June 10, 2020 Board Workshop (Board Check-In)

9:00 a.m.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic  members of the public will not be able to attend the work session in person.  The meeting will be live streamed via Spectrum Channel 496 and recorded for future viewing.

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The School Board of Brevard County met for a Board Check-In on Wednesday, June 10, 2020.  Notice of the meeting was advertised in the Thursday, May 28, 2020 edition of The Eagle newspaper with a correction in the Thursday, June 4, 2020 edition of The Eagle newspaper.  An affidavit of publishing may be found in the School Board office.  
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Opening Exercises
1. Opening Exercises

Chairman Belford began the meeting at: 9:02 a.m. She explained that modifications to our workshop processes to address health and safety concerns as a result of the COVID 19 emergency continue and that community attendance at the meeting would not be possible.  The meeting was streamed live on Spectrum Channel 496 as well as the District's YouTube site.

 

Mr. Susin asked about the possibility of moving up the discussion about the AAU Junior Olympics as some representatives were available for a phone call if the Board needed more information.  Board members agreed.

Roll Call
2. Roll Call

Members Present:  Misty Belford, Cheryl McDougall, Tina Descovich, Matt Susin and Katye Campbell

Pledge of Allegiance
3. Pledge of Allegiance

Chairman Belford led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Order of Business
Order of Business
4. Progress Check
board-member-evaluation-completed March 5 2020.pdf

The meeting reconvened at 11:00 a.m.  Chairman Belford asked members if they had anything that needed addressed.  Nothing was noted.

5. Board Objectives
Annual Objectives.pdf

Board members agreed upon annual objectives for 2020-2021.

  1. Visit each school in his or her respective district at least annually.
  2. Meet monthly with the department for which he or she champions and reporting out to the public as appropriate.
  3. Continue sharing information regarding our schools, departments and programs to the community via State of the District presentations. 
  4. Invite state and local leaders to tour a school within the respective Board members' area and host at least one large one or several small ones at least annually.
  5. Engage in Board/Leadership professional development opportunities at least semi-annually.

Discussion ensued regarding methods to accomplish some of the goals which included possible usage of Zoom or like programs to collaborate with groups such as Rotaries and PTOs for cross connectivity and options for Master Board training.  Ms. Belford asked Mr. Susin if he could reach out to entities regarding leadership training opportunities. 

6. FSBA Membership
FSBA Invoice.pdf

Four Board members determined to continue membership with Florida School Boards Association (FSBA) for 2020-2021: Belford, McDougall, Campbell and Susin.  Ms. Descovich declined. Ms. Belford passed out a Board budget document during this time.  There was discussion on whether Board members could utilize unused funds in the budget for his or her respective schools.  There was also discussion that the budget was not allocated as instructed by the Board.  This will be addressed as a discussion item at the next Board check-in.  There was mention of the dues Ms. Descovich would not be spending  possibly being used for Board training.

7. Community Mapping

Chairman Belford began by letting the Board know that Dr. Mullins had purchased a book for each of them called Schools Cannot Do It Alone. Part of the concept of the book is bringing the community together around education.  She continued that Brevard already has a supportive community in regards to education, but feels that we need to unite in our efforts and be on the same page. Part of getting to that point is mapping out the community and identifying which of our partners we need to be connected and what projects they are working on.             

 

Chairman Belford asked for Board members to take part in mapping his or her own district identifying various groups and agencies within the districts, points of contact Would like for Board to take part in mapping its own district. She had provided each Board member with a spreadsheet listing civic groups, churches, youth activities, etc. and asked them to add groups they feel should be part, identifying contacts and what those groups do.  She will then start having that information plugged into SmartSheet or some other application that can be accessible to all. She asked for Board members to submit back to her within two weeks.  Mr. Susin said that he believed Dr. Mullins already had lists of churches and he felt that Chambers would be a good resource as well. Dr. Mullins asked Ms. Escobar to have Ms. Aguirre to send lists of community ambassadors and partners to the Board. 

8. Graduation Discussion

Postponing graduations until July has been very frustrating to Ms. Descovich.  She had conversation with General Counsel Gibbs to help her understand the Board's authority on changing the graduation date.  Mr. Gibbs stated that he found nothing in statute or Board policy lists whose authority.  To Mr. Gibbs, this is more of an operational decision that the superintendent would make. The superintendent would have no expectation that it should go to the Board for approval.    

 

Mr. Susin questioned whether the circumstances during the COVID-19 emergency negate past practice.

 

Ms. Belford commented that all Board members had opportunity for input.

 

Mr. Susin still felt that during the uncertain times during the pandemic, the Board should be meeting more often.   Board members said they would meet as necessary to conduct business; but did not want to meet just for meetings sake.  There were also discussion of advertising requirements.

 

Dr. Mullins expressed that the decision to delay graduation was not made arbitrarily or flippantly.   They went through a deliberate and intentional process to evaluate graduation when it became evident that it was not going to be feasible at the end of the regular school year.  He took the input of principals who received input from their seniors and their parents and he met with student government leaders via SKYPE. Everyone understood the safety and health concerns and measures that would need to be in place. To meet expectations, a decision needed to be made by June 1. He weighed all of the factors and made the deliberate decision not to put our kids into the middle of a grown up decision. His first responsibility is health, safety and welfare of our kids and it will be his responsibility to answer to the health, safety and welfare of our kids. He asks the Board to help honor that.  He further commented that the persons working in our district right now are some of the most committed and dedicated individuals he has ever worked with. 

 

Chairman Belford asked for each Board member to weigh in on having a weekly meeting as suggested by Mr. Susin.

Susin - Yes to weekly meeting

McDougall - No to weekly meeting

Descovich - Yes to a work session

Campbell - No to weekly meeting

Belford - No to weekly meeting

Mr. Susin asked about athletics and Dr. Mullins stated they are working through the Return to Activity Plan. Chris Moore, assistant superintendent of Student Services presented to principals the week before: Groups no larger than 10; Locker rooms not utilized; Six feet apart at all times; Water stations not in use (athletes will bring his or her own water); and Guidelines on equipment.

9. Resolutions and Legal Redress Report
02 FL NAACP Resolution Bias Training 051120 FINAL.pdf
04 FL NAACP Resolution Black Youth Suicides 051120 FINAL.pdf
05 FL NAACP Resolution Civic Literacy 051120 FINAL.pdf
06 FL NAACP Resolution Education-COVID 051520 FINAL.pdf
12 FL NAACP Resolution PTA Donations 051620 FINAL .pdf
FLNAACP Legal Redress Report May 2020 (1) (002).pdf

Dr. Mullins provided some background on why this was added for discussion.   Ms. Descovich reached out to to President James Minus of the South NAACP to stay connected to what is going on in the world around us and he shared some resolutions and some of the highlights that pertained to schools. One he particularly wanted to highlight was Bias Training; Courts and Schools.

 

Dr. Mullins wanted to point out that the District had a training on overcoming racism scheduled for June 8, and was inclusive of all of the District's leadership team.  This training has been rescheduled for September due to the pandemic. Dr. Mullins said that he has been working with Dr. Stephanie Soliven, assistant superintendent of Secondary Leading and Learning to look at curriculum. She is working with content specialists to work with 8th grade social studies teachers in the fall to look at African American history specifically and modules that could be developed to enhance and compliment the curriculum we have in place.  Dr. Mullins also discussed an African American elective course that was launched previously for high school and they are looking to grow and expand it. Dr. Mullins shared some of these things with President Minus. 

 

Mr. Susin commented that the engagement of the high school sometimes is more substantive when addressing racial issues and could be added to 10th grade history.

 

Dr. Mullins stated that this is a time when we must look for an expanded conversation. We need to ensure we have the right voices at the table and continue the conversation.  We are at a time that our frame has not brought what we want to bring equity to all of our children. 

 

Ms. Descovich 's objective of bringing this item foward is to bring it to the forefront and is hoping to get a document for staff and the community of what we are doing and what we plan to do.  She asks for staff put something together that is tangible.  

 

Ms. Campbell agreed that we need to continue communication and assess what are our responsibilities as schools as schools can be a huge part of the solutions. The path toward reconciliation and restoration lies with us. 

 

Mr. Susin expressed that he has never seen a superintendent so engaged as Dr. Mullins.

 

Dr. Mullins expressed that  this has been a very heavy time and it is necessary to take the time to understand better so we can respond better.  

10. AAU Junior Olympics

It was agreed that this item would be discussed first as representatives from the Amateur Athletics Union (AAU) were available for phone questions at this time.  Dr. Mullins explained that he had been in conversation with Mr. Susin and Mr. Buchanan, president of AAU. Mr. Buchanan was trying to determine what the facility needs would be for the Junior Olympics.  Dr. Mullins had not received a formal proposal of what that would look like.  Mr. Buchanan had indicated that there would be a need for a track, two gymnasiums to host indoor events that include baton twirling competitions, Taekwondo, karate and if basketball is considered, there is question on whether Disney Wild World of Sports would be available to host that and if not, then AAU would need additional gymnasiums to host basketball, but are waiting for some more definitives as to needs.  

 

The discussion includes what track to use including modifications to Viera High School's (VHS) track to make it useable and inquiry about Satellite High School's (SHS) track, but a formal request has not been made either way.  Sue Hann, assistant superintendent of facilities services, has information she shared on what it would entail to resurface VHS's track. There could be an item on Tuesday for the Board on moving forward with construction of VHS's track, and second the Board's direction on funding  the modifications to Viera's track  if there is direction to do the construction, Board direction on charging fees for facility use by an outside organization, and direction on the MOU  presented by Brevard County Commission related to the contribution they are prepared to make toward the resurfacing of VHS track in the amount of $50,000. Mr. Gibbs has done a review of the MOU and has raised some questions and some decision points for the Board as we move forward. 

 

Mr. Susin asked to provide some details about why this came about so quickly and why it is on the agenda. He stated that on May 15, 2020, he got a call to come to a meeting to discuss the possibility of bringing AAU to Brevard. He said that following that meeting, he contacted Ms. Hann and reached out and made sure that staff was aware. On May 18, he contacted Dr. Mullins and stated that he thought we should wait until the AAU made it official that they were coming to Brevard. He said that it would be an economic boost to our cities as there would be 40 other sports being brought in. He said that the events within our schools would bring in dollars to our decimated athletics programs' fundraising efforts due to COVID-19. There was question of track usage and AAU's preference toward Viera.  Mr. Susin explained that VHS already had been doing fundraising toward the resurfacing and if someone could make up the difference, there may be opportunity to use that track. The Tourist Development Council (TDC) said they could give $50,000 toward the resurfacing. Once it was researched, it was discovered that before the resurfacing could be done; additional work would have to be done to the underlying track so the actual amount needed increased. 

 

Ms. McDougall interjected that in looking at the contract Mr. Gibbs had sent them,  no fees that could be charged. She wants to make sure that 1.  We are not paying anything because she has several schools which have been asking for a track for years and she would like some equitability between districts. 

 

Mr. Susin asked to be able to hear from the TDC.  Ms. Descovich asked if the AAU gets to use facilities free of charge everywhere they go. Mr. Cranis, executive director of the TDC was called and asked to provide some background.  Mr. Cranis said that it is a huge benefit to the county and to the individuals who will participate.  The Governor is very supportive as well. The County Commission is committed and approved the TDC providing $50,000 to finish the track at VHS. Parks and Recreation approved some fee waivers up to $50,000.

 

Ms. McDougall asked when the games will be held and it appears at the end of July or first of August.  She clarified where the additional $20,000 from the TDC and $30,000 from the sheriff's office was going.  These dollar amounts were mentioned by Mr. Cranis.  Mr. Cranis said that those dollars would be going to any additional operating costs incurred by the AAU such as judges and umpires, including travel.  Ms. McDougall said the dollars for the track will not cover all VHS.  She still had concerns about equity. Mr. Cranis addressed the MOU.  It is meant to define what the School Board and TDC are agreeing.  They are asking for no facility usage fees.

 

Ms. Descovich asked for clarification on the dollar amounts for the track and operational costs.  Mr. Cranis stated that there is $50,000 for the track and $50,000 for operational. Ms. Descovich asked if any of the operational dollars would be given to the District for janitorial and maintenance services if BPS waived facility usage fees.  Mr. Cranis deferred to Mr. Buchanan.  She asked if anyone is opposed to holding it at the SHS track. 

 

Ms. Belford had questions specific to the MOU and the fact that in the event the District could not get the track finished in time, the district would have to pay back the $50,000. She also asked about  a requirement in the MOU that anytime  we advertise events that we would have to list the TDC as the sponsor. Since we are not hosting the events, we do not have control who the AAU or other entities would be listing as sponsors. Mr. Cranis said that they would ask that a sign be posted near or in front fo the facility that is constructed. During a discussion at the County Commission meeting, it was mentioned that VHS was only short $25,000 and Mr. Susin made a commitment that the district would be willing to cover the dollars they fell short from fundraising.  The MOU states that the district would be willing to cover any amount, not just the gap in the fundraiser. Mr. Susin provided some clarification of his intent.

 

Ms. Campbell commented that it concerns her greatly that they would have to pay back the $50,000 especially since the time frame is so close.  She would really like to hear from Ms. Hann. Mr. Susin asked if they could ask to speak to Mr. Buchanan and ask the questions about being able to receive the dollars generated from concession and parking. 

 

Ms. Hann said it makes no sense to rubberize the surface without resurfacing the track.  Wharton Smith was engaged to develop a proposal as a design builder. She has concerns that the weather could impede their ability to finish the track in time. She feels that the $50,000 reverter clause should not be included.  She estimated that $290,000 would fall on the school district. Ms. Hann could support that investment based on previously allocated capital funds; however, this time of year, she typically saves those funds for issues that come up that are not planned.

 

More questions ensued including dollar amounts put toward the Satellite High School track; confidence level in getting Viera High track done in time; Mr. Susin asked if their level of confidence that they can get it done and the fact that Rockledge High School could use the completed Viera High School track for its fundraising efforts.  Additionally, it was mentioned to have Mr. Gibbs inquire about getting the reverter clause to pay back the $50,000 in the event the VHS track was not completed in time. 

Ms. Campbell stated that if the Board agreed to be a host, the simple solution would be to use the SHS track, especially when five other schools need tracks resurfaced.

 

 

Mr. Susin asked Ms. Descovich if VHS was willing to assume the debt of the $50,000, would she be in favor? Mullins interjected that he didn't know the conversation was going to go into the idea of the school paying back debt.  He said that former boards made deliberate decision  with board approval to eliminate that practice to limit to resurfacing of football fields  with Astroturf because we couldn't assume the liability of a football playing field being neglected  and putting our students in harms way. If that is a direction the Board wants to go to, he requests that it very specifically be voted on. Board members did not direct Dr. Mullins to go that way.

 

There was no Board consensus for the contract to resurface and rubberize the VHS track to be bought forward.  There was further discussion on intent to waive facility usage fees.  The Board wanted to see the proposal of facilities that would need to be used as well as other operational costs to the district such as supervision, janitorial and security.  Information gathered should be brought back to the Board for further consideration.

 

Chairman Belford recessed the meeting at 10:54 a.m. and reconvened at 11:00 a.m.

11. Board Discussion

There was no further discussion.

Closing Remarks
12. Closing Remarks/Direction
Adjournment
13. Adjournment

Chairman Belford adjourned the work session at: 1:24 p.m.

A recording of the meeting may be found at by clicking this link.

Chairman: __________________________________________ Secretary: __________________________________________
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