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Policy Council Minutes - August 16, 2021

Submitted on: September 16, 2021

Mini Training:  1302.92 Training and Professional Development

Shannon Vaughn discussed the following with the Policy Council: 
(a) A program must provide to all new staff, consultants, and volunteers an orientation that focuses on, at a minimum, the goals and underlying philosophy of the program and on the ways they are implemented.
(b) A program must establish and implement a systematic approach to staff training and professional development designed to assist staff in acquiring or increasing the knowledge and skills needed to provide high-quality, comprehensive services within the scope of their job.

 (1) Staff completing a minimum of 15 clock hours of professional development per year. For teaching staff, such professional development must meet the requirements described in section 648A(a)(5) of the Act. (2) Training on methods to handle suspected or known child abuse and neglect cases, that comply with applicable federal, state, local, and tribal laws 3) Training for child and family services staff on best practices for implementing family engagement strategies in a systemic way, as described throughout this part; (4) Training for child and family services staff, including staff that work on family services, health, and disabilities, that builds their knowledge, experience, and competencies to improve child and family outcomes; and, (5) Research-based approaches to professional development for education staff, that are focused on effective curricula implementation, knowledge of the content in Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework: Ages Birth to Five, partnering with families, supporting children with disabilities and their families, providing effective and nurturing adult-child interactions, supporting dual language learners as appropriate, addressing challenging behaviors, preparing children and families for transitions (as described in subpart G of this part), and use of data to individualize learning experiences to improve outcomes for all children.

Members Present:  Donnittia Robinson, Dorett Gunter, Lakeisha Johnson, Donna Mansell, Sylvia Vandross, Kanisha Davis, Brittany Lyle, Rovanda Dunlap, Chaquanna Smith, LaShun Martin, Yaniqua Eyabi, Jana Bridges

Members Absent:  Millicent Glenn, Corine Scrieber , Lisa Butler, Tiffany Norris, Malcolm Wiley, Lily Farciert, Sharterria Rucker, Bethany Stokes, Leslie Witschi, Lashell Davis, Bretani Robinson, Sandra Robinson   

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


The minutes from the last meeting were reviewed by the Policy Council (See Attachment). Jana Bridges made a motion to accept the minutes as presented. LaKeisha Johnson 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, Jana Bridges made a motion to approve the perspective employees as presented.  Brittany Lyle seconded the motion.  Motion carried.





Education Credentials

Head Start

Tiffany Smith

Substitute Cook

Willis H. Crosby

Bachelors Degree: Early Childhood Education. She has ten years of experience working with preschool-aged children. She is a former  Teacher/Site Manager for SHARE.

Head Start

Amanda Burdette

Teacher II

Belton Honea Path

Associate Degree: Early Childhood Development. She has seven years of experience working at a preschool. Is a former Teacher Assistant at SHARE and a current Head Start parent.

Early Head Start

Joyce Pressley



Associate Degree.  She has many years of experience working in the restaurant industry.

Head Start

Keleshia Ellerbe


North Franklin

High School Diploma and is currently a Head Start parent.

Head Start

Oceana Burkhalter

Teacher II


Associate Degree and years of experience working in a daycare, Head Start, and elementary school settings.

Early Head Start

Lakeshia Smith

Teacher II

Tommie C. Brooks

Associate Degree: Early Childhood Development. Early Childhood Education Credential. Has nine-plus years of experience in early childhood in daycare before relocating to South Carolina.

The Director’s report was provided by Shannon Vaughn, Interim Director of Children and Family Development.  Ms. Vaughn provided the Policy Council with a copy of the Director’s report.   By county, we have data on child outcomes.  We saw gains in all areas in all age groups.  We are excited that we were able to offer the Summer Enrichment program to children and families that needed additional childcare.  We are waiting feedback on the disabilities waiver that was submitted to the Regional Office last month.  All of our CPR certifications have been completed for all staff.  We were behind on CPR due to COVID, but are now caught up. We are proud to see our inter-agency collaboration with Head Start and LADDER.  We will continue to work together to share resources and success stories on our clients.  Our Self-Assessment plan is being updated.  We will share self-assessment results next month once service area outcomes are finalized.  After discussion, Jana Bridges made a motion to approve the Director’s report as presented.  Rovanda Dunlap seconded.  Motion carried.

The Budget Review was provided by Doris Pitchford, Director of Business & Finance. The Policy Council received copies of the financial reports, CACFP and credit card expenditure reports. Ms. Pitchford explained that there was very little usage on the credit card reports for the month of July.  There were only two credit cards used during the month.  The SunTrust card was used to pay for employee background checks for potential new staff. The other credit card used was the Lowe’s. credit card.  Items purchased were for needed maintenance items for the centers.  Ms. Pitchford discussed that Head Start COVID is no longer a part of the Head Start report due to this pot of money ending on June 30th.  There are two new pots of money which are the American Rescue Plan and the Consolidated Appropriations Act. Both are separate pots f money that can be used to assist with the COVID needs for the Head start and Early Head Start programs. These funds were available for spending on July 1st.  We have begun spending from both of these funds.  After discussion, LaKeisha Johnson made a motion to approve the Budget Review as presented.  Jana Bridges seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

Pamelia Sims, President/CEO and Tara Cannon, Director of Human Resources addressed the Policy Council in regards to two items needing approval.  Ms. Sims discussed with the Policy Council that we have had difficulty over the past few years being fully staffed.  We are needing several staff, particularly, teachers, teacher assistants and cooks.  Because we are having a difficult time recruiting staff, the Office of Head Start has approved for us to have a sign-on bonus for new employees.  We must have a sign-on bonus policy in place in order to implement the sign-on bonus.  The employee must be employed for 6 months to be considered for the bonus.  If they resign prior to 6 months, they will not be eligible for the bonus.  Ms. Sims will determine the amount of the sign-on bonus.  A question was asked by a member of the Policy Council in regards to whether or not all new employees, inclusive of part-time staff are eligible for the bonus.  Ms. Sims explained that the sign-on bonus will be for all full-time new hires for teachers, teacher assistants and cooks.  Substitutes are not eligible for the sign-on bonus.  After discussion, Jana Bridges made a motion to approve the Sign-on Bonus Policy.  LaKeisha Johnson seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

Ms. Sims explained to the Policy Council that the Director of Children and Family Development position has been vacant for several months.  During this time, Ms. Shannon Vaughn, Early Childhood Services Facilitator, has been serving in the capacity of Interim Director of Children and Family Development. An interview panel was organized which consisted of the following persons: Dorett Gunter, PC Chair, Dorthelia Griffin, Board Member, Tara Cannon, HR Director and Pamela Sims, President / CEO.  Ms. Sims informed the Policy Council that after several interviews with potential candidates, it was determined that Shannon Vaughn was the best candidate for the position.  Ms. Sims stated that she will present the request to the Board of Directors for Ms. Vaughn to continue in the position as Director of Children & Family Development.  The board will state their approval after which the approvals stated by both the Policy Council and Board of Directors will be submitted to the Regional Office.  After discussion, Jana Bridges made a motion to approve Shannon Vaughn for the Director for Children and Family Development position.  LaKeisha Johnson seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

In closing, Ms. Sims thanked the Policy Council for all of their dedication and commitment to our Head Start and Early Head Start program.

No further business, meeting adjourned

Recorded by  Brittany Lyle, Secretary
Dorett Gunter , Chair