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Ruston, Louisiana
Tuesday, August 2, 2011 6:00 p.m.
The Lincoln Parish School Board met in Regular Session on Tuesday, August 2, 2011at 6:00 p.m. at the Lincoln Parish School Board Office, 410 South Farmerville Street, Ruston, Louisiana. Members present were Mr. Otha Anders, Mr. Michael Barmore, Mr. Curtis Dowling, Ms. Mattie Harrison, Ms. Lynda Henderson, Mr. Trott Hunt, Mr. Eddie Jones, Mr. Jim Kessler (arrived after the meeting began), Mr. George Mack (arrived late and left early), Mr. Ted McKinney, and Mr. Joe Mitcham. Ms. Lisa Best was absent. President Anders called the meeting to order, and Mr. Mack gave the invocation. Ms. Henderson led in the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag, and Mr. Anders welcomed guests to the meeting. Upon a motion by Mr. Barmore, seconded by Mr. Hunt, the Board unanimously voted to adopt the agenda as printed. Upon a motion by Mr. Jones, seconded by Mr. Mitcham, the Board unanimously voted to approve the minutes of the Regular Session held on July 5, 2011, as submitted. Cathi Cox, Lincoln ACHIEVE Coordinator, was pleased to announce that Lincoln Parish had the State High School Teacher of the Year for the second consecutive year. She recognized Ruston High School's Emily Howell, for her unbelievable hard work and remarkable commitment to the classroom. Ms. Cox gave background on the competition and presented Ms. Howell with a plaque and $500 check from Lincoln ACHIEVE. She spoke briefly to the Board and introduced her guest. Mr. Anders voiced congratulations to Ms. Howell and applauded her achievement. As the parish's policy for promotion and retention of students, the Pupil Progression Plan (PPP), is based on Bulletin 1566, Bulletin 741, and Act 750 of the Louisiana State Legislature. Paula Pardue, Secondary Academic Coordinator, asked that revisions to the 2011-2012 PPP be approved in order to be in full compliance with all state regulations. She indicated that an entire copy of the PPP was placed in board packets. Upon a motion by Mr. Barmore, seconded by Ms. Henderson, the Board unanimously voted to approve the revisions to the Lincoln Parish Pupil Progression Plan. George Murphy, Business Manager, reminded Board members that each fall schools are allocated monies from the 1979 sales tax fund for library supplement ($2.50), classroom supplies ($3.75), office supplies and equipment repair/purchase ($4.00), student services ($3.75), and debate and speech ($2.00). These funds are distributed on a per pupil basis and sent directly to the schools to be disbursed by the principal. He recommended sending the per pupil allotments shown above which are the same amounts as last year. Also to be included in the checks are $120 per kindergarten teacher and monies for those schools that have a band program. If approved the total to be disbursed to the schools would be $110,609. Upon a motion by Mr. Jones, seconded by Mr. Hancock, the Board unanimously voted to approve the annual school allocation of funds for 11-12 from the 1979 sales tax as outlined by Mr. Murphy. Following a month of study, Mary Null, Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Programs, asked members to approve seven policy revisions and one policy addition. Upon a motion by Mr. Barmore, seconded by Mr. Jones, the Board unanimously voted to approve revisions to: Minutes of Board Meetings (BCBH), Tax and Bond Elections and Sales (DFD), Inventories (DIC), Buildings and Grounds Security (EBC), Special Use of Board-Owned School Buses (EDDA), Attendance (JB), and Student Absences and Excuses (JBD); and the addition of Public Conduct on School Property (KGA).
A member of the public asked a question regarding the closing of Lincoln Parish Career Academy and Lincoln Center and transfer of teachers. President Anders said that issue was not an item of Unfinished Business but information on the subject would be shared later in the meeting. Eight qualified bids received for the construction of the Ruston High field house were opened earlier in the day. Director of Auxiliary Services, Charles Owens, indicated that Mann's Construction, Inc., was determined as the low bidder with their base bid of $2,709,000. The total was under what was originally believed would be bid for the project. He asked for approval of the bid. Upon a motion Mr. Jones, seconded by Mr. Hancock, the Board unanimously voted to allow conditional approval of the base bid submitted by Mann's Construction, Inc., based on their providing a Schedule of Values and a List of Subcontractors to the architect and staff for approval. The State Legislative Auditor's Office requires all Louisiana governmental units to complete a System's Survey & Compliance Questionnaire and provide it to the independent auditors at the beginning of the financial and compliance audit, George Murphy reported to the Board. He requested approval of the questionnaire. Upon a motion by Mr. Dowling, seconded by Mr. Hunt, the Board unanimously voted to approve the System's Survey & Compliance Questionnaire for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011, as presented. Mr. Murphy called attention to the revised budget for 10-11 in order to adjust the original budget to the actual amounts. He noted that one slight correction needed to be made that did not affect the totals. The final figures turned out better than expected compared to the beginning budget. Although he had anticipated a deficit of $1.4 million to $4.4 million deficiency, the system actually ended with a $2.3 million deficit. Revenues totaled $68,772,182 and expenditures totaled $70,469,806. Through attrition, the administration is attempting to cut sixteen positions. Unfortunately retirement costs are increasing approximately $1.3 million and health care costs are also expected to rise. A beginning budget for 11-12 will be presented at the September board meeting. Upon a motion by Mr. Hunt, seconded by Mr. Jones, the Board unanimously voted to accept the revised budget for the 10-11 fiscal year with one correction. Midroc Operating Company has requested that the Board consent to the assignment of the oil, gas and mineral leases to Pruet Production Company. Assistant district attorney, Andy Shealy, prepared a resolution transferring the leases which was read in full by George Murphy. Upon a motion by Mr. Jones, seconded by Mr. Dowling, the Board unanimously voted to adopt the resolution assigning Donald Clark's oil, gas and minerals leases to Pruet Production Company. The Board served as a Committee of the Whole, and the following Personnel Committee agenda items were considered after being presented by Ms. Null, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Programs:
1. Retirement of Carol James, teacher at Cypress Springs, effective July 29, 2010.
2. Resignations of the following: Megan Odom, teacher at Choudrant Elementary, effective July 14, 2010;
3. Points of Reference/Transfers of the following effective August 16, 2010, unless noted otherwise: Doug Perry, from Simsboro High to agriculture at Choudrant High, replacing Marty Cantrell who transferred;
4. Employment of the following effective August 16, 2010, unless noted otherwise: Lois Futch as teacher at Choudrant Elementary replacing Megan Odom who resigned;
5. Retirement of Mary Minniefield, bus aide in the Ruston District, effective July 26, 2010.
6. Points of reference/Transfers of the following school food service personnel effective August 9, 2010, unless noted otherwise: Tameka Patton, from Ruston High to clerk/technician at Alma J. Brown, replacing Renee Gilbert who transferred; Upon a motion by Mr. Mack, seconded by Mr. Jones, the Board unanimously voted to approve the personnel recommendations. Charles Owens narrated pictures for his construction update on the ongoing projects at Choudrant Elementary and Choudrant High School. He also showed one picture of the new playground at Glen View. Lincoln Achieve Coordinator, Cathi Cox-Boniol, showed a small video clip of the public school system that will soon be put on the Convention Visitors' Bureau's web site. In addition, she had a power point presentation sharing basic data on New Tech @ Ruston and their accomplishments. The presentation contained information on absences, grades, test scores and enrollment. Although New Tech is not an option for every student, the majority of the freshman who participated in the initial year of the program, performed better overall than their peers in regular classrooms or than they had done in previous years. About 85 freshmen and 101 sophomores are registered for the fall. She reported that all four core teachers were certified by the national network. They have been named at one of only fourteen national demonstration sites for New Tech for 11-12. Finally they have been selected to host the fall 2011 Meeting of the Minds for the southwest region in October. These are exceptional accomplishments of which they are very proud. In her beginning of school report, Mary Null gave an overview if imminent meetings including the Administrators' Workshop on August 3 and 4, the first day of school for instructional staff on August 15, meetings at the schools later in that week the students' first half day on Friday of that week, and the Back to School Bash on August 25. She invited board members to the instructional meeting on August 15 and the Back to School Bash. Sales tax collections for the month of July 2011, the first month of the 11-12 fiscal year, were $1,236,635 which was up 6.08% compared to the same month last year, communicated George Murphy. He called attention to figures from the last three years. Although last years' figures were about $3 million less than those collected three years ago, they were greater than the 09-10 collections. That was a positive trend, which was good. Recoveries through audits were $49,584 for the first month of the fiscal year which was 443% higher than the same month last year. Collections in the '67 and '79 fund were $562,107, and $674,527 was collected in the '93 and '00 sales tax fund. In a Report of the Superintendent, Mr. Bell said that:
1. Recognized a couple of new administrators and some teachers who were in attendance.
2. Relative to the desegregation report, he continues to work closely with the Board's legal firm, Hammonds and Sills. In fact, he is relying on their guidance while going through this process, and they have another meeting scheduled on Thursday afternoon. They continue to gather information and respond to document requests not only by the school district and the lab schools but also the Justice Department. When sufficient information is obtained and some clarity is gotten, the attorneys will present a report on the issues and the process for moving forward - possibly at the September 6 board meeting.
3. Regarding the alternative schools, the administration and Principal Stacy Findley are moving those staff members to positions in the regular schools in order to help the children be successful. The goal is to help every child be successful in school. Accountability Coordinator, Donna Doss, traveled to Baton Rouge last week and met with Interim State Superintendent of Education, Ollie Tyler, as well as Scott Norton, Director with Testing and Accountability. They felt Lincoln Parish was forward looking, considering the applicable options, and as a result made the appropriate move of the children back into the regular school setting.
After comments and questions from several members and a motion by Ms. Best, the meeting adjourned at 7:33 p.m.
Danny L. Bell, Secretary
Otha L. Anders, President
1td: August 22, 2011

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