The School Board of Escambia County, Florida, convened in Special Meeting at 4:05 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


Board Members: Mr. Gary L. Bergosh (entered the Special Meeting at 4:15 p.m.)

Ms. Linda Finkelstein

Dr. Elmer Jenkins (entered the Special Meeting at 4:08 p.m.)


School Board Attorney:  Mr. Francisco M. Negron, Jr.


Superintendent of Schools: Mr. Jim Paul



Dr. DeWitt called the Special Meeting to order at 4:05 p.m.



On motion by Mrs. Stidham, second by Ms. Finkelstein, adoption of the agenda was approved 3 to 0, with Mr. Bergosh and Dr. Jenkins absent for vote. 



(Supplementary Minute Book, Exhibit “A”)

Mr. Bob Husbands, Executive Director of Escambia NEA UniServe and SAZAC member, reviewed information provided to the Board, regarding Phase II of the committee’s final report.  (Phase I of the final report was presented and discussed at the October 12, 2001)  


Dr. Jenkins entered the meeting already in progress at 4:08 p.m. and Mr. Bergosh entered at 4:15 p.m.


Phase II of the final report contained recommendations for proposed attendance zone changes involving the following schools:


Elementary School Zones

Century, Byrneville, Jim Allen, Molino, Ensley, Ferry Pass, Scenic Heights, Cordova Park, Semmes, Holm, Suter, Cook, Spencer Bibbs and Pensacola Beach


Middle School Zones

Ransom, Ernest Ward, Ferry Pass, Workman, Warrington and Brownsville


High School Zones

Northview, Tate, Woodham, Pensacola and Escambia


The Board and Superintendent discussed issues based upon the information presented by SAZAC.


The Superintendent advised that he would present a recommendation to the Board at the November Regular meeting for the closing of A.A. Dixon Elementary School.  He explained that the proposed recommendation was based on the potential financial impact on the district resulting from the prospective State budget “shortfall.”  Dr. Jenkins expressed concerns and made suggestions regarding the placement of students that currently attend A.A. Dixon Elementary School if the Board did in fact approve the closing of that school site.  Mrs. Stidham asked that the Superintendent also present a recommendation on the use of the facility if the school site is closed.


Motion was made by Ms. Finkelstein “that N.B. Cook School of the Arts be designated a district-wide magnet school and that 1) for all vacancies in student enrollment regardless of grade, admission to N.B. Cook shall be based solely upon district-wide random selection, except that students in the Spencer Bibbs and O.J. Semmes attendance zones shall have priority enrollment; 2) beginning with the 2002-2003 kindergarten class and continuing each year thereafter N.B. Cook shall maintain a minimum student enrollment ratio of thirty-five percent (35%) African-American, sixty-five percent (65%) Caucasian and other minorities, until that same ratio is achieved school-wide; 3) there shall be no N.B. Cook attendance zone except as otherwise provided herein; 4) transportation shall be provided on the same basis as to other district-wide magnet programs; and 5) all students currently enrolled at N.B. Cook and the siblings of those currently enrolled students shall be entitled to continuing enrollment with transportation.”  Motion was seconded by Dr. Jenkins.  Board Members expressed concerns about providing transportation to student district-wide rather than within the eastern corridor.  Mr. Shawn Dennis, Director of Transportation, stated that if transportation was provided to students district-wide, the district would incur a substantial cost.  Ms. Finkelstein clarified that the intent of her motion regarding “transportation shall be provided on the same basis as to other district-wide magnet programs” simply referred to trunk-routing bus transportation, not district-wide transportation.  After further discussion, Ms. Finkelstein amended her motion “to limit transportation to the eastern corridor.”  Dr. Jenkins seconded the amendment and motion as amended was approved 4 to 1, with Mrs. Stidham voting “No.”

The Board recognized Shawn McRearty, who expressed concerns regarding the Board’s approval on designating N.B. Cook as a district-wide magnet school. 


The Special Meeting recessed at 5:27 p.m. and reconvened at 5:41 p.m. with all Board Members, Mr. Negron and the Superintendent present. 


In closing, it was noted that the process for adopting the recommendations (i.e., advertisements, public hearings, etc.) would require several months to complete, which would allow time for public input and further review by the Board prior to final adoption. 



There being no further business, the Special Meeting adjourned at 6:05 p.m.


Attest:                                    Approved:


___________________        _____________________

Superintendent                        Chairman