Public Workshop of HB Co-op Board Meeting held
Tuesday, November 8 , 2005 in the HBHS Auditorium
In attendance: chair Pam Kirby, Anne Dumas, Jim Murphy, Tom Enright, Steve Simons, Dan Peterson, Betty Hall, HBHS Principal Tim Kelley, SAU 41 Superintendent Rich Pike, members of the Instructional Practices Committee.
Pam Kirby called meeting to order at 7:06 p.m. and welcomed the audience. She thanked the Instructional Practices Committee for their work on behalf of the board. She introduced Tim Kelley to present the findings of the Instructional Practices Committee.
Mr. Kelley presented the recommendations of the IPC. It was the same presentation he delivered to the school board on October 20, 2005. He spoke until 7:34 p.m.
He opened the floor to questions from the public. A couple questions were raised about how physical education fits into this proposal. Mr. Kelley explained how physical education will fit into the sophomore year.
A question was raised by a parent about how challenging classes can be fit into classes while allowing the opportunity to take art and music. The concern was that the new schedule would eliminate choices and electives. Mr. Kelley explained how moving science labs into the science courses actually collapses two courses into a single course. He also explained that he is working and talking with the music department to find creative ways maintain a vibrant music program.
Another question was raised about what the tax impact of this program would be. While there is no direct tax impact on this proposal, the current building is being used at over 90% utilization according to Mr. Kelley.
A question was raised about reducing or changing the required courses for graduation, specifically, history. Tim Kelley explained that the social studies requirement was changed last year.
A further question was raised about how the school will balance the increased workload, resulting from the increased contact time, while reducing the amount of time in study halls. Tom Solon said that some portion of courses could be directed study. Mike Tenter added that the intention of the course is not to add more material, but to go deeper into the topics. Dan Peterson also said that longer periods will also add additional time to each study hall.
One parent asked questions regarding conflicts of courses only offered in a minimum number of classes. Mr. Kelley said that he will look more closely at this with his experience in scheduling, but he did admit that some course conflicts will likely be unavoidable in a school the size of HBHS.
A parent raised concerns about how students will manage to keep interest for 80-minute blocks. She also said that academic rigor should not be confused with time spent in class. Tim spoke about the importance of staff development as an important Jane Quigley, who has experience in teaching instructors on how to best use extended periods, spoke about the strategies that are used by instructors. Chris Hyde spoke about the diverse population of students in the school and felt that the committee’s work does address the needs across that spectrum.
A member of the audience said that he was an opponent of the schedule proposed last year, and he feels that this schedule “nails it.”
One parent asked about unstructured contact time, the chance to meet with teachers for advisories. Mr. Kelley said that the committee will continue to look at issues like advisories for upcoming years.
A question came up about the class that is split up by lunch. Mr. Kelley said that is a concern and that the affected classes will rotated through the year.
One parent asked have other schools gone to this type of schedules, and did those schools go back? Mr. Kelley spoke about the experiences of block scheduling in other districts and states.
One suggestion was made to consider not putting all the long blocks on the same days, and all the short courses on the same days. (For example, in the proposed schedule, swap Mon/Tue before lunch and Thu/Fri before lunch).
Chris Hyde spoke to make a couple final points. One was that this schedule is really only a start, not a final product for the next 10 years. The second point is that a hybrid schedule, as proposed, allows laboratory sciences to coexist while maintaining electives.
Several questions were raised about how/why/if the bus times should change. The point was made that the start time is independent of the start times.
The school board move to the front and prepared to take address questions from the public at 8:49 p.m.
A gentleman in the audience asked about the level of funding for the library, and when was that funding last increased. Mr. Kelley said that the library was funded at $30,000 this past year.
Tom Solon from the IPC asked the question as to what the process would be from this point. Discussion ensued among the board about what our process will be.
A gentleman in the audience requested that the board look at the funding of the library; he felt the library was not currently funded at the levels he felt were appropriate. The board and Mr. Kelley discussed this to more fully understand the issue raised by the individual.
A discussion about the start times took place, and there was interest expressed about looking at alternative bus options that might make changes more possible.
The school board proceeded to review the slides to answer among themselves any questions about the proposal.
The consensus of the board was that a final decision would be made at the December meeting.
Jim Murphy moved adjournment at 10:04 p.m. Dan Peterson seconded the motion. The motion passed 7-0.