APPROVED:  September 21, 2005

                                                                                                Hollis-Brookline Cooperative School Board

                                                                                                Regular Meeting

                                                                                                August 17, 2005

                                                                                                Hollis-Brookline High School

 

 

Pam Kirby, Chairperson

Anne Dumas

Tom Enright

Betty Hall

Jim Murphy

Dan Peterson, left at approx 7:40 PM

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

Betsy A, Bowen, Recording Secretary 

 

 

Others present included members of the Public.

 

Chairperson Pam Kirby called the meeting to order at 5:50 p.m.

 

Steve Simons moved that the Board enter non-public session under the provisions of RSA 91-A: 3 II (c) reputation.  Anne Dumas seconded.  A roll call vote was taken with all members present voting in the affirmative.   7 - 0 - 0.

 

The Board came out of non-public at 5:52 p.m.

 

1.                   SKILLING – WATER ANALYSIS

 

Chair. Kirby recognized Carl LaChance from Skillings & Sons. 

 

Mr. LaChance introduced Roger Skillings, who had accompanied him to the meeting.  Mr. LaChance then addressed the Board stating that due to new regulations by the State, the three wells that supply water to the High School no longer meet the arsenic recommended levels.  The State lowered the recommended levels from 0.05 to 0.01. 

 

Mr. LaChance distributed a proposal for an arsenic removal system.  He stated that the proposal also covers the cost of installation.  He then explained that the system was a “redundant system” and should last 3-4 years.  He stated that all the arsenic is caught in the first chamber and is followed up by a second cylinder.  When the first cylinder is filled, the cylinder in the second chamber is put into the first chamber, and a new cylinder is put into the second chamber.  The cost of maintenance is $2500.00 every 3-4 years.

 

Mr. LaChance then stated that they are using a company from Massachusetts, Solumetrics, which takes care of a lot of dental offices, removing the mercury from their wastewater.

 

Mr. LaChance informed the Board that there was a copy of the test results in the proposal he had passed out.  He stated that all three wells are now over the recommended level of 0.01.

 

Chair. Kirby asked if the system would remove the arsenic totally.  Mr. LaChance responded that everything would be removed.

 

Ms. Blastos asked why the High School has an issue and not the Middle School.  Mr. LaChance responded that the two schools have different wells.  He added that there are no guarantees.  One could drill a well 300 feet apart from each other, and one well could have arsenic in it, and the other not. 

 

Mr. Murphy asked if the Middle School wells had been checked.  Mr. LaChance responded that the Middle School wells were all set.

 

Ms. Hall asked when the tests had been done on the wells.  Ms. Blastos responded that they were notified in March regarding the issue, and have until January 2006 to resolve it.  She added that Skillings tests the water systems on a regular basis.

 

Mr. Peterson asked what the frequency of testing was.  Mr. LaChance responded that they test the wells quarterly.  Mr. Peterson asked if the water system was a public system, and that the Middle School is a separate water system.  Mr. LaChance responded that that was correct.

 

Mr. Murphy wondered if from the initial notification the District got, to the implementation deadline the District has, was within a budget year.  That is, the District was past the budget planning point that they could have budgeted for the system, yet they have to have it done before the next budget is passed. Ms. Blastos agreed.  Mr. Murphy added that it was close to an unfunded mandate.  Again, Ms. Blastos agreed.

 

Mr. Peterson asked if all the wells would be treated separately.  Mr. LaChance responded that they will all be treated through one system.

 

Mr. Simons asked if the 0.014 reading was what tested on each of the wells.  Mr. LaChance explained that that was the combined total for all three wells.

 

Ms. Hall asked if the District had a contract with Skillings to test the wells.  Chair. Kirby responded that they did.  Ms. Hall asked if the Board could have someone else test the wells and give a bid, if the Board so chose.  Ms. Blastos responded that they could.

 

Ms. Blastos asked if the water system would be down while the arsenic system was being installed.  Mr. LaChance responded that they hoped the water system would only be down for one day.

 

Mr. Simons asked when it could be done.  Mr. LaChance responded that it should be completed before the beginning of school.

 

Mr. Enright asked if the town wells, which the Middle School uses, had been tested.  Mr. LaChance responded that they had been.  Mr. Skillings explained that the wells for the Middle School come from the Rocky Pond wells, which are shallow wells, and one does not usually find arsenic in shallow wells.

 

Mr. Enright asked if the hardware would go inside the building.  Mr. LaChance responded that it would go in the main boiler room.

 

Mr. Enright stated that Skillings & Sons had done a great job for the District and he would not want anyone else handling this project.

 

Mr. Murphy asked if they would be able to budget a large portion of the cost of the system into next year’s budget.  Ms. Blastos responded that she was confident that they could take care of the cost in this year’s budget.

 

Mr. Skillings stated that he understood Ms. Hall wanting to get competitive pricing, however, he went over the proposal with Mr. LaChance, and he thought the cost would be twice as much.

 

Mary Wilson stated that she wanted to let the Board know the great support she got from Skillings & Sons during the week they had the work camp at the school.  Skillings was there giving her the back-up she needed.

 

Ms. Hall suggested that a letter of appreciation be sent to Skillings for their assistance during the work camp week.

 

Steve Simons moved that the Board authorize Skillings & Sons to provide an arsenic water treatment system at a cost of $12,400 per the proposal, and waive the bid policy DJC.  Tom Enright seconded.

 

Chair. Kirby stated that in her neighborhood, one person had arsenic in their well, while others didn’t.  She added that there were a variety of test results and a variety of prices people paid to have systems installed.

 

Mr. Enright pointed out that Skillings & Sons had dug the District’s wells, as well as the whole SAU, and that when there is a crisis, they have donated their time; therefore, he gave them his complete endorsement for their quality of service.

 

Ms. Dumas stated that she would feel more comfortable if the District got other bids.

 

Mr. Peterson agreed with Ms. Dumas.  He felt that the Board should understand the range and cost of the solution.

 

Supt. Pike wondered if this could end up being an emotionally attached issue, in that parents getting upset if the problem is not taken care of prior to the start of school.  He felt it would behoove the Board to be pro-active and complete it before school starts.

 

Mr. Murphy stated that he personally had no issue with Skillings & Sons, but publicly, he felt that the Board should take due diligence and touch base with someone else as far as solution and cost.  He added that if the Board did bids, then they would be obligated to go with the lowest bid, but if they got proposals, they would then have some reference data.  He felt that the Board should move quickly on this issue, but was not sure it needed to be taken care of prior to the start of school.

 

Ms. Blastos asked if she got some proposals, should she then bring it back to the Board at the September meeting, or should she simply poll the Board through email.

 

Chair. Kirby felt they could get some upset parents if they did not take care of the situation prior to the start of school.

 

Ms. Hall asked whether the Board had known about this since March.  Ms. Blastos responded that they had been notified that the standard was changing, but the testing wasn’t done until April.

 

Tom Enright moved that the Board amend the motion to include that Ms. Blastos get another data point and if Ms. Blastos and Supt. Pike felt comfortable, then notify/poll the Board by email.

 

Mr. Peterson felt they should not be limited by a single data point.

 

The motion carried unanimously as amended.  7 – 0 – 0.

 

2.         MINUTES

 

Mr. Simons stated that on page 7 Brenda "Wilkinson" should be changed to Brenda “Poznanski.”

 

Supt. Pike stated that on page 3, paragraph 5, it states that Comstock was penciled in for August 13 and it should be “September” 13.

 

Steve Simons moved that the Board accept the minutes of July 20, 2005, as amended.  Jim Murphy seconded.  Motion carried.  5 – 0 – 2.  (Hall, Dumas abstained.)

 

3.         OPEN FORUM

 

None.

 

4.         CORRESPONDENCE

 

Ms. Blastos informed the Board that Mr. Peterson had applied for a matching funds donation through his company and she had received a check for $200.00 to go towards F.I.R.S.T.

 

Mr. Murphy will send a thank you note on behalf of the Board.

 

5.         BUSINESS ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT

 

Professional Staffing

 

Ms. Blastos reported that there was a $73,000.00 shortfall in the salary line item of the budget.  She explained that an English position had been deleted on January 19, 2005 during the budget process.

 

Mr. Simons asked what would happen if the Board felt that they needed another English position.  Mr. Enright responded that if the Board agreed to another English position, then Ms. Blastos and Supt. Pike would look at the budget and they would take from X,Y and Z.  He added that the voters pass the budget, but they don’t tell the Board how to tend the money.

 

Ms. Dumas stated that Ms. Blastos had informed the Board that they were $73,000 in the hole, yet without the English issue they would be $30,000 in the hole.  She wondered what the other $30,000 was.

 

Ms. Blastos responded that $44,631 was just the salary for the position, that it didn’t include benefits.  She then added that there were other areas of the budget that had shortfalls:

 

Oil for 2005-2006                                                      $37,000.00

Vocational Education Transportation                          $50,000.00

Property and Liability Insurance                                   $5,000.00                         

 

Mr. Murphy asked if Ms. Blastos had any idea of what the total impact would be with benefits.  Ms. Blastos responded that she didn’t go into the benefits, but she budgets about 23% of the salary for benefits.

 

Supt. Pike stated that if the District needed another English position, they would have to make a strong case for it.  He stated that he didn’t know the formal process, but felt they would talk to the Budget Committee in order to have them on board.  He added that they must give full disclosure on these things.  He added that he was not in favor of withdrawing the current position to be nominated.  He pointed out that they need to look at the total budget.

 

Mr. Peterson pointed out that if they filled the English position, then the base of the budget would be up by one more over last year, then next year’s comparison wouldn’t be true, but rather become a new base line.  Mr. Simons responded that it would be a new base line for staffing, but not for the total budget.

 

Ms. Hall asked if the District usually had a cushion because they hire at a lower step than those leaving.  Ms. Blastos responded that over the last couple of years, they have budgeted so leanly that they don’t have much of a cushion.  She stated that she has been controlled by only being able to budget a Masters Step 5 salary, and that is not enough anymore.  She added that the Board will need to talk about this during the next budget season.  She pointed out that they now have an added issue due to this error.  She added that it is her fiduciary responsibility to bring this to the Board’s attention.

 

Ms. Goyette stated that hiring new classroom staff is usually easy to meet the Masters Step 5, but with Special Education it is different.  She pointed out that with Special Education one wants to hire the best and it is hard to do that and stay within the Masters Step 5.  She also added that it is hard to hire within the Masters Step 5 for part-time positions.  If you try to hire younger, less experienced personnel for those positions, they are looking for full-time.

 

Mr. Kelley added that when they are hiring in the spring they can go after the more experienced staff, but when it gets to this point in the year, they are looking at first year teachers, as the experienced teachers have already secured positions.

 

Mr. Peterson stated that he was concerned that the District is putting themselves in a position that they can’t hire who they want.  He added that he is not comfortable to approve a nomination until he gets the fiscal data.  

 

Mr. Simons asked if the blue sheets would have that data on them.  Ms. Blastos responded that they would; however, the blue sheets would not come to the Board as they are internal.  She added that she could show the delta on the nomination sheet.

 

Mr. Kelley stated that they are hiring people that they are comfortable with; they just have less experience.

 

Mr. Murphy pointed out that the shortfall was brought to the Board’s attention and wondered what the action before the Board was, if they should move money from one account to another in the budget or prioritize expenditures.  Ms. Blastos responded that she did not believe in budget transfers, that it doesn’t give one a true history.   She added that she has never had a deficit budget.  In the past she has slowed down spending in the supply area and that has taken care of it.

 

Mr. Simons asked Supt. Pike if he was confident that he had the back up he needed.  Supt. Pike responded that he was.  He stated that personnel was always the largest part of the budget.  He pointed out that when the Board sets out to build the ’06-’07 budget in a few months, they will have the personnel bottom line.  Then usually, when contracts are returned, they have a good snapshot of where they are regarding personnel, then when everyone is hired, you get another snapshot.  He added that he agreed with Ms. Blastos, that it is not good to transfer money between accounts. 

 

Mr. Murphy asked what the action before the Board was, or if this was just an unfortunate status report. 

 

Ms. Dumas asked if there was some item in the budget that they could do without and would cover the shortfall, or if the shortfall would be covered by nickel and diming?  Ms. Blastos responded that they would have to nickel and dime because the budget is lean.

 

Mr. Enright pointed out that they were talking about one account in a $12 million budget.  He stated that he would like to get more information and follow it through to December.  He added that he hesitates starting September off without letting teachers have their materials.  He stated that he would also like to hear about health benefits.  He stated that he was in favor of taking a complete snapshot of the big accounts on a monthly basis.

 

Oil

 

Ms. Blastos informed the Board that she had pre-bought oil at $1.899 last year.  During the budget season, she budgeted $1.199.  Due to the cost of fuel going up, there is a $37,000 shortfall in the Coop account.  She pointed out that pre-buying oil is only good until April.  She added that she can’t control the cost.  She suggested that the Board could tell the schools to turn the temperature down.  Ms. Dumas agreed that the temperature in the school buildings could be turned down, as most students simply wear tee shirts.

 

Insurance

 

Ms. Blastos informed the Board that there was a $5,000 shortfall in the Property and Liability Insurance line item.  This was due to a couple of significant insurance claims.  She reported that there was some good news, in that Workers’ Compensation was down by $7,000.

 

Well Treatment

 

Ms. Blastos reported that adding the $12,400 for the arsenic treatment system, and the $2,500 per year maintenance, the total for this year will be approximately $15,000.

 

Vocational Education Transportation

 

Ms. Blastos informed the Board that regarding the Vocational Education Bus Transportation account there had been a communication from the High School to Hollis Transportation, which resulted in an additional van for the amount of $50,000 to transport the Voc Ed students.  Ms. Blastos reported that she had never gotten notified of the communication, and knew nothing about it until she started questioning the additional charges from Hollis Transportation and then contacted the Ordes. 

 

Mr. Murphy asked if the District is required to provide transportation.  He stated that it was his understanding that the District is only required to provide such service through 8th grade.  Ms. Blastos responded that students who have their licenses have the ability to drive themselves and get reimbursed by the State.  However, school policy does not allow this.

 

Ms. Blastos informed the Board that she sat with the Ordes and asked them why she wasn’t notified of this change.  She explained that the students are transported with vans and sedans, and the District is invoiced based on the number of runs that are made.

 

Mr. Kelley stated that he had looked into this.  The locations of the vocational schools had not changed.  They still include Nashua High North, Nashua High South, Alvrine, and Milford.  Mr. Kelley stated that he had asked the person in charge of coordinating the transportation if she had called the Ordes and order more transportation.  The coordinator told him that she merely gave the Ordes the numbers.  Mr. Kelley stated that he hadn’t had a chance to talk with Bob Kelley about Special Education, which is a part of this.

 

Mr. Enright asked if the District was committed to this money.  Ms. Blastos responded that they were.  Mr. Enright then stated that there was no need to discuss this further.  He added that he never did understand why the school policy won’t allow students to drive themselves if all the appropriate waivers are signed.

 

Chair. Kirby felt that they should put a committee together to look into this and think outside the box on how to reduce the transportation costs.

 

Ms. Dumas asked what the number of students was.  Mr. Kelley responded that it was 40 this year, and 30 last year.

 

Supt. Pike felt that there was a communication piece that needed addressing to make sure such things as this doesn’t happen in the future.  He stated that he had personally talked with Al Orde and the person that contacted Ms. Orde was not the principal.  He added that if there is a subsequent impact on the budget, then it needs to go through the Business Administrator.

 

Ms. Blastos pointed out that the Board may think that the $50,000 is expensive, but it is not.  She stated that it would be much higher if they were using another transportation service.

 

Mr. Murphy pointed out that the Coop was the only District in the area that doesn’t have transportation fees.  He added that if the District is in a position in a couple of years that they need to look at another company, they may need to start charging a transportation fee.

 

Total Shortfall

 

Ms. Blastos reported that $147,000 was the total shortfall on everything she had addressed, plus benefits.

 

Personnel

 

Ms. Blastos informed the Board that the Food Service Manager, Sheila O’Donnell, had resigned and that they were in the process of advertising for her replacement.  She added that there was a vacancy in the accounting department, and they had hired Ms. O’Donnell for the position.

 

Ms. Blastos stated that she would like to know if the Board would like to continue sharing a Food Service Manager with the Hollis School District.  She informed the Board that the Legislature had passed a bill, The Reauthorization Act of Child Nutrition.  This bill states that by June 2006 the districts must have a “wellness” program implemented into their food service program. 

 

Ms. Dumas asked if this position could become a SAU-wide position.  Ms. Blastos stated that the Brookline Food Service Manager had also resigned.  She stated that she talked with Mike Molkentine about creating a SAU-wide positron and he said, “Absolutely not.”

 

Mr. Murphy felt that this issue should go before the whole Brookline Board and added that he would be willing to address it under Public Forum if they can’t get it on the agenda.

 

Ms. Blastos felt there was value in creating a district-wide position.  She stated that it was time for SAU 41 to have a Food Service Director, someone who knows the laws and would see that all food service departments are run smoothly.  Ms. Blastos added that it is also mandated that by next June, any new food service worker hired must hold a certificate in food service sanitation and safety.

 

Ms. Hall stated that she was impressed with Anita Moynihan’s efforts to get nutritious foods in the Hollis Elementary School.  She felt that having a Food Service Director for the SAU would be a step in the right direction, and she strongly supported the Coop approaching the Hollis and the Brookline Boards to work together.

 

Supt. Pike pointed out that this was an 11th hour resignation and that the District needed to have someone in place for the start of school.  He felt that the Board couldn’t wait around for the creation of a SAU Food Service Director position. 

 

Mr. Murphy asked if they could offer just a one-year contract for the position.  Ms. Blastos responded that it usually is only a one-year contract.    She added that Ms. O’Donnell had been seeing them through the transition, and that Ms. O’Donnell won’t take on her new position until after Labor Day.

 

Ms. Hall asked if they could hire someone to come in or a temp.  Ms. Blastos responded that they had just started advertising the day before.  She added that she hadn’t seen any interest in the position from within.

 

Ms. Dumas stated that she would like to limp along and try to get a SAU-wide position in place.

 

Mr. Enright asked if the Food Service Director could help the District out until they got through this issue.  Supt. Pike pointed out that they would need to look at what it would mean for the SAU budget, as well as look at the current job description to see how it needed to be modified for the wellness portion.  He felt some thought needed to be put into this, and that it should not be rushed.

 

Chair. Kirby stated that as long as they only contract for one year, then they should be all set.  Mr. Murphy pointed out that Brookline could hire someone for three years, so the opportunity would no longer be there.  He felt that Brookline needed to give some thought and discussion on this issue.  He also felt that the Coop Board needed to engage Brookline’s support as early as possible.  Supt. Pike stated that he could put it on the Brookline agenda.

 

Mr. Peterson asked if regarding the issue of hiring a Food Service Manager, it was the intention to hire for only one year.   Ms. Blastos responded that the Food Service Manager doesn’t get a contract, but rather a Letter of Agreement, which is annual, and is based on evaluation.

 

Mr. Simons wondered if Ms. O’Donnell could help with the Food Service and the SAU could hire a temp for Ms. O’Donnell’s new position until the issue is resolved.  Chair. Kirby pointed out that as candidates come in, that may help make up their minds as to what direction they want to go in.

 

Mr. Murphy asked what the SAU position would look like.  Ms. Blastos felt that the Food Service Director would oversee the SAU.  Then there would be Head Cooks in each kitchen at each site.  She pointed out that there was no head cook in Hollis, but there was one in Brookline.

 

Mr. Murphy asked if there would be a budget impact.  Ms. Blastos responded that by law, the food service has to be self-funded.  She added that they were also looking at increasing the price of meals, as there had been no increase in the past 10 years. 

 

Mr. Simons asked if food service was run by receipts.  Ms. Blastos responded that it was.

 

Mr. Peterson asked if all the districts ran a surplus with their food service.  Ms. Blastos responded that Brookline didn’t.

 

Track

 

Ms. Blastos reported that the track storage shed was underway with all the proper paperwork in place, and all endorsements from the town fathers. 

 

 Ms. Blastos stated that nothing is for free.  She explained that goals posts had been donated to the school, however, it is going to cost the school to have them installed.  She stated that she had asked one vendor to install them, and they refused because of the ledge.  In order to install the goal posts, it will require machinery to drill through the ledge, therefore there will be a cost.

 

Mr. Murphy asked who had donated the goal posts.  Ms. Blastos responded that Art Ginnard, owner of Steel Fabricators, had donated them.  She added that she did have some thoughts on how to fund the installation of the goal posts.

 

6.         SOFTBALL FIELD

 

Supt. Pike stated that there had been a discussion as to whether the softball field needed a site plan or not.  He informed the Board that he had spoken with Betty Adamas and found that there is not a plan.  He also found out that if there is no work involving the moving of earth and/or the cutting of trees, then a site plan is not needed.

 

Mr. Simons stated that Mr. Enright got a different story from Virginia Mills and felt they should postpone the discussion until Mr. Enright came back.

 

7.         PRINCIPALS’ REPORTS

 

Middle School

 

Ms. Goyette stated that she wanted to applaud the efforts of the Middle School staff in moving everything out of the rooms to be renovated in just 24-48 hours.  She stated that the renovation was amazing.  She urged the Board members to stop by to see it.  She added that the south end of the school, both lower and upper, won’t be completed by the opening of school, so they will need to use the portables and 2 rooms in the lower level of the Farley Building.  The staff is ok with that.  They will work around the renovations for Open House.  Ms. Goyette felt it would be good for parents to see that their students are safe during the renovations.

 

Open House will be September 13th for the 8th graders, and September 20th for the 7th graders.

 

Currently, the enrollment is at 490.  Ms. Goyette reported that several students have returned.  At least six students will be at Nashua Catholic.

 

All the teams have over 20 students.

 

Ms. Goyette reported that Russell Gage of Melody Workshop in Nashua runs a strings program at the Hollis Upper Elementary School.  He charges $17.00 per half hour.  She has talked with Mr. Gage, and he is willing to run a program at the Middle School and charge $6.00 per half hour.  The program will be held at 5:00 p.m., and will begin in the fall.

 

Ms. Goyette stated that the Tech Department was phenomenal, and that they had been working diligently in the Middle School to get everything ready.  She added that she hoped that the Building Committee would reimburse Joe Gruce  for some of his time he has donated to get things ready.

 

High School

 

Mr. Kelley informed the Board that he had received a gift from the Keith and Lisa Wallin Charitable Family Fund for $6,000 for the purchase of music workstations in the Hollis and Brookline schools.  The High School will receive 2 workstations, and each of the elementary schools will received one. 

 

Mr. Kelley stated that he had also received a check for $8,000 for the purchase of an LCD projector for the auditorium, also from the Wallin Charitable Family Fund.

 

Mr. Murphy will send a thank you note on behalf of the Board.

 

Mr. Kelley reported that the NHEIAP test results were released that morning at 10:00 a.m.  The High School finished 3rd in the State in English, and 4th in the State in math.  Ms. Mace will discuss the results in more detail at the next meeting.

 

Mr. Kelley stated that the Department Heads and new teachers will be coming in on August 25th for orientation. 

 

The agenda is set for the opening of school. 

 

Mr. Kelley stated that the summer had given him an opportunity to meet with the staff.  There is only a handful that he hasn’t met yet.

 

Mr. Kelley reported that the only staff left that they needed to hire was an English position, computer position, and the Family and Consumer Science position.

 

Mr. Kelley stated that there was a shortfall in the budget with textbooks.

 

Mr. Kelley reported that the Life Skills classroom #270 was to be equipped with a refrigerator, stove and other equipment, but because the cost came in over budget, they decided to use the Family and Consumer Science room.

 

Mr. Kelley informed the Board that he had talked with Atty. Drescher that morning regarding the Yearbook issue with the photographer, and was told that the issue should be settled by Friday.

 

Update on Procedural Changes

 

Study hall will be held in classrooms rather than the cafeteria, with the exception of one or two periods a day.  There will be no differentiation of classes, i.e. freshman study.

 

Senior Options – if a senior has a GPA of 2.0 or above, and has not failed any classes in the previous quarter, then they are allowed the following senior options:

 

            Late arrival

            Early dismissal

            Unstructured study period

 

Mr. Kelley stated that on the first day of school, he will be asking the seniors to enroll in additional classes if they have a light schedule.

 

Mr. Kelley informed the Board that they are redoing the handbook.  Teachers will look at it during the year.  He added that they hope to put it on the website.  He stated that they are also updating the website in hopes to make it a better site.

 

Schedule Changes – students will be asked to wait a couple of days while guidance takes care of the seniors and students that need required classes.  All schedule changes will be taken care of within 8 – 10 days.

 

Mr. Kelley reported that sports try-outs were being held that week and that the play “Greater Tuna” will be presented September 9th and 10th.

 

Open House is scheduled for September 22nd.

 

Ms. Dumas asked if there were any changes to the parking lot procedures.  Mr. Kelley responded that a letter would be going home stating that they can guarantee parking for seniors and for most of the juniors.  He added that he didn’t feel comfortable with a parking permit procedure at this time, as he was not sure how it could be enforced.   He pointed out that parking becomes a bigger problem in the spring as the sophomores get their driver’s license.

 

Mr. Kelley informed the Board that they will  be hiring Rachel Gerard as a contracted position for the SAP Coordinator.  He added that they were waiting for her reply, and that she would be starting the beginning of the year.

 

Mr. Simons asked that an update be given on the Instructional Practices Committee.  Mr. Kelley responded that they have meetings every two weeks.  They have notes that they have posted as first readings.  He stated that at the previous meeting they made recommendations of items to consider for next year and the year after.  Some of the items, such as reduction of study periods and advising seniors to take more courses, are being implemented this year.  At the next meeting, various committee members will be reporting on what is happening at other high schools, such as Hanover, Bow, Concord/Carlisle, and Wellesley.

 

Mr. Simons stated that they used to have a SAU-wide breakfast at the start of the year, and wondered if they were this year.  Supt. Pike responded that it was being held on August 29th at 8:00 a.m.

 

6.         SOFTBALL – continued.

 

Supt. Pike restated that he had talked with Deb Adams at the town offices and had been told if there was no moving of earth or cutting of trees, then no site plan was needed.

 

Mr. Enright stated that that would be inconsistent with what they did at the track.  There was no site plan, but they had a building permit. 

 

Ms. Blastos stated that Mr. Enright came to see her to tell her that they were breaking ground for the shed and that they had all the building permits.  Ms. Blastos stated that she told Mr. Enright that she needed the insurance certificate, which was then faxed to her.  She added that Mr. Enright suggested that she call Virginia Mills at the Town Offices to find out what permits/plans were needed.  Ms. Blastos stated that in regards to the Historical Society, the ruling was that the District didn’t need to go to them because the shed would not be seen.  In regards to the Planning Board, the District did not need to go to them because it was “inconsequential, no parking or lighting involved.”

 

Mr. Enright stated that they are currently digging for the shed without a site plan.

 

Ms. Hall stated that she and Mr. Peterson went and talked to the people at the Building Inspector’s Office and they were told that they didn’t need a site plan, but that the Inspector’s Office would like to have one.  They told Ms. Hall that they would supply her with the plan for the whole campus and plans for the ball field.  Ms. Hall concluded by saying that they basically were told that the Inspector’s Office would like to have a site plan, but it wasn’t required.

 

Supt. Pike suggested that they get something in writing.  The Board liked that idea.  Supt. Pike will take care of it.

 

8.         BROOKLINE CIP SUBMISSION

 

Mr. Murphy stated that the report was unchanged from last week.  As far as space needs for the High School, he had put down the expansion of the cafeteria and parking, with a date of 2007, and the expansion of a classroom wing, with a date of 2009.  He pointed out that structural practices, the way we use things, may change, so the report may change before the expected dates.  He added that he would like a vote from the Board agreeing to the report and authorizing him to submit it to the CIP Committee.  He felt it was enough for the CIP Committee.   He added that he knew Mr. Enright had a problem with the dates.

 

Mr. Enright stated that on the projected expansion page he would feel more comfortable if it said “cafeteria/parking is currently needed.”  He felt that they needed to do this now, but haven’t’ done it because they have had too much on their plate, not because it is not needed.

 

Ms. Dumas questioned about the computers for $15,000 and $10,000.  Ms. Goyette explained that they are trying to set up a cycle for replacing textbooks and computers.  Ms. Dumas asked if was in there 2006.  Ms. Blastos responded that there was some for 2006.  Ms. Goyette stated that it wasn’t in there for her.

 

Chair. Kirby felt that they should say “reference written comments” so people won’t just look at the chart.

 

Mr. Murphy stated that he would check to see if the $10,000 was really in the 2006 budget.

 

Steve Simons moved that the Board accept the CIP Submission report as amended.   Anne Dumas seconded.  Motion carried.  6 – 0 – 0.  (Peterson left)

 

9.         SUPERINTENDENT REPORT

 

Staff Nomination

 

Supt. Pike nominated Linda Marquis for the English position to replace J. Acker.  Ms. Marquis has her B.A. in English and German from St. Lawrence University, and an MBA in Marketing from the University of Connecticut.  She also has an M.A. in Teaching English from Rivier.  Her experience is “New Teacher” and the recommendation is M+30 Step 1 at $39,859.

 

Ms. Dumas asked if in the future, the form would also have the delta between the outgoing teacher and the incoming teacher.  Mr. Murphy stated that in the future, he would like to see either the delta or what the salary of the person leaving was.

 

Ms. Blastos stated that Ms. Acker’s salary was at B.A. Step 4 at $36,937 and Ms. Marquis is being recommended for M+30 Step 1 at $39,851.

 

Mr. Enright stated that he didn’t understand the +30 credits.  Supt. Pike responded that it was his understanding that if a candidate had a dual Bachelor’s degree, they were given credit for Bachelor’s +30.  Mr. Enright questioned that since the candidate had a dual Master’s degree she would be receiving +30 credits.  Supt. Pike stated that he had checked to see what the past policy was.  Mr. Enright asked who he checked with.  Ms. Blastos stated that he had checked with her and with Ms. Lindgren. 

 

Steve Simons moved that the Board approve the nomination of Linda Marquis.  To Enright seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.  6 – 0 – 0.

 

Mileage Reimbursement

 

Supt. Pike stated that he had brought forth the issue of mileage reimbursement, and why the District did not have it set at the federal rate.  He added that the federal rate is currently $0.405 per mile.

 

Mr. Enright asked if they changed the mileage reimbursement rate, would it affect staff or Special Education.  He pointed out that it could make a big difference in the budget.

 

Ms. Blastos stated that the current rate they use is $0.275.  She added that staff members get reimbursed for travel to workshops.  Administrators get reimbursed for conferences and workshops.

 

Mr. Enright asked if Special Education students who travel to other schools get reimbursed.  Ms. Blastos stated that $0.275 is used across the board for everyone, and that she has reimbursed some parents for transporting their own child to out-of-district placements.

 

Mr. Enright felt that the Board should be careful about changing the policy.  Ms. Blastos stated that it is a federal ruling, but that it would have an impact.  Mr. Enright asked how much the impact would be.  Ms. Blastos responded that she didn’t know.

 

Ms. Hall asked if it would affect this year’s budget.  Chair. Kirby responded that it would.

 

Supt. Pike stated that he didn’t mean for it to happen right away, but felt it was something the Board should look into and consider.

 

Mr. Enright asked if Mr. Kelley still needed two full-time staff members.  Mr. Kelley responded that he did.

 

 

 

Board took a 10 minute break at 8:25 p.m.

 

 

10.        LEAVE OF ABSENCE

 

Mr. Kelley informed the Board that Kathy Gorham, Family Consumer Science, had requested a 1-year medical leave of absence.

 

Steve Simons moved that the Board approve Kathy Gorham’s request for a medical leave of absence.  Tom Enright seconded. 

 

Mr. Simons asked if it would be a paid leave.  Mr. Kelley responded that it wouldn’t.

 

Mr. Enright asked if benefits was an issue.  He felt that the contract said that she could pay for them herself.  Ms. Blastos responded that if Ms. Gorham was on the District’s health plan, and wanted to remain on it, then Ms. Gorham would have to pay 100% of the premium.

 

Motion carried unanimously.  6 –0 – 0.

 

11.        POLICIES

 

Ms. Hall stated that she would like to make it clear that she was the Chair. of the Policies Committee.  She added that she was delighted to have Mr. Simons helping her, however, she wanted it to be clear that she has the job, unless the Board didn’t want her to have it, then that was OK.

 

Ms. Hall informed the Board that she and Mr. Simons met and came up with the packet of policies that the Board members had received. She added that they had worked with Kathy on them.  She stated that policies G,H, and I are ready for 1st reading and C,D,E and F for 2nd reading. 

 

Ms. Hall stated that she and Mr. Simons were not in agreement on recommending the policies.  Ms. Hall stated she was not in favor of having a second reading for the policies at this point, as she felt they needed a lot more input, and she felt that some of them were in conflict with current practices.  She felt that the Board should give the Superintendent and the High School Principal time to see if the policies were in-line.  Ms. Hall stated that she also felt that the Board should make the policies available to the public for their input before the Board adopts them.

 

Ms. Hall stated that she would like a discussion as to whether the Board should proceed, or whether they should step back and give time for faculty, administrators, and public to give their input.

 

Ms. Dumas stated that she was OK with the faculty and administrators giving their input, but she was not sure about the public.

 

Mr. Simons stated that that was what the 1st and 2nd readings were for.

 

Mr. Murphy stated that until they got them up on the web, he’d rather get through all the policies, then go back and work out the details.  Mr. Simons responded that as soon as the policies pass the 2nd reading, they go up on the web.

 

Mr. Murphy asked if the procedure for adopting policies was 1st reading, 2nd reading, then adoption.

 

Ms. Hall felt that the public would like to give input before it was a “fait de compli.”  Ms. Hall added that she went to the School Board workshop regarding minimum standards, and it was strongly recommended to have public hearings according to changes of minimum standards.  She added that other school boards hold  public forums on public policy.  She felt that the Coop should also do this.

 

Chair. Kirby stated that as she read through the policies, she did see that some related to the Superintendent, and some to the Principals, and she wondered if they had looked at them.

 

Ms. Dumas suggested that the policies be put up on the website after the first reading so the public could review them. 

 

Mr. Simons stated that in the past, the Board would do the 2nd reading and adopt the policy at that time.

 

Supt. Pike stated that there was nothing wrong with the way the policies are placed on the agenda for 1st and 2nd readings.  Whether the Board gets public input depends on whether the public is informed or not.

 

Mr. Murphy pointed out that if the Board was going to get public input, then the public would have to have the same packet as the Board had.

 

Supt. Pike suggested that when the agenda for the meetings are posted in public places, copies of the polices that are going to be reviewed at that meeting could also be posted with the agenda.

 

Mr. Murphy stated that the creation, management, and maintenance of policies is the School Board’s bread and butter.  He pointed out that right now, the Board is getting caught up on the policies, but once they have done that, they need to continue with it.  He felt it would be better to get through a first reading of all of the policies before going to the second reading.

 

Supt. Pike pointed out that the Board was essentially doing all of the policies right now, which was a massive undertaking.  He felt that the process was OK, just that the awareness to the public was not there.

 

Ms. Dumas asked if Kathy could put the policies on the website after the 1st reading.  Mr. Simons responded that he wasn’t sure that that was in her contract.

 

Mr. Murphy stated that he could put the policies on the website after approval of the 1st reading.  He suggested that they get through the 1st readings of all the policies, then in the fall publicize that the Board would be having a hearing for public input on the policies.

 

Ms. Hall stated that the other school districts in the SAU needed to get caught up with the Coop, therefore, she felt that the Board should get the 1st reading policies up there, then the Board could take the next steps.  She added that she and Mr. Simons had discussed that there are some policies that they don’t need, and they could get rid of them.

 

Supt. Pike stated that ideally, he would like to see all contracts, all policies, and all procedures the same throughout the districts.  However, he felt that they shouldn’t get in a situation where one district tries to impose policy language onto another district.  He felt that it was important that as a district looks at a policy that it might be worthwhile to look at another district’s similar policy.

 

Policies

 

Mr. Simons stated that the following policies had been excluded from being approved during the 1st reading for further  review:

 

DFA

DJE - Bidding

DKC - Mileage

CBI

E except for EEAG

 

Policy DJE – Bidding

 

Mr. Simons stated that this policy had been excluded at the last meeting because they were changing the amount from $4,000 to $15,000.  Thus, they need to pass it for the 1st reading.

 

Mr. Murphy stated that he had wanted Ms. Blastos’ input on the $15,000.  Ms. Blastos responded that she was OK with it.

 

Steve Simons moved that the Board approve the 1st reading of Policy DJE.  Anne Dumas seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.  6 – 0 – 0.

 

EEAG – Use of Private Vehicles to Transport Students

 

Mr. Simons stated that the same thing applied to this policy.  He stated that there had been a question regarding the $500,000 figure.    Ms. Blastos confirmed that that was the correct figure.

 

Steve Simons moved that the Board approve the 1st reading of Policy EEAG.  Tom Enright seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.  6 – 0 – 0.

 

First Reading

 

The following policies were reviewed for 1st reading:

 

Section G

 

GA          Mr. Murphy felt that the following should be added to the second dashed item:  “while recognizing the significant fiscal impact such compensation has on taxpayers.”

 

GBA        No comment

GBAA      Mr. Simons stated that this policy would be seen later.

GBB        No comment

 

GBCD      Mr. Murphy asked if there were any guidelines as to what disqualifies a candidate.  Ms. Blastos responded that a felony would.

 

GBD        Mr. Murphy pointed out that this was a duplicate of Policy BAC.  Mr. Simons stated that they would get rid of one of them.  He will talk to Kathy.

 

GBE        No comment

GBEA      Duplicate policies

GBEBB    No comment

GBG        No comment

GBGA      No comment

GBJ         No comment

GBJA       No comment

GBK        No comment

GCB        No comment

GCBD      No comment

 

GCCBB    Supt. Pike questioned if the two additional days were in addition to the 3 personal days, and if it was with or without pay.  Supt. Pike stated that he will look into this further.

 

GCCBC    No comment

 

GCEB      Mr. Murphy felt that it should just be “Staff,” as the Board doesn’t hire support staff.  Supt. Pike pointed out that this was specific to professional staff, and referred to specific RSAs.  The support staff has a letter of agreement.  It was decided to leave it as “professional staff.” 

 

               Mr. Murphy felt that something regarding “budget analysis” should be put in the policy.  Mr. Simons will talk to Kathy.

              

GCG        Mr. Simons wondered if this policy needed a reference to permanent substitutes.  Ms. Blastos stated that substitutes are paid $65.00 per day for two weeks.  If they sub for more than two weeks, then they discuss where the substitute falls on the pay scale.

 

GCH        No comment

GCI          No comment

 

GCID       Supt. Pike and Ms. Blastos will look into this policy and have comments at the 2nd reading.

 

GCNA      Has been incorporated into GCO

 

GCO        No comment

 

GCPA      Supt. Pike questioned whether this policy was consistent with reduction-in-force.  He stated that usually reduction-in-force is in the Master Agreement.  He will look into this.

 

GCQC      Mr. Murphy asked if this was how the District operated.  Ms. Blastos responded that for instructional staff, it was.   It was questioned whether the “instructional” staff should be “professional” staff.  Mr. Simons will ask Kathy.

 

GCQE      No comment

GCR        No comment

GCRD      No comment

 

GDF        Supt. Pike will look into this further.

 

GDO        No comment

 

Steve Simons moved that the Board approve Section G Policies for 1st reading as amended.  Betty Hall seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.  6 – 0 – 0.

 

 

Section H

 

HP           Mr. Murphy felt that the last sentence should read “with regard” instead of “in regard.”

 

HPA        Mr. Murphy questioned the phrase “decline to perform all of his/her duties,” as opposed to “any or all.”   Ms. Blastos responded that this policy is taken from the RSA.

 

Steve Simons moved that the Board approve Section H Policies for 1st reading as presented.  Anne Dumas seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.  6 – 0 – 0.

 

Section I

 

It was decided to set this Section aside for another time.

 

Copies of the policies are available.

 

12.        FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS

 

Chair. Kirby stated that each Board member needed to read the packet on NEASC and jot down comments so they can discuss this in the near future.

 

Ms. Hall added that the Board should also discuss Sue Auerbach’s report.

 

Chair. Kirby agreed with Ms. Hall, but felt the Board should hold a workshop to discuss these two items.

 

Mr. Enright felt that the Board could also tie into these items whatever report the Instructional Practices Committee had at that time.

 

Chair. Kirby stated that she would come up with a couple of dates and then get back to the Board as to which date they prefer.

 

13.        STAFF NOMINATIONS - Continued

 

Mr. Enright stated that he would like to make one more comment on staff nominations.  He stated that he disagrees with the practice of giving +30 credits to a candidate when the additional degree is not specific to what they are teaching.  He stated that he had looked at the contract language, and it says that there “is no course reimbursement given for anybody who isn’t on a specific course related to their teaching and approved by the Superintendent.”

 

He felt that hiring a new teacher at Masters was appropriate, but giving them 30 extra hours of credit for unrelated course work is not something he supports.  He pointed out that it puts them in a different pay category.  He felt that the Board should revisit this practice.  He didn’t think that they should automatically be crediting people at the hiring phase for unrelated course activity for what they are hiring them for.

 

Ms. Dumas felt that that made sense.  Ms. Hall also agreed.

 

Mr. Enright felt that the Supt. Pike has discretion in this matter when hiring.

 

Supt. Pike felt that there is more control over a staff member once they are in the pipeline.  If a staff member wants to take courses and it does not help with what they are teaching, then it wouldn’t be approved.

 

Mr. Enright stated that he just didn’t want the practice of giving credit to a new hire for extra course work or degrees that are unrelated to what they are being hired for become a policy.

 

Ms. Hall felt that they could take care of this issue in a policy.

 

Mr. Enright pointed out that he knows they have done it, but he felt it shouldn’t be carte blanche.

 

14.        CHAIRPERSON’S REPORT

 

Ms. Blastos asked who would like to sit with her when she goes over the transportation contract.  Kathy DeLacy from Hollis and Mike Dreyer from Brookline are also joining her.  Mr. Enright will represent the Coop.

 

Hollis Seniors

 

Chair. Kirby stated that this has been taken off the radar.

 

Hollis Strategic Planning Committee

 

Chair. Kirby wanted to make the Board aware of the email she received from Melinda Willis regarding the Hollis Strategic Planning Committee.  The Board stated that they had gotten the forwarded email.

 

 

Wellness

 

Chair. Kirby stated that they had been asked if one of the Coop Board members would be interested on being on that committee.  She asked that the Board keep this in mind.

 

 

Jim Murphy moved that the Board adjourn.  Steve Simons seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

6 - 0 - 0.

           

 

The meeting adjourned at 10:05 p.m.