The Board of Directors of the Little Rock School District held a special meeting on Thursday, June 13, 2002, in the Boardroom of the Administration Building, 810 West Markham Street, Little Rock, Arkansas. President Baker Kurrus presided.
T. Kenneth James, Superintendent of Schools
Beverly Griffin, Recorder of the Minutes
I. CALL TO ORDER
President Baker Kurrus called the special meeting to order at 5:05 p.m. Six members of the Board were present at roll call; Dr. Daugherty was absent. In addition, ex-officio representatives to the Board were also present: Rebecca Brown, teacher from Fair Park Elementary; and Gillian Glasco, student at Parkview Magnet High School.
II. PURPOSE OF THE MEETING
The agenda for the special meeting follows:
I. Personnel Actions – Director of Human Resources
II. Student Expulsion / Reinstatement Petitions
III. Employee Hearings
A. Personnel Actions – Director of Human Resources
Dr. James presented his recommendation for the position of Director of Human Resources. He reported that four administrators served on the selection committee, and unanimously recommended Beverly Williams for the position. She currently serves as the Director of Certificated Personnel for the Pulaski County Special School District, and will assume the position of Director of Human Resources for the LRSD on July 1, 2002.
Mr. Berkley made a motion to approve the Superintendent’s recommendation. Mr. Rose seconded the motion and it carried unanimously, 6 - 0.
Dr. Linda Watson was present and provided brief summary reports and recommendations for student related disciplinary matters.
The Board considered the case of an eleventh grade student at the Accelerated Learning Center. She sent e-mail to the LRSD Communications office on May 25th, threatening the May 28th graduation ceremonies scheduled at Alltel Arena. The North Little Rock Police Department, the Little Rock Police Department, and LRSD administrative staff were all involved in the investigation that led to e-mail sent from the student’s home address. The administration recommended expulsion for one calendar year, with assignment to the Step-One Center at the Pulaski County Juvenile Justice Center. Ms. Magness made a motion to uphold the recommendation; Ms. Strickland seconded the motion and it carried 6-0.
Another student was enrolled at McClellan High School as a senior. He admitted having a firearm on campus on May 15, 2002. The police found the weapon in his car, which was on the McClellan High School parking lot. The administration recommended expulsion for one calendar year with assignment to the Juvenile Justice Center’s Step One Alternative program. The student does not have enough credits to graduate with the class of 2002, therefore the Step One Center will provide the opportunity for him to complete high school requirements. Ms. Strickland moved to uphold the administration’s recommendation for placement at the JJC. Dr. Mitchell seconded the motion, and it carried unanimously.
Another student was a ninth grade student during the 2000-01 school year. He was expelled from the Alternative Learning Center for setting a fire in a trash can in the men’s restroom near the Student Hearing Office. Dr. Watson reported that the student has been out of the District for one calendar year, and is now petitioning for reinstatement to his attendance zone school. He has completed the C-Step Boot Camp, and the Step One Program of the Juvenile Justice Center with satisfactory grades and behavior. The administration recommended the Board’s approval for reinstatement. Ms. Magness moved to approve the administrations recommendation for reinstatement to the attendance zone school. Dr. Mitchell seconded the motion, and it carried unanimously.
Mr. Berkley made a motion to recess for the purpose of conducting the agenda meeting at 5:15 p.m. Mr. Rose seconded the motion and it carried 6-0. Upon completion of the agenda meeting, the board took a brief break and returned at 6:00 p.m. to conduct employee hearings.
Attorney Clay Fendley and Dr. Dick Hurley provided brief background information regarding non-renewal of the contract for an employee who was represented by Attorney John Walker. He also represented another employee and stated that his presentation would make reference to both employees. He requested that the hearing be open to the public.
After hearing from Attorney Walker, the Board took a brief break and returned to the hearing at 7:10 p.m. After additional discussion and testimony from the employees, the Board went into executive session for deliberations at 8:05 p.m. on a motion made by Mr. Rose, seconded by Mr. Berkley. They returned at 8:19 p.m. and Mr. Kurrus reported that no action had been taken. Mr. Kurrus asked that the motions be made and voted separately for each employee. Mr. Rose stated his motion with respect to the first employee’s case: In light of the budget reductions necessitated by the financial condition of the LRSD, I move that the Board support the administration’s contention that this employee’s contract not be renewed for the 2002-2003 school year on the basis of reducing the number of administrative positions in accordance with District policy. Ms. Strickland seconded the motion, and it carried unanimously.
Mr. Rose stated his motion with respect to the second employee: Again, in light of the financial condition of the LRSD and required budget reductions, I move that the Board support the Superintendent’s recommendation that this employee’s contract for the 2002-2003 school year not be renewed as a part of the reduction necessitated by our financial condition and that the number of administrative positions must be reduced according to District policy. Mr. Berkley seconded the motion, and it carried unanimously.
The third hearing presented for the Board’s consideration was that of another employee. Mr. Kurrus noted that Mr. Walker presented some information with respect to this hearing during presentation on the previous two hearings. He asked Mr. Fendley to begin by opening remarks. Mr. Fendley provided a summary packet of information relative to the non-renewal of this employee who whose position was a budget reduction consideration. Following testimony from witnesses and the employee, Ms. Strickland made a motion to go into executive session to deliberate at 9:06 p.m. Mr. Berkley seconded the motion and it carried unanimously. The Board returned from executive session at 9:17 p.m. and reported that no action had been taken. Mr. Kurrus asked for a motion in the matter of this employee. Mr. Rose stated his motion: In light of the financial condition of the LRSD, which requires that our budget be reduced, I move that we support the Superintendent’s recommendation that the position held by this employee be eliminated. Ms. Strickland seconded the motion and it carried 5-0-1, with Dr. Mitchell abstaining.
There being no further business before the Board, the meeting adjourned at 9:18 p.m. on a motion by Mr. Rose, seconded by Ms. Magness.
APPROVED: _07-25-02__ Original documents signed by:
H. Baker Kurrus, President
Tony Rose, Secretary