Agenda Plus
School Board of Clay County
District Multi-Purpose Center, Corner of Walnut Street & Gratio Place, Green Cove Springs, FL
September 26, 2023 - School Board Workshop
Date: Sep 26 2023 (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
1. Review Draft Agenda for Regular School Board Meeting on October 5, 2023
October-5-2023-regular-school-board-meeting_agenda_packet (3).pdf


  • Recognize Schools' Excellence for Kids Heart Challenge, American Heart Association - no discussion;

Consent Agenda:

  • C1 Minutes of School Board Workshop on August 29, 2023; Student Discipline Hearings and Regular Meeting on September 7, 2023 - no discussion;
  • C2 School Board Member Out-of-County Travel Expenses Estimated to attend FSBA/FADSS 78th Annual Joint Conference - no discussion;
  • C3 Google Workspace for Education Renewal - no discussion;
  • C4 Approval to Advertise and Notice of Public Hearing to Adopt Revisions to School Board Policy 7.00 (Information Services) - revisions to this policy are needed due to recent legislation addressing new policy language related to data ownership, records and email retention, data privacy, and social media usage; brief discussion of "business use" in data ownership, clarified by Jeremiah Blocker, School Board Attorney, that this language tracks with statute language;
  • C5 Personnel Consent Agenda - Mrs. Hanson requested information re redesignated positions; Superintendent Broskie advised this can occur when there is an increase or decrease in responsibility of an allocated position; Mrs. Hanson has requested additional information from Dr. Legutko, Assistant Superintendent of Business Affairs, in order to understand the impact of these changes on the budget; additional discussion included the difficulty of hiring for skilled positions on the current salary tables; Mrs. Skipper noted the need to be competetive with other counties with employee pay and retention; Mrs. Hanson noted additional responsibilities of classroom teachers and is concerned about the retention of master teachers and new teachers; Mr. Broskie noted historical salaries and stated instructional position salaries have been the highest in the last three years and indicated the board must carefully consider how available funding is applied to compensation; Mrs. Hanson suggested the need to consider freezing salaries and redesignating positions due to current financial circumstances;
  • C6 Memorandum of Understanding between Clay County District Schools and St. Leo University - this program is "para to pro" and serves to grow teachers from paraprofessional positions; 
  • C7 School Improvement Plan Approval - Mr. Broskie shared the steps involved in the creation of the plan presented; 
  • C8 K-12 Academic Services Out of State and Overnight Student Travel - no discussion;
  • C9 2023-24 Early College Program (formerly Collegiate High School) Contract Between the School Board of Clay County and District Board of Trustees of St. Johns River State College - brief discussion of Bright Futures funding for students graduating high school with an AA degree and the need to provide clarifying information to parents; there will be a Parents Academy with breakout sessions to share information with parents;
  • C10 Proclamation for Red Ribbon Week - no discussion; 
  • C11 Proposed Allocation Changes for 2023-2024 - no discussion;
  • C12 Advantage Package for Clinical Rules in Pharmacy Program - Hannah Carter, Account Executive, The Bailey Group, attended the meeting via telephonic conferencing and reviewed the district's current pharmacy program for employees; recommended increasing the Clinical Rules Program Package from the Limited Package to the Advantage Package, utilizing the same three programs (Step Therapy, Prior Authorization, and Drug Quantity Management), but expanding the drug list; changes would be effective 1/1/2024 and align with the regularly scheduled Rx formulary change;
  • C13 Contract Services for Stop Loss Insurance - Hannah Carter, Account Executive, The Bailey Group, recommended renewing with Sun Life for stop loss coverage for the 10/1/2023 plan year;
  • C14 Implementing SaveOnSP Program in Pharmacy Program - Hannah Carter, Account Executive, The Bailey Group, recommended adding the SaveOnSP program to maximize copay assistance for certain specialty medications that meet the program requirements; eligible specialty medications would reduce member cost; the plan would be implemented to be effective 1/1/2024 to align with the regularly scheduled Rx formulary change; board members requested additional information re the listed eligible specialty medications; 
  • C15 Deletion of Certain Items Report September, 2023 - no discussion;
  • C16 Bid/Contract Renewal - no discussion;
  • C17 Advertisement and Notice of Public Hearing for Amendments to School Board Policy 1.14, Sales Surtax Citizens Advisory Committee - the purpose of this committee was reviewed; proposed policy language revisions are to ensure a quorum to be able to take action at meetings; revisions are to move from a strict rule requiring one (1) member from each district to a simple majority, allowing an alternate to vote in the absence of a district's regular member; 
  • C18 Prequalification of Contractors - no discussion;
  • C19 Change Order #8 for Orange Park High School Stadium Repair/Replacement - brief discussion about needed stadium repairs at Green Cove Springs Junior High;
  • C20 Change Order #2 for Orange Park Junior High School Restroom Renovations - no discussion;
  • C21 Safety & Security; Emergency Communications-Contract Award for Clay High School - Bryce Ellis, Assistant Superintendent of Operations introduced Spencer Anderson, Regional Sales Director, Audio Enhancement, who provided an audio/visual presentation re the proposed product for campus safety and enhanced classroom audio instruction; the product will be a one-time cost to include maintenance, will utilize voter-approved safety and security mill funding, and will include an intercom paging and bell solution for the entire campus; SAFE system will send silent alerts to front office and first responders to address emergent situations; system integrates with current and planned access controls;
  • C22 Safety & Security; Emergency Communications-Contract Award for Keystone Heights High School - see comments for C21
  • C23 Safety & Security; Emergency Communications-Contract Award for Middleburg High School - see comments for C21
  • C24 Safety & Security; Emergency Communications-Contract Award for Ridgeview High School - see comments for C21
  • C25 Safety & Security; Emergency Communications-Contract Award for Fleming Island High School - see comments for C21

*A recess was taken from 11:10 a.m. to 11:22 a.m.

  • C26 Substantial and Final Completion of Ridgeview High School Roof Repair/Replacement Building 2 - no discussion;
  • C27 Final Completion of Wilkinson Elementary School Kitchen/Cafeteria Renovations - no discussion;
  • C28 Final Completion of Ridgeview Elementary School Roof Repair/Replacement Buildings 1, 2, &3 Kitchen/Cafeteria Renovations - no discussion;
  • C29 County-Wide Professional Mechanical/Electrical Engineering Services Contract Award - no discussion;
  • C30 Change Order #5 (Reconciliation of GMP) for Spring Park Elementary School - Mr. Broskie noted a savings of $573,000 as this project concludes; 
  • C31 Final Completion of Spring Park Elementary School - no discussion;

Discussion Agenda:

  • D1 Human Resources Special Action A - no discussion;
  • D2 Human Resources Special Action B - no discussion;
2. Discussion of Timeline for Review of School Board Policies

Mrs. Bolla Indicated that policies should be reviewed with regularity and it may be helpful for the board to review with the superintendent or his designee so board members can learn what the policies are and what revisions may be required, noting that statute changes continuously drive the revisions of applicable policies.  She noted that NEOLA does updates on policies for all registered clients, indicating that NEOLA has been considered previously but not retained due to cost.

Mr. Blocker noted that staff as well as attorneys should be involved in policy revisions, and he has recommended to the superintendent that this process needs to be done in an organized, disciplined way in order to avoid confusion and frustration among staff.  He shared that NEOLA does conduct regular reviews and proposed a continuous review of all policies, to be done in a two-year cycle, with each department bringing recommended and statutory changes to the board for discussion so that all recommendations can be crafted in a legally sufficient, defensible way.  As changes occur in legislature and federal case law, flexibility and the need to adjust will be required.  Mr. Broskie will meet with staff to establish a timeline to direct the workflow for regular policy review, and Mr. Blocker will be responsible for addressing new legislation requiring action.

Mrs. Hanson noted that her biggest concern is not having sufficient conversation about stakeholder input on matters such as cell phones and discipline.

The current cost of NEOLA is $142,000., and the board is not interested in incurring that expense at this time.

3. Review of Current Tobacco Policy and Potential Revisions

Mrs. Skipper requested discussion of this topic, stating that current policy re tobacco use has not been updated since 1981 and is very short.  She shared a Tobacco-Free K-12 School Model Policy currently used by other Florida counties and indicated the need to do more re vaping.  She would like to adopt the policy she submitted as well as discuss what could be done differently or better to take advantage of free services from different organizations for students, obtain signage across campuses, and have organizations come in and speak to students.

Laura Fogarty, Director of Climate and Culture, recently met with Tobacco Free Florida, who apologized for putting out some misinformation re board policy.  Mrs. Forgarty distributed information highlighting current policy embedded in the Code of Student Conduct and discussed policy as it correlates to the proposed policy. Additional partnerships (Hanley Foundation, Air National Guard, and Clay Action Coalition) are programs currently utilized to provide education on the effects of tobacco.

The communication and instruction re how the Code of Conduct is reviewed and communicated to students and parents were discussed. Mrs. Hanson discussed the need for a systematic approach where every student hears the information from a school principal.  She likes the clear policy proposed by Mrs. Skipper.  Mrs. Gilhousen noted the need to address the attachment issue, indicating that relationship is the reason people turn to substances to fulfill that void and that this is a larger conversation to be had with the community to demonstrate how building relationships will insulate students from these harmful things.  Mrs. Skipper indicated a policy is needed to hold individuals accountable (amend board policy) and then allow partners into schools more often to speak to students.  Suggestions were also made to have the organizations team up with physical education coaches and include this instruction in science or physical education classes.

Mr. Blocker will explore augmenting the Code of Conduct and work with Mr. Broskie and staff to strengthen policy.

4. Discussion of School Visitations

Mrs. Skipper indicated that a lack of a visitor policy has been brought to her attention.  She has submitted potential policies to Mr. Blocker and had conversations with him.  She advised that a majority of the state has similar policies and implements some degree of background checks for visitors and any individuals that will be around students and that this is needed for student safety.  Mr. Blocker noted that there are state statutes that govern this and indicate notification requirements.

Mr. Broskie noted that all visitors come to the school front office and go through the Raptor system which determines if the individual is on any registry.  Offending parents still have a legal right to their student, and those individuals are escorted to their destination, and specific individuals are monitored.

Mr. Blocker advised FS 966.0222 addresses certain types of offenses and the requirements for notification of those individuals as well as supervision guidelines.  Additional discussion included requirements for background checks and various restrictions on individuals who have offended.

Mrs. Skipper proposed requiring all coaches not employed by the district to have a full Level II background check due to the high potential of them being alone with students.  Terri Dennis, Coordinator of Communications, discussed the screening process for volunteers, including cross-referencing names on the predator site and reporting those names to Human Resources, pulling up arrest records in Florida, and placing foreign parents on hold until the issuance of a government ID can be checked.

Mr. Broskie would like to see the policies provided by Mrs. Skipper to Mr. Blocker and discuss with Human Resources.

5. Discussion of Potential Buyout of School Board Attorney (Bickner) Contract

Mrs. Hanson appreciated the services of Mr. Blocker and his firm and proposed a buyout of Mr. Bickner's contract so a fresh start may continue with sole reliance on Mr. Blocker.  

The associated total cost of this proposal is $65,000.  Mr. Broskie stressed the importance of transition.  Mr. Blocker, in response to a question re the current sufficiency of transition, shared his expectation that Mr. Bickner would continue to finish current district work as he worked with the board on developing relationships and addressing their priorities.  He indicated Mr. Bickner's early departure would create some challenges and more time would be helpful but he can work with whatever the board decides.  

Further discussion included managing the focus of Mr. Bickner's work while not changing the transition timeline and determining a process for evaluating the sufficiency of legal needs approximately 90 days after the transition is complete.

*A recess was taken from 1:18 p.m. to 1:25 p.m.

6. Discussion of Book Challenge Policy and Potential Revisions

Roger Dailey, Chief Academic Officer, provided an overview of the current school library book policy and the status of challenged books, indicating that the revisions approved by the board in April 2023 have worked well and are congruent with laws that went into effect on July 1, 2023.  If no additional action is taken, constituents will continue to read, at board meetings, things not covered by the statute such as profanity, drug use, and gang violence.  The board has overseen the district providing total control to parents.  Secondary parents have complete control of what their students can access, making books not accessible to students without written parent permission.  To go further in book restriction could be considered a superimposition of other parents' controls.  A diverse group of community members has developed a set of community guidelines for library books.  This list could be added to existing policy as a filter, but ramifications could be record-setting numbers of removed books, increased media attention, and potential litigation.  Currently, policy provides that the board votes not on the books themselves, but on whether the law was appropriately applied by the team responsible for reviewing the books.

Mrs. Hanson distributed the Library Media and Instructional Materials Training Transcript to board members.  These guidelines were implemented by the Florida Department of Education in April.  She reviewed the document, highlighting the goals of materials being age-appropriate (taking into consideration grade levels, maturity, reading levels, etc.), free of bias, having an educational purpose, being relevant to the needs and interests of students, and indicating a need to survey stakeholders for interests and provide an opportunity for input.  She does not view having the most banned books as a source of shame and supports being emboldened to do what is right.  She believes there are non-pornographic materials that also do not belong on library shelves.  She would like to discuss procedural changes in policy and provide guidance for consideration of a rubric that may be used to evaluate reading materials.

Mrs. Skipper supports Mrs. Hanson's perspective and doing what is best with tax-payers funding, indicating it is a good idea to ask the public and parents for input.  

Mrs. Bolla asked if books are being purchased and was advised there is still a freeze on purchasing books.  She indicated she has considered the specificity of community limits and input being part of guidelines, not policy, but indicates she does not want to infringe on the rights of parents, who are key and should have the ultimate discretion and authority over their child's reading material.

Mrs. Gilhousen appreciates the community standards that have been developed but believes this set of standards should be provided to media specialists, at that level, rather than being included in policy, giving media specialists the opportunity to de-select books at the school level.

Mr. Blocker advised the purpose of the statute was to get obscene materials away from children and that the legislature had the option to go further but chose not to.  The legislature has placed the responsibility of this matter with the board.  Current policy is effective as far as keeping the board removed to a certain point.  He encouraged the board to think about whether they want to modify current policy by incorporating community standards, allowed for by statute and legally defensible, but which may create additional opportunities to be challenged.  Adopting community standards that have not been fully vetted through the court system may bring litigation and associated costs.  He will review the policy to assess the need for any revisions, avoiding community standards, but making layers of echelon below the board to protect them.  He recommended time to absorb and research. Board members will email any input to Mr. Blocker.  Any guidelines should be developed by the superintendent and staff, with the board having input, because this procedure has to do with operational function.

In the course of scheduling additional discussion on this topic, Mrs. Gilhousen indicated that she would contact Sheriff Cook to obtain information and determine whether a presentation would be made for consideration on a different matter.

7. Lunch Break (Recess) as Necessary

A lunch break was not taken.  The board took a recess from 11:10 a.m. to 11:22 a.m. and a recess from 1:18 p.m. to 1:25 p.m.

Questions from the Audience
8. Questions From the Audience

Victoria Kidwell, President, Clay County Education Association, expressed concern re the proposed dissemination of guidelines to media specialists that may be interpreted differently and if guidance would be provided to bring greater clarity as individual judgements may differ. 

Superintendent Comments
9. Superintendent Comments

Mr. Broskie advised Clay Day will be held in January and requested the board give thought to legislative priorities to be discussed at the October workshop.

School Board Attorney Comments  (None)
School Board Comments
10. School Board Member Comments

Mrs. Hanson requested clarification from Mr. Broskie re whether the instruction of 7 Mindsets is mandatory.  Mr. Broskie responded that a school leadership team may determine this curriculum should be utilized.

Mrs. Skipper requested an update on transportation.  Mr. Broskie indicated there are currently approximately five (5) doubleback routes due to drivers leaving, eight (8) drivers out on FML, eleven (11) trainees (3-4 weeks training process), and nine (9) interviews completed, currently in the Human Resources process.  Mrs. Hanson asked about double-ups (seat sharing) and Mr. Broskie advised that is not typically done and he will look into that. 

Mrs. Skipper suggested each department research systems that can accomplish multiple things so it doesn't take large amounts of staff's time to supply board members with requested documentation and to condense programs as a cost savings measure.

Adjournment  (3:25 p.m.)
Superintendent of Schools School Board Chair