Minutes from the HB Co-op Board Meeting
Held Wednesday, February 23, 2005 in the HBHS Music Room
In attendance: Pam Kirby, Jim McBride, Tom Enright, Steve Simons, Tim Bevins, Anne Dumas, Charlie Flahive, Pat Goyette, Carol Mace and LeeAnn Blastos. (Betty Hall absent)
Pam called the meeting to order at 5:35 PM. The purpose of the meeting was to give the board time to discuss their thoughts about the forum on February 14, 2005. (At the forum the board had heard from approximately 90-100 parents and students who were very concerned about the change in the HS schedule next year from 8 periods per day to 7 periods per day. In summary those parents and students stated that they thought the board should have involved the public when deciding something like a change in the number of periods per day and the group urged the board to reconsider their decision.)
Pam announced that although this was a public meeting the board would not have an open forum period. The board needed a chance to discuss the issues and reconsider their original vote.
Pam began the discussion:
She noted that at the forum none of the parents/students asked the panel members their opinion of the schedule change (panel members included department heads and administration as well as the Coop Board)
She believes that we need to create more rigor in our HS
She recognizes that we have a problem with study halls Ė too much time in them and they are not productive for the most part
She is considering the welfare of all of the students
She noted that with this change we would have better management of the school population, more learning time and less class changing time, we would reduce unproductive study halls, the change is recommended by the teachers in the past studies, the administration is for this change, most schools have seven or six periods per day, labs that are embedded free up a class slot for most students
She noted that some students who may really need a study hall may not get one, some top level science classes may have less lab time unless we allow 2 class periods for those classes, the data we studies is two years old and there are lots of new teachers and she is not sure they are all in favor of this change, we donít have all the details about how this will work at our school, it is a change and change is difficult, we have new administration coming in and we donít know how they feel about this issue
He feels that we have considered this decision for a very long time
The literature we have studied talks about the amount of learning time and he feels we need to focus on this.
As an educator himself he looked to the research that MA had used when the department of education had given the schools a mandate to eliminate study halls.
He noted that our students are competing with others students to get into colleges and it is important that our students can compete with them.
Making this change would give us over 900 hours of instruction time and currently we have about 850 hours. This change would help us get closer to the goal of 990 hours of instruction time per year.
Our test scores are good but we would like to push them further.
35 more minutes of instruction time per day
Fewer study halls
Embedding the science lab for most science classes opens up a period for students to take other classes
Many schools have 7 periods (or six periods) with a longer period floating through the week
It is important to maintain current course offerings as well as add more AP classes
He noted 1% of the students take 8 classes now and 6% take seven (or seven+)
Strongly favors the later starting time
He is a member of the community and his family is directly affected by this change
He believes school is bigger than just the classes a student takes
He knows we will have implementation issues and they will be greater if everyone is not on board with the decision
Currently on average the students spend 70% of the day on class time, 19% in study halls, and 11% on lunch and transition time
He feels we are squandering financial and teacher resources currently
It cost $7,000 per hour to operate the HS. Therefore we spend $2.5 Million per year in study halls and transition time.
He feels we need more instructional time and depth of study
Hanover, Oyster River and Souhegan operate on a shorter school day than HBHS
We will gain 19.4 days of instructional time
The day for the teacher is comprised of teaching time, planning time and administrative duty time.
He states that the board must make a commitment to increase the options for the higher level students
Betty: (arrived at 6:35pm)
Stated that although she often disagrees with the board she supports this change 100%
There will be increased education time
There will be adjustments to make
She feels the preliminary work that went into this decision was well done
Stated that from the first day he arrived here he heard about people wanting to change the start time of the HS and get rid of the 8 periods per day
Apologizes for the lack of communication with the community on this issue
More AP classes are still needed
He does not feel it will deprive students at all
Apologized for the lack of communication with the community on this issue
She is convinced it is a good plan
She quoted Michael Fuller who is an expert on change and said his recommendation is: Ready, Fire, Aim and she believes that this fits well with our situation because we need to take a step in the right direction and then make small adjustments to perfect the new plan
Tim stated that we will need to monitor this to be sure it is working as well as we thought it would. Anne stated that she favors the change in the start time and notes that it is important to her that students will be at the bus stop in the light rather than the darkness (which she believes to be dangerous). There was additional discussion by the group.
Tom made a motion to confirm our decision regarding the change in the start time of the MS and HS and the change from 8 to 7 periods per day at the HS with a monitoring committee to report on the results of this decision. Steve seconded the motion. All in favor 7-0-0.
The meeting adjourned until the conclusion of the budget hearing. 6:43pm
Tim motioned to go into non-public session under RSA 91-A:2.b (non meeting permitted under section b: strategy or negotiation with respect to collective bargaining) at 9:25 pm. Steve seconded the motion. All in favor 7-0-0.