MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF SCHOOL BOARD
OF BLOOMFIELD SCHOOL DISTRICT
April 26, 2007
The Board of School Trustees of the Bloomfield School District, of Greene County, Indiana, met in regular session on April 26, 2007, in the jr/sr high school conference room in Bloomfield Junior/Senior High School, 501 West Spring Street, Bloomfield, Indiana. The following school board members were present: Steve Dowden, Keith Hanauer, Marvin Helms, Robert Kirk, Sandra Parkes May and Eric Moody. Doug Frye was absent. President Dowden called the meeting to order at approximately 7:00 p.m. The following order of business was transacted with the President presiding:
1. Recognitions. Elementary principal Mary Jane Vandeventer recognized her elementary teachers for their preparation and readiness for the last four weeks of school. Mr. Parsley mentioned upcoming FFA & NJROTC Awards Banquets, letter writing campaign to the General Assembly, and recent visits from foreign exchange students. Board member Robert Kirk praised the work of high school art teacher Mrs. Deb Johnson and her students on painting the murals on the block walls as you enter town from the east.
2. Approval of Minutes. The Board had been provided with minutes of the executive session, and regular school board meeting both held on March 22, 2007, which had been prepared by corporation recording secretary Kelli Vandeventer. Robert Kirk moved to approve the minutes as presented. Keith Hanauer seconded the motion. The minutes were approved by a 6-0 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 Keith Hanauer and seconded by Marvin Helms, the Board by a 6-0 vote approved the Treasurer’s Report.
4. Board Hears Update on 2007 Budget Order and Certified Tax Rates. Superintendent Sichting prepared an update for the Board on the 2007 Budget Order and Certified Tax Rates. He said that he had received notification from the Department of Local Government Finance of the final certification of the local property tax rates. Mr. Sichting provided board members with a chart that showed how these compare with the previous four years. (See Attached)
5. Renewal with Reliance Standard Group Life, AD & D Coverage Approved. It was recommended that the Board approve the renewal with Reliance Standard Group Life Insurance for the Life and AD & D coverage at the current rate of nineteen cents per thousand per employee per month. Marvin Helms moved to approve the recommendation. Eric Moody seconded the motion, which passed by a 6-0 vote.
6. Resolution of Financial Emergency Approved. It was recommended that the Board authorize a short-term transfer of funds in the amount of $150,000 from the Rainy Day Fund to the Transportation Operating Fund, which is made possible by I.C. 36-1-8-4. Mr. Sichting said that the transferred dollar amount would be repaid to the Rainy Day Fund on or before December 31, 2007. Robert Kirk moved to authorize a short-term transfer of funds in the amount of $150,000 from the Rainy Day Fund to the Transportation Operating Fund. Keith Hanauer seconded the motion, which passed by a 6-0 vote.
7. Elementary Teacher Retirement Accepted. Elementary teacher Cheryl “Sherry” Quakenbush submitted her letter of retirement to the Board effective at the end of the 2006-2007 school year. Superintendent Sichting told the Board that Mrs. Quakenbush had been a teacher for thirty-eight (38) years and thanked her for her dedication to the students at Bloomfield Elementary. Elementary principal Mary Jane Vandeventer related that one of her favorite times of the day is the end as the teachers bring the students out to the buses to go home. She said everyday at that time she watches Mrs. Quakenbush give each of her students a hug and a pat on the back and sees the love and dedication she has for them. Keith Hanauer moved to accept Mrs. Quakenbush’s letter of retirement. Eric Moody seconded the motion, which passed by a 6-0 vote.
8. Bloomfield School Bus Driver Retires. Bloomfield school bus driver Harold “Buck” Emery submitted his letter of retirement to the Board effective at the end of the 2006-2007 school year. Superintendent Sichting told the Board that Mr. Emery had served the students and patrons of Bloomfield School District as a bus driver for forty-one (41) years and thanked him for those years of service and dedication. Eric Moody moved to accept Mr. Emery’s letter of retirement. Sandy May seconded the motion, which passed by a 6-0 vote.
9. High School Secretary/ECA Treasurer Retires. Jr/Sr High School secretary and ECA treasurer Mrs. Joyce Thomas submitted her letter of resignation effective August 31, 2007. Superintendent Sichting told the Board that Mrs. Thomas had served the school district as a substitute teacher, cafeteria worker, and secretary and ECA treasurer for the jr/sr high school for the past twenty-one (21) years. Sandy May moved to accept Mrs. Thomas’s resignation letter. Robert Kirk seconded the motion, which passed by a 6-0 vote.
10. Board Gives Permission to Hire Summer Maintenance Helper. Maintenance worker Allen Toon asked permission to hire a summer maintenance helper for 52 days at a rate not to exceed $7.00/hour to assist him. Superintendent Sichting reminded the Board that a summer maintenance helper has been very helpful for the past two summers and recommended approval. Keith Hanauer moved to approve the recommendation. Marvin Helms seconded the motion, which passed by a 6-0 vote.
11. Jr/Sr High School Special Education Teacher Hired. It was recommended that the Board hire Mrs. Savilla Jones for the special education position at Bloomfield Jr/Sr High School. Marvin Helms moved to hire Mrs. Jones per the recommendation. Robert Kirk seconded the motion, which passed by a 6-0 vote.
12. ECA Recommendations Approved. Board members were provided with ECA recommendations for the 2007-2008 school year from Mr. Parsley, Mrs. Vandeventer and/or Mr. Ross. (See Attached) Superintendent Sichting included his support of these recommendations. Keith Hanauer moved to approve the recommendations as presented. Sandy May seconded the motion, which passed by a 6-0 vote.
13. Maternity Leave Approved. It was recommended that the Board approve a maternity leave for Mrs. Jan Abrams, a Special Education teacher at Bloomfield Elementary School from August 13, 2007 through October 29, 2007. Marvin Helms moved to approve the recommendation. Eric Moody seconded the motion. Then a clarification was made that Mrs. Abrams would be coming back to school on October 29, 2007. At that time President Dowden amended the recommendation to read that Mrs. Abrams’s maternity leave request would be from August 13, 2007 through October 28, 2007. Marvin Helms moved to approve the amended recommendation. Eric Moody seconded the motion, which passed by a 6-0 vote.
14. Elementary Internal Teaching Transfer Notification. Superintendent Sichting notified the Board that Mrs. Mary Jane Vandeventer had approved an internal transfer of Mrs. Sally Neill from a second grade teaching position to a first grade teaching position for the 2007-2008 school year. He said that this transfer is necessary for the District to be in compliant with requirements involving class size reduction and Prime Time. No action by the Board was required on this internal transfer.
15. Elementary Internal Teaching Transfer Notification. Superintendent Sichting notified the Board that Mrs. Mary Jane Vandeventer had approved an internal transfer of Mrs. Stephanie Arthur from a junior high special education teaching position to a sixth grade science and social studies teaching position for the 2007-2008 school year. No action by the Board was required on this internal transfer.
16. Choral Music Teacher Retires. It was recommended that the Board accept the retirement resignation of Mrs. Sheila Jerrels as an employee of the Bloomfield School District effective at the end of the 2006-2007 school year. Marvin Helms moved to accept the retirement of Mrs. Jerrels. Sandy May seconded the motion. Superintendent Sichting told the Board that Mrs. Jerrels had been a teacher for twenty-one (21) years and thanked her for her dedication and for the endless hours given to the students at Bloomfield Elementary. Mr. Parsley said Mrs. Jerrels’s retirement would be a huge loss to the music program at Bloomfield Schools. He said Mrs. Jerrels is more than an educator to Bloomfield students and that she would be dearly missed. Mrs. Jerrels’s retirement was accepted by a 6-0 vote.
17. FFA State Convention Field Trip Approved. It was recommended that the Board approve an overnight field trip for members of the Bloomfield FFA Chapter to attend the Indiana FFA Convention to be held at Purdue University on June 18, 2007, June 19, 2007, June 20, 2007, and June 21, 2007. Mr. Sichting told the Board that Mr. Ben Helms, FFA sponsor, would accompany approximately ten students to Purdue. Eric Moody moved to approve the field trip as requested. Keith Hanauer seconded the motion, which passed by a 6-0 vote.
18. Washington, D.C. Trip-Special Education Approved. Jr/sr high school special education teacher Stephanie Arthur requested permission to take ten members of her class on an overnight trip to Washington, D.C. on May 8, 2007 and May 9, 2007. Mr. Sichting told the Board that Mrs. Arthur along with Mrs. Angela Brown would accompany the students on the trip. He said that the funds to finance the trip were paid for through a community grant from the local REMC and through fundraising efforts by the students themselves. Keith Hanauer moved to approve the trip as requested. Marvin Helms seconded the motion, which passed by a 6-0 vote.
19. 2007-2008 Student Handbook Approved. Jr/sr high school principal Mr. Greg Parsley presented the Board with a revised student handbook for the 2007-2008 school year for Bloomfield Junior-Senior High School and Bloomfield Elementary School. (See attached) Mr. Sichting recommended approval. Keith Hanauer moved to approve the handbook as presented. Sandy May seconded the motion. After some discussion the handbook was approved by a 4-2 vote. Eric Moody and Robert Kirk cast the nay votes.
20. School Improvement Committee Appointments Confirmed. It was recommended that the Board approve the following School Improvement Committee Appointments made by the Bloomfield Teachers’ Association. (See attached) Robert Kirk moved to confirm the appointments as presented. Marvin Helms seconded the motion, which passed by a 6-0 vote.
21. Board Hears Feasibility Steering Committee Update. Superintendent Sichting gave the Board an update on the committee’s most recent work. The following is Mr. Sichting’s prepared update. On Thursday, April 12, 2007, members of the Bloomfield School District Board of School Trustees traveled to Monrovia Junior-Senior High School for a site visit on recent heating and cooling renovations completed by Performance Services at that location. Board members accompanied by the Superintendent toured the facility for approximately one hour and forty-five minutes. At the March 22, 2007 regular board meeting, Mr. Rick Hudson presented a recommendation to the Board from a community committee to pursue a renovation project aimed at updating the heating and cooling system in the upper and lower wings of Bloomfield Elementary School and the “D” hallway of Bloomfield Jr/Sr High School. The community committee emphasized the need to complete the project while maintaining a steady debt service rate. During the regular June school board meeting, Mr. Steve Thoman of Performance Services will bring the board up-to-date on additional planning and implementation of the project. Hopefully, the project can be bid during the late summer to gauge accurately the cost and scope of a renovation project to be carried out during the summer of 2008. After obtaining a more accurate estimate of costs, the Bloomfield School District will appear before the Indiana Tax Board during late fall to obtain permission to proceed with the project. Any Bloomfield patrons opposed to the renovation project may express their concerns during this meeting.
22. Adequate Yearly Progress Report for 2006. Superintendent Sichting read the following prepared report for the 2006 Adequate Yearly Progress for the Bloomfield School District. Bloomfield School District met Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in all areas of all groups and subgroups for 2006 (Fall 2006 ISTEP + test cycle). (See Attached) This is the third year in a row the district has met this requirement. Bloomfield Elementary School met Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in all areas of all groups and subgroups for 2006 (Fall 2006 ISTEP+ test cycle). This is the fifth year in a row Bloomfield Elementary School has meet this requirement. Bloomfield Jr/Sr High School meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in all areas of all groups and subgroups except Special Education English/Language Arts and Math for 2006 (Fall 2006 ISTEP+ test cycle). This is the second year in the last five years the jr/sr high school has not met this requirement. However, the percentage of Special Education students passing the English/Language Arts section of the ISTEP+ test improved for the second year in a row. (20.5 in 2005, 28.2 in 2006) Unfortunately, the percentage of Special Education students passing the math section of the ISTEP+ test declined slightly from 2005. (45.5 in 2005, 44.2 in 2006) Adequate Yearly Progress in not based on the performance of a cohort group of students. The students involved in the testing group in 2006 differed greatly from the group of students involved in the testing in 2005. Due to the different group of students, it is difficult to gauge student improvement with A.Y.P. Overall, the jr/sr high school students exceeded the AYP expectation by 18.9 percentage points in English/Language Arts and by 18.9 percentage points in Mathematics. A.Y.P. shouldn’t be confused with school improvement category placements, which will be announced in the future by the Indiana Department of Education. The P.L 221 school improvement category placements are based on a three year rolling average of performance by a cohort group of students. Bloomfield School District has been notified of a preliminary category placement of Academic Watch for Bloomfield Elementary and Bloomfield Jr/Sr. High School. At this time, Mrs. Mary Jane Vandeventer, Bloomfield Elementary School Principal, and Mr. Greg Parsley, Bloomfield Jr/Sr High School Principal presented information to the board concerning Adequate Yearly Progress.
23. Board Hears Information on School Safety Issues. Superintendent Sichting said that the recent shooting at Virginia Tech University had again brought the issue of school safety to the forefront. He prepared the following list of activities that the administration had participated in during the past school year. (See Attached) During the 2006-2007 school year, the administration of Bloomfield School District has been involved in discussion, meetings, and professional development with the goal of making the students and environment of Bloomfield School District safe and secure. During the school year, the administration has participated in the following activities:
September, 2006-Discussed School Safety issues at Administrative Team Meetings
Principals discussed issues at staff meetings
School Safety Plans were reviewed with staff
October, 2006-November, 2006-Bloomfield Jr/Sr High School and Bloomfield
Elementary School were placed on lock down due to
Roger Axe, Greene County Emergency Management
Director met with the staff of Bloomfield Elementary
School concerning school safety issues.
November, 2006-Mrs. Mary Jane Vandeventer, Mr. Greg Parsley, Mr. Dan Sichting
participated with local law enforcement agencies and emergency
management officials to dialogue operating procedures in case of
a type of situation resulting in the evacuation of Bloomfield School
November, 2006-January, 2007-A lock was installed on the Spring Street entrance of
Bloomfield Jr/Sr High School to increase the safety and
environment for students and staff.
February, 2007-Allen Toon and Dan Sichting discuss changes to secure additional
entrances at Bloomfield Elementary School and Bloomfield Jr/Sr
April, 2007-School Safety Procedures were again discussed at Bloomfield School District
Administrative Team Meeting.
April 18, 2007 and April 19, 2007-Allen Toon, Greg Parsley, and Mary Jane
Vandeventer attend the Indiana Department of
School Safety Seminar in Indianapolis
June, 2007-The Bloomfield School District Emergency Plan will be revised and reviewed
and all changes communicated to staff and students at the beginning of the
2007-2008 school year.
24. Bloomfield School District Cafeteria Inspection Report From Greene County Health Inspector. Superintendent Sichting told the Board that an inspector from the Greene County Health Department recently conducted an inspection of the Bloomfield Elementary cafeteria and Bloomfield Jr/Sr High School cafeteria. He explained that only three minor violations were found and that steps were being taken to respond to those minor violations.
25. Adjournment. There being no further business Robert Kirk moved to adjourn. Sandy May seconded the motion. The meeting was then adjourned by a 6-0 vote.