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:


            Chair:                           Ms. Linda Finkelstein                             Vice Chair:       Mrs. Cary Stidham       


            Board Members:           Mrs. Carissa Bergosh (was not present)

                                                Mr. Ronnie L. Clark

                                                Dr. John DeWitt


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


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



I.            CALL TO ORDER


Ms. Finkelstein called the Regular Workshop at 9:00 a.m.


A.     Open Discussion

a)      Master Calendar


      [NOTE: The following discussion refers to Board action from the May 20, 2003 Regular Meeting, regarding the development of a web-based “Master Calendar.”  This issue was last addressed at the August 15, 2003 Regular Workshop.]  Mr. Jason Frye, Instructional Technology Support Technician, gave a brief demonstration of a software application that would provide the District with the ability to have a web-based “Master Calendar” that was both publicly and privately accessible.  Upon inquiry by Ms. Finkelstein, Mr. Ross explained that the Superintendent did have several concerns (i.e., personnel, funding, security) regarding this issue and therefore, did not have a recommendation at that point in time.  Board Members requested that the Superintendent’s recommendation regarding the purchase of a “Master Calendar” software application appear on the October Regular Meeting agenda.   


            Due to time constraints, the following item was moved forward on the agenda:


            Update on “Lights Out Program” – Ted Kirchharr (Item III.4)


      [NOTE: The ‘Lights Out Program’ was approved at the May 27, 2003 Special Meeting under General Revenue Budget Reduction Recommendations 2003-2004.  The ‘Lights Out Program’ is relative to a procedure to blackout all exterior and interior campus lighting based on a specific schedule.]  Mr. Ted Kirchharr, Assistant Superintendent for Operations, advised that staff had been working on the ‘Lights Out Program’ for several months and had recently come across several “unexpected issues” with regard to campuses where the majority of the exterior lighting was provided by Gulf Power.  Mr. Alan King, representative of Gulf Power, reviewed information provided to the Board regarding those “unexpected issues.”  Mr. Kirchharr stated that staff would propose the implementation of a pilot project (beginning second semester through the end of the school year) to evaluate the ‘Lights Out Program’ at three schools where the majority of the exterior lighting was provided by the District.  He noted that staff could then present the Board with the data necessary for determining “whether or not the ‘Lights Out Program’ was worth the capital investment that would be needed to go onto those campuses where Gulf Power provides the majority of the exterior lights.”  [NOTE: The following schools agreed to serve as pilot schools in this effort: Lipscomb Elementary School, Bailey Middle School and Washington High School.]


b)      Ethics Committee


(NOTE: The issue of a district-wide ethics policy was previously addressed at the August 15, 2003 Regular Workshop.)  Dr. Doug Garber, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resource Services, stated that a district-wide ethics policy would be presented at the November Regular Meeting. 


c)      Prescription/Drug Plan Deductions


Dr. DeWitt stated that he would add an item to the Regular Meeting agenda, regarding the reconsideration of prescription drug plan deductibles (approved at the July 22, 2003 Regular Meeting as part of the Health/Prescription Plan), which were scheduled to go into effect on October 1, 2003.  He noted that according to the most recent budget figures, there were sufficient funds to allow for the $100 plan year deductible to be reduced to $0.  Mr. Kevin Windham, Director of Risk Management, advised the Board that such an action would have an affect those employees who had recently signed up to participate in Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) and elected their contribution amount with the $100 deductible in mind.  He also noted that “if we make these changes now could result in more drastic changes this time next year.”  Board Members requested the following information regarding this issue: Flexible Spending Account (FSA) participation numbers and Prospective additional costs to the District based on the following deductible scenarios: $100, $75, $50, $25 and $0. 


d)      Dates for Meetings

-Town Hall Meetings


      Board Members discussed the possibility of holding town hall meetings in each district throughout the county, beginning no later than November.  Board Members indicated that they would coordinate with Mrs. Linda West, Administrative Secretary to the School Board, on the appropriate dates and locations. 


-Strategic Plan Meeting (before October 1)


      Board Members agreed to schedule a Special Meeting (Re: Strategic Planning) for October 23, 2003, at 3:30 p.m., in Room 160, at the J.E. Hall Educational Services Center.  Ms. Finkelstein requested that Mrs. Sheree’ Cagle, Director of Comprehensive Planning, provide the Board with a written briefing on what had taken place thus far on the Strategic Planning process. 


                  Change Date of October Regular Workshop


      In consideration of the Fall Break (October 13th through October 17th), Board Members agreed to change the date of the October Regular Workshop from October 17, 2003 to October 20, 2003.     





-Development of Legislative Platform


      Ms. Finkelstein stated that Mixon and Associates (Legislative Consultants) had requested a meeting with the Board regarding the development of the Board’s Legislative Platform for 2004.  The Board discussed the possibility of scheduling a Special Meeting for that purpose, on either October 6th or October 7th at 11:00 a.m., but indicated that they would coordinate with Mrs. Linda West, Administrative Secretary to the School Board, for a final determination. 


                  Charter School Reporting


      Dr. DeWitt indicated that he would be adding an item to the September Regular Meeting agenda, (possibly in the form of a policy revision) regarding quarterly updates on the status of each charter school in the District.   


Exclusive Vending Contracts


      Upon inquiry by Dr. DeWitt, Mr. John Dombroskie, Director of Purchasing, stated that a Request for Proposal (RFP) regarding exclusive vending services was being prepared and would be shared with the Board prior to its release.  




No comments were made. 



1.       Update on Superintendent’s Council for Teacher Recruitment and Retention


Dr. Doug Garber, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resource Services, reviewed a portion of the “graphical data” (i.e., graphs, charts) that would be included in the final report from the Superintendent’s Council for Teacher Recruitment and Retention.  He noted that the final report would be provided to the Board once reviewed and approved by the Superintendent.


  1. Report from District Equal Employment Opportunities Coordinator


No report was given. 


  1. Analysis of FCAT Data – Malcolm Thomas


Mr. Malcolm Thomas, Director of Evaluation Services, gave a brief demonstration regarding the ability for schools and the public to access FCAT data from the District web-site.  


ADD    4.         Update on “Lights Out Program” – Ted Kirchharr


                  This item was addressed earlier in the meeting. 










      Notice of Intent to Adopt Emergency Amendment to School District Rule 6Gx17-1.07(2) - Audit Committee

      (Item II.A.5 on September 23, 2003 Regular Meeting agenda)


      (NOTE: This emergency rule change permits the Board to appoint an interim Audit Committee Chair in the event of a vacancy and removes the prohibition against Committee Members serving consecutive terms.)  Ms. Finkelstein advised that the Board would appoint an interim Audit Committee Chair, at the September Regular Meeting. 


Notice of Intent to Advertise Revisions to School District Rules, Chapter 4

(Item II.B.1 on September 23, 2003 Regular Meeting agenda)


Mr. Paul Fetsko, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, stated that an amended version of this rule was forthcoming, which would include the following statement under section 4.06 Educational Media Materials, item (3) Evaluation and Selection of Educational Media: “No book or other material containing hard core pornography or otherwise prohibited by Section 847.012 shall be used or available in the Escambia County School District.”


Notice of Intent to Advertise Amendment to School District Rule 6Gx17-(4)A.2 – Student Dress Code

(Item II.B.2 on September 23, 2003 Regular Meeting agenda)


[NOTE: This issue was previously addressed at the August 19, 2003 Regular Meeting under VII.A.1 “Cordova Park Elementary School Advisory Council’s Request for Waiver of Portion of School Dress Code – John DeWitt.”]  Dr. DeWitt stated that the purpose of this rule amendment, which was based on a request made by the Cordova Park Elementary School Advisory Council, was to remove the “tucked in” requirements for students complying with the Uniform Dress Code in grades K through 5.


V.            CONSENT AGENDA

A.     Curriculum and Instruction

            12.              Agreement Between Sunbelt Staffing Solutions, Inc., and the School District of Escambia County, Florida


     Upon inquiry by Dr. DeWitt, Mr. Paul Fetsko, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, confirmed that total funding request of $63,000 was for services from one Speech/Language Pathologist.  


15.      Professional Services Agreement for Human Resources Management Development

16.   Professional Services Agreement for Human Resources Management Development (HRMD) Consultant


     Mrs. Linda Longacre, Director of Staff Development, explained that the District had always provided a consultant for those employees who were going through an internship.  She noted that it was now necessary to request an additional consultant, as there were currently more interns than there had ever been at one time in the past.  In answer to Mrs. Stidham’s question, Mrs. Longacre stated that not every employee in the Principal’s Pool is given an internship, in fact, there were some employees who had been in the Pool since the late 1980’s and early 1990’s that had never received an internship.  Mrs. Stidham and Dr. DeWitt believed that a policy was necessary to remove employees who had been in the Pool for over five years and not progressed to an internship.




B.     Finance


                  No discussion was held. 


C.     Human Resource Services

1.       Instructional/Professional

d.       Out-of-Field

4.   Other


      Mrs. Stidham noted that several teachers would be teaching one class period “out-of-field” due to scheduling at the school, as an extra course was needed but there was not a teacher available who was certified in the course.  She had concerns as to “whether the students would be getting a teacher who could actually teach that course.”  Mrs. Teenie Wehmeier, Certification Manager, stated that while she understood Mrs. Stidham’s concerns, she had discussed with the principals and they felt that these individuals were very capable of teaching these courses.


f.    Special Requests

6.       Request approval for Carolyn Stallworth, teacher at Tate High to work the month of June and to be paid at her regular hourly rate of pay to update software and install new computers.  She is to be paid from Educational Technology Funds. 


      Mrs. Stidham questioned why the Board was being asked to approve this item in September, when it had already occurred in June.  Dr. Doug Garber, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resource Services, stated that the request had been submitted to the Board, as soon as it was received in the Human Resources department.    


7.       Request approval for the following instructional employees at Pine Forest High to work Saturday detention for the 2003-04 school year and to be paid at their regular hourly rate of pay.  They are to be paid from Advanced Placement Add on Allocation Funds


      Mr. Clark questioned why Advanced Placement Add-on Allocation Funds were being use to pay for instructional employees to work Saturday detention.  Mrs. Laura Shaud, Director of Budgeting, stated that while it did seem “a little odd” to use Advanced Placement funds for Saturday detention, it was permissible.  She noted that although AP students had generated these funds, they “could be used for whatever the school’s needs are,” as there were no restrictions on how they were to be spent. 


9.   Request approval to add Teacher on Special Assignment/Roy Hyatt Environmental Center under the Science Department on the Personnel Planning Document.


      In response to concerns expressed by Mrs. Stidham and Dr. DeWitt, Mr. Paul Fetsko, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, stated that this position would be funded through a Title V math and science grant.   


13.      For Board Information: Report on updated Personnel Planning Document for the 2003-04 school year.


      Mrs. Stidham believed that this item should be listed on the agenda for “Board approval” rather than “Board information.”   


3.   Risk Management

                  b.   Summary of District Safety Inspections


      Mrs. Stidham believed that this item should be listed on the agenda for “Board approval” (rather than as an “information item” as indicated in the backup documentation), noting that according to Florida Statutes, the Board must approve the report before it is submitted to the State Fire Marshall.  Mr. Steve Sharp, Coordinator of Health, Safety and Environmental Operations, advised that the District Safety Inspections had already been submitted to the State Fire Marshall without Board approval.  Board Members requested that this item be placed on the October Regular Meeting agenda (for “Board approval”) and that a copy of each safety inspection (rather than a summary of all safety inspections) be provided in the backup documentation for said meeting.   


D.     Purchasing

1.       Bid Award: Custodial Supplies, Bid #040102


      Mr. John Dombroskie, Director of Purchasing, stated that due to possible bid award protests by two vendors, the recommendation would be to approve the award of the bid, conditioned upon and subject to the findings of any formal administrative hearing.


      The Regular Workshop recessed at 12:20 p.m. and reconvened at 1:00 p.m., with the following present: Ms. Finkelstein, Mrs. Stidham, Mr. Clark, Dr. DeWitt, Mr. Negron and Mr. Ross (representing Mr. Jim Paul).  



4.       Bid Award: Employee Benefits Consulting Services, RFP #033801

                  5.   Bid Renewal / Extension: 403-B Compliance Services, RFP #1-98

            6.   Bid Renewal / Extension: Pharmacy Benefit Management Services


      Dr. DeWitt requested a list of all consulting firms (that the Risk Management department has contracts with) prior to the September 23, 2003 Regular Meeting.


15.   Sod for West Florida High School


      Mr. Clark believed that it was “inequitable” to spend $16,887.50 on sod for a practice football field at West Florida High School, when there were schools such as Pensacola High that had main football fields that were in bad condition.  Mrs. Stidham requested information regarding how the school would use the practice football field, once football season was over.  She also requested information as to what types of things (i.e., sod) had been provided in the past to other “new” schools for their fields. 


E.      Operations

1.       Facilities Planning

B.   Miscellaneous

      2.   Property Swap with Zion Hope Church


      Mrs. Stidham noted that the “executive summary sheet” indicated that the purpose of this particular item was to “request direction from the Board on the proposed property swap” but gave no indication as to what the Superintendent’s recommendation was.  Mr. Ted Kirchharr, Assistant Superintendent for Operations, stated that he would revise the “executive summary sheet” to indicate the Superintendent’s recommendation, which was to proceed with the property swap.


F.      Student Transfers


                  No discussion was held.


G.     Internal Auditing


            No discussion was held. 




            No items submitted.


VII.            NEW BUSINESS

A.     Items from the Board   

1.       Appointment to Escambia Juvenile Justice Council – Linda Finkelstein


      Ms. Finkelstein stated that a formal motion would be made at the September Regular Meeting, to appoint Mrs. Stidham (who had volunteered to represent the Board in that capacity) to the Escambia Juvenile Justice Council.    


            2.   Job Description for Coordinator II for Employee Services Chief NegotiatorCary Stidham


      Upon inquiry by Dr. DeWitt, Mr. Ross stated that at that time, the Superintendent did not support Mrs. Stidham’s proposal for a Chief Negotiator position.

      The Board recognized Bob Husbands, Executive Director of Escambia NEA UniServe, who expressed his thoughts regarding this issue.  


B.     Items from the Superintendent


                  No discussion was held.


C.     Items from the General Counsel


            No discussion was held. 




            There being no further business, the Regular Workshop adjourned at 2:05 p.m.


Attest:                                                              Approved:




________________________________                    ________________________________

            Superintendent                                                  Chair