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Minutes-03/19/2003 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bryce McGlothlin   
Monday, 21 February 2011 10:35

MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF SCHOOL BOARD

OF BLOOMFIELD SCHOOL DISTRICT

March 19, 2003

 

           

The Board of School Trustees of the Bloomfield School District, of Greene County, Indiana, met in regular session on March 19, 2003, at 7:00 p.m. in the high school cafeteria in Bloomfield School District, 501 West Spring Street, Bloomfield, Indiana.  The following school board members were present: Peggi Blakley, Randall Burcham, Nancy Canty, Steve Dowden, Keith Hanauer, Marvin Helms, and Richard Richeson. President Helms called the meeting to order at approximately 7:00 p.m.  The following order of business was transacted with the President presiding:

 

 

1.  Recognitions.  Jr./sr. high school principal Jerry Snapp recognized the Bloomfield NJROTC for recent competitions where they placed well and defended the Air Rifle Traveling Trophy.  Mr. Snapp also praised the Bloomfield Jr./Sr. High School Quiz Bowl team who, on March 18, 2003, won the Greene/Sullivan academic quiz bowl competition.  The team is coached by Rhonda Burch and Kristie Bladen.  The Jr./sr. high school assistant principal told those present that last Friday was celebrated as National pi Day.  She reminded them that pi is approximately 3.14.  Math teachers Timi Smith and Diane Wilson along with Mrs. Smith’s student teacher, Miss Purcell, conducted several activities that surrounded Pi that the students got really involved in.  Mrs. Royal said one activity was a pi Bee where students had to recite digits of pi.  The high school winner was Kiersten Yake who recited 208 digits of pi.  Brittany Myers recited 226 digits of pi to win the 7th & 8th grade competition.  Mrs. Royal commended the students as well as the teachers for this recent math activity.  Athletic director Jason Skomp recognized several people for recent accomplishments in the field of athletics.  Those Mr. Skomp honored were the boys basketball team, coaches and cheerleaders for their sectional win and regional runner up placing, Jon Neill, Cory Sparks, Ashley Thombleson, and Kelly Gillespie for receiving All Swiac honors, and Ron McBride for being named Greene County Coach of the Year. 

 

2.  Approval of Minutes.  The Board had been provided with minutes of the executive session and regular school board meeting held on February 27, 2003 and minutes of the executive session meeting of the Board held on March 12, 2003, which had been prepared by corporation recording secretary Kelli Vandeventer.  Randall Burcham made a motion to approve the minutes as presented.  Peggi Blakley seconded the motion.  The minutes were approved by a 7-0 vote.

 

3.  Treasurer’s Report.  The Board had been provided with the Treasurer’s Report, prepared by corporation treasurer Sue Pritts, consisting of the Appropriation Report and Claims Listing Report.  Upon motion duly made by Steve Dowden and seconded by Randall Burcham, the Board by a 7-0 vote approved the Treasurer’s Report. 

 

4.  Board Awards Roofing Contract.  Superintendent Hasler asked the Board to accept the bid of HRC Roofing, of Columbus Indiana, in the amount of $106,000 for roof replacement of Areas 7, 8, & 9 of the Bloomfield Jr./Sr. High School.  (See information sheets attached) Richard Richeson made the motion to award HRC Roofing the bid per Mr. Hasler’s recommendation.  Keith Hanauer seconded the motion.  Mr. Hasler explained that those areas include the barrel roof over the old gym, the flat roof over the seating area and balcony of the old gym, and the roof over the ROTC room.  Mr. Hasler reminded the Board that these areas were identified in the roofing survey done two years ago as needing to be replaced in 2003 using Capital Projects Funds.  Mr. Hasler’s recommendation was approved by a 7-0 vote.

 

5.  Approval of Valic Benefit Plan Amendments.  The superintendent told the Board that he was notified that two amendments needed to be submitted to bring the school’s Valic support staff retirement plan into compliance with federal and state regulations.    Keith Hanauer made the motion to authorize the administration to sign the amendments to the Valic benefit plan per Mr. Hasler’s recommendation.  Peggi Blakley seconded the motion.  Mr. Hasler said that school attorney Todd Corn had reviewed the request and made the necessary amendments for the plan.  The motion passed by a 7-0 vote.

 

6.  Energy Management Performance Report Heard By Board.  Mr. Hasler told the Board that the energy management vendor had sent a performance report for the period of May 2002 through December 2002.  (See attached) This covers year eight of the ten year energy management contract.  He said that the District had realized $199,815 of energy and operational cost avoidance, exceeding the original goal by 31.1%.  This item was for information only with no Board action required. 

 

7.      ACH Direct Deposit Origination Agreement Approved.  It was recommended that the Board approve an ACH Direct Deposit Origination Agreement with Bloomfield State Bank and authorize Sue Pritts, Treasurer and Kathy Holtsclaw, Deputy Treasurer to sign transmittal registers used in conjunction with the origination of ACH files.  Randall Burcham made a motion to approve the recommendation.  Steve Dowden seconded the motion.  Mr. Hasler said he would like to get permission to sign the agreement, test the program, take it to discussion with the teacher’s association, and have it up and running before summer break.  He said employees will have the choice of either having their check mailed to them or signing up for direct deposit.  The recommendation was approved by a 7-0 vote. 

 

8.      Reduction in Number of Certified Permanent Teaching Positions Approved.  Mr. Hasler recommended that the Bloomfield School District part-time regular teaching contracts of Deborah Harshman and Phyllis Holt be canceled effective at the end of the 2002-2003 school year.  (See attached) In his recommendation, Mr. Hasler said that these reductions were being made in accordance with I.C. 20-6.1-4-11 and the procedures set forth in the Collectively Bargained Agreement Between the Board of School Trustees of the Bloomfield School District and the Bloomfield Teachers’ Association.  He said these reductions were necessary due to the current state financial condition, the increasing cost of district employee benefits, the necessity of the district paying interest on operating loans, and the continued loss of the KPT tax funds.  Randall Burcham made a motion to approve the recommendation as requested.  Richard Richeson seconded the motion.  Member Randall Burcham said it was with deep regret that the Board finds itself in a financial condition that leaves no other alternative but to reduce positions within the school district.  Member Steve Dowden said nothing had changed in the financial condition of the district since the last time the Board had meet.  He said he had hopes of the Board getting together with the teachers to try to settle the bargaining agreement, but their offer had been declined.  Mr. Hasler reminded the Board that reduction in force notifications have to be done in a timely fashion or they can’t be done.  He said that hopefully there would be some good things happen financially that will allow the Board to look at possibly calling some of the people back who have been RIF’ed.  He reiterated that none of the people included in the RIF are being done so due to their teaching ability or that there is anything wrong with them professionally as staff members.  Board member Richard Richeson told the Board that he had read recently that the legislature is contemplating taking away Transportation Fund money and since the school still has to have transportation taxes will be raised.  He said after doing some figuring himself he does not believe even after cutting the staff that is proposed to be cut funds will still be short.  Nancy Canty said she had been in correspondence with several state representatives and was told the financial news was not going to be good.  Mrs. Canty urged those concerned to contact legislators also.   Keith Hanauer said he is concerned that while Board members are elected officials, they have no control over expenses that keep going up.  Mr. Hanauer said he intends to contact his state representatives now.  Even though the two bargaining teams have not yet been able to agree on a date to meet, Mr. Hasler said he feels more encouraged than he has been for some time concerning negotiations because he has had several teachers come to his office to ask him specific questions and he had never had that before. With health insurance premiums being a big expense, Mr. Hasler said he had contacted the health insurance carrier for the district, Dunn and Associates, and asked them if they could get some figures on the coming premium together.  Peggi Blakley said she has had people ask her if the school pursues grant money.  Mr. Hasler said that several Bloomfield teachers have applied for and received various grant monies.  He explained that grant money is referred to as “soft money” and it is very difficult to base hard expenses on soft money, but staff is certainly not discouraged from applying for grant money.  Many times grant money can retain a program or possibly even keep a teacher on staff.  The Board voted 7-0 in favor of canceling the part-time regular teaching contracts of Deborah Harshman and Phyllis Holt, effective the end of the 2002-2003 school year.

 

9.  Reduction in Number of Certified Permanent Teaching Positions Approved.  Mr. Hasler recommended that the Bloomfield School District full-time regular teaching contract of Paula Fettig be canceled effective at the end of the 2002-2003 school year and the Administration’s Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law be adopted by the board.  (See attached) In his recommendation Mr. Hasler said that this reduction was being made in accordance with I.C. 20-6.1-4-11 and the procedures set forth in the Collectively Bargained Agreement Between the Board of School Trustees of the Bloomfield School District and the Bloomfield Teachers’ Association.  He said this reduction was necessary due to the current state financial condition, the increasing cost of district employee benefits, the necessity of the district paying interest on operating loans, and the continued loss of the KPT tax funds.   Steve Dowden made a motion to approve Mr. Hasler’s recommendation.  Keith Hanauer seconded the motion.  During the discussion time, Steve Dowden said he had heard the comment being made that if Miss Fettig’s position was terminated there would no longer be any elementary physical education.  Mr. Hasler said it was not planned to discontinue elementary physical education.  He told the Board that a special license is not required to teach elementary physical education and that all elementary teachers are certified to teach elementary P. E., art, and music.  Mr. Hasler said they would have to look hard at making sure the teachers receive prep time as required in the bargaining agreement and also make sure students receive P. E., art, and music.  Miss Fettig’s regular teaching contract was canceled effective at the end of the 2002-2003 school year and the Administration’s Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law were adopted by a 7-0 vote of the Board.

 

10.  Board Votes to Not Cancel Certified Permanent Teaching Position.  Mr. Hasler recommended that the Bloomfield School District full-time regular teaching contract of David Dean be canceled effective at the end of the 2002-2003 school year and the Administration’s Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law be adopted by the board.  (See attached) In his recommendation Mr. Hasler said that this reduction was being made in accordance with I.C. 20-6.1-4-11 and the procedures set forth in the Collectively Bargained Agreement Between the Board of School Trustees of the Bloomfield School District and the Bloomfield Teachers’ Association.  He said this reduction was necessary due to the current state financial condition, the increasing cost of district employee benefits, the necessity of the district paying interest on operating loans, and the continued loss of KPT tax funds.  Randall Burcham made a motion to approve Mr. Hasler’s recommendation.  Richard Richeson seconded the motion.  Mr. Burcham said it was with deep regret, but necessary that this recommendation be accepted.  Steve Dowden pointed out that a hearing had been held in regards to Mr. Dean’s RIF, at Mr. Dean’s request.  He said that during that hearing some issues were brought up concerning the interpretation of the wording in the bargaining agreement.  Mr. Dowden said, in his opinion, that after looking at all the details that were given it would be possible for a less senior teacher instead of Mr. Dean to be RIF’ed.  He said that while he believes that Mr. Hasler has recommended what he thinks is best, he said he personally had a different interpretation of the contract language.  Nancy Canty agreed with Mr. Dowden and said that Mr. Dean is licensed to teach Math and Science in grades 5-12 and had in fact taught those subjects in the elementary at another county school.  She said the RIF section of the bargaining agreement says it is to be based on seniority and licensing and if there are less senior teachers that Mr. Dean could displace Mrs. Canty believed that is what should be done.  Mr. Dowden said that in the school’s financial situation he still believes a RIF needs to happen, he just thinks it should be a teacher less senior than Mr. Dean.  Superintendent Hasler told the Board that he used the same criteria with this RIF as he did with all the others.  He said he had inquired about this RIF to Dave Emmert who is the chief consul for the Indiana School Boards Association, to Susan Traynor who is the personnel attorney from Bose, McKinney, and Evans, and also to Buren Jones also with Bose, McKinney, and Evans and they all thought that his interpretation of the contract and of the law was correct.  Mr. Hasler said that if the Board feels that his interpretation was flawed on this RIF he wondered if it was flawed on others.  Mrs. Canty said that in reviewing the information on all RIF’s that Mr. Hasler had provided the Board Mr. Dean was the only one with more seniority than others with the same licensing.  The motion failed by a 3-4 vote.  President Helms, Vice President Burcham, and member Richard Richeson voted in favor of Mr. Hasler’s recommendation to cancel David Dean’s contract effective at the end of the 2002-2003 school year and to adopt the Administration’s Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law.  Keith Hanauer, Peggi Blakley, Nancy Canty, and Steve Dowden voted against Mr. Hasler’s recommendation. 

 

11.  Reduction in Number of Certified Semi-Permanent Teaching Positions Approved.  Mr. Hasler recommended that the Bloomfield School District full-time regular teaching contract of Debbie Harding and Trent Tilford be canceled effective at the end of the 2002-2003 school year. It was also recommended that Mr. Tilford’s contract be replaced with a contract for one-half (1/2) of a full-time regular teaching contract for the 2003-2004 school year.   (See attached)  In his recommendation Mr. Hasler said that these reductions were being made in accordance with I.C. 20-6.1-4-11 and the procedures set forth in the Collectively Bargained Agreement Between the Board of School Trustees of the Bloomfield School District and the Bloomfield Teachers’ Association.  He said these reductions were necessary due to the current state financial condition, the increasing cost of district employee benefits, the necessity of the district paying interest on operating loans, and the continued loss of the KPT tax funds.  Keith Hanauer made a motion to accept Mr. Hasler’s recommendation.  Steve Dowden seconded the motion.  Mr. Hanauer wanted to make it clear to the public that reducing the band position to half time is not doing away with band completely as he had been hearing.  He said that there would be one period each day of band in the high school, one period each day of band in the junior high, and one period each day of band for grades five and six combined.  Mr. Hasler said there would be no reduction in jr./sr. high school band for next year.  He said there would be a shift in the meeting of elementary band, but there would still be three periods each week for fifth grade band and two periods each week for sixth grade band. Steve Dowden said he had also heard that there would be no marching band or ECA band.  Mr. Hasler responded that there had been no discussions concerning ECA positions, but that he had no plans for reducing ECA band at this time.  Steve Dowden referring to Mrs. Harding’s contract he said it was his understanding that the school receives vocational funding that might offset some of the costs of that teaching position.  He asked Mr. Hasler if that funding does become available could Mrs. Harding be called back.  Mr. Hasler said that if the financial picture for the school changes for the better any of the RIF’ed people could be called back.  Mr. Hasler’s recommendation passed by a 6-1 vote.  Peggi Blakley cast the nay vote.  

 

12. 2002-2003 ECA Recommendations Approved. Board members were provided with ECA recommendations for the 2002-2003 school year from athletic director Jason Skomp.  Mr. Skomp recommended Seth Holt as Assistant Boys Baseball Coach and Michael Hayes as Assistant Girls Softball Coach.  Superintendent Hasler included his support of the recommendations.  Richard Richeson made a motion to hire Mr. Holt and Mr. Hayes as recommended.  Randall Burcham seconded the motion.  The motion passed by a 7-0 vote. 

 

13.  Math Field Trip Approved.  Jr./sr. high school principal Stella Royal asked the Board to approve a field trip request from math teacher Mrs. Timi Smith to take students to Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville, Kentucky on May 7, 2003.  Mrs. Royal said this trip is planned in conjunction with the economic unit Mrs. Smith has been using in her classroom as well as the math/science day sponsored by Kentucky Kingdom. Peggi Blakley made a motion to approve Mrs. Smith’s field trip request as presented.  Steve Dowden seconded the motion, which passed by a 7-0 vote. 

 

14.  Board Approves NJROTC Field Trips.  It was recommended that the Board approve two out-of-state trips for the NJROTC students along with instructors LT Ostergren and SCPO Tippery.  (See attached sheet)  Keith Hanauer made a motion to approve two out-of-state field trips for NJROTC students and instructors as requested.  Peggi Blakely seconded the motion.  Mr. Hasler said the Bloomfield American Legion Post has donated funding to offset some of the costs.  Steve Dowden expressed appreciation to the American Legion for their continued support of the NJROTC program.  The trips were approved by a 7-0 vote.  

 

15.  Board Approves Student Excused Absence.  It was recommended that the Board approve Mary Puntney-Katchmar’s request for an excused absence for her daughter Rachel, a freshman at Bloomfield Jr./Sr. High School, to travel with her on an educational trip to Europe.  Rachel would miss one period on March 19th and all day on March 20th  & 21st.  Nancy Canty made a motion to approve the recommendation.  Peggi Blakley seconded the motion, which passed by a 7-0 vote.

 

16.  Student Transfer Request Approved.  Superintendent Hasler recommended that the Board approve the transfer request for Amanda Fields for the 2003-2004 school year.  Richard Richeson made a motion to approve Mr. Hasler’s recommendation.  Peggi Blakley seconded the motion.  Mr. Hasler told the Board that Mr. and Mrs. James Fields currently have another transfer tuition child in the fifth grade.  Just recently the Fields found out that they live 150 feet outside the Bloomfield School District attendance area.  Elementary principal Mary Jane Vandeventer said she believed it to be in the best interest of Amanda Fields to enroll her in kindergarten for the 2003-2004 school year.  Randall Burcham said he thought that for the past few years the elementary school had a practice of not accepting transfer students due to overcrowding in the classrooms.  Peggi Blakley said she felt that since this family only live 150 feet outside the school attendance area they should be allowed to enroll.  Keith Hanauer said he felt this family had extenuating circumstances by already having one child enrolled in the school system.   After some discussion, the Board, by a 6-1 vote, approved Mr. Hasler’s recommendation.  Randall Burcham cast the nay vote. 

 

17.  Letter Jacket Administrative Guidelines Approved.  A letter jacket committee consisting of Sheila Jerrels, Stella Royal, Jason Skomp, Jerry Snapp, and Tom Tippery proposed guidelines pertaining to letter jackets.    (See attached)  Peggi Blakley made a motion to approve the guidelines as presented.  Steve Dowden seconded the motion, which passed by a 7-0 vote.

 

18.  Parent Request for Student Excused Absence Approved.  It was recommended that the Board approve Linda Cullison’s request for an excused absence for her son Justin, an eighth grader, to travel with her on a trip to Boston on April 21, 2003 and April 22, 2003.  Keith Hanauer made a motion to approve the recommendation.  Peggi Blakley seconded the motion.  Mr. Hasler explained that Mrs. Cullison will be competing in the Boston Marathon on April 21, 2003 and would like for her son to accompany her on this trip to observe his mother competing in this event.  Mrs. Cullison said they also plan to visit several historic sites in Boston while there.  The Board excused this student absence by a 7-0 vote.

 

19.  Collective Bargaining Update.  Superintendent Hasler read a prepared Collective Bargaining Update to the Board and public.  (See attached)

 

20.  Comments and Information from the Public.  Members of the audience made comments to the Board concerning the Reduction in Force.  Among those who spoke were Jenny Medina, Debbie Huffman, Steve Uebel, Angela Brown, Mike Crane, Bob Kirk, Rob Warren, Tim Moody, Jack Huffman, Dave Harding, Steve Wikle, and Janet Shirley. 

 

21. Adjournment.  There being no further business, Richard Richeson made a motion to adjourn.  Peggi Blakley seconded the motion.  The meeting was then adjourned by a 7-0 vote.