Brookline School Board
CSDA Media Room
December 19, 2006
Dave Partridge, Chair
Richard Pike, Superintendent of Schools
Mellinee Capasso, Business Administrator
Carol Mace, Business Administrator
Bob Kelly, Director of Special Education
Patty Montague, Coordinator of Special Education
Dr. Anthony Luzzetti, Principal of RMMS
Lorraine Wenger, Principal of CSDA
Kevin Stone, Assistant Principal
Mary Kay MacFarlane, Recording Secretary
Dave Partridge called the meeting to order at 6:37 pm with the Pledge of Allegiance.
Wanda Meagher asked Bob Kelly when the addendum to the handbook with the SPED information was going to be ready. Bob Kelly said that it is finished and he will email it to Board members for review.
Wanda Meagher asked a question about the SPED survey. If it is supposed to be anonymous, how anonymous can it be if you are being asked to return it to the school? The survey was developed by the DOE and the surveys are being collected at the office. Patty Montague said that the office was collecting all the surveys in a large manila envelope. Wanda Meagher was concerned that these surveys may not be collecting valuable data, because parents are concerned about being identified. Bob Kelly said that the survey was done in compliance and direction with DOE on-site, as to what to do and how to do it. Wanda Meagher asked him if this was the data he really wanted. Bob Kelly said yes and anyone with issues can contact their team for a meeting.
Wanda Meagher asked Mellinee Capasso if the manifest would be ready this week. Mellinee said that she thought they would be but wait until she is contacted to come to the SAU office.
Richard Pike wants the Board to get back on track with policy work. He would also like to set a date for goal setting. Dave Partridge asked the Board to email him dates in late January that would work well for them and they will set a date. The Town Hall will be the location for the meeting.
A motion to accept the non-public minutes of November 28 by Mike Dreyer. The motion was seconded by Beth Lukovits. The motion carried by a vote of 5 yes, 0 no.
A motion was made to accept the public minutes of November 28, 2006 by Mike Dreyer. Beth Lukovits seconded the motion. The motion carried by a vote of 5 yes, 0 no.
Lorraine Wenger gave the principal’s report.
I. PROGRAMS, ACTIVITIES, EVENTS
Dec. 25–Jan.1 Winter Vacation
Jan. 11 Winter Concert – CSDA – 7:00 PM
Jan. 15 No School – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Jan. 23 School Board – CSDA- 6:30 PM
RMMS & CSDA
· December Early Release Workshop – focused on math and ICT standards
· Winter Concert at RMMS
· Fitkids at CSDA - Dr. Cappetta
· Grant-a-Wish – helped 23 children through Nashua
III. SPECIAL EDUCATION FORUM
Dec 12 SPED Presentation
Lorraine Wenger said that the speaker Jen Coumb did a great presentation. Wanda Meagher agreed that she would be worth having back. She is moving to Maryland but the group she works for is in NH. She answered a lot questions that parents had. Patty Montague thought she gave a balanced presentation. Mike Dreyer thought it was a great presentation. Beth Lukovits said she has heard many positive comments from the SPED presentations.
Beth Lukovits commented that the speaker for the Peanut Allergy forum was excellent. Lorraine Wenger agreed.
Board Vote on Support Staff Contact
Tom Solon asked whether or not there is any feedback from the presentation to the staff.
Dave Partridge replied that the support staff voted yesterday and unanimously passed the contract.
Tom Solon asked what the change would be in dollars from this year to next year. Dave Partridge said that there was a total cost of $687,000 for this year. Support staff is a three year contact; 48,800 for the first year increase, 59,700 second year, 37,900 for the third year. It is approximately a 7% increase for next year. Tom Solon asked is anyone had calculated the tax impact of this. Dave Partridge replied not yet. This contract makes us competitive with other districts and retirement benefits are being offered for full time para professionals. Health care benefits are fixed for the first year. The support staff has a sick bank.
A motion was made by Mike Dreyer to accept the negotiated contact agreement between the Support Staff and the Brookline School District, 2007-2008, 2008-2009, 2009-2010. Beth Lukovits seconded the motion. The motion carried by unanimous vote 5 yes, 0 no.
The Board took a 10 minute break at 7:23 pm
The Board resumed at 7:34 pm
Mellinee Capasso passed out the budget.
Tom Solon asked Bob Kelly to present the areas of significant change over the last year in the SPED budget.
Budget - SPED
New Personnel Sheet
Bob Kelly presented the SPED budget first for questions. There were some changes to the budget for a school psychologist for a salary increase to $55,000. Also there is a request to hire three new paras.
Extended School Year program – why was it over? The 1200 560 account include out of district programs for K-6 for the summer and pre-school kids. He is recommending increasing it to $15,000. Bob Kelly said that there have been changes in the definition of extended year programs and the criteria level thereof. This comes from the Federal level. There are also heavy discussions going on regarding changing the NH RSA that defines extended school year eligibility.
1200-117 – what was the difference going forward? The difference, $13,000, was due to the fact that, since last fiscal year’s budget there has been an additional paraprofessional required. This was carried over to this year.
Program development – it includes $3,240 for restraint training, lips program, and NH State regulations education for professionals.
1200-121 – Why is it called a stipend and not a salary? It should be called salary and it will be changed. The coordinator salary was taken out of teacher and put into this category. There is a reduction in accounts 1200-118 of $86,600. This is due to taking the SPED Coordinator position was taken out and given its own category. The balance is from changes in staff.
1200-560-01 Tuition – What can be done to do this in district? There is a budgeted amount of $83,220. Wanda Meagher asked if this is an average. Bob Kelly said that this is getting to be the average. There are 10 students in this program. The Board asked if Brookline could have a preschool in district. Bob Kelly will run an assessment/cost of creating a pre-school in Brookline. You need time to communicate to parents, area preschools and the RSEC. There is an application and an approval process with the state department of education.
The Board asked if the preschool in Hollis is working. Bob Kelly said yes it is. He explained that they are 3 years into in this program and they do not take student from other districts. If they did there would not be openings in the program when needed. The class make up is 6 identified students and 6 non identified students. Brookline would have to consider space needs.
Tom Solon said that the Facilities committee did not include room for a pre-school in their proposal for the March 2007 meeting. However, he stated that there may be items of interest in his presentation later this evening.
Mike Dreyer asked what the difference between a remedial reading teacher and a reading specialist. A remedial reading teacher is similar to a reading specialist. Bob Kelly will look at the remedial reading specialist to see if it can be combined to hire someone for less money. The Board stated that if this position can be done less expensive in house instead of using contractors, then that is what they want Bob Kelly to do.
ESY account is internal.
Occupational therapist costs have increased due to personnel changes.
The Board discussed evaluations and the use of contractors’ verses hiring a full time employee. They discussed the position of the school psychologist.
Preschool Coordinator – to oversee off site preschool program and cover LEA meetings. Mike Dreyer asked if it could be done by a paraprofessional. Bob Kelly said no. Mike Dreyer asked if this could be done by a stipend. What is the increased load that necessitates this position? Tony Luzzetti said that preschool transition and requires a lot of time. Lorraine Wenger stated that SPED has changed dramatically over the past few years in the number of cases and the complexity of those cases. SPED takes up a lot time. Patty Montague said that visiting Sunrise Children’s Center is approximately a 2 hour visit. She feels that to do her job effectively, this position is necessary. Dave Partridge asked if a part time person could have hours increased to accommodate this. Bob Kelly said that he would look at it.
ESL is split between Hollis and Brookline at a total cost of $80,000. The question is raised can Brookline hire a part time person for less money than sharing this person with Hollis. The increase in this account is due to reapportionment of ESL. Mike Dreyer asked how much time the ESL person spent in Brookline. Mellinee Capasso stated it was 50%. Mike Dreyer asked if it was possible to hire a part time person for half of the assessed $40,000. Rich Pike explained that this item used to be in the Coop budget line item. In recent years, the Coop has no or little use of this service. The current ESL person is working .8. The $80,000 is this person working full time or 1. Dave Partridge asked if an increase is a trend that will continue. The Board discussed whether it would be worth it to hire a part time person to do this work in district.
The Finance committee and school board expressed concern over the 21% increase in the SPED budget. 18.2 % if you don’t count ESL.
Bob Kelly informed the board that IDEA money gets credited to the 1200 accounts.
The Board discussed changes in the 1200 accounts.
Bob Kelly noted that out of district placements are the most expensive part of the SPED budget.
Dave Partridge asked Bob Kelly of the increases in staff/services that are proposed, which ones the district can legally hold off on until later. Bob Kelly told him that he would have to think about it and get back to him. Tom Solon asked him to include in his answer what alternative services if any are used by the district. Bob Kelly told the board that he doesn’t think any one can be legally dropped.
Mike Dreyer asked about Medicaid reimbursement being only $50,000. The district spent $50,000 last year for Medicaid.
Budget – Regular Education
Permanent Substitute – The Board discussed this and decided there was no benefit added.
Legal service – Bob Kelly will talk to legal counsel to see what cases will close in this fiscal year and how much more expenditures can we expect. He will also check to see if any funds can be expected from Primex.
The Board had a lengthy discussion regarding past, current and future legal expenses.
Extra 6th grade teacher- there is a question on whether or not we have space at CSDA for another 6th grade. The board had a lengthy discussion regarding class sizes and space issues. There was discussion on whether or not the additional teacher should be a warrant article. The bond for the addition at CSDA is scheduled to be voted on first.
A para-professional is needed to handle additional classroom support of the larger classrooms and having the fourth grade at CSDA. The Board had a lengthy discussion on the need of an extra para-professional.
Sr. Secretary – upgraded from 4 days a week to 5 days a week. The Board discussed the need for the upgrade.
Custodian-CSDA due to increased students in the building. The Board discussed user fees and if a person could be shifted from RMMS. The Board also discussed the feasibility of a part time custodian.
Kitchen Worker- the Board discussed the possibility of transferring a person be transferred from RMMS instead of hiring a new person for CSDA.
Mellinee Capasso warned the Board not to be overly aggressive in budgeting revenues. She noted that the support staff agreement was not included in the salary line items for support staff.
Carol Mace feels that she can’t get her SAU Curriculum plan through in all three boards, so her recommendation is not to implement it this year.
Mellinee Capasso spoke regarding the benefits of an expendable trust for maintenance.
The magnetic doors, that the Fire Department recommended, are not in budget.
Mellinee Capasso discussed the areas of exposure. In the area of benefits there will be a $31,000 over expenditure, an additional Para for SPED will be over budget by $21,000, property/liability insurance is over budget by $9,000, and transportation is over budget by $11,000. The Food Service has a deficit of $8,000.
The Finance committee asked Mellinee Capasso if the new accounting software will allow for more history to be shown. Mellinee said it should. The Finance Committee had no guidance at this time.
A motion was made by Mike Dreyer to waive the bid policy and contract with architectural services with CMK Services in an amount not to exceed $8,000 for the proposed expansion plans for CSDA. Beth Lukovits seconded the motion. The motion carried by a vote of 5 yes, 0 no.
Budget workshop 4-7 pm January 11th.
A motion was made to accept the resignation of Karina Bertrand with regret by Mike Dreyer. The motion was seconded by Beth Lukovits. The motion carried by a vote of 5 yes, 0 no.
A motion was made to adjourn by Beth Lukovits. The motion was seconded by Wanda Meagher. The motion carried by unanimous roll call vote 5 yes, 0 no.
Date __________________________ Signed ________________________