Oct 11, Board working meeting


A busy Thursday evening.  First, a SOS meeting to continue the discussion on moving the District forward and the open director’s chair.  A discussion on the 2013 elections also was started, which resulted in at least two questions that must be and will be addressed to the Board President.  Then down the road to the School Board Working Meeting.  The agenda was full of issues that required considerable discussion and there was discussions.  Here is my impressions/opinions of the meeting.


1. Board Retreat with Randy Black CASB–postponed and will be tabled until a later date.  There needed to be more discussion as to what needed to be discussed with Mr Black.

2. Book Study “Failure Is Not An Option”–chapters 3&4 will be discussed at the next Board Meeting.

3. September 13 Board Work Session–

·Re-visit Goals 9-13-12–Dr Cullen presented the Board with a suggested list of District Goals.  The discussion was lengthy and positive.  All Board members agreed that the District owes its’ students and citizens, goals.  Dr Cullen pointed out that the goals have to emphasize student achievement, Board agreed.  I will request a copy of the proposed goals and post.

My opinion:  I believe the discussion confused the District’s goals and the Superintendent’s goals.  The Board is like a Business’s Board of Directors in that the Board establishes broad and general goals.  Goals also must have established timelines and ways of measuring.  The District’s goals serve many purposes, 1: being a way to measure their success or failure, 2: a way to measure the Superintendent’s success.  The discussion and list in my opinion confused the two.  Mr Chambers lead the discussion toward measurements and timelines but the decision was to take the week to review.

4. Budget concerns

·Most current audit–

·Ending Fund Balance $565,000 X 6 = $3,390,000–the discussion returned to HOW much is enough in the Reserve funds.  A number of bottom lines was placed on the table  Mrs Twiss, Mr. Chambers and Mr Hobbs again were leaning toward maintaining 6 months worth (3.4M).  Dr Cullen no less than 4 months and Mr. Hudson again felt (my opinion) that there was not a need to maintain this “large amount”.    He felt that the District should spend now and replace later.  The State auditor suggested 6-12 months of monthly expenditures in reserve.  Dr Cullen referenced the Law Suit facing District 11 as a unknown budget expense.

Projected revenue for 2012-13 (6-31-12)–Discussion centered on State education funding and student attendance numbers.  The administration sees a possibility for State Funding again being reduced but no confirmed numbers.  State funding is an unknown until the check arrives.  The position was to plan as if there will be little to no change.

·Projected expenses for 2012-13(6-13-12)–Discussion centered on options for funding some items with grants and community assistance.  Concerns about the increasing cost of benefits and the reduction of state funding.  The suggestion by Dr Cullen was that the priority of the District should be funding of additional teachers to insure student success.  It appeared that all the Board agreed.

·Budget worksheet 2012-13–a worksheet was passed out and I will try to get a copy and post it.

·CDE Budget Revenue sheet

·October 1, 2012 figures


·Benefits–cost is going up, health care and retirement funding issue also.  Mrs Twiss stated that she had seen a copy of the medical contract and suggested that all individuals discussing retirement read the fine print.

Funding Additional Staff–I still have issues in the fact that money is being spent without the Board addressing the expenditures and adjusting the line item budget.  Last night Dr. Cullen and Mr. Hudson discussed a figure of $370,000 being taken from the Reserve fund this year.  The President again did not know whether the reserve fund was to be 3 month, 4 months or 6 months or whether the board had even made a decision.  Issue for thought: if we had to take 370K from the reserve fund this year and we think the funding will be the same or less for 2013-2014, where will the money coming from to pay the new teachers new year, Reserve Account?

·Three additional Classroom teachers (Budgeted)–this was the agreement between the Board and the Principles back in Jun before Dr. Cullen.  But the sheets provided shows one each; Language Arts MS, 2nd grade teacher, Math HS, Math MS and Language Arts HS.  This appears to be 5 new positions.

·Interventionist (Replaced two paras)–partially funded by not hiring two paras, where is the other partially funding coming from?

·Two additional special education teachers–unfunded but needed

·ELL–unfunded but needed

5. Needs List–this is a list requested by the board of items that the administration would like or need.  Again there was a list provided to the Board and I’ll also request a copy.  Here are a few items discussed: baseball field repair, football field lights, sound system for the gym, district message board, high school landscaping, a grant writer, IT upgrades, white/smart boards, business software, roof on the bus barn.  There was again comments, “we should just do it”.  Budget, Budget.  There was also discussions as to other methods of funding; grants, community donations, PTA, Booster Club, Local Businesses.

6. Board Policies–Dr. Cullen mentioned that the policies required review and must be done annually.  Many policies have not been updated in years.  CASB are currently reviewing our policies.

·Leave Policy–Concerns over the amount of days and purposes individuals are using the “personal days” for.  Dr. Cullen and others feel more student time is needed.  Discussions again about increasing the school term.  Farther discussion will be delayed to next year.

·Staff Evaluations.

7. Middle Building Project–The following are dates to discussed the new school.

·DAG Meeting 10-25-12

·Town Hall Meeting 10-30-12

8. Informational Items

·CASB Regional Meeting–Most board members will attend the annual conference.

·Astroturf–Dr. Cullen asked about the old Astroturf that has been stored at the District for years.  Some looked surprised and with farther discussion it was decided it was the Astroturf that Mr. Ebert tried to sell last year.  Board gave Dr. Cullen approval to dispose of it.

·Ipad program–Dr. Cullen discussed an offer by some business persons to donate one Ipad for every four the District obtained.  Dr. Cullen suggested the staff research possibilities of funding.  The third grade was recommended to be the first to receive.

·Transportation–Dr Cullen requested permission to redo the bus drop off and pickup location.  There will be a two-three week test.

·Veteran’s Day–The annual Veteran’s Day will be conducted date to follow.


Final remarks, I am still concerned that the Board President isn’t addressing the spending and what appears to be a failure to amend the budget to correctly display the expenditures of the District.  As discussed 370,000 dollar not budgeted and taken from the Reserve Funds.  Not saying the teacher positions aren’t need but the budget is incorrect and needs to be update and the Board’s approval.

Also I believe the Board needs to increase the amount of information provided to the public.  My example: last night’s working section, there was a large amount of new discussion items but the citizen had no opportunity to provide any input to our board members.  They also don’t allow public input at the working sections.  The Board talks about openness and public input; but when?  They discussed and then make it an action item to be voted on.  The public needs to understand what the board is doing and time to provide input.


Integrity in Leadership

  1. #1 by Mary on October 13, 2012 - 8:01 pm

    Yes, Hudson does know the amount of reserve, it was voted to be 33%, not a “monthly” amount, but a percentage amount.

    Second, the input you have now is more than anyone has had in the previous 10 years.

    Why don’t you relax and let the “professionals” deal with these issues.

  2. #2 by Fayne on October 14, 2012 - 12:06 pm

    Response to Mrs Clemons 2012/10/13 at 8:01 pm
    Mary; if anyone need to relax it maybe YOU. Unless I missed you, YOU WERE NOT THERE. Everyone on the board corrected Mr. Hudson, he thought it was voted on and passed (3 months). He question Mrs Twiss about the amount she corrected him, twice. He was totally out in left field, no surprise.
    We the citizens have very little input, three minutes to speak at a board meeting on a agenda subject. In most cases we don’t even know the direction the board is going on any such issue. I agree with Dr. Cullen there needs to be at least two weeks between working sections and board meetings. Board members are our spoke persons we must have time to address them on issues.
    What professionals are you speaking of, Mr. Hudson? What, professional of what? How things have changed, I remember a person that questioned the selling of old turf, which is still rotting away, and now we are just to let it be…….. Money that could have bought a white board. Now in the trash.

    Two additional questions for Mary,
    1. What do you mean by the following; “such as “hand-picking” students for certain classes and for certain clubs or specific activities.
    2. What was the name of the Blog and a link, “her job despite breaking the law started a blog,”?

    Integrity in Leadership

  3. #3 by Mary on October 14, 2012 - 1:51 pm

    Let’s see, I was THERE when we voted on 33% of reserve, i.e. would equal three months, so clearly IF Twiss doesn’t remember, that’s on her, not Hudson.

    So, maybe you should go back through the minutes and find it and then you can apologize to Hudson. It was one of the first things we tackled.

    The professionals – i.e. the people that WORK at the school, i.e. Cullen, the same person you supported for hire.

    The turf was put up for bid – no one bid on it – how the hell is that on me? And I still think it can be used, somewhere, anywhere, but apparently it’s just too much work.

    Hand-picking – means HAND PICKING KIDS FOR CLUBS OR CLASSES. Pretty self-explanatory.

    The blog that was started is now gone and was called Taking on the BS – cute title, no? Too bad it broke laws that she should have known, which falls back on leadership.

    I’m sure you still won’t get half of these references, but anyone that still has time to kill that reads your blog will.

  4. #4 by Mary on October 14, 2012 - 1:58 pm

    Resolution in question, which I am quite sure Hudson will be happy to read to the red shirts at the next meeting:

    E. Board Resolution dated December 8, 2011 – Recommendation: to approve and sign the board
    resolution dated December 8, 2011. (Proceed to Action)
    Twiss made the motion, seconded by Clemons to approve and sign the board resolution dated December 8,
    2011, stating board members will interface with staff to solicit ideas.
    RCV: Aye: Cody Chambers, MaryAnna Clemons, Dwight Hobbs, Jr., Ernest Hudson, Bea Twiss
    Motion Carried

  5. #5 by Fayne on October 14, 2012 - 5:28 pm

    Response to Mrs Clemons Submitted on 2012/10/14 at 1:51 pm
    Well since I was there, Mr. Hudson didn’t remember either, he never said 10%-25% or 33%, he didn’t say any percent, he didn’t say “we have voted on it”, he didn’t say any percent, he said months. Every other board member said it months and all felt it may need to be 6 months. Even Dr. Cullen agreed six would be the best. I will go back through the minutes. Again NO one in the room said any percent, NO one said it was voted on and enacted. But lets’ look.
    Lets’ see there was three candidates, I didn’t vote, yes I supported Dr. Cullen once he was hired I still support him, but that doesn’t mean I agree with everything he says or does. The “Professionals” are educating Ellicott’s kids. He is the Superintendent of Schools, NOT a Board Member. Dr. Cullen was hired not voted in by the citizens. I voiced not position before hiring, except what was the hurry? I supported a temp-super.

    I did not put it on you (turf). But if those that started questioning so much without knowing the facts, the turf would be gone and a few dollars in the Reserve fund. Now it is still in a pile and heading for the trash. Not too much work, too much money. Just like it was stated when the district first got it from the AF, “IT WOULD BE CHEAPER TO BUY NEW AND INSTALL”. Suggestion: why don’t you make an offer, buy it and then you can find a use for it, or maybe just say you will take it off the Districts hands.
    Next: if you have a program and it has requirements and limits, how does the school decide who gets to play or join? Someone has too, its’ a school or teachers program. Nine players on a baseball team, the coach makes the call or do we vote. Four on a debating team who decides, a parent? Sometimes parents just get too much involved, making demands. What if everyone made such demands, would we ever get a team on the field?
    I don’t get your “references”. Just statements, which anyone can make. Again rumor stuff. I have ask a number of folks and no one has ever read “Taking on the BS”. I’ll search.

    Integrity in Leadership

  6. #6 by Fayne on October 14, 2012 - 6:05 pm

    Response to Mrs Clemons Submitted on 2012/10/14 at 1:58 pm

    E. Board Resolution dated December 8, 2011 – Recommendation: to approve and sign the board resolution dated December 8, 2011. (Proceed to Action)
    Twiss made the motion, seconded by Clemons to approve and sign the board resolution dated December 8, 2011, stating board members will interface with staff to solicit ideas.
    RCV: Aye: Cody Chambers, MaryAnna Clemons, Dwight Hobbs, Jr., Ernest Hudson, Bea Twiss
    Motion Carried.

    The above is the quote from the Dec minutes referencing Mrs Clemons statement. Don’t see any reference to Reserve Account. But I will file a request to see the entire resolution and post it. I researched the Website and could not find any discussion.

    Integrity in Leadership

  7. #7 by Mary on October 14, 2012 - 6:28 pm

    Oh Fayne, if only you were as important as you view yourself.

    The turf was LISTED FOR BID – and NO ONE BID ON IT. Are you ready to move on or shall we beat that dead horse a bit more? You feel free to make all the excuses you want.

    Donna Plowman, high school employee, started the blog “Taking on the BS” and I have it saved on another computer – why don’t you ask her? But why bother to repost it when the POINT (which YOU NEVER GET) is that the type of attitudes and undermining “gossip” still happens all the time at the school.

    Ms. Pacot said to me and I quote “I hand-picked my kids for Lego club.” Hand picking is against the law, period. It’s like saying “I only want to teach the Christian kids or the white kids.” And before you blow a gasket I said IT’S LIKE that, that makes my comment an analogy. IF the kids had been picked fairly for Lego Club it would have been announced grade wise and then names could have been picked out of a hat. But to HAND PICK kids in this day and age based on nothing more than who she likes and does not like is WRONG and actually quite illegal.

    It was reported to the appropriate administration, you can take it up with them if you like.

    Yes, there was discussion as to the % and number of months to have of reserve, just because Hudson isn’t going to sit there and argue with Bea during a meeting doesn’t make him wrong.

    Face it, if I said the sky was blue you’d come back with some bogus ridiculous, over written excuse as to why it’s blue and how it got that way.

    You make me laugh in derision.

  8. #8 by Fayne on October 14, 2012 - 8:33 pm

    Submitted on 2012/10/14 at 6:28 pm
    “Oh Fayne, if only you were as important as you view yourself.”
    Gosh, I don’t see myself as important, just a good-O-boy. I see myself as involved, a sweet person, the earwax calls me a wantabe; but I’m already what I want to be and by the way handsome. Free to engage in the things I see as important. As I remember you were the one that responded to me about your involvement with the turf.
    OK I will ask her, maybe she reads my blog, and I want have too.
    Again you. I and others are just human.
    Who is Ms Pacot and what is the Lego Club? I thought we were talking about the District’s sport program? Didn’t you want all the coaches fired? “The kids that play sports are good, which means that leadership that leads them does not know how to get the good out of the kids on a consistent basis. It’s time to change the sports leadership and coaches as a result of constantly losing”, quoted from Mrs Clemons’ blog. Is this someone else that upsets you? I don’t think, “Hand Picking” individuals for a “Lego Club” or a sport team is against the Law. I can’t believe that you would use these terms even as an analogy, bully words. Again a decision must be made about someone, some time. Now I have something else to research. Even if this person picks because she likes, so and so, don’t believe it is against the law. What law book are you using? Maybe mine are outdated, it has been 15+ years. Who did you report it to? and what did you report? So I don’t go to the wrong place.
    I should have raised my hand and ask him. Oh, the board doesn’t allow that. He argued about other things. But we will see. I never said that there was not a discussion, I said he didn’t know what the discussion was. I said that the others of the Board did not remember a decision being made. Yes there was discussion, but conclusion? If there isn’t an approved level, then there should be.
    Face it, what I really want is the truth, Mr Hudson off the Board, more rain or snow, a new President for my country, a new truck, another week in Maui and love in the world.
    I make you laugh in mockery or is it contempt?

    Integrity in Leadership

    PS. I looked up Ms Pacot on the District’s website and she is a kindergarten teacher. Are you involved with the Kindergarten is some way? Did the parent that has the issue go to the Administration? Or are you their spokes person?

  9. #9 by Mary on October 15, 2012 - 5:03 pm


    What big secrets are people keeping that you need to “find the truth to?”

    Who decided that you get to hand pick who is on the board and who isn’t, and if you’re so concerned why isn’t your name on a letter for the open seat that you bullied me out of?

    As to the rest, you figure it out. I’m done playing for the day.

  10. #10 by Fayne on October 15, 2012 - 8:33 pm

    Response to Mrs Clemons 2012/10/15 at 5:03 pm

    I don’t know if there are any secrets, there is enough out in the open to keep a freelance writer busy. Emails, phone calls, blogging, a little work, coffee at Fuel-Bs, and playing cowboy. I do stay really busy, hunting secrets no time.

    I never said I would select anyone for anything, my vote is only one just like yours. Bullied you out of, gosh will have to review the board minutes I could have sworn you resigned, without me saying a word. I’m waiting for the next recall seat, (guess who’s). Soon I’ll sellout and then I’ll have lots of time.

    Now, you are one of the greatest name and issue droppers around. What is there to figure out, I’m on track just waiting for the blade to fall. Thinking about law school or oenology or viticulture or both or maybe buy some school bonds, whatever I’ll let you know. There is so much to do and such a short time to do it.

    Good night to all.


    Integrity in Leadership

  11. #11 by Mary on October 17, 2012 - 8:01 pm


  12. #12 by Fayne on October 17, 2012 - 9:26 pm


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