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 (entered the workshop at 10:55 a.m.)

Ms. Linda Finkelstein

Dr. Elmer Jenkins

School Board Attorney: Mr. Francisco M. Negron, Jr. (entered the workshop at 9:07 a.m.)

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

(Mr. Paul arrived at 11:45 a.m. but Mr. Ross remained at table)




Dr. DeWitt called the workshop to order at 9:00 a.m.  He noted that the workshop was being held today rather than the regularly scheduled time of the third Monday of the month, due to the Jewish Holiday, Rosh Hashanah.   He further noted that, as requested by the Governor of Florida, the Board would observe a moment of silence, at 11:00 a.m. in respect for all individuals involved in the tragic terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.


Due to time constraints, the following item was moved to the front of the agenda:


IV.1. Report from Mike Adkins, Audit Committee


Mr. Adkins stated that the Audit Committee had reviewed and approved numerous audits.  He noted that audits of several booster clubs indicated a need for formalized accounting policies and procedures, to ensure accountability of funds. He stated that though those funds are not official school district funds, they are closely associated with the schools and there should be some formal policies and procedures as to how those funds are to be accounted for. The committee had also done a follow-up on the external auditor comments regarding workers compensation indemnity payments, a report on the life insurance plan and a report on athletic event ticket accountability.  The committee recommended that some administrative procedures be adopted regarding those issues.  Mr. Adkins stated that the committee had formalized the investigative report on departments involved in alleged misuse of school supplies by district employees.  The committee also approved the audit report on construction change orders and recommended the Board provide direction to district staff addressing contract language as it relates to documentation issues.  Dr. Jenkins inquired as to whether principals had any control over booster clubs and expressed his concern that principals should have some knowledge of the actions of booster clubs.  Mr. Sam Scallan, Director of Internal Auditing, stated that principals do not exercise any direct control over booster clubs and noted that they are separate and distinct entities.  He believed that there should be some monitoring of booster club financial transactions and noted that for most schools there are, but that a policy regarding that may be necessary.  Upon question from Mrs. Stidham, Mr. Scallan stated that he had developed some proposed policy language regarding booster clubs.  He further stated that he had spoken with the Superintendent about establishing a task force for the purpose of developing detailed operation guidelines for booster clubs. He noted that the Board would need to give the Superintendent at least three months to establish the committee.  The Board agreed to have Mr. Scallan work with the Superintendent and staff on proposed policy language regarding booster clubs to be presented to the Board for approval.


A. Open Discussion


Mr. Negron entered the workshop at 9:07 a.m.  The Board and Mr. Norm Ross, Deputy Superintendent (representing Mr. Jim Paul) discussed the following issues:


1) Bomb Threats – On behalf of the Board, Dr. DeWitt thanked staff for their work, in dealing with the recent multiple re-occurring bomb threats. Upon request from Dr. DeWitt, Mr. Ross addressed the issue regarding the recent outbreak of bomb threats.  On behalf of the Superintendent, Mr. Ross also thanked staff for their work in dealing with the recent threats. Mr. Ross gave a brief update on the status of the arrests of those individuals believed responsible for the recent threats.  He explained that school facilities would always be evacuated anytime a threat was received. He noted that the investigative use of the only available “bomb canine” in the county, had been lost due to injury but local law enforcement, in cooperation with district staff, were handling the investigations very efficiently.  Dr. Jenkins expressed his desire for the District to initiate a publicity campaign, to warn parents and students of the seriousness regarding bomb threats. Dr. DeWitt asked if the Superintendent had reviewed processes that other districts use for handling threats, noting that many districts use a process of “risk assessment.” Mr. Ross stated that the issue of risk assessment had been discussed among staff and the Superintendent, and noted that their position was to always evacuate.  The district is currently pursuing the purchase of two canines, which will be donated to local law enforcement agencies. 

2) Cellular Phones on School Campuses - Dr. DeWitt raised the issue of cellular phones being used by students at school sites, to call in bomb threats. He noted that State law and Board policy prohibits cellular phones on school campuses and suggested that the district begin to aggressively enforce that policy.  Mr. Ross noted that while not actively seeking out cellular phones, administrators do confiscate them if seen or heard about, but expressed concern about liability issues regarding the amount of time a confiscated item can be held.  Upon question from Mrs. Stidham, Mr. Negron stated that an emergency rule could be developed and adopted regarding the amount of time that a contraband item (i.e. cellular phone) can be confiscated. The Board agreed to have Mr. Ronnie Arnold, Director of Information Services, work with media to make the public aware that cellular phones are not permitted on school campuses. The Board also agreed to have Mr. Negron draft an emergency rule, to be presented at the September 18, 2001 Regular Board Meeting, regarding the prohibition of cellular phones on school campus and addressing confiscation time periods and a uniform penalty provision for possession.

Student Contact Time - Dr. Jenkins asked if students would have to “make-up” the time in the classroom that was lost due to evacuations during bomb threats. Dr. Alan Scott, Director of Secondary Education, stated that Florida Statute requires 135 hours of student contact time in order to earn a credit. He stated that a decision regarding how the lost student contact time should be “made-up” would be at the discretion of the Board and suggested that principals and community members be involved in discussions regarding the issue. Mrs. Stidham requested that the Curriculum and Instruction department provide information to the Board regarding the amount of student contact time lost due to the bomb threat evacuations and recommendations for how that time should be “made-up.”

School Campus Fencing – Dr. DeWitt raised the issue of enclosing some schools with six-foot fences. Dr. Jenkins expressed his concerns with the appearance of “prison” if campuses were enclosed by high fencing. Dr. DeWitt noted that some schools are currently fenced in and noted that some campuses are entirely open and may be in need of fencing. Mr. Ted Kirchharr noted that the decision to enclose a school campus with fencing, had relied on direction from the principal and the school community. Dr. DeWitt noted that he would come back to the Board with a recommendation.

“Silence Hurts” Campaign - Dr. DeWitt noted that the Board had received information regarding the “Silence Hurts” Campaign and asked Mr. Ronnie Arnold, Director of Information Services, to address the issue. Mr. Arnold stated that this campaign was part of the “Safe Schools Initiative” by the Commissioner of Education. He stated that the Commissioner of Education would hold a state-wide School Safety Summit in Orlando, Florida on October 22 and October 23, and noted that the theme of the summit would be “Silence Hurts,” which encourages students to notify authority figures about potential threats of danger to themselves and other classmates. Dr. DeWitt believed that this was a concept that the Board would endorse and noted that a resolution regarding this campaign would be on the October Regular Meeting agenda for adoption. 

Letter Writing Campaign – Mr. Paul Fetsko, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, stated that representatives from Baptist Hospital were in the process of initiating a letter writing campaign between elementary students in Escambia County and elementary school students elsewhere, who were affected by the tragic terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. He noted that Baptist Hospital would be working with Dr. Deborah Malishan, Director of Elementary Education, regarding this issue.

Candlelight Vigil – Mr. Negron stated that local community members would hold a candlelight vigil in memory of the victims of the September 11, 2001 tragic terrorists attacks. The event, entitled “A Candlelight Unity Vigil: Honoring America’s Fallen Brothers & Sisters and Standing Untied Against Terrorism,” would take place on September 15, 2001, beginning at 6:30 p.m. He explained that the community would gather by candlelight at Seville Square, to hear brief words of inspiration, hope and unity, from religious, political and community leaders from diverse segments of the community. He further explained that a candlelight march would follow along Bayfront Parkway, to Veterans Memorial Park, for a final message and songs of patriotism and hope. 




Mr. Ross listed the additions, deletions and amendments to the agenda. Mrs. Stidham noted that several items under Curriculum and Instruction (Items V.A.1, V.A.2, V.A.5 and V.A.19), were also under Proposed Rules. Mr. Paul Fetsko, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, stated that those items were under Curriculum and Instruction for discussion at the workshop only and that they would be deleted from that section after discussion and left only under Proposed Rules for the Regular Meeting agenda. Mr. Negron requested that Item VII.D.1 be deleted from the agenda.  




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



Although not agenda items, the Board collectively agreed to allow the following presentations:

Update from School Attendance Zone Advisory Committee (SAZAC)


Dr. DeWitt explained that the School Attendance Zone Advisory Committee (SAZAC) had requested to make a brief presentation relating to information that they had provided to the Board prior to the workshop meeting (Supplementary Minute Book, Exhibit “A”). Mr. Bob Husbands, Executive Director of Escambia NEA UniServ and SAZAC member, reviewed the information provided to the Board and noted the committee’s concerns regarding issues relating to elementary schools in the “urban Pensacola” area and “district wide” middle schools.  He also distributed a replacement sheet for “page 7” in the information previously provided to the Board.  In regards to the “urban Pensacola” area elementary school concerns, Ms. Finkelstein suggested using a middle school facility as an elementary school.  She believed that by doing that, some of the “overflow” in those “urban Pensacola” elementary schools could be reduced. Mr. Husbands stated that it would be possible to “re-task” a middle school as an elementary school, but noted various changes that would need to be made (i.e., furniture, size of media center and lab access).  He also noted that there would be costs associated with such a change. In regards to the “district wide” middle school concerns, Dr. DeWitt suggested adding sixth-grade to several elementary schools (K-5) to help alleviate the number of students enrolled at certain middle schools. Mr. Husbands noted that SAZAC had discussed non-traditional grade groupings, but they did not believe that issue was within their purview. The committee did believe that non-traditional grade groupings may have to be considered by the Board, along with the impact that issue would have on curriculum. Mrs. Stidham suggested the possibility of changing a school facility to solely a sixth-grade grade school. She noted that many parents are not comfortable with sixth graders being in middle schools and believed that they would like the idea of having sixth-graders separated. Ms. Finkelstein believed that the current enrollment situations were a “trend” and that they would not necessarily continue, noting what she believed to be declining enrollment at the elementary level.  She believed that the Board needed to consider alternatives that would help alleviate the current concerns for just a “period of time” until they are more sure of what will happen in the future. Dr. DeWitt believed that the least disruptive alternative would be to add sixth-grade to several elementary schools (K-5) for one (1) school year.  Dr. Alan Scott, Director of Secondary Education, stated that there would be numerous issues that would need to be addressed regarding the addition of six-grade to certain elementary schools (K-5).  He believed that the Board would need to review each middle school’s current attendance zone, noting which elementary schools are within those zones. Dr. DeWitt stated that the Board had previously discussed the issue of establishing a new state-of-the-art elementary school within “urban Pensacola” and noted that issue would affect prior Board action to close an inner city elementary school. He believed that if the Board was seriously considering the establishment of a new school, then it was inappropriate for them to consider closure of any inner city, until the new school was established.  He also believed that after the establishment of the new school, the Board should consider closing two schools within that area.  Mrs. Stidham believed that the Board needed to look at the practicality of establishing a new school, noting issues such as property and funding. Dr. DeWitt stated the issue could be added to the Half-Cent Sales Tax referendum for voter approval, and noted that the new school might be an incentive for voters to pass the item. The Board requested information regarding K-6 alternatives (i.e., non-traditional grade groupings, re-tasking of school facilities, solely sixth-grade school).  Mrs. Stidham stated that the Board had previously determined that it would close one school in the inner city and noted that that decision needed to be made, but the Board had not received all information previously requested.  Ms. Barbara Linker, Director of Budgeting, provided the requested information related to finance and curriculum issues.  The Board collectively agreed to add discussion regarding SAZAC, to their Regular Meeting agenda for September 18, 2001 in order to give the Board an opportunity to respond to their update given at this meeting.

Parent Liaison Program Presentation


Ms. Sandra Ward, Exceptional Student Education (ESE), introduced two ESE Parent Liaisons, Ms. Mary Lou Donaldson and Ms. Barbara Harris. She gave a brief overview of the Parent Liaison program, noting that all parent liaisons have children with special needs enrolled in the school system. The goal of the program is for each child to get the best educational support available by ensuring that families of special needs children, know what programs are available and how to access those programs. She also distributed a handbook called “The ESE Connector,” which is a parent handbook designed to provide the parents of students with disabilities a guide through the process of Exceptional Student Education.


1.Report from Mike Adkins, Audit Committee

This item was discussed earlier in the meeting.


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


Mr. Bergosh entered the meeting at 10:55 a.m.  Mr. Burns gave the following update:

Northwest Florida Legislative Day – Mr. Burns stated that the Northwest Florida Legislative Day was scheduled for March 6, 2002 in Tallahassee, Florida. Sixteen (16) counties from the Northwest Florida region are scheduled to participate in the event. He explained that all fourth grade students would be participating in a district-wide art contest, with selected winning artwork to be displayed in Tallahassee during the event.


Delegation Meeting for Escambia County – Mr. Burns explained that there would be two delegation meetings this year for Escambia County. He stated that the first meeting was scheduled for November 1, 2001, 6:00 p.m., at the Hagler Auditorium.  Any proposals that the District would like to present to the Delegation should be presented at that meeting. He further explained that any proposals presented to the Delegation at that time would then be voted on at the second delegation meeting on November 13, 2001, 1:30 p.m. Dr. DeWitt stated that the Board and Superintendent would need to develop a legislative platform to be adopted by the Board and then presented to the Delegation. The Board collectively agreed that each Board Member and the Superintendent would submit their recommendations to Mr. Burns for him to compile a legislative platform, to present at the October Regular Board Meeting for adoption. Mr. Burns asked that all recommendations be submitted to him by October 5, 2001.

At 11:00 a.m., Dr. DeWitt interrupted the report by Mr. Burns to observe a nation-wide moment of silence, for approximately one minute, in respect for all individuals involved in the tragic terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.


Mr. Burns continued with the remaining update:


Education Appropriation Meetings – Mr. Burns noted that the Education Appropriation meetings for the prior week had been canceled, due to the events that occurred on September 11, 2001. He explained that he had the opportunity to meet with Commissioner Crist and Secretary Horne where they discussed the current state funding formula. He stated that the next set of Education Appropriation meetings would be held the week of October 8, 2001 through October 12, 2001, in Tallahassee, Florida.


Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) – Mr. Burns noted that the FCAT would be discussed in the upcoming legislative session.


“Sharpening the Pencil” – Mr. Burns noted that the “Sharpening the Pencil” legislation that passed in the last legislative session would have a big impact on school districts regarding auditing.


Bomb Threats – Mr. Burns noted that during his meeting with Commissioner Crist and Secretary Horne, the issue of the recent re-occurring bomb threats in Escambia County and other school districts was discussed. He stated that Commission Crist had commented on the improved cooperation between the Superintendent and School Board in Escambia County.


Special Recognition Meeting – Mr. Burns advised that members of the local delegation would be in attendance at the Special Recognition Meeting on September 25, 2001, to present certificates to the ten schools that received funds through the School Recognition Program for either being graded an ‘A’ or improving one letter grade under the Governor’s A+ education plan.



A. Curriculum and Instruction


1. Update Grading Scale in Pupil Progression Plan

Upon question from Ms. Finkelstein, Mr. Paul Fetsko, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, explained that the grading scale was in need of revision, to comply with the change to a ten-point grading scale, as outlined in state guidelines. He noted that this proposed rule revision would apply to all grades, K-12.  Mrs. Stidham asked if this would apply to Brown Barge Middle School, noting that the school currently uses numeric grading symbols (i.e., 1, 2, 3, 4).  Mr. Fetsko noted that, if approved, the proposed rule would apply to all district schools including Brown Barge Middle. Dr. DeWitt noted that the Board had previously approved a policy allowing Brown Barge to use numeric symbol grading. Upon question from Dr. DeWitt, Mr. Negron stated that this proposed rule simply changes the way that points are assigned on the grading scale and does not overrule any allowance made for schools such as Brown Barge Middle.  Mr. Fetsko noted that allowance of numeric symbol grading for Brown Barge Middle could be added to the proposed rule.  Dr. Jenkins expressed his concerns that all schools should have the same grading scale. Mr. Negron was asked to verify that changes he had recommended were included in the rules as presented.

4. Contract for Services:  ESCAROSA Coalition on the Homeless

Dr. DeWitt stated that this contract reads “this contract shall begin September 1, 2001” and noted that it would not be voted on for approval until September 17, 2001 at the Regular Board Meeting. In response to questions posed by Dr. DeWitt, Mr. Wayne Odom, Director of Title I, stated that no services had been delivered under the terms of the contract. Ms. Finkelstein also noted an error under “period of grant”, on the Executive Summary sheet. Mr. Odom stated that the “period of grant” should read 09/01/01 through 06/30/02 rather than 09/01/01 through 06/30/01.  Dr. DeWitt stated that he was not comfortable approving a contract that had already been in affect since September 1, 2001. Mr. Ross stated that he would address the issue with Mr. Odom prior to the Regular Meeting. 


5. Homework for Suspended Students


Upon question from Dr. DeWitt, Dr. Alan Scott, Director of Secondary Education, stated that this proposed rule would apply to all grades, K-12. He noted the new definition for suspension, as outlined in Section 228.041 (25) Florida Statute (2000), which states “remanding of the student to the custody of the student’s parent with specific homework assignments for the student to complete.” He stated that the Legislature had approved the new definition, but had given no working document providing clarification as to the exact intent of the new definition. He stated that a committee met to discuss homework for suspended students and developed some recommendations, which were provided in the backup agenda material.  Mrs. Stidham stated that the Executive Summary sheet noted that the rule would be added to “page 7 of the Students Rights and Responsibilities Handbook” but gave no indication as to whether it was the elementary or secondary handbook. Dr. Scott stated that he would revise the documentation to clarify that the rule would be added to both elementary and secondary handbooks. Dr. DeWitt stated that the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) for Technology and Curriculum had discussed and supports the implementation of more innovative ideas, such as using available technology for completing homework assignments.   


8. Master In-Service Plan


Dr. DeWitt noted that a number of individuals listed on the “Staff Development Plan Proposal Committee”(in the agenda backup documentation for this item) had changed positions and that their previous positions were still listed. Ms. Linda Longacre, Director of Staff Development, stated that those were the positions the individuals held when the committee was originally developed.  In response to questions posed by Dr. DeWitt, Ms. Longacre stated that there had been no changes made to the plan that was approved last year. She further stated that this plan required annual approval, regardless of whether changes were made or not.  Ms. Longacre stated that she would note in the documentation that names and positions listed on the “Staff Development Plan Proposal Committee” were those that were in place when the committee was originally developed.


10. National Standardization of Psycho-educational Instruments by Selected Members of the Psychological Services Department


Mr. Negron stated that upon reviewing this plan, he had numerous concerns and asked that this item be deleted from the agenda until he had thoroughly reviewed this item with Ms. Yvonne Gray, Director of Exceptional Student Education.

12. Cooperative Agreement between the School Board of Escambia County and the Department of Juvenile Justice


Dr. DeWitt stated that this agreement reads “this cooperative agreement shall begin

July 1, 2001” and noted that it would not be voted on for approval until September 17, 2001 at the Regular Board Meeting. Mr. Charles Thomas, Director of Alternative Education, explained that the cooperative agreement was submitted to the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) in April 2001 for their review and signature. He stated that he had waited for approximately three (3) months to receive the agreement back from DJJ and had placed it on the agenda as soon as he had received it.


13. ESCAROSA Regional Workforce Development Board, Inc., Individual Training Account


Dr. DeWitt started that this agreement reads “this agreement is effective July 1, 2001” and noted that it would not be approved until September 17, 2001. Mr. Tommy Taylor, Director of Applied Technology, stated that he had received the agreement from ESCAROSA, on August 10, 2001 which was past the deadline for submitting items on the August agenda.


16. Agreement between Sunbelt Staffing Solutions, Inc., and the School District of Escambia County, Florida 2001-2002


Dr. DeWitt questioned why such limited information was provided regarding this agreement. Mr. Barry Boyer, Director of Purchasing, stated that this item was simply notification that the agreement is forthcoming. He stated that the speech language services provided by Sunbelt Staffing Solutions, Inc. were required immediately.  He stated that there were a few changes that needed to be made to the agreement, and noted that the company had agreed to go ahead and perform the services pending approval of the agreement. He noted that this item was a request for permission to make the necessary expenditures now, with the formal agreement to be submitted next month for approval.


17. Contract for Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech Pathology Services between the Escambia County School Board and Rehab Works, Inc., 2001-2002


Dr. DeWitt noted various errors contained in the contract, regarding names and position titles. Mr. Ross indicated that those errors would be corrected.

18. Permission to Release Outcome Report for Escambia County School District Fast ForWord Language and Fast ForWord Middle & High School Project July 2001


Mr. Negron stated that upon reviewing this authorization form, he had numerous concerns and asked that this item be deleted from the agenda until he had thoroughly reviewed it.


2. Check Register for the month of July 2001

In answer to Dr. DeWitt’s question, Ms. Barbara Linker, Director of Budgeting, stated that submittal of the check registers was indeed behind schedule. 


4. Disposal of Capitalized and Non-Capitalized Assets:

b) Scrap Lists I, II, III & IV for September 2001


Dr. DeWitt questioned the large number of computers that were listed for cannibalization and/or scrapping and inquired as to whether those items could be auctioned or donated to a community agency.  Mr. Don Manderson, Director of Instructional Technology, stated that he was currently pursuing alternative options concerning the disposal process of computers.  He stated that listed equipment had been determined as inoperable from an instructional standpoint. He noted that he would keep the Board informed of any developments regarding the disposal process. Ms. Barbara Linker, Director of Budgeting, stated that the items listed on the Scrap Lists were already cannibalized and/or scrapped. She explained that in accordance with authorization granted in Board action on January 23, 1996, items are first cannibalized and/or scrapped with a list of those items to follow afterwards, for Board approval.


Mr. Paul arrived at 11:45 a.m. but Mr. Ross remained at table.


C. Human Resources Services

1. Instructional/Professional

b. Reappointments

3. 4th Year Annual


Dr. Doug Garber, Director of Human Resources Services, stated that the individual recommended for a 4th Year Annual contract had not met the state requirement of permanent certification testing. Upon question from Mrs. Stidham, Dr. Garber stated that the test for permanent certification could be taken as often as needed and noted that an individual must pass all sections of the test in order to move from temporary to permanent certification. Dr. DeWitt and Mrs. Stidham expressed their concern with approving a contract for an individual employed with the district already for three years, that had not yet passed the test for permanent certification.  Mr. Bergosh believed that the Board should honor the recommendation made by staff.  Mr. Negron explained that the Board would need to have good cause to reject the recommendation for employment. Dr. Garber stated for the record, that this individual may not have necessarily failed the test, but rather may not have taken the test. Ms. Finkelstein noted that there were several appointments to Beggs Educational Center. In answer to questions posed by Ms. Finkelstein and Mrs. Stidham, Mr. Ross stated that there had been no name change request for Beggs Educational Center and that the program was still operating under that title.


In response to concern raised by Dr. DeWitt, Dr. Doug Garber, Director of Human Resources Services, stated that he had provided information to the Board prior to the workshop regarding changes related to out-of-field certification as a result of the 15-Day Count.  Upon question from Dr. DeWitt, Ms. Teenie Wehmeier, Teacher Certification Manager, stated that if the out-of-field requests were approved at the Regular Meeting, an agreement letter would be sent to those teachers for signature, that states that they agree to complete at least six (6) semester hours toward meeting the out-of-field requirement before reappointment next school year. She also stated that the FTE Survey for October was scheduled for October 7 through October 12.  She explained that it might be necessary to hold a special meeting for approving any out-of-field assignments that are received, so that guidelines are followed and funding for the district is not lost.


D. Purchasing

6. Professional Services Agreement:  R&J Associates, Inc.


In response to concerns raised by Dr. DeWitt, Mr. Barry Boyer, Director of Purchasing, stated that the agreement with R&J Associates, Inc. was for assessment of the magnet school programs, as part of the assessment portion of the federal grant. In response to concerns raised by Dr. DeWitt and Mrs. Stidham, Mr. Ross stated that he would verify that the district was required to use this particular company as indicated in the grant.


12. Dell Microcomputer Equipment for Ransom Middle School


Mr. Barry Boyer, Director of Purchasing, stated that funding received from the Half-Cent Sales Tax would be used to purchase computers for the renovated technology lab at Ransom Middle School. Upon question from Ms. Finkelstein, Mr. Boyer stated that Half-Cent Sales Tax funds could be used for FF&E (Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment) purchases such as this. Dr. DeWitt questioned why a previous request made by Washington High School to use Half-Cent Sales Tax funds for purchasing computers was denied. Mr. Negron stated that although he was not familiar with the particulars of the issue, he believed that the purchases were governed by the language in the project list previously approved by the Board. He further stated that he would review this issue with Mr. Paul Fetsko, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, and then offer his opinion to the Board regarding the matter.


E. Facilities, Maintenance and Operations

3. Transportation

A. Information to the Board

1. Surplus Bus Information


Mrs. Stidham stated that her purpose for requesting this information was so that the Board could develop guidelines regarding the handling of surplus buses.Upon question from Dr. DeWitt, Mr. Shawn Dennis, Director of Transportation, stated that the figures in the information provided related specifically to the questions previously posed by the Board regarding inspection time and associated maintenance of surplus buses.Mrs. Stidham noted that there were certain middle schools that had “activity” buses and inquired as to how those are funded.Mr. Dennis stated that Bailey, Carver and Ernest Ward Middle Schools were the only schools that had “activity” buses. He noted that both Carver and Ernest Ward “activity” buses were funded from the Transportation budget and that Bailey funded their own “activity” bus. Upon request from Mr. Bergosh and Mrs. Stidham, Mr. Dennis stated that he would provide information regarding how Bailey Middle School pays for the maintenance of their “activity” bus. Mrs. Stidham stated that the reason this issue was initially raised was due to concerns regarding the donation of surplus buses to charter schools. She noted that the Alternative Education department currently decides which charter school, of those that apply, receive surplus buses. She expressed her concern that the Board develop guidelines regarding the handling of surplus buses. Mr. Charles Thomas, Director of Alternative Education, noted that law states that the district may offer charter schools surplus materials, in the same manner that the district offers any other school. He stated that guidelines currently being followed were ones that he had developed.  He explained that the most recent charter school is allowed the first choice for surplus buses.  Mr. Negron stated that the Board had the ability to create their own policy, if they disagreed with the district guidelines already in place that were developed by Mr. Thomas. He noted that until such policy was developed and approved, the current district guidelines in place should continue to be followed. Dr. DeWitt stated that there were district administrative guidelines currently in place, not Board policy. 

4. School Food Services

A. Miscellaneous

1. Child Care Food Program Meal Service Agreement with District School Board, School Food Services


Mr. Negron stated that he would review this item prior to the Regular Meeting.


F. Student Transfers


Ms. Finkelstein questioned the reason for the fifteen (15) student transfers from Woodham High School to Washington High School. Mr. Ireland Brock, Director of Pupil Instructional Services, stated that the reason given for most of the transfers, was for foreign language courses (i.e. Russian, Sign Language) offered at Washington High that were not available at Woodham High. Ms. Finkelstein expressed her concerns regarding the transfer of students from under-populated Woodham High School to over-populated Washington High School and noted that if the transfer were based upon curriculum issues, then that needed to be addressed.  Mr. Ross stated that he believed that the principal of Woodham High School would need to address the issue of aligning the curriculum of the school.

G. Internal Auditing

3. Other

Discussion of report on Booster Clubs and PTAs


This item was discussed under Item IV.1 (Report from Mike Adkins, Audit Committee).




No items were submitted.



A. Proposed Additions of Revisions to School District Rules


Dr. DeWitt noted that some rules indicate a twenty-eight (28) day publication notice, instead of the usual twenty-one (21). He asked that those rules be changed to indicate a twenty-one (21) day publication notice, to allow for a recommended October public hearing.


B. Items from the Board


No items were submitted.


C. Items from the Superintendent

No discussion was held.


D. Items from the General Counsel


No discussion was held.




There being no further business, the workshop adjourned at 12:27 p.m.


Attest: Approved:

Superintendent      Chairman