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Minutes from BOE Meeting November 15, 2016 Tuesday, 15 November 2016 13:15

Pender County Board of Education

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Regular Board Meeting

 

Board Room

Pender Resource Center

798 U.S. Hwy. 117 South

Burgaw, N.C. 28425

6:00 p.m.

 

Board Members Present

Leadership Team Members Present

Katherine Herring, Chair

Dr. Terri Cobb, Superintendent

Brad George

Betsy Chestnutt, Chief Finance Officer

Don Hall

Allen Vann, Chief Officer of Auxiliary Services

Rochelle Whiteside

Miranda Roberts, Communications Director

 

Dr. Todd Blumenreich, Chief Officer of Organizational Development

 

Alfredia Moore, Chief Officer of Human Resources

Richard Schwartz, Attorney

Joyce Keith, Communities in Schools Director


Call to Order

At 6:04 p.m., due to the Board Chair having laryngitis and the vice-chair being absent, Brad George, serving as acting chair, welcomed all and called the meeting to order after determining a quorum was present. Following the Pledge of Allegiance, Don Hall delivered a prayer.

Approval of the Agenda

At 6:07 p.m., Don Hall motioned to approve the agenda with the following amendments from the draft agenda: move items 14, 15, and 21 from the Action Agenda to the Consent Agenda, delete item 19, and correct item 12 by removing approval of the minutes of the Nov. 4, 2016 special meeting. Rochelle Whiteside seconded, and the motion carried.

Recognitions

At6:08 p.m., the Board recognized the following individuals and schools:

-          Chelsea Ash, Heide Trask High School science teacher, who was named Corning’s STEM Teacher of the Year;

-          Rocky Point Elementary School Teacher Dorothy Crooks, Rocky Point Elementary School Teacher Lauren Mariano, and Topsail High School Teacher Kayla Smith, who earned the Watson College of Education Beginning Teacher Promise of Leadership Award;

-          Burgaw Middle School, Rocky Point Elementary School and Heide Trask High School, which earned Green Ribbon recognition from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction for their Positive Behavior Intervention and Support intervention efforts;

-          Employees of the Week: Preschool Program Administrative Assistant Christina James, Pender Early College teacher Rick Kukor, Burgaw Middle Teacher Assistant Karen Adams.

-          The following schools, which exceeded growth and/or increased graduation rate in 2015-16:

o   Burgaw Elementary

o   Cape Fear Elementary

o   Heide Trask High School

o   Pender Early College

o   Rocky Point Elementary

o   Topsail Middle

Reception

At 6:32 p.m. Mr. George announced the Board would recess to hold a reception for principals and recognized employees in the conference room.

Public Comment

At 6:44 p.m., the Board resumed its meeting and the floor was opened for public comment. As no one had signed up to speak, the Board moved on to the next item.

2016 Audit Report

At 6:44 p.m., Chief Finance Officer Betsy Chestnutt introduced Brandy Turberville of the auditing firm Thompson, Price, Scott, Adams & Co., to present the 2016 Audit Report.

Ms. Chestnutt shared with the Board that the fund balance has gone down significantly.

Attorney Richard Schwartz noted that the bar graph depicted on page 9 of county allocations is misleading due to the scale used. Mr. Schwartz requested the information be submitted in a different visual depiction that shows a greater scale. Board members agreed.

Budget Reports

Next, at 6:55 p.m., Chief Finance Officer Betsy Chestnutt presented budget reports, including fuel and electric reports.

Pender County Exceptional Children’s LEA Assessment, Past, Present, Future

At 6:56 p.m., Exceptional Children’s Director Dr. Shannon White presented an overview of previous, current, and future practices in regards to the EC department’s programming and instruction.

Math Plans for Grades K-5

At 7:24 p.m., Elementary Education Director Dr. Beth Metcalf presented the district’s multi-year math plan for grades K-5. Over the next two years, every K-5 teacher will receive training in math best practices.

Surf City School Wetlands Mitigation Invoice Paid Out of Capital Outlay Funds

At 7:32 p.m., Chief Officer of Auxiliary Services Allen Vann informed the Board that the total monies owed, as determined by the U.S. Corps of Engineers, for the Wetlands Conservation Declaration at the Surf City School project was $286,160. The Board approved funding from the district’s Capital Outlay General Fund Balance during its September 13, 2016 meeting. The payment was requested prior to the beginning of construction work and was delivered on November 10, 2016.

Consent Agenda

The Consent Agenda consisted of the following items:

-          Budget Amendments

-          Board Minutes from Board Meetings held on October 18, 2016 and October 26, 2016;

-          Head Start Director’s Report, Budget, and In-Kind for September 2016;

-          Head Start Grant including the Technical Assistance Plan, School Readiness Goals, and Strategic Plan;

-          Head Start corrective action for two findings.

-          Return to Work Plan: Workers’ Compensation

At 7:33 p.m., Don Hall motioned to approve the consent agenda as presented. Rochelle Whiteside seconded it, and the motion carried.

Contract for Professional Speech Language Services with Soliant Health, Inc.

At 7:34 p.m., Exceptional Children Director Dr. Shannon White presented a contract for professional speech language services with Soliant Health, Inc. at a rate or in the amount of $62 per hour for speech/language services rendered, with total payments not to exceed $51,240 for one speech therapist.

A motion was made by Rochelle Whiteside and seconded by Don Hall to approve the contract as presented. The motion carried.

Pender High School Overnight, Out-of-State, Instructional Field Trip Request

Next, Director of Secondary Education Mary Mortensen and Pender High School Principal Chris Madden requested approval for an overnight, out-of-state field trip for twelve students to Blythewood High School in Blythewood, South Carolina to compete in the SC Championship – Best of the Best 2017 Team Qualifier Competition. Two chaperones will accompany the students. The fee to participate is $25 per student.

At 7:36 p.m., a motion was made by Rochelle Whiteside, to approve the field trip request. Don Hall seconded, and the motion carried.

Purchase Order for State Assessment Devices

Director of Elementary Education Dr. Beth Metcalf requested approval for a Purchase Order in the amount of $42,481.17 for the purchase of Reading 3D devices intended for replacement and replenishment at all elementary schools.

Reading 3D is a state-mandated reading assessment required for all students in grades K-3. The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides funds earmarked for the devices necessary to collect the assessment information. The Purchase Order provides 105 iPads for this purpose.

At 7:43 p.m., a motion was made by Rochelle Whiteside, seconded by Katherine Herring, to approve the Purchase Order as presented in the amount of $42,481.17. The motion carried.

Purchase Order for Calculators

At 7:46 p.m., Mary Mortensen requested approval for a Purchase Order in the amount of $63,359.22 to purchase calculators for classroom and testing use.

Katherine Herring motioned to approve the Purchase Order as presented, Rochelle Whiteside seconded, and the motion carried.

Gifts and Donations

Chief Finance Officer Betsy Chestnutt requested approval for the following gifts and donations:

-          Burgaw Middle School received a donation from the Cape Fear Cyclists in the amount of $1,500;

-          The ESL Program was given a donation in the amount of $100 from the Outreach Ministry of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church;

-          Pender High School received a donation in the amount of $1,500 from alumni Jessica Holmes;

-          Pender County Schools was given $5,000 from Pierce Benefits Group to assist with Hurricane Matthew.

At 7:48 p.m., Rochelle Whiteside motioned to accept the gifts and donations. Don Hall seconded, and the motion carried.

Purchase of a Double Classroom Mobile Unit for North Topsail Elementary School

At 7:49 p.m., Chief Officer of Auxiliary Services Allen Vann requested approval to purchase a double classroom mobile unit for North Topsail Elementary School. The additional classroom space is needed due to student population growth.

Rochelle Whiteside motioned to approve the low bid of $72,190 from Modular Technologies, Inc. to purchase a double classroom mobile unit for North Topsail Elementary. Don Hall seconded, and the motion carried.

Replacement of Obsolete MBC Control Panels at North Topsail Elementary School, South Topsail Elementary School, and Heide Trask High School

Chief Officer of Auxiliary Services Allen Vann requested approval of a Purchase Order in the amount of $34,790 to replace obsolete MBC control panels at North Topsail Elementary, South Topsail Elementary, and Heide Trask High schools. These HVAC control panels help regulate heating and air conditioning.

Mr. Vann explained that the purchase is proprietary in that Siemens is the company that has the controls equipment in the schools and other company brands would not be able to interface properly with Siemens equipment.

At 7:56 p.m., Rochelle Whiteside motioned to approve the Purchase Order in the amount of $34,790. Katherine Herring seconded, and the motion carried.

Approval of GMP for Penderlea K-8 and Surf City K-8 projects

Mr. Vann next presented for approval contract amendments for the Construction Managers at Risk for the Penderlea and Surf City projects. The contract amendments include the Guaranteed Maximum Price and notice to proceed for the Penderlea and Surf City bond projects, subject to the Pender County Board of Commissioners’ decision at its upcoming Nov. 21 meeting to provide funding for the projects and authorization to proceed.

The Construction Managers have final figures available for various options for the two new school projects. A decision by the Board of Education will be required based on this information to provide the Board of County Commissioners. This will provide Metcon (Penderlea) and Barnhill (Surf City) a notice to proceed in order for construction to begin.

At 8:03 p.m., Don Hall motioned to approve the Construction Manager at Risk contract amendments for Penderlea and Surf City as presented subject to approval of funding and authorization to proceed from the Pender County Board of Commissioners. Rochelle Whiteside seconded, and the motion carried.

Merit Pay Plan

Dr. Cobb and Dr. Blumenreich presented the plan for merit pay bonus allocation for non-educators.

Dr. Cobb said the plan awards one-time merit-based bonuses to eligible employees pursuant to North Carolina Session Law 2016-94, section 36.1A. The amount of the bonus will not be added to the employee’s ongoing base salary and will not be considered compensation for retirement purposes.

Employees eligible for the bonus include maintenance staff, teacher assistants, bus drivers, clerical staff, and school-based administrators not paid on the teacher salary schedule. Based on criteria, school-based administrators will receive up to $600 and all other eligible employees will receive up to $300. The plan needs to be submitted to the state in December and must be paid out by February 2017.

Ms. Chestnutt said it would cost about $9,000 in local funds to include employees who are not paid with state dollars in the merit pay plan. There is enough money left over in the budgeted line item for locally-paid employees to receive the 0.5 percent state-mandated bonus in October to cover the merit pay bonuses for locally-paid eligible employees.

Mr. Schwartz advised that the list of “Ineligible Positions” in the plan is a local decision, not required by the law. The law would allow payment of these funds to central office personnel if the Board chose to include them in the plan.

At 8:19 p.m., Rochelle Whiteside motioned to approve the merit pay plan as presented. Don Hall seconded, and the motion carried.

Report from the Board Chair

Acting Chair Brad George asked Board Chair Katherine Herring if she had any comments, and she did not. Mr. George asked other members of the Board if they had comments to share.

Comments from Board Members

Rochelle Whiteside said she has had discussions with the Board of County Commissioners about meeting at Penderlea and said she’d like to look into setting up a meeting in the community. Ms. Whiteside also expressed interest in revisiting the field trip policy.

Brad George said he has also had discussions with Commissioner Brown and Commissioner Williams. Mr. George said both conversations were positive and he agreed with Ms. Whiteside that the Board should discuss a meeting at Penderlea and also in all other communities to update taxpayers on the bond projects.

Report from the Superintendent

Dr. Cobb invited Board members to visit the schools and reminded the Board that the last make-up day for students on the Traditional Calendar is Wednesday, November 23. Dr. Cobb also said she is working with Betsy Chestnutt and Dr. Robbie Cauley to schedule financial training for booster clubs and PTAs. She then reminded the Board of the Pender County Board of Commissioners meeting on Monday, November 21.

Closed Session

A motion was made byDon Hall and seconded by Rochelle Whiteside, to move into closed session, subject to advice from the attorney, pursuant to N.C. General Statute 143-318.11(a)(1), (a)(3), and (a)(6), to consider matters related to the employment of individuals, to prevent the disclosure of confidential personnel information under G.S. 115C-319 and 321, and to prevent the disclosure of confidential student information under G.S. 115C-402 and 20USC 1232g, and to consult with the Board’s attorney in order to preserve the attorney-client privilege. The motion carried.

Open Session

The Board returned to Open Session at the conclusion of the closed session.

Mr. Schwartz reviewed with the Board the agenda item to be presented to the next meeting of the Board of County Commissioners for approval of the Surf City and Penderlea projects and funding.

Human Resource Report

Upon a motion made by Katherine Herring, seconded by Rochelle Whiteside, the Board approved the Human Resource Report as presented, 4-0.

The Superintendent presented a Resolution for the Dismissal of Teacher Stormie Baez, for approval. Upon a motion by Rochelle Whiteside, seconded by Katherine Herring, the Resolution was approved, 4-0.

Adjournment
Rochelle Whiteside made a motion to adjourn the meeting, Katherine Herring seconded, and the meeting was adjourned by unanimous vote.

Board Chair

Katherine Herring

Superintendent                                                                                

Terri R. Cobb, Ed.D.