Hollis-Brookline Cooperative School Board

                                                                                                Regular Meeting

Approved as Amended:  February 7, 2006                                    January 18, 2006

Amendments are in italics.                                                      Hollis-Brookline Middle School

 

 

Pam Kirby, Chairperson

Anne Dumas

Tom Enright

Jim Murphy

Steve Simons

 

 

Richard Pike, Superintendent of Schools

Tim Kelley, Principal, Hollis-Brookline High School

Pat Goyette, Principal, Hollis-Brookline Middle School

Lee-Ann Blastos, Business Administrator

Carol Mace, Director of Curriculum and Instruction

Betsy A. Packard, Recording Secretary 

 

 

Others present included members of the Public.

 

Chairperson Pam Kirby called the meeting to order at 6:25 p.m.

 

Anne Dumas moved that the Board seal the minutes of the non-public session of January 18, 2006.  Jim Murphy seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.  5 – 0 – 0.

 

1.         OPEN FORUM

 

Joyce O’Connor, President of the Athletic Booster Club addressed the Board.  She informed the Board that the Club had expected that the cost to build the shed facility at the track would be between $20,000 - $30,000.  Ms. O’Connor happily reported that the cost was just under $6,000.  She explained that they had received financial support from local vendors, as well as free labor.  Ms. O’Connor stated that a dedication ceremony had been held.

 

2.         MINUTES


Chair Kirby asked if there were any corrections to the minutes of December 21, 2006.

 

Mr. Kelley stated that on page 11, 4th paragraph under “High School” the minutes read, “He felt that they could reduce the account by $15,000 through gate receipts,” and it should read $6,000.

 

Mr. Simons stated that on page 7, 2nd paragraph, 2nd sentence, the minutes read “He added that they would like to do this as part of the Cafeteria/Parking Project . . . “ and it should be Middle School Renovation Expansion Project.  Also, in the next sentence, it should read, “He stated that this can’t be done on lease property, and that they needed to talk to the Hollis School Board about a purchase or transfer of the deed,” instead of “a lease” and “a purchase.”

 

Steve Simons moved that the Board accept the minutes of December 21, 2006 as corrected.  Anne Dumas seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.  5 – 0 – 0.

 

3.         CORRESPONDENCE

 

Supt. Pike informed the Board that he had received letters of retirement from Margaret Beale and Louise Rankins.

 

Supt. Pike reported that he had received a letter from Rosemary Mezzocchi, HEA Negotiations Spokesperson, stating that the Association wished to proceed to fact finding since no agreement had been reached through mediation.

 

Supt. Pike informed the Board that a memo from Carol Mace and he regarding Title I Allocations was in their packets.

 

Chair. Kirby asked Ms. Mace when she needed a decision regarding Title I Allocations.  Ms. Mace responded that she needed it as soon as possible.  She added that the Dept. of Education had already extended the deadline.

 

Mr. Murphy asked if the District accepted the funds if they would be used for additional services for non-special education students.  Ms. Mace explained that the funds would have to be used for reading or math support, but not for special education students.  She stated that they would first have to identify the non-SpEd students that needed the extra support.  She added that there was a supplement/supplant issue.  She explained that they would not be able to supplement or supplant an existing program, but rather would have to start a new program.  She pointed out that the funding through Title I would not be consistent.  She gave the example that the Hollis School District qualified last year, but not this year.  She added that the funds came with strings attached in regards to No Child Left Behind, and that the guidelines become stricter.  She stated that the Board voted to turn back the first year’s funds of approximately $18,000.

 

Steve Simons moved that the Board choose not to accept Title I Funding for 2005 and 2006.  Anne Dumas seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.  5 – 0 – 0.

 

Steve Simons moved that the Board accept with great regret the letters of retirement from Margaret Beale and Louise Rankins, and added that both teachers gave many years to the District, and they both will be greatly missed.  Jim Murphy seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.  5 – 0 – 0.

 

Copies of the correspondences are available.

 

4.         BUDGET COMMITTEE’S BUDGET PRESENTATION

 

Forrest Milkowski, Chairperson of the Coop Budget Committee, gave a presentation on the Budget Committee’s meeting the previous night.  He explained that at a previous meeting, the Budget Committee had voted on a 4% increase to the 2006/2007 proposed budget.  He stated that after having looked at the Administrators’ proposed budgets, and after looking at population growth, the Budget Committee had come to the conclusion that a 4% increase was too low.  He reported that the Budget Committee had agreed on a 6.6% increase, which they arrived at by taking the original 4% increase and adding the percentage of population increase (2.6%) to it.  Mr. Milkowski stated that the 6.6% increase did not include Special Education, debt service, and food service, which is self-funding.

 

Mr. Milkowski explained that the Budget Committee, using the spreadsheet distributed at the Board meeting the previous night, took the 2005/06 Budget of $15,738,293.00 and subtracted out Special Education, Debt Service, Transfer to Other Funds, and Food Service leaving a total of $11,428,113.00, which they used as a starting point for the 2006/07 budget.  6.6% of $11,428,113.00 is $754,255.00.  Adding $11,428,113.00 and $754,255.00 gives a total of $12,182,368.00, or 6.6% increase.  The Committee then added Special Education, Debt Service, Transfer to Other Funds, and Food Service back into the budget for a grand total of $17,052,430.00, or 8.35%.

 

Mr. Milkowski stated that the School Board total was $17,066,410.00, which is a difference of $13,980.00.

 

Mr. Enright asked how many Budget Committee members voted on these figures presented.  Mr. Milkowski responded that there were six members present, and two absent.  Of the six members present, five voted approval.

 

Ms. Blastos questioned the Committee taking Special Education out of the 05/06 budget to calculate the 06/07 budget.  She stated that if the Special Education figure had been left in, the percentage would be higher.  Mr. Milkowski responded that the Committee felt that if they were not going to include Special Education in the 06/07 budget, then they shouldn’t use it in last year’s budget.

 

Ms. Blastos stated that the spreadsheet that had been handed out to the Board the previous night was a document that had been developed and used by the Elementary School.  This was the first time the document had been put together for the Coop budget and presented to the Board for their review.  She stated that she was uncomfortable with a document based on a the District’s spreadsheet showing up via email.  She asked that in the future that the District be notified that their spreadsheet is being used.

 

Supt. Pike felt that they were not comparing apples to apples, as one budget had Special Education in it, and the other didn’t.

 

Mr. Enright asked what the regional inflation rate was.  Ms. Blastos responded that it was 4.7%.  Mr. Milkowski stated that the Consumer Price Index was 4.0%, and was used as the baseline for the budget.  He added that it could be debated as to whether this was a correct approach, but the Committee used the 4% CPI and added 2.6% to that to accommodate for the student population growth, thus giving them the 6.6%.

 

Mr. Murphy wonder if the Committee was comfortable using the 4.0% CPI for a municipality.  He pointed out that the Budget Committee’s figures and the School Board’s figures were 2/3 of $1 million apart.  Ms. Blastos felt that this was high.

 

Mr. Milkowski stated that the Budget Committee was trying to keep the budget inline, considering the student population growth.  He added that the budget increase was 8.5%, effectively.

 

Mr. Milkowski felt that items like the cafeteria project should be put in a separate warrant article.  He added that there may be other items that could go into warrant articles.  He stated that he would support that approach.

 

Mr. Enright didn’t feel that using the CPI of 4% was representative of salary issues, student population, etc.  He felt that it was not reasonable.  He felt that 4.7% was a better figure.

 

Supt. Pike questioned Special Education, debt service, transfers, etc. being taken out and then put back in.  Mr. Milkowski stated that he had sent a copy of the spreadsheet to the SAU office, and since he got no feedback, he assumed it was OK.  Ms. Blastos responded that she had been tied up with the Hollis District all day.

 

Mr. Milkowski pointed out that if Special Education, which is a 22% increase, was kept in the budget and the budget can only increase 6.6%, then they would have to find the difference in the budget.  Therefore, the Committee decided to take Special Education out to calculate the 6.6%, then added it back in.

 

Mr. Enright stated that in regards to separate warrant articles, the only other one he could think of would be new hires.  Mr. Murphy pointed out that if they took the new hires out of the budget and put in a separate warrant article, they would come in below the 6.6% increase.

 

Mr. Enright stated that he didn’t see any advantage of having separate warrant articles.  Mr. Milkowski responded that by having separate warrant articles, it would give the voters a greater say in the budget.  He pointed out that when the voters vote on the budget, they just vote on the entire budget.

 

Mr. Enright wondered if they take out items and put in separate articles, would the Budget Committee support the budget’s bottom line if the voters vote in the other articles.  Mr. Milkowski felt that putting items on separate articles gives the voters a chance to participate instead of presenting one large budget.

 

Ms. Blastos asked if it bothered anyone else that they were getting the Budget Committee’s guidelines on January 18th?

 

5.         CAFETERIA/PARKING EXPANSION PROJECT PRESENTATION

 

Mr. Kelley reported that the Cafeteria/Parking Expansion Project Committee had met the last two Fridays.  He stated that the NEASC Report had noted that the Cafeteria was inadequate and that parking was a problem.

 

Mr. Kelley stated that the current student population was 840, which is spread over 3 lunches.  The student population will be 895+ in the 2006/2007.  Mr. Kelley reported the following:

 

1996 – School built     School Core Capacity:  500 students       Cafeteria Capacity:  200 students

 

1999 – Addition           School Core Capacity:  650 students       Cafeteria Capacity:  200 students

 

2001 – Addition           School Core Capacity:  900 students       Cafeteria Capacity:  200 students, plus 2 classroom for additional 80 students.

 

Mr. Kelley pointed out that the kitchen facilities have remained the same over the years.  He added that they now needed the two classrooms used for lunches.

 

Solutions:

 

§         Maintain current cafeteria configuration

 

o           Won’t serve the 2006/07 population

~ Safety issues in the lunch area

 

o        Could take over more classrooms, but that will worsen the classroom shortage

~  Core classrooms are over capacity

~  Academic offering will be reduced

~  Class size will increase

 

o        No added capacity for food preparation

 

 

o        Recommend three lunch periods

o        Viewed as the least desirable

o        Would affect academic offerings and quality

 

 

o        Deemed the best Return On Investment

o        Will bring the cafeteria core inline with the school core

o        Will free up two classrooms

o        Added area for seating and food preparation

o        Improved exit safety

o        Cost approximately $1.2 million

o        Cafeteria core capacity will be 325 (increasing by 125)

o        Will provide additional large use space

o        Mini cafeteria and senior lounge become classrooms

o        Kitchen space will increase by approximately 1/3

 

Mr. Kelley then presented conceptual drawings of the proposed addition.  He informed the Board that the plan allowed for a second floor to be added in the future.

 

Recommendations:

 

 

Parking:

 

 

Steps To Be Taken:

 

 

Mr. Simons asked if there were another classroom expansion in the future, would they have to expand the cafeteria?  Mr. Kelley responded that if they expanded to a core capacity of 1200 students, then the proposed addition would still meet the cafeteria needs.

 

Ms. Dumas commended Mr. Kelley on the great job he and the Committee did.   She felt that the presentation was very clear.  She did feel that more information could be given on the parking issue, and pointed out that the driveways are already being lined with parked cars.  Mr. Kelley responded that the parking issue was discussed in his report, and that they already have issues that need to be addressed as soon as the next semester.

 

Chair. Kirby asked who was on the Committee.  Mr. Kelley responded that Steve Schmalz, Steve Simons, Dan Peterson, Amy Cassidy, Meg Nolan, Jessica Fraiser, Paul Adamson, Bill Beauregarde, two students, and himself.

 

Mr. Murphy stated that he hadn’t seen any recommendations regarding the parking, such as where to put it and how many additional spots would be needed.  Mr. Enright stated that Hollis Construction had come down and looked the area over.  They looked at expanding the back parking lot further back, and also looked at expanding it sideways.  Extending it backwards is cheaper and the better solution.  If they were to expand the parking lot sideways, they would need to bring in fill.  It is estimated that expanding sideways would cost approximately $120,000.00, while expanding to the back would be approximately $90,000.00.  This would be for 80 new spaces. 

 

Mr. Murphy asked how many spots they currently had.  Mr. Kelley responded that he thought they had about 300 – 340.  Mr. Schmalz added that if the cost did not exceed $90,000, with State Aid, the bottom line for the taxpayer would be $54,000.

 

Mr. Murphy asked Ms. Blastos what the percentage for State Aid was, as he had heard both 30% and 40%.  Ms. Blastos assured him that it was 40% for the Coop.

 

Mr. Enright agreed that it had been an excellent presentation.  He did feel that the presentation needed more in regards to the parking issue.

 

Supt. Pike asked what the deadlines were.  Mr. Schmalz pointed out that if they didn’t do it this year, they could do it next year, however, costs go up each year.  He felt it should be on the warrant this year.  He stated that they didn’t want to get further behind on the capacity issue, and he urged the Board to move forward.

 

Ms. Dumas asked if the Board needed to make a decision about bonding.  Ms. Blastos responded that she needed some direction from the Board, then she would ask the Bond Bank to run the different scenarios.  She felt that they should go with a shorter period of time.

 

Mr. Enright asked if the bond could be for 7 or 8 years, or if it could only be 5 or 10.  Ms. Blastos responded that she would ask the Bond Bank.

 

Mr. Murphy felt that they would want to get this bond paid off before the next addition had to be built.

 

Mr. Schmalz felt that a shorter period was better.

 

Mr. Enright stated that the downside was they would be taking a hit of 1.8% of the budget.

 

Tom Enright moved that the School Board place an article on the warrant for the expansion of the cafeteria and parking in the amount of $1.2 million, and that the Superintendent draft a warrant for the Board’s review, and that the Business Administrator obtain numbers for a 5, 7, and 10-year payout.  Steve Simons seconded.  The motion carried unanimously.  5 – 0 – 0.

 

Ms. Blastos informed the Board that they will have to put a notice in the newspaper regarding a Bond Hearing to be held on February 8th.  Therefore, the warrant article needs to be done by Friday.  She stated that it was reasonable to put some numbers together at the Bond Hearing, and she felt that they should go with the PowerPoint presentation given that night.  She added that the Bond Hearing must take place before the Budget Hearing.  They can both be on the same night.  She added that she thought it would be wise to have Bill Drescher at the Hearings and the District Meeting in case any questions come up regarding RSAs.

 

6.         2006/07 PROPOSED BUDGET

 

Ms. Blastos distributed spreadsheets for Budget Changes, New Position Summary, and Budget Overview. 

 

Ms. Blastos reported that at the previous night’s meeting, the Board voted on adding a contingency of $200,000.00 ($150,000 for Special Education, $50,000 for transportation).

 

Ms. Blastos then went through the following proposed budget changes:

 

Contingency for SpEd ($150K) and Transportation ($50K)                                     $200,000.00

MS – Eliminate SpEd teacher, replace with Para Aid                                            ($30,643.00)

MS – Adjust Custodian to increase PT to cover FT needs                                       ($4,129.00)

HS – Eliminate 0.2 FTE Wellness New Position                                                     ($9,262.00)

HS – Reduce 0.5 FTE Art New Position to 0.4 FTE                                                ($4,790.00)

HS – Reduce Athletic Field Maintenance                                                               ($6,000.00)

DW – Eliminate Adult Community Education                                                       ($10,000.00)

DW – Reduce SAP New Position to actual based on existing position/funding        ($23,000.00)      

MS – Adjust Oil Price per Gallon                                                                          ($7,679.00)

HS – Adjust Oil Price per Gallon                                                                         ($13,390.00)

 

Ms. Blastos reported that these changes would bring the 2006/07 Proposed Budget to a 7.06% increase over the current budget.

 

Ms. Blastos stated that the Budget Overview sheet was the document that the Hollis School District has used, and she put together for the Coop.  She stated that everyone needed to become familiar with this document and how the numbers are put on the sheet.  She added that the proposed budget was currently about $94,000 under the Budget Committee’s target.

 

Ms. Blastos asked if the Board was going to go with a budget over 10% or if they needed to do more cutting.

 

Mr. Murphy asked about salary increases regarding the warrant article.  Ms. Blastos responded that baseline salaries are in the budget, and that it is the difference that needed to be disclosed on the warrant article (salary and benefits).

 

Mr. Murphy asked if any information had been gathered per his request regarding transportation.  Mr. Kelley stated that the information was reported at the previous night’s meeting, which was:

 

Tuition for three vocational programs:

 

            Milford               14 students attending                             $11,500.00

            Nashua             11 students attending                               $8,800.00

            Alvirne               12 students attending                               $74,00.00

 

Transportation costs:

 

            Milford                           3 runs  (10 – 1 – 3 students per run)

            Nashua South                3 runs  (2 – 2 – 1 students per run)

            Nashua North                4 runs  (2 – 1 – 1 – 2 students per run)

            Alvirne                           2 runs  (1 – 11 students per run)             

 

Mr. Kelley explained that where vocation is done at the State, programs are not duplicated.  Only culinary is duplicated at Nashua and Milford, and Hollis Brookline students are only allowed to attend Milford.  Therefore, students don’t have a choice as to where they can take their vocational classes.

 

Mr. Murphy wondered if they could reduce/combine the 1 student with the 11 students.  Mr. Kelley explained that the vocational programs are 2 or 3-year programs, and the classes could be 2nd year programs for the student(s).  Also, they are dictated by when the class is held.

 

Mr. Kelley stated that students driving themselves posed liability issues, in which waivers would have to be signed, and the student could only drive himself.  Then there was the issue of the hosting school having available parking and accepting out-of-district students driving themselves.  There is also the issue of a student not being able to drive himself/herself.  He added that he could look further into students driving themselves, but if a student had a particular need and was part of a program, then the District would have to provide transportation.

 

Mr. Kelley stated that he was taken off guard this past summer when the $50,000 line item became $100,000.

 

Ms. Blastos stated that with the kinds of questions that Mr. Murphy was asking, they needed to have a conversation with the transportation company to see how they calculate the cost.

 

Mr. Kelley added that the reasons it is high for next year was that they were making up a shortfall, there are more students attending, and that Nashua is now two schools, not just one.

 

Mr. Murphy volunteered to help get information on transportation costs, if needed.

 

Ms. Blastos reported that regarding Operation of Plant, she took copies of the pages in the Middle School and High School Operation of Plant and went down them by line item to see why the increase.  She reported that 90% of the line items’ increase just brought them to July ’05.  She added that the District was not getting ahead.

 

Ms. Blastos pointed out that in the Middle School budget, in the Maintenance Overtime line item (01-2600-130-03-00) the actual spent in FY05 was approximately $15,000.  They budgeted $10,000 for FY06 budget and proposed $10,000 for the FY07 budget.  So if they spend $15,000, they have to find $5,000 in the budget.

 

Ms. Blastos stated that High School maintenance budget was more significant.  In the water maintenance line item (01-2600-411-04-00) there is money for a pump.  If they can rectify the situation, no new pump will be needed.

 

Ms. Blastos stated that the snowplowing and mowing contracts can’t be cut back.  The Athletic Fields account has already been cut.  In regards to repairs and maintenance at the High School, she pointed out that the facility was now 10 years old, but the account had been level funded at $3,000.  Plumbing maintenance was actual cost.  Ms. Blastos pointed out that most of the other maintenance line items were at level funding.

 

In regards to oil, Ms. Blastos reported that the Middle School used 22,000 gallons last year, and they had not budgeted adequately, so they have budgeted to catch up, plus added an increase for the new addition.  The High School used 40,000 gallons last year, and it too was not fully funded, so they are catching up, plus increasing.

 

Mr. Murphy asked about the Athletic account.  Ms. Blastos stated that last year they had heavy expenses due to the State Meet.  This involved police coverage, officials, bleachers, mowing, trimming, markers, etc.  This line item has been reduced by $6,000.

 

Mr. Murphy asked if they hold the State Meet again, would they get an offset from the gate receipts.  Mr. Kelley responded that it wasn’t just the State Meet, but it included lining fields, etc.  He added that they had budgeted $3,000 and spent $21,000.   Ms. Blastos pointed out that if they have a rainy season, then they have to line the fields more often, as well as mow them more often.

 

Mr. Enright asked how they rationalize the maintenance overtime.  He pointed out that it was $10,000 at the Middle School, and $8,000 at the High School.  He wondered why they were giving so much overtime.  He stated that they had talked about rearranging the maintenance staff to be more effective, and he wondered if they could make improvements  to save money.  Ms. Blastos felt that they could save significantly, and added that Mr. Kelley had some great ideas.

 

Mr. Enright felt that they needed to take more out of the maintenance overtime line item.  Ms. Blastos reported that they were instituting some new procedures where maintenance personnel cannot do overtime unless it has been approved by an administrator, not just by a supervisor.  Mr. Enright pointed out that the Maintenance Director was in when the maintenance people are not working.

 

Ms. Blastos stated that they needed to look at weekend usage, the maintenance cost, and charging for it.  She pointed out that the insurance company says they have to have an employee here when the building is in use.  She stated that they needed to review the facilities usage policy.

 

Mr. Murphy felt that if someone has to be here then the users could bear cost of the maintenance staff that’s present.  Mr. Murphy asked if they increase the maintenance staff hours, would that have a positive effect on the maintenance overtime?  Ms. Blastos responded that they had a lot of maintenance overtime last summer due to moving into the new facilities.

 

Mr. Enright asked why they couldn’t assign a maintenance person to a Saturday morning or afternoon as part of their job.  Ms. Blastos responded that they could, but they need to look at the contract.

 

Mr. Enright asked why they couldn’t take the $35,772 for the SAP new position, and use this year’s status.  Ms. Blastos responded that the $35,772 is to take the position to full-time, plus supplies.  Mr. Enright felt they could take that amount out of the budget and keep the position status quo, that is, part-time. 

 

Mr. Enright stated that at a prior meeting they had discussed decreasing Special Education Life Skills at the Middle School from full-time to 0.6 FTE.  Ms. Goyette responded that she hadn’t had a chance to talk to Mr. Kelly about it yet.

 

Ms. Dumas asked about professional stipends.  Ms. Blastos responded that she couldn’t defend it.  However, if the Board wanted to direct the Administration to do it, they could, but she cautioned them she may come back and tell the Board that they have a deficit budget.  She added that she needed to run the details.

 

Tom Enright moved that the Board reduce the 2006/07 Proposed Budget by the following:

 

SAP position by the full $35,772     (difference of)                              - $12,772

Reduce Substitute account at the High School by                                -$5,000

Reduce Substitute account at the Middle School by                             -$5,000

Reduce Professional Stipends by                                                         -$7,000

Reduce Operation of Plant at the Middle and High Schools by          -$25,000

 

                                                Total Reductions                                  $54,772

 

Mr. Enright noted that they have a contingency of $200,000 (ear-marked for Special Education and transportation), which gave him a level of comfort.

 

Ms. Goyette asked if it was reasonable to ask the Board if they had a figure for the cuts, or a percentage.  She stated that she didn’t know what the goal was – if it was $50,000 or $200,000.  She felt that Mr. Kelley, Ms. Blastos and she could sit down again and go through the budget.

 

Ms. Dumas stated that she had looked at the budget from every angle and was not happy with any angle she looked from.  She stated that in her mind, she was not looking for a number, but rather if there was anything else they could do.

 

Supt. Pike stated that a number approach made sense if they were trying to reach the Budget Committee’s goals, but if that was not the Board’s goal, then they should base it on a percentage.

 

Mr. Murphy stated that they had talked about doing a better job with maintenance, etc., but he felt they needed to be proactive and take the steps needed to do it.

 

Ms. Blastos asked what the School Board’s target was.  She pointed out that if they come in at 8.35%, they are still $250,000 off the mark from the Budget Committee.

 

Mr. Enright stated that that was not where he was going.  He added that he was not going after program.  He pointed out that the budget was still at 10% and that was not acceptable to him.  He added that he couldn’t give a number, but he had just shown where $54,000 could be taken out of the budget.  He felt there were still a couple more questions to be answered.  He pointed out that there was $75,000 in the District-wide budget for the bilingual teacher, of which, the Coop pays $10,000.  He wondered how much this position is used, and if it had be evaluated recently.

 

Mr. Murphy stated that looking at healthcare costs, he felt that they could look at restructuring the co-pays.  He felt this could be a win-win situation.

 

Steve Simons seconded the motion.

 

Chair. Kirby stated that she was OK with the motion if they really look at the maintenance overtime.  She felt that they needed to look at the Usage Policy to make sure they are covering costs.

 

Mr. Kelley stated that looking at the new position sheet, to bring the SAP position to full-time would cost $12,772.  He added that they have a very good counselor, and hated to lose her.

 

Mr. Simons pointed out that the motion stated that the SAP remain the same.

 

Mr. Enright stated that if the Administration could reduce the budget in other ways to find the money to increase the SAP position to full-time, then so be it.

 

Mr. Murphy felt that the Board needed to either pick a target dollar amount or a percentage.  He felt that it would help everybody if they knew what the target was.  Mr. Enright responded that he was not trying to hit a number, but rather was trying to get a budget and two contracts to 8.9%.  Mr. Enright felt that they were getting close.  He stated that they have a $200,000 contingency, but he hoped they would be able to take that down some.

 

Supt. Pike stated that the process that worked in the beginning stages was to have the Administrators meet with Ms. Blastos.  He felt they should go back to the drawing board and take one more swipe at it.  Then, if the Board felt that they needed to cut the budget lower, they will have that opportunity.

 

Ms. Dumas stated that she didn’t have a number in her head.  She informed the Board that originally she had hoped to hold to 5%, but now realizes they can’t.  She felt that 8.9% was a reasonable number.  She added that she would like to be flexible with Mr. Enright’s motion, in that if the Administrator could make other cuts to keep the SAP position, she was agreeable.

 

Tom Enright amended the motion that the $12,772 to be determined by its school administrator.  Steve Simons seconded.

 

Mr. Simons stated that he didn’t want to lose the SAP position.  He thought that 9% would be a good number.

 

Mr. Kelley asked Mr. Enright if the 7.06% would need to be 6.5%.  Mr. Enright responded that he was making assumptions, and felt that by next week they would have more information.

 

Mr. Murphy stated that in general he supported Mr. Enright’s motion.  He added that he didn’t quite know what SAP was all about.  He felt that there were some opportunities with the maintenance overtime, and that the Administration should make some value judgments and move things around.  He felt that 9% would meet his comfort level.

Mr. Simons stated that relative to 6.5% to 9%, historically, the salary warrant articles are 2.5%.

 

The motion for the amendment carried unanimously.  5 – 0 – 0.

 

The original motion, as amended, carried unanimously.  5 – 0 – 0.

 

Jim Murphy moved that the Board set a target for the Administration of a bottom-line budget to include salary warrant articles not-to-exceed 9% increase over last year’s budget.

 

Mr. Simons stated that he was not ready to set a bottom-line budget.  He added that he wanted to wait a week and see what the numbers are.

 

There was no second to the motion.

 

The Board decided to hold two more budget workshops on the following dates:

 

January 25th at 5:00 p.m. at the High School

February 1st at 5:00 p.m. at the Middle School.

 

Ms. Dumas asked if the Board was making a conscious effort to ignore the CIP.  She pointed out that the Board submitted to the Committee that the District would spend $15,000 to replace computers, and they didn’t do that last year.  They also submitted that they would be spending $10,000 per year on the Tech Center, and they are not spending that this year.

 

7.         SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT

 

Farley Building

 

Supt. Pike reported that the Hollis District did not have time for them at their last meeting to discuss the Farley Building, so the Board asked Mr. Enright and Mr. Simons to come back to the next meeting, which will be held on February 16th, after the Hearing.

 

Mr. Enright asked if the Hollis Board could have a special short meeting just before the Hearing for them to present their issue.  Supt. Pike stated that he would talk to Chair. Haytayan.  Mr. Enright suggested that the Town Selectmen be present at the meeting also.

 

Field Usage Policy

 

Supt. Pike stated that he and Chair. Kirby had discussed the Field Usage Policy, and felt that it should be on next month’s agenda for discussion. 

 

Mr. Simons added that the Board needed to get back to the policies in general.

 

Mr. Murphy stated that it would be helpful to him to have a spreadsheet of all the policies and what the status was of each policy.  Mr. Simons responded that he had such a spreadsheet, and would email it out to all the members the next day.

 

School Report Insert

 

Supt. Pike stated that each year the School Report goes out in the Hollis/Brookline Journal, and it costs approximately $2,700.00.  The Coop’s portion is 40% or about $1,000.00.  Supt. Pike reported that he is taking this issue to each Board and getting their thoughts and degree of interest regarding the insert.   He informed the Board that the Hollis Board didn’t really care if the insert was continued or not.  They felt it was good public relations, but not necessary.  He added that Ms. Lindgren had stated that Ms. Mook has done a large part of the work on the insert in the past, and won’t be doing it this year.

 

Mr. Simons stated that the insert was in the Journal, but was also passed out at the District Meeting.  He felt it was a great report, and was the only annual report that they had.  Chair. Kirby responded that there was an annual report in the Town Report booklet.

 

Mr. Murphy suggested that they use the website instead of printed matter, pointing out that it would cost them $0. 

 

Chair. Kirby stated that she would rather save the money.

 

Mr. Enright felt that the insert was good public relations, but agreed they should save the money, and put the Administrators’ and Superintendent’s annual reports on the website.

 

Ms. Goyette stated that the inserts served a good purpose the first 3 years when they had a good cause, but she felt using the website would now be OK.

 

Mr. Simons pointed out that they had the Cafeteria Project this year to promote.

 

The consensus of the Board was to forgo the printed insert and use the website instead.

 

Mr. Enright stated that apportionment could come up this year at the District Meeting.  He felt it made sense for the Board to agree to form an apportionment committee to look at the issue.  He pointed out that there were two ways to initiate the apportionment issue: 

 

1.       The board brings it up.

2.       By a warrant article.

 

Mr. Enright asked that Supt. Pike look at the statute, and that he report on it at the next meeting.  He felt that the Board should form a committee, which would work on apportionment during the next year, then report at the 2007 District Meeting.

 

Mr. Murphy asked Supt. Pike what the update was on House Bill 616, and what open enrollment of a district was.  Supt. Pike asked if he was talking about the voucher plan.  Mr. Murphy responded that he was.  Supt. Pike stated that he hadn’t had a chance to review it yet.  Mr. Murphy asked what the impact would be.  Supt. Pike stated that the superintendents would be discussing it on Friday, and that Ms. Mace would be pitch hitting for him at the meeting.  He stated that he would report back on the issue.

 

A copy of the report is available.

 

8.         MIDDLE SCHOOL PRINCIPAL’S REPORT

 

Ms. Goyette reported that they had begun the recycling program at the Middle School.  She stated that it is not being done during instructional time, but rather during ROCK time.  The 7th grade filled up ½ a dumpster (35 bins).  Ms. Goyette stated that she had been talking to Joan Vaughn, who works at the transfer station, about organizing a field trip.

 

Ms. Goyette informed the Board that extra paper is being put in the pizza boxes to soak up the grease so they can now recycle the boxes.

 

Ms. Goyette reported that the Job Fair will be held the first week in March.  Kimberly Rizzo will screen paperwork.    Ms. Goyette commended Kimberly for all the work she has put into organizing this event.

 

Ms. Goyette informed the Board that 25 students and parents attended the Y Teen Partnership open house.  The first session will start January 23 and run through February vacation.  The cost is $35.00 for 7 sessions.  The four classes that are going to be offered are:  Ballroom Dancing, Jazz & Hip Hop; Yoga; Cooking; and X-Mod Racing.

 

Ms. Goyette stated that the number of sign-ups was small, but felt it was a good way to start.

 

Ms. Goyette reported that the play “Annie” will be performed on February 17th and 18th

 

A copy of the report is available.

 

9.         HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL’S REPORT

 

Mr. Kelley reported that work on the NEASC recommendations was on-going. 

 

Mr. Kelley stated that they are trying to clean up the Program of Studies. He explained that it is one of the most important documents for the school.  He stated that they are redefining honor roll with High Honors being all A’s, and Honors being A’s and B’s.  He felt it should be kept simple.

 

Mr. Kelley informed the Board that new courses slated for next year are AP Statistics, Marketing, Introduction to Desktop Publishing, and Music Theory 2.  He explained that the Introduction to Desktop Publishing is an effort to help revitalize the Business Department.  Mr. Kelley felt that minor issues could be cleared up this year, but the major issues will take longer.

 

Mr. Kelley reported that the Memorandum of Understanding regarding the School Resource Officer was completed, and the he and Chief Ux were comfortable with it.  It has now been sent to Supt. Pike for his review.  He stated that it needed to be looked at to make sure that it makes the legal muster, then it needed to be signed off by the Board.

 

Mr. Simons stated that he wanted to make sure that the Coop has the right to veto/get rid of the SRO if it doesn’t work out.  Mr. Kelley stated that Mr. Simons’ concerns had been addressed.

 

Mr. Enright asked if the Chief was happy with the Memorandum.  Supt. Pike responded that the Chief, Mr. Kelley and he were all happy with it.

 

Chair. Kirby asked that Supt. Pike email a copy of the Memorandum to each Board member.

 

Mr. Kelley stated that they are working on staffing/substitute problems.  They are hoping that the Job Fair will help the problem.  He stated that they are looking for short-term substitute in guidance due to a maternity leave.  He added that he has a name that he will be putting forth shortly.

 

Mr. Kelley stated that actions by the School Board was needed on the following:

 

Scoreboard:  Mr. Kelley stated he would like direction on installing a scoreboard at the track.  He stated that they could accept funds from the Rotary for the scoreboard, or receive a donated one, but he wondered about any local restrictions or ordinances regarding putting a scoreboard up.

 

Mr. Enright responded that there was no wiring, and the location of the scoreboard would be a problem.  He stated that when they put the track in, they never got permission for a scoreboard or lights.  He added that there will never be lights at the track.  He stated that in regards to the scoreboard, they needed to get plans, site location, then make a presentation.  He suggested that the scoreboard be kept away from Love Lane.

 

Mr. Kelley stated that they were thinking about putting it against the back bern.  Mr. Enright suggested that they find out the size of the scoreboard, make a wooden sample and put it up, then ask the neighbors to come and look at it.

 

Mr. Kelley concluded that it was not a funding issue, but rather a legal issue.  Mr. Enright responded that it was a community issue.

 

Mr. Simons felt that the northwest corner would be the best location, as it would not been seen from Love Lane.

 

Ms. Goyette stated that there was a scoreboard at the softball field that was never used that the High School could have.

 

Ice Hockey:  Mr. Kelley informed the Board that there was a group of parents that have organized and are raising funds in hopes to have a JV ice hockey team next year, at no cost to the District.  He stated that if the Board would like to hear a presentation, he could invite them to come in.

 

Supt. Pike asked if it was the same group of people that organized the football club.  Mr. Simons responded that it was probably a different set of parents.  Mr. Simons pointed out that the football parents made a presentation to the Board, and that it didn’t cost the District anything for awhile, but eventually, the District has to take it over.  He added that they don’t want two booster clubs, so the ice hockey parents need to know that they may need to join with the High School’s Booster Club.

 

Supt. Pike stated that it was important that this group of parents makes a presentation.  He added that he felt it was rather presumptuous of the group to already be raising money, assuming that the Board will approve their plan.

 

Mr. Simons pointed out that the football parents did a 3-4 year plan showing what it would cost, how the money was going to be used, and what it would eventually cost the District when they assumed the financial responsibilities.

 

Mr. Murphy added that the ice hockey parents needed to know that their fund raising efforts were being done without the District’s sanctions.

 

Parking:  Mr. Kelley informed the Board that the parking issue was reaching the critical stage, especially when the sophomores start to receive their driver’s licenses and start driving to school this spring.  Mr. Kelley reported that he would like to start instituting a plan for parking the next semester.  The plan would:

 

1.       Make the parking area at the baseball field available for sophomores at no cost.

2.       Charge $25.00 per semester for juniors and seniors to park in the back parking lot and issue passes to them.

3.       Issue passes to the staff.

 

Chair. Kirby asked if he had plans for someone to monitor the parking and to administer the plan.  Mr. Kelley felt that it would not be a big problem.  He stated that he wasn’t sure about having someone available to monitor the parking lot.

 

Mr. Kelley stated that they had been talking about using parking as part of privileges, that is, if a student’s grades are down and they don’t bring them back up, then they lose their parking privilege.  He added that when they went out and looked at the parking lot during class time, when everyone is there, and there were only about 8 parking spaces available.  He added that they were thinking about implementing the plan before the end of March.

 

Ms. Dumas asked what would be done with the monies collected.  Mr. Kelley responded that there was a proposal to put the money aside for cameras to monitor the parking area for security.  Ms. Goyette stated that the Middle School had three monitors that were only 1-year old that they don’t need anymore.  She added that she didn’t know if they would work at the High School, but that Mr. Kelley was welcome to them.

 

Jim Murphy moved that the Board approve Mr. Kelley’s recommendation to establish parking fees that are not to exceed $25.00 per semester.  Tom Enright seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.  5 – 0 – 0.

 

A copy of the report is available.

 

10.        POLICIES

 

Mr. Simons presented Policy GDQA – Reduction in Support Staff Work Force for First Reading. 

 

Steve Simons moved that the Board approve the version of Policy GDQA – Reduction in Support Staff Work Force for First Reading.  Jim Murphy seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.  5 – 0 – 0.

 

A copy of the policy is available.

 

11.        LETTER OF RESIGNATION

 

Ms. Dumas informed the Board that she had submitted her letter of resignation for her position on the Board effective with the March District School Meeting.

 

Supt. Pike stated that he and Mr. Murphy had talked about how the vacancy should be filled since Ms. Dumas was part way through her term.  He added that if the position is to be filled through election, the filing date for candidates is January 25th

 

Mr. Murphy stated that he had talked with the Brookline moderator and with Jim Belanger.  Both moderators stated that once the resignation is tendered prior to the filing date, the seat becomes vacant.

 

Supt. Pike stated that the School Board Association has a person that deals with legal issues.  He informed the Board that he had forwarded the situation to SBA person, as he wanted to make sure the District does it right.

 

Steve Simons moved that the meeting adjourn.  Anne Dumas seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.  5 – 0 – 0.

 

The meeting adjourned at 10:15 p.m.