School Board discusses needs for Exceptional Student teachers


The Walton County School Board (WCSB) held its first regularly scheduled meeting of the month Feb. 6, 2018 at 5 p.m.

The board opened by approving the agenda before them and adopting minutes from previous meetings and workshops held January 2018. Under citizen input no comments were forthcoming.

The board moved to approve consent agenda items before moving on to the action agenda.

Under the action agenda, the board approved agreements and contracts, some concerning software license and services provided by outside vendors.

The board then moved to approve monthly financial statements for Seaside School and Foundation and Walton Academy, and an increase in capitol outlay funding due to new legislation.

The board approved personnel recommendations and job descriptions.

Under financial audits, the Fiscal Year Operational Audit Report from the Florida Auditor General’s Office received approval from the board. The district received some suggestions but most were small and similar in nature to most other districts across the state.

The board approved in-service and professional development, and discussed Exceptional Student Services (ESE) and the population needs.

Board-members asked about proactive steps needed to make sure staffing needs can be met, and received responses that the staff is actively seeking remedies, specifically for ESE instruction.

Board member Jason Catalano said that if the district was providing for the teachers what they needed, he thought they would improve active retention of employees.

Staff responded that the district’s retention rate was lower than many. Catalano said he was most concerned with the number of ESE teachers lost recently.

Under public comments a parent of a Pre-K center student asked that the board consider policy to determine if students are a danger to others. The parent told the board their child was threatened with bodily harm by another child that was allowed to come back the next day. The parent said they were not notified when the incident happened and didn’t know until their child told them during pick-up that afternoon. They added that backpacks are not checked at this level, and they felt incidents like this one go unchecked and are allowed to happen.

The board reached out, along with Superintendent Russell Hughes, and asked to speak with the parent after the meeting. The parent also spoke with the principal and filed a report. Hughes said he would also speak with the principal about the issue.

Catalano mentioned at the end of the evening that he was appreciative of being allowed to serve, was hopeful to be allowed to serve in the future, and had pre-filed to run for his seat again.

At last month’s meeting, Chair Kim Kirby said the same, and that she was looking forward to provide service to the residents and district again as a school board member.

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