MINUTES

 

POINTE COUPEE PARISH SCHOOL BOARD

337 Napoleon Street

New Roads, LA  70760

 

REGULAR MEETING

Thursday, December 20, 2012

 

The Pointe Coupee Parish School Board met in a regular session on Thursday, December 20, 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 5:35 p.m.

 

Board members present were: Chad Aguillard, Frank Aguillard, Brandon Bergeron, James Cline, Leslie Grezaffi, Kevin Hotard, Anita LeJeune, and Thomas Nelson.

 

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

 

Mr. Myron Brown 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:

 

Leola Martin, mother of Andrew Martin, teacher at Rougon Elementary.

 

Robert Jackson, husband of Evelyn Jackson, teacher at Valverda Elementary.

 

Donald Olinde, a retired bus driver.

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Recognition of two Second Grade Students for Artwork Chosen as the School District’s 2012 Christmas Card.   Superintendent D’Amico requested that students in grades two and three participate in a holiday artwork contest and the winning design would be used as the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board’s 2012 Christmas Card.  The Committee of Judges had a difficult time choosing just one design, resulting in a tie vote.  The winners of the 2012 contest were Ximeana Benitez, a second grade student at Upper Pointe Coupee Elementary School, and Mary Domingue, a second grade student at Rougon Elementary School.  Mrs. D’Amico presented the students with a certificate of award from the School Board, a copy of the card they helped to design, and a gift card personally donated by the Superintendent.

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School Presentations:   Students from Rosenwald Elementary, under the direction of their choir director Sandra Herbert, performed holiday songs; in addition a solo of Amazing Grace was sung by Thasia Sept, a 6th grade student at Rosenwald.   Ms. Carolyn Wells, Assistant Principal at Upper Pointe Coupee Elementary; Stacy Gueho, Principal of Livonia High School; Patsy Langlois, Principal of Rougon Elementary School; Monica Fabre, Principal of Rosenwald Elementary School, and Bridget Berry, Principal of Valverda Elementary School provided information regarding programs and events associated with their school.

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 Presentation by the Historical Society Requesting Student Involvement with a Project. Mr. Stafford Chenevert, Chairman of the Pointe Coupee Historical Society, along with Committee Members Angelique Bergeron, Phil Boudreaux, Rena Ramsey Caldwell, Rose Jackson, Dorothy Joseph and Mr. Russell Polar were in attendance at the School Board meeting to present information regarding a project requesting student involvement.  Mr. Chenevert explained that the historical society’s objective is to place a marker at Professor Plantevigne’s grave to honor the memory of a dedicated local education pioneer and to carry his mission to improve educational opportunities for Pointe Coupee children and young people in the 21st century.  The members of the Plantevigne Memorial Committee are seeking contributions to purchase a granite obelisk to mark the gravesite located at Zion Travelers Baptist Church on False River.  Plans are also being made to establish a scholarship in Professor Plantevigne’s name to assist a Pointe Coupee student to attend Xavier University in New Orleans. Mr. Chenevert explained that Julian Poydras’ name is recognized for his contributions to education in Pointe Coupee; however, Petrus LaForest Albert Plantevigne, also known as L.A. Planving, purchased a lot on the bank of False River, 4 miles south of New Roads, in 1898 and in 1900 opened the Pointe Coupee IndustrialHigh School for African-Americans with an annual appropriation from the American Missionary Association.  This was Louisiana’s first-known rural high school for African Americans.  Attendance grew to more than 200 pupils in 1903 when Plantevigne was ambushed and killed by persons who were neither identified nor apprehended by authorities.  He also mentioned that the autobiography of Jane Pitman will be shown at the JPMAC center next month.  Mr. Chenevert stated that the Historical Society would like permission to go into the public schools, with minimum disruption of instructional time, to encourage children to contribute to the monument that will include an insert of the original headstone for date preservation purposes. Mr. Nelson thanked Mr. Chenevert for the wonderful undertaking by the Historical Society.  Mr. Chad Aguillard stated that this has been a learning experience for him and was grateful that the Historical Society is doing this.  Mrs. Grezaffi mentioned that she thinks that is a wonderful project and expressed her appreciation to the Historical Society.

 

Mr. Chad Aguillard made a motion, seconded by Mr. Thomas Nelson, to allow the Historical Society to contact schools encouraging student involvement in the Plantevigne Memorial project.

 

Mr. Thomas Nelson made a motion to donate $250.00 to the Plantevigne Memorial from the School Board member’s account (a personal contribution account).  Mr. Chad Aguillard seconded the motion.  The motion carried.

 

Mr. Stafford Chenevert thanked the School Board for their contribution and for allowing the Historical Society to go into the schools.  He also thanked the Board for the donation of trophies from Morganza High School that were restored and are on display at the Julian Poydras Building.

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James “Big Brown” Joseph Addresses the School Board Regarding the Gymnasium at Morganza Elementary School and the Annual “Stuff the UPS” Campaign.  Big Brown announced that the Stuff the UPS campaign has been a successful initiative for the last two years and thanked the Superintendent and School Board members that have embraced the project.  He also encouraged others to support this valuable campaign that provides supplies for students in all of the schools in the parish of Pointe Coupee.

 

Mr. Chad Aguillard made a motion, seconded by Mr. Kevin Hotard, to support the “Stuff the UPS Truck” School Supply Drive.  The motion carried.

 

Mr. Joseph mentioned the need for a parish community gym to play basketball.  He stated that he had spoken to Janet Vosburg, a member of the Police Jury and Sal Genusa, Administrator of Pointe Coupee Recreation at the Scott Civic Center, regarding possibly entering into an inter- governmental agreement for use of the gym at Morganza Elementary.  A short discussion followed regarding upgrades to the building.  It was mentioned that the Fire Marshall will be requested to conduct an inspection to ascertain the condition and necessary improvements that will be required to utilize the gymnasium.  A fence may need to be placed around the gym to prevent access to the rest of the buildings on the campus.  Bathroom fixtures will also need to be replaced. Insurance, liability coverage, upkeep, etc. are other factors were mentioned.  According to Mr. Joseph, first liability will be Pointe Coupee Recreation under the jurisdiction of the Pointe Coupee Parish Police Jury and the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board would be the secondary insurer.  Community feedback was mentioned and he announced that donations could be obtained to help defray the expenses for use of the facility.  Mr. Bergeron agreed to speak to local Morganza officials about this idea.

 

Mr. Thomas Nelson made a motion, seconded by Mr. Chad Aguillard, to table the gym portion of this agenda item until the January meeting to allow time to obtain additional details regarding the project and an inter-governmental agreement with the Police Jury. The motion carried.

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Proclaim January 2013 as Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) Month at Livonia High School in Pointe Coupee Parish.    On a motion by Mr. Thomas Nelson, seconded by Mrs. Anita LeJeune, the following JAG Proclamation was adopted by a unanimous vote of the Board.

 

Proclamation

 

WHEREAS,                   The Donna Contois Louisiana Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) mission is to keep young people in school through graduation and provide employability skills training, academic remediation, work-based learning, and various post-secondary options that lead to a rewarding career; and

 

WHEREAS,                   the JAG National Curriculum equips participants with employability competencies that will prepare them for the workplace; and

 

WHEREAS,                   JAG specialists provide advice and support as students make significant career and life decisions and they also help students overcome barriers that may prevent them from achieving their high school education; and

 

WHEREAS,                   Livonia High School has three JAG programs on the campus, High School JAG, Middle School JAG and the newest program AIM High program for Middle Students; and

 

WHEREAS,                   Livonia High School’s mission is to prepare students of today to become dedicated employees for tomorrow

 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that at a meeting on December 20, 2012, the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board and the Superintendent proclaimed the month of January 2013 as JOBS FOR AMERICA’S GRADUATES MONTH at Livonia High School commending the organization for the exceptional service they are providing to our young people.

                                                                                    _________________________                              

Linda D. D’Amico, Superintendent                                           Brandon Bergeron, President

 

(SEAL)

 

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Consent Agenda

 

The following items are considered to be routine and are enacted with one motion. 

Mr. Chad Aguillard made a motion, seconded by Mr. Kevin Hotard, to approve the following consent agenda items.  The motion carried.

 

November 15, 2012.

December 13, 2012

 

End of Consent Agenda

 

Receipt of Head Start Supervisor’s Monthly Report, Including the 2013-2014 Refunding Application, Non-Competitive Grant Application Request, Community Assessment, Strategic Plan, and School Readiness Goals.   Mrs. Karen Shaw provided members of the Board with information regarding Head Start Program.  A brief discussion was heard regarding CLASS scores from the Office of Head Start Monitoring review.

 

Mr. Chad Aguillard made a motion, seconded by Mr. Kevin Hotard to accept the Head Start Supervisor’s monthly report, including the 2013-2014 refunding application, the non-competitive grant application request, community assessment, strategic plan and the school readiness goals.  The motion carried.

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Discussion and/or Action Regarding Monthly Financial Information.  Copies of financial reports were provided for review by the School Board.

 

Mr. Thomas Nelson made a motion, seconded by Mr. Frank Aguillard, to adopt the monthly financial report as presented by Chief Financial Officer Stephen Langlois.  The motion carried.

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Appointment of a School Food Service Manager and Technician at Valverda Elementary.    Mrs. Lisa D’Aquila, Supervisor of Personnel, announced that although the Superintendent has been given authority to hire personnel due to legislation enacted during the 2012 Louisiana Legislative session, School Food Service was not included in the law.  Therefore, an item was included on this month’s agenda to consider the appointment of a School Food Service Manager at Valverda Elementary.  In addition, the appointment of a school food service technician for Upper Pointe Coupee Elementary is being requested for consideration.  Mrs. Anita LeJeune stated that she thought the Superintendent had the authoritative power over all personnel (teachers, supervisors, and support staff) positions. Mrs. D’Amico stated support staff was not included in the law that became effective July 1, 2012.  According to what she was told by Attorney Hammonds, you follow the law until otherwise changed, even though the judge ruled against part of Act 1.   Board member Chad Aguillard requested to have Attorney Hammonds present at the meeting in January to provide the current status of the laws with regard to the court cases that were filed and that the judges recently ruled unconstitutional. 

 

On a motion by Mr. Thomas Nelson, seconded by Mrs. Leslie Grezaffi, the School Board voted unanimously to approve Superintendent D’Amico’s recommendation to hire the following individuals to school food service positions in the system:

 

Melissa Matthews was hired as the School Food Service Manager at Valverda Elementary School, effective 12-21-2012.

 

Rebecca Garner was hired as a School Food Service Technician at Upper Pointe Coupee Elementary School, effective 12-21-2012.   

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Regular School Board Meeting Dates for Calendar Year 2013.  On a motion by Mr. Kevin Hotard, seconded by Mr. Chad Aguillard, the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board officially set the 2013 regular School Board meetings for the fourth Thursday of each month, with the exception of the March meeting that is set for Wednesday, March 27, 2013, and the November and December meetings which have been set for the third Thursday, due to holidays.  The meetings are scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. and will be held at the School Board Office located at 337 Napoleon Street, in New Roads, LA.  The following schedule will be printed in the official journal and listed on the website.

 

Regular School Board Meetings

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013

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Receive Policy Revisions Prepared by Forethought Consulting, Inc.   School Board members received copies of policy revisions File: BCBB (Notification of Board Meetings); File: BCBD (Agenda Preparation and Dissemination); File: EBBH (Use of Automated External Defibrillator); File: GAMIA (Electronic Communications between Employees and Students); File: GBDA (Employment of Retired Personnel); File: IDDG (Alternative Schools Education Program); File: IFBGA (Student Computer Access and Use); File: IHAD (Parent Conferences); File: JCD (Student Conduct); File: JCDAF (Bullying and Hazing); File: JD (Discipline); File: JDD/JDE (Suspension/Expulsion); and File: JGCE (Child Abuse) that were  prepared by Forethought Consulting, Inc., following legislative changes made during the 2012 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature, for consideration of adoption at a subsequent meeting.  These policies will be reviewed and presented for consideration of adoption at the January 24, 2013 meeting.

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School Board Member Training.   The Louisiana School Boards Association (LSBA) website posted individual School Board member training toward required certification in 2012:

 

Chad Aguillard received 14 credits; Frank R. Aguillard received 18 credits;

Brandon Bergeron received 9 credits; James M. Cline received 12 credits;

Leslie Ann Grezaffi received16 credits; Kevin L. Hotard received 9 credits;

Anita LeJeune received 11 credits; and Thomas A. Nelson received 14 credits.

 

Superintendent D’Amico mentioned that Mr. Bergeron had attended the Southern Region National School Board Conference with other members of the School Board last summer; however, as of this date, the Mississippi organization that sponsored the event has not provided the paperwork to the LSBA substantiating the hours that he actually should have earned.

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Discussion and/or Action Regarding the Office of President of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board, effective January 1, 2013-December 31, 2013.    

 

Mr. Chad Aguillard made a motion to reappoint Mr. Brandon Bergeron as President of the School Board.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Kevin Hotard.   A roll call was taken resulting in the following tie vote of the Board:

 

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

 

NAYS:  Frank Aguillard, Jr., James Cline, Leslie Grezaffi and Thomas Nelson

 

ABSTENTIONS:  None

 

A discussion ensued regarding what procedures to following in appointing a new School Board President.  Some members of the Board were of the opinion that the policy stipulates a new leader should be selected through a nomination process, while others debated that the Board needed to first vote on whether incumbent President Brandon Bergeron would serve another one-year term.  According to the policy, the President is allowed to serve one calendar year in office and is limited to two consecutive terms.  Mr. Bergeron stated that a majority vote would be needed to make a change.  Mr. Thomas Nelson stated that if Mr. Bergeron was not reappointed to another term by a majority vote, he would continue to serve until a new president was approved by a majority of the Board members. Mr. James Cline read excerpts from the policy and argued that since Mr. Bergeron did not receive a majority of the Board members’ votes, the Board needed to nominate a new president, but Mr. Nelson disagreed, insisting that Mr. Bergeron gets another term by default until a new president can be appointed by a majority vote.  Mr. Cline suggested that Mr. Frank Aguillard, Vice President, serve as the new president.  Mr. Chad Aguillard nominated Mr. Frank Aguillard as President.  Mr. Nelson disputed that the tie vote meant that Mr. Bergeron continues to serve a second term by default until a new president can be appointed by majority vote. Mr. Chad Aguillard withdrew his motion.  Following the discussion, the Board decided to wait until its January meeting to make the decision and will ask Attorney Hammonds to attend to relate the board policy under the circumstances; therefore, Mr. Bergeron will continue to serve as President at this time.

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Appointment of Executive Committee of the School Board.   The President of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board will appoint new members to the Executive Committee at next month’s meeting.

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Remarks from the Superintendent.   Superintendent D’Amico stated that although the public school system in Pointe Coupee has a crisis management plan in place, the terrible tragedy at Sandyhook Elementary on December 14, 2012, made her want to re-evaluate the safety of all of our school campuses.  She announced that deputies from the sheriff’s department volunteered to visit all schools and provided extra patrolling around schools this week. Principals were directed to make sure that building and door locking procedures are in place, due to nature of our campuses being spread out.  Lockdown procedures were reviewed and practiced at all schools; drills are also scheduled to be held the week students return from the holidays.  Plans are also underway to review, refine, and revise our local crisis management plan.  Mrs. D’Amico mentioned that she instructed principals to adhere to the practice of limiting visitor access to the office area, unless escorted by school personnel.  Superintendent D’Amico met with Sheriff Bud Torres to discuss planning a safety workshop after the holidays that will include school administrators and law enforcement working together to try to increase safety in our schools.  Mrs. D’Amico stated that each campus in our parish is unique, therefore, school leadership teams met to review her suggestions to determine how to adapt to their situation (locking classrooms and hall doors, conducting lockdown drills, etc.)   Superintendent D’Amico also stated that she does not know if anything could prevent a tragedy like the one in Connecticut; but we still have to be vigilant, proactive and as prepared as possible.  Mrs. D’Amico encouraged students to keep reading Accelerated Reading books so they can ride with her on the “Reading to Ride” Mardi Gras float.  She announced that the Livonia High School Football team made it to the state semifinals in class 3-A.  The following football players were chosen for the Class 3A – All-State Football Team:  Trevor Chauvin, offensive player and Russell Farris defensive player; Darrius Hammond received honorable mention.  Mrs. D’Amico announced that Coach David Brewerton was given the honor of Coach of the Year for District/State 3-A.   She mentioned that the schools and the School Board Office will be closed from December 24, 2012 through January 4, 2013 and will re-open on January 7, 2013.  She wished everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 

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Student Expulsion Appeal.   Superintendent D’Amico stated that this item will be deferred until the meeting in January.

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Adjournment. On a motion by Mr. Thomas Nelson, seconded by Mr. Chad Aguillard, the meeting adjourned at 7:18p.m.

                                                                                               

                                                                                   

Brandon Bergeron, President

                                                                                   

Linda D’Amico, Superintendent