MINUTES

 

POINTE COUPEE PARISH SCHOOL BOARD

337 Napoleon Street

New Roads, LA  70760

 

REGULAR MEETING

Thursday, June 25, 2015

 

The Pointe Coupee Parish School Board met for their regular monthly meeting on Thursday, June 25, 2015, at 337 Napoleon Street in New Roads, Louisiana 70760. President Frank R. Aguillard, Jr., called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m. 

 

Mr. Brandon Bergeron was requested to lead everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.

 

Mrs. Karen Shaw was requested to offer the invocation.

 

Board members present for roll call were: Chad Aguillard, Frank Aguillard, Brandon Bergeron, Bobby Jarreau, and Thomas Nelson.

 

Board member Anita LeJeune was absent.

 

School Personnel in attendance were:  Linda D’Amico, Superintendent; Bridget Berry, Supervisor of 21st Century Community Learning; Lacey Bueche, Supervisor of Technology; Lisa D’Aquila, Supervisor of Personnel; Donald Fuselier, Director of Maintenance and Support Services; Kate Guillory, Supervisor of Child Nutrition; Karla Jack, Supervisor of Federal Programs & Secondary Education; Kristy LaCoste, Supervisor of Early Childhood Education; Stephen Langlois, Chief Financial Officer; Karen Shaw, Supervisor of Head Start; Mary Wells, Supervisor of Special Education; Natalie Aguillard, Principal of Rosenwald Elementary; Myron Brown, Principal of Upper Pointe Coupee Elementary; Kim Canezaro, Principal of Valverda Elementary; Marcie Cazayoux, Principal of Rougon Elementary; and Stacy Gueho, Principal of Livonia High School.

 

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Board Member James Cline arrived at 5:33 p.m.

 

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President Frank Aguillard thanked Superintendent Linda D’Amico and Superintendent- Elect Kevin Lemoine for working together for the betterment of our school system and mentioned it has been a smooth transition. 

 

The Rotary Community Dialogue on Pubic Education in Pointe Coupee Series will express appreciation to Superintendent Linda D’Amico and welcome guest speaker, Kevin Lemoine, the incoming Superintendent, at the Community Prayer Breakfast being sponsored by the False River New Roads Rotary Club on Tuesday, June 30, 2015. Mr. Frank Aguillard announced a table has been reserved for all eight School Board members paid for with funds from the account contributed to monthly from each member of the Board.

 

Mr. Aguillard was happy to report that during the 2015 Louisiana Legislative Session, Representative Thibaut and Senator Ward helped to secure funding for repairs needed at Pointe Coupe Central.  He mentioned the Board had previously directed Attorney Hammonds to file a suit against the RSD for the repairs, but in light of the recent news that the Governor has signed HB 2 for $959,966, he would like the Board to consider adding an item to the agenda to discuss the matter.  Mr. Stephen Langlois, Superintendent Linda D’Amico and Superintendent-Elect Lemoine had a conference call with Mr. Jim Lee of Facilities Planning Capital Outlay regarding matching funds, prior financial commitments (i.e. the boiler & chiller) for reimbursement and the Cooperative Endeavor Agreement. Mr. Aguillard stated the item will be addressed at the end of tonight’s agenda.

 

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

 

Mr. Buddy Bergeron, a former member of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board.

 

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Consent Agenda.  On a motion by Mr. Brandon Bergeron seconded by Mr. Thomas Nelson, the following consent agenda items were approved for adoption by a 6-2 vote of those present and voting.

 

Approval of the minutes from the regular School Board meeting of Thursday, May 28, 2015

 

Approval of the minutes from the Executive Committee meeting of Thursday, June 18, 2015.

 

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Head Start Supervisor’s Monthly Report.  Mrs. Karen Shaw, Supervisor of Head Start highlighted that it is recruitment time and slots are available at all centers.  She mentioned she is advertising on the radio, word of mouth and door to door flyers, etc.

 

On a motion by Mr. Thomas Nelson, seconded by Mr. Chad Aguillard, the Board voted to approve the Head Start monthly report, as presented by Supervisor Karen Shaw. The motion passed by a vote of 6-2 of those voting and present.

 

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Board Member Leslie Grezaffi arrived at 5:35 p.m.

 

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Bid Approval for Child Nutrition Program.  Mrs. Kate Guillory, Supervisor of Child Nutrition, provided information on BoardDocs regarding bids that were received and suggested the Board consider awarding bids to the lowest bidders.

 

Mr. Chad Aguillard made a motion, seconded by Mr. Brandon Bergeron to approve the 2015-2016 Child Nutrition Program (CNP) bid contracts for non-food supplies, bread & bread products, frozen/dry food and milk.  Mr. Frank Aguillard announced that he would like the records to reflect that he is recusing himself from voting for this particular item.  The motion passed by a vote of 6-1-1.

 

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Bid Approval for Janitorial & Paper Supplies.  Mr. Donald Fuselier, Director of Maintenance and Support Services, provided information on BoardDocs regarding bids that were received and suggested the Board consider awarding bids to the lowest bidders.

 

Mr. Thomas Nelson made a motion, seconded by Mr. Chad Aguillard, to approve low bids for janitorial and paper supplies for 2015-2016.  Mr. Frank Aguillard announced that he would like the records to reflect that he is recusing himself from voting for this particular item.  The motion passed by a vote of 6-1-1.

 

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Permission Granted to Re-Route Bus Owner/Operator Bus Routes.  Superintendent D’Amico stated she would like to work with First Student and all owner/operator drivers to efficiently re-route buses for cost saving measures for the district, allowing our drivers first choice regarding rebidding.

 

Mrs. Leslie Grezaffi made a motion, seconded by Mr. Bobby Jarreau, to grant permission to re-route bus owner/operator bus routes.  The motion carried by a 7-1 vote.

 

Mrs. D’Amico announced she will meet with bus drivers at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 30, 2015, at the Central Office.

 

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Monthly Financial Information.  On a motion by Mr. Thomas Nelson, seconded by Mr. Bobby Jarreau, the monthly financial information prepared by Mr. Stephen Langlois, Chief Financial Officer, was approved.  The motion carried by a 7-1 vote.

 

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Authorization Granted as Signee on Bank Accounts.  Superintendent Linda D’Amico will be retiring on June 30, 2015 and Mr. Kevin Lemoine will become Superintendent on July 1, 2015; therefore, Chief Financial Officer Stephen Langlois requested the Board to appoint Mr. Lemoine as an authorized signee on all bank accounts and to remove Mrs. D’Amico’s name.

 

Mr. Chad Aguillard made a motion to appoint Mr. Kevin Lemoine as an authorized signee on all bank accounts for the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board and to remove Mrs. Linda D’Amico’s name from the accounts.  Mr. Thomas Nelson seconded the motion.   The motion carried by a 7-1 vote.

 

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Workers’ Compensation Insurance Proposal Accepted.  Mr. Stephen Langlois stated the Finance Committee met and their recommendation is to enter into a contract with LWCC for workers compensation insurance for fiscal year 2015-2016.   Mr. Langlois was requested to provide an analysis regarding expenditures by LUBA and to also conduct a study to determine if a self-insurance plan would be feasible for fiscal year 2016-2017.

 

Mr. Brandon Bergeron made a motion to accept the insurance proposal from LWCC for workers’ compensation insurance coverage effective July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.  Mr. Bobby Jarreau seconded the motion.  The motion carried by a 7-1 vote.

 

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Contract with the City of New Roads for a School Resource Officer for the 2015-2016 School Year Tabled.  Mr. Frank Aguillard announced a School Resource Officer (SRO) will be at Rosenwald next year; however, the recommendation of the Finance Committee was to table this item until additional information can be provided with regard to the contract with the City of New Roads.

 

On a motion by Mr. Brandon Bergeron, seconded by Mr. Thomas Nelson, the Board voted to table the agenda item regarding a contract with the City of New Roads for a School Resource Officer for 2015-2016, until next month.  The motion carried by a 7-1 vote.

 

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Cooperative Endeavor Agreement for School Resource Officers Tabled.  The Finance Committee recommended tabling this item until additional information is obtained regarding the increase in cost for provided services.

 

Mr. Brandon Bergeron made the motion to table the Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between Pointe Coupee Sheriff Beauregard Torres, III, and the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board for School Resource Officers at Livonia High, Rougon Elementary, Valverda Elementary, and Upper Pointe Coupee Elementary, for school year 2015-2016.  The motion was seconded by Mr. James Cline.  The motion carried by a 7-1 vote.

 

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Approval of Posting a RIF.  Superintendent D’Amico announced, if employee attrition doesn’t take care of decreasing expenditures needed to present a balanced 2015-2016 general fund budget, there is a possibility that a reduction in personnel may be necessary.  It was stated that this is not to alarm anyone; a RIF was posted four years and the school system did not have to implement the policy because of attrition, etc.  The Finance Committee recommends posting a RIF in the event it has to be implemented. 

 

Mr. Brandon Bergeron made a motion, seconded by Mr. James Cline, to approve the posting of a RIF.  The motion carried by a 7-1 vote.

 

Suspension of Portion of Policy DC.  Mr. Stephen Langlois stated the Finance Committee met and recommends the suspension of the 2% cash reserve portion of policy DC in an effort to present a balanced general fund fiscal year budget 2015-2016.  The Committee also mentioned they would like to start looking at ways to build the fund balance back to a larger amount.

 

On a motion by Mr. Brandon Bergeron, seconded by Mr. James Cline, the Board voted to approve the suspension of the 2% cash reserve portion of policy DC.  The motion carried by a 7-1 vote.

 

Consider Authorization to Advertise the Proposed 2015-2016 General Fund Budget for Public Review Tabled.  The recommendation of the Finance Committee is to table this agenda item giving the new Superintendent an opportunity to make some recommendations that will allow him to present a balanced budget to the public.

 

Mr. Brandon Bergeron made a motion to table the agenda item regarding authorization to advertise the 2015-2016 proposed general fund budget for public review.  The motion was seconded by Mr. James Cline.  The motion carried by a 7-1 vote.

 

Approval Granted for Retirement Incentive Payouts.  Mr. Stephen Langlois stated he had meetings with Superintendent-Elect Lemoine regarding cost saving measures.  Mr. Lemoine mentioned that his priority is protecting students; he is trying not to impact services to children, as it is hard to find certified teachers.  Mr. Lemoine stated even though he values what everyone does, he is primarily focusing on employees that currently work at the Central Office, Head Start, VAP, and Maintenance Department to help to alleviate a budget deficit. The Finance Committee agreed with the $10,000 incentives for certificated employees and $5,000 for non-certificated employees suggested by Mr. Lemoine and Mr. Langlois.  If through attrition the value doesn’t materialize to balance the budget, a reduction in personnel will be necessary. 

 

Mr. James Cline made the motion to grant retirement incentive payouts of $10,000 for certificated employees and $5,000 for non-certificated employees for employees that currently work at the Central Office, Head Start, VAP, and Maintenance Department.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Brandon Bergeron.   The motion carried by a 7-1 vote.

 

Approval of Revised Resolution.  Mr. Stephen Langlois announced that Attorney Charles Hardie, of Hammonds, Sills, Adkins & Guice, updated the lease for School Board owned property in Livonia, including the property description in exhibit A, as requested by the Louisiana State Mineral and Energy Board and the Office of Mineral Resources.

 

On a motion by Mr. Thomas Nelson, seconded by Mr. James Cline, the Board approved the following resolution:

 

RESOLUTION

            BE IT RESOLVED that pursuant to a public notice, a regularly scheduled meeting of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board was held on the 25th day of June, 2015, at 5:30 o’clock P.M. at 337 Napoleon Street, New Roads, Louisiana, where the following resolution, upon motion duly seconded and passed, was adopted, to-wit:

            BE IT RESOLVED that the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board has determined that it is the owner of mineral interests in and under immovable property described in Exhibit “A”, attached hereto and made a part hereof;

            BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board has determined that it desires to take advantage of LSA R.S. 30:152 (A), et seq, to authorize the Louisiana State Mineral and Energy Board to nominate the property described in Exhibit “A” for state agency mineral lease;

            BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED by the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board, in legal session convened, that it does hereby direct and authorize the Louisiana State Mineral and Energy Board and the Office of Mineral Resources to accept nominations, advertise for, accept and award bids, and execute all oil, gas and mineral leases pertaining to the immovable property listed on the attached Exhibit “A”.

 

            YEAS:        Chad Aguillard, Frank R. Aguillard, Jr., Brandon Bergeron, James M. Cline, Leslie Grezaffi, Bobby Jarreau, and Thomas Nelson

            NAYS:        None

            ABSENT:    Anita LeJeune

            ABSTAIN:   None

            And this Resolution was declared adopted on the 25th day of June, 2015.

______________________________                    __________________________________

Linda D'Amico, Superintendent                          Frank R. Aguillard, Jr., President

Secretary-Treasurer                                                        Pointe Coupee Parish School Board

Pointe Coupee Parish School Board

 

            I HEREBY CERTIFY that the above is a true and correct copy of a Resolution adopted at a meeting of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board, held in New Roads, Louisiana, on the 25th day of June, 2015 pursuant to due notice, at which meeting a quorum was present, and that said Resolution is duly entered into the Minute Book of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board and is now in full force and effect this 25th day of June, 2015.

                                                                                    ______________________________

Linda D'Amico, Secretary-Treasurer

Pointe Coupee Parish School Board

 

 

Appreciation of Superintendent Linda D’Amico.  Board Member Frank Aguillard stated he asked to place an item on tonight’s agenda that would allow members of the School Board an opportunity to express their appreciation to Superintendent D’Amico for her service to the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board.   Mr. Aguillard stated it was a pleasure to work with Mrs. D’Amico.  He mentioned that she served the parish and children with honor and represented the parish with high morals and character.  Mr. Aguillard wished her well in her future endeavors.

 

Board Member Thomas Nelson stated he echoes what Mr. Frank Aguillard said and it has been a pleasure working with Mrs. D’Amico.  Mr. Nelson stated Mrs. D’Amico has done a good job in all capacities and mentioned that she will be missed.  He asked her not to forget about the School Board and to come by and extend her expertise and advice.  Mr. Nelson expressed that he hopes all goes well, wishing her the best and commended her on behalf of the children and workers in the school system.

 

Board Member Chad Aguillard echoed sentiments from Mr. Frank Aguillard and Mr. Thomas Nelson.  Mr. Aguillard stated he doesn’t think he could ever do the job of a Superintendent; working with eight (8) School Board members with different personalities.  He stated objectively Mrs. D’Amico has done a good job and mentioned the district is in a position to really move forward and thanked Superintendent D’Amico for her service.  He also mentioned that he knows that they have not always agreed on everything, but he has always felt that she wanted to do the right thing for the kids in the parish.

 

Board Member Brandon Bergeron echoed what his colleges have said.  He mentioned that he has the pleasure of being Mrs. D’Amico’s neighbor and knows the long hours she has spent at work because he would see the time she came home.  Mr. Bergeron stated, “Hats off” Mrs. D’Amico, you did a wonderful job.  He also said that she will be missed.

 

Board Member Bobby Jarreau stated while campaigning and knocking on doors, he heard good things about Mrs. D’Amico.  Mr. Jarreau mentioned that they are friends and often while socializing Mrs. D’Amico’s would receive a school related telephone call and took care of business during her “free” time. He commended Mrs. D’Amico on a great job as Superintendent.

 

Board Member Leslie Ann Grezaffi stated they have been in education for a long time and thanked Mrs. D’Amico for all that she has done putting the children first, even when it was not popular.  She commended Mrs. D’Amico for organizing an amazing staff that helped support her vision for the district. Mrs. Grezaffi stated that Mrs. D’Amico’s commitment to education is something to be admired; she wished her well and to have a good time during her retirement.

 

Board Member James Cline apologized for Mrs. D’Amico having to put up with him, as he knows it was a difficult part of her job.  Mr. Cline also mentioned that Mrs. D’Amico became Superintendent at a very challenging time following the state’s take-over of Pointe Coupee Central.  He stated although she was placed in a lot of difficult controversies she looked at ways to improve academic growth during the 5 ½ years while she was Superintendent.  Mr. Cline stated Mrs. D’Amico was the most visible Superintendent as she supported the children by attending school events and the children knew she was there to support them.  Mr. Cline also mentioned that Superintendent D’Amico witnessed a couple of State Championships and students have earned 5,000 or more college credit hours during her term as Superintendent.  He stated Mrs. D’Amico has a long list of accomplishments, and told her to enjoy her retirement.

 

Superintendent-Elect Kevin Lemoine stated it has been a pleasure working with Superintendent Linda D’Amico.  He mentioned that he appreciated what she did for him during the transition time, mentioning she insisted that he move into her office before she left for retirement.  After personally thanking Mrs. D’Amico, Mr. Lemoine welcomed her back anytime and stated she may receive telephone calls from him from time to time.

 

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Remarks from the Superintendent’s Office.  Superintendent D’Amico thanked the Board for their kind remarks and for allowing her to serve the children of Pointe Coupee Parish.  She mentioned the Pointe Coupee Parish School System has been her life since 1985; including 3 ½ years in the late seventies.  Mrs. D’Amico announced she has 38.5 total years of experience in the field of education and 34.5 of those years have been with this school system.  Mrs. D’Amico stated she began her career as a teacher, became an Assistant Principal, then a Principal, worked as a Supervisor in the Central Office, and then accepted the position of Superintendent.  Superintendent D’Amico stated it was always her dream to lead the school system.  She announced after 5.5 years as Superintendent, she is leaving with mixed emotions and the hope that everyone will support Superintendent Lemoine to move the district to the top.  Mrs. D’Amico stated that she experienced many rewards and some challenges while serving as Superintendent.  She mentioned that she has enjoyed working with and for this School Board, as well as with all of the teachers, school/central office staff, school food service and transportation employees.  She thanked everyone for their past support, and wished everyone, especially the children, the best!  Superintendent D’Amico read a modified quote by Primo Levi, a Holocaust Survivor, describing how she is currently feeling:  “The bond between a woman and her profession is similar to that which ties her to her country, it is just as complex, often ambivalent, and in general, it is understood completely only when it is broken: by exile or emigration in the case of one’s country, by retirement in the case of a profession”.

   

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President Frank Aguillard announced that he thought it was his duty as the President of the School Board to meet with local representatives Major Thibaut and Rick Ward regarding money owed to the school system by the state for repairs needed on the campus of Pointe Coupee Central after five years of neglect following the state Department of Education’s takeover of Pointe Coupee Central High School.  He stated that he, Mr. Stephen Langlois, Superintendent Linda D’Amico, Mr. Donald Fuselier, architect David Mougeot and electrical engineer David Bonaventure met with Representative Thibaut and Senator Ward to discuss the condition of the building/grounds and needed repairs.  Mr. Aguillard stated the two legislators first went to the Recovery School District to try to work out a settlement, but that did not work out well.  Mr. Aguillard was happy to announce the state’s recently approved budget included a line item that would provide the Board with $959,966 for the repairs and publicly thanked Mr. Thibaut and Mr. Ward for their assistance during the 2015 legislative session. 

 

President Aguillard requested to add an item to the agenda since the School Board had previous discussions regarding the possibility of suing the RSD for the costs of the needed repairs at Pointe Coupee Central.

 

Mr. Thomas Nelson made a motion, seconded by Mr. James Cline, to add the following item to the agenda:

 

Added Agenda Item-

Strategy Session and/or Action Concerning Pending Litigation.* (Attorney Robert L. Hammonds).  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.

 

Executive Session.  Mr. James Cline made a motion, seconded by Mr. Brandon Bergeron to enter into an executive session at 6:15 p.m.   The motion carried unanimously by those voting and present.

 

Open Session.  Mr. Brandon Bergeron made a motion to reconvene in open session at 6:43 p.m.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Chad Aguillard.  The motion carried unanimously by those voting and present.

 

Board Member Thomas Nelson announced that Board Counsel had explained that the Board’s claims against the State for damages to Pointe Coupee Central High School might prescribe July 1, 2015 or shortly thereafter and that any suit in state court should be filed prior to that date.  Mr. Nelson stated that, based on assurances from the state, that it will pay $959,966 for repairs at Pointe Coupee Central High School, he moved that Attorney Hammonds be directed to refrain from filing a state court suit seeking payment for such repairs and authorizing Attorney Hammonds to dismiss the motion in federal court seeking such funds upon receipt of them. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Leslie Grezaffi.  The motion carried unanimously by those voting and present.

 

Adjournment.  On a motion by Mr. Brandon Bergeron, seconded by Mrs. Leslie Grezaffi, the meeting adjourned at 6:45 p.m.

 

POINTE COUPEE PARISH SCHOOL BOARD

                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                   

Frank R. Aguillard, Jr.               

President

 

_________________________

Linda D. D’Amico

Superintendent