HOLLIS SCHOOL BOARD

Hollis School District

 

4 Lund Lane

Hollis, New Hampshire 03049

Tel. 465-7118

 

Public Minutes of December 12, 2007

Community Room, Hollis Town Hall

 

 

Members Of The School Board present:    Bill Beauregard, Chairperson; Jennifer MacLeod, Vice Chairperson; Jim McCann, Board secretary; Susan Benz.

STAFF:  none

Members Of The Administration present:  Richard Pike, SAU41 Superintendent; Gail Paludi, Principal, HPS; Carol Thibaudeau, Principal, HUES; Dawna Duhamel, Business Administrator; Carol Mace, Dir. of Curriculum; Bob Kelly, Dir. of Special Education; Robert Blais, Dir. of Maintenance, Candi Fowler, Assistant Principal HUES, Deb Trottier, Assistant Principal HPS.

Chair Beauregard called the meeting to order at  5:40PM

 

Motion: J. MacLeod motion to go into nonpublic session per RSA 91-A:3 II(c), S. Benz second. Motion passed 4-0

 

Returned to public session at 6:15PM

 

Approval Of School Board Minutes

 

Motion: S. Benz motion to approve minutes of September 27, 2007, J. MacLeod second. Motion passed 4-0

 

Motion: S. Benz motion to approve minutes of October 10, 2007, J. MacLeod second. Motion passed 4-0

 

Board tabled approval of November 7, 2007 and November 19, 2007 minutes

 

Action: Supt. to bring to January 9th meeting the hardcopy of Sept. 27 & Oct. 10 minutes with changes for Board signature.

 

Action: C. Thibaudeau to send corrections to November 7, 2007 minutes to SAU office for next meeting.

 

Agenda Additions or Deletions

None.

 

FY09 Budget and 3-year Maintenance Expenditure Plan

 

Action: BudComm guidance formula needs to be added to the budget

Action: Calculate cost of FY09 teacher lane change

Action: Determine whether a contingency fund request is needed to fund additional HPS custodial hours needed to keep building clean.

Action: Will Food Service line item in general budget show a net positive transfer to Food Service fund?  Do we expect to replace any food service equipment due to expected end of life or energy inefficiency? Any impact for Expendable Trust?

Action: Considering a proposal for geothermal energy for both buildings that might impact Expendable trust

Action: 2600-422 Snow Plowing Snow increase of $20,000 being negotiated with the town

Action: cost for paraeducators differentials for advanced degrees and certifications. Cost to meet fulltime needs, data analyst, seed money for gifted / talented.

Action: cost per student compared to other districts such as Bow

Action: Verify numbers in Budget Committee formula

Action: FY08 budget actuals through December 07

 

6:34pm - Business Administrator provided handouts of three budget documents:

·        Budget ordered by account.

·        Priority list of discretionary changes in priority order

·        Summary of changes

 

The budget documents reflect Board guidance to the Superintendent; that is to provide a flat budget that reflects only decreases and mandatory increases with discretionary changes in a separate, prioritized list.

 

Changes from November 7 version to show a flat budget are reflected in Summary of Changes document

 

The Board reviewed the detailed budget document

·      The flat budget reflects a $ 28,048 increase. Budget Committee guidance for a permissible increase is estimated at $154,380

·      Highlights? Savings realized by participating in free safety training program sponsored by insurance co.: Property liability insurance (acnt 2600-520) $8,100 and Workman’s compensation (2900-260) about $4,441

·      acnt 2900-211 & 212  (Health and dental benefit) increases reflect maximum potential increases of 13.2%. The actual increase isn’t known until May 2008.

o       District is shopping for better rates, setting up meeting with LGC, one of many vendors, Insurance purchased at the SAU level to get quantity pricing

·      2900-239 (Retirement) cost to district set for two years. FY09 is second year so there is no change. This part of the reason why the FY09 $88,000 benefit increase is lower than the FY08 benefit increase of $106,000

·      2320-310 (SAU assessment) reflects the approved SAU FY09 budget

·      2222-615, 642 (Media services) decreases don’t impact library book purchases

·      1169-734 (Computers for instruction) level funded for regular replacement program.

·      1169-738 – (internet servers)

·      1169-532 – (internet access)

·      2210-242 – decrease in Budget adj is included in priority list

·      11xx accounts (in Priority list) core class text books listed as priority 8, non-core priority 9

·      1260-110 (ESL position) is currently in Hollis budget, Hollis needs .3 FTE, revenue offset not included until Brookline need is determined, Brookline budget meeting is next week

·      2222-112 (Librarian) $3686 change in lane in current year

·      2316-301, 2318-301 (Negotiations) move funds from negotiations to legal and secretary services

·      Where is the lane change line item – in FY08 it was account 1100-112-0, the amount was $27,140 and it was not in the FY08 warrant article.

 

Board reviewed the Priority List document

·      Changes would increase the budget by $126,041 + $ 28,048 = $154,089 versus $154,380 guidance

 

·      1100-111-1 (HPS custodial hours) Is this still an issue this year, after talking about it in September? What are the service hours needed? The request is for an additional 10 hours per week or 2 hours per day. Board asked for FY08 budget to reflect necessary service hours. Is there an FY08 account, for which actual expenditures are under budget and from which funds can be transferred? How many custodial hours do we have at HPS per week:  two 8 hr positions + three 4 hr positions = 28 hrs / day. Request represents a 1.7% increase.

·      2900-205 (salary increase for non-union staff) represents a 4% increase pool

·      2210-242 (staff development) - for Danielson, NWEA training and books

·      1100-111-2 (Class room assistants) asking for 3, one per 6th grade team next year given expected class sizes of 25 (instead of hiring 2 more teachers)

·      11xx (text books) – did HPS heath/PE teachers get a grant this year? Yes, for one year only.

·      2400-580-2 (travel) 2 national conference for Principal and Assistant Principal + mileage for 2 itinerant staff, HPS planning to attend conferences as well but current budget is sufficient

·      2190-323 (School Resource Officer) change is a correction to correct actual cost. It is not a reduction.

·      2400-610-2 (Hospitality) HUES does not receive funds from juice machines or box tops as HPS does

·      Food Service fund balance has had a surplus. However, over last two years, Food Service has had losses due to cost of food and has depleted the Food Service fund balance. If there is a similar loss this year then funds will need to come from the District general fund. Business Administrator is looking at expenses now. Board may need to reconsider meal prices. No food service equipment replacements currently known. Food Service manager is compiling a list of equipment and expected end of life. May need to consider replacements for Expendable Trust. Is the energy efficiency significantly less than that of new equipment? Food Service line item in general budget is usually net $0. FY09 budget may need to show a net positive transfer to Food Service

·      1100-111-2 (Band director) go from 2 to 3 days per week due to demand

·      2222- 641   (library Books) needed to meet target purchasing of 1 book per child

·      1100-111 (HUES & HPS secretarial staff) add 30 days in the summer for summer programs

·      2600-430- 2 (Playground Maintenance) for Drury Lane doesn’t include reseeding of HUES field. Director of Maintenance will look into doing it this year.

·      2600-436-2            (Septic Systems Services) maintenance increase for pumps

·      2600-431-1            (Heating/vent Services) One time cost - HPS Preventive maintenance (PM) schedule increase for controls systems, heating valves, thermostats. This PM is done every 2-3 years so this account will decrease in FY10. Also covers heating system computer to modernize software to allow for future system upgrades and add Web access for Dir. Of Maint. to monitor remotely.

·      Considering a proposal for geothermal energy for both buildings

·      2600-422 Snow Plowing Snow plowing increase of $20,000

 

7:54pm Chair Beauregard stated that if there were no unknowns in the budget the budget would be under guidance and planning would be done. However, the cost impact of the Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) with the unions is unknown.

 

Superintendent questioned including CBAs within budget guidance. If Hollis was a SB-2 community the default budget would not include new CBAs. CBAs are part of the business of operating the schools, there is limited control over the final cost though the negotiations and voters ultimately vote on the CBAs (in a separate warrant article).

 

Chair Beauregard suggested topic be discussed at the public hearing with Budget Committee on Dec. 20th

 

Supt. continued that district wants to maintain the existing quality product and enhance it further. Making cuts in the operating budget to fund unknown CBA increases takes budget in the wrong direction. What happens in future years if this trend continues? Discussion has not yet considered new programs such as gifted & talented initiative and other creative ways to enhance student learning.  Once Board has done due diligence to limit growth in expenses suggest asking voters to support the increase needed to maintain a quality product.

 

J. McCann noted that this was a good exercise to start with a flat budget, consider adjustments and then consider discretionary increases that are basically equal to guidance increase with nothing unusually in terms of needs and no new programs.

 

Chair Beauregard noted that Budget committee considers the decline in student population of 9% since 2000, and Special Education substantial historical growth that is outside of guidance and is 20% of the overall budget now.

 

Special Ed. Director Kelly noted the increase is $61,000 of which $20,000 is ESL which is not Special Ed. The net increase of 41,460, 1.97% is due to increases in transportation of $25,000 (acnt 2722), contracted occupational therapy for an out-of- district situation is up $6,300, and extended year program for out-of-district. There are reductions in equipment ($9,000), Contracted aide (2152-330 for $8,600)

 

J. McCann noted that historical growth has been significant and can foresee a time when Budget Comm. places Special Ed. within guidance to try to control cost increases. Important to look at cost drivers and trends and think about how we spend our money as wisely and efficiently as we can. Keep services the same or better certainly. Dir. Of Special Ed.’s work schedule is well over 100% utilization so probably not thinking how to save money here and there, it’s a lot to ask. This was discussed in the SAU budget hearing. He is looking at the extra funds voted in SAU budget for a Special Ed. study that could ultimately result in efficiencies and better ways of doing business in all of the districts, ways to do things smarter, pool resources maybe with districts outside SAU41 and other creative ways to approach. This is the area that is growing, perhaps not in FY09 but certainly in past years.

 

Dir. Kelly stated that he and administration do look at efficiency and when a need arises determine whether need can be filled internally first with available staff. There are times when programmatic needs have a budget impact because we can’t isolate student and Hollis District is small enough to not already have the service in place. Collaborating with other districts is sometimes successful if they have the program but they first have to consider capacity to meet their own unpredictable needs.

 

J. McCann noted population decreases and previous comment by Dir. Kelly that Special Ed. population is moving with general ed. population but costs are not. This needs to be understood. The CBAs may be the budget increase driver this year but Special Ed. is in most years.

 

Chair Beauregard noted that Budget Comm. Role is to manage tax increases and see school budget as a whole. Guidance last year for FY08 was 3.8% but budget overall grew by 7.1% largely due to increases in special education of $280,000. Question they ask is where is the give-back, which is why the cost drivers model is so important and why FTE is important to know for services instead of raw headcount, to match with student population changes.

 

Supt Pike stated the population changes are spread across classes and don’t translate to automatic cuts.

 

J. McCann agreed and stated the expectation would be for budget to be flat and not grow in that situation.

 

Chair Beauregard stated there was 78 student change in population from 2000 to 2007, from 873 to 795. This is what Budget Comm. considers, the declining population, and Special Education costs that continually increase no matter how students move in and out the program. So they push back and ask to find savings in the part of budget under guidance. If CBAs are placed outside of guidance where is the incentive to manage the cost of the contracts? Not to take anything away from the teachers, we understand they are the core of our system and want to do the best we can for them. But from Budget Comm. perspective they must consider the increase.

 

J. McCann noted that by contrast the increase for Classroom assistants is easily explained, predictable, and will be removed when need goes away.  But that is not seen in Special Ed. budget.

 

Dir. Kelly stated there are federal mandates and head count is only one of the variables that impact Special Ed. budget increase. Service delivery hours are a big factor and we are seeing students with increased complex needs. Last year we had about 115 students and this year about 125.

 

Chair Beauregard noted two things not in the discretionary list:  Paraeducators differentials for advanced degrees and certifications and cost to make some paraeducators full time either because of 1-on-1 need or to retain a program para-professional who is highly trained with high effectiveness and performance with students. Cost to retain a good employee should be considered in the context to hire and train a new employee, and the time needed to become productive and know staff and culture. It is important to prevent undesirable turnover.

 

S. Benz – is it helpful to make paraeducators full time? Given the difficulty of scheduling would looking at differentials be more productive?

 

Assistant Principal Fowler stated that differentials would be helpful and appropriate given highly trained staff don’t require as much case manager’s time.

 

Chair Beauregard noted need for market data for differentials as administrators encounter in hiring.

 

Supt. Pike asked about how to propose new initiatives such as for paraeducators, data analyst, and talent search.

 

J. McCann stated this is a good question to discuss with Budget Committee.

 

Chair Beauregard budget wants to be sure budget covers all proposed needs such as differentials, fulltime staff, and a data analyst to free up teachers to teach and give us numbers for data driven decision-making. He wants to set expectations with Budget Comm, in first meeting rather than later. He asked the Supt. and polled Board on interest for proposals for differentials – yes, fulltime needs – yes, data analyst – yes,  seed money for gifted program - yes

 

J. MacLeod supports bringing discretionary list to Budget Comm., gifted/talented program. She is concerned at cost per student, which is over $13,000.

 

Administration Reports

 

8:35pm

Business office Rpt:  FY08 Dec. Actuals , software upgrade, FTE rpt.,

·      Will provide FY08 actuals and plan to look at software upgrade and FTE after budget season

 

8:40pm Dawna Duhamel & Bob Blais left the meeting

 

8:40pm

Special Ed. Rpt: DOE Recommendations and status update

Action: Edited policy IHBA – put on agenda for 1st reading

Action: Dir. Kelly to get clarification from DoE on what it wants with respect to procedures reviewed by the school boards, approved and implemented in each of the schools

Action: Produce a schedule of training that demonstrates training has been delivered so Board can verify compliance.

Action: Present plan for timely implementation of revised procedures on on-going basis.

Action: Follow-up on ‘advisory council’ with agenda

 

·      RE: Edited policy IHBA

o       working on getting legal review of Board’s suggested language changes from last June, OK to place on agenda for Jan. 9th meeting

·      RE: Procedures reviewed by the school boards, approved and implemented in each of the schools.

o       Dir. Kelly suggests Board needs to know there are a series of written assurances, a procedural manual is in place

o       Chair Beauregard – Dir. Kelly to get clarification on what is DoE wants regarding Board review of procedures and implemented

o       Chair Beauregard – what consideration must be given to DoE evaluation team comments given they are peers? Dir. Kelly stated DoE contracts with Southern Educational Regional Consortium

o       Dir. Kelly - Policy adoption needs to happen by May 2008

o       Chair Beauregard - Are online procedures helpful to parents?

o       Dir. Kelly - Parents given hardcopy.

·      RE: professional development provided to all staff and administration in the implementation and oversight of such procedures.

o       Chair Beauregard – Produce a schedule of training that demonstrates training has been delivered so Board can verify compliance.

o       Dir. Kelly – training happens throughout the year

o       J McCann – how is this verified to DoE? Can Board can use same?

o       Chair Beauregard – is there a major technical writing need in hours per year? If so let Board know.

o       Dir. Kelly - Not currently.

·      RE: Present plan for timely implementation of revised procedures on on-going basis.

o       J. McCann – schedule meeting in May for report on  state of compliance

·      RE: Establish a strategy for engaging parents in an ‘advisory’ capacity in each of the three districts. This could take the form of an ‘advisory council’ or ’support group’

o       C. Fowler – purpose must be clear, can’t be about what happened in an IEP meeting since that is confidential.

o       Chair Beauregard – program level

o       C. Fowler – implementing a short 3 question survey after each IEP meeting

o       C. Fowler – hosting coffee hour to explain topics that take up significant time to explain during IEP meetings and have a Q&A. Plan to provide an agenda but give attendees opportunity to add to the agenda.

o       J. MacLeod – does Brookline do that? Planning to institute across SAU

o       J. McCann – Is it a common practice? Do we have feedback from parents that this is a need?

o       C. Fowler – not sure there is need but DoE evaluation suggests it

o       J. McCann – why would DoE team suggest it?

o       Chair Beauregard – do we know whether parents as customers want to provide programmatic feedback like a user group based on their experience with the system.

o       J. McCann – recommendation is for ‘advisory council’ or ’support group’. The latter is parent initiated, the former advises on ideas and direction

o       Dir. Kelly – planning to send note to community will include invitation for  ‘advisory council’

 

9: 41pm

Candi Fowler, and Deb Trottier left the meeting

 

Curriculum Rpt.: Data driven decision-making, Professional development and evaluation plans

o       Professional Development Master plan chaired by Gail Paludi, required by the state for recertification every 3-years, includes section for paraprofessionals, approved in Oct. being implemented, familiarizing staff with changes, will be a status topic for Senior Leadership team meetings, handbook on SAU Web site, some staff apprehension on shift to focus on activities that improves student achievement and what data as evidence of student growth. Fostering a more extensive goals setting process with smart goals that are measurable and show impact on student learning.

o       Teacher Evaluation plan – subcommittee meeting to develop plan based on Danielson methodology for main committee, pilot planned for next year

o       Data Driven decision-making –

o       Dr Eshed has done research and analysis on NECAP data evaluation and share with the team. Well received

o       Short-term goal – The most meaningful use of data is to move each child forward. Keep sight of whole child – academic, social, personal, physical. Need to start small and phase in. This year beginning with academic. The tangible product will be a student academic profile w/ 2 purposes – useful to teacher and follow student each year and for parent communications. The team will go back to teachers to identify elements of profile, start with what we have and then add missing pieces over time.

o       Target date – Spring round of parent conferences

o       Long-term goal will be implementing a full data decision system

 

Public Forum

o       Maua Loftus – 38 Fletcher Lane: Is guidance a directive? Can public make proposals? Is there a deadline for proposals?

o       Janet Merithew 19 Forest View Drive – Spoke in favor a parent support group and school or PTA coordination since they have contact list

o       Venu Rao – suggest creating advisory council for energy independence – geothermal not as cost-effective (15-year life cycle) as wind and solar

 

Superintendent’s report

o       Two Requests for maternity leave

 

Motion: J. MacLeod Move to grant maternity leave for Carol Cornell-Smith. S. Benz second. Passed 4-0

 

Motion: J. MacLeod Move to grant maternity leave for Megan Bamford. S. Benz second. Passed 4-0

 

Committee Reports:

District Report Card (score card) Committee:

o       Susan Benz (Board), Carol Mace (Director of Curriculum), Venu Rao and Anat Eshed (parents) interested is serving

o       Venu Rao – big job, Don’t rush, decide what measures are needed, establish a plan, implement in phased manner.

 

Communications Committee:

o       Jim McCann(Board), Rich Pike (Superintendent), Audrey Augun (parent) interested in serving.

o       Audrey Augun developed mission statement, will send to Jim McCann

 

Superintendent Screening Committee – Doug Cleveland volunteered to be community representative.

 

Board tabled discussion of Policy Second Readings

 

Principals’ reports

Action: Board to send a note of thanks to Chief Towne on Scott Hunter’s behalf

 

New process for registration packets for incoming kindergarteners and first graders will be online starting on January 22 and accepted at the school starting January 23.

 

Public thanks to Scott Hunter from the Fire Dept. for developing a stranger safety program, presented to faculty and all first grade classes and plans to do so for all grades.

 

HUES Staff and students put together 18 holiday gift creations for community out reach

HPS did a similar activity for 6 families.

 

Motion: S. Benz motion to adjourn. J. MacLeod second passed 4-0

 

Board adjourned at 10:30pm.