The Bay-Waveland School District Board of Trustees on Monday discussed the cost of an instructional administrator retreat.
Trustee Mark Kidd said the retreat sounded "a little expensive to be sending 15 people off to a retreat for $5,000."
He asked if retreats were something that the district had hosted before.
Superintendent Sandra Reed said that retreats have been done before.
Bay High School Principal Amy Coyne said that early on in her administrative experience, "we used to do it every year."
Trustee Ann Lathrop said she also had concerns and talked to Reed about it.
"Basically what it is, they're going to one place, under the same roof, so they're even cooking together is my understanding," Lathrop said. "They're doing everything together, they're bonding, it's a work retreat. She's listed an agenda of everything she wanted done. They're all under one roof trying to make this bond. That made me feel better."
Kidd said that "it is tax dollars."
Trustee Casey Favre said that if board members decided to attend a School Board Association, "that's easily $2,000 a person, by the time you include airfare, hotels, meals, and that sort of thing."
Favre added that on the budgeting side of things, "we're still to the good."
"Doesn't mean we need to spend it all, just because we have it," Kidd said.
Favre said he "agreed."
"The argument could be made that all five of us need to attend the National School Board Association ," Favre said.
Lathrop said she also asked how the teachers would feel about the administrative only retreat.
"But, it's a leadership retreat," she said. "They're the ones that should be going and, to my knowledge, we have never denied anyone the ability to go on any professional development opportunity that they think they need."
Reed said that "retreat" might have been "bad terminology" to use.
"I see it more as a working session where we're all together from sun up to sun down," Reed said. "Retreat, in hindsight, was not the right word to use."
Kidd said he "just didn't agree with it," and "can't vote for that."
The board approved the retreat, 3-2. Favre, Trustee Vicki Arnold, and Lathrop voted "yes." Kidd and Trustee Mike Bell voted "no."
In other action:
Reed said that the budget process for the FY 19-20 school year has begun. Reed said that the district is going to have to make a "large" textbook purchase, about $200,000, primarily in math, science, and U.S. history. Reed said she spoke with administrators and asked if anyone remembered when the district last made a large textbook purchase.
"No administrator could remember," Reed said. "That tells me that we have not purchased textbooks here in a very long time."
Reed said the district is also looking at needing extended days for elementary administrators and counselors.
"The data comes back in the middle of the summer and they're not on contract," she said.
Reed said that the district is also looking at replacing the Promethean boards (interactive whiteboards), which took the place of older classroom projectors.
The current boards were purchased right after 2005, and are no longer supported by the company, the district's IT Director Aaron Lewis said. The company also no longer provides training for new teachers.
Reed said that the district would also like to purchase additional Chromebooks.
Brittany Logue, director of Child Nutrition, gave a presentation on the district's nutrition program.
The nutrition personnel includes Logue, an office manager, five certified managers, and 17 food prep members.
Logue said the district serves about 2,700 meals per day.
This school year, the district introduced two new serving styles for breakfast, Breakfast in the Classroom and Second Chance Breakfast, which are grant-funded.
"As of April 30, we have increased it to almost 67,000 reimbursable breakfast meals for this year alone," Logue said.
The average daily participation also increased, Logue said.
The high school student participation for lunch is about 68 percent, she said.
The district also participated in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, which is also grant funded in the amount of almost $53,000, Logue said.
Bell asked Logue why only 68 percent of high school students participated in lunch?
Bay High School Principal Amy Coyne said that the high school is the only school that requires students to pay for lunch and some students can't afford it.
Reed said that Logue has "done such a good job with our food services this year that we have profited enough money to fund the high school free for next year."
The next board meeting is scheduled for June 10 at 5:30 p.m.