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September 8, 2016 at 5:00 PM - Henry County Board of Education September Meeting

Call to Order
Discussion:  The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Rod Frey. A moment of silence was recognized by Doug Braden.
* Election of Chairman
Discussion:  Doug Braden was nominated and appointed Board Chairman.
* Election of Vice-Chairman
Discussion:  Tom Beasley was nominated and appointed Board Vice-Chairman
Citizen's Forum
Adoption of Agendas
Adopt & Approve the Consent Agenda
Director's Personnel Report
Nurse's Report
Board Minutes
Budget Amendments
Choice of Physician Form
Family Life Curriculum
Adopt & Approve the Main Agenda
Lakewood Report
Speaker(s):  Mr. Mike Bell & Mrs. Amy Veazey

Mrs. Veazey introduced two Lakewood teachers, Amanda Wilson and Emily Townsend, to discuss the new curriculum that the system had adopted. She explained that she had personally encouraged both teachers to speak honestly and candidly about their personal experiences, current issues, and the future potential of the implemented curriculum.

Amanda Wilson, 5th grade Math teacher, discussed the new Eureka Math standards. She explained that the new curriculum is much more rigorous than the previous curriculum. A positive aspect of Eureka Math is that students will see the same information multiple times which allows them the opportunity to master a particular portion before moving on. However, she stated that there are some gaps that have caused pacing to be slow, and teachers have worried as to whether or not the curriculum could fully be covered. Ms. Wilson stated that the county teachers have discussed doing mini lessons after Christmas to speed up the process.

Emily Townsend, 5th grade English Language Arts teacher, also agreed with Ms. Wilson that the curriculum is extremely rigorous. The vocabulary is rich and hard and it has been a bit of a challenge to figure out "collaboratively" what process works best for the students. However, she did say that the implementation of technology, such as Skype, is helping aid in the discussion process.

Mrs. Veazy acknowledge that the new curriculum is a challenge but is positive about the long-term results. She stated that parents had not complained or questioned the changes at this time, but a Parent Teacher Conference set for later in the month would allow for more opportunities regarding questions and answers on both parents and teachers.

In the second portion of the Lakewood Report, Mrs. Amy Veazy introduced Mrs. Betsy Allison, Supervisor of Secondary Curriculum and Instruction, to discuss the partnership with Lakewood School and the Forestry Service relating to the STEM Camp held at LBL. Mrs. Allison advised the board that ten HCHS and Grove students served as counselors along with 13-14 elementary students that participated. Topics that students discussed that they learned at camp included: tree identification, searching streams for crawdads, measuring water quality, and the discovery of several animals in and around Brandon Springs. 

Mrs. Allison informed the board that students also did test for nitrates, PH nitrates, and tested the amount of pollution in the water through additional tests. She felt that the camp was a huge success and plans are already in the works to partner with the other Elementary Schools to take similar trips in the future.

*Recommendations from Facilities Committee
Speaker(s):  Dr. Brian Norton

(First Recommendation)

Mr. Norton asked Board member,Mr. Rod Frey, to discuss the recommendations on behalf of the Facilities Committee moving forward with the potential upgrades within the system.

Mr. Frey stated that the recommendation was to build a new bus garage and maintenance building and use"fund balance" money, pending budget committee approval. The current fund balance is sufficient enough that we can do this without any new money. He advised that these two facilities would be located at the north end of Barton Field. The total cost is estimated at $2.4M and cost would be split between this year's budget and next year's budget.

The board approved this recommendation.

(Second Recommendation)

Board Member, Tom Beasley also a member of the Facilities Committee, proposed a Community Meeting at 6:30PM on Thursday September 29th at the HCHS Testing Center. He advised that the purpose of the meeting is to allow the public the opportunity to see the plans and become better informed in regards to the proposal. Mr. Beasley confirmed that nothing is concrete at this time and everyone is welcome to come and see the plans as well as ask questions related to the new front office area, gym entrance, roofing, HVAC, and more.

The board approved this recommendation.

* Committee Elections

All board members were in compliance with their current positions held on all committees.

Motion was withdrawn due to no changes taking place.

* HCHS FFA Field Trip Request
Speaker(s):  Ms. Laura Moss

Ms. Laura Moss addressed the board requesting permission to attend the FFA Leadership Conference in Indianapolis, IN. on October 18-22, 2106.

Ms. Moss explained that each member attending (16 students) will attend a set number of workshops and sessions as well as visit colleges and universities. 

The Dairy Team will be competing at their National Contest against the other top teams from all over the Nation.

Jack Paschall will be competing as a National Finalist in the Turf Grass Proficiency area.

The board approved this request.

* HCHS Madrigals Field Trip Request
Speaker(s):  Mr. Blair Chadwick

Mr. Blair Chadwick addressed the board requesting permission to approve a Field Trip Request for the HCHS Madrigals to visit Canada on April 28-30, 2017.

While in Canada, students will perform at the Heritage Festival, which provides nationally recognized music educators for clinics, critiques, and formal assessments. Judges will provide verbal feedback, as well as written comments and a numeric score to the students.

The board approved this request.

* Policy Discussion: Related to Naming of Facilities
Speaker(s):  Dr. Brian Norton

Dr. Norton advised the board that he had developed two options in his investigation into  developing a policy relating to the process of "Renaming a Facility". 

Option 1: Facility Committee Recommendation

Option 2: Director or School Recommendation

Those are currently the policies aligned in several school districts.

Mr. Doug Braden inquired about TSBA guidelines. Dr. Norton noted that would be a beneficial source to consult.

Members agreed to postpone fora month to check with TSBA on a recommendation on how to proceed.

Motion withdrawn for a vote.

Director's Report
Speaker(s):  Dr. Brian Norton

Dr. Norton discussed a national, state, and local problem dealing with chronic absenteeism in schools. He stated that many schools are now asking questions and trying to find out why students are absent on a repetitive basis. He feels that this topic is going to be addressed on the state level that will ensure improvement in the future. Dr. Norton advised everyone that Henry County will continue to be proactive and address the issue early on and asked Dr. Renea Wade to share some ideas that the system is looking to put in place.

Dr. Renea Wade, Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction Grades K-8, stated that September is Attendance Awareness month and the system is having a poster contest.  Winners will receive prizes and their posters will be on display at each school. Dr. Wade stressed the importance of community involvement within this process.

Dr. Wade also stated that there are plans to recognize Perfect Attendance and Improved Attendance. Students who have no absences, tardies, or check outs will receive a certificate each month. If they receive perfect attendance for the whole year, they will receive a plaque.

There will be drawings for tablets and other prizes in upper level grades and in grades K-5 names will be entered into the Treasure Box. 

The state tracks absenteeism and Henry County continues to see about 10% of its students have chronic absenteeism, which is defined as 18 days or more, or 10% of the 180 days of the school year. Dr. Norton stated that having conversations with parents will help plant a seed to help improve this issue.

Meeting adjourned: 6:15PM

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