MINUTES

 

POINTE COUPEE PARISH SCHOOL BOARD

337 Napoleon Street

New Roads, LA  70760

 

REGULAR MEETING

Thursday, August 23, 2012

 

The Pointe Coupee Parish School Board met in a regular session on Thursday, August 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 were: Chad Aguillard, Frank Aguillard, Brandon Bergeron, Kevin Hotard, Anita LeJeune, and Thomas Nelson.

 

Board members absent were:  James Cline and Leslie Grezaffi

 

Mr. Frank Aguillard led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.

 

Karen Holmes Shaw was requested to offer the invocation.

 

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

 

Ruffin L. (R.L.) Bergeron, a retired teacher of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board;

Wilda Ramsey, a retired school bus aide of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board, and

Beatrice LaCour, a retired teacher of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board.

 

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. 

 

On a motion by Mr. Thomas Nelson, seconded by Mr. Frank Aguillard, the Board unanimously approved the following consent agenda items:

 

·         Minutes from the regular School Board meeting of Thursday, July 19, 2012.

·         Minutes from the special School Board meeting of Thursday, August 2, 2012.

·         Minutes from the Executive Committee meetings of Thursday, July 12, 2012 and Thursday, August 16, 2012.

 

End of Consent Agenda

 

Superintendent D’Amico stated that due to the increased enrollment at Valverda Elementary, she is requesting that the Board consider adding an item to tonight’s meeting regarding consideration of an additional assistant principal’s position at the school for safety and security of children. 

 

Added Agenda Item.  Mr. Thomas Nelson made a motion, seconded by Mr. Frank Aguillard, to add an item to the agenda to consider an additional assistant principal at Valverda Elementary School.  There being no objections, the motion passed.

 

President Bergeron stated that the added agenda item will be addressed as 13-A.

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Approval of Head Start Supervisor’s Monthly Report.    Mrs. Karen Shaw, Supervisor of Head Start, thanked everyone on her staff for their hard work over the last few months as the Head Start Program is officially fully enrolled.  Mrs. Shaw was pleased to report that 142 families attended the Health Fair; various health care agencies and vendors that participated expressed that they were happy to work with the families.  The Administration for Children and Families responded to the request for One Time Program Improvement Funs to acquire new technology and classroom curriculum instruction.  The letter received from the Office of Head Start, Region IV, Dallas, TX, informed us that although there are currently no available monies for funding our request, they will keep our application on file should funds become available in the future.

 

On a motion by Mr. Thomas Nelson, seconded by Mr. Chad Aguillard, the Board voted to approve the Head Start Supervisor’s Monthly Report.  There being no objections, the motion carried.

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Approval of Child Nutrition Program Budget for 2012-2013.   Kate Guillory presented a child nutrition program budget for 2012-2013 projecting a positive balance.  She stated that the balance could possibly increase if the six-cent reimbursement is received from USDA.

 

Mr. Thomas Nelson made a motion, seconded by Mr. Kevin Hotard, to approve the Child Nutrition Program Budget for 2012-2013, as prepared and presented by Kate Guillory, Supervisor of Child Nutrition.  There being no objections, the motion passed.

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Approval of the Pupil Progression Plan for 2012-2013.    Mrs. Lisa D’Aquila stated that every year the School Board is requested to approve changes to the Pupil Progression Plan and mentioned that there were very few changes that were being addressed this year.  Mrs. D’Aquila used the following color coded system to identify revisions that were made:  New Information seeking School Board approval was typed in red; previously approved information was typed in blue; State requirements were typed in green and State items that require response were typed in black.  In addition to meeting with Principals to discuss the proposed changes, copies of the 2012-2013 Pupil Progression Plan were sent to the schools and posted on the school system’s web site. 

 

Mr. Chad Aguillard requested for the benefit of the public that Mrs. D’Aquila briefly explain the revisions that the School Board is being requested to adopt. Mrs. D’Aquila referred to Bulletin1556 with regard to student grade levels, and explained that the district will follow the regular grading policies for honors courses in high school.  Students taking advanced placement classes will be graded the same as students taking dual enrollment college courses. Louisiana Virtual School was added to credit Recovery Courses.  A plan was included to address the progression of students with disabilities and minor changes were also made regarding promotions according to Bulletin 1556. 

 

Mr. Bergeron requested information regarding the Louisiana Virtual School.  Mrs. D’Aquila explained that it is a computer based program used for either, a new credit, credit replacement or Advanced Placement Courses.  If a student needs to take an Advanced Placement Course and there is no teacher to administer instruction, they can benefit by taking the course through Louisiana Virtual School.

 

Currently, the computer-based credit recovery system PLATO, with State approved examinations is being used to recoup Carnegie unit credit.  The Louisiana Virtual School has been used for courses not available in the PLATO system.  The Louisiana Virtual School allows credit recovery, new credit and offers advanced placement courses.  Louisiana Virtual School began charging $150.00 per course last school term.

 

Mr. Thomas Nelson made a motion to approve the 2012-2013 Pupil Progression Plan as presented.  Mr. Frank Aguillard seconded the motion. There being no objections, the motion passed.

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Principals Update Regarding the First Week of the New 2012-2013 School Year.   Each principal gave a brief overview of the opening days of school and listed some of their plans for the upcoming year.

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Receipt of Monthly Financial Information for July 2012.  Chief Financial Officer Steven Langlois prepared customary financial information for the month of July 2012, given to School Board members at the Executive Committee meeting held the week before. 

 

Mr. Thomas Nelson made a motion, seconded by Mr. Frank Aguillard, to accept the monthly financial information for the month of July 2012, as presented by Chief Financial Officer Steven Langlois.  There being no objections, the motion passed.

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Discussion and/or Action Regarding an Additional Assistant Principal for Valverda Elementary School.  Superintendent D’Amico stated that enrollment has increased and she is recommending an additional Assistant Principal at Valverda Elementary for climate security as well as academic standards.  Board member Chad Aguillard stated that last week there was a plan not to add another assistant principal and questioned what happened between last week and this week.  Mr. Aguillard expressed his concern regarding not simply looking at the number of students on a campus, as the needs of students may indicate a more urgent need for additional assistance than numbers.  He further mentioned that he would like to make sure that an additional assistant is needed. Superintendent D’Amico explained that this was originally placed on the proposed agenda and thought that it could be taken care of as an internal lateral move.  Mrs. D’Amico mentioned that schools were staffed carefully according to needs and principals were consulted regarding transferring teachers, as not to take away intervention with regard to math and reading. She further stated that according to accreditation requirements the school system can’t do without an additional assistant at Valverda Elementary.  Mr. Chad Aguillard mentioned that he had a chance to visit Rosenwald Elementary School and it was brought to his attention that there is no social worker.  He questioned if someone could possibly work in that capacity.  Mr. Aguillard mentioned his walk through classrooms and witnessed some of the struggles that teachers are experiencing and requested that a social worker address some of the issues and report back at next month’s meeting.  A short discussion ensued regarding the School Based Health Center, social worker services that were provided by Capital Area, and the cost of an additional social worker for Rosenwald. Also, a full time counselor/parent liaison is on staff at Rosenwald. A full time licensed professional mental health counselor is at UPCE plus the services of a social worker is available from the School Based Health Clinic when needed.  Superintendent D’Amico will discuss the concerns with the Supervisor of Personnel.  Rosenwald is served by Jessica Langlois, social worker from the School Based Health Center, funded by the school district.

 

Mr. Frank Aguillard made a motion, seconded by Mr. Chad Aguillard, to accept Superintendent D’Amico’s recommendation to add an Assistant Principal at Valverda Elementary School, following the advertising procedure.  There being no objections, the motion carried.

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Approval of the 2012-2013 General Fund Budget, Including At Risk and One-Cent Sales Tax Funds.   A public hearing regarding the proposed 2012-2013 General Fund Budget was held from 5:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. at the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board Office on August 23, 2012, to allow public input prior to consideration of adoption at the regular meeting scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. that afternoon. The notification was published in the local journal, The Pointe Coupee Banner, on August 9, 2012 and August 16, 2012. Chief Financial Officer Stephen Langlois provided a revised draft of the general fund budget, including income from the state’s sales tax and Ad Valorem taxes, with one revision to the at risk budget.  After the first full week of school, the Administration determined that due to enrollment shifts, two additional salaried positions (a fifth grade teacher at Rougon Elementary and an Assistant Principal at Valverda Elementary) needed to be considered.  The additional positions were included in the draft of the revised budget being presented at this meeting, thus resulting in a change to the proposed budget that was previously presented at the meeting of the Executive Committee a week ago.   

 

Mr. Thomas Nelson made a motion to approve the 2012-2013 General Fund Budget, including at risk and one-cent sales tax funds, with revisions.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Frank Aguillard.  There being no objections, the motion carried.

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Cameras Approved for Owner-Operator School Buses.   Mr. Donald Fuselier, Director of Maintenance and Support Services, obtained quotes for video/audio cameras for owner/operator school buses. He provided information regarding the advantages of having cameras on school buses (easy to identify conflicts between students; places students on notice that the bus is being monitored; less stressful to the driver knowing he/she has more visual supervision; backup tapes will be provided to principals for discipline problems; it has been proven that cameras on buses decrease behavioral problems). Mr. Fuselier and Superintendent D’Amico mentioned that First Student has had cameras on their buses for the past two years and it has proven to be very beneficial to the bus drivers, principals, and other staff.  Mr. Fuselier also highlighted the mobile surveillance regarding the cameras from Seon Designs, Inc. (each camera stores up to 320 GB (320 hours) of video/audio; offers a compact integrated lock box design; includes a user-friendly software program; the video on the DVR is downloadable by removing the hard drive cartridge from the bus and connecting it to a computer via USB cable and clips or photographs can be saved using the vMX View software, with the capability to blur students’ faces and create privacy zones).  The proposal includes the following:  The Pointe Coupee Parish School Board will provide all owner/operator bus drivers with video and audio cameras.  If for any reason the owner/operator leaves the system, the camera must be removed (at the cost of the School Board) and returned to the School Board’s Transportation Department, as they are the property of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board; the cameras will also be serviced by the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board.  Superintendent D’Amico and Mr. Fuselier recommended that the School Board consider purchasing the cameras to enhance the safety and well-being of all students. Mr. Brandon Bergeron requested that Mr. Fuselier inquire if the hard drives are covered under warranty.

 

Mr. Chad Aguillard made a motion, seconded by Mr. Kevin Hotard, to approve the purchase of two video/audio cameras per bus for twenty-two owner/operator buses at a cost of $22,007.44, paid with funds from the capital outlay account.  There being no objection the motion carried.

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Approval of Contract with Cleaning Service for Livonia High School.   An item was placed on the agenda to determine if the School Board would like to replace custodians who have left the school system through attrition (retirement or resignation) by contracting with a cleaning service willing to hire local people, with the exception of trainers and managers from their company, in the parish.  Mrs. D’Amico stated that she is of the opinion that Livonia is in a better position to privatize services, since there is currently only one full time custodian for the large campus that has many extracurricular activities. Mr. Donald Fuselier, Director of Transportation and Support Services, obtained three proposals for janitorial services for Livonia High School.  The lowest price proposal received was from GCA Education Services, Inc. Board members were provided with information regarding the cleaning procedures that would be provided by GCA; representatives from the company were in attendance to provide additional information and answer questions.  GCA is a Professional Cleaning Company for schools.  Cleaning is done with Supervision before and after school hours, background checks are done on prospective employees before they enter the building.  Mrs. Debbie Collins was in the audience and questioned if the Board had considered comparison of the janitorial service cost to the system and what it would cost to hire employees in the system. Superintendent D’Amico explained that Board members received information regarding janitorial costs to the PCPSB hiring their own employees and the janitorial costs to PCPSB with using a service.  Mr. Dewey Dukes was also in the audience and questioned the salary that employees will be paid by GCA services, along with other job benefits.  Mr. Grady, Representative from GCA, stated that custodians will receive between $7.25 and $8.25 an hour, and if someone is doing a good job they could receive an increase in pay as time goes on based upon their performance; the company does offer benefits (health, dental and vision); some employees in supervisory positions receive between $9.00 and $10.00 per hour. Audience Member Sherry Hunter questioned if the hours of the current custodian at Livonia High School would remain the same. Superintendent D’Amico stated that a custodian will be needed during the school day and will be working for the school system. 

 

A motion was offered by Mr. Thomas Nelson, seconded by Mr. Kevin Hotard, to enter into a contract with GCA for custodial cleaning services at Livonia High School utilizing Option1 for consumable items.  Mr. Frank Aguillard announced that he will have to recuse himself from voting for this particular agenda item.  The vote on the motion was as follows:

 

YEAS:                 Chad Aguillard, Brandon Bergeron, Kevin Hotard, Anita LeJeune and Thomas Nelson

NAYS:                 None

ABSENT:            James Cline and Leslie Grezaffi

ABSTENTIONS:  Frank Aguillard

 

The President declared that the motion carried. The contract period is a one (1) year contract term beginning on September 4, 2012 and ending on June 30, 2013, with a 30 day out program.

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Approval of Revisions to Job Description for Custodians.  Superintendent D’Amico announced that after having a discussion with Principals, she would like to propose a revision to the job description for custodians.  She would like to include painting (interior and/or exterior areas of the campus) under Periodic Operations; and add perform all other duties or responsibilities that are not listed as delegated by the principal of the school under the category listed as other.

 

A motion was offered by Mr. Frank Aguillard, seconded by Mrs. Anita LeJeune, to approve revisions to the job description for the position of Custodian as recommended by Superintendent D’Amico.  There being no objections, the motion carried.

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Approval of Revisions to Sick Leave Policy (File: GBRIB), as a Result of Act 788.  Superintendent D’Amico stated that Act 788 changed the sick leave policy that was previously in effect with regard to extended sick leave and sabbaticals. Mrs. D’Amico read out loud the proposed policy changes as a result of the new law.  Mrs. D’Amico stated that she is waiting for further review of the Statute by Mr. James Prescott, of Forethought Consulting, and Attorney Hammonds regarding whether the thirty days allowed for maternity leave are included within the 90 days of extended sick leave, not in addition to the 90 days.  She mentioned that due to budgetary issues, many school districts in Louisiana have done away with extended sick leave and sabbaticals.  The main changes are that extended sick leave is granted for a medical necessity, which shall be the result of a catastrophic illness or injury.  Also, the employee must be absent for at least 10 consecutive work days and the request for extended sick leave shall be presented prior to extended sick leave being taken.  Mrs. D’Amico stated that not being able to apply for extended sick leave by the day or part of the day should be a cost saving measure for our school district.  Therefore, her recommendation is to continue offering extended sick leave, as proposed in the policy received from Forethought, contingent upon clarification of maternity leave within the ninety days. 

 

Mr. Thomas Nelson offered a motion, seconded by Mr. Kevin Hotard, to approve the revisions to the Sick Leave Policy (File GBRIB), recommended by Superintendent D’Amico, as a result of Act 788.   There being no objections, the motion carried.

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Receipt of Policies from Forethought Consulting.  Copies of policies were received from Forethought Consulting for consideration of adoption in September with regard to revisions resulting from Act 1 legislation during the 2012 Louisiana Legislative Session. The policies were provided to School Board members at the Executive Committee meeting on August 16, 2012, for review and consideration of adoption at the regular meeting on September 27, 2012, regular meeting.  This agenda item was to provide policies to be reviewed and considered for adoption at a subsequent meting; therefore, no action was required.

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Hear Concerns from Mr. Peter Williams, of District A, Regarding the Redistricting Plan Recently Chosen for Submission to the U.S. Department of Justice.  Mr. Williams introduced himself as a concerned citizen of District A, a friend of the School Board, having had his children educated in the public school system by choice and they excelled.  He voiced his concerns regarding opposition to Pointe Coupee Parish School Board’s recent approval to submit Redistricting Map Plan 5 to the U.S. Department of Justice as he is of the opinion that the minority in his district would not be well represented.  Mr. Williams stated that he would like to be able to revisit the matters on a local level with the School Board to include community interest of citizens of District 5.  President Brandon Bergeron stated that notices of Reapportionment Workshops/Meetings were made available; the public hearing notice was also advertised in the local journal, The Pointe Coupee Banner.

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Request of Mr. Frank Aguillard to Consider Revising Policy BCBD Regarding the Agenda.   Mr. Frank Aguillard announced that the Board voted unanimously to revise policy BCBD at their meeting on November 17, 2011, that included the following: If a patron’s business item is approved for inclusion, the patron or designee must be present at the Executive Committee meeting, and if the item is approved for adoption, the patron or designee must be present at the regular meeting of the School Board for the Board to consider the item (on the agenda).  On two separate occasions since the policy has been revised, individuals that were not present at the Executive committee meeting were permitted to address the board at the regular meeting.  Therefore, Mr. Frank Aguillard requested to place this item on this month’s agenda.  He mentioned that in an attempt to avoid surprises, he is of the opinion that it is still a good policy and would like to keep this policy. 

 

Mr. Frank Aguillard made a motion to keep Policy BCBD (Agenda), as previously revised on November 17, 2011.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Kevin Hotard.  There being no objections, the motion passed.

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Remarks from the Superintendent.  Superintendent D’Amico mentioned The Pointe Coupee Young Leaders & Service Leaders Program will be financially sponsored by NRG and in lieu of monetary sponsorships, they are asking for volunteers to help PCYL or PCSL.  NoDrop Out/Will Graduate Program letters will be sent to students that have dropped out/potential dropouts to assist them with obtaining a high school diploma. Mr. Doug Bonner and Superintendent D’Amico met with Mrs. Stacy Gueho, Principal of Livonia High School; Mrs. Malana Bessix and Ms. Wykeshia Young, Guidance Counselors at Livonia High; Mrs. Karla Jack, Secondary Education Supervisor; LaShonda Victorian, Supervisor of Child Welfare and Attendance, and Mr. Carlos Deleon, SIS Coordinator to begin the process of retrieving students. 

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Adjournment.  There being no further business before the Board, Mr. Chad Aguillard made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Mr. Thomas Nelson, and the meeting was adjourned at 7:45 p.m.

 

 

________________________________

Linda D. D’Amico, Superintendent

Pointe Coupee Parish School Board

 

________________________________

Brandon Bergeron, President

Pointe Coupee Parish School Board