MINUTES

 

POINTE COUPEE PARISH SCHOOL BOARD

 

337 Napoleon Street

New Roads, LA  70760

 

REGULAR SCHOOL BOARD MEETING

Thursday, November 16, 2017

 

The Pointe Coupee Parish School Board met for their regular monthly meeting on Thursday, November 16, 2017, at 337 Napoleon Street in New Roads, Louisiana 70760.  President Anita LeJeune called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m.

 

Mr. Myron Brown was requested to provide the invocation.

 

The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Board Member Leslie Grezaffi.

 

Board members in attendance when the roll was called were:  Frank Aguillard, Brandon Bergeron, James Cline, Leslie Grezaffi, Bobby Jarreau, Anita LeJeune and Thomas Nelson.

 

School System Administrative Staff in attendance were: Kevin Lemoine, Superintendent; Lacey Bueche, Director of Accountability & Technology; Amanda Craighead, Supervisor of Head Start; Gayle Daigle, Chief Financial Officer; Lisa D’Aquila, Personnel Director; Andrew Duhe’, Director of Maintenance/Support Services; Karla Jack, Chief Academic Officer & Federal Programs’ Director; Tabitha Ransom, Supervisor of 21 CCLC; and Mary Wells, Special Education Supervisor; Natalie Aguillard, Principal of Rosenwald Elementary; Myron Brown, Principal of Upper Pointe Coupee Elementary; Kim Canezaro, Principal of Valverda Elementary; Marcie Cazayoux, Principal of  Rougon Elementary; Stacy Gueho, Principal of Livonia High School and Rob Howle, Chief Program Administrator of the STEM Magnet Academy of Pointe Coupee.

- - - -

Remarks from the Superintendent -   Mr. Lemoine’s remarks began by stating that students and teachers have been recognized at previous monthly School Board meetings but tonight, he would like to recognize the school principals.  Superintendent Lemoine stated that he was a former school principal and it is a difficult job working with students, faculty, staff, parents, etc. Mr. Lemoine announced that he would like the principals to come forward as their name is called and requested that the reporter from The Pointe Coupee Banner, Thea Larson, take a picture for publication on the front page of the paper.  Mr. Lemoine stated as they publish the outstanding accomplishments and academic growth of our parish he would like the citizens of the parish to realize who is responsible for making all of this happen.  Mr. Lemoine also acknowledged that supervisors, directors, also work hard; however, in addition to their administrative duties, it’s the principals that support the teachers’ work in their classrooms.

 

Board Member Chad Aguillard arrived at 5:35 p.m.

 

Mr. Lemoine announced that the Justice Department requested an insurmountable amount of information regarding our school district that is due by December 15, 2017; they also want to visit schools.  Attorney Chris Awad, from the U.S. Department of Justice, and Mr. Hammonds, from HSAG, are scheduled to visit public schools on Monday, November 27 and Tuesday, November 28, 2017.

 

Superintendent Lemoine also announced that State Superintendent John White and several members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will visit the STEM Magnet Academy of Pointe Coupee on November 27th.  Superintendent White is particularly interested in observing the LSU Duel Enrollment Engineering Class that is being piloted at the SMA, with the possibility of expanding the program for Jump Start Students statewide.

 

Superintendent Lemoine announced in an effort to acquire more resources for our school system, central office staff has been busy writing three grants for submission to the Louisiana Department of Education.  He stated that Mrs. Karla Jack led a team that wrote a Struggling Schools Grant; a grant that will support Rosenwald Elementary and Upper Pointe Coupee and Mrs. Lacey Bueche has worked to write the new SRCL Grant that will include all schools throughout the parish.  Mr. Lemoine also mentioned that the staff has also been working on a Rural Communities Grant. He announced that much to everyone’s surprise, according to the LDOE, Pointe Coupee Parish was not classified as a rural school system!  Mr. Lemoine stated that he has been fighting to get that classification and finally received it three months ago.  If the school system is awarded the Rural Communities Grant, it will help certify teachers in our parish; this grant award will be announced the week after the Thanksgiving holidays. 

 

Superintendent Lemoine stated that all teachers and students will be out Monday, November 20, 2017-Friday, November 24, 2017, for the Thanksgiving Holidays; however, the central office and the school offices will be open for business on Monday and Tuesday of next week; all school system services will resume on Monday, November 27, 2017. 

  _ _ _ _

 

Consent Agenda - On a motion by Mr. Thomas Nelson, seconded by Mrs. Leslie Grezaffi, the following consent agenda items were approved for adoption, by an 8-0 vote of the Board:

 

Approval of minutes from the regular School Board meeting of Thursday, October 26, 2017.

 

Approval of minutes from the Executive Committee meeting of Thursday, November 9, 2017.

_ _ _ _

 

Receive the Head Start Supervisor’s Report – Mrs. Amanda Craighead announced the monthly Head Start Report has been posted on BoardDocs.

 

Mr. Brandon Bergeron made a motion, seconded by Mr. Bobby Jarreau, to receive the Head Start Supervisor’s monthly report as presented by Mrs. Craighead.  The motion carried by an 8-0 vote of the Board.

  _ _ _ _

 

Discussion and/or Action Regarding Dual Enrollment Implementation of Head Start/LA4 and Pre-K.  Mrs. Amanda Craighead stated that at last week’s Executive Committee meeting there was a brief discussion regarding the possibility of implementing a Head Start/LA 4 & Pre-K dual enrollment plan to fulfil the 153 funded enrollment slots.  Superintendent Lemoine requested to interject something regarding this particular agenda item.  Mr. Lemoine stated that Board Member Chad Aguillard had some very valid concerns last week.  Since that meeting, he and Mrs. Craighead have worked together to try to create a viable plan to make sure that every child in the parish can be served.  The goal of the school system is to have every child Kindergarten ready.  Supt. Lemoine mentioned that they discussed recruiting strategies, one of which is the possibility of transportation changes. He explained that students in overflow areas, that would otherwise be excluded, could be offered transportation via the Morganza bus to fill the available slots in the northern part of the parish at UPCE.  Superintendent Lemoine stated that Mrs. Craighead discussed the dual enrollment idea with the Policy Council and they embraced the idea. Mr. Lemoine stated that he and Mrs. Craighead spoke at length and are committed to making certain that dual enrollment would be the absolute last effort to maintain funding.  Superintendent Lemoine announced that he will have final approval for using dual enrollment seats and will report to the Board upon final approval.

 

Mr. Frank Aguillard made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Leslie Grezaffi, to accept Superintendent Lemoine’s recommendation of strategies to maintain funding of the Head Start Program.  The motion carried by an 8-0 vote of the Board.

 

Board Member Chad Aguillard mentioned that he appreciated Superintendent Lemoine’s interest and leadership with regard to the Head Start Program. 

  _ _ _ _

 

Discussion and/or Action Regarding Monthly Financial Information-   Mrs. Gayle Daigle announced that all financial information had been posted on BoardDocs for members of the Board to review prior to the meeting; she mentioned that copies of the reports are also included in their update folders. The information was also presented to the Finance Committee last week. Mrs. Daigle stated that everything is on line, the sales tax collection for October is slightly up, and hopefully this will continue; projections are also being met.

 

Board Member Frank Aguillard commended Mrs. Daigle for doing a good job.  Mrs. Daigle stated that auditors informed her that everything is on schedule and she expects auditors will have adjustments in December.  Mr. Aguillard inquired about a “hard” number regarding the board’s projected surplus; Mrs. Daigle stated that she doesn’t have an idea of preliminary figures at this particular time. Mr. Aguillard mentioned that property tax statements were mailed out and asked if the school system had started to receive revenue; Mrs. Daigle stated that she had not received any revenue from Ad Valorem.

 

Mr. Thomas Nelson made a motion to approve the monthly financial information.  Mrs. Leslie Grezaffi seconded the motion.  The motion carried by an 8-0 vote of the Board. 

_ _ _ _

 

Discussion and/or Action Concerning 2016-2017 LSERS’ UAL bill for Privatization of Positions.   Mrs. Gayle Daigle posted the letter on BoardDocs that was received from the Louisiana School Employees’ Retirement System (LSERS) informing Superintendent Lemoine of the cost of privatization of two outsourced/contracted positions during the fiscal year.  Mr. Thomas Nelson mentioned that this is a sizeable amount of money owed to LSERS.  Mrs. Daigle stated this year’s cost of the unfunded accrued liability (UAL) is $90,935.04; last year’s cost was $198,722, and the Board voted for annual amortization payments over ten years, rather than paying the lump sum.  Mr. Thomas Nelson asked if the money is available to pay this amount and he was told that it is.  Mr. Brandon Bergeron stated the Finance Committee met and since the money is available, it is their recommendation and the Superintendent’s recommendation to pay the lump sum of $90,935.04 before December 1, 2017, to avoid paying the annual interest rate of 7.125%.  Mr. Chad Aguillard expressed that school systems have to pay for privatization of positions and this is a “bad” law.  Mr. Aguillard stated just think of what the school system could have used this money for if they did not have to pay for this unfunded mandate for two bus drivers that retired. Mr. Brandon Bergeron alluded to the more than $700,000 that has been paid to LSERS over the last five or more years.  Superintendent Lemoine announced that the UAL is a result of the state not paying their portion to the retirement system, so in essence we are paying their bill to LSERS and TRSL.  Mr. C. Aguillard mentioned was the law suit filed by Iberville Parish that we joined in and unfortunately prevailed in the state’s favor rather than the school systems’ favor.

 

Mr. Brandon Bergeron made a motion to pay the lump sum of $90,935.04 to LSERS for privatization cost of two positions in the past year.  Mr. Thomas Nelson seconded Mr. Bergeron’s motion.  The motion carried by an 8-0 vote of the Board.

 

Mr. Lemoine announced that moving forward he is not an advocate for privatizing support worker positions, other than bus drivers; also, a goal will be to pay off the 10-year amortized debt that was incurred last year.

_ _ _ _

 

Presentation Regarding 2016-2017 District/School Performance Scores.  Lacey Bueche, Director of Accountability & Technology, stated that she would like to begin by providing a brief overview (PowerPoint) of the recently released school district’s performance scores.  She mentioned the school system experienced a lot of growth and they have been celebrating the 12.4 point increase in DPS from last year, which was the 2nd highest overall district performance growth in the State of Louisiana.  On Tuesday, November 14, 2017, eighteen teachers were inducted into the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board’s 2017 Teacher Wall of Fame during an Appreciation and Recognition Banquet at Satterfield’s Restaurant. District Performance Scores are calculated based on student achievement on statewide assessments (LEAP, LAA1, and EOC); ACT, graduation rate, and the number of graduates earning college credit and industry-based certifications prior to high school graduation.  Pointe Coupee was one of only seven districts in the state to improve their LEAP (3rd-8th grade statewide assessment) index and had the fourth highest overall LEAP growth in the state. The Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) awarded two schools, Rosenwald Elementary and Valverda Elementary, with the prestigious “Top Gains” status, an honor only given to 7% of schools in 2017.

 

Mrs. Karla Jack, Chief Academic Officer & Federal Programs’ Director, reviewed information regarding the breakdown by student groups. The subgroup information shows how well a school is serving all of its students, as well as the demographic makeup of the school (i.e. economically disadvantaged students, etc).  Board members were informed statistical percentile information regarding all of our schools, as well as other school systems in the state, can be found on the LDOE’s website under the School Finder link (www.louisinaschools.com).

 

The following principals provided information pertaining to their schools’ reports:

 

·        Mrs. Natalie Aguillard, Principal of Rosenwald Elementary School -

 

Ø  Rosenwald’s School Performance Score increased 16.4 points to a 43.9 (D).  This is the first time Rosenwald has ever received a “D” letter grade. Out of 1,267 schools in the state, Rosenwald ranked 21st.

 

·        Mrs. Kim Canezaro, Principal of Valverda Elementary School -

 

Ø  Valverda’s School Performance Score increased 20.5 points to a 95 (B).  Out of 1,267 schools in the state, Valverda ranked 9th in growth

 

·        Mrs. Stacy Gueho, Principal of Livonia High School –

 

Ø  Livonia High School’s ACT index increased 15.7 points, which was the 10th highest increase in the state.  The School Performance Score slightly dropped by 0.9 points, but the school is still ranked as a (C).

 

·        Mrs. Marcie Cazayoux, Principal of Rougon Elementary School –

 

Ø  Rougon was named a Top Gains school in 2016 and managed to maintain its growth from the previous year and increase the SPS by 2.2 points to a 69.6 (C).

 

·        Mr. Myron Brown, Principal of Upper Pointe Coupee Elementary School –

 

Ø  Upper Pointe Coupee experienced steady growth over the past three years and has continued the upward trend.  The school increased their School Performance Score by 7.6 points to a 58.9 (D).

 

·        Mr. Rob Howel, Chief Program Administrator, STEM Magnet Academy of Pointe Coupee

 

Ø  The STEM Magnet does not receive a state issued performance score; however, they do receive a district-issued report card that uses the same metrics as LDOE.  STEM increased its academic performance by 7.2 points and received a 95.1 (B), less than 5 points from an (A) status. Growth was calculated using 2015-2016 state assessment scores of students enrolled in STEM during the 2016-2017 school year.  The school has also far surpassed state averages in ALL subject areas for students demonstrating master of grade-level content.

 

Superintendent Lemoine announced that next year the standards for school evaluation will change; he plans to provide a presentation that will translate the current scores into the new standards.

 

All of the members of the School Board praised the school district’s increased test scores and acknowledged the hard work being done by Superintendent Lemoine, School Principals, and other school system employees.

 

President Anita LeJeune mentioned that members of the School Board adopted a five-year strategic plan, two years ago under the leadership of Superintendent Lemoine, and they should be commended as well. 

_ _ _ _

 

Adjournment - On a motion by Mr. Bobby Jarreau seconded by Mr. Thomas Nelson, the meeting adjourned at 6:20 p.m.

 

____________________________

Anita LeJeune, President

 

_____________________________

Kevin Lemoine, Superintendent