BOARD WORKSHOP OF MAY 25, 2021 ~ 4:00 p.m.



The Chair called the meeting to order and read the following call: HONORABLE MEMBERS OF THE SCHOOL BOARD

Parish of St. John the Baptist


Dear Board Member:


Upon call of the President, the St. John the Baptist Parish School Board will meet for a Board Workshop at John L. Ory Magnet School, 182 West 5th Street, LaPlace, Louisiana, on Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 4:00 p.m.


An agenda for the meeting is attached.



Dr. Lynett Hookfin



ITEM 1.  Call to Order, Invocation, Pledge of Allegiance


The Chair called the meeting to order at 4:10 p.m. She called for a moment of silent meditation and the Pledge of Allegiance.


ITEM 2. Roll Call of Members:


PRESENT:          Holden, Keller, DeFrancesch, Schum, Triche, Mitchell

ABSENT:            Burl, Sanders, Jones, Johnson, Wallace


There were 6 members present and 5 members absent. 


ITEM 3. Public Comment.  Air Monitoring and Chloroprene Emissions' Effect on Students at 5th Ward Elementary School – Brian Mersman, Esq.


Mr. Hugh Lambert stated the following:  Several documents have been provided to the Board and will be refenced through the presentation.  Based on the 2014 NATA results, the EPA identified Denka and 22 ethylene oxide-emitting facilities that contribute to individual lifetime cancer risks equal to or greater than 100 in one million at the census tract level. Despite Denka’s efforts, the annual average ambient chloroprene concentrations remained above 0.2 ug/m3 at all six monitoring locations near Denka.  Data from the continuous air monitoring program show that spikes above 0.2 ug/m3 continued into 2021.  The LaPlace community is impacted by not only chloroprene emissions from Denka but also ethylene oxide emissions from two nearby chemical plants.  The burden from exposure to these two toxic chemicals resulted in the 2014 NATA estimating that these residents have an individual lifetime cancer risk of 2,000 in one million at the census tract level, which is the highest in the country.


Some discussion was held following the presentation.


ITEM 4.  Public Comment.  Discussion on moving Central Office to Leon Godchaux Site – Mr. Clarence Triche


Mr. Triche stated that it just makes sense to relocate Central Office, with all departments in one location at the Leon Godchaux site.  Mrs. Schum asked what the cost to relocate all Central Office departments would be, and Dr. Keller asked that administration investigate the cost and feasibility of this move so that more discussion can occur.


ITEM 5.  Public Comment.Discussion on Policy DC:  Annual Operating Budget – Dr. Lynett Hookfin


Discussion was held regarding this item. In the interest of time, the Board discussed requesting an exception to the policy as opposed to revising the policy, introducing it and then asking for approval because the budget will not be prepared by the deadline in the policy.  The state requires the budget be adopted by September 15th.


ITEM 6.  Public Comment.District Financial Updates – Mr. Tommy Naquin, CPA (Postlewaite & Netterville)


Dr. Hookfin stated that Mr. Naquin is now working with Ms. Scioneaux at the state department and we had an excellent finance committee meeting last week.  Mr. Naquin is available by phone to answer questions.  She asked if  there were any financial questions at this time. Mrs. Schum asked if there were any updates on the audit and did the numbers change.  Dr. Hookfin stated that yes, the numbers change daily, and the audit is not officially complete.


ITEM 7.  Public Comment.  Updates from Finance Committee Meeting held on Wednesday, May 18, 2021 – Dr. Lynett Hookfin


Dr. Hookfin stated that a Finance Committee meeting was held last Wednesday, and it was decided as a team, to categorize contracts and send those to the appropriate committees for recommendations.  There was much rich discussion regarding how the finance team will meet more consistently because there is a lot of information that needs to be shared with the public.


ITEM 8.  Public Comment. Discussion on Policy GBD:  Employment of Personnel – Mrs. Debra Schum


Mrs. Schum stated that the policy is actually GBD-R that needs to be discussed.  In the policy it states that the vacancies must be posted for 10 days.  She stated that once a position is posted once or twice, she feels that we should not have to post it for 10 day, but rather a shorter time period.  Dr. Hookfin stated that we need to define the exact process of hiring as it relates to the time-frame.  This is one of many policies that need revision and this one will go to Personnel Committee for review.


ITEM 9.  Public Comment. Review Contracts Over $50,000 – Mrs. Debra Schum


Dr. Hookfin stated that the contracts have been categorized and it was decided at the Finance Committee Meeting that the different categories would be sent to each respective committee to be discussed and then brought back to the Board with a recommendation.


ITEM 10.  Public Comment. Discussion/Determine Tool for Superintendent Evaluation – Mrs. Debra Schum


Mrs. Schum stated that she would like to have a discussion on the Performance Indicators for the Superintendent.  She asked Mr. Joiner to please confirm the Board’s next steps.


Mr. Courtney Joiner stated that the Performance Targets for a Superintendent must include these 5 targets:


1.     Student Achievement Overall

2.     Student Achievement for Schools Rated C, D, or F

3.     Graduation Rates

4.     Graduation Rates for Schools Rated C, D, or F

5.     Teachers Rated Effective or Highly Effective


The Performance Targets must include these 5, but the Board can choose to add more.


Also, the Board should take into consideration when the Superintendent began her duties (during the pandemic).


Mr. Joiner stated that the tool should be attainable, in other words, the goal is to have an evaluation tool with targets that the Superintendent can realistically meet. Following discussion, the Board would like to have the tool ready for adoption by the Board at the August 12th meeting.


ITEM 11.  Board Items of Interest




The agenda having been completed, and there being no further business, there was a


MOTION BY:    Keller

SECOND BY:   Holden

MOTION:           Motion for adjournment.

There were no objections.

The motion carried.

The meeting adjourned at 5:57 p.m.



_____________________________________                             ________________________________

Dr. Lynett Hookfin, Superintendent/Secretary                                 Nia Mitchell-Williams, President