BROOKLINE SCHOOL BOARD

 

 JULY 28, 2009

 

MEETING MINUTES

 

A regular meeting of the Brookline School Board was held on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 at 6:10 p.m. at the Captain Samuel Douglass Academy.

 

Chairman Dave Partridge presided:

 

Members of the Board Present:               Beth Lukovits, Vice-Chair

Marcia Farwell (Departed @ 6:40 p.m./Returned @ 8:24 p.m.

Wanda Meagher (Arrived @ 6:58 p.m.)

Forrest Milkowski, Secretary

 

Members of the Board Absent:     

                                   

Also in Attendance:                                Susan Hodgdon, SAU41 Superintendent

Dawna Duhamel, Business Administrator

Carol Mace, Director of Curriculum

Bob Kelly, Director of Special Education

Lidia Desrochers, Principal, Richard Maghakian Memorial School

Lorraine Wenger, Principal, Captain Samuel Douglass Academy

Kristina Henry, Assistant Principal

 

 

 

 

AGENDA ADJUSTMENTS

 

      NON-PUBLIC SESSION

 

MOTION BY MEMBER FARWELL THAT THE BOARD GO INTO NON-PUBLIC SESSION PURSUANT TO RSA 91-A:3 II (c) TO DISCUSS A MATTER, WHICH IF DISCUSSED IN PUBLIC, WOULD LIKELY AFFECT ADVERSELY THE REPUTATION OF A PERSON, OTHER THAN A MEMBER OF THE BODY OR AGENCY ITSELF

 

MOTION SECONDED BY MEMBER MEAGHER

 

A Viva Voce Roll Call was conducted, which resulted as follows:

 

Yea:     Dave Partridge, Beth Lukovits, Marcia Farwell, Forrest Milkowski

                                                                                                            4

Nay:                                                                                                     0         

MOTION CARRIED

 

The Board went into non-public session at 6:12 p.m.

 

The Board came out of non-public session a 6:49 p.m.

 

Superintendent Hodgdon provided her recommendation to hire James Doig for the position of Assistant Principal/Special Education Coordinator at the Richard Maghakian Memorial School.

 

MOTION BY MEMBER MILKOWSKI TO APPROVE THE CANDIDACY OF JAMES DOIG FOR THE POSITION OF ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL/SPECIAL EDUCATION COORDINATOR FOR THE RICHARD MAGHAKIAN MEMORIAL SCHOOL AND FURTHER TO DIRECT THE SUPERINTENDENT TO ENTER INTO CONTRACTUAL NEGOTIATIONS

MOTION SECONDED BY MEMBER LUKOVITS

MOTION CARRIED

4/0

 


PUBLIC INPUT

 

Mark Jennings, Hollis/Brookline Middle School Football Team

 

Mr. Jennings thanked the board and the administration for allowing the use of the CSDA field for football practice (during the summer months).  The team is in the second week of football clinics and the program has been a success for players, parents, and coaches.

 

Tom Jeffrey, Head Coach, Hollis/Brookline Middle School Football Team

 

Mr. Jeffrey expressed his gratitude and requested consideration be given for the team to utilize the field for two nights a week during the fall (Tuesday/Friday preferred).  Understanding the soccer program utilizes the field for practices, he requested the opportunity to work with the board and the recreation league in scheduling the use of the field.

 

He explained the high school field, which is their normal practice field, is being redone.  As a result, they have been moved to a small field with uneven surfaces.  The new field is expected to be available for the fall of 2010.  He added, as the majority of the players come from Brookline, utilizing the CSDA field is also more convenient.

 

When questioned if the league was looking to utilize the entire field or half of the field, Mr. Jeffrey’s response was that half of the field is still preferable to the interim field at the high school.  Chairman Partridge commented allowing for use of half of the field would allow for simultaneous use of the field by the soccer program (the field would be lined for soccer).  Mr. Jeffrey has a group of coaches who are willing to assist in the maintenance of the field.

 

Chairman Partridge expressed his willingness to coordinate the use of the field.  Ms. Lukovits questioned who would be responsible for dispute resolution.  Mr. Jennings’ response was “According to the soccer league web site, Chairman Partridge is in charge of the program.”

 

The prior request was for use of the field through the week of August 17th.  The league would like to go beyond that date through the week of the 24th.  Practice times would be approximately 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

 

Principal Wenger was acceptable to whatever decision the board would make.  The general consensus of the board was to allow for the use of the field, and that Chairman Partridge coordinates the schedule.

 

STRINGS PROGRAM AT CSDA

 

Charlene Ledoux proposed introducing a strings program at RMMS and CSDA.  She provided a copy of an outline of the program (copy attached).  Ms. Ledoux is a certified music practitioner and the President of the New Hampshire American String Teachers Association (NHASTA), which is a group working towards introducing string programs throughout the country.  She has the support of the ASTA Association, which handles the insurance and liability issues.  Ms. Ledoux teaches cello lessons for adults and students ran a similar program for the Girls Scouts and a private Catholic school is Goffstown, and belongs to a professional orchestra. 

 

She proposes meeting with students once a week either prior to or at the conclusion of the school day, depending on what best suits the needs of the students.  She would require use of the facility.  There would be no fees to the school.  The cost for the students would be $20/month per student, $30/month per family, and arrangements could be made for those students who found the program cost prohibitive.

 

Ms. Ledoux could rent chellos at a cost of approximately $15/month.  Spencer Violins located in Maynard, MA, is willing and able to service Brookline.  They would handle rentals of violins and violas.  Ms. Ledoux would provide all of the needed music at no cost.

 

In addition to their weekly lessons, the students would perform a holiday concert, a spring concert, and an end-of-year concert.  The NHASTA sponsors a string fest every March and the students would be invited to participate.  Ms. Ledoux also mentioned she was hired by the Ridgewood Geriatric Care Unit in Bedford, NH, which is an organization that is happy to invite the students to perform.

 

Ms. Ledoux listed what can be gained by the program as; a positive self-image, self-confidence, math skills as music is very much math oriented, hand/eye coordination, and team building skills.  She also noted the educational aspects of learning the background of the composers of the pieces they are playing.

 

It is anticipated each class would be slightly more than ½ an hour.  The optimum class size would be 20.  She remarked the Hollis lower elementary school has 4 students playing chellos, 5 playing violins, 3 playing violas, and 5 second violins; however, their program has been in place for a few years.

 

Ms. Lukovits questioned whether the program would be lesson oriented.  Ms. Ledoux responded the students would not be required to know how to play as they would work on elementary pieces.  She would be able to teach the students how to hold their instrument and would do sectionals with very simple music.  If a particular student showed a great interest, she would recommend and coordinate private lessons.

 

Ms. Meagher questioned whether the program would start at both schools.  She recommended it begin at the upper elementary where they have had success with the band program.  If introduced at both schools, coordination should take place with the Principals on how the program should run, payments be received, etc.  Mr. Milkowski stated his desire to see the program start at the lower elementary level.  Ms. Lukovits was concerned they would then lose the program when transitioning to the upper elementary, which is where the math skills are present.  Chairman Partridge was of the opinion the program should start at both schools, especially since no minimum class size has been set.

 

Principal Wenger requested the opportunity to meet with Ms. Ledoux to go over the numbers.  She wishes to see the program be viable, and would like to discuss how the program is funded.  As a parent paid program, it would operate through the student activity account.  The way the account operates is what is acceptable by accounting practices for auditing through student activities. 

 

Principal Desrochers echoed the comments of Principal Wenger.  She remarked she has experienced a similar project in the past, which was open to 1st through 5th graders who participated very well and enjoyed it.  She would like to see the program at the lower elementary school.

 

The need for a background check was stated.  Information should be provided to the Principals who can forward it along to Ms. Lindgren. 

 

MOTION BY MEMBER MILKOWSKI TO APPROVE THE PROPOSED STRING PROGRAM, THAT MS. LEDOUX WORK DIRECTLY WITH THE PRINCIPALS AT BOTH SCHOOLS TO CONSTRUCT THE SPECIFICS OF THE PROGRAM, AND THAT THE BOARD HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO REVIEW AND APPROVE THE PROGRAM

 

MOTION SECONDED BY MEMBER MEAGHER

 

AMENDED MOTION BY MEMBER LUKOVITS TO APPROVE THE PROPOSED STRING PROGRAM AND THAT MS. LEDOUX WORK DIRECTLY WITH THE PRINCIPALS AT BOTH SCHOOLS TO CONSTRUCT THE SPECIFICS OF THE PROGRAM

 

MOTION SECONDED BY MEMBER MEAGHER

MOTION CARRIED

4/0

 

ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTS

 

Director of Special Education

 

Mr. Kelly informed the board he continues to research IRA.  He has resolved the Maintenance of Effort issue.  However, Superintendent Hodgdon has learned of a new problem where if you utilize any of the funds you have to rank teachers in terms of student outcomes.  He has issue with such a requirement.  As an example of why, he stated he could be the worst teacher with students that perform well and place him at the top of the ranking or he could be an exceptional teacher who has a complicated child that does not acquire knowledge as quickly who causes the teacher to be ranked at the bottom.  The ranking information is required to be published on the DOE web site. 

 

Mr. Kelly has another teleconference this month as well as additional meetings with the subgroup of directors to decipher how this will come out.  It is still under Legislative Review.  They are called assurances.  He was informed by the State he could use the same assurances he has to use when writing the entitlement grant for the stimulus funding.  However, the Superintendent has learned there are four (4) additional assurances, teacher ranking being one. 

 

Principal Wenger added information on teacher certification is already being placed in Performance Tracker, which the teachers believe will be matched against their students at a later date. 

 

Mr. Kelly expressed his appreciation to the Board for supporting the Assistant Director position.  The Assistant Director is on board and has been working on a number of projects.  Mr. Kelly explained he wishes to review the backgrounds of several new individuals within his department (across the SAU) to determine skill sets and responsibilities to be handled by each position.

 

Director of Curriculum

 

Director Mace provided the board with a written update (copy attached).  She is overseeing work on seventeen (17) curriculum projects this year that range across the content areas, including Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Music.  Twenty (20) teachers, representing all three districts at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, are engaged in this work. 

 

The process was started several years ago and involves submitting a proposal to the SAU Curriculum Council, which includes a description of work, rationale for the project, goals the project will support, and the ways in which the project will impact student achievement.  Once the work is done, it needs to be submitted along with a work log, and, depending on the nature of the project, the work is reviewed either by a department head, if it involves a high school course or by the Chair of the Task Committee, the Building Administrator if it is a building level project, or it could be reviewed by her for final acceptance.

 

Director Mace informed the board Claudia Dufresne and Karen Coutu lead the Literacy Action Initiative at the middle school.  They spent three days planning professional development opportunities for the upcoming school year.  They have developed a detailed plan for July 2009–May 2010 that identifies action steps, persons responsible, timelines, resources, and evidence of success.  The plan is designed to provide the resources, personnel, and professional development to support implementation of effective school-wide literacy instruction.  She will update the board further as the work progresses.

 

With regard to technology workshops, Director Mace remarked every summer a range of technology workshops is offered.  The Technology Task Committee surveys the staff in the spring to determine what the needs and interests are.  In the past, they focused on providing workshops to sure up basic skills, but in more recent years, teachers are asking for support in application of skills especially since we now have the ICT standards and student portfolios.  Those workshops have been taking place this summer. 

 

There were two, 2-day institutes planned for this summer; the first was held at CSDA in July and the second is scheduled for August at the high school.  Teachers across the SAU are participating in these workshops.

 

As the SAU Home School Coordinator, she is responsible for monitoring the progress of the 45 home school students across the SAU.  Brookline alone has 31 home school students.  According to RSA 193:6, an annual evaluation must be submitted to her by July 1st of each year.  Those evaluations have come in and she is in the process of reviewing them.  There are typically a couple of forms those evaluations take; a number of parents submit standardized test results, but some opt to submit a portfolio review that is done by a certified teacher.  Some are done by certified teachers who are on our staff.

 

She remarked she works closely with home school parents throughout the year helping them with questions about the process and providing any support they may need.  In particular, questions might arise about coordinating some participation in some classes at our elementary schools.  Very often they will want to be involved in Foreign Language classes, the arts, or sports activities.

 

When asked if she was responsible for ensuring home schooled children are at level, Director Mace responded, she reviews the standardized tests to ensure scores are at level and students are making progress commensurate with their age and ability.  She has never experienced having to place a student on probation.

 


Other summer activities taking place are:

 

-     Brookline SINI (School in Need of Improvement) and DINI (District in Need of Improvement) Team. 

 

This is a high-power group with a lot of enthusiasm and great ideas.  Principal Wenger put that group together and drives the initiative.

 

-     The SAU Administrative Evaluation Committee

 

Superintendent Hodgdon is leading this effort in reviewing SAU Administrative Evaluations.  It is a similar approach to the teacher evaluations and is based on a rubric and provides a blueprint and description of what a good administration looks like.

 

-     Leadership Team Retreat Planning

 

This is a first ever endeavor Director Mace is coordinating with Superintendent Hodgdon.  The retreat is planned for two days in August.

 

-     Danielson Training

 

      Danielson Training for new staff will take place in August.

 

Business Administrator

 

Ms. Duhamel provided the board with more precise numbers for those items identified at the March meeting as reductions to the budget.  The total of the proposed reductions represents $3,463 more than what is needed.  Her suggestion was for the surplus to remain in the budget to help offset the teacher retirement account.  With the passage of HB2, the New Hampshire retirement rate for this year has increased, which will create a shortage in the budget for that line item.  The State has shifted down an additional 5% in their contributions towards retirement.  It is anticipated the downshift will increase again for the FY11 budget and is expected to revert back to the previous 65/35% level after that.

 

Ms. Lukovits stated her support of the recommendation.

 

MOTION BY MEMBER MILKOWSKI TO ACCEPT THE ADJUSTED BUDGET ITEMS AS PRESENTED

MOTION SECONDED BY MEMBER LUKOVITS

MOTION CARRIED

4/0

 

When asked for year-end numbers, Ms. Duhamel stated they would be provided via e-mail as a server crash prohibited her from having hard copies to distribute.

 

Mr. Milkowski questioned whether there is a maintenance agreement on the server equipment.  Ms. Duhamel explained the I.T. Director troubleshot the problem with the manufacturer and a replacement part (motherboard) is being sent out.  She acknowledged the need to have a disaster recovery plan in place.  Ms. Meagher voiced her support for such a plan and also suggested consideration be given to purchasing a backup server.

 

Ms. Duhamel informed the board a while back the Town of Hollis was looking to end their self-insured health insurance program and approached the Local Government Center (LGC) for options.  LGC has a program called Combination of Entities where they would allow the Town of Hollis to come onto the SAU plan.  If you belong to the same tax base they allow you to join the pool with the hopes of bettering your rates.  At the time, none of the analysis was done quickly enough for them to roll this around (calendar year versus fiscal year).  The claims history from Brookline was collected and they tried to gather the history from Hollis. 

 

They ran the claims history for the SAU and the Town of Brookline together and discovered the SAU rates, if combined, would drop by .9% and the Town of Brookline would enjoy a 3.4% decrease in what they are paying for health insurance for the coming year.  Ms. Duhamel reminded the board claims history can change.  When the claims history is run again in October it may not be as favorable for one or all entities. 

 

In order to participate for the coming year, a decision would have to be made by August 17th.  She remarked all entities should be involved; Town of Brookline, Town of Hollis, and the SAU, as the rate would affect both tax bases.  All entities would need to be cognizant of the risk.

 

Chairman Partridge could not see jumping into a new plan by August 17th.  Ms. Lukovits questioned if the claims history was that of employees of the town and not combined with worker comp. claims of fire fighters, police, public works, etc. Ms. Duhamel responded it would represent only those employees currently receiving insurance from the town.

 

Chairman Partridge was uncertain the payoff would be worth the risk.  Ms. Duhamel felt it likely the Town of Hollis would revisit the issue.  With the Hollis numbers available, the board would be able to see more realistic numbers.  Ms. Meagher felt the risk would be mitigated by the numbers.  Ms. Lukovits agreed.

 

Mr. Milkowski questioned why Hollis is looking to make the change.  Ms. Duhamel anticipates they are not saving what they thought they would, and it makes more sense for them to get back to a sponsored plan.  She commented small pools make it really difficult for a program to work. 

 

Chairman Partridge stated the need for the SAU to be in agreement if they were to move forward by August 17th.  Ms. Meagher asked if that date represents when the current policy renews.  Ms. Duhamel responded that was simply the deadline she was given and perhaps relates to the information LGC needs prior to setting rates in October.  She will contact LGC and inquire as to whether the date could be pushed out.

 

Chairman Partridge asked if the idea had been brought before the Town of Brookline.  Ms. Duhamel is aware LGC has the claim history for Brookline.  Superintendent Hodgdon felt the information may have been requested by LGC when they became aware Hollis was exploring the possibility.

 

Ms. Lukovits questioned whether LGC would offer comparable plans to what exists and was told Brookline could choose from what LGC offers.  Chairman Partridge stated a desire to move forward and see where the town stands on the issue.   Ms. Tremblay informed the board the Finance Committee is on the town’s agenda for the August 3rd meeting.  She offered to track the issue and keep the board apprised. 

 

PRINCIPALS REPORT

 

Principal Wenger remarked student handbooks for the new school year would be placed on line.  Letters will be going home at end of the week explaining a number of things, including the location of the handbooks on line.  Permission slips will still be sent home at the beginning of the year.  Ms. Meagher commented there are rules within the handbook that should be written differently and in the case of rules that are not followed, should be considered for removal.  Principal Wenger and the Assistant Principal will go through the handbook page by page.   

 

Ms. Meagher questioned whether decisions have been made concerning realigning teachers.  Principal Wenger responded the numbers are at 4, 4, and 4.  The letter being sent home will provide class lists.  The 4th grade numbers are over 75 with a high percentage of identified students.

 

Principal Wenger stated the School In Need of Improvement (SINI) plan, which has been worked on at CSDA, would be sent to the Superintendent the following day for her signature and to be forwarded to the State.  They have had a collaborative group with representation from RMMS relative to putting together a SINI Plan.  Once completed, she will provide the board with a copy for their review and information.  A workshop for the teachers and a parent information night will take place at the beginning of the school year. 

 

The Life Threatening Allergy Procedures have been e-mailed to everyone in order to eliminate any confusion at the beginning of the school year.  A parent information night specifically related to these procedures will take place on August 18th.  Ms. Lukovits questioned whether a discussion needs to occur related to food items being brought into the school especially when it concerns children with diabetes.  Principal Wenger noted the addendum to the policy that outlines the procedure for food being brought into the schools for celebrations, etc.

 

Principal Wenger informed the board the school nurses are working on a plan for H1N1 procedures with the return to school.  All information has been placed on the district web site. 

 

Ms. Lukovits questioned the enrollment numbers for the first grade.  She had believed them to be over 100 and they are listed on the report as 88.  She also noted only 3 additional students went into readiness than was assumed.  Principal Desrochers responded those are the numbers on the class lists.  The preschool numbers are now finalized.  Looking over the numbers as provided in the report, Ms. Meagher questioned the number of regular education students in preschool.  She had believed the class was full and that a waiting list existed.  Principal Desrochers remarked some had dropped out.  Ms. Lukovits questioned whether the Coordinator position had been filled and if any indecision with that position is the reason for some students dropping out of the program.  Ms. Meagher questioned whether Principal Desrochers was aware of the reason(s) for students dropping the program.  Principal Desrochers’ response was she is not aware of the reason(s). 

 

Superintendent Hodgdon informed the board the candidate for the position rejected the offer.  Ms. Meagher questioned who is currently in charge of placement.  Principal Desrochers remarked the former head secretary had been, and that there have been no new registrations.  Chairman Partridge stated the need to follow up on whether there are additional people waiting to be contacted.  The board had discussed keeping one slot open for 4-year-olds in the preschool program.  With only three 4-year-olds enrolled, the remaining slots should be advertised.

 

FACILITIES - CSDA Roof

 

The board walked to the outside of the building to view the entranceway and the extent of roof rot (copy of photos attached). 

 

Principal Wenger had the siding removed from some of the entranceway so that the extent of the rot could be seen.  A quote will be provided for removal of the vinyl trim (traps) in the area where the arch is.  There is no flashing behind the traps to prevent the water from going up and dropping in.  The quote will also include removal of the green trim.  Above the brick, near the pipe by the building, there is some wet framing that needs to be replaced (both sides).  Sky pieces and flashing will be added to the corners at the bottom of the arch.  Gary is currently doing the framing and sheathing on the sides.  One out of four walls needs sheathing and framing of the pillars coming down.

 

Mr. Milkowski questioned whether the problem arose as a result of an architectural design flaw or a general contractor mistake.  Ms. Duhamel stated we are having problems with a roof that we are trying to address and whether the designer or the contractor did something they shouldn’t have or took a shortcut they shouldn’t have is an issue, but her greater concern is the discovery of issues beyond the roof.  If flashing was not done in this location there is no reason to believe it was done in other locations around the building.

 

She is concerned with either the architect or the construction firm owning up to this and being able to gain some liability.  She suggested seeking legal council.  She suggested documenting the damage prior to completing the repairs.  Ms. Lukovits was in agreement.  Mr. Milkowski agreed the entire building should be looked at before completing the work that is underway.  Principal Wenger commented she has a feeling water is collecting on the far end where you can start to see green the trim separating from the bottom of the siding and the nails starting to pop.

 

Ms. Meagher stated the need to contact the insurance company as water damage may fall under property insurance.  Ms. Duhamel felt it possible there would be exclusion for long-term water damage.  Chairman Partridge remarked the insurance company might lay legal claim as well.

 

Other

 

Superintendent Hodgdon is in receipt of a communication, dated June 22nd, from Samantha Boudreau, which included two letters; one was addressed to Nichole Wooley, a second grade teacher.  The letter expresses gratitude for both the academic and social teaching her Son received.  The second letter was addressed to Principal Desrochers thanking her for her contribution towards making her Son’s first year at RMMS a positive experience.

 

Superintendent Hodgdon informed the board of her receipt of a letter of resignation from Ms. Duhamel who has accepted the position of Chief Financial Officer for the Town of Bedford. NH.  Her last day is tentatively set for September 9, 2009.

 

She also informed the board Sharyn Matthews, psychologist, has resigned.  Director Kelly has one applicant for the position.

 

Superintendent – Review 09-10 Calendar

 

Superintendent Hodgdon informed the board of a change to the Hollis School District calendar due to the timing of Kindergarten and 1st grade bus orientation.  She sent out an e-mail to the chairs of the various boards outlining an option of shifting the date of staff return to Wednesday the 26th.  Teachers would return on the 26th and 27th, and have Friday, the 28th off.  Orientation for 1st grade students is on the morning of the 27th.  SAU wide staff will come together at the high school in the afternoon for the Superintendent remarks.

 

The Hollis School Board elected to adjust the calendar so that staff would return on the 26th (contractual matters dictated).  She suggested the Brookline School Board might wish to make a similar change in the interest of keeping the district on a similar plan.  The COOP district is already there as they have two additional days in their school calendar.  Superintendent Hodgdon stated a concern for creating a long weekend for staff in only one district.

 

Ms. Meagher stated she would leave the decision up to the administrators.  Principal Wenger felt it would be easiest to be consistent with the district.  Principal Desrochers was in agreement.  She went on to state it would be more convenient for bus practice as the 26th would be for staff and the 27th for bus practice.  If staff were to start on the 27th, their first day would coincide with bus orientation, and she would not be able to connect with staff as easily.

 

MOTION BY MEMBER MILKOWSKI TO CHANGE THE DATES FOR STAFF RETURN FROM THE 27th AND 28th TO THE 26th AND 27th, AND THAT THE 28TH BE A DAY OFF

 

MOTION SECONDED BY MEMBER LUKOVITS

MOTION CARRIED

5/0

 

Superintendent Hodgdon, Principal Desrochers, and the Principal from Hollis Primary School met with Ms. Orde and are continuing to explore the feasibility and availability for Kindergarten students riding the bus to school.  There are some details they need to continue to work on to make that a reality.  For Brookline, the bus route is already in place and set as a one-way ride; morning session arrives via bus and afternoon session departs via the bus.  There is no additional cost to the district.

 

There remain some issues to work out; some kindergarten students have yet to be assigned to either morning or afternoon sessions and Ms. Orde needs that final information as well as to address some logistical information such as are there enough seats on the particular bus routes.  Ms. Lukovits questioned if the busing would affect the schedule of the aides and para-professionals.  If the school day were extended 20 minutes on each end to align kindergarten with busing there might be an issue with the number of hours per week, which would have a financial impact on the district. 

 

Superintendent Hodgdon explained it is still in the exploratory stage.  Ms. Meagher suggested the board/administration find a way to make it work. 

 

Superintendent Hodgdon informed the board Principal Wenger is serving as the administrative representative to the small group from the leadership team that is working on an evaluation system for administrators.  The system is standards based, includes a rubric, and a number of domains that are looked at just as in the Danielson model.  This model has ten (10) domains where Danielson had four (4).  The committee has been meeting for a few hours each Wednesday, and hopes to have a draft model ready for presentation at the leadership team retreat.  After receiving input from the leadership team, the proposal will be brought before the SAU board. 

 

The Leadership Team Retreat is coming up this month and is the first of its kind for the district.  Funding for the retreat came from monies left over from the Danielson work.  The team will be off site (C.R. Sparks, Bedford, NH) for two days (August 10th and 11th) working with a facilitator (Kathy McQue, Assistant Superintendent of Schools, RSU #4) who will lead the team through identifying key work that is on agendas whether forefront or simmering in the background.  The goal is to identify key work that needs to be accomplished over the next five (5) years and to map out a timeline for that occurring. 

 

The same discussion will be had with the chairmen of the various boards so that the district is focused in what we do, take advantage of professional development opportunities when they present themselves, and avoid taking on too much.

 

Ms. Meagher suggested a plan should be devised to come up with one school board for the entire district.  She is unsure how it would work, but believes that would greatly reduce the SAU level workload and perhaps stop the loss of individuals such as Ms. Duhamel.  Ms. Farwell expressed her strong opposition.  Chairman Partridge, Ms. Farwell and Ms. Lukovits commented the range of issues would be so large, they cannot see it functioning effectively.  Chairman Partridge stated he did not believe you could legally do that without combining into one actual district, which would mean one budget, which in and of itself would have ramifications. 

 

Superintendent Hodgdon stated her intent to arrange a meeting with the various board chairs to discuss a few outstanding issues.  The first issue for discussion is a contract between the COOP and Project PROGRESS.  Project PROGRESS came forward with the idea a consultant was needed in order for them to go the next step of bringing on board the company they ultimately want to work with for the energy audit and beyond.  In making that presentation they secured some funding from the COOP board.  The contract is between the COOP and Project PROGRESS, has been reviewed by Attorney Dressier, and has received some recommendations for change.  She is uncomfortable signing off on a contract as the SAU Superintendent when all board chairmen are not yet privy to the document.

 

The second topic of the meeting is the transition planning for the Business Administrator.  She has spoken with Ms. Duhamel about reputable companies who provide trained school business administrators to fill in during an interim period.  Ms. Farwell questioned why the district would not simply hire a permanent replacement as soon as possible.  Superintendent Hodgdon stated her desire to review the possibility of making one position within the office an Assistant Superintendent and/or perhaps a CFO model arrangement where that individual would possess the skills that could also alleviate some of the work of the Superintendent.   

 

Superintendent Hodgdon informed the board she has the results of an exit interview with Sally O’Hearn.  Ms. Farwell had believed the board would be involved in that exit interview.  She had wanted to participate. 

 

Superintendent Hodgdon informed the board of a request by Principal Wenger for the board to consider reducing the amount of time required for a long-term substitute to move to a regular pay rate from twenty to ten days.   

 

Principal Wenger informed the board she has a teacher going on maternity leave from the beginning of the year for approximately 4 months.  They have located a highly qualified candidate who is coming off of a long-term substitute position at the high school and is able to take on the role of long-term substitute for the position of Special Education Case Manager.  The district has a track record with this individual who has been extremely valuable at the high school.  This individual would be coming on at the beginning of the school year, has a Masters+, and would have case manager responsibilities and be responsible for getting everything going from day one with a full case load.

 

When asked, Superintendent Hodgdon explained both Hollis and the COOP have waived the ten additional days when hiring long-term subs.  Chairman Partridge questioned why the rule exists if it is simply waived as a matter of practice.  Superintendent Hodgdon explained it is a state rule and individual districts can waive it altogether if they so choose. 

 

Superintendent Hodgdon recommended the board take advantage of a known entity and a very high quality individual.  Mr. Milkowski questioned whether the individual would be interested in the long-term substitute position regardless of whether the ten days were waived.  Superintendent Hodgdon stated the individual has experienced the waiver of the ten days at the high school. 

 

Ms. Lukovits was in favor of the recommendation and commented on the cost to the district if something were overlooked as a result of not having a highly qualified individual in the position.  Chairman Partridge commented, although he would prefer to experience the savings, he did not feel as though the school should hire someone for an entire year as a substitute and pay him/her $65/day.  He reiterated the board would be knowingly hiring someone for four months. 

 

Mr. Milkowski remarked it is unclear whether the individual would accept the position regardless of the waiving of the additional ten days.  Superintendent Hodgdon stated she has not and does not normally meet with the individuals.  She relies on the building principals for that.  Ms. Lukovits expressed her support of the waiver. 

 

MOTION BY MEMBER LUKOVITS TO PROVIDE PRINCIPAL WENGER WITH THE AUTHORITY TO NEGOTIATE FOR A LONG-TERM SUBSTITUTE FOR THE POSITION OF SPECIAL EDUCATION CASE MANAGER AND, IF NEEDED, THE AUTHORITY TO WAIVE TEN DAYS OF THE PERIOD REQUIRED PRIOR TO PAY SCALE CHANGE

 

MOTION SECONDED BY MEMBER MEAGHER

 

ON THE QUESTION

 

Ms. Farwell objected to the motion as Principal Wenger has already indicated she has spoken with the individual and agreed to approach the board with the issue.  Principal Wenger responded she was asked the question by a candidate, didn’t have the language in front of her, and had stated she would seek an answer from the Superintendent.

 

Mr. Milkowski was agreeable to Principal Wenger informing the candidate of the state standard and providing the principal with the leeway to negotiate.

 

MOTION BY MEMBER MILKOWSKI TO MOVE THE QUESTION

MOTION CARRIED

4/1

 

STAFFING

 

Pre-school Teacher/Coordinator

 

Superintendent Hodgdon informed the board the administration is in the process of re-advertising for the position.  The ad appeared in the newspaper this past week.  She will review candidates as they present themselves and work towards getting the position filled as quickly as possible.

 

When asked whether the position would be filled in time for the start of the school year, Superintendent Hodgdon stated her belief there is a good chance it will.  Ms. Lukovits questioned who would set up the program if we have the individual on a regular teacher contract, which doesn’t allow for any extra days except a Wednesday and Thursday.  Superintendent Hodgdon responded the position was advertised as two part-time positions; teacher and coordinator.  The ad also stated strong consideration would be given to someone who could fill both positions. 

 

Chairman Partridge questioned who was setting up the program, i.e. deciding curriculum, etc.  Commented if we wait for the person we hire and are without someone for another month we will hit the ground stumbling.

 

Superintendent Hodgdon stated the need to discuss the issue in further detail in non-public session.

 

APPROVAL OF SCHOOL BOARD MINUTES

            

Brookline School Board . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . May 26, 2009

 

MOTION BY MEMBER LUKOVITS TO APPROVE AS WRITTEN

MOTION SECONDED BY MEMBER MEAGHER

MOTION CARRIED

4/0
 

Brookline School Board . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . June 23, 2009

 

MOTION BY MEMBER FARWELL TO APPROVE AS AMENDED

MOTION SECONDED BY MEMBER LUKOVITS

MOTION CARRIED

5/0

 

Brookline School Board – Non Public  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . June 23, 2009

 

Acceptance was held to allow for further review of the minutes

 

      NON-PUBLIC SESSION

 

MOTION BY MEMBER FARWELL THAT THE BOARD GO INTO NON-PUBLIC SESSION PURSUANT TO RSA 91-A:3 II (a) THE DISMISSAL, PROMOTION OR COMPENSATION OF ANY PUBLIC EMPLOYEE OR THE DISCIPLINING OF SUCH EMPLOYEE, OR THE INVESTIGATION OF ANY CHARGES AGAINST HIM, UNLESS THE EMPLOYEE AFFECTED REQUESTS AN OPEN MEETING; AND

 

PURSUANT TO RSA 91-A:3 II (c) TO DISCUSS A MATTER, WHICH IF DISCUSSED IN PUBLIC, WOULD LIKELY AFFECT ADVERSELY THE REPUTATION OF A PERSON, OTHER THAN A MEMBER OF THE  BODY OR AGENCY ITSELF

 


MOTION SECONDED BY MEMBER MEAGHER

 

A Viva Voce Roll Call was conducted, which resulted as follows:

 

Yea:     Dave Partridge, Beth Lukovits, Marcia Farwell, Wanda Meagher, Forrest Milkowski

                                                                                                            5

Nay:                                                                                                     0         

MOTION CARRIED

 

The Board went into non-public session at 9:41 p.m.

 

The Board came out of non-public session at 10:50 p.m.

 

MOTION BY MEMBER FARWELL THAT THE BOARD, BY ROLL CALL, SEAL THE MINUTES OF THE NON-PUBLIC SESSION UNTIL SUCH TIME AS THE MAJORITY OF THE BOARD VOTES THAT THE PURPOSE OF THE CONFIDENTIALITY WOULD NO LONGER BE SERVED

 

MOTION SECONDED BY MEMBER LUKOVITS

 

Yea:     Dave Partridge, Beth Lukovits, Marcia Farwell, Wanda Meagher, Forrest Milkowski

                                                                                                            5

Nay:                                                                                                     0         

MOTION CARRIED

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

MOTION BY MEMBER MILKOWSKI TO ADJOURN
MOTION SECONDED BY MEMBER FARWELL
MOTION CARRIED
 
The Brookline School Board meeting of July 28, 2009 was adjourned at 10:51 p.m.
 
 
 

Date __________________________      Signed       ________________________