November 15, 2006
Hollis-Brookline Middle School
Jim Murphy, Chairperson
Betty Hall, arrived at 6:40 p.m.
Richard Pike, Superintendent of Schools
Tim Kelley, Principal, Hollis-Brookline High School
Pat Goyette, Principal, Hollis-Brookline Middle School
Carol Mace, Director of Curriculum and Instruction
Mellinee Capasso, Business Administrator
Trevor Buteau, Student Representative, arrived at 6:32 p.m.
Betsy A. Packard, Recording Secretary
Others present included members of the Public.
Chairperson Jim Murphy called the meeting to order at 6:08 p.m.
Steve Simons moved that the Board accept the minutes of October 18, 2006, as written. Dan Peterson seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 4 – 0 – 0.
Steve Simons moved that the Board accept the minutes of November 1, 2006, as written. Dan Peterson seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 4 – 0 – 0.
Chair. Murphy informed the Board that he had received a letter from a parent regarding the concert at the High School now charging a fee.
Mr. Peterson asked if Mr. Kelley had any response to the letter. Mr. Kelley stated that there were some concerns. He had had an email from a woman also stating her concerns about being charged for the concert. Mr. Kelley stated that he explained to the woman why they were now charging and what the money was going to be used for. She seemed to accept his explanation. Mr. Kelley added that Concord, Nashua, and Manchester all charge for their concerts. Mr. Kelley felt that the letter raised some good concerns.
Mr. Enright wondered if the Board had drawn the line clearly. He added that the parent had pointed out that the concert was part of the classroom requirement. Mr. Kelley stated that the intention for charging was to build up the music/band program. He felt that if students got the chance to travel to other venues, it would help build a great department. He added that a suggestion had been made that they ask for a donation. Mr. Kelley felt a donation would be OK. He just wanted to build the program.
Mr. Enright asked if there were other extensions of classroom activities that the School charged for. Mr. Kelley responded that they charge for theater productions and sports, but neither were extensions of the classroom. He added that usually there was a booster club in the background for these things.
Mr. Simons asked if donations would be enough? Mr. Kelley responded that if it made the Board more comfortable to ask for donations, then he would be willing to do it. Mr. Simons agreed that if the concert were an extension of the classroom requirement, then they should not charge for it.
Mr. Kelley stated that he had sent home a letter with the students, explaining that they were going to be charging for entrance to the concert, and where the money would be use. However, many parents didn’t get the letter.
Chair. Murphy felt that a required activity of the classroom was different, and they should only ask for a donation. Mr. Kelley stated that he would send another letter home stating that they would be asking for donations, and again, explaining where the money will be going.
3. APPOINTMENT OF BOARD VACANCY
Chair. Murphy stated that the vacancy on the Board had been advertised in the newspapers and on the website. He added that he had contacted Webb Scales and suggested that he throw his hat in the ring. Chair. Murphy stated that he had worked with Mr. Scales through other boards and committees. He then asked Mr. Scales to address the Board.
Mr. Scales stated that he was a software engineer for Hewlett-Packard and that he lived in Brookline. He informed the Board that he was an alternate for the Town Planning Board, and was on the Board of Adjustment. Mr. Scales stated that he had two children and would like to make sure that things are in good hands, as well as lend his assistance.
Mr. Murphy stated that he has found Mr. Scales to be an analytical and a levelheaded thinker.
Steve Simons moved that the Board appoint Webb Scales to complete the term of Michelle Mosca. Jim Murphy seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 4 – 0 – 0.
Tom Enright, Justice of the Peace, administered the oath of office to Mr. Scales. Mr. Scales then joined the Board at the table.
4. SUPERINTENDENT REVIEW PROCESS
Chair. Murphy stated that he had sent material out to the Board regarding a process for reviewing the Superintendent.
Mr. Simons stated that this was a revised draft, and he felt it was extremely thorough and felt that the process was well done.
Mr. Peterson stated that he had not had a chance to look at it thoroughly. He stated that he had some concerns with the first draft regarding the evaluation cycles.
Mr. Murphy stated that he had looked at the draft and had some concerns with it, but on deeper reflection, he felt that he was just nit-picking. Therefore, he was willing to give the process a test run and see how it goes.
Mr. Enright stated that he had not seen the most recent version. He did feel that the process was a good one. He did have one concern with community members evaluating the Superintendent. He pointed out that the Superintendent sets the educational goals, and thus, he wondered how community members could evaluate the success of those goals, such as differentiated instruction. In the past, the Board talked with the principals, as well as others in the District to get their input on how things were going. Mr. Enright did not feel that input from staff or community members was the way to go. He added that people are reluctant to talk about their boss, as well they should be. Mr. Enright felt that the 15 members of the SAU should do the evaluation. He then pointed out that the last wording of the process did not have the SAU members doing the evaluation; it just had others talking to the SAU members.
Chair. Murphy felt that the draft Mr. Enright was talking about wasn’t the most current draft. Mr. Enright asked if the most current document had the board members doing the evaluation. Chair. Murphy thought it was a sub-committee. Mr. Enright felt that it should be clear, legally, as to who is doing the evaluation.
5. SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT
Supt. Pike informed the Board that he had received two letters requesting a maternity leave of absence: one from Jennifer Verville (Spanish) and one from Elizabeth Dragoumanos (Spanish).
Chair. Murphy asked Mr. Enright to refresh his memory on the contractual issues of maternity leave. Mr. Enright responded that in regards to Ms. Verville, it would be family leave that she was requesting, not family medical leave, as stated in her letter. He added that the Supt. Pike needed to be clear about that. With family leave, there are no benefits and no pay. An employee may continue their medical insurance at their own cost. Supt. Pike responded that he had boiler plate letters just for this purpose.
Tom Enright moved that the Board accept the maternity leave of absence request of Jennifer Verville for the balance of this school year and for family leave for the following school year. Steve Simons seconded.
Chair. Murphy asked if Ms. Verville had any determination of start date for her leave of absence. Mr. Kelley pointed out that with twins it is hard to determine. He added that he has a replacement. This person has experience in the District, and has already come in and observed.
Motion carried. 5 – 0 – 1. (Hall abstained.)
Mr. Peterson asked that Supt. Pike and Mr. Kelley make sure that Ms. Dragoumanos follows the terms of the contract. Mr. Kelley responded that her request was more on the issue of accumulated sick leave. Mr. Enright asked if Ms. Dragoumanos had been teaching for long. Mr. Kelley responded that she had, that she was tenured. He added that she is Elizabeth Hanscom, who got married last year. Mr. Enright stated that they wanted to do the contractually right thing.
Dan Peterson moved that the Board accept the request of Elizabeth Dragoumanos for a maternity leave of absence based on the contractual agreement. Steve Simons seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 6 – 0 – 0.
Supt. Pike informed the Board that he had received a piece of correspondence that day, which would require a non-public session as it pertained to a legal matter.
Supt. Pike reported that the Apportionment Committee would be holding their final meeting the next night. It is during this meeting that the Committee will come up with their final presentation to the Board. Supt. Pike added that the presentation that Dan Peterson had prepared for the Apportionment Informational Session was well done and very well received. He added that he would like to make a couple of tweaks to it and then he would like to have it run on the public access channel.
Mr. Simons added that it was an excellent presentation and was very clear.
Chair. Murphy informed the Board that he had set aside Wednesday, December 6 for the Apportionment Review and Hearing. The Apportionment Committee will give their recommendation to the Board that night, along with their reasoning for the recommendation. Chair. Murphy stated that the Board may or may not make a decision that same night. If the Board wants more time to review the recommendation, then that is fine.
It was decided to start the meeting that night at 7:00 p.m.
7. PRINCIPALS’ REPORTS
Ms. Goyette reported that she had just come back from a 3-day conference in Albany, NY. Heidi Hayes Jacobs was the facilitator for the conference, and she will be coming to work with the Middle School staff in February. Ms. Goyette stated that five staff members also went with her, and they will be her core team to develop the Curriculum Mapping initiative.
Chair. Murphy stated that a parent had raised a question to him regarding donations to buy specimens for dissection, asking him if he was aware of it. Chair. Murphy stated that he told the parent that he had not been aware of it. Ms. Goyette responded that this practice was in place before she arrived at the school and she has been with the school for 10 years. She felt that instructional materials should not be donated. She added that she tried to increase the budget over the years for this line item, but it was always cut back.
Mr. Enright stated that he had never heard of it.
Mr. Peterson asked if it was in the budget under materials this year. Ms. Goyette responded that it wasn’t and that it would cost about $2,000. It would fall under science teaching materials.
Mr. Kelley stated that he would like guidance from the Board regarding the field trip policy and also the staff substitution issue.
Chair. Murphy gave Mr. Kelley kudos regarding the new lights in the gym. Mr. Kelley responded that it was a win-win situation, as it was only going to cost the District $290.00, but the long-term savings would be significant. On top of that, the lighting will be better. He added that it was John Gray’s initiative that brought this about.
Mr. Kelley informed the Board that the Western Humanities class would like to offer a trip to Europe during the April vacation. He stated that he didn’t have the paperwork with him, but that he would get it to the Board members the next day. He added that they had already had an informational session with parents regarding the trip, but made it clear that it had to be approved by the Board.
Mr. Kelley informed the Board that currently, the policy states that any foreign or overnight trips had to be approved by the Board. He stated that he would like to suggest that the policy be modified to having the Board’s approval on foreign trips and any overnight trips that would require air travel, and/or trip greater than 25 students. Domestic overnight trips would be approved by the Superintendent. He pointed out that the outing club, and FIRST go on overnight trips quite often, and where the Board only meets once a month, it becomes problematic.
Mr. Simons stated that 3 – 4 years ago, there had been a problem with the field trips. Therefore, they wrote a detailed, micro-managed policy. He added that they probably don’t need such a policy now, and he felt that relaxation of the policy would be OK. Mr. Simons also recommended that the trips that are reoccurring, such as the Orlando trip and the Washington, D.C. trip at the Middle School, would not need re-approval.
Chair. Murphy recommended that Mr. Kelley make the recommended changes to the policy and bring it to the Board for review and approval.
Mr. Kelley asked if it would be all right for the Western Humanities class to continue to move forward with their information. Mr. Simons felt it would be OK since they would be following the existing policy.
Mr. Kelley stated that he keeps bringing up the issue of nurse substitutes. He pointed out that there are 900 students in the school with only one nurse, and if the nurse is out for a day or two, they are unable to get a qualified substitute. Mr. Kelley stated that he would like to raise the nurse substitute pay to $100 per day .He added that this is what several of the schools in the area have done in order to keep a good pool of RN substitutes.
Chair. Murphy asked if the proposed budget had the pay at the current $65 per day, or was it raised to $100 per day. Mr. Kelley responded that they were proposing to have a part-time nurse for the District. Chair. Murphy then asked if Mr. Kelley was proposing to raise the current amount of $65 to $100 per day for this year’s current budget.
Mr. Simons asked if Mr. Kelley knew about how many times they needed a nurse substitute. He added that he was trying to get an idea of how much money it would cost.
Mr. Enright stated that if they raised the pay to $100 per diem, and the school nurse was out for two months, then he wouldn’t want to pay $100 per day. Ms. Goyette responded that the first 10 days would be at the $100 per day, then it would go to the per diem amount.
Mr. Enright asked if they pay the nurse substitute $100 per day, would it make problems with regular classroom substitutes. Ms. Goyette responded that the $100 per day would be for an RN nurse, not an EMT, or sympathetic individual to just sit in the office.
Mr. Enright asked if this was part of the contract. Mr. Kelley responded that it wasn’t. He stated that it was a District price set by the Superintendent. Supt. Pike added that the increase could be justified because they were asking for a certified RN.
Chair. Murphy stated that he was concerned about having the right care for the students.
Tom Enright moved that the Board approve substitute pay at a rate of $100 per day for a nurse with RN qualifications. Steve Simons seconded. Motion carried. 5 – 0 – 1. (Hall not present.)
Ms. Goyette explained that the first 10 days of substitution, the substitute is paid the $100. After that, the substitute is then paid per diem base on their qualifications.
Mr. Kelley informed the Board that he had been working with Ms. Capasso to get additional help in the area of technology support. The current support system is being taxed due to the new student information system, and with the increased instructional time, more teachers are implementing technology into their lessons. Mr. Kelley stated that he had been granting release time to help cover the situation, that is, he hires a substitute so the classroom teacher can help out with the technology support. Mr. Kelley added that he has an experienced person in the area who is available to provide technology support for two days a week for the next 20 weeks that he would like to hire. He stated that he had been working with Ms. Capasso in regards to the cost, which would not exceed $5,000 and would be covered from the savings in AV tech hire.
Chair. Murphy asked if the budget would be kept neutral. Ms. Capasso responded that it would.
Mr. Scales questioned if the budget would remain neutral, then why was it brought to the Board. Chair. Murphy responded that the Board did not need to take any action on this item, but Mr. Kelley was just letting the Board know.
Mr. Scales asked if the Board could expect to see this in the budget next year. Mr. Kelley responded that it was a good question and that it was not in the budget next year, but it was heavy on his mind. He added that he was just trying to address the situation for this year. Mr. Kelley stated that technology was a really important area. He pointed out that one could put all the technology they wanted in the building, but unless they train the staff, it will not be fully utilized.
Student Representative Report
Mr. Buteau stated that he had spoken to the Student Council Advisor, Ms. Pepper, and asked her if there was anything he should bring to the Board. She asked that he bring up the issue of parking on this past election day. Mr. Buteau stated that on election day, an area had been roped off for voters and another area had been roped off for students. However, is seems that quite a few cars with political signs, supporters of the different candidates, parked in the student area. It was felt that this should be brought to the Board’s attention.
Mr. Kelley stated that he would like to reassess having school in session during a polling day. He stated that they did have an area blocked off for the voters; however, they did not anticipate supporters of candidates parking. He added that most of the voting took place after 2:30 when school is out, but most of the voting done up to 2:30 was by retired people, and he was concerned about them having a long walk from their cars. Mr. Kelley felt it might be worthwhile to run a workshop on voting day in the future.
Supt. Pike stated that he had had input from the School Board members and officials in town. Dates for upcoming elections have been sent out.
Chair. Murphy stated that if Hollis held their municipal elections at the Elementary School, there wouldn’t be such an impact on parking, because elementary students don’t drive. Mr. Simons responded that the Elementary school has limited parking, barely enough for the staff. He added that there had been discussion that once the Lawrence Barn was completed, voting could be held there.
Mr. Peterson stated that if elections were held at the High School, especially a big election, something would need to be done.
Mr. Enright asked that Supt. Pike contact the Board of Selectmen to see if Lawrence Barn would be available for voting.
Mr. Buteau introduced Lauren Jacobi, stating that Ms. Jacobi would be replacing him. He added that she may start participating as early as January. He pointed out that because seniors have a lot going on their senior year, and because juniors would have a greater interest in seeing things get done, it made sense for them to come on board earlier.
Mr. Kelley stated that Ms. Jacobi had been voted on by the Student Council. He added that last year it had been set up for the new student representative to come on board after the District Meeting, but after talking about it, he felt it made more sense for the new student representative to come on in January.
8. PUBLIC FORUM
Chair. Murphy recognizes John Filer from Hollis.
Mr. Filer stated that he had exchanged emails regarding the performing arts concert and payment to attend. Chair. Murphy explained to Mr. Filer that the Board had discussed the issue that night and had decided that they should not charge for something that is an extension of the classroom. Thus, they were going to ask for donations.
Mr. Filer asked how the Board managed additional revenue streams. He stated that through the emails, he felt it wasn’t accounted for very well. Gate receipts for basketball go to the general fund, while gate receipts for football go to football. He added that the night of the concert he asked where the entrance money for the concert was going, and he got blank stares. He felt that the performing arts have the chance to do performances to raise funds. He stated that he didn’t get the sense that there was an outline for additional revenue streams, and therefore, wondered what the procedure/policy was. Mr. Kelley stated that when the Board discussed the issue earlier that night, he brought Mr. Filer’s arguments forward. He explained that money collected for the different gate receipts goes through the student activity fund, and any money raised from concerts would be used for band/music. He added that the student activity fund is heavily audited. Ms. Capasso stated that athletic fees and gate receipts go to the specific programs.
Mr. Filer asked why they only charge for basketball? Mr. Simons responded because they could. Mr. Filer asked why they didn’t charge for volleyball. Chair. Murphy responded that Mr. Filer raised a good point, adding that the Board needed to look into how it should be decided which activities are charged for and which ones are not.
Mr. Peterson stated that during the Board’s earlier discussion, Mr. Enright brought up the issue of how does the Board make sure that the District is consistent. Mr. Peterson stated that the Board needed to look at this issue. He added that there is oversight. The Business Office has oversight of the funds, and the large costs come before the Board.
Mr. Filer stated that when he asked where the money was going, he was told that it was going for the Jazz Band. He added that if he had been told the money was going towards the overall program, he would have been fine with that.
Chair. Murphy stated that Mr. Filer made some valid points, and he thanked him for bringing them to the Board’s attention.
The Board recessed at 7:40 p.m.
The Board reconvened at 7:50 p.m.
9. PRESENTATION OF THE PROPOSED 2007-2008 BUDGET
Ms. Capasso distributed copies of the Proposed 2007-2008 Budget. She then explained the following:
Page 1 – Identifies items that placeholders are being used for.
· Professional Staff Warrant Article $364,921
In the second year of 3-year bargaining. This is a separate warrant article.
The support staff Warrant Article is in negotiations, therefore, don’t have an amount.
· SAU Assessment Account #10-2320-310-00
SAU Budget to be approved on December 7, 2006. Will then know the Coop’s portion. The amounts budgeted represent the 2007 assessments.
· Retirement Benefits Account #10-2900-239-00
Staff has until January 1, 2007 to notify the office of their plans to retire in order to receive the retirement benefit. As of today, there have been no notifications.
· Contingency Account #10-2310-840-00
Fiscal year 2007 budget had a contingency account for two items: Special Education and Transportation.
Ms. Hall asked if there was a percentage amount that the District puts aside, or does the District specify certain amounts for specific events. Mr. Enright responded that the District had never had a contingency account until last year. Chair. Murphy added that there were two specific issues that they didn’t have the dollar amounts for, so they were encumbered contingencies.
· Data Warehouse Pilot – including QSP Data Management System and contract services.
An in-depth discussion was held on this issues during the SAU meeting.
· Proposed Revenue Sheet
Has not been completed. Still waiting for CAT Aid, grant programs, etc.
Chair. Murphy asked what the Dept. of Revenue Administration’s recommendation was at that point. Ms. Capasso responded that she didn’t know. She added that she had sent emails out asking what other districts were using.
Page 2 and 3 – New Position Sheets for the Middle School and the High School.
Ms. Capasso asked that the Board members take the budget home and look it over, then address any questions they may have to a point of contact on the Board, who will in turn, pass the questions along to her.
Mr. Enright questioned the Middle School’s need for para-professionals, stating that they currently have four and next year will need five. Ms. Goyette responded that Mr. Kelly will come to the December meeting to address any Special Education questions. She stated that she knew there were 5 students needed a para coming in from the 6th grades.
Ms. Capasso explained that the New Position Sheets included regular instruction, as well as Special Education.
Chair. Murphy asked if overall the Special Education budget was in the proposed budget. Ms. Capasso responded that is was.
Chair. Murphy asked what salary level was used as a placeholder for new instructors? Ms. Capasso responded that Masters Step 5 is used for professional staff, and for the support staff, they use the appropriate category Step 2.
Mr. Enright questioned the 5 new paras at the High School. Mr. Kelley responded that none of the current students with paras were leaving next year and they would be having five new students coming in.
Ms. Capasso explained that the next section of the Proposed Budget was the Function Summary section. The District-wide portion is not specific to a school. This section covers School Board expenses and the SAU administrative office. She added that when she sends her report to the State, this section is divided up by enrollment. Currently, it is a 40/60 ratio, with 40% the Middle School and 60% the High School.
Chair. Murphy questioned the bilingual instructor being carried by the District, but wondered since there is no one in the District using this service, if it made sense for the Coop to host it. Ms. Capasso responded that she had talked with the Superintendent about this issue. She agreed that since the Coop does not have any ESL students, they needed to look at another District to host the instructor. Mr. Enright stated that the District was carrying a $50,000 expense for something they do not use. He asked if it would be off the budget by the next meeting. Supt. Pike responded that this was the year to have another district host it.
Ms. Capasso pointed out the following accounts that are in the District-wide budget:
· Operation of plant
· Employee Benefits
· Debt service
· Transfer to food service
· Transfer to special revenue funds (grants)
Ms. Capasso informed the Board that there had been a 14% increase in health premiums. However, this year they had a slight migration to the buy-back program, therefore, there was a significant savings, so they just about broke even. She added that the 14% increase was accounted for, but the increase to caps (negotiated) and the increase to buy-backs was not.
Mr. Enright questioned the increase in Operation of Plant. Ms. Capasso responded that the increase to the Operation of Plant was due to the increase in insurance. The addition to the Middle School was not on the previous premium, but is this year.
Mr. Enright asked if all the buildings were in that figure. Ms. Capasso responded that they were.
Ms. Capasso explained that the back tabs were the Account Details. They give explanations of each account.
Ms. Capasso informed the Board that there had been a huge increase in the employee and the teacher retirement fund (10-2900-232-00). Teachers went from 3.7% to 5.7% of their salary, for an overall increase of 56%. Employees went from 6.81% to 8.7%. She added that the District is contracted to pay this. She stated that last year they had three retirements, which made up $76,000.
Mr. Peterson asked about the historical reason why benefits don’t got the to individual schools. Mr. Enright responded that it has always been done through the SAU. Ms. Capasso added that it is split up for the State report. She pointed out that if it was separated by schools, it could get too specific as to what they are paying an individual. Also, the software doesn’t support it. She explained that for State reporting, benefits are split up by what the total salaries are at the Middle School and the High School.
Ms. Capasso explained that some line items have only $1.00 in the account. This is done in order to keep the account active in the budget. Mr. Scales asked where else they should look for $0 and put $1.00 in instead. Chair. Murphy responded that State law says that money can’t be spent if:
1) Warrant article is not passed
2) If voters vote on a budget and the line item is $0
Ms. Hall pointed out that Workman’s Comp had gone up. Ms. Capasso responded that the premium went up. Mr. Enright asked if the District had received more than one quote for Workman’s Comp. Ms. Capasso responded that it was time to look at Workman’s Comp, but also, it would probably behoove them to look at the whole insurance structure. Mr. Enright felt they should get a quote from LGC.
Chair. Murphy asked where the District was in regards to the bottom line of the budget. Ms. Capasso responded that there were at 9.06% with holes. She added that it was a big number. She stated that if they backed off Special Education and the fund transfers, and then added in the teacher’s warrant salary article, they would be at 6.8%, without the support staff and SAU adjustment.
Chair. Murphy stated that the Budget Committee was looking at 4.7% for everything.
Mr. Enright stated that with 6.8%, then adding in 1.0% for support staff, they were really at 7.8%.
Mr. Peterson asked if Ms. Capasso had had a meeting with Mr. Milkowski, and if they had the student population number. Ms. Capasso responded that the 4.8% was arrived at by:
3.4% for CPI
1.4% for student population increase
4.8% increase in the budget
Ms. Capasso stated that the Hollis School District used the regional number for the CPI. She added that the month of September, the CPI was at a lower rate, therefore, they took the average. Mr. Peterson added that the CPI comes out every 2 months, so they averaged the 6 figures, and then settled on 1.4% for the student population increase.
Mr. Enright asked what the transfers were. Ms. Capasso responded that they were food service, debt service, grant money, aid money, etc.
Mr. Enright asked what the increase in Special Education was. Ms. Capasso responded that it was $716,000. Ms. Capasso added that the Special Education function codes had changed. 1200 accounts were educational costs, and 2100 accounts covered physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy.
Mr. Enright asked if $185,000 contingency was for Special Education. Ms. Capasso responded that it was. Mr. Enright felt that that was a big number to have no earmark for. He asked if the amount was for a specific reason. Ms. Capasso responded that Mr. Kelly needed to answer that question. Mr. Enright stated that the Special Education budget was enormous. Ms. Capasso agreed.
Chair. Murphy stated that it the proposed budget had been given the once over, now it was time for the Board members to go back and look it over in-depth and develop a list of questions.
Mr. Simons wondered if the Board needed a workshop to work on the budget before the December meeting. Ms. Capasso stated that she would like the principals to address some of the items.
Ms. Goyette stated that the Middle School was in a great position. She pointed out that they absorbed large cuts last year. They will be down 20 students next year, so this will help bring class sizes back to 21/22 students compared to the 25/26 this year.
Ms. Goyette reported that excluding Special Education and maintenance, the budget was up $60,000. Textbooks in math were $24,000, first of a 5-year plan to replace technology is $23,000. The staff came in with a reduction of $16,500 in teaching materials.
Ms. Goyette stated that there was controversy regarding the overtime in maintenance being up $10,000. She stated that they were absorbing the overtime pay in the budget in order to keep the school open on weekends from November to April. She did, however, want the voters to see this.
Chair. Murphy pointed out that the Middle School was a beautiful facility, but if it was being used outside of the school district, then the groups using it should be charged. Supt. Pike stated that they needed to look at the Facilities Use Policy. Mr. Simons felt it was a big bag of worms. Mr. Scales pointed out that if they did charge, then they would have to account for the revenue on the expenditure side. Chair. Murphy agreed, but pointed out that they were spending it anyway.
Mr. Kelley stated that the High School doesn’t do as much recreation as the Middle School. Recreational basketball has so many coming in and out, that they need a custodian.
Chair. Murphy asked if they could work a custodian schedule so it would be regular time, not overtime pay. Ms. Goyette responded that the custodian staff is typically Monday through Friday. She has one nighttime schedule. She added that she did try to find someone for a Tuesday through Sunday schedule, but couldn’t find anyone.
Mr. Kelley highlighted the following items in the proposed budget:
· Reorganization of the computer line item
Line item #1169 was broken up to better reflect the allocation of resources and to highlight program areas. It is split into three areas:
1) Business Department (1103)
2) Computer Education Department (1114)
3) Computer Instructional Services (2225)
The Computer Instructional Services deals with computer resources allocated throughout the building in all curriculum areas. The bottom line amount of $171,000 in the Computer (1169) account was redistributed as follows:
Business Department (1103) $52,000
Computer Education Department (1114) $62,000
Computer Instructional Services (2225) $176,000
This is a net gain of $119,000, of which $100,000 is for technology purchase, which is addressed below.
· High School budget increase (16.6%)
For every $70,000 the budget increases, accounts translate to a 1% increase. 16.1% of the increase can be accounted for in the following 5 areas:
o 1100 – Regular Instruction (3.8% increase) $264,000
$193,000 for 3 teaching positions –
One to address increased enrollment.
One to address class size in English and Social Studies.
One to address class size in Science and changing the Athletic Director to a full-time position.
$41,000 for additional equipment needed due to increased enrollment – desks, chairs, tables, student lockers.
o 1200 – Special Education (5.9% increase) $410,000
$145,000 for new positions, including 5 new paras
$89,000 for out-of-district placements
o 2225 – Computer Instructional Services (2.5% increase) $176,000
Actually a $118,000 increase due to splitting up departments as noted above.
$75,000 for 3 laptop computer carts
$25,000 to replace computers in the tech center
o 2600 – Operation of Plant (2.9% increase) $201,000
$15,000 for Athletic Fields (install irrigation system)
$53,000 for Building Repairs (install AC in tech lab)
$20,000 for General Maintenance (replace carpets and boiler repair)
o 2772 – Transportation Special Education (1.0% increase) $68,000
Mr. Enright pointed out that there are already two computer carts at the High School. He asked how many more was needed. Mr. Kelley responded that they needed an additional 3 carts. Mr. Simons pointed out that they have lost the computer labs as they are being used as classroom space. Mr. Kelley pointed out that with the block scheduling, classroom teachers are doing more with technology. Ms. Mace added that they needed to think about the ITC standards, which state that a student needs to develop a portfolio as a graduation requirement by the year 2009.
Mr. Scales asked at what point are laptops more feasible than computer labs. Mr. Simons responded that it is not that computer labs aren’t feasible, but rather the computer lab space is needed for regular classroom instructional space.
Mr. Peterson pointed out that a request for three new teaching positions had been made, but wondered what they will use for classroom space. Mr. Kelley responded that he needed to address class sizes, thus felt it was his obligation to put forth a budget that maintains the current level of education. Where to put the teachers is an issue he will have to find a solution for. He pointed out that they could put study halls back into the cafeteria, if needed.
Mr. Enright questioned if the Athletic Director is changed to full-time, the current salary is $10,000, what would happen to that money. Mr. Kelley responded that it would come out. Mr. Enright added that a new science teacher was budgeted, so the $10,000 would come out. He added that he supported what Mr. Kelley was doing at the High School, but he couldn’t support the budget he presented. He stated that he could support one new teacher, but he couldn’t support a full-time Athletic Director, irrigation of the field, or the three laptop carts. He pointed out that the percent increase was still in double digits. He also felt that there was something wrong with the Special Education budget. He concluded by saying that he was not suggesting that the requests weren’t legitimate or not needed, but that he simply could not support them.
Mr. Peterson stated that the Board could not go to the District meeting with a student population increase of 30 new students and ask for three new teachers. Mr. Kelley responded that one teacher was for the increase in the student population, one teacher was to address the large class sizes in English and Social Studies, and the last teacher was to address the Athletic Director moving out of science.
Mr. Scales asked if the full-time Athletic Director would teach science. Mr. Kelley responded that he wouldn’t. Mr. Scales then stated that the introduction of the new science teacher would be neutral. Mr. Kelley explained that the science teacher would teach the three classes that the Athletic Director currently teaches, plus two additional classes. This would help with the large class sizes in science. He added that the Athletic Director is called out of the school quite often for athletic issues, and has many meetings up in Concord.
Chair. Murphy asked if there would be a corresponding reduction cost for the athletic assistant. Mr. Kelley responded that Souhegan, Hanover, Plymouth all have assistants, as well as full-time athletic directors.
Chair. Murphy asked what the Athletic Director was paid. Mr. Kelley responded that he was paid a full teachers salary, plus an additional $10,000 stipend. Mr. Enright asked if that is what the Athletic Director would be paid if he went to full-time – a teacher’s salary, plus $10,000. Mr. Kelley responded that the Athletic Director would not be a 180 day position, but more likely a 230 day position. He added that as a principal, a good, strong athletic director is priceless. He deals with so many things. Mr. Kelley added that Mr. Rupp was a good science teacher, however, with 28 varsity teams, 14 sub-varsity teams, dealing with vendors, schedules, etc, they are putting a lot of strain on him. He pointed out that it is not just strain on the Athletic Director, but also on the students.
Chair. Murphy questioned that if what Mr. Kelley was saying was true, could the District afford to carry 28 varsity sports?
Supt. Pike asked how the tax base was factored in, if it was usually flat. Mr. Enright responded that it usually wasn’t flat. Chair. Murphy stated that the tax base has gone up, and the tax impact has gone up also. He pointed out that a lot of the costs are not growth driven, such as oil prices and insurance costs.
Chair. Murphy asked if they cut the budget then put Special Education back in, would they be at 6%? He stated that if they needed to start not doing things, he wanted names on it, and specifics. Chair. Murphy stated that he was concerned that Special Education will drive the budget and that the operating budget will have to absorb some of it. He stated that he needed to understand the Special Education budget better.
Mr. Enright stated that he could not support a 6.4% increase of the High School budget. He added that he could support the Middle School budget.
Ms. Mace stated that she wanted to follow-up with the Board based on the SAU meeting. She then reviewed the following:
· $50,000 SAU-wide professional development program will be divided by 1/3.
· Data Warehouse is $6.00 per student.
· District employees.
Ms. Mace stated that she didn’t want this to come at the expense of the principals’ budgets, and suggested that it be a separate line item. Mr. Peterson felt that they needed more specific information on how it is to be divided up.
Ms. Capasso stated that at the last Board meeting they discussed a 5-year plan for items not included in the budget, but might fall under the renovation project, such as cleaning the chimney, installing a water system, locker room partitions, infiltration system for the boiler, file cabinet for foreign language, and chair for the art room. She stated that the renovation account was still open. The cost for everything is $40,633.00.
Mr. Simons pointed out that $163,000 left in the renovation account minus $40,000 leaves $120,000. He asked how much was already returned to the town? Ms. Capasso responded that $58,000 had gone back to the town.
Steve Simons moved that the Board authorize the Business Administrator to expend an amount not to exceed $41,000 to complete items for the Middle School renovation. Dan Peterson seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 6 – 0 – 0.
Ms. Capasso stated that the following were the items that make up the $40,633.00:
WinSchool Server $1,719
ICT File Server $2,295
Library Server $1,719
Dimension E510 Video Workstation $8,729
Adjustable Cart w/Laptop Shelf $862
Computer Workstations (Rooms 5, 8, 104, 206, 207, 209) $1,416
Building Walkway $1,900
Stripping Machine $2,500
Tiling Rm. 112 $3,100
Water Filtration System $3,000
Boiler (2600-431)Filtration $4,500
Girls'/Boys' Locker Partitions $8,000
Art Chairs (1102-737) $427
Foreign Language 4-Dr. File Cabinet (1106-737) $250
Family/Consumer Science Microwave (1109-737) $216
Program Sub-total: $17,633
Maintenance Sub-total $23,000
10. HIGH SCHOOL SPACE CONCERNS
Chair. Murphy stated that when the Board met two weeks ago, they came up with four courses of action to consider:
A. Revisit last year’s proposal – two classrooms and café (delete the parking)
Mr. Simons stated that the cost would be $1.3 million, plus fees and furnishings. $1.5 million, not including parking, would give two classrooms, new entryway, more kitchen space, another serving line.
B. “Dan’s Plan” – smaller version of the café plan, which is what can be done for $500,000.
This excludes the third floor classroom area, takes out the interior entrance, no second entrance. Mini café becomes full size classroom, doesn’t include operable partition in café. Without fees and furnishings the cost is $691,000. ($180,000 for fees; $60,000 for furnishings)
If an extra entrance and moveable wall are added, the cost would be an additional $51,300 for a total of $742,560 without fees and furnishings.
Mr. Kelley stated that if they went down to one entrance, they would have a flow problem, as they already have issues with two entrances.
C. Live with the existing café situation. Add portable classrooms.
D. Administrative Option – make do with the facility as is. How do we do that:
Mr. Kelley stated that 900 students allows the Coop to run a rich program. He felt that every option was taking a step back. The following items would have to be considered in order to live with the existing facility:
· Reduce senior credits back to 5. Almost every senior took an extra class. This would free up about 100 seats.
· Start earlier; leave later.
· House the freshmen at the Middle School. 100 students would go to the Middle School after lunch. This would tax the Middle School.
· Run four 18-20 minute lunches. Currently, are running 26-minute lunches. Won’t gain in classroom
· Study halls in cafeteria and auditorium.
· Enroll Voc Tech students at other schools.
Ms. Goyette stated that in 2005-2006, it cost $54,000 for 3 double-wide portables, or 6 classrooms. Chair. Murphy stated that leasing portables was money out the door. Last year they proposed a $1.4 million bond. The bond payment the first year would be $40,000. He hated to pump $50,000 a year out the door. They would also need site prep, installation costs, heat and lights.
Mr. Scales stated that they have a population problem for a year, then it drops back some. Mr. Peterson stated that they have a school that they can squeeze into for 900 students. They have a solution for 1200 students, but don’t know what to do from 900 to 1200. It is hard to figure out how to get from point A to point B.
Mr. Scales asked if it was feasible to move the freshmen to the Middle School. Mr. Kelley responded that it would be about ½ of the freshman class. The freshman team is about 95 students.
Ms. Goyette stated that in regards to having freshmen at the Middle School, there is a whole cultural and age difference. Then one has to look at who administers to them, and Special Education is different for the different ages.
Mr. Enright felt that using portables was a more solid option than having the freshmen go to the Middle School.
Supt. Pike stated that not one of the options was educationally sound. He wondered if the purchase of portables would be better.
Mr. Simons stated that the café being expanded would support a wing. If they just did the café, they would take back two classrooms that are currently now being used for cafeteria.
Mr. Kelley stated that he was now just thinking about the classroom wing.
Ms. Hall stated that they needed to look at and develop a long-range plan so that a short-range plan would fit into it. She felt that they needed to talk about curriculum.
Chair. Murphy pointed out that the decision that needed to be made was whether or not they needed to present a bond or not. If they don’t need a bond, then December 31st is not so looming. If they decide to go with portable, then they don’t need a bond. He added that next year’s student population will grow, as well as the year after. He didn’t put stock in the numbers for 3-4 years out, as they were done in 2004.
Mr. Peterson proposed that the Board needed to understand what Mr. Kelley would require to use the space they currently have more effectively. If they needed the cafeteria and auditorium for study halls, if they need portables, then it needed to go into a plan. He felt they needed to put together a committee to study this, and to figure out how they could best get from 900 to 1200 students.
Mr. Scales stated that if they needed 3-5 classrooms in 3-5 years, then they would need to break ground a couple of years prior, and given the voters in the District, they need 3 bond votes to pass, thus they would need to put a bond forward this year.
Chair. Murphy stated that he didn’t see an option that was viable enough. He felt that they needed either option A or B, or a variation thereof. He pointed out that they needed the space last year, and they need it worse this year.
Mr. Simons stated that Plan B was put on when they built the building. Those classrooms would take them to 1200 students. If they put two classrooms on top of the cafeteria, that would take them to over 1200, therefore, perhaps they should do the cafeteria with portables.
Mr. Kelley stated that he had thought about what Mr. Peterson had said. Irregardless of the cafeteria, if he had four portables, that would help. He felt that the kitchen expansion was needed so they could address 900 students. He pointed out that the cafeteria can not be used for classrooms during the middle of the day, and the auditorium is not conducive to classroom space. He stated that he needed space for History and English.
Ms. Hall wondered if they could use the auditorium for other uses, perhaps with some renovations. Mr. Enright pointed out that the auditorium was raised through private funds.
Ms. Goyette stated that there was a strong variable they needed to look at – parents and students. She pointed out that Mr. Kelley had parents in his school that strongly wanted the Middle School renovation.
Mr. Scales wondered if classroom space was cheaper than cafeteria space.
Mr. Peterson stated that the fundamental problem was how to get from point A to point B. Therefore, do they minimize cost until they can come up with a plan.
Dan Peterson moved that the Board come up with a solution that addresses the classroom space and cafeteria space without bonding. Betty Hall seconded.
Mr. Kelley stated that the school was currently scheduled at 97% and added that no school should be scheduled that much. Ideally, it should be about 87-85%.
Motion defeated. 2 – 3 – 1 (Scales, Simons, Murphy against) (Enright abstained)
Steve Simons moved that the Board construct a cafeteria with a bond, but without classrooms, and add portables as needed. Webb Scales seconded. Motion carried. 4 – 2 – 0. (Hall, Peterson against).
Tom Enright moved that the Board authorize Supt. Pike to contact the New Hampshire School Board Association (NHSBA) or some other party to get student population numbers as soon as possible.
Supt. Pike stated that he had already talked with NESDEC, and it would cost approximately $1200. Chair. Murphy pointed out that the NESDEC was SAU-wide so the cost would be amortized over the other districts.
Steve Simons seconded.
Ms. Hall wondered about the numbers that Lorna and Dexter had done for them. She stated that Lorna had asked her to get numbers from the State.
Chair. Murphy stated that the District could not rely on volunteers to calculate the numbers, as they needed these numbers consistently.
Tom Enright withdrew his motion until December 6, 2006.
Betty Hall moved that the Board enter non-public session under the provisions of RSA 91-A:3 II (e) litigation. Webb Scales seconded. A roll call vote was taken with all members present voting in the affirmative. 6 - 0 - 0.
The Board entered non-public at 10:53 p.m.
The board returned from non-public session at 11:13 p.m.
Chair. Murphy asked the board if felt any issues in the minutes of the preceding section needed to be sealed. No on expressed that they should be, no motion was tendered to seal the minutes.
There being no further business, the chair entertained a motion to adjourn at 11:15 p.m.
Dan Peterson moved to adjourn. Webb Scales seconded. The motion passed 6 – 0 – 0.