The Beauregard Parish School Board met in regular session Thursday, November 9, 2017, 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, Don Gray, Ray Bowman, and Student Representative Tabitha Deer were present. Kathy Bruner was absent.
Timothy J. Cooley, Superintendent, was present and acted as secretary.
The Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance were led by Sallie Ford.
David Vidrine asked whether all board members had received an agenda, stating that if no one wished to discuss the agenda, he would accept a motion to adopt the agenda as presented. Hearing no discussion, upon motion of Darrin Manuel, seconded by Ray Bowman, board members voted to adopt the agenda as presented.
Next, board members considered adopting the minutes of the October 12, 2017, regular meeting of the Beauregard Parish School Board, as published in the official journal. Upon motion of Don Gray, seconded by Darrin Manuel, board members voted in favor of adopting the minutes of the October 12, 2017, regular meeting, as published in the official journal.
The next agenda item was for board members to consider adopting the minutes of the October 19, 2017, special meeting of the Beauregard Parish School Board, as published in the official journal. Darrin Manuel offered a motion to adopt the minutes of the October 19, 2017, special meeting of the Beauregard Parish School Board as published in the official journal, which was seconded by Wesley Taylor, and approved upon voting by a margin of 8-0, with one abstention (Jackson.)
To begin the Superintendent’s Report, Mr. Cooley asked Student Representative Tabitha Deer to share a Student Council update. Ms. Deer advised board members that parish elementary and high schools had observed “Red Ribbon Week,” last month. Board members were advised that Red Ribbon Week was a national campaign to raise student awareness regarding the dangers of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and violence. Schools across the parish conducted prevention-themed activities, such as special dress days, poster contests, slogan creation activities, and more, in conjunction with the Beauregard Prevention Coalition.
The Superintendent’s Report continued with Mr. Cooley informing board members that November 13-17 was being observed as American Education Week. The theme this year, according to Mr. Cooley, is “Great Public Schools...a Basic Right and Our Responsibility.” Activities will be conducted in schools highlighting American education.
Mr. Cooley announced that Colten Denning, a senior at DeRidder High School, had been selected to participate in the U. S. Army All-American Marching Band. Mr. Denning will perform as a member of the marching band during half-time, at the U. S. Army All-American Bowl football game on January 6, 2018, in San Antonio, TX. Mr. Denning was chosen by the National Association for Music Education, in cooperation with the All-American Games and Drum Corps International. Mr. Denning will be honored as one of 125 of the top marching band students in the United States and was nominated for this honor by his band director, Aaron Theall. Mr. Denning was chosen from among 1,900 nominees, in an audition-based process to demonstrate his playing and marching abilities.
Board members learned the details about a program called “A Day with the Docs.” This program gives sophomores, juniors, and seniors with a GPA of 3.0 or higher an opportunity to interact with medical students and learn what is required, if considering medicine as a career choice. “A Day with the Docs” is a joint venture by the Southwest Louisiana Health Education Center and the Louisiana Health Sciences Center School of Medicine in New Orleans. Mr. Cooley shared that 15 students from Beauregard Parish had completed the application process, which included not only completing the application itself, but also writing an essay about their intention to become a doctor and submitting recommendations from teachers.
District Test Coordinator Margie Hieronymus was asked to share information with board members about the recently released District Performance Scores and School Performance Scores. Mr. Cooley summarized that 2 of our “C” schools have become “B” schools, but cautioned board members that the state was changing many of the procedures they use for evaluating school and district performance, awarding progress points; and in addition, changing some of the assessments. How these changes will affect District and School Performance Scores going forward is unclear. Ms. Hieronymus began by reviewing the statistics, noting that Beauregard Parish was one of only 22 districts statewide to have increased its base score. When progress points were included, only 33 districts increased their performance scores, and again, Beauregard is one of those districts. Further, Ms. Hieronymus advised board members that Beauregard Parish was one of only two districts in the state to have increased its District Performance Score, without having been awarded any progress points. Board members viewed a presentation that showcased these and other highlights from individual school score reports.
In concluding the Superintendent’s Report, Mr. Cooley advised board members that almost every school had held some type of of Veterans’ Day program, and the staff had attended many of them. Mr. Cooley commended each of the schools for the programs and recognition they put together to honor our nation’s veterans.
The first of two recommendations from the Finance Committee was a motion to approve liquidating a fixed asset, a Ford Econoline van. Hearing no additional discussion, upon voting board members approved the motion to liquidate a fixed asset, a Ford Econoline van.
The last recommendation from the Finance Committee was a motion to discuss and consider taking action on Budget Revision #2, for FYE 17. Board members were advised that there were three possible options: 1) Take no action, and receive the revision as a year-end report; 2) adopt the revision “as is,” which would result in FYE 2017 closing out with a budgeted deficit, or 3) adopt the revision with certain adjustments to eliminate the budgeted year-end deficit. After discussion concerning the repercussions of each of the possible courses of action, Wesley Taylor offered a motion to use the fund balance designated for stabilization (policy File:DCC) to provide approximately $481,000 to cover the $181,000 budget deficit and replenish the $300,000 in the sales tax reserve. Board members were reminded that the Designated Fund Balance policy File:DCC has very specific policy guidelines that govern the repayment of the funds, which must be replaced within 3 years. The motion was seconded by Don Gray. After additional discussion, Wesley Taylor withdraws this motion. Further discussion included the use of the fund balance designated for stabilization (policy File:DCC) and led to the following three motions:
1. A motion was offered by Wesley Taylor to use the fund balance designated for stabilization (policy File:DCC) to close the $181,000 FYE 17 budget deficit, which was seconded by Cassie Henry and approved upon voting.
2. Ray Bowman offered a motion to replenish the sales tax reserve for FYE 18, from the fund balance designated for stabilization (policy File:DCC), with the recommendation to address the sales tax disbursement process, which was seconded by Wesley Taylor, and approved upon voting.
3. David Vidrine offered a motion to adopt Budget Revision #2 for FYE 17, incorporating the approved changes. Cassie Henry seconded this motion, and Budget Revision #2 for FYE 17 was adopted by a margin of 8-0 upon voting (Mr. Manuel had stepped out of the room, when this vote was taken.)
The last item on the agenda was a recommendation from the Building and Grounds Committee, a motion to approve a change order relating to drainage on the South Beauregard band room project, in the amount of $23,399. There being no additional discussion, board members approved the change order upon voting.
There being no further business, upon motion of Wesley Taylor, seconded by Ray Bowman, the board meeting was adjourned by general consent.