Hollis-Brookline Cooperative School Board
August 8, 2007
Hollis-Brookline Middle School
Dan Peterson, Vice-Chairperson
Richard Pike, Superintendent of Schools
Tim Kelly, Principal, Hollis-Brookline High School
Pat Goyette, Principal, Hollis-Brookline Middle School
Betsy A. Packard, Recording Secretary
Others present included members of the Public.
Vice-Chairperson Dan Peterson called the meeting to order at 6:12 p.m.
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) would likely affect adversely the reputation of any person. Steve Simons 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 6:14 p.m.
The Board re-entered public session at 6:28 p.m.
1. OPEN FORUM
2. NEW BOARD MEMBER
Vice-Chair. Peterson introduced Janice Tremblay. Ms. Tremblay is filling the vacancy left by Jim Murphy and is a representative for Brookline.
Vice-Chair. Peterson stated that the Board needed to elect a new Chairperson.
Webb Scales nominated Tom Enright as the new Chair of the Board. Steve Simons seconded. Motion carried. 5 – 0 – 1. (Enright abstained.)
Chair. Enright conceded the facilitation of the meeting to Vice-Chair. Peterson.
Mr. Kelley stated that the Board had left off with Policy IMBC Alternative Credit Options last time. He informed the Board that he had reviewed that policy and had a couple of issues with it. First, in the second paragraph, the bullet regarding Middle School Accreditation states that credit will be awarded for courses taken at the Middle School that are equivalent to high school courses. Mr. Kelley explained that they are not currently doing that. Ms. Goyette confirmed that they have not awarded credit for such courses, but do notate them on the student’s transcript.
Vice-Chair. Peterson questioned that no credits were given, but such courses are used for placement purposes at the High School. Mr. Kelley concurred.
Mr. Kelley stated that the second issue he had with the policy was regarding competencies. He felt that the Board should have a discussion regarding competencies at some point in time.
Mr. Scales stated that he wanted to make sure that the policy reflects procedures.
Mr. Simons asked that Mr. Kelley submit written changes he would like seen made to the policy. Mr. Kelley responded that he would like to take out the Middle School credit part and keep an eye on the competency issue.
Mr. Kelley informed the Board that they pretty much do what the policy states. Mr. Kelley pointed out that it seems as if some wording has been left out of the paragraph that starts “Credit for the course is not recognized until after an official record of the final grade . . . “. Mr. Simons stated that he would look into it.
Mr. Kelley added that lots of times, online education is make-up work. Students will take a course and are somewhat successful but don’t pass the course, so they make-up the course online.
Mr. Kelley stated that this policy was pretty much cut and paste of what the High School has, with the exception that the High School has a minimum of 23 credits required for graduation instead of the 20 credits that the State requires. Mr. Kelley added that there had been some discussion regarding differentiated diplomas.
Mr. Simons stated that the policy should reflect the Coop’s requirements, not the State’s.
Mr. Kelley stated that in the third paragraph where it states “including, but not limited to, independent study, private instruction, team sports, performing groups, internships, community service, and work study” that “performing groups” should be deleted and everything else kept in.
Mr. Kelley wondered about tech studies since the school does not provide transportation. He questioned if this could be construed as not equal access to all students. Mr. Enright felt that if a student needed transportation to another school for a tech course and they came to the Board, it would be taken care of. Mr. Solon felt that if the Coop was not providing transportation, then the Board was not discriminating. He added that if the Coop provided transportation for some students, but not for others, then that would not be equal access.
Mr. Kelley stated that in Nashua, they would state that a student needed to have a license for courses at other schools.
Policy IMBC ~ Alternative Credit Option
Policy IMBA ~ Online/Virtual Education
Policy IKF ~ High School Graduation
Webb Scales seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 6 – 0 – 0.
Mr. Simons reported that Ms. Capasso had looked at this policy and was very happy with it. Ms. Capasso would like to see the approval of reimbursement language in contracts, specifically, letters of hire.
Mr. Enright asked if they have any language currently. Mr. Simons responded that they do have language for people to request reimbursement. Ms. Capasso would like to have it reviewed.
Ms. Goyette questioned that it would be a procedure rather than a policy. Supt. Pike stated that Ms. Capasso felt that the new Business Administrator should have input on it.
Mr. Solon questioned reimbursement and the issue of collective bargaining. Mr. Simons pointed out that the SAU staff isn’t covered by collective bargaining, and they are they ones that probably want reimbursement.
Mr. Enright stated that he did not want to give that power away because they were talking about a lot of money.
Mr. Scales felt that the District should set their own rate. They could use the IRS’s rate as a guideline, but he felt that they should set their own rate. Mr. Enright felt that they should use the wording “not to exceed the IRS rate.” Mr. Simons suggested the following: “Rate to be set by the Coop Board, and not to exceed the IRS rate.”
DFA ~ Revenues from Investments – First Reading
Mr. Simons reported that Ms. Capasso was happy with this policy as written.
Steve Simons moved that the Board accept policies DKC ~ Expense Reimbursements and DFA ~ Revenues from Investments for First Reading as amended. Tom Enright seconded. Motion carried. 5 – 0 –1. (Scales abstained.)
Supt. Pike stated that the Board had looked at this policy at the First Reading and had asked him to look it over. He felt that the new wording captured what the Board wanted.
Mr. Simon pointed out that a coma was needed after the word “administrators.”
Mr. Solon questioned who was responsible for the policy. He felt that they should change the word “propose” to “implement.”
Mr. Kelley stated that on Page 2, bottom of the page under Policy IHBH – Extended Learning Opportunities, the sentence “A student can study for a test, take the test, and if they pass, they can move on” should be removed.
Mr. Kelley stated that on the top of Page 2, where it states “Mr. Kelley felt that this policy gives them the opportunity to state the High School credit policy” to “Mr. Kelley felt that this policy gives them the opportunity to develop procedures at the High School.”
Steve Simons moved that the Board accept the minutes of June 20, 2007 as amended. Tom Solon seconded. Motion carried. 5 – 0 – 1 (Tremblay abstained.)
Tom Enright moved that the Board accept the minutes of July 11, 2007. Webb Scales seconded. Motion carried. 5 – 0 – 1. (Tremblay abstained.)
Steve Simons moved that the Board approve the minutes of July 31, 2007 as written. Webb Scales seconded. Motion carried. 4 – 0 –2. (Enright, Tremblay abstained.)
Vice-Chair. Peterson informed the Board that he had a letter of resignation from Kevin Konieczny, math teacher at the High School.
Steve Simons moved that the Board accept Kevin Konieczny’s letter of resignation. Webb Scales seconded. Motion carried. 5 – 0 – 1. (Tremblay)
Mr. Enright asked if they had signed contracts from everyone. Supt. Pike responded that they have not yet received all the signed contracts back yet. Mr. Enright viewed signed contracts as important and hoped that they would have signed contracts from key personnel by the end of the week.
6. ADMINISTRATORS’ REPORTS
Ms. Goyette stated that they were up to their eyeballs with scheduling. She explained that they were on a learning curve with WINSCHOOL. She added that the students were 100% scheduled. New registrants are already scheduled if they have been tested. Ms. Goyette reported that the largest class is 23 students, with most being 21/22. She felt that the teachers will be pleased.
Mr. Scales asked how many new registrants there were. Ms. Goyette responded that she was not sure, but thought it was approximately 14.
Ms. Goyette informed the Board that Cindy Matte had attended a conference in Washington, DC regarding the literacy initiative. They are about one year ahead of schedule. Ms. Matte has invited Ms. Cicciu and Ms. Goyette to meet with the High School regarding literacy. The goal is to work more closely with the High School.
Ms. Goyette stated that she was thrilled with Stephen Secor, Assistant Principal. He has taken the time to look through all the 8th graders’ files, and “knows” the students. She added that she is looking forward to next year.
Ms. Goyette reported that the building has a fresh coat of paint, and she extended “kudos” to Pete for all his work. She added that the school looks like it did when they moved into it.
Mr. Kelley informed the Board that Ms. Matte, Mr. Ouellette, and he went to a model school conference with Dr. Bill Target as the speaker. Mr. Kelley stated that they were very excited about the conference.
Mr. Kelley reported that the building is getting in shape. Underground sprinklers have been installed in the side field. The work has been done by volunteers. There is one more step to go before completion. Mr. Enright asked what the water source was. Mr. Kelley responded that the water was coming from an old well that is located between the building and the street.
Mr. Kelley stated that the Athletic Department has purchased a couple of defibrillators. Mr. Kelley reported that the carpet replacement is moving along. The carpeting in the Guidance department is almost complete. Next week they will be working on replacing the carpet in four classrooms with tile. Tile has been put into two Special Education rooms. The tile is being laid by a tiling company, however, the carpet was ripped up by maintenance, which saved approximately $1, 000.
Mr. Enright asked if the carpet replacement took care of all the carpet issues. Mr. Kelley responded that just the carpet near the entrance still remains. He added that funds remaining in the snow removal line item were used for the carpeting/tiling.
Mr. Kelley reported that the classrooms are scheduled. The schedule is tighter this year than last year. Last year, 3 out of 7 were scheduled. This year, 5 out of 7 will be scheduled. He added that the mini-cafeteria will be used for classroom space, and the senior lounges will be used for lunches. Lunches will run about 300 students per lunch. Enrollment for the 2007-2008 school year is currently at 930. Mr. Kelley stated that Special Education directed students have moved. He also had to move a math class into a biology room, which he didn’t want to.
Mr. Kelley suggested that the Board may want to once again look at the possibility of cafeteria renovations, now that the apportionment issue has been taken care of.
Mr. Enright asked how many teachers do not have homerooms. Mr. Kelley explained that most rooms have two teachers, thus two teacher desks, so one teacher is doing prep work while the other is teaching. Mr. Enright pointed out that they took away the teachers’ room on the second floor to use for classroom space, so there is only one teachers’ room left. He questioned about the use of conference rooms. Mr. Kelley responded that they have never used the conference rooms for classroom space.
Mr. Kelley informed the Board that there had been an issue with the track sign for “Coach.” He explained that he had found out after the sign had been erected that the sign needed to be approved by the Town. It has now been approved.
Mr. Kelley reported that there will be 13 new faculty members. He stated that Ms. Matte has put together a bus tour of Hollis and Brookline for the new teachers so they can get a sense of the two communities. Three high school students will serve as tour guides.
There will be a luncheon at the High School on August 23rd for new teachers. Mr. Kelley extended an invitation to the Board members.
Mr. Solon asked how it was going with the new schedule. Mr. Kelley responded that the long/short periods are not a problem with the schedule. The long/short periods had a positive effect last year. This year’s schedule is essentially the same.
Mr. Kelley reported that Guidance has been in every Wednesday.
Student Resource Officer (SRO)
Mr. Kelley informed the Board that he asked Student Resource Officer, Tracy Dunn, to write her comments on how the first year went. Officer Dunn reported that she felt the first year was successful. Her goals were to get to know the students, and to teach/council about law enforcement. Officer Dunn gave classroom presentations on bullying. Students were slow at first to warm up to Officer Dunn, but now they talk to her all the time and come to her with issues. A goal for next year is to review the crisis plan. Mr. Kelley reported that Officer Dunn is taking courses this summer, and that she became certified in drug recognition.
Ms. Goyette stated that Officer Dunn spends significantly less time at the Middle School. She does try to be at the school for most lunches. She has worked with approximately four teachers at the Middle School. It is reassuring to get her support on how the Middle School is handling certain situations. She has been helpful regarding issues about cybering.
Supt. Pike stated that Chief Ux realizes that Officer Dunn spent more time with the school district than she did with the police force.
Mr. Enright asked if there had been any glitches this past year. Mr. Kelley responded that there had been no major glitches. He felt that there had been some minor glitches, but they were taken care of quickly.
Mr. Solon asked if there had been any issues of student’s rights being infringed upon. Ms. Goyette responded that there had been none at the Middle School. She explained that they followed their same policies. She would ask parents if they would like the SRO to meet with them. Parents were agreeable to her suggestion.
Mr. Kelley stated that the SRO was a resource and did not enforce discipline.
Mr. Solon stated that he had received a comment from a parent that the SRO was snooping around the parking lot, looking in the cars. Mr. Kelley responded that High School personnel would have done that anyway. He felt that they have made progress in not tolerating certain things. He explained that there are no windows from the building looking out on the parking lot, thus it is not safe for students. Officer Dunn does walk around the school. He added that the only arrests made were due to trespassing by non-students.
Mr. Kelley informed the Board that a student did an independent study on the Student Resource Officer, which he read. He stated that the students were not for the SRO in the beginning, but by spring, they were happy that the SRO was there.
7. MIDDLE SCHOOL SPECIAL EDUCATION COORDINATOR
Ms. Goyette reminded the Board that they had postponed looking at a part-time Special Education Building Coordinator. She added that the Board agreed with the position, but it had not been approved due to a matter of funding.
Supt. Pike stated that he had talked to Bob Kelly. Mr. Kelly says there is $10,000 clearly earmarked in the district-wide account that can be used toward this position. There will be a $60,000 savings in an out-of-district placement for the 08-09 school year. There are some pending cases, but Mr. Kelly felt the Special Education budget was $28,000 in the positive. Ms. Goyette further explained that Mr. Kelly had beefed up the Stipend Account to pay people to do research, but they are currently ahead of the game, thus there is also a surplus there.
Mr. Scales asked if the money earmarked for research was earmarked incorrectly. Supt. Pike explained that there is a new regulation coming down the road, research intervention, so Mr. Kelly budgeted for it. The new target date is for the following year.
Supt. Pike stated that as of the last Board meeting, the District was $26,000 in the red, due to staffing. He stated that he asked the Business office to follow-up on the health issue. He hasn’t gotten any figures yet. He added that the Board was looking at a difference of $4,000 for the new position, with use of the $10,000 that is in the stipend 1200 account.
Mr. Enright asked what was happening with the healthcare insurance carrier. Supt. Pike stated that regarding LGC, documents have been signed. Primex has been notified. It had been felt that the District might have to pay a penalty for breaking the contract with Primex, but Supt. Pike stated that he hadn’t seen a monetary penalty yet.
Mr. Enright pointed out that the cost savings for switching healthcare accounts was more than $14,000. Vice-Chair. Peterson stated that some of the savings were already put in the budget.
Mr. Simons stated that the Board needed to approve the position and reminded them that when the State came, it was pointed out that the position was needed.
Steve Simons moved that the Board approve a $14,000 stipend for a Middle School part-time Building Coordinator. Tom Enright seconded.
Ms. Goyette informed the Board that the work associated with the Coop Special Education Coordinator is not doable for one person. She added that she has a person in the building that could take on an additional 3 hours per day.
Mr. Scales asked if the part-time Building Coordinator would be taking on new responsibilities. Ms. Goyette responded that she would, but Ms. Goyette knew this woman could handle the position.
Motion carried. 5 – 0 – 1. (Scales abstained.)
8. BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS MAINTENANCE RESTUCTURE
Supt. Pike stated that Ms. Capasso had come up with a plan for restructuring the Buildings & Grounds Maintenance department to help solve the void created by Wayne Zold’s retirement.
Mr. Enright explained that Wayne Zold held the SAU position that oversaw the districts. The other districts decided to go their own way, so the Coop needs to come up with a new structure.
Supt. Pike stated that Ms. Capasso’s recommendation is to upgrade the following two existing positions within the current structure:
HBHS Building Supervisor upgraded to Hollis Brookline Cooperative Maintenance Supervisor.
John Gray would become the HB Coop Maintenance Supervisor and would oversee the entire maintenance functionality of both locations.
One part-time High School custodian upgraded to full-time custodian.
This would provide the necessary HBHS coverage for the Supervisor to attend to district-wide supervisory duties on a daily basis while allowing for effective coverage of custodial staffing.
Mr. Kelley stated that there would be a $12,000 savings using the proposed plan from what was budgeted. Adding in savings from hiring, gives $45,000 savings.
Mr. Kelley pointed out that the Coop Maintenance Supervisor’s salary doesn’t include the $5,000 - $6,000 of overtime, which the HBHS Building Supervisor received in the past. Also, Mr. Gray has coached three seasons at the Middle School, and Mr. Gray feels that he would need to give up one of them. Mr. Kelley stated that the proposal comes in at $43,000, giving a delta of $2,300. Mr. Kelley stated that he would like to propose a pay increase of $2,500 of what is initially proposed.
Vice-Chair. questioned that Mr. Gray received his salary plus overtime. Mr. Kelley concurred, adding that there were also coaching stipends. He added that Mr. Gray will be giving up one of the coaching positions.
Mr. Scales asked how the proposed salary was reached. Mr. Kelley responded that Ms. Capasso came up with it.
Mr. Enright asked if the part-time position going to full-time position would be a different category. Mr. Kelley responded that the custodian would just be full-time.
Ms. Goyette stated that she had had a discussion with Mr. Kelley. She pointed out that they would not be losing Mr. Gray, but would be gaining much. She explained that Mr. Gray is visionary, for example, when he is changing light bulbs and placing an order, he calls Pete at the Middle School to see if he might need some, to combine the order to save money.
Steve Simons moved that the Board approve Ms. Capasso’s proposal as amended by Mr. Kelley that the Coop Maintenance Supervisor’s salary be increased from the proposed $50,500 to $53,000. Tom Enright seconded.
Mr. Enright stated that he seconded everything that Ms. Goyette stated regarding Mr. Gray.
Steve Simons amended his motion to add that the HBHS Building Supervisor’s benefits be transported to the new position of Hollis Brookline Cooperative Maintenance Supervisor. Tom Enright seconded.
Mr. Scales stated that it looked as if Ms. Capasso had already put in significant changes of salary, so he wondered why the Board was adding more. Mr. Enright asked what Mr. Zold’s old salary was. He felt it was in the $60,000s. Mr. Kelley stated that Mr. Gray had not had a raise in two years.
Mr. Scales stated that he was concerned about Mr. Gray not being able to coach. Mr. Kelley responded that it would just be the winter season that he would not coach because more issues arise in the winter. Mr. Solon added that Mr. Gray would no longer be getting overtime pay. Mr. Enright felt that there would be a benefit savings that does not show up on the proposal.
Motion carried unanimously. 6 – 0 – 0.
Tom Enright moved that the part-time custodian position at the High School be changed to a full-time position. Webb Scales seconded.
Mr. Solon asked about benefits. Mr. Enright stated that the benefits were shown on the proposal, but added that it was generic. That is why he felt there could be a savings there.
Motion carried unanimously. 6 – 0 – 0.
9. NEW BUSINESS
Tom Enright moved that the Board authorize the Superintendent to accept the student if Bedford School Board approves the tuition at Bedford’s rate. Webb Scales seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 6 – 0 – 0.
Mr. Scales asked about the student population figures. Mr. Solon stated that Ms. Lindgren is going to get Dexter’s figures updated by someone. Supt. Pike stated that they will have the new NSDEC figures in the fall.
Supt. Pike stated that he would like to look at the opening enrollment figures given by Ms. Goyette and Mr. Kelley, then give them to the Budget Committee so they can give the Board their formula.
Vice-Chair. Peterson stated that he wanted that night’s meeting to be a joint meeting with the Budget Committee, but they declined, because they hadn’t fully hashed out and come to a consensus.
Mr. Scales stated that he would like it conveyed to the Budget Committee that the Board would like a joint meeting even if they haven’t come to a consensus. Mr. Solon suggested that Board members go to the Budget Committee meeting. Mr. Scales responded that the Budget Committee is concerned that if there was a quorum of Board members present, then it would no longer be their meeting. Supt. Pike stated that even if there is a quorum of Board members present, it is not the School Board’s meeting, therefore the Board could not do anything.
Vice-Chair. Peterson stated that the goal is to set a joint meeting. Supt. Pike felt they should wait until they have a new Business Administrator. Vice-Chair. Peterson felt they should do it, even if they don’t have a Business Administrator.
Mr. Simons stated that in regards to the wells and water testing, it looked as if the water was tested wrong, therefore there is no problem.
Next meeting is September 19, 2007.
Steve Simons moved that the Board adjourn. Webb Scales seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 6 – 0 – 0.
The meeting adjourned at 8:20 p.m.