ESCAMBIA COUNTY, FLORIDA
MINUTES, NOVEMBER 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 M. Negron, Jr.
Superintendent of Schools: Mr. Jim Paul
I. CALL TO ORDER
Dr. DeWitt called the Regular Workshop to order at 9:00 a.m.
A. Open Discussion
No discussion was held.
II. COMMENTS FROM SUPERINTENDENT
The Superintendent listed the additions, deletions and amendments to the agenda. Dr. Jenkins asked that Discussion Regarding Part-time Bus Aides and Bus Drivers be added to the Workshop Agenda, as an item under Items from the Board.
III. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Minutes for all October meetings will be presented for Board approval.
Although not an agenda item, the Board collectively agreed to allow the following presentation:
Resolution authorizing the issuance of Refunding Certificates of Participation, Series 2001
(Item V.B.7 on October 16, 2001 Regular Meeting Agenda)
This item was approved at the October 16, 2001 Regular Meeting, subject to revision of the Preliminary Official Statement to reflect state budget changes and any other changes required by the Chair or the General Counsel. Dr. DeWitt stated that he had requested changes (corrections) to the document and would sign off on the document once those changes (corrections) had been made. Mr. Mitch Owens, Insurance Underwriter, William R. Hough and Company, gave an update regarding the refunding of Certificates of Participation (COP) and current market conditions.
Due to time constraints, the following item was moved to the front of the agenda:
Item V.A.7 Conversion Charter School Application by Byrneville Elementary School
Ms. Melanie Killiam, Chairperson, Byrnevilles Converted Charter Organizing Group, addressed the Board regarding the process of developing the conversion charter school application for Byrneville Elementary School. She also answered various questions posed by the Board regarding personnel, transportation, recruitment/marketing and financial issues.
IV. COMMITTEE REPORTS
1. Report from Audit Committee Mike Adkins
(Supplementary Minute Book, Exhibit A)
Mr. Adkins informed the Board that Mr. Kevin Windham, Auditor, had recently passed the Certified Fraud Examiner exam. He reviewed information provided to the Board regarding the committees review of the Life Insurance Plan Implementation, Workers Compensation Indemnity Payment Process and Audit of Construction Change Orders. He also reviewed information regarding the audit findings for Cordova Park Elementary School (Item V.G.1.4) and Pine Forest High School (Item V.G.1.8). He noted an audit finding for Pine Forest High School involving inadequate control of ticket sales to athletic events. He suggested that the Board implement a district-wide guideline for the use of pre-numbered tickets at various athletic events. The Superintendent stated that Mr. Norm Ross, Deputy Superintendent, was currently working with schools on this issue and would present a recommendation at the December Regular Board meeting.
2. Report from Mike Burns, Coordinator of Community and Legislative Affairs
Mr. Burns gave the following update:
Budget Mr. Burns stated that the last Special Session of the Legislature ended in a deadlock, noting that while both Senate and House passed a budget, it was never signed by the Governor. He stated that another Special Session was scheduled for November 27th through December 6th and noted the following guidelines that both the House and Senate have agreed to for that session:
1) Both chambers (House and Senate) have agreed that there is a 1.3 billion-dollar budget shortfall. This would mean that both chambers would work off the same base in this session, which they did not do last session.
2) Both chambers are trying to preserve the Stabilization Trust Fund, which means that they are not going to dip into that fund.
Intangibles Tax Mr. Burns stated that the House had decided that they would bring a vote to the floor in both chambers, on the Intangibles Tax.
Senate Bill 20/House Bill 13 (School District Flexibility Bills Mr. Burns stated that school districts need to be concerned about these bills because they will be introduced in the Special Session. He stated that Senate Bill 20 gives school district flexibility on certain categorical funding and House Bill 13 allows school districts to use up their percentage on the two-mill capital outlay.
Civil Service Bill Mr. Burns stated that a special committee would review the Civil Service Bill. He stated that while Escambia County School District has already withdrawn from Civil Service, there are other groups that will petition whether or not changes need to be made to the Civil Service Bill. He noted that the committee would have to make a decision by December 14th, on whether or not to abolish the Civil Service Bill.
Task Force on School Safety- Mr. Burns stated that this task force was originally developed for dealing with issues related to bomb threats. The task force in conjunction with cellular phone companies, the Emergency Preparedness Group, and the Telecommunications department of the House of the Representatives are developing a plan for resolving crisis situations. He noted that the task force would meet again in December.
3. Update on School Readiness Coalition/Pre-K Program Wayne Odom
(Supplementary Minute Book, Exhibit B)
Mr. Wayne Odom, Director of Title I and district representative of the Escambia County School Readiness Coalition, gave an update on impending changes regarding the School Readiness Coalition. He also reviewed information provided to the Board regarding future planning proposals to deal with those changes.
4. Update on FCAT Changes as Related to School Grades Cary Stidham
(Supplementary Minute Book, Exhibit C)
Dr. Wes Davis, Director of Evaluation Services and Mrs. Linda Harageones, Program Evaluation, gave an update on FCAT changes as related to school grades.
V. CONSENT AGENDA
A. Curriculum and Instruction
1. User Agreement/Contract Summary/Special Stipulation with the Pensacola Civic Center and the School District of Escambia County
Dr. Alan Scott, Director of Secondary Education, stated that the high school graduations for the year 2002 would be held at the Pensacola Civic Center over a two-night period (three graduation ceremonies per night). He explained that due to an additional fee, there would be no practice graduation ceremony the day before the actual graduation ceremony. At the request of the Board, Dr. Scott stated that he would provide a bottom line figure (total cost) to the Board prior to the November 16, 2001 Regular Meeting (as it was not included in the backup information).
2. Comprehensive School Reform Demonstration Grants: Second Cycle; Brentwood, O.J. Semmes, Allie Yniestra Elementary Schools and Jacqueline Harris Pyramid School of Learning
Mr. Wayne Odom, Director of Title I, stated that all four (4) schools were required to submit a consolidated application together, however the grant would be awarded separately. Mr. Charles Thomas, Director of Alternative Education, explained that the district simply serves as a flow-through or broker for the grant funds awarded to the charter school (Jacqueline Harris Pyramid School of Learning) and does not have any control on how the charter school uses those funds.
No discussion was held.
C. Human Resources Services
Whipple, Wanda legal assistant 12/03/01 Admin Bldg
Mr. Bergosh believed that prior Board action regarding the legal assistant position included the intent to leave the position vacant until next year in an effort to save the district money. He asked that the official records be reviewed regarding that issue prior to the November Regular Meeting. He also suggested that the Board re-evaluate the position and consider lowering the pay-grade in an effort to save the district money.
Rockwell, Aliece 10/08/01 Tate
Dr. DeWitt inquired as to why this teacher was appointed after the hiring freeze which began October 1, 2001. Dr. Doug Garber, Director of Human Resource Services, believed that this individual was hired within the advertisement period and noted that he would verify that.
3. Risk Management
a. Extension of PPO Deductibles (Allow employees to carry-over paid PPO deductibles) Recommendation from the Trustees of the Employee Benefit Trust Fund
Dr. Doug Garber, Director of Human Resource Services, noted that a new PPO plan with deductibles was implemented in May 2001 and many participants had satisfied those deductibles prior to October 2001. He explained that the health year changes October 1st of every year and that would mean that those employees would need to pay the deductible all over again. He further explained that by extending the deductibles into the plan year October 2001 through September 2002, those employees would not need to pay additional deductibles, and employees not meeting the deductible would carry over their balance. Mr. Bergosh stated that the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) for Finance had reviewed this item and recommended approval of the extension of PPO deductibles.
Mrs. Stidham noted that the calendar as presented did not include half-days and stated that she would like input from principals on the half-day issues before a determination is made not to include half-days on the calendar.
6. Professional Services Agreement: Speech Language Pathologist (Fredda White-Crenshaw)
Dr. DeWitt noted an error in the effective date for this agreement (October 29, 2001 to May 28, 2001) and asked that it be corrected.
12. Agreement Approval: Administrative Services Agreement (United Group Programs)
Upon request by Ms. Finkelstein, Mr. Barry Boyer, Purchasing Manager, stated that he would provide a copy of the agreement to all stakeholders involved.
13. Blanket Purchase Order for Goodyear Radial Tires
Dr. DeWitt noted that the supplier for this purchase was an out-of-county vendor and expressed his concern that the district should support local (in-county) vendors. Mr. Barry Boyer, Purchasing Manager, stated that he was not sure of the reasons why this particular vendor was selected, but he would research and then inform the Board. Prior to adjournment of the Workshop, Mr. Boyer stated that by law, the District is required to award the lowest bidder meeting specifications and for this particular item, the vendor happened to be out-of-county.
38. Change Notice #4 to Purchase Order # 181264 (David S. Lamar, Civil Engineering)
Upon inquiry by Ms. Finkelstein, Mr. Barry Boyer, Purchasing Manager, explained that the original contract was authorized by the Superintendent, as the amount was under the $15,000 limit, which would not require Board approval. He stated that due to additional fees (i.e., permits, etc.) the contract now exceeds$15,000 and would require Board approval.
1. Facilities Planning
11. Weis Elementary School Drainage Project
Ms. Finkelstein asked if Mr. Negron had reviewed this item as presented. Mr. Negron answered that he had.
13. Acquisition of Navy Boulevard Property by Patwill Company, Inc.
Mrs. Stidham asked that the Superintendent ensure that the Warrington Volunteer Fire Department does not have a need for the property before the purchase offer by Patwill Company, Inc. is accepted.
F. Student Transfers
No discussion was held.
G. Internal Auditing
1. Internal Funds
4. Cordova Park Elementary School for fiscal year 2000-01
8. Pine Forest High School for fiscal year 2000-01
These items were discussed earlier in the meeting under Item IV.1 (Report from Audit Committee Mike Adkins).
VI. UNFINISHED BUSINESS (PREVIOUSLY TABLED ITEMS OR ITEMS POSTPONED UNTIL CURRENT MEETING)
VII. NEW BUSINESS
A. Proposed Additions of Revisions to School District Rules
a. Permission to Advertise
1. School Board Rule 6Gx17-2.17(7) FAMILY SICK LEAVE TRANSFER
Dr. DeWitt noted a spelling error in paragraph c (donate should be donated) and an incorrect date for public hearing (November 20, 2001 should be December 18, 2001). He asked the appropriate changes be made before the November Regular meeting.
b. Permission to Adopt
1. School Board Rules Revisions/Additions to Chapters of the RULES AND PROCEDURES OF THE ESCAMBIA COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT POLICY BOOK, 6Gx17- Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7
Ms. Finkelstein noted that School Board Rule 3.16 Booster Clubs and PTAs, stated that there are guidelines to be implemented, but noted that no guidelines were included in the language of that rule. She stated that due to the absence of the guidelines, she did not feel comfortable approving this item and would address this issue at the November Regular meeting.
B. Items from the Board
2. Discussion Regarding Moment of Silence Gary L. Bergosh
(Supplementary Minute Book, Exhibit D)
Mr. Bergosh distributed information regarding proposed School Board Policy concerning a moment of quiet reflection (Moment of Silence) to be observed at District schools prior to the beginning of the school days activities. Board Members, the Superintendent and Mr. Negron expressed various concerns and made suggestions regarding the implementation and enforcement of the policy.
ADD 3. Discussion Regarding Part-time Bus Aides and Bus Drivers Elmer Jenkins
Dr. Jenkins noted that there are many part-time bus aides and bus drivers who actually perform regular duties everyday with minimum salary and no benefits. He believed that the District needed to review the situation. Mr. Ted Kirchharr, Assistant Superintendent for Operations, stated that this issue was already being reviewed and upon completion of the review, he would present the findings of that review to the Board.
C. Items from the Superintendent
No discussion was held.
D. Items from the General Counsel
2. Request Approval of Agreement between the School Board of Escambia County, Florida and Francisco M. Negron, Jr.
Mr. Bergosh expressed his concerns with the contract as presented, regarding the proposed salary increase. He did not believe that Mr. Negron should receive a salary increase at this time, but rather when all administrative personnel receive an increase. He noted that administrative personnel had not received a salary increase for the current year, and believed that in order to be fair and equitable to all administrative personnel, Mr. Negron should not be singled out for a salary increase. Dr. DeWitt stated that he would be deleting this item and then adding an amended version of this contract as Item VII.B.3 under the heading Items from the Board, at the November 16, 2001 Regular Board Meeting.
Prior to adjournment, the Board collectively agreed to allow the following presentations:
Mr. Jim Blastos, representative, Pensacola Beach Elementary Organizing Group, addressed the Board regarding the process of developing the charter school application for Pensacola Beach Elementary School. He also answered various questions posed by the Board regarding transportation, recruitment/marketing, food service and facilities issues.
(Supplementary Minute Book, Exhibit E)
Mr. Tommy Taylor, Director of Alternative Education, briefly reviewed information provided to the Board regarding potential property for the relocation of Beggs/Adult Education programs.
There being no further business, the Regular Workshop adjourned at 12:03 p.m.