PROCEEDINGS OF THE PARISH SCHOOL BOARD OF THE PARISH OF BEAUREGARD, STATE OF LOUISIANA, TAKEN AT A SPECIAL MEETING HELD MONDAY, MARCH 6, 2017.
The Parish School Board of Beauregard Parish met in Special Session on Monday, March 6, 2017, at six-thirty o’clock (6:30) pm, at the Beauregard Parish School Board Central Office, at 202 W. Third St., 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 Monday, March 6, 2017, beginning at 6:30 o'clock (6:30) p.m., or upon the conclusion of the BPSB committee meetings which begin at 6:00 o'clock (6:00) p.m., in the Beauregard Parish School Board Central Office Board Room, at 202 W. Third Street, DeRidder, LA.
*1. To discuss the process of filling the District 2 school board member vacancy.
Beauregard Parish School Board legal counsel, Mr. Jimmy Lestage, was present to advise board members concerning the statutes that govern filling the board seat left vacant upon the death of Mr. Charles Hudson. According to Mr. Lestage, the board is required to appoint someone to fill the vacancy within 20 days. Board members were advised that the law specified only that the person must meet all the qualifications for the post, such as age and residency requirements, but that there were no specific guidelines in law for selecting this person. Mr. Lestage briefly described some of the options for filling the seat temporarily, noting that there is no “wrong” way to do this, except to fail to appoint someone, in which case the governor would make the appointment.
Next, Mr. Lestage provided board members with a resolution to consider at the Thursday, March 9, 2017, regular school board meeting. The resolution was drafted to appoint an interim board member and to call for a special election to be held, which is required by law if more than one year remains on the term when the position becomes vacant. Mr. Lestage stated that he would recommend the special election take place October 14, 2017, a date for which the State of Louisiana would bear 75% of the cost, since there were state offices on the ballot. The remaining 25% of the cost would be split among any other entities which would share the ballot on that date, and the qualifying period for the October 14 election date would occur in July. The resolution, once offered and seconded, would be voted upon and – if approved – completed and sent to both the Louisiana Secretary of State and the Beauregard Parish Clerk of Court.
Board members discussed the best way to bring names of individuals who were interested in the interim appointment to the attention of board members. Mr. Vidrine requested that board members who are contacted bring the names of the interested individuals to him or Mr. Cooley.
Upon motion of Kathy Bruner, seconded by Cassie Henry, the meeting was adjourned.
The Beauregard Parish School Board met in regular session Thursday, March 9, 2017, at 6:00 pm in the Central Office Board Room. The following board members were present: David Vidrine, Darrin Manuel, Martha Jackson, Wesley Taylor, Don Gray, L. D. Spears, Kathy Bruner, Ray Bowman, Cassie Henry, and Student Representative Tabitha Deer.
Timothy J. Cooley, Superintendent, was present and acted as secretary.
The Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance were led by Theresa Harlow.
David Vidrine asked if all members had reviewed the agenda, and hearing no discussion, stated that he would entertain a motion to adopt the agenda. Upon motion of Cassie Henry, seconded by Don Gray, 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 February 6, 2017, regular meeting as published in the official journal. Upon motion of Kathy Bruner, seconded by Darrin Manuel, board members voted to adopt the minutes of the February 6, 2017, regular meeting of the Beauregard Parish School Board, as published in the official journal.
Next, Mr. Vidrine stated that it was time to elect a vice-president for the remainder of the 2017 calendar year. Don Gray nominated Ray Bowman, Kathy Bruner nominated Darrin Manuel. Mr. Vidrine called for a show of hands: voting in favor of Mr. Bowman were Don Gray and Ray Bowman; voting for Darrin Manuel were David Vidrine, Martha Spears, Kathy Bruner, Darrin Manuel, Cassie Henry, Martha Jackson, and Wesley Taylor. Darrin Manuel was elected to serve as vice-president for the remainder of 2017.
The Superintendent’s Report began with Tim Cooley announcing that the Real Art DeRidder (RAD) art gallery in downtown would feature artwork of Beauregard Parish students during the month of March in observance of Youth Art Month.
Board members were asked to mark their calendars for the annual Senior Scholars’ Banquet, which will take place in the Beauregard Parish Fairgrounds Exhibit Building on Tuesday, May 9, 2017, at 7:00 p.m.
Computer-based state testing window for grades 5-8 will begin April 3, 2017, and continue through May 5, 2017. Board members were advised that the schedule will vary by school; some schools will test before spring break and others will test after spring break.
Mr. Cooley advised board members that sales tax collections were up very slightly for the month, but that collections for the year were still $293,000 below this time last year.
Board members learned that girls’ basketball teams in Beauregard Parish had earned a spot in state basketball playoffs, and Mr. Cooley congratulated the South Beauregard Lady K’s for earning the Class AAA State Basketball Championship.
The next agenda item was to recognize the Beauregard Parish Principals of the Year. Mr. Cooley began by advising board members that they would recognize the Principals of the Year for 2015-2016, noting that this program is sponsored by the Louisiana Department of Education to recognize those principals who go above and beyond in the performance of their duties. Mr. Cooley presented Barbara Newman, South Beauregard Elementary Principal, as the Beauregard Parish Elementary Principal of the Year, and summarized many of her past roles and accomplishments from 34 years in education. Next, Debbie Dixon, former DeRidder High School Principal, was honored as the Beauregard Parish High School Principal of the Year, and Mr. Cooley reviewed her past positions and achievements from 37 years as an educator.
Board members were asked to consider approval of 4-day and 5-day calendars for the 2017-2018 school year. Mr. Ensminger noted the start date for 4-day schools would be August 1, 2017, while the 5-day schools would begin on August 9, 2017, with both 4-day and 5-day schools ending on May 25, 2018. Mr. Ensminger advised board members that the only change since the calendar committee meeting, was to add an in-service day at the beginning of the year for 4-day schools. Upon motion of Darrin Manuel, seconded by Martha Jackson, board members approved the 4-day and 5-day calendars for the 2017-2018 school year, as follows:
Four-Day Schools Five-Day Schools
Staff Development August 1, 2, 11 August 9, 10, 11, 14
Students Report to School August 3 August 15
Labor Day Holiday September 4 September 4
Fair Day Holiday October 6 October 6
Parent Conference K-5 October 20 October 20
Veterans’ Day Holiday November 10 November 10
Thanksgiving Holiday November 20-24 November 20-24
Winter Break December 21-January 5 December 21-Jan-05
Staff Development January 5 January 5
Parent Conference K-12 January 12 January 12
MLK Holiday January 15 January 15
Mardi Gras Holiday February 12-14 February 12-14
Staff Development February 14 February 14
Spring Break March 30-April 6 March 30-Apr-06
Last Day for Seniors May 10 May 11
Last day for Students May 24 May 24
Last Day for Teachers May 25 May 25
Next, board members were asked to consider a motion from the Discipline Review Committee to approve the Discipline Policy and School Uniform Dress Code for the 2017-2018 school year. Noting that the committee had submitted its recommendation to the board in the form of a motion, Mr. Vidrine asked Ellis Spikes to summarize the changes that had been recommended by the committee. Mr. Spikes pointed out that the Discipline Review Committee and the board’s legal counsel had recommended changes in the section of the Discipline Policy that deals with electronic devices, students wearing pierced earrings, and student ID badges (for those schools in which they are required.) In addition, the committee had submitted changes in the Student Uniform Dress Code, which included allowing solid black shirts to be added to the acceptable uniform colors at Singer High School and accepting any color of socks/hose/leggings in grades PK-5, parishwide. After the board heard comments from several school faculty members, administrators, and interested citizens, Cassie Henry offered an amendment to the motion to allow blue jeans, noting that uniform pants were difficult to find after the first part of the year. The amendment to the motion failed for lack of a second, and upon voting the original motion to approve the Discipline Policy and School Uniform Dress Code for the 2017-2018 school year was approved by a margin of 8-1 (Henry.)
The next agenda item was for board members to consider approval of Budget Revision #1. Lesia Casanovas reminded board members that a copy of the budget revision had been placed in their committee folders on Monday evening. Ms. Casanovas began by summarizing the changes, explaining in detail the factors which had resulted in a revision being recommended, such as revenue amounts from state and federal sources that differed from what had been projected or costs and expenditures that did not match the projection of the budget at the time of its creation, last summer. Ms. Casanovas explained that, while the budget revision did not have to be approved at this meeting, work could not begin on next year’s budget until a revision of the FYE 2017 budget had been approved, since the fund balances being brought forward for the beginning balances of a new budget would change. After additional discussion, much of it concerning construction costs and various fund deficiencies, Wesley Taylor offered a motion to table Budget Revision #1, until the April board meeting, to allow board members time to study the changes being recommended. The motion was seconded and approved upon voting, by a margin of 8-1 (Bowman.)
The next agenda item was, “To hear recommendations from the Finance Committee,” with the only recommendation being a motion to issue a Request For Proposals (RFP) to solicit prices for architectural services for the East Beauregard High School weight room project. There being no additional discussion, board members voted to approve the motion to issue a Request For Proposals (RFP) to solicit prices for architectural services for the East Beauregard High School weight room project by a margin of 7-2 (Taylor, Henry.)
Next, the Policy Committee made two recommendations:
a. Motion to approve new policy File:CEI, Evaluation of the Superintendent, with final adoption in April 2017, and
b. Motion to approve revision of policy File:DJD, Employee Travel Regulations and policy File:BBBE, Board Member Compensation and Expenses, adding the phrase “bi-monthly,” to both policies to specify that such payments will be issued twice each month.
On the first recommendation to approve new policy File:CEI, Evaluation of the Superintendent, with final adoption in April 2017, Cassie Henry offered an amendment to the motion, adding language to have the evaluations opened or reviewed by the Director of Personnel and the Board President. The amendment was seconded by Ray Bowman and approved upon voting. Next, board members voted to approve the original motion with the amended language added, and new policy File:CEI, Evaluation of the Superintendent will be considered for final adoption in April, 2017, with language added that the evaluations be opened or reviewed by the Director of Personnel and the Board President.
On the second recommendation, a motion to approve revision of policy File:DJD, Employee Travel Regulations and policy File:BBBE, Board Member Compensation and Expenses, added the phrase “bi-monthly,” to both policies to specify that such payments will be issued twice each month. Cassie Henry offered an amendment changing the term “bi-monthly” to “semi-monthly.” Ms. Henry pointed out that, while “bi-monthly” could be interpreted to mean either twice each month or once every two months, “semi-monthly” was specific to mean twice each month. The motion to amend the wording was seconded by Ray Bowman, and the amendment approved. Upon voting the original motion with the amended language changing “bi-monthly” to “semi-monthly” was approved and the waiting period waived.
Next, upon motion of Wesley Taylor, seconded by Kathy Bruner, board members approved final adoption of policy File:JBC, School Admission, after completion of the waiting period.
Following action on File:JBC, upon motion of Cassie Henry, seconded by Ray Bowman, board members granted final approval to policy File:JQF, Married, Expectant, or Parenting Students, after completion of the waiting period.
The next agenda item concerned the appointment of an interim District 2 School Board Member, following the death of Charles Hudson. Darrin Manuel recommended Timothy Hudson, nephew of Charles Hudson, and the recommendation was seconded by Martha Jackson. Mr. Vidrine stated a comment card had been completed, and the board heard from Kimberly Maricle, who wished to be considered for the interim position. Don Gray noted that James Eaves had expressed an interest, stating that he would serve until the special election was held and not seek the permanent position in October. Ms. Bruner seconded the nomination of Mr. Eaves. There was brief discussion, and Mr. Vidrine reminded board members of their obligation was under the law. Upon voting, Timothy Hudson was appointed to serve as the interim District 2 School Board Member until the October 14, 2017, special election, by a margin of 8-1 (Gray.)
The final item on the agenda was to consider adopting a resolution requesting a special election be held to fill the remainder of the unexpired term of the District 2 school board member, in accordance with state law. Mr. Vidrine advised board members that Mr. Lestage had described this process at the Special Board Meeting on March 6, 2017, and distributed a blank copy of a resolution as an example. The resolution was read in its entirety by Superintendent Cooley, and upon motion of Wesley Taylor, seconded by Ray Bowman, the following resolution was adopted:
WHEREAS, the untimely death of Charles Edward Hudson, Beauregard Parish School Board Member - District 2, has created a vacancy on the board; and
WHEREAS, the Beauregard Parish School Board, at a regular meeting held on March 9, 2017, has appointed Timothy Hudson to fill the unexpired term of Charles Edward Hudson; and
WHEREAS, His death has caused a vacancy in office and an election must be ordered and called to fill the unexpired term of office exceeding one year; and
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Beauregard Parish School Board Members do hereby call a special election to fill the position of Beauregard Parish School Board Member - District 2
(1) The Qualifying Dates: July 12, 2017 - July 14, 2017
(2) The Primary Election Date: October 14, 2017
(3) The General Election Date: November 18, 2017
FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this resolution shall be sent to the Secretary of State of Louisiana and the Clerk of Court of Beauregard Parish.
The resolution was offered by Wesley Taylor and seconded by Ray Bowman and unanimously carried.
I, Timothy J. Cooley, Secretary, do hereby certify that the above and foregoing is a true and correct copy of the resolution passed at the regular meeting of the Beauregard Parish School Board duly called and held at its legal domicile in the Parish of Beauregard on the 9th day of March, 2017, as recorded in the minutes thereof.
Timothy J. Cooley, Secretary
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned by general consent.