The Beauregard Parish School Board met in regular session Thursday, August 9, 2018, at 6:00 pm in the Central Office Board Room. David Vidrine, Darrin Manuel, Ray Bowman, Kathy Bruner, L. D. Spears, Cassie Henry, Wesley Taylor, Martha Jackson, and Don Gray were present. Timothy Hudson and Student Representative Maili Bartz were absent.
Timothy J. Cooley, Superintendent, was present and acted as secretary.
The Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance were led by Tammy Crain.
After first checking with all board members to verify that they had been provided with a copy of the agenda, David Vidrine stated he would entertain a motion to adopt the agenda as presented. Upon motion of Ray Bowman, seconded by Cassie Henry, board members voted in favor of adopting the agenda as presented.
The first agenda item was to consider adopting the minutes of the July 12, 2018, regular meeting of the Beauregard Parish School Board, as published in the official journal. Don Gray offered a motion to adopt the minutes as published in the official journal, which was seconded by Wesley Taylor. Upon voting, board members adopted the minutes of the July 12, 2018, regular meeting of the Beauregard Parish School Board, as published in the official journal. Cassie Henry and Martha Jackson stated that they wished to abstain from voting on the minutes.
The Superintendent’s Report started with Superintendent Cooley sharing that the opening of the 4-day schools (Merryville High School and Singer High School) went well, but was not without challenges. Singer High School was under a water boil advisory for the first few days and Merryville High School is undergoing a change of its administrative team. Board members were advised that the advertisement for principal will close on August 17, 2018.
Louisiana School Boards Association (LSBA) will host a Trailblazer training on October 8, 2018. Board members were encouraged to contact Ms. Archer for help with registration if they wished to attend.
Next, Mr. Cooley introduced the administrative team at DeRidder High School and recognized several individuals from Fort Polk and the group “Fort Polk Progress,” who were instrumental in bringing the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) grant to the attention of the school system and helpful in completing the application process. Mr. Cooley asked Shawn Bagget to deliver a report on the NMSI grant and an update on the Advanced Placement (AP) courses being offered at DeRidder High School. Ms. Baggett began by describing the qualification procedures and application process, and advising board members that they would find a handout in their folders to follow along with charts and graphs being shown on the screen. Board members heard a summary of all AP courses being offered and asked to note that in 2016-2017, only 12 students had earned a score of 3 or above to qualify them for college-level credit. This is in contrast to the 2017-2018 results, which increased to nearly double that number: 22 students earned scores high enough to receive college credit. Ms. Baggett credited the resources available as a result of the NMSI grant (training/support in content specific areas, student supplies and equipment, extra study time on Saturdays, and financial help for exam costs) as being the driving force in the increase.
The next agenda item was to consider approval of the changes to the Pupil Progression Plan for 2018-2019. Ms. Hayes began by reminding board members that the state had released the template very late–in March–and that rather than release a new template, school districts were given the option to 1) continue to use the 2017-18 template as is for the 2018-19 school year, or 2) make any changes in the form of an addendum. Ms. Hayes explained that it was recommended by principals to issue an addendum with the intention to regroup second grade from the promotional requirements for third grade and above, to give second grade same promotional criteria as first grade. Answering questions from board members, Ms. Hayes noted that for third grade and up, science and social studies grades are used in the calculations to determine whether a child will be advanced to the next grade. Since second grade students receive less focused instruction in these subjects, it was perceived as being more equitable to use the same criteria as the first grade students (with a focus on ELA and math) when determining whether promotional requirements have been met. Upon motion of Kathy Bruner, seconded by Ray Bowman, board members approved including the addendum with the Pupil Progression Plan for 2018-2019.
Next, Lesia Casanovas presented Budget Revision #2 for FYE 2018 for discussion, noting that the board would be asked to consider approval of the budget revision in September. Ms. Casanovas began by calling board members’ attention to the overall budget summary. The first items reviewed were revenues received from various sources, overall a little better than anticipated, in spite of anticipated decreases from federal and state sources. Next, reviewing expenditures, board members were advised that there were several decreases, but that perhaps the most significant was in the area of school food services, where a decrease of $536,000 was realized, made possible by use of commodity items and careful menu planning. Other areas posting decreases in expenditures included instructional support services, facilities construction, and debt services. Board members discussed the various individual fund balances, the reserve amount, the 5% variance, and the anticipated ending balance, which is expected to be $886,000 more than projected. Mr. Cooley thanked everyone for helping do what was necessary to get to this point, and board members were reminded that they will be asked to consider approval of the budget revision in September.
Moving to the next agenda item, to hear recommendations from the Finance Committee, Kathy Bruner offered a motion to consider the items in globo (together, at the same time) which was seconded by Ray Bowman, and approved upon voting. Next, the following motions from the Finance Committee were approved by a margin of 6-3 (Bowman, Taylor, Vidrine):
a. Motion to adopt Resolution 2018005 - Industrial Tax Exemption.
b. Motion to adopt Resolution 2018006 - Industrial Tax Exemption.
Following action on the Finance Committee recommendations, board members heard two recommendations from the Policy Committee. Upon voting, the board approved the following motions from the Policy Committee:
a. Motion to approve revision of policy File:JCAB, Interrogations and Searches, with final adoption in September 2018, after completion of the waiting period.
b. Motion to approve revision of policy File:JCDB, Student Dress Code, with final adoption in September 2018, after completion of the waiting period.
The last item on the agenda was to consider adoption of policy File:BC, School Board Meetings and deletion of policy File:BCBFA, Quorum, after completion of the waiting period. Upon voting, the motion for final adoption was approved without additional discussion.
There being no further business, upon motion of Wesley Taylor, seconded by Cassie Henry, the meeting was adjourned.