April 20, 2020
7:00pm - 8:00pm
Mt. Vernon Administrative Service Center
The Board of School Trustees held a Work Session at 5:30 p.m.
The School Board, before each meeting, offers the opportunity to participate in a moment of silence and the Pledge of Allegiance. People attending the meeting are welcome to take part in this procedure. Those desiring not to take part may either remain in the hallway before the meeting or sit quietly in the meeting room.
Mrs. Freeman began the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance.
The Board of Trustees of the Mt.Vernon Community School Corporation held a meeting at 7:06 p.m. in the Administrative Service Center.
Dr. Parker announced that due to the circumstances of the COVID-19 virus, the meeting would be streaming live on YouTube, ZOOM and some participants are live in the boardroom. Board members are allowed to vote on items if one board member is present in the boardroom. Tonight that board member is President, Kellie Freeman. Mr. May, Mrs. Walls, Mrs. Smith and Mr. McCarty all attended via ZOOM.
Dr. Parker read the following statement: "Indiana's Public Access Counselor has allowed us to hold virtual meetings for the purpose of essential business. Tonight, the board agenda contains only a few items that are deemed essential. For public opportunities, we invite you to comment using directions on your screen."
Those who wish to participate by providing public comment were advised to e-mail Dr. Parker. A five minute pause will occur to allow public comments.
Dr. Parker announced there was one addition to the agenda. First reading of an attendance policy.
Mrs. Walls made a motion to adopt the revised agenda. Mr. May seconded, and the motion carried 5-0.
0167.3 - Public Participation at Board Meetings
May only address items listed in the agenda
Must be recognized by presiding officer.
Must provide name, address, and group affiliation, if and when appropriate
Limited to 3 minutes duration
All statements shall be directed to the presiding officer; no person may address or question Board members individually
Mrs. Freeman paused the meeting for five minutes to allow public comments regarding agenda items. Dr. Parker did not receive any comments via e-mail.
Mrs. Freeman opened the Pubic Hearing for Controlled Project for Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, HVAC and Roofing District-Wide and Public Hearing for Non-Controlled Project for MVMS Art, Band, Choir and Cafe Additions and Renovations. The Notice of this Preliminary Determination Hearing was published as legally required on April 2, 2020 in the Greenfield Daily Reporter. The first Preliminary Determination Hearing was held on April 13, 2020. She turned the hearing over to Mr. Elkins to explain the purpose of the hearing.
Mr. Elkins stated pursuant to Indiana Code, before a school corporation may spend more than $1,000,000 to build, repair or alter a school building that will be financed by a lease or bonds, it must hold a public hearing at which explanations of the potential value of each project to the school corporation and community are given. We are conducting the hearing for this purpose for both the Maintenance and Roofing Project and the Middle School Project. Also pursuant to Indiana Code, a school corporation must hold two public hearings and adopt a resolution to preliminarily determine to issue bonds or enter a lease for a project which has a total cost in excess of non-controlled project. We are conducting this hearing for this purpose solely on the Maintenance and Roofing Project. These public hearings and the adoption of resolutions are the very beginning of the legal process. These resolutions establish the maximum financial terms for the proposed projects. This is the second hearing for Project 1 (presented to public at April 13, 2020 board meeting). Project 2 was presented and the refinancing of bonds discussed.
Mr. Elkins began by recapping Project 1: $16,052,850 for Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, HVAC and Roofing Improvements District-Wide. This amount is the upper threshold for a controlled project and is subject to petition or remonstrance. This amount was determined after a feasibility study of building systems district-wide determined that the projects listed in Project 1 were highest priority and needed to be addressed as soon as possible. A spreadsheet generated by Moisture Management, roofing project manager, indicates $7.6 million is needed to make necessary repairs with the high school being the top priority as their roofing is in immediate state of deterioration. $90,960 is needed for immediate repairs to all the buildings district-wide and that work will be completed in the spring/summer. A spreadsheet generated by Emcor, our Energy Savings Providers, showed analysis for the other components of Phase 1 with a current estimated cost of $9.5 million to complete with hopes to get that down to $8 million.
Project 2: Up to $5,350,950 for Additional Sq. Footage and Renovation of Mt. Vernon Middle School Art, Choir, Band and Cafeteria spaces. This is the proposed maximum figure for a non-controlled project so not subject to formal taxpayer opposition. This is the only hearing on this project. The feasibility study also identified educational needs with the middle school as the highest priority. The project includes adding 2,000-2,500 sq. feet to the cafeteria; 1,200 sq. ft. remodel/adding 250 sq. ft. for choir and band; adding 1,800 sq. feet for Art; $3.5 million construction costs; and $1.8 million construction manager, site, and soft costs. A conceptual drawing of the middle school additions and renovations was shown.
Luke Bruggerman from Stifel, underwriters for the projects, recapped how the project will be financed. It is not anticipated that the debt service tax levy will increase over 2019 of $1.1202. He reviewed his April 13, 2020 presentation regarding refinancing the 2012 Bonds and 2012B Bonds. If refinanced today, the interest rate would be closer to 3.04% on the 2012 Bonds (currently 4.88%) and 2.65% on the 2012B Bonds (currently 5.32%), accounting for a total cash flow savings of $5 million for both set of bonds. He reminded everyone that there are two options to finance the bonds. Option 1 would be a standard bond issue. The pro to this option is it would eliminate interest rate risk while the biggest con is $1.2 million less project fund dollars due to capitalized interest and just to maintain tax rate. Option 2 is called a Bond Anticipation Note, equivalent to a construction loan on a house. You borrow short term financing and borrow what you need. Pro to this option is there is more project fund dollars available, con being taking on interest rate risk by waiting until Fall of 2021 to lock in long term interest rate. Mr. Bruggeman stated he was comfortable with Option 2 and taking that risk and keeping the tax rate at $1.1202 as there is a potential for a $500,000 savings over the life of the bond.
Mrs. Freeman announced there would be a five minute break for anyone viewing at home who wanted to make a comment by e-mailing Dr. Parker.
There was one public comment from Diane Ratts. She thanked everyone for their hard work on this presentation. She had three questions: 1) as the cafeteria at the middle school was recently renovated, was the space not taken into consideration at that time; 2) can she assume the roofing that needs to be done at the high school is not on the new potion of the roof, but rather the older portions; and 3) has the board explored options for energy savings. Mrs. Freeman asked Dr. Parker to respond to Ms. Ratts' questions. Dr. Parker replied: 1) the middle school was renovated with the purpose of bringing the 8th graders back to the middle school rather than continuing to be housed at the high school. Increasing the band/choir rooms, which are located right next to the cafeteria, will easily allow for the cafeteria to be added on to. 2) Yes, all the roofing needs at the high school are on the older portion of the roof, not the newer portions 3) Yes, took action last spring using funds from a GEO Bond to change to LED lighting at the high school. At that time Emcor was hired as our Energy Savings Provider and is currently assisting with energy savings measures.
There were no other comments on Dr. Parker's e-mail.
Mrs. Freeman thanked everyone who participated in the hearing. We appreciate your time and interest in the projects and the future of our community. Please note this is just the first step in the legal process. The Board will continue to work with the administration and its processions to look for efficiencies to conserve tax dollars while meeting our educational needs.
The Public Hearing was closed.
Resolution 2020-09 Maintenance and Roofing Project Resolution
Resolution 2020-10 Preliminary Determination Resolution for Maintenance and Roofing Project
Resolution 2020-11 Middle School Project Resolution
Resolution 2020-12 Declaration of Official Intent to Reimburse Expenditures
Resolution 2020-13 Resolution Approving Refunding of 2012 Bonds
The Maintenance and Roofing Project Resolution is required when the school is planning to spend more than $1,000,000 per facility. It contains the estimated hard and soft construction costs, the costs of issuance, and establishes the total cost of the Maintenance and Roofing Project. It also contains the estimated tax impact. Mrs. Walls made a motion to adopt Resolution 2020-09 Maintenance and Roofing Project Resolution. Mr. McCarty seconded, and the motion carried 5-0.
The Preliminary Determination Resolution is required when a school is planning to finance more than $5,350,000 for a given facility in this calendar year. It contains the total project cost, maximum annual payment and lease term, and other financial terms such as the estimated principal amount and tax impact. Mrs. Smith made a motion to adopt Resolution 2020-10 Preliminary Determination Resolution for Maintenance and Roofing Project. Mrs. Walls seconded, and the motion carried 5-0.
The Middle School Project Resolution is required when the school is planning to spend more than $1,000,000 per facility. It contains the estimated hard and soft construction costs, the costs of issuance, and establishes the total cost of the Middle School Project. It also contains the estimated tax impact. Mr. McCarty made a motion to adopt Resolution 2020-11 Middle School Project Resolution. Mr. May seconded, and the motion carried 5-0.
The Reimbursement Resolution relates to the financing of all of the proposed construction projects. This resolution permits the school corporation to reimburse itself from bond proceeds for any cash which it might spend on the projects prior to closing on the bonds. It is required by Federal tax law in order to preserve the School Corporation's ability to reimburse itself. Mrs. Walls made a motion to adopt Resolution 2020-12 Declaration of Official Intent to Reimburse Expenditures. Mr. McCarty seconded, and the motion carried 5-0.
In addition to considering the proposed projects discussed this evening, the School Corporation has been working with its professional team to monitor opportunities to save property tax dollars by refinancing existing bonds when legally and financially feasible. The next resolution is a Resolution Approving the Refunding of the 2012A Bonds and 2012B Bonds in order to achieve cost savings. Mrs. Smith made a motion to adopt Resolution 2020-13 Resolution Approving Refunding of 2012 Bonds. Mr. May seconded and the motion carried 5-0.
The Public Hearing was closed.
Mrs. Walls made a motion to approve the following Consent Agenda Items:
1. Executive Session Minutes
2. March 16, 2020 Board Meeting Minutes; April 13, 2020 Special Board Meeting Minutes; and April 13, 2020 Public Hearing Minutes;
3. Claims; and
4. The following Personnel Items:
Chelsea Pacheco, MVMS Counselor
Kristen Blakey, MVHS Essential Skills Instructional Assistant
Mr. McCarty seconded, and the motion carried 5-0.
March 16, 2020 Board Meeting
April 13, 2020 Board Meeting
April 13, 2020 Public Hearing Minutes
Mr. Shipley presented the Textbook Adoption Request for Approval 2020 along with costs per student. At the March Board Meeting, he provided a list of textbooks for adoption in the areas of FACS, Spanish, Finite Math along with a Novel List recommended by all grade level teachers. He reminded everyone that these are brand new costs, as it has been several years since the last purchase of textbooks. Mrs. Freeman thanked Mr. Shipley for all his hard work.
Mr. May made a motion to accept the textbook adoption as presented. Mrs. Smith seconded, and the motion carried 5-0.
Mr. Smedley presented a Memorandum of Understanding between MVCSC and the Mt. Vernon Classroom Teacher's Association, which was first drafted at the start of the COVID-19 Virus, establishing paid emergency leave in the event of novel Coronavirus contraction or quarantine.
Mrs. Walls made a motion to accept the Memorandum of Understanding establishing emergency leave in the event of the novel coronavirus contraction or quarantine. Mr. McCarty seconded, and the motion carried 5-0.
Mr. Elkins presented a resolution asking the board to approve the authorization of the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer to amend required timely deposits and approval of claims. This resolution would give the board president or presiding officer the ability to temporary approve claim documents in the event a quorum is not present and/or a public meeting cannot be held so payments could be approved. The claims would be approved as a whole during the first public meeting after the COVID-19 public health emergency has concluded. As daily deposits are not always doable during these circumstances, this resolution would also allow cash deposits to be made on Tuesday and Thursdays with public funds to be made secure on days deposits are not made.
Mrs. Walls made a motion to approve Resolution 2020-08 authorizing the Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer to amend requires timely deposit processes and approval of claims per guidance of the Indiana State Board of Accounts Examiner Directive 2020-1. Mr. May seconded, and the motion carried 5-0.
Instead of school starting 45 minutes later on Wednesdays for teacher PLC time, we would like to release students 45 minutes early. This would include running buses 45 minutes earlier on that day.
Dr. Parker stated that PLC Delayed Start Wednesday has been a topic of conversation for quite some time. Previously, it was the principals' recommendation to instead of delaying start time on Wednesdays, release early on Wednesdays so that no student would be in the buildings during PLC time making that time more effective for staff. He recently sent out a survey seeking input from parents. Of the 999 responses, 427 preferred an early release over 333 who prefered delayed start. Dr. Parker also hosted five virtual town hall meetings gathering input, with 46 total participants.
It is Dr. Parker's recommendation to begin Early Release Wednesdays for the 2020-2021 school year and run bus routes 45 minutes earlier for departure that day. Elementary students would be dismissed at 1:25 p.m.; middle school 3:00 p.m.; and high school 2:45 p.m. Also included in Dr. Parker's recommendation: 1) The first and last Wednesday of the year will be a regular release (no early release); 2) 2-Hour Delays on a Wednesday would have a regular release time (no early release) on that day; 3) After-School Care will be provided by the YMCA at all elementary schools and middle school; and 4) We will host after-school study tables for middle and high school students participating in athletics or other regular after-school activities.
Mrs. Walls made a motion to approve the early release recommendation to move our delayed start to an early release of students as presented. Mrs. Smith seconded, and the motion carried 5-0.
This is being submitted for a first reading. No action will be taken tonight.
Dr. Parker provided first reading of Policy C175 Student Attendance. The policy provides a big framework of our student attendance policy and includes items such as allowing board members to decide what constitutes an excused absence; investigating prolonged absences, repeated unexplained absence and tardiness, etc. It authorizes the Superintendent to develop guidelines for administrators allowing us to solidify our practices on how we are doing our attendance.
There were no questions from board members on this policy. This is being submitted for a first reading. No action was taken and it will be brought back to the May board meeting.
Dr. Parker expressed his appreciation to everyone for working as a team and for all their good work.
Dr. Parker provided board members with the Good News Report from Mrs. Bond.
1. Teacher of the Year and Staff of the Year winners were announced.
2. MVHS Lexi Shelton was named Hancock County Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
3. MVCSC received a $50K Digital Learning Grant from the Indiana Department of Education.
4. MVCSC Food Service has distributed 30,105 meals in four weeks.
5. Ninestar has sponsored the MVCSC Super Staff Challenge where a MV staff members' social media post (with MV spiritwear) is randomly selected and wins a family meal at a local restaurant that Superintendent Parker delivers personally.
Mrs. Walls made a motion to adjourn at 8:15 p.m. Mr. May seconded, and the motion carried 5-0.