Hollis School Board
BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT:
Jennifer MacLeod, Vice Chairperson
Jim McCann, Board secretary
STAFF: Betsy Packard, Temporary Recording Secretary
Richard Pike, Superintendent of Schools
Gail Paludi, Principal, Hollis Primary School
Carol Thibaudeau, Principal, Hollis Upper Elementary School
Dawna Duhamel, Business Administrator
Carol Mace, Director of Curriculum
Bob Kelly, Director of Special Education
Others present included members of the Public.
1. CALL TO ORDER
Chair. Beauregard called the meeting to order at 6:15 p.m.
2. APPROVAL OF SCHOOL BOARD MINUTES – 9-27-07 and 10-10-07
Ms. MacLeod stated that she found some corrections to the minutes, in that some comments that she and Mr. McCann made had been reversed. She felt it would be better to go through, make the corrections, then send them along to Ms. Lindgren. It was decided to table the minutes until the edits had been made.
3. DISCUSSION AND ADMINISTRATION BRIEFING
A. Agenda Additions and Deletions
Supt. Pike stated that he had a couple of prospective candidates for the Recording Secretary’s position. However, he wondered if, in an effort to save money, the Board would want to consider having a Board member be responsible for taking the minutes.
Mr. McCann felt that it was too difficult for a Board member to fully participate in the meeting and be taking the minutes at the same time. Ms. Benz agreed with Mr. McCann.
Ms. MacLeod volunteered to take the minutes. Chair. Beauregard felt that the Board members should be focused on their duties and adding the responsibility of taking the minutes and typing them up takes away from that.
Supt. Pike stated that he would continue to pursue the applications he has received, and he may run another ad.
B. Administration Reports
i) Data driven decision-making update – NWEA, NECAP
Ms. Paludi reported that the Hollis Primary School had received the Blue Ribbon Award at a ceremony on October 15th for volunteerism at the school. She added that there was a special recognition for the school, as it has received this award for more than 20 consecutive years. She then extended a “thank you” to all the parents and volunteers.
Ms. Paludi informed the Board that the recent NWEA training was successful. The teachers felt good about it and learned how to access the data.
Chair. Beauregard asked how the teachers felt about getting reports. Ms. Paludi responded that they felt a lot better now, that they were comfortable, satisfied and competent in getting the reports.
Chair. Beauregard asked if there was an online source available. Ms. Paludi responded that there was an online site for parents (called the “Parent’s Tool Kit). She added that a letter is going out to parents advising them about the online resource. Chair. Beauregard asked if there was something for the teachers. Ms. Paludi responded that there was tons of information and resources online for the teachers.
Chair. Beauregard stated that Ms. MacLeod attended the meeting and had reported that there were some cutting edge things being done as a result of data collected. Ms. MacLeod explained that she had talked with the presenter, who had informed her that in Minnesota, where he had been superintendent, they were putting students together in math classes based on their NWEA scores, not their ages. She stated that they were finding that teachers enjoyed teaching different ages that were all at the same level. She added that at first, parents were concerned about “grouping,” but they have now been doing this for 3 years and the parents are on-board.
Ms. Paludi stated that the presenter did mention it in his presentation. Chair. Beauregard asked if it was something the administrators felt could be done in the Hollis School District. Ms. Thibaudeau felt it was worth consideration. She added that it could pose a scheduling problem.
Ms. Mace stated that they were scheduling a follow-up meeting next week to debrief and plan for next year.
Ms. Benz felt the NWEA website needed some work. Ms. Mace responded that she didn’t think the link was parent-friendly, and she found the best way to get to the “Parents Tool Kit” was to do a search.
Ms. Mace informed the Board that following the workshop, everyone had to take a survey. She had to then fill out a master survey and send it back to NWEA.
Chair. Beauregard asked if the link for the Parent’s Tool Kit was on the District’s website, so parents could simply go there and click on the link. Ms. Mace responded that it wasn’t, but it was a great idea and would check into it.
ii) Principals’ Report
· Hollis Primary School
Chair. Beauregard asked about the clinics that the Reading Team was piloting. Ms. Paludi explained that the clinics will be for students with specific needs. The first clinic will be on fluency. There will be different stations, with each station working on improving fluency, and focused on specific needs. Other clinics will cover comprehension and phonics/word work.
Chair. Beauregard asked how the clinics relate to one-on-one. Ms. Paludi explained that Reading Recovery is one-on-one and is for first graders. The clinics are for second and third graders. She added that the NWEA tests have been used to help identify students who are in need of the clinics.
Chair. Beauregard asked about Goal 3 on Ms. Paludi’s report, and if there is an overall sense of where students stand – which students need additional attention or the ones above grade level. Ms. Paludi responded that the NWEA test was providing that information. Following the growth level makes it clear to see which students have made growth and which students have not. She added that the NWEA tests help teachers look at students across the spectrum as well as individual students.
Ms. Mace reported that during the Hollis Data Team’s first meeting with Keith Burke, they discussed where they are and where they want to go. Short-term goals are to become proficient in tapping into the State’s performance tracker to analyze the data already available. Mr. Burke will be formulating a plan that he will be presenting at the next meeting. Ms. Mace stated that they want to make sure that they are on the right track before they get too far down the road. They will be training with Mr. Burke every 2-3 weeks. She added that Mr. Burke wants to train them in root-cause analysis to understand the reason behind student performance.
Chair. Beauregard pointed out that they are focused on instruction and data, but wondered if Mr. Burke was specific as to how the NWEA data will relate to performance data. He stated that the first thing that principals look for is a correlation with report card data. Ms. Mace responded that Mr. Burke has asked for copies of the District’s report cards. She added that the first thing they discussed was what they wanted to get out of the data. Ms. Thibaudeau added that Mr. Burke was very skilled and understands what the District wants and needs from the NWEA tests.
Ms. Thibaudeau reported that she and Ms. Paludi attended the Performance Pathway workshop. Commissioner Tracey has been asking for information about districts that have been participating in the training. Those districts were commended for attending, as it will not be an easy pathway.
Chair. Beauregard asked about Mr. Burke’s triangle – classroom, local, state. Ms. Thibaudeau explained that the triangulation was state, MAP, and classroom.
Ms. Mace stated that the State was currently in negotiation with Performance Pathway to provide assessment building. She believed that they are trying to provide free-of-charge to districts. It may be available as early as January, which would take care of the local part.
Ms. MacLeod asked if it would help to bring on a data analyst. She felt that the principals should be spending their time on other pursuits than analyzing the test results data. Chair. Beauregard stated that that was what Mr. Burke was suppose to do. Ms. Mace explained that Mr. Burke is contracted for a day here and a day there, but he is in such high demand that they can only get him sporadically. Both Ms. Paludi and Ms. Thibaudeau felt having a data analyst would be great.
Chair. Beauregard felt it would be important to pull some data together for the Annual District Meeting. Ms. Mace stated that they had talked about facilitating a common language so everyone understood and talked the same language. She felt it was premature to talk about growth right now when they only have baseline data. Chair. Beauregard pointed out that the NWEAs have national normative data, so they could compare the District to that, and then by June they should have more data. Ms. Mace agreed that they should have more data by June.
Supt. Pike pointed out that the Hollis School District was taking the initiative with the NWEA tests. He wondered if it would not be beneficial to discuss NWEAs district-wide. He stated that this was a work in progress.
Chair. Beauregard asked how the Book Talks worked. Ms. Paludi responded that they meet after school. It is open to anyone who wants to come. They have a facilitator for the talks. Chair. Beauregard asked if this was one of the 10 meetings in the contract. Ms. Paludi stated that it was voluntary.
· Hollis Upper Elementary School
Ms. Thibaudeau reported that the reading specialists, Meg Bamford and Kari Raiano were presenters at the 2007 Best Practices Conference on Education for All Children. Their presentation was entitled: Power Reading – a Response to Intervention Model.
Ms. Thibaudeau informed the Board that Ms. Lencsak provided CPR and First Aid training, so they now have 13 certified staff members, and 12 more staff that are interested in getting certified.
Ms. Thibaudeau reported that the sign has been installed at HUES. There were a few typos, which will be taken care of by the PTA.
Ms. Thibaudeau was proud to announce that HUES has raised and donated $500 for Breast Cancer. The donation was sent the Elliot Hospital.
Ms. Benz announced that the staff has nominated Ms. Thibaudeau for Principal of the Year Award. Ms. Thibaudeau stated that it was an honor to be nominated and she thanked her staff.
Chair. Beauregard questioned November 21st as being a teacher professional day. Ms. Thibaudeau responded that the day is for teachers to finish parent-teacher conferences. If they have finished their conference, then they do not need to report to school that day.
Chair. Beauregard announced that the Board’s next meeting will be the second Wednesday in December and will be held at the Town Hall.
iv) District Report Card
Supt. Pike stated that there are several pieces to developing a District Report Card:
1) Identify what is wanted
2) Survey other districts to see what they have
3) Collecting student data – felt it was important to have:
· Absentee rate
Supt. Pike felt it would also be helpful to put such information on the District’s website. He explained how many parents go “school shopping.”
Supt. Pike suggested that a sub-committee be set up to look into researching and formatting a district report card, so the Board doesn’t have to do it.
Ms. MacLeod asked if the documents they were looking at were live documents or just snapshots. Supt. Pike responded that they were snapshots in time, but show growth.
Ms. Mace stated that Bedford sends out their “report card” to all residents. Ms. Mace and Supt. Pike gave the following examples of what other districts report on:
· Student population
· Chain of command (if there is a concern to be addressed)
· Support Staff
· State tests
· Average expenditure per pupil
· Projected revenue/expenditures
· Drop-out rate
· Student/teacher ratio
· Highlight of programs and services
Chair. Beauregard stated that by December or January, they should come up with want they would like to present at the March meeting, as well as figure out a way to get it up on the web. He added that if they are asking for money, they usually are addressing specific needs. He liked having a District report card to support needs.
Supt. Pike asked who would be interested in being on the committee. Ms. Benz responded that she would.
Chair. Beauregard felt that the information on the web should have the latest and greatest data dependent upon testing cycles. He added that last June, parents wanted to set up an advisory council. He wondered if they would be interested in helping with the District report card. Supt. Pike stated that they have a Board member, so he will meet with the administrators to see where they should go from there.
v) Special Education Program actions update
Chair. Beauregard stated that he had looked at the DOE report and had some questions/suggestions. He stated that as a point of reference, one of the documents had no attributions, so a person looking at it has no idea where it came from. He felt that a header and/or the author of the document should be added.
In regards to the DOE surveys, Chair. Beauregard wondered how far in advance they were sent out. He wondered if parents had enough time to respond. He felt that they should have had close to 100% response rate. Mr. Kelly responded that to his recollection, the surveys were sent out in January/February and needed to be returned so that the information could be sent to the DOE in March.
Chair. Beauregard stated that he did not go to the NWEA parents’ information night. It was his understanding that only 10 parents went. He wondered if they needed better communication to parents. Supt. Pike felt that the communications/announcements of NWEA parents’ night were sufficient. Ms. Thibaudeau added that they had four points of contact for parents:
1) Initial letter
2) PTA newsletter
3) Notice in the Hollis/Brookline Journal
4) School sign
Ms. Benz pointed out that the meeting was held on a non-school day. She wondered if a backpack letter earlier in the week would have helped.
Supt. Pike wondered how many people went to the Internet Safety meeting at the High School. Mr. McCann reported that there were about 40. Supt. Pike felt that 40 was not a great number for a community and being such a hot topic.
Chair. Beauregard stated that the town was looking into acquiring equipment for podcasting information. Perhaps this would be useful for announcing parents’ night. As for the survey, he felt they needed to have three reminders, or perhaps a distribution list. He wondered if it would have been helpful to have it on the web so parents could fill it out online. He added that Survey Monkey is a great tool that can be customized. He felt that the District should invest in it.
Mr. Kelly stated that there was a forum a couple of years ago, and it was advertised in the Journal, as well as letters going out, and only two people showed up. He added that they are working on how they can improve communications.
Chair. Beauregard pointed out that the backside of the survey summarized the number of actual answers out of the possible number. He felt it would be more useful to take the data and report the statistics by question. This would give different data, as the response rates are different for the different questions. The numbers are small, but significantly different. Mr. Kelly responded that all those numbers were included on the website report. Mr. Kelly asked that Chair. Beauregard send his data along to him.
Ms. MacLeod felt that they should have someone put the report together and they should spend time on Special Education.
Chair. Beauregard stated that the report gave Six Issues of Significance. He pointed out that the report did not indicate which district(s) was involved; therefore, he surmised that it involved Hollis School District. Mr. Kelly stated that all topics were listed in the summary. He felt that it was a very strong title. He added that the issues came from input from parents, staff, Board members, that is, whoever was interviewed.
Mr. McCann asked if they were Hollis School District parents that were interviewed. Mr. Kelly responded that he had no idea, but all districts are looking at each issue whether it was germane to the district or not.
Mr. McCann stated that he had read the DOE version and compared it to the Special Education summary. He was concerned that the summary on the website was very different from the DOE report.
Chair. Beauregard stated that since the DOE cited “areas of concern,” he felt that they should report what is right and the areas they are looking at. Mr. Kelly explained that the last bullet of the report states that every district is going to look into every area of concern.
Mr. Kelly then asked the Board for a suggestion as to how they would like the summary. He wondered if he should extract the five pages and put it as a summarative. Chair. Beauregard felt that they should put down the action they are taking or what they are doing to prepare to take action. He pointed out that the initial report came out in March, and that they did not receive the final report until August. Mr. Kelly stated that he would look into rewriting the summary, and then get feedback from the Board before putting it on the web.
Ms. Benz asked if the survey was something that is done on a regular basis. Mr. Kelly responded that it came from the DOE, so the questions were from the DOE.
Chair. Beauregard stated that there were citations in the report. He was especially concerned about the “policy and procedures reviewed by the school board, approved, and implemented at each school, and professional development provided to all staff.” He wondered if the board that has to approve the documents was a review board or a policy board. Mr. Kelly responded that the policy/procedures have to be legally done by each board. If there are regulatory updates/changes, then they need to update and be approved.
Chair. Beauregard pointed out that the policy/procedure manual was thick. He wondered if the Board members were supposed to read through it. He added that there was a lot of legal wording. Mr. Kelly stated that he had tried to pass out the policy/procedure book previously. Chair. Beauregard stated that they had requested that it be put on the web. Mr. Kelly felt that the best way to address the policy/procedure manual would be for him to bring updates to the Board’s attention.
Chair. Beauregard stated that in regards to professional development, he would like oversight of this. He would like to see a schedule done modularly showing such data as the name of the workshop, date presented, how it was presented, etc. Mr. Kelly stated that they could share the dates of the updates.
Chair. Beauregard stated that in regards to the citation of non-compliance that the DOE has issued, the Board needed to see a plan. He felt that it did not make sense for the Board to be reviewing the manual.
Chair. Beauregard asked that the Board receive a report from Mr. Kelly regarding the citations from the DOE and showing what they are doing and what is expected. He also asked for a plan as to how they are getting the procedure manual online.
Chair. Beauregard questioned the suggestions of room for improvement. Mr. Kelly responded that the counselors were looking at the suggestions. Mr. McCann asked if they were based on specific cases. Mr. Kelly responded that they were based on specific cases that the group chose.
vi) Public Form
Janet Merrithew, 19 Horseshoe Drive, Hollis, stated that she was at the focus meeting and felt that 80-90% of the parents were from Hollis. She asked the Board if a parent advisory counsel or support group had been established. Chair. Beauregard responded that that was an item that was going to be discussed.
Ms. Merrithew stated that Mr. Kelly had talked about surveys, but didn’t mention an advisory/support group. Mr. Kelly responded that it has been a topic that his staff has been discussing.
vii) Business Office
· Format of expenditure report
Chair. Beauregard stated that he had some questions regarding the expenditure report that he would get to Ms. Duhamel.
· Status of Software Conversion
Chair. Beauregard asked what the status of the software conversion was. Ms. Duhamel responded that she hadn’t had a chance to work on it. She advised the Board that her assistant was to start next Tuesday and that she was trying to get the budgets out the door. She stated once that was done she would start looking at other projects and would send out a timeline.
Chair. Beauregard acknowledged all of Ms. Duhamel's hard work and extra time she put in to get the budgets done.
Supt. Pike stated that he reviewed last year’s budget procedure. Budgets were passed out in November, and then a workshop was held after Thanksgiving.
Chair. Beauregard was concerned about obligations with regards to contracts. He pointed out that the proposed budget reflects increases in benefits: health, dental, retirement, classification, but not in salary. He was concerned that they needed to get to a number quick. Supt. Pike stated that the Board needed to look at the budget as presented, but with the context of the unknown, re: contracts.
Chair. Beauregard felt that the Board needed to look at the budget in different ways:
1) A budget that comes in on guidance
2) A budget that is over guidance, but has justification
Supt. Pike stated that he had some concerns:
~ He understands the Budget Committee’s formula, but pointed out that there are about four different CPIs being used for different calculations.
~ A key point to remember is that the District is not a consumer, but rather an educational provider.
~ Biggest portions of the budget are:
o Employer’s contribution to the retirement fund (which is out of the District’s hands)
Supt. Pike felt the Budget Committee should take these issues into consideration.
Chair. Beauregard stated that he had looked at the budget. There is a $94,000 increase in benefits; therefore, the rest of the budget is pretty flat. Thus, if salaries are added in, they will go over the Budget Committee’s budget guideline.
Supt. Pike pointed out that the cost of new positions at HPS is $11,781, and the cost of new positions at HUES is $52,590.
Chair. Beauregard pointed out that in regards to ESL, there is a revenue offset from Brookline. Ms. Duhamel stated that when one looks at the budget, they should look at both the revenue side as well as the expenditure side.
Supt. Pike stated that when he was in another district, they looked at the budget differently. ESL artificially bumps up the budget on the expenditure side, but is offset by revenue. Therefore, bottom line, the taxpayer simply wants to know what the tax rate will be.
Ms. Duhamel stated that she will have the revenue piece of the budget at the next meeting.
Chair. Beauregard felt that they should add the Budget Committee’s formula for guidance at the top of the budget.
It was decided to hold a Budget Workshop on November 19th from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. at the SAU Office.
Supt. Pike suggested that Board members email any questions they have regarding the proposed budget to Chair. Beauregard and he will pass them along to Ms. Duhamel.
Ms. Duhamel stated that once she has proofed the budget, she will email it to Chair. Beauregard to pass along to the other members of the Board.
· Maintenance expenditure plan
Bob Blais, Director of Maintenance, provided the Hutter report. He stated that everything on the list is being investigated. He added that it was an ongoing process.
Chair. Beauregard asked if all the items on the Hutter list were on a spreadsheet. Mr. Blais responded that they were.
Chair. Beauregard pointed out that there were different ways to fund maintenance items:
~ The operational budget
~ The expendable trust
~ The 2009 budget
Ms. Duhamel added that cuts could come from a 5-year plan; therefore some items could be put out a few years. Ms. Duhamel asked what the purpose of the expendable trust was. Chair. Beauregard responded that it was set up as a savings plan for large planned maintenance items.
Chair. Beauregard asked if the Hutter items on the spreadsheet were in order of priority. Mr. Blais stated that they weren’t. He stated that depending on the heating season, they may be able to do some repairs. He will get the cost of repairs, and then decide what they want to do. Chair. Beauregard stated that the Board was not looking for real tight numbers on the cost of repairs. Mr. Blais stated that he would like to get as tight numbers as he can, so then he will know what to ask for in March. Chair. Beauregard pointed out that they also needed to know what they will need to withdraw from the Expendable Trust, so they can make a presentation to the Budget Committee.
Chair. Beauregard asked if Hutter was scheduled to come in to give a presentation on their Asset Tool. He added that once the data is put into the system, it spits out data such as: when belts should be changed, when maintenance is due on systems, spare parts, etc.
· Proposed Budget – continued
Chair. Beauregard stated that in regards to the budget, it is a flat budget. He added that he hasn’t seen a “wish-list.” Ms. Duhamel stated that it was coming. She added that 68%of the accounts listed are decreased or no change.
Chair. Beauregard asked if they would be impacting students with this budget. Ms. Paludi stated that they were “maintaining,” and added that there were no new programs. Chair. Beauregard asked if there were supplies, such as computers, that were needed. Ms. Thibaudeau stated that they were looking for ergonomically correct computer tables. Ms. Duhamel stated that they took new computers out of the budget and put them in a separate warrant article.
Ms. Benz questioned substitutes’ salaries. Ms. Duhamel responded that there was no change. Ms. Benz questioned that sub salaries was flat. She pointed out that at the last meeting they discussed increasing it because the District was not competitive. Ms. Paludi stated that long-term subs get per diem pay, which is a higher rate than substitute pay for a day. Chair. Beauregard felt an increase in sub pay should be put on the wish list if the principals need it to attract substitutes. Ms. Duhamel explained that they had to make cuts to get to this budget. She added that the things, which were cut, she hopes to find funding in other ways, such as warrant articles, expendable trust, etc.
Chair. Beauregard stated that he hoped to go to the Budget Hearing and present a budget that meets the Budget Committee’s guidelines with explanations of the consequences, and wish list.
Supt. Pike pointed out that the Budget Committee has their formula and gives guidelines. The Board has to present a budget that shows what the principals feel they need for a quality education and the two may not be the same. He wondered how much more they can take before they have to start dismantling programs. Chair. Beauregard felt that it didn’t necessarily mean dismantling programs, but rather it was a matter of efficiencies – how efficient can they get the budget. Supt. Pike wondered if the town was keeping their budgets level.
Mr. McCann stated that the Budget Committee looks at the budget financially, while the Board needs to look at it educationally, and must have justifications for the programs. Supt. Pike added that the Budget Committee looks at quantity, while Hollis School District also looks at quality. Chair. Beauregard stated that they needed solid justification of what the impacts are.
Ms. Benz wondered if there were certain programs in mind that were on a “wish list.” Supt. Pike responded that he was sure the Administrators had lots of ideas that they would like to implement.
Chair. Beauregard stated that the budget last year grew 7.1%.
Ms. Duhamel asked when the Board wanted to start talking about warrant articles. Chair. Beauregard stated they should talk about them at the workshop.
Ms. Duhamel informed the Board that she has heard that the retirement increase next year will be large. She wondered if they should set up a trust/fund to add to so they won’t get hit with all the increase in one year.
viii) Superintendent’s Report
Supt. Pike stated that the NESDEC data was in and that he would be presenting it at the SAU meeting the next night.
Chair. Beauregard asked if Supt. Pike had the report electronically. Supt. Pike explained that NESDEC does not supply the information electronically unless they pay an extra fee.
Chair. Beauregard pointed out that we need to understand the specific assumptions and parameters NESDEC uses to come up with their numbers.
Supt. Pike explained that in order to make the policy procedure more efficient, the Coop has a point person (Steve Simons) who meets with the appropriate people to go over a policy, and then reports back to the Board with the suggested recommendations. Whatever changes that are made at the First Reading, Mr. Simons makes, and then he sends them along to Barrett Christina at NHSBA.
Supt. Pike stated that at his last Superintendent’s meeting, they talked about best practices. He talked about the SAU districts’ policies being online, and how one can search for a policy. The superintendents were impressed with the model.
Chair. Beauregard suggested that the policies be sent to staff as a Word document. They, in turn, can make changes using Track Changes, and then send the document to Ms. Lindgren, who can incorporate all the changes to be presented to the Board.
Supt. Pike pointed out that many of the policies had been looked at by legal counsel, so they should not wordsmith too much.
5. OTHER BUSINESS
Mr. McCann questioned the process that was being used to review the Everyday Math program. Supt. Pike stated that he wanted to respect the process, making sure that the final product was something the Board will receive and make a decision on. He added that he didn’t want the Board getting involved with the process.
Chair. Beauregard stated that he hoped whatever came to the Board was complete and defensible.
Mr. McCann felt they weren’t looking at the program objectively. He stated that he didn’t care what program they end up with, but he felt the process ends up with a program that has to either be accepted or rejected.
Ms. Thibaudeau pointed out that the committee was charged with program evaluation. She stated that they needed to evaluate the current program to see if it meets the needs of the students. The results of the evaluation may lead to looking at other programs.
Mr. McCann wondered if that was the process, then how do they ever look at other programs. Ms. Thibaudeau responded that they look at other programs by taking parent and teacher surveys, looking at test scores. She added that it was not the charge of the committee to look at another program. Mr. McCann responded that he didn’t want them to choose another program, but rather, the best program. Ms. Mace stated that one cannot say that there is one best program. They must look at the current program and see what areas are meeting the needs of the students, and which areas are not. Then they must look at what needs to be done.
Ms. Thibaudeau explained that after the committee was done with their review, they will make a recommendation as to whether the current program meets the students and District’s needs or it doesn’t. If it does not meet the needs, then they will look at other programs.
Mr. McCann stated that his concern was the current program. Maybe 92% of the current program was meeting the needs, yet there could be a program out there that would meet 98% of their needs.
Ms. MacLeod stated that she understood Mr. McCann’s concerns of whether the current program was good enough versus was it the best. She could see where they should be comparing other programs, as she hated to see that the committee gives a final report that it isn’t meeting needs, and then they must take another six months to research a new program.
Ms. Thibaudeau stated that GLEs are setting the expectations of students. They cannot change the GLEs. To do so, they must go to the State.
Supt. Pike explained that if the District did not have a math program, then Mr. McCann’s scenario would be what they needed to do. However, they do have a program, so they must first evaluate the current program to see if it needs to be augmented. He pointed out that changing a math program is more than just purchasing new textbooks. There is training involved. Supt. Pike stated that the first step is to evaluate the strengths, deficiencies of the current program, then decide where to go from there.
Ms. Thibaudeau explained that how a program meets the needs of the students depends on how it is presented in the classroom. Just because a publisher proclaims that a program is the best, does not mean it is best for your students. The only way to know if a program meets the students’ needs is to try it out and evaluate it. She added that the goal of the committee was not to research other programs.
Mr. McCann stated that he was comfortable with the process if they get a report in January and the next step is to see what else is out there and research it. He did not feel comfortable if the report comes in and it stops there.
Chair. Beauregard asked when they evaluate a program was there something more stable (benchmarks) that they compare it to. Ms. Thibaudeau responded that they compare a program to the Grade Level Expectations (GLEs) and teachers’ input. She added that the report will give the Board a recommendation.
Supt. Pike informed the Board that he had received requests from Lisa Cassedy and Amy Renaud for maternity leave.
Jim McCann moved that the Board accept Lisa Cassedy’s and Amy Renaud’s requests for maternity leave with congratulations. Jennifer MacLeod seconded. The motion carried unanimously. 4 – 0 – 0.
Jennifer MacLeod moved that the Board adjourn. Susan Benz seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 4 – 0 – 0.
The Board adjourned at 9:40 p.m.