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.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Minutes of Board Meeting 4-21-2009

I am posting these minutes to expedite information dissemination. Much more complete and detailed minutes will be posted in 4-6 weeks on the school district’s website. In the mean time, these minutes are what I feel were the big “takeaways”, a macro look at my impression of the meeting. These are condensed, abbreviated, shortened, and to the point.

Meeting convened at 5:32 PM

All Board Members and Superintendent Malcolm Thomas present.

Pledge of Allegiance led by Washington High School Student Paul Gerhardt

PTA Presentation—given by Cindy Gerhardt

Stellar Employee Recognition—Linda Foster, 21 year employee of the district, currently Admin Clerk at Pine Meadow Elementary.

Eight National Merit Finalists recognized:

Alexander Borland
Zachary Meadows
Autumn McGonagall
Elijah Orenstein
Matthew Robinnette
Ashley Van Galen
Hillary Weary
Jeanne Zing

Two Local Businesses Recognized for their role in supporting Educational Programs in Escambia County.

The Andrews Institute/Baptist Health Care
The Pensacola Bay Area Chamber of Commerce

Public Forum: 1 Speaker-wanted board to not approve superintendent’s recommendation that she be terminated (Bus operator who has been in several accidents).

Rule adoptions:

Rule Adoption:

Adoption by resolution naming Pensacola High School’s gymnasium the “James W. Haynes Athletic Complex” as approved by the Pensacola High School Advisory Council at it’s January 2009 Meeting and ad advertisement approved by the School Board at its regularly scheduled meeting of February 17, 2009.

Approved 5-0

Permission to advertise rules for adoption:


5 sets of March Board Meeting Minutes Approved, 5-0

Entire Consent Agenda Approved.

All Curriculum items approved

All Finance items approved

All Human Resources items Approved

(I requested that item number 18, Ratification of the 2009-2012 Master Contract between The School District of Escambia County and the Escambia Education Association, be pulled. I expressed my sincere thanks for the district bargaining team’s efforts in negotiating the contract with the union. I explained that I had some ideological differences with the contract—including some language which I feel needed revision. I also was not happy that Merit Pay was bargained away in the negotiations to come up with language the Union would settle on. I mentioned that roughly 30% of the district’s teachers voted against ratification of this contract—to illustrate that many people did not feel this contract was acceptable.)

Mr. Slayton made the motion to approve the master contract, Patty Hightower seconded the motion, and the board approved the master contract by a 4-1 vote—I voted against approval.

All Purchasing items approved

All Operations items approved

(Entire Consent Agenda was meticulously covered and discussed at length during two thorough school board workshops held during the early afternoon of 4/16/2009, and the morning of 4/17/2009)

Board voted unanimously, 5-0, to accept the superintendent’s recommendation regarding the following:

Student recommendations:

20 Students Expelled
1 Student Expelled, as a result of a formal hearing officer’s recommendation.
1 Students suspended pending conclusion of an investigation of criminal charges off campus.

Student infractions included:

1 for possession of brass knuckles
2 for possession of knives
1 for possession of knife and drugs
1 for possession of a box cutter
7 for repeated incidents of disruptive behavior
1 for disrespect to a school official
9 for possession of drugs on school property

5 Employee Recommendations by Superintendent approved unanimously by board, to include:

3 employees suspended without pay
1 employee terminated
1 employee removed from reassignment with pay and returned to work

Meeting adjourned at 6:43PM.

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