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|Board of Supervisor Members Present:||Fitzgerald A. Barnes, Dan W. Byers, Willie L. Gentry, Jr., Willie L. Harper, Richard A. Havasy, P.T. Spencer, Jr. and Jack T. Wright|
|School Board Members Present:||
Brian M. Huffman, Gail O. Proffitt, Harold A. Schaffer, Billy A. Seay, Sherman T. Shifflett and Gregory V. Strickland*|
*Mr. Strickland arrived at 6:48 p.m.
|School Board Members Absent:||
Stephen C. Harris
|Others Present:||Dale Mullen, Louisa County Administrator; Greg Hoffman, Louisa County Attorney; Amanda Reidelbach, Office Manager, Louisa County Administration; Alyson Simpson, Deputy Clerk, Louisa County Administration; Kimberly Smith, Records Clerk, Louisa County Administration; Faye Stewart, Procurement Officer, Louisa County; Dr. Deborah Pettit, LCPS School Superintendent; Ralph Moore, LCPS Assistant School Superintendent for Administration; Dr. Dallas Dance, LCPS Assistant School Superintendent for Instruction; Becky Fisher, LCPS Administrative Assistant; Halsey Green, LCPS Finance Director; Sara Bright, LCPS Director of Pupil Personnel Services and Bruno Sestito, LCPS Director of Technology|
CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Harper called the May 27, 2009 meeting of the Louisa County Board of Supervisors to order at 6:30 p.m.
CALL TO ORDER - LOUISA COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD
Chairman Schaffer called the May 27, 2009 meeting of the Louisa County School Board to order at 6:30 p.m.
Mr. Mullen said it seemed like a good idea to have a joint meeting between the two Boards to discuss potential uses for ARRA Stimulus Funds that could be used for Louisa County Schools. Mr. Mullen said it looked like there could be stimulus funding for two years in the plan for the State. Mr. Mullen said it appeared that there would be forthcoming $3,479,427 worth of stimulus finds for education in Louisa County. Mr. Mullen said no one had received any of the money yet. Mr. Mullen said it appeared that the money did not have to be encumbered until next year, but he thought it was best to talk about the options now.
Mr. Harper asked if both Boards would concur, that questions be held off until the end so that Dr. Pettit could get through her presentation.
DISCUSSION - PRELIMINARY SOL TEST SCORES - LCMS/LCHS
Dr. Pettit presented and discussed preliminary SOL test scores for Louisa County Middle and High School. Dr. Pettit said she was very pleased with the improvements in scores. Dr. Pettit commended the school principals and their staff members.
DISCUSSION EXPENDITURES OF FUNDS MADE AVAILABLE UNDER THE AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT OF 2009
Dr. Pettit said the schools had heard about stimulus funds all winter and it was the end of March before the schools received a memo from the Department of Education. Dr. Pettit said she worked through the month of April gathering ideas on how the money could be spent. Dr. Pettit said the principals, staff and Central Office administration also helped develop proposals for how the money could be spent.
Dr. Pettit said she had draft documents developed for each of the stimulus fund areas and the “immediate needs” were highlighted. Dr. Pettit said if staff members were going to be hired with stimulus money, they needed to be hired right away and those were determined as “immediate needs.”
Dr. Pettit said one of the strong admonitions about stimulus money was not using the funds for personnel or programs that could not be supported in the regular budget after the one or two year funding was up. Dr. Pettit said she would explain each position or program and how they would be used for one year to stimulate a certain area. Dr. Pettit said the School Board would not likely ask for those personnel or programs again because there was an understanding that they would not be granted.
Mr. Hoffman said one of his directives from the Board of Supervisors was to help understand the high increase in costs for Social Services programs, particularly CSA. Mr. Hoffman said one of the drivers of the increase in cost was the lack of local services to provide for needs of the children. Mr. Hoffman said the biggest cost was the fact that Louisa County did not have a day school program.
Mr. Hoffman said he scheduled a meeting with Dr. Pettit to talk about what could be done and how the schools could help with the rising CSA costs by providing local services. Mr. Hoffman said he met with Ms. Sara Bright, Special Education Director, and talked at length about what it would take to put a day school program together and what the possibility would be of using stimulus money to create those programs.
Mr. Hoffman said he asked Dr. Pettit to put together a study of what it would take to create a program that would serve the children in the County and school system who needed it. Mr. Hoffman said Dr. Pettit and Ms. Bright had offered to put a preliminary study together and they thought it would take at least one month. Mr. Hoffman said this type of day school would be highly regulated and the children would most likely have to be segregated from the other school children and would have to be provided highly specialized services.
* Mr. Strickland arrived at 6:48
Mr. Hoffman said he asked Dr. Pettit to highlight the immediate needs such as personnel and programs and the other items could be talked about and decided on later once there were more definite guidelines to the stimulus money and once the study on the day school program had been completed.
Mr. Barnes asked about controlling truancy and developing drop-out prevention programs which could both have an impact on the CSA costs when children were kept out of the court system. Mr. Hoffman said he had mentioned those ideas, but they had not been discussed in detail. Mr. Hoffman said he thought some of the ARRA funds could be used for that.
Dr. Pettit said she worked with principals and staff through surveys and most of the attention for the stimulus money was directed towards instructional purposes in the classroom. Dr. Pettit said once Mr. Hoffman brought other ideas to her attention, she decided she could take a broader look at spending the money.
Dr. Pettit said there were four “pots” of stimulus money in which Louisa County would be receiving money from. Dr. Pettit said the first one she was going to discuss was Title II, Part D which dealt with supporting technology and professional development. Dr. Pettit said Mr. Bruno Sestito, Director of Technology, would use the funds towards professional development and training for staff on technology.
Dr. Pettit said the next set of funds for discussion would be the Title 1 funds. Dr. Pettit said the Title 1 schools were Thomas Jefferson Elementary and Trevilians Elementary because they have a certain amount of students who received free or reduced lunch. Dr. Pettit said the stimulus money for Title 1 was $464,328.
Dr. Pettit said the determination was to figure out how to best spend the Title 1 stimulus money without hiring personnel because when children were at risk the best thing to have was personnel to work with them. Dr. Pettit said it was decided that a Math Intervention Teacher would be hired at Thomas Jefferson Elementary and Trevilians Elementary to work with students who were at risk in math.
Dr. Pettit said the two Math Intervention Teachers would not be ongoing after stimulus funds because staffing would be changed in the regular Title 1 Program in order to accommodate the Math Intervention Teachers.
Dr. Pettit said the other purchases in Title 1 funds would be for technology equipment and software which would play a large part in bringing the elementary schools to the same technology level.
Mr. Barnes asked if there was a way to leverage stimulus money against grant money in order to get more, such as matching money programs. Dr. Pettit said she thought that was possible and that Mr. Sestito already did that somewhat.
Mr. Sestito said the focus area of grants for technology had moved more towards professional development and training and less on equipment.
Mr. Spencer asked about the two Math Intervention Teachers and said there was not a note next to those personnel about the position being limited to one or two years. Dr. Pettit said there was a one year limit on those positions and she forgot to add that note on the draft. Mr. Harper added that the two math positions may continue but they would be in substitute of a position that was in place already.
Dr. Pettit said the third portion of stimulus funding was IDEA funds and were to be used for special education. Dr. Pettit said the total for IDEA funds was $1,076,987 and would be spread over two years. Dr. Pettit said there was an immediate need for professional development money out of these funds for training on two new programs that would be purchased and an immediate need for the money to purchase the two new programs.
Dr. Pettit said there were three Instructional Consultation Coordinator positions proposed that would work at the Elementary schools for one year to develop a program called “Response to Intervention.” Dr. Pettit said these positions were immediate needs. Dr. Pettit said there was a movement in education to try and intervene as quickly as possible in students who are having problems. Dr. Pettit said these positions would coordinate a team of teachers to come together and determine what problems a student was having. Dr. Pettit said the Coordinator would develop and implement a plan for the student and monitor the student to make sure the intervention was working. Dr. Pettit said the Coordinator positions would only be for one year and would help create and develop a system for the “Response to Intervention” program.
Dr. Pettit said an Intellectual Disability Teacher position was being created for the Middle School and it was an immediate need. Dr. Pettit said this position would last over the course of two years, but could honestly end up in the regular operational budget for the School Board.
Mr. Barnes asked what the difference was between Consultation Coordinators and Literacy Specialists. Dr. Pettit said that each school had a Reading Resource Teacher and the Title 1 schools had Reading Specialists. Dr. Pettit said the Coordinators would not work with the student so much as they would with the teachers to develop a plan to help the student. Mr. Barnes asked if the Consultation Coordinator would be the same as a Literacy Specialist. Dr. Pettit said no.
Ms. Bright said the Consultation Coordinators would work with the “Response to Intervention” program. Ms. Bright said the “Response to Intervention” program would have three levels of intense intervention for students and the Consultation Coordinator position would monitor individual students. Ms. Bright said the Coordinators would develop an instructional match and monitor the improvement. Ms. Bright said this position had been successful in other localities.
Mr. Seay asked if the program worked the way everyone hoped, would there be fewer students in special education. Ms. Bright said yes.
Dr. Pettit said the fourth source of stimulus funding was the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF). Dr. Pettit said this money was open and was new money that the school was not accustomed to having before. Dr. Pettit said the school wrote grants every year for Title 1 and special education and everyone had a sense of how those funds could be spent. Dr. Pettit said the SFSF funds were the most open for spending, but was also the most unknown. Dr. Pettit said the SFSF totaled $1,175,000 and it appeared that the school may get the same amount again next year.
Dr. Pettit said this money could be used for restoring personnel positions. Dr. Pettit said there were 4 Instructional Assistants, 4 Door Monitors and 1 Hall Monitor being restored through these funds and they would be for one year only. Dr. Pettit said there were 11 teaching positions that were reduced, but they were handled basically through attrition. Dr. Pettit said the positions that were proposed to be restored could not be handled through attrition.
Dr. Pettit said she planned on paying for a curriculum audit with the IDEA funds as well as paying for the correction of the moisture problem at Thomas Jefferson Elementary. Dr. Pettit said the moisture correction would cost approximately $336,000 and the curriculum audit would cost about $35,000. Dr. Pettit said the rest of the money for SFSF would be spent on technology to finish the upgrade for all the elementary schools, the High School and the Middle School.
Mr. Byers asked what the down side was of holding onto the money until next year until there was a chance to see the revenue stream. Mr. Byers asked if there was any indication that if the money was not spent this year, it would impact the amount of money that Louisa was supposed to receive next year. Dr. Pettit said she did not think so. Mr. Hoffman said there was no indication. Mr. Hoffman said the requirements and guidelines for the stimulus money were changing so often.
Mr. Seay asked if the schools would lose Title 1 money right away if there were not enough kids who qualified for free or reduced lunch. Dr. Pettit said no. Mr. Seay asked if the School Board should look at the qualification of students on free or reduced lunch and consider that a factor when they do the school redistricting. Dr. Pettit said it could affect it, but a new school had to be in existence for a few years before they could even apply for Title 1. Dr. Pettit said she had been told that it could take at least a year before the Title 1 changes would take effect.
Mr. Hoffman said the stimulus funding information was still incredibly inconsistent. Mr. Harper said that anything the Boards agreed upon was still totally contingent on the actual receipt of the funds.
Mr. Harper said his understanding for this meeting was that members of both Boards could put items on the table for discussion and then take time to process and digest the ideas. Mr. Harper asked if there were any other questions or information to be discussed. Mr. Harper said other ideas or questions after the meeting could then be routed through the administrators.
Mr. Barnes said he felt it was very complimentary for the Boards to sit down together and educate each other. Mr. Barnes said he was very appreciative.
Mr. Schaffer thanked Mr. Mullen, Mr. Hoffman and Dr. Pettit for working together.
Mr. Gentry said he appreciated the work that Dr. Pettit put into reporting the breakdown of the stimulus funds.
Mr. Barnes said he would like the School Board and the County to begin the budget process sooner and have the Superintendent work directly with the County Administrator instead of using a committee.
On the motion of Mr. Wright, seconded by Mr. Barnes, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board voted to adjourn the May 27, 2009 meeting at 8:05 p.m.
BY ORDER OF
WILLIE L. HARPER, CHAIRMAN
LOUISA COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
LOUISA COUNTY, LOUISA, VIRGINIA