MISSION: TO SERVE EVERY STUDENT WITH EXCELLENCE AS THE STANDARD
Educational Services Facility - Training Rooms 5-8
9:00 a.m.

March 20, 2023 Work Session
Opening Exercises
1. Opening Exercises

Chairman Matt Susin called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m.

Roll Call
2. Roll Call

Members Present:  Katye Campbell, Jennifer Jenkins, Matt Susin, Gene Trent, and Megan Wright

Gene Trent arrived at 9:05 a.m.

Pledge of Allegiance
3. Pledge of Allegiance

Chairman Susin led the pledge of allegiance.

Order of Business
Topics
4. 0000 Policy Review

Board Members reviewed the 0000 policies to recommend changes for placement on a rule development approval track and/or to mark as reviewed on the Neola site.  Those identified for changes include:
 

- 0118 Philosophy of the Board

  • Use Neola template.
     

- 0121 Responsibilities and Authority of the Board

  • List the language of Section 4, Article IX, Florida State Constitution, and Florida Statutes 1001.40, 1001.41, 1001.4205 and 1001.43 within the policy.
     

- ADD 0121.01 Financial Emergencies (Neola Template)
 

- 0122 Board Powers

  • List the language of Florida Statutes 1000.21, 1001.31, 1001.32, 1001.33, 1001.41, 1001.42, 1001.4205, 1001.43 and 1001.452 within the policy.
     

- 0122.1 Member Powers

  • List the language of Florida Statutes 1001.4205 within the policy.
     

- 0123 Standards of Boardmanship/Code of Ethics

  • Use Neola template #2.     
     

- ADD 0124 Standards of Ethical Conduct (Neola Template #1 with the statutory limit of $50.00 for gifts)
 

- 0131 Legislative/Policymaking

  • Include new statute and language for the county-wide option to advertise.
  • Not say shall, but say may.
     

- 0133 Quasi-Judicial

  • Add Florida Statute 286.011.
     

- 0141 Number 

  • Add Florida Statute1001.363.
     

- 0141.2 Conflict of Interest

  • Use Neola's extended policy.
  • Add Florida Statute112.311.
     

- 0142.3 Orientation

  • Use Neola template.
  • Add verbiage to include that a meeting will convene within 60 days of a new Board Member taking office to discuss the Board's roles, responsibilities, conduct and ethics.
     

- 0143.1 Residence Areas

  • Add Florida Statute pertaining to this area.  
     

- 0144 Term

  • Update to reflect the legislative limit of the terms.
     

- 0145 Filling a Board Vacancies 

  • Add resign and run law.
     

- 0147 Compensations

  • Remove "school board" from first sentence.   
  • Add verbiage to state that any fees associated with an organization will be paid for out of a general fund identified by the CFO, separate from the individual Board Member budget.
     

- ADD 0147.1 Travel and Per Diem Expenses (Neola Template) through Out-Of-County 
 

- 0148 Use of Equipment and Services

  • Add verbiage that states "any and all needs to conduct business within the individual Board Member duties, with Board approval."
     

- 0149 Access to Records

  • Add "or individual Board Member" to the last sentence.
     

- 0149.1 Public Expression of Members

  • Use Neola template #1.
     

- 0154 Motions

  • Use Neola template #1.

     

_______________________________________
Chairman Susin called for a break at 11:02 a.m.  The meeting resumed at 11:09 a.m.
_______________________________________
 

- 0164 Notice of Meetings

  • Include new statute and language for the county-wide option to advertise.
     

- 0165.1 Order of Business

  • Use Neola template.
  • If there is a restriction to add other emergency items, such as field trips, Mr. Gibbs was asked to add verbiage as needed.
  • Make sure there is a provision that states that supporting materials should be available to the Board at least 24 hours before the meeting.
     

- 0165.3 Special Meetings

  • Incorporate Florida Statutes referenced on new Neola template and change title to special and emergency.
     

- 0166 Executive Session

  • Use Neola template.
     

- 0171 Review of Policy

  • Use Neola template.
     

- 0171.2 Review of Policy - Philosophy and Goals

  • Use Neola template, but include 5 years statutory requirement and reference statute.
     

- 0171.3 Review of Policy - Community Relations

  • Use Neola template, but include 5 years statutory requirement and reference statute.
     

- 0171.4 Review of Policy - Ethics

  • Use Neola template.
     

- Add 0172 Visitation of Schools by Individual School Board Member (Neola template)

5. Transportation Update
Transportation Mountain Update.pdf

Dr. Schiller and Rachad Wilson, Chief Operations Officer, provided the Board with a transportation update to include:

  • White Fleet Replacement Plan
  • Outsourcing vs BPS for Certified Bus Inspections
  • Salary Comparison Analysis with Other Counties and Local Businesses


Discussion ensued among the Board to include questions answered by staff and Dr. Schiller.

Dr. Schiller stated the salary comparison analysis provides the Board some pathways as they work to identify their budget priorities.

Ms. Wright asked Dr. Schiller where the district is at with putting money in the mechanics and bus drivers hands.  Dr. Schiller explained that he wanted to 1) provide the context so it is known what the district is working with in terms of ranges, 2) work with the Board to set budget priorities and 3) get the Board’s direction for collective bargaining pertaining to exchanging proposals for salary.

Ms. Wright stated we are losing more people and if we don’t do something fast, we will be in trouble.  She asked that something be brought back that can be delivered.

Ms. Campbell stated that she had a recent conversation while at the bus depot pertaining to employees leaving to go to Scat and learned that it was not due to the pay, but due to them not having to clean/fuel their own buses and the biggest thing was 8 hour days year round, as opposed to what the district can offer. Ms. Campbell asked that everyone keeps in mind moving forward that the millage is going to add funds in future years.

Ms. Jenkins stated that it was obvious the district under pays our staff in every single facet.  She shared that she is not arguing paying transportation staff more, but she does believe it is important before being reactive to analyze other bleeding areas as we can’t do for one and not the other.  Ms. Jenkins stated that the most important thing is for the community to be aware of the problem in order to understand the importance of the millage.  She shared that the district cannot continue to function without staff.

Ms. Campbell stated that in every place we are going to increase, there is another place where we will need to cut.

Ms. Wright explained that her suggestion was to use transportation’s unused funds.  Ms. Campbell stated that it is a temporary fix, but we also need to think long-term for retention, which needs to be bargained.  Ms. Wright agreed that a long-term solution comes from bargaining, but she was tasked with how to fix right now.  She understands that we need to work on a long-term solution, but we have dollars that were allocated for transportation that haven’t been used.

Mr. Trent echoed if there is money there we have to get this going and into staff’s hands immediately.  He stated he understands it will be a juggling act while identifying priorities but the money is there and he can’t wait to make these decisions.

Dr. Schiller stated that he and the CFO have been working through what is available with fund balance and will have the information to the Board in the next several days.

Ms. Jenkins stated that there was a significant effort over the past year in terms of recruitment to message that we have FRS, insurance and benefits so the hourly was not the only area being presented and she thinks we should continue that effort and improve.  She also explained another area to consider, which is just as important, is to make their work environment better. Ms. Jenkins stated that conversations around a better work environment should be happening simultaneously with the money.

Mr. Susin stated that bus drivers are the first people that students see and if we can’t get them to school on time, then we are not doing our service from the beginning.  He reiterated the hourly rate presented for Scat and explained that our bus drivers would move up by $2.00 an hour if they went there, and if we raised our rate Scat will raise theirs again as they want to compete with us at the lower level.  Mr. Susin stated that getting halfway there or close to it is not going to be sufficient.  He also explained that there are other areas to consider as our bus drivers have responsibilities that the others compared do not have, such the liability of students and cleaning up daily.  Mr. Susin stated that due to the drivers not getting 8 hours, they cannot apply for loans because they don’t have a 40 hour work week.  He stated that we can do other things to support them.  Mr. Susin has looked at this area over the past several years, knowing that something should be done, and we are now at that point, as bus drivers are leaving daily. He agrees with Ms. Wright that we need to look at what we currently have in the fund balance, not only for the drivers and mechanics, but for the entire transportation department.  Mr. Susin stated that the Board has to find a way to thank and honor the employees who have stepped up to take on additional runs/responsibilities.  He shared that he supports an incentive-based policy.

Ms. Wright stated that we need to get this done as we all know they are under paid and over worked and the district needs to show that we appreciate all that they have done for us.

The Board was in support of having Dr. Schiller bring back a plan to address transportation needs, including potential pay increases and/or incentive considerations.

___________________________________
Chairman Susin called for a break at 12:23 p.m. The meeting resumed at 1:00 p.m.
___________________________________

 

6. ALC Assessment Overview

Dr. Schiller presented an ALC assessment overview to include identified issues, a go-forward plan for SY23-24 and suggestions for Board consideration. Discussion ensued among the Board including questions answered by Dr. Schiller.

Ms. Jenkins stated that this has been a concern and passion of hers since running for office.  She stated that there isn’t a simple solution because Gardendale is just a symptom of the problems that are in the ESE world, which are not BPS’ faults but are due to a lack of funding and prioritization of ESE students at the state level, as well as inclusion implementations.  Ms. Jenkins stated that she has major concerns and further explained the areas, to include the grouping of ESE students, the misappropriation rate of minority students, and EBD placement in schools.  She stated that Gardendale is more than an issue, which has nothing to do with staff because they are excellent, but they are drowning as it is impossible for them to deliver the services and needs to the students.  Ms. Jenkins stated that she feels terrible for the staff as they are taking the blame for themselves.  She supports Dr. Schiller looking into if these students can be served at their schools, because maybe we need to look at things differently.  She explained that problem one is the writing of IEP’s.  Ms. Jenkins stated that we are getting flagged by the state for the number of ESE students we have and we need to look into what type of students are being labeled in their schools as the number could come down, especially in the primary grades.  She also stated that we are being flagged by the state for ESE services and one of them are our ASD students. She said she doesn’t know why we aren’t leading the state for servicing those students differently than the other students. Ms. Jenkins stated that most ESE students are afforded some kind of additional service of therapy, but we don’t necessarily offer behavioral services which is why conversations need to be had pertaining to how we meet the needs of these students.  Ms. Jenkins stated that she doesn’t want to look at Gardendale without looking at ESE as a whole and said a good place to start, at a minimum, is looking at our ESE Pre-K programs and Kindergarten, servicing students with ASD, and then Gardendale as well.

Dr. Schiller stated that he doesn’t disagree with one word Ms. Jenkins said and explained that this emerging issue must be addressed.  He further explained his and staff’s work in this area for analysis and potential improvements before we face an intervention from another level.

Ms. Campbell stated that we have this significant challenge and we need to consider this area of expertise/knowledge as we move forward in the Superintendent search.  She shared that the Board needs to consider the bonuses that were provided to teachers when we had to establish our own special day school.  She also stated that in ALC we went from three to two when she first started on the Board, but considering what a high percentage of student at ALC’s on drug offenses specifically (THC), if we consider doing something different with those students that would drastically reduce the number in the building so she is unsure if we are ready to start a third ALC again.

Ms. Wright stated that she would be interested to see where most of the offenses are coming from for placement in ALC to help address how to fix.  Mr. Trent agreed that the breakdown of offenses would be good to review.

Mr. Susin stated that he had requested the breakdown of data and over half of the students at ALC’s have drug offenses, with the majority being first time offenders, so the question is are we doing what is right for these students.  He stated that other districts don’t have this and it could be an area to look into as we are creating a situation where our ALC’s have extreme capacity.

Ms. Campbell would be interested to know how other districts are handling drug offenses, specifically THC, because there needs to be some consequence.

Mr. Susin stated that the virtual platforms are not as good as in-person and some of these students need us more than others.  He explained that by identifying a way to reduce the number based on drug offenses, then virtual students come back.   If this could be addressed quickly, it may be able to be implemented before the start of the next school year.

Mr. Susin also stated that there was talk about geographically located ALC in the north and south and he asked Dr. Schiller if this was being considered.  Dr. Schiller stated that he is going to look at it all in order to hone in on a solution.

 

 

7. Staffing Needs and SY23-24 Planning
STAFFING FOR SY2024.pdf

Dr. Schiller and Dr. Karyle Green, Interim HR Officer, provided the Board with a presentation pertaining to SY2024 to include the following areas:

  • 5 Year Vacancy Trend
  • Current Advertisements
  • Hiring and Retention
  • Contractual Transfer Process
  • Today’s Advertisements
  • Position Allocation
  • Pool of Candidates – Teachers
  • Pool of Candidates - Administrators


Discussion ensued including question answered by Dr. Green and Ms. Cindy Lesinski, CFO.  The following direction was provided:

  • Share the data that reflects the date an applicant applies vs their actual start date to determine how long the process takes.
  • Add the opportunity for job sharing to Beacon.
  • Continue the work to grow our own utilizing a readiness program (career ladder project) to advance our current employees.
  • Identify job descriptions that require a degree to determine if we can supplement with years of experience in the district.
  • Ask the DOE for all individuals living in Brevard with educational certificates, so we can reach out them to see if they’d like to come back.
  • Ask the FRS for all individuals living in Brevard who have retired so we can attract them back.
  • Draw in early retired individuals from another state by hosting an educator’s event.

 

 

8. Proposed Establishment of an Appeal Process for Pending Investigations

Dr. Schiller and Dr. Green discussed the possiblity of building an appeal process for employees and identified potential opporunities.  Dr. Schiller provided a breakdown of the current investigations and stated that it is in his best judgement to initiate this process.  The Board was in support of his plan to establish a process.

9. Open Enrollment & Charter Expanded Options Within BPS
HB 1.pdf

Dr. Schiller and staff provided an overview of House Bill 1 and its short/long-term implications should it get approved.

Dr. Schiller stated that the Board and new Superintendent need to be strategic and position itself by identifying the next great growth opportunity. He explained that for many years he has been leading districts to help them reposition themselves to address challenges.  He stated that organizations and school districts that are highly effective/successful listen to their customers/stakeholders.  Dr. Schiller explained that these organizations are flexible and agile in order to turn on a dime as the they need to be anticipatory and not reactive.  He stated he has nothing against charter schools but the opportunities, staff and programs at BPS outdistance almost every other district he has seen and we need to capitalize on it.  He suggested to be anticipatory, so we aren’t just competitive, but we get to the point where we start to win back our market share of students. 

Dr. Schiller explained that Miami-Dade has been one of the most aggressive school districts in the nation and has established their own governing Board charter schools. He stated that he and staff have been looking at facilities and suggested the Board think about the possibility of establishing a Brevard Public Schools charter school district. Dr. Schiller further explained this opportunity and his findings for the Board to consider.

Discussion ensued, included questions answered by staff.

Ms. Campbell stated that this is a huge scope of a vision and this is something to be considered as we move forward with the Superintendent search.  She stated that she appreciates Dr. Schiller's efforts, research and input, but believes there needs to be community buy-in and input from staff.  Ms. Campbell stated that she doesn’t want to just wait and see, but she does not want to rush, especially since we don’t have the permanent Superintendent.  She stated that it is something good to look at in the future but the idea of doing this major transformation by the start of next school year could do some things that are detrimental to the organization.  She said to put all the options out there so the Board can start thinking about it because even if we do it for 2024-25, the conversations would have to begin quickly.

Ms. Jenkins expressed her frustration with the bill. She stated that you will never be able to compete aesthetically with a Charter school as they have investors and put millions into it as they are the owners.  Ms. Jenkins explained that the way we compete is with our academics and opportunities.  She stated that it is an important conversation and the Board will continue to focus on.  She agreed one barrier was eliminating transportation for choice and that is an area that can be addressed right away. Ms. Jenkins shared that her biggest concern from this bill is for the marginalized communities and explained why.

Ms. Wright shared some scholarships/programs that are currently available and serving students.  She stated that this bill is passing and are we going to be behind it or in front of it. Ms. Wright said that when you look at the options, it gives the district a chance to rise up and give something to compete for these Charter school students.  She agreed with Dr. Schiller regarding our stakeholders and feels that the district has lost sight of who their stakeholders are.  Ms. Wright also agreed that our buildings need some focus.  She is not opposed to the Charter school option proposed by Dr. Schiller as the reality is we need to do something and how do we make sure that we are competitive in this market because if we are not, we will lose more students.  She stated that if these students are going somewhere, BPS is where they should be going.

Mr. Trent stated that we do have to continually think to be in front of it, otherwise you are behind it and its hard to catch up at that point.  He agreed that this will be started by the Interim Superintendent, but will be very important for the next Superintendent to pick up where we leave off.  Mr. Trent said to keep in mind who our stakeholders truly are and most are our parents.  He stated that competition in education is key as we send out kids to trade schools and college which is nothing but competition.  Mr. Trent said education has the opportunity to look totally different in a positive way in the next five years and we are in a very important position.  He stated that making education more of choice with better resources is a positive step and we can be more competitive in Brevard than any other pop-up Charter school.  Mr. Trent stated that we have the opportunity to not only lead the state, but the country, with what we do with our education.

Mr. Susin shared statistics on the funding impact should our district lose students and stated that we will see a reduction and might see our entire millage wiped out if we don’t respond.  He stated that the number one issue is the speed to which we are able to respond in the future as once this begins to ramp up it is important to have a system in place as to respond quickly.  Mr. Susin shared how Miami-Dade competed with Charter schools.  He explained how L3 Harris was interested in having BPS build them a school at their facility and all the district would’ve needed to provide were the teachers.  Mr. Susin stated that we have the ability to go after the Charter school students and get them to us as it is a competitive market and we can flip. He shared conversations with the CEO of Lockheed Martin and other organizations where they discussed BPS being more competitive with filling their jobs by expanding options and Lockheed suggested adding their name to the aviation program which would attract students.  Mr. Susin shared other opportunities that would attract students and suggested the possibility of rezoning to address the issue.  He stated that he is excited that educational models are going to be competing with each other and it is up to us to compete to make sure we don’t lose students.  Mr. Susin stated that he is ready to win back our market place and the only reason we aren’t seeing more of a retention/recruitment problem is due to the decrease in students.  He explained that we don’t need to rush but he would like to see all the options so the new Superintendent can get the ball rolling.

Closing Remarks
10. Closing Remarks

Mr. Gibbs notified the Board that advice is needed pertaining to case 6:21-cv-02035 and pursuant to Florida Statute and he requested an attorney client session with the Board for the purpose of discussing and evaluating said case. Mr. Gibbs stated that he will ask the Board's Clerk to cause reasonable public notice of the time and date of this attorney client session and names of the persons attending to be published. If the Board approves, he will work with the Board Clerk to coordinate dates for the executive session. The Board was in support of scheduling the executive session.

Adjournment
11. Adjournment

The meetig adjouned at 3:32 p.m. 

Chairman: __________________________ Secretary: ________________________________

NOTES:  

  • Sensory and mobility impaired persons seeking assistance for participation in any meeting, conference, or seminar should contact Karyle Green, Director, Labor Relations, five days prior to the meeting date.  Dr. Green may be reached at 321-633-1000, ext. 11266 (voice) or green.karyle@brevardschools.org (email).
  • Individuals or groups may address comments to the School Board during the Rule Development portion of the meeting specific to the policy being discussed.  There will be no other opportunity to public comment during workshops.
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