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Policy Council Meeting December 2020

Submitted on: February 02, 2021

Policy Council Meeting - December 14, 2020

Members Present:  LaShun Martin, Brittany Lyle, Kanisha Davis, LaKeisha Johnson, Sylvia Vandross, Dorett Gunter, Yaniqua Eyabi, Corine Schreiber, Tiffany Norris, Rovanda Dunlap, Sandra Harrison

Members Absent:  Lily Farciert, Ivette Vasquez, Sharterria Rucker, Cris Robinson, Millicent Glenn, Ivory Beaty, Bethany Stokes, Malcolm Wiley, Donna Mansell, Leslie Witschi, Lashell Davis, Bretani Robinson                                                                                  

Excused Absence:  Lisa Butler

The meeting was called to order by Dorett Gunter, Chairperson.  A quorum was met.

The minutes from the last meeting were reviewed by the Policy Council (See Attachment). Sylvia Vandross made a motion to accept the minutes as presented.  LaShun Martin seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


The Personnel Report was given by Melissa Botsoe, Information Coordinator II.   All Perspective New Employees have been interviewed and being recommended for employment with our program. All applicants are subject to Background Investigation as mandated by the S.C. Department of Social Services. This includes State and Federal Background Investigation and the Child Registry Search to determine if any abuse or neglect has been made against a child and Pre-employment Drug Screenings. Also, we will conduct reference checks on all perspective new employees. Appointments are conditional based upon the receipt of satisfactory references, state, and federal background investigation and approval from the Head Start Policy Council. Each full-time employee must serve a three-month introductory probationary period before obtaining regular appointment status. Substitutes are on an as needed basis.  After discussion, Rovanda Dunlap made a motion to approve the perspective employees as presented.  LaShun Martin seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

Early Head Start: Josie Sanders | Teacher III | Seneca
Early Head Start: Jade Williams | Substitute Teacher | Golden Strip
Early Head Start: Natasha Pearson | Substitute Teacher | Tommie C. Brooks
Head Start: April Elder | Teacher III | Rutherford Road
Head Start: Brenda Ellis | Substitute Teacher Assistant | Willis H. Crosby

The Final Rule update was provided by Tobita Posley- McKinney, Head Start Director. She informed the Policy Council that the Office of Head Start (OHS) announced in the Federal Register an interim final rule (IFR) that adds a new section to the Head Start Program Performance Standards under 1304 Subpart B – Designation Renewal. This new section, 45 CFR §1304.17, establishes parameters by which OHS may make designation renewal determinations when certain federally declared disasters or emergencies prevent collection of all data normally required for making such determinations (See Attachment).  After discussion, Sylvia Vandross made a motion to accept the Final Rule update as information.  LaKeisha Johnson seconded.  Motion carried.  

The Family Engagement update was given by Patrice Hawthorne, Family Partnership Facilitator.  Ms. Hawthorne informed the Policy Council that parent participation is a concern for our program.  This may be because of limited face to face contact with our families due to the COVID 19 pandemic and safety concerns.  Parent communication is on-going and takes place via telephone, texting, e-mail, conferencing, social media, agency website and virtual platforms such as zoom.  Parents have been contacted to ensure up to date telephone numbers and e-mail addresses.  Resources have been provided on how to access zoom and other platforms used to communicate with parents and families.  Information is available on our agency’s website on how to download and navigate the zoom app. Parents now have access on our website to a parent portal so that they can receive relevant information and to ask questions about program services.  Since the beginning of the school year, there has been several training opportunities available for parents and families to participate.  Program data revealed that parent participation is low in trainings, meetings and workshops offered to our parents and families.  This may be due to parents having to make time to work with children at home in virtual classrooms, parents working or enrolled in school. In addition, parents and families have endured increased sicknesses and illnesses due to COVID 19 and the common flu.  Our strategies to increase participation includes surveying parents on the best time of day to hold trainings, meetings and/or workshops, utilizing parent leaders as peer to peer motivators, inviting community representatives to present information and resources at meetings/trainings, using a translator for Hispanic / Latino families, using incentives and parent activity funds (See attachment).  After discussion, Sylvia Vandross made a motion to accept the Family Engagement update as presented.  Brittany Lyle seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

Tobita Posley-McKinney, Director of Children and Family Development, presented the Director’s Report.  The November monthly report was emailed to the Policy Council which provides information from each service area in Head Start and Early Head Start.  Ms. Posley-McKinney asked Policy Council members if they had any questions regarding the following information from the monthly report (See Attachment). After discussion, LaShun Martin made a motion to accept the Director’s report as presented.  Sylvia Vandross seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

The Budget Review was provided by Doris Pitchford, Director of Business & Finance. The Policy Council received copies of the financial reports and credit card expenditure reports.  A question was asked by Ms. Brittany Lyle in regards to SHARE meal claims and why the claim numbers were so low on breakfast, lunch and snack.  Ms. Posley-McKinney informed Ms. Lyle and the Policy Council that the low numbers were low due to attendance and closing of some of the centers due to COVID-19.  We've also reduced the number of children in the classrooms due to COVID-19.  After discussion, Brittany Lyle accepted the financial reports as information. LaKeisha Johnson seconded the motion. Motion Carried.

No further business, meeting adjourned.

Recorded by Brittany Lyle, Secretary
Dorett Gunter, Chair