Hollis-Brookline Cooperative School Board
October 17, 2007
Hollis-Brookline Middle School
Tom Enright, Chairperson
Dr. James O’Shea
Lauren Jacobi, Student Representative
Richard Pike, Superintendent of Schools
Tim Kelly, Principal, Hollis-Brookline High School
Pat Goyette, Principal, Hollis-Brookline Middle School
Dawna Duhamel, Business Administrator
Robert Kelly, Director of Special Education
Jeanne Hayes, Special Education Coordinator
Jeanne Saunders, Special Education Building Coordinator
Carol Mace, Director of Curriculum and Instruction
Sandy Demarest, School to Careers Director
Betsy A. Packard, Recording Secretary
Others present included members of the Public.
Chairperson Tom Enright called the meeting to order at 6:10 p.m.
Steve Simons moved that the Board accept the minutes of September 19, 2007 as written. Janice Tremblay seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 4 – 0 – 0.
2. SCHOOL TO CAREERS PRESENTATION
Supt. Pike introduced Sandy Demarest, School to Careers Director. Ms. Demarest reported that they have been trying to expand the School to Careers program through such initiatives as job shadowing, informative job interviews, internships, and work studies.
Ms. Demarest felt that internships were helpful, especially for students who don’t know what they want to do. Ms. Demarest informed the Board that last year there were 14 students who did internships, and that students from the current junior class are coming to her asking about internships for next year. She stated that some careers that are popular for internships are: Restaurant Manager; Education; Criminal Justice; Medical; Marketing; Photography; and Manufacturing. She added that she goes and makes site visits with the employer every couple of weeks.
Ms. Demarest stated that they had added weekly seminars to the curriculum this year. There is a specific topic each week, such as, resume writing. She felt that the seminars were working out great.
Ms. Demarest informed the Board that they are trying to make the Work Study Program (previously Learn to Work) more academic. A student must work at least 10 hours per week and must keep a journal. She explained that guiding questions are giving, which a student must write about. Students must also keep a time sheet, documenting their hours. Ms. Demarest added that a student must have a job before they can enroll in the Work Study Program.
Ms. Demarest informed the Board that they were also trying to fuse career development with all the classes. Grade 10 does a career research paper. They are also conducting career breakfasts where employers come in and talk to students.
Ms. Demarest stated that they are trying to do more assessment of the program. Most students are confused at first, but they work through it and become excited about it. Ms. Demarest explained that she helps the student look at where their interests and personality lie, and try to match them with a job. She added that she would like to service more students. She felt that the program had been great for her and for the students.
Mr. Kelley stated that a key component is how they can integrate the program into the curriculum.
Mr. Solon asked how many students the program could support, adding the he didn’t like having to turn students away. He pointed out the Ms. Demarest was ok with the number of students she currently has, but he felt it would be tough if the numbers increased. He added that he wanted it to be a quality program. Chair. Enright wondered how big the program could be given the size of the school. Mr. Kelley felt that they could serve 50 students. He stated that in Nashua they had served 150 students in their program. He added that most students in the program leave the last two periods of the day to get to their jobsites.
Chair. Enright stated that there are 14 students in the internship program, but wondered how many were in he work study program. Ms. Demarest responded that there were about 17-18.
Mr. Scales wondered how she manages to find the host sites. Ms. Demarest explained that some companies, such as BAE, come to her. BAE has a committee, and the internships are paid positions, which are most popular with the students. She added that there is an Education Committee through the Souhegan Valley Chamber of Commerce. She explained that ideally, it is good to have a month to find a host site before the internship starts. Mr. Kelley added that Ms. Demarest is a part-time employee and spends time selling the program at such places as Rotary Club meetings. He added that the students represent the school, so they want to have a good match.
Ms. Demarest explained that students go out and interview for the internship position. She advises them to prepare with questions to ask, as they want the match to be good for the student. One student, who went on an interview and did ask questions, decided that it was not what she wanted.
Supt. Pike asked if there were counterparts in other schools. Ms. Demarest responded that there were and that they meet quarterly. They also share work site information.
3. SPECIAL EDUCATION REPORT/PRESENTATION
Mr. Kelly, Special Education Director, introduced Jeanne Hayes, Special Education Coordinator, and Jeanne Saunders, Special Education Building Coordinator.
Mr. Kelly reported the following revenues:
Projected Catastrophic Aid $184,429
Medicaid Reimbursement (7-1-06 to 6-30-07) $52,864
IDEA Funding (2007/2008) $206,619
Mr. Kelly informed the Board that for the preliminary projected 2007-2008 budget, he does not foresee the need for new personnel, either professional or paraprofessional. He added that pending graduation and completion of program, they could be looking at a flat line budget.
Mr. Kelly gave an overview of the March 2007 NHDOE Case Study Compliance Review in SAU 41. He stated that they had received the initial report from the State at the end of March. The final report came late August. The following are some of the commendations the SAU received:
· High level of dedication and support to all students demonstrated in each school.
· Pride in their school, individual work with students, parents, and the community expressed in each school.
· Impressive atmosphere of professionalism and respect.
· Students with disabilities provided with learning opportunities in least restrictive environment.
· Involvement of staff, administrators, parents and student in the case study presentations was impressive.
· Commendation for the provision of adequate supplies, materials, and resources within each school.
· Impressive range and continuum of programming for students with disabilities.
· Significant commitment of time and resources dedicated to curriculum development.
· Welcoming and safe child-centered learning environment with strong leadership.
· Strong staff recruitment and retention. All staff hold appropriate certification.
· Impressive involvement of PTAs and parent volunteers.
· High expectations for all learners.
Mr. Kelly reviewed the summary of findings from the Three Onsite Focus Areas:
· Least Restrictive Setting.
It was evident that special education personnel are committed to delivering special education programming and services to students in the least restrictive setting. A strong continuum of programming for students with disabilities has been developed. General educators are fully involved in the development and implementation of individual student IEPs. IEP goals were written in measurable terms as required by IDEA.
· Transition Services
Considerable amount of time is spent on framing smooth transitions for all students between and among schools, particularly for students with educational disabilities. Staff and administration work hard to include the involvement of parents and students.
· Behavioral Strategies and Discipline
A safe and child-centered learning environment is provided for all children. Staff and administration work to ensure that challenging student behaviors are dealt with in a proactive manner. Behavioral support available in all buildings. Professional development available to staff addressing challenging behavioral and discipline at all levels.
Mr. Kelly then reviewed the following Corrective Action Plans:
· Special Education Process
Continue to update procedural manual and update staff when updates occur. This will be on-going as the State is still working on their manual.
Mr. Kelly recommended that the School Board adopt Policy IHBA. Mr. Simons responded that the Board had already approved the policy.
· Secondary Transition Services
Mr. Kelly reported that there had been one case in which there was no evidence of written documentation of the student being invited to a transition meeting. He stated that they have now developed a document that the student signs which states that they have been invited.
Chair. Enright asked what “Secondary Transition” meant. Mr. Kelly explained that the State regulations state that at the age of 14 years (federal regulations have changed it to 16 years) a student must look at what they want to do after completion of school. What needs to be done for the student to get there and be able to transition out of secondary school is also examined at that time.
Ms. Hayes reported that there had been 36 commendations from the report. Some of the strengths of the Coop District are:
· Caring child centered environments.
· IEPs accommodate and are fully outlined for each student.
· Staff/student ratio.
· Parent support.
· Strong and involved leadership.
· Buildings are easily accessible.
· Strong communications with out of district placements.
Ms. Saunders reported on the following areas that are commendable, but need continued improvement:
· Each of the four teams at the Middle School have a Special Education teacher and a paraprofessional assigned to them. Continue available collaboration time between general and special education staff.
· Assure special education students have full access to curriculum.
· Data-driven decision-making: use of data to effect curriculum instruction, assessment and student outcomes.
· IEP reports are done each quarter as well as the general education progress reports. Progress reports for each objective.
· Parent communications:
o Middle School and High School Parent Information Night
o High School conducts monthly teas
o Newsletters - monthly articles on Special Education in both the High School and Middle School newsletters. Articles will be on topics relevant to every student, but are skills used in special education.
Ms. Hayes reported on the following:
Ms. Hayes stated that in regards to transition from Middle School to High School, they start as early as December. They plan to start conducting more transition tours with students and parents. She added that the employment of the Job Coach has been a plus. Services available to students after the age of 21 are being presented, with different agencies coming in and explaining their services.
Ms. Hayes explained that the new State information system helps with the consistency of transition plans. The transition plan must be written when the student is 14 years old. They even work with transition with college, such as SAT special requirements.
Chair. Enright stated that Ms. Demarest has about 31 students. He questioned how many had IEPs. Mr. Kelley responded that the School to Careers was one program, while the Job Coach was with Special Education.
Mr. Scales asked if there was any overlap with the two programs. Mr. Kelley responded that one was more Special Education focused. Ms. Hayes stated that some students with less special education needs are working with Ms. Demarest. The Job Coach works with students who will not be going on to college, but need help transitioning into a job. Lisa Futrell is the Job Coach who was brought in last year. This has replaced the Life Skills at the Middle School.
· Professional Development
Ms. Hayes reported that there are sufficient funds for staff development and that the staff is open to professional staff development opportunities. She added that she trains and updates the staff regarding new regulations. She also trains staff on the NH Special Education Information System (NHSEIS) and writing goals.
Mr. Solon asked if there was professional development coordination between the special education staff and the general staff or are they separate entities. Mr. Kelly stated that they have done both. Some topics are germane to both staff, but some are just focused on Special Education. Mr. Solon felt that with the amount of demand on the general education staff, the more they understood Special Education skills, the easier it is for the load to be shared. Mr. Kelly responded that Mr. Solon’s point was well made. Mr. Solon added that he felt the Special Education professional development seminars should be open to all general education staff should they want to voluntarily attend. Mr. Kelly responded that again, Mr. Solon’s point was well made.
Mr. Kelly informed the Board that they were still at the preliminary stage regarding the State’s report.
· Staff Assignments
Ms. Hayes reported that paraprofessionals also go with students on sporting events. She added that the part-time Special Education Coordinator at the Middle School has helped tremendously.
Dr. O’Shea asked if the report made any commendations or recommendations regarding paraprofessionals or use of paraprofessionals. Mr. Kelly responded that they hadn’t, but they did commend the use of general education available for special education students.
Chair. Enright asked what the State report was criticizing the District on regarding staff assignment. Mr. Kelly responded that he couldn’t recall, but he would get back to the Board about it. He added that it wasn’t a major emphasis. Ms. Hayes stated that one suggestion was co-teaching. Chair. Enright questioned what co-teaching was. Ms. Hayes explained that co-teaching referred to special education and general education working collaboratively in the classroom. Mr. Simon questioned the State report recommending a Coordinator at the Middle School. Mr. Kelly responded that they did, and they now have Ms. Saunders.
· Program Development
Ms. Hayes reported that the Committee recommended that the District look at students who are disengaging. They are looking at what is available at other schools, such as Nashua and Milford, and what can be offered in-district.
Ms. Hayes stated that the School to Careers and Job Coach play an important role in program development. Special Education students will be baking goodies to sell at Open House. This helps develop cooking skills and learn about selling.
Ms. Hayes informed the Board that they are developing Alternative Portfolios for Special Education students. Mr. Solon questioned what an Alternative Portfolio was. Mr. Kelly responded that a portfolio was sampling of a student’s work that is collected throughout the year, which helps to see if they are developing and/or meeting their goals.
Mr. Scales asked if this was a preliminary report, and wondered when a final report could be expected. He added that it would be nice to have a report of where the State felt that the District was lacking, so the next time the District is assessed, they won’t have the same recommendations. Mr. Kelly stated that it will take time, as they will be sending staff out to observe best practices at other schools, then they need to have staff discussions.
Mr. Scales stated that he would like to see a list of problems that need to be solved. Mr. Kelly responded that this was the list and that if they add more to it, they will let the Board know. He added that in solving the problems, they will be researching best practices. Mr. Scales stated that he would like to see a list of where hey think they are going in regards to solving the problem areas, so that they can see if they are getting there.
Mr. Solon asked when the next assessment would be. Mr. Kelly responded that it could be between one to five years. He added that the Coop District has been on a 5-year schedule. If the District is doing bad, it could be one year. He stated that the State wants to do more frequent assessments, but it hasn’t been defined yet. He added that he would let the Board know if he hears something more definite.
Mr. Solon wondered what the cost to the District was for the assessment. Mr. Kelly responded that there was not cost to the District. Ms. Hayes pointed out that there was a cost in personnel, that on an average, each case manager put in 30 hours. Ms. Goyette added that there was the cost of substitutes so that the case managers could put in the 30 hours. Mr. Kelly stated that there was a multitude of staff involved, not just the case managers.
Chair. Enright stated that he felt he was behind in regards to Special Education, therefore, he would like to have them back.
5. OPEN FORUM
Mark LeDoux, Hollis Board of Selectmen, addressed the Board. Mr. LeDoux thanked the Board for their help in resolving where voting will be taking place in Hollis. He added that they still don’t know the date.
Mr. LeDoux informed the Board that the Strategic Planning Committee was revising the large master plan. He stated that they would like data points from the District regarding capital needs and their costs. He added that they would also like a census of each town so they can see where the bubbles are. He stated that they might like to meet with the Coop Board before the Committee makes a presentation in March. He added that they would like the Board’s feedback.
Mr. LeDoux wondered if there were any statutory laws that limit how many students a district can accommodate. Chair. Enright responded that there wasn’t, that a district takes any and all. Mr. Scales felt that there were limits. He pointed out that State regulations limit the number of students in a science lab.
Mr. LeDoux stated that they would like to know what will be happening in the next two to five years, such as:
· If the Coop is dissolved, what would the costs be?
· What additional classroom requirements are needed?
· Additional cafeteria space requirements.
· Will the Middle School remain two grades or become three.
Chair. Enright responded that the Board would like to participate in the discussion.
Mr. LeDoux stated that they would like to know what will happen if the current facility is all they have for the next five years. He added that if in 20 years, Hollis is at a population of 12,000, and they are currently at 8,000, what can they do to accommodate students with what the District currently has. What will the District need for the future?
Chair. Enright asked that the Chair of the Planning Committee contact him and the Board will work with them.
Mr. Solon asked if there were any plans to look at growth and demographics. Mr. LeDoux responded that the information is antidotal. He stated that in the last 10 years, there was a migration north of people from the south. People are taking advantage of lower costs here; however, with the change of home mortgages, it is hard to predict. He added that if light rail comes to Nashua, all bets would be off.
6. BUSINESS ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Ms. Duhamel reported that the MS25 and DOE25 reports had been completed and filed with the State.
Ms. Duhamel also reported that the Human Resources Specialist position had been filled. Ann Siglin was hired and began work on October 3, 2007.
Ms. Duhamel informed the Board that it looked as if the Assistant Business Administrator position has been filled. A contract has not yet been signed.
7. CURRICULUM DIRECTOR’S REPORT
Child Growth Reports
Ms. Mace explained that the State’s Follow the Child Growth Model is a pilot program, which the State submitted to the US Department of Education to replace the Federal Adequate Yearly Progress. The Federal DOE did not accept the model, but the State has decided to continue with the model to help monitor a child’s progress. Growth targets are calculated for every student, and the number of students meeting and exceeding their targets are tallied. The 2007 Growth Targets are 57% for Reading and 53% for Math.
Ms. Mace reported that the Middle School met the growth targets in both Reading and Math for the school as a whole. However, the educationally disabled subgroup did not meet the target in reading.
Ms. Mace explained that NECAPs are only one assessment, and other assessments must be considered to determine if a student is making progress.
Mr. Solon questioned when progress made is looked at, is the cohort looked at as a whole, or are individuals looked at. He wondered if individuals who previously scored above proficient move back to proficient on their next test, would it be detected. Ms. Mace responded that it would be detected, as individual scores also looked at. Mr. Solon asked if there would be any penalty if above proficient students slipped back to proficient. Ms. Mace responded that there would be penalties because those students would be counted as not meeting their growth targets. She added that the test makes sure that the bottom group is moving up and the top group is staying the same or making progress.
8. SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT
Supt. Pike reported that the October 1st enrollment numbers had been sent to the State.
Mr. Scales asked if the District was a member. Supt. Pike responded that the District is not, but added that he had brokered a deal for last year’s enrollment numbers. Mr. Scales asked when they would get updated projections? Supt. Pike responded that they got the numbers in early December last year.
Supt. Pike stated that he wanted to add to the Curriculum Director’s report. He stated that the Data Team that Ms. Mace is working with will have the benefits of how to look at data and how to collect data. He added that there is a lot of work to do to have continuous improvement.
Supt. Pike reported that the Technology Specialist Job Description was attached to the Board’s packet. He asked that the Board look at the description and bring any comments to the November board meeting.
9. HIGH SCHOOL PRINICIPAL’S REPORT
Mr. Kelley reported that the October 1st enrollment was at 931. For athletic purposes, enrollment is 950, as they must also include home school, non-public and out-of-district students.
Mr. Kelley stated that he met with the Hollis election officials regarding the voting plan, which is moving ahead. He added that accommodations regarding the use of doors had been made. Voting will take place in the mini gym with use of the side main gym door before and after school, and one of the mini gym doors for entry while school is in session. Mr. Kelley stated that they still needed to work with town officials regarding parking, plowing and police. He added that they also need to coordinate with the Ordes regarding bussing.
Mr. Simons asked if Mr. Kelley was also looking into the use of a shuttle bus to and from Nichols field. Mr. Kelley responded that he was.
Mr. Kelley reported that the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) report had made recommendations, two of which were to increase parking space and increase the capacity of the cafeteria. When the NEASC report was written, the enrollment was 819. With the current enrollment of 931, it translates to a 13.6% increase. Mr. Kelley stated that with the institution of parking fees, they have been able to take control of an over crowed back parking lot. However, he felt that it may soon become necessary to address the space needs.
Dr. O’Shea asked if the Accreditation Committee could come back and say that the District hasn’t taken care of these issues, therefore, the accreditation is in jeopardy. Mr. Kelley responded that accreditation is done every ten years. The Coop’s accreditation took place three years ago. The District had to do a 1-year report, which is unusual. They are now working on their 2-year report. If they don’t meet the recommendations, then they will be put on probation.
Mr. Kelley extended an invitation for the Board members to visit the High School cafeteria during lunch and to observe hall changes. He added that between 10:30 and 11:30 would be ideal times to visit.
Mr. Kelley reported that the State drop-out report shows that last year there were 14 drop-outs, and 7 this year. However, several of the drop-outs have gone on to get their GEDs.
Mr. Scales asked what constitutes a drop-out. Mr. Kelley responded that it is any student who no longer attends school. If they get their GED, they still have to be counted as a drop-out. If a student transfers to another school, they are not considered a drop-out. Mr. Kelley informed the Board that they had a student transfer in from another school, but only attended classes for three weeks before they dropped out. The Coop had to count the student as a drop-out, yet the school the student transferred from recorded it as a transfer.
Mr. Kelley reported that all necessary permits for the dugouts have been obtained and construction should be starting soon.
Mr. Kelley informed the Board that the High School had received a $15,000 Technology Grant from a family in Brookline who wishes to remain anonymous. This is the third grant that this family has bestowed upon the Coop. The money will be used to purchase Smart Boards. Science and math classes already have Smart Boards, so now they are starting to put them in other classrooms. Mr. Kelley added that the family hopes that this grant will spur other families to step forward with other grants.
Mr. Simons asked if a letter of thanks will go out to the family. Mr. Kelley responded that he will do it.
Mr. Kelley informed the Board that they currently have two security cameras in the back parking lot, and will be putting a few more to get a better view of the lot. Mr. Kelley stated that he would like to put a camera in the hallway near the gym going to the locker rooms. He explained that they have had some theft taken place in that area. It is a hard area to monitor. Ms. Dunn and Mr. Ouellette have done a security review, as well as a security company has been in and given their report.
Chair. Enright asked if anyone on the Board objected to a camera looking down the locker room hallway. Mr. Scales asked why they have not had any cameras until now. Mr. Kelley responded that it was due to the school’s culture. Mr. Scales felt that putting a camera in the hallway could be the beginning of several cameras.
Chair. Enright stated that he had no objections. Dr. O’Shea stated that he had no objections, and added that he knew that a student had had an IPod stolen out of their bag because they had no locker. Mr. Solon stated that he had a problem with the installation of a camera. Ms. Tremblay asked how the cameras were monitored? Mr. Kelley responded that they are monitored in the assistant principal’s office on the third floor. Ms. Tremblay stated that she had no problem with it.
Dr. O’Shea asked that Mr. Kelley talk briefly about the merit scholars. Mr. Kelley explained that the High School had three National Merit Scholars, and 10 students were commended. He explained that students take the PSAT, and as a result, three students were recognized with outstanding scores. He added that only a handful of schools have three merit scholars.
Student Representative’s Report
Dr. O’Shea asked Ms. Jacobi if there had been much talk amongst the students regarding the installation of a camera in the locker room hallway. Ms. Jacobi responded that word of such a camera has not gotten around to the students yet. She added that her original reaction was tentative, but she understands the need. Mr. Kelley added that it was not a done deal, and if the students talk him out of it, then he is fine with it. Mr. Solon asked if it was just an issue of theft, or an issue of personal safety. Mr. Kelley responded that is was just an issue of theft at the moment.
Mr. Kelley informed the Board that there had been a proposal brought forward by two coaches to develop a freshman basketball program. He felt that there is an interest in such a program. Funding is estimated at $1300 for the first year to cover officials and transportation. Ten games would be played. Money would be funded through athletic fees and funds raised through summer camps. If there is any money available, they would pay the coaches a small stipend. Each team would have 13-15 players.
Chair. Enright asked if the freshman team would travel with the varsity team. Mr. Kelley responded that they wouldn’t, as they do not play at the same time.
Dr. O’Shea stated that his daughter played freshman volleyball and he felt it was great. He pointed out that having a sport program for grades 7 – 12, working together, school spirit, role modeling, and giving students things to do was important.
Mr. Simons stated that the Board needed to know what starting a freshman basketball program would mean for the future. Chair. Enright concurred, questioning if the program would be budgeted for the next year. Mr. Kelley responded that he felt it would be for more than one year, but he would need to look at it, and evaluate costs and revenue from the athletic fees.
Mr. Simons stated that when a new sport is introduced, the Board must know what the cost will be if it is an on-going sport. He added that they needed to put this as an item to discuss on the agenda. Chair. Enright concurred, stating that when a new sport is introduced the Board asks for long-term proposal and what the costs will be.
Mr. Simons stated that the Board could approve the program for this year based on the current costs, then Mr. Kelley would need to come to the Board with a budget as to what the costs will be for the following year, and the Board will have to decide if it should go into the budget or not.
Mr. Scales asked what the Coop’s exposure would be regarding insurance. Chair. Enright responded that they would need to notify their insurance carrier, but that there would not be any additional costs.
James O’Shea moved that the Board approve Principal Kelley’s request for a self-funded one-year trial run of a boys and a girls freshman basketball teams at the High School. Webb Scales seconded.
Mr. Simons asked if the program would be totally self-funded. Mr. Kelley stated that the funds would come from athletic fees and from funds raised through summer camps. Chair. Enright pointed out that the athletic fees would cover half of the costs.
Motion carried unanimously 6 – 0 – 0.
Steve Simons moved that the Board accept the anonymous $15,000 donation with great thanks. Webb Scales seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 6 – 0 – 0.
Mr. Kelley informed the Board that the following field trips are being planned:
Science Class to Orlando, FL
French Class to Quebec City, Canada
Journal Convention in Philadelphia, PA
Steve Simons moved that the Board approve the field trips to Orlando, FL; Quebec City, Canada; and Philadelphia, PA. Webb Scales seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 6 – 0 – 0.
Mr. Kelley reported that the Math Team went to Worcester Polytechnic Institute for a meet and ended up placing 6th out of 85 teams. The teams all came from southern New England.
Mr. Kelley distributed his Class Size report. He explained that N/C means no credit, while 0 = a Freshman Team class, thus no one can get into it, IS means Independent Study, and N/S is no schedule. He pointed out that the first three pages show work study program, directed study, and the Nashua/Milford programs. Class sizes start on page 4. He explained that on page 4 Journalism I and Journalism II are combined, therefore there are 25 students in the class with one teacher running the two classes at once. The same scenario goes for AP computer science. There is no credit for direct study.
Mr. Kelley asked that the Board look the report over and come back to him with any questions they may have. Chair. Enright agreed and pointed out that the class size figures will be needed for budget discussions.
Mr. Scales asked how members should go about analyzing the information. Chair. Enright suggested that they look for average class sizes of 24-28 students. If they see classes with 5 – 9, this should be a flag.
Supt. Pike questioned Western Humanities on page 9. Mr. Kelley responded that Western Humanities was taught by two teachers, thus the computer put all the students in with one teacher and zero students with the other teacher. The same goes for American Studies.
10. MIDDLE SCHOOL PRINCIPAL’S REPORT
Ms. Goyette reported that a new recycling club has been formed with Erin White as the advisor. The group, consisting of parents, students and teachers, has met twice to organize the recycling of plastic bottles. Bottles will be collected daily from seven locations within the building and stored in the shed behind the building, then transported by volunteers to the transfer station on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Two students from the Green Group at the High School have come down to talk with the club.
An informational night was held for parents regarding the Washington, DC field trip. The dates are scheduled for March 25-28, 2008.
Ms. Goyette informed the Board that Steve Secor did a workshop on Performance Tracker for the Math and English departments. Performance Tracker is used to analyze and track NECAPs. She added that the NEWAs were cut from the budget, which is not what they wanted, but in retrospect, she is glad that the teachers only have to focus on Performance Tracker right now.
11. MIDDLE SCHOOL PROPOSED 2008-2009 BUDGET – CONCEPTUAL OVERVIEW
Ms. Goyette then reviewed the following Proposed 2008-2009 budget for the Middle School:
A. Fifth interdisciplinary team
Ms. Goyette stated that the October 1st enrollment numbers are in. In two years, the Middle School will be above 480. This is within the realm of what had been discussed two years ago, and was proposed to have a full 5th team. However, the years following, the numbers go down. Thus, it is assumed that the Board will not want to pursue a fifth team.
Mr. Solon asked if the Middle School will be able to handle 480 students with only four teams. Ms. Goyette responded that they will do it. She pointed out that the classes are fairly evenly divided. If one grade had many more students than the other class, then they would need the fifth team.
Mr. Scales questioned what the ramifications would be of having a fifth team for only one year. Ms. Goyette responded that the budgetary implications were huge. Mr. Simons added that they would have to hire and fire teachers.
Mr. Solon felt it didn’t make sense to ramp up for a one-year event.
B. (0.5 FTE) Special Education Building Coordinator
Ms. Goyette stated that this year’s part-time Special Education Building Coordinator (0.5 FTE) was a band-aid. The position needs to be administrative in nature. She felt that reallocating funds from two retirees would give them the funds needed to increase the position to full-time.
Mr. Scales asked what the advantage would be having one person filling two part-time positions, rather than two people filling the two positions. Ms. Goyette responded it would mean one person knowing the school well. Mr. Scales added it would be synergy between the two positions. Ms. Goyette agreed.
Mr. Solon questioned discussions at the SAU level regarding help for the Special Education Director. Supt. Pike responded that it had been mentioned that if the respective districts didn’t do something at their level, then they should look into hiring someone to help the Special Education Director. Supt. Pike felt it was better to go through the local level, rather than split one person amongst the three districts.
C. (1.0 FTE) Special Education Building Coordinator
Mr. Simons questioned a full-time Building Coordinator, pointing out that the cost would be more than the funds from a couple of retirees. Ms. Goyette responded that her proposal is either B or C. Option B is more fiscally responsible, but she would love Option C.
Dr. O’Shea stated that he would like to hear what the best model educationally would be. Supt. Pike felt that if the Coop took the money that they would spend for their portion of a Special Education Administrator at the SAU level and put it towards a position at the Middle School, they would get more for their money.
Dr. O’Shea stated that he was not enthusiastic about a 5th team at the Middle School, but he would like to hear more about Special Education Coordinator models.
Ms. Goyette stated that they plan to continue year two of their five-year technology plan.
Mr. Solon pointed out that the 5-year plan was part of a warrant article last year. Mr. Scales agreed, but explained that the 5-year plan was approved; therefore, the subsequent years go in the budget, unless the Budget Committee takes it out.
Ms. Goyette stated that she would like to add boys and girls lacrosse for the 2009-2010 school year.
Ms. Goyette reported that last year they purchased new math, science and social studies books. Now they would like to purchase Spanish textbooks. It would be phased in over two years: Grade 7 in 2008-2009 and Grade 8 in 2009-2010. The texts cost $65.00 each. She added that replacement of the texts was not due to content, but rather the condition of the books. The books are about 11 years old.
Ms. Goyette stated that she was concerned about fixed costs. Ms. Goyette reported that the town will no longer provide sanding. It has been budgeted as $600 per storm for 12 storms.
Mr. Kelley wondered if the District might be able to purchase sand from the town. It is estimated to cost $900 to sand at the High School. He wondered if they could pay the town to sand. He felt it was necessary to plow and sand at the same time.
Mr. Simons wondered if Hollis Construction did the plowing. Chair. Enright responded that they did. Mr. Simons suggested that Hollis Construction buy sand from the town with the District’s permission and they do the sanding.
Mr. Kelley pointed out that this was not in the budget.
Ms. Goyette stated that Mr. Gray was doing a great job on saving money in the maintenance budget. One way is by having spare parts on hand. She stated she would like to increase the maintenance budget to increase the spare parts on hand.
Chair. Enright asked if Mr. Gray could come in during the November meeting and present the maintenance budget. He added that he would like to chat with him.
12. HIGH SCHOOL PROPOSED 2008-2009 BUDGET – CONCEPTUAL OVERVIEW
A. Social Studies Textbook
Mr. Kelley stated that there was a committee studying social studies textbook replacement. He added that they need to meet State requirements.
B. AP English
Mr. Kelley explained that originally, students taking AP English were required to purchase their book. They have been moving away from this practice.
A. Mr. Kelley reported that there was still a need for a part-time nurse. The State standards recommend 750 students per nurse. The school currently has 931 students and one nurse. He stated that increasing the pay for substitutes would not help with the current nurse being run ragged because of so many students.
Mr. Simons wondered if the part-time nurse had to have full qualifications, or if the position could be filled by someone with lesser qualifications. Mr. Kelley responded that they had talked about getting a clerical worker for the nurse, but they really need someone to help with the nursing duties.
B. Career Counselor
Mr. Kelley explained that the position is currently 0.75 FTE, and he would like to increase it to 1.0 FTE. He added that one way to help with space issues is to move students off campus through internships and work study.
Mr. Scales wondered if it was better to have one full-time position or two part-time positions. Mr. Kelley responded that it was difficult to attract candidates with part-time positions. Also the consistency is better with one full-time person.
C. 504 Coordinator
Mr. Kelley reported that he would like to change the current 0.50 FTE to 0.75 FTE to better serve the needs of the students and provide a non-credit directed study one period per day.
A. Space Needs
Mr. Kelley stated that cafeteria space is a big item, along with classroom space, and teacher work area. Other needs include technology program space, and locker room configuration.
Mr. Kelley reported that they were evaluating input concerning improvements that will increase security.
High School Enrollment Figures
Mr. Kelley distributed a spreadsheet showing the actual and projected enrollment numbers from 1997 to 2015. He explained that the bold numbers were the actual enrollment numbers. The numbers vertically below the bold numbers are the projected enrollment numbers calculated the year of the bolded number. Moving horizontally to the right gives the actual numbers. He stated that from the chart, they knew in 2002 that enrollment would be at 900 in 2006.
Mr. Scales felt that because of what Mr. Kelley had done with creative scheduling and space planning, voters will think that it is working. Mr. Kelley responded that they are making it work, but 30 students have to eat their lunch in the foyer, teachers are teaching from carts, there is no work space for teachers, and hallways are crowded. Mr. Kelley pointed out that surrounding districts were building new facilities and he was worried that they may lose their staff to these districts.
Mr. Scales stated that Jim had put a slide up last year at the District Meeting that showed full classrooms in red. There were only seven rooms that were not in red. Now it was less. Mr. Kelley stated that there are only three classrooms that are not full. Mr. Scales stated that Mr. Kelley deserved nothing but credit.
Dr. O’Shea stated that they had two towns with committees looking at space issues and the possibility of dissolving the Coop. He stated that he would like to know what the cost of dissolving the Coop would be.
Mr. Scales pointed out that the building holds 820 students. Chair. Enright stated that the building was designed for 900 students except for the cafeteria. Mr. Kelley added that the library was now undersized because they had to take some space for classes.
13. BUDGET DISCUSSIONS
Chair. Enright asked if anything had changed in anyone’s mind since the Board’s last meeting. He wondered if they were looking at a total budget increase of 3%?
Mr. Scales stated that the Budget Committee met on Monday. The Committee was trying to work out a methodology for the budget increase. They are looking at a CPI of 1.5% and a population change of 25 students; however, population increase based on October 1st numbers is one student. If they assume a population increase of one student, then the percent change would be 0, leaving a 1.5% total budget change.
Mr. Kelley stated that the population increase was 14 students.
Mr. Scales’s felt that the number the Budget Committee would come in with would be smaller than 3.4%. With no increase in student population, the professional contract will eat the CPI increase. He suggested that staff salary be pulled out as a separate article; else it would be a negative increase to the budget.
Chair. Enright asked the Board what guidance they felt they should give to the Administrators. He stated that he felt they should go with 3%, realizing that there will be program cuts at that number. He added that 3% was not an ending place, but rather, a starting place, but they will be able to see what a 3% budget looks like.
Mr. Kelley stated that if the 3% included salaries and benefits, then the operating budget will go down.
Chair. Enright stated that health benefit increases will be about 10%.
Dr. O’Shea agreed with the 3%, but with rankings.
Mr. Scales stated that he was more comfortable to come in with a lower budget and then add things in. He felt that the Budget Committee will come in with a figure of approximately 1.5%.
Mr. Simons and Ms. Tremblay felt they should go with 3%. Mr. Solon felt they should go with 1.5%.
Dr. O’Shea stated that it was more than likely that he will disagree with the budget. He did not think he was in the realm to support a budget at 1.5%. He added that he has his job, as a Board member, and the Budget Committee has their job, and it is up to the voters to decide.
Mr. Solon stated that he respected Dr. O’Shea’s opinion, but he felt that the voters would support the Budget Committee. He felt they should run a true model with the Budget Committee’s numbers, then they can see what the budget/programs look like.
Mr. Scales pointed out that the cost of education is rising higher than what taxpayers can afford.
Supt. Pike stated that they needed to make a decision if the budget is enough for a quality program. Dr. O’Shea felt that another way of paying heed to what taxpayers can pay is through the contract negotiations this year.
Chair. Enright advised the Administrators to use 3% increase as a guidance for their budgets.
14. HIGH SCHOOL EXPANSION
Dr. O’Shea stated that he had heard compelling issues from the Administration regarding High School expansion – classroom crowding, teacher space affecting the quality of education, not an emphasis on cafeteria space.
Mr. Simons felt that they needed the expansion, but the projected enrollment numbers going down concerns him. The numbers go down in eight years.
Mr. Solon stated that looking at what Mr. Kelley had presented showed him that the need for space is current, not for what is projected.
Chair. Enright stated that the numbers had clarified the issue for him. The numbers are between 900-950 and the school is not working. He felt that the school was going in the wrong direction because of the space issues. He added that he was not afraid to voice his opinion to the public.
Mr. Scales wondered what was the number that the High School could function at and work well. Chair. Enright stated that the High School wasn’t running as well as it should because of space. Last year they advocated for numbers that were growing, but that is not the issue this year. The Middle School will run for decades with the current numbers. If they fix the cafeteria, add some classrooms, and add parking space, then the High School will work well. He added that the cafeteria was never rated for 900 students.
Dr. O’Shea brought up the issue of the Coop splitting, therefore some voters will not want to support an expansion. Chair. Enright felt that the Coop would go on for approximately a decade.
Mr. Solon questioned if they added classrooms they would need to add staff. Mr. Kelley responded that he didn’t feel they would need to add staff. Mr. Solon felt that facility/space issues was a small portion of the budget.
Ms. Goyette stated that the whole culture of the Middle School changed with the expansion. When the school was crowded, she stood in the hallways doing crowd control. Now she can spend time talking with students. It is a less stressful, more relaxed atmosphere.
Mr. Scales stated that the Board members were in agreement that there were space needs. He wondered how it should be presented to the public.
Ms. Tremblay asked if there was anything in the way of plans from last year. Mr. Simons responded that there was, but they will need a different design to accommodate the current needs. Mr. Kelley added that the design may be different, but the area for expansion will be in the same place – around the cafeteria.
Chair. Enright asked if anyone was willing to work on the expansion issue. Mr. Simons stated that they needed to get in touch with Lavallee Brensinger Architects.
Mr. Scales pointed out that the budget is to be published on January 3rd. They will need to know what the bond will be.
Chair. Enright asked that Mr. Simons, Dr. O’Shea and Mr. Kelley start working on concepts.
The Board recessed at 10:10 p.m.
The Board returned at 10:25 p.m.
Chair. Enright left the room at 10:25 p.m.
Policy IMAH – Health Education – Daily Physical Activity First Reading
Mr. Simons recommended that Item 2 and 6 be deleted.
Chair. Enright returned at 10:30 p.m.
Mr. Simons recommended that the third and fourth paragraphs be deleted. He explained that they were far too detailed and more leeway is given if the policy is kept more general. He also recommended that the last sentence (“A copy of this policy will be furnished to each student and teacher in the school District.”) be deleted.
James O’Shea moved that the Board accept Policy JICFA – Hazing as amended for First Reading. Steve Simons seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 6 – 0 – 0.
JICH – Drug and Alcohol Use by Students First Reading
Steve Simons moved that the Board accept Policy JICH – Drug and Alcohol Use by Students as written for First Reading. James O’Shea seconded.
Mr. Scales wondered if the last sentence of the fourth paragraph should be deleted, questioning if they wanted to become policemen. Supt. Pike stated that they are required by law to turn over all controlled substances to law enforcement. Mr. Kelley pointed out that the school was a drug-free zone, so students don’t get asylum if they bring controlled substances onto the campus.
Motion carried unanimously. 6 – 0 – 0.
Policy JICHA – Breathalyzer at Student Events First Reading
Mr. Simons recommended that the whole policy be scratched as they don’t want to get into breathalyzers.
Webb Scales moved that the Board cease consideration on Policy JICHA – Breathalyzer at Student Events. Janice Tremblay seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 6 – 0 – 0.
Policy JICJ – Unauthorized Communication Devices
After discussion the following amendments were made:
· Strike “camera phones,” “beepers,” “similar,” and “strictly” from the first sentence.
· Strike the sentences “This includes lunch periods and passing periods, as well as on school sponsored trips and driver education classes,” and “Such devices are to be kept in a student’s assigned locker with the power turned off” from the first paragraph.
· Add “or Administration” after “The Board” in the first sentence of the second paragraph.
· End the first sentence of the second paragraph after the word “policy.”
· Add “Any exception will be clearly communicated to the student in writing.”
· Delete the second sentence in the second paragraph.
· Add “, field trips,” after “extra-curricular activities” in the first sentence of the third paragraph.
· Change “cell phone” to “electronic communication device” in the first sentence of the third paragraph.
· Delete “Consequences for Violating this Policy” and everything below it.
Policy JICJ should read as follows:
Student use of cell phones, pagers, and other electronic communication devices is prohibited during the school day. The Board recommends that these devices not be brought to school.
The Board or Administration may grant an exception to this policy. Any exception will be clearly communicated to the student in writing.
Students participating in extra-curricular activities, field trips, or athletics must contact their sponsor or coach for his/her rules involving electronic communication device use after hours or on after-school bus trips. Sponsors and coaches will set their rules and establish their consequences for the use and/or misuse of the devices.
After discussion the following amendments were made:
· “Parents” to be deleted and “a legal guardian or with written permission from their legal guardian or authorized person” inserted for “parents.”
Policy JLIA should read:
During school hours, or while engaging in school-sponsored activities, students will be released only into the custody of a legal guardian or with written permission from their legal guardian or authorized person.
Steve Simons moved that the Board accept Policy JLIA - Supervision of Students as amended for First Reading. James O’Shea seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 6 – 0 – 0.
Mr. Simons recommended that “three business days” be changed to “five business days” in paragraph six. He stated that “Untied” be changed to “United” in paragraph eight.
Steve Simons moved that the Board accept Policy JRA – Student Records and Access as amended for First Reading. James O’Shea seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 6 – 0 – 0.
James O’Shea moved that the Board enter non-public session under the provisions of RSA 91-A:3 II (a) dismissal, promotion, or compensation of any public employee or the disciplining of such employee. Tom Enright seconded. A roll call vote was taken with all members present voting in the affirmative.
6 - 0 - 0.
The Board entered non-public session at 11:15 p.m.