MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF SCHOOL BOARD
OF BLOOMFIELD SCHOOL DISTRICT
October 24, 2007
The Board of School Trustees of the Bloomfield School District, of Greene County, Indiana, met in regular session on October 24, 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, Doug Frye, 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. Superintendent Sichting made recognitions for elementary principal Mary Jane Vandeventer in her absence. He recognized Red Ribbon Week in the elementary making students aware of the dangers of inappropriate drug use. He also said that October 8 – 12 had been Fire Safety Week. Mr. Sichting thanked the local fire department for conducting a fire safety class for Bloomfield students in grades K – 4. Mrs. Susan Goodman was also recognized for her outstanding presentation recently in Denver at the Pearson National Conference. Other announcements included an invitation to the Veterans Day program on November 9th at 9:00 a.m. Mr. Sichting recognized the Bloomfield School District Board of School Trustees for being named an Outstanding Board at the Indiana School Boards Association for the second consecutive year.
2. Approval of Minutes. The Board had been provided with minutes of the special school board meeting held on September 13, 2007, and the regular school board meeting held on September 27, 2007, 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 6-0-1 vote. Mr. Helms abstained from the vote because he was not in attendance at the September 27, 2007 meeting.
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.
4. Board Hears Information on 2008 Budget Adoption Amendments. Superintendent Sichting told the Board that recently the Department of Local Government Finance (D.L.G.F.) announced changes in the process for budget hearings. (See Attached) He said that budget hearings would not be scheduled until Greene County supplies Certified Assessed Values to the Department of Local Government Finance. After the D.L.G.F. receives Certified Assessed Values, a joint budget and Tax Adjustment Board (TAB) hearing would be held in each county. As of October 15, 2007, Greene County was approximately eight days from supplying trended property values for 2008 to the Department of Local Government Finance. Mr. Sichting said that historically, the D.L.G.F. has taken approximately six weeks to certify the trended property values, but the process might be extended if a problem is found in trended property values and the Department of Local Government Finance must send the trended property values back to the county for an adjustment.
5. Board Receives Information on Basic Grant Reduction. Superintendent Sichting said that the Indiana Department of Education recently announced data variables updated for the October 15 payment of the Basic Grant including additions of 2007 certified assessed valuations for sixty-nine (69) corporations, revisions to prior year ADM, and Academic Honor count revisions. These data changes caused the cost of the basic grant formula to change slightly from last month due to exceeding the calendar year cap by $9,421,679.00. Indiana Code 20-43-2-3 requires the Indiana Department of Education to calculate a cap reduction for all corporations. As a result of the statutory reduction, it is estimated Bloomfield School District will lose an estimated $12,314 dollars in basic grant revenue for the 2007 budget. (See Attached)
6. Board Approves Komputrol Extra-Curricular Software. It was recommended the Board approve the purchase of a three-site license of Extra-Curricular Software from Komputrol for Bloomfield School District in the amount of $4,850.00. (See Attached) The accounting software will utilize a $1,000 annual maintenance fee yearly after the first year. Marvin Helms moved to approve the purchase. Sandy May seconded the motion. Superintendent Sichting told the Board that on April 27, 2006, the Board approved a resolution for the District to begin utilizing the Harmony ECA accounting software. He said a recent audit by the State Board of Accounts for another school corporation in Indiana listed concerns with issues involving control of postings within the accounting software system and also indicated that many of the forms utilized by Harmony weren’t approved by the State Board of Accounts. Mr. Sichting said as a result, he was making this recommendation for the Board to approve a resolution changing the ECA accounting software to Komputrol. The motion passed by a 7-0 vote.
7. Board Approves Transfer From School Bus Replacement Fund to Rainy Day Fund. It was recommended the Board authorize a resolution authorizing the transfer of $100,000 from the School Bus Replacement Fund to the Rainy Day Fund. (See Attached) Mr. Sichting said that due to the concerns in bidding the 2007-2013 Bloomfield School District Transportation Contract, approximately $120,000 was accumulated to purchase two buses if a shortage of transportation bidders determined the need for the corporation to assume two bus routes. He said that additionally, $60,000 was raised to replace a bus used for field trips and extra-curricular trips. An adequate number of bidders enabled the District to avoid assuming control over bus routes. He said as a result, the transfer of the funds would enable the District to repay the Retirement/Bond Severance liability earlier than anticipated. Robert Kirk moved to approve the recommendation. Keith Hanauer seconded the motion, which passed by a 7-0 vote.
8. Jr/Sr High School Principal Receives Stipend. Superintendent Sichting recommended the Board approve a stipend of $2,500 for Greg Parsley for his handling of duties of Interim Athletics Director from July 30, 2007 through September 20, 2007. Marvin Helms moved to approve the recommendation. Sandy May seconded the motion. Superintendent Sichting shared that Mr. Parsley oversaw checking eligibility of athletes, physical examinations, officials, and contest dates with other schools. He also stocked and organized concession stands. Steve Dowden said he appreciated Mr. Parsley stepping up and taking over the additional duties. Doug Frye said he felt since Mr. Parsley was a salary employee those duties should be included in his regular salary. The motion passed by a 6-1 vote. Doug Frye cast the nay vote.
9. Agreement With Educational Services Approved. It was recommended the Board approve a proposal to contract with Educational Services Company to:
- assist in monitoring health insurance program
- develop agendas and facilitate insurance committee meetings for corporation
- develop and submit a “Request for Proposal” (RFP) document for receiving health insurance proposals with care to closely match up to the existing provider network utilization
- assist in the review of proposal received
- develop a narrative and comparative document for the insurance committee and School Board to review offers received
- assist in the selection and implementation of selected program
Mr. Sichting said in return for the services rendered the District would compensate Educational Services Company at a rate not to exceed $7,000 plus all travel expense reimbursement. (See Attached) Sandy May moved to approve the recommendation. Keith Hanauer seconded the motion, which passed by a 6-1 vote. Doug Frye cast the nay vote.
10. Board Approves Amendment #1 to Health Insurance Specific Plan Document. It was recommended the Board approve Amendment #1 to the Employee Benefit Trust Summary Plan Description/Master Plan Document. (See Attached) Superintendent Sichting explained that after Dunn and Associates had printed and supplied new Summary Plan Description/Master Plan Documents to all Bloomfield School District employees, it was discovered the wording for the exclusion in the amendment was changed without approval from the administration or the BTA. He said this amendment would reestablish the language in the previous SPD. Steve Dowden moved to approve the amendment. Robert Kirk seconded the motion, which passed by a 7-0 vote.
11. 2007-2008 ECA Recommendations Approved. Board members were provided with ECA recommendations for the 2007-2008 school year from Mr. Parsley and/or Mr. Hudson. Superintendent Sichting included his support of these recommendations. Leslie Gillespie was recommended to serve as 8th Grade Girls’ Basketball Coach, and Steve Weddle to coach the 7th Grade Girls’ Basketball team. Sandy May made a motion to approve the recommendation. Keith Hanauer seconded the motion, which passed by a 7-0 vote.
12. Out-of-State Twin Rivers Health Careers Field Trip Approved. It was recommended that the Board approve an out-of-state field trip request to allow two Bloomfield students in the Twin Rivers Health Careers class to travel to Louisville, Kentucky, to attend a Health Careers Exposition on Friday, November 9, 2007. (See Attached) Doug Frye moved to approve the trip as requested. Steve Dowden seconded the motion, which passed by 7-0 vote.
13. Three (3) Overnight Student Leadership Academy Field Trips Approved. It was recommended that the Board approve a field trip request to allow members of Student Leadership Academy to travel to three different overnight field trips. November 1-2, 2007 the group would travel to Bloomington, Indiana, December 13-14 they would travel to McCormick’s Creek in Spencer, Indiana, and on February 7-8, 2007 the group would travel back to Bloomington, Indiana. (See Attached) Keith Hanauer moved to approve the trips. Robert Kirk seconded the motion, which passed by a 7-0 vote.
14. Overnight Student Council Field Trip Approved. It was recommended that the Board approve an overnight field trip request to allow six members of the Bloomfield Jr/Sr High School Student Council to travel to a leadership conference in Bloomington, Indiana on November 1, 2007. (See Attached) Sandy May moved to approve the trip as requested. Keith Hanauer seconded the motion, which passed by 7-0 vote.
15. Board Approves Agreement With VALIC. It was recommended the Board authorize an agreement with VALIC Financial Advisors, Inc. to offer a Guided Portfolio Services Program for annuity plans for eligible District employees. (See Attached) Mr. Sichting stated that VALIC Financial Advisors, Inc. is an annuity provider for administrators and non-certified employees at Bloomfield School District. He said those who choose this option would agree to pay an annual fee of $25 and annual participation fees of .60% of assets on accounts with a balance up to $100,000 with the annual participation fee decreasing as the account balance grows. He said this option has no cost to the District. Marvin Helms moved to approve the recommendation. Steve Dowden seconded the motion, which passed by a 7-0 vote.
16. Collective Bargaining Update. Superintendent Sichting told the Board that the bargaining process between the School Board and the Bloomfield Teacher’s Association had begun. He explained that the two groups had met earlier in the evening, had good discussions and the Board had heard BTA’s proposal. Mr. Sichting said the next bargaining session is scheduled for November 5, 2007.
17. Report From Hearing With Indiana Department of Local Government Finance (D.L.G.F.) School Property Tax Control Board. Superintendent Sichting shared that on October 18, 2007, Todd Corn, Bart Beard, Eric Harrah and himself had appeared before the D.L.G.F. tax control board, which is the first step in the approval process of the renovation project that would use the bond instrument for financing. He said the vote ended up being 3-4 against approving the project. Mr. Sichting explained that two of the votes came from people who believe that any facility improvements should be paid for out of the Capital Projects Fund, one person cast a no vote because the District did not have an independent person reviewing the plan, and one nay vote came from a member of the Indiana State Board of Accounts who felt that because it was a two million dollar bond issue, the District was “skirting” the law in terms of a remonstrance. He said the next step is to take the request to the Commissioner who would either approve the project or reject it. Mr. Sichting said he had written a letter to the Commissioner detailing his concerns, which included the fact that this project had been public for six months with no negative comments coming from our local community, but now have four people in Indianapolis who have concerns about the project.
18. School Safety Information Given. Superintendent Sichting shared that District administrators met with local law enforcement officials on Thursday, August 9, 2007 and Tuesday, September 18, 2007 to discuss school safety issues. He said that the District’s school safety plan is a document requiring constant amendments and changes. Mr. Sichting continued that school district administrators also took part in the Greene County school safety meeting on Tuesday, October 16, 2007 at the Greene County 4-H Fairgrounds.
19. Fire Marshall Visit and Certification. Superintendent Sichting told the Board that the Fire Marshall had conducted an inspection of the facilities of Bloomfield School District on Wednesday, September 19, 2007. (See Attached) He said that after completing the inspection, the Deputy State Fire Marshall concluded the premises were in satisfactory status and no remedial action was necessary. Mr. Sichting commended Mr. Parsley, Ms. Mary Jane Vandeventer, and Allen Toon for the District receiving a good inspection.
20. Board Member Shares Parent Concerns. Board member Steve Dowden shared some concerns he had received from Bloomfield athlete parents. He said that he had been hearing some negative comments from parents who have been hearing that elementary basketball practices and game schedules have both been cut in terms of the number of practices and games to be had by the players from previous years. Athletic director Rick Hudson responded that he and computer technology coordinator Michelle Mattox had been spending a considerable amount of time researching the computer program that had been purchased last year to assist in the scheduling process. Mr. Hudson assured the Board that he was looking into rectifying the situation as soon as possible. He explained that the number of practice and games would be increased soon.
21. Adjournment. There being no further business Robert Kirk moved to adjourn. Keith Hanauer seconded the motion. The meeting was then adjourned by a 7-0 vote.