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BOT Meeting Highlights November 2017

Board Election of Officers

The Board of Trustees re-elected Kate Darby as Chair (5-4 vote) and Rev. Dr. Eric Mack Vice Chair (9-0 vote) for the next 12 months. This will be the second year that Darby and Mack will serve as Chair and Vice Chair.  

Superintendent’s Evaluation

All nine board members participated in the CCSD Superintendent’s evaluation, which concluded today after a productive discussion.

“The Board rated the evaluation as “met” overall. We agree that the results accurately represent the successes of the past year. The Board looks forward to working with Dr. Postlewait and moving the district forward,” said Kate Darby, Board Chair.

As a result of her evaluation score, Postlewait was eligible for the same percentage of salary increase that may have been provided to other certified employees of the District; however, she has opted to again decline the pay raise and focus on improving education for Charleston County.

“It is very honorable and I commend our Superintendent for declining a pay increase. She has led our District through another challenging year, all while maintaining focus on our highest priority-educating children and closing the achievement gap,” said Kate Darby.

The board approved a decision to adjust the Superintendent’s evaluation schedule; the change will allow the board additional time to address the evaluation’s content, goals, and format in accordance with the Superintendent’s contract.

The plan is to conduct a workshop from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on January 8, 2018 during the Committee of the Whole Meeting, and if necessary, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on January 22, 2018 before the Board of Trustees Regular Meeting to finalize the content and format of the evaluation. During that workshop(s), the board will also consider revising board policy CBI (Evaluation of Superintendent). This revision, and the evaluation tool, will be finalized annually by the first board meeting in the fiscal year (July).

District 3 Bus Lot

The board voted against the recommendation to build a centralized bus lot for District 3 (James Island) on CCSD land adjacent to James Island Elementary School with a 4-4 vote.

The creation of one bus lot on James Island allows CCSD and Durham to maximize resources and adjust to unplanned schedule changes. The existing bus lot at Fort Johnson Middle School will not be available after the start of construction of the new Camp Road Middle School at that site.

The budget for the project is $3.3 million; the plan is for the D3 bus lot to be able to hold 38 buses.

Transportation Modifications

The Board of Trustees approved a modification to the district’s contract with Durham School Services with an 8-1 vote. The adjustment improves on the services currently being offered by Durham, and adds “DriveCam” for all buses being used in the District (the buses operated by Durham and those maintained by CCSD).

“DriveCam” is a camera system that records both the bus driver and the road; the camera is automatically activated when the program senses unusual driving actions. The video feed is then sent wirelessly to supervisors for live viewing, and can be used to help drivers improve their performance on the road. According to Durham, “Drive Cam” has shown to reduce the number of erratic events by drivers, which increases the level of safe transportation for students.

This contract modification also provides payments for existing services, including compensation for all propane fuel for buses added with the middle school bell time change implemented in January 2016, training of District staff for activity buses, proper compensation for District drivers, and recruiting, hiring, and training replacement drivers for any retiring District drivers. The contract modification includes an agreement on the sharing of hazardous mileage credit between Durham and CCSD from the past school year.

Durham will receive an extra $1.07 million (one-time payment) for the current 2017-18 school year. Increases will be between $40,000 and $70,000 per year for the remaining two years left on the District’s contract with Durham.    

Substitute Teacher Pay Increase

The CCSD Board of Trustees approved by a 9-0 vote to increase the pay substitute teachers (and teacher assistants) receive per day, and for long-term assignments. The changes to the rates, which go into effect December 1, 2017, include the following:

- Daily teacher substitute pay rate will go from $80 to $112 a day for certified teachers who have certification ($14/hour)

- Daily teacher substitute pay rate will go from $64 to $100 a day for those without certification (requirements include either 60 college credits or paraprofessional training) ($12.50/hour)

- Long-term certified teacher substitutes (10 days or longer) will receive a daily rate based on the CCSD teacher salary schedule; the previous rate was $150 a day

- Long-term uncertified teacher substitutes (10 days or longer) will receive $112 each day (requirements include either 60 college credits or Parapro); the previous rate was $64 a day

Raising the pay for substitutes will cost about $700,000. For the remainder of the 2017-18 school year, the increase in pay (which will total a little over $1 million) will be funded largely by the unfilled absences that have occurred this year, and the reduction in the upcharge fee by Kelly Services.

Kelly Services, which is contracted by CCSD to fill substitute teacher requests from schools, will lower its upcharge fee (a fee placed on each placement) from 37.5% to 30% for short-term subs and 25% for long-term subs.

Cost of Living Adjustment

The CCSD Board of Trustees approved a proposal by a 9-0 vote to increase all administrators’ salaries (school and district) by 1% for the rest of the year; they had originally received a 1% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for the 2017-18 school year. The move was made to align administrators with teachers and non-exempt staff members across the district who already received a board-approved 2% COLA for the 2017-18 school year.

Frierson Montessori Proposal

The Board of Trustees approved by a 9-0 vote to establish a Montessori program at Edith L. Frierson Elementary School.

After several years of planning with community input, a proposal was presented to the Board in October to establish a Montessori Program at Frierson Elementary to serve all District 9 students. The program will be phased in, starting with two Primary classrooms in the fall of 2018. The traditional educational program will continue until the current first graders graduate from fifth grade in 2022. District staff estimates the cost will be approximately $276,000 for the first year (2018-19). This will include training, materials, and buses to transport students. This will be a recurring cost each year. Renovation to Frierson Elementary isn’t necessary for the 2018-19 school year, but an architect will work on a long range plan to renovate the building and the cost associated with the project.

School and District leadership will continue to work with the District 9 Constituent Board, and the community, to develop a plan to communicate with the community about the new Montessori Program at Frierson.  

Special Recognition

P-Card Rebate - The CCSD Office of Procurement presented the Board with a rebate check of $192,451.97 from Bank of America. The District receives an annual rebate from Bank of America based on the total dollars spend via a P-Card.  In FY17 the District spent $14,507,954.55 using a P-Card, which resulted in a rebate of $192,451.97.  This is a $28,860.46 increase from last year. A portion of the rebate is given to the District’s Title 1 budget, and the majority of it is returned to the General Operating Fund to be used at the discretion of the Board and the District.

Mark Cobb Memorial/Ron McWhirt Scholarship Golf Tournament - A check for $14,966.60 was presented to the District to be used for scholarships for five CCSD seniors from the Class of 2018 ($2,500 each). The money was raised at the 16th Annual Mark Cobb/Ron McWhirt Scholarship Golf Tournament at Coosaw Creek on October 18, 2017. The tournament has raised over $178,000 in scholarship funds for CCSD students over the past 16 years.
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