MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF SCHOOL BOARD
OF BLOOMFIELD SCHOOL DISTRICT
February 24, 2011
The Board of School Trustees of the Bloomfield School District, of Greene County, Indiana, met in regular session on February 24, 2011, 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: Bill Bond, Steve Dowden, Dwayne Hostetter, Sandy May, Matt Miller, and Eric Moody. John Combs was absent. President Hostetter 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 Stella Royal gave recognition to students who participated in the solo ensemble recently, girl’s basketball team’s sectional participation, NJROTC members for doing well in recent competition and said the speech team is preparing for the upcoming sectional. Mrs. Royal also announced that the first ever ISTEP Rally would be held on February 25th at 2:30 p.m. Mrs. Royal included her “thanks” to Bloomfield teachers for taking time throughout their already busy day to make correspondence with students’ parents. She said she has received numerous positive feedbacks from parents and wanted to let teachers know how much they appreciate that. Mr. Sichting shared that ten Business Professionals of America (BPA) students would be competing in State level competition in Indianapolis on February 28th and March 1st. He thanked Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce and Bloomfield Rotary for making donations so that those students would be able to take this trip and compete. Mr. Sichting said FFA week had been celebrated the past week and also congratulated senior Evan Rush for being the district level NJROTC award winner. He said there had been another NJROTC student who interviewed at West Point and had also been accepted to one of the finest aero space engineering program in the nation located in Florida. Mr. Sichting said NJROTC students are continuing to excel. The superintendent announced that Bloomfield Elementary would be starting a first ever Lego League Club, which is to help students with math and science problem solving skills and operates with help from SAIC. Mr. Sichting said the 5th and 6th grade girl’s basketball teams have had a great season and wished the boys 5th and 6th grade basketball teams good luck as they were playing in the finals while the meeting was taking place. Mr. Sichting announced the school website was up and runner and thanked Michelle Mattox for her hard work at getting it to that point. He said he had completed the board members section of the website and hoped it would foster communication between the board and members of the community.
2. Public Hearing Announced. President Hostetter announced there would be a public hearing held on March 10, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. on Full Day Kindergarten. He said the purpose of the hearing is to share information with the public on school finances, which would impact offering Full Day Kindergarten. Mr. Hostetter said the Board hopes to gather public testimony after sharing scenarios on the impact of the addition of Full Day Kindergarten. He said the Board had heard numerous viewpoints on the subject from patrons and the purpose of this meeting would be to provide a transparent platform for patrons to see the information impacting any future decisions concerning Full Day Kindergarten.
3. Superintendent Welcomes Boy Scouts. Superintendent Sichting welcomed a group of Boy Scouts, parents and leaders to the board meeting. He explained they were in attendance to observe while working towards a Boy Scout activity badge.
4. Approval of Minutes. The Board had been provided with minutes of the regular school board meeting and a special board meeting both held on January 27, 2011, and an executive session held on February 16, 2011, which had been prepared by corporation recording secretary Kelli Usrey. Eric Moody moved to approve the minutes of the proposed school board meetings beginning with the sentence: “The Board of School Trustees of the Bloomfield School District, of Greene County, Indiana met in special session on January 27, 2011…” and ending with the sentence: “To train school board members”. Matt Miller seconded the motion. The motion passed by a 6-0 vote.
5. Treasurer’s Report. The Board had been provided with the Treasurer’s Report, prepared by corporation treasurer Sue Pritts. Steve Dowden made a motion to approve the January 31, 2011 appropriations report beginning with: Fund 0100 through Fund 7954 and also the January 31, 2011 claims report beginning with voucher number 71 to Bloomfield State Bank and ending with voucher number 145 to Allen Toon. Bill Bond seconded the motion, which passed by a 6-0 vote.
6. DOESA 541 Report for February 2011. Bloomfield School District received the February Basic Grant payment on February 15, 2011. The February Basic Grant payment was $515,852.25. In January, Mr. Sichting had reported an increase in Special Education Funding and had anticipated the Special Education grant to increase from $323,265 to $349,370. The amount of the Special Education grant is based on the Special Education Report, which was submitted by Bloomfield School District in early December. During the reporting period, it appears as if some errors occurred in the Bloomfield School District Special Education Report. The errors amounted to a projected loss of $20,420 dollars for Bloomfield School District. Bloomfield School District is in contact with the state of Indiana to see if the errors can be corrected. At least one of the errors resulted, due to another school claiming the Special Education student. One of the reasons for the error is inconsistency from the Department of Education concerning procedures for reporting special education students for funding purposes. Bloomfield School District’s February Basic Grant payment was cut by $27,428 dollars by the Department of Education. This is related to the reset of school funding ordered by Governor Daniels in December, 2009 caused by dwindling tax collections. In 2010, Bloomfield School District’s reduction was $295,948.98. The 2011 reduction for Bloomfield School District is estimated to be $328,709.49.
7. 2010-2011 Free and Reduced Textbook Reimbursement Report. Parents of children may make application for free or reduced lunches. Qualification for free or reduced lunches automatically results in qualification for free or reduced textbook charges. The General Assembly sets up a fund in the bi-annual budget to reimburse schools for the cost of the free and reduced textbooks. The fund is a flat appropriation. If the financial need in terms of dollars exceeds the state wide demand the schools are only reimbursed on a percentage of need. In 2010-2011, Bloomfield Jr.-Sr. High School and Bloomfield Elementary submitted $21,152.80 to the Indiana Department of Education for reimbursement. Free and reduced textbooks were reimbursed at a prorated percent of 81.9379164. As a result, Bloomfield Elementary and Bloomfield Jr.-Sr. High School received reimbursement totaling $17,332.16. As you can see Bloomfield School District had a deficit in state reimbursement of $3,820.64. Bloomfield Elementary and Bloomfield Jr.-Sr. High School have textbook companies demanding repayment of textbooks for the deficit of $3,820.64. As a result, the 2012 Bloomfield School District Debt Service Fund will be used to collect the $3,820.64 in free and reduced textbook fees not reimbursed by the state of Indiana.
8. Board Approves Energy Savings Provider Agreement. Mr. Sichting said that in December, 2010, BSD advertised for “request for proposals” from Energy Savings Providers and received four proposals. The provider and dollar amount received on January 20, 2011 was: Performance Services-$1,584,060, Emcor-$1,606,018, Trane-$1,670,000, and CTS-$1,808,004.69. He recommended approving the proposal from Performance Services. (See Attached Information) Steve Dowden moved to approve the recommendation. Eric Moody seconded the motion, which passed by a 6-0 vote.
9. Resolution for Guaranteed Energy Savings Contract Gets Board Approval. It was recommended the Board approve a resolution for a Guaranteed Energy Savings Contract with Performance Services. (See Attached) Bill Bond moved to approve the Resolution as presented. Steve Dowden seconded the motion, which passed by a 6-0 vote.
10. Board Grants Authorization to Superintendent to Submit Reduction in Force Notifications. Superintendent Sichting asked board members to authorize him to provide notification of a “Reduction in Force” to staff members whose salaries are paid through grant funds and any other employees who would be affected by the “Reduction in Force”. Matt Miller made a motion to approve the recommendation. Steve Dowden seconded the motion. Superintendent Sichting explained that the BSD teaching contract mandates that he inform any teachers of a possible “Reduction in Force” by April 15th. He said there are a lot of uncertainties right now in terms of Federal and State funding and due to those uncertainties and also due to contractual obligations it is important to notify employees of any potential “Reduction in Force”. The motion was approved by a 6-0 vote.
11. Assistant Technology Coordinator Retires. Roger Doane submitted his retirement resignation letter as Assistant Technology Coordinator effective at the conclusion of the 2010-2011 school year. (See Attached) Matt Miller moved to accept Mr. Doane’s resignation. Bill Bond seconded the motion. Mr. Sichting shared that Mr. Doane had served BSD as the Assistant Technology Coordinator for the past thirteen years. He said the District was fortunate to have a retired engineer in this capacity and wished him the best in his retirement. Mr. Doane’s resignation was accepted by a 6-0 vote.
12. Bloomfield Jr/Sr High School Hires ISTEP+ Academy Instructors. Mr. Sichting recommended the Board approve a recommendation from Jr/Sr High School Principal David Dean to hire Jennifer Heaton and Brandy Frady as Math teachers for ISTEP+ Academy. (See Attached) Mr. Sichting explained the ISTEP+ Academy will be holding two sessions confirming the two teachers being recommended are for the first session running from February 8, 2011 through February 24, 2011 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:40 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Steve Dowden moved to approve the recommendation. Sandy May seconded the motion, which passed by a 6-0 vote. Mr. Sichting added that the teachers would be paid from monies received from a Graduation Qualifying Exam Grant.
13. Coach Resigns a Paid ECA Position. Barb Hanauer submitted her resignation as Boy’s Assistant Track Coach (7-12). Eric Moody made a motion to accept Mrs. Hanauer’s resignation. Matt Miller seconded the motion, which passed by a 6-0 vote. Superintendent Sichting said Mrs. Hanauer had indicated willingness to continue participation as a Volunteer Track Assistant Coach. He said she wishes to spend more time and energy at home and with family members.
14. 2010-2011 ECA Recommendations Approved. Board members were provided with a list of recommendations for the 2010-2011 school year from Mr. Dean and Mr. McBride. (See Attached) Superintendent Sichting included his support of the recommendations. Sandy May moved to approve the recommendations as follows:
- Jayne McIntosh – Junior Varsity Softball Coach
- Darren King – Softball Volunteer Assistant
- Bill Spelts – Softball Volunteer Assistant
- Todd Deaton – Softball Volunteer Assistant
- Barb Hanauer – Track Volunteer Assistant
Steve Dowden seconded the motion, which passed by a 6-0 vote.
15. Board Approves Annual Overnight Zoo Trip. It was recommended the Board approve the annual overnight field trip for Bloomfield Elementary 2nd graders to the Indianapolis Zoo on May 19, 2011 and May 20, 2011. Mr. Sichting explained that students are often accompanied by parents and/or grandparents for the event. Steve Dowden made a motion to approve the field trip as present. Eric Moody seconded that motion, which passed by a 6-0 vote.
16. Overnight Field Trip Approved for Speech Team. It was recommended the Board approve an overnight field trip for Bloomfield Jr/Sr High School Speech Team to travel to Evansville to participate in the speech sectionals from March 4, 2011 through March 5, 2011. (See Attached) Bill Bond moved to approve the recommendation. Sandy May seconded the motion, which passed by a 6-0 vote.
17. Board Approves Overnight and Out-of-State NJROTC Field Trip. It was recommended the Board approve an overnight and out-of-state field trip for the Bloomfield Jr/Sr High School NJROTC unit to NAS Pensacola, Florida from March 18, 2011 through March 24, 2011. (See Attached) Mr. Sichting said the major highlights of the trip would be tours of the Naval Air Station, Aviation Museum, “Blue Angels” training facility, the USS Alabama and a visit to the Civil War “Fort Barrancas”. Sandy May made a motion to approve the field trip as requested. Eric Moody seconded the motion, which passed by a 6-0 vote.
18. NJROTC Out-of-State and Overnight Field Trip to San Diego, California Approved. Superintendent Sichting recommended the Board approve an out-of-state and overnight field trip for the Bloomfield Jr/Sr High School NJROTC unit to travel to San Diego, California for a military base and town orientation visit. The cadets and chaperones would be gone from March 24, 2011 through March 28, 2011. (See Attached) Sandy May made a motion to approve the field trip as requested. Matt Miller seconded the motion, which passed by a 6-0 vote.
19. Field Trip to Dayton, Ohio for NJROTC Approved. It was recommended the Board approve an overnight and out-of-state field trip to participate in a physical fitness, academic and drill competition. Mr. Sichting said the group would travel to Dayton, Ohio from March 3, 2011 through March 5, 2011. (See Attached) Eric Moody moved to approve the field trip. Matt Miller seconded the motion, which passed by a 6-0 vote.
20. Bloomfield Elementary Lower Elementary Phase I Renovation Year 2 Energy Savings Report. Superintendent Sichting shared that two years ago, phase I of a renovation was completed at Bloomfield Elementary School and consisted of new condensing boilers, a chiller, electrical backbone, and lighting was installed in the lower area of Bloomfield Elementary School. He said the project was completed as an energy savings project utilizing statutes for energy conservation. At that time Mr. Sichting introduced Steve Thoman and Shana Lopez from Performance Services, Inc. who provided information concerning the savings in year two from the Phase I project. (See Attached) The Board thanked Mr. Thomas and Ms. Lopez for the information.
21. School Property Declared Surplus by Board. It was recommended the Board declare a list of property as surplus for the purpose of disposal. (See Attached) Mr. Sichting said many of the items were used by classroom teachers in instruction and has been replaced with new technology. Sandy May moved to declare the items surplus as recommended. Steve Dowden seconded the motion, which passed by a 6-0 vote.
22. Resolution for the Rejection of House Bill 1002 Concerning Charter Schools Approved by Board. Mr. Sichting explained that House Bill 1002 is being considered by the Indiana General Assembly and if adopted could result in students in urban areas of Indiana leaving a traditional public school to enroll in Charter Schools. He said the budget being considered by the Assembly makes a provision for 1,700 students to leave traditional public education and if additional students greater than 1,700 leave traditional public education for Charter School it would have a negative impact on the funding for Bloomfield School District. Mr. Sichting recommended approval of the proposed Resolution for the Rejection of House Bill 1002 Concerning Charter Schools. (See Attached) Matt Miller made a motion to approve the Resolution. Eric Moody seconded the motion. Steve Dowden said he admired Mr. Sichting’s passion to inform the community on issues that affect local schools. He said he felt that as an elected school board it was not their job to debate political issues. Mr. Dowden said that from that standpoint he would be abstaining from voting on this Resolution. The Resolution passed with a 5-0-1 vote. Mr. Dowden abstained from voting.
23. Board Approves Resolution for the Rejection of House Bill 1003 Concerning School Vouchers. Superintendent Sichting said the Indiana General Assembly is considering a bill to provide funding to private schools in Indiana through School Vouchers. (See Attached) He said the use of public tax collections to subsidize private schools often endorsed or sponsored by religious institutions seem to him to conflict with the constitution of the state of Indiana, which clearly states “No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution”. Mr. Sichting recommended approval of the proposed Resolution. Sandy May moved to approve the Resolution as presented. Eric Moody seconded the motion, which passed by a 5-0-1 vote. Mr. Dowden abstained.
24. Bloomfield-Eastern Greene Public Library Board Appointment Approved. It was recommended the Board approve the appointment of Mrs. Raedean Chumley to a four year term on the board of the Bloomfield-Eastern Greene Public Library effective January, 2011 through January, 2015. (See Attached) Steve Dowden made a motion to approve the appointment. Sandy May seconded the motion, which passed by a 6-0 vote.
25. 2011-2012 Bloomfield School District Calendar Approved. Superintendent Sichting presented board members with a proposed calendar for the 2011-2012 school year and recommended approval. (See Attached) He explained that the Bloomfield Teacher’s Association had been included in discussions and in the final draft of the calendar as presented. Sandy May moved to approve the calendar as presented. Bill Bond seconded the motion, which passed by a 6-0 vote.
26. Board Receives Title I Update. Title I teacher Mrs. Susan Goodman provided information for the Board on Title I interventions and achievement progress for Bloomfield Elementary students.
27. 2012 and 2013 School Funding for Bloomfield School District. Superintendent Sichting reminded those present that the information he provided to them on the school funding formula was only an estimate since the budget had not yet been finalized. (See Attached)
28. Health Insurance Update. Mr. Sichting shared that the loss ratio had risen to 78% at the end of December and at the end of January had risen to 84% due to one time issues of a surgery and a delivery of a child. Mr. Sichting said other things could come into play to cause the loss ratio to stay up, but hopefully it will stay even. He explained that as the loss ratio increases the greater the risk of increased health insurance premiums.
29. Elementary Teacher Speaks in Favor of All Day Kindergarten. Bloomfield Elementary kindergarten teacher Mrs. Amy Gaines said she does believe in All Day Kindergarten and was glad to see there was a public hearing scheduled by the Board to share information and get public opinion concerning offering All Day Kindergarten. Board members thanked Mrs. Gaines for her input. BTA president Ben Helms thanked the board for passing the resolutions concerning the two bills in front of the legislature. Mr. Helms also announced there would be a county wide Rally held the following Saturday on the Greene County Court House lawn and invited them to attend. President Hostetter thanked the boy scouts and others present for attending the meeting.
30. Adjournment. There being no further business Steve Dowden moved to adjourn. Sandy May seconded the motion. The meeting was then adjourned by a 6-0 vote.
BLOOMFIELD SCHOOL DISTRICT – BOARD OF SCHOOL TRUSTEES
Attest: Secretary Superintendent of Schools