MINUTES

 

POINTE COUPEE PARISH SCHOOL BOARD

337 Napoleon Street

New Roads, LA  70760

 

REGULAR MEETING

Thursday, February 23, 2012

 

 

The Pointe Coupee Parish School Board met in a regular session on Thursday, February 23, 2012, at 337 Napoleon Street, New Roads, Louisiana 70760.  Mr. Brandon Bergeron, President, called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m.

 

Board members present when the roll was called were: Frank Aguillard, Brandon Bergeron, James Cline, Leslie Ann Grezaffi, Kevin Hotard, Anita LeJeune, and Thomas Nelson.

 

President Bergeron requested former School Board Member Charles Aguillard to lead everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.

 

Mrs. Karen Holmes-Shaw was requested to offer the invocation.

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Recognition of Students of the Year.  Superintendent D’Amico presented a plaque and a certificate to the Students of the Year in the following categories:

 

Morgan Aguillard, a 5th Grade student at Valverda Elementary, was recognized for being selected as the Elementary School Student of the Year.  Morgan is the daughter of Charles Anthony Aguillard, Jr., and Natalie Polar Aguillard.  Superintendent D’Amico read excerpts from the biographical sketch that she had submitted with her application and Morgan’s family members in attendance were recognized.  Mr. Kenneth Ramagos, of People’s Bank and Trust, provided Morgan with a $50.00 check a photo was taken for publication in the local journal.

 

Owen Thompson, an 8th grade student at Livonia High School, was recognized for being selected as the Middle/Junior High School Student of the Year.  Owen is the son of Joey Thompson and Lucy Boley Thompson.  Superintendent D’Amico read excerpts from the biographical sketch that he had submitted with his application and Owen’s family members in attendance were recognized.  Mr. Wade O’Neal, of Guaranty Bank and Trust, provided Owen with a $50.00 check a photo was taken for publication in the local journal.

 

Mason Klotz, a 12th grade student at Livonia High School, was recognized for being selected as the High School Student of the Year.  Superintendent D’Amico read excerpts from Mason’s biographical sketch that he had submitted with his application.  Ms. Prudence Morgan, of Cottonport Bank, provided Mason with a $50.00 check; a photo was taken for publication in the local journal.

 

Board Member Chad Aguillard arrived at 5:43 p.m.

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Consent Agenda

 

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

 

Mr. Thomas Nelson made a motion, seconded by Mr. James Cline, to approve the following consent agenda items.  The motion carried.

 

·         Approval of the minutes from the regular School Board meeting of Thursday, January 26, 2012.

·         Approval of the Executive Committee meeting of Thursday, February 16, 2012.

 

End of Consent Agenda

 

Head Start Supervisor’s Monthly Report.  Mr. Chad Aguillard made a motion, seconded by Mr. Thomas Nelson, to accept the Head Start Supervisor’s Monthly Report as prepared and presented by Mrs. Karen Holmes-Shaw.

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Personnel Actions.  On a motion by Mr. Frank Aguillard, seconded by Mr. Kevin Hotard, the following personnel actions were approved:

 

Extended Sick Leave. 

Rhonda Anderson, nurse, Rosenwald Elementary, effective 02.07.12 (.82), 02.08.12-02.10.12;

Shanika Martin, teacher, Valverda Elementary, effective 02.02.12 (.86) – 02.0312;

Rose Boulanger, paraprofessional, Rosenwald Elementary, effective 01.23.12 (.29), 01.24.12 & 1.31.12;

Kemi Dixon, paraprofessional, Rosenwald Elementary, effective 02.07.12- 02.10.12;

Karen Dunn, paraprofessional, Rosenwald Elementary, effective 01.25.12 & 02.07.12-02.08.12;

Mindi Akin, clerk, Valverda Elementary, effective 2.06.12;

Stacey Richardson, teacher, Rosenwald Elementary, effective 01.26.12 - 02.24.12;

Carla F. Washington, paraprofessional, Rougon Elementary, effective 02.07.12-05.24.12

Odelia Best, teacher, Valverda Elementary, effective 02.16.12 (.24) – 03.27.12; and

Tracy Norris, technician, Valverda Elementary, effective 02.14.12 - 02.22.12

 

Retirement:

Sylvia Kelley, bus driver, CHSPC/FRA, effective 02.06.12

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Reports from School Board Committee Meeting.  Mr. Kevin Hotard, Finance Committee Chairperson, reported that the Finance Committee reviewed monthly financial information presented by Mr. Stephen Langlois, Chief Financial Officer, including proposed revisions to the general fund budget for 2011-2012.  The Committee recommended approval of the regular monthly financial information; however, recommended tabling the revision of the general fund budget until a new format is presented.

 

Mrs. Anita LeJeune, Chairperson of the Policy & Procedure Committee, stated that the Committee reviewed several policies and the recommendations are as follows:  Visitors to the Schools (File: KM) no change to the policy; however, the Committee directed the Superintendent to have adequate signs on each school campus in visible places to remind visitors to sign in at the office prior to visiting anyone on the campus.  The policy regarding Board Committees (File: BBC-R) requested to have the policy writing firm make the adjustment to reflect the change that had been previously made regarding the appointment of officers (from the month of June to the month of December). It was brought to the Committee’s attention that an Executive Committee member cannot serve consecutive terms, with the exception of a member serving an unexpired term and the president who is automatically a member of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board’s Executive Committee.  Mr. Kevin Hotard announced that he would be happy to resign from serving as an Executive Committee member, an assignment that he had accepted upon request of President Bergeron, to allow the President to appoint someone else so that the policy can remain as is with regard to terms.  The policy regarding salary deductions (File: DJCB) was reviewed, as employees have been requesting to change their deduction status several times per year, a time consuming task for the bookkeeping department.  This policy was not recommended for change at this time, as Attorney Hammonds was requested to research the number of times that an employee can change their deduction each year.  Education of Students with Exceptionalities (File: IDDF), the Committee recommended the policy revisions as proposed by Forethought Consulting regarding this policy.

 

Mr. Chad Aguillard made a motion to approve the Finance Committee report, with the understanding that the 2011-2012 general fund budget revision is to be tabled until a new format is presented and to also approve revisions to policies BBC-R, BCBH, DJCB and IDFF, as presented by the Policy & Procedure Committee.  The motion was seconded by Mrs. Anita LeJeune.  The motion carried.

 

Resignation/Appointment of Executive Committee Member.  President Brandon Bergeron accepted the resignation of Mr. Kevin Hotard as an Executive Committee member; Mrs. Anita LeJeune accepted Mr. Bergeron’s request to serve as a member of the Executive Committee for the remainder of this calendar year.

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Discussion/action Regarding Monthly Financial Information.    Mr. Frank Aguillard made a motion to accept the financial information prepared and presented by Mr. Stephen Langlois, Chief Financial Officer.  Mr. Kevin Hotard seconded the motion.

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Hear Request of Mr. Lawrence Smith, Board Member of Pointe Coupee Parish Fire District No. 5, Regarding Consideration of Hiring a Contract Employee.  Mr. Lawrence Smith, Board Member of Pointe Coupee Parish Fire District No. 5, stated that his request is for the School Board to consider entering into a contract employment agreement of an individual that would receive their payroll check from the school system, with their salary and benefits reimbursed by the Fire Station.  He mentioned that the person would work as a liaison between the school system and the fire department, providing free fire safety education to schools in the New Roads area and other services; this contract endeavor would provide the individual with the opportunity to continue their participation in the school system retirement plan, insurance and other benefits if they receive their check from the school system.  Superintendent D’Amico stated that she had contacted the Teachers’ Retirement System regarding Mr. Smith’s request.  She was informed the employee that Mr. Smith would like to hire for the position, cannot remain in the same job description that they are currently working under in our system; therefore, a job description will need to be proposed for approval, as well as the notice of a position opening would have to be advertised.  Mr. Frank Aguillard thanked all volunteer firemen for their service, but stated that he has concerns regarding liability pertaining to his request.  A discussion ensued regarding the Fire Department reimbursing the school system for salary and benefits (insurances, workers’ compensation, retirement, etc.) of an employee working for them, but receiving a check from the school system.  Mr. Smith tried to convince the School Board that it would be the same as the school system’s reimbursement for employment of a School Resource Officer (SRO) whose salary is reimbursed to the Sheriff’s Office by the School Board.  However, it was explained that the SRO is an employee of the Sheriff’s Office, not an employee of the school system, thus an SRO would be covered by the Sheriff’s liability insurance plan and all other benefit plans.

 

Mr. Thomas Nelson made a motion to refer this item to the Superintendent to work with Mr. Lawrence Smith, of Pointe Coupee Parish Fire District No. 5, regarding his request to contract with an employee and to report back to the School Board at a later date.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Chad Aguillard.

 

Mr. James Cline made a substitute motion not to go forward to waste the Superintendent’s time; however, after a very brief discussion, he requested to withdraw the substitute motion.

 

The original motion that was offered by Mr. Thomas Nelson, seconded by Mr. Chad Aguillard, to refer this item to the Superintendent to work with Mr. Lawrence Smith, of Pointe Coupee Parish Fire District No. 5, regarding his request to contract with an employee and to report back to the School Board at a later date was on the floor, before the next term begins. There were no objections and the motion passed.

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Remarks from the Superintendent.    Superintendent D’Amico was excited to report that the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board’s application for the Striving Readers Grant made it to the interview round scheduled at the Louisiana Department of Education on March 1, 2012.   Mrs. D’Amico also reported that grant program monitoring visits were recently performed in the school system and there were no findings.  She commended several Supervisors and their staff for their hard work; LaShonda Victorian, Supervisor-Carl Perkins Career & Technical and the Alternative Instructional Program (AIP); Mary Wells, Supervisor-Connections, and Jr. & Sr. Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG).  Mrs. D’Amico announced that she and member of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board will be attending the annual convention of the Louisiana School Boards Association (LSBA) in Lafayette, Louisiana from February 29, 2012 - March 3, 2012.

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Mr. Cline stated that prior to addressing the next item on the agenda he would like to mention that he had received positive comments regarding the Superintendent’s “Reading to Ride” Mardi Gras Float.  He mentioned that everyone had a wonderful time and thanked the Lions Club and everyone that supported this endeavor. President Bergeron also thanked Mrs. D’Amico; he stated that as a leader, she promoted academic achievement with good public and student interaction for the right reason.

 

Strategy Session and/or Action Concerning Pending Litigation.*   Mrs. Julia Ridgely questioned School Board members if an opportunity will be provided after the School Board members return from their executive session to ask questions; it was announced that an opportunity to ask questions will be allowed.

 

Closed Session.  On a motion by Mr. James Cline, seconded by Mrs. Leslie Grezaffi, the Board convened in an executive session at 6:35 p.m. to discuss litigation entitled, “Boyd and United States v. Pointe Coupee Parish school Board”, Civil Action No. 65-3164-A on the docket of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana.

 

Open Session.  Mr. Thomas Nelson made a motion, seconded by Mr. Frank Aguillard, to return to open session at 8:15 p.m. 

 

President Brandon Bergeron announced that no action was taken pending legal litigation.

 

Audience member Myron Allen Porche requested to make a comment.  Mr. Porche questioned what the School Board’s intentions are if the court allows Pointe Coupee Central High School, a school currently operated by Advance Baton Rouge, to be returned to the school system.  Several School Board members (Mr. Thomas Nelson, Mr. Chad Aguillard and Mrs. Leslie Grezaffi) announced that they would like to take the school back.  The Board was questioned, if the school is given back to the system, what is the plan?  It was announced that the Board is working toward a plan, but could not report on specifics at this particular time.  Rev. Carl Terrance questioned if the school will remain as a regular high school or will it become a school for Art, Math and Science?  Mr. Peter Williams announced that he is a parent of three children who formally attended Pointe Coupee Central High School, of which all are doing well in college, and he still has one child in high school.  Mr. Williams stated that as a parent and community person, he would like to be an asset to the school system, therefore, extended his help to the Board to find a transition with parents to have input regarding the Louisiana Department of Education and the Recovery School District  with regard to them listening to what is wanted regarding the school (Advance Baton Rouge was granted authorization from the Louisiana Department of Education, with approval from the Judge, to operate Pointe Coupee Central High School since 2008.  The building is owned by the School Board; however, the school is operated by ABR, not the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board).The Recovery School System (RSD) took joint control of Pointe Coupee Central High School on January 1, 2012, with Advance Baton Rouge (ABR) until June 30, 2012.

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Adjournment.    On a motion by Mr. James Cline, seconded by Mr. Thomas Nelson, the meeting adjourned at 8:23 p.m.

 

_____________________________

Brandon Bergeron, President

 

_____________________________

Linda D. D’Amico, Superintendent