APPROVED:  JULY10, 2008

 

HOLLIS SCHOOL BOARD

AGENDA

June 11, 2008, 6:00 P.M.

Community Room, Hollis Town Hall.

The meeting is open to the public and televised on Channel 12

 

MEMBERS OF THE SCHOOL BOARD: Bill Beauregard, Chairperson; Jim McCann, Vice Chair;

Alison Haytayan, Board secretary; Susan Benz, Maura Loftus.

 

RECORDING SECRETARY:  Mary Kay MacFarlane

 

ADMINISTRATION: Richard Pike, SAU41 Superintendent; Gail Paludi, Principal, HPS; Deb Trottier,

Assistant Principal, HPS; Carol Thibaudeau, Principal, HUES; Candice Fowler, Assistant Principal,

HUES; Dawna Duhamel, Business Administrator; Carol Mace, Dir. of Curriculum; Bob Kelly, Dir. of

Special Education; Robert Blais, Dir. of Maintenance.

 

1) CALL TO ORDER

 

2) NON-PUBLIC SESSION (approx. 30 minutes) - Compensation (RSA 91-A:3 II (c))

 

3) AGENDA ADDITIONS AND DELETIONS

 

On behalf of the Hollis School Board, Susan Benz thanked Dr. Gail Paludi and Carol Thibideau for their years of wonderful work in the Hollis School District.  The board presented them with an engraved desk clock.

 

On behalf of the Hollis School Board, Susan Benz thanked Rich Pike for all his hard work for the district.  The board presented him with an engraved desk clock.

 

4) APPROVAL OF SCHOOL BOARD MINUTES

 

                Tabled until next meeting.

 

5) CORRESPONDENCE

 

                Rich Pike nominates Shannon Dwyer and Allyson Krogmann for one year positions in grade 2.

 

A motion was made by Susan Benz to accept Shannon Dwyer for a one year grade 2 teaching position at M, Step 5.  Jim McCann seconded the motion.  The motion carried by unanimous vote 5 yes, 0 no.

 

A motion was made by Susan Benz to accept Allyson Krogmann for a one year grade 2 teaching position at B, Step 1.  Jim McCann seconded the motion.  The motion carried by unanimous vote 5 yes, 0 no.

 

Rich Pike received a letter of resignation from Mary E. Kregan.

 

A motion was made by Susan Benz to accept the resignation of Mary E. Kregan with regret.  Jim McCann seconded the motion.  The motion carried by unanimous vote 5 yes, 0 no.

 

Rich Pike received a letter of resignation from Mary Ann Simco.

 

A motion was made by Susan Benz to accept the resignation of Mary Ann Simco with regret.  Jim McCann seconded the motion.  The motion carried by unanimous vote 5 yes, 0 no.

 

Candace Fowler recommends Nicholasa Cortez as a grade 4 teacher

 

A motion was made by Susan Benz to accept Nicholasa Cortez as a grade 4 teacher at B, Step 2.  Jim McCann seconded the motion.  The motion carried by unanimous vote 5 yes, 0 no.

 

Candace Fowler recommends Melissa Straub as a grade 6 teacher

 

A motion was made by Susan Benz to accept Melissa Straub as a grade 6 teacher at M, Step 2.  Jim McCann seconded the motion.  The motion carried by unanimous vote 5 yes, 0 no.

 

The Luter family is moving to Hollis in October 2008.  They have presented a signed P & S and have requested to pay tuition for one child to start in the Hollis School District for the start of the 2008-2009 school year.

 

A motion was made by Susan Benz to accept the request of the Luter family to tuition their child at the start of the 2008-2009 school year, until their house in Hollis is complete in October 2008.  The motion was seconded by Jim McCann.  The motion carried by a unanimous vote of 5 yes, 0 no.

 

The board received a letter from a parent with a child who has a life threatening allergy who wanted to know what kind of training the bus drivers get.  LTFA procedures will be reviewed.  There is a need to define each of the three types of plans (IHP, 504 plan, AAP) for the drivers.  Candace Fowler will work with the school nurses to set up common training on LTFA procedures.

 

6) ENERGY INDEPENDENCE INITIATIVE –Venu Rao

 

       Project Premise:  Zero impact to the tax base.

 

Objectives

·         Make all the buildings in the Hollis & Brookline School District energy independent on a 5-7 year incremental energy saving

·         Impart hands on experience to all the students

·         Share the knowledge locally, nationally

 

Overarching Plan

·         Phase I:  Project Proposal Development

o        Conservation Effort

§         Establish energy conservation strategies

§         Audit the facilities for energy conservation recommendations

§         Estimate the cost of conservation efforts

§         Develop a plan to implement conservation efforts

 

o        Design of Alternate Energy Systems

§         Estimate the current and future energy needs of the facilities.

§         Identify the possible alternate energy sources that will meet the current and future needs of the facilities.

§         Design a modular and scalable system of alternate energy sources to meet the current and future needs of the facilities.

§         Estimate the cost of implementing the energy system.

§         Perform ROI analysis.

§         Develop a detailed plan to successfully implement the proposed system.

 

Phase I, thus develops a Proposal Document that investigates the conservation techniques, and required alternate energy sources with the cost to implement them, a ROI analysis, and a detailed plan to successfully implement the proposed solution(s).  This effort is estimated to be 12 to 18 months effort to provide detailed view of the project for the December 2009 budget.  As a part of the Proposal and during the proposal development, investigate various corporations, government agencies and Charitable Organizations that fund green energy projects.

 

Phase II:  Project Implementation

o        Part One:                Campaign to raise capital

o        Part Two:               Project Implementation

 

       Project Organization

Make all building in the Hollis & Brookline School District fossil fuel energy independent in five years.

1.        Establish a Project Advisory Council

2.        Establish an Academic Advisory Council

3.        Identify an overall Project Coordinator

4.        Select Student Teams

5.        Identify committed parents/citizens to help in various aspects of the project.

 

       Advisory Council Members

·         Anat Eshed

·         Renu & Kedar Gupta

·         Frank Grossman

·         Dan Peterson

·         Doug Davidson

·         Venu Rao

 

        What Next

·         Present the plan and seek concurrence and acceptance

·         Get a major corporation sponsorship

·         UNH Team has already done a similar project.  Trying to get that information

·         Investigate participation of UNH and MIT faculty and/pr research students in the project

·         Seek and encourage Hollis and Brookline citizens to participate

·         June 21 and 22ndUNH Conference on Alternate Energies

 

         Anyone interested in joining this project should contact Venu Rao or SAU#41.

 

         The Hollis School Board unanimously and enthusiastically supports Venu Rao and this project.

 

7) ADMINISTRATION REPORTS & DISCUSSION

 

A) Director of Maintenance: Hutter Maintenance rpt – resolution rpt.; Energy audit

 

The Hutter Report went out late today.  The board will review this report and get back to Dawna with any issues. 

 

Robert Blais stated that if there are any further asbestos issues at HPS, the vendor who did the removal should be contacted. 

 

Robert Blais is currently conducting an energy audit at the schools and looking into geothermal energy.  He is also looking into the costs of a water line and a sprinkler system.  Robert will be working on these projects over the summer

 

 

 

B) Business Administrator: FY08 May. financial rpt., SAU office lease, FY07 auditor's opinion

 

Dawna Duhamel gave the business administrator’s report.

 

Bill Beauregard has questions regarding the SAU office lease. On page 2 of the lease agreement it states a lease amount of $3,000.  Dawna stated that the actual amount is $8,000 and that will be corrected.  The emergency clause reads that if the SAU doesn’t have funds to cover emergency expenses to the building the Hollis School District will pay those costs until they can be incorporated in the next SAU budget.  On page 5, regarding comprehensive liability insurance, Bill Beauregard thought that the number was low and wants Dawna to investigate what extended coverage would cost. 

 

Dawna Duhamel ran the report through June 9th  and there is $249,000 left in the budget.  She has encumbered everything that she is aware of and the budget looks good.  She is doing the same with the maintenance budget. 

 

Dawna wanted to talk about oil costs.  The budget will need an additional $68,000 if prices remain at their current highs.  She is working with the Concord Energy Buying Group to see if they can take advantage of group buying.

 

There were no issues for the audit.

 

C) Director of Curriculum: Math Plan update, 2007 NECAP results analysis

 

Karen Kelly, Linda Walsh, and Candace Fowler gave a presentation on NECAP results.  Linda Walsh discussed the language arts results.

 

The Hollis students continue to score well on the NECAPs.  The Hollis Primary School made AYP, while the Hollis Upper Elementary School didn’t make AYP due to a subgroup.  If you look at language arts over the past three years you will see some inconsistencies.

 

Reading:  There are some dips in consistency and the ups and downs due to the start of new reading programs.   Teachers have a learning curve just like students when learning a new program.  Takes 3-5 years for new program to be solid. There were also some lapses in professional development a lot this year with two consultants, not as much last year because there was no Tufts consultant. Paradigm shift to teaching readers, not teaching books and materials.  There are steady increases for students from grade to grade, with most reading at proficient and above...  The teaching teams are working to make all students proficient and strengthen the areas where students didn’t perform well.  There is a developmental reading assessment at all grade levels.  The students do well in literal skills, word identification and initial understanding of the text.  Where the students are having difficulties are on informational text and analyzing/interpreting, doing the highest level of thinking.  The teachers are addressing all the issues, so that the students will perform better in the fall.  More released items from NECAP & Mass. MCAS for teachers to use to prepare. Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) used in all the grades this year to inform instruction and relate to GLEs. Student information given to next year’s teacher. There are new curriculum-based materials for teaching K-2 informational text.

 

Bill Beauregard asked what year of implementation of Readers Workshop are we?  Linda Walsh replied that they are really in the second year because they started with the Writers Workshop first.  Last year was the first year for Readers Workshop.  Full program implementation takes 3-5 years.

 

Bill Beauregard asked programs are the children getting that they weren’t before.  Linda Walsh replied that students have explicit teachings for a specific strategy each day and students do more independent and small group reading of authentic (not contrived) text and talk about what they read. What is different is everybody isn’t reading the same thing. Teachers conferring with students to determine what they need. Same format for reading in every class room

 

Maura Loftus asked about how teachers can get more professional development to teach reading if they so desire. Linda Walsh said staff does work with samples in team choice meetings, share experiences and can ask Linda about external seminars. Principal Thibaudeau said teacher can get release time to observe another teacher deliver a lesson.

 

Alyson Haytayan asked about the reading room.  Linda Walsh said reading support people did fluency and comprehension clinics in the primary school as a supplement to the classroom lesson. It is not the same format that it used to be. 

 

Bill Beauregard stated that the Readers Workshop seems to be challenging the students more, how is it matching up with NECAP expectations?  Linda Walsh stated that focus lessons are developed based on GLEs.  it allows teachers to differentiate better.

 

Bill Beauregard noted that looking at the District report card, this year’s 5th and 4th graders the number of proficient decreased and number of borderline proficient increased, after 2 years of Readers Workshop do we expect to see that reverse next fall. Linda Walsh stated she looked at the numbers and couldn’t match them up but is hoping more students are moving to proficient. Bill asked what Spring NWEA data is showing. Linda said testing just finished need more time to look at the data.

 

Susan Benz stated that the District Report Card committee would be comparing NECAP and NWEA scores in the fall.

 

Writing:  Different group of children tested each year. Only the 5th grade students take the writing portion and the writing response changes from year to year making it difficult to compare.  The students performed well on the multiple choice section of the test that tests vocabulary, spelling and grammar.  The second section is a short writing response to a specific reading.  The students have difficulties there. The third section is the extended writing response to a specific reading and is also where sometimes there are difficulties.  The students have more difficulty performing the writing responses.  Linda Walsh walked through a test and the instructions to make the point that test taking skills are an important factor in test scores.  This is the 3rd year of Writers’ Workshop. We have targeted professional development and excellent teaching materials as resources for teachers The teachers are working with the students to improve the writing responses.  The teachers started a literary essay unit  this Spring to help children strengthen their response to literary text and informational text. writing skills.

 

Susan Benz commented that it is unfortunate the state keeps changing the format and the extended writing has directions in two places which would be challenging even for adults.  Linda Walsh commented that students are given three writing prompts during the year to practice this NECAP format to help students feel comfortable with it, which should help improve scores.  Bill Beauregard suggested the example Linda walked through be put on the Web for parents to see.

 

Bill Beauregard asked Linda Walsh what students could do over the summer to keep up their skills.  Linda said that the best thing parents could do is to have the kids read and the parents question them on the reading.

 

Jim McCann asked if the reading/writing workshop program has been in place 3 years, why are we dropping in state ranks over the past 3 years since all districts take the same test and face the same challenges with students?  Is Writers Workshop not serving the needs of our students?  Looking at the decrease something dramatic is happening. Linda Walsh stated that it takes time for a program to take hold and each year there is a different group of children being tested. The writing prompts that the children are being asked to write on have changed dramatically over the last 3 years.  If the test scores don’t go up next year, then Linda Walsh feels we should look at the program. 

 

Alison Haytayan asked about whether we have internal writing benchmarks and what changed with Writers’ Workshop. Linda stated we have local writing prompts and previous program focused on writing across the curriculum rather the teaching how to write.

 

Bill Beauregard asked about how writing prompts in previous year matched the NECAP writing test. Linda stated the first year of NECAP student coincidentally had had experience writing about the little read school house in 4th grade and the NECAP writing prompt was about old school houses.

 

Alison Haytayan asked how can we have such good readers, but not do well on writing.  Linda Walsh and Gail Paludi stated that it is difficult to assess writing skills and even the state struggles with how to do this well.

 

Linda Walsh stated that we didn’t have consultants for professional development last year to reinforce the 1st year’s training.

 

Bill Beauregard asked about feedback teachers are giving. Linda responded that they asked for help, which is why the literary essay unit was introduced this year in 3rd, 4th and 5th grade.

 

Linda Walsh stated that Bedford was unhappy with their scores in writing and has hired a writing coach to help improve those test scores.

 

Susan Benz commented that given our relative ranking a lot of other districts have figured it out. Jim McCann asked if this year’s results are an anomaly due to a certain subgroup. If so then he would feel better about the scores. Linda will look into it.

 

Maura Loftus asked about correlating NECAP performance with local assessments is it just a matter of practicing for the NECAP test, are they doing well on local writing assessments. Linda Walsh said local assessment and DRA do help to give indication of student’s performance.

 

Bill Beauregard summarized two action items for Linda Walsh in the area of writing.  First, to benchmark  other districts in the state to see what they are doing.  Second, to do analysis of the subgroups to see how they are effecting the group score.

 

Karen Kelly discussed the math results.

 

Math:  The students overall performed very well.  The teachers are working to make all students proficient.  The teachers reviewed the released questions to see where the students didn’t perform as well and are making changes in the classroom to improve performance.  The teachers are focusing on borderline students to help them increase their proficiency

 

The NECAP assesses students in four areas of mathematics:  Numbers and Operations, Geometry and Measurement, Functions and Algebra, and Data, Statistics and Probability.  Teachers looked through each area to see where the students had problems.  Teachers are working to improve level 3 & 4 responses and reviewing test taking strategies with the students.

 

Bill Beauregard noted the current fifth grade, did better in third grade, took a dip in fourth grade and leveled off in 5th grade. Karen Kelly noted that Subgroup contributes, material gets trickier, reading factors more prominently, and level of question becomes more difficult with higher level analysis needed, the Numbers and Operations questions decrease as the kids get older and the Functions, Algebra and Data questions increase.

 

Bill Beauregard asked whether NECAP reports how nuch of the test students completed. Karen Kelly said it does. The 1st year there were many blanks. Worked with teachers on proctoring to ensure students answered more questions. This year very few students didn’t answer all of the questions. The test is not timed, students can take as much time as they want to complete it. This is a very different format for students from the local assessments.

 

Candace Fowler spoke about AYP.  The NECAP determines AYP.  In Hollis, there is one subgroup, special education.  AYP requires that 95% of the students take the exam, then the whole school needs to make a performance target and each subgroup needs to make that same target.  HPS made AYP this year.  HUES didn’t make AYP this year, due to scores in the subgroup.  In Reading the target was 86% needed to be proficient or above.  HUES as a whole made 95.7%.  The identified subgroup had 77.8% of the students make AYP.  In Math the target was 82% and the school as a whole scored 93.5%.  The identified subgroup had 67.3% of the students made AYP.  Candace Fowler feels, however, that the special education cohort is making progress and showing growth and this can be seen in the NWEA scores.  There have been 4-5 students who have worked their way out of the special education program this year.  Teachers are looking at service delivery to see where they can improve.  She wants to work towards flexible grouping between classrooms and to continue to use the data collected from test reporting to drive IEP’s

 

The Board asked about alternate assessment.  Candace Fowler explained that you have to be really low to qualify for an portfolio alternate assessment and that if more than 5% file for alternate assessment, there is a penalty.

 

The board thanked Karen Kelly, Linda Walsh and Candace Fowler for their presentations and hard work.

 

Carol Mace reported on the math plan update.  The plan is finishing up phase I and moving into phase II.  Data was presented on “Fast Facts in Addition and Subtraction” assessment in April and June for grades 2-6.  The second graders had more difficulty doing these problems in the time frame they were asked to respond in.  All grade levels, except grade 2, showed progress from April to June of this year.  Grade 2 was asked to do 80 problems in 4 minutes when they had been practicing 36 problems in 3 minutes. xCarol Mace will be organizing phase II over the summer.  She will have an organizational meeting in June.  Have the different teams work independently over the summer at their own schedule, submitting their work in August.  She is hoping to have a final report to present to the board in September.

 

Susan Benz ask why the change for 2nd graders. Karen Kelly stated is was based on Dot Ball’s research. Bill Beauregard added it is the difference between 5 seconds and 3 seconds per problem.

 

Bill Beauregard asked about lessons learned. Karen Kelly said it will be better next year when it is done through out the year. Teachers, students and parents need to be responsible for student mastery.

 

Maura Loftus

asked about feedback from the grade 6 math evaluation.  They are still waiting for it from Pat Goyette.

 

Bill Beauregard asked about the investigation of traditional algorithms. Carol Mace responded that there may be some confusion on this.  Where it is possible in the curriculum to use traditional algorithms teachers are using them, however, due to the fact it is late in the year and testing is occurring, we allow the students to use both methods.  The teachers would not suspend alternative methods until next year.

 

Alyson Haytayan questioned the suspension of alternative methods.  Both methods have value, to suspend one totally would be a mistake.

 

Bill Beauregard asked why are both algorithms are taught.  Candace Fowler responded that they are both currently taught, its just that over time, children prefer one method over the other.  She feels the plan should be amended to use Everyday Math through grade 5, and then focus on Traditional Algorithms in grade 6.

 

Alyson Haytayan said that maybe students should be forced to practice both more.  Suspending an entire program doesn’t make sense.

 

Rich Pike stated that if there are going to be amendments to the plan they need to be presented to the board from the administrators.  Rich Pike discussed roles/responsibilities of the school board and administrators, as well as, policies/procedures. 

 

Dot Ball from the middle school has worked with the staff and administration to come up with the best math plan. 

 

Bill Beauregard stated that the administrators should go back and discuss any amendment to the plan and present it to the Superintendent. 

 

 

 

D) Principals: schools reports, transitions

 

Dr. Gail Paludi gave the report for HPS.  She wants to thank Mrs. Gott-Hart and the third grade students for a fantastic concert.  She also wants to thank everyone who worked to make portfolio day a big success.  Enrollment remains steady.  The extended day Kindergarten program has been very successful.

 

Carol Thibaudeau gave the report on HUES.  She thanked the HUES staff for all their support and wishes them the very best in the future.  The H/B All District Band performance was impressive and she encourages anyone who hasn’t seen them to go to a performance.

 

Maura Loftus asked about problems that occurred during NWEA testing.  Dr. Paludi state that the server died during the test, but everything worked out.  Carol Mace also stated that the NWEA server went down and delayed reports for a few days.  Karen Kelly also stated that they had problems with tests that needed to be stopped and restarted in addition to some uploading issues.  She is working with Bill Aldridge and NWEA to get these issues resolved before the next testing session starts.

 

E) Director of Special Education

 

                No items.

 

F) Superintendent: Supt. transition, status of Admin. studies, policies status

               

He had a productive transition session today with Susan that was very productive.  They will have another meeting on June 20th

 

Administrative studies:  Ceresc has completed their field work and the surveys are in.  The target date for a final report is in June.  The NESDEC study group, which is being done at the SAU level, has already met with Rich.

 

Rich Pike needs final signatures on the HEA/HESA contacts from Bill Beauregard.  Bill thanks Doris Lindgren and Rich Pike for their work on this project.

 

Rich Pike identified 26 policies that either need to be rescinded or updated as they are not in the current policy book.  He is contacting ECOPY to get estimate on converting these policy files.

 

8) PUBLIC FORUM

 

Kathi Lewis wants to know how to communicate with the individual board members.  She can’t find out from any website how to contact the individual board members. 

 

Bill Beauregard stated that this will be discussed under communication this evening.

Jim McCann, Susan Benz stated that they can put their phone number and email on the school web site.  Alison Haytayan and Maura Loftus want only their email address put on the school website

 

Kathi Lewis asked why the public forum is at the end of the meeting.

 

Bill Beauregard stated that it has been done this because most people want to discuss something that has been brought up at the meeting.  Bill will ask for open forum at the beginning at the meeting from now on.

 

Kathi Lewis is unhappy with the deficit with the food service.  She wants to see prices raised to so that food service is self funding.

 

Janet Merithrew has a fifth grader who says he’s never seen traditional math and can’t do it.  The teacher told her that traditional algorithms are taught in 6th grade.  She is concerned that her son will have trouble with that.

 

Ms. Merithrew also requested that proceedings be more clearly announced when having a joint meeting.  She thought one of the school board’s joint meetings was adjourned, however, that was not the case.  The school board started up their meeting.

 

Bill Beauregard regrets the confusion and explained that the board was going back into public session.

 

Ms. Merithrew also expressed concern that policies were being voted on before all questions were answered. 

 

Maura Loftus stated that she did get her answer from the attorney and it wouldn’t have changed her vote. 

 

Bill Beauregard stated that there was no strong disagreement amongst the board and the board needed it before the next meeting.  An attorney did review the policy before it came to the board.  A policy is can be reviewed at any time, and the clarification asked for here was minor.

 

Ms. Merithrew wants the word “expert” in the survey policy better defined.  If they are not a doctor , then they are not an “expert”.

 

Bill Beauregard explained that the way it was left was that the Superintendent would define who and “expert” was.

 

9) BOARD DISCUSSION

 

A) Summer Schedule

The board will have their July meeting on the 10th at 6:00 pm at the community room at the Town Hall.  The August board meeting date will be determined at the July meeting.

 

B) Policy GCE - Part-time and Substitute Professional Staff Employment

                To be scanned and approved at July meeting

 

10) COMMITTEE REPORTS

 

                Tabled until next meeting.

 

11) NON-PUBLIC SESSION - Compensation (RSA 91-A:3 II (c))

 

                A motion was made to go into non-public session under RSA91-A:3II (c) compensation by Susan Benz.  Jim McCann seconded the motion.  The motion carried by unanimous roll call vote 5 yes, 0 no.

 

11:15 pm

 

12) ADJOURN

 

 

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Mary Kay MacFarlane

 

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