Hollis-Brookline Cooperative School Board
May 16, 2007
Hollis-Brookline Middle School
Jim Murphy, Chairperson
Dan Peterson, arrived at 8:35 p.m.
Dr. James O’Shea
Richard Pike, Superintendent of Schools
Tim Kelly, Principal, Hollis-Brookline High School
Pat Goyette, Principal, Hollis-Brookline Middle School
Robert Kelly, Director of Special Education
Lauren Jacobi, Student Representative
Betsy A. Packard, Recording Secretary
Chairperson Jim Murphy called the meeting to order at 6:10 p.m.
Tom Enright moved that the Board enter non-public session under the provisions of RSA 91-A:3 II (c) reputation. Steve Simons seconded. A roll call vote was taken with all members present voting in the affirmative. 4 - 0 - 0.
The Board entered non-public session at 6:11 p.m.
The Board re-entered public session at 6:46 p.m.
Chair. Murphy stated that there was no need to seal the non-public minutes. He reported that the non-public session was an update of Special Education’s finances to the end of the school year.
1. SPECIAL EDUCATION REPORT
Mr. Kelly reported that they are projecting a $75,000 deficit due to unforeseen circumstances.
Next year’s fiscal budget forecast for expenditures is currently the same as the December, 2006 forecast for 2007-2008.
Mr. Kelly stated that the DOE Onsite person this year recommended that the Coop District adopt a policy that included assuring provision of services to age 21 for students in need of such programming. Policy IHPA – Programs for Pupils with Disabilities now covers that. He added that the Board had done a first reading of this Policy last fall. Since then, he has had legal council review the policy. Mr. Kelly explained that in paragraph 3, it states “The safeguards shall cover students’ identification, evaluation, educational accommodations, and placement. This system shall include notice, an opportunity for the students’ parent(s)/guardian(s) to examine relevant records, an impartial hearing with the opportunity for participation by the students/parent(s)/guardian(s), the right to be represented by legal counsel, and a review procedure,” which are also in the Assurances that are on the website. He explained that the DOE requires a district to have a written policy and procedures, but they are not required to have assurances.
Mr. Kelly stated that the Board did not need to take action on this right away, but he did recommend that they adopt the policy.
Mr. Simons stated that the policy needed to go on the website, as all first reading polices are on there.
Mr. Kelly informed the Board that they do full evaluations on a tri-annual basis. They will have 25-30 new evaluations at the Coop for 07-08 school year. The Coop currently has one full-time school psychologist, but it is anticipated that there will be a need for a second psychologist for the 08-09 school year. Mr. Kelly stated that they have been more conservative in their projections of IDEA revenues, and thus was asking the Board for their consideration to use the extra revenue to secure a part-time evaluator
Chair. Murphy questioned the use of some of the excess IDEA revenue funds for the purpose of a part-time evaluator when the District was facing a $75,000 deficit. Mr. Kelly explained that this year’s IDEA funds would help cover the deficit, and that he was asking for some of next year’s funds be used for the part-time evaluator.
Chair. Murphy clarified that they build the budget on a conservative view, therefore they have more IDEA funds than anticipated. Mr. Kelly responded that that was correct. He added that every three years they are mandated to do full testing.
Mr. Enright asked if any action needed to be taken that night. Mr. Kelly responded that no action needed to be taken that night. He added that they were forecasting $125,000 in IDEA revenue for this year, and felt that it would be more for the following year. He stated that he would work with the DOE to get the correct figures.
Tom Enright moved that the Board accept the minutes of January 17, 2007 as written. Steve Simons seconded. Motion carried. 3 – 0 – 2 (O’Shea, Solon abstained.)
Steve Simons moved that the Board accept the minutes of March 21, 2007 as written. Tom Enright seconded. Motion carried. 4 – 0 – 1 (O’Shea abstained.)
Steve Simons moved that the Board accept the minutes of April 17, 2007 as written. James O’Shea seconded. Motion carried. 4 – 0 – 1 (Murphy abstained.)
3. OPEN FORUM
4. ADMINISTRATORS’ REPORTS
Ms. Goyette stated that 37 stations would be set up in the multi-purpose room the next day for the 8th graders to complete the NECAP Science Pilot. She added that they had been supplied with materials from the State, and she was anxious to see how the students react to the test. She felt that the students will be more interactive.
Ms. Goyette reported that Ron Johnston has done a fabulous job on the second part of the Middle School fitness program. She stated that they have been trying to get him to do strength training for the staff. This has finally come to fruition. They have 18 committed staff members who are learning correct form, number of reps, while getting appropriate feedback.
Ms. Goyette informed the Board that Turning Points was the document that sold the Board on a middle school foundation. Breaking Ranks in the Middle (BRIM) is the continuation of this program. She reported that Rick Melillo, Jeanne Saunders and she just finished a two-day training on BRIM. They were in introduced to the nine cornerstone strategies. She added that the BRIM process goes well with curriculum mapping.
Mr. Solon pointed out that BRIM was the foundation for the Instructional Practices Committee. He wondered if there was any chance of coordinating information, processes, etc. with the High School. Ms. Goyette responded that she felt that made sense. Mr. Solon felt that it would be advantageous to share what is working well at the Middle School with the High School as the students move along.
Ms. Goyette reported that the new Assistant Principal, Steve Secor, has participated in several school functions, even though his contract does not begin until July 1. She added that he will be present on May 23rd for move-up day. He has also spent time with Kimberly Rizzo Saunders. He has also met some of the staff members. All feedback has been positive.
Chair. Murphy stated that he had his contract in-hand. He then proceeded to sign it.
Chair. Murphy asked if Ms. Goyette had had a chance to speak with Ms. Bottcher regarding athletics. Ms. Goyette reported that she had, and that she had also talked with Mr. Rupp.
Mr. Kelley stated that in regards to Policy TBD – Conduct of Coaches, there were three areas of concern:
1) “Coaches must not use profanity or abusive language.” Mr. Kelley stated that the concern was with how one measures abuse. What might not be abusive to one person, may be to another.
2) “Coaches must be examples of self-control and restraint, particularly during tease game situations.” He stated that the NHIAA handbook states “Exemplary proper control must be displayed at all times.”
3) Criminal background checks being performed bi-annually. Mr. Kelley stated that they do background checks for all staff upon hiring, but they don’t do bi-annual checks. It is felt that if a criminal action takes place during employment, they would probably know about it.
Mr. Simons wondered why they just can’t reference the NHIAA in the policy. He pointed out that they refer to other federal or state laws in other policies. He felt it would be simpler to just reference NHIAA.
Mr. Kelley stated that the NHIAA does not cover Middle School. Ms. Goyette added that the Middle School is in the Tri-County League. She stated that she would check with them to see if they have anything they can reference. She added that she was also concerned with the term “psychological abuse,” and felt it was a dangerous term. She wondered who defines “psychological abuse.” She also wondered how one “expresses concern over a ‘blown call’?”
Ms. Goyette stated that in regards to “nepotism,” coaches refer to other coaches when making decisions. If they are choosing a team, she felt the policy was good, but unless there is a person present to see how the child plays and how they participate in practices, how can that person, like the Athletic Director, judge the player?
Chair. Murphy wondered, knowing the areas of concern, if there were any other policies from other districts that they could look at.
Mr. Kelley stated that regarding the statement “The School Board recognizes that it is a common situation for a coach to have a child on their team,” he was not sure that they needed the word “common.”
Mr. Simons felt that the policy should reference other documents already in place, such as the NHIAA or Tri-County. If an area isn’t covered, then the District should add it to the policy.
Mr. Kelley stated that other than the three areas of concern, Mr. Rupp felt the NHIAA document was tougher.
Mr. Solon asked if NHIAA addressed nepotism. Mr. Kelley stated that he didn’t think so. Mr. Kelley then asked if there was a nepotism policy for teachers who have their own child in class? Mr. Simons responded that he didn’t think so. Mr. Kelley felt that they should look into that, as some districts do have such a policy.
Chair. Murphy felt that it shouldn’t be about playing time, but rather about general conduct. He then reminded the Board that this was simply a draft policy to discuss whether it was felt appropriate.
Mr. Kelley stated that Mr. Rupp did not have a problem with the policy other than the two semantics and the one procedure.
Mr. Kelley reported that the following five courses needed to be cut, basically due to lack of enrollment: Painting; Visual Basic 2; Probability & Statistics; Team & Individual Sports; and Discrete Math.
Mr. Kelley informed the Board that there was a communication update regarding the Bell Schedule in his written report.
Mr. Kelley stated that he had looked at the Foreign Exchange Program policy and was torn because he understood how important the program was yet there was a need for space. Thus, it has been decided to cut the number of foreign exchange students from 6 to 4. Doing this will free up 36 slots. Mr. Kelley added that they will be having a student from Northern Iraq next year.
Chair. Murphy asked if there were students from the High School that go study in a foreign country. Mr. Kelley stated that the program was not a one-to-one exchange. He added that there had been two students from the High School that did go to a foreign country last year, but not necessarily for a full year. One went to South Africa and one to Hungary.
Mr. Simons asked about the double period classes scheduled for the mini-café and wondered if the students would be in the class for 3 hours. Mr. Kelley responded that Western Humanities ran with about 34 students this year. This is on the cusp of being cost effective. Next year, the two courses will have 50 students each. He explained that he had scheduled 2 rooms for each course, but the teachers want just one classroom and to team-teach. The mini-café is perfect for this and it frees up two classrooms. He further explained that the most a student will be in the class is for two 81-minute periods, and they do that this year.
Mr. Simons asked what the meaning of double-period class was. Mr. Kelley explained that it meant two successive periods. Mr. Simons stated that 2 teachers with twice the students meet in the a.m. for two periods and then in the p.m. for two periods. Mr. Kelley responded that the two double periods were two different classes. One was Western Humanities and one was American Studies, therefore, two different groups of students.
Chair. Murphy questioned that in terms of space, Mr. Kelley would not have that information until June. Mr. Kelley responded that that was correct. He added that he needed an answer on the additional Science teacher that he asked for at the last meeting in order to finalize the schedule.
Mr. Kelley reported that he had been reviewing all the changes that had been implemented. He stated that he was amazed at what they have done. He added that he would like to bring the Freshman Team in to the next meeting, adding that he would like to study this for another year before making a decision on continuing it or not.
Mr. Enright stated that there were two new programs that the School Board should hear reports on: Freshman Teams and Resource Officer. Mr. Kelley stated that he would get with Chair. Murphy to schedule them on the agenda.
Chair. Murphy asked when the diplomas would be ready for the School Board members’ signatures. Mr. Kelley stated that he would look into it.
Chair. Murphy asked when graduation would be. Mr. Kelley responded that it was scheduled for June 9th.
Supt. Pike stated that he recommended some flexibility to secure a full-time science position. He added that he was not sure that he had the latitude to take three 0.6 positions and change them to a full-time position.
Supt. Pike informed the Board that the Commissioner of Education has confirmed that he would honor a waiver for districts who waited until April 1 to establish graduation dates and who then lost additional school time beyond April 1. He added that he was merely asking for a waiver of the 175-day requirement for seniors only, so they can graduate on June 9th.
Chair. Murphy asked if they were just one day short. Mr. Kelley responded that they had a snow day after April 1, so it was just one day.
Mr. Enright stated that he had no problem if it was just for the seniors.
Steve Simons moved that the Board authorize the Superintendent to request of the Department of Education Commissioner a waiver of one day from the requirement for seniors only. Tom Enright seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 6 – 0 – 0.
Ms. Jacobi stated that most students are not pleased with the schedule, that they don’t like the long blocks. She added that the students don’t like the long lectures, but they understand that the teachers are working on it. She stated that it helps if the students can take a break and get out of their seats for a while.
Ms. Jacobi reported that the day before Field Day they are going to have speeches and they will be talking about the long periods. She added that Field Day has been changed to ½ a day. She explained that if attendance continues to be low, then they will no longer have Field Day. She added that they will also make that announcement the day before Field Day.
Chair. Murphy asked Ms. Lauren if there was an example of a course that the long period was working for. Ms. Jacobi responded that when the students bring in current events and talk about how the event relates to their own life, it makes more sense and is relevant, and thus, students tend to stay more focused.
Mr. Solon asked if Ms. Jacobi had noticed any significant changes since the beginning of the year. Ms. Jacobi responded that the changes seem to be gradual. Some teachers are trying to make a difference. Mr. Solon pointed out that there had been some professional training for the staff, so he wondered if any teachers were altering their techniques to make the long blocks better. Mr. Jacobi responded that the long blocks are more tolerable now than at the beginning of the year. Mr. Solon asked if in the classes that 45 minutes wasn’t enough, if the longer block helped. Ms. Jacobi responded that it did.
Mr. Simons asked if the students suggest to the teachers that they need a break, and wondered if there was any give and take. Ms. Jacobi responded that there was some. She added that some teachers understand that the students can only take lecturing for so long, so they break it up into smaller pieces.
Mr. Kelley informed the Board that the dugouts had been approved by the Conservation Commission and the Historical Commission. He added that there had been a request to build a coaches' box at the football field. He suggested that a row of trees be planted along Love Lane.
Mr. Kelley reported that the NH Beavers would like to use the field again this summer for three games. He added that the Football Booster’s Club raised about $2,000 last year running the concession stand. He stated that the NH Beavers paid $600 for the use of the field.
Mr. Enright asked what a coaches' box was. Mr. Kelley explained that it was like a press box and would be two stories high. He added that most of the funds would be raised through donations/fund raisers, and the labor would be donated. He stated that it was something that the football program could use, and that currently, they raise scaffolding and take it down. The bottom story of the structure would be used for storage.
Mr. Enright stated that he was not in favor of the coaches' box. He stated that he would not support a 2-story structure right now.
Chair. Murphy stated that he would like to know what Mr. Rupp envisions for the future, that is, what the end plan was. He added he was not interested in the Athletic Department coming to the Board with piecemeal requests. He wanted a sense of the overall picture. He added that he was concerned with community perception thinking “they got this, they got that, what will they want next?” Mr. Kelley responded that it was obvious that more bleachers were needed. They looked into constructing the coach’s box with bleachers, but the cost of bleachers is high.
Chair. Murphy stated that he agreed with Supt. Pike in that the Administration doesn’t have the latitude to take three 0.6 FTE positions, approved through the budget, and change them to 1.0 FTE.
Mr. Kelley stated that they have put an ad in the newspaper. He explained that they got one candidate responding to the ad that had dual certification in biology and chemistry, but they didn’t act fast enough and the candidate was scooped up by another district. He added that there is nothing out there for part-time.
Mr. Enright stated that it was his recollection that Ms. Capasso was going to show where the funds were going to come from in the budget. Supt. Pike responded that currently, there is a $5,500 deficit in regards to hiring. There will be a savings in health benefits, as the premium increase was only 4%. This constitutes a savings of over $100,000. He added that until they know what the bottom line is on all the hires, they won’t know exactly where the money will come from.
Mr. Simons questioned that they were proposing 1 full-time position instead of three 6.0 FTE. Mr. Kelley responded that they were asking for a 1.0 FTE in biology and chemistry, and splitting the English position to part-time. He added that this would mean that they would need to make up $27,000, using Masters +5 as the benchmark. Mr. Simons stated that Mr. Kelley was asking for $27,000 to do what he wanted to do. Chair. Murphy explained that the budget calls for 0.6 FTE Science, 0.6 FTE Social Studies, and 0.6 FTE English. They are now proposing 1.0 FTE Biology-Chemistry. Mr. Kelley stated that 1.2 FTE was approved in the budget, they are now asking for 2.0 FTE.
Chair. Murphy asked how they were planning to address Social Studies. Mr. Kelley responded that he now has hard data regarding course selection, and he felt that they will be able to cover Social Studies.
Chair. Murphy questioned the 4% in healthcare benefits. Supt. Pike responded that they had projected 12% increase in health benefits, but it actually came in at 4%. This amounts to a $105,000 savings.
Mr. Enright stated that the issue is how are we going to take the budget that was approved and accomplish what needs to be done. He added that they had approved a budget, now it requires Ms. Capasso to do some manipulation of the budget. He pointed out that 0.6 FTE + 0.6 FTE + 0.6 FTE = a number, but now, changing that to 1.0 FTE includes benefits. Mr. Kelley responded that $64,000 is what they budget for full-time. He stated that
$64,000 for 1.0 FTE + $45,000 for split English = $109,000
They budgeted $81,000, so they are asking the Board to approve $28,000.
Chair. Murphy pointed out that the Board was asking where the $28,000 was going to come from in the budget. Supt. Pike responded that it would come from salary benefits. Chair. Murphy pointed out that the funds could come from anywhere in the budget as long as a transfer is done.
Dr. O’Shea stated that during the budget season, the original request was for 1.0 FTE Science. He asked what the course offerings would look like if Mr. Kelley didn’t get the full-time Science teacher. Dr. O’Shea felt that the Board needed to act more like a School Board than a Budget Committee. Mr. Kelley responded that they would have to cut classes. Dr. O’Shea asked if they would have larger classes. Mr. Kelley explained that they couldn’t as the maximum size of science classes are set by the State.
Dr. O’Shea stated that he was comfortable in authorizing the Administration to hire with good faith that they will come back with an accounting of where the funds will come from.
Steve Simons moved that the Board authorize the Administration to hire a full-time Science teacher and part-time English teachers, using the anticipated savings of the health benefits for funding.
Mr. Enright stated that he was not happy how this was being transacted.
Dr. O’Shea seconded.
Chair. Murphy stated that he was not happy that a specific request (an accounting from the Business Office as to where the funds would come from) had been made and they did not come through with it. He added that during the budget season he had talked with Mr. Kelley regarding the need for a full-time Science teacher. He stated that he didn’t want to penalize the students next year.
Motion carried unanimously. 6 – 0 – 0.
Mr. Kelley reported that students would be leaving the next day for the Lafayette Field Trip. He added that they did not have the trip last year, but are doing it again this year.
Mr. Kelley stated that students from the political science class and the political club would be traveling to NYC to tour the United Nations. He explained that a college roommate of his was with the United Nations, so he was able to set this field trip up.
Mr. Kelley pointed out that he needed feedback on allowing the NH Beavers to use the football field. Mr. Peterson wondered about damage being done to the field. Mr. Kelley stated that he had gone through the policy and nowhere was it called the “football field,” it is called the “track.” He pointed out that other teams, such as lacrosse and soccer, have used the field.
Mr. Peterson asked how the fee was set. Mr. Kelley responded that he couldn’t remember how it was set, but knew the charge was $200 per game. He added that the Football Boosters made a lot of money on the concession stand. Mr. Peterson stated that he would like to see how the fee was set. He felt that the fees are probably set for community teams and should be different for semi-pro teams.
Dr. O’Shea asked if there were any issues of disruptive behavior. Mr. Kelley responded that there were none.
Mr. Simons wondered if the policy had a statement about using the field during inclement weather. If it didn’t, he felt that it should be in the contract.
Mr. Solon asked if there was any action that the Board needed to take. Chair. Murphy responded that there was a policy to follow, therefore there was no action needed from the Board. He added that last year was “iffy” because it was the first year. He stated that he was comfortable with letting the NH Beavers use it again this year.
Mr. Kelley stated that they have fees for the other fields, but none for the football field. He added that they also needed to think about protecting the track.
Mr. Enright felt that it was right for Mr. Kelley to come to the Board regarding the use of the football field. He stated that the fields were “falling apart,” and they are first needed for the District’s own teams. Mr. Kelley stated that the NH Beavers would be using the field in July, so it wouldn’t affect the Districts teams.
Mr. Solon asked about insurance. Mr. Kelley responded that the teams are responsible for insurance.
Mr. Kelley reported that the Friends of Hollis Brookline Coop Hockey was raising funds to support the Hockey team. They are planning a poker night. He added that they are not advertising in the school or on the website.
Chair. Murphy stated that last year the group had advertised as the Hollis Brookline Hockey Poker Night, which was not well-received. Mr. Kelley pointed out that there are 50-50 drawings at many of the games, which is a form of gambling. Mr. Simons stated that they serve alcohol at the poker night. Mr. Kelley responded that alcohol is served at the golf tournament. The Boosters Club raises the money from the golf tournament, then they donate it to the school, which the school then decides if they want to accept or not.
Mr. Peterson pointed out that the hockey team is a club sport and that the District did not accept any money, or budget any money for it. Mr. Kelley added that the District does not tell the Booster Club how they can or cannot raise money.
Mr. Peterson stated that the Friends of Hollis Brookline Coop Hockey would not be using the building; therefore, he felt they were on shaky grounds on making any statements as to how they can raise the funds.
Mr. Kelley stated that he had four donations to be approved by the Board:
$500.00 Steve and Kathy Hays
$2,135.00 Dana Rasmussen
$2,000.00 CHL Holdings, Inc.
$500.00 Steve and Robin Beaudette
All four donations are designated for the Boys Lacrosse team.
Dan Peterson moved that the Board accept $5,135.00 in donations designated for the Boys Lacrosse team. Tom Enright seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 6 – 0 – 0.
Mr. Enright stated that at the last meeting he had requested an estimate of cost in regards to purchasing carpeting. He added that there had been two large items that hadn’t been expended in the maintenance line item, and he wondered if there were items that are not being done.
Dr. O’Shea asked if there was anything that the Board needed to take action on before June 30th. Supt. Pike responded that there were a couple of issues in Ms. Capasso’s report.
Mr. Peterson questioned the allocation of space in the Technology Center. Mr. Kelley responded that he prioritized the use of rooms. Using the mini-café for classroom space will help with scheduling, as well as using the library. He added that he has scheduled some math staff members to teach robotics. He stated that he did not want to move the equipment out of the Tech Center and put desks in there. Using that space for classrooms is at the bottom of the list. He added that he felt good about the schedule.
Mr. Enright stated that he was upset to find out that funding for the F.I.R.S.T. team had been reduced. He stated that he would have suggested fully funding the team.
Tom Enright moved that the Board adjust the budget from $4,000 to $6,000 to fully fund the F.I.R.S.T. team at $6,000. Steve Simons seconded.
Dr. O’Shea stated that he was in favor of the motion, and wondered if there was a budget analysis for this.
Mr. Kelley explained that there had been significant budget cuts for athletics teams. The Newspaper was cut from $5,000 to $4,000 with the thought that they could raise the additional $1,000 through advertising.
Mr. Peterson pointed out that F.I.R.S.T. requires $15,000 for the year.
Mr. Solon asked how many students were involved in F.I.R.S.T. Mr. Peterson responded that there were 40.
Chair. Murphy stated that he was in favor of the motion.
Motion passed. 5 – 0 –1 (Peterson abstained.)
Mr. Solon asked if Mr. Enright would have supported a reduction in funding for the Newspaper. Mr. Enright responded that he would not have. He added that he would have kept them at the same level.
Mr. Enright pointed out that they are over budget if they stay with the same insurance provider, as they developed the budget using the savings going with the other provider.
Supt. Pike stated that he had two nominations to place before the Board: Robert Huckins to replace Melanson in Social Studies and Kristen Roy to replace Blow in Spanish. He pointed out that Ms. Roy would be returning to the District.
Mr. Kelley stated that Ms. Roy was currently subbing, and that she taught in the District from 1995 –2000. Mr. Huckins has 10 years experience, and is currently at Conant. Mr. Huckins has a big background in economics, which Mr. Kelley felt would fill the High School’s needs. Mr. Kelley added that Mr. Huckins had been a class advisor and a keynote speaker at a Conant graduation, which shows the respect that the students had for him.
Supt. Pike stated that they had had a resignation during the budget process, and they used Masters +5 as the placeholder. He pointed out that there was a $15,700 savings at the Middle School, while the High School had a $21,561 deficit.
Supt. Pike placed Robert Huckins and Kristen Roy in nomination for the positions or Social Studies and Spanish, respectively.
Mr. Enright questioned as to how many more hires were left. Mr. Kelley responded that they had one Special Education, 1 FTE English, which replaces a resignation, and 1 FTE Science, Guidance, and a Job Developer/Transition Coordinator.
Mr. Peterson stated that the hiring process is one where cost has to be taken into account He pointed out that they are already behind, and that this has been a trend for the past three years. Hiring above budget is not sustainable.
Supt. Pike stated that based on the hires of the last two years of all three districts, perhaps Masters +5 is not realistic.
Mr. Solon stated that Masters +5 may work at the elementary level, but for High School, it may not work. He felt that they should get the caliber teachers that will be preparing the High School students for college.
Chair. Murphy stated that Master +5 may not be the right bar to use, but they need to have that discussion. If they raise the bar, then salaries will go up higher faster. Mr. Enright agreed, but felt it was important to have a mix of young teachers along with more veteran teachers. Mr. Peterson felt that his students sometimes felt that the younger teachers are better, and thus, he agreed that there needed to be a mix. Mr. Kelley responded that at the high school level, most teachers have their Masters degree.
Chair. Murphy asked if Masters +5 was uniform throughout the SAU. Supt. Pike responded that it was, but he was not sure of the history of it.
Mr. Solon stated that the value of quality is important. He felt that if they were asking the Administration to put a cap on the expenditure of hires, then it requires looking at a candidate pool all at once. He felt that they had no control over a candidate’s experience. Chair. Murphy responded that they did have control, as they could advertise for a candidate with 3 years experience versus 10-15 years.
Mr. Peterson stated that they were lucky that the Middle School was under budget in terms of hires, else they would be way over budget. He felt that they wouldn’t always be able to pick the best candidate because of budgetary constraints.
Mr. Kelley pointed out that in Social Studies they looked at replacing someone who was at the top of the scale with someone of less money.
Supt. Pike stated that they had a significant amount of recruitment between now and the next meeting. He asked that the Board authorize him to hire with final approval of the Board to be forthcoming, or they could call a quick meeting to approve new hires. He was especially concerned about quick approval if they found a science teacher.
Chair. Murphy asked what the difference was between the extension of approval of the Board or waiting until June 20th. Mr. Kelley explained that if the candidate has another offer, they need to get them under contract as soon as possible.
Chair. Murphy stated that if there was a high value of need, such as the Science position, then he would agree to such authorization, but if did not want to give a blanket authorization. Mr. Kelley explained that candidates are under contract at their current school districts and either needs to sign their contracts or resign. Mr. Enright agreed that they could not wait for the 20th, and thus would need a meeting. Mr. Kelley felt that they could wait for two weeks before having a meeting.
Chair. Murphy stated that if they have five candidates in the chute, he was not sure what difference it will make to the budget impact.
Dr. O’Shea asked if they were seeking to have another meeting to discern candidates of different salary levels, or to ratify nominated candidates.
Supt. Pike stated that he would get with Mr. Kelley to strategize as to how to go about it and would come up with a meeting. He added that Ms. Capasso’s numbers that day showed that they had budgeted 14% for increase in health benefits, and it actually came in at 4%. He stated that they would have more defined numbers. Mr. Simons pointed out that the funds don’t have to come from one line item. He added that the bottom line is the Board’s budget.
6. DHHS GRANT APPROVAL
Supt. Pike stated that Rachel Boles’ position as Student Assistant Coordinator is funded by the DHHS Grant ($29580). Supt. Pike stated that the Board must approve the Grant.
Steve Simons moved that the Board resolve “That this corporation enters into a contract with the State of New Hampshire, acting though its Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health Services,” and let it also be resolved “That the Superintendent is hereby authorized on behalf of this corporation to enter into said contract with the State and to execute any and all documents, agreements, and other instruments; and any amendments, revisions, or modifications thereto, as he/she may deem necessary, desirable, or appropriate. Richard Pike is the duly elected/appointed Superintendent of the corporation.” Tom Enright seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 6 – 0 – 0.
Supt. Pike stated that he would like something official from the Board regarding Primex’s response letter. He explained that even though they would be saving $29,000 by going with LGC, they will be responsible to return $9,000.
Dr. O’Shea questioned if the Coop breaks the contract, then Primex will want $9,000. He wondered if Primex will then walk away or will they want more? Supt. Pike responded that Ms. Capasso has a call in to Primex, but has not heard back yet.
Chair. Murphy pointed out that because the District entered into a multi-year contract, they gave us a discount.
Mr. Simons stated that we asked them how much it would cost to terminate the contract, and they are telling us $9,000, but they also expect us not to terminate.
Mr. Simons stated that he was in favor of going ahead with the termination. He then asked Supt. Pike’s feelings. Supt. Pike felt that the Coop had made a commitment with Primex and should not renege on it.
Mr. Enright stated that the instructions back then was not to enter into a multi-year contract, but then it showed up. He added that the contract was a joke in that it basically said Primex would charge whatever amount they chose, and they would take 5% off that.
Dr. O’Shea asked if the District had signed a contract with LGC yet. Supt. Pike responded that they hadn’t.
Mr. Enright felt that the District should not ask Primex what it will cost to terminate the contract.
Chair. Murphy pointed out that they had built the budget on the savings of going with LGC. If they don’t break the contract, they will need to make money up in the budget.
Mr. Simons felt that the Board had already taken action on this issue at a previous meeting.
8. 2007 – 2008 SCHOOL CALENDAR
Chair. Murphy asked why the school calendar was longer next year than this year, as graduation is June 9th this year, and last day of school is the 20th next year. Mr. Simons responded that the last day of school for this year is the 20th. He then asked what they were going to do about Election Day. Supt. Pike responded that they were scheduling an early release.
Mr. Kelley explained that the workshop on October 31st could easily be moved to the first Tuesday in November for Federal Election Day. He felt that moving it by one week would not be an issue. However, to move it to February wouldn’t work, as they need the workshop near the beginning of school. He added that the workshop day in November is used for Parent/Teacher Conferences, which parents seem to like, and therefore, want to keep.
Mr. Peterson asked about having a workshop day the last day of school. Mr. Kelley stated that Ms. Goyette wanted that. Chair. Murphy asked what the purpose was – to analyze what has happened during the school year?
Mr. Simons guessed that they could tell the town that if they use the High School for voting, they should expect parking problems. Mr. Peterson stated that it had been explained to him that there was an agreement with the town that the building was to be used for elections.
Chair. Murphy suggested that they could tell the sophomores that they would have to ride the bus that day. Mr. Kelley didn’t feel that the Primary Elections would be an issue, as people would only be voting on one thing. Mr. Simons stated that he was talking about the Town Elections.
Steve Simons moved that the Board approve the proposed 2007-2008 School Calendar. Tom Solon seconded. Motion carried. 4 – 0 – 0 (O’Shea and Enright out of the room)
9. PRIMEX - Continued
Chair. Murphy reported that in February, the Board directed the Business Administrator to make budget adjustments, but no action was taken.
Mr. Peterson pointed out that the Primex letter stated that they had received the District’s letter to terminate the contract.
Steve Simons moved that the Board direct the Business Administrator to continue the termination of the Primex contract pursuant of the letter of April 19, 2007, and proceed with a contract with LGC. Dan Peterson seconded. Motion carried. 4 – 0 – 2 (Enright, Solon abstained.)
10. BUILIDNG AND GROUNDS SUPERVISOR
Supt. Pike informed the Board that Ms. Capasso was looking for guidance from them regarding the Building and Grounds Supervisor position. He stated that some options were outsourcing to Aramark, which she has contacted, or a part-time status with the current Buildings and Grounds Supervisor. This is a shared position with the other districts, with the Coop utilizing 44%.
Mr. Simons stated that the Coop had budgeted $33,200 for salary and benefits.
Dr. O'Shea asked what Brookline was doing about their portion. Supt. Pike responded that they would be talking about it at their next meeting. Dr. O'Shea informed the Board that Hollis School District was looking into contracting service with Hutter, since they already have a relationship with them.
Supt. Pike stated that they did not need a recommendation yet, that they were just updating the Board. Mr. Simons advised the Board that the four items under the "Shared Positions" portion of Ms. Capasso's report was merely an update to a question raised about shared positions.
Mr. Enright stated that he was not in favor of using Aramark.
Mr. Kelley pointed out that the High School utilizes the Building and Grounds Supervisor more than any other school in the SAU District.
Chair. Murphy stated that the Buildings and Grounds Supervisor was retiring in June. He felt that no Board action was required as it is the Business Administrator that does the hiring of this position.
Mr. Enright stated that they have known about this for awhile, but there seemed as if there had been no motion on it.
11. CERTIFICATE OF APPORTIONMENT
Supt. Pike informed the Board that he had received a letter and a Certificate of Apportionment from Lyonel Tracy, Commissioner of Education. The letter stated that the State Board of Education had voted to approve the amendment to the Articles of Agreement regarding Apportionment at their May 9, 2007 meeting, and to appropriate the certificate.
12. GRANT WRITING
Mr. Solon presented his idea regarding grant writing to the Board. He felt it would behoove the Board to look into ways to bring money into the District for programs, such as grants. He suggested that the Board think about creating a policy that would allow a commission or stipend for a staff member to secure grant money. The commission schedule would be based on the amount of money brought in, the time spent in securing the funds, and work would not be performed during school hours. Mr. Solon felt it would improve the level of education without further impact on the budget.
Dr. O'Shea stated that the Hollis Board had talked about trying to secure more grant money, but wanted to be careful that it didn't become a competition among the staff.
Mr. Kelley stated that he was intrigued by the proposal. However, he added that he had never heard of the concept of receiving a commission. He felt that it might violate the grant.
Mr. Solon felt that they would not be able to use the grant money directly to pay the commission, but if money comes in for a department, then that would free up other funds in the department.
Chair. Murphy stated that Ms. Mace and Ms. Goyette have had experience with grants. He added that most grants are targeted to supplement and not supplant a program.
Mr. Solon asked the Board if there was enough interest to research it. The Board felt it was worth looking into.
13. TRANSPORTATION SOFTWARE
Supt. Pike reported that Rich Raymond and he participated in an on-line demonstration of the Transfinder transportation software. Transfinder offers some basic services that Versa Trans does. Versa Trans initially quoted $15,000 based on student population. Supt. Pike stated that he suggested that the actual number of students riding does not equal the total school population. Versa Trans came back with a quote of $6,300.
Supt. Pike informed the Board that Bedford uses Versa Trans, while Fitchburg uses Transfinder.
14. POLICY REVIEW
Mr. Simons distributed a listing of all the policies, which shows the status of each one. He reported that policies A – B have been approved. Policies C – D and I – J have had their first readings, while K – L have not had anything done with them. He added that all the policies that have had their first readings are on the website.
Chair. Murphy felt they got the best results in moving the policies along when they scheduled them as the first thing on the agenda.
Dr. James O’Shea moved that the Board enter non-public session under the provisions of RSA 91-A:3 II (a) compensation and (c) reputation. 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 10:25 p.m.