I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Special Board Workshop 1-15-2009 Topics

The Escambia County School Board held a special workshop on Thursday, January 15th 2009 in the Boardroom at Garden Street. The purpose of the meeting was for the Board to discuss several issues and provide additional time for discussion so that our Friday morning workshop will be focused only on the month's agenda. The outcome of this meeting was that we will be having these Thursday meetings on a regular basis from this point forward. This recurring Thursday meeting will be held at three o'clock each month the day before the regular workshop. Discussion during this meeting also centered on the following:

1. Having each individual board memeber rotate attendance at the monthly Foundation for Excellence luncheon.

2. Having each board member rotate monthly the responsibility for identifying an individual to lead the prayer at the monthly regular meeting.

3. Having the Superintendent come up with an implementation protocol to address and streamline the existing board policy on naming of facilities. Currently, there are three individual groups that are all attempting to have the newly constructed auditorium at Washington H.S. named in honor of a family member who serves or who has served at Washington H.S. Apparently, this issue is heating up because all three individuals are worthy of this honor and distinction, but the process in place to decide one honoree is vague.

4. Barbara Linker, Assistant Superintendent for Finance, gave an update on the budget outlook.

5. Shawn Dennis, Assistant Superintendent for Operations, gave a presentation on his two task forces, 1. school start times and 2. closure and consolidation. Each board member was asked to provide 2 representatives, one for each of these task forces.

6. Paul Fetsko gave the disappointing news that the establishment of the West Florida High School Band will more than likely be delayed one year, due to the budget cuts. This is extremely disappointing to me, as this was one of only a handful of items that I really fought hard for. see:

as it stood last year, the band was a "go" for 2009. Then the budget picture soured. I'm hopeful that a plan can be worked to at least get the facilities portion of the WFHS band rolling in 2009, perhaps using 1/2 cent sales tax money. I'm not letting go of this issue, and will continue to advocate for the expansion of music programs at all schools around the district as long as I am on the board.

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