By David A. Farrell, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
n what seemed to be efforts at tightening field trip policies covering overnight stays by faculty and students on educational trips, the Pearl River County school board on Wednesday voted 3-0 to reinstitute an old field trip policy that, according to several board members, was left out of a revamping of board policies several years ago.
Board member Twila Crabtree told the board that she liked the old policy better than the new one, because it was more detailed, and she thought it had been included in school policies when they were revamped about a year-and-a-half ago. However, the old field trip policies were not included in the revamping process. The board had requested they be included, Crabtree said.
Currently, students and faculty taking overnight, extended field trips have to get the approval of the superintendent, if the trips are in-state, and, in addition to the superintendent’s, the board’s approval as well, if trips are out-of-state. Crabtree said she wanted tighter controls on the trips to limit as much as possible the superintendent and school’s liability, and she said she thinks the old policy was better than the new one.
The discussion was long, drawn out and complicated, taking up most of the one-hour meeting. The board also passed a motion, this time on a 2-1 vote, to review all new and old and used policies for the last two years to make sure they were included in the system’s policy book when it was revamped. Crabtree and board member Michelle Boyd voted yes and board president Jeff Jones voted no.
The board met on Wednesday, following an attempt to meet at its regular time on Monday, but was unable to convene on Monday because of the lack of a quorum. On Monday, Crabtree, Boyd and board member Rodney Dyess were absent, and only Jones and board vice president Jeremy Weir were present. The board needed three of the five members present to make a quorum. There were only two present.
On Wednesday, Weir and Dyess were absent because he was still on a business trip. However, Boyd and Crabtree, along with Jones, were present for a quorum of three, and the Wednesday meeting convened and proceeded with handling the business of a 31-item agenda without a hitch. Boyd and Crabtree said they missed the Monday meeting because of “family emergencies.”
It took the board one hour to get through the agenda.
In other matters, the board:
— Approved the Jan. 7 and 30 board minutes.
— Approved the resignations of Natasha Spence, Upper Elementary assistant teacher, effective Feb. 6, and Timothy C. Russell, high school special education tutor, effective Feb. 5.
— Approved the recommendations of Anna Evans, cafeteria worker, effective Feb. 6; Rachel Jarrell, substitute cafeteria worker, effective Feb. 5; David Louviere, Pearl River Central High School band percussion instructor, through May 23; Wanda Soileau, substitute cafeteria worker, effective Feb. 5; Shirley Jo Thompson, Upper Elementary certified teacher, effective Jan. 14; Eva Marie Thibodeaux, substitute cafeteria worker, effective Feb. 5; Candice Nicole Harris, high school math teacher, effective Feb. 18.
— Approved administrators Nina Guthrie, Stacy Baudoin, Kelli Beech, Andrew Kivlan, Melissa Holston, Dr. Lori Burkett, Darlene Hall, Vol White, Dr. Sharon Guepet, Jennifer Teal, Nilene Quave, Kimberly Alford and T.J. Burleson for 2013-2014.
— Approved the donation of two Apple iPads from Nikhil and Sarika Ajmera of Highland Community Hospital.
— Approved the following matters relating to 16th section school lands: Services on 31-3-15 for firebreak-road maintenance or construction, $400; a rent adjustment for Norma Johnson on 16-6-16, two acres; the assignment of a lease from Norma Johnson to her son, Steven Davis, on 16-6-16, two acres; assignment of lease from Johnny Fred and Peggy Derea Lee to grandson, Johnny Deon Lee, Jr., on 16-6-16, 2.20 acres; amending lease for Joe and Iris Russell to only Iris Russell due to the death of Mr. Russell in 16-6-16, two acres; approved a new survey and appraisal to reduce property acreage on 16-6-16, 4.9 acres, because lessee, Shannon Beal, was not able to use of a portion of the property because of tress being cut and replanted; rescinded the cancellation for Mark Gibson/Court Properties, 16-6-16, 1.6 acres, because of lease payment being made; forestry bid from Richton Tie and Timber for timber on 16-5-17, or 159 acres; and the bid from T&C Construction for cleanup on 16th section property on 14 Oak Allee Drive, which has an abandoned trailer on it, and 2877 Hwy. 43 South, which has an abandoned house on the property.
— Approved 12 requests for field trips and travel: Denise Brown-Rouse, Paula Russell, Ginny Downs and Kimberly Sauls to the 2013 Annual NASW Conference in Baton Rouge, La., March 20-22; Global Wildlife in Folsom, La., for 10 students to attend common core standards in science on April 24; Krystal Martin to attend a one-day seminar in New Orleans on March 27; the NJROTC competition in New Orleans on Feb. 23; the Pearl River Central High School Speech and Drama Dept. to East Jefferson High School, Metairie, La., on March 15; the PRC high school Speech and Drama Dept. to the Theatre of Performing Arts in New Orleans on May 11; NJROTC to a regional drill competition in Baton Rouge, La., on March 2; for the orienteering ROTC meet at West Feliciana High School, St. Francisville, La., March 9; Campus Security Council to give students experience with network skills at MSU on Feb. 27 through March 2; Deborah McCormick and Laura Rutherford to the Ocean Science Bowl for the high school science dept., D’Iberville, Feb. 22-23; the 2013 High School Blue Brigade Bank banquet at Trinity’s Banquet and Reception Hall, Slidell, La., Sat., March 16; and the Beta Club to Tupelo Feb. 17-19 for Beta Club Convention.
— Approved as a separate item on the agenda, No. 30, a modification of itinerary for a trip of a group from PRC middle school to Opelika, Ala.
— The board also set a public workshop for March 9 at 9 a.m. in the board room for discussion and possible changes in the board policy concerning out-of-district students attending PRC. The meeting will be open to the public and will be a specially called board meeting, said Jones.
— Adjourned to March 4.