January 2014 Board of Trustees Work Session Minutes

May 10th, 2014

Board of Trustees Work Session Minutes

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Lake Wales High School (Media Center)

3:30 PM  


Trustees Present: Chair Keith Wadsworth, Vice-Chair Danny Gill, Cindy Landen, Cheryl Garnett, Terry Fasel, Cassandra Denmark

Staff Present:  Superintendent Jesse Jackson, Angela Heyward, Marie Cherrington-Gray, Brian Fisher, Julio Acevedo, Ken Henson, Donna Dunson, Damien Moses, Gail Quam, Paula Alford, Mary Beth Claypool, Deirdre Mithaug, Anuj Saran,   

Others Present: Brenda Brader, Robin Gibson   


I.          CALL TO ORDER                                                          Jesse Jackson, Superintendent

The meeting was called to order at 3:50pm. 

II.  FINANCIAL REPORT                                                                      Brian Fisher, CFO  

A.  Monthly Financials

The financial report was provided by CFO Fisher:  Total assets of the system increased $31K while total liabilities increased $34K causing a net change of $3K through period ending December 31, 2014.  Our General Fund state revenue is tracking ahead of the budget – primarily due to the teacher salary adjustments in December.  We received the funding for six months and we paid out for the entire year.   On the expenditure side we have continuous negative variances and net expenditure outpaced revenues to decrease the net change in fund balance for the December reporting period.  On the enrollment side there is no FTE change.  On our subsidiary schedule there is still a deficit with Pre-K which is one month behind in revenues from funding sources outside of client fees.  Transportation Expenditures:  Nothing much this month.  We will be making adjustments on the revised budget and should see this in February.  Food Service is still showing strong financial records – we are showing 46% of the year has elapsed at this time.  Federal Funds is nearly at the half way point in the fiscal year – 36% of the grants spent already.

B.  Memorandum Agreement between City of Lake Wales and LWCS

There is a commission meeting tonight at the city and this is on their agenda.  This agreement spells out the responsibilities of LWCS in this bonding arrangement and what the City of Lake Wales will provide as the issuer of the revenue bonds, which will be ultimately assigned to Citizens Bank & Trust.  This is the first phase and next month the City of Lake Wales will have a resolution to issue the Bonds.  Superintendent Jackson:  What is the advantage?  CFO Fisher:  The ability to receive tax exempt financing rate.   LWCS will have the responsibility to maintain our tax-exempt status for the bank.  This allows us to receive a financing rate lower than conventional financing rates.  Vice-Chair Gill:  Any negatives?  CFO Fisher:  Not that I can see.  Chair Wadsworth:  Any additional cost?  CFO Fisher:  Yes – about $15,000 for all fees. Originally there was an estimate of $40,000 for all closing fees.  Under the bonding arrangement some of the original closing fees of $20,000 will not occur.  We will incur fees for the city’s bond counsel and for the city attorney which total $35,000.  Chair Wadsworth:  On the interest rate savings – how long will it be before we recoup the $15,000.  CFO Fisher:  Possibly in about four months.  Monthly saving will be about $5,200.  We also have a balance in the sinking fund that will be used at closing to offset fees and the principal balance.  The city is scheduled to move forward today with their discussion at their meeting.

C.  Personnel Changes

The personnel changes you have received and reviewed will be an action item for the Board this afternoon.

III.  ATTORNEY’S REPORT                                            Robin Gibson, General Counsel

A.  Litigation Update

Attorney Gibson:  Nothing much on the legal front over the past month.  Superintendent Jackson:  Please update us on the bus issue document from last month.  Attorney Gibson:  Regarding Ms. Blum’s complaint – request to drop her children off at her home.  She advised a complaint was filed with DOA (Division of Administrative Hearing) – DOA does not have a valid complaint filed.  Superintendent Jackson:  Please update us on the County and Charter Schools in general.  Attorney Gibson:  We have made a lot of progress over the past year.  We have had leadership change at McKeel and Mr. Maready is no longer there.  We have sent Mr. Fryer a few emails.  We have not heard much from the County.  Superintendent LeRoy’s main concern is the kids and they will continue to play a role in strengthening McLaughlin Middle School.  We plan to meet in the next few weeks. 

Superintendent Jackson/Attorney Gibson:  Discussed possibly exploring downsizing our role in the Charter School (County) and be thankful for the things we have assisted in getting accomplished.  When we became our own LEA we did not have as many concerns as the other Charter Schools, but we stayed to assist others.  Trustee Fasel:  What are the efforts underway regarding zoning and McLaughlin?  Principal Dunson:  We are working with Principal Chipman on a date the High School can visit McLaughlin.  We have also been visiting areas within our community to get the kids registered.  Superintendent Jackson:  We will continue our communication on all tiers.  This is going to take a lot of effort and Ms. Dunson and her staff will continue to ensure the folks within our community are aware of their options.

IV.  SUPERINTENDENT’S  REPORT                                            Jesse Jackson, Superintendent


Presented for review and approval at the January 21, 2014 Board of Trustees Meeting.


Hillcrest Elementary – Principal Jennifer Barrow

We have FCAT writes coming up.  Enrollment is 673 and we are very happy with this number.  We had a music performance at the Health Fair.  Archery is going well – standing room only at our events.  We also had a great Lake Ashton performance.  We have a few visitors coming out to SOAR Academy.  Feb. 30th – 1st Grade outdoor performance.    We received Lowe’s and Duke Energy grants.  We have a few more in the pipeline.  Professional Development going well with the teacher.  Polk County Youth Fair is next week.

Polk Avenue Elementary – Principal Gail Quam

Student Data – we are looking at the kids progress.  We are pleased with our Discovery scores.  The 31st is our Chinese Dragon celebration.  Our Leader in Me Symposium coming up.  Our auditorium is still being worked on and our teachers are assisting by varnishing the chairs.    

Janie Howard Wilson Elementary – Principal Barbara Jones

Starry Night – Mosi folks were there and it was great.  Ms. Garrett has secured funding with this from our business partners.  Data Community – 80% of our students made progress.  We have adjusted our tutoring groups and continue to look at our data.  LWHS students are tutoring some of our high achieving students.  Exploration Station, technology and Science clubs are continuing to do well.    

Edward W. Bok Academy – Principal Damien Moses  

FCAT write going well – we test in February.  Bok application online is Feb. 20th – we checked this morning and we have over 200 already.  Apple folks will be coming to do a site visit and tour our campus tomorrow.  Tutoring, tutoring, tutoring, enough said!  No more wet feet, the floating classroom has the Bok dock and it should be completed by Friday.  We completed mid-year assessments for 6th, 7th & 8th graders, those who have made outstanding progress will have lunch with Mr. Moses.  Summer Camp at Bok this year will be for 2nd through 8th grade students.  A writing Camp will be included in the Summer Camp. 

Lake Wales High School – Principal Donna Dunson

Writing test in February and we have academic coaches for math & reading.  We will be working with Jarvis Meeks from Polk Works to assist us with some of our at risk students.  We are researching just IB/Honors classes and not having regular classes.  We will be visiting a few schools in March during our research process.  Superintendent Jackson:  McKeel did this a few years ago.  We will also be getting honors level teachers because our current teachers will be working at this level.  The students see a noticeable difference in the classroom.  We talked with students and have received much feedback on the difference in the classroom environments.  We have students and Leadership travelling to NY soon to explore these opportunities.  Vice Chair Gill:  Please make sure we communicate this to our community clearly while going through this process.  Trustee Fasel:  We are creating high expectations, which is great.  Superintendent Jackson:  We just want to ensure we continue to create better opportunities for learning.    

Dale R. Fair Babson Park Elementary – Principal Kenneth Henson

Tutoring, FCAT Prep, Technology conference are ongoing.  We took a few kids to Disney Quest.  JHW hosting the county A Team competition next Thursday.


The February Board of Trustees Work Session and Board Meeting will be Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at Hillcrest Elementary.  The Work Session will begin at 3:30 PM and the Board Meeting will begin at 5:00 PM.



Meeting adjourned at 4:44pm.

Respectfully Submitted,

Marie Cherrington-Gray, Corporate Secretary

Board Approved:  February 18, 2014

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