DURHAM PUBLIC SCHOOLS
BOARD OF EDUCATION
APRIL 26, 2012
The Durham Public Schools Board of Education held its regular monthly meeting on Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. in the Fuller Administration Building, 511 Cleveland Street, Durham, North Carolina.
Board members present: Minnie Forte-Brown, Chair; Heidi Carter, Vice Chair; Natalie Beyer, Leigh Bordley, Nancy Cox; and Omega Curtis Parker. Pastor Fredrick Davis was not present due to business travel.
Administrators present: Dr. Eric J. Becoats, Superintendent and Dr. Lewis Ferebee, Chief of Staff
Attorney present: Ann Majestic (arrived at 6:38 p.m.)
Call to Order/Moment of Silence
Chairperson Forte-Brown called the meeting to order and shared opening comments:
Tonight, we welcome our parents and all of our viewing guests, those in our audience and those who are watching us by television, to this monthly meeting of the Board.
You will see an agenda tonight that has been prepared and fully vetted by the Board members. We have met in committees and the things that will be discussed will be things that will be representative of our Mission and our Vision Statement – that every child in Durham Public Schools should receive a quality education. We thank you for viewing; for being with us in the Board Room.
Public comment is open to all those who would like to sign up. Please know that Board members do not respond to public comment.
A moment of silence was observed.
Be Our Guest
Ms. Cox recognized the parents from W. G. Pearson Elementary, Eastway Elementary, Merrick-Moore Elementary, Neal Middle, Middle College High School and Riverside High School. Board members invited all parents present to walk the red carpet to be recognized.
Chairperson Forte-Brown recognized fifth-grader Alexis Durham, C. C. Spaulding Elementary School, who joined Be Our Guest this evening. She aspires to be a teacher in DPS and was recognized as a “teacher in training”. Ms. Durham came forward to walk the red carpet and meet the board members.
Ms. Cox recognized Board Liaison Cathy Bisplinghoff for Administrative Professional’s Day. Ms. Bisplinghoff was presented with a flowering plant and invited to walk the red carpet to be recognized and thanked by the board members.
Superintendent Becoats made the following introductions:
Duke University’s DPS Students of the Week—This program spotlights students who distinguish themselves with character and integrity. The following students were featured over the past month in The Herald Sun: Maggie Hart, WG Pearson; Justin Gunn, Rogers-Herr; Jermani Horton, Early College; Kiara Garcia, Performance Learning Center; Sidhartha Jandhyala, Hillside New Tech. School representatives were present to introduce and share comments about their students. Parents were recognized and all were invited to walk the red carpet.
Odyssey of the Mind—Hope Valley's Team Stern, aka "Goldilocks and the Teddy Bear Mechanics" came in first place in the Regional Odyssey of the Mind division and went to the state championship at Wingate University on March 31st! Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from Kindergarten through college. Team members apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. Congratulations to Noell Jones, Clayson Good, Cooper Phillips, Jay Baker, and George Stern. Team Stern was sponsored by Charles Stern, Terry Jones, and Melissa Good. Ms. Beth Cross, Director of Advanced Academics, recognized students and parents present. All were invited to walk the red carpet.
Governor’s School Selections—A total of 20 DPS students were selected for 2011 Governor’s School summer session. This six-week summer residential program for intellectually gifted high school students integrates academic disciplines, the arts and unique courses. The program is known as the oldest statewide summer residential program in the nation. Students selected from DPS are:
- Early College High School: Kleyser Agueda Lopez
- Durham School of the Arts: Anna Acha, Kirby Hoekstra, Avram Stein, Isaac Little, Kellie LeVine, Anders Borg, Joya Mandel-Assael, Davia Young
- Hillside New Tech High School: Maya Finoh, Delecia Utley
- Jordan High School: Tanner Lockhead, Benjamin Chesnut, Meagan Raviele, Kevin Ostrowski, Maia Campbell, Jessica Peters, Kathryn Taylor
- Middle College High School: Jonathan Service
- Northern High School: Casey Boyette
Ms. Beth Cross, Director of Advanced Academics, recognized students and parents present. All were invited to walk the red carpet.
National Board Certified Teachers—Five teachers who earned national certification this year were not included on the list provided by NC Dept of Public Instruction. They are: Carolyn Brooks-DeBerry, Vernia Cotton and Teri Williams, City of Medicine Academy; Mia Parker, Spring Valley; and Lisa Botts, Merrick Moore. Alice Hagaman was present to introduce and recognize these teachers; all were invited to walk the red carpet and meet the board members.
Kenan Fellows Named—Durham Public Schools is proud to have five teachers selected as Kenan Fellows. Teachers selected as Fellows engage in two-year partnerships with distinguished scientists to learn about important new developments and to gain an understanding of the significance of current research and scientific practice for students. DPS Teachers selected are: Michele Josey, Hillside High School; Vance Kite and Danial Rowe, City of Medicine Academy; Erika Newkirk, Creekside Elementary; Shannon Ooten, Durham School of the Arts. Superintendent Becoats introduced and invited the teachers present to walk the red carpet and meet the board members.
Community Partners—Celebrating community partners who provide support to our students and school improvement efforts.
Chic-Fil-A at Hillsborough Road – represented by owners Pamela and David Moncree, have been faithful partners to our schools for many years. As individuals, they contribute their time as guest presenters to business classes at Hillside HS to share resourceful information about competing in a global economy and they also work at the concessions for school fundraisers. As local business owners, the Moncrees support many schools by hosting fundraisers at the Chic-Fil-A on Hillsborough Road.
The Moncrees came forward to share comments and be recognized with a certificate. They were invited to walk the red carpet and meet the board members.
NSBA (National School Board Association) Council of School Attorneys Award—Durham Public Schools’ Attorney Ann Majestic received the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award which recognizes a person who has provided exemplary leadership and distinguished service in support of the Council of School Attorney’s mission over and extended period of time. Chairperson Minnie Forte-Brown shared remarks and introduced Attorney Majestic. Attorney Majestic came forward to make brief remarks, was presented with a bouquet of flowers and invited to walk the red carpet to be congratulated by board members.
Chairperson Forte-Brown shared that she attended the NSBA Conference and Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE) in Boston. She serves as vice chair for the CUBE Steering Committee. She provided a thorough update from the conference and work from the steering committee to include:
The Boston Public Schools shared how their district handled the weighted student funding initiative. Chairperson Forte-Brown will share this information with board members and administration.
The Michigan State School Board Association created, shared and discussed common scenarios on governance encountered by school systems.
Brief overviews of the quality conference mini sessions were presented. Prominent keynote speakers were also mentioned.
Durham Public Schools presented “Strategic Planning for Organizational Momentum” workshop which was very well received at the conference.
Superintendent Becoats thanked the board for the opportunity to provide the following update:
Durham Public Schools, in partnership with North Carolina Central University, is hosting The Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color. This conference runs April 26-28, 2012. Superintendent Becoats will provide a detailed report to the board and community upon completion.
Superintendent Becoats attended a NASA presentation at Neal Middle School on April 25, 2012 which was a phenomenal experience. He thanked Neal Principal Melissa Jill Hall for hosting the event. Students from Neal Middle as well as Southern School of Engineering participated.
Superintendent Becoats recently presented, Creating a Learning Culture, at the ASCD Conference in Philadelphia.
Durham CAN (Congregations-Associations-Neighborhoods) recently facilitated a meeting held with DPS and the Latino community at Rogers Herr.
Superintendent spoke at the Home Builders Association recently.
DPS, in Partnership with NC New Schools Project, hosted a STEM scaling meeting. There were visitors from throughout NC and Durham was able to highlight some of its STEM efforts. These visitors were able to tour Hillside New Tech, Early College, City of Medicine and Neal Middle School to witness how schools are implementing STEM.
The Economic Summit hosted by Chamber of Commerce to discuss the Durham 2.0 program was attended by DPS staff members. DPS will continue to partner with the Chamber on future events.
Agenda Review and Approval
On a motion by Vice Chair Carter, second by Ms. Beyer, the agenda was unanimously approved as presented.
General Public Comment: None
Board of Education Meeting Minutes
Presented for approval was the open and closed session for December 15, 2011, open session for January 26, 2012, open session for February 23, 2012 and open session for March 22, 2012. The minutes were unanimously approved as presented.
Ms. Bordley made a motion to approve the minutes as presented; second by Vice Chair Carter, the minutes were unanimously approved.
Chairman Forte-Brown noted that all Consent Agenda items were thoroughly discussed in committee.
a. State Financing for Bus Replacement
b. Lucas Middle School – Bids of Construction
c. Shepard Middle School – Bids for Construction
d. Durham School of the Arts – Bids for Construction
e. Revised Policy 3010 – Durham Public Schools Board of Education Theory of Action – Second Reading
On a motion by Ms. Bordley, second by Ms. Cox, the Consent Agenda was unanimously approved.
Reports of the Board
A. Resolution Urging Congress to Reauthorize ESEA Now
Public Comment: None
Chairperson Forte-Brown yielded to Ms. Beyer, Federal Liaison of the Board. Ms. Beyer read the first and last paragraphs from a letter to President Obama from the NSBA President Mary Broderick about federal education policy. She stated this resolution is to urge Congress to do the work that is overdue. The board collaboratively read the resolution beginning with Ms. Beyer as follows:
WHEREAS the current Elementary and Secondary Education Act (known as the No Child Left Behind Act) has been acknowledged by Congressional leaders and the Secretary of Education as flawed; and
WHEREAS the current law contains mandates and requirements that are ineffective and costly to local school districts; and
WHEREAS the accountability provisions in the current law unfairly and inaccurately reflect the academic progress of students, schools or school districts resulting in 48% of public schools labeled as “failing” by No Child Left Behind and subject to corrective sanctions that are costly and ineffective; and
WHEREAS the current law has resulted in the mislabeling of students, schools, and districts and a significant and unwarranted decline in the public’s opinion of our public schools; and
WHEREAS the House and Senate Education committees have begun the legislative process with the passage of comprehensive bills that are now ready for full House and Senate floor voting; and although these bills are not perfect, they are a good start. We must continue the momentum to ensure that ESEA is reauthorized by Congress this year.
WHEREAS, there is sufficient time remaining for Congress to ensure that ESEA is reauthorized:
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Durham Public Schools Board of Education respectfully and strongly urge Congress to reauthorize ESEA now.
Approved and adopted the 26th day of April, 2012. We, the undersigned, hereby certify that the foregoing Resolution was duly adopted by the Durham Public Schools Board of Education.
Ms. Cox made a motion to adopt the Resolution Urging Congress to Reauthorize ESEA Now. Second by Ms. Parker and Vice Chair Carter simultaneously, the motion was passed unanimously.
Reports of the Administration
Superintendent’s Budget Proposal 2012-2013
Public Comment: None
Chairperson Forte-Brown yielded to Superintendent Becoats reviewed the contents of the budget book provided to the board members by administration. He stated that the budget information is loaded on He stated that the budget information is loaded on http://www.dpsnc.net/about-dps/budget/fy-2012-13-budget-page?searchterm=budget+2012+12 for the public’s viewing. He thanked the Budget Advisory Committee and key staff members for their hard work and assistance with the completion of the Superintendent’s Budget Proposal for 2012-13.
Superintendent presented a power point and provided a detailed overview of the following information:
Student Demographics (DPS and Charters)
Student Free and Reduced Price Lunch Eligibility
Student English as a Second language eligibility
Student Academically/Intellectually Gifted Services Eligibility
Student Exceptional Children Services Eligibility
Student Demographics - DPS Compared to Surrounding Counties (New Hanover, Guilford, Mecklenburg, Wake, Forsyth, Union, Buncombe, Cumberland, Gaston)
Federal Funds over 5 years
State Funds Over 5 years
County Appropriation Funding Over 5 years
In preparation for the 2012-13 budget shortfall, the district:
DPS Controlled Spending
Increased Savings by Frozen Spending (approximately $12M in savings)
Preserving Teacher Positions
Alignment to Strategic Plan 2012-13 Initiatives
Enhance Student Outcomes
Continuation of Funding Support:
English Language Learners (ELL)
Economically Disadvantaged (ED); free-reduced lunch
Academically and Intellectually Gifted (AIG)
Continuation of School Based Support Teams
Providing 21st Century Technology to the Classroom
Provide Training and Infrastructure Support
Overview of the estimated funding sources for 2012-13 totaling $424,650,891.
Proposed Superintendent’s Budget Proposal for 2012-13 Outlined as follows:
Capital Outlay $ 83,126,927
Child Nutrition $ 14,761,016
Grants and Community Education $ 6,982,871
State Operating Budget $162,971,574
Local Operating Budget $130,808,503
Federal Operating Budget $ 26,000,000
Total Budget Proposal $424,650,891
Percentages of how the operating budget is distributed were provided.
Summary of projected 2012-13 budget deficit with the proposed solution was reviewed.
Dates to remember for the remainder of the budget process were announced as follows:
May 1, 2012 – 6:30 p.m. Public Hearing with Board of Education (BOE)
May 9, 2012 - 4:30 p.m. Budget Work-Session with BOE
May 14, 2012 - 6:30 p.m. Special Called Board Meeting to Adopt 2012-13 budget
May 15, 2012 Adopted BOE Budget Request for 2012-13 is delivered to Durham County.
Superintendent Becoats highlighted budgetary concerns looking forward:
Fund balance has been used in 2011-12 and 2012-13 budget proposals to address budget shortfalls. The fund balance has been reduced considerably as a result.
2013-14 Budget - Minimum projected shortfall of $25.3M. If additional funding is not available, the potential elimination of instructional programs and elimination of staff may have to be considered.
Board members were given the opportunity to pose questions regarding the budget documents provided this evening and administration responded as appropriate.
The following requests were made by the board:
In order to understand how the budget is built, wants administration to provide a detailed analysis of how the money is spent on a line-by-line basis. All of these line items would add up to the total budget.
Comparison of these line items for 2011-12 and 2012-13 budgets.
Break down of 2012-13 budget line items separated by local, state and federal funds.
Break down the Child Nutrition budget (how it is built?)
What are the budget implications of removing French fries and cookies off of the menu?
Review the data from the new weighted allocations used in 2011-12 in the near future.
Draft an alternate 2012-13 budget proposal using “flat” funding.
Would like “talking points” that can be used by the board members as needed.
Administration will work to provide information as requested.
Chairperson thanked the administration for their hard work. She alerted the public that positions have been saved this year by using fund balance. However, projections for next year’s budget have indicated that additional funding will be needed in order to save positions.
Reports of the Committees
Instructional Services Committee
Neal Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Update
Public Comment: None
Ms. Bordley yielded to Dr. Ferebee to begin the presentation. Dr. Ferebee introduced Neal Middle School Principal Melissa Jill Hall and Director of Career and Technical Education Rick Sheldahl.
Dr. Ferebee provided a detailed overview of the Neal Middle School STEM model which includes the following focus areas:
Partnership with NC News School Project
Gateway to Technology Curriculum
Extended Learning Opportunities
Teach for America Collaborative
In order to enhance the program for 2012-13, five areas of focus have been identified as follows:
Increase Community Partnerships
Continue Support Academic Day
Expand STEM Focus
This presentation has been provided for information only.
As a result of a question posed by a board member, administration will investigate whether Neal Middle School’s start time can begin later.
Principal Melissa Jill Hall responded to questions regarding this program.
Board members praised and congratulated the impressive behavior of the Neal Middle School students and teachers during school visits and a recent NASA presentation.
This presentation has been provided for information only.
Administrative Services Committee
Bond Funding for Technology
Public Comment: None
Committee Chairperson Beyer yielded to Dr. Becoats to begin the presentation.
Superintendent Becoats stated that as a result of community and board input, a web page was created and dedicated to the district’s Long Range Facility Plan with emphasis on the technology upgrades. Additional communication tools were discussed to include a video posted on the DPS Facebook page, ConnectEd messages to principals, multiple conversations at Administrative Services Committee meetings and as a topic at a media briefing.
Assistant Superintendent Osteen continued the presentation by reviewing the Exhibit A and Resolution documents provided to the board members. He explained these documents were not available at the committee meetings. However, in working with the Durham County Attorney and Bond Council, these documents are a required element for this approval process. Both Durham County and BOE attorneys have reviewed and approved the language in this resolution.
The BOE will need to approve this resolution and Durham County will approve a similar resolution at their May14th BOCC meeting. Mr. Osteen read the resolution to the board (copy of resolution attached)
Ms. Parker made a motion to approve this resolution as presented; second by Vice Chair Carter, the motion passed unanimously.
Discussion focused on bond funding practices, the thorough technology needs assessment process developed for the district, technology refresh plan and the communication plan for this technology upgrade implementation upon Board of County Commissioner (BOCC) approval. Administration addressed concerns and answered questions.
Administration stated this item will be discussed at a May 7, 2012 work session and come before the BOCC for approval on May 14, 2012.
Child Nutrition Services – Meal Prices for 2012-2013
Public Comment: None
Mr. Osteen stated that new federal regulations require that Local Education Agencies (LEAs) increase paid lunch prices annually to close the reimbursement gap by a minimum of 10 cents with discretion for greater increases as needed. Child Nutrition Services recommends being more aggressive by requesting a 25 cents increase for the 2012-13 school year so that the district does not have to request an increase again the next school year.
Mr. Osteen requested approval of this meal price increase effective July 1, 2012.
Ms. Bordley moved to approve the meal price increase as presented. Second by Ms. Parker, the motion passed unanimously.
It was agreed that this meal price increase will be positively communicated to the public.
2012 Legislative Update
Public Comment: None
Ms. Beyer, Federal Liaison of the Board, stated that the DPS 2012 Legislative Agenda was reviewed in committee but was not approved. She requested the board members to review and discuss this proposed agenda.
Brief discussion focused on the following legislative agenda statement: Apply multiple measures to evaluate teacher and administrator performance and oppose merit-based pay for teachers based on high-stakes standardized testing. Board members expressed their thoughts and concerns regarding this item. It was agreed upon that the word “only” would be added between the words “based” and “on” in this statement.
Vice Chair Carter made a motion to approve the DPS 2012 Legislative Agenda with the change included as outlined above. Second by Ms. Cox, the motion passed unanimously.
Closed Session Motion
Chairman Forte-Brown called for a motion to convene in closed session to consider confidential personnel matters under NCGS 143-318.11(a)(6) and 115C-319 and to consider confidential student information protected under NCGS 115C-402.
On a motion made by Vice Chair Carter, second by Ms. Cox, the board unanimously approved to convene in closed session at approximately 9:28 p.m.
The Board reconvened in open session at approximately 9:46 p.m. Superintendent Becoats recommended approval of the Personnel Reports and the Substitute Teacher List dated April 26, 2012.
On a motion by Ms. Bordley, second by Ms. Cox, the motion passed unanimously to approve the personnel reports as presented.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at approximately 9:47 p.m.
Minnie M. Forte-Brown Chair
Durham Public Schools Board of Education
Dr. Eric J. Becoats, Superintendent
Durham Public Schools