APPROVED: April 19, 2006
March 29, 2006
Hollis-Brookline Middle School
Jim Murphy, Chairperson
Richard Pike, Superintendent of Schools
Tim Kelley, Principal, Hollis-Brookline High School
Pat Goyette, Principal, Hollis-Brookline Middle School
Betsy A. Packard, Recording Secretary
Supt. Rich Pike called the meeting to order at 5:45 p.m.
The first order of business was the selection of a chair for the upcoming year.
Pam Kirby nominated Jim Murphy for chair, Steve Simons seconded the motion.
Tom Enright spoke briefly to thank Pam Kirby for several years of service as board chair.
The motion passed 6-0-1 (Mr. Murphy abstained)
Mr. Pike tuned the meeting over to Mr. Murphy who opened the floor for nominations of Vice-Chair.
Betty Hall nominated Dan Peterson for Vice Chair, Steve Simons seconded the motion. The motion passed 6-0-1 (Mr. Peterson abstained)
Steve Simons nominated Michelle Mosca as board secretary. Jim Murphy seconded the nomination. Motion passed 6-0-1 (Ms. Mosca abstained)
Jim Murphy stated that the board had several non-public matters to discuss related to staff matters.
Steve Simons moved non-public RSA 91-A:3 II( c ), matters affecting the reputation of someone not on the board. Tom Enright seconded the motion. The motion passed with a roll-call vote 7-0.
The board entered non-public session at 5:55 p.m.
Chair. Murphy reconvened the public session of the meeting at 8:12 p.m. and introduced the returning Board members and new Board member, Michelle Mosca. He then announced that he had been elected Chairperson, Dan Peterson Vice Chairperson, and Michelle Mosca the Secretary during the first part of the public session.
Mr. Kelley introduced the new Student Representative, Trevor Buteau, and explained that Trevor had been elected by the members of the Student Council.
Steve Simons moved that the Board seal the minutes of the non-public session indefinitely. Tom Enright seconded. Motion carried 7 – 0 – 0.
1. OPEN FORUM
Chair. Murphy recognized George Woodbury, a Hollis resident and energy consultant. Mr. Woodbury informed the Board that he was a retired military officer and has been an energy consultant for the last 5 years. He has worked with the Southeast Energy Collaborative and the Lawrence School District Collaborative.
Mr. Woodbury stated that sitting in the High School gym, he had noticed the lights in there. He stated that if the current lights were replaced, the District could save about $10,000 per year. He explained that there are new florescent lights that only take a couple of minutes to warm up, compared to the old halogen lights that take 15 minutes. Thus, if the room is unoccupied for 2 or more minutes, it is more energy efficient to turn the lights off, than to leave them on. He went on to say that he had worked on a project where the cost to replace the lights was $16,000. However, the project received an $11,000 grant, reducing the payback on the new lights to one year.
Mr. Woodbury stated that he would like to offer his expertise to the District to help find ways to reduce the District’s energy costs. He added that an easy way to reduce costs is to set the thermostat back from 71°to 66°-68°. He invited Board members to go to Nashoba Technical School where they keep the temperature set at 66°.
Ms. Kirby informed the Board that Mr. Woodbury had volunteered to be on the Alternative Energy Committee. Chair. Murphy asked that Mr. Woodbury touch base with Mr. Kelley and Ms. Goyette to arrange walk-thrus at each school.
Mr. Woodbury stated that the toughest challenge in conserving energy is to get cooperation, such as turning off lights and computers. He explained that teachers first need to be educated on the issue and then goals need to be set. He added that the best way to get people to aspire to achieving the goals is to reward them when a goal is achieved. He felt that if a goal is achieved, then everyone gets a reward, not just a classroom, or whatever group achieved the goal. He added that the goals needed to be measured by kilowatts and not by dollars, as dollars can’t be controlled duet increased rates.
Chair. Murphy thanked Mr. Woodbury for coming in and volunteering his help, and added that he would be calling Mr. Woodbury.
Minutes of February 7, 2006
Steve Simons moved that the Board accept the minutes of February 7, 2006 as written. Pam Kirby seconded. Motion carried. 5 – 0 – 2. (Peterson, Mosca abstained.)
Minutes of February 16, 2006
Steve Simons moved that the Board accept the minutes of February 16, 2006 as written. Tom Enright seconded. Motion carried. 5 – 0 – 2. (Peterson, Mosca abstained.)
Minutes of March 1, 2006
Steve Simons moved that the Board accept the minutes of March 1, 2006 as written. Dan Peterson seconded. Motion carried. 6 – 0 – 1. (Mosca abstained.)
4. DISTRICT MEETING
Chair. Murphy stated that the budget that had been passed at the Annual District Meeting was smaller than the Board wanted. He added that the Administrators had been working on how to address the shortfall, and that Ms. Goyette had come up with a solution.
Ms. Goyette stated that she had spent a great deal of time dealing with this obstacle, and she was not happy with the solution she was about to propose, but added that the Middle School was in a position to offer a solution.
Ms. Goyette reminded the Board how the past couple of years the Middle School had been working towards adding the 5th team, with the coming year completing the 5th team. However, she felt that the Middle School could get by with only 4 full teams and two extra teachers (one math and one English) next year. Ms. Goyette then reviewed the following savings:
Social Studies Teacher $59,675
Science Teacher (don’t replace retiree) $62,855
Program Para $29,000
Ms. Goyette went on to explain that this would mean 10 sections with 24 students per class in Grade 8, and 22 students per class in Grade 7. She stated that she expected enrollment to be up 20 students per grade.
Mr. Simons asked what the current class size was. Ms. Goyette responded that it was approximately 21-22 students per class.
Ms. Goyette concluded her proposal by stating that the amount being saved was more than the amount needed.
Mr. Enright stated that he greatly appreciated Ms. Goyette coming forward with this plan, and also appreciated the communication between she and Mr. Kelley, and the collaborative spirit.
Mr. Kelley stated that he didn’t feel as if he did much collaboration, as Ms. Goyette did all the “heavy lifting”
Chair. Murphy thanked Ms. Goyette for stepping forward and being willing to make such a sacrifice. He added that it was not what the Board wanted to do, but added that her gesture showed a cooperative effort.
Mr. Simons stated that the District had been working the last few years to get to 5 teams. He felt it was a step backwards, and not what the Board wanted to do. He wondered how the District would get back on track. Ms. Goyette responded that the floating math and English teachers would be the core for a 5th team. Ms. Goyette added that it looked as if they might be down 18 students from what they thought would be coming in.
Ms. Kirby stated that she was concerned about losing the program para and wondered if Ms. Goyette would have the coverage that she needed. Ms. Goyette responded that she would.
Mr. Enright asked what the amount was that was voted on at the District Meeting? Chair. Murphy responded that is was $139,000. Mr. Enright then asked if Ms. Blastos had seen Ms. Goyette’s proposal? Ms. Goyette responded that Ms. Blastos had seen it that very day.
Ms. Goyette explained that with the Highly Qualified Teacher, special ed teachers can no longer teach subjects, such as math, unless they are also certified in the subject. She stated that the floating math teacher will teach one class for each team, plus additional time, which will help address the advanced math class needs. She added that there is little chance of Middle School students going to the High School for advance classes due to the High School’s new schedule, thus the math teacher will be able to cover those needs.
Ms. Goyette informed the Board that there was a software package called Renaissance, which was similar to the SRA reading program, where students work independently. She stated that she would like to look at this software and evaluate it.
Mr. Peterson asked if there were any students eligible to go to the High School next year for advanced math classes. Ms. Goyette responded that there was one student in advanced geometry that would be eligible for Algebra II as an 8th grader.
Tom Enright moved that the Board endorse the proposal of Ms. Goyette as presented and additionally look for recommendations to account for the surplus. Steve Simons seconded.
Ms. Kirby stated that she would like to know the cost of the math software program, and would like to look into it. Ms. Goyette stated that she would have the cost for the next meeting.
Motion carried unanimously. 7 – 0 – 0.
5. PRINCIPALS’ REPORTS
Mr. Kelley stated that he had previously distributed a rather lengthy report and would be going over some of the items that he wanted to address. He then introduced Trevor Buteau, the student representative.
Mr. Buteau stated that anything he had to say was already in Mr. Kelley’s report. Mr. Kelley then informed the Board about all the activities that Mr. Buteau was involved in.
Mr. Kelley informed the Board that parking passes had been distributed last week to seniors and juniors. He stated that they stopped distributing them today and started putting students on a waiting list, as he wanted to see how many vacant spots are left. He added that they have 30 students on the waiting list. Mr. Kelley stated that they cut off distributing the parking passes at 250, and the seniors took up more than half of those.
Mr. Simons asked Mr. Buteau how the student body felt about this new program. Mr. Buteau responded that at first, the students were reluctant to go through what they thought would be a lengthy registration process. However, the process was not that bad, and the seniors like the idea of parking passes because the sophomores are now taking up spaces, especially for the seniors who don’t get to the school until after first period.
Mr. Kelley stated that they had been about one week too late in distributing the passes, as the parking got atrocious. He added that students who drive and don’t have stickers can use the baseball field parking. He stated that if students abuse it, they will shut it down.
Mr. Kelley informed the Board that this Friday, a landscape architect would be visiting the school to look at the track area. He stated that there are many different groups that want to do something in memory of Coach K, such as the student body, last year’s seniors, as well as the Booster Club. The landscape architect who is coming on Friday is the parent of one of the High School students. Mr. Kelley felt it would behoove them to get some kind of master plan, then the different groups that want to do something could contribute to some portion of the plan. He added that he would like to have some kind of “unveiling” of the plan by May 27th, which is when the Class I State Meet will be held at the High School.
Mr. Enright stated that the Board had had a discussion, and the Rotary would like to put $5,000 towards a scoreboard. He stated that they needed to figure out if the District would like to pursue something with Pepsi/Coke, who donate a scoreboard with the District signing a contract in return to use their products.
Mr. Kelley stated that he had gotten some rough estimates of $9,000 without installation, and an additional $2,000 for the installation. This is for a scoreboard without advertising.
Ms. Hall stated that the landscape master plan for the track should be related to the whole plan for the campus. Mr. Kelley agreed with Ms. Hall, and added that the District was not paying the landscape architect, but merely getting some ideas. He stated that Mr. Zold would also be present on Friday.
Mr. Peterson asked when Mr. Kelley needed a recommendation on the scoreboard. Mr. Kelley asked if it was necessary to go to any of the town entities. Mr. Enright responded that it was, however, they would need site and size plans to take with them to the town planner and/or planning board. He added that someone should talk with Ms. Blastos to find out if the District is in the middle of a contract with either Coke or Pepsi, and if they can get a scoreboard.
Mr. Kelley stated that the Rotary has raised half of the money for a scoreboard, so money for it was not an issue.
Chair. Murphy asked Mr. Kelley to come back to the Board at their next meeting (April 19th) with a recommendation.
Mr. Kelley stated that it was his understanding that in the case of the football program, the Athletic Director came to the Board with the football supporters to present their proposal and they were told to come back to the Board when they had raised the money. Because of this, the Athletic Director assumed that the ice hockey supporters needed to first raise the money before coming to the Board. Mr. Kelley requested that the ice hockey supporters be able to come to the next Board meeting to present their proposal. He stated that they have already raised $8,000 and anticipate another $8,000, leaving them $5,000 short. He added that they are planning some fund raising activities.
Chair. Murphy stated that they have resolved the issue of the ice hockey supporters raising the money under the banner of the Hollis Brookline Hockey Club. He stated that they had been spoken to.
Mr. Kelley informed the Board that if the program does not go through, any monies that have been raised will go to the Booster Club.
Supt. Pike felt it was presumptuous of any group, even if they have raised all the money needed, to assume that the Board will sanction it.
Mr. Enright stated that he would like to have a report from Ronn Rupp. He stated that he needed to know what programs were half developed, and what programs were planned for the future. Mr. Kelley stated that he would have Mr. Rupp give a brief synopsis. He added that there are 64 Hollis and Brookline youth that play ice hockey.
Chair. Murphy stated that he would like to know from Mr. Rupp where ice hockey fits into the overall plan, or if it is just a response to an outside force. Mr. Kelley stated that he would have the ice hockey group speak to the Board at the next meeting.
Mr. Simons stated that the ice hockey supporters needed to come with a business plan in hand.
Mr. Kelley stated that seniors needed to be in class for 175 days. Taking into account snow days, he stated that he would like to propose June 17, 2006 as graduation day.
Dan Peterson moved that the Board set graduation day as June 17, 2006. Steve Simons seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 7 – 0 – 0.
Dominican Republic Summer Trip
Mr. Kelley stated that last summer there was a trip to the Dominican Republic led by a teacher under the umbrella of Souhegan High School, and in which, credit was given for the trip. He explained that the trip was 4-5 weeks long, and students live with a host family. He added that he would like to get approval from the Board, and also added that he anticipated 5-6 students participating. He stated that no credit would be given this year.
Mr. Enright asked who would be chaperoning? Mr. Kelley stated that Jennifer Verville (Spanish teacher) and a Spanish teacher from Souhegan. He added that the reason for his request for approval from the Board was due to the fact that the Spanish teachers wanted to promote the trip in the school
Chair. Murphy asked if there had been any issues last year. Mr. Kelley responded that he had only heard positive reports about the trip.
Mr. Simons asked if the trip met all the policy requirements. Mr. Kelley responded that it did.
Pam Kirby moved that the Board approve the field trip to the Dominican Republic in conjunction with Souhegan High School and that the trip be in compliance with all of the Hollis Brookline Field Trip Policy. Tom Enright seconded. Motion carried. 6 – 0 – 0 (Mosca not present).
Course Student Minimum
Mr. Kelley stated that there may be times when they need to cancel a class due to small numbers of students signing up for the course, yet there are other times when a class may be limited by the number of students that can take it due to circumstances, such as lab space. He stated that he needed the Board’s recommendation as to how this should be handled.
Mr. Enright proposed that the Board rely on Mr. Kelley to make the appropriate decisions. He felt that Mr. Kelley needed to have flexibility. Mr. Enright then asked Mr. Kelley if he would prefer to have a minimum number. Mr. Kelley felt it would be good for him to go through a cycle and see how it goes.
Chair. Murphy stated that he was ok with going through a cycle and getting a recommendation from the principal.
Ms. Hall stated that she was strongly in favor of giving the principal flexibility.
Mr. Peterson agreed with giving the principal flexibility, but added that if Mr. Kelley needed additional support, he should come to the Board.
Chair. Murphy stated that he did support the idea of limiting the number of students in the Advanced Biology class. Mr. Kelley stated that Ms. Goyette had told him if they apply the criteria, they will have a given number of accelerated students, and that number looked ok. He added that the problem lies in parents over-riding teachers’ decision as to who should be accelerated.
The Board agreed with giving Mr. Kelley flexibility in class sizes, and with limitations on certain classes such as lab sciences.
Mr. Enright asked where the District was with the SRO. Mr. Kelley responded that Chief Ux needs to sign the Memorandum of Understanding, then Chief Ux will send up names for the position.
Chair. Murphy stated that it was his understanding that Mr. Kelley had been working on some changes in the Memorandum. He asked that Mr. Kelley forward a current copy of the document to the Board members for review. Mr. Kelley agreed.
Chair. Murphy stated that the Board needed to discuss how they will evaluate the program so they will know if it is working. He felt it was an issue that needed to be tackled right away. Mr. Kelley stated that the Instructional Practices Committee was also talking about this. He added that the school newspaper had an article on the SRO. There seems to be a lot of support for it.
Mr. Buteau stated that when the idea of an SRO was first presented there was a lot of opposition, but now the feeling is that the SRO won’t be an authoritarian/disciplinarian figure. As the students become more used to the idea, they are becoming more accepting of it, and see the benefits.
Mr. Peterson asked about the current legislation regarding increasing the age that a student would need to be before they could drop out of high school. The current drop out age is 16 and it is being proposed to be changed to 18. Mr. Peterson wondered if Mr. Kelley had thought about what would happen at the High School if this legislation passed. Mr. Kelley responded that he was looking into the issue, by reviewing State requirements, looking at the drop-out data, and attendance data.
Chair. Murphy asked if Mr. Kelley had any concerns regarding students that the District hasn’t been able to engage, and can’t reach, yet are in the system because they have to be, and thus causing a disruption. Mr. Kelley responded that if a student is 17 and is not engaged, then he/she no longer comes to school. He added that the District needs to offer options for non-college students.
Ms. Hall stated that she had signed up for a workshop, where they discussed the implications of law enforcement of schools. She stated that there had been a number of suggestions, which she will forward to the Instructional Practices Committee. She felt that this was an item that should be on the agenda. She added that the Board needed to work on making sure that the ability of a student being able to drop out of school doesn’t become part of the school culture.
Ms. Goyette distributed a letter from Mr. and Mrs. Realmuto praising Ms. Jeanne Saunders for her work with their daughter Jennifer.
Ms. Goyette stated that she hoped that the Board would be supportive when the time comes to tackle the curves thrown at her from having only 4 teams instead of 5. She stated that her budget is a bare bones budget, and was concerned about Foreign Language. She stated that there are several students that may not get their first choice in Foreign Language.
Ms. Goyette then asked for the Board’s support and let her use her discretion for additional sick days for a teacher whose husband has been diagnosed with cancer, and has had to use all of her sick time with medical appointments for him. She stated that she would like to support this teacher in her personal needs, adding that she has not abused the system.
Tom Enright moved that the Board give Ms. Goyette the authority to deal with the extra sick day issue she presented in an appropriate fashion as she did last year. Steve Simons seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 7 – 0 – 0.
6. FINANCE DEPARTMENT
Mr. Enright stated that he was very disappointed that this was the second month in a row that there had been no representation from the Finance Department. He felt that the District was in a deficit, and asked that Supt. Pike make sure there is representation at next month’s meeting. He felt that there was information that the Board really needed to have.
Steve Simons moved that the Board enter non-public session under the provisions of RSA 91-A:3 II (b) hiring. Pam Kirby 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 9:35 p.m.
The board returned from non-public session at 10:35 p.m.
Jim Murphy asked the board if anyone felt that the minutes of the prior session should be sealed and no motion was tendered.
Rich Pike placed into nomination the renewal of staff contracts as recommended by the principals in the prior non-public session.
Betty Hall departed the meeting at 10:37 p.m. (Michelle Mosca had previously departed during the non-public session).
Dan Peterson moved to accept the Superintendent’s nominations, Tom Enright seconded the motion. The motion passed 5-0.
Rich Pike provided the board with two letters of resignation: Kelley Sewell and Malinda Pires.
Steve Simons moved that the board accept the resignations of Ms. Sewell and Ms. Pires. Tom Enright seconded the motion. The motion passed 5-0.
Steve Simons addressed the board seeking guidance for some issues related to the Middle School building project now that the Building Committee had been dissolved. He sought approval to use $2,500 of the remaining bond money to extend fencing along Love Lane and permission to expend up to $15,000 to grade and gravel the parking area behind the Farley Building where the portables used to sit.
Steve Simons made a motion that the board approve the expenditures as described, Tom Enright seconded the motion. The motion passed 5-0.
Tom Enright expressed his discomfort at not having a representative of the Finance Department present for the second straight board meeting. He made a request of the Superintendent that a representative be present on April 19th to present the state of our current year’s budget.
Mr. Enright also requested that the Business Administrator establish a hiring budget for each principle, including new positions and replacement requisitions, and that hires be tracked an reported against that amount.
The board informally concurred with both requests.
Jim Murphy presented the board with a draft copy of the Charge for the Apportionment Review Committee. The charge will be acted on next meeting, but Mr. Murphy sought informal approval from the board to begin recruiting members from the public. The board informally concurred.
Dan Peterson brought to the board’s attention a survey being produced by the Hollis Strategic Planning Committee, to be distributed to Hollis residents. He reported that the survey will include questions about the desired size of Hollis schools, and said that this would have an effect on potential views regarding the future of the Co-op. He suggested that the board should be aware of this, and that an effort to gauge opinion across the entire district would be in order. Mr. Murphy agreed to place such an item on the agenda for the April 19th meeting.
Steve Simons moved adjournment at 10:55 p.m. Pam Kirby seconded the motion. The motion passed 5-0.