MINUTES

 

POINTE COUPEE PARISH SCHOOL BOARD

337 Napoleon Street

New Roads, LA  70760

 

SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER RETREAT

Monday, November 30, 2015

 

 

The Pointe Coupee Parish School Board met on Monday, November 30, 2015, at the L’Auberge Resort located at  777 Avenue L’Auberge in Lake Charles, LA.  President Frank Aguillard, Jr. called the meeting to order at 8:16 a.m.

 

Mrs. Leslie Grezaffi was requested to offer the invocation.

 

Mr. Thomas Nelson led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.

 

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

 

Central Office Staff in attendance were:  Kevin Lemoine, Superintendent of Schools and Tammy Oubre, Executive Assistant.

 

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Mr. Frank Aguillard announced that School Board members have been asking for a retreat to come together to discuss school system business. He mentioned that charges incurred for lodging and meals, over PPM-49 allowances, will be transferred from the School Board Members’ personal hospitality fund to pay the difference.  Mr. Aguillard also mentioned that he would like this meeting to be conducted as a normal meeting. 

 

Opening Remarks from the Superintendent.   Superintendent Lemoine expressed his appreciation for each School Board member taking the time to attend a retreat to discuss solutions that will improve education for the children in the parish of Pointe Coupee.  He mentioned he would like the Board to discuss a strategic plan for the school system and identify individuals to serve on planning committees. During his opening reports, Mr. Lemoine announced that a Chief Program Administrator (CPA) has been selected for the STEM Magnet Academy of Pointe Coupee. He informed members of the Board that there were 15 applicants; 10 interviews, of which 1 candidate did not show up for the interview. The Interview Committee for the position consisted of the school district’s Superintendent, Central Office Supervisors/Directors, and High School Principal Stacy Gueho.  Mr. Lemoine stated that Mr. Jeff Debatz, a native of Pointe Coupee and the Director of the David Thibodeaux Stem Academy in Lafayette, was present during interviews as a guest (not a voting member of the Committee) to provide educational insight regarding academic leadership qualities needed for the STEM Program.  Mr. Lemoine mentioned that all Committee Members had the same top three candidates.  He announced that Mr. Robert Howle was the candidate chosen as the CPA for the STEM Academy of Pointe Coupee; he accepted the position and will begin working in January 2016.  Mr. Howel has extensive STEM experience; he was a Master Teacher at the MSA in Iberville when the program initially began; he is the co-sponsor of the robotics team in West Feliciana; has grant writing experience and academic leadership qualifications. Board members requested that Superintendent Lemoine continue to meet with people in the parish to build good will regarding the changes that are necessary to move the system forward.  Mr. Lemoine stated that he is committed to providing leadership and guidance and mentioned that he spoken to numerous groups, organizations (Rotary, Farm Bureau, Chamber of Commerce-Economic Development, NRG, etc.), with regard to improving the quality of public education in the parish.  He stated it is a parent’s decision to send their child to a parochial or private school; however, from an economic standpoint, business and industry look at the public school system as a factor regarding quality of life in a parish/county.

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Discussion Regarding Revising the Drug Testing Policy for Athletes and the Telecommunication Device Policy.   Superintendent Lemoine stated that several months ago, a new local vendor brought to his attention that her prices are comparable to the company that currently provides drug screening services for student athletes in our school system. He mentioned after researching policies in other parishes and reviewing LHSAA rules, he recommends the following proposed revisions to the drug testing policy: include all middle school student athletes (currently just high school) shall adhere to drug education program; establish a minimum of 5% random active athlete drug testing each month; random testing shall be done throughout the season as determined by the Superintendent or his/her designee, and eliminate 40% pre-season testing.  Superintendent Lemoine stated he would like the Board to consider revising the drug testing policy at the December School Board meeting.

 

Superintendent Lemoine announced that there have been huge issues resulting from cell phone usage at Livonia High School.  The current policy prohibits the use of cell phones on school campuses, with the exception of the Livonia High School campus. However, too much administrative time is being spent with problems stemming from cell phone recordings, etc.  Mr. Lemoine referred to the incident that recently occurred regarding a video and mentioned Act 837 with regard to student privacy rights; accountability/responsibility.  Therefore, Superintendent Lemoine would like to propose revisions to the policy at the December School Board meeting making the policy consistent throughout the parish. 

 

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Recess.  President Frank Aguillard requested a recess at 9:37 a.m.

 

Open Meeting.  President Frank Aguillard reconvened the meeting at 10:18 a.m.

 

Superintendent Lemoine mentioned program assessments are being done for evaluation of what programs are beneficial in our school system.

 

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Discussion Regarding a Strategic Plan for the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board.    Superintendent Lemoine announced the need for a Strategic Plan to improve the school district.  Mr. Lemoine mentioned that as the Superintendent, he needs the Board to give him direction regarding where to go with regard to achievement rather than management.  Superintendent Lemoine presented a PowerPoint presentation he had prepared. He mentioned the website states the vision of the Pointe Coupee Parish School System is to education students to become productive citizens; however, there also needs to be a mission statement describing the ultimate purpose of the why the school district exits.  Mr. Lemoine stated the charge of our School Board is to establish the strategic direction, set clear education and operational policies that guide the Pointe Coupee School System.  In the fall of 2014, citizens in Pointe Coupee Parish elected School Board members; the newly elected Board selected a new Superintendent in the summer of 2015.  The Superintendent and School Board realized that a creative plan for improvement would need to be drafted to ensure that fundamental changes take place.  Therefore, he is proposing a five-year Strategic Plan that will be created by a group of stakeholders which include, members of the School Board, principals, teachers, support staff, parents and local business partners. 

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Discussion Regarding the Identification of Individuals to Serve on Strategic Planning Committees.   Superintendent Lemoine presented information regarding the following three (3) focus areas that will be led by district leadership:

 

Focus Area 1- The Instruction Component (Instruction/Academics/Accountability) - Karla Jack, Chief Academic Officer is the Team Leader for this Committee; Focus Area 2 - The Learning Supports Component – Lisa D’Aquila, Director of Human Capital, is the Team Leader for this Committee; and Focus Area 3 -The Management Component- Stephen Langlois, Chief Fiscal Officer, is the Team Leader for this Committee.  Mr. Lemoine explained Committee Team Members for each Focus Area will consist of members of the School Board, school administrators, teachers, parents and community stakeholders.  Each Committee will meet three times during the month of January to draft goals and key indicator targets to measure success; they will also plan actions/strategies/interventions; list persons responsible and establish timelines.   Mr. Frank Aguillard and Mrs. Leslie Grezaffi volunteered to serve on the Instruction Component Committee; Mr. Chad Aguillard and Mrs. Anita LeJeune volunteered to serve on The Learning Supports Component Committee; and Mr. James Cline, Mr. Brandon Bergeron and Mr. Bobby Jarreau volunteered to serve on The Management Component Committee.  Mr. Lemoine stated he plans to attend all of the meetings; information from the Committees will be compiled to present to the full Board sometime in the spring.  Lacey Bueche will be available to assist Superintendent Lemoine with the technology aspect of Strategic Planning.  Board members should ask several constituents in their district to serve on a Committee as a stakeholder in the process.

 

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Presentation Regarding 2014/2015 Accountability Scores.   Superintendent Lemoine provided pertinent information regarding how teacher turnover and teacher quality have impacted school performance scores in the parish.  There was much discussion regarding the PowerPoint presentation of statistical data relevant to the last several years.

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Recess.  The Board recessed for lunch at 11:35 a.m.

 

Open Session.  The Board reconvened their meeting at 12:37 p.m.; Board Member Anita LeJeune was not feeling well and excused herself at 12:20 p.m.; Board Member James Cline entered the meeting at 12:45 p.m.

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Discussion Regarding Salaries for Teachers and Employees.    Superintendent Lemoine presented information regarding Pointe Coupee’s teacher attrition rates from 2010-2013 and 2013-2015.  Information was also presented regarding the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board’s 2015-2016 teacher salary schedule, based on steps 0 and 10, in comparison to the salaries paid in surrounding parishes (Avoyelles, East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Central Community, Iberville, St. Landry, West Feliciana, Zachary Community Schools).  Financial information (2014 school district/parish millages) for the aforementioned school systems was also reviewed.  A discussion ensued regarding the data presented, the current budget, one- time money, aging buildings, etc. 

 

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Closing Remarks from the Superintendent.   Mr. Lemoine stated that he is really impressed and excited about the spirt of collaboration he witnessed among School Board members today.  He mentioned everyone listened to all perspectives and ideas that are in the best interest for the children of the parish.  Superintendent Lemoine reiterated that people come to an area with good public schools and he is committed to that mission; hard work, dedication and working together to move the system forward. 

 

Prior to adjournment, School Board members expressed their appreciation to Superintendent Lemoine for the work he has done in the last few months. 

 

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Adjournment.   On a motion by Mr. Thomas Nelson, seconded by Mr. James Cline, the meeting adjourned at 2:04 p.m.

 

                                                                                   

Frank Aguillard, President

 

                                                                                   

Kevin Lemoine, Superintendent