Approved as amended May 19, 2005
Hollis-Brookline Cooperative School Board
April 20, 2005
Hollis-Brookline High School
Pam Kirby, Chairperson
Betty Hall, arrived at 8:15 p.m.
Ken DeBenedictis, Superintendent of Schools
Charles Flahive, Principal, Hollis-Brookline High School
Pat Goyette, Principal, Hollis-Brookline Middle School
Lee-Ann Blastos, Business Administrator
Carol Mace, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, arrived at 7:40 p.m.
Betsy A, Bowen, Recording Secretary
Others present included members of the Public.
Supt. DeBenedictis called the meeting to order at 6:10 p.m.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS
Supt. DeBenedictis explained that he was calling the meeting to order, and would run the meeting until a chairperson had been elected. He then entertained nominations for chairperson.
Tom Enright nominated Pam Kirby as Chairperson. Jim Murphy seconded. Motion passed. 4 – 0 – 1 (Kirby abstained.)
Chair. Kirby then asked for nominations for Vice Chairperson.
Steve Simons nominated Anne Dumas for the position of Vice Chairperson. Tom Enright seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 5 – 0 - 0.
Chair. Kirby asked for nomination for the position of Secretary.
Steve Simons nominated Jim Murphy as Secretary. Anne Dumas seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 5 – 0 – 0.
2. OPEN FORUM
Mr. Enright stated that there may be people coming in at 7:00 p.m. for Open Forum, and therefore asked if the Board would table discussions until that time. The Board agreed.
3. MIDDLE SCHOOL BUILDING PROJECT
Mr. Simons reported that the Middle School Building Project was moving along nicely, and was on schedule. He added that the District’s goals should be met.
Mr. Simons then reported that there had been some activity regarding building permits. He explained that all specs, drawings, etc. had been submitted in October to get a building permit. The Town Hall chose only to give a permit for the foundation as some houses being built had sprinkler systems installed incorrectly and needed to be redone. Thus, they held off on the building permit.
Mr. Simons continued to explain that the Department of Safety in Concord must give approval. The Fire Marshal Department has had a lot of reduction in personnel, and consequently is having a hard time keeping up with the work. Therefore, the sprinkler system design hasn’t been approved, as a result of an issue with the stage in the existing building. This has posed a problem, as the sub-contactor had planned on doing the work at night and on the weekends during the winter.
Hutter has been moving along with the work, and the system has been redesigned and the drawings/specs have gone to Concord. Some phone calls have been made, and the drawings have been moved to the top of the list, and should be approved by May 1. There is a tacit approval that building can continue.
Mr. Murphy asked if anyone had spoken to the Building Inspector’s office to update them on the situation. He stated that he went to the office and they felt out of the loop in terms of why there was a delay.
Mr. Simons stated that the Inspector is over there every day, and that he had spoken with him that day. Also, Ted Karwoski had spoken with the Inspector.
Supt. DeBenedictis stated that he had talked with the reviewer at the State Fire Marshal’s office. She had stated that she was so backlogged that she wouldn’t be able to get to the drawings for some time unless the Deputy Fire Marshal specifically told her to move the project up the list. Supt. DeBenedictis stated that he talked to the Deputy Fire Marshal, and he must have done it, because the Architect told him that the drawings will be reviewed and that the District should hear by May 1.
Supt. DeBenedictis added that the District works collaboratively with all departments and are in full compliance.
Don Edson asked if the District received approval from the State Fire Marshal, then would the Town Inspector issue the permit. Supt. DeBenedictis responded that that was his understanding.
Mr. Murphy asked if the problem was in the renovation of the old building and not in the new part. Mr. Simons responded that that was correct, that it was just the portion behind the stage.
Mr. Vallee asked the Board that in light of permits actually not being granted, if someone other than construction personnel was injured on the sight, would the District be covered. Supt. DeBenedictis responded that the Builder’s Risk Insurance is put in place once the first shovel of dirt is turned over, and remains in place until the District is handed over the key.
Ms. Blastos added that the District’s insurance company, Primex, was very clear on what they wanted in the Builder’s Risk Policy. Supt. DeBenedictis stated that the insurance company makes sure that everything is covered. He added that Ms. Blastos worked with Primex to make sure it was all covered, and that the insurance company was satisfied.
Resignations and Retirements
Supt. DeBenedictis informed the Board that he and Chair. Kirby had received a letter from Tim Bevins stating that he was resigning his position on the Board effective April 11, 2005. Mr. Bevins stated that his resignation was due to his "professional responsibilities having expanded," and that he no longer had the "time or energy that he had in the past" to devote to the Board. He felt it was irresponsible to be a part-time Board member.
Chair. Kirby stated that the Board will need to appoint someone for the balance of Mr. Bevins' term, which would be until next March. At that point, the seat would be open for elections for a 2-year term.
Jim Murphy moved to accept with thanks for the 9 years of service the resignation of Tim Bevins. Anne Dumas seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 5 – 0 – 0.
Supt. DeBenedictis stated that the Board would have to announce the availability of the position, ask for written letters of interest, and set a deadline date for the letters to be submitted. He added that the Board should plan to interview candidates at the next meeting and vote on the new member. The next meeting is May 18th. The vacant seat is a Hollis Board position.
The Board decided that Wednesday, May 11, 2005 would be the deadline for letters of interest. Interested persons should submit their letters of interest to:
% Pam Kirby
P. O. Box 1588
Hollis, NH 03049
Mr. Vallee asked if the information could be displayed on the local access channel. Supt. DeBenedictis responded that it could.
Supt. DeBenedictis informed the Board that he had received a letter of retirement from Joel Mitchell, Social Studies Dept., and who has been with the school for 25 years. Supt. DeBenedictis noted the Mr. Mitchell had enjoyed a lot of success at the High School.
Supt. DeBenedictis also informed the Board that he had received a letter of resignation from Jon Cannon, Social Studies teacher, who will be moving out of state.
Steve Simons moved that the Board accept Joel Mitchell’s letter of retirement with regrets. Anne Dumas seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 5 – 0 – 0.
Steve Simons moved that the Board accept Jon Cannon’s letter of resignation with regrets. Jim Murphy seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 5 – 0 – 0.
Supt. DeBenedictis recommended Teresa Rossetti for the position of full-time math teacher at the Middle School.
Ms. Goyette explained that Ms. Rossetti is currently a teacher at 0.4 FTE, and she would become full-time for next year.
Steve Simons moved that the Board accept Teresa Rossetti’s appointment for full-time math teacher at the Middle School starting the next school year. Anne Dumas seconded.
Mr. Murphy asked if the salary was what the Board had budgeted. Supt. DeBenedictis responded that it was actually less.
Motion carried unanimously. 5 – 0 – 0.
Copies of the letters are available.
The minutes were table until next meeting.
Ms. Dumas stated that she would like to talk about putting a "draft" copy of the minutes up on the website before approval. She stated that she would be willing to postpone discussion, but would like to talk about it at another time.
6. PRINCIPALS’ REPORTS
Ms. Goyette stated that this was the 5th year that the 8th grade class had made the trip to Washington, D.C. She informed the Board that this year she did not go, but rather, Kimberly Saunders took the group. Jack Taber, the lacrosse coach, who is a Viet Nam vet, brought the video "In the Shadow of the Blaze" to Ms. Goyette’s attention. It was felt that this 1-hour 40-minute video was most worthwhile, and should become part of the curriculum packet. Ms. Goyette reported that 200 students walked to the High School auditorium and watched the movie. She stated that there was total silence in the auditorium as the students watched the impelling video.
Ms. Goyette then told the Board that during a PTA meeting, a motion was made to fly Jack Tabor down to Washington to meet the students at the Viet Nam Memorial Wall. She stated that a second motion was made to fly her down also.
Ms. Goyette stated that it didn’t stop there. She came in one Monday and there was a call from a production company who wanted to get a release to film the students while they were visiting the Wall. Mr. Tabor also arranged for a Viet Nam vet friend, Mike Sloniker, to also meet the students during their visit to the Wall. Mr. Sloniker got special permission for the students to go to an area usually cordoned off, and the two vets told the students stories.
Ms. Goyette informed the Board that the students often leave mementos at the Wall, such as poems, etc. Two of the 8th grade girls, wrote an eight-line poem, and embroider it on a pillowcase and left it at the Wall.
Ms. Goyette added that some parents didn’t sign a release for their students to be filmed, so those students went to another area during the filming.
Mr. Enright asked how the students reacted to the Wall. Ms. Goyette responded that this year, the students internalized more, that they "got it this year," that each name on the Wall was a person and had a family.
Ms. Goyette reported that Glenn DePine, band instructor, came to her and asked if he could do a fundraiser. She stated that normally, the school only does one fundraiser, but since his budget got cut, she allowed it. The students mostly sold Yankee Candles, and they raised over $8,700, making a profit of $3,800. She stated that Mr. DePine would be purchasing four instruments with the money raised.
Ms. Goyette reminded the Board that Mr. DePine had started a jazz band, which meets between 5:00 – 7:00 p.m., so that it doesn’t interfere with sports and other after school activities. The band performed last Thursday night at the 6th grade parent’s night. Twelve students played 6 songs, sunglasses and all! Everyone was impressed and greatly enjoyed the band. She stated that everyone wants to keep the jazz band going.
Ms. Goyette reported that she had received $1,000 donation from the NH Flames to be used for the Middle School multi-purpose room.
Steve Simons moved that the Board accept the $1,000 donation from the NH Flames with thanks. Jim Murphy seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 5 – 0 – 0.
Ms. Goyette reported that Ms. Saunders had done an outstanding job in transitioning the 8th graders to the High School. She and Rick Melillo have been working with Bob Ouellette, and for six Middle School 8th grade Advisory meetings, members of the High School staff, faculty, and students will come down to the school and address the 8th grade Advisory groups. They have already been down for the first one, and it went well. 8th grade students are more comfortable asking question in the smaller group forum. The High School group will come back next Tuesday for the second section.
Ms. Goyette reported that course selection for 8th graders will be the Wednesday after vacation.
Ms. Goyette informed the Board that the Archambeau’s of Alpine Grove have offered use of their facility for the 8th grade celebration and for the BBQ and Field Day for the 7th graders. Ms. Goyette stated that she had declined the use of the facility for the 8th grade celebration, as the gym is not being impacted by the renovations, but had accepted their offer for the 7th grade activities, as there is no place for a BBQ this year.
Mr. Simons asked that Mr. Murphy, as Secretary of the Board, send a thank you note to the NH Flames for their donation.
Mr. Flahive distributed a schedule for the upcoming activities for the next two months.
Mr. Flahive reported that the spring sports season was underway, and that he was pleased that so many students were participating in sports.
The first track meet on the new track was held with 9 schools invited. Mr. Flahive reminded the Board that the High School would be hosting the State Track Meet on May 28th. He added that they are planning a dedication ceremony for the track, but he was not sure that May 28th would be the right time to do it, as there will be many people present that wouldn’t really have an interest in the dedication ceremony, and that everyone will have to pay an entrance fee on that day.
Mr. Enright stated that they were looking at May 11th for the dedication ceremony. He felt that doing it during the State Track Meet wouldn’t be best, that it would be better to do it when the entire school could be involved. He stated that he had talked to Debbie, and May 11th was one of only 3 days that were available. Mr. Enright went on to say that he hoped they would be able to suspend 3rd and 4th periods (9:00 – 10:30 a.m.) and bring the whole school down to the track. He added that Coach was very excited about that prospect. The rain date would be May 18th. Having it at this time and day would allow them to involve all students, faculty, and staff, and they could also get Coach’s buddies there.
Mr. Flahive added that he felt it was better to do it on a different day than the State Meet. He then asked who would be putting the program together. Mr. Enright responded that the Booster Club (Steve Piper) would be putting it together. Mr. Flahive stated that he would like to get Mr. Piper and Mr. Enright together to go over plans.
Mr. Flahive reported that the "Annual Night of the Living Guitar" was held and was a big success.
Mr. Flahive reported that the Rotary had given a grant to support Karen Sayward for an honors choir clinic that was held that day.
The ASVAB tests (military tests) were held that day, and AP exams will be held after vacation. May 3rd & 4th will be the State NHEIAP tests.
On June 8th – 9th, the Senior Class will be going white water rafting for their senior class trip.
Mr. Flahive informed the Board that the Football Coach and the Athletic Director would like to take the football team to a football camp for three nights in Bristol. The cost is $105.00 with meals. All five coaches will go. It would take place August 22nd – 24th. Mr. Flahive stated that there will be no hazing, and that the only people supervising the team members will be the District’s own coaches. He added that another team will probably be there; however, there will be no interaction with them.
Mr. Simons asked if the students pay for their own way. Mr. Flahive stated that they would; however, if there is an issue with the cost, financial help will be given to the individual(s) by the Booster Club.
Tom Enright moved that the Board endorse the 3-day football camp trip with the proviso that no hazing will take place.
Mr. Simons asked if the coaches will pay their own way or if the Booster Club will be paying for them. Mr. Flahive stated that he would check into that.
Steve Simons seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 5 – 0 – 0.
Mr. Flahive informed the Board that Bill Neller will be doing a Student Recycling Program.
Mr. Flahive reported that they had received the student program study book. Yesterday, Guidance met with the Juniors. Tomorrow, they will meet with the Sophomores, and Friday, the Freshmen. Wednesday, May 4th, they will be scheduling the 8th graders.
Thursday, May 5th is Parent’s Night. There will be tours for the parents.
Mr. Simons asked when Mr. Flahive expected the scheduling process to be complete. Mr. Flahive responded that they were behind schedule by a couple of weeks. He stated that they will be demanding the students to get their schedules in on time. He added that they were late due to the 8 vs. 7 period day schedule, that is, they had to wait to see how many periods they would be having in a day. Mr. Flahive added that they hope to have a good number count by mid-May, that the students will have their schedules in June, and that teachers will have assignments before the end of the school year.
Mr. Enright asked if the first week in June was the goal. Mr. Flahive responded that it was.
Mr. Flahive reported that they will be adding AP Chemistry. Some courses in Science and Social Studies will be based on the semester.
Ms. Dumas stated that she attended the Night of the Living Guitar and it was awesome.
Supt. DeBenedictis stated that "Babes in Arms" was a fantastic production.
Mr. Flahive stated that they will put a sign up on Love Lane during track meets that no buses can go beyond a certain point. Mr. Enright stated that he would like to see a sign put up that states "Residents only during track meets." He stated that there is a vehicle issue, as well as a bus issue, and he felt that they should take the extra step and talk with the Police Dept. Mr. Flahive stated that he would talk with Chief Darling.
7. PUBLIC FORUM
Mark Post stated that he was there to discuss an issue with the Human Develop program.
Supt. DeBenedictis stated that there was an issue, especially regarding materials. He stated that Ms. Mace, Mr. Flahive, Ms. LaBrosse, and the classroom teacher met. He explained that the classroom teacher was new and was using materials used in the past. He stated that he looked at the material, and he felt that some of the material was not sufficiently objective in its point of view. He added that they needed to resurrect the Task Committee for Health and look at the materials to see how they align with the curriculum. He stated that the curriculum is good, but it was time to review and update it. He added that they were taking steps to correct it.
Mr. Post asked if the curriculum review would involve parents. Supt. DeBenedictis stated that the Task Committee has parent representatives on it. Laura Lander-McGarber, a psychologist specializing in teen development, asked how the parent representative would be involved. Supt. DeBenedictis responded that they had just met today regarding the issue. Mr. Flahive added that after vacation they would be getting the committee organized.
Lynn Post stated that her preference was to be involved off-line rather then discussing it in an open forum.
Mr. Post stated that the curriculum was a good curriculum, but it was the material being aligned with what they were trying to teach that was the issue.
Mr. Vallee asked what everyone was talking about. Mr. Murphy stated that he didn’t know what they were talking about either.
Supt. DeBenedictis explained that there was material being used in the Human Growth Development class on human sexuality that might not be appropriate because of the position that the organization presenting took. He went on to say that there are organizations that promote abstinence, organizations that promote abortions, and organizations that promote condom usage. Supt. DeBenedictis stated that he and Ms. Mace felt that the terminology used in some instances was too strong, and added that it was only a few pieces. Ms. Post added that it was only one piece of a large curriculum.
Mr. Piper, President of the Booster Club, asked who was organizing the dedication of the track. He added that he didn’t want to duplicate efforts. He stated that they clearly needed to do the dedication. Mr. Enright informed him that they had decided on May 11th, 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. (3rdand 4th period) for the dedication, with a rain date of May 18th. Mr. Piper stated that the Booster Club would make plans, and that he would contact Mr. Flahive and Mr. Rupp.
Mr. Piper then asked if there were any plans to get bleachers up for the State Track Meet, and asked if the Booster Club was needed? Mr. Enright stated that they didn’t have any bleachers to put up. He then wondered if the baseball bleachers could be used. Mr. Piper asked about the bleachers that had been donated? Ms. Blastos stated that there were liability issues regarding the donated bleachers.
Mr. Enright stated that the fence around the track was being installed the week of vacation, and that it would take two weeks.
Mr. Piper stated that the Booster Club had raised enough money for the fencing and for equipment. They were now waiting to see how much more money could be raised to put up a building.
Mr. Simons stated that he wanted to thank Mr. Piper for all his work in raising the funds. Mr. Enright stated that he didn’t know what they would do without the fence, and that the equipment was fabulous.
Mr. Piper stated that Coach had been concerned about the Middle School using the track. Mr. Piper stated that he told Coach that the equipment was for community use, from elementary to high school.
Ms. Blastos distributed her report. She then informed the Board that she needed to seek approval from the School Board for the Dept. of Health and Human Services Grant, which is funding for drug and alcohol abuse.
Ms. Blastos informed the Board that Bill Dutton does the mowing for the entire SAU. She explained that she needed to go to each Board to get approval for the mowing contract. She stated that she needed the Board to waive the Bidding Policy so that she can enter into a contractual agreement with Mr. Dutton. The contract for mowing goes from May to October, and Mr. Dutton has done an outstanding job for the entire SAU. The agreement not only includes mowing, but fertilizing also. She added that Mr. Dutton helped the SAU District get out of a scrape with another vendor that hadn’t been performing adequately.
Ms. Blastos stated that the Hollis School District and the Brookline School District have approved awarding the contract to Mr. Dutton.
Ms. Blastos stated that there are:
7 ˝ acres at the Middle School for a cost of $5,320.00
12 acres at the High School for a cost of $14,390.00
Mows 28 times a year
Fertilizes 4 times a year
Total cost $19,710.00
Tom Enright moved that the Board waive the policy for bidding for the mowing contract. Steve Simons seconded.
Mr. Murphy asked if Ms. Blastos had looked at any other companies. Ms. Blastos responded that she had and they run from $33,000.00 to $78,000.00. Mr. Dutton is charging $33,000 for the entire SAU.
Motion carried unanimously. 5 – 0 – 0.
Mr. Enright stated that he was concerned about overuse of the soccer field. He noted that it didn’t look as good as it did previously. He added that he didn’t think it had been abused, just over used. He wondered what should be done about it. Ms. Blastos stated that she would meet with Wayne Zold, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds, and Mike Cullinan, who is filling in for the Field Maintenance person who just had surgery, to address the issue.
Ms. Blastos announced to the Board that they probably will not have any remaining monies in the Fund Balance at the end of the year. There were several unexpected issues that arose this year that needed to be addressed, and the budget was very lean to begin with.
Ms. Dumas stated that she had noticed that the bark mulch had not been done. Ms. Blastos responded that she noticed that coming in that night, and that she would look into it.
Ms. Blastos then explained the two reports: Function to Function, and Line Item Summary. She pointed out that account numbers with -00- were District-wide, -03- were Middle School, and -04- were High School.
Ms. Blastos stated that they are waiting for IDEA funds to come in, but added that anything left over from those funds cannot be spent, because they are unanticipated funds. She pointed out that salaries started out with a deficit, and there had been facilities issues to address.
Ms. Blastos then reviewed the following negative line items adding that except for salaries at the Middle School and High School, they are District-wide issues:
School Board Services
01-2310-320-00-00 School Board Training -$4,100.00 This covered Sue Auerbach’s services.
01-2310-540-00-00 Advertising -$4,957.25 High School Principal and School District Meeting
01-2310-614-00-00 School Board Exp. -$4,250.00 Hired NH School Board Association to update policies
01-2318-301-00-00 Contracted Legal Ser. -$4,670.75 For an insurance claim and Sp. Ed. Issues
01-2630-490-00-00 Insurance Settlement -$10,000.00 Deductible for insurance settlement and legal council to review documents
Ms. Blastos then reviewed the Building Fund. She reported the following:
Bond #9; $7,980,000.00
Interest $80,114.69 Interest rates are going up.
Total Revenue $8,060,114.69
Encumbrances -79,411.55 Lavallee/Brensinger Architects
-5,543,271.15 Hutter Construction
Total Expenditures/Encumbrances -$7,487,959.10
FUND BALANCE $572,155.59
Mr. Murphy asked if they were still earning interest on the encumbered funds. Ms. Blastos responded that they were.
Chair. Kirby stated that she needed a motion for the Health and Human Services Grant.
Jim Murphy moved that the Board authorize LeeAnn Blastos to contract with the State of New Hampshire, Department of Health and Human Services. Tom Enright seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 5 – 0 – 0.
Jim Murphy moved that the Board authorize LeeAnn Blastos to execute the contract with the State. Anne Dumas seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 5 – 0 – 0.
A copy of the report is available.
9. HIGH SCHOOL INSTRUCTIONAL PRACTICES COMMITTEE
Chair. Kirby distributed, and then read the Charge that had been drafted for the High School Instructional Practices Committee.
Chris Hyde stated that the charge looked as if the things called for in the petition had been addressed. He then pointed out that in the section "Academic Year 2007 and Beyond" Item #1, it read "A recommended strategic course of action for the Hollis Brookline Cooperative High School to accomplish the mission listed above." He wondered what "mission above" it was referring to? Mr. Murphy stated that it referred to the mission statement at the beginning of the Charge. He added that he would change the sentence to read ". . . to accomplish the mission statement listed above."
Mr. Hyde stated that if they embedded guidance in there, then it would look good.
Supt. DeBenedictis stated that they tried to look at things that were immediately apparent and things for the future.
Mr. Hyde wondered what the impact on negotiated contracts would be, and the existing contract structure? He stated that the Board may want to make a statement in terms of deliverable negotiation vs. contract structure.
Mr. Murphy responded that October was the normal timeframe when they would begin negotiations. Having just completed the contract negotiations that they are now trying to get approved by the Special Meeting, it is requested that negotiations open sooner, like April or May.
Mr. Murphy added that the Union was a stakeholder, that’s why they want one faculty on the committee as a representative of HEA, so whatever contracts, or whatever direction they go in, the professional staff will be a part of the discussion, and it won’t come as a surprise.
Mr. Vallee pointed out that the Coop Budget Committee was a separate entity from the Coop School Board; therefore, legally, the Board can’t pass a motion that the Budget Committee is to send a representative. Chair. Kirby responded that they would add "request" that the Budget Committee select a representative to the committee.
Steve Simons moved that the Board accept the Charge for the High School Instructional Practices Committee as amended. Anne Dumas seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 5 – 0 – 0.
Mr. Murphy distributed a draft of the press release he had prepared regarding the newly formed High School Instructional Practices Committee.
The Board agreed on May 16th for the deadline for letters of interest to be on the committee. Those interested should send their letters to the SAU #41, P. O. Box 1588, Hollis, NH 03049.
Chair. Kirby and Supt. DeBenedictis stated that they will give Mr. Murphy a quote to use for the press release. Chair. Kirby stated that the Board didn’t need a motion for the press release.
Copies of the Charge and Press Release are available.
10. DIRECTOR OF CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION
Ms. Mace distributed her report and stated that the Middle School and High School curriculum coordination was ongoing in all areas. She stated that she would be focusing on science and math.
Ms. Mace reported that Ms. Goyette was spearheading the work of the Math Committee. The Math Committee has identified some gaps in the readiness levels of the students for advanced geometry, such as factoring and quadratic equations. The High School math teachers are seeing this, and have been modifying the curriculum to address the needs of those students.
Ms. Mace stated that the Middle School curriculum needed some adjusting to help address the gaps. She added that there would be a Middle School Math Night on April 21st to go over the issues.
Ms. Goyette stated that when she came to the District 8 years ago, the Middle School wasn’t addressing the needs of the higher-level students in math. Over the past three years, the numbers have increased. Mr. Nagey requested help, so they have been meeting on a monthly basis. Using the High School math teachers’ input, coupled with the GLEs (Grade Level Expectations), they have identified some gaps.
Ms. Goyette stated that the whole 7th grade math is being kicked up a notch. They will be offering one content curriculum for 7th grade math, but students will be grouped homogeneously, because students go at different speeds. She added that they will be presenting this tomorrow night. The goal is to continue to challenge students. She added that the GLEs, along with the NECAPs (New England Common Assessment Program, are helping them to identify students’ weaknesses.
Ms. Goyette stated that parents need to hear clearly that their child will be challenged. She added that she had just placed a 6th grade student in Mark Illingsworth’s Algebra Class. They had put the student through rigorous testing, and both Mr. Illingsworth and Mr. Nagey reviewed the results, and they feel this is the right placement for this student.
Ms. Goyette explained that the High School will build in an Algebra class the first period of the day for 7th graders if there are only 4 or so students eligible to take the class. She pointed out that with teaming, she cannot spare a teacher for only 4 students. The same thing will happen with Geometry, if the Middle School needs it.
Ms. Goyette informed the Board that Ms. Mezzocchi was developing a "Power-Packed Algebra" course that will fill in the gaps in Algebra and Geometry.
Ms. Goyette stated that there are 24 students in 7th grade qualified to take Geometry. If enough students take it, then the Middle School will house the Geometry class. She added that they will be recommending that the students take the Power-Packed Algebra course, but if parents say they would rather have their students tutored in the summer, because they want them to take Geometry in the fall, then the students will be placed in Geometry.
Mr. Enright questioned that the students had been moving too fast through the math courses. Ms. Goyette responded that they had been moving too fast; however, they now have data so they now know what to do to correct it.
Ms. Goyette stated that the Committee now looks at the students as "our kids", from grade 7 to grade 12, not just Middle School students, and High School students.
Mr. Murphy asked if curriculum mapping was a different initiative. Ms. Mace responded that it was.
Mr. Enright felt that what had been presented was an outstanding piece of work. Supt. DeBenedictis added that they now have two schools working so well together. Ms. Goyette stated that where there is a need, they get a collaborative effort. She added that they were now looking at doing the same thing between the elementary schools and the Middle School. She stated that she had been in contact with Karen Kelly, the Math Coordinator at Hollis, and Karen Pillion the Math Coordinator at Brookline.
Ms. Goyette stated that the High School will be doing a Math Night for 8th graders.
Mr. Hyde asked if AP Math would go away. Ms. Goyette responded that it depended upon the numbers, and she wasn’t sure where the numbers would go.
Ms. Mace informed the Board that the Science Committee was not as far along as the Math Committee. They plan to model after the Math Committee. They will be developing a rubric for 9th grade course placement, identifying criteria for placement. She added that they need to bring the High School and Middle School teachers together to discuss what the goals are and what they need to do to get there.
Mr. Enright asked when this would be concluded. Ms. Mace felt that it would not be done until next year. Mr. Enright felt that the discussion would have an impact on whether to add AP Science or not. Ms. Mace agreed.
Ms. Mace reported that in regards to the Plan for Social Excellence Grant, $12,000 worth of mini-grants had been awarded to High School faculty who presented initiatives on how to use technology in the classroom. The mini-grants were going towards things such as: LCD projector, Polyvision presentation whiteboard, TI Navigator (a wireless network of student calculators), and four music technology work centers.
Ms. Mace stated that the High School has a proposal to request an additional $25,000 - $30,000 as an extension for the project. She added that the Middle School also had a proposal of $150,000 for replication of the High School project.
Ms. Mace informed the Board that she needed a representative for the Curriculum Council. She added that the Council meets once a month from 3:15 – 5:00 p.m. The Council hears the reports from the Task Committees, and gives the Committees their support and feedback on the work they have done. There is a teacher representative from all the buildings in the SAU, and there are two community representatives (one from each community).
11. SPECIAL DISTRICT MEETING
Supt. DeBenedictis informed the Board that he had had a conversation with Atty. Drescher regarding the vote at the District Meeting to hold a Special District Meeting regarding teachers’ contracts. He stated that there is a lot to it. Supt. DeBenedictis then distributed three packets, and stated that he needed to get some dates when the Board could get together to have Atty. Drescher come in and talk to them.
Mr. Enright asked why it was so complicated. Mr. Simons felt that the Board didn’t need to be adept to what was needed, that that was what Atty. Drescher was for. Supt. DeBenedictis explained that once the Board picked a date, they were then locked into a timeframe.
Supt. DeBenedictis distributed a packet that showed the breakdown of dates referencing the RSAs. Once the process is begun, the District is locked into the dates and the RSAs must be followed. Supt. DeBenedictis added that Atty. Drescher had stated to him that it would behoove the Board to meet with Atty. Drescher.
The Board decided on the following dates to invite Atty. Drescher to speak to them:
First: Monday, April 25, 2005 @ 7:00 p.m.
Second: Wednesday, April 27, 2005 @ 7:00 p.m.
Third: Thursday, April 28, 2005 @ 7:00 p.m.
Copies of the packets are available.
12. COOP BUDGET COMMITTEE
Mr. Enright stated that every year an audit for the District is done in August, and a report is finally received in September. He reported that the Coop Budget Committee would like to participate in the audit. He added that the Budget Committee also raised an issue about the budget process. He stated that Atty. Drescher will look at the Coop’s budget process, and see how it lines up the RSAs.
Ms. Hall reported that it had been weird day in the State House of Representatives that day. She stated that an amendment had been passed in the House and was now going to the Senate, which will considerably reduce the amount of State Aid both Hollis and Brookline get.
Ms. Hall stated that Mr. Ryder, Mr. Drisko, and Ms. Gargaz asked that she give Mr. Enright copies of the worksheets that were presented in the House, which Ms. Hall did.
Ms. Hall stated that each town will be down approximately $1 million. This will affect next year’s budget.
Supt. DeBenedictis asked what happened to the consideration that no town’s funds would be reduced by a certain amount. Ms. Hall responded that it got defeated. She felt that the Board and District taxpayers should do some serious lobbying of the State Senator.
Supt. DeBenedictis asked if the House anticipated strong reactions. Ms. Hall stated that there are always losers and winners, and the winner’s will want to keep what they got, and the losers will want to get back what they lost.
She added that the new figures, which the Representatives just saw that day, were adopted by only 3 votes.
She then reported the following figures:
House Finance figures: $3 million for Brookline $1.7 million for Hollis
Figures passed that day: $2.86 million for Brookline $950,000 for Hollis
Chair. Kirby stated that Ms. Hall had concerns with the procedure the Board was following to review and adopt the District’s policies. She stated that they needed to get a School Board member to go through the remaining policies, and to come forth with any revisions needed. She added that the Board was behind schedule, and they needed to get on the time schedule (in packet) that Kathy Sullivan from the NH School Board Association came up with.
Chair. Kirby stated that she had talked with Mr. Bevins, and he volunteered to go over the policies. She felt that he would be a good person to do it, as he knows the policies, and can critique them very well. Ms. Hall stated that she had concerns. She stated that she was delighted for Mr. Bevins to do whatever he can do, but she felt it should be done by a current Board member. She added that she hoped she could do what she had been doing, but also get someone to help. She felt that they needed to get as many up and running as they could, and they
Mr. Simons questioned Ms. Hall having a problem with Mr. Bevins helping out. Ms. Hall felt that Mr. Bevins should not do it by himself, that a current Board member should be involved. Mr. Simons responded that he had no problem with Mr. Bevins reviewing the policies, and pointed out that Kathy Sullivan is helping them, and she is not a Board member.
Ms. Dumas suggested that Mr. Bevins run through the policies, review them with Ms. Hall, then Ms. Hall bring them to the Board. Ms. Hall stated that if Mr. Bevins wanted to go through the policies by himself then give them to her, she was OK with that, or if he wanted to sit down with her and discuss them, she was OK with that.
Supt. DeBenedictis stated that other Boards are using people who are not Board members, because those people have the time.
Ms. Hall asked if the Board had a problem with putting the policies that had already been approve on the website? Supt. DeBenedictis stated that goal was not to get this done on a piece meal basis, but rather get them all done and then put them up, all at once. He added that Ms. Sullivan would put them up on her website, then there would be a link from the Coop’s website to Ms. Sullivan’s website. Chair. Kirby added that the advantage of Ms. Sullivan’s website, was the fact that her website has search engines.
Ms. Dumas felt it was not an issue of getting the policies up on the Coop’s website, it was just whether the Board wanted to put them up or not. Supt. DeBenedictis pointed out that Ms. Sullivan was trying to coordinate all the Boards.
Mr. Murphy suggested that they put the policies that had been approved up on the Coop’s website, then when they were all done, and on Ms. Sullivan’s website, they would dump the ones on the Coop’s website. The Board agreed, and Mr. Murphy stated that he would work on accomplishing that.
Chair. Kirby then concluded that the Board would have Mr. Bevins look at the policies, then roll them over to Ms. Hall, who would also take a look at them and put her input into them, then bring them to the Board.
The Board members volunteered for the following committees:
Budget Anne Dumas
Policy Betty Hall (Tim Bevins)
Negotiations Steve Simons, Pam Kirby – Support Staff
Tom Enright, Jim Murphy – Professional Staff
High School Instructional Practices Committee Betty Hall, Tom Enright
5-year Study Plan Jim Murphy, new member TBD
Middle School Building Project Steve Simons, Anne Dumas
Softball Field Tom Enright
SAP Pam Kirby, Betty Hall
Curriculum Council Betty Hall
Network Administrator Selection Committee Steve Simons
SAU Salary Committee Steve Simons
PTSA New member TBD
Mr. Enright stated that he would join Ms. Dumas on the Budget Committee until the Special District meeting has been held.
Supt. DeBenedictis asked if the Board would like the NH School Board Association to help with the negotiations. He stated that last year Brookline used a NHSBA employee to help them. They would be hired to work on an hourly basis.
Mr. Murphy stated that he would like to know availability and cost. Mr. Simons stated that they had talked about having someone come in and give the Board a primer on negotiations.
Mr. Murphy asked if the HEA would bring in a professional to help them. Supt. DeBenedictis responded that they have someone now that is provided by NEA.
Ms. Hall asked if the 5-year study plan was pretty well set up. Ms. Dumas responded that it was, but Mr. Bevins had been on it, so they needed someone to replace him.
Mr. Simons stated that they wouldn’t need to assign anyone next year to the RSEC (Regional School Educational Center), but it needed to stay on the list.
Supt. DeBenedictis stated that the intent was to identify a list of goals for the year.
Ms. Dumas stated that they had met the other day and came up with a long list, some short-term, some long-term; however, a lot fell under High School reform.
Chair. Kirby suggested that the Board hold a workshop after vacation just to work on goals.
It was decided to hold the workshop on May 4th, from 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. at the High School.
Supt. DeBenedictis suggested that Ms. Mace be invited to attend the workshop.
Mr. Enright stated that he would like to take Mr. Bevins out to dinner to Shorty’s some night after vacation and would like Board members to join him. The Board felt this was a great idea.
Steve Simons moved that the Board adjourn. Jim Murphy seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
6 - 0 - 0.
The meeting adjourned at 9:30 p.m.