MINUTES

 

POINTE COUPEE PARISH SCHOOL BOARD

337 Napoleon Street

New Roads, LA  70760

 

REGULAR MEETING

Thursday, April 24, 2014

 

The Pointe Coupee Parish School Board met for their regular monthly meeting on Thursday, April 24, 2014, at 337 Napoleon Street in New Roads Louisiana 70760. President Frank R. Aguillard, Jr., called the meeting to order at 5:35 p.m.

 

Deputy Fabre 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 for roll call were: Frank Aguillard, Brandon Bergeron, James Cline, Kevin Hotard, and Thomas Nelson.

 

Board Members Leslie Grezaffi and Anita LeJeune were absent for the meeting.

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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. Brandon Bergeron made a motion, seconded by Mr. Thomas Nelson, to approve the following consent agenda items.  The motion carried.

 

·       Approval of the minutes from the regular School Board meeting of Thursday, March 27, 2014.

·       Approval of the minutes from the Executive Committee meeting of Thursday, April 17, 2014.

·       Approval of Proclamation declaring May 5-9, 2014 as Teacher Appreciation Week.

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Recognition of Teachers of the Year.  Mrs. Lisa D’Aquila, Supervisor of Personnel, announced it was with great pleasure to present the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board’s Middle and High School Teachers of the Year.  Mrs. D’Aquila read the biographies of Virginia Sommers, the Middle School Teacher of the Year and Dian Graft, the High School Teacher of the Year.  These teachers received a Certificate of Achievement Award and a $500.00 purchase requisition to purchase items for their classroom. Superintendent D’Amico and President Frank Aguillard were honored to take pictures with the recipients. 

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Board member Chad Aguillard arrived at 5:47 p.m.

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Recognition of Catherine Olinde and JoAnn Hebert for Receiving Agriculture (AG) in the Classroom Awards.  Board member James Cline stated two teachers at Valverda Elementary initiated a garden project at the school and after reading in the local newspaper about the state/national agriculture awards they received, he requested to place an item on the agenda to have them recognized by the School Board for their accomplishments.  Superintendent D’Amico mentioned it is a holiday week for schools and since they were not in attendance at this meeting, the awards will be presented to these teachers at a later date.

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Consider Accepting Lowest Bid for New Restroom at Rougon Elementary School.  Architect David Mougeot stated three (3) bids were received for the new restroom project at Rougon Elementary School and he and the bid opening committee are recommending the Board consider accepting the low base bid from John Wayne Torres Construction for $146,878.   Mr. Bergeron expressed his concern about the cost of the project. When questioned about the cost of the project, Mr. Mougeot reviewed the amount of mechanical and electrical costs associated with the project and compared the cost per square foot with the going rate for similar free standing projects at other locations and found the cost to be comparable. Mr. Frank Aguillard stated the restroom project at Rougon Elementary has been discussed for the last five years and if the plumbing issues are not rectified, the result could be serious. Mr. Frank Aguillard had a discussion regarding the cost and the necessity of the construction of the restroom project at Rougon Elementary. 

 

Mr. Kevin Hotard made a motion to accept the lowest bid for the new restroom at Rougon Elementary as presented by Mr. Mougeot.  Mr. Brandon Bergeron seconded the motion.  The motion carried.

 

Mr. Chad Aguillard stated for the benefit of members of the audience and/or public who may have not heard previous discussions regarding what was going on that sparked the restroom project at Rougon Elementary, he requested Mr. Donald Fuselier, Director of Maintenance and Support Services, and Mr. David Mougeot, Architect, to briefly explain the reason for the need of the new restroom.  Mr. Fuselier and Mr. Mougeot explained that due to the age of the plumbing (the existing building was built in 1941) and the increase in capacity, the current fixtures and piping are not adequate to handle the current usage. 

President Frank Aguillard also requested Principal Patsy Langlois to comment regarding the need for the restroom project at Rougon Elementary. Following Mrs. Langlois’ explanation, Mr. Aguillard announced the Board had already voted on the agenda item (Mr. Kevin Hotard made the motion, seconded by Brandon Bergeron) and with no further discussion, proceeded to read the next agenda item.

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Board member Chad Aguillard requested to be recognized by President Frank Aguillard.  After being recognized, he stated with respect to the order of agenda items under building and grounds, he is requesting to move item number 4 up, as it may impinge upon items 2 & 3 (depending on the outcome of number 4 could determine the thoughts of items 2 & 3).  President Aguillard announced that he did not have a problem rearranging the order, being no opposition from the Board, the request was granted to move item number 4 up on the agenda.

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Agenda Item Order Change- Discussion and/or Action Regarding a Plan for the Use of the Pointe Coupee Central High School Facility.  Board Member Thomas Nelson stated he had requested to place an item on this month’s agenda regarding the use of the Pointe Coupee Central High School Facility.  Mr. Nelson mentioned the school system has a court order mandating the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board to have a plan in 6 months (the judge ordered Pointe Coupee Central High School closed for the 2014-2015 school year).  He also mentioned hopefully the Board can come up with something that can co-exist to alleviate potential capacity issues at Livonia High School which was discussed at the last School Board meeting.  Mr. Nelson mentioned he had met with Reverend Larry Oliver, who has a proposed plan for the school that he can embrace and with the approval of President Aguillard, he is requesting permission to allow Mr. Oliver to present his plan. Having no opposition from the Board, President Frank Aguillard approved the request and asked Mr. Oliver to approach the podium. Reverend Oliver expressed his appreciation to the Board for giving him a chance to present a plan he mentioned that he wrote several years ago; however, never implemented, but of the opinion it’s a good time to consider doing so now.  Mr. Oliver stated he has had talks with members of the School Board and has received input from people in the community regarding a plan to open Pointe Coupee Central High School for the upcoming 2014-2015 school year.  It was also mentioned the parish, at this time, is not at the point of a singular high school, but would co-exist with Livonia High School. Board Members and Superintendent D’Amico were provided Mr. Oliver’s proposed plan for Pointe Coupee Central High School.  His plan proposes a school within a school, infusing the college bound academic program with a career and technology program consistent with the state’s High School Redesign Model, for all students for the 2014-2015 school year. Mr. Oliver provided an overview of the college bound and work readiness (career and technology offerings) framework of the plan.  Mr. Oliver stated since the Board is concerned about the costs associated with repairing the school building, only a portion of the campus (the West Wing) would be utilized and large enough to accommodate 500 students.  He mentioned although the judge has allowed the School Board six (6) months to come up with a plan, someone (a leader) needs to be in place now.  He alluded to the plan that he devised, not all encompassing, but can be used to get started.  Mr. Oliver stated he is a change agent and if given an opportunity to implement his program, the school could be in full operation within (90) days with the collaboration of others. 

 

Board Member Thomas Nelson announced the School Board would have to obtain approval from the court to have Pointe Coupee Central High school open for the 2014-2015 school year (because of the judge’s court order), co-existing in addition to Livonia High School.

 

Superintendent D’Amico was questioned about a plan for Pointe Coupee Central.  She prefaced the discussion regarding new requirements with regard to two diploma paths.  Mrs. D’Amico stated she had traveled to Lafayette to look at a model plan from South Louisiana Community College that allows children to graduate high school and also earn an associates’ degree of 60 hours of credit transferable to any university.  Three major avenues of focus will be high school, college bound, Industrial Based Certification which will broaden the educational opportunities for all people.

 

President Frank Aguillard reminded everyone when the State of Louisiana took over Pointe Coupee Central High School, local tax dollars went to Baton Rouge to fund RSD schools.   He stated people are showing concern about the school now; but questions where the local citizens were when it was taken over by the State.  Mr. Aguillard further stated citizens should have been objecting to this years ago.

 

Mr. Nelson stated he would like to defer the agenda item until a special meeting can be called, but mentioned he would still like to see the logistics and reiterated that the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board did not make the decision to close Pointe Coupee Central High School (for clarification purposes, the state of Louisiana took the school from the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board six years ago; Advanced Baton Rouge (ABR) operated the school prior to the Recovery School District (RSD) taking control.  The RSD asked the court to close the school and send the students to Livonia High School for the 2014-2015 school year); whereas, the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board voted 6-2 not to contest the proposal to submit.

 

Board Member Chad Aguillard stated it was encumbered upon the School Board to move quickly and he is looking at the Superintendent not to waste time to move ahead with the goal to have it in place for the beginning of the school year. 

 

After a brief discussion regarding shared jurisdiction, Superintendent D’Amico requested having more time to meet with BRCC and report back to the Board at a subsequent meeting.  

 

Board Member James Cline mentioned the number of times a tax failed in District 19 and concurred with Mr. Nelson the Board never took a vote to close Pointe Coupee Central High School.  Mr. Cline further stated he would like to have two high schools, but not to come back a year later and consolidate the two schools. 

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Consider Leasing Modular Buildings for Increased Student Opportunities and Enrollment at Livonia High School.      Superintendent D’Amico decided to place an item on the agenda to consider leasing modular buildings on a year to year basis in preparation for the increased student opportunities and the anticipated enrollment due to changes forthcoming (i.e. career diploma path decided by students and increased enrollment anticipated from the judge’s order that was received for the 2014-2015 school year).  Mrs. D’Amico also mentioned that she would like to further divide the 7 & 8 grade student population from the general population during the transitional move. After a brief discussion regarding additional time to further study the options, number of buildings needed, time to obtain three (3) quotes, and the submission of drawings to the State Fire Marshall, a motion was offered to table the item.

 

On a motion by Mr. Brandon Bergeron, seconded by Mr. Kevin Hotard, this item was   tabled until a special meeting can be scheduled. 

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Consider leasing a Building and Additional Grounds from John Ashley Pinsonat.    Superintendent D’Amico mentioned that the School Board has been leasing a piece of property from Mr. John Ashley Pinsonat for parking.  Mrs. D’Amico stated she would also like the School Board to consider leasing a building and additional grounds (the additional space, with a covered pavilion that is partly open/partly closed, would allow physical education and/or recess activities with frontal access to the property) from Mr. Pinsonat on a month to month basis.

 

James Cline made a motion to lease a building and additional grounds from John Ashley Pinsonat for $600.00 per month, not to exceed a year.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Kevin Hotard. 

 

A roll call vote resulted in the following action:

 

YEAS:   Frank Aguillard, Jr., Brandon Bergeron, James Cline and Kevin Hotard

NAYS:   Chad Aguillard and Thomas Nelson

ABSTENTIONS:  None

ABSENT:  Leslie Grezaffi and Anita LeJeune

 

The motion passed by a vote of 4-2-2.

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Permission Granted to Advertise for Janitorial/Paper Supplies for School Year 2014-2015.  Mr. Frank Aguillard made a motion to grant permission for the maintenance department to advertise for janitorial/paper supplies for school year 2014-2015.  Mr. Brandon Bergeron seconded the motion.  The motion carried.

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Receive the Head Start Supervisor’s Monthly Report.   Mr. Thomas Nelson made a motion, seconded by Mr. Chad Aguillard, to receive the Head Start Supervisor’s Monthly Report as prepared by Mrs. Karen Holmes-Shaw.  The motion carried.

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Discussion and/or Action Regarding Monthly Financial Information.   On a motion by

Mr. James Cline, seconded by Mr. Thomas Nelson, the Board unanimously approved the monthly financial information prepared by Chief Financial Officer Stephen Langlois.  The motion carried.  Following the vote, Board Member Chad Aguillard mentioned he appreciates that President Aguillard is trying to keep the meeting down to a certain time frame, but is requesting consideration of audience members being given more time to speak to their elected officials. 

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Approval of Revision of Policy File EDE Regarding Insurance Requirements for Buses Driver by Owner/Operators.  Superintendent D’Amico announced the insurance requirement notification she had received from our insurance agent and the need to update the School Board’s current policy regarding the Student Transportation Insurance Program reflective of required limits.

 

Mr. Thomas Nelson made a motion, seconded by Mr. Kevin Hotard, to revise Policy EDE requiring all contract bus drivers to carry the minimum amount of liability insurance coverage in the amount of $1,000, 000.  The motion carried.

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Discussion and/or Action Regarding Recommendation from the Finance Committee Regarding Salaries Relative to Phase I. Chief Financial Officer Stephen Langlois presented a Phase I employee salary schedule for consideration of implementation by the Board.  Brandon Bergeron, Chairman of the Finance Committee, stated the Committee met with Mr. Langlois and their recommendation is to use the money ($100,000) that was previously set aside for schools that met their growth target to implement Phase I.

 

On a motion by Mr. James Cline, seconded by Mr. Brandon Bergeron, the Board voted to implement Phase I of the salary schedule, effective July 1, 2014.  The motion carried.

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Bid Advertisement Approved for Bread, Milk, Dry Processed Food, Frozen Food, Non-Food Supply Items, and Equipment for the 2014-2015 School Year.  Each year, a routine request is made to seek permission to advertise bids for items needed the upcoming year for the child nutrition program. 

 

Mr. Thomas Nelson made a motion, seconded by Mr. Brandon Bergeron, to approve advertisement of bids for bread, milk, dry processed food, frozen food, non-food supply items, and equipment for the upcoming 2014-2015 school year, as presented by Ms. Kate Guillory, Supervisor of Child Nutrition.    The motion carried.

 

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Approval of Summer Feeding at Valverda Elementary School, Livonia High School, Rosenwald Elementary School, Rougon Elementary School, and Upper Pointe Elementary School, during the summer of 2014.  Ms. Kate Guillory, Supervisor of Child Nutrition, requested the School Board consider approval of summer feeding at all schools during the summer of 2014, inasmuch as 21st Century Community Learning Centers are scheduled for every public school in the parish as well as benefit the sports teams at Livonia High School during the summer.  Ms. Guillory stated an advertisement will be placed in the local journal, The Pointe Coupee Banner, announcing the school sites students under the age of 18 will be able to eat free, through the USDA summer program.

 

On a motion by Mr. Thomas Nelson, seconded by Mr. Kevin Hotard, the Board approved feeding at all of the schools during the summer of 2014.  The motion carried.

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Discussion and/or Action Regarding Adoption of Mathematics and ELA Curriculum District Wide.  Superintendent D’Amico mentioned for the last several years, the Louisiana State Department to Education has not required school systems to participate in textbook adoptions.  However, the Department of Education has been developing guidebooks of which they provide each school district with only (3) copies for elementary, middle school and high school.  It was mentioned that our school system absorbs the cost of printing additional copies of this information for our teachers (using DCL co-op reduced pricing). Mrs. D’Amico announced the cost of Tier I Curriculum that will meet Common Core Standards, currently in the budget for textbooks is $100,000.  Besides purchasing the new curriculum, funds will have to be allocated to principals so they can replace current text adoptions due to book condition and changes in student enrollment.  She reviewed what the SRCL Grant may cover for different grades/years, Eureka Math/Engage New York curriculum researched and developed by educators and researchers form the Cain Center that were able to utilize 153 million dollars paid by the Race to the Top Grant.  Mrs. D’Amico mentioned the Read 180 program generates prescribed lessons for students; System 140 helps non-proficient students with specific needs; teacher’s modules, etc. Mrs. D’Amico is requesting guidance from the School Board to go forward.  Mrs. D’Amico mentioned the Legislative Session will end on June 3, 2014; a very brief discussion ensued regarding Common Core Standards.  Mrs. D’Amico was requested to demonstrate the long method used to solve math problems with regard to Common Core Standards at a future meeting during remarks from the superintendent.

 

Mr. Kevin Hotard made a motion, seconded by Mr. Brandon Bergeron, to grant Superintendent D’Amico permission to move forward with the adoption of Mathematics and ELA Curriculum District Wide.  The motion carried.

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Discussion and/or Action Regarding the ROTC Program at Livonia High School.   Superintendent D’Amico announced a letter was received stating the ROTC program at Livonia will be dismantled by June 30, 2014; however, she is trying to keep the ROTC program in our parish.  Along with Mrs. D’Amico’s letter of appeal being sent to Colonel Gilbert, letters from students, parents and teachers will also be included hoping to keep the much needed ROTC program at Livonia High School.  Senator Mary Landrieu’s office and Representative Bill Cassidy’s office was also contacted to try to obtain their assistance. Superintendent D’Amico mentioned if the Air Force allows their ROTC program to remain in the parish, there is a possibility that the School Board would have to fund the program out of the general fund because of military spending cut backs. 

 

Mr. James Cline made a motion, seconded by Mr. Thomas Nelson, to pass a Resolution to maintain the ROTC Program at Livonia High School.  The motion carried.

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Discussion and/or Action Regarding an Alternative School.    Superintendent D’Amico mentioned on many occasions, she has been asked if we can have an alternative school in the parish, separate from the In-School Suspension (ISS) or AIP (Alternative Instructional Program) currently in all Pointe Coupee Parish Schools.  She provided information regarding the costs of the existing AIP program; K-12 home school expenses, and the proposed cost for an alternative school located off of existing school campuses.  A discussion ensued.   Board Member Thomas Nelson stated he is concerned about having an off-site alternative school; however, after listening to people that work here and yielding to principals that say it is needed, so be it. 

 

Mr. James Cline made a motion to accept Mrs. D’Amico’s recommendation to establish an off-site alternative school.  Mr. Frank Aguillard seconded the motion.  Board Member Kevin Hotard stated he would like to defer action at this time.  Board Member Brandon Bergeron stated that he would like to see the upcoming budget regarding allocations.  N

 

Mr. Kevin Hotard offered a substitute motion to table the item regarding the alternative school.  Mr. Thomas Nelson seconded the motion.

 

A roll call vote on the substitute motion resulted in the following action:

 

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

NAYS:   Frank Aguillard, Jr. and James Cline

ABSTENTIONS:  None

ABSENT:  Leslie Grezaffi and Anita LeJeune

 

The substitute motion to table the alternative school passed by a vote of 4-2-2 and the item was tabled.

 

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Remarks from the Superintendent.   Superintendent D’Amico reminded everyone school will re-open on Monday, April 28, 2014, after having been closed for the Easter/Spring Break holiday. She also announced high school End-of-Course testing; preparations are being made for summer school; and graduation at Livonia High will be Friday, May 16, 2014.

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Adjournment. Mr. Thomas Nelson made a motion to adjourn.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Chad Aguillard and the meeting adjourned at 8:05 p.m.

 

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Frank R. Aguillard, Jr., President

 

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Linda D. D’Amico, Superintendent