The Beauregard Parish School Board met in regular session Monday, June 5, 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, Ray Bowman, and Student Representative Tabitha Deer.
Timothy J. Cooley, Superintendent, was present and acted as secretary.
The Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance were led by Barbara Newman.
David Vidrine asked board members to take a moment to look over the agenda and stated that he would accept a motion to adopt the agenda as presented. Upon motion of Wesley Taylor, seconded by Darrin Manuel, board members voted in favor of adopting the agenda as presented.
The next item of business was for board members to consider adopting the minutes of the May 11, 2017 regular meeting of the Beauregard Parish School Board as published in the official journal. Darrin Manuel offered a motion to adopt the minutes of the May 11, 2017 regular meeting of the Beauregard Parish School Board as published in the official journal, which was seconded by Timothy Hudson. There being no discussion, upon voting, the board voted in favor of adopting the minutes of the May 11, 2017 regular meeting of the Beauregard Parish School Board as published in the official journal, by a margin of 9-0 (Henry abstained.)
The Superintendents’s Report began with a reminder that the statewide Teacher Leader Summit would take place June 6-9 in New Orleans. The widely-anticipated, new science standards are one of the items expected to be rolled out at the summit.
The contract for Mr. Joey Bartz, Assistant Principal, South Beauregard High School, will be renewed with effective dates of January 5, 2018, through January 4, 2020. Also, the contract for Mr. James Herrington, Director of Personnel, Central Office will be renewed with effective dates of January 11, 2018, through January 10, 2020.
Board members were asked to look at their print-out detailing the sales tax collections and advised that sales tax collections for May had come in at about half of the total amount for the entire year to date (almost doubling the amount by which collections were down from a year ago) to approximately $500,000 less than what was received in collections last year. Mr. Cooley stated that given the $300,000 that must be replaced in the sales tax reserve, board members could expect calls, since the June sales tax supplement check will be impacted. In response to a question, board members were told that checks would be issued on June 15, but that an amount had not been determined yet.
Next, Mr. Cooley stated that Eddie Joslin would deliver information on attendance and an update on the WorkKeys assessment. Mr. Joslin began by stating that the attendance handout shows a comparison of attendance data, between the 2015-2016 school year and the 2016-2017 school year, noting that elementary schools tend to have a higher attendance rate than high schools. Board members learned that as a parish, the attendance rate rose 0.11% during the 2016-2017 school year; and in a 10-year study, the attendance rate had fluctuated only slightly. Mr. Joslin outlined areas where he felt improvement was possible and shared steps that he would be taking to bring the attendance rate up closer to 95%.
In an update on the WorkKeys program for the 2016-2017 year, Mr. Joslin explained that the WorkKeys assessments measured skills in three areas that employers consider critical to job success: Applied mathematics, reading for information, and locating information. While there are four levels of scoring (bronze, silver, gold, and platinum) only three (silver, gold, and platinum) may be applied to a diploma endorsement or TOPS eligibility for students in the JumpStart program. Board members were given a chart, summarizing the success of the program in its first year of implementation, and Mr. Joslin explained that a student scoring at the platinum level was considered to have scored between a 28-32 on the ACT exam. In addition, board members learned that, although the top score is a 6 (platinum-level), one student at Singer High School scored a 7 in applied mathematics, which translates to an almost perfect score in math on the ACT. Mr. Joslin was very enthusiastic about the potential for growth in future WorkKeys testing results.
Next, board members received a report from the Office of the District Attorney, regarding the 2016-2017 activities of the Truancy Assessment and Service Center (TASC). District Attorney Jimmy Lestage reminded board members that the program is in its ninth year and thanked Myrna Cooley, Mary Sowells, and Eddie Joslin for working to make the program successful. Mr. Lestage emphasized that the program objective is to intervene in the lives of children deemed to be at-risk by boosting school attendance and addressing needs in other areas, working toward the ultimate goal of helping them become successful adults and keeping them out of the criminal justice system. Myrna Cooley described the types of services provided through TASC, presented detailed information on the number of children in Beauregard Parish who had received services, and shared the success of the program by advising board members of the improvement noted in attendance rates.
Following the TASC report, board members were asked to consider adopting a resolution authorizing the superintendent to sign a form concerning uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Lesia Casanovas reminded board members that this was an annual requirement of the insurance company and read the resolution rejecting uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Upon motion of Cassie Henry, seconded by Kathy Bruner, board members voted to approve the following resolution:
The Beauregard Parish School Board authorizes Timothy J. Cooley as the Superintendent to sign the approved State of Louisiana Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage Form and the State of Louisiana Uninsured Motorists Property Damage Coverage Form on their behalf.
The next agenda item was for the board to appoint an official journal for 2017-2018. Lesia Casanovas advised board members that Louisiana Revised Statute 43:141 requires public bodies to appoint an official journal in June each year and recommended that the Beauregard Daily News be appointed the official journal of the Beauregard Parish School Board for 2017-2018. Upon motion of Don Gray, seconded by Ray Bowman, board members voted to appoint the Beauregard Daily News as the official journal of the Beauregard Parish School Board for 2017-2018.
Lesia Casanovas stated that it was time to renew the lease agreement with Valley, Inc. for the use of the cafeteria facilities at the Title I/Media Center to provide senior meals through the Beauregard Council on Aging.
Board members were advised that there were no changes from the current agreement and recommended that the board approve this agreement, noting that the monthly lease payment is $80. In response to a question about maintenance costs for the building, Ms. Casanovas explained that the costs for maintenance and utilities were inclusive of the Beauregard Alternative Program and the Title I/Media Center and not broken down specifically for each. Kathy Bruner offered a motion to approve the lease agreement with Valley, Inc. for use of cafeteria facilities at the Title I/Media Center for senior meals from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018, which was seconded by Cassie Henry and approved upon voting.
Next, board members were presented with a copy of the proposed budget for Fiscal Year Ending (FYE) 2018. David Vidrine reminded board members that although the budget was being presented, it would not be formally adopted until the July meeting, as required by law, and board members were encouraged to visit with Ms. Casanovas during that interval, if they had any concerns or questions. Board members were reminded that a public hearing on the budget must be held prior to adoption, and would occur 15 minutes before the start of the July regular meeting. Ms. Casanovas thanked board members for the work they did during the special meeting/workshop on the budget, which allowed for areas of concern to be addressed prior to development of the document being presented. Board members were informed that the first five pages were required inclusions (legal statements, policies, references to law, etc.) and that she would begin review with the budget summary on pages 6-7. The review of expected revenue and projected expenditures concluded with Ms. Casanovas stating that–with the agreed-upon items being paid from fund balance–the budget would have no deficiencies and no excess for the fiscal year ending 2018, meaning that the operating fund of the budget would be balanced. Board members were reminded that the budget was a projection and it would require continuous effort to make sure actual expenditures did not exceed projected amounts. Mr. Vidrine noted that no action was required on the budget during this meeting.
Following the presentation of the budget, Ms. Casanovas stated that it was time to approve the fiscal agency agreement for 2018. After noting that a template of the agreement had been provided for review, Ms. Casanovas reminded board members that each year the board must enter into agreements with the fiscal agencies, with each bank participating on the basis of their assessed values. Upon motion of Wesley Taylor, seconded by Kathy Bruner, board members voted to approved the fiscal agency agreement as presented.
The next agenda item was to consider awarding bids for items for school cafeterias. The first item for which bids were to be considered was bread and bakery products. According to Tina Simmons, only one vendor had participated in this bid and after review it was recommended to award the bid for bread and bakery products for the 2017-2018 school year to Flowers Bakery, L.L.C., for $25,175. Ms. Simmons noted that although the per loaf price had increased, a smaller quantity would be purchased. Kathy Bruner offered a motion to award bid for bread and bakery products for the 2017-2018 school year to Flowers Bakery, L.L.C., for $25,175. The motion was seconded by Darrin Manuel and approved upon voting.
Next, board members were asked to consider awarding bid for milk and related products. Ms. Simmons advised board members that two vendors had submitted bids: Mid-State Marketing, L.L.C. and Oak Farms Dairy. Ms. Simmons advised board members that the bid specifications were written as “all or none,” and since Oak Farms Dairy had failed to submit a bid price on gallon containers of orange juice, their bids on the other items had been disqualified, per a legal opinion from the Assistant Attorney General, according to Ms. Simmons. A motion to award the bid for milk and related products for the 2017-2018 school year to Mid-State Marketing (Borden) for $219,086.50 was offered by Ray Bowman and seconded by Wesley Taylor. The motion was approved upon voting.
The next item was to consider awarding bid for frozen food. Board members were advised that two vendors had submitted bids for frozen foods for school cafeterias for the 2017-2018 school year, and after review, it was recommended to award frozen foods in Group A to William George Company, Inc., and frozen foods in Group B to Lamm Food Service. Upon motion of Darrin Manuel, seconded by Timothy Hudson, board members approved awarding frozen foods in Group A to William George Company, Inc., and frozen foods in Group B to Lamm Food Service, for the 2017-2018 school year.
The next category for consideration was produce. Ms. Simmons noted that only one vendor had submitted a bid for produce for school cafeterias and it was recommended to award the bid for produce to William George Company, Inc., for the 2017-2018 school year. Terrie Smith explained that regulations require purchasing American-produced items, where they are available. To cover this legally, the labels “domestic” and “non-domestic” were used on items that are not readily available domestically, to show that an attempt was made to secure these items domestically. Darrin Manuel offered a motion to award the bid for produce to William George Company, Inc., for the 2017-2018 school year, which was seconded by Ray Bowman and approved upon voting.
Next, board members were asked to consider awarding bid for staple foods, and Ms. Simmons noted that two vendors had submitted bids for staple foods for the 2017-2018 school year: William George Company, Inc., and Lamm Food Service. Upon motion of Darrin Manuel, seconded by Kathy Bruner, board members voted to award the bid for staple foods in Group A to William George Company, Inc., and staple foods in Group B to Lamm Food Service, for the 2017-2018 school year.
The final category for which board members would consider awarding bids was paper goods. Ms. Simmons stated that three vendors had submitted bids: William George Company, Inc., West Central Wholesale, and Long’s Products. Upon motion of Wesley Taylor, seconded by Cassie Henry, board members voted to award bids in Group A to William George Company, Inc., Group B to West Central Wholesale, and Group C to Long’s Products for paper goods for school cafeterias for the 2017-2018 school year.
Next, board members were asked to consider awarding bid for diesel fuel. Ms. Simmons advised board members that the recommendation on awarding the diesel fuel bid had changed, since the original bid tabulations were emailed to all board members. Board members learned that when bids were opened, vendors had assumed they would be required to deliver fuel in a truck smaller than an 18-wheeler, which had been reflected in bids substantially higher than the last bid award. According to Ms. Simmons, her recommendation is to reject all bids, to re-advertise for bids adding clarification to the specifications, and to present these new bids during the August meeting. Board members were informed that the bid award would still be within the legal time frame of mid-September. Upon motion of Darrin Manuel, seconded by Wesley Taylor, board members voted to reject all bids and to re-advertise for bids to clarify the bid specifications for vendors, with bid for diesel fuel to be awarded at the August board meeting.
The final item on the agenda was to consider final adoption of policy File:JGB, School Wellness, after completion of the waiting period. James Herrington addressed changes that were in addition to those which the board had suggested and approved in May. On the page of the policy that had been mailed to each board member, according to Mr. Herrington, words in red strikethrough text had been removed by the board; however, a sentence (shown in blue) was added to ensure compliance with state law. The sentence, “Schools should discourage the use of foods and beverages as rewards for student accomplishment,” was added after the board had approved the policy in May. Mr. Herrington stated that, since the policy was approved in May and the waiting period had been completed, he recommended that board members waive the waiting period for this revision, allowing this policy to become effective immediately. Doing so, according to Mr. Herrington, would meet the state requirement to have a policy in place by the end of June. Ray Bowman offered a motion to adopt policy File:JGB, School Wellness, and to waive the waiting period for the additional revision which had been added. The motion was seconded by Kathy Bruner and approved.
Prior to adjournment, Darrin Manuel read a thank-you card from Myrtis Hudson and the Hudson family. There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.