ESCAMBIA COUNTY, FLORIDA
MINUTES, NOVEMBER 15, 2002
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
Mrs. Cary Stidham
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 9:02 a.m.
A. Open Discussion
1. Update on Hazardous Walking Conditions Survey Cary Stidham
Mr. Shawn Dennis, Director of Transportation, gave a brief update on the hazardous walking conditions survey process. He noted that historically, the process for updating hazardous walking conditions, was rather lengthy and required the involvement of many different county entities (i.e., Sheriffs Office). He stated that the State had recently revised that process by establishing an automated system for reporting hazardous conditions and requiring the involvement of only one county entity. He noted that the automated system would allow the District to update regularly, rather than just on quarterly FTE cycles. He also noted that teams had been established to review all elementary and middle schools to identify new hazards so that an update could be made into the automated system. He advised that the hazardous walking conditions had not bee fully updated since 1990, which he believed was probably because the previous process was rather lengthy and involved many different county entities. He believed that a complete update for all elementary schools would be finished by the end of the year and noted that the update should translate into fairly substantial FTE dollars (for hazardous transportation) to the District. Mrs. Stidham requested an additional update in the future, once the District was further along in the process of updating hazardous walking conditions.
Due to time constraints, the following item was moved to the front of the agenda:
Agreement between the School Board of Escambia County, Florida and Right Image Marketing, Advertising and Publishing Company (Item V.A.16)
Mr. Manny Harageones, Subject Area Specialist - Physical Education, Health, Wellness, Driver Education and Athletics, stated that the purpose of this agreement was to broadcast on radio and/or television high school basketball, baseball and softball games during the 2002-2003 school year and high school football and volleyball games during the 2003-2004 school year, for the purpose of providing exposure and promotion of the District high school athletic programs to the community. Mr. Orlando McCorvey, President of Right Image Marketing, Advertising and Publishing, stated that there would be no cost to the District or to any high school in the District, to participate in this broadcast network. He also stated that Right Image would pay the District 20% of the net revenues generated and collected from the sponsorship and commercial broadcast sales.
2. Update by Larry Fordham on Youth Awareness Program Cary Stidham
Mr. Larry Fordham, Youth Awareness Inc., gave a brief update on the Youth Awareness Program. He requested that the Board consider mandating that middle and high schools refer students to the Youth Delinquency Prevention Program, Choose Your Friends Wisely, as an alternative to suspension.
3. Review of Various Memorandums
Various issues were discussed later in the meeting.
II. COMMENTS FROM SUPERINTENDENT
The Superintendent provided the Board with a listing of the additions, deletions, amendments and corrections to the agenda.
III. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Minutes for all October meetings will be presented for Board approval.
IV. COMMITTEE/DEPARTMENTAL REPORTS
1. Report from Mike Burns, Legislative Consultant to the School Board
Mr. Burns gave the following report:
Upcoming Meetings Mr. Burns advised that the Organizational Meeting for both the House of Representatives and Senate would occur on November 19, 2002.
Cost Differential Bill Mr. Burns stated that the House Education Committee was working on this bill, which could eliminate the District Cost Differential. He noted that if passed, this bill could have an advantage to the District.
Legislative Platform Mr. Burns request that each Board Member submit their recommendations to him, so that he could compile a legislative platform for the upcoming Florida Delegation meeting in January.
Class Size Reduction (Amendment IX) Mr. Burns stated that while this amendment would have to be addressed at some point, he did not believe that it would be addressed in this legislative session. Instead, he believed that it would be put off for some time, to see whether or not there were any legal challenges to it and whether or not there is a way to fund it.
Update on Firing Range
Mr. Steve Sharp, Coordinator of Safety, Health and Environmental Operations, gave an update on the firing range. He explained that the results from an assessment (by Law Engineering) that began last year (2001) were received at the end of March 2002 and showed contamination above the permissible level, within not only the firing range, but also approximately 180 feet out into the adjoining wetlands (which was as far out as a sample was pulled). Upon review of the results, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) stated that there was a need to finish defining the scope of contamination, which Mr. Sharp noted, was currently in process. He stated that Gallet and Associates (Environmental Engineers) had been contracted through the County, to perform a follow-up assessment, which should finish defining the scope of contamination at the firing range, as well as the adjoining wetlands. He noted that the follow-up assessment should be completed by the end of the year. He explained that in May 2002, the County, Pensacola Junior College (PJC) and the District came together to work on this issue collaboratively. In June 2002, the initial draft of an inter-local agreement was prepared, which would serve as an agreement between those entities, to split the cost of the follow-up assessment, with each entity paying a third of the entire amount. He stated that the entire cost would not exceed $75,000 and hoped to present the inter-local agreement to the Board at the December Regular Meeting. He noted that this issue first came up in 1994 and was not acted on, therefore, in an effort to continue the moving forward with the process, the County, as a show of good faith, offered to begin the follow-up assessment and to be responsible for the up-front billing. He also noted that the District would be required to sign off, on a consent order from DEP, which was basically an agreement that the County, PJC and the District, as the three major players in this issue, would be responsible for performing the clean up (based on the follow-up assessment which should be completed at the end of the year) at the firing range (and adjoining wetlands). He believed that the consent order would probably be presented to the Board within a couple of months. Upon inquiry by Mrs. Stidham, Mr. Sharp stated that while he was not sure of the cost for the actual clean up, he noted that the District would bear a good portion of the cost, because we have and continue to operate it (firing range). Dr. DeWitt questioned, if its causing this much problem, why not put a padlock on it? In response, Mr. Sharp explained that once the results of the initial assessment were received, the District took steps to limit as best as possible, any increased amount of contamination, but noted that basically, the damage has already been done. He advised that at one point, the District had actually closed the firing range for approximately two weeks, however it caused such a major uproar in the community, that it was re-opened. He noted that not only do District students use the firing range on a regular basis, but so do many local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, as there is not another adequate range within the area. He stated that the District had been and would continue working with law enforcement agencies, to find a different location, but noted that it would take some time. Dr. Jenkins questioned whether it was fair, based on usage, for the District to have to pay a third of the total cost. Mr. Sharp believed that it was appropriate for the District to pay a third of the total cost for the follow-up assessment portion. He noted that what were paying now is going to be a drop in the bucket unfortunately, compared to the clean up portion. As far as the usage of the facility, Mr. Sharp noted that based on his review of the last three years, the largest users of the firing range were the Sheriffs Department and George Stone Vocational Center. Mrs. Stidham questioned whether the District wants to be in the firing range once all this is said and done, noting that this is going to be continuous process of making sure that this is clean as long as we are operating. She also noted that because of the minimal fee charged to user, there was really no revenue to be gained yet costing the District money and believed that the District should get out of the business and let the others who use the facility find their own. The Superintendent also believed that the District should get out of the business as long as George Stone students were taken care of. Mr. Bergosh believed that the District needed to expeditiously get ourselves out of this business and to move as quickly as possible to get it cleaned up and find a different place to shoot.
The Workshop recessed at 10:00 a.m., so that Board members, the Superintendent and others in the District could honor Dr. Jenkins for his contributions as a Board Member. This would be the last Board Meeting in which Dr. Jenkins would participate in his official capacity, after 16 years of service as a Board Member. Dr. Jenkins was presented with a gift from his fellow Board Members and his staff and with a plaque from the Superintendent and his staff.
The Workshop reconvened at 10:23 a.m., with all Board Members, the Superintendent and Mr. Negron present.
Update on Strategic Planning
Mrs. Sheree Cagle, Director of Comprehensive Planning, provided handouts and gave an update on the strategic planning process. Upon inquiry by Dr. DeWitt, Mrs. Cagle stated that she was not sure when there would be a document ready to present to you (the Board), noting that the strategic planning process takes time and would actually always be a work in progress.
Update on Minority Recruitment and Retention Plan
(NOTE: This issue was previously discussed at the October 3, 2002 Special Meeting and October 21, 2002 Regular Workshop.) The Superintendent made the following statement: Mr. Chairman, it goes without saying that before we can find a solution to a problem, we must know exactly what the problem is. We must also determine the nature of the obstacles before us. Success will be determined by how we overcome those obstacles. Allow me to take a few minutes to discuss our current condition here in Escambia County. Typically, the Escambia County School District must recruit to fill 150 to 250 teaching positions a year. With the exception of special education teachers, recruiting to meet the needs of our elementary schools has not been that difficult. We will often have scores of applicants for a handful of positions. As you all know, our greatest needs are at the middle and high school levels, specifically in the areas of math, science and special education. In addition to these, I predict that within the next few years we will see a real lack of or a serious problem with regard to recruiting computer science and foreign language teachers as well. Escambia County is not unique in that regard. Finding critical area teachers is not only a local issue, but it is in fact a national and international issue. Escambia Countys problem is compounded by a number of very significant factors. First of all, the community, you as a Board, and I believe that a diverse teaching staff is very important. A diverse teaching workforce contributes to building communities that encourage children to know and relate to individuals from different racial, ethnic, linguistic and economic backgrounds and it goes without saying that gender is also an important factor, particularly at the elementary school level where we are woefully underrepresented in terms of male role models. A diverse teacher workforce is very, very important. Consequently, as we set out to recruit the most qualified and skilled teachers available for the children of our community, we must be aggressive in our efforts to increase the number of Hispanic, African American, Pacific Islander and Asian teachers, as well as males at the elementary level. A second significant factor compounding the recruitment problem is Amendment Nine, the class size reduction amendment. As I mentioned earlier, in a typical year our district requires an average of 200 additional teachers to fill vacant positions. Next year, if we are to meet the requirements of the Amendment, we will have to recruit an additional 140 teachers above and beyond our yearly average. So it is very likely that we will have to recruit in excess of 300 teachers to staff our classrooms next year. that number will increase each year for the next 8 years. But that is not the worst of it. Miami Dade will need over 2,000 teachers next year. Palm Beach County will require over a thousand, and Orange County over 800. And I would guess our neighboring counties of Okaloosa and Santa Rosa will require and additional 150 teachers between them. I would remind the Board and the public that currently Floridas teacher training institutions produce about 6000 teacher candidates and Florida needs 12,000. Over the next couple of years, Florida will need twice that number. Making the situation even worse is the fact that 1/3 of the teaching workforce will retire in the next ten years, and ½ of all first year teachers will leave within five years. Our needs are great, our situation critical. Well meaning, but simplistic solutions to this complex problem will not suffice now. Competition for available certified teachers will be fierce. Our task is to provide the children of Escambia County with the most qualified and skilled educators that we can possibly find, with a strong emphasis on diversity. But I would remind us all, we are not an employment agency. We are an educational institution. Our first priority is and must continue to be the education of all of our children. To that end, as I stated in this room on October 3rd, I am assembling a diverse group of leaders and experts from throughout our community - people that the community and I and Im sure you, have great confidence in. This group will assist the district in collecting data, evaluating the districts needs and identify resources. They will evaluate the plan, elements of which I shall share with you shortly and recommend desired changes to policies and practices here in Escambia County. The group will consist of twelve members and will be referred to as the Superintendent's Council on Teacher Recruitment and Retention. A press release is now being issued listing the names of seven of the members and the positions they hold within the community. Those members are Mr. Hugh King, Pensacola City Councilman, Mr. Miller Caldwell, a member of the Chamber of Commerce and a member of the architectural firm of Caldwell Associates, Mrs. Marie Young, representing District 3 on the Escambia County Commission and who is a long time teacher and principal, Mr. Eugene Brown, Executive Director of the Pensacola-Escambia Human Relations Commission, Dr. Charles Glover, Pastor of the Greater True Vine Baptist Church in Pensacola, Mrs. Cathy Roche, past President of the Escambia County PTA and Mr. Ellison Bennett, President of the Pensacola Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The remaining five members will be named next week. I should mention that scores of people have generously offered to assist us in our efforts. In the next few months I will be calling on many of them to help. I would now like to share with you a number of features of the plan that my staff and I hope will be successful in our recruitment and retention effort. Please keep in mind that this is and will continue to be a work in progress and it is in its infancy. A good number of the elements require cooperation and assistance from PJC, UWF, our legislature and the business community. Our approach must be research based and data driven. Our efforts to retain our existing teachers will be to no avail if we do not know why they are leaving. The plan must be multi-dimensional, that is to say we must address our current needs, as well as our long term needs. For example, we have, for sometime been working on the idea of a teacher academy. However, if that program began next year, it would be seven years before we would see our first teacher. Although we are working on plans that may reduce the time to five years. On the other hand, if we are successful in our efforts to recruit retired teachers back into the classroom, even on a job-sharing basis, we will have some vacancies filled next year. For convenience sake, I break our efforts down to five broad areas. The first includes local initiatives which involve an expanded grow your own initiative. A stepped up Troops to Teachers initiative. The Teacher Academy I just spoke about. The recruiting of retired teachers to return to the profession to teach and mentor. A local church outreach program. And a host of alternative sources to certification. The second area involves bonuses and incentives. The third involves a comprehensive marketing program involving a video presentation of our community and the district. Well placed newspaper and magazine ads. Well designed and creative literature and recruitment teams that work. The fourth area really involves all of the above and that is an assertive minority recruitment effort. And the fifth broad area involves research and analysis. There is much more to this plan but I dont have nearly enough time to present all that we have done thus far. There are over twenty elements to this plan. Each element will require a great deal of work and cooperation between the school district and other public and private entities. And well continue to keep you updated.
Positions at School Sites Currently Vacant Due to Imposed Hiring Freeze
Mrs. Stidham stated that she had requested (by way of memorandum) a list of all positions at school sites that were currently vacant due to the imposed hiring freeze. Mrs. Mary Helen Fryman, Director of Instructional, Professional/Technical and Administrative Personnel, stated that she would provide the Board with a list of all vacant positions and positions with long-term substitutes. Mrs. Stidham noted that her concern was we are filling these other positions (that are not at school sites) but our main concerns needs to be at the school to make sure that their needs are met first.
Dr. DeWitt noted that the District was currently paying substitutes an insane amount of only $50 per day and questioned whether there had been any problems acquiring substitutes. Dr. Doug Garber, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resource Services, stated that the District had been averaging a 99% success rate of filling substitute positions. He noted that long-term substitutes currently receive $100 per day and earn credit for retirement as a member of the Florida Retirement System. He also noted that a tremendously large number of people have requested to be placed as a long-term substitute, if such a position is available. Dr. Jenkins believed that the District should continue to look at increasing the pay for substitutes, noting that $50 per day was an insult.
Due to time constraints, the following item was moved forward on the agenda:
Task Force on Diversity in Employment Linda Finkelstein (Item VII.A.1)
WITHIN THE ESCAMBIA COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM
WHEREAS, it is the mission of our public school system to prepare students to live in a diverse world; and
WHEREAS, by reflecting the diverse nature of our community and encouraging dialogue, respect and appreciation for diversity enriches our students educational experience and better prepares them to live productively in an increasingly diverse world; and
WHEREAS, a quality system of public education promotes the observance and enforcement of equal rights, opportunities and access for all of its stakeholders, including students, parents, faculty and staff; and
WHEREAS, the School Board, as the policy making body of the school district desires to enact policy and promulgate rules to ensure that issues of diversity and equal rights are identified and resolved in a timely manner; and
WHEREAS, the School Board is authorized by law to create advisory bodies to aid it in the fulfillment of its constitutional and statutory obligations;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SCHOOL BOARD OF ESCAMBIA COUNTY, FLORIDA, THAT:
1) A Community Task Force on Diversity is established immediately to:
a) Develop a plan of action to address the lack of diversity in the school system;
b) Recommend in writing to the School Board, remedies therefore no later than December 17, 2002;
2) Each School Board Member shall appoint up to three (3) persons to the Task Force, and in addition, the Community Task Force on Diversity shall elect its own chair from its members, and shall be comprised of one representative each of the following groups or organizations, all of which are deemed to be stakeholders in the public education system of Escambia County:
a) The Florida Department of Education; ECC/PTA, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; Movement for Change; the Pensacola/Escambia Human Relations Commission; Image de Pensacola; School Principals; the Pensacola Chamber of Commerce; the African American Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce; Teachers; the Escambia FEA; the University of West Florida; Pensacola Junior College; Pensacola NAS; the American Civil Liberties Union-Pensacola Chapter; and other organizations representing the communitys diverse ethnic and cultural groups.
3) In addition, the Community Task Force on Diversity shall hold public meetings and shall encourage and welcome the participation in their deliberations of other stakeholders not identified above. The Boards General Counsel shall provide legal counsel to the Community Task Force on Diversity.
4) All policies, rules and/or remedial action, including any plan for recruitment shall be finalized by March 1, 2003, to permit teacher placement at the beginning of the 2003-2004 school year.
5) The Community Task Force on Diversity shall sunset its activities and shall be dissolved upon the presentation of its written report to the School Board on December 17, 2002.
6) Following the Community Task Force on Diversitys December report, the School Boards Citizens Advisory Committee on Human Resources and Minority Recruitment and Retention shall monitor the implementation of recommendations adopted by the School Board in this matter.
Ms. Finkelstein believed that this resolution would send a clear message to the community, that the Board was taking a leadership role on this important issue. She noted that this resolution, would in no way, interfere with the work of the Superintendent (referring to his Recruitment and Retention Plan as discussed earlier in the meeting), but rather enhance and support it by providing additional insight and input into the process.
The Board recognized Rabbi Ostrich, who expressed his support of the resolution.
The Superintendent stated that there is not a certain group or person that somehow has a hold on this issue and noted that we must bring in everybody, because it is ideas that we need and those ideas can come from any place at all. He did not believe that a resolution was necessary to allow people to bring forth recommendations. He noted that recruitment was his responsibility and did not see the need for the Board to form its own Task Force. Mr. Bergosh believed that having two committees (Task Force and the Superintendents committee) was redundant as both were supposedly moving in the same direction. He instead, suggested that Board Members appoint representatives to the Superintendents committee.
The Board recognized Mr. Walter Gulley who addressed this issue in addition to various others (i.e., workshop times, hiring practices, diversity issues.). The Board also recognized Mrs. Rita Jones, who expressed her thoughts regarding this issue.
Due to time constraints, the following item was moved forward on the agenda:
Unauthorized Trade In of District Copiers, Unauthorized Purchase of a Copier (Item V.D.25)
Mr. Jeff Pomeroy, principal of Workman Middle School, explained that two copiers had been purchased last Fall, from a local vendor, however, within a few weeks of delivery to the school, the copiers were no longer working. In talking to the salesman about replacing the copiers, he agreed to make a two-for-one swap by replacing the two non-working copiers, with a larger, more heavy-duty copier. When questioned as to what the school would need to do regarding the two-for-one swap, the salesman indicated that nothing needed to be done by the school, but rather his bookkeeper would contact the Districts Purchasing Department to handle the purchase order. Mr. Pomeroy noted that as late as May of last school year, this issue still had not been handled and upon each discussion with the salesman, he indicated that it would be. He stated that the school had recently received a call from the Purchasing Department, requesting a requisition in the amount of $743 to cover the additional cost of the copier. He noted that this was the first that we had heard of it and we immediately contacted the salesman, who then brought to the school, several invoices and other information that we had never seen. Mr. Pomeroy advised that he had spoken with the Purchasing Department and settled our debt.
V. CONSENT AGENDA
A. Curriculum and Instruction
16. Agreement between the School Board of Escambia County, Florida and Right Image Marketing, Advertising and Publishing Company
This item was discussed earlier in the meeting.
No discussion was held.
C. Human Resources Services
Gibbs, Gregory Cons Project Mgr 11/18/02 Facilities Planning
Dr. DeWitt questioned whether the Construction Project Manager position had been vacant for sixty (60) days, as required under the hiring freeze. He noted that according to the backup information, the previous incumbent resigned October 16, 2002 and the effective date for the new hire was November 18, 2002. Mr. Ron Peacock, Director of Facilities Planning, stated that he had put in a request as of October 2, 2002 to fill this position that would become vacant on the effect date of October 16, 2002.
11. Print Shop Equipment
Upon inquiry by Mr. Bergosh, Mr. Don Manderson, Director of Instructional Technology, explained that the fund, into which the Print Shop charges are channeled, was currently showing approximately $65,000 for the first quarter. He noted that the Print Shop was on track to be in excess of $250,000 for this year. He explained that all departments and schools are charged 75% of the commercial value for any print job request. Mrs. Stidham questioned when calculating whether or not the Print Shop is making money, is the equipment that has been purchased being included? Mr. Manderson stated that no, it was not included. Mrs. Stidham noted that if the cost of the equipment that had been purchased was offset against the accumulated funds, then actually the Print Shop is not making money. Mr. Manderson noted that eventually, the Print Shop would be making money. He believed that the Print Shop would be in the black, within one to two years.
14. Materials for Repair and Upgrade of Variable Air Volume (VAV) System at Helen Caro Elementary School
Upon inquiry by Mr. Bergosh, Mr. Ron Peacock, Director of Facilities Planning, stated that this item was a request to issue a purchase order for materials needed to repair and upgrade Variable Air Volume (VAV) controls, not the entire VAV system.
16. IBM Mainframe Enterprise Storage Server
Mrs. Stidham stated that there were many questions regarding this item, and questioned whether the Board might want to take a step back until resolved. Dr. DeWitt stated that he would recommend (at the November 19, 2002 Regular Meeting) that this item be tabled to the December Regular Meeting. Mr. John Dombroskie, Director of Purchasing and Business Affairs, advised that by postponing approval of this item, there was approximately $70,000 was at stake due to the year-end discount from IBM. In response to the concerns expressed by Board Members, the Superintendent stated that he had reviewed issues regarding this item and all is not as it seems. He stated that he would like the opportunity to brief Board Members, as their concerns are legitimate, however, he did not feel comfortable addressing the issue without first consulting with Mr. Negron privately, about what could say with regard to this item.
17. Architectural/Engineering Services for Central Warehouse Freezer Box Renovation
Upon inquiry by Dr. DeWitt, Mr. Ron Peacock, Director of Facilities Planning, stated that this was a request to issue a purchase order for Architectural/Engineering services to develop construction documents for the freezer box renovation.
24. International Baccalaureate Examination Fees for Pensacola High School
(NOTE: This item was approved at the October 15, 2002 under the title Advanced Placement Testing Materials for Pensacola High School and had Educational Testing Services, as the listed supplier.) Dr. DeWitt noted that this purchase was previously approved with the wrong company as the listed supplier and questioned whether the purchase approval would need to be rescinded. Mr. Negron advised that if there is an outstanding purchase order that is not going to be used, then the Board would need to rescind it.
No discussion was held.
F. Student Transfers
No discussion was held.
G. Internal Auditing
No discussion was held.
VI. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
No items were submitted.
VII. NEW BUSINESS
A. Proposed Additions of Revisions to School District Rules
2. Notice of Intent to Advertise Amendment to School District Rule 6Gx17-7.09 - Pupil Progression
Upon inquiry by Dr. DeWitt, Dr. Alan Scott, Director of Secondary Education, stated that when the Pupil Progression Plan was revised, the language regarding student progression at the elementary school level was identical to that of the middle school level, which states that if a student fails a single core course, that student could be retained. He stated that there was concern by the Director of Elementary Education and elementary school principals, that that particular language may be too rigid at the elementary level. Therefore, the elementary version of the Pupil Progression Plan was revised to state that a student could be retained if he/she fails two core subjects - reading, mathematics and language arts, or if he/she fails three subjects, one of which is a core subject. Upon inquiry by Dr. DeWitt, Dr. Scott stated that the District, not the State, mandated the two statements regarding student progression. Dr. DeWitt questioned whether students with learning disabilities had been addressed in those requirements, nothing that he believed there should be some type of exclusion for those students. He was concerned that students, who in the second or third grade that have been identified with mild learning disabilities yet had not had adequate time for remediation would, under this rule amendment, be retained in the third grade. He was concerned that under this rule amendment, students with learning disabilities would be punished.
3. Notice of Intent to Advertise Amendment to School District Rule 6Gx17-7.02-5 - Safe Harbor
(NOTE: This issue was previously discussed at the November 15, 2002 Special Workshop.) Mr. Bergosh requested that this item be deleted from the agenda.
B. Items from the Board
1. Task Force on Diversity in Employment Linda Finkelstein
This item was discussed earlier in the meeting.
2. Funding Issues for Escambia Westgate Snoezelan Project John DeWitt
(NOTE: The following discussion refers to the item Snoezelan Project/Westgate Agreement between Escambia County and Escambia County School Board, approved at the April 16, 2002 Regular Meeting. The Districts portion of $500,000 combined with Escambia Countys portion of the same amount, would be used to fund construction of the Snoezelan/Escambia Westgate Sensory Center.) Dr. DeWitt stated that initial plans estimated that construction of Phase I of the Snoezelan Center at a cost of $1,000,000. He explained that in the estimate, they forgot to include things such as architect fees, pre-planning fees and drilling fees, therefore, to build Phase I of the Center, they really only have $850,000, due to the cost of the preliminary fees. He stated that Escambia Westgate had questioned whether the Board could help out, so that construction of the million dollar building could continue, by providing an additional $150,000 that could be used to cover the additional fees and other building requirements. He stated that he would prepare a motion for the November 19, 2002 Regular Meeting.
3. Student Dress Code John DeWitt
Dr. DeWitt stated that he would recommend (at the November 19, 2002 Regular Meeting), that the proposed Student Dress Code draft be reviewed by elementary and secondary principals, School Advisory Councils and other interested parties, for input prior to advertisement as policy tentatively set for the December Regular Meeting. He noted that we keep hearing that we need something. Mrs. Stidham believed that the Board should follow the process already in place, which incorporates this issue into the annual review of the Students Rights and Responsibilities Handbook.
C. Items from the Superintendent
No discussion was held.
D. Items from the General Counsel
No discussion was held.
Prior to adjournment, Dr. Doug Garber, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resource Services, informed the Board that the District and the Escambia Education Association, had mutually declared an impasse on performance pay for teachers. They also mutually opted to forego a special master and mediation session and send the issue directly to a vote of the Board. (NOTE: A special meeting will be called in the near future in which the Board will sit as a legislative body and consider both the EEA and District proposals.) There being no further business, the Regular Workshop adjourned at 12:40 p.m.