ESCAMBIA COUNTY, FLORIDA
J.E. HALL EDUCATIONAL SERVICES CENTER
30 EAST TEXAR DRIVE
MINUTES, AUGUST 15, 2001
The School Board of Escambia County, Florida, convened in Special Meeting at 5:30 p.m., in Room 160, at the J.E. Hall Educational Services Center, 30 East Texar Drive, Pensacola, Florida, with the following present:
Chairman: Dr. John DeWitt
Vice Chairman: Mrs. Cary Stidham
Members: Mr. Gary L. Bergosh
Ms. Linda Finkelstein
Dr. Elmer Jenkins (entered the meeting at 7:10 p.m.)
School Board Attorney: Mr. Francisco Negron, Jr.
Superintendent of Schools: Mr. Jim Paul
The following members of the School Attendance Zone Advisory Committee (SAZAC) were also present:
Bob Husbands (Chairman)
Ulysses Hughes (entered the meeting at 5:50 p.m.)
I. CALL TO ORDER
Dr. DeWitt called the meeting to order at 5:35 p.m.
II. ADOPTION OF AGENDA
On motion by Mrs. Stidham, second by Ms. Finkelstein, adoption of the agenda was approved 4 to 0, with Dr. Jenkins absent for vote. Dr. DeWitt expressed his appreciation to the School Attendance Zone Advisory Committee (SAZAC) for the work that they had done thus far.
III. UPDATE FROM THE SCHOOL ATTENDANCE ZONE ADVISORY COMMITTEE (SAZAC)
Mr. Ireland Brock, Director of Pupil Instructional Support Services and SAZAC member, distributed information to the Board regarding FTE Capacity (Supplementary Minute Book, Exhibit A). He and Mr. Bob Husbands, Executive Director of Escambia NEA UniServe and SAZAC member, gave a brief update on the status of the committees evaluation of existing attendance zones of the schools in the district. They also explained the primary factors used by SAZAC, in evaluating and recommending any proposed new attendance zones and/or changes to existing attendance zones of the schools in the district.
IV. JOINT DISCUSSION
Board Members, SAZAC Members and other district staff discussed the various attendance zone changes, being considered by the committee, as a result of their continued evaluation of existing attendance zones of the schools in the district.
V. COMMENTS/RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE BOARD
As the result of further discussions, the Board took the following actions:
1) Motion was made by Dr. DeWitt, seconded by Ms. Finkelstein, to designate N.B Cook Elementary School as a district magnet school, maintaining the racial balance as outlined by the Augustus case. Mr. Paul Fetsko, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, expressed his concerns regarding the negative impact of designating N.B. Cook as a magnet school. Mrs. Stidham expressed various concerns regarding transportation and financial issues and also majority/minority ratios. She and Mr. Bergosh believed that currently, there was not adequate information to make a decision. Motion failed 2 to 2, with Mrs. Stidham and Mr. Bergosh voting No and Dr. Jenkins absent for vote.
2) Motion was made by Ms. Finkelstein, seconded by Dr. DeWitt, to make the new school in the Molino/Barrineau Park area, a K-5. Mrs. Stidham expressed her concerns that there was not adequate data to support building a K-5 rather than a K-8. She believed that a K-8 should be built, and if it is later determined that a K-5 is needed, then it could be converted to one. After discussion, Ms. Finkelstein withdrew her motion and Dr.DeWitt withdrew his second. Motion was made by Ms. Finkelstein, seconded by Dr. DeWitt to build a K-8 school in the Molino/Barrineau Park area (as already being done), but should SAZAC need to move middle school students to Ernest Ward Middle School, in order to make a decision, then they should be allowed to do so. Mr. Bergosh stated that he believed that the school plan should remain a K-8. Motion failed 2 to 2, with Ms. Stidham and Mr. Bergosh voting No and Dr. Jenkins absent for vote.
3) Motion was made by Dr. DeWitt, seconded by Ms. Finkelstein, to ask the SAZAC to look at alternatives that would not affect a school by removing 50% of its population.
The Board recognized the following speakers:
Beverly Patteson, principal of A.K. Suter Elementary, expressed her concerns regarding Suters capacity.
Joe Jones, expressed his concerns regarding effects of this motion on majority/minority student ratios.
Motion failed 2 to 2, with Ms. Stidham and Mr. Bergosh voting No and Dr. Jenkins absent for vote.
Dr. Jenkins entered the meeting at 7:10 p.m.
4) Motion was made by Dr. DeWitt, seconded by Mrs. Stidham, to start the process for closing A.A. Dixon Elementary School.
The Board recognized Judy Ladner, principal of A.A. Dixon Elementary School, who urged the Board to not close A.A. Dixon Elementary School.
Motion failed 3 to 2, with Dr. Jenkins, Mr. Bergosh and Ms. Finkelstein voting No.
5) Motion was made by Mrs. Stidham that SAZAC not have the restraints that N.B. Cook has to lie within its attendance zone. Motion died for lack of second.
Board Members requested the following information be provided by the Superintendent at the September Regular Board Meeting:
1) Information regarding designating N.B. Cook Elementary School as a district magnet school
2) Current information on student populations, administrative costs, facilities issues, etc. for Pensacola Beach Elementary School and all inner-city schools being considered for closure
ADD VI. PERMISSION TO ADOPT EMERGENCY RULE CHANGE
1. School Board Rule 6Gx17-6.02(2)(a) ELIGIBILITY FOR TRANSPORTATION
Motion was made by Dr. DeWitt, seconded by Dr. Jenkins, to adopt Emergency Rule Change, School Board Rule 6Gx17-6.02(2)(a) Eligibility for Transportation. Dr. DeWitt explained that the intent of this change, was to allow students to be transported to and from special or other programs on regular or special buses from any school site on a space available basis. Mr. Ted Kirchharr, Assistant Superintendent for Operations, expressed his concerns with the language of the rule.
The Board recognized Kevin Vaughn, who spoke in favor of the emergency rule change.
Upon question from Mr. Bergosh, Mr. Negron stated that he did have concerns about the language of this rule regarding liability.
The Board recognized Madonna Jackson-Williams, who asked the Board to consider the effects of this rule on Exceptional Student Education (ESE) students.
Upon question from Mr. Bergosh, Mr. Negron stated that it would be possible to reword the language of the rule to limit liability of the school district.
The Board recognized Cathy Breakall, who expressed her concerns regarding the emergency rule change.
Motion failed 3 to 2, with Dr. Jenkins, Mrs. Stidham, and Mr. Bergosh voting No.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:10 p.m.