Hollis-Brookline Cooperative School Board
June 20, 2007
Hollis-Brookline Middle School
Jim Murphy, Chairperson
Tom Enright, arrived at 7:35
Dan Peterson, arrived at 6:35 p.m.
Dr. James O’Shea, arrived at 6:40 p.m.
Richard Pike, Superintendent of Schools
Tim Kelly, Principal, Hollis-Brookline High School
Pat Goyette, Principal, Hollis-Brookline Middle School
Mellinee Capasso, Business Administrator
Betsy A. Packard, Recording Secretary
Others present included members of the Public.
Chairperson Jim Murphy called the meeting to order at 6:05 p.m.
1. POLICIES – FIRST READINGS
Mr. Simons distributed a “Policy Adoption Status” report.
Mr. Scales informed the Board that he was disappointed in the editorial quality of the policies. He felt that as educators and members of a school board that they should set the standards high and make sure that punctuation and grammar are correct.
Chair. Murphy stated that he had been asked by Mr. Scales how much latitude did the Board have in revising the standard policies they are given. Chair. Murphy stated that he looked upon the policies as templates, and the Board could revise them as much as they needed. Mr. Simons stated that the policies were the District’s and that the Board should be able to revise them as they need.
Chair. Murphy asked if the new policies to be considered that night had been seen by the Administration or a first set of eyes? Supt. Pike felt that they were doing a 1st Reading.
Mr. Scales pointed out that the policy review process involved two readings and adoption. He wondered what happened if they wanted to make changes. Mr. Simons responded that they can change the policy at the 1st Reading, as well was at the 2nd Reading. If changes are made during the 2nd Reading, he didn’t feel that they needed to have a 1st Reading again.
Supt. Pike stated that there was nothing that precludes the Board from adopting a policy at the 2nd Reading, or having a second 2nd Reading, if they would like to. He felt that the only time they would have to have a second 1st Reading is after the policy has already been adopted.
The following policies were considered for 1st Readings:
Chair. Murphy stated that when he read the policy, he was not sure what he was reading and what the policy was trying to accomplish. Ms. Goyette responded that what the policy was trying to convey was all understood and embedded in the expectations of the staff. She felt the policy was generic. Mr. Kelley added that they follow the policy because it is their day-to-day practice, and that they put practices into the policy so they have something to fall back on. He felt that there was nothing controversial with the policy.
Mr. Kelley stated that in regards to this policy that they “would do their job well.”
Mr. Simons felt that they should change the word “people” in the first line to read “The Board will do its best to keep the community informed of the affairs of the district.”
Mr. Solon stated that he would like to see the Board do something to make the policy of value to the District. He stated that when he worked on policies on the other Board, they had off-line policy workshops.
Chair. Murphy was concerned that the policy was too general and that it should have more guidance. He pointed out that they had had problems in the past with policy vs. procedures, and added that they need to make the intent clear and then add the process to follow.
Supt. Pike felt that when the policy is adopted, the Superintendent and the Administration then needed to set guidelines as to what and how to carry out the policy.
Chair. Murphy felt that the use of the word “authorizes” was odd, and he wondered if there was a better word that could be used.
Mr. Scales felt that policies should state who will do what.
Chair. Murphy enumerated the three concerns the Board had with the policy:
1. Change “people” to “community.”
2. The policy was too general.
3. Question the use of “authorizes” being correct.
Mr. Simons pointed out that the comments/suggestions were being made, and he wondered who was going to follow through with them. He asked what the procedure was going to be. Chair. Murphy felt that they should go through the policies then assign who will do what.
Supt. Pike stated that this policy deals with the relationship of the District with other organizations.
Mr. Solon asked if the policy meant to be exclusionary, or if it were merely giving examples. Supt. Pike suggested that the policy end after the first paragraph and delete everything following and including “in such ways as described below.”
The Board agreed on Supt. Pike’s suggestion.
Mr. Kelley stated that the District has alternative ways of gathering credits and it is spelled out in the policy book. A student can study for a test, take the test, and if they pass, they can move on.
Chair. Murphy questioned whether Mr. Kelley and Ms. Goyette should go back and look this policy over. Mr. Kelley pointed out that Policy IMBC talks about middle school students being able to earn high school credit. He added that he would like to go back and digest what is in this policy. He added that he would also like to present to the Board information they got from the State regarding this issue.
Supt. Pike pointed out that the Board does not have to change the policy every time they decide to up the credit requirement, as IKF is the State’s minimum requirement.
Mr. Kelley felt that this policy gives them the opportunity to state the High School credit policy.
Chair. Murphy stated that he would like the Administration to go back and really look over policies IHBH, IMBA, IKF, IMBC, and then report back to the Board.
Mr. Scales stated that he had some editorial corrections to the policies that he would pass along to Mr. Simons. Mr. Simons stated that he would make the corrections and see that the policies got posted to the website.
Chair. Murphy reminded the Board that Policy KDA needed the following changes:
1. Change “people” to “community.”
2. The policy was too general.
3. Question the use of “authorizes” being correct.
Supt. Pike stated that he would take a stab at amending this policy.
Chair. Murphy stated that this policy pretty much codifies IDEA. Supt. Pike stated that the Board is required to have such a policy.
Mr. Simons informed the Board that they had approved the 1st Reading of IHBA in September 2005. He felt it covered the same stuff as the latest version.
Chair. Murphy wondered if there had been any changes to the policy since the 1st Reading two years ago. Mr. Scales pointed out that a legal reference to Policy IHBA was referenced on 10-13-06.
Chair. Murphy compared the two versions and stated that the newer version had added the fourth paragraph. He felt that the two versions were similar enough that they could consider this as the 2nd Reading of Policy IHBA.
Ms. Packard pointed out that in the middle of the last paragraph, the sentence which states “. . . until the student’s 21st birthday or until such time has he/she receives a high school diploma . . .” that the word “has” should be “as.”
Mr. Scales pointed out that in the third line from the top, the work “accord” should be changed to “accordance.”
Dr. James O’Shea seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously. 6 – 0 – 0.
Mr. Simons pointed out that there were many 1st Readings done in 2005, but no action has been taken upon those policies since. He informed the Board that there has been no response on the policies from the public. Mr. Simons stated that he would like to move things along and have 2nd Readings for those policies.
Supt. Pike pointed out that someone could be waiting for a policy to be posted for its upcoming 2nd Reading to come speak to it. Therefore, he would like to follow procedure and post the 2nd Readings before taking action on them.
Chair. Murphy felt that the Board should be diligent in making sure that the changes had been made to the 1st Reading policies as voted on. Mr. Simons responded that the changes had been made to all the 1st Reading policies prior to them being posted to the website.
Mr. Simons pointed out that policies JLCC to JLIA needed to be reviewed by Mr. Kelley, the school nurse, and any other staff that Mr. Kelley felt necessary, so a 1st Reading could be done on them. Mr. Kelley agreed to review these policies.
Chair. Murphy stated that he would put Policy Review on the agenda for next month. Mr. Simons pointed out that nothing had been done with the policies since September 2005.
Webb Scales moved that the Board enter non-public session under the provisions of RSA 91-A:3 II (a) dismissal, promotion, or compensation of any public employee, or the disciplining of such employee, and (c) reputation. Dan Peterson 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 7:05 p.m.
The Board re-entered public session at 7:35 p.m.
Webb Scales moved that the Board seal the minutes due to reputation of person not on the Board. Steve Simons seconded. Motion carried. 5 – 1 – 1. (Peterson against, Enright abstained)
Chair. Murphy stated that the topic of a non-resident to attend Hollis Brookline Coop for their last year had been discussed in non-public.
Mr. Simons pointed out that the last paragraph of Policy JFAB states:
Students who are in their senior year and who become non-residents by reason of removal of the parents or legal guardians, may request the school board to grant permission to finish their studies or request that their tuition be waived. Both decisions rest in the sole discretion of the Hollis Brookline Cooperative School Board.
Chair. Murphy stated that he was concerned because space at the High School is tight. They have limited the number of exchange students coming to the school next year.
Mr. Enright agreed with Chair. Murphy, but felt that the Board should take it case-by-case. Regarding this case, there is hardship, along with the fact that the student has attended three years at the High School, and will be a senior next year. He stated he will support the student being able to attend the High School for their senior year.
Mr. Solon pointed out that if the student didn’t come to the Hollis Brookline District, their home district would have to pay tuition for the student to go somewhere else, therefore, could the home district pay tuition to the Coop?
Mr. Peterson pointed out that there were two separate discussions that needed to take place:
1. Agree to allow the student to complete their senior year at the High School.
Mr. Peterson stated that he agreed with Mr. Enright, adding that he felt that this is a continuation of a student who has attended the High School, but has now faced a change. He felt they would be retaining a student they already had.
Mr. Scales pointed out that the policy was worded as “finishing their studies.”
Tom Enright moved that the Board allow the student requesting to attend Hollis Brookline High School to complete their senior year to do so. Steve Simons seconded.
Dr. O’Shea agreed with Mr. Enright and Mr. Peterson. He added that he found the issue compelling for hardship, and felt the Board should be flexible with this.
Mr. Peterson stated that he was in support of the first part of the motion and should stick with the first part of the discussion. He added that the second part may make it difficult for the parents. He stated that he did not want to give the indication that the Board was not supportive of the student being able to stay.
Mr. Solon asked if the motion was approved and the second question was not resolved, what would happen. Mr. Enright responded that there still was some time for things to happen and things to develop.
Mr. Scales believed that the policy stated that the student must pay tuition. Mr. Kelley stated that in the past, when the Board has allowed a student to finish their senior year at the High School, they have done so without tuition being charged.
Motion carried unanimously. 7 – 0 – 0.
Chair. Murphy then posed the question to the Board as to whether the student should be charged tuition. He stated that they needed to figure out how much the tuition would be, and also find out since the home district would be tuitioning the student out-of-district regardless, would the home district pay tuition to Hollis Brookline Coop School District.
Mr. Solon suggested that the parents make a request to the home district that the home district pay the tuition.
Dr. O’Shea stated that he would be comfortable in granting the student assurance that there will be space at the High School, yet, at the same time, compel the Superintendent and the Business Administrator to look into tuition from the home district.
Mr. Peterson felt it should be clear that the letter state we agree to accept the student, but that the District expects a tuition. He added that the parents were to take the steps to see if Bedford would pay tuition. He felt it was not responsible of the Board to suggest that tuition is to be paid, but may be waived if needed, but rather that the Board should have the expectation that tuition would be paid.
Dan Peterson moved that the letter of the student’s acceptance of attendance be contingent upon tuition payment by either the parents or the home district. Steve Simons seconded.
Mr. Enright asked if Supt. Pike felt that he could interact with the superintendent of the home district in requesting tuition payment from them. Supt. Pike responded that it might be possible.
Mr. Solon asked if there was a deadline for all of this to happen. He wondered if this needed to be done by the last meeting before the opening of school. Mr. Kelley felt that they could put this to bed by the next meeting.
Mr. Simons pointed out that they also needed to know what the tuition rate was. He added that Supt. Pike will need to know this for his discussion with the other superintendent.
Motion carried. 6 – 1 – 0. (O’Shea against.)
Chair. Murphy stated that he had received a letter from the NH Public Labor Relation Board regarding the on-going labor agreement case stating that a small extension had been filed.
Chair. Murphy informed the Board that he would forward to them a communication he had from the Brookline Capital Improvement Committee. He added that the Committee will need information by the end of August regarding upcoming capital items for the next year and following few years.
Chair. Murphy informed the Board that in regards to the Farley Building, he had requested a copy of the 1991 Engineering Study, as he wanted to know what the condition the building was in when the District began leasing it. He stated that the building seemed to be in bad shape.
Dr. O’Shea stated that there had been comments/allegations that monies funded have not been spent. He wondered if all respective groups have been looked at and held responsible. Chair. Murphy stated that this went back to over 15 years ago, therefore, he had no idea. He added that he would like to let this issue fly.
Mr. Enright asked Ms. Capasso if her staff was looking through old records. Ms. Capasso responded that they had pulled together old maintenance records from 1995 forward. She stated that they didn’t have hard financial data. They did have major ticketed items. Mr. Enright questioned whether her staff was spending more time on the is issue. Ms. Capasso responded that they weren’t.
Chair. Murphy introduced Ron Camille of the Hollis Brookline Journal and Jeannie Saunders, Special Education at Hollis Brookline Middle School.
Chair. Murphy informed the Board that he had a letter of resignation to present to the Board. He then read the opening paragraphs of the letter, which stated due to “increased responsibilities at work combined with an increased workload on the board,” and the fact that neither his job or position on the Board were getting the proper attention, that a decision to resign effective June 29, 2007 had to be made. The letter was signed by Chair. Murphy. Chair. Murphy went on to say that time permitting he would be more than willing to serve on any committees as needed. He explained that the remainder of the letter, which the Board members could look over at a later date, was his thoughts on where the District stood.
3. OPEN FORUM
4. BUSINESS ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Chair. Murphy stated that in regards to Primex, the Board had asked the Business Administrator to look into changing the insurance provider. In reviewing the Board minutes, Chair. Murphy stated he could not find anything where the Board had taken action on this issue.
Supt. Pike stated that there was a minimum of $75,000 in savings, and the difference in switching would be $15,000. He added that he was of the opinion that the District should honor the current multi-year contract.
Ms. Capasso reported that they had secured bids from LGC and Primex. Part of LGC’s contract was a 3-year agreement, in which they would freeze 2008. She stated that in talking and trying to secure insurance, in her conversation with Primex, they felt that the Coop District should honor the multi-year contract. LCG stated that they couldn’t advise the District as to what action to take, but they felt if the District entered a multi-year agreement, they should honor it. Ms. Capasso stated that she understood the Board’s concerns and agreed that the wording of the current multi-year contract was not what the Board would have liked or approved. She added that LGC currently has the District’s health and dental plan. She advised the Board that Primex was coming in at $10,781 more than what had been budgeted for that line item.
Mr. Scales asked what the $75,000 savings represented. Ms. Capasso explained that they projected forth using the current roster, what the 2008 health insurance roster would be. She pointed out that that didn’t take into account open enrollment.
Chair. Murphy asked if they were only discussing property and liability. Ms. Capasso responded that that was correct.
Mr. Scales asked if they were $11,000 over budget with Primex.
Mr. Solon wondered what LGC had quoted. Chair. Murphy explained that the figure in the budget was what LGC quoted. Mr. Enright added that they had taken $10,000 off and left some in the that line item. Ms. Capasso explained that $54,753 was the original balance. The current premium with Primex is $54,187. They have budgeted $43,406. Mr. Enright asked what LGC’s premium was, as he felt it was less than that.
Mr. Simons asked what had changed since the Board voted to change the budget. He added that the Board’s intention was clear.
Ms. Packard read the following motion from page 11 of the May 16, 2007 meeting:
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).
Supt. Pike reiterated that it was his opinion that the Board should honor the current contract, adding that he had concerns if the Board breached the contract.
Chair. Murphy apologized to the Board, stating that if he had found the motion in the minutes, he never would have re-opened the issue.
The Board ended their discussion on this issue.
Ms. Capasso reported that the attached Expenditure Report went through mid-June, and pointed out that they still had stipends and payroll data to finish up with.
Ms. Capasso informed the Board that she was forecasting an Unreserved Fund Balance of approximately $115,000. She added that there might be some fluctuation with the final figure as there were still utilities, phone bills, etc. to be paid. She stated that the major portion of the savings is coming from health and dental insurance. She added that she has self-corrected the 2008 budget.
Mr. Enright stated that one area of concern he had was with the carpeting at the High School. He felt that it was a health and safety issue. Mr. Kelley responded that the first item on his monthly report addressed the carpeting issue. He added that they are holding off on the carpet in the gym foyer so they can research other options.
Mr. Simons asked if the cost of the carpeting was in the High School budget, or was it going to come from part of the overage. Ms. Capasso responded that she has taken the $25,000 cost into account.
Mr. Enright asked that all the carpet was going to be taken care of and replaced by tile. Mr. Kelley responded that it was, except for the gym foyer.
Mr. Simons asked what the total cost without the gym foyer would be. Mr. Kelley responded that it was approximately $17,000. He added that guidance may be carpeted, as that does not get as much traffic. Mr. Simons pointed out that the carpet in the guidance department was the worst. Mr. Kelley responded that it deteriorated quickly because it was not properly maintained.
Buildings and Grounds Supervisor
Ms. Capasso reported that Mr. Kelley, Ms. Goyette, and she had met regarding this issue. She felt there may be some savings here. She stated that she would come back to the Board in July with a report.
Ms. Capasso explained that the Building & Grounds Supervisor was paid through the Hollis School Department. The Hollis School Department has decided not to renew the contract. Since this was a shared position between the Districts, the Coop now has to decide if they want to contract the services out or hire someone.
Mr. Enright stated that he didn’t know that the contract was not being renewed, so he thought that the person was still there. Mr. Simons stated that he thought that the Hollis School District had merely cut their portion of the contract, but that the person was still there.
Ms. Capasso stated that the Board could look at trying to find someone part-time for the Coop. Right now, the Buildings & Grounds Supervisor works 44% of his time for the Coop. She didn’t feel they could find someone for that amount of part-time work. She stated that she would come forward with a recommendation at the July 18th meeting.
High School Water System
Ms. Capasso reported that the NH Department of Environmental Services had sent the District notification on May 31, 2007 that the High School’s water system did not meet the Maximum contaminant Level (MCL) for di (2-ethylexyl) Phthalate. The District has 30 days from notification to issue a public notice of such contamination. A notice has gone out to parents.
Ms. Capasso informed the Board that the Capt. Samuel Douglass Academy also got a report. The water source, which is the water before it enters the filtering system, has been tested and it is clean. Filtering can cause degradation of the system and introduce plastics into the water. When the water is pulled right after the filtering device and tested, it has the highest levels of concentration. Ms. Capasso stated that the Academy is looking at a new filtering system for about $3,000.
Chair. Murphy stated that he would like to see the District get to the root cause of the problem. Mr. Simons stated that rather than adding a filtering system, perhaps they should remove the filtering system.
Ms. Capasso reported that in regards to staffing, there were looking at a shortfall of $24,921.
Chair. Murphy asked what Ms. Capasso meant by a shortfall. Ms. Capasso responded that they were under budgeted.
Mr. Enright asked if money had been set aside for people not hired yet. Ms. Capasso responded that it had.
Ms. Capasso stated that she would like to change the amount charged for breakfasts and lunches to be more inline with other districts. Currently, breakfasts cost $1.00 and lunches $2.00. Other districts charge as follows:
Amherst $2.75 Nashua $2.25
Milford $2.50 Hudson $2.25
Chair. Murphy asked if the program currently wasn’t self-funded. Ms. Capasso responded that they were currently self-funded; however, they have come in close at the end of the year. With the increase cost of supplies and salaries, Ms. Capasso was worried that the program may not be self-sufficient.
Chair. Murphy asked if the District raises the prices and they have a surplus at the end of the year, what happens then. Ms. Capasso explained that any surplus money stays in the Food Service Fund, as it is considered a special fund.
Ms. Capasso reported that last year, the program was not self-funded and they had to use $11,000 from surplus. She added that the expenses this year totaled $492,000. She recommended that the Board raise the cost of breakfasts and lunches by $.50.
Mr. Solon asked of the $500,000, how much is supplies and how much is staff. Ms. Capasso stated that she didn’t have those figures with her.
Mr. Peterson agreed that an increase was needed, but felt that $.50 was a lot. Mr. Scales asked what the basis for the $.50 increase was. Ms. Capasso felt that $2.25 for lunches would address the issue.
Mr. Scales asked what would one get for the extra $.25? More food or more fund balance? Ms. Capasso responded that meal prices were going up because they are serving a better quality of food.
Mr. Enright asked what was in the fund balance. Ms. Capasso responded that there was $47,000. She added that they spent $11,000 last year and they now sit with $47,000. Mr. Enright stated that he didn’t understand why there was a request for such a large increase with such a fund balance. Chair. Murphy agreed. He stated that he would prefer to see a smaller increase. Mr. Peterson stated that he saw the price of meals as a user fee, and not to be set to make a profit on.
Dan Peterson moved to approve a $.25 increase in breakfast and lunch and reassess next year. Tom Enright seconded.
Mr. Simons asked what the adults were currently paying. Ms. Capasso stated that she didn’t have that figure, but the Food Service Manager has recommended that the adults pay $3.00 per meal. She added that she would go along with the recommendation.
Dan Peterson moved to amend his motion to include an increase of the adult meals to $3.00. Webb Scales seconded. Motion carried 7 – 0 – 0.
5. PRINCIPALS’ REPORTS
Mr. Kelley reminded the Board that the High School had instituted a Freshman Team this past year, which included 95 freshman students and is taught by four teachers. He stated that Kate Emerson was there that night to make a presentation to the Board.
Ms. Emerson addressed the Board by first thanking the Board for allowing her to speak.
Ms. Emerson stated that she wanted to pose a question to the Board and asked that they think about it during her presentation. She then asked the Board, “What is in the best interest of our students?” She pointed out that the communities of Hollis and Brookline trust the Board to make the best decisions for the students. The Administration makes decisions in the best interest of students.
Ms. Emerson informed that Board that Ms. Kissell, Ms. Melanson, Ms. Ball and she were the four staff members that comprised of the Freshman Team. She explained that each teacher has his or her own curriculum, but also have a common plan. This enables them to find places for students to make connections in all four areas.
Ms. Emerson then reviewed the following positive reasons for having the Freshman Team:
1. Parent-student-teacher communications.
2. Teachers are vested in the students.
3. Students have a sense of trust.
4. Receive a lot of support from the Administration.
5. Wonderful experience with workshops.
6. Different ways for students to experience differential instruction.
7. Active research.
8. Special Education communication.
9. Able to identify students who need help from the guidance department.
Ms. Emerson then reviewed the following areas that need more attention:
1. Parents need to be better informed that the student is going to be on the Freshman Team.
2. Space – has had a significant impact on them. Rooms are at opposite ends of the building from each other.
3. Time management – use to collaborate rather than parent meetings.
5. Homework – inconsistency. Some classes were getting more than others, some classes not getting enough.
6. Perception that the Freshman Team is the same as “teaming” at the Middle School.
7. Students are together too much of the time, and don’t get to intermingle with the rest of the school.
Ms. Emerson then went through the following positive items for the future:
1. Post assignments online.
2. More time management, planning, and coordination.
3. Accurate research / more accurate way to research.
Ms. Emerson reviewed the following challenges for the coming year:
3. Communication to parents that their student is on the Freshman Team.
Chair. Murphy asked if the Freshman Team was successful and it is spread around, would more colleagues want to participate. He wondered what the big “win” would be. Ms. Emerson responded that professionally, it is their job to be educators; therefore, to do what is in the best interest of the students. If the Freshman Team is in the best interest of the student, then that is enough to get them excited about it.
Mr. Solon asked if this approach was for all freshmen or only certain types. Ms. Emerson explained that the freshmen have a standard level of classes. Where the program should continue as sophomores, juniors and seniors, she was not sure of the answer. In regards to her own personal teaching, if they are going to “hook” the student in, 9th grade is the level to do it.
Mr. Simons asked if they were considering on pursuing the Freshman Team for next year. Mr. Kelley responded that he looked at this year as a pilot program and the same for next year. He stated that it made sense in the freshman and sophomore years as courses are basically the same for all students. He pointed out that it is tough to build a team when certifications are required for the different science courses, such as Chemistry, Physics, and Biology.
Mr. Kelley stated that in Nashua, they found that in order to make the Freshman Team work they needed the following :
1. Having the same students.
2. Common planning time.
3. Geographical location.
Mr. Kelley explained that Nashua didn’t have the same students, and thus, it didn’t work, despite the fact that they did have geographical location and common planning time. At the High School, they have the same students and common planning time, and the program is working.
Mr. Simons questioned if this was the same program as the Middle School. Ms. Goyette responded that a lot of the concept was the same as the Middle School, such as the same students, a common planning time, and geographical location.
Ms. Emerson informed the Board that parents were concerned that the Freshman Team was a lot like the Middle School and that the students wouldn’t get the High School experience. She stated that after the first four classes of the day, the students go on with the rest of the day with the rest of the school.
Ms. Emerson advised the Board that the four teachers are excited to be on the team, but realize that in order to get from A to B, they will need to take baby steps.
Mr. Enright asked what the teacher prep time was like. He pointed out that they teach five classes, so is the prep time for four of the classes the same, with the fifth class being different? Ms. Emerson responded that in her case, she teaches periods 1, 2, 3, and 4. Period 5 is prep time. She then teaches period 6, and period 7 is common prep time.
Mr. Enright asked if she had more prep work to do because of the common prep. Ms. Emerson responded that in the beginning she felt over-whelmed, and that in the beginning she had duty (study), but then the duty became Freshman Team.
Mr. Scales asked what the disadvantages of having a Freshman Team were. He wondered where it was going, and if it was advantageous to keep the Team and non-team students. Mr. Kelley responded that Bow has teaming for some subjects, but math is not included. He pointed out that you cannot have as many offerings with teams. The advantage, however, of having teams is that students don’t fall through the cracks.
Mr. Scales asked how students were picked for the Freshman Team. Mr. Kelley responded that basically, it was from the courses they chose.
Mr. Simons asked if other schools do it with all their freshmen or just some. Mr. Kelley responded that Bow does it for all their freshmen, and in Nashua, it hasn’t worked out.
Mr. Peterson asked what percentage of students didn’t like the Team and wanted off. Mr. Kelley responded that they had case managers requesting that students be on the Team. He added that there was a parent who had been on the Instructional Practices Committee who stated that the Team wasn’t the best thing for their student, but yet, they understood the concept.
Ms. Emerson informed the Board that based on open house night and parents learning that their student was on the Freshman Team, parents were concerned and the next few days parents went to guidance with their concerns. Basically, the students are going to take the four classes as other freshman students do, except there is a perk for the students on the Freshman Team; the teachers are going to collaborate with each other about each student.
Dr. O’Shea asked about AP students. Mr. Kelley responded that AP classes are for juniors and seniors. He added that as they move through this, they need to see how to do things better. Perhaps brining in a gifted program would be called for. Dr. O’Shea stated that he would like hear in the future how they plan on keeping the gifted student engaged.
Mr. Scales stated that perhaps teams could arise our of the schedule rather then students being scheduled to teams.
Ms. Goyette felt that the success of teams is due to motivation of teachers on the team. She pointed out that you also want balance and different teaching styles. Mr. Peterson added that it is the teachers that make the team, not the students.
Chair. Murphy thanked Ms. Emerson for coming in. Ms. Emerson thanked the Board for letting her speak.
Special Education Coordinator
Chair. Murphy reminded the Board that they had an open issue regarding Special Education Coordinator, and that the Board had decided to hold off for a while.
Ms. Goyette stated that three months ago, she had asked the Board to move forward with a stipend position for a Special Education Coordinator. The Board had told her to move forward with looking into it. She advised the Board that Jeannie Hayes, Jeannie Saunders and she had drafted a job description. The Board saw the job description last month and although they were pleased with it, they wanted to wait and see how the budget played out. Ms. Goyette reported that they have had a cost savings with the Nurse, Assistant Principal and Case Manager positions, so she was now coming before the Board to ask for approval.
Mr. Enright asked what the cost involved was. Ms. Goyette stated that she was looking for a stipend of $14,000, which would cover 12 hours/week. Mr. Enright asked if the person was here? Ms. Goyette responded that they were.
Supt. Pike stated that in conjunction with Ms. Goyette’s proposal, he had had a discussion with Bob Kelly. Mr. Kelly feels that the Special Education budget will be $13,000 in the black. However, not all things are in.
Mr. Peterson thanked Ms. Goyette for her extra effort in her staffing plan and stated that he supported her request.
Mr. Solon pointed out that all of Ms. Goyette’s savings had been consumed by the new hires. Ms. Capasso stated that there are three Special Education positions that remain vacant, and there is money budgeted for them.
Mr. Simons asked if they will stay within the budget. Supt. Pike responded that that depended upon the applicants that apply. He added that they don’t know what they will get. The delta last month was $13,000. He felt that with the $75,000 savings in health, they will be OK with staffing.
Mr. Simons questioned that the $75,000 was in next year’s budget. Supt. Pike responded that it was.
Mr. Peterson asked if this position would come out of the Special Education budget. Ms. Goyette stated that she was looking at it as an advisor with a stipend.
Mr. Enright stated that he hadn’t heard that the $75,000 was in fact there. He felt it could be a floating number. He wondered if there was money to cover the deficit at the High School and this position. Ms. Capasso asked if he were asking if the $75,000 was a firm number. Mr. Enright responded that he was. Ms. Capasso responded that it depended upon enrollment. Based on last year at this point, they have $75,000. Where the number will roll out in July, she couldn’t say. That will depend on demographics. Mr. Enright stated that he was not comfortable with applying the $75,000 to address the deficit at the High School and this position.
Mr. Simons stated that they were looking at a $14,000 stipend, and $24,000 deficit, which equals $38,000. He pointed out that Ms. Capasso stated that the $75,000 number would not fluctuate that much.
Mr. Scales asked if they could start the stipend two or three months from now when they will know what the number will be? Ms. Goyette stated that if the request was approved, she felt that the work would begin over the summer, but if they have to wait, they will do so.
Mr. Simons pointed out that they have $38,000 (with the stipend) to cover, plus three more positions.
Chair. Murphy stated that there is $13,000 unreserved in the Special Education budget. He wondered if it could be encumbered forward for this position. Ms. Capasso responded that it couldn’t.
Mr. Kelley informed the Board that at this point in the hiring cycle, they would not be pulling in experienced staff, as the experienced staff are already under contract. Therefore, staff costs should decrease.
Mr. Peterson pointed out that Ms. Goyette had done a great job with her budget. He felt that if this position was important enough, then Ms. Goyette would make adjustments with the budget to make it work. Ms. Goyette responded that the position was important, but she was not sure that she could find $14,000 in her budget.
Supt. Pike concluded that the Board was in support of the position; they just didn’t know where the funding would come from. He suggested that they hold off until they know what the final new hires are going to cost, and what the health insurance savings are.
Mr. Enright stated that he will cast his vote as “no” because he had asked the Administration to do something and it hasn’t been done. He felt that the money was there, but hadn’t heard the Administration say so.
Motion was defeated. 3 – 4 – 0. (O’Shea, Enright, Murphy, Scales against.)
Supt. Pike distributed the historical enrollment figures. He asked if Chair. Murphy had specific things he would like to see. Chair. Murphy responded that he would like to see the enrollment numbers per grade per town.
Mr. Scales asked if the current enrollment was 1354 or if that was last year. Chair. Murphy responded that numbers were October 2006 figures.
Ms. Goyette stated that she had received a donation of $1445 for a softball-pitching machine.
Steve Simons moved that the Board accept the generous donation of $1445 for the purchase of a softball-pitching machine. Webb Scales seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 7 – 0 – 0.
Letters of Resignation
Supt. Pike informed the Board that he had received a letter of resignation from Deb Kissell due to a relocation and effective at the end of the school year.
Supt. Pike stated that he also had a letter of resignation from Karen Mendola, 7th grade English teacher, due to family issues.
Steve Simons moved that the Board accept the letters of resignation from Deb Kissell and Karen Mendola. Dan Peterson seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 7 – 0 – 0.
Supt. Pike informed the Board that he had reviewed all of the following candidates and had checked their references:
Lynn DiZazzo – English (replace Mendola)
Recommendations: B+15, Step 2
Ms. Goyette informed the Board that Lynn DiZazzo used to be Lynn Carol, who interviewed last year, and was their second choice candidate. Last year she had only taught up to 6th grade, which was a concern. However, she has spent this past year teaching at the middle school level.
Chris Cieto – English (replace Kissell)
Recommendations: M, Step 1
Mr. Kelley informed the Board that Chris was a graduate of Hollis Brookline High School. He has finished up his graduate work, and has been teaching at the Middle School this past year.
Sandra Demarest – School to Careers, 0.75 FTE (to Teacher Contract)
Recommendations: B+15, Step 6
Salary: $33,378 (@ 0.75 FTE)
Ms. Demarest is currently the School to Careers teacher. This is a change to the teacher scale from an hourly rate. She serves 50-60 students.
Lisa Futrell – Job Developer, 0.6 FTE (New position)
Recommendation: M+15, Step 8
Salary $30,953 (@ 0.6 FTE)
Ms. Futrell is currently in the guidance department. She will now be the part-time Job Developer.
Helen Melanson – English, Part-time
Recommendation: M+30, Step 16
Salary: $51,370 (@ 0.75 FTE)
Mr. Kelley informed the Board that Ms. Melanson is the mother of Ms. Emerson, and they are bringing her back to teach part-time to work with the Freshman Team.
Kimberly Thomson, Social Studies (replaces Pepper)
Recommendation: B, Step 4
Ms. Thomson is currently in Florida. She is a relatively new teacher. A phone interview was first conducted, then Ms. Thomson flew up for a final interview.
Mr. Enright questioned that Ms. Melanson will be teaching four courses, which works out to be 0.75 FTE. Mr. Kelley responded that that was correct, but she also has 0.5 common duty in that 0.75.
Chair. Murphy asked if there were any concerns regarding placing a mother and daughter on the same team. Mr. Kelley responded that they have been on the Freshman Team all year, and pointed out that it was not a supervisory position. Mr. Solon asked if that position was without benefits. Mr. Kelley confirmed that it was.
Mr. Solon asked if Ms. Melanson would get the same job next year, and wondered if her seniority would be brought into it. Mr. Kelley pointed out that someone who has retired cannot come back to teach full-time; they must be under 0.80 FTE.
Mr. Solon stated that he was not sure how the system is set up, and wondered if a teacher would stay in a part-time position. Mr. Kelley responded that keeping a part-time teacher is tough because should they get offered a full-time position, they will leave to take it. Using a retired teacher gives them the assurance that they will more than likely stay.
Supt. Pike pointed out that bringing a retired teacher back part-time you get the salary delta, as well as the quality, and benefits are not being paid.
Mr. Peterson felt that the salary of Ms. Melanson’s part-time position was not a part-time salary, as it was huge.
Mr. Scales pointed out that every one of the budgeted positions came in over budget. Mr. Kelley explained that they replaced Ms. Melanson for Mr.. Huckins, and her leaving was budgeted as a placeholder.
Steve Simons moved that the Board approve the nominations brought forward. Dr. James O’Shea seconded. Motion carried. 6 – 1 – 0. (Peterson against.)
Steve Simons moved that the Board accept the non-public minutes of April 18, 2007 as written. Webb Scales seconded. Motion carried. 6 – 0 – 1. (Murphy abstained.)
Steve Simons moved that the Board accept the minutes of May 3, 2007 as written. Webb Scales seconded. Motion carried. 4 – 0 – 3. (Murphy, Enright, Peterson abstained.)
Steve Simons moved that the Board accept the minutes of May 16, 2007 as written. Tom Solon seconded. Motion carried. 6 – 0 – 1. (Scales abstained.)
Steve Simons moved that the Board accept the of May 29, 2007 as written. James O’Shea seconded. Motion carried. 5 – 0 – 2. (Simons, Peterson abstained.)
Steve Simons moved that the Board accept the minutes of June 2, 2007 as written. Tom Solon seconded. Motion carried 5 – 0 – 2. (O’Shea, Enright abstained.)
Webb Scales moved that the Board enter non-public session under the provisions of RSA 91-A:3 II (c) reputation. Tom Solon seconded. A roll call vote was taken with all members present voting in the affirmative. 7 - 0 - 0.
The Board entered non-public session at 10:20 p.m.