PROCEEDINGS OF THE PARISH SCHOOL BOARD OF THE PARISH OF BEAUREGARD, STATE OF LOUISIANA, TAKEN AT A SPECIAL MEETING HELD TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2018.
The Parish School Board of Beauregard Parish met in Special Session on Tuesday, June 5, 2018, beginning at 6:00 o'clock (6:00) pm, in the Beauregard Parish School Board Central Office, at 202 W. Third Street, DeRidder, LA., pursuant to the following written notice given to each and every member thereof and duly posted in the manner required by law:
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a SPECIAL MEETING of the Beauregard Parish School Board of the Parish of Beauregard, State of Louisiana, has been ordered and called and will be held on Tuesday, June 5, 2018, beginning at 6 o'clock (6:00) pm, in the Beauregard Parish School Board Central Office Annex, Lab B, at 202 W. Third Street, DeRidder, LA.
*1. To receive information about the 2018-2019 budget.
Board members present were President David Vidrine, Vice-President Darrin Manuel, Kathy Bruner, L. D. Spears, Cassie Henry, Wesley Taylor, Martha Jackson, Timothy Hudson, and Don Gray. Ray Bowman was absent.
Timothy J. Cooley, Superintendent, was present and acted as secretary.
The invocation and pledge were led by Eddie Joslin.
Superintendent Cooley opened the meeting by sharing the latest information concerning collection of sales and use taxes, noting that collections continue to decline. In May 2017, collections for the 1966 tax stood at $441,879 and for May 2018, that figure was $429,017, a difference of more than $12, 000. For the 1990 tax, collections decreased from $429,743 in May 2017, to $418,083 for May 2018, a decrease of a bit more than $11,000. Yearly totals projected for 2018 are as follows: for the 1966 tax, $5,089,607 (2017), and $4,867,161 (2018); and for the 1990 tax, $4,991,000 (2017) and 4,368,000 (2018).
Moving on to begin the discussion on the FYE 2019 budget, Mr. Cooley advised board members that the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the projections for the general fund and ad valorem fund, noting that additional information would be provided at the formal presentation of the budget at the June 14 regular school board meeting. Board members were reminded that once the budget was presented, there was a mandatory waiting period for public inspection and publication of the budget summary, and a public hearing which must take place, before the board could vote on whether to adopt the budget as presented.
Board members learned that the budget was very close to balancing for FYE 2019. Beginning with a review of the 2018 projection of $34,987,000 from the state, Mr. Cooley compared that amount with the anticipated revenue of $36,000,000 for 2019 in state funds, which would also be increased by state and other revenue sources for a projected total amount of $37,894,000 for FYE 2019. In response to a question, board members learned that the increase in revenue is due partly to an increase in numbers over the last couple of years. Further, Mr. Cooley noted that some areas would see a change, due to the requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and Maintenance of Effort, for instance; extra- and co-curricular programs, 4-H, homebound instruction, remediation, and others are to be moved from the regular education category to the more appropriate areas. Lesia Casanovas explained that MFP requirements stipulate that 70% of this money must be spent on instruction, while Maintenance of Effort rules governing Special Education funds dictate that the same percentage must be spent per student from one year to the next, with very limited exceptions. These changes were made to facilitate reporting. Sabbatical leave costs were projected to increase from 2018. Board members were told that they will see an increase in SCA (Supplemental Course Allocation money), provided the state budget negotiations do not break down resulting in cuts to these programs. Increases and decreases in projected revenue and expenditures were reviewed in several areas of the general fund, with Mr. Cooley noting that TRSL is a substantial expenditure in almost every area, and board members were asked if there were any questions to this point. Mr. Cooley stated that the projection was within about $102,084 of being even balanced, and he felt good that he did not need to ask board members to go into the reserve for buses or textbooks.
In other matters, Mr. Cooley advised board members that the Louisiana Department of Education was reinstating the Value-Added Model (VAM) and that scores would not be available until August. In consideration of this fact, and to prevent conflicts with teachers wanting to switch from VAM-scored positions to non-VAM positions, all effectiveness reward payments will be issued in August, when VAM scores are released and evaluations can be completed for those teachers to whom it applies. Board members were advised that an Administrative Assistant had retired and that this position would be filled with an Assistant Principal, with respect to student numbers that are comparable with other schools having the same size student body. Board members were advised that this was the first year for anyone to graduate with the Jump Start diploma and that these courses (Welding, Electrical, etc.) would continue to be offered. Dual enrollment/AP courses will continue, as will NMSI grant activities. WorkKeys was seen as crucial to increasing the graduation rate and will continue as well, according to Mr. Cooley. There was a brief discussion of the number of home-schooled students in the parish and the efforts that are made to get them back into the public school system.
Next, Mr. Ramsey addressed the ad valorem budget, noting that it may not look as positive as the general fund budget, but the reasons would become clear after presenting the information. Mr. Ramsey asked Lesia Casanovas to clarify what ad valorem funds could be used for, in addition to maintenance expenditures. Ms. Casanovas explained that textbooks, teacher allocation reimbursements, software (Plato, Study Island), Beauregard Virtual Program, library books and supplies, and the majority of educational supplies and materials were covered in the ad valorem budget. Mr. Ramsey emphasized that most of the proposed expenditures for FYE 2019 in this category are very near what they were in the FYE 2018 budget. There is a proposed reduction in the Operations and Maintenance budget, but Mr. Ramsey pointed out that an increase is being sought in the areas of Administrative Technology / Facility Acquisition and Construction. Mr. Ramsey went on to say that the increase is partly because school safety will have to be addressed in this budget area. Security doorways could be utilized at approximately six sites, one school has intercom issues and additional training could be provided to all. Mr. Ramsey stated that he deliberately overbudgeted in this area to illustrate what all of the discussed security measures would cost, but emphasized that logistically not all of the items listed could be completed in one year, even if money were moved from reserve fund balance into this area. In other areas, Mr. Ramsey described some renovations that needed to be done in a couple of high school gyms, and advised board members that an old a/c logic program must be replaced and will require getting a bid, adding that he hoped the system didn’t crash before the replacement. Board members learned that the security upgrades and training are going to be a top priority going forward, given recent events across our country.
Board members reviewed the timeline for budget formal presentation and adoption of the budget, and were told to expect an update on the excess sales tax supplement distributions at the regular monthly board meeting. In addition, board members learned that there would be one additional revision of the 2017-2018 budget, possibly in July, but definitely by August.
Upon motion of Kathy Bruner, seconded by Wesley Taylor, the meeting was adjourned.
The Beauregard Parish School Board met in regular session Tuesday, June 14, 2018, at 6:00 pm in the Central Office Board Room. David Vidrine, Darrin Manuel, L. D. Spears, Cassie Henry, Wesley Taylor, Martha Jackson, Timothy Hudson and Student Representative Maili Bartz were present. Ray Bowman, Kathy Bruner, and Don Gray were absent.
Timothy J. Cooley, Superintendent, was present and acted as secretary.
The Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance were led by Harry Hooker.
David Vidrine began by asking if all board members had received the agenda, stating that he would entertain a motion to adopt the agenda as presented. Upon motion of Darrin Manuel, seconded by Wesley Taylor, board members voted in favor of adopting the agenda as presented.
Next, board members were asked if they had received the minutes of the May 15, 2018, regular meeting of the Beauregard Parish School Board, as published in the official journal. Wesley Taylor offered a motion to adopt the minutes as published in the official journal, which was seconded by Darrin Manuel. Upon voting, board members adopted the minutes of the May 15, 2018, regular meeting of the Beauregard Parish School Board, as published in the official journal.
Superintendent Cooley started the Superintendent’s Report by asking Student Representative Maili Bartz to share an update. Ms. Bartz reported that most students were enjoying their summer breaks, some of them after having completed summer remediation activities. Ms. Bartz also noted that some students were enjoying vacations or time off at home; but others might be participating in various camps or attending leadership conferences. In addition, Beauregard Health Systems sponsors an annual A-HEC (Area Health Education Center) each summer, which allows students to explore careers in the healthcare industry during their break.
Continuing the Superintendent’s report, Mr. Cooley stated that the Teacher Leader Summit took place May 30-June 1 in New Orleans and was attended by parish teachers, counselors, administrators, and central office staff who will be bringing back good information to share with peers across the parish.
Mr. Cooley asked Tammy Crain to share the results of WorkKeys testing in Beauregard Parish. Ms. Crain reminded board members that WorkKeys assessment was a set of tests that measure important workplace skills that affect an individual’s job performance. This assessment leads to the awarding of the most recognized work readiness credential, the National Career Readiness Certificate. Ms. Crain stated that there were four levels of achievement: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum, and noted that the number of students taking this assessment more than doubled. Board members were shown a chart that illustrated the comparison of results from 2017 to those from this past school year, with special attention being drawn to the tremendous growth in almost every level of achievement.
Next, Mr. Cooley asked Eddie Joslin to deliver the report on attendance and discipline in Beauregard Parish schools. Beginning with the attendance rates, Mr. Joslin advised board members that parishwide, attendance rates stood at 93.91%, which he felt was still very good, although it had slipped slightly (by .16%). Board members received a print-out that detailed the attendance records broken down by school and showing a 10-year average of attendance rates across the parish. On the discipline side, board members were given a page that detailed the number of discipline hearings that took place and the results parishwide. Mr. Joslin reviewed these results, noting the various factors that affected how different discipline scenarios were handled, with board members learning that some discipline issues were addressed at the school, while others were mandated by policy to result in a central office discipline hearing to consider alternative placement or expulsion.
Following the report on attendance and discipline, board members were given an update on the issuance of effectiveness reward payments, after learning that the Louisiana Department of Education would not release the Value-Added Model (VAM) scores, that would complete the evaluations of teachers teaching VAM-scored subjects, until late summer. A decision was made to postpone issuing these payments to all teachers, until the state released the scores of the VAM teachers, so that all eligible employees would receive the effectiveness reward payments at the same time. Originally, it was thought that the reason for this delay might be communicated to eligible teachers by including a notation on a pay stub, but when this proved problematic, a decision was made to disseminate this information to all employees eligible for an effectiveness reward payment using the School Messenger system.
In concluding the Superintendent’s Report, Mr. Cooley shared with board members that sales tax collections continue to decline, but that sales tax supplement checks would be issued on Friday, June 15, 2018: $855, to full-time certified personnel; $570 to full-time support, and $67.49 to retirees.
Following the Superintendent’s Report, David Vidrine recognized Beauregard Parish District Attorney Jimmy Lestage, who was present to share information regarding the 2017-18 activities of the Beauregard Truancy Assessment and Service Center (TASC). Mr. Lestage thanked board members for their support, emphasizing the importance of TASC activities in helping to keep students from ending up in the criminal justice system. Much of the credit was given to Myrna Cooley and Mary Sowells of the District Attorney’s office, and to Eddie Joslin of the Beauregard Parish School System, for their dedication and hard work. Ms. Cooley shared a handout with graphics that highlighted the results and impact of the activities carried out by TASC. Board members heard anecdotes describing the day-to-day interactions of TASC personnel with struggling families in the parish, which ultimately worked out to the student’s benefit. Mr. Lestage concluded the report by expressing his appreciation for the continued support of the Beauregard Parish School Board.
The next agenda item was for board members to consider adopting a resolution authorizing the superintendent to sign a form concerning uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Lesia Casanovas began by reminding board members that each year the board’s liability insurer required the board to authorize the superintendent–in the form of a resolution–to sign the uninsured and underinsured motorist forms. Upon motion of Darrin Manuel, seconded by Cassie Henry, board members voted to adopt the following resolution:
Resolved, to authorize the superintendent to sign the required Louisiana Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist form reflecting a selection of or rejection of Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage. The selection is applicable to Commercial Automobile insurance Coverage for the period of October 1, 2018 to October 1, 2019, as presented.
Next, board members were asked to appoint the official journal for 2018-2019. Lesia Casanovas reminded board members that Louisiana Revised Statute 43:141 required board members to appoint an official journal in June of each year and recommended that the board appoint the Beauregard Daily News as its official journal for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. Upon motion of Timothy Hudson, seconded by Wesley Taylor, board members voted to appoint the Beauregard Daily News as its official journal for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.
The next item on the agenda was to consider lease agreement with Valley, Inc., for use of cafeteria facilities at the Title I/Media Center for senior meals from July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019. Ms. Casanovas noted that board members should have received a copy of the lease agreement with their materials and advised that there were no changes to the contract from last year. Upon motion of Cassie Henry, seconded by Darrin Manuel, board members voted 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, 2018 through June 30, 2019.
Leading up to the next agenda item, “To consider athletic training services contract proposals,” James Herrington reminded board members that for the last three years, Beauregard Health Systems has provided athletic training services for DeRidder High School and Imperial Health Center for Orthopaedics has provided these services to the outlying high schools: South Beauregard High School, East Beauregard High School, Merryville High School, and Singer High School. Mr. Herrington shared that he and the school staff and administrators felt that the quality of care and services provided had been “beyond outstanding.” Mr. Herrington emphasized that the services are provided at no cost to the board, and introduced some of the staff of the facilities. After noting that there were no changes from the previous proposals, it was Mr. Herrington’s recommendation that the board approve the proposals presented for athletic training services from August 1, 2018, through July 31, 2020. Wesley Taylor offered a motion to accept the athletic training service proposals as presented, which was seconded by Timothy Hudson. Upon voting, board members approved the proposals for athletic training services from August 1, 2018, through July 31, 2020.
Next, Lesia Casanovas, informed board members that she had presented a template of the Fiscal Agency Agreement for 2019, noting that participating agencies would participate based on their assessed value, as in the past, and recommended approval. In response to a question, Ms. Casanovas stated that there were six entities: Beauregard Federal Savings, First Federal Savings, First National Bank, JP Morgan/Chase Bank, Pedestal Bank, and Sabine State Bank. Cassie Henry moved to approve the Fiscal Agency Agreement for 2019. The motion was seconded by Wesley Taylor and approved upon voting.
Following the action on the Fiscal Agency Agreement, board members received the budget for FYE 2019. After describing some of the technology challenges overcome while printing the budget book, Ms. Casanovas reviewed the budget summary, noting areas where federal and state revenues had increased or decreased and places where increases or cuts were being sought for expenditures. Board members learned that the budget was very close to being balanced, and heard information about restricted fund balances, assigned and unassigned funds, and summaries of several individual funds. Board members heard the timeline of events which would lead to adoption of the budget: formal presentation, public inspection, publication of the budget summary, and finally a public hearing prior to the board meeting at which adoption would be considered. Ms. Casanovas answered several questions from board members regarding increases and decreases in revenues and expenditures and explained how the contingency and budget stabilization funds were maintained.
Mr. Vidrine stated that the next item was to hear recommendations from the Finance Committee. Wesley Taylor offered a motion to consider all recommendations (agenda items 10a – 10g) in globo. The motion to address all recommendations (already presented as motions) together was seconded by Darrin Manuel and approved upon voting. Next, the following recommendations were approved in globo, without additional discussion:
a. Motion to award bid for bread and bakery products for school cafeterias for the 2018-2019 school
year to Flowers Baking Company Baton Rouge, LLC, for $38,880.00.
b. Motion to award bid for milk and related products for school cafeterias for the 2018-2019 school
year to Mid-State Marketing, LLC, for $157,726.00c. Motion to award bid for frozen food items in Group A to William George Company, Inc. and frozen
food items in Group B to Lamm Food Service, for school cafeterias for the 2018-2019 school year.
d. Motion to award bid for produce to William George Company, Inc., for school cafeterias for the
2018-2019 school year.
e. Motion to award bid for staple foods in Group A to William George Company, Inc. and staple foods
in Group B to Lamm Food Service, for school cafeterias for the 2018-2019 school year.
f. Motion to award bid for paper goods in Group A to William George Company, Inc., in Group B to
West Central Wholesale, in Group C to Long's Products, and in Group D to Lake City Supply, for
school cafeterias for the 2018-2019 school year.
g. Motion to accept a Request for Proposal (RFP) from J. Aaron Cooper, CPA, LLC, for auditing
services for FYE 2018 to include the governmental audit and 2 schools, South Beauregard High
School and DeRidder High School, for $47,000.
Next, board members heard a recommendation from the Policy Committee, a motion to approve new policy File:FDC, Naming of Facilities with final adoption in July 2018. Upon voting, new policy File:FDC, Naming of Facilities, was approved with final adoption in July 2018.
The final item on the agenda was to discuss school security. Mr. Vidrine noted that the board may vote to go into Executive Session under LA R. S. 42:17(3). Cassie Henry offered a motion to go into Executive Session, which was seconded by Wesley Taylor, and approved upon voting. Following the Executive Session, upon motion of Darrin Manuel, seconded by Timothy Hudson, the board voted to move from Executive Session back into regular session. No action was taken as a result of the Executive Session.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.