Approved 5/18/05 Hollis-Brookline Cooperative School Board

Regular Meeting

March 16, 2005

Hollis-Brookline High School

 

Pam Kirby, Chairperson

Tim Bevins

Anne Dumas

Tom Enright

Betty Hall

Jim McBride

Steve Simons

Bill Cudney, Student Representative

Ken DeBenedictis, Superintendent of Schools

Charles Flahive, Principal, Hollis-Brookline High School

Pat Goyette, Principal, Hollis-Brookline Middle School

Lee-Ann Blastos, Business Administrator, arrived at 6:30 p.m.

Carol Mace, Director of Curriculum and Instruction

Robert Ouellette, Assistant Principal

Richard Manley, Assistant Principal

Midge Kelley, Director of Guidance

Amy Kozlowski, Guidance Counselor

Betsy A, Bowen, Recording Secretary

 

Others present included members of the Public.

Chairperson Pam Kirby called the meeting to order at 6:10 p.m.

1. HOLLIS PRESCHOOL PLANTING DONATION

Deann Martin, from the Hollis Preschool, addressed the Board, requesting approval of a donation similar to last year, where the Preschool would plant trees. This year they would like to plant 3 maple trees on the side of the driveway. They have a date of April 18, with a rain date of April 22, and if there is still too much snow, or the ground is too cold, they have set a second date of May 16, with a rain date of May 20.

Steve Simons moved that the Board accept the donation of the Hollis Preschool of three maple trees with great thanks. Tom Enright seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 7 – 0 – 0.

2. HIGH SCHOOL SCHEDULING CONVERSATION

Chair. Kirby stated that the purpose of this meeting with concerned parents was so everyone could be on the same page, and so that the Board could understand what the parents’ issues were.

Chair. Kirby stated that the Board had put together 5 or 6 questions that they felt addressed the parents’ concerns, and that they would go over them, and any other concerns the parents may have. Chair. Kirby asked that the following guidelines be followed in order to keep the meeting orderly and moving along:

Comments to be kept to 2 minutes.

Comments to be stated in a constructive manner.

Speaker to identify himself or herself for the record.

 

 

 

 

The following are the questions the Board put together:

Why change? Why do we need this?

What are the options for changing?

What does the change contain?

What are the long-term effects on the students?

How do you measure the effectiveness of the plan?

The following are comments brought forth by the public:

How is the Coop going to structure block scheduling? What model are they following, and what are some of the school districts they are modeling it after: Ms. Davis was concerned about science labs.

When will the schedule come out? Has a son who will be a junior, and feels the change in scheduling won’t help him. Added that she didn’t want his junior year course load less than his sophomore year. Stated that they may have to go outside of school to supplement his education.

Why the rush?

Why shorten the schedule by 20 minutes? Why shorten the Middle School’s day?

Are the questions restricted to the 7-period day issue? Wanted to know what the basis of the original discussions moving to 7-periods that was held in non-public session. Also wanted to know about the collective bargaining agreement and the ability to handle it in the District Meeting as opposed to a special meeting?

There is talk to restructure or eliminate advanced math in the Middle School, is that that independent of the High School schedule?

Would like to know how many students take 8 academic classes, and how many take 7/7.5? How many students does the schedule change actually impact? 20%, 40%, or 2% of the population? If students are taking more than 3 study halls per day, is that accurate?

Students having many study halls is because they couldn’t get into classes they wanted. Didn’t see how a 7-period day will help.

Has the Coop decided to offer anything besides music on the every-other-day schedule, instead of another music course? Has there been any correlation of students effected the most throughout the school, or is it just the top 5% of the students effected?

Is it possible to offer biology in 9th grade so students can take AP science courses? Is it possible to add something besides accelerated math at the Middle School?

Mr. Ouellette stated that block scheduling may or may not be an appropriate offering down the road. He added that all the literature states that it takes 2 years of training before instituting block scheduling.

Mr. Flahive stated that he recommended a straight 7-period day, with 52-minute periods. This will give the students 90 more hours of instruction per year. He added that most students are in academic classes 70% of the day. He felt that this was a low amount of time, and they should work to increase the percentage of time a student is in academic classes.

Mr. Flahive stated that the following year, the Board should recommend to form a committee to look at future scheduling, adding that you just don’t jump into block scheduling. He felt that they should have 2-3 years of straight 7-period day scheduling, with perhaps variations. He added that Hanover and Kearsarge are on 7-periods per day.

Mr. Bevins stated that he had done some investigation of other schools. Many jumped into block scheduling fast and then found out that block scheduling is complicated, and ended up backing off. Block scheduling takes a lot of preparation to get it right.

Member of the public – If the Board made a policy that a student had to take 7-periods of academic classes in an 8-period day, wouldn’t the students get more instructional time?

Mr. Manley informed the public that the High School already required three more courses for graduation than State mandated requirements. He felt for the High School to mandate further would put some students at a disadvantage to get through the program. He added that Oyster River and Hanover (school districts in college towns) only require the state minimum. He felt that going beyond what is currently required would present difficulties for some students.

Member of the public – It is stated that the Coop High School has one of the highest requirements in our state, yet we are behind the Massachusetts requirements. Students will be competing against students from other states when they apply and go onto college.

Mr. Flahive responded that it was true, and that is what bothers him. He stated that every school in Massachusetts is required to provide 990 hours of instruction, so gaining 90 hours of instruction in one year by changing to a 7-period day is a big step.

A member of the public stated that the school is still dropping 20 minutes from the day. He felt they should keep the 20 minutes.

Mr. Enright stated that they focused heavily in Massachusetts, and they must have 990 hours for every school. He reported that 75% of the High School students take 6 courses, 25% take 7 courses, and only 4 students are currently taking 8 courses. The High School currently has only 850 student/teacher hours per year. He stated that this points out how deficient the High School is in instructional time. Going to a 6 or 7-period day is the only way to increase instructional time. He added that it is better to shorten the day.

Mr. Enright reported that it costs $7,000/per hour to run the High School. The professional staff is only teaching about 70% of the time, so 30% is non-instructional time, which is pretty inefficient. He added that the good schools in New Hampshire and Massachusetts have shorter days, but they are more efficient. Having less periods a day shrink transition time and study time, and then the day becomes more efficient with instructional time. He added that he wanted to focus on academic time.

A member of the public wanted to know how many schools the Board talked to. They added that they would like to see the data.

Mr. Flahive responded that they surveyed 23 New Hampshire schools and 12 Massachusetts schools, which were the highest achieving schools. He added that there are 360+ high schools, plus parochial school in Massachusetts, and every school must have 990 hours, and they must turn in a report.

A member of the public stated that Hanover was a great school district and pointed out that they had Dartmouth College to tax. They stated that they had looked at Hanover’s handbook and found that students can take two overlapping courses at the same time. They wanted to know if the School Board was looking into this, so students at the Coop could do the same?

A member of the public wanted to know why the Board decided to make the change in the first place?

Mr. McBride stated that it was an evolutionary process, and added that he did not feel that Hanover all of a sudden came up with the program of studies they currently have. He stated that they would evolve from a 7-period day, and with the help of a study committee, end up with something satisfactory to students and parents.

A member of the public stated that she had read in the newspaper that an Ad Hoc committee would be set up for this summer. She wondered why a committee hadn’t been set up prior to the decision to change the schedule?

Mr. Bevins stated that he had gone back and looked at the minutes of the Board meetings, and when Ann Rodreguiz was principal, they had looked at other schools. In 2001, when Mr. Flahive came on board, teachers asked for it. Mr. Manley, Joel Mitchell, Amy Bottomley, and Lou Ann Parodi were on a committee that looked into this issue. There were long discussions regarding this issue in 2001, 2002, and 2003. Mr. Bevins pointed out that the issue had always been there, but it got bumped aside because of other things. He stated that this issue was first brought forward by the teachers, so the Board had to follow it, and look into it. Mr. Bevins stated that he was surprised by the public’s response, as other schools already have 7 or 6-period days, and in some cases block scheduling.

A member of the public wondered if a study committee during this summer would help juniors next year? She pointed out that the Board had looked to Massachusetts in their research; however, she has been in educational publishing, and no one looks to Massachusetts. They look to California, New York, Florida, sometimes Texas, not New Hampshire or Massachusetts.

Ms. Hall stated that the Board had looked at other towns in our area in New Hampshire first, and found that most of them had already moved away from the 8-period day. She stated that she also had information on Massachusetts schools, and she would be glad to share it with the public. She felt that the 7-period day was a bases to have flexibility in scheduling. She felt that they should first implement the 7-period day, then work with teachers, staff, and parents to see what they could do with it.

Ms. Mace stated that numerous national studies emphasis depth over breath. William R. Daggett, an expert on high school reform worked with 30 model high schools across the country. Ms. Mace then read the following statement Mr. Daggett had made:

 

"The 11th and 12th grades in the 30 high schools also look different from many other high school across the country.  In successful schools, we found a deep commitment to comprehensive and rigorous 11th and 12th grade academic programs.  These grades are not stacked full of electives, instead students take advanced mathematics, science, language arts, and social studies courses.  Often, the schools require a major senior project for graduation, as well."

Ms. Mace felt that the 7-period day is a step in that direction. She felt it was the right thing to do, not for the teaching staff, but rather for the students.

Marcia Cone??? asked if the Board would have something in place by this coming September? Ms. Mace responded that they have to wait for the schedule, then take it on a case-by-case basis, if needed.

Ms. Dumas pointed out that the culture of the school is to help each student, thus if a student feels that they are losing out, then she felt they would be able to work something out to help them reach their goal.

Ms. Kelley stated that they do try to individualize. She added that they are a larger school, however, they still work like a small school model. If a student wanted to take overlapping courses, she felt that it could be worked out. She added that it is a very frenetic day with 8 periods. She pointed out that teachers are being used to monitor study halls.

Iris Realmuto pointed out that the Board had proof of concept, and now they were ready to implement the schedule, but she wondered where the design and the detail were? She added that design and detail should be worked out before implementation.

Ms. Kelley stated that the program of study goes to print. After the students bring back their choices, the master schedule is worked out. Students should have their schedules by the end of May, so there will still be time to work out problems before the end of school.

Mr. Ouellette stated that in the 9 years that he had been with the High School, they always had the schedule by the end of May, except for last year. He felt confident that they can get it done this year.

A member of the public pointed out that the High School is still not meeting 990 hours by changing to a 7-period day. He wondered why they are reducing the school day by 20 minutes? He pointed out it would get them to the 990 if they left the time as is.

Mr. Enright stated that it was a step process. He stated that the Board was committed to increase instruction by 11% next year, but added that this was not the end game. He stated that a teacher’s day is made up of three parts – instruction time, prep time, and duty time. He pointed out that they have stretched the instruction time as much as they could, and that they can’t shrink prep time, therefore they are left with shrinking duty time. He added that it is a contractual issue. He stated that there was a study in Massachusetts where superintendent’s were asked what was the biggest obstacle to implementation? Contractual issues with the staff was the overwhelming answer. He added that negotiations were about instructional time and prep time.

A member of the public stated that it would be beneficial for parents to be able to read the information that the Board had gathered to help them to make their decision. They asked if the information could be set up on a website with links? The Board felt that this would be possible.

Kathy Lewis pointed out that 75% of the students take 6 classes or less, 25% take 7 classes, and only 4 students take 8 classes this semester. She pointed out that going from 8 to 7 periods only impacts 4 students, however, all the people present that night could not be the parents of those four students, therefore it must be impacting more than the four students. She felt they needed to look at what was best for the majority.

Ms. Kelley stated that when the school had a student body of about 400 students, they were on a 7-period day, but as the student body grew, they needed to move to 8-period day for students to get the courses they needed. Now the core course are set up several times a day, so moving to a 7-period day with embedded science labs was the right thing to do.

Mr. Manley stated that in grade 12, there were no students carrying 8 or 7 classes. In grade 11, there were 2 students carrying 8 classes, and 20 students carrying 7 classes. Freshmen and sophomores carry more classes. In looking at the senior year, seniors aren’t taking enough courses, therefore they need a schedule that keeps them engaged.

A member of the public asked if they take away study periods, what happens to the students who travel to other schools (voc tech)? Mr. Enright responded that that is where they would need to be creative. He added that voc tech students are allowed to take core classes at other schools. They could look at scheduling their classes at other schools a the beginning of the day, around lunch, or the end of the day so they would not be traveling a lot during school time.

Amy Kozlowski stated that to schedule 7 classes in 8 periods is a challenge. With regards to the voc tech students, with 7 periods a day, it may be possible to fit their classes at other schools into 2 periods instead of three because the class period would be longer. She added that once she has the numbers before her, she can figure it out better.

Trish McDonald stated that she was hearing about a 7-period day with 52-minute periods, but wondered why they don’t make each period a full hour? She wondered when student athletes would make up tests, and use the computer labs if study periods are removed? She pointed out that it is difficult to get into college, and felt if the Board was going to make the change, they should do it right – not rush – and add 8 extra minutes to each class.

Dave April stated that his son was a senior that goes to a voc tech program. He wondered if the Coop District could work with the other districts to get their schedules in line so it would be easier for students to get to the other schools? He felt that the Board needed to also think of the students that want to get into WPI, Carnegie-Mellon, etc.

Ms. Dumas stated that she had spent some time looking at Harvard, Tufts, and other schools admissions. She stated she went on their websites, and some sites are very good. She pointed out that they don’t ask if the high school has 8 periods.

Ms. Kelley stated that years ago, the High School was just a hick school, yet students got into college. At that point, the High School did not have AP courses. When they put AP courses in, the High School became an AP school, and it was suggested that the school offer more AP courses. She stated that colleges do not just look at the courses taken, and test scores, but also if the student is involved in other activities. It could be sports, or clubs, or student government, or even if they had a job.

Mr. D’Arbonne stated that prior to the Board taking the vote, he asked if the teachers had agreed with it, and if the students agreed with it. He felt that the fact that there were so many parents there that night with so many questions, he wondered why do it right now? If the Board is going to have a study committee, then they should let the study committee figure it out so all the question can be answered. He felt that the 7-period day was probably the way to go, but that the elected officials should listen to their constituency. If the public feels the Board is rushing into this, then the Board should not rush. Even if there is a referendum at the Coop District Meeting, the Board can still keep it 7 periods.

Mr. Flahive stated that the reason for doing it now is so they can begin to move through the process. If they start is now, the juniors will pick up 90 hours of instruction, therefore, why wait? He pointed out that a lot of time had been put into this, and by implementing it now it would give next year’s juniors and seniors and extra "hook."

Ms. Hall stated that she had been a critic before and after coming onto the Board because she didn’t see the Board tackling the real issues. She felt that this was a real issue. She felt that they needed to make this step so when they get the new Superintendent and new Principal, they will have something to build off of. She felt this was the "shove" they needed.

Mr. Manley stated that he had been in the District for 20 years, and that he had a young child, and that they would be moving into the District, therefore, what they do today will affect his child. He pointed out that people want the final solution, but as Mr. McBride stated, it is an evolutionary process.

A member of the public wondered if a high school has a 6 period day, would the colleges where the students go to understand how the instruction works?

Mr. Manley stated that if they wait a year there will be concerns then also. He stated that they need to take moderate steps, and that this is where the High School needs to be. He pointed out that the benefits of earlier attempts had been loss. He stated that they are convinced that this will move the school to where they need to be. He added that the High School needs to play catch-up, and that they needed to move the school into the next realm.

A member of the public first thanked the Board for meeting with the parents. He then stated that it was important to reiterate that the Board was there to represent them. Bottom line, the Board represents the students and parents. He felt that the list of questions developed that night was just the tip of the iceberg. He felt that there was no reason to move forward until things were in place. He stated that everyone wanted rigor and challenge in the classroom, but he felt that the Board hadn’t convinced the public yet. He pointed out that there was a petition warrant article, and that no one knows what will happen with that. He felt that the ends didn’t justify the means.

Debbie Pucci stated that there were a lot of changes going on – scheduling, new principal, new superintendent, and new guidance director. She stated she would feel more comfortable if she knew that the people they were hiring were competent with the 7-period school day.

Supt. DeBenedictis responded that almost to a person of the candidates they had been interviewing for the principal position have moved from an 8-period day to either a 7 or 6-periods to block scheduling a long time ago. Supt. DeBenedictis pointed out that they have approximately 125 students in study hall, and if one had visited a study hall, they would know that not many of them are engaged in studying. He stated that a 7-period day would engage students more than what they are now.

Kathy DeLacy, member of the Hollis School Board, stated that change is difficult for many people. She thanked the Board and Administration for coming up with ways to raise the bar for their students.

Ms. Lewis stated that the Board is responsible for the community as a whole. She stated that she lived in the community and felt a responsibility to educate the community’s students. She asked that the Board not address the public as parents or "your students", as there are people in the community who do not have students in the District.

A member of the public stated that there was no way the High School could accommodate AP Chemistry or AP Physics without having separate labs. They stated that they had talked with the admissions at WPI, and they want to see extra lab times, as that is what they have at the college level. They also wondered how they keep AP Chemistry without being in violation if lab times are brought into the class period time?

Ms. Kelley stated that she didn’t know if they would have AP Chemistry next year. However, if they don’t move forward with the 7-period day, they won’t have time and/or energy for adding these types of courses.

A member of the public stated that they had talked with the Lincoln-Sudbury school district in Massachusetts, and learned that students must come in early to get their lab time. They wondered what the rush was? They felt that they should use the warrant article, engage the community for one more year, and make sure that they don’t have things falling through the cracks.

Ms. Kelley stated that she had called around the country and spoke to schools about scheduling. She found that school have become very creative in their scheduling. She pointed out that the High School currently has an Assistant Principal that is tied up with study hall misbehaviors and could use his talents to look into creative scheduling. Ms. Kelley stated that she typically likes to see things laid out perfectly, but sometimes one just has to get off the dime.

Ms. Goyette stated that she would like to answer one of the questions asked that night, and assure the public that it is a rumor that they will no longer offer advanced math.

A member of the public asked if they would still be offering geometry in the Middle School to students who have mastered their math skills? Ms. Goyette responded that they would if they have mastered their skills.

A member of the public asked what would happen to the questions that had been written down on the flip-board sheets that night? Mr. Vallee asked if they could be posted on the website with short answers? The Board felt that would be doable.

Supt. DeBenedictis stated that it had been a great conversation. He stated that there was great interest in doing great things at the High School, however, they can’t rest on their laurels. He stated that "Breaking Ranks II" is about high school reform in the United States. He stated that Bill Gates has funded millions of dollars to help high schools look at change. Supt. DeBenedictis stated that building projects are now behind them, and it was now time to look at curriculum.

Mr. Bevins suggested that the public go to the National Governors Association (NGA) or type in "Bill Gates Foundation" in Google to find "Breaking Ranks II."

Supt. DeBenedictis stated that the District would be sending some staff members to a seminar on the "Breaking Ranks" initiative.

Board recessed from 7:55 p.m. to 8:10 p.m.

3. PRINCIPALS’ REPORTS

Middle School

Ms. Goyette stated that there would be a Building Committee meeting on Thursday. She stated that there are a lot of decisions being made each day, and that a walk-through is done each day. The Fire Department has been doing air quality testing. She stated that they had to change the traffic flow. She stated that they lost the back exit due to heavy machinery. She felt they could live with it until the end of June. The traffic at the end of the day comes in by Farley, goes around the portables, and exits out the other side of Farley. She felt this is working well.

Ms. Goyette reported that the Middle School would be having a baseball team this spring. Try-outs will be next week. She stated that a practice schedule has been worked out where they go and practice for 30-minutes a day at the High School. Games will be played in Brookline. It will cost a little for transportation, $50.00 per game, and there are six games. The field in Brookline is the correct size field.

Betty Hall moved that the Board approve transportation funds for the baseball team. Anne Dumas seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 7 – 0 – 0.

Ms. Goyette stated that she would like to end the math rumors. The Middle School would be offering advanced math courses. She stated that it was true that the Middle School had been collaborating with the High School. She stated that they had used two delayed starts and two afternoon meetings for the math teachers to meet with the math teachers at the High School. She stated that they have triple the national numbers of students taking Algebra. She added that on April 21st they will be holding a Parent’s Math Night, with the High School supporting them.

Ms. Goyette stated that as the numbers have increased, there are pockets of skills (based on the GLE’s) being missed. They are trying to find out where the missing pieces are. She added that she had tested a 6th grader for formal entry into Algebra, and he did very well.

March 24th they are having a delayed start, and the High School math teachers will be coming to the Middle School.

High School

Mr. Flahive announced that the Track and the Basketball teams had won the State Championship. He added that it was 37 years ago the last time the basketball team won a championship.

Mr. Flahive reported that spring sports have started.

Mr. Flahive asked the Board that they vote to set graduation for Saturday, June 18. Seniors’ last day would be June 14th.

Steve Simons moved that the Board set graduation for Saturday, June 18, 2005, with the time to be determined. Anne Dumas seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 7 – 0 – 0.

A member of the senior class stated that he had talked with friends and found that other high schools had set graduation before the required 175 days. He asked if he did the research and found this was in compliance, would the Board reconsider setting an earlier date of June 11th?

Supt. DeBenedictis stated that setting graduation before 175 days would be in non-compliance with State law. He added that the Commissioner of Education had stated that he would not agree to waive time for snow days.

Mr. Simons asked why June 11th was better than the 18th? Mr. Day???? responded that several students have internships, and jobs that start before the 14th of June. He added that one member of the senior class was heading for the Naval Academy, and basic training was right after the 18th.

The Board stated that if the senior could look into it, and if he found something different, come back to the Board.

Mr. Flahive informed the Board that they had completed the NEASC accreditation. He stated it had been a lot of work, and that the Steering Committee had done a great job. The site visitation was completed that day. The Committee arrived on Sunday. The Committee met with the staff after school and gave them a brief indication of what will happen. In 5-6 weeks, Mr. Flahive will get drafts of the Committee’s report. He can then make suggestions to the draft. The Commission will vote in September, and send their report. The school will then work on improvements, reporting back over the next 2-5 years. Mr. Flahive stated that the Commission makes commendations and recommendations, then the school comes up with a plan on how to address the recommendations.

The Committee stated that the school should not be afraid of change. The Mission Statement should drive the school, and curriculum should also drive the school.

Ms. Goyette stated that the Visiting Team sent 3 members down to the Middle School. She asked if there was an equivalent evaluation for the Middle School level? She stated that she would appreciate such an evaluation. Mr. Flahive stated that they did an evaluation at his Middle School in Massachusetts. He found it worthwhile.

Mr. Enright stated that he would like to get the scheduling right this year. He pointed out that they didn’t last year. Therefore, he would like to see within the next two weeks a timeline of the scheduling process. He stated that the program guide must get done right and early so they can have the time to take a second look.

Mr. Flahive stated that some parents brought up the issue of having guidance more accessible in the summer. Mr. Enright pointed out that the teachers need to know what they are going to be teaching.

Mr. Bevins stated that they had talked about answering the questions on the flip-board. He stated that he would like to work with Carol Mace and get them done. Supt. DeBenedictis stated that they have the SAU website, which links to the High School website, which in turn could link to a site answering the questions.

Iris Realmuto stated that if they send the information to her, she could link them to all three of the PTSA’s sites.

Mr. Enright stated that there were a lot more questions to be asked. He felt that the Board should charge Ms. Mace to take the bull by the horns and look into other questions. In regards to AP Chemistry, all students taking AP Biology are seniors, as they are required to take regular Biology prior to AP Biology. If they take AP Biology, and AP Physics, he wondered how they would fit in AP Chemistry.

Mr. Flahive responded that if a 9th grader was on the AP track, then they could take Biology in 9th grade instead of Physical Science. He stated that Physical Science had been a requirement because it was on the State tests. Physical Science is no longer on the State tests.

Ms. Mace felt they should start with the list on the flip-board, then people could email her other questions.

Ms. Dumas wondered what one does with students who are in mid-stream??? Ms. Mace suggested that AP Chemistry could be offered the junior year in place of Advanced Chemistry. Mr. Enright pointed out that AP courses are college courses, and usually require a high school course before.

John Day??? stated that it is almost impossible to cover the material on the AP Chemistry test without taking a chemistry course before it.

4. RESIGNATION

Supt. DeBenedictis stated that he had received a letter of resignation from Rose Hall, the SAP Coordinator.

Steve Simons moved that the Board accept the resignation of Rose Hall, the SAP Coordinator. Betty Hall seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 7 – 0 – 0.

5. MINUTES

Steve Simons moved that the Board accept the minutes of the Coop Workshop held on March 7, 2005 as written. Betty Hall seconded. Motion carried 5 – 0 – 2 (Bevins, Dumas abstained).

Steve Simons moved that the Board accept the minutes of February 23, 2005 as written. Tim Bevins seconded. Motion carried 7 – 0 – 0.

Steve Simons moved that the Board accept the minutes of February 10, 2005 as written. Anne Dumas seconded. Motion carried 7 – 0 – 0.

Steve Simons moved that the Board accept the minutes of the non-pubic session held on February 10, 2005 as written. Anne Dumas seconded. Motion carried 6 – 0 – 1 (Hall abstained).

Steve Simons moved that the Board accept the minutes of the Coop Workshop held on February 8, 2005 as written. Tom Enright seconded. Motion carried 3– 0 – 4 (Bevins, Dumas, McBride, Hall abstained).

Steve Simons moved that the Board accept the minutes of the Coop Workshop held on January 26, 2005 as written. Tim Bevins seconded. Motion carried 5 – 0 – 2 (Hall, Dumas abstained).

Steve Simons moved that the Board accept the minutes of the non-public session held on January 19, 2005 as written. Anne Dumas seconded. Motion carried 7 – 0 – 0.

Steve Simons moved that the Board accept the minutes of January 19, 2005 as written. Jim McBride seconded. Motion carried 7 – 0 – 0.

Tom Enright moved that the Board accept the minutes of the Coop Workshop held on January 6, 2005 as written. Betty Hall seconded. Motion carried 5 – 0 – 2 (McBride, Simons abstained).

Steve Simons moved that the Board accept the minutes of the non-public session held on December 15, 2005 as written. Tom Enright seconded. Motion carried 6 – 0 – 1 (Bevins abstained).

Steve Simons moved that the Board accept the minutes of December 15, 2005 as written. Tim Bevins seconded. Motion carried 7 – 0 – 0.

6. POLICE RESOURCE OFFICER UPDATE

Supt. DeBenedictis stated that he and Chief Darling had been working on the Memorandum of Understanding regarding the School Resource Officer. He stated that they took the original Memorandum submitted on May 17, 2004 and updated it to what he and Chief Darling felt were appropriate.

Mr. Enright stated that he had talked with Kathy DeLacy, and she felt that no one at the Hollis meeting would make a motion.

Ms. Hall asked if the revisions to the Memorandum had been reviewed by Atty. Drescher? Supt. DeBenedictis responded that it had not been reviewed by Atty. Drescher because the original Memorandum had been reviewed by the granting committee’s legal department.

Supt. DeBenedictis reviewed the changes made to the Memorandum:

Changed Item # 3 regarding termination.

Removed Item # 7 – regarding the Hollis School District.

Item # 9.2 of the original document talked about follow-up home visits. It was felt that the principal should work with the police department, therefore they would leave it up to the principal.

Added Item # 10 – regarding annual assessment.

Mr. Simons felt that the Board should vote on the revised Memorandum so if the issue of the SRO should come up, then the District will have a Memorandum of Understanding and will be ready to go.

Ms. Hall felt that if they include the SAP Coordinator in the Memorandum, they should have it in the SAP’s job description.

Mr. D’Arbonne asked if the Memorandum addressed who was paying for it? Supt. DeBenedictis responded that it did in the second paragraph.

Jim Murphy stated that the SRO has some interesting duties within the school. He wondered if the Memorandum provided some oversight of selection? Supt. DeBenedictis responded that it did under Item #9. He added that he felt the Memorandum was appropriate.

Mr. Enright stated that the Board had the right to veto the program, so if they don’t like the candidate, they can terminate the program.

Steve Simons moved that the Board approve the Memorandum of Understanding between the Hollis Brookline Cooperative School District and the Hollis Police Department for the School Resource Officer for 2005-2006. Tim Bevins seconded. Motion carried. 6 – 1 – 0 (Hall against).

A copy of the Memorandum is available.

 

 

7. MEDICAID UPDATE

Supt. DeBenedictis reported that there are 22 students eligible for Medicaid. The average is $1,500/student, but just because a student is on Medicaid, doesn’t mean they will get reimbursed. He explained that if the Coop receives $33,000 they pay the company 10%, therefore, the Coop would yield $30,000.00.

Ms. Dumas asked if that was for 1 year? Supt. DeBenedictis responded that they might be able to go back one year. Supt. DeBenedictis explained that the hours required to file all the paperwork and information is beyond comprehension, therefore, the District hires a company to do this. The contract is for 3 years, with a cost of 10% the first year.

Mr. Simons pointed out that in 1999 and 2002, the company stated that it wasn’t worth filing.

Mr. Vallee felt that someone should go over this at the District Meeting giving the actual range.

8. DISTRICT MEETING PREPARATION

Chair. Kirby informed the Board that she had sat with Supt. DeBenedictis, Moderator Jim Belanger, and Coop Budget Committee Chairman Forrest Milkowski. The District Meeting will start at 7:45 p.m. for the Coop presentation.

Chair. Kirby stated that Mr. Belanger thought she should read the articles. Ms. Dumas wondered why the Moderator didn’t read them? Mr. Vallee stated that the articles were actually the Budget Committee’s, but either board could do it. Mr. Simons felt that the person discussing the article should read the article, just in the interest of time, and to make things more efficient. Mr. Bevins felt that the person presenting the article should read it.

Chair. Kirby stated that Forrest Milkowski will second all the articles.

Article 2 – Tom Enright will present this article.

Article 3 – Housekeeping – Pam Kirby will present this article.

Article 4 – Softball field – Tom Enright will present this article.

Mr. Enright felt that the Board had a dilemma. He pointed out that there are some people who are upset with the 7-period day change. He didn’t know how many, but he felt they should hear and resolve their issues first before presenting the budget so they won’t take their frustration out on the budget.

Mr. Simons pointed out that the budget is typically last. Mr. Vallee added that if someone changes the warrant, then it changes the budget, therefore the budget should be last.

Chair. Kirby stated that the articles should then be presented in the following order:

1) Article 5

2) Article 6

3) Article 3

4) Article 4

5) Article 2

Chair. Kirby reminded the Board that they would need to amend Article 2 to include the professional and support staff contracts. She added that Mr. Belanger felt that it should be put in as one amendment, not two.

Mr. Bevins agreed with the one amendment as long as the amounts were separated.

Mr. Bevins will make the amendment.

Mr. Enright stated that Mr. Belanger would like to have the amendment made before the budget is discussed. Mr. Enright will explain what will happen, and why the amendment and not a warrant article.

Jim Murphy felt that there was no requirement that they move the article in the verbatim as warrant. If you have an updated budget number, you can move the amended amount directly, you don’t have to make a motion then follow up with amendment. You don’t have to move it as written then amend it, you can directly move the amended amount.

Mr. Enright asked how the people vote on the amendment? Mr. Murphy stated that they don’t, someone reads the warrant, but if someone moves to make it another amount, that’s the motion on the floor, regardless of what is written on the paper.

Mr. Vallee stated that there was a difference between a finance committee and budget committee district. You have to go with the Budget Committee number, and what is first introduced to the floor. You can with a finance committee district.

Iris Realmuto pointed out that at the Hollis meeting, they tried to ram three things into one, and it was not a good experience. She felt they should make the motion as written.

Mr. Enright felt they should make the motion "as written", give the explanation, make the amendment, explain the amendment, move to vote on the amendment, then vote on the article with or without the amendment.

Supt. DeBenedictis stated that there would be a PowerPoint presentation on the budget. Mr. Enright stated that he and Ms. Blastos have his two presentation pieces under control.

Ms. Dumas suggested that they have pictures of the renovation flashing up on the screen as people are gathering.

A copy of the warrant article is available.

 

Tim Bevins moved that the Board enter non-public session under the provisions of RSA 91-A:3 II (b) hiring. Steve Simons 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.