Story and photos by JENNA BAILEY
On December 3, the Walton County School Board (WCSB) met for a regular meeting at 5 p.m. at the Tivoli Administrative Complex in DeFuniak Springs.
Opening Agenda — In the opening agenda, the board approved the Dec. 3 regular meeting agenda and the Nov. 19, 2019 Reorganization of the Board minutes. Consent Agenda — For the consent agenda, the board approved two purchase orders exceeding $25,000.
Action Agenda — First for the action agenda was a request for school board permission to advertise amendments to school board rules/policies. The school board’s rules and policies must be updated to reflect changes in conditions, as well as, changes in pertinent rules and statutes. These updates must be made in public hearings in accordance with applicable state statute FS 120.54.
The advertisements for rules/policies 4.11; 4.025; 4.60; 4.70; 5.10; 5.40; 5.41; 6.20; 6.23 (repeal policy); and 8.50 have been prepared in accordance with applicable state statutes and reviewed by North East Florida Educational Consortium (NEFEC), School District personnel, and Policy Review Team. The board approved this item.
Second for this portion of the meeting was a public hearing for discussion of new adoption to school board rules/policies. The public hearing was an non-action item.
Final for the action agenda, the School Board approved on Oct. 15, 2019, to advertise the adoption of rule/policy 5.622 Medical Marijuana. This rule/policy has been reviewed by the policy updating services group NEFEC; District’s Curriculum Department; HR Department; interim Board Attorney; and Policy Review Team. The rule/policy has been advertised for a public hearing in accordance with applicable statutes. After a public hearing, the School Board can adopt, adopt with changes, or not adopt the proposed rule/policy. Following the public hearing, the board approved the adoption of rule/policy 5.622 Medical Marijuana.
Finance Dept. — For the finance dept., the board approved of the Walton Academy financial statements for October; the Seaside Neighborhood School & Foundation October financial reports; and Walton County School District (WCSD) monthly financial statements.
Human Resources (HR) — First for HR, the board approved of a University of Southern California (USC) agreement for student internship with the WCSD.
Second for HR, the board approved of the 2019-20 confidential managerial supervisory (CMS) salary schedule. The 2019-20 School Year CMS salary schedule reflects a salary increase of $0.50 per hour, and employees will be awarded a step. The proposed salary schedule will be retroactive to July 1, 2019. This will sunset at the end of the 2019-20 school year.
Third, the board approved the 2019-20 administrative salary schedule. The proposed 2019-2020 Administrative Salary Schedule reflects an increase to the base of $250 in addition to awarding a step for experience. The proposed salary schedule will be retroactive to July 1, 2019. This will sunset at the end of the 2019-20 school year.
Fourth, the board approved the December 3, 2019 personnel recommendations and personnel addendum.
Facilities/Construction Dept. — First for facilities, the board approved of a University of Florida (UF) Master Agreement with task order-scope of work for facilities planning consultant services. WCSB School Facilities Planning is seeking planning consultant services through UF to update the District’s school Facilities Planning Program including updating language to Interlocal Agreement in an effort to comply with Chapter 163 Florida Statutes, Community Planning Act.
Additional consultant services included in the Master Agreement – Task Order are: the research and review of school concurrency management system, update and refinement of the Geodatabase, school capacity management, an annual assessment, and providing other supporting planning tools to assist with short and long range facilities planning needs, in an effort to accommodate for student growth.
Second, the board approved of the 2019-20 Five Year Facilities Work Plan. The Five-Year Facilities Work Plan is a long range capital outlay plan that guides capital spending for maintenance, renovations, student capacity projects, and non-capacity projects. The school board submits an updated five-year plan annually to the FDOE in October. The facilities department can make adjustments to the five-year plan throughout the year as directed by the school board.
Regarding student growth projections, this year’s Capital Outlay Full-Time Equivalent (COFTE) projects indicate a district-wide student increase of 1,023 between 2019-20 and 2023-24. These projections are based on cohort survival methodology, which is based largely on live births and deaths. This methodology does not apply as well in school districts experiencing rapid in-migration and robust new residential development than in more stagnant growth districts.
For long-term considerations, the first region to be discussed was North Walton County. The district is considering classroom additions at Paxton School; program expansions and classrooms and labs at Emerald Coast Technical College; and minor renovations at Maude Saunders Elementary. For Central Walton, the district is considering school expansion with classroom additions at Freeport Elementary; construction of a new school in the Hammock Bay site; and renovation for ESE/Pre-K/Alternative/Career Technical.
For South Walton, the district is considering athletic complex and classroom additions at SWHS; building renovations at Bay Elementary School; athletic area concessions and bathrooms at Emerald Coast Middle School; and continuation of expansion of the St.Joe/Watersound site for the STEAM school. The school board is required to adopt a plan on an annual basis in accordance with Subsection 1013.35, FS, and can be modified as needed.
Third for the facilities dept. section of the meeting, the school board held a discussion regarding survey results for 3.8 acres of land on Sheldon Avenue. On Nov. 5, 2019, pursuant to Florida Statute 1013.14, the WCSB approved to purchase 3.862 acres of real property in DeFuniak Springs. The required thirty days public notice was given prior to the public hearing held on Nov. 5.
The next regular Walton County School Board meeting will take place on December 16 at 5 p.m. in the South Walton High School media center.