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HCPS publishes minutes of School Board meetings after Board approval. Although the online minutes do not include signatures, citizens may arrange to review the official documents by completing a public records request with the Communications Department.

MINUTES
SCHOOL BOARD OF HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FLORIDA
901 E. Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa
Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The School Board of Hillsborough County, Florida, met in workshop session April 5, 2016, at

10 a.m., in the Staff Conference Room, 901 East Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa, with Superintendent Jeff Eakins and Board Members Doretha W. Edgecomb, April Griffin, Sally Harris, and Susan Valdes present.  Chair Griffin presided.

Members Absent:  Melissa Snively, Carol Kurdell, and Cindy Stuart (arrived at 10:18 a.m.)

 

Others present:

 

General Counsel – Jeff Gibson

School Board Attorney – Jim Porter


Chief of Staff – Alberto Vázquez, Ed.D.

Chief of Schools, Administration – Larry Sykes, Ed.D.

Deputy Superintendent – Van Ayres


Assistant Superintendents/Division Chiefs:

            Academic Support and Federal Programs – Tracye Brown

            Business – Gretchen Saunders

            Curriculum and Instruction – Denny Oest

Diversity – Lewis Brinson, Ed.D.          - absent

            Facilities – Chris Farkas

            Government Relations – Connie Milito - absent

            Human Resources – Stephanie Woodford

            Information and Technology – Anna Brown, Ed.D. - absent

            Student Services – Wynne Tye

                       

Communications Manager – Jason Pepe, Ed.D.

External Communications Manager – Tanya Arja

Superintendent’s Secretary (Recording) – Linda Fernandez

 

News Media Representatives:

            Tampa Bay Times – Marlene Sokol

            Tampa Tribune – Anastasia Dawson

                                   

Approximately 30 people were in the audience, including other school district personnel.

 

Chair Griffin called the workshop to order at 10:03 a.m.

 

(1)

Policies (Administration Division)

 

 

This workshop was held to review updates to School Board Policies.  Tanly Cabrera outlined the process and indicated if agreement is reached today they will be advertised in May and brought back to the board for approval in June.  Any changes agreed on today will be updated by the division.

 

Policy Number

 

1124

3124

4124

Drug Free Workplace

  • How are we addressing the new city ordinance in effect?  The ordinance will not prohibit the district from being a drug-free workplace.
  • We are still a drug-free workplace.  The ordinance does not change our policy.  It may change our threshold when hiring.
  • If it becomes a legal matter it will be handled by law and the courts.
  • Is the threshold written in policy?  No, but it is addressed on our website.
  • Continuity in hiring practices need to be addressed.
  • Future conversations on how to address the threshold countywide are needed.
  • The drug free work place policy is before the board at this time.  The board can adopt this policy and address issues in the future.

1210

  • How will this be monitored?  We have been monitoring, but we did not have a written policy.

1124, 3124, and 4124

  •   How are we addressing the new city ordinance in effect?  
    • We are still a drug-free workplace and the city ordinance does not change our policy.  It may change our threshold of hiring.  
    • Conversations have begun to address the threshold in policy.  It is not in policy but it is on our website.  It changes with Florida Statue and changes in law.  
    • Our sites include city and county areas.
  • Mr. Porter suggested this policy in front of the Board addresses the drug-free workplace.  If the Board is comfortable we can adopt the policy in this cycle and address issues in the future.
  • The ordinance does not prohibit us from being a drug-free workplace.  How we handle it internally is our policy.  If it becomes a legal matter it will then it will be handled by law and the courts.
  • Continuity is needed in the hiring practices.  Clarity with a citation opposed to being arrested.

6210

Fiscal Planning (Finances)

 

  • Current and proposed fund balances were discussed.  What the fund balances would look like for certain percentages were presented. 
  • What happens if the fund balance goes below the mandated 3% was discussed.
  •  Proposing to have two contingency funds.  Budget Stabilization Reserve (BSR - 5 to 10%) and an Operating Fund Reserve (OFR - 3%)
  • The BSR is what we currently have now and can only be used with the Superintendent’s recommendation that includes a plan for replacement.
  • OFR would be expenses that are not reoccurring.  The rating agencies in New York were pleased with this proposal; we would be the first district to do this.
  • Need to have a glossary of terms and acronyms.
  • With the Board’s direction, the BSR is in place to keep our community in our district stable.  With five to ten % or $149 million we could operate our district for two months.  Once we have the BSR at the designated level we would the start the OFR.

 

 

 

Gave a summary about districts, (across the state) requirement to maintain a fund balance of at least 3%.  If less than 2% the state comes in and finds where money is available.

  •  5% is $74 million
  • Contingency with two windows BSR - 5 to 10% and OFR at least 3%.
  • Budget stabilization Reserve is what we have now and can only be used with the Superintendent’s recommendation followed with a plan for replacement.
  • Operating Fund Reserve in case we have expenses that are not reoccurring.  We ran this through our rating agencies and they applauded it.  We will be the first district to do this and it will be a focal point.
  • Need a glossary of terms and acronyms for clarity when it impacts our policies.
  • Because of our participation in FEFP we have to administer funds equitably.
  • Board direction is needed when policy adopted.
  • Timeline – Once Board approves, a plan will be developed to reach the goal to provide the district with a two-month operating reserve and a plan to reestablish the used balance.
  •  Use of funds will come to the Board as an agenda item for approval.
  • Are we setting aside dollars for a catastrophic event?  In any catastrophe there are funds that become available.
  • Our district assisted Charlotte and Hardee counties when they were working through Hurricane Charley.  DOE is having conversations about who could assist. 
  • What do we do without when we are trying to build up the funds?  We are currently reviewing departments and formulas.
  • Address overcrowding with boundary changes across the county.
  • Would like to see our capital outlay planning equitable across the board.
  • We also have to fund "unfunded” mandates.

1362, 3362, 4362, and 5517

  • We have a strong anti-discrimination policy.  We are adding the term "gender expression.”
  • The training and education piece that needs to be addressed.
  • When addressing the harassment complaints:  Who will be doing the investigations?  We have a compliance officer.  It begins with the school site supervisor.

5120

  • Addressed boundary clean-up and we are moving from an address to using the parcel number.  We have to align our boundaries to parcels.

5461

The language will be changed if the Governor signs the language to have the seal appear on the diploma. Line 10 and 11 will change pending governor’s signing. 

2418

This will align with our curriculum.  It would be a requirement for students to have to take specific courses.  Denny Oest said there are many students that would be captured.  There is a curriculum mandate.

With no further discussion, the workshop adjourned at 12:01 p.m.  (Audio recording on file.)

HCPS publishes minutes of School Board meetings after Board approval. Although the online minutes do not include signatures, citizens may arrange to review the official documents by completing a public records request with the Communications Department.

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