Brookline School Board
CSDA Media Room
October 28, 2008
Dave Partridge, Chair
Jim Murphy @6:10 pm
Susan Hodgdon, Superintendent of Schools
Dawna Duhamel, Business Administrator
Carol Mace, Director of Curriculum and Instruction
Lorraine Wenger, Principal, CSDA
Lidia Desrochers, Principal, RMMS
Kristina Henry, Assistant Principal
Members of the press and public.
Minutes: Marcia Farwell moved to approve the minutes of August 26, 2008 (sent by email). Wanda Meagher seconded and the motion carried 4:0:0.
Marcia Farwell moved to approve the minutes of September 29, 2008 (sent by email). Beth Lukovits seconded and the motion carried 4:0:0.
Open Forum: There was a request that the Business Administrator’s report be taken up at this point as many of those in attendance were there concerning the Cafeteria Services item and the Chairman granted the request with concurrence from the board.
Café Services Update: Dawna Duhamel reported CSDA is doing better overall in sales than RMMS. In her discussions with Café Services they are trying to think of ways to bring the numbers up. Jim Murphy asked what the direct ramification would be to the district with lower participation and was told less profit to the district. She explained that this was outlined last year noting our staffing levels are higher than what Café Services recommends. Discussion ensued relative to the shortfall expected this year, however, it is projected to be half of what the shortfall was the previous year. Ms. Duhamel stated Café Services is not to make changes with employees and that other than directions, they are not to take disciplinary action with employees. She further explained that Café Services did transfer an employee with out discussing with herself or Lidia Desrochers prior to the move.
Wanda Meagher brought up the questions the board raised from the last meeting regarding the online features. Discussion ensued relative to the 4.9% fee and the fact that it was not mentioned during talks. Marcia Farwell suggested that the Board instruct Dawna to meet with Café Services and that there are no changes until there is a better understanding of the contracted agreement.
Donna Parlee explained she was the cafeteria worker that was moved and she was told by Café Services they were getting approval by Dawna Duhamel and that it was a “cost-effective” move. Donna also stated that she had no work to do when she arrived at CSDA and RMMS was left with 2 people.
Joyce Jensen, RMMS cafeteria employee, stated she works 4 hours per day and when she asked who would do Donna Parlee’s work since she had been transferred, she was told she would be doing the work. Joyce Jensen pointed out she would now have to do Donna’s 5 hours of duties plus her own within her 4 hour shift. She also noted she approached Café Services and not the other way around.
Jim Murphy requested copies of the contract be made available for all of the school board members. The Board agreed that Donna Parlee should report back to RMMS tomorrow.
Jean Schultz, volunteer at RMMS, stated she had questioned who would be doing the duties that Donna Parlee normally assumed and reiterated that when Donna was at CSDA today she had no work to do.
Kathy Denis questioned how big is Café Services and why did they pull Donna?
The Board and Dawna Duhamel agreed Dawna will meet regularly with the Cafeteria staff in order to get feedback on a regular basis.
Angela O’Connor commented that she thought ala carte items were offered and was told, yes, there are a limited amount of items.
Costs for Extending Facilities Use to Include Sundays: Dawna Duhamel presented the Board with two different snapshots of wages for Sunday Facilities Use charge. She explained she had captured electric and heat costs, expendable supplies and wages/payroll/benefits. The two rates were: FT person - $97/hr, PT person - $83/hr
Lorraine Wenger reported custodial staff primary coverage was for Monday through Friday but starting next week one night person will be covering on Saturdays to avoid overtime for Saturday coverage. She stated she would have to see if anyone will/can offer continuous coverage for Sunday overtime.
Discussion ensued relative to the request from the Basketball club for use on Sundays and the viability of providing the coverage and the billable cost. The board was in agreement that coverage would be an issue and therefore, the request would have to be denied. Marcia Farwell moved to deny the request of the Basketball Club for the additional hours Sunday. Wanda Meagher seconded and the motion carried 5-0-0.
Saturday Cost: Lorraine Wenger expressed concern with overtime on Saturday and was reminded the $97.00 rate would kick in for the overtime hours. The Business Office would contract with the organization. The Board reviewed the request from the Basketball club was for Saturday usage 7:30 – 5:00 which would require 1.5 overtime hours.
Review of Community Use of School Facilities Policy (appended to the file copy of the minutes): The Board reviewed the policy and made changes. Chairman Partridge read the draft aloud. Jim Murphy moved to approve the 1st reading with the amendments as read by Dave Partridge. Wanda Meagher seconded and the motion carried 4-1 with Beth Lukovits opposed.
Year to Date – Maintenance Projects: The Board discussed with Dawna Duhamel the possibility of getting budget updates emailed on a regular basis and she agreed. She noted the report does not allow year over year but a monthly report could be sent out.
Superintendent’s Report (appended to the file copy of the minutes): Superintendent Hodgdon explained she had received an email from the Ice Breakers regarding a culvert extension and their offer to fund the extension. Superintendent Hodgdon read the request aloud. Marcia Farwell explained this is in the area where the old portables were located. She stated the culvert takes water down and runs water off the property. Marcia Farwell stated the snowmobilers and groomers can’t get through and they are willing to take on the cost of the extension and help to resolve the issue. Beth Lukovits moved to grant permission to extend the culvert and accept the donation of the culvert extension. Wanda Meagher seconded and the motion carried 5-0-0.
The other communication item Superintendent Hodgdon reported was a letter from Angela O’Connor regarding the Peanut Policy and Procedure taken up last month in which Ms. O’Connor expressed areas of concern and areas of research. Superintendent Hodgdon stated she and Ms. O’Connor have played phone tag and did finally speak. She stated she has not provided written feedback as she wanted to speak with Ms. O’Connor first.
Angela O’Connor requested to be copied on the written documentation of the conversation.
The Superintendent’s report included her participation in the meetings relative to the Brookline Afterschool Program with the review and monitoring of communications. Jim Murphy requested that there be a written agreement. There was discussion that this is more of a lease agreement as the school is not running the program. Sylvia Mansfield offered to provide Dawna Duhamel with a copy of the original 1993 agreement.
Superintendent Hodgdon discussed her review of the NESDEC Special Education Report and her recent attendance at the Blue Ribbon Breakfast.
There was discussion of FY10 budget priorities as follows: Staffing, building repairs, preschool and special education. Dave Partridge inquired to the Fincom member present and was told they are looking at the town budgets at this point and things such as fuel costs, etc. that are not controllable. Ms. Hodgdon stated the principals will be turning in their budgets next Friday. Discussion ensued relative to CSDA wish list being for an Assistant Principal, PT Reading Specialist for regular reading, and a PT Assistant for the health office. Additional personnel around the preschool proposal with a part-time coordinator were also discussed. Lorraine Wenger reported the 5th grade recently went over 100 students in enrollment and this would be the 6th grade class next year.
Lidia Desrochers reported the lift in the building providing handicap access is estimated at 30K with the most recent quote. She also will be requesting a security system of up to 15K depending on the number of doors (at most 5) and the equipment. Her last request is for a playground fence which is to keep children from leaving the playground and to keep animals from entering. The cost of the fence estimated up to 34K and would be black aluminum looking like wrought iron.
Jim Murphy stressed the importance of the upcoming meeting on October 30th noted on the Superintendent’s calendar.
Principals’ Report (appended to the file copy of the minutes): Lorraine Wenger noted as the Superintendent had, of the recent Blue Ribbon Breakfast for Volunteers. She stated that all schools received 100% district participation and applauded the volunteerism. She stated the NECAP tracking software is not perfected yet and the LTA procedures Committee will begin meeting in November.
Director of Math Curriculum – Math Curriculum (appended to the file copy of the minutes): Carol Mace, Curriculum Director explained the Mathematics Summer Research Committee draft report was available. She introduced Karen Pillion whom she noted spent most of her summer vacation preparing the report. Karen Pillion reviewed highlights of the report which was the review of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel Final Report along with comparing SAU #41 math curriculum to other math curriculums from around the country. She also stated they researched best practices and enrichment opportunities. A copy of her highlighted report is also appended to the file copy of the minutes. The next step would be to take to an SAU-wide Curriculum Task Committee. Discussion ensued to the impact of changing the curriculum versus not and if there would be an impact on the NECAP test results. The board agreed it would be better to make the changes to rather than teach to the NECAP test as the end result would be better for the students. The SAU Task Committee would be making the recommendation for the curriculum changes.
Agreeing Memorandum of Understanding: Superintendent Hodgdon informed the board she was getting the language needed to address the Board’s concern about precedence from the attorney for Hollis School Board and the next step was to hear back from him. This was done at no cost to the district.
Televising Board Meetings: Chairman Partridge reported the Cable Web budget would be requesting funds to wire the CSDA library and if this gets approved in March 2009, the funding would provide a second room to televise meetings on cable TV.
District Wellness: Meeting in November and Dawna Duhamel will get a list to Kristina Henry of membership along with criteria.
Building Heat Temperature: A member of the public asked about the building temperature previously discussed and noted it is warm in the building tonight. She requested trying to drop the temperature. Chairman Partridge suggested asked the Science students to record the actual temperature daily, creating a science record, and consider the request at that point.
This person also asked what kind of training the teachers get on an on-going basis or do they just get out of school and that is it. Lorraine Wenger stated there is on going training noting the upcoming Professional Development day on November 4th.
Beth Lukovits moved that the Board go into non-public under RSA 91A:3II (e) Litigation. Wanda Meagher seconded the motion. The motion carried by unanimous roll call vote 5 yes, 0 no, and the Board entered non-public session at 8:50 PM. At _____PM, the Board returned to public session to adjourn the meeting.
Date __________________________ Signed ________________________