SUbscriber Login | NEW SUBSCRIPTION  


  • warning: Parameter 2 to ad_flash_adapi() expected to be a reference, value given in /var/www/vhosts/ on line 497.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to ad_flash_adapi() expected to be a reference, value given in /var/www/vhosts/ on line 497.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to ad_flash_adapi() expected to be a reference, value given in /var/www/vhosts/ on line 497.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to ad_flash_adapi() expected to be a reference, value given in /var/www/vhosts/ on line 497.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to ad_flash_adapi() expected to be a reference, value given in /var/www/vhosts/ on line 497.

Ruston, Louisiana REGULAR SESSION
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 6:00 p.m.
The Lincoln Parish School Board met in Regular Session on Tuesday, November 13, 2012, at 6:00 p.m. at the Lincoln Parish School Board, 410 South Farmerville Street, Ruston, Louisiana. Members present were Mr. Otha Anders, Mr. Michael Barmore, Ms. Lisa Best, Mr. Danny Hancock, Ms. Mattie Harrison, Ms. Lynda Henderson, Mr. Trott Hunt, Mr. Eddie Jones, Mr. George Mack, Jr., and Mr. Joe Mitcham. Ms. Debbie Abrahm and Mr. Curtis Dowling were absent. President Anders called the meeting to order. The invocation was given by Mr. Jones, and Ms. Henderson 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 Ms. Best, seconded by Mr. Hancock, the Board unanimously voted to adopt the agenda as printed. Upon a motion by Ms. Henderson, seconded by Mr. Barmore, the Board unanimously voted to approve the minutes of the Regular Sessions held on October 2, 2012, and October 17, 2012. Four Ruston High School seniors--John Herren, John Moore, Sam Phillips, and Savannah Woods--were recognized by Paula Pardue, Secondary Academic Coordinator, for being named National Merit Scholarship semi-finalists. In the absence of Ms. Woods, she presented plaques to the young men and allowed them to introduce their guests. Mrs. Pardue reminded the Board that the seniors scored in the top 1% of students in the country who took the PSAT last fall. Ms. Pardue also recognized and presented plaques to Christan Dillard and B. J. Findley, Ruston High School seniors, who have achieved semi-finalist status in the National Achievement Scholarship Program. She asked them to introduce their guests. After Ms. Pardue's recognitions, Mr. Anders congratulated the seniors for their academic achievement and desire to excel. Superintendent Danny Bell was elated to recognize three dynamic school leaders whose schools surpassed their growth targets and were eligible to receive monetary performance awards. For the first time, Mr. Bell presented a check to Tim Nutt, principal of Ruston Junior High, in the amount of $2,000 for exceeding his school's growth target by 1.4 points. With the highest gain in the parish, 17 points, Ms. Bastion, principal of Choudrant High School, received a $5,000 one-time award. For the fourth time, principal of Ruston High School, Mike Milstead, was eligible for a monetary award. His school surpassed its growth target by 7.8 points earning him a $5,000 salary addition. Mr. Bell praised the principals who have high expectations that are critical to the success of the students. Two policies presented at the October meeting were brought back for a vote by Mary Null, Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Programs. She asked the Board to approve revisions to the Reduction of Personnel and Sick Leave policies. Upon a motion by Mr. Barmore, seconded by Mr. Hancock, the Board unanimously voted to approve revisions to the Reduction of Personnel, GBNA, and Sick Leave, GBRIB, policies. Authorization was given at the October meeting to advertise for bids to purchase five new, conventional school buses. James Payton, Transportation Coordinator, indicated that bids were received from Kent Mitchell Bus Sales, Scott Truck L.L.C., and Ross Bus Sales. When bids were opened on November 9, 2012, it was noted that the bid from Scott Truck L.L.C. was the lowest bid which fully met specifications. He asked the Board to accept their bid of $75,670.00 for each bus. Upon a motion by Ms. Best, seconded by Mr. Jones, the Board unanimously voted to accept the bid of $75,670.00 each for the purchase of five 2014 conventional school buses. Because the health insurance plan has experienced a good year financially to date, an opportunity was provided to enhance the program both for the members of the plan and for the school board. George Murphy, Business Manager, David Charpentier, Vice President with Brown and Brown, and Tami DeMar, Account Manager with Blue Cross Blue Shield, felt that the addition of a wellness benefit would be a smart investment. They presented a structure with coverage of certain services at 100% when in-network providers are used allowing for the addition of a $500 wellness service. Coverage of the services they proposed was not new; the plan currently covers them, but they are subject to deductible and co-insurance. The objective of this change is to encourage the employees to have annual wellness examinations and related testing thereby finding serious and/or chronic illnesses early and treating them before they become acute. The proposed wellness benefits for all plan members is as follows: A Maximum of $500 per person, per year will be paid at 100% for the services listed below in the aggregate (not $500 per service). Amounts for eligible expenses listed below that go over $500 will be covered subject to Deductible and Co-insurance (In Network Benefit Only).
A. Well Woman Examinations
1. One (1) routine annual visit per Benefit Period to an obstetrician/ gynecologist.
2. One (1) routine Pap smear per Benefit Period.
3. One (1) mammography examination every twelve (12) months. Additional mammography examinations recommended by the Member's Physician may be subject to Copayments, Deductible Amounts and Coinsurance percentages shown in the Schedule of Benefits.
B. Physical Examinations
1. One (1) routine wellness physical examination per Benefit Period. Certain routine wellness diagnostic tests ordered by the Member's Physician are covered. Examples of routine wellness diagnostic tests that would pay under this Preventive and Wellness Benefit include, but are not limited to tests such as a urinalysis, complete blood count (CBC), serum chemistries, calcium, potassium, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Higher tech services such as an MRI, MRA, CT scan, PET scan, nuclear cardiology, colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy and endoscopy are not covered under this Preventive and Wellness Benefit. These higher tech services may be covered under standard contract Benefits when the tests are Medically Necessary.
2. Well Baby Care - twelve visits (12).
C. Immunizations
1. All state mandated immunizations including the complete basic immunization series as defined by the state health officer and required for school entry for children up to age six (6).
2. All immunizations as recommended by a Physician for Adults including Flu, Pneumonia, and Shingles.
D. Other Wellness Services
1. One (1) digital rectal exam and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test per Benefit Period, is covered for Members fifty (50) years of age or older, and as recommended by a Physician if the Member is over forty (40) years of age.
2. Hemoccult (colon) test, limited to one (1) per Benefit Period.
3. One (1) colonoscopy - is covered per 10 years for Members fifty (50) years of age or older, and as recommended by a Physician if the Member is over forty (40) years of age.
The proposed benefit changes are expected to cost the plan between $112,800 and $169,200 for 2013. Mr. Murphy recommended that the Board approve the wellness recommendation. Upon a motion by Mr. Hancock, seconded by Mr. Jones, the Board unanimously voted to authorize the superintendent to approve the changes listed above. The restroom and concession facilities on the home side of the Ruston High School stadium are in dire need of renovation. That project was discussed in a joint Building and Grounds/ Finance Committee meeting prior to the board meeting. In an effort to move forward with that, Superintendent Bell asked for permission to contract with Architect Mike Walpole for the Ruston High School stadium project. Upon a motion by Mr. Mitcham, seconded by Mr. Hunt, the Board unanimously voted to give permission to enter into a contract with Mike Walpole as the designated architect for the renovation of the RHS Stadium Project - home side restrooms and concessions. Sales tax collections have decreased 4.62% during the first three months of the fiscal year. 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. However, in future years a reduction may be necessary if a sustained period of decline in sales tax collections occurs. Superintendent Bell and he proposed paying salary supplements in the same amounts as last year: $2,450 to certified personnel and $1,225 to support personnel. Last year the thirteenth check cost the school board $2,051,611, and it should cost slightly less this year since employment levels have dropped. Upon a motion by Ms. Best, seconded by Mr. Barmore, the Board unanimously voted to approve the payment of salary supplements on November 16, 2012, in the amounts of $2,450 to certified personnel and $1,225 to support personnel. Again following the committee meeting, Superintendent Bell asked for permission to enter into a contract with Riley Company to construct a track at Simsboro High School. Upon a motion by Ms. Henderson, seconded by Mr. Hunt, the Board unanimously voted to give permission to enter into a contract with Riley Company of Louisiana, Inc. for the construction of a track at Simsboro High School. School Performance Scores (SPS)/District Performance Score (DPS) report was the next agenda item. Donna Doss, Accountability Coordinator, called attention to charts of the schools' baseline SPS for the past five years, from 2008 through 2012. She noted the most-recent letter grades the schools had earned because of their baselines were:
School Baseline Letter Grade
Cypress Springs Elementary 84.8 D
Glen View Elementary 102.5 C
Hico Elementary 95.0 C
Hillcrest Elementary 118.1 B
I.A. Lewis 101.2 C
Ruston Elementary 65.9 F
Choudrant Elementary 105.8 B
Ruston Junior School 99.7 C
Choudrant High 128.0 A
Dubach High 97.9 C
Ruston High 135.8 A
Simsboro High 100.3 C
Ms. Doss was thrilled to announce that these phenomenal scores increased the school system's DPS from 99.5 in 2011 to 110.4 which improved the district's “C” letter grade to a “B.” This 10.9 point increase moved the district up from 26th in the state to 20th. In North Louisiana, Lincoln is slightly below Bossier and Ouachita parishes. “We are on a roll with this,” she said. Ms. Doss continued with an Accountability Update beginning with 1998, the first year of school accountability. She called attention to charts explaining the schools' letter grades for 2011-2012 and the 2012-2013 revision. They were:
2011-2012 SPS Range Letter Grade
120.0 - 200.0 A
105.0 - 119.9 B
90.0 - 104.9 C
75.0 - 89.9 D
0 - 74.9 F
2012-2012 SPS Range Letter Grade
100 - 150 A
85 - 99.9 B
70 - 84.9 C
50 - 69.9 D
0 - 49.9 F
What goes into the SPS, High School Graduation Index, Cohort Graduation Rate, Cohort Graduation Rage and how performance is accounted for in the SPS was explained. New components which are going into effect are:
Drop out/Credit accumulation index;
K - 8 bonus groups;
Super sub-groups;
Declining schools or top gains;
No growth targets;
Focus; and
Reward schools.
A summary of programs funded with three grants was voiced by Ricky Edmiston, Secondary Supervisor. He shared information regarding the EEF (tobacco settlement money), Carl Perkins, and Rural Achievement Block grants. In their District Compensation Plan overview, George Murphy and Kathy Pool, Accounting Manager, said that Act 1 of the Louisiana Legislature for 2012 requires that each public school district establish a compensation plan before January 1, 2013. They distributed information obtained from the state explaining the implementation. Two models that included significant monetary rewards for highly effective teachers were perused: salary levels model and consecutive performance model. Highlights of each were shared as well as using base salary increases versus one-time stipends. They noted that any current teacher's or certified school employee's salary cannot be reduced below the salary amount for the previous school year or at any time during a school year. Teachers or administrators who receive an “Ineffective” Compass rating would not receive a higher salary in the year following the evaluation. They will continue to study the issue, work on salary schedules, and will present a recommendation to the board at the December 11, 2012, meeting. Mary Null, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Program, Mary Null, continued with a personnel report. She communicated the following:
1. Resignation of:
Angel Meyers, special education teacher at Simsboro High, effective September 14, 2012; and Heather Pearson, elementary teacher at Cypress Springs, effective October 27, 2012.
2. Points of Reference/ Transfers of: Letitia Freeman, from Youth Rescue Center to special education at Simsboro High effective September 24, 2012, replacing Angel Meyers who resigned; and Rachel Wood, from Simsboro High School to itinerate, adaptive P.E. effective October 22, 2012, replacing Larry Carmichael who retired.
3. Leave without pay request from Diane Richards, bus driver in the Ruston area, effective August 17, 2012, and through May 24, 2013. Sales tax collections for the month ending October 31, 2012, were $1,195,511 which was down 3.91% compared to the same month last year and 4.43% year-to-date, according to George Murphy. For the month, $24,745 was recovered by audits. In the 1967 and 1979 sales tax fund, $543,415 was collected, and $652,096 was added to the 1993 and 2000 funds. Moving on to the September 2012 financial update, Mr. Murphy called attention to the 2000 sales tax fund with a $3,325,331 balance. That is the fund from which the 13th checks will be paid; that will cost approximately $2,000,000. After it builds back up, it will help to fund the 14th checks in June, 2013. Comparing October 2012 figures with October 2011 figures, the school system is pretty much on target except for the sales tax funds which are down 4% as reported. The total fund balance is $35.9 million which is good. In the self-insured health care fund, George Murphy said the augmentation of the fund allowed them to make the earlier recommendation regarding the $500 wellness benefits for the members of the plan. For the month of September 2012, the fund was up $248,716, and year-to-date the fund is up $1,600,000. A good year is shaping up possibly because of fewer claims. He cautioned that the months of October, November, and December may not be as good because after deductibles are met for the year, the plan typically experiences more usage. In a construction update, Charles Owens, Director of Auxiliary Services, showed and narrated pictures of the Ruston High Ag shop and New Tech construction where work is a week to two weeks ahead of schedule.
In a Report of the Superintendent, Mr. Bell:
1. Commended Kathy Pool and George Murphy for their hard work with the salary schedules.
2. Said representatives from the Justice Department were here today and will be back tomorrow with a review of our facilities in dealing with the issue of the laboratory schools. He commended the staff who submitted quite a bit of information to the Justice Department in preparation for the visit. A hearing might be scheduled on the matter in January, but some resolution regarding the laboratory schools and the school system's obligations might not be had until June.
3. Asked if anyone had a problem with moving the December 4 board meeting to December 11 because of salary schedule changes. That would allow time to visit with other boards and the network team to see what is being presented in other parishes. Since no one voiced an objection, the next meeting of the board will be scheduled for December 11, 2012.
4. Voiced that information on Adopt-A-School, Lincoln Achieve, and the annual Parent Night on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. at the Lincoln Parish Library was enclosed in folders.
5. Reiterated funding is being solicited for a memorial in recognition of Mr. George Mack, Sr., a long-time board member who recently died. He expects community people to provide the bulk of the monies rather than the business community. He had proposed a mid-November deadline, but it may need to be delayed. After a comment from one board member and following a motion by Ms. Best, the meeting adjourned at 8:06 p.m.
Danny L. Bell, Secretary Otha L. Anders, President
1td: November 30, 2012

Bookmark and Share