MINUTES, JULY 16, 2001


The School Board of Escambia County, Florida, convened in workshop meeting, at 9:00 a.m., in the Board Room, at the Dr. Vernon McDaniel (Administration) Building, 215 West Garden Street, Pensacola, Florida, with the following present:


Chairman:   Dr. John DeWitt                        Vice Chairman:  Mrs. Cary Stidham


Board Members:  Mr. Gary L. Bergosh

Ms. Linda Finkelstein

Dr. Elmer Jenkins

School Board Attorney:   Mr. Francisco Negron, Jr.

Superintendent of Schools:   Mr. Norm Ross, Deputy Superintendent, represented Mr. Jim Paul




Dr. DeWitt called the workshop to order at 9:00 a.m.  He announced that a Special Board Meeting regarding the 2001-2002 Budget Process would immediately follow the workshop.  Dr. DeWitt suggested that an “open discussion” among Board Members and the Superintendent be added to the workshop agenda.  He believed that an “open discussion” at workshop meetings would give the Board and the Superintendent the opportunity to freely discuss important issues.  He stated that due to Sunshine Law, discussion among all Board Members and the Superintendent is prohibited outside of a formal setting. The Board collectively agreed to add this item to this workshop agenda and to forthcoming workshop meetings, limiting the time to approximately thirty (30) minutes.  The Board and Mr. Norm Ross, Deputy Superintendent (representing Mr. Jim Paul) discussed the following issues:


1)  School Attendance Zone Advisory Committee (SAZAC) – Dr. DeWitt stated that the Board needed to give some direction to the SAZAC Committee regarding their preliminary recommendations.   He stated that the Committee is scheduled to present their final recommendations to the Board in October 2001, but suggested that the Board analyze the Committee’s preliminary recommendations beforehand.   The Board collectively agreed to schedule a joint meeting with the SAZAC Committee on August 15, 2001.


2)  “Money into the Classroom” (proposed legislation) – Mrs. Stidham asked if there had been any notification as to which schools the District would have to set aside money to go into the classroom.  Mr. Paul Fetsko, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, stated that  schools affected by this legislation would be determined once a school grade for the District is received from the State, which he believes will be during the upcoming school year.  Mr. Alan Scott, Director of Secondary Education, explained the “Money into the Classroom” proposed legislation and suggested that money be set aside in the budget to cover this issue.  Mr. Fetsko stated that he would inform the Board of any additional information he receives regarding this issue.


3) One-Half Cent Sales Tax –  Mr. Ted Kirchharr, Assistant Superintendent for Operations, explained how the remaining money that was raised by the One-Half Cent Sales Tax would be distributed.  The Board collectively agreed to begin working on the process for obtaining re-authorization for the One-Half Cent Sales Tax.  Dr. Jenkins suggested the possibility of a sales tax designed specifically for raising teachers’ salaries.  After discussion, Dr. DeWitt stated that the One-Half Cent Sales Tax re-authorization and Dr. Jenkins’ suggestion for a sales tax specifically for raising teachers’ salaries would be placed on the August or September Regular Meeting agenda for further discussion.


4)  Board Press Conference – Dr. DeWitt suggested that the Board call a press conference for the purpose of giving members of the press and media, an opportunity to pose questions regarding various issues that they believe are of concern to the community.  The Board collectively agreed to hold a press conference on July 20, 2001, 11:00 a.m., at the Dr. Vernon McDaniel (Administration) Building.




Mr. Norm Ross, Deputy Superintendent, listed the additions and deletions to the agenda.  Mrs. Stidham expressed her desire to have Item V.C.1.f.11 remain on the agenda.  She explained that her intent for keeping this item on the agenda was to address other issues related to this item, but stated that the actual item (approval of revised administrative and professional job descriptions) would be tabled to the August Regular Board Meeting.



Minutes for all June meetings will be presented for Board approval.



1. Report from Audit Committee, Mike Adkins

Mr. Adkins stated that the Audit Committee had recently appointed Ms. Betsy Bowers, University of West Florida, to the Audit Committee.  He stated that the Committee had continued their monthly meetings with the Superintendent and noted that those meetings have been very beneficial.  He stated that all school internal fund audits had been completed and that the Committee is presently working on the approved audit plan.


2. Report from Mike Burns, Coordinator of Community and Legislative Affairs

Mr. Burns gave the following update:

House Bill 1/Senate Bill 1 – Mr. Burns stated that he had the opportunity to meet with the office of Congressman John Bainer, Chairman of the House Committee on Education and Workforce Development.  He stated that one of the key issues that Congressman Bainers’ office is pushing through the legislature on House Bill 1/Senate Bill 1, is the President’s agenda on “No Child Being Left Behind” Legislation.  He noted that the legislation was passed in both the House and Senate and would be going to conference later this week.  He stated that this Bill gives local school districts a great amount of flexibility with funding resources and at the same time places a great amount of accountability on the school districts.


Escambia County School District Administrators’ Conference – Mr. Burns reminded the Board that the Administrative Conference would be held on July 26th.  He noted that Commissioner Charlie Crist, who was originally scheduled as the keynote speaker, would not be available to attend the Conference. He stated that efforts were being made to secure Mr. Jim Horne, Secretary of Education, as the keynote speaker for the Conference.   


State School Summit on School Safety –  Mr. Burns reminded the Board that Commissioner Charlie Christ would visit the District on August 1st to launch the State School Summit on School Safety.


Legislative Claim Bill – Mr. Burns briefly discussed the Legislative Claim Bill issue and indicated that he would accept direction from the Board as to how to handle this issue.


Funding Issues – Mr. Burns stated that he and Dr. Deborah Malishan, Director of Elementary Education, had been able to secure the Bridges Grant, a reading grant for pre-k and kindergarten students, which is included in this month’s agenda.   He stated that the funding for Old Hometown did not make it through the entire budget process, however, the District is still working with the University of West Florida on other possibilities for securing funding for that program next year.  He also discussed issues regarding the Education Enhancement and Lottery Trust Fund.   Prior to adjournment, Mr. Bob Husbands, Executive Director of NEA UniServe, expressed his concerns regarding transfer of lottery funds.


Escambia County Student – Mr. Burns stated that while on a trip to Washington, D.C. last week, he had the opportunity to see an Escambia County School District student receive recognition.  Hunter Scott, was recognized for his efforts regarding legislation he tried to have pushed through for Captain McVeigh (formerly Admiral McVeigh), USS Indianapolis, United States Navy.   Dr. DeWitt stated that Hunter Scott would be recognized at the next Special Recognition Board Meeting. 




12. Amendment to Contract between the Escambia County School District and the Intervention Group, Inc., d/b/a Pensacola Academy for Success


Mrs. Stidham wanted clarification as to why staff was not recommending additional FTE’s be granted for the Pensacola Academy for Success.   Mr. Fetsko stated that the staffing process had been completed and that FTE had already been allocated elsewhere.  He stated that FTE would have to be removed from another area in order to add FTE to this charter school.  He noted that at this late date, this request for additional FTE’s was not feasible and therefore, not recommended by staff.  Mr. Darnell Sims, Pensacola Academy for Success, stated that he believed, that regardless of whether or not the Board approved the request for additional FTE’s, the charter school would still be entitled to payment of FTE’s for the total number of students enrolled.  He noted that another charter school was paid for additional FTE’s other than the number specified in their contract.  Mr. Negron stated that if a contract states than a charter school is allowed a specific number of FTE’s, then that is the only number of FTE’s that the charter school would be paid for.  Mrs. Barbara Linker, Director of Budgeting, stated that she would look into this issue, to determine if another charter school had in fact, received payment for additional FTE’s other than the number specified in their contract.



11.  School Food Service Meal Prices for 2001-2002 (tabled from June 19, 2001 meeting)


Mrs. Stidham stated that she did not believe that an increase in meal prices was necessary.  Mr. Bergosh stated that the Citizens Advisory Committee for Finance had reviewed this issue and their recommendation was to increase meal prices. Mrs. Stidham expressed her concern that an increase in meal prices would have a negative effect on lower income families and suggested looking into ways of operating the Food Services Department more efficiently.  Mr. Jim Bentley, Director of Food Services, stated that the budget had been reviewed and that changes were made in order to reduce areas of the budget, but stated that he believed there was still a need for an increase in meal prices.



1. Instructional/Professional

b. Reappointments

3. 4th Year Annual


In answer to Dr. DeWitt’s question, Ms. Teenie Wehmeier, Director of Certification, stated that these individuals are not out-of-field and that they have temporary certificates and therefore, according to Florida Statute, they are not eligible for professional services contracts.  She stated that some of these individuals are not teacher trained and therefore, they are eligible for an extension in order to finish all their professional courses.


d.  Out-of-Field

4.  Other


Ms. Teenie Wehmeier, Director of Certification, stated that new rules regarding social work certification require that these individuals have a degree in social work.  She stated that since each of these individuals have degrees in other academic areas, they would be attending the University of West Florida to complete their course work.


f.  Special Requests

11.   Request approval of revised administrative and professional job descriptions to include evaluations associated with each position


Mrs. Stidham explained that her intent for keeping this item on the agenda was to address other issues related to this item.   She stated that clarification needed to be given to the Superintendent regarding the position of Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, which had been abolished at a previous meeting.  She suggested that the job duties of the abolished position (Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources) be assigned to the Director of Human Resources position and that the Director of Human Resources report to the Deputy Superintendent.  Mr. Bergosh and Dr. Jenkins wanted to have a recommendation from the Superintendent.  Dr. Doug Garber, acting Director of Employee Services, stated that the Superintendent would bring his recommendation to the Board at the July 17, 2001 Regular Meeting, regarding the position of Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources. Mrs. Stidham also questioned language listed in all job descriptions that states, “…perform other incidental tasks consistent with the goals and objectives of this position” and also “assist in implementing the District’s goals and strategic orientations.”   She expressed her concern that the language was too vague and could possibly pose problems from a legal standpoint.   Mr. Negron stated that the language was basically a “catch all” phrase and that it could possibly cause problems because it does not sufficiently identify the central functions of the job.  He suggested that language be removed from the job descriptions and stated that he could prepare a brief for the Board to review.   Dr. DeWitt reminded the Board that this item would remain on the agenda for the Regular Meeting so that related issues could be handled, however, the actual item (approval of revised administrative and professional job descriptions) would be tabled to the August Regular Board Meeting.                                     

Mrs. Stidham noted that the position for Director of Facilities Planning was currently vacant and had not yet been advertised.    She suggested that the Director of Facilities Planning position, be eliminated and the job duties for that position be assigned to the Director of Maintenance.  She further suggested that portions of the job duties for Director of Maintenance, be assigned to the Assistant Director of Maintenance.   Dr. Jenkins stated that he opposed the idea of combining Facilities and Maintenance job duties.  Mr. Ted Kirchharr, explained that he believed that the proposed recommendation would result in a variety of problems.  Ms. Finkelstein stressed the need to continue looking at all cost saving measures in the coming year.  Dr. Doug Garber stated that the Superintendent would bring his recommendation to the Board at the July 17, 2001 Regular Meeting, regarding the position of Director of Facilities Planning.


3.  Risk Management

e. Baptist Health Care (Sports) – Sports Medicine Service to High Schools


Mr. Chad Gilliland, representative, Baptist Health Care (Sports), gave a brief review of the Sports Medicine Service program. Mrs. Stidham commended Baptist Health Care for what she believed was a great program provided to student athletes.


5. Affirmative Action

a. Educational Equity Act Annual Update


In answer to Dr. DeWitt’s question, Mr. Elvin McCorvey, Director of Affirmative Action, stated that the District is not completely in compliance with the Educational Equity Act.   Mrs. Stidham expressed her concerns that female students need to be encouraged to participate in athletics as much as possible.  She stated that principals, coaches and sponsors need to be aware of problems that could arise if the District is not in compliance with the Educational Equity Act and that they can not limit female students from participating in athletics.  Mr. McCorvey stated that all school administrators and athletic directors are aware that they need to provide as many opportunities as they can, for female students to participate in as many athletic activities as possible.  Dr. Jenkins expressed his concerns for racial equity in addition to gender equity.  Mr. McCorvey noted that the State simply states that if the District provides athletic activities, then the District must make the opportunity to participate fair for all students.  Mr. Manny Harageones, Director of Health, Wellness and Physical Education, stated that the District would be working with a representative from the Florida Department of Education, to develop a process for monitoring compliance with the Education Equity Act.



4. Camera / VCR Systems for School Buses


Dr. DeWitt questioned the need for Camera/VCR systems for School Buses.  Mr. Jerry Caine, acting Director of Transportation, stated that having cameras on school buses has been very beneficial as far as dealing with student behavior.  He stated that there is a need for equipping new buses with cameras and noted that the intent is certainly not to equip every bus in the county with cameras, only new buses.  Mrs. Barbara Linker, Director of Budgeting, stated that this purchase is currently funded from general revenue but noted that she is reviewing an alternative funding source.


8. Annual Agreement Renewal:  Instructional Microcomputer Maintenance Agreement, Bid #63-99


Dr. DeWitt stated that the Citizens Advisory Committee for Curriculum and Technology had inquired about the quality of service provided by Tech Advanced Computers.  Mr. Don Manderson, Director of Instructional Technology, stated that he had received very positive responses from principals, teachers and technology coordinators regarding the services provided.


10. Bid Award:  Dental TPA Services / PPO Network, Bid #01 36 01 (tabled from June 19, 2001 meeting)


Mr. Barry Boyer, Director of Purchasing, advised the Board that the Insurance Committee voted to postpone action, however, staff recommended approval.  Mr. Joe Bernard, Director of Risk Management, reviewed the specifics of the recommended contract.  Mr. Bob Husbands, member, Insurance Committee, stated that the Committee did not agree with the recommendation.  Staff members answered questions from the Board regarding Usual and Customary Rate (UCR), number of dentists agreeing to be part of the network and the possibility of requesting bids for outsourcing administration of claims with no change to the current plan, etc.


11. Professional Services Agreement:  Grant Writing Services (revised agreement – item tabled from June 19, 2001 meeting)


Dr. DeWitt stated that although revisions had been made to the Grant Writing Services agreement, he still had concerns regarding benefit payments to the consultant when a grant is re-funded.  He asked if the Consultant would receive a benefit payment for re-funded grants if the agreement is terminated.  Mr. Barry Boyer, Director of Purchasing, explained that the Consultant would receive a benefit payment for re-funded grants even if the agreement was terminated.  Dr. DeWitt expressed his concern that the Consultant should not continue to receive a benefit payment for re-funded grants, if either party involved had terminated the agreement.  He requested that the agreement to be amended to state that upon termination of agreement, all benefit payments are ceased.  Prior to adjournment, Mr. Boyer informed the Board that he had contacted the Consultant, who made a counter offer to agree to payment for a maximum of two (2) years after initial year.


15. Annual Agreement Renewal:  Cleaning Standardization Program, Bid #25-98


Dr. DeWitt inquired about the quality of service provided by PR Cleaning Supply Company.  Mr. Barry Boyer, Director of Purchasing, stated that based on results of a recent survey, the Custodial Department and school custodians were pleased with the level of services and products received from this company. 


19. Compass Florida Solutions for Secondary/GED for West Florida High School of Advanced Technology


Ms. Finkelstein and Dr. DeWitt asked if this contract was based on performance.  They noted that the Citizens Advisory Committee for Technology and Curriculum has suggested performance based contracting with other companies and believed that this contract should also be performance based.  Mr. Barry Boyer, Director of Purchasing, stated that he would contact the company regarding this issue and would respond to the Board at the July 17, 2001 Regular Meeting. 


The meeting was recessed at 12:20 p.m. and reconvened at 12:55 p.m., with all Board Members and Mr. Ross present.



No discussion was held.



No discussion was held.



No discussion was held.



No items were submitted.




A. Proposed Additions of Revisions to School District Rules

a. Permission to Advertise

2. School Board Rule 6Gx17-5.07(5)(h) – PERSONAL USE OF RENTAL VEHICLES PROHIBITED


Mrs. Stidham stated that certain employees had rented vehicles, at the State rate, using credit cards issued by the District and that those employees had not reimbursed the District for that expense.  She believed that the addition of School Board Rule 6G17-5.07(5)(h) – Personal Use of Rental Vehicles Prohibited, would help to prevent this problem from reoccurring.  Mr. Ross stated that the District has corresponded with those individuals, and is currently pursuing reimbursement for those expenses. 


c. Permission to Adopt Emergency Rule Change

1.  School Board Rule 6Gx17-6.02(2) and 6Gx17-6.04 – ELIGIBILITY FOR TRANSPORTATION AND SCHOOL BUS STOPS


Mr. Ted Kirchharr, Assistant Superintendent for Operations, stated that School Board Rule 6Gx17-6.04 – School Bus Stops, would be deleted from this agenda item.  He stated that School Board Rule 6Gx17-6.02(2) – Eligibility for Transportation, would remain on the agenda and the only change to that rule, was the addition of language regarding trunk routing.  Mr. Ross stated that the reason for deleting School Board Rule 6Gx17-6.04 – School Bus Stops, from the agenda, was because of many concerns expressed by staff regarding student safety, and noted that staff would continue to review the issue.  Ms. Finkelstein asked that hazardous walk areas and liability issues regarding bus stops located on school campuses be looked at closely during review for proposed policy.  Mr. Negron opined that regarding liability, the District, would be liable if a student is on school property waiting on a bus.  Mrs. Stidham felt that equity issues should be incorporated into the rule.


Mr. Negron returned to the workshop at 1:20 p.m.


B. Items from the Board

1.  Request for Participation in “Cram the Van” Program – Cary Stidham


Mrs. Stidham stated that “Cram the Van” is an annual program sponsored by Sandy Sansing Chevrolet and WEAR Channel 3, where the “van” travels to different sites, collecting school supplies for students in need.  She encouraged Board Members and staff to participate in this effort.


2. Request for Update on Security Locks – Linda Finkelstein


Mr. Mark Pursell, Director of Maintenance, gave a brief update regarding security locks as requested by Ms. Finkelstein at a previous meeting. He stated that the Safety Committee recommended incorporating classroom security locks in new construction and renovation specifications, however they did not recommend retrofitting the entire district with classroom security locks.  He noted that he had submitted a request to the Assistant Superintendent for Operations requesting that the recommendation of the Safety Committee be incorporated into the new construction and renovation specifications.   He also stated that he had requested that the Safety Committee review lock down procedures for schools that do not have classroom security locks and noted that they would review that issue at an upcoming meeting.


3. Maintaining Equity in Transporting Students to Special Programs Housed within a School (i.e. – Law Academy, Health Academy) – Cary Stidham


Mrs. Stidham placed this item on the agenda because transportation to some special program housed within a school had been discontinued, while others had not, which created a concern with equity for all programs. 


C.  Items from the Superintendent


1. Memorandum of Understanding between the Escambia District School Board and Escambia Education Association concerning continuation of the twelve-month status of Visiting Teacher/School Social Worker, Joan Simmons                      


3. Request approval for a plan of employing ten (10) Visiting Teachers/School Social Workers for eleven months in place of the eleven (11) Visiting Teachers/School Social Workers employed for a ten-month period (revised recommendation – item tabled from June 19, 2001 meeting)


The Board questioned these items and expressed concerns that staff had not followed previously approved Board action.  Action by the Board had reduced the number of Visiting Teacher positions on the Personnel Planning Document, and eliminated twelve-month positions, while staggering dates of employment.  Staff explained that approval of these items was needed to provide service for the summer.  Mr. Bob Husbands, Executive Director of NEA UniServe, stated that some of the issues mentioned were bargaining issues.  In particular, he felt that agreement for ten-month rotating schedules would not have been reached, therefore blocking any other negotiation.


D. Items from the General Counsel

No discussion was held.




There being no further business, the workshop adjourned at 2:20 p.m.


Attest:                                                            Approved:

________________________________     ___________________________

Superintendent                                               Chairman