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Danville School Board LIVE! (7/17/2014)

“If you want LIVE! coverage and LIVE! opinions and analysis of what’s happening at tonight’s Danville School Board meeting, you’ve come to the right place.

Tonight’s meeting starts at 6PM and we’ll start our SouthsideCentral coverage a little earlier than that. Acting superintendent Kathy Osborne has promised us wi-fi connectivity so we’ll be able to do more photos if needed. You know the drill. Refresh the page often for the latest and once we’re finished, we’ll clean up the article and finalize it later tonight. Let’s get it started…

5:55 PM – We’re ready to go. Waiting on Cheryl Bryant & Philip Campbell.

We heart Kathy Osborne. We’ve got wi-fi!

We’ll have a presentation about the Langston school campus tonight. One City Council member is here, Lee Vogler. And there he goes off to a Kiwanis meeting. But hey, he was there!

Nine personnel recommendations including three new hires. One resignation due to a sick child that needs surgery.

We’re going over the employee code of professionalism. No real changes, just rewording for clarity.

Philip Campbell arrived right after the roll call. Cheryl Bryant is the only one out.

Title 1 Parental Involvement presentation. First time revised since 2008. Title 1 personnel will be making home visits this year.

Snickers from the right side of the board as Ed Polhamus forgot to put his phone on vibrate. For those who wonder what his ringtone is, it’s the big band classic “In The Mood”.

The Title 1 program also has a parental advisory council. There must be at least 4 events during the school year that Title 1 parents can attend. Twenty to thirty parents use the Resource Center each month. Home visits come from a principal’s recommendations based on poor grades. Teachers can participate in these visits.

6:20 PM – Cheryl Bryant arrives and we’re at 100% attendance. Committee recommendations and appointments happening now.

6:30 PM – Kathy Osborne talks about how parents choose the new school for their children when their old school was closed.

Druid Hills and Kemper Road students were pushed to Forest Hills instead of Gibson based on projections last year. Those projections were bad, causing Forest Hills to have to add teachers to cover the student load.

In July 2013, former superintendent Ed Newsome was awarded a $50K grant from the Danville Regional Foundation to use in the school system. Rules of the grant say that unspent grant money goes back to the DRF if a superintendent leaves, so that will happen.

Spectrum Design from Roanoke has done a facility assessment of the Langston campus. That’s tonight’s presentation.

The audience can’t see a damn thing.

Here’s our view from the front row. It’s a very nice easel. GAH!

Fine. We’ll get a photo somehow even if we have to walk behind Juliet Jennings. Pay no attention to the sinkhole in the lower right corner of the board. The schools are fixing that.

And one more. Ha! They can’t stop SouthsideCentral!

Of course, there’s only one person here who isn’t school system or media. So much for the “people caring about the school system” during the Newsome incident.

Bottom line of the facility assessment: Langston is old. It needs renovation. Renovation will cost a lot due to accessibility concerns. $8 million for the whole thing at once.

One funny but not funny note: Langston’s security cameras can only be monitored from their police officer’s office. If he’s not there, they’ve got nothing.

Philip Campbell’s head explodes at the $8 million sticker price.

Sharon Dones asks about short-term and long-term plans for Langston. Consultant says school can handle 825 students right now. The $8 million is just the construction costs.

The consultants leave and take the presentation with them. We didn’t want to look at them, obviously. Neither did you. Sheesh.

Talk moves to making Langston look less than a prison. All agree on that.

Building and grounds report. Summer cleaning, repairing wall cracks.

Just a reminder of meeting days remaining on the agenda before a closed session for personnel matters.

Adding this in. In an uncomfortably and sadly humorous moment, Chairman Ed Polhamus makes sure that the new members of the board know the Open Meetings laws. He also gives a nice Daddy-type talk reminding board members that they shouldn’t say they can fix a problem all by themselves. Thank you, Daddy Polhamus. The meeting needs to pause as a bunch of eyes have rolled out of some board members’ heads.

Let’s wrap this article up with some random photos from the school board meeting.

That’s all from the Danville room. More coming up on SouthsideCentral!”

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