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Ruston, Louisiana
Monday, July 2, 2012 6:00 p.m.
The Lincoln Parish School Board met in Regular Session on Monday, July 2, 2012, at 6:00 p.m. at the Jimmy “Chick” Childress Field House at Ruston High School at 812 James Street, Ruston, Louisiana. Members present were Mr. Otha Anders, Mr. Michael Barmore, Ms. Lisa Best, Mr. Danny Hancock, Ms. Mattie Harrison, Ms. Lynda Henderson, Mr. Trott Hunt, Mr. George Mack, Jr., and Mr. Joe Mitcham (arrived after the meeting began). Ms. Debbie Abrahm, Mr. Curtis Dowling, and Mr. Eddie Jones were absent. Prior to the meeting, board members enjoyed a tour of the new field house. President Anders called the meeting to order, and Mr. Hancock delivered the invocation. Ms. Harrison led in the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag. Mr. Anders welcomed Board members, staff, media, and guests. Upon a motion by Mr. Barmore, seconded by Ms. Henderson, the Board unanimously voted to adopt the agenda as printed. Upon a motion by Ms. Henderson, seconded by Mr. Hancock, the Board unanimously voted to approve the minutes of the Regular Session of June 5, 2012, and the Special Session of June 21, 2012, as distributed. Superintendent Danny Bell was pleased to recognize two legendary coaches at Ruston High School, Chick Childress and Hoss Garrett. He noted that the JIMMY “CHICK” CHILDRESS FIELD HOUSE lettering was already in place on the field house. In the near future, L.J. “HOSS” GARRETT STADIUM lighted lettering would be placed on the football stadium. He presented depictions of the lettering to those in attendance. Mr. Bell also recognized Kyle Williams, a former RHS star athlete who currently plays in the NFL, for equipping a cutting-edge weight room in the field house. Former board member and State Representative, Rob Shadoin, was on hand for the meeting. He read House Concurrent Resolutions No. 82 and 83 urging and requesting the naming of the facilities and honoring the tremendous careers and impact on students and others of Coach Childress and Coach Garrett. He presented Coach Childress's resolution to him, and daughter, Loyce Miller, and son, Dr. Pat Garrett, received the resolution for Coach Garrett. One word summed up the field house in Principal Mike Milstead's opinion - wow! He thanked all of those instrumental in causing the dream to reach fruition and especially Danny Bell and Mike Walpole. He believes it will make the students even better. RHS Athletic Director and Head Football Coach, Billy Laird, was also on hand to extend kudos. He was particularly thankful to the Lincoln Parish School Board for seeing the future. Coach Laird noted that he looks forward to showcasing the facility for the school. Maybe by the fall, Architect Mike Walpole's office will have completed an archway/entrance to possibly sit on the northeast side of the property to commemorate the James family's donation of land to the school in the 1930's. Mr. Bell distributed copies of a probable design with the lighted lettering JAMES Athletic Field on both sides of the archway. The Series 2004 Ruston District Bonds are refunding candidates based on current interest rates reported Grant Schlueter, Bond Attorney with Foley and Judell. If a 2.75% interest rate can be obtained, the next savings to taxpayers after all costs would be approximately $342,000. He presented a resolution for the Board's approval that would permit him to apply for the State Bond Commission's approval at their August 16, 2012 meeting. There would be no cost to the Board. Upon a motion by Mr. Hunt, seconded by Ms. Best, the Board unanimously voted by roll call to approve the resolution giving preliminary approval to the issuance of not exceeding $10,000,000 of General Obligation School Refunding Bonds, of Ruston School District No. 1 of the Parish of Lincoln, State of Louisiana; making application to the State Bond Commission for approval of said Bonds; and providing for other matters in connection therewith. Mr. Shadoin and Patrick Jefferson, another freshman State Representative, offered their assessment of a 2012 session that brought unprecedented changes to oversight and funding for public schools. It was a unique challenge for two rookie representatives. Both said they voted for some of the educational bills because of pressure and advocating, and because many people, especially parents and grandparents, did not believe the current system was working. They voted in favor of HB 976, which allows the use of state vouchers to pay for public school students to go to non-public schools; they did it for the children. The legislators believe some of the reforms will be modified as time goes by. Both men are honored and humbled to serve and expressed their appreciation. In his construction update, Charles Owens, Director of Auxiliary Services, communicated that the parking lot at Choudrant High School is nearing completion. Construction of a new ag shop at Ruston High has begun, and the old shop has been almost totally demolished. The site could then be prepared for the New Tech addition. He noted that the paint in the new building at Choudrant Elementary has failed. They are working with the contractor to correct the problem. Architect Mike Walpole said he hopes to be through with the RHS ag shop by the end of the year and have students occupying the building by February 2013 and with the New Tech construction in the early summer of 2013. There has been a significant decrease in students referred for services due to truancy, task force representative Patsy Bullock reported. Five years ago, the number of at-risk referrals was 1,269. That dropped to 290 in K-5 and 242 in grades 6-12 for a total of 532 in 11-12. She gave the program an 87% success rate which was the highest it had ever received. Truancy intervention based on best practices has reduced the referrals and raised the success rate in her opinion. Also contributing to the improvement were Mildred Smith and Jerry Cobb who work with her. Dropout and cohort graduation numbers also show improvement. Ricky Edmiston, Secondary Supervisor, reported that dropouts have seen a 2.1% decrease from 4.7% in 10-11. The state average is 4.1%. The cohort graduation rate, the number of students who graduate on time, is the 6th highest in the state at 84.2%. The state average was 70.9% in 10-11, and their goal is 80% by 2014. Also down was the number of expulsion hearings. They dropped from 115 three years ago, to 86 two years ago, and 83 last year. The administration wants students to stay in school and be successful, Mr. Edmiston voiced, as every dropout is a travesty. Because of recent laws enacted by the Louisiana Legislature, Mary Null, Director of Instruction, Personnel, and Special Programs, gave a personnel report which required no board action. She presented, for informational purposes, the following:
1. Retirement of Kathy Shealy, elementary teacher at Cypress Springs, effective June 26, 2012.
2. Resignation effective June 12, 2012, unless otherwise noted of: Gloria Riser, science teacher at Choudrant High; Marilyn Smith Singleton, teacher at Hico Elementary, effective June 2, 2012; Sheree Cramer, teacher at Hillcrest Elementary; Melinda Jackson, science teacher at Ruston High; Haley Hay, teacher at Simsboro Elementary, effective June 14, 2012; and Melissa Savage, math teacher at Simsboro High, effective June 26, 2012.
3. Points of Reference/ Transfers of the following effective August 13, 2012, unless noted otherwise of: Amy McGuire, from Choudrant High math teacher to counselor at Choudrant High, effective July 30, 2012, replacing Harriett Fletcher who retired; Heather Causey, from Glen View Elementary to special education at Cypress Springs, because of student numbers; Jimmy Martin, from Simsboro High to special education at Dubach High, because of student numbers; Phaedra Burks, from I. A. Lewis to special education at Glen View, replacing Heather Causey who transferred; Deanna Forester, from Ruston Junior High to librarian at Hico/Dubach, replacing Joy Telford who retired; and Lauren Dixon, from Cypress Springs to elementary art at Simsboro/Hico Elementary, replacing Tanya Paul who resigned.
4. Employment of the following effective August 13, 2012: Johnnie Simon, librarian at Choudrant Elementary, replacing Nicole Postel who resigned; Ashley Brown, special education teacher at Choudrant High, replacing Betsy Gouedy who retired; Jane Wallace, science teacher at Choudrant High, replacing Gloria Riser who resigned; Maribeth Sherman, special education teacher at Cypress Springs, replacing Heather Smith who resigned; Stephanie Green, ELA teacher at Dubach High, replacing Amanda Cauley who resigned; Krystal Guillory, itinerant special education vision impaired, replacing Janet Hammock who retired; Kimberly Cool, special education at Hillcrest Elementary, replacing Alicia Powell who resigned; Christine Gatlin, librarian at Hillcrest Elementary, replacing Hilda Grafton who retired; Shelly Gilcrease, special education teacher at I. A. Lewis, replacing Eva Williams who retired; Arlene Jones, librarian at Ruston Elementary, replacing Marsha Armond who retired; Dana Trauth, English teacher at Ruston High, replacing Meredith Boyd who resigned; Rebecca Edmonsond, science teacher at Ruston High, replacing Melinda Jackson who resigned; and Brooke Fredieu, math teacher at Simsboro High, replacing Melissa Savage who resigned. George Murphy, Business Manager, presented the final sales tax collection report for the 11-12 fiscal year. Collections for the month ending June 30, 2012, were $1,036,642. This was .44% higher than the same month last year and a 1.13% increase year-to-date. Sales tax collections were up $145,129 compared to last year's total. Recoveries through audits were $5,223 for the month which was down 91% compared to the same month last year. Year-to-date audit recoveries were down 17%. Collections in the 1967 and 1979 fund were $471,201, and $565,440 was collected in the 1993 and 2000 sales tax fund. In his summary of the May 2012 financial statement, Mr. Murphy said the total fund balance decreased a little over $2 million. On the June report and in the revised budget, he expects to see an even lower number primarily because of salary supplement checks which cost the Board a little over $4 million. For the month of April 30, 2012, the self-insured health program had a deficit of $741,676, Mr. Murphy reported. Year-to-date with four months under the new administration, the program was down $672,022. He called attention to the line with the primary change entitled Net Change - Estimated Claims IBNR (Incurred But Not Reported). This amount is determined by Blue Cross Blue Shield as the expected amount of claims that will come through. This number is good to know but is not money leaving at this point. As the next few months pass, Mr. Murphy will monitor the plan to see if changes need to be made. A change order decreasing the contract amount by $5,413.82 due to unused credit allowances on the Chick Childress Field House was presented by Charles Owens. Changes making up the credited amount were: $12,000.00 credit for allowances, $1,227.49 for a block wall at the locker room, $3,000.00 for concrete parking change, $1,319.42 to add 6 data and receptacles, $884.00 for moving 6 receptacles in the training room, $4,000.00 credit returned for P-Lam at lockers, and $4,045.27 to change exterior letters on the building. Upon a motion by Ms. Best, seconded by Mr. Hunt, the Board unanimously voted to grant permission for the staff to execute the change order in the credited about of $5,413.82 for the Chick Childress Field House at Ruston High School.
It was nearing time to wrap up the field house project according Mann Construction. Charles Owens requested permission to execute Substantial Completion documents. At that point the LPSB would assume the responsibility for insurance and operation cost of the building. Upon a motion by Mr. Barmore, seconded by Mr. Hancock, the Board unanimously voted to grant permission for the staff to execute Substantial Completion documents for the Chick Childress Field House project. President Anders called attention to correspondence from Annie Brown requesting the naming of a board member to indefinitely replace George Mack, Sr., on the Lincoln Total Community Action Board. He noted that he would like to name Lynda Henderson, and she had consented to serve. Upon a motion by Mr. George Mack, Jr., seconded by Mr. Hunt, the Board unanimously voted to name Lynda Henderson to serve indefinitely as the Lincoln Parish School Board representative on the Lincoln Total Community Action Board. Twelve policies were recommended for revision as well as two for addition and one for deletion according to Mary Null. She suggested that members take the month to study the proposed changes to School Superintendent Legal Status (ABD), School Board Ethics (BH), Employment of Superintendent (CED), Contracts and Compensation (GBA), Recruitment (GBC), Employment of Personnel (GBD), Assignment (GBE), Probation (GBG), Tenure (GBL), Dismissal of Employees (GBN), Reduction of Personnel (GBNA), and Student Transfer and Withdrawal (JBCD); the addition of Evaluation of the Superintendent (CEI) and Foreign Exchange Students (JQK); and the deletion of Superintendent Powers and Responsibilities (CEB). In a Report of the Superintendent, Mr. Bell said that:
1. For the last time, a copy of the parish's evaluation instrument for the superintendent was included in packets. It will be changed by the State Department at some future time. In addition, he has submitted a copy of his contract to them as required.
2. Annual Disclosure Statements for 12-13 were also included in packets. Those should be completed within thirty days of the first day of the school year by members who have immediately family members employed by the school system.
3. Meeting dates for the next year were included in packets and should be placed on board members' calendars.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 7:45 p.m. on a motion by Ms. Best.
Danny L. Bell, Secretary
Otha L. Anders, President
1td: July 20, 2012

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