School Board Meeting Notes
Theboard meeting started promptly at 7pm with an almost full house. Newly elected board members Brian Chase and Dan Moore were present for their first regular board meeting. After the moment of silence and the Pledge of Allegiance, former board member Greg Horton requested during the public forum to reverse the agreement with the ACLU.
The consent agenda was passed without any discussion. The consent agenda included the minutes for the August 6th board meeting, disposal of surplus equipment, and an executive committee report. The three policies under old business were passed as a block. Revisions to Policy 2.802 Payroll Procedures, Policy 2.404 School Support Organizations, and Policy 5.302 Sick Leave were all approved without discussion.
Angela McCarthy and Jenny Simpkins were both present to appeal their demotions and incomplete evaluations. TEA representative Susan Young started the presentation. She provided prepared documents with annotations and highlights. She spoke about the First to the Top Act which was shepherded by Dr Tim Webb when he was Education Commissioner, the Teacher and Principal Evaluation Policy approved by the board, and the evaluation form. She purposely pointed out words like “will be” and “mandatory” in the documents. Her final document was a memorandum from Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman stating that all evaluations had to be posted to the State system before June 1st well before the student performance data was posted on June 15th. Young stated that “Webb made an excuse for not posting their evaluations.”
Angela McCarthy and Jenny Simpkins each spoke on their own behalf. Each reiterated how an incomplete evaluation and re-assignment has hurt their professional career. They both requested that the incomplete evaluation be removed from their record, a letter in their file stating that Tim Webb neglected to complete their evaluations as required, and reinstatement to their original positions.
In rebuttal, board attorney Larry Woods stated that a school board meeting is not a “court of law” or a “court of fairness”. He said that their argument is based on “maybe it isn’t timely, maybe it isn’t on the right piece of paper.” For both grievances, the board passed a motion to have another private meeting with their attorney.
The board also granted requests to allow SMS and CMS students to travel to Philadelphia and to allow PVE students to take an overnight field trip to Adventure Science Center.
The board passed Policy 6.312 Use of Personal Communication Devices in School on the first reading. This policy will go into effect immediately. Board member Collins spoke about how proud she was of all the work that went into the draft of this policy. Policy 6.405 Medicines was also passed on the first reading due to a change in state law. This will allow district staff to be immediately trained to administer anti-seizure medications when needed.
teacher Dana Bates was also recognized for receiving a $2500 MathMovesU grant from Raytheon Company. HHS will also receive a $2500 matching grant. CMS, HHS, were also recognized as being Reward Schools.
Michele Collins was elected the chairperson for the board, and Dianne Profitt was elected the vice chair.