June 18, 2008
Hollis-Brookline Middle School
Tom Enright, Chairperson
James O’Shea, MD
Janice Tremblay, left at 9:30 p.m.
Tim Kelley, Principal, Hollis-Brookline High School
Pat Goyette, Principal, Hollis-Brookline Middle School
Dawna Duhamel, Business Administrator
Carol Mace, Director of Curriculum
Betsy A. Packard, Recording Secretary
Others present included members of the Public.
Chairperson Tom Enright called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.
The Board discussed the following items:
~ Phone system repairs at the Middle School.
~ Encumbering $1,500 for parental notification program.
~ Allocating $10,000 for technology improvements.
2. ENERGY INDEPENDENCE INITIATIVE
A presentation on eliminating dependence on fossil fuels was given.
Janice Tremblay moved that the Board support the project moving forward with analysis and proposal. Steve Simons seconded. Motion carried. 5 – 0 – 1.
3. BUDGET COMMITTEE DISCUSSION
The Budget Committee made a presentation to the Board, proposing the following:
a) Zero percent net increase in next year’s budget.
b) Budget committee and School Board work together with the administration to build a budget from scratch.
Chair. Enright stated that what he was hearing was that the Budget Committee’s position is a 0% budget, but if the School Board works with the Budget Committee, they may make exceptions.
Doug Davidson felt that a sub-committee should look at the asymmetrical behaviors in the budget and explore items that are out of whack. Mr. Peterson stated that they have always been able to see the asymmetrical items in the budget and been able to study them. Every line item has the amount of increase/decrease, so they could see it. He asked that Mr. Davidson explain what he meant. Mr. Davidson stated that the Budget Committee needed to look at several years to see what the trends are. They can’t do this if the budgets are in binders. However, now that the budget is on a spreadsheet, they are able to see trends. He added that it has been difficult to get access to information.
Steve Pucci (Budget Committee member) stated that he had no idea how things have worked in the past, and felt that some things have not been handled as effectively as he would hope. He wondered if there were different ways to look at things. He felt that they should spend time looking at the budget, working collaboratively, to see if there are better ways to do things, and hopefully save some money. At the end of the day, the budget is what it is.
Mr. Milkowski stated that there needed to be some parameters set to help make decisions. He added that the budget would not be a 0 based budget, as no one can look at every line item. He added that he would like to put together a collaborative committee that would spend more time on the budget.
Chair. Enright felt that the Board understood the Budget Committee’s position and would like time to think it through, and then come to a conclusion. He asked that the Budget Committee work on the make-up of a sub-committee, and the Board would work on understanding it. He thanked the Budget Committee members for coming.
Mr. Hubert asked if the Board already did what the Budget Committee was asking, and if they reviewed the budget line by line. He stated that he was chair of the Finance Committee in Brookline and that was how they did it. He felt that they perhaps didn’t have the Budget Committee’s participation in the Coop process. Chair. Enright responded that the Board did work with the Budget Committee in the past and the Budget Committee came to the Board meetings, but that has not happened lately.
Mr. Peterson questioned who would make decisions if the sub-committee got into disagreements.
Mr. Simons questioned the sub-committee getting into areas of curriculum or co-curricular.
Dr. O’Shea stated that he was against a sub-committee, as he felt it abdicated the responsibility of the School Board. He added that he would like to see more collaborative work between the three budget committees. He felt that the Budget Committee members should come to every School Board meeting. He added that he couldn’t get behind the aspect of a 0-based budget. He also felt they should discuss getting together with town officials to see if they could do better on things such as healthcare.
4. BROOKLINE CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT COMMITTEE
Al Rosenberg, Chair of the Brookline Capital Improvement Committee, addressed the Board. Mr. Rosenberg informed the Board that the Capital Improvement Committee was currently looking at the years 2009-2014, and needed the Coop Board to submit what they saw would be big ticket items during those years. Mr. Rosenberg explained that once they receive the submittals, the Capital Improvement Committee will then look at the items so they can get an idea of what may be coming down the road and can then spread the cost over the years. He added that NH RSAs allow towns with Capital Improvement Committees to assess impact fees.
Mr. Rosenberg informed the Board that the Committee was currently in the data collection period and that the packets that had been distributed were due this Friday. After the submissions have been collected, the Committee reviews them, then public hearings are held.
Chair. Enright asked if the Coop Board could have an extension for submitting their packet, as he was not in town that week, but could submit it the following Friday. Mr. Rosenberg felt that would not pose a problem, as the Coop’s hearing was not until August. Ms. Tremblay stated that she would help Chair. Enright with the packet.
Mr. Simons felt that the Board needed to discuss whether they should put the High School expansion on the list. Ms. Tremblay explained that the Board needed to let the Committee know the following:
1. What the Coop wants to do.
2. What the anticipated cost would be.
3. What the time frame would be.
4. Why the Coop needs to do it.
Chair. Enright thanked Mr. Rosenberg for coming in.
Ms. Mace informed the Board that the SAU had received a letter of resignation from Helen Melanson. She added that Ms. Melanson would not be coming back as either full or part-time.
Steve Simons moved that in light of Helen Melanson’s long and dedicated service to the Hollis Brookline Coop that the Board accept Ms. Melanson’s letter of resignation with deep regrets. Dan Peterson seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 6 – 0 – 0.
Ms. Mace stated that the SAU had received a letter of resignation from Lisa Futrell, Hollis Brookline Job Developer, effective the end of the school year.
Steve Simons moved that the Board accept the resignation of Lisa Futrell. Effective the end of the 2007-2008 school year. Fred Hubert seconded.
Mr. Simons asked if Ms. Futrell had another job in counseling lined up somewhere. Mr. Kelley responded that he did not think that Ms. Futrell had another job lined up, but he knew she wanted to get into counseling.
Motion carried unanimously. 6 – 0 – 0.
Ms. Mace informed the Board that the SAU had received a letter of resignation from Paula Fortin, math teacher at the Middle School.
Steve Simons moved that in light of Paula Fortin’s service to the Hollis Brookline Coop that the Board accept Ms. Fortin’s letter of resignation with regrets. Dan Peterson seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 6 – 0 – 0.
Ms. Mace stated that she had a letter from Cora Zingales, requesting a family leave for two quarters. The leave will be without pay and benefits.
Mr. Hubert asked if someone would be able to cover the position. Mr. Kelley responded that they had already been covering it, and thus, felt that they were in a good position.
Chair. Enright asked if the Board had to accept the family leave. He wondered if it was in the best interest of the Coop to agree to the request. He asked if the contract said “may” or “shall” accept. Ms. Goyette responded that the contract states “shall.” Chair. Enright stated that the Board must then accept the request.
Dan Peterson moved that the Board accept Cora Zingales’ request for family leave for two quarters. Fred Hubert seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 6 – 0 – 0.
6. IT UPGRADES
Ms. Goyette informed the Board that there were funds remaining in the Middle School Building Fund. She then introduced Rich Raymond, who presented IT upgrade proposals.
Mr. Raymond stated they would like to upgrade the internal communication system at the Middle School to a voice over IP phone system. He presented a quotation from CMC Technology Group and explained that the server already existed at the High School.
Mr. Raymond explained that 70 hours had been quoted for Labor – Sr. Network Engineer for $8,750.00. He stated that the salesman had quoted an amount more than what they will need. He felt that the actual labor would be more like 50 hours, since the Middle School was wired during the renovation. Mr. Raymond felt that 24 hours for the Labor – Project Management would also be lower.
Mr. Peterson asked Mr. Raymond to explain the system. Mr. Raymond responded that with the new system, every staff member will have voice mail, but not every staff member would have a phone. Every classroom will have a phone. The new system will be easier for IT to manage.
Mr. Raymond stated that being in Hollis, they don’t have many options for reducing long distance phone costs. He pointed out the following two possibilities:
1. If Charter offers dial tone, they can get the service through them.
2. Sometime in the future, the Hollis schools could trunk long distance service to Brookline because they are in Comcast / Verizon territory and can get reduced rates.
Mr. Peterson asked how they could get the cost down. Mr. Raymond responded that the best way would be when Charter says they can handle phone service. He added that they had cut Brookline’s phone service in half. He found a company out of Boston – Transnational. The next option would be to go to Transnational and ask if it would be possible to trunk lines over to Brookline
Mr. Raymond stated that he would like to see all the SAU school districts on the same phone system. He added that the High School has a fairly new system, so they would wait for the current system to get to the end of its life before switching over. Mr. Hubert asked what the advantage would be for all the districts being on the same system. Mr. Raymond responded that advantages would be:
~ One would only have to dial four digits for internal calls.
~ The receiver would be able to see who is calling.
~ If a staff member moves their location, they merely have to unplug their phone and take it with them.
~ It is easy to run reports.
~ It is password protected.
Ms. Tremblay pointed out that Mr. Raymond felt the quoted labor costs were high. She asked if there were any way to protect themselves from being billed the whole amount. Mr. Raymond stated that he had worked with the company before, and felt that they had been fair. Chair. Enright asked if Mr. Raymond could address the labor amount with the company. Mr. Raymond felt that he could. Ms. Tremblay added that Mr. Raymond had stated that the salesman had inflated the labor hours, so she felt that they needed to decrease the hours, perhaps to 60. Mr. Raymond added that the company only bills the actual hours. Ms. Tremblay asked how they would keep track of the actual labor hours. Mr. Raymond responded that he would be with them every step of the way.
Steve Simons moved that the Board authorize Mr. Raymond to expend up to the balance of the Middle School Renovation Building Fund for a new phone system at the Middle School. The bid process is waived. Fred Hubert seconded. Motion unanimously. 6 – 0 – 0.
Mr. Raymond presented a proposal from Global Connect for a Parent Notification System. The cost is $2.00 per student. The system will call a number for one hour before giving up. It allows unlimited calls. Can also program to call staff / School Board members. Global Connect is offering a six-month demo at no charge, then they would pro-rate the rest of the year based on $2.00 per student.
Mr. Raymond stated that he would be presenting the proposal at the SAU Board meeting on Monday, but wanted to give the Coop Board a heads up.
Ms. Tremblay pointed out that looking into a pool of buyers for heating oil had been mentioned at the last meeting. She wondered if anything had been done about it. Ms. Duhamel responded that she had been playing phone tag, so had not gotten a definitive answer. She added that the Coop’s futures might be too small, so they might not be able to participate.
Ms. Tremblay stated that it had been reported that Litchfield was looking at getting in with a group also. She wondered if this might be something the Coop should look into. Ms. Duhamel pointed out that they have to make sure that the company would deliver to our area.
Mr. Peterson asked what the pre-buy cost was right now. Ms. Duhamel responded that it was at $4.26.
Ms. Tremblay pointed out that the more participants in a cooperative buying group, the better off you are.
8. STAFF NOMINATIONS
Ms. Goyette nominated Kirsten Werne, Mathematics, replacing Fordin. Ms. Werne has a BS in Computer Science and a MAT in Mathematics. She has been substituting at the school, and has worked with Ms. Mezzocchi.
Janice Tremblay moved that the Board accept the nomination of Kirsten Werne, as presented. Dan Peterson seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 6 – 0 – 0.
Mr. Kelley nominated Jennifer Bissonnette, Music, replacing Sayward and Nerissa Calo, English, FTE 0.75 replacing Melanson. Ms. Bissonnette is currently teaching in Millinocket, ME. Ms. Calo substituted for a teacher on maternity leave and did a great job.
Janice Tremblay moved that the Board accept the nominations of Jennifer Bissonnette and Nerissa Calo, as presented. Fred Hubert seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 6 – 0 – 0.
Ms. Mace stated that Supt. Pike wanted to recommend that the Board consider authorizing the Superintendent to hire new staff.
Chair. Enright asked if the Board gave such authorization, how many staff members would it affect? Mr. Kelley responded that it would be 3 – 4 at the High School. Ms. Goyette responded that there would be none at the Middle School. Mr. Kelley felt that he would have 2 or 3 new hires ready for nomination within the month, therefore, Supt. Pike would still be here.
Fred Hubert moved that the Board authorize the Superintendent to hire the open positions for the High School. Steve Simons seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 6 – 0 – 0.
9. PRINCIPALS’ REPORTS
Ms. Goyette stated that she would like to get the Board’s support to advertise for an FTE 0.2 math teacher. She explained that in 06-07, they salvaged a math position from the reduction from 5 teams to 4. The Math Specialist position was designed to address the following:
1. Intervention Math – created for students who have tested significantly below proficient on the NECAPS.
2. Advanced Math – teach Algebra to 7th grade students and Advance Geometry to 8th grade students.
Ms. Goyette reported that two years ago, they had 11 students in the Intervention program. Eight of these students are being recommended for Algebra. She felt that they needed 4 Intervention classes – one for each team. This would balance the teams out. Ms. Goyette felt that the cost savings of the new hire replacing Paula Fordin would fund this position.
Dan Peterson moved that the Board authorize Ms. Goyette to hire an FTE 0.2 math position. Janice Tremblay seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 6 – 0 – 0.
Mr. Kelley reported that a copy of the May 2008 NEASC’s review of the Two-Year Progress Report was emailed to the Board a few days ago. He felt it might be worthwhile to also email the report to others, such as staff members and the Budget Committee.
Mr. Kelley informed the Board that during the summer they would be installing a pathway in the front of the building to the dirt parking lot that was expanded last year. Student hallway benches on the second and third floor at the “T” intersections will be relocated as with the increased student population, they are adding to the hallway congestion, which presents a safety problem.
Mr. Kelley stated that in regards to the student schedule, he felt that they had found all the rooms they need, including study halls.
Mr. Kelley informed the Board that in terms of staffing, positions they still needed to hire were: Computer Science, part-time Job Developer, part-time Art, someone to fill a maternity leave in Special Education. Mr. Kelley distributed a cost comparison chart between former and new staff. He explained that everything above Music on the chart, the Board had approved last month. He added that they had used placeholders for Art, Computer Science, Art, and the Job Developer.
Mr. Kelley reported that there was a serious need to address Special Education. He explained that next year there will be a net gain of 16 students. Special Education at the High School is running two times the rate of the Middle School. He proposed to bring that down by asking for a full-time Special Education Case Manager. He stated that Bob Kelly supported the position and the Supt. Pike understood the need for it. He added that Chair. Enright was comfortable with the addition, and it was felt that the District could afford it. Therefore, Mr. Kelley asked for authorization to advertise for the position.
Mr. Hubert asked what would happen regarding staffing if the number of Special Education students goes down. Mr. Kelley responded that they would most likely reduce the staff through attrition. Chair. Enright added that there was a “reduction of force” policy in affect.
Mr. Peterson wondered how it would affect the in-district costs per student. Mr. Kelley stated that they are looking at gaining 31 students from the Middle School and were graduating 28. However, they have about 10 students that were identified this past year.
Fred Hubert moved that the Board accept Mr. Kelley’s proposal and authorize Mr. Kelley to hire a new full-time Special Education Case Manager. Steve Simons seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 6 – 0 – 0.
Mr. Kelley distributed a draft proposal for a full-time Athletic Director, which included a benefits package. He explained that the contract would be for 260 days with 20 vacation days. He stated that the current teacher’s salary was $59,095 with a $10,000 stipend for a total of $69,095 for 211 days. Under the new Administrator’s contract, the salary would be $73,000, giving an difference of $3,900. This difference would be covered by the $5,000 savings on the new hire of the Assistant to the Athletic Director. Mr. Kelley highlighted the Retirement Incentive, explaining that without the incentive, the Athletic Director would lose his NH State Teacher’s Retirement benefits by moving into an Administrative position. Since the Athletic Director is so close to being fully invested, by adding the retirement incentive, he will not lose the benefits that he has put into over the past 15 years. The Health, Dental, and other benefits are the same as the Athletic Director currently has as a teacher. Mr. Kelley added that the teachers’ contract does not have vacation days, therefore, the vacation days are per the HESSA agreement. Mr. Kelley concluded by stating that this contract was similar to surrounding areas Athletic Directors’ contracts.
Steve Simons moved that Ron Rupp be moved to a full-time Athletic Director position and he be given a retirement incentive n accordance with the HESSA contract. Fred Hubert seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 5 – 0 – 0.
Mr. Kelley informed the Board that he would like to increase the Special Education secretary’s hours. She is currently on a 10-month contract. He felt the additional hours could be funded out of the reduction in the summer guidance hours. This would change the position from 203 days to 216 days, which would go from part-time to full-time. Mr. Kelley added that the with all the adjustments in positions, the overall difference comes out to be a $650 deficit.
Steve Simons moved that the Board approve the proposal to adjust the hours of Guidance, the Registrar, Special Education secretary, and Summer Office coverage as presented by Mr. Kelley. Fred Hubert seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 5 – 0 – 0.
Mr. Kelley stated that on Page 2 of the May 21, 2008 minutes, under subtitle “High School,” “had to cancel several courses” should be changed to “had to cancel a few courses.”
Dr. O’Shea stated that he left the meeting at 6:30 p.m.
Steve Simons moved that the Board accept the minutes of May 21, 2008 as amended. Fred Hubert seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 5 – 0 – 0.
Steve Simons moved that the Board remove policy EBC – School Day as it has been replaced with ID, and also remove KJ – Advertising, which is replaced by KI. Fred Hubert seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 5 – 0 – 0.
Mr. Simons stated that the Board had approved policy IHBG – Home Education Schooling without seeing the text. He presented the text for the Board’s approval.
Steve Simons moved that the Board approve the text of IHBG – Home Education Schooling. James O’Shea seconded. Motion carried. 4 – 0 – 1 (Peterson abstained.)
Mr. Simons stated that Supt. Pike, Ms. Goyette, and he reviewed the Website policy.
Steve Simons moved that the Board approve KDC – Website Publishing Policy. Fred Hubert seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 5 – 0 – 0.
Mr. Simons informed the Board that in 2003 the Board approved an extensive Field Trip Policy IICA. Policy IJOA is what the School Board Association recommends. He felt that the Board should keep the current policy, but change the designation from IICA to IJOA.
Fred Hubert moved that the Board keep the current Field Trip policy, but change the designation from IICA to IJOA. Steve Simons seconded. Motion carried 5 – 0 – 0.
Mr. Simons stated that in regards to policy IJOC – School Volunteers, the Coop has a policy and so does the School Board Association. The School Board Association’s policy is more extensive; therefore, he recommended that the District go with SBA’s version.
It was decided to table this policy, and have a sub-committee consisting of Mr. Simons, Mr. Kelley and Ms. Goyette, work on it over the summer.
Steve Simons moved that the Board adjourn. Fred Hubert seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 5 – 0 – 0.
The Board adjourned at 10:05 p.m.