Douglas-Cherokee Economic Authority, Inc. Head Start/Early Head Start

Policy Council Meeting Minutes


Thursday February 1, 2018 | 10:00 a.m. | Jefferson County Rescue Squad Building – Dandridge, TN


Meeting called to order by

Vickie McElroy

Type of meeting

PC Monthly Meeting


Vickie McElroy

Note taker

Haley Moore

Called to order

10:24 a.m.


Vice Chairperson:


Treasurer: Greg Beeler

Total Members Present: 22

Quorum Met: Yes




Agenda Topics

  1.  Call to Order/Quorum Check | Presenters: Vickie McElroy, Chairperson


Presentation: Welcomed all members to the meeting.  Vickie announced that a quorum was present.


  • Mental Health Wake-up/Literacy Reading | Presenters: Terri Rickard, Parent Involvement Coordinator; Arlene Radcliff, Education Manager & Tonya Purkey, Curriculum & Assessment Coordinator


Presentation: The video “Cool Sports Fitness Song” to begin the Mental Health Wake-up with a song and dance.

Tonya read the EHS book The Gruffalo. This book helps develop social and emotional skills.  The book’s pictures can

be pointed out to infants, while the vocabulary can be focused on with toddlers.


Arlene read the HS book The Lion Inside.   This book also focuses on social and emotional well-being.  Attending members were provided a copy of the books along with activities to enhance learning. 





3. New Policy Council Members | Presenter: Terri Rickard


Presentation: Terri led the introduction of new Policy Council members.  There is a new member in Hamblen County – Kelsey Webb, Alternate.  In Sevier County, the new member is Stacy Parr, Alternate.  All new members were elected on a county level and are in need of Policy Council approval.     

 Motion by: Greg Beeler, Union Co.                         Seconded by: Michele Gomez, Hamblen Co.            

 No Discussion.                                                      All in favor, motion carried.







4. Approval of Minutes | Presenter: Vickie McElroy


Presentation: Members were provided with a copy of January’s meeting minutes in their monthly mail out.  Vickie called for a vote to approve the minutes.   


 Motion by: Angelea Williams, Union Co.                  Seconded by: Greg Beeler, Union Co.          

 No Discussion.                                                      All in favor, motion carried.



5. Request to Change Order of Business | Presenter: Vickie McElroy


Presentation: Vickie made the request to change the order of business, allowing the meeting to cover new business before old business.   


 Motion by: Chantay Collins, Union Co.                    Seconded by: Michele Gomez, Hamblen Co.            

 No Discussion.                                                      All in favor, motion carried.



6. New Business


  • Personnel Report | Presenter: Amanda White, Human Resources Manager


Presentation: Amanda White presented the report to the Policy Council, due to the absence of the Secretary.  The Personnel Committee recommended the report for approval.


 Seconded by: Angelea Williams, Union Co.                                                                          

 No Discussion.                                                      All in favor, motion carried.


  • Budget Report | Presenter: Greg Beeler, Treasurer


Presentation: Greg presented the Parent Involvement/Policy Council Fund report to the Policy Council.  Since Finance Committee did not have a quorum, a motion is needed from Policy Council for approval.  Greg reminded the members to encourage volunteers at their centers due to the shorter months coming up and the need to meet our in-kind match.   


 Motion by: Greg Beeler, Union Co.                          Seconded by: Angelea Williams, Union Co.               

 No Discussion.                                                      All in favor, motion carried.



  • Monroe County United Way Grant | Presenter: Curt Amos, Director


Presentation: Curt proposed the United Way grant application and explained the process.  The grant is for the Madisonville classroom in Monroe County.  Our program has partnered with Monroe United Way for several years.  It began as a way to help us keep a center in Madisonville and now the funds are used to support the classroom with materials, parent enrichment supplies, curriculum materials, etc. 


Motion by: Beth Connatser, Sevier Co.                     Seconded by: Greg Beeler, Union Co.          

No Discussion.                                                       All in favor, motion carried.


  • Recruitment for 2017-2018 | Presenter: Felicia Savoni, ERSEA Coordinator


Presentation: Felicia told the Council the recruitment workshop for FSWs will be held on February 15th and they will begin recruiting children for next school year.  There are revamped brochures, posters, fliers, and post cards.  If anyone knows eligible families, please refer their information to the county’s FSW.    


  • Employee Handbook/Admin 1.20 Revision | Presenter: Amanda White


Presentation: Amanda explained Terri had included the Employee Handbook changes in the monthly mail out.  Under FMLA, the biggest changes include verbiage, as well as some of the reasons for taking this leave.  The procedure for obtaining paperwork has changed slightly.  An employer may not interfere with an individual’s FMLA rights or retaliate.     


Motion by: Angelea Williams, Union Co.                   Seconded by: Michele Gomez, Hamblen Co.            

No Discussion.                                                       All in favor, motion carried.


Presentation: Amanda reviewed the HS Admin 1.20 revision – wording has changed under transportation to say

employees will ride in an agency vehicle to trainings.  Any exception to the policy must be reviewed by HR and the

Director on an individual basis.  Approval must be obtained to drive personal vehicles and gain mileage reimbursement.


Discussion: Greg asked about the statement “if you choose to drive your personal vehicle you will not be reimbursed.”

Amanda said that is also being removed.  Curt stated the only way an employee can use their personal vehicle now is

related to those special pre-approved reasons.  Greg stated his concern was allowing everyone to drive their personal

vehicle and the agency having to reimburse them for mileage.  Curt said it should be very minimal.



Motion by: Greg Beeler, Union Co.                           Seconded by: Michele Gomez, Hamblen Co.            

No Further Discussion.                                          All in favor, motion carried.



  • Director’s Report | Presenter: Curt Amos


Presentation: Curt gave an overview of the Director’s Report.  The Self-Assessment is currently taking place.  A Program Instruction came from OHS that changed the Performance Standard stating that by 2019 all classrooms must be at 50% Extended Duration to 0%.  We will maintain the 8 Extended Duration classrooms we have, but are not required to add more at this time.  A few staff will be attending the Region IV Annual Conference in Atlanta.  Curt mentioned our program is very selective on the training we send staff to, as we strive to attend the best quality trainings offered.  Curt provided a summary of the OHS Review that was conducted January 22nd – 26th.  There were 8 reviewers, 4 in Focus Area 2 and 4 CLASS.  Focus Area 2 focused mainly on administration.  Overall the reviewers were very complimentary of our program staff and classrooms – no feedback was given from the CLASS team.  Curt stated that Haley Moore, Finance Manager, “knocked it out of the park” and did a great job with the fiscal review and no fiscal issues were found.  All other Coordinators did a great job as well.  There are of course small things we need to work on, but our program always strives to improve our services.  The Review Team did meet with a few members from the Board, Policy Council, FSWs, and SSAs.  From Policy Council, the members that participated were Vickie McElroy, Policy Council Chairperson, Carolyn Nelson, Finance Committee, Leonard Patterson, Personnel Committee, Valerie Tucker, Community Rep, and Kris Human, Finance Committee.  An official letter from OHS will be sent to our program within 45-90 days.


Vickie also added that the Review Team said they were very impressed with several aspects of our program, including the number of people on Policy Council, and they wanted to see pictures from the Ugly Christmas Sweater contest since that is a great way to keep meetings fun and people involved.               




7. Old Business


  • Grant Preparation & Policy Council Input


  • Selection Criteria/Priorities for Admission | Presenter: Felicia Savoni

Presentation: Selection criteria is what our program uses to determine families’ eligibility for

admission into our program each year. Felicia reviewed the following changes to the eligibility categories: single parent changed from 70 to 75 points; homeless from 100 to 110 points; foster care from 90 to 100 points; TANF & SSI from 90 to 100 points; if a parent/legal guardian is currently incarcerated 40 points.  A handout with these changes was provided to Policy Council.          


  • Community Assessment/Program Options/Slot Allocation/Goals | Presenters: Felicia Savoni & Curt Amos

Presentation: A new community assessment is required every 5 years.  Currently updating the assessment.  A community assessment is needed in order to help set our program goals and find

out where the greatest need for service is in the community.  Douglas-Cherokee also does a community assessment for the agency which can be utilized by HS as well.  Douglas-Cherokee

utilizes the Center-based option for both HS & EHS with a total enrollment of 964 (892 HS, 72 EHS);

To be more specific we have part day/part year, part day/school year, full day/school year, and one classroom that is full day/full year. Early Head Start centers are all full day/full year.  Slot allocation is

in Section 3 of the notebook – no proposed changes.  Curt reviewed the goals for the upcoming year.

Curt encouraged members to review our program website, stating that Terri does an excellent job at keeping that information updated for parents. 


Discussion: Ashley Cid asked if there was another source for children to receive books once they

turn 5 years old and are ineligible for Imagination Library books.  Terri encouraged parents to visit

our website to see all the resources and reach out to FSWs for community resources.  Chantay

Collins, Community Rep, encouraged parents to obtain a library card and visit the library in your community.  She also suggested parents could purchase a subscription to Highlights magazine,

which provides educational reading materials, puzzles, and also still lets the children receive monthly mail with their name on it.     

  • Training Plan | Presenter: Aranda Pruitt, T&TA Monitoring Coordinator

PresentationThe T&TA plan is in section 5 of the notebook.  It includes goals, required HS

training, required state training.  The goals are determined by community and self-assessments,

except for the requirements.  The plan will be ready for review and presented for approval next



Discussion:  Vickie asked if teachers and staff receive training on drug and alcohol exposed

children.  Lisa Henson, Health and Nutrition Coordinator, stated that local health departments have trained at EHS.  She said that by the time children are in Head Start, the symptoms aren’t as

prominent as EHS.  In HS, if there are any behavior issues, they would be treated the same as

others with behaviors and it would fall under special needs.  Lisa stated that the behaviors would be focused on more as opposed to the issue behind it – would be addressed from the developmental



  • Budget | Presenter: Haley Moore, Finance Manager

PresentationNow that the review is complete, Haley stated she will begin working on salaries

and fringe since that is the biggest portion of the budget.  The component coordinators will fill out “worksheets” for their areas.  Overall the budget will look the same, but adjustments are made to

meet the objectives for our program goals and in the component areas, as needed.  Haley will meet with Aranda to ensure the budget matches the T&TA plan.  Once the budget is complete and

approved, the information will be entered into HSES (Head Start Enterprise System), which is the

way the grant is submitted to OHS.        


  • Parent/Community Grievance Procedure | Presenter: Terri Rickard

Presentation:  Terri reminded the Council that last month the procedure for parent/community grievances was reviewed.  This policy is in Section 4 of the notebook.  Suggestions and input are welcomed before the Council is asked to vote to approve the policy next month.


  • Self-Assessment Update | Presenter: Curt Amos

Presentation: The Self-Assessment is on-going.  One county has submitted their information so far.  All information will be combined and reviewed by management team.  Our management deals with priorities first and use this information to plan the budget.


Discussion:  Vickie mentioned the motion detector at Bean Station.  She feels it makes the center unsafe, since the door opens whenever someone approaches.  Shannon Smith, Facilities and Maintenance Manager, stated that he is aware but it’s a regulation by the State Fire Marshal.  He

has also had our security provider contact the Fire Marshal and explain this as well. 


  • Written Plans | Presenters: All Program Coordinators and Director

Presentation:  Discussions with Program Coordinators and Director in a roundtable style with Policy Council members rotating through every 7-8 minutes; 5 tables broken down as follows:

Blue: Education – Tonya Purkey and Arlene Radcliff; Green: Health, Mental Health & Disabilities –

Lisa Henson and Teresa Cameron; Purple: Family & Community/ERSEA – Liz La, Terri Rickard, and Felicia Savoni; Orange: Fiscal, Facilities, and Transportation – Haley Moore, Shannon Smith, and Kristie Woolard; Red: Human Resources & Program Planning – Amanda White, Aranda Pruitt, and

Curt Amos



8. Adjournment | Presenter: Vickie McElroy


Presentation: Vickie called for a motion to adjourn the meeting for lunch.  Next meeting will be held at the same location and time on Thursday, March 15, 2018.  Finance and Personnel Committees will meet at 9:45 am, prior to the Policy Council meeting.   


 Motion by: Michele Gomez, Hamblen Co.               Seconded by: Chantay Collins, Monroe Co.  

 No Discussion.                                 All in favor, motion carried.                            Meeting Adjourned: 12:28 p.m.


  • In-Kind/High Five Award | Presenter: Terri Rickard


Presentation:  Each month, the center with the highest number of volunteer hours in their county will be presented with a “High Five” trophy and stickers to take back to their center.  The High Five awards for December are:


Blount: Porter                                                                   Jefferson: Dandridge

Cocke: Cosby 2                                                                 Monroe: Mt. Vernon 1

Grainger: Bean Station                                                      Sevier: Underwood 2

Hamblen: North Hamblen                                                  Union: Maynardville

Early Head Start: EHS 1