Agenda Plus
School Board of Clay County
District Multi-Purpose Center, Green Cove Springs (Corner of Walnut Street and Gratio Place)
January 28, 2020 - School Board Workshop
Date: Jan 28 2020 (9:00 a.m.)
Invocation  (Tina Bullock)
Call to Order  (Present: Janice Kerekes, District 1; Carol Studdard, District 2 (participated via phone); Tina Bullock, District 3; Mary Bolla, District 4; Ashley Gilhousen, District 5 and Superintendent Addison Davis. )
Workshop Items
1. Review Draft Agenda for Regular School Board Meeting on February 6, 2020


  • Career and Technical Education Presentation - presentation will highlight Career and Technical Education programs offered in Clay County Schools, raise awareness of the role that CTE has in preparing students for careers and college, and recognize CTE community members' achievements nationwide;
  • School Counselors Presentation - presentation will focus public attention on the unique contributions of school counselors within U.S. school systems and highlight school counselors of Clay County District Schools;


  • C1 Minutes of Workshop on December 17, 2019; Student Discipline Hearings, and Regular Meeting on January 9, 2020 - no discussion;
  • C2 Personnel Consent Agenda - brief question and clarification of name placement on list;
  • C3 K-12 Academic Services Out of State and Overnight Student Travel - routine student travel;
  • C4 2020-21 Florida Youth Challenge Academy Calendar - similar to prior year, no discussion;
  • C5 Proclamation #20-07 for Career and Technical Education Month - no discussion;
  • C6 Proclamation #20-08 for National School Counseling Week - no discussion;
  • C7 Proposed Allocation Changes for 2019-2020 - brief discussion of new Marketing and Farm to School Coordinator position that will be housed under Food and Nutrition Services;
  • C8 Monthly Financial Reports for December 2019 - routine reports;
  • C9 Budget Amendment for Month Ending December 31, 2019 - routine;
  • CF10 Deletion of Certain Items Report January 2020 - routine surplus of items;
  • C11 Bid to be Awarded - no discussion;
  • C12 Schematic/Preliminary/Final (Phase I, II, and III) Plans and Specifications for Lakeside Junior High School Parking Lot Renovation - no discussion;
  • C13 Schematic/Preliminary/Final (Phase I, II, and III) Plans and Specifications for Keystone Heights Elementary School Roof Replacement/Repair (Building 10) - no discussion;
  • C14 Schematic/Preliminary/Final (Phase I, II, and III) Plans and Specifications for Wilkinson Elementary School Fire Alarm Replacement - no discussion;
  • C15 Schematic/Preliminary/Final (Phase I, II, and III) Plans and Specifications for Clay High School Erosion Control/Stormwater Repair - no discussion;
  • C16 Pre-qualification of Contractors - routine;
  • C17 Fleming Island High School Hurricane Retrofit Agreement 2019 - no discussion;


  • D1 Human Resources Special Action - no actions at present time;
  • D2 Public Hearing and Vote to Approve as Advertised the Adoption of 2019-20 Career Technical Education (CTE) and World Languages Materials - no discussion.


2. Operations Presentation (Informational)

Dr. Michael Kemp, Asst. Superintendent, Operations, introduced team members and presented information to promote awareness of current challenges facing the Operations Department.

Phil Hans, Director of Maintenance, discussed personnel statistics, scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, current maintenance trades positions in four salary grades,  comparison to local school districts, U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics pay in trades, wage comparison of trades, and the difficulty of recruiting and retaining personnel, largely attributable to compensation.  Options to improve by increasing salary versus contracting services were highlighted.  Superintendent Davis discussed apprenticeships and student recruitment through paid internships. In prior years, success has been experienced with engaging employees who were students in the district's Career and Technical Education programs but, currently, trades are hiring these students upon graduation. The District's highly experienced employees are approaching retirement, and Operations is facing the challenge of an inability to compete with the market.  Restructuring salary schedules is a possible option to overcoming the current obstacle to engagement and retention of employees.

Derald Sweatt, Transportation Director, discussed the difficulty of attracting transportation diesel mechanics, due to the pay scale and current personnel numbers, and existing obligations to maintenance of district vehicles. Department of Education recommends a 20:1 ratio for mechanics.  Clay County District Schools' current ratios are 23:1 for buses and 44:1 for all district vehicles.  Areas of opportunity exist to create capacity and the ability to comply with state recommendations.

Dr. Kemp also discussed the most recent Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA) audit that recommended growing Operations personnel to support district schools.  There currently exists the same amount of staffing as in 1995, but with an increased number of schools and more growth projected.  Items to consider addressing are the current salary schedule with a focus on industry skilled areas, moving positions requiring professional certifications to a professional versus a support salary scale, increasing capacity to meet state staffing guidelines, and adjusting the current number of allowable years experience on pay scale from 10 to 20 in order to attract and retain qualified employees.


3. Discuss Board role and options regarding appointment of Interim Superintendent; determine agenda action item for February 6, 2020 Board meeting (item submitted by Janice Kerekes)

Mrs. Kerekes added this item, having spoken with Bruce Bickner, School Board Attorney, regarding the process for the governor appointing an interim superintendent following the departure of our current elected superintendent.  Mr. Bickner recommends revising School Board policy to allow the School Board to have the authority to appoint an interim superintendent until such time as the governor makes his appointment of an interim superintendent.    The revision of School Board policy to appoint an interim, pending the governor's appointment, would allow the work of the district to move forward in the event that the governor's action is delayed.  The School Board wishes to move forward with a policy change advertisement and subsequent public hearing and approval.

4. Discuss School Board purchase options for Vystar Building, 2310 Village Square Parkway, Fleming Island, FL. If Board's concensus and interest in purchase is sufficient, give directions to Asst. Superintendent Michael Kemp and School Board attorney as to how to proceed.

Dr. Kemp, Assistant Superintendent, Operations, presented options for consideration to assist with determining the most fiscally responsible action re: the current state and location of the district/central offices.

Bryce Ellis, Director of Facilities and Planning, indicated that the space utilized currently for the district offices is deteriorating.  The maintenance of the district offices is currently costing $500,000. to $1,000,000 annually, the average age of buildings is 60.5 years, and there are 250 unimproved and non-compliant parking spaces.  There is currently no room for growth, renovations to existing properties are cost-prohibitive, and the purchase of new property and necessary site work would exceed $20,000,000. The asking price for the Story Center Building (Vystar building) is $13,500,000. and it is appraised at over $16,000,000.  Renovation of this property to suit current needs would require an additional $2,000,000. The acquisition of this property would also enable the sale of current buildings to generate revenue.

Discussion ensued concerning the financial capacity to purchase this property, the possibility of negotiating a lower price, the feasibility of using bonded funds, the impact of deferment creating larger and more expensive issues, and the potential impact on the pending sales tax item.  A decision was made to add a discussion item to the February 6, 2020 regular meeting agenda to explore completing a financial analysis of funds expended on buildings, projected costs to bring buildings to code, strategies to purchase the Story Center Building, sale of existing buildings, historical requirements/restrictions of current buildings, and the cost to sell and relocate.   


Questions from the Audience
Superintendent Comments
School Board Comments
Adjournment  (10:15 a.m.)
Superintendent of Schools School Board Chair