The Board of Directors of the Little Rock School District held its regularly scheduled meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 17, 2005, in the Boardroom of the Administration Building, 810 West Markham Street, Little Rock, Arkansas. President Robert M. Daugherty presided.
Robert M. Daugherty
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. Day was absent. In addition, Linda Spencer, ex officio teacher representative from Booker Magnet Elementary School, and Harry McCraney, student representative from Central High 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
Amanda Linn, visual arts teacher at Parkview Magnet High School, was presented with a citation in recognition of her receipt of the 2005 Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award. This award comes with a $25,000 cash prize and recognition at a national awards ceremony in the spring. Ms. Linn teaches art history and studio art at Parkview.
Richard Washam, the Mann Magnet Middle School EAST Lab facilitator, and his students Mattie Bookhout, Aaron Campbell, Katie Holcomb, Esther Im, Kaitlin Kilbury and Lauren Wadkins were recognized by the Superintendent for their cooperative production of a documentary film, “Arkansas Forgotten.” This film is about the World War II internment camps for Japanese Americans in Jerome and Rohwer, Arkansas, and has been screened at documentary film festivals around the country. It is currently running on the LRSD Cable Channel 4.
Dr. Brooks announced that Cache Carter from Hall High School; Rachel Harpool from Central High School; and Rosie Valdez from Parkview Arts & Science Magnet High School were selected by the National Council of Teachers of English for their annual writing award.
The Superintendent announced that Amanda Compadre, a senior at Central High School, was named a 2006 National Hispanic Scholar by the College Board. The National Hispanic Recognition Program identifies approximately 3,300 of the highest-scoring students each year from a nationwide total of 124,000 high school juniors who took the PSAT college entrance exam. Amanda could not attend the board meeting, but will be invited back at another time.
Each year, two students from each state are named AP State Scholars based on their Advanced Placement Exam scores. This year’s State Scholars are Lawrence Watts and Faye Zhao, both from Central High School. Neither of the students could attend the meeting, however Lawrence’s parents were present. Faye will be invited to the December board meeting.
Dr. Brooks announced that Rafi Kazi from Central High School was a Semifinalist in the Siemens Westinghouse Competition in Math, Science and Technology. Rafi is one of three students from Arkansas to make it to Semifinalist status this year. Rafi was unable to be at the board meeting, but will be invited back in the future.
Dr. Brooks presented a certificate recognizing Katherine Wright Knight for her recent appointment by the Governor to the Professional Educational Development Lab. PEDLAB makes recommendations regarding teacher licensure in the state of Arkansas.
The ex officio representatives to the Board for the month of November, Linda Spencer and Harry McCraney, were given certificates of appreciation for their service.
Debbie Milam thanked board members and others who participated in this year’s ViPS reading day. She proceeded to introduce new school and business partnerships within the Partners in Education Program. Dr. Mitchell moved to accept the new partnerships; Ms. Strickland seconded the motion and it carried unanimously. The new partnerships included:
Carver Magnet Elementary School, represented by Diane Barksdale, in partnership with Raytheon Aircraft Corporation , represented by Clifford Normore
Forest Heights Middle School, represented by Debbie Price, in partnership with Easy Cash Pawn and Jewelry, represented by Douglas Braswell
Otter Creek Elementary School, represented by Kathryn Varady, in partnership with Greater Little Rock Optimist Club, represented by Paul Gilkie
Dr. Daugherty presented a gavel to Larry Berkley in recognition of his term of service as president of the board from September 2004 to September 2005.
Frank Cox addressed the board regarding the reuse of Mitchell Elementary School. Mr. Cox reported that he serves on the Board of Arkansas Cares / Neighborhood Builders which provides community services for young mothers who have completed a drug and alcohol abuse program. He thanked the board for considering the proposal of Arkansas Cares and assured them that the proposal was not dependent upon any city or district funds for operating. $4.5 million dollars in private funding will be used to renovate the facility and the intent is to give back to the community a facility that will be an asset and a point of pride for the Mitchell neighborhood.
Tammy Greenfield spoke in favor of the issue on the agenda for allocation of additional funding for renovation at Forest Heights Middle School. She asked the board to approve the funds and to also look at ways to alleviate the overcrowded conditions at Fulbright Elementary School.
Paul Soulsby also spoke to the issue regarding Forest Heights Middle School and asked the Board to support the request for additional funds to improve that school’s campus. Mr. Soulsby noted that Forest Heights is an area school serving students from central Little Rock as well as serving as a feeder school from west Little Rock elementary schools.
Katherine Wright Knight congratulated Cathy Kohler for receiving a $5,000 grant from the NEA to purchase library books for Baseline Elementary School. In addition, Ms. Knight recognized Baseline, Bale and Wakefield Elementary Schools for meeting AYP on the Benchmark exams.
Ms. Knight announced that the CTA had recognized National Education Support Professionals Day by holding a dinner for custodians, para-professionals, security officers and clerical employees.
In closing, Ms. Knight reminded the board members that teachers who participated in National Board Certification process were expecting to receive their results on the Friday after the board meeting; she asked the board to recognize them at the December meeting.
IV. REPORTS AND COMMUNICATIONS
Dr. Mitchell reported that she had read to kindergarten students at Rightsell Elementary School on ViPS Reading Day. She encouraged parents to stay involved in the education of their children and noted the importance of children seeing adults working together as a team.
Mr. Berkley reported that he read to fourth graders at Terry Elementary School and Mr. Kurrus read to kindergarten students at Dodd Elementary. In addition, Mr. Kurrus reported that he had participated in Sharefest with members of Asbury United Methodist Church. The volunteers had a full day of work at Forest Heights Middle School.
Ms. Strickland wished her fellow board members and the audience a Happy Thanksgiving.
Mr. Rose reported that he read to third grade students at Wilson Elementary School on ViPS reading day. He echoed Dr. Mitchell’s earlier remarks regarding the importance of parental involvement in a child’s education by stating that parents are the key to successful students. Mr. Rose closed by wishing the audience a happy Thanksgiving and providing a reminder to be grateful for what we have and to give back by making donations to the local food bank.
The monthly Construction Report was printed in the Board’s agenda. There was no additional information presented.
Mr. Becker’s monthly report was printed in the agenda. Dr. Mitchell acknowledged Mr. Becker and thanked him for his involvement as the district’s coordinator of Sharefest activities.
The monthly technology update included information regarding implementation of NovusAgenda. The laptop computers for the board members have been ordered and installation of the equipment in the board room will take place over the winter break. Staff training will be held in January and training for board members will be conducted on the night of the January agenda meeting.
Minutes from the regular meeting of the Board of Directors held on October 27, 2005 were presented for review and approval. Mr. Rose moved to approve the minutes as presented. Mr. Berkley seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
A. Second 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 second reading approval. Mr. Rose recommended these revisions in order to bring the board’s policies current and up to date and they were approved on first reading at the October board meeting.
Prior to the vote, Mr. Rose made a motion to amend policy AC as approved on first reading to add the term “sexual identity” to make more specific the nondiscrimination previously specified at first reading of the policy. Mr. Berkley seconded the motion to amend and it carried unanimously.
Mr. Berkley moved to approve amended Policy AC, Policy ACD and Policy ACH on second reading. Ms. Strickland seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
A. Policy Deletion: IHCA – Summer School
The board policy regarding summer school originated in 1982 and was amended several times over the years to comply with changing district requirements, state laws and student needs. Although tuition for summer school was charged for several years, the majority of students requiring summer school in 2004 and 2005 qualified for free tuition, leaving the district to bear the total financial burden for summer school.
Act 2243 of 2005 required that students receive remediation during the regular school year through Academic Improvement Plans and other interventions. High school students will be given an opportunity to participate in credit recovery programs on a year-round schedule through before and after school tutoring sessions, accelerated learning programs and Saturday school. Therefore, the current summer school policy was no longer applicable. The administration recommended elimination of policy IHCA.
Mr. Berkley moved to approve the administration’s request for deletion of policy IHCA. Mr. Rose seconded the motion and it carried 6-0.
B. Quarterly Update
The fifth quarterly update to the Courts, due on or before December 1, 2005, was presented for the Board’s review. The Board was asked to accept the report, as directed by Judge Wilson, prior to submission. Mr. Rose moved to accept the report as submitted; Mr. Kurrus seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
Mr. Berkley asked Dr. Brooks to ensure that the PRE staff provide future reports as early as possible for the board’s review.
A. Proposals for Salary Increases: Building Maintenance Employees, Bus Drivers, Transportation Aides and Monitors
Changes to the salary agreements for building maintenance employees, bus drivers, transportation aides, bus monitors, and security officers were provided for the board’s review and approval. The agreements would provide the same ½% salary increases, step increases, and health insurance benefits as afforded other negotiating groups. Mrs. Strickland moved to approve the recommendation of the administration. Mr. Berkley seconded the motion and it carried 6-0.
B. Personnel Changes
Routine personnel items were printed in the Board’s agenda. Mr. Berkley moved to approve the personnel actions as presented. Mr. Rose seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
A. Board Disbursing Officers
The Board was provided a resolution designating the Board’s president as the primary disbursing officer, and the vice-president as the alternate disbursing officer. In addition, it was recommended that Joe Mittiga be appointed as the legislative representative for the 2005-06 school year. Mr. Berkley made a motion to approve these appointments, Mr. Rose seconded the motion and it carried 6-0.
B. Mitchell Elementary School
In December 2004, the Board voted to close Mitchell Elementary School due to the high costs of renovation and low student enrollment. A committee chaired by board president Daugherty met with members of the community, conducted a survey of area residents, and sought proposals from the public to determine possible future use of the building.
RFP’s were received from Neighborhood Builders, Inc., the City of Little Rock, and Rivendell Health Services. The Mitchell committee reviewed the proposals and selected the plans presented by the City of Little Rock. They requested the District enter into negotiations with the City to reach an agreement for funding the proposed reuse of Mitchell.
Dr. Daugherty passed the gavel to Mr. Kurrus as he read the recommendation of the committee as printed in the agenda. He followed with a motion to approve the recommendation. The motion died for lack of second.
Ms. Strickland made a motion to accept and approve the proposal of Neighborhood Builders, Inc. Mr. Rose seconded the motion and thanked Dr. Daugherty and members of the committee for their hard work and effort. The motion carried 6-0.
C. Additional Funding for Bond Project / Forest Heights Middle School
Funds for renovation and upgrades to Forest Heights Middle School were provided through the 2000 millage election. Since that time, changes were made to the scope of work, the building leadership changed, and members of the Campus Leadership Team requested additional enhancements to the building and grounds. The administration requested allocation of an additional $2.5 million to complete the Forest Heights project. Mr. Berkley moved to approve the additional funding; Ms. Strickland seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
D. Additional Funding for Bond Project / Child Nutrition
The Child Nutrition administrative offices, currently located under the west stands of Quigley Stadium, are in need of major renovation or replacement. The administration proposed to instead build a new free-standing modular office building south of the present Child Nutrition warehouse, yet still within the walls of Quigley Stadium. The proposal requested board authorization to spend $383,000 to upgrade and modernize the Child Nutrition offices. Ms. Strickland moved to approve the administration’s recommendation. Mr. Rose seconded the motion and it passed 6-0.
E. 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.
Central High School
Refrigerator, valued at $500.00 to the boy’s basketball program
$500 Cash to the Troubadours Club
$250.00 cash to assist students who were displaced due to hurricanes
$200 cash to the Science Department
$200 cash to the Central Communications Department
$1,770 value of time and money to the dedication of the Bernie Cox Field
Win & Lisenne Rockefeller
Ted Woodings on behalf of IDOCUMENTS, LLC
Frank & Marcene Block
Frank & Marcene Block
Kevin & Cathy Crass
Fair Park Early Childhood Center
$4,490 cash to purchase computer printers, software, playhouses, books for the parent center and field trip t-shirts
Second Presbyterian Church
McClellan Magnet High School
$100 cash to FBLA Club at McClellan
$50 cash to be used for student incentives
$150 cash for student incentives
$250.00 cash for student incentives
Mr. & Mrs. J. F. Riddle
Regions Bank / Baseline
Boll Weevil Pawn Shop
RCN Enterprises, Inc.
Woodruff Elementary School
$250 cash to be used for “good conduct” incentives for students
$500 cash for student supplies
School supplies valued at $500
Wal-Mart #126, match for volunteer hours from parent/employee Tamela Warren
E-Z Mart Stores, Inc. through the Jim Yates Memorial Charity Golf Tournament
Electronic Data Systems
Little Rock School District
Halloween gift stickers, valued at $640.00 to be distributed to all elementary schools
Little Caesar’s Pizza
F. Financial Report
Mr. Milhollen presented the monthly review of the financial reports which were printed in the board’s agenda. No official action was taken to accept the reports.
X. CLOSING REMARKS
Dr. Brooks announced that the hearings previously scheduled had been cancelled.
There being no further business before the Board, the meeting adjourned at 6:50 p.m. on a motion by Mr. Berkley and seconded by Mr. Rose.
APPROVED: 12-15-05 Originals Signed by:
R. Micheal Daugherty, President
Bryan Day, Secretary