Hollis-Brookline Cooperative School Board
September 21, 1006
Hollis-Brookline Middle School
Jim Murphy, Chairperson
Dan Peterson, arrived at 7:20 p.m.
Trevor Buteau, Student Representative, arrived at 7:50 p.m.
Tim Kelley, Principal, Hollis-Brookline High School
Pat Goyette, Principal, Hollis-Brookline Middle School
Mellinee Capasso, Business Administrator
Carol Mace, Director of Curriculum and Instruction
Betsy A. Packard, Recording Secretary
Others present included members of the Public.
Chairperson Jim Murphy called the meeting to order at 6:09 p.m.
Chair. Murphy informed the Board that Supt. Pike was unable to make it to the meeting, as he could not accommodate the last minute change of the meeting.
Pam Kirby moved that the Board accept the minutes of August 16, 2006 as written. Tom Enright seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 4 – 0 – 0.
Chair. Murphy stated that he had received a letter from the Department of Revenue Administration (DRA) regarding the official ADM numbers for this year, based upon last year’s attendance. They are:
Chair. Murphy informed the Board that he had received a letter from a parent informing him that he/she had decided to home-school his/her children.
Chair. Murphy reported that he had received a letter from a resident informing him that he/she had talked with the Selectmen regarding the lack of crosswalks at Monument Square, specifically, in front of the Middle School. Mr. Simons stated that when they were working on the Middle School Building Project, they had approached the State asking them to paint a crosswalk in front of the Farley Building. It is a State road, and therefore, the State would have to do it. The State declined the request.
Chair. Murphy stated that he had received a letter from HESSA (Hollis Education Support Staff Association) regarding RSA 272-a:3 – bargain for contract. Chair. Murphy pointed out that the 2006-07 contract had started, and wondered if the Board was in a position to discuss contracts for this year. Mr. Enright felt that the union had missed their chance. Mr. Simons pointed out that the Board could put it in next year’s budget and make it retroactive. He stated that there was also the option of a Special District Meeting. Mr. Enright stated that if the union was asking to negotiate for the 2006-07 school year, his answer would be “no.” Mr. Peterson felt that the Board should open discussions for the 2007-08 school year, adding that it didn’t make sense to go backwards. Chair. Murphy felt it was important to underline the deadline that the union had missed.
Dan Peterson moved that the Board enable the Negotiation Team to proceed with negotiations for the 2007-08 school year. Tom Enright seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 5 – 0 – 0.
Mr. Simons stated that he would contact HESSA in writing regarding the Board’s decision to negotiate for the 2007-08 school year.
Ms. Mace stated that a letter of resignation from Christine Page (504 Coordinator) had been received. Chair. Murphy read the letter to the Board.
Mr. Enright asked if Ms. Page had signed a contract and added that he didn’t find this as normal and customary business. Mr. Kelley responded that it wasn’t normal and customary, however, Ms. Page came to him with some extenuating circumstances. He added that Ms. Page would still be in the building teaching reading part-time. Mr. Simons asked for how long. Mr. Kelley responded that Ms. Page would be a reading specialist for the remainder of the year, therefore, she will be available to help the new 504 Coordinator. Mr. Enright asked if Ms. Page was full-time with the two positions. Mr. Kelley responded that she was about 0.8 FTE. Mr. Enright asked if there were benefits? Mr. Kelley responded that there weren’t.
Steve Simons moved that the Board accept Christine Page’s letter of resignation as the 504 Coordinator. Dan Peterson seconded. The motion carried unanimously. 5 – 0 – 0.
A copy of the letter is available.
Mr. Kelley stated that he had some concerns with the first paragraph regarding the school nurse being a “registered professional nurse licensed in New Hampshire,” especially when it came to substitutes. He pointed out that it was hard to get qualified substitutes for the school nurse’s position. He added that they had already surpassed the ratio of students to school nurse, and suggested that a part-time nurse be hired to work between the High School and the Middle School, and thus, could fill in when a school nurse was out. Ms. Goyette felt that the full-time school nurse should be licensed in New Hampshire, but agreed that finding a substitute was an issue.
Mr. Kelley informed the Board that in Item #3, it states that all accidents occurring on school property must be reported to the school nurse, and if it is during a time when the school nurse is not present (extended day, night or summer school, etc.) they are to report to the main office immediately. Mr. Kelley pointed out that the main office is not open 24 hours a day. Chair. Murphy responded that an accident should be “reported to the supervising adult.”
Ms. Goyette pointed out that in Item #2, many students have over-the-counter medications that they go to the school nurse to take. She added that a form had been created for such medications. Chair. Murphy thought that that issue may be better off in Policy JLCD – Administering Medications to Students, but would need to account for over-the-counter medications in that policy.
Mr. Simons asked if anyone knew what was in the RSAs that were referenced at the bottom of the policy page.
Mr. Peterson asked what happens if a registered nurse cannot be found to substitute? Ms. Goyette responded that they have a warm, caring adult come in and then they have an EMT on staff. Mr. Peterson asked if the problem was due to lack of pay. Mr. Kelley felt that compensation had something to do with it. Ms. Goyette added that there was a small pool to choose from.
Ms. Kirby asked if people knew about the problem? Ms. Goyette responded that she brings it up at volunteer meetings and at the PTSA meetings. Ms. Kirby felt the idea of sharing a floating nurse was good, especially if they were already over the nurse/student ratio. Chair. Murphy stated that the ratio should be 1/750 and the High School was at 1/950.
Mr. Peterson felt it should be done at the SAU level. Ms. Capasso responded that it would be difficult at the SAU level, and pointed out that nurses fall under collective bargaining. She pointed out they would have to determine which District becomes the home district.
Mr. Simons stated that he had the following changes for Policy JLC:
· Over-the-counter medications may be given to a student with written parental permission.
· All accidents occurring on school property are to be reported to the supervising adult and the school principal immediately.
Ms. Goyette stated that she would like to change the first paragraph to read that a student initially entering the Coop District must have had a physical examination “within the last twelve (12) months prior to attendance at school,” instead of the current six (6) months. She explained that many insurance policies will only cover one physical examination per year.
Ms. Goyette pointed out that in the 3rd Paragraph, the wording “junior high school” should be changed to read “middle school.”
Mr. Kelley wondered why in the 4th Paragraph, when it states “students participating in any sport must have a physical exam every two years,” it adds “(including Spirit Squad).” He added that the Spirit Squad was part of the Athletic Department. Mr. Simons stated that it should come out.
Ms. Goyette stated that she had no input on this policy.
Mr. Kelley felt that in the 1st Paragraph, it should read that “Any child being admitted to the Hollis Brookline Cooperative School District must present proof of meeting the physical examination and immunization (requirements) upon his/her 1st day of school,” instead of “within thirty (30) days of entrance.”
Ms. Goyette stated that 30 days was their practice for students moving into the District, as it gave parents time to get a doctor’s appointment. She added that it had to be within 30 days.
Chair. Murphy pointed out that the phrase “Failure to comply with this provision may result in exclusion from school for the child” gave the Administration some latitude.
Dan Peterson moved that the Board accept the following policies, as amended, for First Reading:
· JLCA – Physical Examinations of Students
· JLCB – Immunizations of Students
Steve Simons seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 5 – 0 – 0.
Chair. Murphy introduced Phyllis Thomas, reporter from the Hollis/Brookline Journal, who will now be covering the Board meetings.
4. ADMINISTRATION REPORTS
Ms. Goyette stated that the Back to School Nights were successful. She reported that this was the first year that they averaged the same number of parents for both grades. In the past, the 7th grade usually averages about 85% parent participation, and the 8th grade 60%. This year, both grades averaged about 75%. She added that the feedback forms were all positive. Ms. Goyette stated that she shared the ITC Literacy Initiative with the parents and they seemed pleased with the shift in standards and that children were using technology as a tool rather than in a less than real situation in a pull-out.
Ms. Goyette reported that last year, one of the teams asked to change their name in memory of student, Jordan Coffey, who passed away from a brain tumor. This year, parents sponsored a fundraiser to donate to Make-a-Wish in Jordan’s name. Two staff members, who were close to Jordan, spoke to the rest of the staff on opening day in August, and recommended that either a cash donation be given, or ROCK advisors with their ROCK groups make gift baskets to raffle off after the walk. It became their first service project. Over fifty-one (51) baskets were made, all with different themes – some camping, some gardening, hygiene, etc. Ms. Coffey came in the day after the event with a cake for the staff and reported that the baskets raised $1900. It has been decided that this will be an annual event. It was great for the students as their first task in their ROCK groups. It was simple to do, and not expensive.
Ms. Goyette stated that enrollment was still her big issue. She reported that there are a couple of classes that have 26 students, and that there is nothing lower than 24 students in a class. She reported that they created an additional science class to help reduce the size of labs. She stated that she spoke with the Association and it was agreed that Mr. Bond and Ms. Smith could share in teaching this class in lieu of administrative duties. Students chose if they wanted to be in that class or not.
Mr. Peterson pointed out that Ms. Goyette ended up with an enrollment of 460. He asked if they were projecting less than that. Ms. Goyette responded that they were on target. Mr. Enright asked about next year’s 7th grade class. Ms. Goyette stated that it is about equal to this year’s class, so they should be fine if it holds true.
Ms. Goyette reminded the Board that she had recommended that they pause on administering the Terra Nova tests because they would be giving the NECAPS (New England Common Assessment Program). She stated that she would now like to recommend that they discontinue the Terra Nova tests. She pointed out the following:
NECAPS – in the fall for 7th (6 sessions) and 8th (8 sessions)
NECAPS - in May for 8th grade (pilot for science - 3-4 sessions)
NEAP(National Assessment of Educational Progress) – in January for 8th grade, not an option, must participate even though they don’t receive the results. It is part of a national report.
As a result of all three of those, due to interruption to the school day and instruction, and not getting any more information than they would get from the NECAPS, she recommends discontinuing the Terra Novas.
Ms. Goyette explained that a session for the NECAPS is 90 minutes. However, since the tests are not timed, she asked to try fitting them into the 72-minute schedule blocks. Ninety-nine percent (99%) of the students finished the tests within the 72 minutes. The other students were taken to other areas and given more time to finish. There are 3 reading and 3 math sessions for the 7th grade, and 3 reading, 3 math, and 2 writing sessions for the 8th grade.
Ms. Mace pointed out that they needed to look at the cost versus the benefit. She felt that the instructional time lost in administering the Terra Nova tests was more important than giving them. She added that they get more information from the NECAPS.
Mr. Kelley reported that it was nice to open school after spending a year in the District. Classes started smoothly, and students got serious right off the bat. Mr. Kelley stated that students and staff are adjusting to the new schedule, however, he asked for patience in evaluating the new schedule. He added that they had provided staff development in preparation for the new schedule, and they will continue to do so during the year.
Study periods went down approximately 60% of the students taking them. He is happy to see seniors taking more classes.
Enrollment is at 98% capacity. Four (4) out of seven (7) periods, there are no classrooms available.
Mr. Kelley reported that they are going to try a pilot program for parent/teacher conferences that will take place during the Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
Mr. Kelley announced that the Class of 2008 (current junior class) finished 1st in English and 2nd in Math on the NHEIAP tests. He added that they held an Academic Pep Rally and was impressed with the number of scholarly students the school has. He reported that they had two (2) nationally recognized students for their outstanding achievement in debate and mathematics, four (4) students scored a perfect score on SATs, there are five (5) National Merit Scholars, there were over twenty (20) AP tests that students receive perfect scores on. He felt that the National Merit scores were a result of students taking the PSAT tests. The guidance department has instituted the opportunity for every junior to take the PSATs, which will be done in school.
Mr. Kelley informed the Board that they had received a donation of $500.00 from Chris Berlind, who finished 2nd nationally in the Trig Star competition. The check was presented to his math teacher, Stacey Plummer, who would like the money to be used towards a trophy case for the Math Team. Mr. Enright felt the Board already acted upon this at the July meeting. Mr. Kelley responded that he would check into it.
Mr. Kelley stated that in light of enrollment numbers at the High School, they may want to re-evaluate the foreign exchange student program. He stated that they opened up with 930, and a week ago had 905. He felt they will end up with 890-910. He added that they had a significant number of move-ins (approximately 40 new students). Class sizes started out as 23 and are quickly becoming 27/28. Mr. Kelley stated that not having six (6) foreign exchange students would open up a lot of classroom seats. Also, the foreign students are supposed to have a high proficiency of English, and that is not happening.
Mr. Kelley reported that the Music Department would like to start charging a small fee ($3.00) per concert. He felt this was reasonable and was up for anything that would improve the quality of the program. He added that they wanted to go to a competition in April. He added that the School currently charges for plays and sports functions.
Mr. Kelley stated that when he arrived, he reviewed the Handbook. He felt it was the only handbook he had ever seen that has seven (7) pages for field trips. He stated that there are a couple of field trips being planned: one to NYC and one to Chicago (newspaper club). He added that he had forgotten to bring the proper paperwork that night. Mr. Simons responded that they had a problem in the past with field trips and that is why the policy/procedures are so elaborate. He added that if Mr. Kelley could assure him that the field trips meet the policy, he didn’t have a problem with all the paperwork not being filled out. Mr. Enright stated that he wanted to follow the policy. Mr. Kelley asked if he could forward the information for the newspaper trip, as that is to take place in 1 ½ months and they need to work on obtaining plane tickets. Mr. Enright asked who was advising the newspaper group. Mr. Kelley responded that the AP History teacher, Jennifer Staub, was.
Mr. Enright stated that he would like to see a class size report, as they needed it early on for budgeting purposes. He added that the report should show each class, who teaches it, and the number of students. He then asked Mr. Kelley how he came out with the Music enrollment, as he had had some concerns about it. Mr. Kelley responded that it was better than he thought last spring.
Mr. Enright asked if the new schedule had impeded any department. Mr. Kelley responded that they will be doing a study. He added that they had had 1400 students enrolled in study hall, and they now have only 400.
Mr. Enright stated that he would also like to see a report on the Voc Ed transportation to know how they are doing with it. He added that an enrollment report shouldn’t come out until the October 1st deadline. He found reporting that enrollment was at 930 as problematic.
Chair. Murphy informed the Board that they are talking about having Al Orde come to the next Board meeting.
Mr. Simons asked what the status of the scoreboard was. Mr. Kelley responded that they were trying to get it installed for Homecoming, which is this coming Saturday.
Mr. Peterson asked what Mr. Kelley thought would be the procedure for evaluating the new schedule, and how long would it take. Mr. Kelley responded that he and the faculty council felt that they should give it a semester. He stated that they will be studying it from the faculty perspective as well as the students’. He added that they will start evaluating it spring semester.
Mr. Peterson asked if there were any issues regarding the cafeteria. He pointed out that the Board needed to make a decision if they are to push for a cafeteria/classroom addition for the next District Meeting. He felt this was an important issue. Mr. Kelley responded that he had a big concern with classroom space and the cafeteria. He stated that currently, it was not a problem, as students (20 – 80) were eating outside. However, when the bad and cold weather comes, they will have seating issues. He informed the Board that the lunch period had been expanded by 5 minutes and this has helped with students getting through the lunch line. Mr. Kelley added that he had a grave concern about storage. Currently, there is no available storage area in the school. Mr. Simons pointed out that the design for the cafeteria and additional classrooms done last year had storage space underneath, which was, however, only accessible from the outside.
Mr. Buteau reported that it was taking the students awhile to adjust to the new schedule. He felt it will take getting used to. He informed the Board that the first lunch is at 10:00 a.m., and is the earliest it has ever been. He felt that from the student perspective, the new schedule will work out. He added that he felt his classes were full of instruction.
Mr. Buteau reported that there was a slight crowding issue at lunch. Students are worried, especially when winter comes. The lunch lines are good.
Mr. Buteau stated that towards the end of the school year, they will be bringing in his replacement. At this point in time, it looks like his replacement will be Lauren Jacobi (only one to volunteer). He pointed out that the Junior class has to vote on it. He stated that the new student rep will probably show up at a couple of meetings prior to their term taking over, so he/she can see what a school board meeting is all about.
Mr. Buteau reported that all the classes had a fund raiser at the Old Home Days, and that each class will have a water station at the Applefest Half Marathon.
Mr. Buteau informed the Board that the High School has started a Granite State Challenge team, and the team won its first match, which was against Plymouth. He added that they hope to get to the championship. Mr. Simons asked when the match would be on TV. Mr. Buteau reported that the show is on Thursday nights. Mr. Kelley added that they had not scheduled the showing of that match yet. Mr. Buteau stated that Henry Cone-Roddy, Amy Foggarty, James Sterritt, JP Gorham, and he made up the team. John Kittredge and Deb Kissell are the advisors.
Mr. Buteau announced that next Wednesday, from 2:30 – 3:30, they will hold a “Challenge” between the students and the faculty.
Chair. Murphy asked how the SRO was going. Mr. Buteau stated that he didn’t think that the students really felt that their rights/privacy were being imposed upon. Officer Dunn makes her presence known. She is not doing any random locker checks. He felt that with time, the students will get used to her. He felt that it will work out.
Mr. Kelley stated that at the District Meeting, he was asked how Officer Dunn would be integrated into the system. He stated that she has been integrated the same as always – through small groups. She has gone to some classes, sits with students at lunch. Her office (closet) is just outside the cafeteria. She has been at the Middle School and the Elementary Schools.
Ms. Goyette stated that Officer Dunn has taken a lot of initiative, such as offering to be at the Open Houses. She sits with students at lunch and talks with them. Ms. Goyette stated that parents had questions about confidentiality. She reported that Office Dunn does well. If a child mentions Officer Dunn knowing a family member, Officer Dunn doesn’t acknowledge it.
Mr. Peterson asked about parking issues. Mr. Kelley responded that they had been approved to charge $25.00 per semester for a parking pass. However, they decided to charge for the full year and reduce it to $40.00 per year. He stated that they have a waiting list, which is being reduced. Mr. Kelley reported that the student’s main concern was what the money was going to be used for. When they learned that it would be used for security cameras to help protect their cars, they were fine with it. Mr. Kelley stated that he would like to first use the money to put in a guardrail at the ball field parking area. He felt this would make the area much safer.
Copies of the reports are available.
Director of Curriculum
Ms. Mace reported that the District was transitioning from NHEIAP to the NECAP tests because of the No Child Left Behind requirements. The Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), another requirement of NCLB and determined by performance on the NECAP or NHEIAP must meet 100% by 2013-2014. Ms. Mace reported that according to the initial reports released in June, the Hollis Brookline schools met AYP in all categories.
Ms. Mace reported that the Plan for Social Excellence sponsored the National Educational Computing conference in July at San Diego, CA. Ms. Mace reported that she, along with Joe Gruce, Carolyn Cicciu, Dean Jahns, and Claudia Dufresne attended the conference. Ms. Mace informed the Board that New Hampshire is well-regarded nationally, and is looked upon as doing cutting edge stuff.
Ms. Mace reported that Hollis/Brookline, Bedford, Hudson, and Milford have been invited to participate in the Math/Science Partnership Grant Proposal ($60,000) developed by Rivier College and Nashua School District. If it is funded, it will provide professional development to improve teaching of physical science. Ms. Mace stated that she will keep the Board updated.
Ms. Capasso stated that at the last Board meeting she discussed the incorporation of GASB34 (Capital Asset Reporting). She informed the Board that the SAU has had money encumbered for two years to help fund this transition to compliance. She added that she was currently getting quotes. She explained that FY 6-30-07 all accounting will be inline, meeting compliance. She explained that the Department of Education and the GASB boards want to see what the District’s strengths are.
Ms. Capasso stated that she would like to know if the Board wanted to do partial compliance, at a cost of $1,000 - $2,000, which would show the DOE and GASB boards that the District is coming into compliance. Mr. Simons asked if the $2,000 was the cost SAU-wide. Ms. Capasso responded that that was the Coop piece, that it will cost each district about $2,000.
Chair. Murphy asked what the other districts had decided. Ms. Capasso stated that the SAU was not under the gun. Hollis is running full steam ahead. Brookline wants to see what’s happening and see if the requirement is real. They will need to address it.
Ms. Capasso reported that she had talked with the auditors regarding participation ratio of other districts. Half of the districts not in compliance are doing partial compliance. Ms. Capasso felt that not being in compliance will affect the District’s bond rating. She added that they will be in compliance by the end of FY 2007.
Chair. Murphy questioned whether it would be the auditors’ staff or the SAU staff that would be doing the work. Ms. Capasso responded that most of it would fall on the shoulders of the SAU office.
Chair. Murphy pointed out that the SAU was going through a software transition this year, and wondered if they go forward with partial compliance, would it have an impact on the software transition. Ms. Capasso responded that she needed to get into it more to know the impact it will have. She stated that she needed an answer from the Board as to whether they wanted to go forth with partial compliance or not. She added that she needed to let the auditors know.
Mr. Enright asked if this issue complicated the process with the Budget Committee. Ms. Capasso responded that it shouldn’t. She added that this was a critical component if the District were to seek funding. Mr. Enright stated that that was why he felt that Board should support partial compliance. Mr. Peterson stated that he supported giving Ms. Capasso leeway to do it.
The sense of the Board was for Ms. Capasso to go ahead with partial compliance.
Ms. Capasso stated that in regards to this year’s budget, she had concerns with Salaries & Benefits, especially regarding insurance. Oil is another area of concern. They have a prepaid contract and are approximately $20,000 in deficit at the Middle School, and $17,000 in deficit at the High School. They are locked in at $2.399 and have purchased slightly more than last year. When budgeting for the Middle School, they didn’t take into account the addition/renovations. They had no history on what those areas would cost them. Ms. Capasso stated that last year they contracted for $2.199 per gallon. The cost is up $.20, but they have also purchased additional gallons.
Ms. Capasso informed the Board that transportation was another concern. The Middle School is at a $9,000 shortfall, as is the High School, also. She added that these figures did not take into account the cost of fuel, but rather, they were just based on the transportation contract.
Chair. Murphy stated that they had set aside a contingency because they didn’t know what the contract would entail at budget time. He questioned that this was a shortfall, which did not take into account the contingency. Ms. Capasso responded that it did not take into account the contingency.
Ms. Capasso reported that FY 2008 Budget process would be tracked through FundSense. She added that the recording the Board was used to, and comfortable with, was not going away. She stated that they need to get the program up and running.
Ms. Capasso stated that the conceptual budget overview would be presented at the October meeting, and the base line budgets at the November meeting.
Ms. Capasso reported that the software upgrades are scheduled as follows: General ledger – up and running for November; payroll – go-live April 10th payroll.
Mr. Peterson asked if Ms. Capasso had any thoughts on what they might do differently going into the budget process. Ms. Capasso responded that she had worked with budgets, but on the mechanical side. She stated that she would like to see a “0” base budget approved. If cuts are made, they will be documented. She added that they can track a lot of information. Ms. Capasso felt that the budget in November should state what they think is passable. At that point, they can reduce items, but keep placeholders for the next budget cycle. She added that she would like to provide more documentation. She would like to see a wish list, then work from there to get down to the number needed.
Mr. Peterson stated that he would like to know what is being done operationally that has the chance to impact the District, such as: the phone bill being reduced, or would it be more cost effective to out source payroll. Ms. Capasso responded that before they made the decision to keep the payroll in-house, they went to ADP with a proposal. Because of compliance, cost structure, hourly rate difference, and bargaining, the SAU office would have to go through a lot just to get the payroll ready for ADP. It was felt that it was not cost effective. Ms. Capasso added that the phones were being addressed.
Ms. Mace stated there was a nomination for the 504 Coordinator to place before the Board.
Mr. Kelley nominated Peter Taylor as the 504 Coordinator for a 0.5 FTE position. He reported that Mr. Taylor had a BA in Sociology from Merrimack College and a MSW with a concentration in Family Systems from Virginia Commonwealth University. Mr. Taylor had been the social worker at Londonderry High School, until his position was cut.
Mr. Kelley informed the Board that Supt. Pike had met with Mr. Taylor that day, and thus Mr. Kelley stated he would like Mr. Taylor to start next week.
Mr. Enright asked if Mr. Taylor’s salary was the same as Christine Page’s was. Mr. Kelley responded that Ms. Page’s salary was $22,800 and Mr. Taylor’s is $27,700.
Mr. Peterson asked if the amount shown on the report ($27,698) was the pro-rated amount. Ms. Capasso responded that the amount shown was Mr. Taylor’s salary for the full year, and was to be pro-rated.
Mr. Simons asked where the District was on the total budget line for new hires. Mr. Enright responded that they were pretty close to even. Ms. Capasso added that salaries and benefits were being reviewed, and pointed out that they were having staff come in to inform them of degree moves.
Ms. Kirby wondered if it was worth developing some kind of format that would show the Board the teachers that were working on degrees, and thus, would give the Board some idea of who will be making degree moves.
Chair. Murphy thought that there was a notification requirement for degree moves. Ms. Capasso responded that the notification requirement was for the stipend. Chair. Murphy agreed that it would be helpful to have some way of knowing who was going to have a degree move.
Steve Simons moved that the Board approve the nomination of Peter Taylor for the 0.5 FTE 504 Coordinator position with a salary of $27,698 (pro-rated to a September 25, 2006 date of hire). Tom Enright seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 5 – 0 – 0.
5. PUBLIC FORUM
6. BOARD AND DISTRICT GOALS FOR 2006-2007
Chair. Murphy asked the Board to give some thought as to what kinds of things they would like to look at as a District, what direction they would like to go in.
Mr. Peterson stated that Ms. Mace had gone to a conference with 4-5 staff members, and thus, he wondered what initiative they got out of the conference. Ms. Mace stated that they had met with the Middle School teachers and relayed what they had learned.
Ms. Goyette stated that Mr. Gruce and Ms. Cicciu were meeting with the staff, and also, they had asked for a half hour of time on August 26th, the first day back, to share what they had learned with the staff.
Mr. Peterson stated that in regards to the Budget Committee, they wanted to know what significant, out-of-the-ordinary budget items might be coming down the pike. He stated that if these items are presented early, they might be able to convince the Budget Committee that they are worthwhile. Ms. Mace felt that the budget process that Ms. Capasso described would be conducive to that. Mr. Peterson stated that the Budget Committee needed the information sooner, rather than later. He added that the Budget Committee wanted to put measures around things that are hard to put measures around. Ms. Goyette wondered what could they give as a measure beyond a well-kept building, good citizens, and good students. Mr. Peterson stated that he was trying to give a “heads up.” He added that the Budget Committee was willing to accept items, but they needed to be justified, and they also will want to know how one can measure its success.
Chair. Murphy pointed out that what happens at the High School is a result of what goes on in the prior grades. He questioned whether there was a drop-out problem, and added that he would like to get it as close to “0” as possible. He wondered how the District could better identify/quantify and serve the students at the bottom end.
Mr. Kelley stated that one building goal for the High School was transition for Special Ed and opportunities for non-college bound students. He felt they may want to look at expanding the Career Counselor position in order to expand finding internships for students, etc., not just for non-college bound students, but across the whole spectrum.
Chair. Murphy stated that if they wanted to expand the internship program, they may want to look at pulling it out of the budget and funding it on its own merits. Mr. Kelley added like last year when the SRO had its own warrant article.
Chair. Murphy stated that if adding staff for a 5th team at the Middle School was important, then Ms. Goyette may want to pull it out of the budget, and have it as a separate item.
Mr. Peterson reiterated that they needed to identify these things early, show its merits, and how it can be quantified. He added that he didn’t know if this will work, but the Budget Committee has said they will look at such items, therefore, he felt that the Board should test it. He added that the Budget Committee was trying to make sure that the taxpayer was getting a good investment on their money.
Mr. Kelley pointed out that if classrooms at the High School, and a 5th team at the Middle School, were not addressed, they will be in trouble down the road. He added that these items are not immediately measurable.
Mr. Peterson felt that each school should identify one program and try to present it this way.
Ms. Goyette felt that Mr. Kelley, or Mr. Peterson, should go to the Budget Committee and report on the Academic Assembly, and let them know how well the schools are doing.
Ms. Goyette stated that she has continually invited the Budget Committee members to come visit the school during the day. She felt this would give them a solid foundation to look at the returns on the taxpayers’ investments.
7. BUDGET DEVELOPMENT PROCESS FOR FY 2007-2008
Chair. Murphy stated that what happened last year, going into the District Meeting with two budget numbers, was not in the best interest for the District. He felt that they needed to work differently this year so they don’t end up at the same place as last year.
Chair. Murphy suggested the Board take a look at the budget at a gross level. He felt they should break the budget up among the Board members, each taking a section that they would become familiar with, and he suggested that the Budget Committee members do the same. Then, when items are discussed, a Budget Committee member and a Board member would pair up and be the “experts” on their items.
Mr. Enright felt they might be adding another layer that did not add consistency. He didn’t see how it would work. Chair. Murphy pointed out that there is some degree of it already with Mr. Simons being up on facilities, and Mr. Enright being up on staff, contracts, etc.
Mr. Simons felt that they wouldn’t get enough detail, if they went the route Chair. Murphy suggested.
Ms. Goyette felt there was more value in using Chair. Murphy’s suggestion after the budget was created, such as using it to sell the budget. She felt pairing board members up would make it more competitive.
Mr. Peterson felt that the Board needed to do the budget differently than last year, but wondered what it was, and how they should do it.
Mr. Kelley stated that it was frustrating last year having a set number based on a couple of statistics. He felt this sounded better.
Ms. Mace wondered how it differed from what they have done in the past. She pointed out that when they wanted Latin, they highlighted it. Chair. Murphy responded that like Special Ed being pulled outside of the budget, the Budget Committee is saying the Board could do it with other items, such as maintenance, textbooks, electronic portfolios, etc.
Ms. Goyette stated that the Budget Committee was asking that they approach the budget differently, and she felt the Board should ask for a couple of things. Ms. Goyette added that the Budget Committee be asked to spend a couple of hours in the schools. Mr. Kelley added that both he and Ms. Goyette would welcome the Budget Committee to their schools. Ms. Goyette suggested that a collaborative schedule be put together where the Budget Committee members would spend ½ the schedule at the Middle School and ½ at the High School, and meet up for lunch.
Ms. Goyette stated that she had already talked to her department heads regarding the budget. She stated that she had told them they could shift line items around within their budget, but the total had to be the same.
Mr. Enright stated that he was uncomfortable with where they were with the budget. He stated that he didn’t want to come in at 10% and then have to cut things out. He pointed out the following:
Salary increase for support and professional staff 3%
Fuel, transportation, healthcare 1-2%
Mr. Enright stated that he was not going to be receptive to much increase in the budget. He stated that he didn’t want to get to November and have the budget be at 8 – 10%.
Mr. Peterson stated that the overall increase has to be manageable. The question was how to get there. He felt they should perhaps start at “0” and must justify everything. He felt this was a better approach than starting with what they had before and adding to it.
Mr. Enright pointed out that they were at 5% before Ms. Goyette and Mr. Kelley have even presented their budgets. He added that he has consistently heard how “voters have been good to the District for a long time,” thus they need to knock off big budget increases.
Chair. Murphy stated that he would talk with Supt. Pike as to how they should approach the budget. He felt there were some good points for the “0” approach. He felt that the budget should be 4.5-5% impact that it couldn’t come in at 7%.
Mr. Kelley stated that he tried to start at “0” base last year. He added that he is trying to make up for textbooks, and that they needed to get back on track with them. He pointed out that with the enrollment increase, they needed to add two teachers, which drives the budget up.
8. COMMITTEE REPORTS
Farley Lot Lines and Easements
Mr. Simons reported that they had spent approximately $1000 - $2000 on Farley to bring it up to snuff. He stated that they were done, and have been approved.
Mr. Simons informed the Board that the Town won’t do the lot line easement or 20-year lease. The driveway has been graded, but the Town won’t give permission for it to be paved, which was allotted in the bond.
Chair. Murphy stated that when the Town Engineer is happy with the improvements, he wanted a letter generated releasing the District of all obligations. Ms. Capasso responded that she should have such a letter in-hand by the next day, adding that they had received verbal approval.
Support Staff Negotiations
Mr. Simons reported that there was nothing new. He added that he would be scheduling a meeting.
Chair. Murphy reported that he, Mr. Peterson, and Supt. Pike were sitting on the committee. He reported that the general sense of the committee is guarded optimism. He stated that they hadn’t discussed detailed options, but they were laying the framework. He stated that they hope to have some more concrete things by October.
The current formula is 75/25.
Ms. Capasso will generate some historical data.
9. NEW BUSINESS
Chair. Murphy stated that they had a separation agreement for a member of the staff that needed to be approved, and asked if the Board members had read the agreement, which he had forwarded to them.
Mr. Simons stated that he was concerned about confidentiality.
Mr. Enright felt that the agreement stopped the Board from discussing it with a third party. He pointed out that it was releasing the subject of all claims. Mr. Enright stated that they had a claim, but had never gotten a judgment.
Pam Kirby moved that the Board enter non-public session under the provisions of RSA 91-A:3 II (a) dismissal, promotion or compensation of any pubic employee or the disciplining of such employee. Tom Enright seconded. A roll call vote was taken with all members present voting in the affirmative. 5 - 0 - 0.
The Board entered non-public session at 9:29 p.m.
The board returned from Non-Public session at 10:03 p.m.
Dan Peterson moved to seal the minutes of the previous non-public session. Steve Simons seconded the motion. The motion passed with a roll call vote 5-0.
Dan Peterson moved that the board approves the separation agreement between the district and Charles Twichell, and authorizes the board chair to sign the agreement, provided the issue discussed in non-public session is addressed to the board chair’s satisfaction. Tom Enright seconded the motion. The motion passed 5-0.