MINUTES

 

POINTE COUPEE PARISH SCHOOL BOARD

337 Napoleon Street

New Roads, LA  70760

 

REGULAR MEETING

Thursday, November 15, 2012

 

 

The Pointe Coupee Parish School Board met in a regular session on Thursday, November 15, 2012, in their meeting room located at 337 Napoleon Street in 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, James Cline, Leslie Grezaffi, Kevin Hotard, and Thomas Nelson.

 

Board member Anita LeJeune was absent.

 

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

 

Mrs. Karen Shaw was requested to offer the invocation.

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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 the following:

 

Amelie Jarreau, mother of Randy Jarreau, welding instructor, Livonia High School.

 

Rose Wilson, a retired teacher.

 

LaTecia Racheul Walker, daughter of Annette Walker, master teacher at Rosenwald Elementary School.

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School Presentations:  The following school personnel presented information regarding positive programs and events happening in public schools in the parish: Virginia Langland, a representative of Mrs. Stacy Gueho, Principal of Livonia High School; Mrs. Helen Roy and Sandra Saye represented Mr. Myron Brown, Principal of Upper Pointe Coupee Elementary; Mrs. Patsy Langlois, Principal of Rougon Elementary; and Mrs. Bridget Berry, Principal of Valverda Elementary; and a Rosenwald Elementary student recited a poem on behalf of Mrs. Monica Fabre, Principal of Rosenwald Elementary.  

 

Mr. Bergeron stated that it is encouraging to see what is going on in our schools.

 

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. Kevin Hotard, the Board unanimously approved the following consent agenda items:

 

·         Minutes from the regular School Board meeting of Thursday, October 25, 2012.

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·         Minutes from the Executive Committee meetings of Thursday, November 8, 2012.

 

End of Consent Agenda

 

Head Start Supervisor’s Monthly Report.  Mrs. Karen Shaw provided copies of the Head Start Supervisor’s Monthly Report.

 

Mr. Chad Aguillard made a motion to approve the Head Start Supervisor’s Monthly Report as prepared and presented by Mrs. Karen Shaw.  The motion was seconded by Mrs. Leslie Grezaffi.  The motion carried unanimously.

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Update from the Recovery School District Regarding Pointe Coupee Central High School.  Mr. Dana Peterson, Deputy Superintendent of External Affairs for the Louisiana Department of Education’s Recovery School District (RSD) and Mr. William McInnis, Principal of Pointe Coupee Central High School, were in attendance to provide an update regarding the school.  Mr. Peterson admitted the experiment performed when the non-profit organization Advance Baton Rouge (ABR) converted the school to a charter school three years ago did not work.  Mr. Peterson mentioned that the state would like to return all of the schools it has taken over due to poor performance to the local school districts from which their control was taken, but added RSD believes in charter schools as well. The RSD would entertain the idea of another charter school organization taking control of Pointe Coupee Central.  Mr. Peterson announced the RSD’s plan is to try to stabilize the schools that they have taken over, and Pointe Coupee Central is in that stage.  He mentioned that he believes that RSD’s techniques and strategies regarding failing schools are successful and the work that they have been doing for the past seven years has been working.  Mr. Peterson touted the success of 13 of the schools in the New Orleans area that have been operated by the RSD.  He mentioned that the schools have improved to the point where they can now be returned to the public school system.  Mr. Peterson announced that the RSD’s intent is not to run schools indefinitely, but to get them where they can be returned to local control.  Mr. Chad Aguillard questioned if scores for Pointe Coupee Central are published publicly.  A short discussion ensued regarding growth SPS scores, not baseline, ABR not receiving a letter grade, which would be reflective of an F school by the State’s Standards.  Superintendent D’Amico announced that Pointe Coupee Central continued its downward spiral under ABR, which took over the school after its final score. Also mentioned was that under ABR, Pointe Coupee Central’s school improvement score fell from 60 when the School Board still controlled it, to somewhere around 48.  Mr. Peterson stated that he believes that score had risen to 54.5 last year.  The RSD took over after ABR surrendered the school at the end of 2011, but Peterson said the last school improvement score was credited to ABR, adding the RSD intends to continue to improve the academic condition of the school.  Mr. Thomas Nelson reiterated that the school had a score of 60 when it was taken over by the state.  He mentioned that he wants what is best for the students at the school and hopefully the school will be returned to the school system at some point.  He stated that he supports the efforts of what the RSD is doing and commended Mr. Peterson for working with us as the students at Pointe Coupee Central High School are “kids” from Pointe Coupee.

 

Principal McInnis informed the Board that he feels that progress is being made at the school.  He was happy to report that the school is significantly safer and cleaner now than when the state took it back from the former charter organization (Advance Baton Rouge).  Mr. McInnis announced that the school has formed partnerships with a number of organizations in the state’s effort to improve academics that include Louisiana Technical Institute-Jumonville Campus, the Louisiana Department of Education’s Fast Start program and Apple Corporation, which is working with the school to establish a “stellar” MacIntosh computer lab for the next school year.  Principal McInnis mentioned that this endeavor will be an asset to the community and invitations will be sent out to students of the parish’s other high schools to invite them to utilize the new computer lab. 

 

Mr. Peterson stated that he looks forward to working with the School Board in the future. 

It was decided that the RSD would provide the School Board an update regarding Pointe Coupee Central at every other meeting.

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Discussion/Action Regarding Monthly Financial Information.  Mr. Stephen Langlois, Chief Financial Officer, provided routine monthly financial information.  He mentioned that bank statements were received, balanced and included in this week’s monthly financial information.  Mr. Langlois asked if there were any questions regarding the report; there being none, a motion to adopt the financial report was entertained.

 

On a motion by Mr. Thomas Nelson, seconded by Mr. Kevin Hotard, the Board voted unanimously to approve the monthly financial information as prepared and presented by Mr. Langlois.

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Consider Approval of the Louisiana Compliance Questionnaire Regarding the Audit Engagement with Postlewaithe and Netterville, APAC for FY 2011-2012.    Mr. Stephen Langlois provided a copy of the completed questionnaire that is routinely submitted each year for audit engagement purposes.

 

On a motion by Mr. Frank Aguillard, seconded by Mr. Thomas Nelson, the Board approved the Louisiana Compliance Questionnaire regarding the audit engagement with P & N, APAC for FY 2011-2012.

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Discussion of Work Performance of Superintendent.  Attorney Robert L. Hammonds, of Hammonds, Sills, Adkins and Guice, mentioned that this agenda item “ties” into the next agenda item and the Board may consider discussion in an executive session.   President Bergeron provided notification to Superintendent D’Amico that her work performance may be discussed in an executive session. 

 

Mr. Thomas Nelson made a motion, seconded by Mr. James Cline, to enter into an executive session to discuss the work performance of the Superintendent.

 

Executive session.  The Board convened in an executive session at 6:19 p.m.

 

Open session.     On a motion by Mr. Thomas Nelson, seconded by Mr. James Cline, the Board reconvened in open session at 6:30 p.m.

 

President Bergeron read the next item on the agenda.

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Discussion and/or Action Concerning Renewal of Contract with Superintendent.   

Mr. Frank Aguillard made a motion to extend Superintendent D’Amico’s contract six months after the current School Board members’ term ends for two reasons.  He mentioned the first reason is School Board members are up for reelection near the end of 2014, there may be changes on the Board at that time, and Superintendent D’Amico would be able to provide guidance to new members.  The second reason is that twenty-seven additional months would allow the Superintendent stability to do her job. Mr. Thomas Nelson stated that he agrees that stability is important for the school system. Mr. Nelson also stated that someone who knows the system needs to be here to move the system in the right direction, and believes that Mrs. D’Amico is moving the system in the right direction; therefore, without reservation will offer a second to the motion that was made by Mr. Aguillard.

 

Mr. Nelson seconded the motion offered by Mr. Frank Aguillard to renew Mrs. Linda D’Amico’s contract from April 1, 2013-June 30, 2015, at her current salary. 

 

Attorney Robert Hammonds suggested that the Superintendent, the President and the Vice President of the Board meet to determine improvement targets for the system.  A new law requires that Superintendents include improvement target and performance objectives with their contract, of which Mrs. D’Amico’s former contract had performance objectives.

 

Mr. Frank Aguillard amended the original motion to extend Superintendent D’Amico’s contract from April 1, 2013-June 30, 2015, to include improvement targets at her same salary of $114,000.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Thomas Nelson.  A roll call vote resulted in the following: 

 

YEAS:              Chad Aguillard, Frank Aguillard, James Cline, Leslie Grezaffi, Kevin Hotard, and Thomas Nelson

NAYS:              Brandon Bergeron

ABSENT:          Anita LeJeune

 

The motion to renew Superintendent D’Amico’s contract, effective April 1, 2013-June 30, 2015, passed by a 6-1-1 vote of the School Board.

 

Mr. Brandon Bergeron stated that although he voted against renewing Mrs. D’Amico’s contract, he will support and work with her to make more effective gains.  He mentioned that educational gains are being made at some schools, but there are problems at other schools, thus not enough for his satisfaction to vote to renew her contract.

 

Superintendent D’Amico stated that she had prepared two statements, one if she had not received a contract renewal and one if she had received a contract renewal.  Mrs. D’Amico began by thanking the School Board for continuing to give her the opportunity to serve the public school system’s students, staff, parents and community.  She mentioned that although retirement looks appealing, stability is needed in our school system during a time when many changes are occurring in accountability, curriculum and teacher/administrator evaluation.  Mrs. D’Amico stated that our district resources are limited, but she is confident that with hard work and focus, we can continue to grow; therefore, feels that her job is not done and will continue to do her best to achieve success for the school system. 

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Remarks from the Superintendent.  Superintendent D’Amico mentioned that unfortunately she could not attend the Veteran’s Day programs due to having to meet with persons for the Justice Department, but reiterated that there were many touching stories regarding the wonderful programs held at the elementary schools on Friday, November 9, 2012.  She also mentioned that she had attended an open house/luncheon at the Pointe Coupee Farm Bureau Office on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 in appreciation of support of agriculture and to celebrate Farm City Week.  The LHS Football Team won their football game against Port Barre last week.  They play Port Allen High School Friday, November 16, 2012, in Port Allen, LA.  Students and teachers are off from Monday, November 19-Friday, November 23, 2012 for the Thanksgiving Holidays.  Twelve-month (12) employees (principals, janitors, and central office/maintenance department staff) are scheduled to work on Monday, November 19 and Tuesday, November 20, 2012; however, some employees have chosen to use their vacation days.  Mrs. D’Amico announced the monthly Superintendent’s Teacher Focus Group will meet again on Tuesday, November 27, 2012.  Students in grades 2 & 3 were requested to participate in a Christmas Card Contest this year. Superintendent D’Amico will prepare the inside message and the cards will be printed and mailed.  Finance Committee meetings are scheduled for Wednesday, November 28, 2012, at 5:30 p.m. and immediately following the Executive Committee meeting on Thursday, December 13, 2012, to discuss Act 1 Compensation Plans for consideration of adoption at the December 20, 2012, meeting to meet the January 1, 2013 deadline. 

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Strategy Session and/or Action Concerning Pending  Litigation.*   Attorney Robert L. Hammonds was in attendance at the meeting.  A motion was made by Mr. Chad Aguillard, seconded by Mr. Thomas Nelson, to enter into an executive session to discuss strategy regarding pending 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. 

 

Closed Session.  The School Board convened in executive session at 6:47 p.m.

 

Open Session.   Mr. Thomas Nelson made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Leslie Grezaffi, to return to open session at 7:05 p.m.

 

No action was taken following the executive session.

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Adjournment.  There being no further business before the Board, Mr. Thomas Nelson made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Mr. Chad Aguillard, and the meeting was adjourned at 7:06 p.m.

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Linda D. D’Amico, Superintendent

Pointe Coupee Parish School Board

                                                                   

Brandon Bergeron, President

Pointe Coupee Parish School Board