MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF SCHOOL BOARD
OF BLOOMFIELD SCHOOL DISTRICT
December 26, 2007
The Board of School Trustees of the Bloomfield School District, of Greene County, Indiana, met in regular session on December 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: Doug Frye, Steve Dowden, Keith Hanauer, Marvin Helms, and Eric Moody. Robert Kirk and Sandra Parkes May were absent. President Moody called the meeting to order at approximately 11:00 a.m. The following order of business was transacted with the President presiding:
1. Recognitions. Superintendent Sichting recognized Miss Laura Young, members of Center Stage, Cardinal Song, and Joyful Noise, Mr. Jeff Rockey and band members for a great Christmas music program. The board also pointed out what a wonderful Christmas program the 3rd grade performed.
2. Approval of Minutes. The Board had been provided with minutes of the regular school board meeting held on November 27, 2007, which had been prepared by corporation recording secretary Kelli Vandeventer. Marvin Helms moved to approve the minutes as presented. Keith Hanauer seconded the motion. The minutes were approved by a 5-0 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 Marvin Helms and seconded by Keith Hanauer, the Board by a 5-0 vote approved the Treasurer’s Report.
4. Board Gives Authority to Advertise For a 2008 Temporary Loan. The Superintendent asked to the Board to authorize him to advertise for a temporary loan if needed for the 2008 Bloomfield School District budget. Keith Hanauer moved to grant Mr. Sichting the authority to advertise for a temporary loan. Steve Dowden seconded the motion. Mr. Sichting gave some information as to the reason this loan might be necessary. He said counties within the state of Indiana are currently going through an annual adjustment process of increasing property values referred to as “trending”. As of December 18, 2007, the assessed valuation for Bloomfield School District for the 2008 budget had yet to be certified by the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance. As a result, the chance of delayed tax bills and possibly one property tax billing for 2008 is very real. Additionally, the Indiana General Assembly is considering property tax reform and the elimination of property tax revenue as a funding option for schools. As a result of these unknown factors, the Bloomfield School District might seek a temporary loan for cash flow problems if needed for the 2008 budget. The motion passed by a 5-0 vote.
5. Resolution Declaring a Financial Emergency Due to a Delay in December Tax Settlement Approved by Board. Superintendent Sichting told board members that Indiana law gives school districts permission to declare that a financial emergency exists due to the uncertainty in their receiving the December settlement payment for property taxes from the Greene County Auditor. This is allowed so that school districts can meet payment obligations in terms of indebtedness due at the end of December 2007. Mr. Sichting recommended the Board establish that a financial emergency exists and approve a resolution to that affect. (See Attached) Keith Hanauer made a motion to approve Superintendent Sichting’s recommendation. Steve Dowden seconded the motion, which passed by a 5-0 vote.
6. Board Passes Resolution to Approve Short-Term Transfer From Rainy Day Fund to Debt Service Fund and Retirement Severance Bond Debt Service Fund. Superintendent Sichting asked the Board to authorize a short-term transfer of funds in the amount of $85,000 from the Rainy Day Fund to the Debt Service Fund and the Retirement/Debt Service Fund. (See Attached) He said that the amount transferred would be repaid to the Rainy Day Fund on or before June 30, 2008. Doug Frye moved to authorize the transfer of funds per Mr. Sichting’s recommendation. Marvin Helms seconded the motion, which passed by a 5-0 vote.
7. Resolution Approved For Adoption of ECA Accounting Software and Forms. Mr. Sichting recommended the Board approve a resolution adopting ECA accounting software and forms from Komputrol. Keith Hanauer moved to approve the recommendation. Marvin Helms seconded the motion, which passed by a 5-0 vote.
8. Board Votes to Amend Resolution For Use of CPF Emergency Funds. Superintendent Sichting explained that on November 27, 2007, the board approved the use of CPF Emergency Funds in the 2007 budget in the amount of $38,593 to purchase a new phone system for the Bloomfield School District. He said that due to errors made in calculating the number of phones needed, the original resolution needed to be amended by $5,000. He recommended the Board approve a new resolution authorizing the use of $43,593 dollars of the 2007 CPF Emergency allocation for the purchase of a new phone system for the Bloomfield School District. (See Attached) Steve Dowden moved to approve the resolution, per Mr. Sichting’s recommendation. Doug Frye seconded the motion, which passed by a 5-0 vote.
9. Board Votes Against Resolution For Guaranteed Energy Savings Contract. Superintendent Sichting told the Board that this resolution is titled Exhibit D and that Exhibits B and C are tied to this resolution. He said the Guaranteed Energy Savings Contract is also tied to this resolution. He explained that in approving the resolution, they would be approving these agreements and entering into a contract with Performance Services. This is the last step in moving toward upgrading the central plan to heat and cool the lower elementary. Mr. Sichting said the upper elementary and junior high wing would continue to operate on the old system until the second phase of the renovation, which would begin in 2011 or 2012. Keith Hanauer moved to approve the resolution, per Mr. Sichting’s recommendation. Steve Dowden seconded the motion. After much discussion, board members asked Mr. Sichting to check into a few items that they had questions about. The Board asked for clarification concerning a completion date, penalty clause for going over the completion date, change orders, coil warranty of the air handling unit, and to include the proposed agreement as part of the contract. Mr. Sichting said he would check into their concerns and bring the resolution back to the Board for their consideration. The Board then voted to not approve the resolution by a 0-5 vote.
10. Bloomfield School District Will Participate in The Indiana Small and Rural Schools Association. It was recommended the Board authorize the participation of the District in the Indiana Small and Rural Schools Association from January 1, 2008 through June 30, 2009 at a cost of $400.00. (See Attached) Keith Hanauer made a motion to approve the recommendation. Eric Moody seconded the motion, which passed by a 5-0 vote.
11. District Receives Advance Draw From Greene County Auditor. Superintendent Sichting told board members that on December 18, 2007, the District received an advance draw from the Greene County Auditor for the December tax settlement. He said the final tax settlement would be delayed due to computer software problems. Mr. Sichting informed them that on December 18, 2007, property tax receipts were received, but no revenue from License Excise Tax or Financial Institutions Tax. He provided the breakdown on the revenue received in the advance draw on December 18, 2007 as, Bus Replacement-$21,902.99, Retirement/Severance Bond Debt Service-$67,962.85, School Capital Projects-$138,988.65, School Debt Service-$281,271.42, School General-$404,771.93, School Pre School-$1,155.83, and School Transportation-$141,878.23. He said the total Property Tax Receipts in Advance Draw was $1,057,931.90. Mr. Sichting said that to date, Bloomfield School District had received the following percentage of the property tax levy for each fund: Bus Replacement-$59,773.81 of $70,377 Levy or 85%,
Retirement/Severance Bond Debt Service-$185,472.60 of $218,372 Levy or 85%, School Capital Projects-$380,304.09 of $446,586 Levy or 86%, School Debt Service-$767,597.94 of $903,756 Levy or 85%, School General-$1,104,634.45 of $1,300,577 Levy or 85%, School Pre School-$3,154.30 of $3,714 Levy or 85%, School Transportation-$387,189.84 of $455,870 Levy or 85%.
12. Information on Adult Basic Education Allocation From IDOE. Superintendent Sichting told the Board the District received confirmation the Adult Education allocation from February 1, 2008 through June 30, 2008 would be $11,061.47, which is an increase from earlier allocations. He said the increase is due to Bloomfield School District receiving the allocation forfeited by the Metropolitan School District of Shakamak. Mr. Sichting explained that this is flow through money in the 2008 budget and is allocated to Turning Point Education Center to continue Adult Basic Education services to students and patrons of Bloomfield School District. (See Attached) The superintendent praised the efforts of Mr. Parsley and jr/sr high school guidance counselor Margaret Osmon in watching for those students in danger of losing credits due to poor grades and getting them enrolled at the alternative school, which enables them to earn those credits needed for graduation.
13. Receipt of Textbook Reimbursement Received From the IDOE. Bloomfield School District recently received reimbursement of textbook rental for students receiving free or reduced lunches in the district. This year the state is reimbursing school districts at a 100% rate. Previously, schools were reimbursed on a percentage basis at less than 100%. This caused an unfunded liability for school districts.
The legislators corrected this problem in last spring’s session of the General Assembly. The textbook reimbursement is received by the district, but allocated to the textbook fund in each school. Last year, Bloomfield School District received $10,464.44 in terms of textbook reimbursement. This equated to 58.7% of the total needed for the reimbursement. This year, Bloomfield School District received $20,190.03 worth of reimbursement from the state at a 100% reimbursement. (See Attached) This information was provided to the Board by Superintendent Sichting.
14. NJROTC Instructor Retirement Announced. Lt. Clay Ostergren submitted his letter of retirement resignation as NJROTC instructor at Bloomfield School District effective June 30, 2008. (See Attached) Superintendent Sichting said Lt. Ostergren had been employed with the Bloomfield School District since December 2002. He said that during his tenure, the Bloomfield NJROTC unit had consistently been considered one of the top units in Indiana. Mr. Sichting along with board members thanked Lt. Ostergren for his years of service to the District and wished him the best of luck in the future.
Keith Hanauer moved to approve Lt. Ostergren’s retirement resignation. Steve Dowden seconded the motion, which passed by a 5-0 vote.
15. Jr/Sr High School Teacher Takes Maternity Leave. It was recommended the Board approve a maternity leave for Julie Evans, a teacher at Bloomfield jr/sr high school from Monday, March 31, 2008 through Friday, May 2, 2008. (See Attached) Marvin Helms made a motion to approve the recommendation. Doug Frye seconded the motion, which passed by a 5-0 vote.
16. Long-Term Substitute Teacher Hired. It was recommended the Board hire Mr. Jerry Osmon as a long-term substitute teacher from Monday, March 31, 2008 through Friday, May 2, 2008 to cover a maternity leave at Bloomfield jr/sr high school. (See Attached) Marvin Helms moved to approve the recommendation. Doug Frye seconded the motion, which passed by a 5-0 vote.
17. ECA Resignation Approved. The superintendent explained that an earlier board meeting the Board had approved Miss Laura Young as the director of the Spring Elementary Musical. Since that appointment, it was determined another music staff person would direct this musical. Keith Hanauer moved to approve the resignation. Marvin Helms seconded the motion, which passed by a 5-0 vote.
18. 2007-2008 ECA Recommendations Approved. Board members were provided with ECA recommendations for the 2007-2008 school year from Mr. Parsley, Ms. Vandeventer, and/or Mr. Hudson. Superintendent Sichting included his support of these recommendations. Mark Bartlow was recommended to serve as Sponsor of the Chess Club (Other School Sponsored Clubs), Kristy Burger as Elementary Musical Director (1-Spring), and Laura Young as Elementary Musical Assistant Director (1-Spring). (See Attached) Steve Dowden made a motion to approve the recommendations. Doug Frye seconded the motion, which passed by a 5-0 vote.
19. Overnight NJROTC Field Trip Approved. It was recommended the Board approve an overnight field trip request to allow the Bloomfield NJROTC Drill Team Unit to travel to Pike High School in Indianapolis, Indiana for drill team competition on Friday, February 22, 2008, and Saturday, February 23, 2008. (See Attached) Doug Frye moved to approve the recommendation. Marvin Helms seconded the motion, which passed by a 5-0 vote.
20. Overnight and Out-of-State NJROTC field Trip Approved. It was recommended the Board approve an overnight and out-of-state field trip request to allow Bloomfield NJROTC students to travel to the Area Three competition in Grove City, Ohio on Friday, March 7, 2008 and Saturday, March 8, 2008. (See Attached) Keith Hanauer moved to approve the recommendation. Steve Dowden seconded the motion, which passed by a 5-0 vote.
21. Donation Accepted. Superintendent Sichting explained that Bloomfield resident Marcus “Red” Oliphant had recently been honored to be the recipient of the Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce Harvey Hannah Award, which was a monitory gift of $250.00. Mr. Sichting said Mr. Oliphant graciously donated the money to the jr/sr high school student activities fund. Keith Hanauer made a motion to approve accepting the donation. Steve Dowden seconded the motion, which passed by a 5-0 vote. The Board expressed their thanks to Mr. Oliphant for his generous donation.
22. Information on Full Day Kindergarten Funding. Superintendent Sichting shared information concerning the funding of Full Day Kindergarten. The state of Indiana recently announced the per pupil funding for the Full Day Kindergarten Grant for 2007-2008 is $792.18. In comparison, if Bloomfield School District chose to participate in the grant program we would have received $64,156.50 in additional revenue. The district would have incurred additional staff expenses of approximately $104,000 in staffing to implement Full Day Kindergarten. A shortage of approximately $40,000 would have to be funded from the district’s General Fund or generated through parent fees. This would have translated to a parent fee of approximately $500 for students to participant in the Full Day Kindergarten program. Keith Hanauer suggested that after Mrs. Vandeventer completes the parent survey form for the 2008-2009 school year have one or more of the board members look it over before it is passed on to parents.
23. Superintendent Request. Mr. Sichting told board members that the Greene-Sullivan Special Education Cooperative is offering Board Member training on January 15, 2008, at 6:00 p.m. at the Old Bank in Linton Indiana. He said dinner would be provided and he needed to know who would be attending.
24. Adjournment. There being no further business Keith Hanauer moved to adjourn. Doug Frye seconded the motion. The meeting was then adjourned by a 5-0 vote.