HOLLIS SCHOOL BOARD
A Public meeting was held on this date in the Hollis/Brookline Middle School Multi-Purpose Room, televised on Channel 12.
Board Members present: Bill Beauregard, Chair; Jennifer MacLeod, Vice Chair, Jim McCann, Secretary
Administration present: Rich Pike, Superintendent, Carol Mace, Director of Curriculum, Mellinee Capasso, Business Administrator, Carol Thibaudeau, Principal – HUES, Dr. Gail Paludi, Principal - HPS
Meeting called to order by Board Chair B Beauregard at 8:37am.
R Pike received a letter of resignation from Dr. James O’Shea. (attached)
B Beauregard would like to thank James for his service and thoughtful contributions to the Board. He would also encourage anyone listening who has an interest in serving on the Board to send a letter of interest along with their resume to the SAU office via email.
The Board will send a letter of appreciation to James.
Motion: J McCann motion to accept Dr. O’Shea’s letter of resignation with regrets. J Macleod 2nd. 3-0 in favor.
B Beauregard: the Board has a contingency fund as part of its budget in order to continue operations since we can’t legally run the school with a deficit. We’ve had discussions with the Budget committee about certain items of health/safety and/or urgent concern that need to be covered by the contingency fund. Last meeting the Board approved a PBX phone system for the HPS subject to concurrence by the Budget Committee.
M Capasso: A couple of maintenance items have been looked at over the school year, including a review of work on the HPS roof in the fall, but wanted to wait until the year end to see where are budgets ended up. Skyline Roofing recommends doing the flat entryway roof of the HPS for a cost of $60k. They have done a lot of roof work in the district and come highly recommended by Hutter Maintenance, a company we have hired to do a review of all maintenance needs in the district. Melanson Roofing’s quote was approx $79K. She is asking the Board to waive additional bid process, funds need to be encumbered by 6/30 by law. M Capasso would like to recommend accepting this bid.
B Beauregard: We have met the spirit of the bid process by getting two quotes, one quote clearly less than the other, and Skyline is well known to our district with the work they’ve done for us as well as for Hutter. We also need to legally encumber the funds by the 6/30 deadline. We needed to wait until the end of the year since these are emergency funds that must be un-encumbered in case another use with a higher priority came up.
Motion: J McCann motion to waive additional bid process for the roofing repairs. J MacLeod 2nd. 3-0 in favor.
Motion: J McCann motion to contract with Skyline for the HPS roof repairs for $60K.
B Beauregard: Should make the motion to not exceed $60K.
Amended Motion: J McCann motion to contract with Skyline for the HPS roof repairs for an amount not to exceed $60K. J MacLeod 2nd. 3-0 in favor.
B Beauregard: For any smaller maintenance items, we can use funds remaining in the budget for maintenance, anything of greater need, funds can come from the expendable trust with the support of the budget committee. This trust was voted on at the district meeting for the specific purpose of maintenance.
M Capasso: T111 repairs (HPS wallboard around back windows of HPS) require more research at this time as there are a number of potential options. Not sure of the full extent of the required repairs (what damage if any may lie under the T11) at this time.
M Capasso left the meeting at this point.
Approval of School Board minutes for 5/9, 5/31, 6/11, 6/18 NP. Approval of 5/9 minutes to be delayed until a quorum of attendees are present at the upcoming 6/26 meeting.
Motion: J McCann motion to accept 5/31/07 public minutes. J MacLeod 2nd. 3-0 in favor.
Motion: J McCann motion to accept 6/11/07 public minutes. J MacLeod 2nd. 3-0 in favor.
Motion: J McCann motion to accept 6/18/07 non public minutes. J MacLeod 2nd. 3-0 in favor.
B Beauregard: 3-year objectives were discussed at the goals workshop June ’06 and finalized in October ’06 workshop. Would like to hear updates on the 3-year objectives, and consider other objectives including PTA proposed initiatives and other Board related goals.
B Beauregard: the 3-year goals document published with the four 3-year objectives. It included the following mission statement:
“The Hollis Elementary School is dedicated to educating the whole student. It is our goal to nurture students and help them become well-rounded, self-respecting, friendly and sensitive individuals. We seek to provide a challenging curriculum with flexibility to meet the needs of each student. We recognize and respect different learning and teaching styles. Our high expectations for academic achievement are balanced with giving students a broader sense of the world and the desire to perform service to others. The overarching goal is to utilize best practices to guide the teaching and learning process for maximizing the academic, social and emotional development of all students.”
Four Objectives associated with this overarching goal:
G Paludi: SAU evaluation committee has accomplished its goals for this year. Monday meeting to finalize goals for the coming year. SAU consensus to continue with Danielson to put training money in budget for Danielson with ETS next year. Hollis district’s four administrators and support staff and teachers involved in training (book review) this past year, interested in continuing this coming year. Gail and Carol T. involved with training last summer. $12K for training SAU wide required.
C Thibaudeau: all four goals accomplished, 1) Research teacher evaluation models 2) Create committee 3) Share research/committee findings 4)Recommend model by 6/30
J MacLeod: How many staff involved in training this past year?
Admin: stared out with 25, about 12 by end of year, evenly divided between both schools.
B Beauregard: is funding the SAU-wide training for $12K the only limitation to getting training done this year?
C Mace: ETS requires lead time, ideal to do training over summer when Admin is available. Plan is to get process and procedures established during the coming year, with input from teachers, Admin and Board.
B Beauregard: $12k SAU-wide seems to be small amount for important training, could help with the process/procedures, we could get SAU Board to consider funding this at the SAU meeting next week, C Mace can speak with ETS about training during this coming year (1 year sooner than anticipated)
Admin: ok with idea of having training this year
J McCann: does the accelerated training also accelerate the implementation, currently scheduled for 09/10 school year?
C Mace: doesn’t accelerate implementation because we still need to do process/procedures this year, but could help with that effort.
B Beauregard: Rich, please put on SAU agenda for next week. Carol, please speak with ETS about training for this coming year.
Admin: Training this year would give principals and lead teachers more time to learn, doesn’t accelerate the implementation however, important to spend enough time on procedures and to do a pilot the following year
R Pike: this is an important initiative SAU wide, need to focus on improving teacher evaluation process, should take precedence over most other things we can do
J McCann: my view coming in was to accelerate the implementation 1 year by funding the training a year earlier, but I’m hearing there are legitimate concerns about accelerating the implementation so let’s do the training early and get the benefit for the formation of the process/procedures and stay on the existing timeline.
B Beauregard: I’ve read about the various components of the evaluation process,
please talk a little about the procedures
C Mace: who does the evaluation, what they are evaluating, how it’s documented, tiered system for inexperienced vs experienced teachers, mentoring component are all factors to consider in the evaluation procedures
G Paludi: need to determine how the new teacher assessment model dovetails with the Professional Development Plan (PDP), PDP and teacher evaluation should work well together to get the best outcome from each, not currently as closely tied together as we would like
B Beauregard: how are the teacher evaluation and PDP, relate to/or are referenced by the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)?
G Paludi: PDP mandated by the state in order for every teacher to maintain certification. Our PDP and teacher evaluation aren’t very coupled close together, would like to couple them closer, important as teachers set new goals and use along with teacher evaluation. PDP process took into account a potential new teacher evaluation model. The existing PDP reflects the current teacher evaluation model, Danielson would need to be referenced in the new PDP. PDP is a 5 year plan. The Teacher Evaluation Plan is SAU-wide and referenced in each district’s CBA. The new CBA negotiated this fall should reference the Danielson-based teacher evaluation plan. Shouldn’t be any problem with updating PDP with any changes as a result of the new teacher evaluation procedures, etc.
B Beauregard: Principals please give the Board other requirements for the new CBA.
C Thibaudeau/G Paludi: Summer project for the principals.
B Beauregard: Noted for the viewing audience, that all 4 objectives were proposed by the Aministration.
B Beauregard: Board voted to include an Early Interventing Services math position in the FY08 budget.
C Thibaudeau: Power Reading (all students reading in the same scheduling block to provide effective learning groups) very successful at HUES this year. Math Early Interventing Services will be shared between schools. The Adminsitration will beevaluating that shared model over the summer. Early Intervening Services for math to be a full implementation in 07/08.
G Paludi: kindergarten Early Interventing Services for extended day kindergarten, have screened all the students, will be notifying parents next week, up to 14 children in the program, evaluation very valuable for understanding all students coming into kindergarten
J MacLeod: is 1 class enough?
G Paludi: 12-14 students identified/anticipated, 1 class should be enough
C Thibaudeau: good reporting of information relative to Early Intervening Services and how many students “powered out” back to grade level for reading, is very beneficial to us
G Paludi: evaluations for early math interventions done with NWEA, NEACAP, teacher recommendations and Pre/Post test data
B Beauregard: 2 components, NWEA used to determine where students are ready to learn for reading, math and language usage and a Data warehouse for effective decision making.
G Paludi: NWEA training for teachers this past year on the MAP computer-based testing. Grade 2 and 5 pilots, results went home in report cards in June. “Palace pre-k” testing for children going into kindergarten, and “Palace” for kindergarten students, seems to be very age appropriate assessment tool. Looking at NWEA data more closely over the summer, data warehouse important, looking at what data warehousing tool is being provided by the state starting this summer.
C Thibaudeau: very aggressive goal, wanted to analyze the MAP data more but just ran out of time before end of school
C Mace: November 1st scheduled for 2nd step of NWEA MAP training to learn how to analyze student results data using actual data from test results, recommended by NWEA to do testing in Sept and use actual data from test results for training
G Paludi: 2nd grade testing scheduled between Dec 3 – 23, consensus of colleagues was this we better timetable for this age group rather than a few weeks after start of school
B Beauregard: what NWEA tools can teachers use to understand student MAP results prior to Nov 1st training?
C Thibaudeau: Administration will help teachers with reports, etc
J MacLeod: any presentations after summer about lessons learned, etc?
C Thibaudeau: after all 3 grades test, more to show at this point, huge learning curve for everyone involved
B Beauregard: We can get an update at our November board meeting?
B Beauregard: Data warehouse can be used to easily ask questions of assessment data without a sophisticated understanding of the database and manipulating spreadsheets, can be used for NWEA, NEACAP, local assessments, report cards, etc
C Mace: state is coming out with a new tool for us to use this year. From a company called Performance Pathways, it has 3 components:
1. Performance Tracker
a. Assessment management system, includes state maintained data and NWEA
2. Performance Builder
a. Includes ability to include local assessment data
3. Performance Tech Paths
a. Curriculum tracking component
Leadership meeting and follow-up plan to consider budget and timeframe
August (8/23)workshop for Performance Tracker, interested next year in curriculum mapping, database of current curriculum and where it’s being taught, identify gaps and redundancies. Would like to proceed with Performance Tracker first this year, and then with curriculum mapping following year.
B Beauregard: How does Performance Tech Paths evaluate gaps?
C Mace: would look at low performance in fractions for example, this module would identify where we are teaching this and can do comparisons class by class, grade by grade, between districts, etc
C Mace: state has plans to include other (social) non academic data
B Beauregard: do you have visibility into what kinds of reports, what kinds of questions we (administration, curriculum coordinators, teachers, parents) would like to ask?
G Paludi: Don’t have insight yet, based on other sources, reading, not sure if we have insight into the kinds of questions just yet
C Mace: after asking other colleagues, what we really need is a decision support system, data warehouse is just one concept
J McCann: do we have the technical expertise to do a data warehouse with all the anticipated data needs of the district?
C Mace: wants to put together approval to bring in expertise to do an audit of our current abilities and needs, similar to what we did for technology, interested in bringing in expertise to develop an RFP
B Beauregard: need to understand user requirements in order to do DW design, need to understand what data sets exist and what questions users what to ask of the data and for what purpose
R Pike: supports the data audit, we can either be data poor/information poor, data rich/information poor, or data rich/information rich. The 3rd option is where we want to be, an information audit would help
G Paludi: we don’t have the personnel in place today to support this, this is a major consideration for us
J McCann: agree with this concern, that’s why we should be soliciting expertise from the PTA or community at large to help with this effort, either by giving us the right questions to ask or assisting with the full data audit/DW effort
Action: list of questions to Carol Mace for workshop and a volunteer expert to assist with the data warehouse
4. Balance Literacy Approach
G Paludi: 3 year program, during the 2006-07 year we completed the 1st year of Reader’s workshop, 2nd year of Writers Workshop, 07/08 full implementation
Linda Clark (Tufts consultant) will be brought back 1 or 2 times next year
B Beauregard: 5th grade writers workshop a concern based on NECAP results
C Thibaudeau: believes we’ll see improvements, didn’t get Tufts at HUES initially, not seeing improvements on NECAP, but that is the goal, can see improvements in other areas like portfolio work, just not on state test, S Klicker has done an excellent job
B Beauregard: after we implement changes to writers workshop, when can we expect to see results?
G Paludi: 5-7 years for any change before you see results, seeing improvements in other areas of writing though
B Beauregard: So 1st changes are seen more in local assessments, then over time we’ll see changes in NEACAP results?
G Paludi: clearly see individual progress in writing throughout year
B Beauregard: parents would like to be better informed about assessments, progress, etc, that is the feedback we heard from Monday night meeting
B Beauregard: Budget Process – would like to make budget process easier for next year, Budget Committee doing guidance deliberation now, Special Education is 20% of the budget and double digit growth is a concern, would like to see a close to zero-based budgeting process by better utilizing the manifests, last year didn’t have view of historical payments, only future plans, also need in order to model for CBA
R Pike: need “reality based” not 0 based budget, coop estimates for cost of living, need to be more proactive than reactive
B Beauregard: start with 0% growth given declining student population, identify one-time expenditures that can be cut from previous year’s budget, list priorities to understand if Principals had one more dollar to spend where would they spend it, need to have a voters guide whether or not SB2 passes, establish baseline budget early in process in September to be able to build community support and discuss priorities, the goal is to have for the 1st open hearing early in December a proposed budget that meets budget guidance with an analysis of what can be done and not done with the proposed budget
R Pike: let voters know what impact is at December meeting
B Beauregard: guidance in past year didn’t even cover contractual obligation (salaries, etc)
R Pike: need to identify discretionary vs non-discretionary costs
B Beauregard: do we have insight into non-discretionary items?
R Pike: health insurance costs for following year is a big driver, long term benefits next, don’t have control over until later in year
B Beauregard: can we estimate?
R Pike: not to exceed quote from vendor should be used as budget estimate, state retirement reserve issues are a major driver that we have little control over
B Beauregard: 2 Data Points needed in the Sept timeframe
1. Principals priorities – use FY ’07 manifest reports to help determine one time costs vs new requirements
2. Special Education – concerned about the size and rate of growth, not sustainable, need service hours analysis for current IEP’s, resources inhouse vs by contract outside
R Pike: tell me how this is different from current model, right now teachers meet and determine hours required
J McCann: we have no visibility or control over Special Education portion of budget, 3% growth in a given year or 50%? Who knows what to expect and plan for
R Pike: capping Special Education is a slippery slope, need to be careful about the message, spend SPED at expense of regular curriculum
J McCann: not suggesting cap, Special Education is at the expense of regular curriculum today, has grown from 25% of regular curriculum in 2000 to 50% today
B Beauregard: need to fund Special Education by law, we would never suggest a cap
J McCann: not a Hollis district issue alone, nationwide concern, not suggesting anyone is doing anything wrong, we just don’t have visibility and we need to get much better insight into Special Education spending
R Pike: Special Education law driving much of this, out of district placement is a big driver, better to discuss in Non Public session
J McCann: we can be more effective/efficient with the dollars we spend
G Paludi: some collaboration among districts, but some placement very specific and expensive
B Beauregard: need to have ideas/approach to address Special Education spending
B Beauregard: to summarize, by Sept we need to get
1. CBA recommendations from the Superintendent
2. Superintendent’s budget priorities
3. Special Education service hours analysis
B Beauregard: PTA Initiatives
3 principles to keep in mind
1. Respect for Administration and what is in place today
2. Mindful of the timeframe and resources required
3. How can we involve parents more – parents want to be involved (feedback
from Monday night)
PTA wants to have consultative role, Board and Superintendent have their roles.
District Communications Strategy.
R Pike: Board has shown willingness to “think outside the box”, 8 good ideas
from 20-25 people, represents small percentage of community, sample of goals from previous years dating back to 2000/2001 include, “develop action plan for communication”, “strengthen the home – school connection”, communication is a key piece, we need to think strategically, rather than trying to wrap a Cadillac body around a chevette frame, we need to build a better car, not a hybrid, need to think strategic, long range
Would like to propose a Strategic Planning Committee (SPC), look at various models, have other committees sit underneath the SPC, get a broader sense of community feedback, believes Hollis district is ready for this, maybe not SAU as a whole
J MacLeod: you want to survey the community at large?
R Pike: need to get input from all community members, not just parents, but seniors, etc, refers to Kearsarge example of “educating the community”
B Beauregard: points are excellent, 2 points to make, 1. Survey – we could work with Selectmen on this, already undertaken by Strategic Planning Committee with outstanding return results (25%), original survey had 4 or 5 questions regarding ability to pay for school, etc. 2. PTA would be a great resource, community based, very interested in getting more involved
R Pike: maybe PTA could get involved with Soloman proposal (communications)
B Beauregard: Soloman is for outbound communication, we also need inbound feedback mechanism
G Paludi: favors a backwards planning model for strategic planning, where do you want your students to be at graduation, felt we needed this since coming to this district, very successful in other districts I’ve worked at
R Pike: Venu’s 2017 graduation reference is a good example of this
G Paludi: without strategic planning committee tend to build branches and not the trunk, people not all focused in same direction, senses that we’re looking at isolated things
B Beauregard: Tim Kelly (HBHS Principal) and Pat Goyette (HBMS Principal) should be part of this process
G Paludi: backwards model will point out problems where we aren’t doing well early on in process
B Beauregard: this is consistent with the vision of a Strategic Advisory Committee that Venu Rao, former Board member, presented to the Board with multiple committees working underneath
J MacLeod: concerns about timeline for this
R Pike: needs a lot of upfront work, not something that happens quickly, larger representation of feedback
G Paludi: in last job, surveyed all graduates 1 year after graduation as start of backwards planning process
B Beauregard: mission statement needed, volunteers needed, should be SAU wide, curriculum council involvement, have you approached the Co-op Board?
R Pike: doesn’t think they would be interested, difficult with multiple districts, hasn’t yet flushed out the idea with his Admin team
C Thibaudeau: 8 years ago the Board sent out a survey, maybe it’s time to do this again
B Beauregard: can I get a copy of the survey?, July 31st meeting we can look at Strategic Planning Committee concept
J McCann: have concerns about this, sounds like a great idea but concerned about how long it will take, doesn’t replace the need to get other things done in the meantime, many of which would fall under a strategic planning concept
B Beauregard: needs to be a parallel process, can we set objective of strategic planning committee for next meeting to discuss?
J McCann: needs to be SAU wide to be effective
B Beauregard: can be both SAU and Hollis district (lead by example), asks R Pike to put on SAU agenda and agendas of other boards
B Beauregard: Initiatives – District Communication Strategy, prime candidate for committee, bidirectional/multimedia/low impact on the administration
C Thibaudeau: survey done 8 yrs ago included how parents want to be communicated with
J McCann: communication strategy and survey are two separate efforts with some overlap, 2 types of communication, outbound logistical and accomplishments (public relations), inbound feedback from parents, teachers and students
C Thibaudeau: PTA needs a PR person, problem in Hollis, can’t get the manpower to do the public relations writing
B Beauregard: can we get students from the High School or even as young as HUES to do some of the writing?
R Pike: how many committees are desired in total?
J McCann: has 4 committees on his wish list
C Thibaudeau/G Paludi: concerns about the time required of them for committee work
Motion: J McCann motion to form committee to develop a district wide bidirectional communication strategy for outbound (logistical info and public relations) and inbound communication (feedback from parents, teachers and students). J MacLeod 2nd. 3-0 in favor.
Board Chair to look to PTA for volunteers for this committee.
B Beauregard: Scorecard Inititiative, referred to Danielson Model, look to Administration for what we are doing now (started in October ’06 workshops)
G Paludia: SAU wide assessment data matrix as part of the PDP using local and standardized assessment tools
B Beauregard: is there a strategy to use this data to evaluate district performance?
G Paludi: gave an example of how data is used
B Beauregard: is any of this data used for benchmarking? There was a large turnout at NEACAP review meeting because it was one of the few times parents can assess how district is doing, what can parents see in the way of performance against benchmarks at a district level?
C Mace: this is an example of the need for a data audit as a first step, would like to do data warehouse, hard to work with data today
G Pauludi: we don’t have the appropriate technology, very labor intensive
J McCann: we are getting 3 issues commingled here; data technology, processes for handling data, use of benchmarking data
B Beauregard: think of this as a serial process - assess data we have today for a report card before looking for other benchmarks
J MacLeod: can we do in parallel?
R Pike: wants to follow individual child progress as opposed to comparing to other districts, doesn’t see the value in doing district assessment comparisons
J McCann: looking to do benchmarking for identifying best practices that we can learn from other schools
B Beauregard: do we have goals in mind for the data?
G Paludi: is the benefit of looking at all the data worth the time investment?, losing sight of strategic planning, what’s the purpose?, we have too few resources to do too much data analysis
C Mace: need to look strategically, still a DW issue
B Beauregard: we can support all of these efforts in parallel (Strategic Committee, data warehouse, audit of data sets). Consider that the current default scorecard used by the community consists of the NEACAP results and cost/student
G Paludi: NEACAP not intended for cross district comparisons
B Beauregard: that’s my point, are you satisfied with what we use to measure today?
Motion: J McCann motion to table remaining items for goal discussion. J MacLeod 2nd. 3-0 in favor.
Motion: J MacLeod motion to enter into minutes the first reading of 4 proposed policies (proposals attached to minutes). J McCann 2nd. 3-0 in favor.
R Pike: in light of James O’Shea resignation, wants to know board member status of two committees he’s served on; Performance Pay Committee, Support Staff Committee
B Beauregard: at the last meeting the Board asked the Administation to get in touch with Dennis Pope (retired from Bedford district) for information on his experience with implementing an incentives program as well as info about PFP systems at other schools
C Mace: Dennis is out of town, continuing to try to reach him. The Committee hasn’t gotten as far as finding other school systems with PFP
R Pike: feels recent Board discussions about PFP have left the committee unsure about how to proceed, causing delays, 9/1 deadline is looming
B Beauregard: this is a simple task, are there other school systems that use PFP? Can we get this info for 9/1 deadline
R Pike: collection of data by 9/1 is doable, not enough time to do substantive discussions/analysis
B Beauregard: Harry Haytayan’s recollection was that the Board wanted to get research about other systems. For instance our CBA allows the Superintendent to withhold step increases, which is a form of PFP. What else works?
R Pike: want to review with Carol Mace the status for the 7/31 meeting
J MacLeod: volunteered to serve on PFP committee
J McCann: volunteered to serve on Support Staff committee
R Pike: is Board going to replace James O’Shea soon?, we can make a general announcement in the paper, television broadcast for opening, outreach to other parties who have already expressed an interest in the past
B Beauregard: will send an email to Selectmen for their help
R Pike: due to personal reasons, Mellinee Capasso will be resigning, great loss for the SAU, SAU want to address at next week’s meeting
B Beauregard: significant loss for the SAU and Hollis district, understand her personal reasons for resigning
Motion: J MacLeod motion to enter non public meeting for reason of compensation and reputation per 91-A:3 II (a) & (c) J McCann 2nd. 3-0 in favor.