Flagler School Board Talks About FYO, Belle Terre Swim and Racquet Club and More at Business Meeting

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Today, July 25th, 2023 the Flagler County School Board held their school board meeting. The meeting consisted of accepting the new interlocal agreement between the Flagler Schools and the Flagler Sheriff for SRD officers as well as the budget for the Strings Program, the new revised student conduct rule book and the new revised fee schedule proposal for the Belle Terre Swim and Racquet Club.

The board heard about the STUFF Bus program which is a year round program that helps provide supplies for children at all the schools in Flagler County. They drive the Bus to different locations to do supply drives. There is a STUFF Bus closet at every school, and they collect supplies all year long.

The floor was opened for public comment, and a speaker came forward to talk about the Belle Terre Swim and Racquet Club. She inquired about the potential raise in fees. The board stated that they would be discussing that later in the meeting. Another resident came up to speak about the possible plans to charge people extra for swim, vs gym membership. Another speaker came up to speak about the Belle Terre Swim and Racquet Club and it’s potential fee raises.

At this time after consent agenda items had been voted on, the board heard on the new interlocal contract between the Flagler County School Board and the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office regarding School Resource Deputies and Crossing Guards. Sally Hunt brought up the current School Board Budget and she has concerns about the cost of this contract regarding costs because the reserve fund for the Board. Her reserve was regarding that if an SRD calls out sick, the board would be paying for the sick SRD and the replacement SRD. Her concern was if there was any kind of cap to how many days this could happen, where the school board would be required to pay a second deputy to be on campus.  Chair Massaro broke down the contract and stated that this is a 50% shared cost, and it includes the hourly rates for the SRDs as well as their equipment, vehicle, and weapons costs for their service.  The motion to accept the contract was made by Furry, with a second by Chong and the motion passed.

Next the board heard about the Strings Program contract at $78,000. There are employee vacancies, as well as three staff that stated they were interested in staying. Sally Hunt asked where the funding came from, and she was answered that it comes from the General Fund. The motion passed unanimously.

The board then heard the 2023-2024 student code of conduct. There was a change per state law regarding students willfully entering restrooms or changing rooms on school owned property for the opposite sex and refusing to leave them when asked by instructional personnel, administrative personnel, or SRD’s. This was a change required by the State legislature. The motion to accept passed unanimously.

Next the board heard about the 2023-2024 Mental Health Plan. There was no discussion among the board and the motion passed.

The next item on the agenda was an Interlocal Agreement between Flagler Schools and the City of Palm Coast to allow use of certain facilities for Flagler Schools. The motion passed unanimously.

The board then heard a short presentation on who they wanted to award the school lunch pizza contract, which passed unanimously.

The board then heard about the Belle Terre Swim and Racquet Club’s fee schedule. The board is looking at the revised fee schedule, and Furry stated that this is an ongoing conversation. The administrative fee for insurance members has been removed from the fee schedule. It is in writing that the club could charge an add on fee to insured members for the swim and sauna features. Massaro is concerned about the group membership prices jumping too high. The administrative fee would be added to paying members, not those under insurance, and whenever members went in to renew their memberships the $50 administrative fee would be added to the new membership prices. Massaro was concerned with the costs being too high when the administrative fee is added to the new pricing. Hunt felt the cost of the fees and pricing covered the services offered. There will be new information being posted that credit and debit card fees moving forward will be passed onto the members. The revised fee schedule proposal was passed.

Hunt brought up some old business regarding looking at how St. John’s County does their alternative education programs. She also brought up the Superintendent Advisory Council; Hunt wanted some clarity on how to bring up the names for this advisory council. Massaro stated that each council member should be picking names of those they trust to be diligent in the process of this advisory council.

There was no new business to be heard. Public comment was then opened and a speaker came up to discuss a variety of topics including the mental health plan, and books. Another speaker came up to speak again on the Belle Terre Swim and Racquet Club and the rise in costs.  The last speaker came up to state that she had never received anything regarding rules and regulations for the Swim and Racquet Club and stated it might be a good idea to have something like that in place.

The board then opened up closing comments for the board. Board member Chong said she couldn’t believe summer is already winding down. Board Member Furry said he was excited for the first day of school to start, and thanked the SRD’s and the Flagler Sheriff, the County Board, among others. Furry also went on to say that they appreciate the public comment and they do not get offended at the people’s passions; and he said they do listen and respond. Board Member Hunt stated that she too was excited for the start of the next school year. Hunt also wanted to clarify that she is a huge supporter of law enforcement and the Flagler Sheriff’s Office, and that she is only concerned for the Flagler Schools fund situations. Massaro talked about changes to the laws, including the new law regarding cell phones. The law says that when they walk into the classroom the phone must be turned off and put up. It will be enforced, and she wants parents to be aware that there will be no more texting or cell phones. Interim Superintendent Moore said she was very excited for the new school year, and has been busy preparing for the new school year’s staff and students.

By Krys DeWind

Krys DeWind has been a Flagler County resident since 2016. She is active in her community and is always looking for ways to better it. She has a community first attitude which is one of the central founding ideals of the Flagler County Buzz.

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