Ashland School District No. 5, Jackson County, Oregon – The Board of Directors met in regular session Monday, May 18, 2009, beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Ashland Middle School Cafeteria, 100 Walker Avenue, Ashland OR 97520. Present were:
Mat Marr ) Board Chair
Ruth Alexander )
Keith Massie )
Heidi Parker )
Amy Patton )
Juli Di Chiro, Superintendent
Amy Korth, Classified Representative
Jeanne Peterson, Administrative Assistant
I. Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 7:03 p.m.
II. Pledge of Allegiance
III. Roll Check
All board members were present.
IV. Welcome Visitors and Acknowledgements
A. Vision and Mission Statement
Board members read the vision and mission statements.
V. Consent Agenda
It was recommended that the Board approve the consent agenda as presented.
A. Approve minutes of special session of March 30, work and executive sessions of April 8, regular session of April 13, and executive session of May 6, 2009.
Minutes were not available for approval.
Tim Brandy, John Muir Elementary Teacher, submitted his letter of intent to retire effective the end of this school year. It was recommended that his retirement be approved as presented.
Rick Shaw, Ashland Middle School WAMS teacher, submitted his letter of intent to retire effective June 30, 2009. It was recommended that his retirement be approved as presented.
C. Approve Bonding of Superintendent and Business Manager
Currently the superintendent and business manager are each bonded in the amount of $100,000. It was recommended that the Board approve the bonding of the superintendent and business manager as presented and that the business manager be responsible to acquire those bonds.
Director Patton moved that the Board approve the consent agenda as presented. Director Alexander seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
VI. Hear Public Requests not a part of the agenda
Public input was received as follows.
Nullify the process of drawing lots to lay off administrators.
Why are principals getting raises. Consider administrative furloughs. Save the Bellview principal.
A. Student and Staff Representative Reports
Amy Korth, Classified Representative, spoke on the classified staff difficulties with the budget reductions.
B. Ashland Schools Foundation
There was no report.
C. Sodexho Scholarship Award
Lydia Tolley of Sodexho presented the Board with a student scholarship check in the amount of $1500.
D. Ashland High School Commencement Activities
The high school graduation will be held on Friday, June 5, in Lithia Park and will begin at 7:00 p.m. Up to five valedictorians will speak this year. The guest speaker is still a surprise for students and the community.
E. Project Management Update
Gary DeCock provided an update on the project management activities.
F. Second Language Task Force Report
Michelle Zundel and Ruth Alexander reported that the charge to the task force was to look at different models of delivering second language to our students. The goal of the committee is to have a strong program for grades 6012. Final recommendations will be made to the Board in October of 2009.
G. Campus Security
Juli Di Chiro recommended that security cameras be installed because there will be some areas created by the new construction that will be difficult to supervise. In addition, we are beginning to experience more vandalism in the community. Ms. DiChiro explained that we are the only district in the region that does not have cameras at the high school; most districts are installing cameras in the elementary schools. The Board needs to consider if it wants to develop a board policy for this issue. The Board would like community and student input on this subject, and agreed to discuss this at a work study session in July.
H. District Financial Report
Due to the time needed for budget development, a financial report was not available.
I. Superintendent Report
Juli Di Chiro reviewed the revenue forecast that came out on May 15. The good news is that the district’s budget has been developed at a level that will be funded. However, with no reserves, we will have difficulty in the second year of the biennium.
VIII. Unfinished Business
There was no unfinished business.
IX. New Business
A. Approve Japan Football Trip
Karl Kemper reported on the proposed Japan Football Trip explaining that there is no cost to the district. Discussion was held regarding the new policy that indicates advance notice of one year. The Board asked that anyone contemplating international travel should work with the superintendent as soon as possible to be sure all of the bases are covered and board members are informed.
Director Massie moved that the Board approve the football team’s trip to Japan this summer. Director Alexander seconded and the motion passed unanimously by roll call vote.
B. Phase III Reductions and Reduction in Force
Juli Di Chiro reviewed the Phase III reductions explaining that the athletic reductions were moved to one summary page based on input from the budget committee. She further explained the elimination of the Educational Services Director position resulting in the layoff of the Bellview Principal, Christine McCollom. Ms. Di Chiro determined who would be laid off prior to realizing new language in the administrative contract indicates the drawing of lots when one or more staff persons have the same seniority date. She then had an administrator draw the lots, and the resulting layoff remained the same.
Public Input was received as follows.
The superintendent has acknowledged that the system of drawing lots is faulty. Why can’t the Board vote to nullify that process. Consider changing other budget reductions to remain the Bellview principal.
Drawing lots was a gross error. The Board should unanimously reject the layoff of Christine McCollom.
I am a substitute educational assistant in the district. I see a lot of waste in the schools. Save money by not paying for cell phones in the district.
Administrators should take more reductions than other employee groups. You need to retain the Bellview Principal as well as the Educational Director.
You will not be able to replace the current Bellview Principal as a resource.
If we do actually lose the current Bellview Principal, please arrange some transition meetings to support and recognize Bellview Parents. Maintain the same academic philosophy of the school.
A lot of work was put into hiring the Bellview Principal. Now the layoff seems abrupt and out of balance. Perhaps the Board should consider its hiring processes so the community is prepared for issues like this.
Bellview has always had a traditional educational approach. During the current principal’s tenure, enrollment has increased while other schools declined. A different principal will have a different style, and then what options do I have for traditional education. Consider this before making your decision.
Board members agreed that difficult decisions have to be made to balance the budget. Ms. Di Chiro recommended that the Board approve the Phase III reductions as presented.
Director Massie moved that the Board approve the Phase III reductions and the recommended employee layoffs as presented. Chair Marr seconded and the motion passed with the following roll call vote: Alexander – yes; Marr – yes; Massie – yes; Parker – yes; Patton – abstain.
The Board recessed at 9:03 p.m. and reconvened at 9:10 p.m.
C. Bond Program Contingency Transfer Request
Due to the cost of overruns in the construction projects, it was recommended that transfers be made from the program contingency to the operational budget. Superintendent Di Chiro reviewed the proposed transfers. She further explained that funds will be coming back to the district contingency as programs close out, so we still anticipate a $2 million balance when projects are completed.
Board members expressed concern over the funds spent on architects, a desire to end up with high quality durable salutations and not to cut corners on things that really matter, an errors and omissions report when projects are finished.
Director Parker moved that the Board approve the recommended transfers from program contingency to the operational budget as recommended. Director Massie seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
D. Heery Contract Extension
Superintendent Di Chiro reported that Heery’s original contract is valid through June. This is a time and expense contract, and we need to extend it until December to complete all projects. It will potentially cost $160,000.
Director Massie moved that the Board approve the Heery Contract Extension as presented. Director Patton seconded and the motion passed with the following roll call vote: Alexander – no; Marr – yes; Massie – yes; Parker – yes; Patton – yes.
X. Board Reports
Board members reported on pay-to-play, the drama program, and the Willow Wind spring concert.
XI. Announcements and Appointments
A. An Executive Session will be held in accordance with ORS 192.660(2)(a)(d) on May 20, 2009, at 8:30 a.m. in the District Board Room to discuss personnel and labor negotiations.
B. A Budget Committee Meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 20, 2009, at 7:00 p.m. in the District Board Room.
C. A Budget Committee Meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 27, 2009, at 7:00 p.m. in the District Board Room.
D. If needed, a Budget Committee Meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 3, 2009, at 7:00 p.m. in the District Board Room.
E. The next regular session will be held on Monday, June 8, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. in the Ashland Council Chambers.
F. The District Retirement Party will be held on June 9, 2009 at 4:00 pm at the Standing Stone.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:41 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by Jeanne Peterson, Administrative Assistant.