The Beauregard Parish School Board met in regular session Thursday, September 8, 2016, at 6:00 p.m. in the Central Office Board Room. The following board members were present: David Vidrine, Charles Hudson, Martha Jackson, Wesley Taylor, Don Gray, L. D. Spears, Kathy Bruner, Ray Bowman, Cassie Henry, and Student Representative Kailey Bailey. Darrin Manuel was absent.
Timothy J. Cooley, Superintendent, was present and acted as secretary.
The Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance were led by Jimmy Maricle.
David Vidrine advised board members that he would accept a motion to adopt the agenda, as presented. There was discussion about whether the agenda would need to be amended to include the Finance Committee motion (made just a few minutes before, during the rescheduled committee meetings) concerning the Singer High School track. Mr. Vidrine stated that since the agenda already included the item “To hear recommendations from the Finance Committee,” and since only one motion had been offered during that committee meeting, it could simply be assumed that the motion concerning the Singer High School track was the only recommendation to come out of the Finance Committee. Charles Hudson offered a motion to adopt the agenda, which was seconded by Cassie Henry and approved.
Next, board members considered adopting the minutes of the August 11, 2016, regular school board meeting, as published in the official journal. Upon motion of Wesley Taylor, seconded by Don Gray, board members voted to adopt the minutes of the August 11, 2016, regular school board meeting as published in the official journal.
Tim Cooley opened the Superintendent’s Report with an announcement that another bus driver certification class would be conducted September 13, 2016, through September 16, 2016. He explained that the pool of substitute drivers was in need of continual replenishment, since sub drivers were often hired to replace permanent drivers who retired or resigned. Mr. Newsom commented that, although classes seemed to be full or near-full, that might not translate into successful completions, and completions would not necessarily lead to certified drivers. Mr. Cooley asked that anyone interested in becoming a bus driver contact the Transportation Department.
Board members learned that night classes for the Jump Start program would begin soon. Mr. Cooley noted that about 20 students had already signed up for the welding classes at Singer High School, while around 12 students were eligible to take the Pipefitter III classes, after having completed the Pipefitter I and Pipefitter II classes at South Beauregard High School. Plans at this time are to offer the Pipefitter III classes to eligible students, and follow that up in the spring with Pipefitter I classes, again.
Mr. Cooley advised board members that the contract for Shawn Demeritt, Assistant Principal, Singer High School would be renewed with the effective dates of February 23, 2017, through February 22, 2019.
Next, board members were advised that an ACT Boot Camp had been held at DeRidder High School and South Beauregard High School for all students who wished to attend. According to Cord Ensminger, who coordinated with Joey Bartz, about 600 students took part, surpassing the 500 students who had been anticipated. Mr. Ensminger noted that there was a shortage of materials, as a result, but additional materials had already been ordered for those students who did not receive the books.
Board members were reminded that the deadline for the LSBA Trailblazers workshop in Marksville was rapidly approaching. Mr. Cooley asked board members who were interested in attending to let Ms. Archer know, so that she could submit their registrations.
Mr. Cooley informed board members that the Fort Polk Garrison Commander, Lieutenant Colonel David Athey, had been a guest speaker at the last Admiinistrators’ Meeting. Lt. Col. Athey spoke to administrators about the Heritage Familes of Fort Polk, who were displaced during the creation of the former Camp Polk, and presented each middle and high school principal with a copy of the book “1940: Last Year Home - Stories of the Heritage Families” for their respective school libraries. Administrators were advised that additional copies of the book could be purchased for around $100.
In response to a question regarding school walk-through visits, which had been discontinued for a time, board members were informed that walk-through visits would resume to ensure that curriculum changes–primarily in science and social studies–were being implemented consistently across the parish and that teachers have the resources they need from each of the supervisors.
Student Representative Kailey Bailey spoke briefly about the recent ACT Boot Camp.
Mr. Vidrine announced that it was time to recognize the Beauregard Parish Teachers of the Year. Cord Ensminger, who coordinates the program in Beauregard Parish announced that the three honorees for 2016-2017 would be introduced by their principals. The Beauregard Parish Teacher of the Year at the elementary level was Lorri Woodard, who was presented by Pine Wood Elementary Principal Jimmy Maricle. The Beauregard Parish Middle-School Teacher of the Year was Ashley Doyle, recognized by Tammy Crain, Principal, South Beauregard High School. The honor of Beauregard Parish High School Teacher of the Year went to Jan Morel, who was recognized by her principal, Larry Hollie, of East Beauregard High School. A plaque was presented to each of the three honorees in recognition of their accomplishments.
Next, board members were asked to consider adopting a resolution concerning the parishwide bond millage. Lesia Casanovas read the resolution in its entirety and answered questions regarding the amount of the millage, noting that the property values had been analyzed and an increase in the millage rate was not required at this time. There being no other discussion, upon voting the following resolution was adopted by a vote of 9-0:
BE IT RESOLVED, that the following millage(s) are hereby levied on the 2016 tax roll on all property subject to taxation by the Beauregard Parish School Board.
Parishwide Bond Principal & Interest 17.8 mills
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the proper administrative officials of the Parish of Beauregard, State of Louisiana, be and they are hereby empowered, authorized, and directed to spread said taxes, as hereinabove set forth, upon the assessment roll of said Parish for the year 2016, and to make the collection of the taxes imposed for and on behalf of the taxing authority, according to law, and that the taxes herein levied shall become a permanent lien and privilege on all property subject to taxation as herein set forth, and collection thereof shall be enforceable in the manner provided by law.
The next agenda item was for board members to hear recommendations from the Finance Committee. Mr. Cooley read the recommendation, a motion to use bond money to accept Mr. Fugatt’s proposal, not to exceed $85,000, to complete the Singer High School track project. There was discussion of whether Mr. Fugatt’s suggestion on how to treat the saturated layer would ultimately prove effective. It was pointed out that, even if the saturated material were to dry sufficiently to proceed without reinforcement, that layer might have sustained damage from the amount of water that was being retained previously, making it more prone to cave-ins and such. Mr. Vidrine stated that he would conduct a roll call vote on the recommendation from the Finance Committee. In the roll call vote, the motion to use bond money to accept Mr. Fugatt’s proposal, not to exceed $85,000, to complete the Singer High School track project, was approved 6-3, with Jackson, Gray, Hudson, Bruner, Bowman, and Henry voting in favor; Taylor, Vidrine, and Spears voting against.
The final item on the agenda was to hear recommendations from the Policy Committee. The first of these, a motion to approve revision of policy File:BH, School Board Ethics, with final adoption in October 2016. Mr. Herrington reminded board members that changes in the law affected whether family members of board members or the superintendent could be considered for administrative positions and specified certain conditions that must exist for this to occur. Upon voting, board members voted in favor of approving revision of policy File:BH, School Board Ethics, with final adoption in October 2016. The second, and final, recommendation was a motion to approve revision of policy File:EBBG, Sanitation / Hazardous Substances, with final adoption in October 2016. Mr. Cooley noted that the motion out of committee did not include the provision for final adoption, and asked Mr. Bowman, who had made the motion earlier during the rescheduled committee meetings, whether this was acceptable. Board members were reminded that this revision expanded the definitions of “hazardous substances.” After confirming that both Mr. Bowman and Ms. Bruner (who had seconded the motion out of committee) were in agreement that final adoption would take place at the next board meeting; upon voting, board members approved the revision of policy File:EBBG, Sanitation / Hazardous Substances, with final adoption in October 2016.
There being no further business, upon motion of Cassie Henry, seconded by Kathy Bruner, the meeting was adjourned by general consent.