12/04/11 — School board to pick new leaders Monday

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School board to pick new leaders Monday

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on December 4, 2011 1:50 AM

The Board of Education is expected to name new leadership, vote on 23 district policy revisions and approve the district's latest audit report Monday night.

The school board meets in the executive boardroom of the administrative offices of Wayne County Public Schools on Royall Avenue. Closed session begins at 4 p.m., followed by open session at approximately 5 p.m.

Chairperson for the past year has been Thelma Smith, with Eddie Radford serving as vice chairman.

Policies up for approval at the meeting are in the areas of school safety, dual enrollment programs, student dress code and demotion and dismissal of professional employees.

Under board action, there will be a discussion of the 2010-11 audit.

Penny Lanier, senior accountant with Pittard Perry & Crone, which audits the district's books, will make a presentation to the full board. She met earlier in the week with the board's finance committee, where she said there were no findings to the "unqualified audit," which is a plus for the school system.

"Most items in the management letter related to the individual school level -- to help strengthen internal controls," she said Tuesday.

Each year, in addition to the districtwide audit, individual schools are randomly chosen to be audited, although some may be suggested by district officials for review as well.

Also on the agenda are update reports on Communities in Schools and renovation projects at Eastern Wayne and Norwayne middle schools.

Nan Barwick, assistant superintendent for finance, will present information about payroll revisions for 10-month and 12-month employees.

At this week's finance committee meeting, she explained that new legislation dictates a revamp to the way employees in school districts are paid.

There has been some confusion over the proposed payroll setup, she said, which likely will continue as it is implemented.

"We have been rolling it out to the staff," she told the committee members. "There's no way I can visit 31 schools. We had talked about setting up a session."

She said she would welcome the opportunity to better explain what the new provisions will entail, as a "good faith effort" to answer as many questions as possible.

"I would love to be able to visit school by school," she said. "But there's no way I can hit 31 schools in the time frame I have got."

Board member suggested she be placed on the agenda, allowing her to explain the particulars in a forum that will also be televised and reach a wider audience.