APPROVED: JULY 25, 2006
Brookline School Board
June 27, 2006
Dave Partridge, Acting Chair
Richard Pike, Superintendent of Schools
Bob Kelly, Director of Special Education
Carol Mace, Director of Curriculum
Mellinee Capasso, Assistant Business Administrator
Tony Luzzetti, Principal of RMMS
Kevin Stone Assistant Principal RMMS/CSDA
Mary Kay MacFarlane, Recording Secretary
Dave Partridge called the meeting to order at 6:30 pm with the Pledge of Allegiance.
Melissa Dietz asked the Board to introduce themselves.
Barb Tron’s daughter Heather, composed a letter she wanted read to the Board regarding Mrs. Cardillo. Heather wants Mrs. Cardillo to stay. She helped me read and have fun learning. I am uncomfortable with her leaving. When she teaches me I feel confident and feel I will do bad at school without her. We all need Mrs. Cardillo. This is the first year her daughter has had services and Heather has done very well with Mrs. Cardillo. Mrs. Cardillo was very responsive and professional with her.
Melissa Dietz and Gary Dietz are unhappy with SPED teacher turn over in the district. His son has had too many teachers. He wants to thank the Board and Mr. Kelly for answering questions. Were the legal expenses for year $93,000 or 1.5% of annual budget? Is it typical? What % of time are administrators with lawyers? Is Bob Kelly spending more time with lawyers than is usual for someone is his position? He was not happy about the way the staff blew the whistle, and hopes that staff/management relations can be improved.
The Board wants to work things out. They confirmed that legal expenses for the year were $93,000 and that most of that money was for Special Education issues. Bob Kelly responded that the district has never had legal expenses like this in the past. This is very atypical and out of the ordinary. Bob is spending time as needed with lawyers because of this. All the required preparations for the hearings are done by Bob and Pam Gross. This requires a lot of time and paperwork.
Gary Dietz told the Board of the many hours he and his wife spend on the phone working with people to get the right help for their child. He asked the Board if they are offering the appropriate incentives and training to encourage employees to stay in Brookline. He also stated that he feels that some townspeople have a bias against him because he has a child in Special Education and “those SPED kids are costing us taxpayers a fortune”.
The Board told him that it is unfortunate that some people feel that way, but in no way does that statement reflect the view of the Board or majority of townspeople.
Danielle Vezing is moving out of town in order to get her son the services she feels he needs. She feels strongly that her son did not get the services he needed in the Brookline schools this year.
David Brooks from the Nashua Telegraph asked if the $93,000 legal figure is correct. The Board responded that it is. The majority of expenses are related to SPED.
A parent asked what changes are going to be made to the SPED program to improve it if the DOE investigation is not done. Bob Kelly replied that the staff will be trained on the new manual that has been developed.
Rich Pike wanted to talk about the strengths of the district; the professionals, parents and partnerships. He pledges to be open and to listen to everyone to get these issues resolved.
Melanie Lavaque spoke regarding her daughter. It took her child six months before she could be tested. Ms. Cardillo gave her daughter confidence. Testing early and soon important to get children into the appropriate programs.
A parent asked if the positions left by Melissa Padera and Connie Cardillo had been replaced. Bob Kelley responded that Melissa Padera’s position has been filled. Some positions are open and others are under negotiation.
The federal government is going to require the district to have early intervention.
The Board has asked the administration to send out a letter to parents on how to let the school know if they are unhappy with their child’s education.
One parent found the letter sent out by the SPED director very intimidating.
Nashua Telegraph asked about legal budget for last year and this year. $35,000 is in this year’s budget. $1300 was is last year’s budget.
Business Administrator’ Report
Mellinee Capasso reported on the expenditures. She has met with auditors and they feel there will be revenues available to offset a potential deficit. The audit is scheduled for the first week of August. The Board will know at the beginning of August whether or not the district is in deficit. If revenue doesn’t cover the deficit then the deficit will carry forward. Unanticipated revenues are expected from IDEA funding.
Rich Pike said that in the future that the Board may need to consider a contingency fund.
A motion was made by Tom Solon that the Brookline School Board authorizes the Superintendent and Business Administrator to represent the School District for the purpose of signing Bureau of Business Management forms for any state and federal funds due those entities. Beth Lukovits seconded the motion. The motion carried by a vote of 4 yes, 0 no.
Tony Luzzetti gave the principal’s report for RMMS. He said that the 4th grade classrooms have been moved into the gym. These classrooms are being renovated and the second grade teachers will be moving into these classrooms. August 28th is the first day for teachers. August 30th is first day for students. August 11th Kindergarten parents will meet with teachers.
Kevin Stone gave the principal’s report for CSDA.
Buildings & Grounds
The Board asked how the budget for the 4th grade move was doing. Kevin Stone replied that the move is currently on schedule but over budget.
The Board went to a 5 minute break at 8:50 pm
The Board resumed the meeting at 8:55 pm
The Board then discussed the memo from Tony Luzzetti, Laurie Wenger and Kevin Stone regarding the request for an additional .5 Special Education Teacher.
The move of the 4th grade students to CSDA has created a situation for special education which should be addressed.
When the 2006-2007 budget was originally developed, the request for the .5 special education position was intended to relieve the caseload for Grades 5&6 at CSDA. With the 4th grade moving to the Academy, the need increased to a full-time position.
This means that the .5 position originally in the budget would be placed at RMMS to assist with the case load. Currently, next year’s special education program will be serviced as follows:
Grades K-3 caseload: 1.5 Teacher Grades 4-6 caseload: 2 Teachers
Self-contained room: 1 Teacher
.5 Reading Teacher to be shared by RMMS & CSDA
The administration feels that if there is any way to increase the 1.5 by .5 to create 2 positions, the delivery of services to students greatly enhanced.
During the budget season, it was suggested that one person could assume both the .5 special education position and the .5 reading position to create a full-time position. Further analysis has deemed this to be difficult and it does not appear to be a feasible option at this time. Scheduling concerns are critical, and the .5 reading position will be assigned where necessary between the two schools. A reading teacher would service students during the language arts block, the same time that a case manager would be expected to service students. Another concern is that interviews to date have not presented any candidates with the combined skill sets, and those interviewing for special education are interested in full-time employment. Due to the shortage of qualified special education teachers in the state, this is a concern.
Rich Pike suggests looking in the professional employee salary account to funding the extra hours needed to change a position from .5 to 1.0.
Dave Partridge said we should look into hiring paraprofessionals if they can do the job for less money.
The Board is going to shift the agenda to do the report from the Curriculum Director
The curriculum report was given by Carol Mace. She reported to the Board on the NWEA MAP. This assessment is immediate and they may replace Terra Nova.
NWEA Measures of Academic Progress
Preliminary costs for NWEA MAP based on % of Brookline student enrollment (610 students)
Tier I Tier II Tier III
0-50% 50-65% 65%+
$13.50 per student tested $13.00 per student tested $12.50 per student tested
First year mandatory one-day training $3,550 (includes travel) for up to 60 teachers and up to 40 administrators
Additional follow up training available. Three sessions, recommend one each year at a cost of $3,950 per session.
Regional trainings are sometimes available at lower cost.
Lead time to implement – 6 weeks.
Carol Mace spoke with Milford who implemented NWEA in a slow roll out and it worked very successfully. Milford used a trainer from NWEA.
The NWEA test has two types of testing first survey test 20-30 minutes; second survey with goals test 45-60 minutes.
Possible funding sources: Terra Nova or REAP funds.
Mike Dreyer wanted to know if this could be used to defend AYP. Carol said that it could be. The Board asked if parents going to have access to the results of this test. Carol responded yes.
Approval of Minutes
Postponed until next meeting.
Dave Partridge will ask Jack Flanagan where they are with the report on insurance.
Rich Pike made the following recommendations:
Patty Montague, Special Education Coordinator, New Position
Administrator Contract $64,000
Stephanie Langer, Special Education Teacher, (repl. Padera)
B, Step 5 $35,932
Jaime Matylewski, Special Education Teacher, (repl. Cardillo-Backoff)
M, Step 3 $38,824
Mary Ann Melizzi-Golja, Speech Pathologist (repl. Jenny Brion)
M+30, Step 13+ $61,795
Jessica Oleniak, Grade 2 Interim One year (repl. Shalek)
B, Step1 $30,953
Ana Utell, Foreign Language (repl. Cloutier)
B, Step 1 $30,953
Mike Dreyer made a motion to accept the recommendation of Patty Montague as Special Education Coordinator. Beth Lukovits seconded the motion. The motion carried by a vote of 4 yes, 0 no.
Mike Dreyer made a motion to accept the recommendation of Stephanie Langer as Special Education Teacher. Beth Lukovits seconded the motion. The motion carried by a vote of 4 yes, 0 no.
Mike Dreyer made a motion to accept the recommendation of Jaime Matylewski as Special Education Teacher. Beth Lukovits seconded the motion. The motion carried by a vote of 4 yes, 0 no.
Mike Dreyer made a motion to accept the recommendation of Mary Ann Melizzi-Golja as Speech Pathologist. Beth Lukovits seconded the motion. The motion carried by a vote of 4 yes, 0 no.
Mike Dreyer made a motion to accept the recommendation of Jessica Oleniak as Grade 2 Teacher. Beth Lukovits seconded the motion. The motion carried by a vote of 4 yes, 0 no.
Mike Dreyer made a motion to accept the recommendation of Ana Utell as Foreign Language Teacher. Beth Lukovits seconded the motion. The motion carried by a vote of 4 yes, 0 no.
Beth Lukovits makes a motion to go into non-public under RSA91-A:3II(b), hiring .
The motion was seconded by Mike Dreyer at 9:50 pm. The motion carried by unanimous roll call vote.
The Board came out of non public at 10:40 pm
Mike Dreyer made a motion to seal the non-public minutes June 27, 2006. The motion was seconded by Beth Lukovits. The motion carried by unanimous vote 4 yes, 0 no
A parent has requested a waiver to the cut off date for Kindergarten. Their son was born after September 30 and they would like him enrolled in Kindergarten this year. Rich Pike will send a letter to the family explaining there is no exception policy.
A family lives in Townsend and is planning on moving to Brookline. The family wants to have their child enrolled in the Brookline Schools. The Board stated that the family needs to have a P & S before the district could accept tuition. Superintendent will respond to the family with a letter.
A letter of resignation from Pam Gross was received by Richard Pike at the end of the school year.
Beth Lukovits makes a motion to accept resignation of Pam Gross. Tom Solon seconds the motion. The motion carried by unanimous vote 4 yes, 0 no
Mike Dreyer asked Rich Pike to look and see if Pam Gross provided services to any other districts last year besides the Brookline School District.
Capital Improvements Committee
Building Committee will start meeting in July.
Summer Meeting Schedule
Beth Lukovits nominates Dave Partridge as Board Chair. Mike Dryer seconds the nomination. The nomination is called to a vote. Dave Partridge is elected Board Chair by a vote of 4 yes, 0 no.
Tom Solon nominates Beth Lukovits for Vice Chair. Mike Dreyer seconds the nomination. The nomination is called to a vote. Beth Lukovits is elected Vice Chair by a vote of 4 yes, 0 no
Employees of the Board will not engage in, or have a financial interest in, any activity that raises a reasonable question of conflict of interest with their duties and responsibilities as members of the School staff. This includes but is not limited to:
a) Staff members are not permitted to privately tutor students during their contractual school time.
b) Private tutoring of students shall not take place on school property.
c) Teachers shall not privately tutor students who are assigned to their classrooms.
d) Teachers shall not privately tutor students whom are eligible for tutoring at public expense.
e) Teachers shall not privately tutor children as to whom they have participated on their 504 team or I.E.P. Team.
f) Teachers hired a private tutors for students enrolled in the Brookline School District shall promptly inform the Superintendent of the following:
i) the name of the student being tutored; and
ii) the subject area(s) in which the child is being tutored.
Mike Dreyer asked who has liability insurance on Camp Invention. Kevin Stone replied that no one can use the building unless a certificate of insurance is given.
Dave Partridge thinks parents should be able to sign up to receive email versus back pack mail.
A motion was made to go into non-public under RSA 91-A:3II (a)Compensation by Mike Dreyer. Beth Lukovits seconded the motion. The motion carried by a unanimous roll call vote and the board entered non-public session at 11:28 pm.
Date __________________________ Signed ________________________