LITTLE ROCK SCHOOL DISTRICT

810 WEST MARKHAM STREET

LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS

 

 

MINUTES

REGULAR BOARD MEETING

October 27, 2005

 

The Board of Directors of the Little Rock School District held its regularly scheduled meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 27, 2005, in the Boardroom of the Administration Building, 810 West Markham Street, Little Rock, Arkansas.President Robert M. Daugherty presided.��

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:

�����������

Robert M. Daugherty

Baker Kurrus

Bryan Day

����������� Katherine Mitchell

Tony Rose

Sue Strickland

 

MEMBERS ABSENT:

 

Larry Berkley

 

 

ALSO PRESENT:

 

����������� Roy G. Brooks, Superintendent of Schools

����������� Beverly Griffin, Recorder of Minutes

 

I.��������� CALL TO ORDER / ROLL CALL

 

Dr. Daugherty called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m.��� Six members of the Board were present at roll call; Mr. Berkley was absent.In addition, Cathy Koehler, ex officio teacher representative from Baseline Elementary School and Allyson Wilson, student representative from Parkview Magnet School were also present.

 

 

II.                  PROCEDURAL MATTERS / WELCOMING COMMENTS

 

Dr. Daugherty welcomed the audience and asked Dr. Brooks to proceed with the citations.


 

 

III.����������� REPORTS/RECOGNITIONS/PUBLIC COMMENTS

 

A.                Superintendent�s Citations

 

Prior to the board meeting, a reception was held in the administration building lobby to honor and recognize students who had been named National Merit Semifinalists, National Merit Commended Students, National Achievement Semifinalists, and National Achievement Commended Students.

 

National Merit Semifinalists:Spencer Berry, Richard Block, Jennifer Cooper, Don Ding, Zackary Eubanks, June Fang, Stephen Feinberg, Amanda Heinbockel, Rafi Kazi, Galimat Khaidakova, Emily Mellor, David Polett, Laura Soderberg, Melissa Thoma, Andrew Winters, and Faye Zhao.

 

National Merit Commended Students:Shannen Adcock, Hannah Bailin, Eric Beall, Stephanie Drangle, Sudhanv Govindarajan, Matthew Gutierrez, John Kincaid, Alisyn Reid, Caitlin Stevens

 

National Achievement Semifinalists:Marion Humphrey, Tamika Thompson

 

National Achievement Commended Student: Allen Thomas

 

Dr. Brooks introduced Connie Green, the newly appointed assistant principal at Mabelvale Magnet Middle School.

 

The ex officio representatives to the Board for the month of October, Cathy Koehler and Allyson Wilson, were given certificates of appreciation for their service.��

 

B.                Partners in Education

 

Debbie Milam was present to introduce one new school and business partnership within the Partners in Education Program.�� Ms. Strickland moved to accept the new partnership; Mr. Rose seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.The new partnership was:

 

Otter Creek Elementary School, represented by Jill Brooks and Wanda Varady, in partnership with Meyer Stagecoach Florist, represented by Diane Permenter

 

C.                Legal Update

 

Attorney Chris Heller was present to briefly review pending legal cases.He provided a written report of the routine issues dealing with personnel matters.

 


 

 

In addition, Mr. Heller discussed the Lake View case which is pending before the Arkansas Supreme Court.It is expected that oral arguments in this case will be heard on November 17. He reported that the final outcome will have a significant impact on the State funding for public schools.

 

Mr. Heller reminded the Board that Judge Wilson had scheduled a hearing on Monday, November 7, and had requested all board members be present. The judge accused the LRSD and Mr. Heller of delaying submission of evaluation reports in an effort to stall or delay fulfilling the Judges order. Mr. Heller assured the Board that the LRSD had done everything they were ordered to do and that there was no effort to impede compliance with the Courts directives.

 

Mr. Rose made a motion to reorder the agenda and allow the Donations of Property at this point in the agenda. Mr. Day seconded the motion and it carried unanimously. The student read the donations and the vote was taken at this point in the meeting, but will be reported later in these minutes.

 

D.                Remarks from Citizens

 

Charlene Jay, a nutrition manager with the Districts Child Nutrition Department, read a prepared statement asking for the Board to intervene in the efforts of child nutrition employees to be paid a salary comparable to other employees of the LRSD. She provided a timeline dating back to July 2004 indicating that these employees had requested a salary study, presented a petition signed by child nutrition employees, and secured representation from the Classroom Teachers Association to improve working conditions and salaries for cafeteria workers.

 

Mary Ann Hansen commended the Board for addressing and correcting language in the Boards policies regarding discrimination related to gender. She asked the Board to go a step further and adopt preventive policy language regarding gender identity issues.

 

E.                Little Rock Classroom Teachers Association

 

Katherine Wright Knight thanked Dr. Brooks for intervening in the efforts of the Child Nutrition workers to resolve their concerns regarding pay and working conditions.


 

Ms. Knight noted that her office had fielded many calls regarding the Benchmark test scores. She asked for open and honest discussion among teachers and administrators when addressing the accountability issues in the schools identified as under NCLB school improvement.

 

In addition, Ms. Knight reported that teachers involved in the National Board Certification process were awaiting the arrival of their scores. Twenty nine of the thirty-three candidates followed through the entire process to submit their documentation for review; the results are expected mid-November. She asked the Board to continue to support the process and to provide support for the teachers who may not be successful on their first attempt.

 

In closing, Mrs. Knight announced that she had been elected to serve as the Chair of the Professional Licensure Program for the State of Arkansas.

 

 

IV. REPORTS AND COMMUNICATIONS

A.                Remarks from Board Members

 

Cathy Koehler thanked Board members for giving her the opportunity to serve as ex officio on the Board. She expressed support for the National Board Certification process and reported that she had been working with the candidates to assist them in the preparation of their portfolios and other documents.

 

Mr. Rose thanked Ms. Jay for her comments supporting a living wage for cafeteria employees. He expressed support for all district employees who are on the lowest pay scales and urged the administration to find the funds to equalize the salaries of child nutrition workers. He also thanked Ms. Hansen for her support and comments.

 

Regarding Ms. Knights comments, Mr. Rose also shared his concern for the students in our district who are not the highest or lowest achieving students but are those who are caught in the middle and receiving a mediocre education. He stated support for the National Board Program and encouragement for those teachers who are continuing to strive to succeed and achieve this level of certification.

 

Closing, Mr. Rose reported that board members had met with the superintendent and consultants who are working to make the strategic plan the guiding document of the district. The administration is working with the board to develop action plans, guiding principals and strategies that will lead the district to fully implement the intent of the strategic plan.

 

Ms. Strickland echoed Mr. Roses remarks regarding the kids in the middle who may not be receiving the best quality education. She encouraged the districts leaders, teachers, principals and the board to put our heads together to find a way to help the students who are struggling. She congratulated Connie Green on her appointment as assistant principal at Mabelvale Middle School.

 

Mr. Kurrus discussed the complications involved in the current controversy over test scores. He noted that the state is trying to level the rate of growth between grade levels by changing the levels of proficiency used to measure achievement. Test scores should be considered nothing more or less than a snapshot of the moment; all students wont learn and some will always score better than others.

 

Mr. Kurrus expressed pride in the LRSD for maintaining a positive fund balance while other public entities are having financial difficulties. He noted the recent news reports regarding budget problems in the city of Little Rock, Pulaski County, and the Pulaski County Special School District. He thanked the superintendent and district administrators who made difficult recommendations to allow the district to remain on stable financial footing and gave due credit to the Board for having the foresight to make the difficult decisions along the way.

 

Dr. Mitchell commended Katherine Wright Knight on her appointment as chairman of the states licensing agency. She also shared concern regarding student achievement and performance on the recent exams, however she noted that test scores dont always adequately measure and reflect student progress. She commended parents who take the time to work with their children and who monitor their classroom performance and she encouraged more parents to become involved in the education of their children.

 

Dr. Mitchell reminded the audience about the ViPS Reading Day and she encouraged listeners to participate by reading to students on November 15.

 

Dr. Daugherty discussed the Fulbright Teacher Exchange conference which was recently held in Little Rock. He reported that Superintendent Brooks had served as keynote speaker on the Sunday afternoon of the conference and that the conference participants had been given an opportunity to shadow teachers in the LRSD for a day. He noted the irony in that there were no teachers from Arkansas participating in the program although J. William Fulbright had been a Senator from our state. He encouraged teachers to investigate the possibility of becoming involved in this prestigious program.

 

Dr. Daugherty closed by thanking the Board for allowing him the opportunity to serve as the Boards president.

 

B.                Review of Annual Report

 

Joe Mittiga provided a brief summary and overview of the districts annual report to the community. This report is required by Arkansas law to be published in a statewide newspaper by November 15 of each year. Our report will be distributed with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and Arkansas Business.

 

Dr. Olivine Roberts responded to questions from the Board regarding curriculum standards and the alignment of our curriculum with state frameworks. She also fielded questions regarding professional development provided for teaching staff and noted that school-based administrators select the specific training needed to meet the needs of their teachers.

 

C.                Student Assignment Report

 

Dr. Watson was present but there was no formal report and no questions from the Board. The October 1 enrollment comparison was printed as part of the boards agenda.

 

D.                Budget Update

 

No report. Mr. Milhollen was present, but there were no questions or comments.

 

E.                Construction Report: Proposed Bond Projects

 

The monthly Construction Report was printed in the Boards agenda.

 

F.                 Internal Auditors Report

 

Mr. Beckers monthly report was printed in the agenda.

 

G.                Technology Update

 

The monthly technology update was printed in the Boards agenda. Dr. Mitchell asked that a review be conducted to ensure that schools have the computers they need to implement their instructional programs. Mr. Hattabaugh reported that a fixed asset inventory will be conducted in order to provide a more thorough and accurate report.

 


 

V.                 APPROVAL OF ROUTINE MATTERS

 

A.                Minutes

 

Minutes from the regular meeting of the Board of Directors held on September 22, and from special meetings held on September 14 and October 13 were presented for review and approval. Mr. Kurrus moved to approve the minutes as presented. Mr. Rose seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

 

The board recessed briefly and returned at 7:10 p.m.

 

VI.               BOARD POLICY AND REGULATIONS REVIEW

 

A.                AD Mission Statement

 

In a periodic review of the Boards current policies and regulations, Mr. Rose identified a contradiction between the boards approved mission statement, Policy AD, and the mission statement contained in the Districts strategic plan. He asked for the Board to reaffirm the version contained in the policy manual and encouraged the administration to use the Boards mission statement in future publications of the strategic plan. No formal vote was required, but the Board agreed by consensus that the preferred mission statement was the board approved policy AD.

 

B.                First Reading: Policy AC Nondiscrimination, Policy ACD Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Religion, and Policy ACH Anti-Harassment

 

Revisions to policies AC, ACD, and ACH were presented to the Board for first reading approval. Mr. Rose recommended the revisions in order to bring the boards policies current and up to date. Ms. Strickland moved to approve the changes on first reading. Mr. Rose seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

 

C.                Second Reading: Policy GBK Staff Concerns, Complaints and Grievances, with Regulations

 

Policy GBK provides a clearly defined process for district employees who require resolution of complaints and/ or grievances. The revisions bring the district into compliance with Act 1357 of 2003. The board approved GBK on first reading at the September meeting and it was presented for second reading at this time. Mr. Rose made a motion to approve GBK on second reading. Ms. Strickland seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.


D.                DKC-R: Regulations for Implementing Policy DKC
Out of Area Travel, Travel Expense Authorization / Reimbursement / Travel Limits

 

Regulations for the implementation of Policy DKC were brought to the Board for review and comment. As a formality, these revisions were presented for the Board consideration. No formal action was required by the board and none was taken.

 

 

VII.             HUMAN RESOURCES

 

A.                Personnel Changes

 

Routine personnel items were printed in the Boards agenda. The recommendations included the appointment of Connie Green as the assistant principal of Mabelvale Middle School. Mr. Rose moved to approve the personnel actions as presented. Mr. Kurrus seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

 

VIII.           FINANCE & SUPPORT SERVICES

 

A.                Property Easement J. A. Fair

 

The administration presented a recommendation for the board to approve a request for an easement in order to move the sewer pumping system from the property at J. A. Fair High School to property owned by Kenwood Estates, immediately south of the school. The action would provide better service to the school and district. Mr. Kurrus made a motion to approve the application for an easement, Mr. Rose seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

 

B.                Property Easement Gibbs Elementary School

 

The administration presented a request from Entergy for an easement on the property of Gibbs Elementary School in order to move a transformer onto the school grounds to better meet the needs of the expanded school. Ms. Strickland made a motion to approve the easement. Mr. Kurrus seconded the motion and it carried 4-2 with Mr. Day and Mr. Rose casting the no votes.

 

C.                Donations of Property

 

The 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.

 

 

The student ex officio, Allyson Wilson, read the items listed in the Boards agenda. Mr. Rose made a motion to accept the donated items, Mr. Day seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

 

SCHOOL/DEPARTMENT

ITEM

DONOR

 

Bale Elementary

 

$1,000 to be used for student incentives

 

UALR Children International

 

Central High

 

$100 cash to the Troubadours / Debate Club

 

$3,000 cash to purchase a laminator for the Ninth Grade Academy Lab

 

$400 cash to the Troubadours / Debate Club

 

$100 cash to the Troubadours / Debate Club

 

Rita Cunningham

 

 

Cheryl Miller / RCF Corporation

 

 

Dr. Randal Hundley

 

 

John Parke

 

Chicot Elementary

 

$250 worth of school supplies

 

39ers class of St. James United Methodist Church

 

J. A. Fair High

 

$288.77 for paint and labor for painting baseball dugouts

 

Otter Creek Assembly of God Church

 

Forest Heights Middle School

 

Chairs, valued at $825 for the conference room

 

Musical instruments valued at $1,200

 

Arkansas Capitol Corporation

 

 

Douglas Braswell of Easy Cash Pawn Shop

 

Forest Park Elementary

 

$48,926.88 for various projects and programs

 

Forest Park PTA

 

Fulbright Elementary

 

$966.43 cash to purchase a Dell computer

 

$200.00 cash for Reading Buddies volunteer expenses

 

Printer, valued at $157 for the health room

 

Safety signs and rubber mats valued at $1,661.58

 

Fulbright PTA

 

 

Sam Storthz III

 

 

Bob Derryberry

 

 

Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Rains,

Federal Highway Administration and Valerie and Jay McDaniel

 

 

D.                Financial Report

Mr. Milhollen presented the monthly review of the financial reports which were printed in the boards agenda. Mr. Day moved to approve the financial reports submission. Ms. Strickland seconded the motion, and it carried 5-1 with Mr. Rose abstaining.


 

 

IX.               CLOSING REMARKS

 

An employee hearing which had been scheduled for this meeting was cancelled.

 

Dr. Mitchell encouraged principals and teachers to communicate with the administration when additional resources were needed in the classrooms.

 

 

X.                 ADJOURNMENT

 

There being no further business before the Board, the meeting adjourned at 7:35 p.m. on a motion by Mr. Rose and seconded by Ms. Strickland.

 

 

 

 

APPROVED: 11-17-05 Originals Signed by:

R. Micheal Daugherty, President

Bryan Day, Secretary