06-23-2015 Special School Board Meeting

The School Board of Brevard County, Florida met in special session on Tuesday, June 23, 2015, at the Educational Services Facility, 2700 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Viera, Florida. Notice of the meeting was advertised in the Eagle newspaper on Thursday, June 11, 2015. The affidavit of publication with a copy of the ad attached is filed in the Affidavit File in the Board Office.

A. Call to Order
1. Call to Order

Minutes: Chairman Amy Kneessy called the meeting to order at 10:07 a.m.

A. Roll Call
2. Roll Call

Minutes: Members Present: Misty Belford, John Craig, Amy Kneessy, Andy Ziegler and Karen Henderson who was present via phone.

A. Invocation
A. Pledge of Allegiance
A. Entertainment
A. Emergency Item
A. Adoption of Agenda
3. Adoption of Agenda

Adopt the June 23, 2015 Special School Board Meeting agenda and its revisions.- PASS
Vote Results
Motion: John Craig
Second: Misty Haggard-belford
John Craig- Aye
Misty Haggard-belford- Aye
Karen Henderson- Aye
Amy Kneessy- Aye
Andrew Ziegler- Aye

A. Administrative Staff Recommendations
4. Administrative Staff Recommendations


Approve the applicable listed administrative staff recommendations:

The reclassification/transfer of Rick D. Sheppard from the position of Assistant Principal (10 month) at Stevenson Elementary to the position of Principal at Holland Elementary, on annual contract, effective July 1, 2015.  Annual salary based on grade 26 of the Nonbargaining Salary Administration Program.

The reclassification/transfer of Laura J. Glover from the position of Guidance Service Professional at Southwest Middle School to the position of Assistant Principal (10 month) at Palm Bay Elementary, on annual contract, effective July 1, 2015. Annual salary based on grade 22 of the Nonbargaining Salary Administration Program. 

The reclassification/transfer of James P. Bracken III from the position of Teacher on Assignment at Palm Bay Elementary to the position of Assistant Principal (10 month) at Audubon Elementary, on annual contract, effective July 1, 2015. Annual salary based on grade 22 of the Nonbargaining Salary Administration Program.  

Vote Results
Motion: John Craig
Second: Andrew Ziegler
John Craig- Aye
Misty Haggard-belford- Aye
Karen Henderson- Aye
Amy Kneessy- Aye
Andrew Ziegler- Aye

B. Recognition of Visitors/Guests/Staff
C. Resolutions/Proclamations
D. Presentations
E. Public Comment
5. Public Comment

Minutes: There were no public speakers.

F. Consent
F. Board Office/Superintendent

25. Appoint an Acting Superintendent


Mr. Craig stated that he wanted to make sure that there was a transition plan set up for Dr. Pace to have all the rights and responsibilities as the superintendent as well. 

Mrs. Kneessy said that the Board has her word that she will meet with Dr. Binggeli, Dr. Pace and Dr. Blackburn to make certain everything will go as it should.

Dr. Binggeli also offered his assurance that he will have something in writing by Friday.

Appoint Debra Pace as the acting superintendent effective midnight July 1, 2015 and ending July 19, 2015 at 11:59 p.m.- PASS
Vote Results
Motion: Amy Kneessy
Second: Andrew Ziegler
John Craig- Aye
Misty Haggard-belford- Aye
Karen Henderson- Aye
Amy Kneessy- Aye
Andrew Ziegler- Aye

F. Community Relations

7. PBMHS Stadium Naming Rights Agreement
Attachment: 2015 AgreementSignedCatanese.pdf
Attachment: 2015 FIT Stadium Board Agenda Recommendation.pdf
Attachment: 2015 Stadium or Facility Revenue Share Protocol.pdf
F. Budgeting, Cost Accounting & FTE

8. Budget Amendment #9 - May 31, 2015
Attachment: Budget Amendment #9 - May 31, 2015.pdf
Attachment: May 2015 Budget Amendment Explanations.pdf
F. Accounting Services

9. Warrants for the month of May 2015
Attachment: Warrant List - May 2015.pdf
F. Human Resources

11. Instructional Staff Recommendations
Attachment: Instructional Staff 6-23-15.pdf
12. Administrative & Professional Reappointment Nominations for 2015-2016
Attachment: Administrative and Professional Reappointments - 2015-2016.pdf
F. Office of Professional Learning and Development

13. School Year Calendar Standards and the 2015-2016 School Year Calendar
Attachment: 2015-16 BPS CALENDAR_ Aug 12 start 6.10 update.pdf
F. Title I/Early Childhood Education/Head Start

14. Title I Part A Grant Application
15. Head Start Governing Board and Policy Council Report for March and April 2015
Attachment: GB and PC Monthly Report March 2015.pdf
Attachment: GB and PC Monthly Report April 2015.pdf
F. Students at Risk

16. Department of Juvenile Justice 2015-2016 School Calendar
Attachment: DJJ 2015-2016 Calendar.pdf
F. Central Area Superintendent

17. Field Trip - Satellite High School to FCCLA National Leadership Conference in Washington, DC
Attachment: SHS - FCCLA - CTSO - Summer 2015.pdf
F. District Security

18. 2015-2016 School Resource Officer Agreements
Attachment: 2015-2016 SRO Breakdown w-srtings 5.20.15 hc.pdf
F. Approval of Consent

19. Approval of Consent

Approve the June 23, 2015 Consent Agenda and its revisions.- PASS
Vote Results
Motion: Misty Haggard-belford
Second: Andrew Ziegler
John Craig- Aye
Misty Haggard-belford- Aye
Karen Henderson- Aye
Amy Kneessy- Aye
Andrew Ziegler- Aye

Items Pulled for Discussion
F. Board Office/Superintendent

6. Approval of Superintendent's Employment Agreement Between the School Board of Brevard County and Desmond K. Blackburn, Ed.D.
Attachment: Superintendent Contract.pdf

Mrs. Kneessy asked to pull this discussion item due to the fact that the negotiations were still being made the night before.  She wanted to make sure the Board had been able to look the contract over and ask questions if necessary.

Mrs. Kneessy asked for Mr. Bistline to review the main points of the contract.

Mrs. Belford asked for Mr. Bistline to provide clarification on two points that were not settled until late the night before: salary and severence.

Mr. Bistline said that the salary agreed upon is $210,000 and if the superintendent is let go without cause by the Board, he would be entitled to 20 weeks of salary.

Mrs. Kneessy said that salary increases would be tied to his performance, not what the teachers receive as was with Dr. Binggeli's salary.

Mr. Bistline indicated the contract was very similar to that of Dr. Binggeli's with a few language differences. In substance, it is the same.

Mrs. Henderson asked about the use of the vehicle and the contract states that for personal use, the car must remain in Brevard County.

Mr. Ziegler asked about the language regarding transfering sick leave from Broward.

Mr. Bistline explained that it is part of state and district policy. 

Approve the Superintendent's Employment Agreement Between the School Board of Brevard County and Desmond K. Blackburn, Ed.D.- PASS
Vote Results
Motion: Andrew Ziegler
Second: John Craig
John Craig- Aye
Misty Haggard-belford- Aye
Karen Henderson- Aye
Amy Kneessy- Aye
Andrew Ziegler- Aye

F. Purchasing & Warehouse

10. Purchasing Bids, RFP's, RFQ's and Sales & Services Agreements
Attachment: a - ITB 15-B-075-AL - Cafeteria Ice Cream.pdf
Attachment: b - 15-SC-100-WH - Data Communication Products & Services - Agenda Item.pdf

Mr. Ziegler pulled this item.  He said that he receives a lot of complaints from students about the quality of the ice cream and he asked if anyone had tasted the low fat ice cream that was going to be used.

Kevin Thornton, director of Food and Nutrition Services, answered his questions.


Award the Invitation to Bid (ITB) listed below:

a - ITB #15-B-075-AL - Cafeteria Ice Cream - Food & Nutrition Services

Approve the State Contract (SC) purchase below:

b - C #15-SC-100-WH - Data Communications Products & Services - Educational Technology

Vote Results
Motion: Andrew Ziegler
Second: Misty Haggard-belford
John Craig- Aye
Misty Haggard-belford- Aye
Karen Henderson- Aye
Amy Kneessy- Aye
Andrew Ziegler- Aye

G. Action
H. Information
H. ESE Program Support

20. 2015-2016 AWD (Adults with Disabilities) Grant Application
Attachment: Informational Agenda Item Board.pdf
21. 2015-2016 IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Act) Grant Application
Attachment: IDEA2015-16_RFA.pdf
Attachment: 15-16IDEA PartB Prelim Allocations.pdf
Attachment: 15-16IDEA PK Prelim Allocations.pdf

I. Staff Reports
J. Additional Public Presentations (If Required)
K. Board Member Reports/Discussion Points
22. Marching Band Requirement to Enroll in Music Class with no Waiver or Hardship Availability


Mrs. Kneessy asked to bring this item up as a point of discussion.  It came to her attention via Jane Cline, Central Area superintendent that there were two students at two different schools who wanted to enroll in a music class.  The requirements are for them to be in marching band and there is no waiver or hardship waiver. Mrs. Kneessy commented that marching band is a huge financial and time commitment and does not work for everyone. She understands the reason for this requirement is that no one would sign up for marching band otherwise.  However, she feels that there must be exceptions and is asking the Board to add some sort of waiver process so students can be a part of music and not have to give up one if they cannot be part of marching band.

Mrs. Henderson said that she does not believe that all schools require that.

Mrs. Van Meter said that their instructional level booklet does indicate that if you are in certain levels of band, then yes, you are required to participate in marching band.  She said that when she knew this was going to be a topic of conversation, she contacted several schools and asked what their policies are. She said that everyone  said students are afforded opportunities and their music program directors  work with what is best for the child. For an example she said that one of the football players is in marching band and the school makes allowances for the child to participate in both activities. She said that you can watch marching band and see some football players participate in their football uniforms and perform in the half time programs.  There are times if a compromise cannot be worked out, a student might have to make a choice. Mrs. Van Meter said that if you talk with the DOE, marching band is part of the band program.  She said that is the music that they practice for. That is part of the requirement for the student's grade. However, she said that they work with the children. 

Mrs. Kneessy said that jazz band is not marching band.  She said that she doesn't understand why a student in jazz band is required to be part of marching band.

Mrs. Van Meter responded that the music and the training that they have is part of the regular band program also.

Mrs. Kneessy said that if a child signs up for a drama class, they do not have to be in the spring musical.

Mrs. Van Meter said that when you are in beginning drama, that is true, but once you get up to the upper levels of the drama program, you are required to participate in the performances.

Mr. Ziegler asked "What if the jazz band student plays a cello, what do they do for the marching band?" 

Mrs.Van Meter stated that the strings do not have to be part of the marching bands.

Mr. Ziegler said he does take exception to  requiring anything that has a cost.  He feels this clearly crosses that line.

Mrs. Van Meter responded that there are more than enough opportunities for students to  help earn funds to defray costs.  There are students that do not have to pay, but they must participate in fundraising opportunities.

Mr. Ziegler asked if we have put anything in place to make marching band a PE option to which Mrs. Van Meter responded that is already an option. 

Mrs.Belford asked if we have students that may have to be home to take care of siblings or have to work after school and weekends.  It sounds to me that we would already exclude that child from upper level music classes.

Mrs. Van Meter said that all of those things  are part of that class and in the course description. She said that she does not know of a high school program that will not work with children. However, if they cannot participate in an outside part of the program, then it will not be available to them because they have to participate in all of the parts.

Mrs. Henderson said that band directors have always worked with children to make this an accessible program. She commented that kids that want to be in band know what they are getting into when they sign up.

Mrs. Kneessy said that they had an area superintendent come to her saying that she had two schools that would not make concessions.

Mrs. Van Meter said she could not address those instances as she did not know who they were, but she could give many more examples where the schools do work with students.  She said that it is a co-curricular offering and the students know that going in. 

Mrs. Kneessy said that she feels that unless there is something in writing, then principals can do what they want and this bothers her.

Mrs. Henderson asked if we can we get some more information on this. She doesn't understand why the area superintendent cannot work with these schools.

Mrs. Belford said she feels there is a problem if an area superintendent is giving direction to a principal and the principal is not doing so. As a Board, she feels they need to give direction that, if at all possible, we need to give the students flexibility in certain situations where is is not feasible for them to participate.  Beyond that, communication and expectations and what is in the best interest of the students are critical.

Mr. Craig commented that the fact that we are discussing this means there is a problem.  Staff needs to understand that there is a problem.  We need to figure a way for a solution and make sure that the student comes first.

Van Meter will speak with Ms. Cline and get more information when she returns.

Mrs. Kneessy wanted staff to make an effort to make sure the band fees are more balanced.

Mrs. Van Meter  mentioned that schools develop budgets based on what opportunities they want to provide their students such as travel and competitions.

Mrs. Kneessy said that it was more for what they are spending for individual items.

Mr. Ziegler said that we give clear direction now for all schools to work with all students where needed.

23. Intensive Reading Classes Based on Test Scores


Mrs.Kneessy wanted to discuss how we place students in intensive reading classes when the legislation was passed to not make that a requirement.  She is puzzled, however,  why we are still doing it as a district policy.  She understands that we are using the FAIR testing and we are telling parents that based on their FAIR score, they are being placed.

Mrs. Van Meter said that is but one measure.  She said that what they are looking at is students in grades 7 through 10 that have scored a level 1 or 2 in 2013-14 and 2014 they are placed in the intensive reading.  If they scored above an 84 on the FAIR testing, they would not have to be included. A letter is included for the parent to sign letting them know that they may opt for the child not to be placed in intensive reading.  Mrs. Van Meter continued that the district is still responsible for meeting graduation requirements and they have to pass that 10th grade language arts test to graduate and do not have a lot of opportunity for remedial strategies. They are talking about directive guidance where they are telling parents what should be done to address the deficiencies that this child might have. The parent can make the decision, but they are asking them to sign and make the parents aware that the child must pass the test in order to graduate.  

Mrs. Kneessy asked when are they getting the letter. She said some parents do not know they can opt out. Mrs. Kneessy confirmed that they are not being told they have an option.  Mrs. Van Meter, said that is correct, because it is the best thing for the child. Mrs. Kneessy commented by doing that, we are not including the parent on what is best for the child. Mrs. Van Meter stated that the guidance counselor and the teachers at the school who work with the child.  They know the child, the child's history and strengths and weaknesses in the educational setting.  Mrs. Kneessy asked again where is the parent?  She said that it really bothers her that they are saying they know better than the parent.

Mr. Ziegler expressed that they are  making a recommendation. He said that the issue is whether or not it is clear to the parent that they have an option.

Mr. Craig  said that his son had his transition IEP before the law changed.  As a Board member, he understands the change in the law, but as a parent, all he can do is read it in the paper because no one has contacted him.  He feels that is critical to get that kind of information passed down so that parents understand what the new law means. 

Mrs. Belford agrees that communication is key if we hope to do the best for our kids. She said that we need to get the word out that your child has been identified and is being recommended for participation in this class. The law no longer requires that, but we do feel it is in the best interest of your child based on  these factors, but you have a choice in this and we want  your input on this.  She continued that in addition to input from the parents, we need input from the teachers.

Mrs. Henderson said that she agrees with what everyone is saying, but said that teachers do weigh in. She feels part of the problem is that these changes were made at the last minute and has placed people in a position where they don't know what is happening and there was not time to do anything differently.  She feels that they are doing the best that they can under the circumstances.

Mrs. Kneessy feels that at a minimum the parent of every child that is going into intensive reading needs to get a letter. In the letter, there needs to be a number for someone who will actually return the call and the hours need to be identified.

Mr. Ziegler said that there does need to be a letter and what happens if they don't take the class.  He said that he didn't see where giving a recommendation is telling the parent that the school knows better than them.  He felt that Mrs. Kneessy was too harsh to Ms. Van Meter.    Mrs. Kneessy suggested that he go back and listen to the tape.

Mrs. Belford said that she agrees with Mrs. Henderson that this is where we are at and we just need to move forward and consider the importance of the parents in the conversations and whether that is a letter saying that your child is being recommended for intensive reading because this is what we feel is in the child's best interest based on these factors this is where we are at.  If you are invested in discussing this in more detail or to discuss other option,  then please contact the school. She said this lets them know that it is a recommendation, but we value their input and lets them know they are a partner in their child's education.

L. Superintendent's Report
M. Adjournment
24. Adjournment

Minutes: Chairman Kneessy adjourned the meeting at 11:12 a.m.

For further details pertaining to this meeting, please refer to the published video on the School Board of Brevard County's website (www.brevardschools.org).