MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF SCHOOL BOARD
OF BLOOMFIELD SCHOOL DISTRICT
February 28, 2008
The Board of School Trustees of the Bloomfield School District, of Greene County, Indiana, met in regular session on February 28, 2008, 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: Doug Frye, Steve Dowden, Keith Hanauer, Marvin Helms, Robert Kirk, Sandra Parkes May, and Eric Moody. President Moody called the meeting to order at approximately 7:00 p.m. The following order of business was transacted with the President presiding:
1. Recognitions. Mrs. Vandeventer shared that the Bloomfield Elementary School Improvement Team had been working hard on the math curriculum and would soon have it ready to present to the Board. Mrs. Vandeventer also mentioned upcoming student activities including the Joyful Noise trip and the second grade annual trip to the Indianapolis Zoo. Mr. Parsley recognized the recent NJROTC inspection with the group receiving the highest marks in the history of the NJROTC at Bloomfield. He announced that Jennifer Heaton was Faculty of the Month for February. Mr. Parsley told the Board that Bloomfield would be hosting the quiz bowl to be held on March 13th. He praised the success of the girl’s basketball team, and wished good luck to the boy’s basketball team. Mr. Parsley also thanked Mr. Ron McBride and Mr. Kyle von Almen for their work with the basketball teams. Superintendent Sichting thanked Board President Eric Moody for his help in clean up at the school the day after the tornado. He also thanked Harold Holtsclaw, the custodial department and Allen Toon for the great job they did getting the school back in shape after the tornado damage. Mr. Sichting also recognized members of the administrative team for dealing with the damage and stress of getting ready to hold school in a very short amount of time. Finally, Mr. Sichting thanked Steve Campbell of Cinergy for getting the electricity back on in the school so quickly.
2. Approval of Minutes. The Board had been provided with minutes of the special meeting, regular school board meeting and executive session all held on January 31, 2008, which had been prepared by corporation recording secretary Kelli Vandeventer. Doug Frye moved to approve the minutes as presented. Keith Hanauer 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 Robert Kirk and seconded by Steve Dowden, the Board by a 7-0 vote approved the Treasurer’s Report. Eric Moody, on behalf of the Board, thanked Mr. Sichting for the explanation of claims that he prepares each board meeting to help board members understand claims better.
4. Board Approves Resolution to Shift a Portion of Contracted Bus Service to the Bus Replacement Fund. Superintendent Sichting explained that the General Assembly allows districts to pay for contracted bus services out of the Bus Replacement Fund. He said that due to the uncertainty of diesel fuel prices, he wanted to exercise that option for the 2008 budget cycle. Mr. Sichting recommended the Board approve this resolution, which would approve the payment by the District. (See Attached) Keith Hanauer moved to approve the resolution. Doug Frye seconded the motion, which passed by a 7-0 vote.
5. DOE 54 Report for February. Superintendent Sichting provided the board with the DOE 54 Report for February, 2008, which reflects a decrease in the monthly tuition support payment of $4,742.50. (See Attached) He said the decrease in the tuition support payment can be attributed to a decrease in the number of Special Education students in the district. Mr. Sichting said that in 2006, Bloomfield School District received funding for 166 students with disabilities at the district level in the amount of $296,400. He continued that as a result of the district Special Education December count, the number of students receiving funding decreased to 162 students, resulting in the District receiving $278,550 for students requiring Special Education services.
6. Board Hears Report on Loss of Local General Fund Levy to Charter School Funding. Superintendent Sichting told the Board he received notification from the Indiana Department of Education on February 15, 2008 of a loss of the local property tax levy for the purpose of funding a student from the district attending a charter school. (See Attached) He explained that in 2008, the District would lose $2,098.07 of the local property tax levy due to the enrollment of a student from the school district at the Indiana Academy for Science, Math, and Humanities at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Mr. Sichting said that in the 2008 budget, approximately $25,000 was set aside from the local levy for charter school students.
7. Board Approves Resolution to Declare a Financial Emergency and Resolution to Authorize Short-Term Transfer of Extra Curricular Funds From the Elementary Student Activities Fund to the Elementary Textbook Fund. President Moody read two resolutions. The first would establish that a financial emergency exists due to the method in which textbook rental is calculated. The second resolution is to approve a short-term transfer of funds from the Bloomfield Elementary Extra-Curricular Student Activities Fund to the Bloomfield Elementary Extra-Curricular Textbook Rental Fund. (See Attached) Sandy May moved to approve both resolutions, as presented. Marvin Helms seconded the motion, which passed by a 7-0 vote.
8. Legal Opinion Concerning the Depositing of Extra-Curricular Funds From Class Supply Fees. Superintendent Sichting said that during the recent audit of Bloomfield School District by the Indiana Board of Accounts, the auditor questioned the district policy of depositing 50% of class supply fees in extra-curricular accounts at Bloomfield Elementary School and Bloomfield Jr.-Sr. High School. He said that as a result of the questions surrounding this issue, a legal opinion was received from Bloomfield School District attorney, Mr. Todd Corn. (See Attached) Mr. Corn concluded the practice of depositing 50% of the class supply money in extra-curricular accounts at the building level is illegal. In the opinion, Mr. Corn cited cases involving Chandler v. South Bend Community School and Nagy v. Evansville-Vanderburgh Schools. The superintendent told the Board that as a result of this legal opinion, Bloomfield School District will begin to deposit 100% of the class supply fees in corporation supply accounts.
9. Board Hears Update on 2008 Certified Budget Appropriations. Superintendent Sichting told board members that 2008 Assessed Values had still not yet been determined for Greene County.
10. Board Authorizes Treasurer to Pay Vendors for Tornado Damage Repairs. It was recommended the Board authorize Mrs. Sue Pritts, district treasurer, to pay vendors making tornado damage repairs if Indiana Insurance has reimbursed the District for those repairs. Marvin Helms moved to approve the recommendation. Steve Dowden seconded the motion. Superintendent Sichting said that on Tuesday, February 5, 2008, a tornado caused damage to Bloomfield School District facilities. He said Indiana Insurance had reimbursed the District for approximately $50,000 to pay vendors for repairs to the facilities. Mr. Sichting continued that this authorization would allow Mrs. Pritts to pay the vendors prior to the next scheduled board meeting. The motion passed by a 7-0 vote. Steve Dowden commended Indiana Insurance for their quick handling of the school’s claim for damage from the tornado.
11. 2007-2008 ECA Recommendations Approved. Board members were provided with ECA recommendations for the 2007-2008 school year from Mr. Parsley and Mr. Hudson. Superintendent Sichting included his support of these recommendations. Loren Hadley was recommended to serve as Boys Track coach 7-12, Tom Wappes as Boys Assistant Track coach 7-12, Amy Gilmore as Girls Track coach 7-8, Savilla Jones as Volunteer Assistant Softball coach. (See Attached) Marvin Helms made a motion to approve the recommendations. Doug Frye seconded the motion, which passed by a 7-0 vote.
12. 2008-2009 ECA Recommendations Approved. Board members were provided with ECA recommendations for the 2008-2009 school year from Mr. Parsley and Mr. Hudson. Superintendent Sichting included his support of these recommendations. Jennifer Heaton was recommended to serve as Volleyball coach and Savilla Jones as Junior Varsity Volleyball coach 9-12. (See Attached) Keith Hanauer made a motion to approve the recommendations. Robert Kirk seconded the motion, which passed by a 7-0 vote.
13. Board Policy Second Reading and Adoption Held. Second reading was held on one (1) school board policy. Policy #6144, Investment Income was presented to the Board for second reading and adoption. (See Attached) Steve Dowden moved to approve the policy as presented. Robert Kirk seconded the motion, which passed by a 7-0 vote.
14. Board Holds Discussion on Proposed Non-Certified Handbook. Board members were presented with the first draft of the Bloomfield School District Non-Certified Employee Handbook for their review. Mr. Sichting said that the handbook would be reviewed and discussed during this meeting then looked over again and adopted at the March board meeting. A copy of policy #4401 was provided with the handbook. Marvin Helms referred to page 6 Section 15. Other of policy #4401. He felt when referring to a support staff employee being eligible to continue participation in the group health insurance offered by the district upon retirement “with a minimum of ten years of service” should be added. Mr. Helms said that would keep a person from working only one year and then retiring with the benefit of continued health insurance coverage. Mr. Kirk commented he would like the probationary period for new support staff employees to be a minimum of one year instead of ninety days as was presented in the handbook. Superintendent Sichting said he would check with legal council from the Indiana School Boards Association before making the suggested changes.
15. Project Excel to be Offered at Bloomfield Jr/Sr High School. It was recommended the Board authorize Superintendent Sichting to execute a memorandum of understanding with Vincennes University for offering Project Excel classes at Bloomfield Jr/Sr High School. (See Attached) Mr. Parsley said currently English composition I and II, U. S. History, Psychology, and Sociology are offered at Bloomfield Jr/Sr High School. He said Speech would be added to the curriculum for the 2008-2009 school year. Doug Frye made a motion to approve the recommendation. Steve Dowden seconded the motion, which passed by a 7-0 vote.
16. Status of Tornado Damage and Repairs. Superintendent Sichting provided a list of damage and repairs to the school due to the recent tornado. He said the roof damage was assessed earlier that day, Linton Glass Company would soon be installing the new windows in the Kindergarten rooms and then the fibar would be replaced on the upper playground. Mr. Sichting said that the new fence had been installed around the upper playground. He said that the bus barn repairs would be done by Graber Post and would begin very soon. Steve Dowden stated he felt that all the fibar on the upper elementary playground should be replaced instead of just part of it as planned due to the possibility of having broken glass and other dangerous pieces of materials in the fibar that was on the playground when the tornado hit. Superintendent Sichting informed the Board that he had received notification from the Indiana Department of Education that they had denied the school’s request for a waiver for the day missed due to the tornado.
17. House Bill 1001 – Property Tax Reform. Board members received a copy of House Bill 1001Concerns, Property Tax Relief Legislation Concerns prepared by Superintendent Sichting. (See Attached) Mr. Sichting said he had shared a copy with Bruce Borders and John Waterman’s legislative assistant and explained that part of his job is to communicate to members of the legislature things that are of concern to the District.
18. Update on Lower Elementary School Renovation. Superintendent Sichting provided board members with a list showing the progress of Performance Services at this time. (See Attached) He said they had selected colors for the vertical units and cabinetry and are developing construction schedules. Mr. Sichting continued they would soon be distributing schedules for review by the Board. He said they were also preparing construction documents and submittals for distribution. Mr. Sichting announced he would soon have a project kickoff meeting date.
19. Health Insurance Committee Update. Superintendent Sichting shared information from the Health Insurance Committee. He provided a copy of a list of insurance companies and the dates they were mailed Bloomfield’s RFP. (See Attached) He said the RFP’s are due on March 5th and a copy would be opened at school and Mr. Cassman would be opening another copy at Educational Services. Mr. Sichting said those participating in the opening would be signing a paper stating they would not share any of the information from the RFP’s with anyone.
20. Collective Bargaining Update. Superintendent Sichting said the next bargaining meeting would not be held until the first of April. He said the two groups are still a ways away from coming to an agreement, but are moving forward in the process.
21. 2008 ISBA Spring Regional Meeting and Fall Conference Registration Information Announced. Mr. Sichting gave board members registration information concerning both the ISBA Spring Regional Meeting and the ISBA Fall Conference for 2008. He said to let his office know of their registration choices as soon as possible.
22. Adjournment. There being no further business Steve Dowden moved to adjourn. Robert Kirk seconded the motion. The meeting was then adjourned by a 7-0 vote.