Approved: January 18, 2006 Hollis-Brookline Cooperative School Board
December 21, 2005
Hollis-Brookline Middle School
Pam Kirby, Chairperson
Lauren Carelli, Student Representative
Richard Pike, Superintendent of Schools
Tim Kelley, Principal, Hollis-Brookline High School
Pat Goyette, Principal, Hollis-Brookline Middle School
Lee-Ann Blastos, Business Administrator, arrived at 5:55 p.m.
Carol Mace, Director of Curriculum and Instruction
Bob Kelly, Director of Special Education, arrived at 6:15 p.m.
Betsy A. Packard, Recording Secretary
Others present included members of the Public.
Chairperson Pam Kirby called the meeting to order at 5:20 p.m.
1. UPDATE – HOLLIS BROOKLINE HIGH SCHOOL WATER SUPPLY
Wayne Zold reported that he had called the State. He stated that Jim Gill is the engineer in charge of water filings. He added that he had talked with Assistant Bernie Lucey. Mr. Zold reported that funding is needed to complete the water system. An underground line to the storage tank is needed. Mr. Zold stated that more time than the deadline date of January 28th, given for the new arsenic system, is needed. Mr. Zold informed the Board that Mr. Lucy was cooperative. He then explained that in regards to filing, the Coop has filed for this quarter of 2005. The next report needed is for the first quarter of 2006. It was recommended that the Coop file before the sampling requirements change, which is January 23, 2006. Then, the next filing (second quarter) is not due until June 29th. If the Coop files the first quarter before January 23rd, this will buy a considerable amount of time for the Coop to get the water system properly running before the second quarter filing is due on June 29th. Mr. Zold stated that he had talked with Skillings, and they will test the system and do the filing before January 23rd, and then will wait until June 29th for the second filing. He added that Skillings is only concerned with people getting upset with the late filing, but added that it was all legal.
Mr. Simons pointed out that nothing has changed with the District’s water system, but rather it was the government that has changed the standard. Mr. Enright added that the District was not far off from the new standard.
Ms. Dumas felt that they should file the reports as recommended in order to buy the District time to take care of the situation. She also pointed out that they could then use the April vacation, when students are not in school, to do the repairs and upgrades.
Mr. Simons asked Mr. Zold if he had gotten in touch with Prescott. Mr. Zold responded that he had. He stated that he spoke with the engineer who stated that Prescott did not design the new system, but added that he would find out who did. Mr. Zold added that Prescott had stated that he remembered the design (one tank on top of the other), and how difficult a time they had originally priming the pump.
Mr. Simons stated that Skillings was the one who questioned the design.
Mr. Zold informed the Board that Prescott will help them out.
Mr. Murphy asked Mr. Kelley if the time frame for repairing the system would work out OK for him. Mr. Kelley responded that if it only takes a week, then the week the students aren’t in school would be good. He felt that the April vacation would be better as the ground would not be frozen, as it would be in February.
Mr. Zold stated that the water fill line from the well to the holding tank comes into the bottom of the holding tank. Skillings has suggested that the fill line be rerouted to the top of the holding tank.
Ms. Hall asked if they were having on-going problems with the water system even though the arsenic system wasn’t on-line yet? Mr. Kelley responded that they were. He explained that they must re-prime the system almost every day. He added that they hope the new solution will forego them having to buy a new pump.
Ms. Hall asked if it was easy or hard to re-prime the system, and how long it took to do it. Mr. Zold responded that it was a one person job, and that it takes about 10 –15 minutes.
Mr. Simons stated that Policy GCPA Reduction of Professional Staff Workforce was unchanged from the first reading.
Mr. Simons moved that the Board amend the motion to add, “to become effective July 1, 2006.” Jim Murphy seconded. Motion carried. 6 – 0 - 1 (Peterson not present).
Motion to approve the second reading as amended carried. 6 – 0 – 1 (Peterson not present).
Mr. Simons informed the Board that Policy GDQA – Reduction of Support Staff Workforce had some wording changed, and the list of jobs had been removed.
Steve Simons moved that the Board approve for second reading Policy GDQA – Reduction of Support Staff Workforce, to become effective July 1, 2006. Tom Enright seconded. Motion carried. 6 – 0 – 1. (Peterson not present).
Mr. Murphy stated that he would like to get the policies to the appropriate groups for their approval. Mr. Simons responded that his group (support staff) had already looked at their policy.
3. OPEN FORUM
Mary Zore addressed the Board regarding the abstinence issue. She stated that she had emailed School Board representatives asking for clarification for the parents working on the abstinence issue. She stated that the School had a forum to present the curriculum they had chosen. She added that her group had put together 34 questions and had given them to the Administrators. The November meeting was short – 45 minutes long – and had 20 people present. She pointed out that they had no time to ask questions. She added that her group was concerned that the two parts of the curriculum did not coincide. She felt that one part of the curriculum stated that students can choose to experience sex at a young age. She added that the abstinence section comes at the end of 9th grade, and the sex education curriculum starts in 7th grade.
Ms. Zore stated that her son told her that by the time the abstinence presentation is given, it is a joke, and is based on religious views. Ms. Zore pointed out that the State requires an abstinence section. Ms. Zore added that if the students view the curriculum as a joke, then the curriculum is not meeting its objective.
Ms. Zore informed the Board that she also had a second concern. She stated that they had been told that the vote on which curriculum to use was by the School Board. She felt that if the Board was going to vote on a curriculum, they should come to the abstinence presentation. She wondered how Board members could vote on something they don’t even know about.
Ms. Zore added that she felt that the language the educators have developed to convey to the students is beautiful, and should be shared with parents.
Ms. Zore stated that she would like to invite the School Board members and the Administrators to Brookline Library on Monday, January 9th at 6:30 p.m. to hear Nancy Malo give a 9th grade presentation. This presentation is recommended by the State of New Hampshire – Abstinence Education Board. The curriculum is on view at the Brookline Library.
Ms. Zore stated that she was also concerned that Planned Parenthood was being used as a partner in the curriculum. She stated that Planned Parenthood was one of the biggest supporters of abortion and contraceptives.
Mr. Kelley stated that in preparation for the Board Meeting, the Principals must prepare a report. He stated that the abstinence issue was addressed in his report, and covers the November 30th meeting. He added that he met with Carol Mace, Bob Ouellette and the Wellness staff after the November 30th meeting, and they decided on Robin Ng as the abstinence speaker. He added that the material is listed on the website, and he has asked that it be written as more of a bibliography, so as to relate exactly which materials are used, and make them easier for all to review. He added that they did not go down the list of 34 questions, but felt they did address some of the questions on the list.
Ms. Zore stated that parents were never told that Mr. Kelley had been given permission to choose the curriculum. She stated that she thought the vote was going to take place at the January Board meeting. Supt. Pike stated that he was not aware of the fact that the Board regularly votes on any curriculum.
Mr. Murphy stated that he wasn’t aware of any January vote. He then asked what grade level did abstinence enter into the program? Ms. Mace responded that the Health Education program was an abstinence based program. Abstinence is what is emphasized through-out the curriculum.
Mr. Murphy asked why the District involves outside organizations to discuss these issues? He stated that they didn’t need experts to discuss how it works, and as far as moral issues, he felt that that should be left to parents. Ms. Mace responded that they have brought outsiders in for other curriculums to make it more interesting.
Ms. Hall pointed out that they have a Curriculum Council that reviews curriculum, and consists of School Board members from each district. Ms. Mace added that there are also community members from each town on the Curriculum Council.
Ms. Zore stated that she understood that community members don’t have a vote, and added that she had heard that it was a closed meeting. Many parents came to her stating that they were disappointed, as they had thought they were going to be able to ask questions. Ms. Zore stated that she felt the Board and Administrators were sidestepping the questions that the parents group wanted answered.
Ms. Zore stated that when she had invited Anita Coll to speak, she didn’t know at the time that Ms. Coll was going to be an alternative to the curriculum chosen. Ms. Coll had originally been invited to give out statistics, however, after listening to her, everyone felt good about how abstinence could be presented in the curriculum.
Ms. Zore felt that there was a diversion going on. She felt the School was not listening to what the parents are saying. Ms. Zore stated that a 7th grade student had an HIV dictionary, and upon looking at it, she felt that it did not endorse abstinence, and also felt that it was age inappropriate.
Ms. Goyette asked if the worksheet was from this year? Ms. Zore responded that it was. Ms. Goyette responded that she would research it, and get an answer for her. Ms. Goyette added that the meeting she held, she invited Peggy Slater. She added that she answered the questions on the list that pertained to health and were objective. She stated that the value issue questions were for parents to answer, not the school. Ms. Goyette then stated that the School cares about their students and are in the business of helping children. Sex education is a small portion of the Health Education curriculum. Ms. Goyette stated that she will run a parent meeting at the beginning of each year and lay out the curriculum.
Supt. Pike asked that both Administrators address the Board at their next meeting on anything that was brought up tonight. He stated that he was concerned about the level of misinformation floating around.
A concerned parent addressed the Board and stated that she had talked with students taking the comprehensive sex class, and they felt it was a class on how to have sex.
Ms. Zore stated that PTSA was going to hold a parents education meeting in February and would be using Planned Parenthood. She felt that the School could not say they were neutral about abortion if they invite Planned Parenthood to come and speak.
Mr. Murphy responded that the School Board cannot decline whom the PTSA can bring in to speak. To do so would be stepping over the line, per their attorney.
Minutes of November 16, 2005
Ms. Goyette stated that on Page 2 at the end of the page it states “Ms. Goyette informed her department heads” and should be “informed her departments.”
Mr. Simons stated that on Page 12, 3rd paragraph, it states “Mr. Simons felt that they could have enough stuff they would need in time.” It should read, “Mr. Simons felt they would have enough time.”
Bob Kelly should be listed in the list of attendees, and Carol Mace should be removed, as she was not present.
Steve Simons moved that the Board accept the minutes of November 16, 2005 as amended. Tom Enright seconded. Motion carried. 6 – 0 – 1 (Peterson abstained.)
Betty Hall moved that the Board approve to unseal the non-public minutes of November 16, 2005, and amend them to read Wednesday, November 16, 2005. Tom Enright seconded. Motion carried. 6 – 0 – 1 (Peterson abstained).
Minutes of December 14, 2005 Workshop
Betty Hall moved that the Board accept the minutes of December 14, 2005 Workshop as written. Tom Enright seconded.
Mr. Simons stated that in paragraph 5, Wayne Zold is misspelled.
Mr. Murphy stated that the names of the people from Skillings who spoke to the Board should be filled in – Roger Skillings and Scott Boggis.
Motion carried as amended. 7 – 0 – 0.
5. CAFETERIA EXPANSION STUDY COMMITTEE
Mr. Peterson stated that at the December 14th meeting he was asked to put a proposal together for a Cafeteria Expansion Study Committee. He then distributed a draft of a proposal for the committee. Mr. Peterson reviewed the proposal’s Purpose, Composition of Committee, and Timeline.
Mr. Enright stated that the Board had discussed additional parking as a piece of the expansion proposal. He wondered if the committee should do both, and if the Board should add parking to the Study Committee. Mr. Peterson stated that he would add parking to the proposal.
Ms. Hall felt that the parking lot should be part of the whole campus plan, and that the Board should think about this.
Ms. Blastos stated that they need to post for the Bond Hearing on January 28th. She added that the Coop Budget Hearing is on February 8th, so the Board will need to add a Bond Hearing. She reminded the Board that bonds have to be first on the warrant article.
Mr. Peterson asked how the information Ms. Blastos had given would change the timeline. Mr. Murphy responded that the warrant article had to be settled prior to January 28th. Mr. Peterson confirmed that the final wording had to be completed by January 28th.
Mr. Enright stated that he disagreed with Ms. Hall. He stated that he did not have a problem with a study of the campus. However, he added that he has had his arms around the parking issue at the High School, and he didn’t want this to be held up.
Ms. Hall asked how getting information for presenting the bond would work. Mr. Simons responded that he had talked with the architect, Barbara Chalmers, as to the cost of preparing documents to get them through the Bond. Ms. Chalmers had quoted him $23,000. Mr. Simons stated that he told Ms. Chalmers that the District didn’t have that amount of money. Ms. Chalmers has agreed to work something up for $5,000. He added that the Board needed to vote on it, and they needed to get something ready for the Planning Board.
Ms. Hall asked if Ms. Chalmers felt the timeline was realistic? Mr. Simons responded that Ms. Chalmers didn’t know about Mr. Peterson’s timeline, but she will be able to get enough together for January 15th.
Mr. Peterson stated that they will have to have several phases of public information, and then by February have the final detailed presentation. Ms. Hall stated that it would have to be done by January 28th. Mr. Simons stated that it would have to be done before then.
Ms. Blastos stated that she had talked with Ed Murdough at the Dept. of Education, and explained to him what the District was planning. The A24B is a preliminary form that needs to be filled out before December 31st for State Aid. She stated that she asked Mr. Murdough for a grace period, and agreed to send a letter of intent, explaining the scope of the project. She added that she thought the cost of the project was projected to be about $1.2 million, so that is what she told the State.
Supt. Pike pointed out that for any of this to proceed, they needed the approval of the Board for the $5,000. Chair. Kirby stated that she would like to hear from Ms. Blastos as to where the District was with their budget. Ms. Blastos responded that she could only tell the Board where they are today. She stated that there was a $175,000 - $200,000 deficit. She added that the Board should not assume that she could pull money out of a hat.
Mr. Murphy felt that they needed to begin getting RFPs in place. He stated that the warrant article would set a maximum amount. He stated that they will need some funds available in March, and then they will need to raise an additional cash amount. Mr. Murphy asked if the District would have to wait for the Bond Bank to get money for the architectural drawings. Ms. Blastos explained that the Bond Bank gives out BANs, so they will have money to pay the architect before the fiscal year has started.
Tom Enright moved that the Board authorize the Business Administrator to spend up to $5,000 in conjunction with the Expansion Committee for architectural drawings. Steve Simons seconded.
Ms. Hall asked if the Board should look at another architectural firm? Mr. Simons felt that it would not make sense to look at another architectural firm. He pointed out that Lavallee/Brensinger has all the background information readily available that another firm would have to research.
Mr. Murphy stated that he was concerned with Ms. Blastos finding the money. Ms. Blastos responded that she was OK with $5,000, but not with $23,000.
Motion carried. 6 – 1 – 0. (Hall against)
Mr. Peterson asked if when they go to the State, should they put the highest limits down. Ms. Blastos then read the Letter of Intent that she sent to the Dept. of Education, stating that the project is projected to cost $1.2 million. She stated that she informed the State of the project on December 14th, and the Letter of Intent should be at the State office by December 30th. She added that the A24B form will be submitted over the next two weeks. She added that they needed to give the State a guideline, and should be able to adjust it later.
Jim Murphy moved that the Board approve a Cafeteria/Parking Expansion Study Committee per the charge with the following amendments:
1. Committee changed to Cafeteria and Parking
2. Timeline changed to January 28th for posting for the Bond Hearing.
Steve Simons seconded.
Ms. Hall asked who would choose the Committee members and the Chairperson. Mr. Peterson responded that he would defer to the Administration for student and staff representatives, and he would take any citizens they could get.
Motion carried unanimously. 7 – 0 – 0.
A copy of the proposal is available.
6. Farley Building Usage
Supt. Pike informed the Board that after talking with the administration, he did not see any future programmatic usage of the Farley Building for either Middle School or High School. He stated that he had no plans to propose any SAU personnel using the building for office space.
Supt. Pike stated that he had talked with Fire Chief Towne regarding future uses of the Farley Building. The moment the building is vacant any new uses will mean making improvements to the building.
Mr. Enright concluded that no immediate or future viable educational usage of the Farley Building was seen.
Tom Enright moved that the School Board instruct Supt. Pike to inform the Hollis School Board that the Coop will not be requesting renewal of its lease. Anne Dumas seconded.
Ms. Hall asked if there were any way that the District could get back some of the money they had spent over the years for improvements to the Farley Building. Mr. Enright responded that there was nothing in the lease that will allow the Coop to recoup money spent on improvements.
Mr. Murphy stated that as a point of clarification, they would not be looking for the lessor to reimburse the District, but it would be something internal, within the District for any residual Brookline interest in capital improvement. Mr. Enright responded that that was interesting, and that he hadn’t thought about that.
Mr. Murphy stated that he would like to have a better idea of the Board’s intention, and perhaps state it in a letter of intent, but would like to defer official notification for one month. Mr. Enright responded that the Hollis School District needs time to decide what they want to do with the Farley Building, and if they don’t want to do anything with it, then it must go back to the town. Any town organization will also need time to decide on its usage, and will need to know as soon as possible for budgeting purposes.
Supt. Pike stated that it was on the record that a decision would be made in December.
Motion carried unanimously. 7 – 0 – 0.
Jim Murphy moved that the School Board examine the issue of Brookline equity state of capital improvement to Farley and make recommendations of adjustment, if any. Anne Dumas seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 7 – 0 – 0.
Mr. Simons felt that the School Board should indicate to the Hollis School Board their request about the parking lot at the Middle School. He added that they would like to do this as part of the Cafeteria/Parking Project in order to get 40% State reimbursement. He stated that this can’t be done as a lease, and that they needed to talk to the Hollis School Board about a purchase.
Mr. Enright stated that he would like a couple of members of the Coop Board to go to the Hollis School Board and talk to them, then report back to the Coop Board at the next meeting. It was decided that Mr. Simons and Mr. Enright will talk to the Hollis School Board.
7. Student Representative Report – Lauren Carelli
Ms. Carelli reported that there were no major issues at the High School. She stated that they had had some fund raisers and the Winter Ball.
Ms. Carelli stated that they had had a talent show for the boys – a “Mr. HBHS” in which the boys got to show off “what they got.”
Ms. Carelli reported that there were two new staff members – a new janitor and a new tech teacher. She stated that the Student Council had approved two new clubs: A School Store, which the Business Club is taking care of, and GSA – Gay/Straight Alliance Club.
Ms. Carelli stated that they had had a “Giving Tree” in which presents were collected for groups such as the Nashua Soup Kitchen, the Nashua Children’s Home, and the Shepard’s Fund, as well as specific local families.
Mr. Enright requested that the Board pass over Correspondence and go to the Budget as Mr. Kelly, Special Education Director, needed to get to the airport to pick up his daughter. The Board agreed.
Mr. Kelly distributed his report, then reviewed the Coop’s 2005-2006 Revenues. He informed the Board that they now know that the CAT Aid is $7,267. Last year they received $2,000.
Mr. Kelly then reviewed the Function 1200 Accounts. He stated that in 1995, Program Development was $3,000. Two years ago it dropped to $1,000. He stated that he was requesting an increase from $2,000 this year to $3,500 next year, or a $1,500 increase.
In regards to Tuition, Mr. Kelly informed the Board that there were four contingency cases, of which, two will be in-district, and two will be out-of-district. The two going out-of-district will be going in the next couple of weeks. He added that he will have a more detailed analysis of this year’s budget next month.
Mr. Kelly stated that the figures for new personnel include benefits – FICA, retirement, and medical/health. He informed the Board that three new paras will be needed next year. He added that if there are any changes, he would let the Board know right away. The salary figure is the same as last month’s report.
Mr. Kelly reported that all proposed changes as of December 21st equal $222,720.00.
Mr. Kelly informed the Board that there were three contingency cases. He explained that the staff and team could not come to any concrete conclusion as to the needs of these three cases. Therefore, tuition and transportation costs have been calculated to the amount of $135,509. Mr. Kelly then asked the Board for their guidance, as to whether they would like the $135,509 for the contingency cases be put into the budget or put into a contingency account.
Mr. Kelly then summarized the Special Education 2006-2007 Proposed Budget. He stated that they were looking at a 6.08% change, which was a total of $222,720 cost for proposed new personnel and proposed changes, giving a budget grand total of $2,202,119, with an added $135,509 contingency.
Mr. Peterson questioned that it was not a contingency that the District will have the three students to deal with, but rather how to support them. Mr. Kelly responded that that was correct. He added that the District will have the three students to provide for, but at this point in time, they are just not sure what the students will need. If the current program and all the District does for them doesn’t work out, then the contingency figure is the cost of providing out-of-district placement.
Mr. Murphy asked if the three students stay in the current program, then the bottom line would be an increase of $0. Mr. Kelly responded that that was correct, and that the $135,509 was for the next level, if needed.
Mr. Enright asked if all three students went out-of-district, if there would be a savings, such as a reduction in paras. Mr. Kelly responded that these students are not currently in a one-to-one program, so there would be no savings.
Mr. Enright pointed out that Mr. Kelly had asked for the Board’s feedback and guidance. Chair. Kirby stated that she would like to hear the rest of the budget first, and that she would like to hear Ms. Blastos input, then get back to Mr. Kelly.
2006-2007 Proposed Budget
Ms. Blastos distributed a FY 2006-2007 Budget Changes Report and a FY 2006-2007 Proposed Revenue Report.
Ms. Blastos reported that after the December 14th workshop meeting, they looked into the cost of the phone service at the High School. This has been reduced by $20,000, as the lease had been put into the budget twice.
Ms. Blastos informed the Board that a third teacher retirement had come forth for a cost of $14,296. She stated that Special Education had put in an account line for legal fees specific to Special Education (cost $1), and that a Middle School teacher had informed them of their intention of a degree move for a cost of $7,672.
These added changes give an increase over the current budget of $935,972 or 6.16% increase.
Ms. Blastos stated that she had been asked if the SAP Coordinator had been put in the budget twice. She explained that it had not, that there had been a request for an increase in hours, therefore it was not a double booking.
Ms. Blastos reported that in regards to the lease of copiers, the Middle School lease is $5,264 for one machine, and the High School lease is $7,948 for two machines. She explained that these are service agreements on the copiers, which have increased.
Ms. Dumas asked if they should follow-up with a lease/buy-out analysis. Ms. Blastos responded that the copiers are used a lot, and thus it is better to lease than to buy. She pointed out that if the District bought the copiers, then they would own them (and the repairs) and it is more difficult to trade-in.
Ms. Blastos stated that she had gotten a question regarding the revenue of the food service off-setting the expenditure. She stated that it did.
Mr. Enright questioned the total salary of the SAP Coordinator being approximately $65,0000, plus benefits. Mr. Kelley responded that the $21,500 was half time. They were now requesting and additional 0.5 FTE. Mr. Enright stated that there was already $42,081 in the 2120 line account, and adding $21,500 gives a total of $64,581, with no benefits. Mr. Kelley stated that he would look into this.
Mr. Peterson asked when the last time the District went out to bid on large contracts. Ms. Blastos responded that they went out to bid last year on the mowing contract, and 9 years ago on snowplowing. She added that the first snowstorm they had, the contractor they had awarded the snowplowing to was not able to take care of it. The District called Doug Orde to help, and Hollis Construction has had the contract since. She added that there is a lot of value added to using a local contractor. She pointed out that Hollis Construction comes and sands during the day, when they are called. Ms. Blastos stated that the waste contract was an annual contract. She added that they were going out to bid for the bus contract.
Mr. Peterson stated that he was questioning the practice of non-bidding these contracts, not questioning the quality of service. Ms. Blastos stated that they had entered into the snowplow contract this fall for 2-3 years. She suggested that they not break the contract, as there would be no one else to plow.
Mr. Murphy stated that bidding is a good idea, but felt they should be cautious about formal bidding. In formal bidding they have to draw up a spec, and must legally take the lowest bid. He felt they could get quotes for a sampling of the contractors and to get a sense of cost of services.
Supt. Pike felt it was an excellent suggestion. He clarified that the District is under no obligation to take the lowest bid. Ms. Blastos added that they always have formal language in a bid, which states that the School Board has the right to reject a bid.
Ms. Hall stated that she liked the idea of writing up a spec so everyone is bidding on the same thing. She added that she would like to see a process developed, and put in the policy manual. She felt that the District could benefit from getting bids from other people.
Ms. Blastos stated that the Board should be careful when they use the terms “bid” and “quote.” For her, “bid” is a formal bid, and “quote” is seeking a quotation with limited guidelines.
Mr. Peterson stated that he was concerned that the policy dictates what should be done, but he was not sure the Board was following it. Supt. Pike responded that that was a good concern. He stated that the Board may make a decision that they don’t want to go to bid, therefore, the Board can waiver the bid process. Mr. Murphy pointed out that that process has been done in the past.
Ms. Dumas felt that they needed a review process to help decide whether they want to waive the bid process and/or use a quotation process. She felt that they should have something written out so each contractor was quoting on the same thing.
Chair. Kirby questioned that $1,200 to continue with Kathy Sullivan for policies was in the budget. Mr. Simons responded that the $1,200 was an annual fee to keep things up-to-date.
Mr. Murphy stated that after the Board gets through the next sections, they will have a fairly consistent set of policies across the three districts. He stated that he was not sure which district should pay the $1,200. Supt. Pike stated that for the amount of money they were talking about, he felt they should sustain the effort. He felt it was a great process and resource.
Mr. Peterson asked which budget it should go in. Chair. Kirby stated that they could discuss this at another time.
Ms. Blastos pointed out that the Board’s next meeting was January 18th. She felt that the budget should be very complete by that time, as the Budget Committee’s meeting was January 19th.
Greg D’Arbonne, Budget Committee member, stated that the Budget Committee will be meeting the first week of January to discuss the budget.
Chair. Kirby stated that she was just trying to see if they had filled in all the holes in the budget. Mr. Enright responded that they needed to plug in $200,000 to cover Special Education and transportation. He felt they should plug it into a contingency account until further discussion. Ms. Blastos responded that she would do that.
Mr. Enright stated that he had a proposal to reduce the budget by $150,000. He then reviewed the following:
New Position – Special Education Teacher – reduce to a Special Education Aide -$30,642.00
Not questioning the need for Special Education, but he first supports the additional core teacher for the 5th team.
Substitute Account – reduce by $5,000 as it went up $10,000 last year. -$5,000.00
Ms. Goyette responded that obviously the 5th team needs the core teacher to complete the team. If reality is foregoing a Special Education teacher for another year, and substituting it with an aide, she will do it. As for the Substitute Account, she will watch it.
SAP Coordinator – does not support additional hours. -$35,772.00
He understands that after tonight they need to look at this account, however, he will only support $42,000.
Wellness – reduce 0.2 FTE -$9,262.00
Art – reduce from 0.5 FTE to 0.4 FTE and use formula for part-time teachers -$9,000.00
Adult Education – drop it out of the budget. -$10,000.00
The Adult Education was an excellent program when they had an excellent person running it. Now it is the principal’s responsibility. Felt the principal’s time could be use more wisely.
Mr. Simons asked if the Adult Education program had been self-supporting? Mr. Enright stated that they had budgeted $10,000 and spent $3,000.
Substitute Account - -$5,000.00
Mr. Kelley responded that the SAP account needs to be looked into. He stated that there was a need for the additional time. In regards to Wellness, he was not sure the budget was correct. He explained that they were currently at 0.8 FTE, so would be moving to 1.0 FTE. Mr. Kelley was not sure that that was clear.
Mr. Kelley stated that it was hard to anticipate what the need for staffing will be without having students schedule their classes yet. He felt that 0.5 FTE to 0.4 FTE was reasonable. In regards to Adult Education, he felt that the school should be open for the community after school hours. He stated that he didn’t want to see the program go away for good. He agreed that the money could be used elsewhere, but would like to bring the Adult Education back at some point.
In regards to the Substitute Account, he felt that they needed to do something about it.
Mr. Peterson wondered if it made sense to see if someone would volunteer to get the Adult Education kicked off. Chair. Kirby stated that that was done initially, but then it became a paid position. She added that they could try to do it again.
Operation of Plant
Mr. Enright stated that the operation of plant budget for the Middle School last year was $275,000. This line item has been raised $47,000 to a total of $328,000. He stated that he understands the need – larger physical plant – but would like to see this line item reduced by $20,000, leaving $27,000 increase in the budget.
Mr. Enright stated that the operation of plant budget for the High School last year was $610,000. This year they are asking for $687,000, which is a $77,000 increase. He stated that he would like to see this reduced by $30,000, leaving a $47,000 increase. He added that these were arbitrary numbers, but he had looked at last year’s figures.
Ms. Blastos pointed out that the cost of oil was anybody’s guess. She budgeted $254,900. She stated that the cuts concern her with the rising prices. She added that she was more comfortable with the cuts at the Middle School than at the High School. She added that they had talked about the using gate receipts to help pay for the Athletic Maintenance account. She pointed out that the additional track/football field requires more maintenance.
Mr. Murphy stated that at the last budget workshop it was brought up that the monthly cost of electricity did not drop in the summer months. Ms. Blastos responded that they were actively trying to cut back on heat and electricity. She added that there were key areas that concern her. She pointed out that oil/gas affects snowplowing.
Mr. Kelley stated that oil/gas are a significant increase. More athletic fields mean more maintenance to the Athletic Dept. He felt that they could reduce the account by $15,000 through gate receipts. He added that last summer there were significant up-keep issues. Some things have to be addressed, such as carpeting. He added that he would like to get started and make an effort to address the up-keep of the building.
Mr. Enright stated that the $200,000 contingency they added to the budget puts them at a 7.5% increase. He suggested that they reduce the budget by 1% to 6.5%. There is a placeholder for staff of 2.5%, which gives a total of 9% increase.
Mr. Enright pointed out that the Bilingual Account was for a $60,000 position. He asked what the current need was. He asked that this account be looked into and see if it needed to be a full-time position. He wondered what the utilization at the Middle School and the High School was. He stated that the ESL was a full-time position, but in the past they have been reimbursed from the Hollis and the Brookline Districts for their use of the position. He pointed out that this position has not been looked at for three years.
Mr. D’Arbonne asked Ms. Blastos if the 6.8% increase included placeholders for professional staff, transportation, Special Education, etc. Ms. Blastos responded that they were at 6.15% after account transfers, but they are now at 6.16% with a placeholder for transportation. She added that she used the current contract amount for the placeholder.
Mr. Simons pointed out that Mr. Enright had reviewed everything and came up with a total of 9%. Mr. Enright stated that with everything, it was 10%, and he proposed a 1% reduction.
Mr. D’Arbonne stated that he would not speak for the whole Budget Committee, but he had initially proposed a 4% increase, but now sees that that won’t work. He stated that they can’t hold the School District to 4%. He added that 10% was more than he could swallow. He added that he would like to come up with a figure of 7-8% at the most. He felt that taxpayers have a moral obligation to pay for education.
Chair. Kirby felt that the Board needed another budget workshop. She stated that she would like to pencil in 2 additional workshops. She stated that mediation with the professional staff was January 5th, so the workshops should be after that.
Mr. D’Arbonne stated that he would like the Budget Committee members to be able to attend the workshops. Chair. Kirby felt that would be great. Mr. D’Arbonne stated that they Board should pick out the dates and the Budget Committee members would attend as they could.
January 12 at 5:30 p.m. in the Teachers’ Room at the Middle School
January 17 at 5:30 p.m. in the Teachers’ Room at the Middle School
January 5 – the Administrators will meet with Ms. Blastos to see how they can reduce the budget.
Supt. Pike asked when the town looks at the budget, how is it presented. Mr. D’Arbonne responded that the Budget Committee looks at what the impact on the taxpayer will be. They will show what the tax impact is for taxpayers in each town.
Mr. Murphy pointed out that if the Coop’s budget is a 6% increase, the tax impact may only 4%. It depends on the tax base the increase is being spread across.
Supt. Pike stated that he was just trying to see how figures are related, so if the budget is up 14%, it may mean a tax impact of only 4%.
Mr. Murphy stated that he would like to know if the budget was increased only 4-5%, what programs would be reduced.
Mr. Peterson felt they needed to look at operational increase, Special Education increase, student increase, etc. If they can allocate the increase of the budget into these categories, then people can make a value judgment. Mr. D’Arbonne stated that they could do that for oil and such, but when they add staff, that skews that kind of formula.
Mr. Murphy stated that it looked like things wouldn’t get done until spring in regards to the softball field. He wondered if there was any leverage to get it done? Ms. Blastos responded that they were monitoring it.
Ms. Blastos then stated that she would like to thank the Coop for the gift they gave the SAU staff – a new coffeemaker.
A copy of the report is available.
9. HOLLIS BROOKLINE HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL’S REPORT
Mr. Kelley stated the he was bringing forth the Instructional Practices Committee’s recommendation for the new schedule. He stated that it had been “tweaked” since the November 28th meeting. He explained that they broke the week up to have fewer days with longer periods.
Mr. Kelley reported that the Guidance Department had sent out over 420 pieces of mail to colleges, and that there had been a number of students who had been accepted for early decision, including the Board’s student representative, Lauren Carelli, who has been accepted at Endicott College.
Mr. Kelley informed the Board that Justin Gadbury has been appointed to the Tech advisor position. He also stated that three teachers have given notice of their retirement. He felt that all three should qualify for the retirement bonus. Mr. Kelley reported that John Gray had begun his duties as head custodian.
Mr. Kelley reported that he was having on-going discussions with Lt. Ux, who will soon be Chief of Police. He stated that the Memorandum of Understanding for the School Resource Officer was almost complete. Mr. Kelley will forward the Memorandum to the Superintendent, who can then share it with the Board.
Mr. Simons stated that he had a concern regarding the School Resource Officer. He stated that the prior Memorandum gave the Coop veto power over selection and termination of the Officer if it didn’t work out within 30 days. Mr. Kelley responded that they had gone to other school districts with Resource Officers, and found an agreement that they really liked, and they are now in the process of modifying it.
Mr. Kelley stated that at the November meeting it was decided that the Board would vote on the Instructional Practices Committees recommendations at the December meeting. He asked that the Board take action on the following items:
1. Credit Requirements
Jim Murphy moved that through the recommendation of the Instructional Practices Committee, the Board accept the Credit Requirements as follows: All students, including seniors, will be required to carry at least 6 credits per year and a maximum of one study each year. The recommendation is to commence on July 1, 2006. Dan Peterson seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 7 – 0 – 0.
2. Science Labs
Betty Hall moved that through the recommendation of the Instructional Practices Committee, the Board accept the Science Lab Recommendation as follows: Science labs be made part of the science classes with the following considerations:
Extended class time be made available for lab experiments
Design a science course sequence that allows students to take AP classes their senior year.
The recommendation is to commence on July 1, 2006. Dan Peterson seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 7 – 0 – 0.
3. Maximum Credits per Year
Jim Murphy moved that through the recommendation of the Instructional Practices Committee, the Board accept the Maximum Credit per Year Requirements as follows: Students select a maximum of 7 credits per year. The recommendation is to commence on July 1, 2006. Anne Dumas seconded.
Mr. Simons asked if there currently was a maximum. Mr. Kelley responded that there were 8 periods per day, so the maximum could be eight.
Mr. Peterson asked if recommendation #3 and #4 were redundant.
Mr. Enright felt that if a student wanted to take an 8th class at Rivier, for instance, that the District shouldn’t limit them.
Mr. Simons felt that recommendation #5 was dependent upon #4. Mr. Kelley responded that they have a life of their own.
Ms. Hall stated that she would like to see some flexibility put into the daily schedule so if some adjustment needed to be made, Mr. Kelley would be able to do it.
Mr. Murphy withdrew his motion. Ms. Dumas withdrew her second.
4. Daily Class Schedule
Dan Peterson moved that through the recommendation of the Instructional Practices Committee, the Board accept the Daily Class Schedule Requirement as follows:
Four days a week: Three 53-minute periods and two 81-minute classes.
One day a week: Four 81-minute periods.
Rotate the three morning classes (periods 1, 2, 3) and the three afternoon classes (periods 5, 6, 7).
The rotating classes will meet 4 times weekly, 2 at 53-minutes, 2 at 81-minutes.
The middle period (lunch) will run five days for 55 minutes per day.
And with the added proviso that allows the administration to seek approval from the Board for any significant deviation from the schedule. Jim Murphy seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 7 – 0 – 0.
5. Adjust Start Time and End Time.
Mr. Enright stated that he had a conversation with Al and Nancy Orde regarding this issue. They explained to him that they can’t move the second part of the schedule. They can only go 15 minutes later in the morning, but not 15 minutes later in the afternoon. The only way to have a time change is with the consent of the elementary districts.
Mr. Murphy stated that he was inclined to believe that changing the time of the High School was something they would like to embrace, but doing so would have a lot of impact on many people. He added that he was not sure what it would buy them. He felt they needed to look at this issue more closely. What does it mean to the bus routes? Perhaps the time change should be more significant. He stated that he was not inclined to accept the recommendation.
Mr. Kelley stated that an inordinate amount of time was spent on this issue at the public forum.
Mr. Peterson felt that the Board should take this issue up at the District Meeting, and ask the voters if they want the Board to form a committee to look into this.
Supt. Pike pointed out that such a change might impact more than just the voters, such as clients.
Mr. Kelley explained that the time change was part of the recommendations because some Committee members felt strongly that the start time should change. The Committee felt that 15 minutes was significant enough.
Jim Murphy moved that through the recommendation of the Instructional Practices Committee, the Board adopt the Adjustment to Start/End Time as follows: Adjust the start time and the end time by 15 minutes (7:30 a.m. – 2:39 p.m.). Anne Dumas seconded. Motion failed. 0 – 7 – 0.
Mr. Peterson asked how the Board could bring this issue up at the District Meeting? Would it be through a warrant article?
Mr. D’Arbonne stated that as a member of the public, he felt that changing the schedule by 15 minutes per day was ridiculous. He felt they should look at a change of an hour, which would make a big impact on many levels, such as sports.
Mr. Peterson felt that they would need all three school districts interested in doing this.
Mr. Simons felt that the Superintendent should approach the other districts about this issue, as he attends all the board meetings. Mr. Peterson stated that he would work with the Superintendent on this issue.
A copy of the report is available.
10. HOLLIS BROOKLINE MIDDLE SCHOOL PRINCIPAL’S REPORT
Ms. Goyette reported that the Y Teen Partnership was going well. The students took a survey, which will be shared with the Y. The Y is creating a registration sheet. There will be an Open House on January 10, with 3-4 instructors from the Y present. Ms. Goyette stated that she doesn’t have a fee schedule as of yet. She added that usually if a person was a member of the Y, then their cost was ½ price. She felt this was too big of a discrepancy. The first session will be 5 weeks long, and will start the week of Martin Luther King Day and go through to February vacation.
Mr. Peterson asked if the Y could be used for the Adult Education program at the High School? Ms. Goyette stated that she would ask when she meets with them next.
Ms. Goyette informed that Board that Kimberly had brought up the issue of a Job Fair to address the anticipated vacancies. There are 4 retirees at the Middle School. Ms. Goyette stated that Kimberly was involved in a job fair at another school. They will try to hold it in early February.
Ms. Goyette stated that she would like to request the Board’s support for additional money for the Middle School Athletic Director. She explained that the AD has no secretarial support. The AD’s responsibilities include but are not limited to: Interviewing/securing coaches; evaluating coaches; attending games; securing/paying officials; creating a master schedule with the Tri-County League; following up on any accidents; washing uniforms; responding to parent concerns; overseeing try-outs; budgeting; creating long term plans; and overseeing field preparation.
Ms. Goyette stated that AD’s in other districts were making double what Ms. Botcher receives. She added that Ms. Botcher is at the school from 6:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. daily. Ms. Goyette stated that she could reduce the number of classes that Ms. Botcher has to give her additional time for the AD duties, but they now have small P.E. classes, and she doesn’t want to go to larger size classes.
Ms. Goyette stated that there are two intramurals that they usually run, which they didn’t this year. She felt that the money being requested could come from there.
Mr. Murphy stated that if Ms. Goyette had a source for funding, then he was in agreement.
Mr. Simons asked if this was only for this year. Ms. Goyette responded that it was.
Dan Peterson moved that the Board approve the recommendation to increase Gayle Botcher’s present stipend of $2,600 to $3,500 for this year only. Steve Simons seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 7 – 0 – 0.
Supt. Pike asked if there were any other retirement requests. Mr. Kelley responded that he had made sure that Ms. Blastos had them all. He added that there were three, and all three qualify. Ms. Goyette stated that at the Middle School, the three that wrote requests, do not qualify, but the verbal one does.
11. SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT
Supt. Pike reported that he had attended a workshop regarding HB 626 – The Right to Know Law. He stated that it will affect how people communicate with each other. He added that he would like to hold a workshop for Board members and Administrators in the spring regarding this issue. He stated he would keep Board members posted on this issue.
Mr. Simons questioned about sub-committees falling under this Bill. Supt. Pike explained that if the Board appoints a sub-committee, then they would fall under HB 626. However, if the Superintendent appoints a sub-committee, they are not subject to the Bill, as their recommendations are made to the Superintendent as an internal reporting process.
Supt. Pike reported that the HOUSSE Plan had been approved regarding Highly Qualified Teachers (HQT). He stated that Ms. Mace was working on getting some information out.
Supt. Pike reported that National Education Week was during last month, and he sent a letter to all staff members. He stated that he had gotten 35 responses to his letter.
Steve Simons moved that the Board enter non-public session under the provisions of RSA 91-A:3 II (a and c) negotiations and reputation. Tom Enright seconded. A roll call vote was taken with all members present voting in the affirmative. 6 - 0 - 1. (Hall left)
The Board entered non-public session at 9:20 p.m.