September 20, 2021
7:00pm - 10:00pm
Mt. Vernon Administrative Service Center
Mrs. Freeman led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance.
The meeting was called to order at 7:03 p.m.
Dr. Parker noted a few changes had been made to the personnel report. Mr. Edwards made a motion to approve the agenda with the changes, Mrs. Walls seconded, and the motion carried 5-0.
Mrs. Freeman opened the 2022 Budget hearing.
Mr. Elkins gave a review of the Public Notice information posted to the DLGF website on September 1, 2021 as follows: Notice is hereby given to taxpayers of MT. VERNON COMMUNITY SCHOOL CORPORATION, Hancock County, Indiana that the proper officers of Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation will conduct a public hearing on the year 2022 budget. Following this meeting, any ten or more taxpayers may object to a budget, tax rate, or tax levy by filing an objection petition with the proper officers of Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation not more than seven days after the hearing. The objection petition must identify the provisions of the budget, tax rate, or tax levy to which taxpayers object. If a petition is filed, Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation shall adopt with the budget a finding concerning the objections in the petition and testimony presented. Following the aforementioned hearing, the proper officers of Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation will meet to adopt the following budget on Monday, October 4, 2021 at 6:00 p.m.
Mr. Elkins stated any of the percentage increases are due to the assessed valuation growth or in the case of Operations the $5.7 million, which is the number that is determined for us by the DLGF.
The 2022 budget public hearing was then closed.
Mrs. Freeman opened the 1028 Project Hearing for the 2021 Stewardship II GO Bond Project. She stated the nature of the project and the financial impact of taxpayers and the corporation's debt service fund were presented at the August 2021 regular board meeting. The board approved a preliminary bond resolution and declared its intent to reimburse for expenses incurred prior to receiving the proceeds of the bond sale.
Mr. Elkins read pursuant to IC 20-26-7, before a school corporation finances more than $1,000,000 to build, repair, or alter a school building, it must hold a public hearing at which explanations of the potential value of the project to the School Corporation and community are given. This hearing is open to the public to comment. The GO bond will be used to finance approximately $2.5 million in roofing, mechanical, and other facility needs, primarily at those buildings not touched by the current Stewardship I project. The board approved the preliminary determination for the project's need at the August board meeting. Notices of this hearing and the preliminary determination were published in the Greenfield Daily Reporter, on the corporation's website, and three physical locations throughout the district.
Mr. Elkins stated that although we are declaring a potential $3,000,000 in debt, it will probably be closer to $2.5 million and this will have no increase in our debt service rate and that we intended to pay this off within one year.
There were no public comments and the 1028 hearing was then closed.
Mrs. Freeman opened up the hearing regarding the additional appropriation to the debt service fund for the 2021 GO Bond.
Mr. Elkins stated the School Corporation is funding this project through the issuance of general obligation bonds. The proceeds from this bond issue must be appropriated prior to being spent on the project. Notice of this hearing was advertised in the Greenfield Daily Reporter and posted to the corporation's website.
Mr. Elkins stated the board was simply giving their acknowledgement and approval of the debt so that the corporation could actually spend the proceeds.
There were no public comments and the hearing for the 2021 GO Bond Additional Appropriation was closed.
The Board was instructed to take action on the three GO Bond resolutions.
Mr. Elkins presented the 2021-35 2021 GO Bond Project Resolution. He established the estimated costs of the project, the tax impact, and the timing of the impact. He read the content of the resolution to include:
WHEREAS, the Board of School Trustees (the "Board") of Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation (the "School Corporation") at a meeting on September 20, 2021 held a public hearing in accordance with Indiana Code § 20-26-7-37 for the purpose of answering questions and listening to taxpayers' comments and any evidence they may present about the proposed renovation of and improvements to facilities throughout the school corporation, including roofing improvements, HVAC improvements, athletics improvements, and site improvements (the "Project"); and
WHEREAS, the Board has carefully studied all of the known options and feels that the proposed Project is in the best interests of the present and future students to be served by these facilities; now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED, that the purpose of the Project is to provide an improved educational environment for students.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the estimated hard and soft costs of the Project are $2,875,000, with estimated costs of issuance (including capitalized interest less interest earnings) of $125,000, resulting in total estimated Project costs of $3,000,000.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the estimated $3,000,000 will be funded by one or more of the following: Operations Fund, Common School Fund Loan, general obligation bond issue and/or a building corporation bond issue with an anticipated gross impact on the Debt Service Fund tax rate of $0.2174 per $100 assessed valuation based on an estimated $1,407,321,766 assessed valuation beginning in 2022. However, as existing obligations mature, the anticipated a net increase to the Debt Service Fund tax rate is expected to be $0.00 above the current rate.
Mr. Elkins asked the board for consideration and approval of Resolution 2021-35.
Mr. May made a motion to approve Resolution 2021-35 GO Bond Project Resolution, Mr. Gray seconded, and the motion carried 5-0.
Mr. Elkins presented the Resolution for the 2021-36 2021 GO Bond Additional Appropriation. He stated the school board must approve the additional appropriation of the bond proceeds to be spent on the project costs before any bond money can be expended. Unlike appropriations of direct tax revenue, this additional appropriation of bond proceeds is not required to be approved by the Department of Local Government Finance.
Mr. Elkins asked the board for consideration and approval of Resolution 2021-36.
Mrs. Walls made a motion to approve Resolution 2021-36 GO Bond Additional Appropriation, Mr. Edwards seconded, and the motion carried 5-0.
Mr. Elkins presented the 2021-37 Final GO Bond Resolution. He stated the final bond resolution establishes the amount to be borrowed, maximum term of repayment, and maximum interest rate. It also contains the details about the bonds, such as the form of the bond.
This resolution also approves the form of the Seventh Supplement to Master Continuing Disclosure Undertaking and the Registrar and Paying Agent Agreement. The Securities and Exchange Commission requires that a school corporation enter into a Master Continuing Disclosure Undertaking before it issues bonds. The School Corporation has entered into this type of agreement previously. It basically requires that the School Corporation agrees to annual provide certain types of financial information to the SEC's EMMA database and provide notice of certain material events on a timely basis.
Mr. Elkins asked the board for consideration and approval of Resolution 2021-37.
Mr. Gray made a motion to approve the 2021-37 Final GO Bond Resolution, Mrs. Walls seconded, and the motion carried 5-0.
Mrs. Freeman opened up the last of the public hearings, which was in regards to the additional appropriation for the local construction fund.
Mr. Elkins stated while this additional appropriation of local dollars is not required to be approved by the Department of Local Government Finance since it does not involve a DLGF approved fund, he is asking the board to consider and approve the additional appropriation. For the purposes of transparency and accurate accounting, he is asking the board to approve spending up to $1,000,000 for preconstruction services for the Fortville Elementary addition that was previously approved as part of our Future Growth Plan. The board passed a resolution in June to allow us to reimburse our local funds for expenses incurred once the proceeds from a bond sale are received. This $1,000,000 would be returned to the construction fund once the 2022 BAN was sold. The initial funding of the preconstruction expenses will come through a transfer of dollars from the Rainy Day Fund to the Construction Fund.
There were no public comments and the additional appropriation hearing was closed.
The board was instructed to take action on two related resolutions.
Mrs. Walls made a motion to approve Resolution 2021-33 Transfer of Funds to Construction Fund 2021, Mr. May seconded, and the motion carried 5-0.
In regards to Resolution 2021-34 Authorizing Requesting and Approving Additional Appropriation for 2021 Construction Fund, Mr. Elkins is asking permission to expend those funds.
Mr. Edwards made a motion to approve Resolution 2021-34 Authorizing Requesting and Approving Additional Appropriation for 2021 Construction Fund , Mr. Gray seconded, and the motion carried 5-0.
Mr. Parker invited the Director of Community Relations, Maria Bond, to share some good news.
Mrs. Bond shared the following Good News.
1. A 2nd grade teacher at MCE, Jackie Novinger, was inducted into the Butler Basketball Hall of Fame.
2. MVHS FCCLA Education Profession students devoted a day of service to weed and tend to FES’s garden.
3. MES Kindergarten Career day had 15 students dressed like police officers who had their picture taken with SRO Officer Dowers and his police vehicle.
4. Girls golf won the Hoosier Heritage Conference for the first time in 18 years (since 2003).
5. MVHS Tennis Coach Gabe Muterspaugh has had his 600th career win.
5. MVCSC hosted an event to Commemorate the 20th Anniversary of 9/11, inviting all local veterans, first responders, active military and the community to attend for the MVHS choir and band, military color guard, moments of silence and a sign of United by students. Special thanks to MV Board Member & Army Veteran Tony May, Vernon Township Fire Chief Chad Abel, Fortville Police Chief Pat Bratton & Veteran & Commander of Fortville VFW Post, Tony Buechler, for their invaluable participation in MV’s 9/11 ceremony.
6. Hancock Health has provided nursing staff to help with the previous overload of COVID testing for our students/staff when the IDOH required MVCSC to quarantine.
7. Indianapolis Colts Foundation donated $1,000 to the MVHS Athletic Department for hosting the Indianapolis Colts Youth Football event. One of the Colts cheerleaders that helped with this event was our very own FES kindergarten teacher, Emily Loughman.
8. MVHS Band of Marauders hosted a successful community blood drive.
9. MVHS Athletic Boosters hosted a successful Booster Blast for the community with games, inflatables, live music, silent auction and more.
Maria stated that WRTV, Fox, and WTHR covered the 911 event.
Vince Edwards, Principal, Fortville Elementary School
Dr. Vince Edwards introduced Jess Daugherty, HA coordinator. Mrs. Daugherty began by sharing the High Ability Mission Statement stating Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation will provide support and guidance to all identified high ability students, as well as appropriate educational experiences according to their academic ability. We recognize that high ability students are found in all racial, cultural, ethnic, and socio-economic populations. We are committed to an educational program that provides a challenging, differentiated curriculum through a wide range of services to all of our high ability students. Mrs. Daugherty went over bullet points on where we have been and where we are now in terms of our high ability program; including going from one high ability license in the district to 11 high ability licensed teachers. The goal is to continually revise and improve Mt. Vernon's high ability program through a systematic evaluation process. Program goals will include Identification, Curriculum and Instruction, Guidance and Counseling, Professional Development, and Program Evaluation. Mrs. Daugherty finished her presentation by showing pictures of students in the classroom and videos of students sharing what they like about the high ability program.
B 225 - 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
For those wishing to address the board on an item not on the agenda, a request to place an item on the agenda must be received no later than seven (7) days prior to the meeting.
There were no public comments.
The school board shall use a consent agenda (Policy #0166.1) to keep routine matters. By a single motion, the Board approves/adopts the following items or actions which reflect application of School Board Policy and/or Indiana Code. Any items marked "Consent" may be removed from the agenda by a Board Member or the Superintendent.
Mr. May made a motion to approve the following Consent Agenda Items:
1. Minutes of the August 16, 2021 and September 2, 2021 board meetings;
3. The following personnel items:
Ashley Ridenour, 1.25 FTE Recommendation; zero period for contract year 2021-2022 school year.
Joseph Anderson, 1.25 FTE Recommendation; zero period for contract year 2021-2022 school year plus an additional 10 work days to his contract in order to provide additional technology support.
Benjamin Rhoades, 1.25 FTE Recommendation; zero period for contract year 2021-2022 school year.
Vince Lidy, 1.25 FTE Recommendation; zero period for contract year 2021-2022 school year.
Tom Shaver, 1.25 FTE Recommendation; zero period for contract year 2021-2022 school year.
Steve Wheeler, 1.25 FTE Recommendation; zero period for the first semester of 2021-2022 school year.
Chloe Schwartz, MES Resource Teacher
Pay Increase for Payroll and Benefits Assistants
Tammy Parsons, MVHS Custodian
Rebecca Storey, MMPS Perm Substitute
Jennifer Emerson, MVCSC Payroll and Benefits Assistant
Bliss Nunez, MVMS Instructional Assistant
Antwan Jenkins, MVMS Permanent Substitute
Dominic Cassiere, Life Center Instructional Assistant
Marie Gilles, Transportation Bus Driver
Tracy Gordon, Transportation Driver Trainee / Sub Bus Driver
Ashley Pearson, Transportation Sub Bus Driver
Allison Williams, Transportation Sub Bus Driver
Lisa Yanan, Transportation Sub Bus Driver
Brandi McClanahan, MVMS Instructional Assistant HI
Christina Pearson, FES Instructional Assistant
William Pierce, Transportation Sub Bus Driver
Manuel Sandoval-Castaneda, Transportation Sub Bus Driver
Inger Burnicle, MCE Clinic Nurse
Marienet Tolliver, MMPS Instructional Assistant
Christy Bastin, Request for One Time Honorarium
Tracy Furnas, Request for One Time Honorarium
Les Thimlar, MVHS Permanent Substitute
Dana Coy, Floating Food Service Worker
Christina Estep, MVMS Custodian
Penny Spragg, MVMS Food Service Worker
Hayley O’Reilly, MMPS Instructional Assistant
Debra Sexton, Transportation Bus Driver - Request for Termination
Ginger Shriver, MVHS Instructional Assistant
Tyler Riley, Transportation Bus Driver
Kathy Tingwald, Robotics Club
MVHS Non Athletic ECA Recommendations (see attached for list)
Steve Hiner, MVHS Volunteer Wrestling Coach
Gavin Rose, MVHS Volunteer Wrestling Coach
Danielle Morrison, MVHS Assistant Swim Coach
Rose Dowden, Leave of Absence (October 18, 2021 to December 17, 2021)
Kelsey Rusk, Leave of Absence (December 5, 2021 to May 26, 2022)
Ashlea Nelson, Leave of Absence (August 30, 2021 to Undetermined)
Gwen Scrogham, Leave of Absence (Beginning September 16, 2021 for a period of 4-6 weeks)
Ashley Schenck, Leave of Absence (January 22, 2022 to April 18, 2022)
Mrs. Walls seconded and the motion carried 5-0.
Minutes of the August 16, 2021 Meeting
Minutes of the September 2, 2021 Meeting
August 16, 2021 Meeting Minutes
September 2, 2021 Meeting Minutes
There are none.
Mr. Smedley stated that each year schools throughout the state are required to submit their School Improvement Plans to the Department of Education. This year, each of Mt. Vernon's schools went through an accreditation process to have their plans approved in order to earn the distinction of being a highly effective school through an organization called Solution Tree. Solution Tree is an educational publisher and professional development provider that focuses on utilizing highly effective instructional practices to help improve student achievement. All school principals were notified that each of their schools was fully accredited as a highly effective school based on the school improvement plans they developed this year. Each principal then shared an overview of their own school's growth plan. Mr. Smedley thanked the principals for the work they put in on their presentations.
Mr. May made a motion to approve the School Improvement Plans as presented, Mr. Edwards seconded, and the motion carried 5-0.
Resolution approvals will be considered as one action item.
Mr. Elkins asked the board to consider all resolutions as one action item.
Mr. Gray made a motion to approve Budget Related Resolutions 2021-26 through 2021-32 as presented in whole, Mrs. Walls seconded, and the motion carried 5-0.
Mr. Elkins shared that Dr. Parker, Mr. Smedley, Mr. Shelton and himself had the pleasure of reviewing nine respondents to request for qualifications for a construction management firm. Of those nine, they interviewed two firms and chose AECOM Hunt for construction manager as agent. With that, he asked the board for acceptance of his recommendation and authorization to engage in contract discussions. That document will then be brought to the board for approval once it is finalized. Mr. Elkins introduced and welcomed Jim Gulley, Project Executive, and Eric Howe, Vice President.
Mr. Edwards made a motion to approve the Construction Manager Selection as presented, Mr. Gray seconded, and the motion carried 5-0.
Mr. Elkins stated based on recommendations from AECOM Hunt, Construction, and Lancer+Beebe, Architecture Design, Verkler be approved for the Mt. Comfort Elementary Parking and Traffic Project at a contract amount of $975,000. Mr. Elkins asked the board to authorize him to engage with Verkler on the contract for this project. That will be brought to the board at a later time once it is finalized.
Mr. Edwards made a motion to approve Verkel Inc for the Mt. Comfort Elementary Parking & Traffic Project as presented and approve the CFO to engage in a contract for the project, Mrs. Walls seconded, and the motion carried 5-0.
Mr. Smedley presented a Resolution Electing to Join the Public Employee's Retirement Fund as Administered by The Indiana Public Retirement System. He stated we have hired a new occupational therapist, which is a new classified position for Mt. Vernon. In order to pay retirement benefits for this position, this will need to be added to the subdivision of the Public Employees' Retirement Fund. Mr. Smedley asked for this be approved in order to provide retirement benefits to this position.
Mr. May made a motion to approve adding this position to the Public Employee's Retirement Fund as Administered by the Indiana Public Retirement System as presented, Mrs. Walls seconded, and the motion carried 5-0.
Fortville RDC - Mr. Phil Edwards
Cumberland RDC - Mrs. Kellie Freeman
Hancock Co. RDC - Mr. Tony May
McCordsville RDC - Mrs. Shannon Walls
MVEF - Mr. Chad Gray
Fortville RDC - Mr. Edwards stated most of what is being done is on Main Street in Fortville. They are looking at purchasing property for other projects; however, right now the focus has been on Main Street.
Cumberland RDC - Mrs. Freeman presented there has been some recent development in Sugar Creek, not involving our district. There are some proposals for multi-unit dwellings, but nothing that will effect Mt. Vernon.
Hancock County RDC - Mr. May was not able to attend and deferred to Dr. Parker. Dr. Parker stated they are moving forward to support first responders in schools. The most recent discussion involved their budget. It is tight right now, but will open back up in 2022. Buck Creek Township has asked for a couple of ambulances and had already budgeted about the cost of an ambulance for them. They want to continue to help them, but cannot make that promise right now. We do expect additional support for Mt. Vernon Schools in the future.
McCordsville RDC - Mrs. Walls gave an update on McCord's Square and that development. They are quoting a completion date at end of 2023. This will include two separate apartment buildings, a mixed use project with approximately 200 apartments, and some commercial space. The 2020 Economic development plan will be updated for the October meeting.
MVEF - Mr. Gray talked about the most recent Top Golf outing and upcoming Parent University.
Dr. Parker stated Mr. Shelton is working on a solution to helping with traffic at McCordsville Elementary.
Dr. Parker also shared his joy of going into the schools and visiting the PLCs each Wednesday to hear stories of virtual students last year who were struggling and this year are coming to school and learning so much faster or stories about setting goals and students exceeding those goals. It has been an incredibly challenging start to the school year and it is his hope this will level out, but the one thing he is absolutely firm in is that kids need to be in school and because of the adjustments we made a couple of weeks ago, there are a lot more kids in school on a more continuous basis. He is really proud of that and we are going to see this grow and grow over the next couple of months.
Dr. Parker presented how we are funded by two ADM count days. We have reached another milestone this year with a record enrollment of 4452 students as of last Friday. This actually grew 1-2 students per day for probably seven to nine days. Our average class size K-12 is 342 with the highest class size at the sophomore level at 377 and the lowest class size is the juniors at 313. We are expecting the high school to grow again. Fortville Elementary has 730 students and McCordsville Elementary has 701 students. Fortville Elementary was closed to new transfer families and McCordsville Elementary Kindergarten classes were closed as well. We will probably need to close the entire school corporation to new transfer families until the new school is built. Mt. Comfort Elementary has 610 students, the Middle School has 1026 students and is really tight, and the High School has 1385 students. He stated the board's transfer policy has been working very well since the fall of 2019 when it was first implemented and has gone down a little bit each year starting in 2019. This will will allow us to dial that down a little bit as the availability and space in our buildings become limited.
Mr. May made a motion to adjourn at 8:46 p.m., Mr. Edwards seconded, and the motion carried 5-0.