MINUTES

 

POINTE COUPEE PARISH SCHOOL BOARD

337 Napoleon Street

New Roads, LA 70760

 

REGULAR MEETING

Thursday, December 18, 2008

 

The Pointe Coupee Parish School Board met in a regular session on Thursday, December 18, 2008, at 337 Napoleon Street, New Roads, LA.   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 M. Thibaut, Sr., and Mrs. Debbie Collins.

 

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Tony Cline, son of Mr. James M. Cline, led the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States of America.

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The invocation was offered by Chris Cline, son of Mr. James M. Cline.

 

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Whenever Mr. James Cline became President of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board in January 2008, he mentioned that he would like to showcase the talents of our school system, our culture, and our faith.  Board members and audience members applauded the student-led choir from Livonia High School for performing several holiday songs prior to the beginning of the School Board meeting.

 

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Agenda Order Change.  President Cline stated that he would like to change the order of the agenda by moving up agenda items fifteen and sixteen.

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Election of Pointe Coupee Parish School Board Officers.    Mr. James M. Cline declared that the floor was open for nominations for the office of President of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board.  Mr. Frank Aguillard nominated Mr. James Cline for the office of president of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board. 

 

Mr. Joseph M. Thibaut, Sr., stated that it was an extreme honor to nominate Mr. Thomas Nelson for the office of president of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board.  Mr. Thomas Nelson stated that he appreciated the honor of being nominated by Mr. Thibaut however, he respectfully declined the nomination.

 

Mr. Frank Aguillard respectfully requested to close the nominations for the office of President of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board.

 

Mr. Frank Aguillard made the motion for James Cline to serve as President of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board.  The motion was seconded by Brandon Bergeron, and a roll call resulted in the following:

 

Yeas:                            Chad Aguillard, Frank Aguillard, Brandon Bergeron,

James Cline, Kevin Hotard, and Thomas Nelson

Nays:                            Debbie Collins and Joseph M. Thibaut, Sr.

Absent:                         None

 

By a 6-2 vote of the Board, Mr. Cline was reelected to the serve as President of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009.  Mr. Cline thanked the Board for their vote of confidence and stated that Mr. Chad Aguillard will continue to serve in the capacity of the vice-president of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board through December 31, 2009.  

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Appointment of Executive Committee Members.  President Cline appointed Mr. Chad Aguillard and Mr. Brandon Bergeron to serve as Executive Committee members from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009.

 

Mr. James Cline also elected to appoint the following members of the School Board to serve on various committees from January 2009-December 31, 2009:

 

Finance Committee

Kevin Hotard, Brandon Bergeron, and Debbie Collins. Kevin Hotard will serve as the Chairperson of the Finance Committee.

 

Consent Committee

 

Chad Aguillard, Brandon Bergeron, Kevin Hotard, and Joseph "Jody" M. Thibaut.  Mr. Chad Aguillard will serve as Chairperson of the Consent Committee.

 

Legislative Liaison

 

Frank Aguillard, Jr.

 

Local Government/Community Liaison

 

Thomas A. Nelson

 

Strategic Planning

 

Yielding will be to Superintendent Rawls

 

Grounds & Maintenance Committee

 

Mr. Brandon Bergeron, Chairperson, Mrs. Debbie Collins and Mr. Joseph "Jody" M. Thibaut, Sr.

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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. Thomas Nelson, seconded by Mrs. Debbie Collins, the Board voted unanimously to approve the following consent agenda items: approval of the minutes from the regular meetings of Thursday, October 23, 2008 and Thursday, November 20, 2008; minutes of the Executive Committee meetings of November 13, 2008 and December 11, 2008, and the minutes from the special meeting of November 25, 2008.


                                                             End of Consent Agenda

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Personnel Actions.  Ms. Cindy O=Meara, Personnel Director, presented personnel actions that had been prepared by her department.

 

On a motion by Mr. Kevin Hotard, seconded by Mr. Thomas Nelson, the Board voted unanimously to approve the following personnel action items:

 

A.         Resignation:

 

Tara West, certified teacher, Livonia High School, effective 12.19.08

 

B.         Extended Sick Leave:

 

Roberta Averill, certified teacher, Rougon Elementary School, effective 12.01.08-12.18.08;

 

Dawn Cobb, certified teacher, Rosenwald Elementary School, effective 11.21.08, 12.01.08, and 12.02.008;

 

Francis Gaines, papraprofessional, Rougon Elementary School, effective 11.11.08-01.02.09;

 

Joann Hebert, certified teacher, Valverda Elementary School, effective 11.14.08- 11.21.08;

 

Shanika Martin, certified teacher, Valverda Elementary School, effective 12.04.08-12.05.08; and

 

Collette Richard, paraprofessional, Upper Pointe Coupee Elementary School, effective 12.15.08-01.04.09

 

C.         Sabbatical Medical Leave (Documentation is on file in Personnel Department):

 

Patricia Hebert, certified teacher, Rosenwald Elementary School 01.05.09 - 05.22.09 (2008-2009 spring semester-90 days); and (2009-2010 fall semester-90 days).

 

D.         Termination (confidential information that was reviewed by School Board members only).

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Committee Meeting Reports.  Mr. Chad Aguillard, Chairperson of the Consent Committee,  reported that he had called a meeting to tabulate the results of the instrument used to evaluate the Superintendent.  Mr. Aguillard met with the committee at 4:00 p.m. prior to the December 18, 2008-regular meeting of the School Board.  It was noted that Mr. Joseph M. Thibaut, Sr. chose not to evaluate Superintendent Rawls due to the fact that he was just appointed on November 25, 2008.  Mr. Aguillard reported that Superintendent Rawls received a score of 2.86 on a scale of one to five (5=Excellent; 4=above average; 3=average; 2=below average; and 1=unsatisfactory).

 

Mr. Brandon Bergeron, Chairperson of the Finance Committee, called a meeting on December 8, 2008 at 5:30 p.m.  He stated that they discussed monthly financial information relative to the monthly bank statement, operational statement and sales tax report.  The staff feels that there are adequate cash balances to carry the system until the property taxes are collected in January 2009.  Committee members inquired about the status of insurance claims regarding Hurricane Gustav.  Superintendent Rawls stated that he and the Chief Finance Office Joshua Langlois will be meeting with the adjuster on December 12, 2008, however, it is his understanding that the amount of money in claims does not include the financial situation with regard to LaBarre Elementary.  The Finance Committee also recommended moving forward with regard to the renewal of the 11.96 millage for maintenance and operation.

 

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Discussion/Action Regarding Monthly Financial Information.  Joshua Langlois, Chief Financial Officer, provided copies of the following monthly financial information: the reconciled bank statement from Guaranty Bank (11/30/08-10/31/08), the general fund cash account (11/30/08), the outstanding check report (12/08/08), accounting Statement of Revenue and Expenditures (period ending 11/30/08), and Sales & Use Tax Collection Information. 

 

Mr. Brandon Bergeron thanked Superintendent Rawls and Joshua Langlois for doing an outstanding job with regard to balancing the budget.

 

On a motion by Mr. Brandon Bergeron, seconded by Mr. Kevin Hotard, the Board voted unanimously to accept the monthly financial information as presented by Chief Financial Officer Joshua Langlois. 

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Adoption of a Resolution Calling a Special Election for Continuation of the 11.96 Millage for Maintenance and Operation.  The following resolution was offered by Brandon Bergeron and seconded by Debbie Collins:

 

                                                                    RESOLUTION

A resolution ordering and calling a special election to be held in the School District of the Parish of Pointe Coupee, State of Louisiana (the "District") to allow the District to levy, assess and collect annually special taxes on the dollar of assessed valuation of all the property situated within the limits of the District for the purposes set forth in the propositions herein; making application to the State Bond Commission; and providing for other matters in connection therewith;

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the School Board of the Parish of Pointe Coupee, State of Louisiana (the "Governing Authority"), acting as the governing authority of said Parish for school purposes and the Pointe Coupee Parish School District, Parish of Pointe Coupee, State of Louisiana (the "District"), that:

 

SECTION 1.      Election Call.Subject to the approval of the State Bond Commission, and under the authority conferred by Article VI, Sections 30 and 32 of the Constitution of the State of Louisiana of 1974, the applicable provisions of Chapter 5, Chapter 6-A and Chapter 6-B of Title 18 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950, as amended, and other constitutional and statutory authority, a special election is hereby called and ordered to be held in the District on Saturday, April 4, 2009, between the hours of six o'clock (6:00) a.m., and eight o'clock (8:00) p.m., in accordance with the provisions of La. R.S. 18:541, and at the said election there shall be submitted to all registered voters qualified and entitled to vote at the said election under the Constitution and laws of this State and the Constitution of the United States, the following propositions, to-wit:

 

POINTE COUPEE PARISH SCHOOL BOARD

STATE OF LOUISIANA

            MILLAGE PROPOSITION

 

SUMMARY: CONTINUATION OF 10-YEAR, 11.96 MILL PROPERTY TAX FOR GIVING ADDITIONAL SUPPORT FOR THE MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF THE PUBLIC ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS.

 

Shall the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board, State of Louisiana, be authorized to continue to levy and collect a special tax of 11.96 mills on all property subject to taxation in the Parish, annually for a period of ten (10) years, commencing with the year 2011 and ending with the year 2020, for the purpose of giving additional support for the maintenance and operation of the public elementary and secondary schools of the Parish pursuant to Article VIII, Section 13(C) Third of the constitution of Louisiana of 1974?  It is anticipated that the tax will generate $3,776,005 per year.

 

SECTION 2.      Publication of Notice of Election.  A Notice of Special Election shall be published in the Pointe Coupee Banner a newspaper of general circulation within the City of New Roads, Louisiana, published in New Roads, Louisiana, and being the official journal of the District, once a week for four consecutive weeks, with the first publication to be made not less than forty-five (45) days nor more than ninety (90) days prior to the date fixed for the election, which Notice shall be substantially in the form attached hereto as "Exhibit" and incorporated herein by reference the same as if it were set forth herein in full.

SECTION 3.      Canvass.  This Governing Authority, acting as the governing authority of the District, shall meet at its regular meeting place, 337 Napoleon Street, New Roads, Louisiana, on April 23, 2009, at FIVE THIRTY O'CLOCK (5:30) P.M., and shall then and there in open and public session proceed to examine and canvass the returns and declare the results of the said election.

SECTION 4.      Polling Places.  The polling places set forth in the aforesaid Notice of Special Election are hereby designated as the polling places at which to hold the said election, and the Commissioners-in-Charge and Commissioners, respectively, will be the same persons as those designated in accordance with law.

SECTION 5.      Election Commissioners:  Voting Machines.  The officers designated to serve as Commissioners-in-Charge and Commissioners pursuant to Section 4 hereof, or such substitutes therefor as may be selected and designated in accordance with La. R.S. 18:1287, shall hold the said special election as herein provided, and shall make due returns of said election for the meeting of the Governing Authority to be held on April 23, 2009, as provided in Section 3 hereof.  All registered voters in the District are entitled to vote at said special election and voting machines shall be used thereat.

SECTION 6.      Authorization of Officers.  The Clerk of the Governing Authority is hereby empowered, authorized and directed to arrange for and to furnish to said election officers in ample time for the holding of said election, the necessary equipment, forms and other paraphernalia essential to the proper holding of said election and the President and Secretary of the Governing Authority are further authorized, empowered and directed to take any and all further action required by State and/or Federal law to arrange for the election, including but not limited to, appropriate submission to the Federal Department of Justice under Section 5 of the Federal Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended.

SECTION 7.      Furnishing Election Call to Election Officials.  Certified copies of this resolution shall be forwarded to the Secretary of State, the Clerk of Court and Ex-Officio Parish Custodian of Voting Machines in and for the Parish of Pointe Coupee, State of Louisiana, and the Register of Voters in and for said District, as notification of the special election herein called in order that each may prepare for said election and perform their respective functions as required by law.

SECTION 8.      Application to State Bond Commission.  Application is made to the State Bond Commission for consent and authority to hold the aforesaid special election as herein provided, and a certified copy of this resolution shall be forwarded to the State Bond Commission on behalf of this Governing Authority, together with a letter requesting the prompt consideration and approval of this application.

 

This resolution having been submitted to a vote, the vote thereon was as follows:

 

YEAS:              Chad Aguillard, Frank R. Aguillard, Jr. Brandon Bergeron,

James M. Cline, Debbie Collins, Kevin Hotard, Thomas Nelson and

Joseph M. Thibaut, Sr.

NAYS:              None

ABSENT:          None

 

And the resolution was declared adopted on this the 18th day of December 2008.

                                                    

James M. Cline, President

                                                  

Daniel R. Rawls, Ph.D., Superintendent

Secretary-Treasurer

 

Exhibits to the Resolution are available for inspection at the office of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board during normal business hours.

 

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School Board Meeting Dates 2009.  On a motion by Mr. Thomas Nelson, seconded by Mr. Frank Aguillard, the Board voted unanimously to set the 2009 regular School Board meetings for the fourth Thursday of each month, with the exception of the November and December meetings which have been set for the third Thursday, at 5:30 p.m. to be held at the School Board Office located at 337 Napoleon Street, in New Roads, LA, as the date, time and place of the 2009 regular School Board meetings.  A public notice will be published on January 8, 15, and 22, 2009 in the Pointe Coupee Banner. 

 

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Results from Superintendent Rawls' Performance Review.  Dr.  Rawls stated that he thinks that it is important to rate your Superintendent, as he is called upon to do the same thing for staff as part of the accountability process.  Mr. Aguillard reported that Superintendent Rawls received a score of 2.86 on a scale of one to five (5=Excellent; 4=above average; 3=average; 2=below average; and 1=unsatisfactory). He stated that he appreciated  the evaluation and mentioned that there are areas where he needs to improve.  Mrs. Debbie Collins requested that Superintendent Rawls provide a narrative description of his goals and objectives for the school district. 

 

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Litigation Against the Louisiana School Employees' Retirement System. On a motion by Mr. Thomas Nelson, seconded by Mr. Kevin Hotard, the Board voted unanimously to authorize the law firm of Hammonds & Sills to pursue litigation against The Louisiana School Employees' Retirement System demanding payment from the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board for "unfunded accrued liability" attributed to privatized positions.

 

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Discussion/action Regarding Truancy Issues.  It was stated that there are pockets of high rates of absenteeism and it appears that the Board needs to address these issues. Superintendent Rawls stated that Assistant District Attorney Martin Maley had been contacted and requested to attend the December 18, 2008 meeting. Mr. Maley stated that due to depositions on that day,  he would be unable to attend; however, he stated that he will be available to attend the January 22, 2009 meeting.  A short discussion ensued regarding truancy officers, school resource officers, student addresses and telephone numbers, etc. 

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Unemployment Compensation Control System.  The law firm of Hammonds & Sills serves as Special Counsel to the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board and they pursued restitution on behalf of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board for funds that UCCS had taken from the school system.  Superintendent Rawls stated that he had been contacted by Mr. Brett Smith, Investigator with the Louisiana Department of Justice, regarding the legal matter between the UCCS Contract provider (Mr. Joe Terrell) and the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board. Mr. Smith requested that Dr. Rawls send a letter to him verifying that UCCS had finally made restitution to the School Board and that there was no longer a desire to have the case prosecuted.  Superintendent Rawls stated that he concurs with the request and asked the Board for direction.  Attorney Hammonds was in attendance at the meeting, and he informed the Board that the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board was not the only school system that UCCS had taken funds from in similar fashion.  Mr. Hammonds mentioned that although his firm does not represent the other five school systems that he was aware that UCCS had taken funds from in similar fashion, to his knowledge those school systems have never received restitution.

 

On a motion by Mr. Thomas Nelson, seconded by Mr. Kevin Hotard, the School Board voted to take no action on the issue of whether UCCS should be criminally prosecuted for its conduct, as the position taken is that the decision on criminal prosecutions should be made by those responsible for such prosecutions.  Unanimously carried.

 

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Superintendent's Remarks. Superintendent Rawls mentioned that at the beginning of the 2008-2009 school year, the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board approved the State Department of Education's Incentive Pay Plan for schools that reach their targeted growth rate.  The grant funds for this incentive have been allocated to the district for the schools that achieved exemplary growth during the 2007-2008 school year.  Superintendent Rawls stated that these State Awarded Incentive Grant Funds (NOT LOCAL FUNDS) will be awarded with the December payroll, as it was his determination that the system's cash flow is more than adequate to fund this claim.  Dr. Rawls reported that the incentive grant is reimbursable to the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board immediately upon payout.  The recipients of this year's grant were awarded to Rougon Elementary staff members, categorized by the Louisiana State Department of Education, and will be paid approximately $2,263.59 to certified teachers.  Some employees will receive less, as their check will be prorated on the number of days that they worked at Rougon Elementary while employed by the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board.  Dr. Rawls reported that for clarification purposes, this check is NOT A BONUS check that is being paid by the local system, nor is it a 13th check!    Dr. Rawls also mentioned that the school session participates in dual credit programs with Southern University, Southeastern University, Baton Rouge Community College and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

 

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Prior to adjournment, President Cline thanked the choir members from Livonia High School for attending the meeting and for the seasonal songs that they sang.

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Adjournment.  On a motion by Mr. Frank Aguillard, seconded by Mr. Brandon Bergeron,  the meeting adjourned at 6:35 p.m.

 

POINTE COUPEE PARISH SCHOOL BOARD

                                                                         

James M. Cline, President

                                                                         

Daniel R. Rawls, Ph.D., Superintendent

Secretary-Treasurer