel (GBRJ); the addition of Personnel Positions (GBB) and Sick Leave Bank (GBRIBB) policies; and the deletion of Suspension (GBKA).
One other policy was recommended for revision: Reduction of Personnel (GBNA). Ms. Null suggested that members study the revised policy until the next meeting of the board. The State Department of Insurance has issued guidelines relating to Uninsured Motorist coverage. George Murphy said each school system is required to include in the board minutes a consent item authorizing the Superintendent to sign the Uninsured Motorist form. He asked for adoption of a Resolution authorizing the Superintendent to do the same. Upon a motion by Mr. Mitcham, seconded by Mr. Barmore, the Board unanimously voted to adopt the Resolution authorizing the Superintendent to sign the Uninsured Motorist form. In order to continue to provide safe and efficient bus service for the students and to adequately meet the demand for extracurricular activities and athletic trips, Charles Owens relayed the Transportation Coordinator's opinion that it is vital to purchase new buses as the budget allows. He requested permission to advertise for bids in order to purchase five new conventional buses. Upon a motion by Mr. Hunt, seconded by Ms. Best, the Board unanimously voted to grant permission to advertise for bids for the purchase of five new conventional school buses.
In a Report of the Superintendent, Mr. Bell said:
1. The next meeting of the board is scheduled for Wednesday, October 17, 2012, at 12:30 at Cypress Springs Elementary School. He expects School Performance Scores (SPS) and District Performance Scores (DPS) to be released at that time, and if so, it will be placed on the agenda for that meeting.
2. In recognition of Mr. George Mack, Sr.'s, almost 40 years of service on the Lincoln Parish School Board, he proposed that some type of memorial (maybe a bronze plaque) be erected in his honor on a column with a concrete bench. He suggested that it be placed on a parcel of property the school system owns that is next to Mr. Mack's former home and across the street from Head Start. Mr. Bell invited board members to consider a small monetary donation and encouraged others to do the same as the above-mentioned remembrance which is estimated to cost $1,500 cannot be obtained with Lincoln Parish School Board funds. He set a deadline of November 15, 2012, to collect the money and asked that it be mailed or dropped off to the attention of George Murphy, Business Manager, for the George Mack Memorial. If more than $1,500 is received, literacy materials will be purchased for indigent students. After a couple of comments from a board member and upon a motion by Ms. Best, the meeting adjourned at 7:13 p.m.
Danny Bell, Secretary Otha Anders, President
1td: October 21, 2012

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