The Board of Directors of the Little Rock School District held its regularly scheduled meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 24, 2004, in the Boardroom of the Administration Building, 810 West Markham Street, Little Rock, Arkansas. President Tony Rose presided.
Morris L. Holmes, Interim Superintendent
Diane Edwards, Recorder of Minutes
I. CALL TO ORDER / ROLL CALL
Mr. Rose called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m. Five members of the Board were present at roll call; Mr. Day and Dr. Mitchell were absent. In addition, ex officio student representative Antoine Ghoston from McClellan High School was also present.
II. PROCEDURAL MATTERS / WELCOMING COMMENTS
Mr. Rose opened the meeting by welcoming the audience and introducing Dr. Roy G. Brooks, Superintendent elect of the LRSD.
III. REPORTS/RECOGNITIONS/PUBLIC COMMENTS
Dr. Holmes welcomed Dr. Brooks, and stated that he looked forward to turning over the reins of the office of Superintendent.
The Superintendent also welcomed the student representative Antoine Ghoston and stated that a certificate of appreciation would be mailed to him in the next few weeks.
B. Remarks from Citizens
Dr. George Blevins read a letter to Dr. Holmes from Concerned Citizens United thanking him for his committed service and for a job well done. The letter was signed by Terrance Bolden, CCU chairman, and declared this day as the Dr. Morris L. Holmes Excellence in Education Day.
Katherine Wright Knight addressed Dr. Holmes and members of the Board by stating the intent of the CTA to continue in a spirit of cooperation and collaboration that began this year, in hopes that the relationship between the CTA and District administration continues to be a positive one.
IV. REPORTS AND COMMUNICATIONS
Mr. Berkley welcomed Dr. Brooks to the LRSD and commented on their tennis game earlier in the day. He thanked Dr. Holmes for his service to the District over the past few months.
Ms. Strickland thanked Dr. Holmes for stepping into the role of Interim Superintendent and for serving the District in their time of need. She also welcomed Dr. Brooks and stated confidence in the future and anticipation for his “taking the reins” of leadership for the LRSD.
Mr. Kurrus thanked everyone in the community for their input into the Superintendent search process, stating that the exchange of ideas and communication was very healthy. He stated that he was grateful for the opportunity to address the community’s concerns during the past few weeks, and he expressed hope that the problems brought forward would be discussed and resolved over time. He thanked Dr. Holmes for his time as the Interim Superintendent.
Dr. Daugherty thanked Diane Edwards for serving in the role of recorder of the minutes at this night’s meeting. He welcomed Dr. Brooks to the LRSD, and thanked Dr. Holmes for giving the District a year of service.
In addition, Dr. Daugherty announced the public sessions for information gathering for the Student Assignment Committee. He read the schedule of meeting dates, and indicated that these dates would be publicized and announced prior to the first one, scheduled for the 3rd week in July.
Dr. Mitchell sent a written letter of remarks and asked Ms. Edwards to read the letter into the record. She expressed her regrets for being absent for Dr. Holmes last official meeting as Superintendent of Schools. She thanked him for leaving the comfort of retirement to dedicate a year of service to the LRSD. She thanked him for his professional manner, for sharing his knowledge, and for leading by example.
Mr. Rose concluded the remarks section of the meeting by stating that it had been a pleasure to work with Dr. Holmes. He thanked Dr. Holmes for his honesty and integrity and stated that those attributes were a blessing to the District and to him on a personal level. Mr. Rose invited Dr. Holmes to return to the July board meeting for an appropriate send-off, and Dr. Holmes agreed to return.
Dr. Holmes thanked the Board members for their comments and introduced his wife, Sammie Holmes, and thanked her for being an “authentic” Superintendent’s wife. He also introduced his granddaughter who was visiting Little Rock from Korea.
A brief summary data report was printed in the Board’s agenda. The report detailed the high school enrollment and specifically increases in the enrollment at Central High School. Dr. Daugherty provided a brief report of the activities of the first meeting of the Student Assignment Committee and provided dates of the community input sessions which are scheduled.
Dr. Holmes made comments prefacing the budget update items and briefly discussed the report that would be presented by Mark Milhollen.
Mr. Milhollen presented the revenue
and expenditure projection for the
2003-04 budget and the first draft of the projected budget for 2004-05. Additionally, potential increases in expenditures on the 2004-05 budget were presented for review and discussion. He reviewed the new sources of revenue, the funding formulas, the new coding structure and expected changes in line items of state revenue.
Mr. Milhollen responded to questions from the Board and Superintendent. He explained the prioritized list of budget requests from the administration and how implementation of those requests would affect the fund balance.
Board members expressed concern about the presentation of items for approval without previous notification, but stated their understanding that part of the timing issues were out of the control of the District.
High school principals were asked to present individual school budget requests. Dr. Holmes explained that part of the late presentation to the Board was due to the building staff reviewing their needs and determining teaching staff requirements. The principals were asked to be present to insure that Board members had the opportunity to have all the information and ask the questions that needed to be answered in order to make the decisions.
Dr. Holmes asked the Board to consider budget requests from School Services in the amount of $4 million, including the priority needs for Safety & Security. He asked the Board to approve the items that would directly affect students and to authorize the administration to move forward with those that would provide classroom teachers to cover new enrollment. Exhibits presented to the Board for review are attached to these minutes.
High school principals Larry Buck, Linda Brown, Cassandra Norman, Vernon Smith, and Nancy Rousseau reviewed their staffing requirements and requests for additional teaching staff.
Mr. Rose stated that he didn’t feel the Board was required to take a formal vote to authorize the hiring of additional teaching staff, but agreed to do so at the urging of Dr. Holmes. The Board agreed by consensus to take a formal vote on the budget allocations required to hire teachers for the start of school.
Dr. Daugherty moved to allow administration to hire all positions listed within the school services section of the proposal presented by the administration. He then withdrew his motion.
Mr. Berkley moved to authorize hiring of in-school personnel listed in the school services proposal of the budget proposal. Dr. Daugherty seconded the motion. Mr. Berkley clarified the motion by stating that his intent was to include teachers and administrators, elementary and secondary.
Mr. Rose moved an amendment to the motion to hire only the classroom based personnel listed in the proposal. Dr. Daugherty seconded the amendment to the proposal. The amendment to the motion carried 4-1, with Mr. Berkley casting the no vote.
Mr. Kurrus expressed concern about the consulting teachers and stated that he wouldn’t support the motion without knowing how the expenditures for all the positions would affect the overall budget. He stated support for the classroom teachers, but not for the additional positions.
Mr. Berkley restated the motion and called for the vote. The motion would authorize the administration to hire all in-school personnel listed in the school services section of the budget proposal, limiting the vote to only the personnel who directly affect classroom instruction. The motion carried 4-1, with Mr. Kurrus voting “no.”
Dr. Holmes asked Dr. Watson to address the Board regarding the Alternative Learning Center budget request. Dr. Watson stated that Act 59 authorized additional funding for alternative education programs in the amount of $3,250 per student, which would be in addition to the $5,400 per student already allocated. The proposal would provide additional teachers and staff at the Garland ALC and at the Apperson ALC.
The students at these two sites would receive additional services including mental health counseling, literacy intervention programs, and the state mandated six hours of instruction per day. These additional services supplement what is already provided at the other middle schools and would be based on needs other than disciplinary reasons.
Mr. Berkley moved approval of the line items listed under the ALC, Administrative Services proposal. Mr. Kurrus seconded the motion, and it carried unanimously.
The Board took a brief recess at 7:45 p.m. and reconvened at 8:00 p.m.
Mr. Eaton presented a brief update highlighted by the written report provided by Mr. Goodman in the Board’s agenda. Many of the projects will be completed by the end of summer and in time for the beginning of the 2004-05 school year.
Mr. Becker was present and reviewed the brief summary report printed in the Board’s agenda. Mr. Becker responded to a question from Dr. Daugherty regarding a request to add a clerical position to the Auditor’s office.
Ms. Neal reviewed the brief report presented in the agenda and notified the Board that the technology staff was completing their move to the new technology center at Metropolitan Career and Technical Center. Board members were invited to visit the center, and she noted that an open house would be held once all aspects of the move were completed.
Minutes from the regular meeting of the Board of Directors held on May 20, and from special meetings held on May 19, June 8, June 10, and June 11, were presented for review and approval. There were no corrections noted and the minutes were approved as submitted.
B. Board Meeting Dates
The schedule of Board meeting dates for the 2004-05 school year was presented for review and approval. Ms. Strickland made a motion to approve the schedule as submitted. Mr. Berkley seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
C. Personnel Changes
Routine personnel changes were printed in the Board’s agenda. Dr. Holmes recommended approval. Mr. Berkley moved approval of the personnel changes, Ms. Strickland seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
SUSPENSION OF THE RULES:
Mr. Rose asked for a motion to suspend the rules to allow two items presented for approval that had not been included on the agenda prior to the meeting. Mr. Berkley moved to suspend the rules, Mr. Kurrus seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
Bargaining Rights of LRSD Paraprofessionals and custodians
Beverly Williams, Director of Human Resources, presented an agreement signed by the Classroom Teachers’ Association and District Administrators governing the bargaining rights of Paraprofessionals and Custodians. The agreement was printed in the Board’s agenda. Mr. Berkley moved to endorse the agreement, Dr. Daugherty seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
Hiring of Additional Teaching Staff
The Division of School Services presented a request for the addition of 43.4 new teaching positions for grades K – 12, and an additional 19 new teachers for Pre-K classrooms. The consensus vote taken previously during the Budget Discussion section of this agenda authorized the hiring of 17 elementary classroom teachers, 15 consulting teachers, and 23.9 secondary teachers. In addition, 15.5 positions were authorized for the Alternative Learning Center programs at Garland and at the Apperson location.
Mr. Berkley moved approval of hiring Pre-K teaching staff contingent upon receipt of grant funding from the State of Arkansas. Mr. Kurrus seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
A. Program Evaluation Agenda for 2004-05
Mr. Glasgow presented a proposal to authorize the District’s program evaluations for the areas of Elementary Literacy, Secondary Literacy, Elementary Mathematics, Secondary Mathematics, ESL and Pre-K programs. The evaluations are structured to determine effectiveness of various instructional programs and to determine which programs are to be maintained, adjusted, or eliminated. Internal and external evaluations will be conducted and it is expected the evaluations will require a budget of approximately $50,000.
The Board conducted a lengthy discussion regarding the need to approve the program evaluation agenda at this meeting, and whether it might be prudent to wait until the Judge releases his ruling on the compliance remedy.
Mr. Rose passed the gavel to Mr. Berkley in order to make a motion to table action on the Program Evaluation agenda. Mr. Kurrus seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
B. Contract for Technology Services
Lucy Neal presented a proposal to contract with an outside consultant for the purpose of implementation of the approved technology plan. The recommended individual, Sharon Dowdy, is familiar with the scope of the technology projects across the District and will provide expertise in e-rate funding opportunities and the management of media retrieval systems. The requested budget amount was $78,000, plus travel expenses.
Mr. Berkley moved to approve the contract with Ms. Dowdy for one year. Ms. Strickland seconded the motion, and it carried 3-2, with Mr. Kurrus and Mr. Rose casting the no votes.
C. Federal Grant Submission: Mentoring Programs
Debbie Milam and Linda Austin prepared a grant for submission to the federal government in the amount of $600,000. The grant would provide school-based mentoring programs for children in fourth through eighth grades, targeting those students who are at risk of educational failure, involved in criminal or delinquent behaviors, or who lack strong, positive role models. With the Board’s approval, the grant will be submitted to meet a July 7 deadline. Ms. Milam was present to respond to questions from the Board.
Mr. Berkley moved approval of the grant submission, Dr. Daugherty seconded the motion and it carried 5-0.
A. Proposed Budget for Annual School Election
The Board was provided a proposal to approve the budget of expenditures and tax levy for 2005-06 school elections. Under the Terms of Arkansas law, this action is required and the budget must be published no less than sixty days before the annual school elections in September. Mr. Berkley moved approval, Mr. Kurrus seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
B. Memorandum of Understanding: Protection of Historic Resources and Cultural Landscape at Little Rock Central High School
The administration presented a Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. Department of the Interior, the National Park Service, the City of Little Rock, the Little Rock School District and the Central High Neighborhood Association. The agreement is intended to provide endorsement of a mutual understanding of the importance of historic resources and cultural landscape within and surrounding Little Rock Central High School National Park and Historic site. The parties agreed to commit resources to support the long-term protection of this landmark. Mr. Berkley moved approval of the agreement, Dr. Daugherty seconded the motion, and it carried unanimously.
C. Donations of Property
Board was asked to approve the acceptance of recent donations to schools and
Departments within the District. The
donations are listed in the following chart.
Student ex officio, Antoine Ghoston, read the items listed in the Board’s agenda. Mr. Kurrus made a motion to accept the
Mr. Berkley seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
Brady Elementary School
$1,000 to purchase trophies and ribbons for Science Fair
Bank of the Ozarks
Central High School
$300 cash for a scholarship to benefit Meleknur Aslan
Services valued at $2,228. to the Central High School Jazz Band
Mike and Che Dolan of Pro Pics of AR
Cloverdale Magnet Middle School
Coke products valued at $500 to provide refreshments for parent and faculty meetings, special programs and student activities
$450 cash for 11 sixth grade honor roll students to begin savings accounts for college
HP Computer System and printer, Canon scanner and a computer desk, valued at $1,000
Coca-Cola Bottling Company
Wal-Mart /Baseline and Ida Pettus / Kid Smart
Alice Wickliffe, 6th grade teacher
Fair Park Elementary School
Teaching materials, art supplies and childrens’ books, valued at $700 to be used by young teachers starting their careers
Forest Heights Middle School
$500 cash to FHMS Athletic Department to sponsor five students to the U of A football camp
Convenience Stores Plus, Inc. dba Big Ben Truck Stop
Geyer Springs Elementary School
Children of Promise Foundation Scholarship Fund to guarantee ten fifth grade students a scholarship in the amount of $1,000 each. A commitment to donate $10,000 per year for each year thereafter was made.
BFI / Waste Services of AR in conjunction with the Geyer Springs Neighborhood Association and Geyer Springs Elementary School
Henderson Health Science Magnet Middle School
Cash donations toward the purchase and lighting of the Henderson Marquee:
Mulch, valued at $230 for Henderson Marquee landscaping
Landscaping plants and materials valued at $150
Pennbrook / Cloverhill Property Owners’ Association
City of Little Rock / Westbrook Neighborhood Association
School-wide and PTA Fundraiser
Match for Foundation Grant for Student Incentives / School-wide and PTA fundraiser
Second Baptist Church / John Barrow Road
United Way Day of Caring
Mabelvale Magnet Middle School
Portrait package, valued at $450, donated during the dedication of the Carl Martin Library
Two name plates engraved with Carl Martin Library, valued at $78.64
Refreshments, valued at $150 for the Carol Martin Library at MMMS
Gift certificate valued at $25.00 for Library dedication ceremony
Desk, valued at $50 to the library at MMMS
Equipment and labor valued at $400 for moving columns for the Carl Martin Library
Books, valued at $100 to the Carl Martin Library
Carnegie columns (priceless) to the Carol Martin Library
Wayne Smith Photography
Mabelvale Middle School Builders Club
Mabelvale United Methodist Church
Wal-Mart Supercenter / Baseline
Richard Thompson of Tom James of LR
Lando Patton Wrecking, Inc.
Mollie Martin Wiseman
Mr. & Mrs. Carl Martin
Williams Traditional Magnet School
$13,200 cash to be distributed for staff appreciation, classroom supplies, student recognition, and parental involvement activities
“Drug Free” banner, valued at $300 to the counseling program
Randy Wilson / Oxford Screen Printing
Mahlon Martin Professional Library
Five Olympus digital cameras, two HP Photosmart digital cameras, Olympus digital imaging kits and picture cards, total value $2,200
LR Classroom Teachers Association
D. Financial Report
The monthly financial summary reports were provided to the Board as part of the printed agenda. Mr. Milhollen was present to review the reports and respond to questions.
VIII. CLOSING REMARKS
The Board took a brief recess and reconvened at 9:38 p.m.
IX. STUDENT HEARING
Dr. Linda Watson presented an expulsion recommendation for the Board’s review, as an appeal of the hearing officer’s recommendation for a one-year expulsion. A student at the Alternative Learning Center had been expelled from J.A. Fair High School and placed at the ALC for possession of a weapon.
The current recommendation for expulsion was the result of a fight on a school bus, wherein the student beat another student and assaulted the bus driver when the driver attempted to break up the fight. As a result, the student verbally threatened the bus driver and continued to fight, assaulting the other student, and stabbing her with a comb. The staff at the ALC charged the student with terroristic threatening and recommended a full year expulsion from the LRSD.
The hearing officer upheld the recommendation for expulsion and offered alternative placement at the Step One Center of the Juvenile Justice Center. The student’s mother asked for a hearing before the Board.
The Board reviewed the videotape taken from the bus that showed the fight and asked questions of Dr. Watson, the student and another individual. After careful consideration of the facts, Mr. Kurrus made a motion to uphold the administration’s recommendation for placement at the JJC – Step One Program. The motion included an amendment to the sanction that directed Dr. Watson to review the student’s academic record, attendance records, and behavior after one semester at the JJC, and to allow the option to return to the ALC based on the findings of that review. Ms. Strickland seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
There being no further business before the Board, the meeting adjourned at 10:19 p.m.
APPROVED: _ 07-22-04 __ Originals Signed by:
Tony Rose, President
R. Micheal Daugherty, Secretary