Agenda Plus
School Board of Clay County
District Multi-Purpose Center, Corner of Walnut Street and Gratio Place, Green Cove Springs, FL
January 23, 2024 - School Board Workshop
Date: Jan 23 2024 (9:00 a.m.)
Invocation  (Ashley Gilhousen)
Call to Order  (Present: Erin Skipper, District 1; Mary Bolla, District 2; Beth Clark, District 3, Michele Hanson, District 4; Ashley Gilhousen, District 5; and Superintendent David S. Broskie)
Workshop Items  (Workshop items were addressed in the following order: #2, #3, #1, #4, #5)
1. Review Draft Agenda for Regular School Board Meeting on February 1, 2024

Recognitions and Presentations:

  • Recognition of Academic Team Champions - no discussion;
  • Recognition of 2023-2024 School Related Employee of the Year and Teacher of the Year Finalists - no discussion;
  • Recognition/Ribbon-Cutting of Student Art Gallery Wall - no discussion;
  • Fine Arts Recognition of All-County Events - no discussion;
  • Career and Technical Education Presenters - Superintendent Broskie noted a $1.7M grant awarded for advanced manufacturing new programs within the CTE department and a $1.2M grant awarded for elementary music education; 

Discussion Agenda:

  • D1 Human Resources Special Action A - no discussion;
  • D2 Human Resources Special Action B - no discussion;
  • D3 Human Resources Special Action C - no discussion;

Consent Agenda:

  • C1 Minutes of School Board Workshop on December 19, 2023; Student Discipline Hearings and Regular Meeting on January 4, 2024 - no discussion;
  • C2 Employee Work Calendar for 2024-2025 - no discussion;
  • C3 Revised Student Calendar for 2024-2025 School Year - no discussion;
  • C4 Bettercloud - Mrs. Hanson requested that agenda items contain the previous cost of proposed purchase within the financial impact portion of the agenda item so the board is aware of the current expense when considering the proposed expenditure;
  • C5 Personnel Consent Agenda - Mrs. Gilhousen asked how many students would generate another administrative position; Mr. Broskie noted that those formulas would be examined when the allocation package is brought forward and he anticipates meeting with board members individually to provide information earlier; 
  • C6 Complete Salary Schedule 2023-2024 - Mrs. Hanson asked about when personnel would receive their approved increases and how the effective and highly effective teacher ratings affect their pay moving forward; Mr. Broskie indicated raises for instructional employees would be in the 1/31 paycheck and that their rating remained in their base salary and can be increased again; Mr. Broskie, in response to the board's request for more input in labor negotiations, will set up a full day meeting on April 10th (shade meeting) to obtain board direction on contract negotiations; Mrs. Hanson desires more frequent executive sessions with a goal for the county being to ratify contracts before the school year begins; Mr. Broskie advised additional time allows the district to provide for the maximum amount of increase to employees as funds are only projections earlier in the year; Mrs. Hanson would like a research team to figure out how to reach salary agreement prior to the year beginning; there may be a general meeting in addition to the shade meeting in order to discuss general labor negotiations; Jeremiah Blocker, School Board Attorney, will work with the labor attorney to develop an agenda; Mrs. Gilhousen requested the board members receive a paper copy of the current contract so they may begin to review in anticipation of negotiating a new contract; 
  • C7 K-12 Academic Services Out of State and Overnight Student Travel - no discussion;
  • C8 2024 Proposed Summer Programs Calendars (Secondary, VPK, and 3rd Grade Reading Camp, ESE Extended School Year) - no discussion;
  • C9 Proclaim February 2024 as Black History Month in Clay County Public Schools - no discussion;
  • C10 Charter School Contract Renewal:Florida Cyber Charter Academy (FLCCA) - no discussion;
  • C11 Proclamation #24-10 for Career and Technical Education Month - no discussion;
  • C12 Approval to Advertise the Adoption and Set the Public Hearing for April 4, 2024 of K-12 Social Studies and K-12 Science Materials - no discussion;
  • C13 Proclamation #24-11 for National School Counseling Week - no discussion;
  • C14 Proposed Allocation Changes for 2023-2024 - no discussion;
  • C15 Monthly Financial Reports for December, 2023 - no discussion;
  • C16 Budget Amendment Report for December 31, 2023 - no discussion;
  • C17 Deletion of Certain Items Report January, 2024 - no discussion;
  • C18 BID Renewal - no discussion; Mrs. Skipper asked when the grass-cutting contracts are renewing and Mrs. Ellis advised she would get her that information;
  • C19 Safety & Security: Emergency Communications - Contract Award for Oakleaf Junior High School - no discussion;
  • C20 Change Order #5 (Direct Purchasing) for Keystone Heights Elementary School New Cafeteria/Classrooms - no discussion;
  • C21 Pre-Qualification for Contractors - no discussion;
  • C22 Schematic/Preliminary/Final (Phase I, II, and III) Plans and Specifications for Orange Park Elementary School Restroom Renovation - no discussion;
  • C23 Schematic/Preliminary/Final (Phase I, II, and III) Plans and Specifications for Lakeside Elementary School Restroom Renovations - no discussion;
  • C24 Resolution for disposal of Portable Classroom and Its Associated Equipment, Including Ramps and Stairs Located at Charles E. Bennett Elementary School - no discussion;
  • C25 Purchase Agreement for Portable Classroom and its Associated Equipment, including Ramps and Stairs Located at Charles E. Bennett Elementary School - no discussion;
  • C26 Purchase Agreement for .16 Acres at Montclair Elementary School - no discussion;
  • C27 Change Order #2 (Direct Purchasing) for Clay High School Gym Renovations - no discussion;
  • C28 Change Order #1 for Clay High School Gym Renovations - no discussion;
  • C29 Schematic/Preliminary/Final (Phase I, II, and III) Plans and Specifications for S. Bryan Jennings Elementary School Fire Alarm Repair/Replacement - no discussion;
  • C30 Schematic/Preliminary/Final (Phase I, II, and III) Plans and Specifications for Orange Park High School Media Center Renovations - no discussion;
  • C31 Change Order #5 for Middleburg High School Cafeteria Expansion - no discussion;
  • C32 Change Order #2 for Fleming Island High School Batting Practice Building and Erosion Control - no discussion;
2. Cenergistic Cost Savings Presentation
Cenergistic - Board Workshop 1.23.24.pdf

Bryce Ellis, Assistant Superintendent of Operations, introduced Steve Jones, Regional Vice President, Cenergistic, who shared the attached visual presentation providing an overview of the district's cost savings and reported on the value of having this energy program.  Currently, 28 of the district's schools have earned the Energy STAR certification demonstrating their commitment to high standards in energy conservation.  Total energy savings to date, since 2016 when Clay County District Schools began utilizing the program, are $11,036,310.  


3. Presentation for Bonding - Ford and Associates
COPS 2024 Workshop Presentation - 1-23-24.pdf

Bryce Ellis, Assistant Superintendent of Operations, Will Reed, Executive Director, Ford and Associates, and Lance Addison, Coordinator of Facilities Planning, shared the attached presentation re a Certificate of Participation (COP) for classroom wings at Oakleaf Junior High and Lake Asbury Junior High as well as a future high school.  Information was provided re the district's history in the utilization of COPs and current debt service, why a COP is needed (growth, capacity, portable reduction, and the prohibitive costs of new school construction), projected growth vs capacity, and the process for obtaining a COP.  Mrs. Ellis indicated that the county's growth reflects a need for additional school facilities and the goal is to strategically leverage debt over time.  

Board discussion included the number of classrooms that will be housed in the proposed wings, the number of additional students that can be accommodated in various schools, the goal to continue to reduce portable classrooms, the desire to create small communities by grades within the larger growing schools by intentionally planning and employing creativity.

Mr. Reed indicated the goal is to bring documents for approval in March to determine if the board wants to issue COPs.  Mrs. Skipper asked about the possibility of re-financing if interest rates decrease and was advised the bonds may be re-financed after the first 10 years.  Mr. Reed's recommendation is to use the fixed, not variable, rate due to the unpredictability of interest rates.  The proposed classrooms would be open in August 2025 and the process may begin as soon as funds are there.


4. Review of Elementary Supplemental Math Program
i-Ready Presentation.pdf

Govinda Poor, Math Curriculum Specialist, provided an overview (attached) of iReady, an elementary supplemental math program implemented in all 28 elementary schools.  She reviewed the teacher feedback survey results, quantity of time spent in each portion of the program (direct, small-group, and online personalized instruction), and discussed the program being aligned to Florida benchmarks.

Additional board discussion included how often feedback is obtained from teachers to know if they are utilizing the program correctly or need support, how the curriculum coaches and math coaches collaborate and support teachers, how the program may be utilized for district monitoring by providing an overview of how students are performing, and that teachers from all grade levels were sampled.  Mr. Broskie noted that the district has always done a return on investment study of its programs and that Clay County is 9th in the state of Florida in mathematics.

A recess was taken at 11:47 a.m. and the meeting reconvened at 12:03 p.m.

5. Discussion of Revisions to Procedures Manual for Library Media Services
23-24 Procedures Manual for Library Media Services DRAFT.pdf

Michele Hanson, School Board Member, shared the attached visual presentation re proposed changes to the "Procedures Manual for Library Media Services."  She reviewed the historical development and adoption of the current policy and stressed the importance of holding community forums to bring diverse personalities and thoughts into the decision-making process.  She indicated that the community understands that compromise leads to progress and stated she has also met with secondary media specialists to understand the current process in order to untangle it.

Mr. Blocker noted the current document has a mix of policies and procedures, and that the goal is to extract a policy from which procedures will follow.  The management of policy is critical with the superintendent having the ability to change procedure.  The board discussed the possibility of using Neola to assist with creating consistent policy that remains statutorily compliant and that is easily accessed via the district's website.

Mrs. Hanson discussed the starting point being the principal when deciphering the acceptability of books.  Options for book challenges were proposed, including multiple challenges by an individual.  An option for expedited challenges was proposed.  Mrs. Hanson stressed the need for sufficient policy and procedures, with built-in protections against challenges based on insufficiency.  She proposed going back to the original 171 books for consideration to return those books to the shelves and then address 100 books per month until the backlog has been managed.

Mrs. Clark appreciated all of Mrs. Hanson's efforts.  Mrs. Skipper noted that this policy needs to be fixed as soon as possible and asked if the policy, with legal refinements, will hold from a legal standpoint.  Mr. Blocker indicated he will work with whatever the board puts forth and will address some fine points to ensure the concepts are defensible.  He indicated that the board can not be removed from the final decision, per the state, but duties can be delegated.  Once the board adopts the policy, the superintendent may develop procedures.  Mr. Broskie noted the importance of having procedures in mind when forming the policy and thanked Mrs. Hanson for the framework provided to move forward.  Mr. Blocker noted a potential challenge in pushing the responsibility down to the principal level and stressed the importance of training and procedural development to ensure enforcement.  Mrs. Bolla appreciated all of Mrs. Hanson's work and noted that she did hear concerns at the community meeting that reflected a split in opinions.

Roger Dailey, Chief Academic Officer, advised that the policy approved by the board in April 2023 has been highly effective, allowing challenges to be caught up.  Current policy is structured for the district to ensure calibration.  He proposed that the books currently in the appellate process may have given the board pause because they may not want to appear to sanction those books as those books may be questionable in their reflection of the community.  He advised there may be complications to the policy if all school principals and media specialists (approximately 86 individuals) are involved.  Mrs. Hanson does not support the current policy approved in April.  

Mrs. Hanson will meet with designated staff to review the proposed revisions in depth and a subsequent board workshop may also be held to further discuss proposed revisions.

Questions from the Audience
6. Questions from the Audience

Pastor Jeffrey Dove questioned why a prior agenda item was removed from the consent agenda and Mr. Broskie responded that the item required more thought.  Pastor Dove also questioned what he stated is a lack of diversity in administrators, and Mr. Broskie will meet with him at a future time to discuss that question further. 

Superintendent Comments  (None)
School Board Attorney Comments
7. School Board Attorney Comments

Jeremiah Blocker, School Board Attorney, indicated that he will be updating the board on negotiations with the Sheriff's department as the proposed agreement continues to progress and jurisdictional issues are addressed.

He formally requested a shade meeting to discuss labor negotiations on 4/10/24 at 9:00 a.m. and also requested a shade meeting that must be held prior to May to discuss litigation.

School Board Comments
8. School Board Member Comments

Mrs. Bolla noted there will be a dinner at Panera on 1/30/24 to raise funds in support of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.

Mrs. Skipper noted the next Community Forum will be held on February 13, 2024, on the topics of dress code and cell phone use.  She also wants the board to discuss the current legal services situation now that Mr. Blocker has taken over the entire legal workload in addition to addressing board policies and revising procedures.  She believes Mr. Blocker has overperformed and she would like to address the current contract to provide additional attorneys for legal support so that those attorneys may address district needs while Mr. Blocker works with board needs and indicated the negotiated contract amount needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

Mr. Blocker proposed establishing a legal office (a team) that would work to support the superintendent, district, and board, to address legal issues appropriately.  Mrs. Hanson noted frequent interruptions to Mr. Blocker's work day by staff members.  Mr. Broskie indicated he will work with Mr. Blocker to review the legal services contract and noted that a meeting was held on 1/11/24 to address the structure of legal services.  Mr. Blocker would like to be entrusted with the resources and build the framework for the legal department, indicating the district is not currently paying market rate for that level of services.

Mrs. Clark will provide a self-insurance update at the board meeting and requested that legal services negotiations be wrapped up this month.

Mrs. Bolla requested the list of committee assignments, which Mrs. Gilhousen will finalize and provide.

Mrs. Skipper indicated that many PFAs would like to join together and become one PFA and proposed the idea of having a board member liaison representative for that committee when formed.  

Mrs. Gilhousen proposed adjusting the workshop time.  Workshops will now begin at noon and the board requests presentations be more succinct.

Adjournment  (2:56 p.m.)
Superintendent of Schools School Board Chair