Several policy changes were reviewed; more on those in the Business Meeting discussion below. The three big issues that came up during the Work Session were:
Budget Amendment for Cafeteria Losses
A budget amendment was presented to the board that would transfer $187,468 from Transportation Contract to Cafeteria Funds. Mr. Hoover pointed out that last year's cafeteria losses were around $301K and asked if this year's losses would be any less with Aramark, the district's new food services provider. Mr. Manuel said that Aramark would not be fully implemented until after Christmas break so next semester would be a better gauge for cost savings with Aramark's service.
MOU Interfund Agreement for Funding Riverdale Expansion Project
This agreement between GMSD and the City of Germantown provides for the City to issue bonds to finance capital improvements for Riverdale School. In exchange, the school board agrees to pay the city $4M plus interest and its pro rata share of the costs. Mr. Dely asked if the board will see a final budget for the Riverdale costs. Mr. Manuel said that would not happen until the project is bid out. Ms.Parker said she was comfortable that the project would be completed within the budget. Once the money runs out, she said cuts to the project would be made. She and Mr. Manuel discussed the new type of air conditioner may already be on the chopping block as unaffordable. But they would have to wait and see. Mr. Cathey said that he expected to have cost estimates by December and bids back by January. Mr. Hoover said that the board voted in September on a resolution that says the board must approve the final budget for the project. (JAM NOTE: Here is our blog on the September meeting which includes a video recording. You can also read the official meeting minutes. The pertinent part is pictured below.) Mr. Manuel responded that the Riverdale project has already been approved by the Board and asked, how many times must you approve it? Mr. Hoover said the Board is entitled to know what they are getting for the money. He reiterated that the Board needed to know if the project can be completed within a budget. Mr. Manuel said that school boards are not usually so involved in capital improvement projects.
This agreement detailed GMSD's $125K contribution to the Houston High Arts & Athletics Foundation for the new astroturf football field. Mr. Manuel reminded the board that they had already voted to make the contribution. Mr. Dely requested the MOU be amended to state the contributed funds can only by used by the Foundation for the football field and no other project. Mr. Hoover pointed out that the City of Germantown was also making a $125K contribution but that it was in the form of a challenge grant. He requested that GMSD's contribution also be given as a challenge grant. This discussion continued when the item came up for a vote at the Business Meeting.
Chair Lisa Parker introduced the new Parliamentarian, Betsy Landers. The agenda was approved and so were the minutes for the 10/26/15 meeting. Mr. Haddow then recognized various sports teams and theatre groups throughout the district. School principals and resource officers were also recognized and thanked for their service.
Ms. Williams announced that GMSD would be hosting a legislative event during the first week of January. She also said that County Commissioner David Reeves had requested board members to communicate any school needs to him. Ms. Williams told the board that TSBA Day on the Hill would be February 19th.
Nov. 5 attended Senior Expo where GMSD had a table
Nov. 10 attended Riverdale's I Love America Day
Nov. 13-16 attended TSBA's Leadership Conference
GMSD 06.30.15 Balance Sheet
GMSD REV & EXP 06.30.15
GMSD 10.31.15 Balance Sheet
GMSD REV & EXP 10.31.15
- Mr. Manual listed various events where GMSD teachers participated
- Team Up for Math Night will be Thursday, December 3 at 5:30, Riverdale School
- School entrance cameras have been upgraded along with the Raptor system
- The District's Strategic Plan is in the process of being developed. Mr. Haddow is planning to get parent input in the near future and expects the Plan to be ready for Board review by the end of January. There was some discussion from Mr. Hoover and Mr. Dely about the board being allowed an opportunity to contribute to the plan before it was completed.
- The County Commission approved the use of left over monies from FES window replacement be used for DES air conditioning replacement.
- The Zoning Board approved the Riverdale project
- GMSD will go before the County Commission to present its facility needs for funding
- Over 2000 households have responded to the start times survey
- On Dec. 12, the school board will participate in the Germantown Christmas parade
Citizens to be Heard
Terri Harris: Concerns over the new online student assessment test, TNReady
Gary Hahn: Concerns over the Start Times Survey
Policy HR 5.501 Complaints and Grievances
Policy SP 6.200 Attendance/Pregnancies/Truancy
Policy SP 6.2062 Eligible Circumstances Transfer
- Correct a coding error from HHS to Central Office for a $1500 in travel expenses
- a) Stipend for tech support personnel assisting the IT coordinator b) Additional Powerschool licenses billed from Collierville Public Schools
- Transfer $500 from Contracted Services to Office Supplies
- Adjust cafeteria budget for Aramark transition: Transfer $187,468 from Transportation to Cafeteria Funds Mark Dely reiterated that the board was expecting the cost savings with Aramark to be more. Mr. Manuel asked the board to be patient and wait until next semester when Aramark would have their new menus and food stations fully implemented.
Proposed Policy Amendments
Policy SS 3.602 Workers' Compensation—Passed on First Reading
Policy SBO 1.106 Code of Ethics—Passed on First Reading
There was some discussion on the Code of Ethics policy revision. Ms. Williams brought it to the board's attention that the current policy was not in compliance because it had not been approved by the state. She recommended that board adopt the model policy from TSBA which has already been approved by the state. The current policy provides for the board's Ethics Committee to be a committee of the whole while the TSBA model policy provides for a committee of three people, two of which are school board members. Mr. Dely asked if the current GMSD policy was illegal. The answer was no, it is not illegal, but just has not been approved by the state. The policy could be submitted to the state for approval but both Ms. Williams and Ms. Fisher felt the best course of action was to simply adopt the TSBA policy which had already been approved by the state. The TSBA policy was adopted and passed first reading.
Other Action Items
- The Textbook Committee's recommended list of textbooks were approved by the board
- The contract with Watkins Uiberall, PLLC to audit GMSD School Activity Funds was approved.
- A Resolution to enter into the TIPS purchase cooperative with no cost to the district passed.
- The Inter-local Cooperation Agreement for financing the Riverdale Expansion Project passed.
- The MOU between GMSD and the Houston High Arts & Athletic Foundation passed with Ken Hoover voting against it. Mr. Hoover said that he was not opposed to contributing $125K to the Foundation; although, he initially voted against it. Instead, he wanted the contribution to be in the form of a challenge grant like the City of Germantown. The MOU was not made available to the public but Mr. Hoover described the GMSD MOU as being exactly the same as the one used by the City of Germantown but the GMSD version had struck all the challenge grant language. Mr. Hoover argued that the City solicited GMSD to match their $125K donation to the project. (See past JAM blog on the meeting) Therefore, he wanted GMSDS's $125K contribution to mirror the City's challenge grant. Mr. Manuel accused Mr. Hoover of never supporting the contribution and claimed he was using the challenge grant as an opportunity to delay payment already promised to the Foundation. He said it was unfair to change the terms now. Ms. Fisher agreed with Mr. Manuel and suggested that in the future, any funding criteria be made clear at the time of approval. Mr. Dely clarified that this MOU would restrict the use of GMSD's contribution to the costs of HHS football field improvements and could not be used for any other HHAAF projects. Ms. Fisher confirmed that the restriction to the football field had been added to the MOU.