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Ruston, Louisiana
Wednesday, October 19, 2011 12:30 P.M.
The Lincoln Parish School Board met in Regular Session on Wednesday, October 19, 2011, at 12:30 p.m. at Simsboro School, #1 Tiger Drive, Simsboro, Louisiana. Members present were Ms. Debbie Abrahm, Mr. Otha Anders, Mr. Michael Barmore, Ms. Lisa Best, Mr. Curtis Dowling, Mr. Danny Hancock, Ms. Lynda Henderson (entered after the meeting began), Mr. Trott Hunt, and Mr. Joe Mitcham. Ms. Mattie Harrison, Mr. Eddie Jones, and Mr. George Mack were absent. Prior to the business meeting, board members enjoyed a delicious lunch in the school cafeteria. President Otha Anders called the meeting to order. Mr. Hunt gave the invocation, and Ms. Best led in the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag. Mr. Anders welcomed board members, staff, media, and guests to the meeting. Lynda Henderson entered the meeting. Upon a motion by Mr. Hunt, seconded by Ms. Best, the Board unanimously voted to adopt the agenda as amended adding one Recognition and one Request. Principal of Simsboro School, Ricky Durrett, welcomed guests to the pre-k through 12th grade school. He noted that the enrollment was up from 505 last year to 580 this year. Mr. Durrett shared programs the faculty is using including Intervention and Enrichment and PBIS for positive behavior. In closing he invited board members to tour the school at the completion of the meeting. Former board member representing the Choudrant area, Jim Kessler, was in attendance. As he had been unable to attend the recent ribbon cutting at Choudrant Elementary and can claim credit for much of the work that went into passing the bond issue that funded renovation of the schools in Choudrant, Superintendent Danny Bell presented him with a plaque in recognition of his passionate service to the board and his community from January 1991 through December 2010. Mr. Bell also was pleased to recognize the following principals who exceeded their accountability growth targets and were eligible to received $2,000 one-time increments for their school's performance: Charles Hogan, Choudrant Elementary; Vicky Key, Hico Elementary; Patrice Hilton, Hillcrest Elementary; Sonja Fuller, I. A. Lewis; and Mike Milstead, Ruston High School. President Anders charged the principals to continue to improve every aspect of their school. Secondary Coordinator, Paula Pardue, introduced Dr. Mike Strain, Regional Director for Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) in Louisiana. Dr. Strain said it was his extreme pleasure to present a plaque to Danny Bell and the Board in recognition of their schools' outstanding achievement and effort in achieving SACS accreditation earlier in the year. He gave background information and a timeline on the accreditation process for Lincoln Parish. After studying five proposed policy revisions and one policy for consideration as an addition, Mary Null, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Programs, asked the Board to approve the policies. Upon a motion by Mr. Barmore, seconded by Mr. Dowling, the Board unanimously voted to approve revisions to Executive Sessions (BCBK), School Board Ethics (BH), Employment of Retired Personnel (GBDA), Interscholastic Athletics (IDFA), Compulsory School Attendance Ages (JBA) policies and the addition to the policy manual of Kindergarten (IDCC). Architect Mike Walpole has continued to work with the central office administration and staff at Ruston High School on plans for the New Tech @ Ruston addition and ag building. As a result of on-going reviews and discussions, some changes in overall plans have been made to better utilize the available land and funding. Superintendent Bell communicated that the first project would be the construction of the ag building on the west side of the school. He called attention to a slide of the facility and also one for New Tech. Director of Auxiliary Services, Charles Owens, joined in and said because of the elevation, a storage facility would be built below the shop. For New Tech, the architect did not recommend renovating the current existing ag building because of elevation and concerns with the existing slab. Mr. Walpole feels that it would be more cost effective and pleasing architecturally to build a completely new structure. He and the administration believe it can be done within the scope of the budget. Both projects would be bid at the same time and would include alternates in the specifications. Principal Mike Milstead said he is pleased with the looks and the location of the buildings. Although New Tech guidelines recommend 14 classrooms, he is comfortable with the 12 included in the drawings. Mr. Milstead said his school's goal is to have 100% of the students engaged 100% of the time. New Tech will eventually help to meet the needs of 300 - 400 students that have trouble engaging. Upon a motion by Ms. Best, seconded by Ms. Henderson, the Board unanimously voted to grant permission for the advertisement of bids for the construction of a New Tech @ Ruston building and an ag building on the campus of Ruston High School. Simsboro School has been collecting broken and obsolete property reported Paula Pardue. She distributed a list of the items and asked for permission to declare them as surplus and dispose of them. Upon a motion by Mr. Dowling, seconded by Mr. Hunt, the Board unanimously voted to declare the items on the list from Simsboro School as surplus and grant authority to the administration to dispose of all items in a prudent manner. As a result of no bids being received for the purchase of surplus portable buildings, Charles Owens wanted to re-advertise them at a lower price and also negotiate a fair price if no bids are received above the published minimum. Upon a motion by Mr. Hunt, seconded by Ms. Henderson, the Board unanimously voted to grant permission to re-advertise for bids to dispose of surplus portable buildings and/or to negotiate a fair price if no bids are received. Remonia Hudson, Transition Counselor, and Stacy Findley, Transition Administrator, gave an update on 48 alternative students who have made a successful transition to their original schools. The duo are monitoring the students and staying in touch with their parents. They said the students were doing extremely well as a whole and are happy to be given a second chance that includes athletics and clubs. Just released graduation rates indicated that Lincoln Parish was in the top six in the state with 84.2 for 10-11 communicated Danny Bell. He is very proud of what is happening in Lincoln Parish. Mr. Bell also noted that the system ranked in the top ten for percentage of growth from 09-10. The schools are approaching the problem very seriously and have fewer drop outs than in the past. He was also encouraged by and expressed appreciation to personnel at three of the four high schools that had less than 5% of their students dropping out. They were:
Choudrant High 92.9
Dubach High 88.9
Ruston High 92.6
In a Report of the Superintendent, Mr. Bell:
1. Thanked Ricky Durrett and Simsboro School for hosting the meeting.
2. Said notebooks containing responses that were filed with the courts on Monday regarding the lab schools remaining in the school system's desegregation case were ready for pick up by board members following the meeting.
3. A small fire occurred when a cardboard box under a stairwell at Ruston High was lighted earlier today. Students were evacuated for a brief period. The small fire has been investigated and was quickly extinguished. The student that started the fire has been taken into custody. There being no further business, and upon a motion by Ms. Best, the meeting adjourned at 1:48 p.m.
Danny L. Bell, Secretary
Otha L. Anders, President
1td: October 28, 2011

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