Guilford County Board of Education
Call to Order and Pledge of Allegiance
Chairman Boykin called the meeting to order at 6:46 p.m. Board member Johnny Hodge led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Chairman Boykin recognized the following citizens who addressed comments to the Board:
Dana Simel, 2 Montrose Court, Greensboro, NC 27410
Approval of Agenda
Chairman Boykin asked Board members to review the meeting agenda and called for a motion to approve or revise it. Board Member Darlene Garrett requested the Board discuss Linkage Plans during Reports from the Chairman. Board Member Dot Kearns requested the opportunity to add information to the William Penn Alfred J. Griffin Addition Consent Agenda item. Motion was made by Garry Burnett, seconded by Pam Allen, to approve the agenda as revised. The motion passed by unanimous voice vote.
Dr. James Johnson, UNC Kenan Center Presentation on Demographics (EL-10)
Dr. Johnson shared his thoughts on post-1990 demographic changes in the United States and the resulting implications and challenges for school districts. He specifically discussed the role immigration is playing in changing the racial and ethnic compilation of the United States population, including the school age population.
In the year 1995, he said Hispanics made up 10.2 percent of the U.S. population, while projections for the year 2050 show they will make up 24.5 percent of the nation's population. North Carolina, more than any other state, he said, saw the highest percentage of increase in immigrants from 1995 to 1999, with 73 percent growth. Due to this influx, the state's population increased by 1,420,676 people or 52% from 1990 to 2000.
The percent of net population growth attributable to non-whites in Guilford County between 1999 and 2000 was 70%. In 2000, almost 16,000 of Guilford County's 421,048 population were Hispanics and Latinos. During 1999-2000, Guilford County's under-18 population increased 28.5 percent or 99,839 people. Hispanics were the fastest growing group, increasing by 465.8 percent during that year. Guilford County's school age population increased by 54.9 percent, or 37,565 students, between April 1, 1999 and April 1, 2000.
The implications of the increase in immigrant population for public schools include the need to:
Dr. Johnson also presented the challenges public schools will face due to this change in population:
Board member Johnny Hodge departed at 8:30 p.m. and did not return for the remainder of the meeting.
Budget Update (EL-7)
Sharon Ozment, Chief Financial Officer, reported to the Board the status of the district's budget following the state's approval of the state budget in September. Ms. Ozment reminded the Board, that in June while balancing the budget, the Board made budget reductions of $7.8 million. Those reductions were made based on calculations of the Senate's budget recommendations at that time as the House of Representatives had not yet adopted their budget. Based on the Senate's recommendations, it was known that the school district would be $2 million short in local funding, and anticipated a shortfall of $5.8 million in state funds.
After carefully analyzing the state budget's various categories, Ms. Ozment and her staff have determined that the state cuts were approximately $4.5 million, not $5.8 million as expected. This resulted in the school district having approximately $1.3 million available for allocation. It was also discovered that the state budget contained 37 additional teaching positions. However, Ms. Ozment alerted the Board that she anticipates additional state funding cuts in the next few years.
Superintendent Grier presented the following recommendations for allocating the approximately $1.3 million funds available based upon Board of Education established goals and priorities:
Superintendent Grier further explained that the additional teaching positions give the Board the option of adding staff to expand elementary specialists and in return increase planning time for kindergarten through fifth grade teachers. Last year, the Board of Education included in its Ends Policies, the desire for all students to become proficient in a second language. Superintendent Grier and his staff, looking for a solution to the addition of planning time, considered adding elementary Spanish two days per week in grades three through five as a possible solution for both issues. Superintendent Grier reported that some language experts recommend that, at a minimum, a second language should be offered two days per week for 35 to 40 minutes. The additional Spanish teachers would add approximately two days of 35-40 minutes of planning time to third through fifth grade teachers and allow for a redistribution of art, music, and physical education specialists, which would provide a fourth day of planning for kindergarten through second grade teachers. Superintendent Grier stressed that this plan would not result in the loss of jobs for current art, music, or physical education teachers.
Realizing that it would be extremely difficult to employ 37 quality Spanish teachers in the middle of the year, and that making a massive change in the specialists' schedules in all schools at mid-year could be too disruptive, the administration recommends postponing full implementation of the program until the beginning of the 2003-04 school year. Interested schools can volunteer to be early implementers of the program during the second semester of the current school year. Volunteer schools would then help develop the curriculum.
Motion was made by Pam Allen, seconded by Dot Kearns, to accept the administration's proposal for the utilization of the approximately $1.3 million available as a result of the state budget to fund a teacher salary supplement, reinstate two psychologist positions, add four additional ESOL teachers, add a Director of ESOL Programs, and give a one-time bonus for classified employees. The motion failed upon a tie roll call vote as follows: Ayes - Pam Allen, Garry Burnett, Dot Kearns, and Calvin Boykin; Noes - Darlene Garrett, Kris Cooke, Dewey Tedder, and Anita Sharpe.
Motion was then made by Anita Sharpe, seconded by Darlene Garrett, that the Board table its vote of the administration's proposal for the utilization of $1.3 million available as a result of the state budget until the November 12, 2002 Regular Monthly Board Meeting. The motion failed upon a tie roll call vote as follows: Ayes - Darlene Garrett, Kris Cooke, Dewey Tedder, and Anita Sharpe; Noes - Pam Allen, Garry Burnett, Dot Kearns, and Calvin Boykin.
Board member Pam Allen made a motion, seconded by Dot Kearns, to accept the administration's proposal to raise the teacher salary supplement by $905,044. The motion passed upon a majority roll call vote as follows: Ayes - Anita Sharpe, Dot Kearns, Garry Burnett, Pam Allen, and Calvin Boykin; Noes - Dewey Tedder, Kris Cooke, and Darlene Garrett.
Board member Anita Sharpe then made a motion, seconded by Kris Cooke, to place in abeyance, the Board's vote of the remaining funds available as a result of the state budget until the November 12, 2002 Board Regular Monthly Meeting. The motion failed upon a majority roll call vote as follows: Ayes - Darlene Garrett, Kris Cooke, and Anita Sharpe; Noes - Pam Allen, Garry Burnett, Dot Kearns, Dewey Tedder, and Calvin Boykin.
Motion was then made by Pam Allen, seconded by Kris Cooke, to allocate funds to reinstate two psychologist positions that were eliminated during the adoption of the 2002-2003 budget. The motion passed upon a majority roll call vote as follows: Ayes - Dewey Tedder, Dot Kearns, Garry Burnett, Kris Cooke, Pam Allen, Darlene Garrett, and Calvin Boykin; Noes - Anita Sharpe.
Board member Pam Allen then made a motion, seconded by Dewey Tedder, to provide classified employees a one-time bonus of $50 or a total amount not to exceed $205,000 prior to the winter Holiday break. Pam Allen called the question ending discussion of the motion. The motion passed upon a majority roll call vote as follows: Ayes - Pam Allen, Kris Cooke, Garry Burnett, Dot Kearns, Anita Sharpe, and Calvin Boykin; Noes - Darlene Garrett.
Motion was then made by Pam Allen, seconded by Dewey Tedder, to allocate funds to add four additional ESOL teachers and to hire a Director of the ESOL Program. The motion passed upon a majority roll call vote as follows: Ayes - Dewey Tedder, Dot Kearns, Garry Burnett, Kris Cooke, Pam Allen, and Calvin Boykin; Noes - Anita Sharpe and Darlene Garrett.
Motion was made by Pam Allen, seconded by Dot Kearns, to accept the administration's proposal to hire Spanish teachers, not to exceed 37 positions. The motion passed upon a majority roll call vote as follows: Ayes - Darlene Garrett, Pam Allen, Kris Cooke, Garry Burnett, and Dot Kearns; Noes - Dewey Tedder and Anita Sharpe.
Construction Projects Update (EL-9)
EJ Deering, Executive Director of Program and Construction Management, updated the Board on the current status of the construction projects throughout the school district. To date, 17 of the 30 bond program projects have been completed. All but one of the bond program's construction contracts has been let. All of the construction funds in the $200 million bond program have been committed with the exception of the $24+ million dollars for Dudley High School.
Mr. Deering reported that during the months of August, September, and October, a total of 1202 seats were added to the school district. Of those 1202 seats, 906 were added in elementary schools: 74 seats added at Allen Jay; 210 at Cone; 140 at Frazier; 102 at Millis Road; 113 at Sedgefield; and 128 at Wiley. The remaining 296 seats were added at Jamestown Middle School. In addition to classroom space, each school received a complete technology up-grade.
Mr. Deering also reported to the Board that two projects were behind schedule: Frazier and Sedalia Elementary Schools. The Frazier project is lacking the certification of the retention pond that is currently in the process of being completed. The Sedalia project was to be completed September 23, but will be delayed until the end of October. The Brightwood Elementary School project, scheduled to be completed by October 28, will possibly not be completed until the last week of November due to soil problems at the beginning of the project. In addition to the soil problems, an old underground oil storage tank was also encountered which had to be removed. Monitoring wells were installed and left in place for a year to ensure all the contaminated soil had been removed. No contamination was found following the year waiting period. While these three projects will not be completed on their original scheduled completion dates, Mr. Deering reported that there would not be any delay in occupying the school building as scheduled. Sedalia Elementary students will move into their new wing following the Thanksgiving Holiday. Brightwood students will occupy their new building in January, upon return from the Winter Holiday.
Mr. Deering updated the Board on three projects scheduled for completion in December: Florence, where the food service building is already complete, Lindley, and Grimsley. Both Florence and Lindley are currently on schedule to be wrapped up by their December completion dates. The remaining projects are on target to be completed as scheduled: Tomlinson - January 2003; Griffin - February 2003; Gillespie - March 2003; Triangle Lake Elementary - by the beginning of the 2003/2004 school year; and Page - October of 2003.
There are two projects currently under design: Dudley High School and Oak Ridge Elementary. Dudley is scheduled to be ready for bids the last part of November. Schematic design is complete for the Oak Ridge project and the project is currently scheduled to be ready for bids in February of 2003.
Land for Allen Jay Middle School Replacement (EL-9)
(This item was removed from the Consent Agenda and considered as a separate item following the Construction Projects Update.) Superintendent Grier presented for the Board's approval, a recommendation to purchase two parcels of land on Drake Road opposite Southern High and Southern Elementary Schools for the proposed Allen Jay Middle Replacement School. The site on two parcels has approximately 48 acres and there is the possibility of a third parcel of approximately 26 acres should watershed restrictions warrant the need for additional land.
The owners of the northern parcel of the site are Jacqueline E. Cox and J. Darrell East, heirs of Grace East. This parcel at 5745 Drake Road contains approximately 28.25 acres excluding state-claimed right-of-way. The asking price for this parcel is $249,000. The appraised value adjusted to the survey dated August 20, 2002 is $240,350. The owners of the southern parcel are Delores Smith, Judith York, and Leslie D. Smith. This parcel at 5751 Drake Road contains approximately 20.104 acres outside of state claimed right-of-way. The asking price for this parcel is $235,200. The appraised value adjusted to the actual survey dated July 16, 2002 is $237,700.
Superintendent Grier recommended the Board approve the acquisition of the two parcels as described contingent upon successful results in two areas. First, that the administration receive approval from the county commissioners to extend a sewer line, at the district's expense, from the site to the present Southern schools site in order to connect to the force main already planned and approved for schools on the present Southern site. The county commission will review this request at their November 21 meeting. Second, that the administration receive a satisfactory phase one environmental study of the two parcels, which is already underway. Superintendent Grier also asked the Board to authorize the appropriate staff members to work with the Board's attorney to exercise the option to purchase once the two conditions have been completed favorably.
Motion was made by Anita Sharpe, seconded by Kris Cooke, to accept the recommendations of the administration with the conditions for purchase presented. The motion passed upon unanimous roll call vote.
William Penn-Alfred J. Griffin Middle School Addition (EL-8)
(This item was removed from the Consent Agenda and considered as a separate item following the Construction Projects Update.) Superintendent Grier presented for the Board's approval, a change order to Brooks General Contractors in the amount of $1,118,337.00 for the new performing arts addition at William Penn-Alfred J. Griffin Middle School. In March, 2002, the Board approved decreasing the Western High School project ordinance in the amount of $700,000 and to transfer those funds to William Penn-Alfred J. Griffin Middle School project, which increased that project ordinance to $6,700,000 to help offset the cost of a new performing arts addition. The $700,000 plus funds remaining after finalizing the original William Penn - Alfred J. Griffin Middle School C-Cap contracts are sufficient to cover the single prime proposal from Brooks General Contractors of $1,118,337. The onsite multiple prime contractors combined quote for the addition was $1,335,719.48.
Superintendent Grier also requested the Board's authorization for the appropriate staff members to issue Brooks General Contractors a notice to proceed with construction of the new addition while also authorizing the architect to prepare the change order for execution by the contractor.
Motion was made by Pam Allen, seconded by Dot Kearns, to approve the construction change order for the William Penn-Alfred J. Griffin Middle School project. The motion passed upon unanimous roll call vote.
Board member Dot Kearns, on behalf of the William Penn-Alfred J. Griffin Middle School project team, made a recommendation to name the new performing arts addition the John Coltrane Hall of Music and Dance. Following discussion, motion was made by Dot Kearns, seconded by Pam Allen, to accept the recommendation of the project team for the naming of the performing arts addition at William Penn-Alfred J. Griffin Middle School. Several Board members expressed concern as to whether or not the district's procedure for naming schools was followed in this instance. The above stated motion was then amended by Dot Kearns, seconded by Pam Allen, to table the proposal and to advertise the project team's recommendation on the district's website for a period of 30 days, at which time any objections would be presented to the Board for consideration. If no objections are reported, the naming of the John Coltrane Hall of Music and Dance would become official. The amended motion passed upon unanimous roll call vote.
Motion was then made by Dot Kearns, seconded by Kris Cooke, to instruct staff that in the future when information regarding the naming of schools is received from citizens, all materials and any part thereof, be given to the members of the project team for review and ultimately to the full Board for its review. Dewey Tedder called the question and ended discussion of the motion. The motion passed upon a majority roll call vote as follows: Ayes - Darlene Garrett, Pam Allen, Kris Cooke, Garry Burnett, Dot Kearns, and Dewey Tedder; Noes - Calvin Boykin. Board member Anita Sharpe was absent from the vote, as she departed at 11:12 p.m. and did not return for the remainder of the meeting.
A. School Improvement Plans (E-2)
The Consent Agenda included the Board's approval of School Improvement Plans (SIPs). The North Carolina legislation requires SIPs to be developed on a three-year cycle with annual updates in the interim two years. Guilford County SIPs were last developed in 1999. The development of new SIPs provides an opportunity for the school district to reaffirm its commitment to excellence and to provide all stakeholders - teachers, students, parents, staff, administration, and community - an opportunity to participate in establishing the key elements of that commitment. Each school's School Improvement Plan is posted on the district's web site at www.gcsnc.com. In addition, principals will hold town hall style meetings with members of their school communities to review the school's improvement plan.
B. 2003-2004 School Calendar (EL-14)
The Consent Agenda included the Board's approval the 2003-2004 school calendar. After receiving public comment on the proposed calendar as placed on the website in March 2002, the calendar was modified and again placed on the website to receive additional public comments. The proposed calendar for the 2003-04 school year meets all criteria as outlined in Policy EL-14.
C. North State Communications Easement for Triangle Lake Elementary School (EL-9)
The Consent Agenda included the Board's approval of granting North State Communications an easement that would allow them to install and maintain a fiber optics communication pedestal on the southeast corner of the Triangle Lake Elementary School property. North State Communications in exchange, has agreed to bury its communication lines that run along the whole road frontage of Triangle Lake Elementary School at no cost to the school system. A masonry fence to match the school and retaining walls will also be constructed around the fiber optics pedestal.
Motion was made by Kris Cooke, seconded by Garry Burnett, to approve the consent agenda as presented. Items A and C were approved upon a majority roll call vote as follows: Ayes - Darlene Garrett, Kris Cooke, Garry Burnett, Dewey Tedder, and Calvin Boykin; Noes - Dot Kearns. Item B, 2003-2004 School Calendar, failed upon a tie roll call vote as follows: Ayes - Kris Cooke, Garry Burnett, and Calvin Boykin; Noes - Darlene Garrett, Dewey Tedder, and Dot Kearns.
Reports from the Chairman (GP-5)
Board member Darlene Garrett reported that the Linkage Committee met recently to discuss ways in which the Board's Linkage Meetings could be improved. Ms. Garrett shared a proposed schedule for "Town Hall" styled meetings to be held in each district. Board members were asked to review the proposed schedule and provide feedback to Ms. Garrett, Ms. Allen, or Ms. Kearns. In addition to the Town Hall meetings, the Linkage Committee recommends the Board continue to hold monthly Linkage meetings prior to Board of Education meetings.
Chairman Boykin reported to the Board that he had recently attended the Council of Great City Schools Fall Conference. Superintendent Grier shared with the Board that Chairman Boykin had been elected to serve on the Council of Great City Schools' Executive Committee.
At 11:43 p.m., motion was made by Dewey Tedder, seconded by Kris Cooke, to move to closed session to discuss the lawsuit entitled Family Focus, Inc. v. the Guilford County Board of Education. The motion passed by unanimous voice vote.
The Board returned to open session at 11:51 p.m.
Board Comments (GP-2)
Board members were each allowed two minutes to make remarks, as they deemed appropriate.
With no further business, at 11:52 p.m., motion was made by Dewey Tedder, seconded by Kris Cooke, to adjourn the meeting; the motion passed by unanimous voice vote.