BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEETING
ANDERSON SCHOOL DISTRICT NUMBER FIVE
Anderson, South Carolina
December 18, 2012
The Board of Trustees of Anderson County School District Number Five met in the Offices of the Board this date with the following members present: Mr. Jay Blankenship, Mr. Rick Bradshaw, Mr. John P. Griffith, Mrs. Ann Huitt, Mrs. Margaret Mack, Mr. Tommy Price, Mr. Dick Smith, and Mr. Paul Zugg. Absent was Mr. Al Norris.
NOTICE TO MEDIA
In accordance with the S. C. Code of Laws, 1976, Section 30-4-80(d), as amended, the following have been notified of the time, date, place and agenda of this meeting: The Anderson Independent-Mail, The Electric City News, WYFF, WSPA, Paul Brown, and FOX 21.
CALL TO ORDER & INVOCATION
In the absence of Mr. Norris, Mr. Bradshaw called the meeting to order at 6:31 p.m., and Mr. Zugg gave the invocation.
OATH OF OFFICE
Mr. Bradshaw administered the Oath of Office for newly elected Board Member John P. Griffith and re-elected Board Member Ann Huitt.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Mr. Smith made a motion the Board approve the agenda as presented. Mr. Blankenship seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Mr. Price made a motion the Board approve the minutes of the November 20, 2012 Regular Board Meeting and the December 4, 2012 Special Board Meeting as submitted. Mrs. Mack seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
OPPORTUNITY FOR CITIZENS TO ADDRESS THE BOARD
No one signed up to address the Board.
REPORT FROM THE COUNTY BOARD
Mr. Bradshaw recognized County Board Chairman David Draisen. Mr. Draisen gave an update on the November elections. He reported that Mr. Mike Upton was elected for Area 2, replacing Mr. Steve Garrison; Mr. David Draisen was re-elected for Area 7; Mrs. Brenda Bradberry was re-elected for Area 8; and Reverend Dr. Rufus Mitchell was re-elected for Area 9. Mr. Draisen also stated that the County Board is very concerned about the welfare and safety of the five school districts and will do whatever they can to help keep all children and employees safe.
Mr. Bradshaw thanked Mr. Draisen for his report and for the support that the district receives from the County Board.
FINANCIAL SERVICES & OPERATIONS REPORT
Financial Reports – Mr. Brooks presented as information the monthly Financial Statements and the Pupil Activity Reports for the month of November, as well as a list of accounts over budget requested at the last Board Meeting. With regards to expenditures, he stated that we have a positive variance of about 5% which equates to a $4.4 million fund balance increase projected over the course of the year. Last year during this same time, we were at a 7% positive variance.
Financial & Procurement Audit Presentation for FY 11-12 – Mr. Brooks recognized Mr. Larry Finney and Keith Campbell of Greene, Finney & Horton, LLP. In a PowerPoint presentation, Mr. Larry Finney reviewed some highlights of the Financial Audit for year ended June 30, 2012. He reported that the financial condition of the district is good at year end, and the district has done a good job managing finances in a difficult economy. Mr. Finney also reported that the district received Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) and Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) Awards for Excellence in Financial Reporting for 12 and 11 years in a row, respectively. He further stated that the district is responsible for financial statements and the processes and procedures to ensure accurate and complete amounts, balances and disclosures. Greene, Finney & Horton is responsible for opinion-reasonable assurance that financial statements are materially correct. Mr. Finney reported that the district received an “unqualified opinion,” which is the best opinion the school district can receive.
Next, Mr. Finney reported that the district’s General Fund balance increased by $2.3 million to approximately $18.7 million. The unassigned fund balance that is available for the district to use for general operations represents approximately 17% of budgeted expenditures for FY 2013. He stated that the major reasons for maintaining a healthy fund balance include cash flow through December, potential for better bond ratings and therefore, lower interest rates for debt issuances, emergencies/unanticipated events, savings for major planned expenditures/revenue losses, and the loss of AARA (stimulus) funding in fiscal year 2013.
The General Fund revenue was approximately $6.0 million more than the prior year due to an increase in state revenues (primarily EFA). Local tax revenues also increased, but were offset by slight decreases in investment and other local source revenues. Compared to budget, district revenue was approximately $2.1 million over budget primarily due to higher than budgeted delinquent and county equalization taxes and state revenues.
The General Fund expenditures were approximately $10.7 million more than the prior year due to higher salaries and benefits brought about by step increases and additional teachers for the two new schools; higher technology expenditures; and higher energy costs for two new schools. Compared to budget, district expenditures were approximately $0.4 million over budget primarily due to one-time technology and supply allocations to various schools in the district.
Next, Mr. Finney reported that the district received approximately $12.8 million in Special Revenue Funds (i.e., Title I, IDEA, grants, etc.), with approximately $1.5 million in carryover funds; and approximately $6.6 million in Education Improvement Act Funds, with approximately $4.6 million in carryover funds. He further stated that the district is constrained by federal and state requirements to use these funds only as allowed by the applicable compliance regulations. Other funds included Debt Service (approximately $2.7 million fund balance), Capital Projects (approximately $9.4 million fund balance), and Food Service (approximately $2.1 million fund balance of which $1.8 million is unrestricted), which is approximately 30% of annual operating costs.
Under the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB 34), auditors review the overall financial condition of the district (i.e., general fund, special revenue funds, food service, capital projects, etc.). He reported that the district’s assets total approximately $251.1 million and liabilities total approximately $162.6 million. Revenues total approximately $117.8 million and expenses total approximately $122.1 million.
Mr. Finney highlighted other items noted in the financial statements. The district had approximately $24.2 million in capital related expenditures during fiscal year 2012; the district’s short-term borrowings for fiscal year 2012 were approximately $4 million for Tax Anticipation Notes; the district’s outstanding long-term debt (including capital leases) at June 30, 2012 is approximately $144.4 million; the district’s annual debt service payments for fiscal year 2013 (including interest) are approximately $5.7 million.
Next, Mr. Finney called attention to New Pension Accounting Rules (GASB 68) to be implemented in 2015. He stated that the SC Pension Plan is significantly underfunded by as much as $14 billion. Under GASB 68, the State has started addressing this shortfall by increasing the rates for employees and employers. The employer will then be responsible for recording their portion of this liability on their financial statements.
Because the district receives a significant amount of federal revenue, auditors are required to do a single audit to make sure that the district is in compliance with federal requirements. There were no reportable findings.
In conclusion, Mr. Finney stated that there were no recommendations from the auditor to the Board; the district had good management of finances and is in good financial condition; the economy is going to continue to be a slow recovery; and health care and retirement costs are going to continue to put a strain on finances.
Mr. Finney discussed the Procurement Audit Report for year ended June 30, 2012. He stated that the auditors reviewed formal sealed bids and proposals greater than $50,000; informal bids less than or equal to $50,000; small dollar purchases less than $2,500; major construction projects; sole source and emergency procurement transactions; minority business utilization plan and reports; procurement ratifications; surplus property sales; and trade-in transactions. He reported one minor finding. He stated that the auditors also observed the physical inventory of the warehouse. Out of a $200,000 inventory balance, the adjustment was approximately $1,000.
In conclusion, Mr. Finney stated that the district had very good management of procurement operations and that the overall opinion on the Procurement Audit is an “unqualified opinion,” which is the best opinion the school district can receive.
Sheppard Swim Center Bids – Mr. Brooks stated that bids were received for the demolition of the Sheppard Swim Center on December 11, 2012. A copy of the bid tabulation sheet was included in the board packet. He reported that Complete Demolition Services was the low bidder for a base bid amount of approximately $95,200. In addition to the demolition of Sheppard Swim Center, two alternate bids were accepted for the removal of the tennis courts at both Sheppard and Hudgens Swim Centers. The base bid for the removal of the tennis courts at Sheppard (Alternate 1) is approximately $3,600. The base bid for the removal of the tennis courts at Hudgens (Alternate 2) is approximately $14,200. The Administration recommended board approval of Complete Demolition Services (including Alternates 1 and 2); subject to satisfying the bid protest period and providing that all of the requirements of the District Procurement Code are met.
Mr. Zugg made a motion the Board approve the bid from Complete Demolition Services (including Alternates 1 and 2) for a total cost of approximately $113,000, subject to satisfying the bid protest period and providing that all of the requirements of the District Procurement Code are met. Mr. Blankenship seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
INSTRUCTIONAL SERVICES REPORT
Strategic Planning Approval – Mr. Dukes reported that Southwood Academy of the Arts received a $3,500 arts grant from the State Department of Education. The grant has been used for the development of a sixth through twelfth grade strategic plan, to visit other art magnet schools in the region, and to secure the services of area artists. In developing Southwood Academy into a premiere magnet school for the arts, it was essential to create a school mission and strategic plan which included a well-designed curriculum and supportive staff development opportunities for both art teachers and subject area teachers. Mr. Dukes then reviewed the school’s mission, beliefs, goals and strategies developed by the planning committee. Southwood Academy of the Arts and the Administration recommended Board approval of the strategic plan. Approval of this plan will afford the school the opportunity to become an Arts in Basic Curriculum site and apply for future ABC and Distinguished Arts Grants to improve student achievement in the arts.
Mrs. Huitt made a motion the Board approve the Strategic Plan for Southwood Academy of the Arts as presented. Mrs. Mack seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
POLICY COMMITTEE REPORT
The Board approved the following policies, administrative rules and exhibits on first reading at the November 20, 2012 Board Meeting.
BEDB Board Agenda Revised
GBEC Drug and Alcohol-Free Workplace and Schools Revised
GCQE Retirement of Professional Staff Revised
GDQC Retirement of Support Staff Revised
IHBH Charter Schools Revised
JJ Student Activities Revised
JJ-R Student Activities New
JJ-E(1) Request/Verification Form for Charter School Student New
Participation in Extracurricular Activity
JJ-E(2) Intent to Participate in Interscholastic Activities New
JLDBB Self-Esteem Promotion/Suicide Prevention New
On behalf of the Policy Committee and the Administration, Mrs. Mack made a motion the policies, administrative rules, and exhibits be given second reading approval. No second was required. The motion carried unanimously.
SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH UPDATE
Mr. Bradshaw recognized SCSBA Executive Director Dr. Paul Krohne to give an update on the superintendent search. Dr. Krohne reported that the Board has stayed on schedule that was approved by the Board October 30, 2012. He stated that as part of the process, it is important to reach out to various stakes in the community to ask, in their opinion, some of the primary characteristics and professional experiences the Board should look for as they view the candidates through the interviewing process. He reminded the Board that a Focus Group Summary Report of all the comments received both in person and electronically through a survey was distributed at the last board meeting. Dr. Krohne then distributed and reviewed a more workable draft report for the Board to consider and use as advisory only to the Board through the interviewing process.
Mr. Smith made a motion the Board receive the draft report as information only recognizing that it is the opinion of the community. Mr. Blankenship seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
Mrs. Bagley shared with the Board a letter from the State Department of Education that Whitehall Elementary, a Global Communication School has been selected as one of five 2013 “High Flying Schools” award winners to be recognized at the 24th National Youth At-Risk Conference March 3-6, 2013.
Safety Plans – Mrs. Bagley then recognized Dr. Leverette and Dr. Williams to present the district’s Emergency Management Plan in light of the shooting in Connecticut.
In a PowerPoint presentation, Dr. Leverette reviewed the following universal emergency procedures that each school and the district office is responsible for maintaining and updating annually: evacuation, severe weather safe area, lockdown, reverse evacuation, shelter in place, and drop, cover and hold. She also discussed the three emergency levels (i.e., Level 1 School; Level 2 District; Level 3 Community). Dr. Leverette then reviewed types of emergencies such as: accidents (school or bus), exposures, allergic reactions, assaults, bomb threats, chemical material spills, earthquakes, fire, gas leak, trespasser/intruder, weapons, weather emergencies, etc.
Dr. Williams discussed the following requirements of schools: update plan each year; note first responders; consider building renovations, staff and student changes; make provisions for special needs students; have a drill monthly; have an earthquake and tornado drill annually; designate locations where students will be transported if evacuations are necessary; notify the DO, parents and the community of these plans. He stated that schools are required to complete After Action Reports monthly for drills and annually for tornado and earthquake drills, an submit the reports to the Office of School & Community Services. Dr. Williams called attention to a brochure that outlines emergency preparedness at the school level, what to do during a school emergency, school action, what type of an emergency might impact a school, and communication with parents. This brochure is on the district’s website, and it is given too parents. He then pointed out the list of procedures for the different emergency levels.
Dr. Williams reported that each school’s Emergency Management Team is to develop a “toolbox” to have available for use during an emergency situation. Items in the toolbox should not be used for anything other than emergency preparedness training activities. A member of the Emergency Management Team should be assigned to keep the toolbox updated (change batteries, update phone numbers, etc.). The toolbox should be portable and readily accessible for use in an emergency. He then gave an overview of the different forms of technology methods used to keep the district updated on potential issues that may occur such as Gaggle to keep district staff informed of potential threats or concerns within student communication; School Messenger by making phone calls and sending emails and/or texts to parents, etc.
Dr. Leverette informed the Board of past drills held by the district with the Anderson County Emergency Management System (ACEMS) and other precautions that include winter preparedness, school emergency alerts, quick reference guides, emergency services camera access, COPS GRANT with City of Anderson, technology on school buses, LobbyGuard, and sex offenders’ databases.
Finally, Dr. Leverette reported that each classroom has an emergency bag. The bags are filled with emergency supplies that can be grabbed before exiting the building in case of an emergency. Each classroom should also have an emergency vest for the teacher.
Mrs. Bagley requested a Building Committee Meeting. By consensus, the meeting was scheduled for January 14, 2013 at 6:30 p.m.
Mr. Smith made a motion the Board recess for ten minutes, then reconvene in Executive Session to discuss Personnel Matters. Mrs. Mack seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
OPEN SESSION FOLLOWING EXECUTIVE SESSION
Mr. Zugg made a motion the Board reconvene in Open Session. Mrs. Mack seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
Mr. Bradshaw reported that no action was taken in Executive Session and no action will be taken in Open Session.
There being no further business, Mr. Griffith made a motion the Board adjourn. Mr. Zugg seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
As Approved By Superintendent