MINUTES

 

POINTE COUPEE PARISH SCHOOL BOARD

337 Napoleon Street

New Roads, LA  70760

 

REGULAR MEETING

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

 

The Pointe Coupee Parish School Board met in a regular session on Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 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, Anita LeJeune, and Thomas Nelson.

 

Mr. James Cline 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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School Security Update Regarding School Crisis Response Plan.   Following a series of school shootings across the country, the Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff’s Office was requested to make recommendations to the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board regarding methods of securing the schools for the safety of the children, faculty and parents while on campus.  Sheriff Beauregard “Bud” Torres, III and Captain Brett Robillard, Criminal Investigations Division, were at the meeting to provide an overview of the school crisis response plans conducted after the school administrators and sheriff’s department completed a collaborative walk-through on the campuses of Livonia High, Rosenwald Elementary, Rougon Elementary, Upper Pointe Coupee Elementary, and Valverda Elementary.  Sheriff Torres referred to four newspaper articles that had appeared in The Advocate of incidents at schools that recently occurred in surrounding parishes in our state and mentioned that security measures are on everybody’s radar. Sheriff Torres also mentioned that some of the school buildings were constructed in the 1930’s and he is aware that funds to install elaborate measures are not available, but looked at the obvious things that could be achieved within budget restraints.  He announced that he was not here to tell the School Board what they should do, but was here to support the Board on whatever decision they made.  Sheriff Torres announced that individual principals, deputies and Mr. Donald Fuselier participated in campus evaluations. Security recommendations by the Sheriff’s Department included parking police vehicles in high-visibility areas, such as in front of school campuses as deterrents to outside threats; fencing off campuses; creating main entrances where all school visitors must pass; installing electronic locks and gates along with additional surveillance cameras at each school; and equipping faculty and staff members with two-way radios. In addition to the officers that have been assigned to Livonia High School and Rosenwald Elementary, Sheriff Torres suggested that the Board hire three additional certified School Resource Officers.   A mutual agreement between the Sheriff’s Office and the School Board could be arranged for a post certified School Resource Officer at an estimated cost of $40,000 (an aggregate number derived from what the officers are being paid through contract) per resource officer each year.  A report submitted to the Board by the Sheriff’s Department indicated that due to the old architectural design of the schools in Pointe Coupee Parish the only way from deterring incidents like the one that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Connecticut, is to have armed deputies at each school.  Sheriff Torres stated that post certified deputies have been on rotating patrol shifts to provide extra security at each school, as requested by the School Board, until the school district devises and approves a final plan.  He advised the School Board that annual training for school resource officers will begin in June; therefore members must soon decide whether they want to hire the additional officers.  Trained school resource officers would be prepared to begin work in the fall and mentioned that he has several prospects in mind. 

 

President Bergeron asked Superintendent D’Amico about the cost of the items listed on the report that was included in their folder.  Mrs. D’Amico stated that Mr. Donald Fuselier is currently obtaining costs associated with security measure upgrades; assessments will be made and information will be presented to the Board in April.

 

The Board took no action on recommendations at this meeting. 

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Presentations from Principals and/or their Designee.  Superintendent D’Amico announced several principals were on vacation; they submitted information to her to report what was going on at their school (e.g. tutoring, observations, contests, book fairs, programs/open house, observations, testing, etc.).  Mr. Myron Brown, the Principal of Upper Pointe Coupee Elementary School and Mrs. Monica Fabre, the Principal of Rosenwald Elementary School, were in attendance and made brief presentations regarding school related information pertaining to events occurring at their individual school.

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

 

 

End of Consent Agenda

 

Monthly Report Received From Head Start Supervisor.   Mrs. Karen Shaw stated the monthly report she prepared is routine, except for the Office of Head Start’s correspondence of Program Instruction, ACF-PI-HS-13-01. Ms. Karen shared information regarding the notice she received from the Administration for Children and Families regarding sequestration (a series of federal spending cuts) anticipated at approximately 5 percent reduction in budgetary resources for Head Start programs throughout the nation for the 2013 fiscal year.  Mrs. Shaw stated that she is working with Superintendent D’Amico, the Chief Financial Officer and the Supervisor of Human Resources to plan how to absorb this cut in funds for Pointe Coupee Parish School Board Head Start program, while ensuring high-quality services for the children and families served in the parish. She stated that the cuts amount to approximately $54,004.  Mrs. Shaw mentioned that a Notice of Award was received for April 1, 2013-March 31, 2014 funds, and that the CFO spoke with a representative at the Region VI Office in Dallas, TX, who confirmed that this year’s financial award will be released in two phases.  A short discussion ensued regarding sequestration program service waivers such as having a shorter school day/school year, and enrollment/staff reduction.  Board member, James Cline, requested a full report (for the April Board Meeting) on how the Superintendent, CFO, and Head Start Supervisor plan to address program changes involving the sequestration budget cuts.

 

Mr. James Cline made a motion, seconded by Mr. Frank Aguillard, to accept the monthly report received from Mrs. Karen Shaw, the Supervisor of Head Start -Pointe Coupee Parish School Board.  The motion carried.

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Permission Granted to Advertise for Janitorial/Paper Supplies for School Year 2013-2014.  Mr. Donald Fuselier, Director of Maintenance and Support Services, stated each year he asks the School Board to grant permission to him to advertise for supplies for the next school term; a routine item.

 

Mr. Thomas Nelson made a motion, seconded by Mr. James Cline, to grant permission to advertise for janitorial/paper supplies for school year 2013-2014.  The motion carried.

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Discussion and/or Action of Monthly Financial Information for February 2013.  

Mr. Stephen Langlois, Chief Financial Officer, provided School Board members with monthly information for February 2013 and asked if there were any questions regarding the routine reports. 

 

Mr. James Cline made a motion, seconded by Mr. Kevin Hotard, to accept the monthly financial information for February 2013, as provided by Mr. Stephen Langlois.  The motion carried.

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Compensation Salary Schedule Adopted for Teachers Pursuant to Act 1.   Mr. Stephen Langlois, Chief Financial Officer, mentioned that the School Board needs to adopt and publish a salary compensation plan for teachers by April 1, 2013 that will become effective July 1, 2013.  The compensation salary schedule is relative to base salary; effectiveness/performance stipend; demand stipend; and experience.  Chairperson of the Finance Committee, Anita LeJeune, stated the Finance Committee met and it is their recommendation to accept the salary schedule that was presented, as it goes along with the value added model. A brief discussion ensued following Mr. Cline’s inquiry regarding step increases that were addressed at the previous Executive Committee meeting.  Mrs. D’Amico stated that there has been discussion regarding step increases, TAP and other incentives.  Board member Chad Aguillard asked about schools not in TAP that weren’t eligible for funding.  Mrs. D’Amico stated that since we are a TAP system, we are being evaluated by NIET system rubric rather than the compass rubric. The School Board was unable to fund TAP due to budgetary restraints; therefore, it was not implemented at Valverda and Livonia.  Mrs. D’Amico stated that we did apply for the Cohort 5 Grant in hopes that Valverda and Livonia could receive funding, but we did not get that grant. Mr. Cline stated that one group shouldn’t be able to double dip; they should not be allowed to receive TAP payouts for growth and also receive a payout from the district’s incentive fund for reaching their SPS. It was mentioned the policy regarding incentives and step increases can be addressed at the regular School Board meeting in April; however, the compensation salary schedule pursuant to Act 1 being presented at tonight’s meeting needs to be considered in order to meet the April 1, 2013 adoption deadline.

 

Mr. Kevin Hotard made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Leslie Grezaffi, to consider adoption of a compensation salary schedule for teachers pursuant to Act 1.  The motion carried.

 

Strategy Session and/or Action Regarding Pending Litgation.*   The following was noted on the agenda: There may be an executive session to discuss this litigation entitled, “Pointe Coupee Parish School Board vs. LA School Employees Retirement System, John N. Kennedy State Treasurer, and Louisiana Department of Education, Case Number C613906 on the 19th Judicial District Court for the parish of East Baton Rouge, State of Louisiana”.) 

 

Superintendent D’Amico announced that the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board has been in litigation with the LA School Employees Retirement System, and we lost the case.  Mrs. D’Amico mentioned that Mr. Hammonds was requested to attend the meeting to discuss, either in an executive or an open session, if members of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board would like to appeal the case in conjunction with the other two school districts (St. James and Evangeline) that joined our suit and are filing for an appeal.  Mr. Hammonds gave a report about the status of pending litigation in an open session.   Mr. Hammonds stated that if the School Board wanted to discuss strategy that would have to take place in an executive session.  A discussion ensued regarding payment terms associated with unfunded accrued retirement payments. 

 

Mr. James Cline made the motion to pay the LSERS’ assessment under protest in the manner determined best by the Superintendent and appeal the court’s decision.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Kevin Hotard.  The motion carried.

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Board Member James Cline left the meeting at 6:45 p.m.

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Ratification of a Resolution Authorizing the Superintendent to Execute Documents for the 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant on Behalf of  the School Board.

Superintendent D’Amico stated that the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board voted at the regular School Board meeting held on January 24, 2013 to approve participation in the 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant.  She mentioned that she was under the impression that a resolution was only necessary if you were a community/faith based organization.  The state is requesting that the School Board adopt a Resolution; therefore, the following item was included on the agenda.

 

RESOLUTION

 

A resolution authorizing the superintendent to execute all necessary documents for application to the Louisiana Department of Education to secure funds in order to participate in Cohort 8 of the 21st Century Community Learning Center After-School Program at Livonia High School, Rosenwald Elementary, Rougon Elementary, Upper Pointe Coupee Elementary, and Valverda Elementary.

 

WHEREAS, the Louisiana Department of Education is taking applications for the 21st Century Community Learning Center After-School Program; and

 

WHEREAS, the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board desires to make an application for these 21st Century Community Learning Center funds to facilitate afternoon school and summer academic, enrichment and recreation programs for the students of Pointe Coupee Parish;

 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Pointe Coupee Parish School Board approved participation in the 21st Century Community Learning Center After-School Grant at a regular School Board meeting held on January 24, 2013.

 

__________________________               __________________________

Brandon Bergeron, President                             Linda D’Amico, Superintendent

Pointe Coupee Parish School Board                  Pointe Coupee Parish School Board

 

Mr. Kevin Hotard offered a motion to ratify a Resolution authorizing the Superintendent to execute documents for the 21st Century Community Learning Grant on behalf of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board.  Mr. Frank Aguillard seconded the motion. 

 

Mr. Thomas Nelson stated that he was objecting due to what he had stated at the Executive Committee meeting last week.

 

A roll call vote resulted in the following:

 

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

 

NAYS:       Thomas Nelson

 

ABSENT:   James Cline

 

The motion passed by a 6-1-1 vote of the Board.

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Request to Add An Item to the Agenda.  Superintendent D’Amico provided an informational handout explaining the new District Cooperative of Louisiana (DCL) launched by the Vermillion Parish School Board earlier this year in an effort to help school systems save money by making bulk purchases of software, computers, and crafting curriculum as well as creating online courses for students.   She apologized for not including this item on the proposed agenda adopted at the Executive Committee meeting and requested that the School Board consider adding it to the agenda tonight as item 14 (a): Discussion/action regarding entering into a Memorandum of Understanding with  the District Cooperative of Louisiana (DCL), Vermillion Parish School Board (VPSB), for the purposes of combining efforts from both districts and community to promote academic and social success for the students of LA and to maximize student achievement by exhausting all possible resources. 

 

Mr. Thomas Nelson made a motion, seconded by Mr. Frank Aguillard, to add agenda item number 14 (a) to the agenda.  Mrs. Anita LeJeune stated that she was objecting since she didn’t have time to read the information.  A roll call resulted in the following.

 

YEAS:              Chad Aguillard, Frank Aguillard, Leslie Grezaffi, and Thomas Nelson

 

NAYS:              Brandon Bergeron, Kevin Hotard, and Anita LeJeune

 

ABSENT:          James Cline

 

The motion failed because 100% of the members present and voting were not in agreement of adding the item to the agenda.

 

Mrs. Grezaffi stated that she saw a presentation regarding this at the annual Louisiana School Boards Association conference and thinks it is a wonderful program.

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Remarks from the Superintendent.   Superintendent D’Amico reminded everyone that schools will remain closed until Tuesday, April 2, 2013; the Central Office will be closed Thursday, March 28-Monday, April 1, 2013 for the Easter holidays.  She announced Phase I LEAP & iLEAP testing; ACT; Explore and PLAN are complete at the elementary, junior and senior high levels.  Mrs. D’Amico mentioned that one State monitor came to our district and visited Rosenwald Elementary.  She informally stated that everything was okay.  Superintendent D’Amico wished everyone a Happy Easter and hoped that everyone enjoyed their holiday break.

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Adjourn.  On a motion by Mr. Frank Aguillard, seconded by Mrs. Anita LeJeune, the meeting adjourned at 6:53 p.m.

 

_____________________________

Brandon Bergeron, President

 

_____________________________

Linda D. D’Amico, Superintendent