The Beauregard Parish School Board met in regular session Thursday, March 8, 2018, at 6:00 pm in the Central Office Board Room. David Vidrine, Darrin Manuel, Ray Bowman, Kathy Bruner, Cassie Henry, Martha Jackson, Timothy Hudson, and Don Gray were present. Wesley Taylor, L. D. Spears, 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 Teresa Parmley.
David Vidrine asked if all board members had received an agenda and stated that he would accept a motion to adopt the agenda as presented. Cassie Henry offered a motion to adopt the agenda as presented, which was seconded by Darrin Manuel. There being no discussion on the agenda, upon voting, the agenda was adopted.
Next, board members were asked if everyone had received the minutes of the February 8, 2018, regular meeting of the Beauregard Parish School Board, as published in the official journal. Timothy Hudson offered a motion to adopt the minutes of the February 8, 2018, regular meeting of the Beauregard Parish School Board, as published in the official journal, which was seconded by Don Gray, and approved by a margin of 7-0, upon voting. Kathy Bruner stated that she would abstain.
The Superintendent’s Report began with Mr. Cooley announcing that another bus driver training class would be held at the Bus Barn April 17-20, 2018 and encouraged board members to share this information in their communities.
Board members learned that the RealArt DeRidder (RAD) gallery would feature art produced by Beauregard Parish students during March, as part of its annual observance of Youth Art Month.
The Senior Scholars’ Banquet will take place at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, May 8, 2018, at the Beauregard Parish Fair Grounds, according to Mr. Cooley.
Mr. Cooley advised board members that computer-based testing for grades 5-8 will begin April 9, 2018 and continue through May 4, 2018.
Board members were asked to notice on the sales tax collections page, that collections were down again, by around $288,000 for the year to this point. Mr. Cooley expressed hope that during the spring months, sales tax collections would see an increase.
According to Mr. Cooley, March 5-9 would be observed as School Breakfast Week. Mr. Cooley expressed his appreciation to all parish cafeteria staff. In addition, School Social Work Week is being observed this week and Mr. Cooley thanked school social workers, who go into the schools daily to work with students.
Board members heard the Superintendent offer congratulations to the Merryville High School and South Beauregard High School girls’ basketball teams, and the Singer High School boys’ basketball team for representing Beauregard Parish in the state tournament. Mr. Cooley noted that they had given their best effort and shown good sportsmanship, representing our parish well.
Mr. Cooley informed board members that Mike Greene would remain as principal of Beauregard Alternative Program, no longer in an "acting" position, with contract dates of February 26, 2018, through February 25, 2020. Jason Thibodeaux has been selected as assistant principal at DeRidder High School, replacing Denise Maddox, who transferred to Singer High School, as principal. Mr. Thibodeaux's contracts dates are March 1, 2018, through February 29, 2020.
At the conclusion of the Superintendent’s Report, board members asked several questions related to the bus driver training in April. Mr. Cooley shared that the training would be held at the Bus Barn on Martin Luther King Drive from 8 am to 4 pm for the first three days, with a half-day on the last day (providing the mandatory 30-hour training), and emphasized that the classes were free of charge.
The next agenda item was to recognize the Beauregard Parish Students of the Year. Kari Ifland explained that the Student of the Year program was administered by the Louisiana Department of Education, as a way to recognize outstanding students in grades 5, 8, and 12 across the state. Ms. Ifland shared the requirements for a student to become Student of the Year at their school: 1) Must maintain a 3.5 GPA across several years; and 2) Must be active in school and community activities. Winners at the school level then compete at the parish level, which includes an interview, a writing event, and each candidate must submit a portfolio which details their accomplishments and involvements. Ms. Ifland noted that the parish winners have already represented Beauregard Parish in the regional competition, but that results have not been received. Theresa Harlow, Pine Wood Elementary Principal, presented the Beauregard Parish Elementary Student of the Year, Tiffany Kim. Next, East Beauregard High School Principal, Larry Hollie, introduced the Beauregard Parish Middle School Student of the Year, Gracie Burnaman. Finally, Shawn Baggett, Assistant Principal at DeRidder High School, recognized the Beauregard Parish High School Student of the Year, Colton Denning. Each of these winners was presented a plaque in recognition of their honor.
Following the recognition of the Beauregard Students of the Year, board members were asked to consider approval of the 4-day and 5-day calendars for the 2018-2019 school year. Kim Hayes stated that board members should have received a color copy of the calendars and began by reviewing the student start and ending dates, teacher in-service dates, holidays, end of grading period/semester dates, and testing dates on the calendars. In response to a question about how many “inclement weather days” were built into the calendars, Ms. Hayes and Mr. Cooley stated that enough instructional minutes were included to cover at least four such days, but that elementary schools had more minutes available by virtue of not having students change classes. Upon motion of Darrin Manuel, seconded by Cassie Henry, board members adopted the 4-day and 5-day calendars for the 2018-2019 school year, as follows:
Four-Day Schools Five-Day Schools
Staff Development August 1, 10 August 8, 9, 10, 13
Students Report to School August 2 August 14
Labor Day Holiday September 3 September 3
Fair Day Holiday October 5 October 5
Report Cards/Parent Conf. K-5 October 19 October 19
Veterans’ Day Holiday November 12 November 12
Thanksgiving Holiday November 19-23 November 19-23
Winter Break December 21-January 7 December 21-January 7
Staff Development January 7 January 7
Report Cards/Parent Conf. K-12 January 18 January 18
MLK Holiday January 21 January 21
Staff Development February 18 February 18
Mardi Gras Holiday/Spring Break March 4-March 8 March 4-March 8
Report Cards March 28 March 29
Easter Holiday April 18-April 22 April 18-April 22
Last Day for Seniors May 9 May 10
Last day for Students May 23 May 23
Last Day for Teachers May 24 May 24
The next agenda item was to hear the recommendation from the Discipline Policy Review Committee, a motion to approve the Discipline Policy and School Uniform Dress Code for the 2018-2019 school year. Mr. Vidrine reminded board members that the Discipline Policy Review Committee had made their recommendation, and noted that the board would hear public comments before discussing the issue, as was customary. Following the public comment period, Eddie Joslin summarized the February 20, 2018, Discipline Policy Review Committee meeting. Mr. Joslin noted that certain adjustments in the wording, highlighted in yellow on the copy sent to board members, were made necessary by changes to the wording of state law and further stated that the Discipline Policy Review Committee had made no recommendations to modify the dress code. In response to a question about adding something to the recommendation that came out of the committee, Mr. Vidrine reminded board members that the proper way to do this would be to get a motion and second on the recommendation, then a motion could be made to amend the original motion. If the amendment passed upon voting, the board would then vote on the amended motion. If the amendment failed, then the original motion would be put to a vote. Don Gray offered motion to accept the recommendations of the Discipline Policy Review Committee, which was seconded by Darrin Manuel. Cassie Henry offered a motion to amend the dress code portion of the Discipline Policy to allow blue jeans as an option for students within the School Uniform Dress Code, which was seconded by Kathy Bruner. During discussion, it was acknowledged that the possibility of adding blue jeans to the School Uniform Dress Code had not been brought up during the Discipline Policy Review Committee meeting, but the problem of finding uniform pants to fit growing children after the beginning of school was discussed in depth. In response to questions, board members were reminded that the Discipline Policy Review Committee is mandated by state law and must be composed of very specific numbers of school personnel and parents as listed in the revised statutes. There was a brief discussion about tabling the issue. A voice vote on the amendment seeking to add jeans as an option on the School Uniform Dress Code resulted in the amendment being rejected. Upon voting, the original motion to accept the recommendation of the Discipline Policy Review Committee, as submitted, was approved.
The next recommendation was a motion from the Finance Commitee to approve Budget Revision #1. Lesia Casanovas noted that no changes had been made since it had been presented to the Finance Committee. Upon voting, board members approved Budget Revision #1.
Next, board members heard a recommendation from the Policy Committee, a motion to approve revision of policy File:IFD, Parent and Family Engagement, with final adoption in April 2018. The motion was approved upon voting.
Board members voted to grant final approval on the following three policies without further discussion:
a. File:DJE, Purchasing, after completion of the waiting period.
b. File:EE, Food Service Management, after completion of the waiting period.
c. File:IDDH, English-Learner Program, after completion of the waiting period.
There being no further business, upon motion of Cassie Henry, seconded by Kathy Bruner, the meeting was adjourned.