MINUTES

 

POINTE COUPEE PARISH SCHOOL BOARD

1662 Morganza Highway

New Roads, LA 70760

 

REGULAR MEETING

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

 

The Pointe Coupee Parish School Board met in a regular session on Wednesday, August 27, 2008, at the School Board Office, in New Roads, Louisiana.  Mr. James Cline, President, called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m.    

 

Board members present were Messrs. Chad Aguillard, Frank R. Aguillard, Jr., Brandon Bergeron, James M. Cline, Kevin Hotard, Thomas A. Nelson, Joseph Major Thibaut, Jr., and Mrs. Debbie Collins.

 

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Mr. Frank R. Aguillard led the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States of America.

 

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The invocation was offered by Rev. Larry Oliver from Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church in Batchelor, Louisiana.

 

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Billy Ward, Candidate for State Representative, District 18.  Mr. Billy Ward thanked the School Board for allowing him the opportunity to address the Board.

 

Agenda Change.  President Cline announced that he would like to change the order of the agenda to accommodate the person who was in attendance regarding the Council on Aging Agreement, but who also had a prior engagement that he also needed to attend the same evening. Agenda item nineteen was moved up prior to the consent agenda item.

 

Agreement with Council on Aging.  Superintendent Rawls stated that the Council on Aging would like to use the vacant cafeteria at Morganza Elementary as a meal site.  Dr. Rawls mentioned that the Council on Aging will provide their own insurance and hold harmless agreement.  He stated that this would be a good gesture on behalf of the School Board to enter into an agreement to allow them to use this facility for the elderly.  Mr. Hotard questioned who would be responsible for renovations, etc.  Mr. Brandon Bergeron stated that there will be a separate meter for their utilities and this would be at no additional cost to the school system.  Mr. Thomas Nelson stated that he is the President of the Board of Directors for the Council on Aging, therefore he will recuse himself from participating or voting on this item.  Mr. Frank Aguillard stated that he has a family member that works for the Council on Aging, therefore he, too, will recuse himself from participating or voting on this item. 

 

Mr. Brandon Bergeron made a motion to enter into a Hold Harmless and Indemnification Agreement by and between Pointe Coupee Council on Aging, Inc. (Occupant) and the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board (Owner), to allow the use of the Morganza Elementary cafeteria as a meal site.  Mr. Major Thibaut seconded the motion.  The vote was as follows:

 

YEAS:              Mr. Chad Aguillard, Mr. Brandon Bergeron, Mr. James Cline, Mrs. Debbie Collins, Mr. Kevin Hotard, and Mr. Major Thibaut

 

NAYS:              NONE

 

RECUSAL:        Mr. Thomas Nelson and Mr. Frank R. Aguillard

 

The motion passed.

 

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                                                      Consent Agenda

 

The following items are considered to be routine and will be enacted with one motion.  There will be no separate discussion of items unless a member of the School Board so requests, in which event the item will be removed from the consent agenda and considered as an item on the regular  agenda for a separate vote preceding the last item on the regular agenda.  Mr. Cline read the consent agenda items. 

 

On a motion by Mr. Major Thibaut, seconded by Mr. Kevin Hotard, the Board voted unanimously to approve the following consent agenda items: Approval of the minutes from the regular meeting of June 24, 2008; Approval of the Executive Committee minutes of July 17, 2008; Approval of the minutes from the regular meeting of July 31, 2008; and Approval of the Executive Committee minutes of August 21, 2008.

 

                                                 End of Consent Agenda

 

Consider Action Regarding Renewal of Superintendent Rawls' Contract.  Mr. Frank Aguillard questioned if President Cline had notified Superintendent Rawls in writing that there was a possibility that this agenda item would be heard in an executive session. Mr. Cline stated that Dr. Rawls was notified.  Prior to voting to enter into executive session, Superintendent Rawls requested the presence of Attorney Hammonds and Joshua Langlois, Chief Financial Officer, when the Board enters into an executive session to discuss the renewal of his contract; this request was granted. 

 

Executive Session.  Mr. Frank Aguillard made a motion, seconded by Mr. Thomas Nelson to enter into executive session at 5:42. p.m.

 

Open Session.  Mr. Thomas Nelson made a motion, seconded by Mr. Chad Aguillard to reconvene in an open session at 7:22 p.m.

 

Mr. Frank Aguillard made a motion to grant Superintendent  Daniel Rawls a new three-year contract , effective January 1, 2008,  that would include an annual review that is based upon performance guidelines and incentives.  Additional terms and conditions will also be considered.  Mr. Thomas A. Nelson seconded the motion and a roll call vote resulted in the following:

 

YEAS:              Mr. Chad Aguillard, Mr. Frank R. Aguillard, Mr. Brandon Bergeron, Mr. James Cline, Mrs. Debbie Collins, and Mr. Thomas Nelson

 

NAYS:              Mr. Kevin Hotard, and Mr. Major Thibaut

 

The motion passed by a 6-2 vote of the Board. 

 

Dr. Rawls thanked the Board for the three-year extension of his contract.  Board members were requested to submit performance objectives (in writing) that would be forwarded to Attorney Hammonds' office for review and possible inclusion in Superintendent Rawls' contract.   

 

Mr. Major Thibaut stated that he would like the records to reflect that his no vote regarding the renewal of Superintendent Rawls' contract was due to the negotiated length of time of the contract.  Mr. Kevin Hotard stated that his no vote was also due to the length of time of Dr. Rawls' new contract.

 

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Discussion/action regarding monthly financial information.   Joshua Langlois, Chief Financial Officer, reviewed the monthly financial information.  Mr. Thibaut questioned the sales tax figures for July.  Mr. Langlois reported that sales tax collections were approximately $50,000.00 less than the previous year.  A discussion followed pertaining to the agenda item that had not been approved at the Thursday, July 31, 2008, regular School Board meeting regarding consideration of adoption of an employee supplement for teachers and support staff for the 2008-2009 school year.  Superintendent Rawls reiterated that he was not, nor is he, ready to make a recommendation to the Board regarding employee supplemental payments because of the uncertainty of the school system's child count numbers and charter school enrollment figures.  It would be nice to provide our employees with a supplemental check; however, administration is being careful and does not want to have to borrow money in January to make payroll.    

 

On a motion by Kevin Hotard, seconded by Debbie Collins, the Board voted unanimously to approve the monthly financial information as presented.

 

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Administrative Recommendations Regarding Personnel Assignments: Board members were provided with the Reduction-in-Force (RIF) policy, categories of employees, and Southern Association of College Accreditation Standards used for staffing quality schools.  As a result of the takeover of Pointe Coupee Central High School, Superintendent Rawls requested that the Board consider the implementation of the Reduction-in-Force (RIF) policy.  Dr. Rawls prepared a memorandum for Board members that addressed recommendations of a plausible solution regarding assignment of excess administrative staff.  He also provided information to the Board recommending demotion/termination of employees pursuant to the RIF Policy Categories that will effect  one teacher position, two school clerk positions, as well as the addition of the Jobs for America's Graduates Job Specialist/Teacher position that will be funded partially though a grant for the 2008-2009 school year.

 

On a motion by Mr. Frank Aguillard, seconded by Mr. Kevin Hotard, the Board voted unanimously to approve the following recommendations as presented by Superintendent Rawls:

 

A.         Consider the Superintendent's recommendation to implement the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board's Reduction-in-Force (RIF) Policy.

 

B.         Consider the Superintendent's recommendation to assign excess Administrative Personnel, and add an Assistant Principal.

 

C.         Consider the Superintendent's recommendation for demotion/termination pursuant to the RIF Policy.

 

D.         Employees affected as a result of Reduction-in-Force.

 

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Personnel Actions.  Ms. Cindy O'Meara, Personnel Director, presented personnel actions that had been prepared by her department as well as provided information regarding available openings at schools in the parish.

 

Mr. Frank Aguillard made a motion to approve items A. (Retirements); B. (Resignations) C. (Extended Sick Leave); D. (Requests for Leave Without Pay); E. (New Hires); F. (Sabbatical Medical Leave); G. (Consider Adoption of the 2008-2009 Teacher List). The motion was seconded by Mr. Kevin Hotard.  Unanimously carried.

 

A.         Retirements:

 

Mary Hutchinson, school food service technician at Pointe Coupee Central High School, effective 07.30.08.

 

Alberta Saunders, certified teacher at Livonia High School, effective 08.15.08.

 

B.         Resignations:

 

Shanetha Cox, certified teacher at Upper Pointe Coupee Elementary, effective  05.23.08.

 

Eula Ginn, paraprofessional at Livonia High School, effective 08.12.08.

 

Margaret Gosserand, certified teacher at Rosenwald Elementary School, effective  05.23.08.

 

Dameon Jackson, certified teacher at Pointe Coupee Central High School, effective 08.04.08.

 

Chasity Kaiser, non-certified teacher at Livonia High School, effective 08.18.04.

 

Robert Wayne Williams, assistant principal at Livonia High School, effective 08.05.08.

 

Jennifer Daniel, certified teacher at Pointe Coupee Central High School, effective 05.23.08.

 

Paulette Eilers, certified teacher at Livonia High School, effective 05.23.08.

 

Magdalene Franklin, certified teacher at Rougon Elementary School, effective 05.23.08.

 

Nicole Guidry, non-certified teacher at Livonia High School, effective 08.11.08.

 

Ryan Harris, certified teacher, Pointe Coupee Central High School, effective 05.23.08.

 

Lawrence Reed, certified teacher, Pointe Coupee Central High School, effective 05.23.08.

 

C.         Extended Sick Leave:

 

Fara Hargroder, certified teacher at Rougon Elementary School, effective 08.29.08 (2 day) - 12.17.08.

 

Shanika Martin, certified teacher at Valverda Elementary School, effective 08.18.08-09.26.08

 

D.         Requests for Leave Without Pay:

 

Jocelyn Batiste, certified teacher (2008-2009 school session-Advance Baton Rouge)

 

Tobias Deans, paraprofessional (2008-2009 school session-Advance Baton Rouge)

 

Brian Glover, certified teacher (2008-2009 school session-Advance Baton Rouge)

 

Abida Maiga, Foreign Associate Teacher (2008-2009 school session-Advance Baton Rouge)

 

E.         New Hires:

 

Rhonda Anderson, school nurse, Rosenwald Elementary School, effective 09.04.08

 

F.         Sabbatical Medical Leave

 

Susan Hoffman, certified teacher at Rougon Elementary School, effective 08.06.08-12.19.08

 

G.         Consider Adoption of the 2008-2009 Teacher List (Interviews are continuing)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Approval of Resolution for Replacement Grantee for Head Start Program.  Superintendent Rawls drafted a letter to Ms. Patricia Brown, Acting Director of the Office of Head Start in Washington, D. C.  In his letter, he requested that the Administration for Children Youth and Families Operational Center strongly consider the application being submitted to allow the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board as the Replacement Grantee of the Head Start Program in Pointe Coupee Parish.  Dr. Rawls mentioned in his letter that he is of the belief that a quality Head Start Program can support the public school system to ensure high quality early care for children most at risk.  Superintendent Rawls also prepared a Resolution to be voted upon by the Board.  Mrs. Karen Holmes-Shaw, Coordinator, answered questions pertaining to the grant (i.e., will it be a universal three-year program?; the number of years that the grant entails with the possibility of expansion to five years; what will it cost the PCPSB with regard to  general fund in-kind services, facilities, teachers' assistants, transportation, etc.)?  Superintendent Rawls mentioned that the Head Start Director would also be in charge of Pre-K services, thus saving the system money from replacing the former Pre-K Supervisor's position.  Discussion ensued.  Mr. Brandon Bergeron expressed his displeasure of the criteria associated with the Head Start program, as he is of the opinion that every child should be able to participate in this program regardless of income.  It was explained to Mr. Bergeron that the School Board would have to follow the federal guidelines for the grant and one of the guidelines pertains to income levels for acceptance in the Head Start Program.  Mr. Bergeron again reiterated that he would like the Head Start Program to be a universal program, as is the LA-4 preschool program, a universal program that is available to everyone regardless of income status.  Mr. Bergeron again emphasized that it is not the program that he is opposed to, but the criteria used in the process, as he feels that the program needs to be for all children.

 

Mr. Major Thibaut made a motion to adopt the following Resolution for the Pointe Coupee Parish Public School Board to be the Replacement Grantee of the Head Start Grant in Pointe Coupee.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Thomas Nelson.  A roll call vote was requested.

 

RESOLUTION

 

WHEREAS, Early Childhood Education is a recognized priority in the Pointe Coupee Parish Public School system, and

 

WHEREAS, the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board has had a long history of supporting Head Start children through in-kind services, and

 

WHEREAS, the School Board, at a meeting held on April 28, 2006, granted permission for Superintendent Rawls to develop a comprehensive preschool program for the children in the parish, and

 

WHEREAS, a comprehensive universal preschool program was implemented during the 2007-2008 school year; and

 

WHEREAS, said program has experienced great results during its first year of operation;

 

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, that the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board is hereby submitting an application to be considered as the Replacement Grantee for the Head Start Program in Pointe Coupee Parish.

 

The above resolution was offered by Mr. Major Thibaut,  seconded by Mr. Thomas Nelson, and having been submitted to a vote, the vote thereon was as follows:

 

YEAS:              Chad Aguillard, Frank R. Aguillard, Jr., James M. Cline, Debbie Collins, Kevin Hotard, Thomas Nelson, and Major Thibaut

 

NAYS:              Brandon Bergeron

 

ABSENT:          None

 

On a vote of 7-1, the motion carried.

 

The Resolution to be considered as the Replacement Grantee for the Head Start program was declared adopted on this 27th day of August 2008.

 

ATTEST:

                                                        

James M. Cline, President

Pointe Coupee Parish School Board

                                                       

Dr. Daniel R. Rawls, Superintendent

Pointe Coupee Parish School Board

 

(SEAL)

 

Mr. Brandon Bergeron stated that he was not opposed to the program, but strongly feels that the Head Start Program should be for all children.

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Ratification of 2007-2008 State/Federal and other Grant Programs for the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board.  On a motion by Mr. Thomas A. Nelson, seconded by Mr. Kevin Hotard, the Board voted unanimously to ratify the 2007-2008 state/federal and other grant programs for the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board.

 

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Adoption of a Flex Pay Incentive Plan for Employees of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board.  The Louisiana Legislative and the Governor approved flexible pay funding for local education agencies (LEAs) in rural areas across Louisiana.  The goal of the program is to provide rewards and incentives to support improved student achievement and professional learning communities.  LEAs were strongly encouraged to develop and implement a plan in accordance with the best practice examples provided in the guidelines.  Superintendent Rawls appointed Mrs. Linda D'Amico as the Project Director regarding the 2008-2009 Flexible Pay Program; Joshua Langlois, CFO, is the Fiscal Agent.  Mrs. D'amico mentioned that she had e-mailed a draft copy of the Flexible Pay Plan Narrative to be voted upon by the Board. She also provided the Board with an additional copy at the meeting.   

 

Mr. James Cline made a motion, seconded by Mr. Chad Aguillard, to adopt the flex pay incentive plan for employees of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board presented by Mrs. D'Amico, to be submitted to the Louisiana Department of Education for consideration of implementation.  Unanimously carried.

 

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Approval of Revisions to Substitute Pay Rates. On a motion by Mr. Thomas Nelson, seconded by Mr. Frank Aguillard, the Board voted unanimously to revise the following substitute pay rates due to the increase in the federal minimum wage rate of $6.55 per hour as of July 24, 2008:

 

Tutors or Temporary Employees

Paraprofessionals-Not Highly Qualified- $7.20 per hour

 

Substitutes-Paraprofessionals

Not Highly Qualified - $45.85 per day; after 10 days in the same class- $50.00 per day

 

Highly Qualified - $50.00 per day; after 10 days in the same class-$70.00 per day

 

Substitutes-Teachers

Uncertified Teachers - $55.00 per day; after 10 days in the same class- $90.00 per day

 

Certified Teachers -$ 75.00 per day; after 10 days in the same class $150.00 per day

 

All other hourly/stipend rates will remain the same except for above changes.        

 

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Approval of the Louisiana Compliance Questionnaire Regarding the Audit Engagement with Postlethwaite and Netterville, APAC for FY 2007- 2008.   The Louisiana Compliance Questionnaire is a required part of a financial audit of Louisiana governmental units and quasi-public entities. 

 

On a motion by Mr. Thomas Nelson, seconded by Mr. Major Thibaut, the Board voted to approve the Louisiana Compliance Questionnaire regarding the audit engagement with Postlethwaite and Netterville, APAC beginning July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008.  Unanimously carried.

 

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Remarks from Superintendent Rawls.  Superintendent Rawls mentioned that preparations are being made for Hurricane Gustav (expected landfall on Monday, September 1, 2008).  Dr. Rawls stated that he anticipates that an e-mail will be sent Friday, August 29, 2008 informing them about emergency preparedness.

 

President Cline announced that the reason that the August regular meeting was changed from Thursday, August 28, 2008, to Wednesday, August 27, 2008, was the fact that an international football competition was being played in the parish at Livonia High School.  Mr. Cline invited everyone to come out and support this significant event that is sanctioned by the LHSAA.  He thanked the Livonia and Fordoche communities for their assistance.

 

Mr. Thibaut announced that according to Mr. Bryan Adams of NRG, the company has agreed to a two-year funding commitment for Teach for America Teachers.  NRG will provide funding in the amount of $75,000.00 per year.  Mr. Thibaut requested that Board members, as well as others, thank NRG for this generous donation. 

 

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Expressions of Sympathy.  On motion by the entire Board and seconded by the entire Board, an expression of sympathy was offered to the families of:

 

Zykeya Butler, daughter of Eewaynia Smith, a teacher at Rosenwald Elementary School.

 

Evelyn Blackburn, mother of Judith Sutton, a teacher at Rosenwald Elementary School.

 

Ethel Moore, a retired teacher.

 

Theresa Porche, mother of Ophelia Dixon, a teacher at Rosenwald Elementary School.

 

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Adjournment.  On a motion by Mr. Frank Aguillard, seconded by Mrs. Debbie Collins, Nelson, the meeting adjourned at 9:05 p.m.

 

POINTE COUPEE PARISH SCHOOL BOARD

                                                                      

James M. Cline, President

                                                                      

Daniel R. Rawls, Ph.D., Superintendent

Secretary-Treasurer