The Beauregard Parish School Board met in regular session Thursday, April 13, 2017, at 6:00 pm in the Central Office Board Room. The following board members were present: David Vidrine, Darrin Manuel, Don Gray, Timothy Hudson, Martha Jackson, Wesley Taylor, Cassie Henry, L. D. Spears, Kathy Bruner, and Ray Bowman. Student Representative Tabitha Deer was absent.
Timothy J. Cooley, Superintendent, was present and acted as secretary.
The Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance were led by Wesley Henry.
Board members were asked to review the agenda that had been prepared. Hearing no discussion, David Vidrine noted that he would accept a motion to adopt the agenda. Upon motion of Kathy Bruner, seconded by Darrin Manuel, board members voted to adopt the agenda as presented.
Moving to the first item on the agenda, board members were asked to consider adopting the minutes of the March 6, 2017, special meeting of the Beauregard Parish School Board as published in the official journal. There being no discussion, upon motion of Wesley Taylor, seconded by Kathy Bruner, board members voted to adopt the minutes of the March 6, 2017, special meeting of the Beauregard Parish School Board as published in the official journal, by a margin of 9-0 (Gray abstained.)
Next, board members considered adopting the minutes of the March 9, 2017, regular meeting of the Beauregard Parish School Board as published in the official journal. Don Gray offered a motion to adopt the minutes of the March 9, 2017, regular meeting of the Beauregard Parish School Board as published in the official journal, which was seconded by Cassie Henry and adopted, upon voting.
Superintendent Tim Cooley started the Superintendent’s Report with a reminder to board members that annual personal financial disclosure statements were due in the office of the Louisiana Ethics Administration by May 15, 2017. Board members were advised that Ms. Archer would be glad to help them complete and/or submit these forms, if they would let her know by May 8, 2017.
Board members learned that Teacher Appreciation Week would be observed May 1-4, 2017. Mr. Cooley expressed gratitude for the work that all teachers do on a daily basis.
Board members were asked to remember that the Senior Scholars’ Banquet would take place on Tuesday, May 9, 2017. This event will be held at 7:00 p.m. at the Beauregard Parish Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall.
Mr. Cooley announced that South Beauregard Upper Elementary had been recognized as a National Title I Distinguished School. Principal Wesley Henry was present with several staff members and spoke to board members regarding this designation, explaining that SBUE was honored for its efforts in “closing the gap” between the test scores of economically disadvantaged students and the test scores of average students.
Board members heard from Margie Hieronymus regarding the online spring testing currently in progress. According to Ms. Hieronymus, spring testing in the past encompassed a couple of weeks, but with the online testing, the “window” is open for a much longer period, even months. Ms. Hieronymus thanked the board members for their support, which enabled a major network upgrade to be implemented, and noted that spring testing was going well, in spite of one school taking a direct lightning strike that knocked out six switches and flooding that closed two schools.
The next item on the agenda was to recognize the Beauregard Parish Outstanding Support Persons of the Year. Mr. Cooley reminded board members that the Beauregard Parish High School Outstanding Support Person of the Year had been honored just before the Monday committee meetings, since he had a prior committment which would prevent him from attending the regular board meeting. Board members heard from Mark Weldon, Principal, East Beauregard Elementary, who presented Suzanne McDaniel, Bookkeeper, as the honoree for the Beauregard Parish Elementary Outstanding Support Person of the Year. Mr. Weldon noted that Ms. McDaniel cheerfully handled much more than just the school finances, helping wherever help is needed. Next, Tammy Crain, Principal, South Beauregard High School, recognized Holly Barrow, Secretary/Clerk, as the Beauregard Parish Middle School Outstanding Support Person of the Year. Ms. Crain listed many of the positive attributes that make Ms. Barrow an outstanding employee, noting that she volunteered countless hours of her time to helping others at the school, during the eleven years prior to becoming a permanent staff person.
Next, board members were asked to consider taking from the table the item concerning the approval of Budget Revision #1. Upon motion of Wesley Taylor, seconded by Darrin Manuel, board members voted to approve discussion of the item tabled in March: To consider approval of Budget Revision #1. Lesia Casanovas explained that although she did not have any updated information to present, she noted that with this revision the projected deficit of $2.7 million represented a decrease in the deficit amount of $4.2 million projected in the original budget. More importantly, according to Ms. Casanovas, the revision reduces the deficiency in the General Fund operating costs from $373,000 to $87,000. Board members were assured that there would be an ongoing effort to reduce these deficiencies even further. In response to a board member’s request to have a final budget revision that reflects up-to-date year-end amounts, Ms. Casanovas advised board members that it could be done, but would require that a final budget revision be presented for approval in July. Board members were advised that a July budget revision would contain actual amounts as of June 30, 2017, but since the district is on a modified accrual basis, actual year-end amounts are not complete until August 30th. If everything went smoothly, according to Ms. Casanovas, the final budget revision for FYE 2017 would be presented for approval in July, at the same meeting at which the FYE 2018 budget would be presented, pending completion of the state-mandated waiting period before approval. Ray Bowman offered a motion to approve Budget Revision #1, which was seconded by Cassie Henry and approved, upon voting.
Following action on Budget Revision #1, board members heard two recommendations from the Finance Committee. The first of these was a motion to recommend accepting the transfer of the SBHS band room project to Champeaux, Evans, and Hotard, APAC. Hearing no additional discussion, the motion to recommend accepting the transfer of the SBHS band room project to Champeaux, Evans, and Hotard, APAC was approved upon voting. The second recommendation was a motion to specify a “not-to-exceed” amount of $500,000 as an addendum to the Request for Proposals for architectural services for the East Beauregard High School weight room project. When a voice vote was inconclusive, a division of the house resulted in the need for a roll call vote. In a roll call vote Ray Bowman, Kathy Bruner, L. D. Spears, Martha Jackson, and Don Gray voted in favor of– and Cassie Henry, Darrin Manuel, David Vidrine, Wesley Taylor, and Timothy Hudson voted against–the motion to specify a “not-to-exceed” amount of $500,000 as an addendum to the Request for Proposals for architectural services for the East Beauregard High School weight room project. The motion failed on a tie vote.
The next item was to consider final adoption of new policy File:CEI, Evaluation of the Superintendent, after completion of the waiting period. Without further discussion, upon voting, the policy was granted final approval.
The final item on the agenda was to consider advertising to fill the position of Assistant Superintendent. Kathy Bruner offered a motion to begin to advertise to fill the position of Assistant Superintendent, which was seconded by L. D. Spears. In discussion, James Herrington advised board members that the only requirement was that the vacancy notice must appear in the official journal, but that it would also be listed under “Job Vacancies” on the BPSB website and sent to all of the parish schools. Mr. Cooley clarified that the actual job duties at this time included maintenance, technology, and some curriculum duties, but that this was subject to change, depending on the actual strengths and qualifications of the selected applicant. Mr. Herrington explained that the job description in the advertisement would not list specific duties, but rather educational and professional qualifications which were required for consideration. A suggestion was made to include the period of time for which the advertisement would run in the motion, as well. Upon voting, board members approved advertising to fill the position of Assistant Superintendent, beginning on April 24, 2017, and continuing for two weeks.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned by general consent.