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Board of Education Meeting Recap - October 5, 2020

Board of Education Meeting Recap 
 
 
The following is a brief recap of the October 5, 2020 Monthly Meeting:
 
Closed Session
Due to a technical issue with the meeting live stream, the Board amended its agenda to begin its meeting with Closed session.

Open Session
After Closed session, the Board returned to Open session and heard an update from the North Carolina School Boards Association regarding its superintendent search process. The NCSBA's presentation focused on recent staff and parent/community surveys which were completed and the qualities respondents wanted to see in the next superintendent. Click on Link to view the presentation materials.
 
Following the NCSBA update, interim superintendent James Merrill and School Operations Specialist, LLC, president Aaron Beaulieu presented the FY 2020-2021 Budget. Dr. Merrill started with a budget background refresher highlighting slides from Mr. Beaulieu's June 29 Finance presentation.  Dr. Merrill reminded the Board about the contributing factors that led to the district's budget shortfalls, and shared details about increased benefits trends, enrollment declines and key audit details noting when the declines began. He closed the refresher with information compiled from the Public School Forum of North Carolina noting that Wayne County spends proportionately less tax revenue on K-12 schools than other counties with similar ability to pay. Dr. Merrill then talked about the district's initial $5 million in budget cuts made in July and why some reductions were insufficient.  
 
Following the initial budget presentation, he and Mr. Beaulieu walked the Board through the Budget document, noting introductory pages which included: the $187 million budget at a glance, the budget development process, school performance and graduation information, teacher information, membership information enrollment trends, per pupil spending, county effort to support schools, COVID-19 Response funding, WCPS facilities information, budget assumptions and risks, and deferred needs. Mr. Beaulieu also warned the Board that it needed to closely monitor expenditures, as well as all available revenue streams, as the district has very little cushion to absorb budgets that enter the red. Following the presentation of the Budget, Dr. Merrill presented a number of financial strategies needed to be put in place this year, including: a second year of austerity to shore up finances and begin repayments to the State and the local school nutrition fund, maintaining a hiring freeze, eliminating Instructional Assistant vacancies, a continued tightening of teacher allotments to more align with State allotments, and non-renewing first and second year teachers (BT1 & BT2) at the end of the year with the option to rehire. Dr. Merrill noted that there should be no need to implement a reduction in force or make cuts to employee supplements. He then shared next steps for the Board, including the timeline for developing the 2021-2022 budget. Click on the Link to view the entire presentation and budget. 
 
Following the budget presentation, the Board heard a Federal Programs overview presentation, led by Dr. Carol Artis, Executive Director of Federal Programs, and her team. Click on Link to view the presentation 

The Board was then presented a number of policies for first read. The Board also discussed Policy 2322. Vice-Chair Strickland polled the Board about whether they would like to remain with the current policy or have the Policy committee consider proposed revisions. Ms. Burden felt some revisions were needed. Mr Henderson was not in favor of the current policy or the proposed revisions. All other Board members were in favor of remaining with the current Policy 2322. Following the poll, the Board entered Board Action.
 
Board Action
 
The Board was first presented a budget calendar to finalize the FY 2020-2021 budget and developing the FY 2021-2022 budget  Ms. Burden motioned to approve the calendar, Dr. Democko seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.
 
The Board then voted to adopt the 2020-2021 Budget.  Mr. Henderson motioned to adopt the budget  as presented, Mr. Faulk seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.
The Board was presented the following policies:
 
Policy 2320-Compliance with the Open Meetings Law
AR 3400-R Grading Practices
Policy 3410-Testing and Assessment Program
Policy 3620-Extracurricular Activities and Student Organizations
Policy 4300-Code of Student Conduct
Policy 6200-Goals of School Nutrition Program
Policy 6210-Organization of School Nutrition Program
Policy 6220-Operation of School Nutrition Program
Policy 6227-School Nutrition Meal Charges
Policy 6230-School Meal and Competitive Foods Standards
Policy 8300-Fiscal Management Standards
 
Mr. Henderson motioned to approve the policies with a technical correction noted by the attorney for Policy 3410. Vice-Chair Strickland seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
 
Vice-Chair Strickland had some questions about Policy 4270-Concussion and Head Injury and whether parents should go through a required concussion awareness training before every season if they have a child that participates in multiple sports. Dr. Harrell confirmed that it was a requirement from the NCHSAA. Vice-Chair Strickland then motioned to approve Policy 4270. Mr. Henderson seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
 
Dr. Yvette Smith Mason, assistant superintendent for Human Resources, presented a Memorandum of Agreement between Wayne Community College and Wayne County Public Schools specific to work-based learning internships. Mr. Henderson motioned to approve the MOU, Ms. Burden seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.
 
Beverly Boltinhouse, Director of Career & Technical Education, presented two memorandums of agreement. The first was between Goldsboro Fire Department and Goldsboro High for its Fire Fighter Technology Program. The second was between Grantham Fire Department and Southern Wayne High for its Emergency Technician Program. Ms. Burden motioned to approve the MOUs, Ms. Faulk seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.

Dr. David Lewis, interim finance director, presented a list of contracts. Mr. Henderson motioned to approve the contracts, Mr. Leatham seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.
 
Dr. Tim Harrell, assistant superintendent for support services, presented a contract for propane and heating oil. Mr. Leatham motioned to approve the contract pending legal review, Dr. Democko seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.
 
Dr. Yvette Smith Mason, assistant superintendent for Human Resources & Professional Development, and her team presented an overview of the district's Beginning Teacher program. The Board was then presented a Beginning Teacher Support Plan to be submitted to NCDPI upon Board approval. Mr. Henderson motioned to approve the plan, Mr. Faulk seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.
 
Before moving to closing comments, the Board approved its consent agenda, which included past meeting minutes, a personnel report, student reassignments/transfer requests, donations, surplus inventory, and school advisory council appointments.  
 
The full meeting can be watched by clicking on Video Link. This meeting and past meeting videos can be viewed by clicking on the following Board Meeting Videos Link. The full October 5, 2020 Meeting agenda and associated materials presented to the Board can be viewed by clicking on Meeting Link.
   
 
 
 

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