MINUTES

 

POINTE COUPEE PARISH SCHOOL BOARD

337 Napoleon Street

New Roads, LA  70760

 

REGULAR MEETING

Thursday, February 27, 2014

 

 

The Pointe Coupee Parish School Board met for their regular monthly meeting on Thursday, February 27, 2014, at 337 Napoleon Street in New Roads Louisiana 70760. President Frank R. Aguillard, Jr., called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m.

 

Karakay Bolden, the Elementary Student of the Year, was requested to lead everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.

 

Mr. Larry Bossier was requested to offer the invocation.

 

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

 

Board Member Anita LeJeune arrived at 5:35 p.m.

 

Board Member Chad Aguillard was absent.

 

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President Aguillard requested the wishes of the School Board with regard to a request by Superintendent D’Amico to add an item to the agenda relevant to a resolution in support of the continuation of the 21st Century Community Learning Grant.

 

Added Agenda Item. On a motion by Mr. Kevin Hotard, seconded by Mr. James Cline, the Board voted unanimously to add an item to the consent agenda.

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Expressions of Sympathy.  On a motion by the entire Board and seconded by the entire Board, condolences were offered to the families of:

 

Mrs. Carol Martin, the spouse of Mr. Andrew Martin, a teacher at Rougon Elementary School. 

 

Mr. John Cline, an employee of the school system, and brother of Mr. James M. Cline, School Board Member.

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Students of the Year.   Mrs. Lisa D’Aquila, Supervisor of Personnel/Testing Coordinator, has been facilitating the Student of the Year program for the last few years.  This year, Mrs. D’Aquila requested each student winner read aloud the essay they submitted with their application.

 

Recognition of Elementary School Student of the Year – Mrs. D’Aquila recognized Karakay Elizabeth Bolden as the Elementary School Student of the Year; she is a 5th grade student at Valverda Elementary and the daughter of Betsy and James “Jay” Bolden, Jr.  For her achievement, Karakay was presented with a certificate and plaque from Pointe Coupee Parish School Board Superintendent Linda D’Amico and School Board President Frank Aguillard.  She was also presented with a $50.00 check from Mr. Kenneth “Rock” Ramagos, of People’s Bank and Trust. Family and friends in attendance with Karakay were acknowledged.  A photo was taken for publication in the local journal, The Pointe Coupee Banner

 

Recognition of Middle/Junior High School Student of the Year – Mrs. D’Aquila recognized Zachary Caswell as the Middle/Junior High School Student of the Year; he is an 8th grade student at Livonia High School and is the son of Erica Roy and Thomas “Tommy” Caswell.  For his achievement, Zachary was presented with a certificate and plaque from Pointe Coupee Parish School Board Superintendent Linda D’Amico and School Board President Frank Aguillard.  He was also presented with a $50.00 check from Mr. Wade O’Neil of Guaranty Bank.  Family and friends in attendance with Zachary were acknowledged.  A photo was taken for publication in the local journal, The Pointe Coupee Banner.

 

Recognition of High School Student of the Year – Mrs. D’Aquila recognized Blake Tanner LeBlanc as the High School Student of the Year; he is an 12th grade student at Livonia High School and is the son of Ron and Lana LeBlanc.  For his achievement, Blake was presented with a certificate and plaque from Pointe Coupee Parish School Board Superintendent Linda D’Amico and School Board President Frank Aguillard. Blake received a $50.00 check from Cottonport Bank for his accomplishment. Family and friends in attendance with Blake were acknowledged.  A photo was taken for publication in the local journal, The Pointe Coupee Banner.

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School Highlights/Updates from Principals and/or their Designee.  Mrs. Stacy Gueho, Principal of Livonia High School, Mr. Myron Brown, Principal of Upper Pointe Coupee Elementary School, Mrs. Patsy Langlois, Principal of Rougon Elementary School, and Mrs. Bridget Berry, Principal of Valverda Elementary, provided a brief overview of what is happening at their school.  Superintendent D’Amico announced that Mrs. Monica Fabre, Principal of Rosenwald Elementary School, was unable to attend the meeting and read information provided by Mrs. Fabre.

 

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. Kevin Hotard, to approve the following consent agenda items.  The motion carried.

 

·         Approval of the minutes from the regular School Board meeting of Thursday, January 30, 2014.

·         Approval of the minutes from the Executive Committee meeting of Thursday, February 20, 2014.

·         Approval of the minutes from the Special School Board meeting of Thursday, February 20, 2014.

·         Resolution to extend the 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) Grant

 

End of Consent Agenda

 

 

Receive the Head Start Supervisor’s Monthly Report.  Mrs. Karen Shaw announced members of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board participated mandatory Head Start training with Consultant Judy Loyde last week (February 20, 2014).  Mrs. Shaw stated a lot of questions were entertained during the extensive training. 

 

Mr. Thomas Nelson made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Leslie Grezaffi, to receive the Head Start Supervisor’s Monthly Report as prepared by Mrs. Shaw.  The motion carried.

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On a motion by Mr. Thomas Nelson, seconded by Mr. James Cline, the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board, via the following resolution, voted to adopt the 2014 LSBA Legislative Framework.  The motion carried.

 

RESOLUTION

 

Whereas, the Louisiana School Boards Association (LSBA) is a federation of school boards in the state of Louisiana representing over six-hundred (600) elected school board members;

 

Whereas, the Louisiana School Boards Association is a mission-driven organization focused on leadership, service and support for school boards and school systems;

 

Whereas, the Louisiana School Boards Association strives to work in collaboration with all public education stakeholders including federal officials, statewide elected officials, state legislators, superintendents, principals, teachers, district office support administrators and support staff; and, most importantly parents and students;

 

Whereas, the Louisiana School Boards Association recognizes the importance of the upcoming 2014 Legislative Session that commences March 10, 2014 and its possible impact on public education;

 

Whereas, the Louisiana School Boards Association Board of Directors have adopted and approved the 2014 LSBA Legislative Framework (attached) that outlines a set of general, guiding principles for its membership regarding legislative advocacy;

 

Whereas, the Louisiana School Boards Association realizes that we must all work toward the common goal of improving student achievement in a strategic, practical and meaningful manner that includes input from all stakeholders;

 

Whereas, the Louisiana School Boards Association has recently committed to a set of five general principles at its General Luncheon of the 2014 LSBA Convention in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, that are aligned with several other public education stakeholder organizations such as the Louisiana Association of School Superintendents (LASS), the Louisiana Association of School Executives (LASE), the Louisiana State Parent Teacher Association (LAPTA), the Louisiana Association of Principals (LAP), the Louisiana Federation of Teachers (LFT), and the Louisiana Association of Educators (LAE):

 

·         United advocacy for prioritizing public education funding regarding the state funding formula (MFP)

·         United advocacy for a more strategic and comprehensive transition to raising standards and adopting accompanying assessments

·         United advocacy for a non-punitive accountability system and flexible employee evaluation system

·         United advocacy for addressing issues regarding privatization of public education in Louisiana

·         United advocacy regarding meaningful and sincere stakeholder input in all education policy matters

 

Be it resolved, that the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board hereby formally adopt via resolution during a duly convened and properly noticed meeting the 2014 LSBA Legislative Framework (attached).

 

Be it further resolved, that the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board transmit this resolution along with the attached 2014 LSBA Legislative Framework to all statewide elected officials and state legislators this formal statement of support and commitment to advocating for the principles noted.

 

Yeas:             Frank Aguillard, Jr., Brandon Bergeron, James Cline, Leslie Grezaffi, Kevin Hotard, Anita LeJeune, and Thomas Nelson

Nays:             None

Absent:         Chad Aguillard

 

CERTIFICATE

 

I, Linda D. D’Amico, Secretary-Treasurer of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board, do hereby certify that the above and foregoing is a true and correct copy of the resolution passed at a meeting of said School Board duly called and held at its legal domicile in the City of New Roads, parish of Pointe Coupee, on the 27th day of February 2014, as recorded in the minutes thereof.  IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and seal of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board on this 27th day of February 2014.

______________________________

Linda D. D’Amico, Secretary-Treasurer

 

LSBA Framework:

 

MFP

 

·         Advocate for an unrestricted 2.75 increase in per pupil funding annually.

·         Advocate for improvement to the formula that promotes equity, access and the block grant funding status to local districts for local flexibility.

·         Stop imposing new, required spending without additional funding (UNFUNDED MANDATES).

·         Address initiatives that require additional funding such as career education/dual enrollment, special education, and technology upgrades accompanied by local flexibility and local authority.

 

PUBLIC SCHOOL RETIREMENT

 

·         The major financial burden placed on local school systems is the UAL

(UNFUNDED ACCRUED LIABILTY) of the public school employees’ retirement systems

·         The normal costs of operating these defined benefit retirement system are sustainable by local school districts.

·         The UAL IS A STATE OBLIGATION and should be funded by the legislature

 

COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS (TESTING)

 

·         School boards support raising standards to increase student achievement.

·         Support a transition period of at least two years to the higher standards.

·         Support a strategic and cohesive state curriculum framework (grade level by grade level, unit by unit, with sample activities and properly vetted resources for teachers).

·         Support a listing of electronic and printed instructional resources that support higher standards.

·         Develop baseline data so valid measurements of student achievement can occur.  Continue using Louisiana developed assessments and delay PARCC so that an appropriate, cost-effective national assessment can be determined with local stakeholder input.

 

 

DISTRICT, SCHOOL and TEACHER ACCOUNTABILITY

 

·         Continue to assess student achievement by utilizing school and district performance scores (numerical) during the transition period.

·         Suspend the use of letter grade labeling; and, associated consequences during the transition period (Recovery School District takeover, voucher eligibility, etc.).

·         LDOE should work collaboratively with local school boards to assist and improve persistently low performing schools.

·         Revise teacher evaluation processes (COMPASS and VAM) to ensure local flexibility and accurate assessments.

 

PRIVATIZATION:  CHARTER SCHOOLS AND VOUCHERS

 

·         Hold appointed charter school governing boards to the same ethics and financial disclosure standards as elected, public school boards (deal with same public dollars).

·         Ensure public tax dollars dedicated to public education are not misdirected due to loopholes in the law.

·         Support local school board decisions regarding the authorization of public charter schools (stop BESE override of local school board decisions).

·         Re-evaluate the effectiveness of the current voucher laws (academic performance and stronger accountability).

·         Close the loophole in the law that allows for Kindergarten students zoned for an A or B graded school to receive a voucher.

·         Hold voucher schools to the same standards as other publically funded schools (school accountability, special education services, financial accounting/auditing, etc.).

 

 

OTHER IMPORTANT ISSUES

 

PRE-K

 

·         Support expansion of PRE-K slots statewide with a stable funding stream outside of the MFP.

 


SCHOOL SAFETY

 

·         Work with stakeholders to ensure all schools are safe learning environments without creating unfunded mandates for systems.

 

PUBLIC SCHOOL BID LAW

 

·         Ease the current restrictions in the law that will allow for the purchase of equipment and supplies for local school systems through cooperative buying.

 

SALES TAX COLLECTIONS

 

·         Support legislation that will streamline resolution of sales tax disputes for local school boards.

 

RECOVERY SCHOOL DISTRICT

 

·         Moratorium on school takeover during the transition period to higher standards.

·         Support ease of transition of schools in RSD back to local school board governance.

·         Support stronger financial and academic accountability for publicly funded RSD schools.

 

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Update Regarding the Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with the Innis Community Health Center, Inc.  Superintendent D’Amico read information provided by Cindy Peavy, RN, Executive Director/CEO of the Innis Community Health Centers, Inc. regarding moving dates, medical clinic utilization and dental bus updates as it relates to the school system’s Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with them. 

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First Student Bus Transportation Presentation.  Board member Brandon Bergeron requested to place an item on the agenda regarding First Student Bus Transportation, as he and other School Board members are having concerns about buses arriving late to school, bus maintenance/break down issues, and double routes.  Mr. Tony Vidrine, Area General Manager of First Student, Inc., introduced Lydell Banks, the Region Safety Manager, and Marilyn Brock, the Interim Location Manager, of First Student for the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board.  Mr. Vidrine presented a comprehensive PowerPoint Operations’ Update.  Mr. Bergeron commended Mr. Vidrine and his staff for addressing their concerns.  Mr. Vidrine was requested to have a representative from First Student provide future updates of how things are going at the beginning, middle and end of each school year. 

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Revision of School Year Calendar 2013-2014.  Superintendent D’Amico and members of her staff reviewed banked minutes, etc. relative to school days missed due to inclement winter weather conditions.  She announced that one of the make-up days was Monday, February 3, 2014; another proposed make-up day for all employees and students in our school system is Wednesday, March 5, 2014.  Mrs. D’Amico mentioned if future days are missed, additional minutes may have to be added to each school day or more days will be added at the end of May; teachers may have to report on Memorial Day (May 26, 2014).

 

On a motion by Mr. Kevin Hotard, seconded by Mrs. Leslie Grezaffi, the Board voted to accept Superintendent D’Amico’s recommendation to revise the 2013-2014 to make-up days (February 3 and March 5, 2014) missed due to inclement winter weather. 

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Adoption of 2014-2015 Calendar.   Ms. LaShonda Victorian, Supervisor of Child Welfare and Attendance, provided a draft copy of the 2014-2014 school year calendar at last week’s Executive Committee meeting.  After further review, a change is needed to reflect Head Start personnel will begin on Friday, August 1, 2014.  Superintendent D’Amico announced this calendar was devised with contingency days ear-marked as possible make-up days for future inclement weather.

 

On a motion by Mrs. Anita LeJeune, seconded by Mr. Kevin Hotard, the Board voted to adopt the calendar for the school term 2014-2015, including the 12-month employee holiday and summer work hour schedules.  The motion carried.

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Monthly Financial Information.  On a motion by Mr. Brandon Bergeron, seconded by

Mr. James Cline, the Board voted to accept the monthly financial information provided by Mr. Stephen Langlois, Chief Financial Officer.  The motion carried.

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Removal of School Board Policy GBAB (Stipend Compensation Based on School Performance).  Chief Financial Officer Stephen Langlois mentioned the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board has been budgeting $100,000 for stipend compensation based on school performance in accordance with policy GBAB.  Superintendent D’Amico stated it was easier to determine who should receive incentive pay based on the state’s former grading scale using School Performance Growth Scores. It has been quite difficult to determine who should receive the incentive pay with the new scoring process, due to the many changes that have been implemented by the State Department of Education.  A discussion ensued regarding schools receiving grant funds from TIF for TAP for teacher and school growth.  Therefore, since our policy is not aligned with the current state policy, this item was placed on the agenda for the Board to consider permanent removal of the compensation policy.

 

Mr. Kevin Hotard made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Anita LeJeune, to remove School Board Policy GBAB, as recommended by Superintendent D’Amico and Chief Financial Officer Stephen Langlois.  The motion carried.

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Remarks from the Superintendent.  Superintendent D’Amico announced all schools and the central office will be closed on Monday, March 3, 2014 and Tuesday, March 4, 2014, for the Mardi Gras holiday.  All students and staff are expected to report to work on Wednesday, March 5, 2014, a make-up day due to cold weather school system closure.  She wished everyone a safe and happy holiday.

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Strategy Session and/or Action Concerning Pending Litigation*   The agenda noted there may be an executive session to discuss this litigation, which is 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.* Attorney Robert L. Hammonds suggested that the School Board enter into an executive session.

 

Executive  Session.  On a motion by Mr. James Cline, seconded by Mrs. Leslie Grezaffi, the Board convened in an executive session at 7:55 p.m.

 

Open Session.  On a motion by Mr. Brandon Bergeron, seconded by Mrs. Anita Lejeune, the Board reconvened in open session at 8:45 p.m.

 

President Frank Aguillard announced that no action was taken and entertained a motion to adjourn.

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Adjournment.  On a motion by Mr. Thomas Nelson, seconded by Mrs. Anita LeJeune, the meeting adjourned at 8:46 p.m.

 

_____________________________

Frank Aguillard, President

 

_____________________________

Linda D’Amico, Superintendent