02-16-2010 Board Policy Workshop


The School Board of Brevard County, Florida met for a Board Policy Workshop on Tuesday, February 16, 2010, at the Educational Services Facility, 2700 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Viera, Florida. Notice of the meeting was advertised in The Eagle newspaper on Thursday, February 11, 2010 and the affidavit of publication with a copy of the ad attached is filed in the Affidavit File in the Board Office.

Opening Exercises
1. Opening Exercises

Minutes: Chairman Amy Kneessy called the School Board Workshop of February 16, 2010 to order at 3:05 p.m.

Roll Call
2. Roll Call


Members Present: Dr. Barbara Murray, Amy Kneessy, Karen Henderson, Andy Ziegler

Robert Jordan absent due to surgery.

Dr. Bobay, Area IV Superintendent, updated the Board on Mr. Jordan's progress.


Pledge of Allegiance
3. Pledge of Allegiance

Minutes: The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Chairman Kneessy.

Order of Business
4. Welcome/Purpose of Workshop


Ms. Kneessy explained that the purpose of this workshop was due to a recent Florida School Boards Association (FSBA) workshop on Board Policy. The Board felt they needed a general discussion regarding the role of the Board as it relates to policies and procedures.

5. Opening Remarks


Lee Berry, Deputy Superintendent of Human Resource, gave a brief overview on the agenda for the workshop and a history of the how the district partnered with Neola.



6. Presentations


Harold Bistline, School Board Attorney, reviewed what the Statutes and the Constitution prescribe as the authority and the responsibilities of the School Board and the Superintendent. He also reviewed the Administrative Procedures Act which is applicable to the School Board which dictates how the Board adopts, changes and revokes policies.

Mr. Bistline turned the workshop over to Dr. Dick Clapp, Representative to Neola, Inc.

Dr. Clapp thanked the Board for the opportunity to address them. He went over the process of how Neola, Inc. works with Brevard County Schools.

Mr. Ziegler asked why we are making policy on positions before it is mandated by the State. Dr. Clapp states that when you already have policy in place you can help shape legislation.

Ms. Kneessy stated that the policies are only as good as the people that know them. She questioned how the School District manages all the current policies. Dr. Clapp stated there are three steps that the schools need to do to make the policies easier. First step is to have policies that are legally correct and current. Step Two is having the procedures in place to implement the policies. The Final step is in training. The training piece is an often missed opportunity to make the policy manual a more functional document.

Discussion ensued between Dr. Clapp and Ms. Kneessy regarding the Dress Code Policy and its implementation at the school level.

Dr. Murray commented about the amount of policies that the district currently has and that writing and expanding on more policies complicates the issue of implementation.

Ms. Kneessy questioned Dr. Clapp on how the Board can be more involved in policy making instead of the last stop before implementation. Dr. Clapp stated that when the Board receives the policy on the information agenda, that is when the Board Members can have the most input regarding the particular policy.

7. School Board Discussion/Questions


Ms. Kneessy questioned whether there was a mechanism in place for Board processes for policy additions, revisions, and time lines. FSBA stated that the district should have a policy that outlines how we do our revisions etc. Dr. Clapp stated that Chapter 120 of the Florida Statutes defines the process for rule making. Dr. Clapp stated that most clients deal with policy twice a year.

Ms. Kneessy stated that she would like to see the district go to reviewing policy twice a year (fall/Spring). Mr. Berry stated that timing is an issue because the legislation implementation is July 1st.

Mr. Ziegler stated that there are different reasons and time frames to bring policies for approval. He questioned when it is appropriate to address certain types of situations. Dr. Clapp stated the Board can process a policy whenever the need arises.

Ms. Kneessy requested to the District to place on the information agenda at an upcoming Board Meeting regarding Administrators Advocation a Stricter Dress Code for their Schools.

Dr. Murray informed the Board regarding a conversation that occurred between herself and Mr. Berry regarding the Attendance Policy 5200 and how it is driving students involved in sports, drama, and other activities to attend private schools and virtual schools. Dr. Binggeli stated that this is an implementation concern and will be addressed at school level.

In regard to School Board Policy 5610-Removal, Suspension and Expulsion of Student, Dr. Murray stated she is not particularly unhappy with the policy but noted that other districts Board Members are further removed from the expulsion process and are able to enter the hearings with an unbiased opinion. Dr. Murray gave an example to back her viewpoint and noted that the Board may want to revisit our processes.

Discussion ensued amongst the Board on their various viewpoints.

Ms. Henderson stated that this needs to take another look at the Out-of -Area Policy and see how we are implementing them and make sure we are limiting them in schools that are at a high enrollment count. 

Dr. Binggeli stated that we need to take a new look given our new reality at the administrative procedures that are utilized to implement the policy that states we have rules in place that govern the out of areas.

Ms. Henderson requested the district take another look on how the out-of-areas are being handled including the McKay Scholarships. She would like the district to determine whether there needs to be a policy/procedures or if the current policy/procedures are going to work.

Discussion ensued amongst Ms. Henderson, Dr. Binggeli, Betty Dunn, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services; Steve Muzzy, Assistant Superintendent of Information Technologies; and Mr. Bistline regarding the verification of residence to help in reducing parents that  state they live in a schools attendance area and in actuality live in another schools attendance area.

Ms. Kneessy questioned what training is in place when new or revised policies are implemented. Mr. Berry stated that the Senior Staff personnel is responsible for the training when a new or revised policy is implemented. The district is currently looking at our training process to ensure it is being conveyed to the building principals.

Dr. Binggeli stated these policies are also brought up at the Leadership Team meetings especially when there are critical policy changes.

8. Strategic Plan Operational Expectations
Attachment: 2010 Strategic Goals.pdf

Dr. Binggeli reviewed the attached Strategic Plan Operational Expectation. He stated that these goals are the general operational expectations and once the Board agrees that these goals should be guiding our work, then the district will develop the specificity around these goals.  

Dr. Murray stated that she likes it, it's simplified and it's clear. She commended Dr. Binggeli and his staff for bringing this forward.

Ms. Kneessy reiterated what was stated by Dr. Murray. She also mentioned that the district has needed this for a long time. Dr. Binggeli stated that there is going to be a lot of meat on the bones behind it.

Ms. Henderson stated that she was thrilled when it was presented to her. It brings the important things, in a simplified fashion, to light. This is what the Board has been asking for and reiterated how much she likes it.

Closing Remarks
9. Closing Remarks

Minutes: Ms. Kneessy stated since there is no further business that needs to come before the Board, the meeting is adjourned.

10. Adjournment

Minutes: The School Board Workshop was adjourned at 4:41 p.m.