APPROVED: January 21, 2009
November 19, 2008
Hollis-Brookline Middle School
Tom Enright, Chairperson
James O’Shea, MD
Susan Hodgdon, Superintendent of Schools
Tim Kelley, Principal, Hollis-Brookline High School
Pat Goyette, Principal, Hollis-Brookline Middle School
Robert Kelly, Director of Special Education
Betsy A. Packard, Recording Secretary
Others present included members of the Public and the following members of the Budget Committee: Chair. Steve Pucci, Ray Vallee, Doug Davison, Greg McHale, Greg D’Arbonne, and Forrest Milkowski.
Chairperson Tom Enright called the meeting to order at 7:15 p.m.
1. FY10 BUDGET
Chair. Enright stated that the School Board had invited the Budget Committee to join them in a joint meeting. Ray Vallee stated that the Budget Committee had a quorum; therefore, they too needed to be in session.
A draft of the FY10 budget was distributed. Chair. Enright explained that there were four pieces to the budget:
§ Middle School budget
§ High School budget
§ Special Education budget
§ All-district budget
Chair. Enright added that this was the first pass at the budget, and that they would be hearing from presenters, then have an opportunity for base questions, and finally a wrap-up. They would then come back next month with a more defined budget.
Ms. Goyette stated that her departments worked from a “0” budget increase platform. She added that the Budget Committee had requested that if there were any new items or an increase of $1000 or more, an explanation be given. She then reviewed the following:
§ Total increase in the budget is approximately $71,000, due to the increase in oil, gas, electric, and Special Education.
§ $31,000 has been reduced from the budget.
§ New positions – there are no new positions be requested. There is, however, a request for 5 additional days for the school nurse, who worked an additional 10 days last summer.
§ Equipment repair – minor increase due to the use of a shredding service and inspection of the climbing wall.
§ Expendables – up slightly due to the increase in 25 students last year and 25 students this year.
§ Language Arts – up slightly due to the purchase of classroom novel.
§ Math – up slightly due to the probability of an additional section of Algebra and the purchase of textbooks.
§ Computer software – need a new student information system, looking at “Power School.” If purchased this year, there is a significant discount. Has budgeted for the maximum.
§ Stipends – Teacher Advisors – an increase of $6,500. Would like to add a third cross-country coach, give a stipend to the Recycle Club advisor (group is in their second year), and a stipend for the Jazz Band teacher (Jazz Band has existed for three years).
§ Heating/Ventilation Services – up slightly for a new heater audiometer.
§ Automation – the whole SAU is looking at “Destiny.” Budgeted for the maximum, but a discount is available if commit this year.
§ Snow removal / Sanding – is up this year, due to the town no longer doing the sanding.
§ Oil – increase of $30,000+
Total increase (in rounded figures) is $71,000, less $31,000 in reductions, for a net increase of $39,000.
Mr. Vallee questioned the yearly inspection of the climbing wall, wondering why it was now in the budget as a new item. Ms. Goyette explained that the past two years, they had to forgo other things in the budget to pay for the inspections.
Mr. Vallee mentioned “Power School” at $33 per student, and asked what the school had currently. Ms. Goyette responded that they currently have “WinSchool.” She explained that WinSchool sold out to another company and after next year, there won’t be any support from the company.
Forrest Milkowski stated that he liked the way the budget was set up and presented. He asked if the pluses and minuses were based on actuals or the budgeted numbers. Ms. Goyette responded that they were up from what was budgeted, but that they were close to the dollar amount. She added that she had looked at the last 5 years to see trends, but that they are based on last year, which is close to actuals.
Steve Pucci asked if the Middle School was adding, subtracting, or keeping the same number of full-time employees. Ms. Goyette responded that they were keeping the same number. Mr. Pucci then asked about the part-time staff. Ms. Goyette stated that they have shared staff between the High School, and hours shared will probably change. Mr. Pucci asked if class offerings were staying the same. Ms. Goyette responded that they would be the same.
Doug Davison asked if the Budget Committee could get a soft copy of the budget. Supt. Hodgdon responded that it would be forwarded to them. Mr. Davison asked if the 07-08 actual and budgeted columns could be added. Mr. Milkowski clarified that it would show 07-08 actual, 08-09 current, and 09-10 budgeted.
Mr. Davison asked when the last time the school information software system had been replaced and questioned if the new one was web based or not. Ms. Goyette responded that the current system was being used when she came to the District. She added that the new system was web based. Mr. Davison felt it was a good investment.
Chair. Enright pointed out that the new software system is a SAU decision; therefore, it would be best to talk to Ms. Duhamel or Supt. Hodgdon about it. Supt. Hodgdon explained that last fall a team started looking at student information systems. They have looked at other districts and different software.
Mr. Vallee questioned the $11,000 decrease in Foreign Language and the $10,000 decrease in Computer Science. Ms. Goyette explained that the $11,000 was due to textbooks. New textbooks were purchased last year. The $10,000 decrease in Computer Science was largely due to the 5-year replacement plan the school is on. Mr. Gruce is keeping on top of everything.
Mr. Peterson asked if the 5-year replacement place was still in place. Ms. Goyette responded that it was.
Mr. Milkowski asked about this year’s enrollment numbers versus next year’s. Ms. Goyette stated that this year’s enrollment was 448 to 451 and they expect 483 next year.
Mr. Pucci stated that the budget has a $39,000 increase. He asked Ms. Goyette if she had to reduce something, what would it be. Ms. Goyette responded that she didn’t have an answer at that point in time.
Mr. Vallee pointed out that the Middle School was looking at an increase in students; therefore, they needed to look at the cost per student.
Mr. Kelley informed the Board that there were some accounts in the High School budget that had increased over $1,000. He then reviewed the following:
§ Art – up $1,420 to replace kiln at $2,000
§ Business – an increase of $3,065 due to $2,800 for textbooks
§ Physical Education – is up $1,300 due to cardio equipment
§ Science – an increase of $4,000 due to textbooks in three courses – Biology, Anatomy & Physiology, Ecology
§ Computer Education – increase of $29,700 due to purchase of new student information system. Switching because WinSchool won’t be supported after next year.
§ Co-curricular – up $4,200 for bus transportation, NHIAA dues, uniforms, and a second cross-country coach.
§ Performing Arts– up $1,514 due to $1,000 stipends for a play
§ Technical Services – up $13,150 with $9,000 due to a sidekick battery. Mr. Kelley explained that the school has three laptop carts that hold 25 computers. The computers don’t hold a charge for 7 periods. The sidekick battery will keep the computers charged all day. Technical Services also up due to software licenses ($4,000)
§ Maintenance –up $67,519 with the cost of oil being $69,581
§ Transportation – up $21,642 due to busses ($8,000) and fuel ($14,000)
Mr. Kelley further explained that regarding the textbook budget, the school purchases books department by department so that the hit isn’t as big from year to year. They spent $65,000 last year and $64,000 this year.
Mr. Kelley explained that he would like to offer Latin to more grades, but decided to pull back on this due to lack of space. Mr. Kelley stated that refinishing the science lab and replacing more carpeting were also items he took off the table.
Mr. Kelley stated that there were two things that they needed in the school:
1. Provide transportation for students who take voc tech at other area schools. Mr. Kelley explained that this was one of the recommendations from the NEASC. He stated that other area schools have programs to offer the Coop’s voc tech students, which the Coop doesn’t. Therefore, he added $30,000 for transportation to Nashua High School only, as this is closer.
2. School to Careers Counselor – increase position from part-time to full-time ($29,000) to expand program and to expand the service population.
Mr. Kelley reported that the increase in budget was up 2.5%. A little of the $100,000 was for non-Special Education costs. The cost of oil and the student information system account for approximately $95,000.
Mr. Pucci stated that the budget showed about $100,000 increase, not counting Special Education. Mr. Kelley felt the increase was about $130,000 without Special Education.
Mr. Vallee asked what the current and next year student populations were. Mr. Kelley responded that the current population was at 917, and next year they expect 908.
Mr. Pucci inquired about full-time and part-time employees. Mr. Kelley responded that they did have part-time employees and that he would get the number for him. He added that other than the School to Careers position going from part-time (0.75 FTE) to full-time, which is not in the budget, the staff stays the same.
Mr. Pucci questioned the cross-country coach at $1,000. Mr. Kelley explained that it was a stipend for a second coach. He stated that they currently have one coach for boys and girls. He would like to add a second coach so they would have one for the girls and one for the boys. He added that he would bring more detail regarding the addition to next month’s meeting.
Mr. Pucci asked if class offerings were being added, subtracted, or staying the same. Mr. Kelley responded that he couldn’t see adding anything new. Mr. Pucci asked about Business Finances. Mr. Kelley stated that if Business Finances was offered, then another class would be reduced.
Mr. Vallee stated that Ms. Goyette’s cost per student is almost $200 less, where Mr. Kelley’s cost per student was almost $920 more. Mr. Kelley responded that he had looked at approximately 30 schools within the state. In 1997, the Coop was one of the more expensive schools in cost per student. Now, they are in the bottom five, and are below the state average. He felt it was economy of scale that has helped it. Chair. Enright stated that the cost per student was either $100 or $200 without Special Education. Mr. Milkowski stated that with a 3.18% increase, the cost per student (without Special Education) is $216. He added that they needed to take into account the increase in oil and other items as to why the overall increases.
Greg D’Arbonne inquired about the sidekick battery. Mr. Kelley explained that the cart is plugged in and the laptops get charged from the cart. When they are removed from the cart to be used, they don’t hold their charge for the whole school day. The sidekick battery will keep them charged.
Mr. Davison asked what the student information system was. Mr. Kelley explained that it was a web based software system for managing student information. He added that they would received a sizeable discount if the system is purchased before July.
Dr. O’Shea asked how many years ago Latin was started. Mr. Kelley responded that Latin had started before he came on board, therefore, he thought about 6 years ago. Dr. O’Shea questioned if the spirit of starting a new language was to eventually increase it to a four-year course. Mr. Kelley responded that it was, but he couldn’t increase it because of lack of space. Dr. O’Shea stated that they were looking at the fifth year of a two-year language program. He would like to see it expanded.
Chair. Enright explained that 3.22% is the total increase in budget including support staff, but not including professional staff, as they were still in negotiations.
Special Education Budget
Bob Kelly, Special Education Director, reported the following for the FY10 Special Education budget:
I. IDEA - accounts for students today. It doesn’t include referrals beyond today.
In-District 161 189
Out-of-District 15 15
Total 176 204
II. FY10 Budget
OOD Tuition: $558,794
OOD Transportation $307,329
III. Budget Drivers – tuition has gone down, but transportation has gone up.
Tuition $646,534 $558,794
Transportation $263,499 $307,329
New Personnel $0 $337,683
IDEA Grant FY08/09 $212,347
Catastrophic Aid FY07/08 $238,052
Medicaid FY07/08 $69,686
V. Process Developing Budgets
Mr. Kelly explained that they don’t take the current budget and add/subtract to project next year’s budget. They look at the “services delivere” needs, as well as the incoming students and the students graduating and students no longer needing services. Typically, there are no hypothetical cases in the budget. There are four contingency situations this year; therefore, he put in one hypothetical out-of-district case, which he will make a decision on in the next 30 days.
Mr. Kelly explained that over the years there have been changes in personnel. When they needed a Remedial Reading teacher, they hired one, but when the position was no longer needed, they dissolved it. They then put the position back in at 0.5 FTE because they needed it.
Mr. Kelly reported that they needed four new paras this year. They need 4 paras in the Middle School and 4 in the High School. He explained that the Middle School really needs five paras, so they have budgeted 0.5 Special Education teacher. If the 0.5 FTE Special Education teacher is dropped, then they will need to hire the 5th para. He added that he had used $21,000 as a placeholder, which includes FICA.
Mr. Davison wondered since the Special Education budget was a moving target, if they had ever looked into hiring out to an outside agency. Mr. Kelly responded that they had and found it was more expensive. Hiring staff is cheaper because agencies also go to hospitals and clinics, therefore, have higher salaries.
Mr. Davison stated that in regards to out-of-district placement, the total cost of tuition and transportation was $866,000, which gives them an average cost per student of $57,741. He questioned if any students were supported by federal funding. Mr. Kelly explained that federal funds received go into the general Special Education budget, not to specific students.
Mr. Kelly explained that Special Education was up 8.84% or $259,000, adding that there were more 6th graders coming in than 8th or 12th graders leaving.
Mr. D’Arbonne asked if Mr. Kelly saw an increase in Special Education as a trend. Mr. Kelly responded that he had looked at this and had some data, but not exact numbers. Based on past experiences, this is a large increase.
Mr. Davison stated that he was not convinced that hiring personnel was cheaper than sub-contracting an agency. He added that he would like to be convinced and felt that they needed to get fully burdened figures. Chair. Enright asked that Mr. Kelly prepare a short analysis of the people they have, what the hourly rate is, and the benefits. He added that he looks at the manifest, so he sees what goes out for those servicing IEPs. He felt that they could get the information and that they should look at it.
Mr. Peterson stated that they could be increasing at the High School and decreasing at the Middle School, so the net for Special Education could be lower (or higher).
Chair. Enright recognized Brian Regan, who stated that they needed the sidekick battery at the school. His daughter went through five laptops that weren’t working before she found one that was. In regards to not increasing Latin due to space, he suggested reducing a French class to increase a Latin class. Mr. Kelley responded that he was not confident that reducing French would work. They have an increase in French students coming in next year. He did not feel there was space flexibility in the school.
Chair. Pucci asked if there was to be a presentation on the District-wide budget. Supt. Hodgdon reported on the following:
§ Energy – oil, gas, and electricity – were the main drivers of the District-wide budget. She added that PSNH had not yet provided the final figures, so they have used placeholders in the budget.
§ ESL – salary has not been discussed with the principals. There is one ESL student in the High School.
§ Audit – increase is due to additional requirements. They will be going out to bid.
§ Insurance Liability – is an estimate. Will receive final rate in December.
§ Telephone – has decreased.
§ Health Insurance – bump for contingency planning.
§ Flex Benefits – employee contributions, need to hold somewhere.
§ Retirements – is a placeholder, as they haven’t heard from staff yet.
Chair. Enright stated that the Guaranteed Maximum Rate increase for health insurance was 10%. Teacher retirement has increased $86,000. Legislature attempted to address this issue last year, but failed. This is statutory, so the only thing they can do is talk to the legislature.
Mr. Vallee pointed out that regarding bond principal and interest, they were paying the principal down, but the interest is up – they were paying more interest on less money. Chair. Enright stated that this needed to be passed on to Ms. Duhamel.
Mr. Milkowski questioned the new positions listed at the back of the packet, asking if they were in the budget. Mr. Kelley responded that the School Nurse was, but the School to Careers increase was not.
Mr. Milkowski asked if there were any other significant items that they did not hear about that night, but might later on. Both Mr. Kelley and Ms. Goyette stated that there wasn’t.
Mr. Pucci pointed out that there was a substantial increase in oil. He questioned what the District was paying for oil in FY10. Chair. Enright responded that they would be paying $4.05/gal. Mr. Pucci asked why it made sense to pay $4.00/gal. He wondered how they could have a discussion about it. Chair. Enright responded that there had been no discussion on the budget, just numbers presented.
Mr. Pucci stated that at the December meeting, he would like to have discussion on the following:
1. Energy – what the cost will be.
2. Energy Consumption – need historical data.
3. Transportation – how do we model it – 100% of the students or less? What are the options for more efficiency?
4. Expendable Supplies – We don’t buy across the SAU, which could save on costs.
5. Benefits – what are we doing to look at health, dental, and long term disability?
Chair. Enright suggested that questions be written down and submitted to the Superintendent, who will distribute them to the proper personnel for answers.
Mr. Davison stated that he would like to see the town and the school districts work together regarding contributions to the retirement fund. He cited the following money spent:
Mr. Davison felt this was an incredible increase.
Chair. Enright responded that it was problematic, and the School Board has lobbied the State Senate.
Mr. Pucci stated that the negotiated professional staff was not in the budget. He asked if there were anything else. Chair. Enright responded that the proposal for the High School addition was not in the budget.
2. HIGH SCHOOL ADDITION
Mr. Kelley reported that the Committee had met with Ed Murdough of the New Hampshire Department of Education. They based the discussions around a school enrollment of 900 students.
The State would support no more that 169,000 square feet. The High School is currently at 146,000 square feet. The new addition would be 8300 square feet. The State looks at the current square footage as supporting an enrollment of 780 students. Adding the 8300 square feet would be efficient to support an enrollment of 840 students. Therefore, the State will fund the addition at 40%.
Mr. Simons added that the dollar/square foot was well within the State’s formula.
Mr. Kelley distributed a spreadsheet of all 44 rooms in the school, showing what can be used for classrooms and what cannot.
Mr. Pucci pointed out that the Budget Committee will have to take a stand on this issue, and wondered what the School Board’s stand was.
Mr. Kelley stated that there had been significant questions asked, with the District being eligible or not to receive State Aid being one. He felt that preliminarily, the Board should put forth the addition to the District. He felt it was the Board’s obligation. Mr. Pucci asked what the other questions were. Dr. O’Shea responded that the question of keeping the school’s accreditation was compelling. Mr. Kelley added that the NEASC doesn’t say build or else, they just look at the quality of program. He pointed out the there were serious space issues that are affecting the quality of program at the High School. He felt if he did not bring forth the need for an addition, then he was not doing his job.
Mr. Pucci agreed with Mr. Kelley, but wondered what other options there maybe. He felt that not all options had been looked at. Mr. Kelley stated that they have taken storage rooms, teacher work spaces, and senior space for classroom and staff spaces. There is one classroom available during first period for the 1st semester. For periods 2, 3, and 4, there are no rooms available.
Mr. Vallee thanked Mr. Kelley for not using accreditation as a reason for a new addition, feeling that the High School has a strong program. Mr. Kelley pointed out that Oyster River, who has a very good program, is on probation.
Mr. Solon stated that he served on the Instructional Practices Committee, which looked at the space issues. He pointed out that the addition has been called the “cafeteria project,” but fundamentally, it is a classroom space issue. He added that they looked at increasing classroom size. He felt that there had been enough information presented from parents, students, teachers, and administrators in support of an addition, that it needed to be brought to the public.
Mr. Milkowski asked if there had been any out-of-the-box ideas, such as build something new, like a new building at a new location for Special Education instead of sending students out-of-district, or a building for voc tech students. Mr. Kelley responded that there is a group that is looking into it. They are looking at the students who do not fit into the basic program. They are also looking at admitting students from other areas schools. He pointed out that adding 8300 square feet makes the school work for 900 students for the next several years, and then they could look at building something new.
Mr. Davison informed the Board that Doug Cleveland’s facility group voted 6-0 against expansion. Mr. Kelley pointed out that the committee did not have the State Fire Marshall’s report.
Mr. Simons stated that the school currently has a wing that addresses needs of many Special Education students who would otherwise be sent out-of-district.
Chair. Enright recognized Debbie Pucci, who addressed the Board. She stated that two months ago she submitted a proposal to the Budget Committee, the School Board, the Middle School and High School principals, and the Superintendent regarding the cafeteria. She questioned if anyone had looked at the original blueprint of the cafeteria. She proposed the use of rectangular tables versus the current round tables, feeling that with such a change, the café would be able to hold 300 students.
Mr. Kelley stated that he had put in his report as a School Board action, a proposal to put bench-style seating in the cafeteria. He distributed a handout showing the layout of rectangular tables. He stated that per the State Fire Marshall, a 3-foot “hallway” is necessary. Shifting tables forward to get the 3-foot hallway causes the loss of space. Fire code requires 18” per student; however, Mr. Kelley felt that with the size of high school students, they really should have 24” per student. He then reviewed the following seating capacity chart:
18” / student 24” / student
17 12-ft tables 272 204
Subtract for 3’ hallway 240 172
A gain of 40 new seats at 18” / student, and less seating if used 24” / student.
Ms. Pucci stated that students currently put 10-13 chairs around the tables, giving approximately 18” per student. Ms. Pucci stated that she had met with the State Fire Marshall and with the town fire chief, and also hired someone to lay out a seating plan, with no need for an additional exit. She felt her information allowed for the seating of 300 students in the current cafeteria.
Mr. Pucci stated that it seemed like there were different facts regarding tables and seating. He felt that Mr. Kelley needed to talk with Chief Towne. He added that the discussion needed to move from the cafeteria to the classroom issue. He stated that they needed the facts on classroom expansion.
3. FACILITIES COMMITTEE
Dr. O’Shea stated that he was disconcerted regarding the fact that the Facilities Committee took a vote and would not release data as to why they took the vote.
Mr. Peterson reported that he was the School Board’s non-voting member on the Facilities Committee. He stated that he had asked the Committee to make a statement on their position, and originally they would not. He explained that it was not the Committee’s charge to consider educational issues, but to just base their findings on finances. Thus, the Committee made their conclusion based on that limited scope.
Marie Degulis of Brookline stated that it bothered her that the Facilities Committee took the vote and would not give information at the public meeting.
Chair. Enright asked what the next steps were for the Facilities Committee. Mr. Peterson responded that the Committee’s recommendation was to ask the Selectmen to ask the SAU to put together a committee, as they felt it was not a Coop issue. Chair. Enright felt that it was a SAU issue, and stated that he had asked that it be put on the SAU agenda, adding that it had not happened yet. However, he felt that the Coop Board could move things alone. Mr. Simons felt that it was a Coop issue, and that a Coop committee should be formed with other districts represented on the committee. Mr. Peterson felt that the configuration of the committee involved all three districts. Mr. Simons stated that it was the Coop’s problem, adding that the SAU could not do anything.
Bill Matthews seconded everything that Mr. Peterson stated. Mr. Matthews stated that when they make changes, they have to look at K-12, and what they should be doing in the future. He recommended creating a long-term strategic committee to collect data for all three districts.
Dan Peterson moved that the Board establish a charter for a sub-committee to look at the facility issues and to report to the Board by the next Board meeting. The charter to be drafted by the Superintendent. Steve Simons seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 7 – 0 – 0.
4. PROFESSIONAL GROWTH MODULE
Supt. Hodgdon reported that Ms. Mace had submitted a professional growth module and will address the Board regarding the module at the next Board meeting.
5. ANNUAL DISTRICT MEETING DATE
Supt. Hodgdon proposed Wednesday, March 4, 2009 as the Annual District Meeting date. She pointed out that this would give them the opportunity to continue the meeting at a later date, if needed.
Fred Hubert moved that the Coop Annual District Meeting be held on Wednesday, March 4, 2009. Janice Tremblay seconded. Motion carried. 5 – 0 – 2 (Peterson, Solon not present)
Mr. Simons stated that they had Policy EEAEA – Mandatory Drug and Alcohol Testing to approve. He explained that the Board would be replacing the May 21, 2008 short version with the revised September 2008 longer version.
Steve Simons moved that the Board replace EEAEA – Mandatory Drug and Alcohol Testing (May 21, 2008) with the revised September 2008 longer version for final acceptance. Janice Tremblay seconded. Motion carried. 6 – 0 – 1. (Solon not present)
7. UPDATE ON WELL / WATER SYSTEM
Mr. Kelley reported that coliform had been found in well 1 and 2. Well 3 is clear. Well 1 was taken off-line and treated. He explained that there was a system that sprays small amounts of chlorine into the system when the pump goes on. This only needs to be done for a couple of weeks, then it is removed. The electrical components will be left in case they need to reinstate the system. Skillings has taken tests, and they are confident that it will come back clean.
Mr. Hubert stated that the Board had discussed authorizing up to $7500 to buy three new meters, and he had questioned why they did not use filters so the meters would not get clogged. He reported that he went down and saw that there wasn’t sufficient room to put filters on. Mr. Hubert stated that the new meters have magnetic sensors to determine the flow; however, he felt additional money spent for the automatic control would be money well spent. He reported that it would cost $4,000 for the component and $500-$900 for installation and programming. Mr. Kelley felt that $24,000 had been set aside for heating control. He stated that he would look into it and get back to the Board.
Chair. Enright suggested that they go ahead with the hydrofracking and hold off on the meters until they see the results of the hydrofracking. Mr. Kelley will check on the cost of a fully automated metering system.
8. MIDDLE SCHOOL FOOTBALL
Chair. Enright asked Mr. Kelley to explain what was going on with football program, beyond the High School program. Mr. Kelley stated that there was a private football organization referred to as the Junior Cavaliers. He explained that the organization does use the Coop fields, and felt there was confusion as the High School football team and the Junior Cavaliers practice on the field at the same time, but at opposite ends of the field. Also, the Junior Cavaliers play some games just before the High School games.
Mr. Simons stated that he had heard that the Junior Cavaliers were using the High School equipment. Mr. Kelley responded that they perhaps use the football sled, but other than that, they do not use High School equipment.
Brian Regan stated that regarding Middle School sports, he had spoken to Supt. Hodgdon about the inequity of boys versus girls sports, especially in the fall.
Ms. Goyette stated that she would sit with Mr. Regan and go over the Middle School sports with him. She added that they have one sport per season where they do not have to make cuts.
Mr. Regan felt the inequity was discriminatory, and that the Board should look into it.
Chair. Enright stated that there were two more girls sports in the fall than boys, and one more boys sport in the winter than girls, and they were even in the spring. Thus, the girls were offered only one more sport during the year than the boys.
Ms. Goyette stated that she did not have all the facts with her, but invited Mr. Regan to meet with her and Ms. Bottcher to go over it.
Dr. O’Shea stated that he agreed with Mr. Regan philosophically, but felt it was a budget issue. He added that the Board needed to study it further.
Mr. Regan felt if the Board had “x” amount of money to spend, then they needed to spread it across more evenly.
The following corrections were made to the minutes of October 15, 2008:
1. On page 4, next to “Textbooks – math,” the number should be changed from “3” to “7.”
2. On pages 10 and 11, change “hydrofract” and “hydrofracting” to “hydrofrack” and “hydrofracking,” respectively.
3. On page 10, change “statue” to “statute.”
4. On page 8, under Budget Committee Presentation, item 2 should read:
a) Any line item that is 10% or $1000 higher than the previous year’s budget, the Budget Committee requests an explanation describing why the higher expense, and what options were considered to maintain/reduce the existing budget amount.
b) The BudCom is requesting copies of any RFQ package, and see the vendors’ responses before an award is given.
Steve Simons moved that the Board approve the minutes as corrected. Janice Tremblay seconded. Motion carried. 6 – 0 – 1. (Solon not present)
Ms. Goyette reported that she was pleased with the Literary Action Plan. She stated that a group of staff members attended a conference last year. They meet about once a week to go over a timeline that focuses on writing. During the November 4th professional development day, the following building goals were developed regarding writing:
a) Mechanics – a school-wide rubrix will be developed
b) Process – pre-writing and organizing thoughts before actually writing
c) Following directions –
Ms. Goyette informed the Board that they would be having a presenter coming the day before Thanksgiving.
Ms. Goyette reported that Mr. Lyle, Social Studies, had been out for three weeks due to health issues. Mr. Gruce, who has dual certification, one being in history, filled in for Mr. Lyle. Ms. Goyette pointed out how this provided continuity for the students, as well as saved the District money for not having to hire a long term substitute.
Mr. Simons felt that something should be done for Mr. Gruce, suggesting a stipend. Ms. Goyette responded that she felt a formal letter from the Board for his file would be sufficient. Chair. Enright will write a letter.
Mr. Simons asked about Mr. Lyle. Ms. Goyette responded that he should be returning on Monday.
Dr. O’Shea asked if students were now writing more than they were 2 or 3 years ago. Ms. Goyette responded that they were.
Mr. Kelley reported that there was an open house the next night, at which parents could sign up for parent/teacher conferences.
Mr. Kelley informed the Board that several students had been selected to the All New England Band Festival and/or accepted into Jazz All State.
Mr. Kelley advised the Board that Rod Clark, Science Department Chair, has successfully removed instruments that contain mercury. Mr. Clark found a state agency that removed the items at no cost to the district.
Mr. Kelley stated that the Granite State Challenge Team won their final meet, defeating Phillips Exeter Academy.
In regards to staffing, Mr. Kelley reported that Cale List had joined the Guidance Department as registrar. Jen Given is out on maternity leave.
Mr. Kelley reported that he had the following donations for the Board to accept:
$1000 for F.I.R.S.T. Robotic program from the IBM Corporation
$900 Compact Notebook from Hewlett-Packard for F.I.R.S.T. Robotics
$500 Mini grant from Harvard Pilgrim for Science
$100 in memory of Ethel Gilmore deUribe, Dr. David Gilmore’s twin sister, for Art program
Steve Simons moved that the Board accept the donations as presented by Mr. Kelley. Janice Tremblay seconded. Motion carried. 6 – 0 – 1. (Solon not present)
Supt. Hodgdon stated that she would email the Board the NESDEC report, which she included a hard copy in her report. She explained that the first section of the report was a summary of the report.
Supt. Hodgdon stated she had received a letter from Eliza Lecours stating that she had first gone to the Selectmen regarding a crosswalk on Rte 122 in front of the Middle School. Her letter asked that the Superintendent and Ms. Goyette ask the State to reduce the speed limit to 15 miles per hour and put in flashing lights like those at the elementary school. She also requested a crossing guard position for approximately 2 hours per day.
Mr. Simons stated that the Board had tried to get a crosswalk in a few years ago, but the State would not allow it.
Supt. Hodgdon reported she had received a letter from a parent regarding volunteer work.
Supt. Hodgdon stated that she had included a copy of the letter she had received from Ed Murdough, NH DOE, in her report.
Chair. Enright questioned the NESDEC projected enrollment numbers. He pointed out that the report showed the High School remaining steady for about 5 years, then a drop of 70 students in one year. Mr. Kelley responded that historically, the third grade is low, but then it bumps up in the fourth grade. If one takes the numbers from grades 1, 2, and 3, when they get to the High School, the numbers are much higher.
Chair. Enright stated that in a period of four years, the report shows the enrollment going from 927 to 724. He added that he would like an explanation.
Mr. Kelley advised the Board that they wanted to install speed bumps at the High School. Funds from the parking fees would be used. He added that he had prices on both temporary and permanent speed bumps. He hoped to get the Board’s approval.
Chair. Enright asked how many they were looking to install. Mr. Kelley responded that they wanted to install three. Chair. Enright stated that he was not pleased with the idea of three speed bumps, pointing out that one has to come to a full stop before going over them. Mr. Solon felt that unless there was a dire need for them, speed bumps are often more disruptive to traffic flow. Mr. Kelley explained that the biggest problems are not when school is in session, but rather when students return from away games. He added that they have gotten complaints from neighbors. Mr. Kelley will look into this further.
Mr. Kelley reported that there had been a problem with the administration of the NECAPS. He explained that in one room, a proctor had allow the students to use their calculators when they should not have. He emphasized that it was not the students’ problem. Mr. Kelley stated that he had talked with the State and the students involved will have to take a “0.” He added that he would be sending a letter to the parents explaining what happened. A letter will also be included in the students’ files to explain the situation. Mr. Kelley explained that this will affect the math component for the school, but not the individual students.
Dr. O’Shea asked if it would affect students applying to colleges. Mr. Kelley responded that a letter of explanation will accompany the students’ transcripts. He added that this will be a bigger hit for the school. It affects 19 students.
Mr. Solon asked how the proctor should have known that calculators were not permitted. Mr. Kelley responded that he took responsibility for the misunderstanding as he should have made sure the proctors knew.
Chair. Enright stated that the next meeting would be a joint meeting with the Budget Committee. He felt that the Board would need a January budget workshop. The next meeting is December 17th.
Mr. Solon felt the Board should meet prior to the December meeting.
The Board agreed to meet on December 8, 2008 at 6:00 a.m. at the Middle School.
Steve Simons moved that the Board adjourn. Janice Tremblay seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 7 – 0 - 0.
The Board adjourned at 11:30 p.m.