12-10-2018 Board Retreat

The School Board of Brevard County, Florida met for a Board Retreat on Monday, December 10, 2018, at the Melbourne Chamber of Commerce, 1005 E. Strawbridge Ave., Melbourne, FL. Notice of the meeting was advertised in the Eagle newspaper on Thursday, November 29, 2018. The affidavit of publication with a copy of the ad attached is filed in the Affidavit File in the Board Office.

Opening Exercises
1. Welcome and Call to Order

Minutes: Chairman Tina Descovich began the meeting at 9:06 a.m.  She introduced and welcomed Michael Ayers, President of the Melbourne Chamber of Commerce.  She thanked him for allowing the Board to utilize the Chamber for the meeting and offered him time for comments.

Roll Call
2. Members Present

Minutes: Members Present: Misty Belford, Cheryl McDougall, Tina Descovich, Matt Susin and Katye Campbell.

Pledge of Allegiance
Order of Business
3. Agenda
Attachment: December 10, 2018 Retreat Agenda ii (1)(3).pdf

Icebreaker Activity

  • The purpose of this activity was to provide Board members with a way to get to know each other a little better.

Individual Board Member Goals


  • Improved social and emotional work done in schools
    • Ability to track impact
    • Use the program with fidelity
    • Every school should have a social worker
  • Quality education
    • Budget impact "watch list"
    • A teacher response team
      • Recruitment and retention
  • Educate/communicate public on good things being done in our schools and district


  • Career and Technical Education/Trades
  • Athletics
    • Improvements to fields


  • Board development
    • Build sense of team
  • Improve District brand
  • Close opportunity and achievement gaps


  • Communication from District to parent, from District to teacher
    • Help them to see the good face of the District
  • More community involvement
  • Enhanced teacher salaries


  • Improved school security
  • Improved communication and branding
  • Enhanced gifted program
  • Better programs for ALC

Robert's Rules of Order and In-the Sunshine Review

  • General Counsel Amy Envall provided the Board a brief overview.

Process and Inquiries for Board Meeting Agendas

  • Superintendent Mark Mullins facilitated the conversation. He explained that Tammy Aguirre, Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent, had created a tool for Board Requests in SmartSheet.  Members can either submit requests themselves or contact Ms. Aguirre or Ms. Escobar to place a request.  The viability of this tool will be assessed in 60 days.


School Board Working Guidelines

  • Board members made comments and suggestions. 
  • Under The Superintendent Expects section, #2, Board members asked to change "at board  meetings "to"at publically noticed meetings."
  • Number 6 of the same category reads as follows:
    • That the board as a whole will vote to put an item on a future agenda and
      refer to board policy before significant staff time is expended and/or when
      preparing the agenda item would impact meeting previously approved goals.
      • Board members wanted to have the option to send an email to Dr. Mullins for consideration individually.

Board/Community Communication iContact newsletter

  • Dr. Mullins will meet with Matt Reed, assistant superintendent of Government and Communications.  Ms. Descovich suggest using the logos for Dream Big, Excellence Every Day and Build Bridges.

Recognition Pins

  • Ms. Descovich gave an overview of her vision for the pins and distributed among the other members.  She said they need a document to record how they have been distributed.

FSBA Recap

  • Ms. Belford expressed her thoughts about the importance of communication and discussed a presentation that Osceola County did on promoting its brand which was all tied back to impacting students.   

Members broke for lunch at 11:35 a.m. and reconvened at 12:16 p.m.


Superintendent Evaluation

  • Dr. Mullins provided a brief review of former superintendent Blackburn's evaluation and asked for clarification on the driving force behind areas of growth.

General Counsel Evaluation

  • General Counsel Envall commented that the evaluation performed was not exactly indicative of her duties and responsibilities.  Board members concluded that more time and attention needed to be given to Ms. Envall and her department.  It was decided to dedicate time at a workshop for her to provide the board a breakdown for work performed, her vision for the future, information to enable the Board to make better decisions for the legal department and her recommendations for additional counsel. 

Board Member Evaluation

  • Ms. Descovich explained that the Board needed to determine if this is a valuable tool.  Ms. McDougall believes there is value if they learn from it and take necessary corrective actions. Ms. Belford commented that it is important to receive honest feedback and it will help to keep the board on the same page. 
  • Board members determined to begin the evaluation process at the beginning of September and then provide dates to Cabinet members.
  • In addition, Ms. Belford made a suggestion to develop a location on the website that would allow people to request board members to speak about Brevard Public Schools at specified events.  If a Board member is not available, then member could reach out to staff.

Calendar Revision

  • Ms. McDougall had requested Board consideration of the calendar.  It was determined to vote at the December 11, 2018 School Board meeting on moving the October 8, 2019 meeting to October 15, 2019 and the October 22, 2019 meeting to October 29, 2019.

Legislative Platform

  • There was brief discussion on transportation asks.

Board Policy Review

  • After a brief discussion, it was determined to pull policy revision approval from the December 11, 2019 Board meeting on School Board policies 5120 and 5121.

Benefits RFP

  • It was determined this did not need to be discussed at this time.

Closed Session


Closing Remarks
4. Adjournment

Minutes: The meeting was concluded at 3:05 p.m.