THE SCHOOL BOARD OF
ESCAMBIA COUNTY, FLORIDA
MINUTES, MAY 17, 2004
The School Board of Escambia County, Florida, convened in Workshop Meeting at 9:00 a.m., in Room 160, at the J.E. Hall Educational Services Center, 30 East Texar Drive, Pensacola, Florida, with the following present:
Chairman: Mrs. Cary Stidham Vice Chairman: Dr. John DeWitt
Board Members: Mr. Gary Bergosh
Mr. Ronnie L. Clark
Ms. Linda Finkelstein
School Board General Counsel: Mrs. Ellen Odom
Superintendent of Schools: Mr. Jim Paul
I. CALL TO ORDER
Mrs. Stidham called the Regular Workshop to order 9:00 a.m.
A. Open Discussion
Dr. DeWitt requested an update on Escambia Charter School, however the Superintendent did not really wish to comment until the State Attorney’s investigation was complete. [NOTE: The investigation involved allegations of financial insolvency and improper instructional hours reported to the Florida Department of Education (FDOE).]
[NOTE: This issue was previously addressed at the January 15, 2004 Special Meeting.] Upon inquiry by Ms. Finkelstein, the Superintendent advised that the current social studies curriculum would remain in effect for the upcoming 2004-2005 school year.
[NOTE: This issue was previously addressed at the March 12, 2004 Regular Workshop.] Upon inquiry by Ms. Finkelstein, Mr. John Dombroskie, Director of Purchasing and Business Services, advised that the district-wide beverage contract would be presented for Board approval on either the June or July Regular Meeting agenda.
[NOTE: This issue was previously addressed at the April 16, 2004 Regular Workshop.] Upon inquiry by Ms. Finkelstein, Mr. Shawn Dennis, Assistant Superintendent for Operations, indicated that the Request for Proposal (RFP) for the garage lift was still being developed and would hopefully be completed and provided to the Board in June.
Dr. DeWitt introduced Mrs. Ellen Odom, who had assumed the position of School Board General Counsel.
1. Scheduling of June 2004 School Board Meetings (Workshop, Regular, Budget)
In consideration of the Florida School Boards Association (FSBA) Annual Spring Conference (June 9 – June 11), the Board agreed to change the date of the June Regular Workshop from June 11, 2004 to June 14, 2004, at 9:00 a.m., in Room 160, at the J.E. Hall Educational Services Center.
The June Regular Meeting remained as scheduled for June 15, 2004, at 5:30 p.m., in Room 160, at the J.E. Hall Educational Services Center.
According to the Budget Calendar (approved at the December 16, 2003 Regular Meeting), two Special Meetings regarding the 2004-2005 budget process were tentatively scheduled for June 8, 2004 and June 22, 2004. However, in consideration of the FSBA Annual Spring Conference (June 9 – June 11), the Board agreed to change the date of the June 8, 2004 Special Meeting (Re: Budget) to June 14, 2004, at 1:00 p.m., in Room 160, at the J.E. Hall Educational Services Center. The Board confirmed the scheduling of the June 22, 2004 Special Meeting (Re: Budget), at 1:00 p.m., in the Board Room, at the Dr. Vernon McDaniel Building.
2. Scheduling of July 2004 School Board Meetings (Workshop, Regular, Budget)
The Board also agreed to change the date of the July Regular Workshop from July 16, 2004 to July 26, 2004 at 9:00 a.m., in Room 160 at the J.E. Hall Educational Services Center.
3. Information Technology for Education Policymakers II Program – John DeWitt
Dr. DeWitt advised that the Astronauts Memorial Foundation (Kennedy Space Center) had offered to provide a cost-free technology training session for the Board, entitled “Information Technology for Education Policymakers II Program (ITEP II).” [NOTE: Several Board Members had participated in a similar training session (facilitated by the Astronauts Memorial Foundation) at the October 15, 2001 Special Workshop.] After a brief discussion, it was determined that no Board Member, other than Dr. DeWitt, was interested in participating.
II. COMMENTS FROM SUPERINTENDENT
The Superintendent listed the additions, deletions, and amendments to the agenda.
III. TIME CERTAIN ITEMS
1. Update on ESE District Administered Program
Ms. Melinda Poe, Transition Specialist and Mr. John Bouchard, OJT Coordinator, gave a brief update on the Exceptional Student Education (ESE) District Administered Program.
IV. PROPOSED ADDITIONS OR REVISIONS TO SCHOOL DISTRICT RULES
B. Permission to Advertise
2. Notice of Intent to Advertise Revisions to School District Rule 6Gx17-7.02 - Code of Conduct: Elementary Rights and Responsibilities Handbook, 2004-2005
3. Notice of Intent Notice of Intent to Advertise Revisions to School District Rule 6Gx17-7.02 - Code of Conduct: Secondary Rights and Responsibilities Handbook, 2004-2005
Upon inquiry by Mrs. Stidham, Dr. Deborah Malishan, Director of Elementary Education, and Dr. Alan Scott, Director of Secondary Education, advised that all technical errors (i.e., grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc.) would be corrected prior to advertisement of these documents.
The following sections of the Elementary Rights and Responsibilities Handbook and/or the Secondary Rights and Responsibilities Handbook were addressed:
(Page 3 – Elementary Rights and Responsibilities Handbook)
IV. RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF STUDENTS
G. RIGHTS AND DUTIES
Students have the right to the privacy of a desk or a locker. If the principal/designee thinks that drugs, weapons or contraband is present, a desk or locker may be checked.
(Page 4 – Secondary Rights and Responsibilities Handbook)
III. RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF STUDENTS
Students have the right to the privacy of a locker, where provided, for their personal property except under the following conditions:
A student’s locker, book bag, personal property, vehicle, or other storage area may be opened for inspection by the principal or the principal’s designee when there is reasonable suspicion that he/she possesses an illegal substance or a prohibited object. If drugs or weapons prohibited by law are found, the proper law enforcement official will be contacted. Under reasonable circumstances, the student will be present. Florida Statutes 1006.09(09)
Mr. Bergosh noted that the language regarding a student’s right to the privacy of a desk or locker was a “little different” in each of the handbooks (elementary and secondary). He asked Mrs. Odom to review that particular section of the handbooks to determine whether or not the language should be the same in both.
(Page 31 – Elementary Rights and Responsibilities Handbook)
XII. ELEMENTARY STUDENT DRESS CODE
A. Clothing Requirements
2. Skirts, Shorts and Dresses: The hem or slit of skirts, shorts, or dresses shall be worn no shorter than mid-thigh. Skirts and shorts shall be properly fastened so that the waistband is at the waist and not below the waist.
Mrs. Odom advised that this particular clothing requirement was not in accordance with current Board policy, which states that “the hem or slit of skirts, shorts, or dress shall be worn no shorter than two inches above the knee.”
(Page 35 – Elementary Rights and Responsibilities Handbook)
(Page 30 – Secondary Rights and Responsibilities Handbook)
District-Wide School Uniform Standard: The District’s uniform shall consist of solid-colored khaki, navy, or black trousers, skirts, shorts, skorts, or jumpers. Shirts shall be collared and will be solid white, red, or dark blue and worn tucked in. Pull-over sweat shirts or solid sweaters of appropriate uniform colors may be worn over uniform shirt or blouse. No denim shall be allowed at the secondary level.
Dr. DeWitt noted that the phrase “tucked in” would need to be removed from this particular section, as it was not in accordance with the current Board policy.
V. CONSENT AGENDA
A. Curriculum and Instruction
K-12 Character Education Program
Upon inquiry by Ms. Finkelstein, Mrs. Laura Snow, Social Studies Specialist, confirmed that the District did already have a Core Values Program, which included four core values that were the same as the State’s nine character education qualities. However, because the Core Values Program did not include the other five character education qualities required by the State, curriculum for the K-12 Character Education Program had to written in order to ensure compliance.
8. Budget Amendments
c. Resolution 9: Capital Projects Fund
1. 2002/03 PECO Construction Fund 3413, (Pages 6 & 7)
a. Reallocate funds ($20,000.00) from Northview High School sitework project to Escambia High School bus ramp project. Facilities Planning initiated this budget amendment to facilitate additional funds for Escambia High School bus ramp project.
Upon inquiry by Ms. Finkelstein, Mr. Ron Peacock, Director of Facilities Planning, confirmed that the Northview High School site-work project had been completed.
C. Human Resource Services
f. Special Requests
11. Request approval to amend the Escambia School District Calendar to include students half-days.
Dr. DeWitt indicated that he would not support the amendment of the District calendar to include students half-days, as he believed that half-days were “totally disruptive” to the education process.
3. Risk Management
d. Dental Plan RFP Results/Recommendations
Mr. Kevin Windham, Director of Risk Management, briefly reviewed the following information, as outlined in the backup documentation for this item:
At the December 2003 Board Meeting, the Board directed that an RFP for Dental Plans be issued in an attempt to identify potential cost savings and to identify the feasibility to offer other dental programs or enhancements to our current Dental Plan. A committee was established at the request of the Board to assist in the development of the Dental RFP. After approval of the committee, the RFP was posted on March 5, 2004 for a period of four weeks. The RFP included proposals for (1) self-funded direct reimbursement (current plan design); (2) self-funded traditional plan design with PPO option’ (3) fully insured PPO plan; (4) fully insured traditional indemnity plan. Gallagher Benefit Services, Inc. developed the RFP with the assistance of the District’s Dental RFP Committee, issued the RFP, collected the proposals, and provided the “2004 Dental Plan Marketing” which summarizes the results of the RFP process. Responses were received from 11 providers with 5 of these declining for either plan design or non-competitiveness. A meeting was held with both the Trustees and the Insurance committee to discuss the results and details of the 2004 Dental RFP. It was the recommendation of both the Trustees and the Insurance Committee to recommend that we continue with the self-funded direct reimbursement dental plan with an option to offer an enhanced buy-up plan to employees that wish to purchase a higher level of dental benefits at an additional employee paid premium. The provider offering the most economical proposal was our current TPA, United Group Programs, Inc. The administrative fee for dental claims processing is estimated at $83,000.00 per year, and claim costs is estimated at approximately $2,051,000.00 based on the estimated participation in each of the plans. It is recommended that the Board accept the recommendation of the Trustees and the Insurance Committee for a Dental Plan effective date of October 1, 2004.
8. Permission to Negotiate: Energy Conservation Consulting Services
Mr. Gary Clark, Energy Education, Inc., briefly explained how implementing his company’s “people-oriented” energy management program would result in savings of more than $23,000,000 (coming directly from the District’s utility bills). He assured the Board that there was absolutely no financial risk, as his company would contractually guarantee that the District would save more money than it spends to the energy management program.
Mr. Shawn Dennis, Assistant Superintendent for Operations, advised that this particular item was associated with Item V.E.1.B.3, “Energy Conservation Plan.”
9. Liability Insurance Premium for the Metropolitan Area Network
Mrs. Stidham suggested that the “executive summary” sheet for this item be revised in such a way as to clearly indicate the recommendation of rejecting federal terrorism coverage.
22. Trade-In of Golf Cart by Food Service Department
Upon inquiry by Mrs. Stidham, Mr. John Dombroskie, Director of Purchasing, explained that this item was a request for approval of an unauthorized trade-in of a 1999 golf cart toward the purchase of a new golf cart for the Food Services Department.
25. Payment of Payroll Services for Teachers at Jacqueline Harris Preparatory Academy
In response to questions posed by Mrs. Stidham, Mr. Wayne Odom, Director of Title I, clarified that approval of this item would allow the District to pay Allstates Employer Services directly for payroll services contracted by the Jacqueline Harris Preparatory Academy. He noted that the District would be serving as a ‘pass-through’ since the Title I funds could not be turned over directly to the charter school for them to pay for these services.
1. Facilities Planning
2. Second Reallocation for the 1997 Half-Cent Sales Tax
3. Energy Conservation Plan
Mr. Shawn Dennis, Assistant Superintendent for Operations, gave a brief review of the proposed energy conservation plan, as outlined in the backup documentation for this item.
F. Student Transfers
No discussion was held.
G. Internal Auditing
No items were submitted.
VI. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
No items were submitted.
VII. NEW BUSINESS
A. Items from the Board
1. Presentation and Consideration of Recommendations from the Diversity Task Force – Linda Finkelstein
The Task Force recommended that the School Board and Superintendent:
a. Review and adopt all of the recommendations included in the Report of the Community Task Force on Diversity: Recommendations to the School Board and the Superintendent, December 17, 2002
b. Proactively initiate, control, and inspire the School District through the development of written School Board policies to implement all parts of the Community Task Force on Diversity recommendations as School Board ends to be achieved or results to be expected with accountability of the Superintendent, adequate funds budgeted, and with a focus on the intended long-term impacts on learners.
c. Monitor to determine the degree to which School Board policies related to the recommendations from the Community Task Force on Diversity are being met and discuss progress made on the written policies on a scheduled basis using monitoring reports prepared by the Superintendent.
d. Require that disaggregated data by race, gender, schools, district level departments, or other designations inclusive of all programs and personnel, be collected for each policy category or criteria and reported as evidence of implementation and verification of progress made toward reaching intended School Board ends or results from the Task Force recommendations that are adopted.
e. Reconvene the Community Task Force on Diversity next year to perform the same tasks described in recommendation number 5 of December 17, 2002.
[NOTE: The following discussion refers to the backup documentation, which listed each item of the December 17, 2002 recommendations, with an indication of either “implemented” or “not implemented.”] The Superintendent indicated that he had “no problem” with the “implemented” items being addressed in policy. However, because he did not necessarily support the “not implemented” items, he requested that the Board not approve the Task Force’s recommendation to address those in policy. Mrs. Stidham and Dr. DeWitt noted that the backup documentation did not accurately reflect all of the recommendations that had been “implemented” and therefore, requested that a revised list be provided. After further discussion, Ms. Finkelstein indicated that she would delete this item from the agenda and suggested that the Superintendent and other Board Members work through General Counsel to resolve any concerns that they had regarding the Task Force’s recommendation.
2. Request approval of the Final Order Adopting the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law of the Administrative Law Judge (DOAH Case No. 03-4410)
Mrs. Odom advised the Board that they were required to accept the findings of fact and conclusions of law made by the Administrative Law Judge, as they were supported by competent substantial evidence. She noted that the Board also had to decide whether to accept the Administrative Law Judge’s recommendation of termination or to accept the employee’s offer of resignation in lieu of termination. She advised the Board to proceed with termination.
The Regular Workshop recessed at 1:10 p.m. and reconvened at 1:20 p.m., with Mrs. Stidham, Dr. DeWitt, Mr. Clark, Ms. Finkelstein, Mrs. Odom and the Superintendent present.
B. Items from the Superintendent
No discussion was held.
C. Items from the General Counsel
No discussion was held.
VIII. COMMITTEE/DEPARTMENTAL REPORTS
1. Update on Strategic Planning Process
Mr. Tommy Taylor, Director of Applied Technology, gave a brief progress report on:
Strategic Goal 2: Prepare students for the workforce.
Mr. Wayne Odom, Director of Title I, gave a brief progress report on:
Strategic Goal 3: Maximize opportunities for families to prepare children for kindergarten.
ADD 2. Update on Budget Process
Mrs. Barbara Linker, Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Business Services, gave a brief update on the budget process by reviewing a handout entitled:
School District of Escambia County
Impact of Funding Changes
FY 2003-04 4th FEFP Calculation Comparison to FY2004-05 Final Conference Report
(Without Prior Year Adjustment)
ADD 3. FCAT Presentation
Mr. Malcolm Thomas, TITLE, gave a brief overview of the 2004 Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test (FCAT) scores. He advised that at that point in time, only summary data had been received and noted that individual student scores would not be received until May 19th.
There being no further business, the Regular Workshop adjourned at 2:15 p.m.