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Ruston, Louisiana
Tuesday, September 6, 2011 6:00 p.m.
The Lincoln Parish School Board met in Regular Session on Tuesday, September 6, 2011, at 6:00 p.m. in the Board Room of the Lincoln Parish School Board office, 410 South Farmerville Street, Ruston, Louisiana. Members present were Ms. Debbie Abrahm, Mr. Otha Anders, Mr. Michael Barmore, Ms. Lisa Best, Mr. Curtis Dowling, Mr. Danny Hancock, Ms. Mattie Harrison, Ms. Lynda Henderson, Mr. Trott Hunt, Mr. Eddie Jones, and Mr. Joe Mitcham.
Mr. George Mack was absent. President Anders called the meeting to order, and Mr. Hancock gave the invocation. Ms. Abrahm led in the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag. Mr. Anders welcomed those in attendance. Upon a motion by Mr. Barmore, seconded by Ms. Best, the Board unanimously voted to adopt the agenda as printed. Upon a motion by Ms. Henderson, seconded by Ms. Abrahm, the Board unanimously voted to approve the minutes of the Regular Session held on August 2, 2011, and the Special Session held on August 8, 2011, as printed. Director of New Tech @ Ruston, Cathi Boniol, was pleased to have two students from the program present at the meeting. Andrea Long and Adam Rankin were recognized by Superintendent Danny Bell as New Tech student representatives for the Best in Education Award which had been received from the Coordinating and Development Corporation. The honor was presented for the innovative New Tech program on the Ruston High School campus that was selected over others in 24 different parishes and counties in North and Northeast Louisiana, Central and Northeast Texas, and South and Southwest Arkansas. Due to proposed improvements by the Town of Dubach, Mayor Ray Polk requested an extension of a 2003 ten-year Intergovernmental Cooperative Endeavor Agreement for the purpose of using the old Dubach High School baseball field and parking lot. The existing agreement will remain valid and would renew via the approval of an extension with the same agreed upon terms except for the requirements for the Town to increase its liability coverage from five hundred thousand to one million beginning March 1, 2013, with any improvements considered payment in lieu of monetary compensation. An extension would allow the Town sufficient time to recoup the value of any expenditures associated with improvements made to the property within the next two to three years.
Upon a motion by Mr. Barmore, seconded by Mr. Jones, the Board unanimously voted to approve the extension of the Intergovernmental Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between the Lincoln Parish School Board and the Town of Dubach granting them the right to use and occupy the old Dubach High School baseball field and parking lot for a period of ten years beyond the current agreement expiration of February 28, 2013. Because the auditor recommended changes to the Annual Operating Budget (DC) policy and the addition of a new policy, Sports Injury Management and Concussions (IDFAB), Mary Null, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Programs, distributed copies of the same for board members to spend the month studying with formal action to be taken at the October 4 meeting. As a result of the completion of major renovation in the Choudrant school district, several portable buildings were no longer needed for instruction or storage. Director of Auxiliary Services, Charles Owens, asked for permission to dispose of the buildings in accordance with the state bid law and applicable school board policies. Upon a motion by Mr. Dowling, seconded by Mr. Hunt, the Board unanimously voted to grant permission to advertise for bids to dispose of the portable buildings. George Murphy, Business Manager, updated the board on an individual's interest in selling the Board a .165 acre tract of land located at 177 Rose Street, in Simsboro which has been appraised for $4,300.00. As Simsboro School is landlocked, the purchase of the land was desirable. Upon a motion by Mr. Dowling, seconded by Mr. Jones, the Board unanimously voted to purchase the tract of land at 177 Rose Street in Simsboro for the appraised price or less. Ms. Mary Null reported a fairly smooth opening of school this year which she attributed to much preparatory work by principals and staff. All of the students are in classes, and things have been going well. Every spring an Elementary Job Fair is held for any prospective teacher interested in grades pre-k through 5. A large number of applicants, nearly 90, recently came through the Job Fair. Ms. Null called attention to her annual report containing numbers of professional applicants and hires. She included total hires for the last 11 summers that showed a high of 60 in 2003 and a low this year of 24 in keeping with the Business Department's recommendation to cut positions through attrition because of finances. She also included an eight-year chart containing the schools August 31 enrollment numbers. The school system is up 3 students from last year, but down 79 since 2004. Some schools seems to be climbing steadily with others experiencing decreases. Testing Coordinator, Donna Doss, was very proud that district's ACT composite score of 20.9 brought Lincoln Parish for the second consecutive year into a tie of 3rd in the state with Livingston Parish. Although this was the highest score in North Louisiana, the system did drop .1 from the previous year. It was .7 ahead of the state average of 20.2 and .2 below the nation's average of 21.1. She said we are fortunate to have results like this and congratulated the high schools. Ms. Doss also included five-year ACT results for all of the school systems in Louisiana for informational purposes. In closing she communicated that Ruston High School's 21.4 composite is above the state and national averages. Superintendent Bell congratulated all of the schools as learning begins in the early grades and works its way up. In his construction update, Charles Owens showed pictures on the two ongoing projects, Ruston High field house and those at Choudrant. He noted that construction at Choudrant High should be finished by July 9, 2012, and students should be in the new shop and classroom complex around Thanksgiving. The Choudrant Elementary construction and renovation project came out well and under budget. Sales tax collections for August 2011 were down 2.93% over the same month last year with a total of $1,031,465 being collected, according to Mr. Murphy. Year-to-date sales tax figures were up 1.79%. Recoveries through audits were $8,171 which was down 55% compared to the same month last year. Year-to-date that fund was up 111%. In the 67 and 79 sales tax fund, $468,848 was collected, and $562,617 was collected in the 93 and 00 fund. Mr. Murphy included June and July 2011 financial statements in packets and said the June report was similar to what had been included in the revised budget last month. In the July report he noted that the General Fund was up $1.8 million year-to-date. The 5 mill maintenance fund and all of the ad valorem funds were showing deficits; that will continue until tax money is received in December and January. The sales tax funds had expected balances for the end of July. For the month ending June 30, 2011, Mr. Murphy noted the health insurance fund was down $367,904, and year-to-date for seven months the balance was down $844,639. Claims paid during the month totaled $1,730,419 which was higher than normal. Claims paid in July were about $600,000 lower at $1,102,994. The program experienced a gain of $3,566 for the month ending July 2012. The deficit year-to-date was $841,073. A meeting has been scheduled next week where the Insurance Committee will receive four proposals which will initiate changes that will be brought back to the Board and hopefully implemented in January 2012. The Board served as a Committee of the Whole, and the following Personnel Committee agenda items were considered after Mary Null presented 1.-9:
1. Retirement of the following:
Roxanne Fallin, English/ language arts teacher at Simsboro High, effective October 6, 2011;
Arleta Harris, paraprofessional at Career Academy, effective May 24, 2011; and
Claire Post, teacher at Ruston Elementary, effective August 13, 2011.
2. Resignation of the following:
Sarah Gleason, teacher at Cypress Springs, effective August 15, 2011;
Armanda Mitchell, special education paraprofessional at Dubach High, effective August 18, 2011;
Rebecca Brown, English/language arts teacher at I. A. Lewis, effective July 28, 2011;
Phyllis Hall, math teacher at Career Academy, effective August 15, 2011;
Evanie Tims, teacher at Ruston Elementary, effective August 18, 2011;
Hilton Hay, social studies/coach at Ruston Junior High, effective July 26, 2011; and
Emily Zuber, science teacher at Simsboro High, effective July 28, 2011.
3. Point of Reference/ Transfer effective August 15, 2011, of the following:
Bobbie Conner, from special education to English/language arts at I. A. Lewis replacing Becky Brown who resigned;
Allison Brister, from Cypress Springs to teacher at Ruston Elementary replacing Susan Edminson who resigned; and
Donna Miles, from Ruston Elementary to YRC/special education replacing Shunda Lloyd who transferred.
4. Employment of the following effective August 15, 2011, unless otherwise noted:
Adam Farris, social studies/coach at Choudrant High replacing Julie Riser who resigned;
Jennifer Morgan, teacher at Cypress Springs replacing Sarah Gleason who resigned;
Amy Pickett, teacher at Glen View replacing Susan Hermes who transferred;
Candice Cole, teacher at Glen View in a new class size reduction slot due to numbers;
Jamie Bolton, social studies/technology coordinator at I. A. Lewis replacing Stanley Lewis who promoted;
Jone' Heflin, special education teacher at I. A. Lewis replacing Bobbie Conner who transferred to regular ed;
Brooke Hoefler, special education teacher at Ruston Elementary replacing Allison Brister who transferred;
Shakeydra Hill, teacher at Ruston Elementary replacing Nichole Brown who transferred;
Belinda Birch, teacher at Ruston Elementary replacing Claire Post who retired;
Ashley Townsend, teacher at Ruston Elementary replacing Myesha Varner who resigned;
Holly Broom, teacher at Ruston Elementary replacing Evanie Tims who resigned;
Dustin Whitlock, sociology/psychology at Ruston High replacing Lynn Roberts who resigned;
Glen Kyle, social studies/coach at Ruston Junior High effective July 18, 2011, replacing Hilton Hay who resigned; and
Casey Oden, math teacher at Ruston Junior High replacing Sharon Purvis who resigned.
5. Retirement of Louise Hudson, bus driver in the Ruston District, effective September 17, 2011.
6. Resignation of the following:
Marchale Canty, bus driver in the Ruston district, effective August 15, 2011;
Jamie Campbell, bus aide in the Ruston district, effective August 12, 2011; and
Ron Flurry, bus driver in the Ruston district, effective August 18, 2011.
7. Resignation of Paula Lott, custodian at Ruston High, effective August 9, 2011.
8. Resignation of school food service technician at Ruston High, Lisa Roton, effective June 15, 2011.
9. Point of Reference/ Transfer of the following school food service effective August 1, 2011:
Patrina Robinson, from Ruston High to manager at Alma J. Brown replacing Cynthia Finley who transferred;
Tressie Smith, from Hillcrest Elementary to manager at Dubach High replacing Theresa Roane who transferred; and
Pam Moon, from I. A. Lewis to manager at Simsboro High replacing Julie Norman who transferred.
Upon a motion by Ms. Best, seconded by Mr. Hunt, the Board unanimously voted to approve the personnel recommendations.
The Finance Committee met at 5:45 p.m. just prior to the Board meeting according to the Chairman, Lynda Henderson. She announced that the Committee unanimously voted to recommend to the full Board the adoption of the proposed 11-12.
Otha Anders announced that it was time for a public hearing on the budget. Hearing no questions or comments, the time for a public hearing closed.
Upon a motion by Mr. Dowling, seconded by Mr. Hunt, the Board unanimously voted to accept the report of the Finance Committee and to adopt the proposed 11-12 budget as presented and grant permission for the administration to amend the budget as needed throughout the year and bring a final revised budget to the board for approval at year end.
In a Report of the Superintendent, Mr. Bell said that:
1. Many school administrators were in attendance, and he will make it an annual practice to invite them in September at the start of each school year.
2. He would like for the Building and Grounds Committee to meet during the week of September 19 or the week of October 10 to look at the Capital Outlay Plan. Tremendous progress has been made on the school facilities in the last few years, but there are still concerns and needs. The Plan probably needs to be revised.
3. He appreciates those who attended the recent Choudrant Elementary Ribbon Cutting and Open House.
After comments from one board member, upon a motion by Ms. Best, the meeting adjourned at 6:45 p.m.
Danny L. Bell, Secretary
Otha L. Anders, President
1td: September 23, 2011

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