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:   Ms. Linda Finkelstein


Board Members:   Mr. Gary L. Bergosh (was not present)

Mrs. Cary Stidham

Dr. Elmer Jenkins (entered the Workshop Meeting at 9:08 a.m.)


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


Superintendent of Schools:   Mr. Jim Paul



 Dr. DeWitt called the Regular Workshop to order at 9:00 a.m.


A.  Open Discussion

a.   Responses to Memorandums and Requests for Information

1.  August 20, 2001 Re:  Brown Barge – Excerpt of August 20, 2001 Workshop Minutes

 Ms. Finkelstein referred to an excerpt of the August 20, 2001 Workshop Minutes regarding discussion on the criteria for admitting students into Brown Barge.  She noted that as outlined in those minutes, “the Board collectively agreed that enrollment procedures used in past years by Brown Barge, should remain in effect with no changes for this school year.”  She explained that the student population number was to remain at 518 and that drawing students from schools other than Ransom and Bailey Middle would continue.  She stated that upon checking with Brown Barge she found that their student population number was below 518 and that students were being drawn only from Ransom and Bailey Middle Schools.  She stated that she had met with Mr. Norm Ross, Deputy Superintendent, Dr. Alan Scott, Director of Secondary Education and Mr. Paul Fetsko, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, to discuss various issues and concerns regarding the enrollment process at Brown Barge.  She noted that after review of the discussion that occurred during the August 20, 2001 Workshop, all were in agreement that the procedure for selecting and accepting students into the program at Brown Barge, would remain, at least through this school year, as it had been in the past.  Upon inquiry by Ms. Finkelstein, Dr. Scott stated after reviewing the situation for Brown Barge to receive additional students to increase their enrollment to 518, he would recommend that the students be allowed to transfer after the administration of the FCAT in March.  He explained that students must be in attendance during October and February FTE reporting period for their FCAT scores to count for their “school grade.” He noted that if students leave their home middle school, their FCAT scores would not count at their home school or Brown Barge.  Ms. Finkelstein believed that had the agreement entered into in August (as outlined above) been honored, the “situation” regarding FCAT would not be occurring.  The Superintendent expressed concerns regarding “mid-semester transfers” and believed that that issue needed to be thoroughly reviewed.  Upon inquiry by Dr. Scott, Ms. Finkelstein stated that the agreement made in August (as outlined above) needed to be honored.  Dr. DeWitt believed that as long as District-wide programs were offered, the District should support “parental choice” for their students to attend those programs, as long as the Majority-Minority guideline was followed.  He noted that the agreement made in August (as outlined above) should have been honored.  Mrs. Stidham believed that the issue at hand was based on a “communication” problem between staff and the Board.  She understood the concerns regarding FCAT testing implications and she believed that the students should remain at their home middle schools for FCAT testing and then be allowed the opportunity to transfer to Brown Barge.  Upon inquiry by Dr. DeWitt, Ms. Finkelstein stated that she would add this item to the February 19, 2002 Regular Meeting agenda.


2.  December 11, 2001 Memo Re:  Backlog of Various Business Functions and January 4, 2002 Response

 Dr. DeWitt requested an update on the status of the following District level routing functions/activities:


Tagging of Inventory/Property – Mr. Barry Boyer, Purchasing Manager, stated that tagging of inventory/property was now up to date with the exception of one location, the West Florida High School of Advanced Technology. 


Bank Reconciliations on All District Accounts - Mrs. Barbara Linker, Assistant Superintendent for Financial and Business Affairs, stated that bank reconciliation for payroll funds, risk management funds and flexibility funds were reconciled through January 2002; employee benefits reconciled through December 2001. She stated that reconciliation of the general fund for November 2001 was currently in progress.


Upon inquiry by Dr. Jenkins, Mrs. Linker explained that filling the Accountant II position vacated in October 2001 was essential in keeping those activities current.


3.  January 14, 2002 Memo Re:  DROP Program and January 29, 2002 Response

 Upon inquiry by Dr. DeWitt, Ms. Gloria Johnson, Director of Accounting Operations, stated that the Accumulated Sick Leave Pay Plan [The Plan] was a “defined contribution” plan (adopted by resolution May 26, 1999).  She noted that although written to encompass all groups of employees, because of collective bargaining issues only the administrative and professional personnel fall under The Plan.  Mr. Barry Boyer, Purchasing Manager, explained that a “Request for Proposal” was developed and the respondent, ABR (since then bought out by Ceridian) was chosen as the third party administrator and “Black Rock” as the investment company.  Ms. Johnson noted that The Plan was adopted for two reasons: to lessen the tax burden of employees receiving lump sum sick leave payments and to save the District money to pay for sick leave payments.  She explained that when contributions are made to The Plan, the income taxes are deferred until a distribution is made and social security is never paid on these dollars, giving rise to a 7.65% savings to both the employee and to the District.  She noted that other investment vehicles do not negate the social security tax. Dr. DeWitt inquired as to why some employees entering the DROP Program and wishing to take the first draw on sick leave pay-out for investment purposes are required to invest with “Black Rock.”  Ms. Johnson stated that because of its preferential tax status, The Plan is mandatory per IRS guidelines and to disregard this rule would negate The Plan.  She explained that the District can terminate The Plan (according to Ceridian, who would charge a fee to do the dissolution and distributions), however, all monies invested in The Plan would be distributed to the participants, causing a taxable event to those individuals.  The Superintendent expressed his concern that the District needed to educate employees regarding this issue.


4.  January 30, 2002 Memo Re:  Collections – Outstanding Car Rental Accounts

 Upon inquiry by Dr. DeWitt, Mrs. Barbara Linker, Assistant Superintendent for Financial and Business Affairs, stated that the District’s past practice of permitting individuals to utilize the District Avis Corporate Car Rental Account, provided the District was reimbursed by the employee, has been discontinued.  She gave an update on the total outstanding balance for employees who owe the District money for unauthorized use of the District account.  She stated that she had received a memorandum from Mr. Negron, recommending that the District communicate with the employees one last time, asking the employee to sign a stipulation agreeing to a monthly deduction.  Upon inquiry by Ms. Linker, Mr. Negron stated that he would review the modified version of the deduction form (as submitted by Ms. Linker) as soon as possible.  Ms. Linker stated that upon Mr. Negron’s approval of the modified deduction form, she would communicate with employees by certified letter, advising them of their outstanding balance and asking them to sign the stipulation agreeing to a monthly deduction.  She noted that she would also need to confer with Mr. Negron regarding another situation involving an individual no longer employed with the District.


5.  January 30, 2002 Memo Re:  Request for Information (Washington National Insurance) and January 31, 2002 and February 1, 2002 Response

 Ms. Finkelstein stated that all information requested regarding this issue, had been received and no further information was needed.


6.  January 31, 2002 Memo Re:  Annual Financial Audit

 Dr. DeWitt noted that the State of Florida Auditor General’s Office was scheduled to conduct the District’s annual financial audit this year (per State statute), therefore, services from Cherry, Bekaert & Holland may not be required.  As mentioned in his memorandum from January 31, 2002, “the contract with Cherry, Bekaert & Holland specified that a final report was to be submitted to the School Board by December 30, 2001. Following timely receipt, the report should have appeared on the agenda for the January 2002 Board meeting.  Neither occurred, which causes rise to the following concerns and questions: It appears that Cherry, Bekaert and Holland is in violation of the contract due to the lateness of submitting the final audit.Why did this occur?  What are the ramifications, if any, to the District due to this violation of the contract?  Are there penalties that can be assessed to the company?”  Mrs. Barbara Linker, Assistant Superintendent for Financial and Business Affairs, explained that while the contract does specify that a final report was to be submitted by December 30, 2001, there were several issues (i.e. charter school audit, etc.) that delayed that from occurring.  To her knowledge, she did not believe that there was any penalty set forth in the contract or the purchase order to specifically address that issue.  She stated that if the Board wished to set forth a penalty, then that would need to be clearly addressed during the “entrance conference.”  Dr. DeWitt believed that as with “performance contracts” for software companies, it was time to “hold companies to the fire” noting that they should meet specified deadlines or be assessed a penalty.  Mrs. Linker believed that should also hold true for the District, noting that all requested information would need to be provided to the company to ensure their ability to meet the specified deadline.


7.  January 31, 2002 Memo Re:  TECO/BGA and February 5, 2002 Response

 Dr. DeWitt stated that TECO/BGA provides the Facilities Department with reports regarding the savings realized by the District, as part of their performance contract, noting that TECO/BGA is paid to monitor energy savings.  Dr. DeWitt inquired to whether there was presently a District staff member tasked with monitoring those energy savings.  He noted that that was a function implemented by a former Assistant Superintendent for Financial and Business Affairs (Mrs. Patricia Wascom), in an effort to verify the accuracy of savings, independent of employees of TECO/BGA.  Mrs. Barbara Linker, Assistant Superintendent for Financial and Business Affairs, stated that Mr. Charles Smith, Mechnical Engineer for the District, was tasked with monitoring the reports from TECO/BGA.  Mr. Ted Kirchharr, Assistant Superintendent for Operations, stated that the Facilities staff meets with TECO/BGA on a quarterly basis to review the District’s energy usage.  He noted that TECO/BGA guarantees “energy performance” and if that “performance” was not met, they would incur a penalty fee.


8. Memo Re:  Holm Elementary

 Dr. DeWitt stated that by way of memorandum, he had asked for input on the progress in addressing two issues at Holm Elementary, ants and carpet stains. He had received a response indicating that the issue regarding ants had been resolved and the issue of carpet stains would continue to be monitored to determine the source and a course of action to correct the problem.  Mr. Ted Kirchharr, Assistant Superintendent for Operations, noted that there was “assumption” that the carpet stains were re-occurring in the same areas.  He explained that once cleaned, those areas had been “physically marked” for later determination on whether the spots were indeed, appearing in the same areas.  It appears that it may be a cleaning issue rather than a defect in the carpet, however, the issue would continue to be monitored.


9.  February 1, 2002 Memo Re:  Tate High School and February 5, 2002 Response

Ms. Finkelstein explained that there were classrooms at Tate High School where the thermostat reading was for example, seventy (70) degrees, yet a thermometer within the classroom read for example, fifty (50) degrees.  She noted that students and staff in those classrooms were dressed in heavy coats and some wrapped in afghans due to the coldness of the classrooms.  Ms. Finkelstein stated that while she had received a response regarding this issue, her questions were still unanswered.  Mr. Ted Kirchharr, Assistant Superintendent for Operations, explained that his response to Ms. Finkelstein’s memorandum was a request for specific information on the dates and locations where those problems occurred in order to investigate the issue further. He stated that to date, he had not observed nor received any report from the school indicating problems regarding that issue.  Upon suggestion from Ms. Finkelstein, Mr. Kirchharr stated that he would contact Mrs. Carolyn Spooner, Principal of Tate High School, for further information needed to resolve the situation.


ADD  10. February 8, 2002 Verbal Request and February 8, 2002 Response Re:  Dental Claims Processing

 Upon inquiry by Ms. Finkelstein, Mr. Joe Bernard, Director of Risk Management, explained that the “promissory note” reimbursement option simply evolved to be an “accepted procedure”, however it was never part of the original dental plan.  He noted that the dental plan in fact, was very specific about all dental claims being paid in full.  He stated that the additional cost to process “promissory note” reimbursement would be approximately $.05 per employee per month, which (based on 5600 employees) would amount to an additional $3600 per year. After further discussion, Ms. Finkelstein stated that she would add this item to the February 19, 2002 Regular Meeting agenda.


The Board also discussed the following issues during “Open Discussion”:


Update on Survey Regarding Implementation of a Standardized Copying System for the School District (previously discussed at August 20, 2001 Regular Workshop)

 Mrs. Stidham stated that a memorandum to the Board received from Mr. Barry Boyer, Purchasing Manager, indicated a high volume of copier usage at many of the schools.  While schools do purchase their own copiers, she noted that the copiers are actually “maintained” by the District.  She questioned whether the Board wished to proceed further regarding standardization of copying systems within the schools.  Mr. Bob Husbands, Executive Director of Escambia NEA UniServ, reminded the Board that many of the “copies” made at the schools are mandated, for accountability purposes.  Mr. Boyer stated there is a wide variation from school to school, in the number of “copies” being made, noting that schools are using copiers for many different reasons.  He believed that by implementing some internal controls over the copiers themselves (i.e., type of copier, number of copiers, etc.) and instituting some standardization from school to school, would be helpful and would lower some costs. Upon inquiry by Ms. Finkelstein, Mr. Boyer stated that restrictions would have to be developed.  He noted that schools receive many copiers by donation and while schools themselves do not incur the expense for maintenance, the District does.  Dr. DeWitt suggested that guidelines be developed regarding the minimum standards for acceptable copier donations and billable time to the school for all copier maintenance.  The Board collectively requested that recommendations for internal controls over copiers be developed.  Upon inquiry by Mr. Boyer and Mr. Mark Pursell, Director of Maintenance, the Board requested the following information be included with the recommendations for internal controls over copiers:  minimum standards for acceptable copier donations, accessibility to copiers, copier use guidelines, costs associated with maintenance of copiers and suggestions for cost savings.


Request from Jacqueline Harris Pyramid School of Learning  to Add Sixth Grade Class

 Dr. DeWitt stated that Ms. Celestine Lewis, Executive Director of Jacqueline Harris Pyramid School of Learning (JHPSL), requested (by way of letter to the Superintendent) an addition of a sixth grade class.  He noted that the Board had previously approved an amendment to the Charter Agreement with JHPSL, to increase student enrollment from 100 to 150.  Dr. Jenkins expressed concern that the request, which was for one year only, may result in a request for additional years in the future.  While he was supportive of the request for one year, he had concerns that the current facility would not be large enough for continuation in the future.  The Superintendent suggested a compromise of allowing the addition of a sixth grade class, but keeping the student enrollment at 150.  Mr. Charles Thomas, Director of Alternative Education, noted that the Charter Agreement with JHPSL only referenced elementary students.  Upon suggestion by Mr. Thomas, the Board collectively agreed to request from JHPSL, an addendum to that agreement outlining in detail, their plans for middle school age students with regard to curriculum and any other issues they plan to implement.  Upon request by the Board, the Superintendent stated that Mr. Thomas would follow-up with Ms. Lewis regarding this issue.


Scheduling of Special Board Meeting 

 Dr. DeWitt noted that the Board would need to schedule a Special Meeting to review proposed budget cuts (as recommended by the Superintendent), to review the charter school application by A.A. Dixon Elementary and any other important items. He stated that Mrs. Linda West, Administrative Secretary to the School Board, would coordinate with all Board Members and the Superintendent on an appropriate date. Dr. Jenkins expressed his desire that the Board “do all we can” to help A.A. Dixon Elementary successfully complete the charter application process.  The Superintendent although not initially supportive of the opportunity to allow A.A. Dixon to apply for a charter school, ensured the Board that District staff had done all that was possible to help A.A. Dixon through the charter application process.


Dr. Jenkins left the meeting at 10:27 a.m.


Update on Property for the New K-8 School “C” (Molino/Barrineau Park)

 Upon inquiry by Ms. Finkelstein, Mr. Ted Kirchharr, Assistant Superintendent for Operations, stated that property had been identified for the location of the New K-8 School “C”.  He noted that environmental assessment of the property was completed and surveying/appraisals were currently in process.   He hoped to have a recommendation on purchasing the property, for the Superintendent to present to the Board at the March Regular Meeting.  He noted that February 14, 2002 was the deadline for the Design Build Firms to submit their qualifications and that the selection process for the Design Build Firms would begin next week.  He hoped to also have a recommendation on the Design Build Firm to provide construction services for the New K-8 School “C.”



 The Superintendent listed the additions, deletions and amendments to the agenda.



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



1.  Report from Mike Burns, Legislative Consultant to the School Board

 Mr. Burns gave the following update:

 Budget – Mr. Burns stated that the Senate Education Appropriations meeting was held during the past week where the Senate rejected the budget proposed by the Education Committee due to dissatisfaction with budget numbers (not enough money).  He stated that Senator Sullivan proposed that there would have to be a sales tax or property tax increase at the district level in order to bring up the necessary revenue for education on the Senate side. He noted that the Revenue Conference Committee would meet March 8, 2002.


Claims Bill – Mr. Burns stated that although the Claims Bill was reported unfavorably by the Special Master, it could still “go through” committee, noting that several bills reported unfavorably last month still “went through” the committee unanimously.


Civil Service Bill – Mr. Burns stated that this bill was filed to abolish Civil Service.  He stated that there is recommendation to amend the bill to require all offices participating in Civil Service as of December 2001, to be responsible for a pro-rata share of the benefit costs for the employees who still worked for Civil Service.  He noted that the District’s portion of that amount would be approximately $118,000, which would have to come from general revenue funds.


Advertising/School Buses (House Bill 1411) – Mr. Burns stated that this bill would authorize advertising on school buses with policies, administration and guidelines for acceptable advertisements to be decided by the school board.  In response to Mr. Negron’s concerns, Mr. Burns provided a “staff analysis” which contained information regarding House Bill 1411 “Advertising/School Buses” as well as other issues.


No String Attached Act (House Bill 1587) – Mr. Burns stated that this bill allows school districts to adopt a policy or resolution that allows them access to control their categorical funds if they provide Freedom Scholarships.


Education Funding (House Bill 1363) – Mr. Burns stated that this bill creates “K-20 Funds Flexibility Act” which would allow school districts flexibility on certain categorical funds.  It also deletes computation and use of average daily attendance factor in determination of annual allocation to each school district for operation.


Education Finance (House Bill 229) – Mr. Burns stated that this “Cost Differential Bill” deletes determination of district cost differentials for purpose of allocation of funds to school districts for operations or schools.


Military/Dependent Education Benefit (House Bill 439/Senate Bill 496) – Mr. Burns stated that this bill provides educational opportunity at state expense for dependent children of military personnel who died or suffered service-connected 100-percent total and permanent disability, in Operation Enduring Freedom.


Schools/Discretionary Sales Surtax (House Bill 657) – Mr. Burns stated that this bill provides for discretionary sales surtax [up to one percent (1%) for up to eight (8) years] imposed by resolution of school board for school operations or school capital outlay.


Important Dates

March 6, 2002 - Northwest Florida Legislative Day

March 18-19, 2002 – Florida School Boards Association (FSBA) Workshop      


Upon inquiry by Mrs. Stidham, Mr. Burns stated that he would research and provide information regarding the status of Merit Pay.


ADD    2.  Update regarding Title I Allocations/Pre-K Funding – Wayne Odom

Mr. Wayne Odom, Director of Title I, reviewed information provided to the Board regarding Title I Allocations and Pre-K Funding.  Upon inquiry by Dr. DeWitt, Mr. Odom stated that he could present a final recommendations regarding Title I Allocations and Pre-K Funding at the March Regular Workshop.



 Dr. DeWitt stated that he had requested (by memorandum to the Superintendent), corrections to the backup information of several agenda items that appeared to contain incorrect information (dates, spelling, etc.)  Upon inquiry by Dr. DeWitt, the Superintendent stated that those items had been corrected.


A.  Curriculum and Instruction

4.   License Agreement between Sacred Heart Hospital and Escambia County School Board

 Upon inquiry by Ms. Finkelstein, Dr. DeWitt stated that Mr. Negron would review this item as well as others, prior to the February 19, 2002 Regular Meeting.


B.   Finance

No discussion was held.


C.  Human Resources Services

No discussion was held.


D.  Purchasing

22.   Agreements for a Fiber Optic Metropolitan Wide Network

 Mrs. Stidham stated that while she believed this project would save the District money in the “long run”, she had concerns that the District did not have the financial ability to implement this now.  Upon inquiry by Mrs. Stidham, Mr. Barry Boyer, Purchasing Manager and Mr. Bill Bush, Director of Management Information Services, explained that this particular item was part of a long-term plan which would eventually eliminate lease payments for various services (i.e., Cox Cable, AT&T, BellSouth) by allowing the District to provide those services at a lower cost.  At the request of the Superintendent, Mrs. Barbara Linker, Assistant Superintendent for Financial and Business Affairs, stated that while she is not opposed to approval of this item, she did want to advise the Board that if “E-Rate” funding ceased to exist, they would be “looking to” the General Fund for payment.


Dr. DeWitt stated that the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) for Curriculum and Technology unanimously recommended approval of this item.  He believed that this was a great opportunity for the District to “move forward" with technology and stated that he would support approval of the item rather than the motion on the floor. Dr. DeWitt offered a “friendly amendment” that approval be subject to review and approval by General Counsel. Dr. Jenkins and Ms. Finkelstein accepted the “friendly amendment.”


E.   Operations

1.  Facilities Planning

A.  Final Payments

1.  Additions and Renovations at Tate High School


Ms. Finkelstein stated that no “final payment approval sheet” was included with the backup information for this item and requested that one be provided.


B.  Miscellaneous

2.  Snoezelan Project/Westgate Agreement between Escambia County and Escambia County School Board

 Upon inquiry by Dr. DeWitt, Mr. Ted Kirchharr, Assistant Superintendent for Operations, stated that the District’s portion of $500,000 combined with Escambia County’s portion of the same amount, would be used to fund construction of the Snoezelan/Escambia Westgate Sensory Center.  Mrs. Stidham had concerns that language within the agreement was unclear as to the handling of any funds not expended for the construction of the facility.  Mr. Kirchharr stated that every effort would be made to expend the entire amount ($1,000,000) however, if the desire of the Board was to divide with the County any funds not used, that issue could be specified within the agreement.


2.  Transportation

A.  Miscellaneous

1.  Donation of School Bus to Beulah Academy

 Mrs. Stidham noted that the donation of a school bus to Beulah Academy had taken place on January 24, 2002, however, it was being presented for Board approval on the February 19, 2002 Regular Meeting agenda.  Mr. Charles Thomas, Director of Alternative Education, explained that he had received a letter from Beulah Academy stating that they had no way to transport students due to the resent break down of one of their buses.  He explained that since the District had surplus buses, one had been donated to Beulah Academy.  Upon inquiry by Mrs. Stidham, Mr. Thomas stated that if the Board did not approve the “Donation of School Bus to Beulah Academy” then the school bus would be retrieved from them.  Mr. Shawn Dennis, Director of Transportation, explained the issue of surplus school buses and school bus auctions. Mr. Sam Scallan, Internal Auditor, noted that State rules are very direct on the disposing of district assets, noting that only the Board has the authority to do so.  He suggested that District staff “loan” the bus to Beulah Academy until the Board approves the disposing of that District asset.  Mr. Thomas believed that by doing that, the District would then face liability issues.  Mr. Negron suggested that the Board develop a policy stating that in the interim period between Board meetings, District staff are authorized to have the discretion to award the property to someone provided that it is reported to the Board.  He noted that in the absence of such a policy, the District has no authority to dispose of District property.


F.  Student Transfers

 Upon inquiry by Dr. DeWitt, Mr. Ireland Brock, Director of Pupil Instructional Services, stated that the issue regarding a district-wide policy for student transfers was currently being reviewed.


G.  Internal Auditing

No discussion was held.





A.  Proposed Additions of Revisions to School District Rules

No discussion was held.


B.  Items from the Board

2.  Lease Purchase Program – John DeWitt


Dr. DeWitt stated that he would propose a motion at the February 19, 2002 Regular Meeting regarding a lease purchase program.  Mr. Don Manderson, Director of Instructional Technology, reminded the Board that there were approximately sixty-nine (69) separate projects from which computer hardware is purchased for schools, administrative offices, etc.  He believed that in order to orchestrate a District-wide approach to the lease purchase program, those various projects would have to be reconciled into a single fund.  He agreed that purchasing procedures should be examined to determine if there were ways to purchase more efficiently and lessen the costs. The Superintendent stated that while not opposed to the idea of a lease purchase program, he wanted to make sure that all issues were addressed.  Mrs. Barbara Linker, Assistant Superintendent for Financial and Business Affairs, stated that the District has a certain amount of “borrowing capacity” (which is limited by State law), and explained that a “lease purchase” would decrease that amount.  Mr. Barry Boyer, Purchasing Manager, gave examples of why a lease purchase is not always the most economical option.


4.   Board Direction to Staff Regarding the One-Half Cent Sales Tax Resolution – Cary Stidham

 Mrs. Stidham noted that the following language was included in the One-Half Cent Sales Tax Resolution previously approved by voters:  “The list of potential projects shall be limited only to fixed capital expenditures/costs associated with the construction, reconstruction or improvement of school facilities and campuses, which have a useful life expectancy of five (5) or more years and retro-fitting and technology implementation and any land acquisition improvement design and engineering costs related thereto.”  She believed that the Board would need to direct the Superintendent to limit the list of potential projects to be funded by the One-Half Cent Sales Tax to only those related to school facilities and campuses (as outlined in the language above).


5.   Board Direction to Staff Regarding Providing for Teacher Training as Part of Recruitment/Retention of Beginning Teachers – Cary Stidham

 Mrs. Stidham referred to information that she had provided to the Board regarding an example of a teacher induction program, which would provide newly hired teachers with information and strategies supporting teacher effectiveness in the classroom.  Upon inquiry by Mrs. Stidham, Mr. Paul Fetsko, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, stated that he and Mrs. Linda Longacre, Director of Staff Development, were currently addressing this issue and would report on it at the April Regular Workshop.           


3.  Items from the Superintendent

2.  Student Recommendations

1.  Recommend that the Superintendent’s recommendation for expulsion for student number 02-29-521 for the remainder of the 2001-2002 school year be withdrawn.


Upon inquiry by Dr. DeWitt, Mr. Darriel White, Court Liaison, stated that this recommendation resulted from a discussion among the students’ attorney, Mr. Joseph Hammons, Superintendent’s Attorney, and the school principal, in which the principal agreed to withdraw the original recommendation for expulsion.   He noted that nothing regarding the original recommendation for expulsion would appear in the students’ permanent record, if the recommendation was withdrawn.  In response to Dr. DeWitt’s concerns, the Superintendent noted that all recommendations regarding student expulsions are dealt with on a case-by-case basis and he believed that this particular recommendation was appropriate for the “situation.”  Mr. Negron believed that a recommendation such as this could raise questions regarding disparate treatment of students.  In response to Mrs. Stidham’s concern, Mr. White stated that he would provide detailed information regarding the reasoning behind the original recommendation to expel this particular student.  Mr. Negron expressed many concerns regarding this issue and suggested that the Board direct the Superintendent to develop criteria for dealing with similar situations.  The Superintendent noted that different “situations” call for different recommendations and the Board has the ability to accept or reject those recommendations.  Mr. Negron explained that the Board, not the Superintendent, would be liable should any parental lawsuit regarding expulsion, occur in the future.  He noted that the Board has the responsibility to establish policy that may protect themselves from parental lawsuit and advised that specific criteria should be established for dealing with similar “situations.”


4.   Items from the General Counsel

No items were submitted.




There being no further business, the Regular Workshop adjourned at 12:35 p.m.