School Board introduces new Supervisor of Business Affairs, NCHS orchestra performs

School Board Dec 5

Richard Foshee was introduced as the new Supervisor of Business Affairs at the Natchitoches Parish School Board Committee Meeting Dec. 5. He will have the opportunity to address the board members at Thursday’s meeting, Dec. 7.

Foshee is a Natchitoches native who came back to Natchitoches after working for Century Link, a Fortune 500 Company, for 22 years. He worked with budgeting, finance and other managerial aspects. He has a bachelors degree from NSU in science and a masters degree in science and an MBA from ULM. He retired a few years ago, but is still invested in his granddaughters’ educations. When the job opportunity with the School District presented itself, he was interested in it, so he applied.

“We’re happy to have him on board,” said Superintendent Dale Skinner. “We think he’ll do a really good job.”

Skinner went on to address the critical feedback from the community concerning the hiring of Byron Keller as Natchitoches Central’s new head football coach. While he has a 1-19 win record, Skinner said the football program needs to get a hold on the discipline with its athletes.

“We’re having problems,” said Skinner. “Keller is a good disciplinarian and has a good background. He worked as an offensive coordinator for years and I think he’ll be a good role model. We have to start building up the football program at Central, which has been down long enough.”

Skinner then addressed video surveillance procedures. The School District needs to legally be able to install video and audio equipment in classrooms where there are students with moderate to significant disabilities. This way they can see what’s going on so they can better modify teaching and correct behavior issues. It’s a safety value for the District and the students. It will also allow them to give assistance to teachers who may not have a lot of experience dealing with these students.

The surveillance equipment would only be installed in the classes that have students with disabilities, which is at least one classroom at almost every school in the Parish. This surveillance process has been researched and approved by the District’s attorneys and a cost hasn’t been calculated yet. The plan is to install and start surveillance as soon as possible if they can get a reasonable bid that the District can afford.

“We’ve been dealing with students that seem to have more problems than ever before,” said Skinner.

Board President Ralph Wilson said it seems to be a win-win situation.

Steven Solomon presented the board with the Tax Commission Report. He said after beginning to collect the District’s new 1/2 Cent Sales Tax in August, collections are up 1.25% from this time last year (calendar year) and up 2.4% for the fiscal year, which is doing a little better. However, taxes overall are flat and without a significant change in the Parish’s infastructure, Solomon said he doesn’t see that changing anytime soon.

Items up for vote at Thursday’s meeting include:

Consider approving distribution of one-time supplemental payment, which will be paid in the middle of January: $583 for all certified personnel and $250 for all other full-time support staff. There are 453 certified employees and 221 non certified, full-time employees. This is a total of $408,000, which has already been approved in the budget. Steven Solomon said he budgeted $30,000 over the final cost because last year’s payment was at $450,000. He said the amount dropped because the full-time personnel count is down due to last year’s cutbacks.

Consider approving board meeting calendar for 2018
Approve policy for Hearing Procedure for Employee Discipline
Approve resolution providing for canvassing the returns and declaring the result of the special election held in School District No. 9 of Natchitoches Parish on Oct. 14