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Ruston, Louisiana
Tuesday, December 6, 2011 6:00 p.m.
The Lincoln Parish School Board met in Regular Session on Tuesday, December 6, 2011, at 6:00 p.m. at the Lincoln Parish School Board, 410 South Farmerville Street, Ruston, Louisiana. Members present were Ms. Debbie Abrahm, Mr. Otha Anders, Mr. Michael Barmore, Ms. Lisa Best, Mr. Danny Hancock, Mrs. Mattie Harrison, Ms. Lynda Henderson, Mr. Trott Hunt, Mr. Eddie Jones, and Mr. Joe Mitcham.
Mr. Curtis Dowling and Mr. George Mack were absent.
President Anders called the meeting to order, and Mr. Jones gave the invocation. Ms. Abrahm led in the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag followed by Mr. Anders' welcome to board members, staff, media, persons of special recognition, guests, and former board member and newly-elected Representative Rob Shadoin. Upon a motion by Mr. Barmore, seconded by Ms. Harrison, the Board unanimously voted to adopt the agenda as printed.
Upon a motion by Ms. Henderson, seconded by Ms. Best, the Board unanimously voted to approve the minutes of the Regular Session held on November 1, 2011, as distributed. In order to continue to update the fleet and provide reliable transportation to the students of the parish, James Payton, Transportation Coordinator, requested permission to buy three new conventional buses. Upon a motion by Mr. Mitcham, seconded by Mr. Jones, the Board unanimously voted to grant permission to advertise for bids for the purchase of three new conventional buses. Permission was requested by Charles Owens, Director of Auxiliary Services, to advertise for bids for the cutting of trees and clearing of a 12 acre tract of land adjoining the eastern border of the Simsboro School campus. Additionally, he requested permission to negotiate for the services if he is unable to obtain them through the bid process. Upon a motion by Mr. Jones, seconded by Mr. Hancock, the Board unanimously voted to grant permission to advertise for the tree cutting and clearing of land and to negotiate for the services if unable to obtain through the bid process.
The Board served as a Committee of the Whole, and the following Personnel Committee 1.-4. agenda items were considered after being presented by Mary Null, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Programs:
1. Retirement of Linda Colvin, teacher at Glen View, effective January 16, 2012.
2. Resignation of Jone' Heflin, special education teacher at I. A. Lewis, effective December 21, 2011.
3. Point of Reference/Transfer of Rose Loyd from Ruston Elementary to special education paraprofessional at Early Childhood Center effective November 14, 2011, because of student need.
4. Employment of Sunny Journey as special education teacher at I. A. Lewis effective January 3, 2012, replacing Jone' Heflin who resigned.
Upon a motion by Ms. Best, seconded by Mr. Barmore, the Board unanimously voted to approve the administration's personnel recommendations. Chairman of the Building and Grounds Committee, Trott Hunt, reported that the committee met at 5:30 p.m. prior to the board meeting to discuss the possible naming of some school properties at Ruston High School. The superintendent had provided a procedure for naming of school properties per the policy manual. The committee reviewed the procedure which consisted of taking names in writing from the community, the superintendent appointing and advisory committee to study those and make recommendations to the Building and Grounds Committee, and the Committee bringing a recommendation to the Board. Some other possibilities along that line and what is applicable and should be pursued were also discussed and will be brought to the Board at that time according to him. Mr. Hunt said the Committee voted to recommend to the full board the superintendent's procedure and timeline for naming school properties. Mr. Jones seconded the motion from the Building and Grounds Committee, and the Board unanimously voted in favor of the recommendation. Hico Elementary's school performance scores were re-evaluated, and the school was rated a C+ instead of the original D+ according to Accountability Coordinator, Donna Doss. She had filed an appeal last month and had just been notified that Hico was one of four Louisiana schools to win their appeal. The Department of Education failed to give credit for retesting at the end of 2010 summer school. President Anders and Superintendent Bell expressed their pride in the principal, faculty, parents, and Donna Doss for their hard work in having the greatest growth in the parish at 13.5 points. November 2011 brought in $974,920 in sales taxes which was down 2.52% compared to the same month last year. George Murphy, Business Manager, said year-to-date the fund was up 1.07%; however, the budget was based on a 5% increase. Recoveries through audits were $2,445 which was down 94% for the month, but up 2.1% for the year. He told the Board that $443,146 was collected in the '67 and '79 sales tax fund, and $531,774 in the '93 and '00 fund. He called attention to the shaded line on the October 2011 financial statement which was very comparable to October 2010. Year-to-date the general fund was up 2.5 million. The 5 mill maintenance fund; '93 and '00 ad valorem tax funds; and all Ruston, Simsboro, Dubach, and Choudrant M&O funds were all showing deficits year-to-date. The accounts will be flush when property tax revenue is collected. The sales tax funds still had healthy fund balances but may not be what was anticipated initially when the budget was prepared. Mr. Murphy communicated that personnel has been going to the schools to share changes in the health care plan as the system moves from Covenant to Blue Cross. A Blue Cross representative has also been present and helps with questions and to smooth any problems that may be incurred for people that have on-going care. He said everyone in the plan will receive a medical/prescription card and a dental card. Mr. Murphy urged everyone to be sure and present them to doctors and facilities beginning January 1 so claims can be processed without delays. He closed by saying that providers under Blue Cross will not be making as much money as they made under Benesys and Covenant. For the month ending October 2011, the health care fund was down $313,473 and was down $1,463,867 year-to-date. Mr. Murphy projected savings in the move to Blue Cross are $1,000,000 annually. A construction update was the next item item. Charles Owens showed pictures of Choudrant High and reported that 85% of the work on the building is complete. The architect on the project, Greg Wallace, said he is excited about the progress and hopes the students can move into the classroom building and new ag shop in early January. Construction will most likely start on the new parking lot in the beginning of the summer. In a Report of the Superintendent, Mr. Bell said that:
1. The mid-February meeting of the Board is to be held at Choudrant in order for the Board to tour both of the schools.
2. A memo had been placed in packets relative to the Academic Awards Banquet which is scheduled for February 13, 2012.
3. A memo was placed in portfolios and members should see Becky Gemelli if it applied to them.
4. Several staff members and five principals are participating in the new teacher/principal evaluation state pilot program which goes along with Act 54. It involved intensive training the past week. Even though the evaluation program begins in the fall of 2012, the instruments will be implemented in Lincoln Parish in January 2012. Mr. Bell felt the pilot was a very valuable opportunity to provide feedback to the state. They are also piloting some other activities for the state as part of the reform efforts. After brief comments and following a motion by Ms. Best, the meeting adjourned at 6:38 p.m.
Danny L. Bell, Secretary Otha L. Anders, President
1td: December 23, 2011

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