Public Minutes of August 30, 2007 Meeting

Hollis Middle School

Hollis, NH 



MEMBERS OF THE SCHOOL BOARD:  William Beauregard, Chairperson; Jennifer MacLeod, Vice Chairperson; James McCann, Board Secretary; Harry Haytayan


ADMINISTRATION:  Richard Pike, SAU41 Superintendent; Gail Paludi, Principal, HPS; Carol Thibaudeau, Principal, HUES; Robert Blais, Director of Maintenance


STAFF:  Annabelle Harris, recording secretary


Chair. Beauregard called the meeting to order at 6:15 p.m.


Signing Deed to Farley Parcels

Mr. Thomas Quinn, Esquire, witnessed the Board members’ signatures conveying the deed of the Farley building and associated buildings to the Town of Hollis


Approval of School Board Meeting Minutes

Mr. McCann made a motion to accept the June 18, 2007 meeting minutes.  Ms. MacLeod seconded the motion.  Mr. Haytayan had not been present at the meeting and abstained from voting.   The motion passed 3-0, with 1 abstention. 


Mr. McCann made a motion to accept the June 22, 2007 meeting minutes.  Ms. MacLeod seconded the motion.  Mr. Haytayan had not been present at the meeting and abstained from voting.  The motion passed 3-0, with 1 abstention. 


Mr. McCann made a motion to accept the June 28, 2007 meeting minutes.  Ms. MacLeod seconded the motion.  Mr. Haytayan had not been present at the meeting and abstained from voting.  The motion passed 3-0, with 1 abstention. 


Mr. McCann made a motion to accept the August 8, 2007 meeting minutes.  Ms. MacLeod seconded the motion.  The motion passed 4-0. 


Agenda Additions and Deletions

Supt. Pike added the ‘07/’08 School Board Meeting Schedule and an authorization to hire to the agenda.


Administration Reports

The administration reports had been received and reviewed by the Board. 


Dr. Paludi thanked her faculty, staff and their families for a great opening of school.  The Get-to-Know-You assemblies went well.  Current enrollment is 393 students at HPS.  Dr. Paludi also thanked the custodial staff.  They were short-staffed in the summer, but the building was sparkling at opening.  There are 32 new families to the school.  Most of those attended the new student orientation on August 23rd.  Dr. Paludi thanked the PTA and the Hollis Women’s Club for sponsoring the 1st grade bus ride, which went well.  Open House will be September 25th, 6:00-7:30


Ms. Thibaudeau reported that 399 students are currently enrolled at HUES.  They had a record number of 25 new students enrolled over the summer.  The opening of school went smoothly. Mr. Blais and his staff took good care of the school.  The playground received new pieces.  They are missing the thank you sign and one other piece, which they should receive soon.  The NWEA, MAP testing and emergency drills will begin September 4th.


Mr. Blais began as the new director of maintenance on July 1st.  He introduced a spreadsheet on some of the items of need that were incorporated in this budget year.  His report was as follows:

·        Dave Lage from Hutter will have a report completed tomorrow for Mr. Blais.  Mr. Blais will begin to review the key issues in that report along with items budgeted this year and provide a more detailed report. 

·        Mr. Blais is in the process of beginning the ‘08/’09 budget. 

·        The roof replacement in the 1st grade wing is scheduled for June 23, ’08 as they were not able to make it before the opening of school this year.  Skyline Roofing is the vendor. 

·        The phone install is almost complete. 

·        He is waiting for the T-11 replacement report to get into more detail.

·        Boilers have been cleaned. They are in the process of installing the front feeders and are now on an annual contract.  Mechanical equipment in both schools is on maintenance schedules.  This includes heat and ventilation and will be checked annually in early July. 

·        Minor parking lot repairs were done at the HPS.  Drainage issues were corrected.  The next good rain will prove if that was successful.  Small pothole repairs were made in the HUES parking lot. Mr. Blais is waiting for the Hutter evaluation about the parking lots.  He sees HPS in more of a need than HUES.  HPS will possibly need a complete renovation of the parking lot. HUES may just need sealing.  If that does not correct the issue, he’ll present that in the future. 

·        Mr. Blais is getting a quote from a vendor for sanding and salting. Chair. Beauregard inquired if he was looking at the town doing the sanding if they picked up the cost of materials.  Mr. Blais has discussed the issue with the town and they have decided to pursue the quote from the vendor.  It would be better to have one vendor in order to prevent coordination problems. 

·        Mr. Blais is seeking quotes for the outside lighting in the rear of the building.

·        Mr. Blais is pursuing a vendor he worked with in the past in reference to trash and recycling. He’s finding out if there’s a contract with waste management.  He has an outside vendor that quoted a price where they would not have to bag the recyclables.      


Committee Reports

Chair. Beauregard commented that the summer program reports were very comprehensive. He suggested that it would be helpful if they all could do a cost and revenue summary.


All students who receive support during the year in the area of reading have always been invited to attend reading camp, but the parents choose whether to send them.  If it is deemed necessary that a child would benefit from ESY, then the school is mandated to provide that service, but some parents choose not to partake in that.  It is possible to track the children that have this opportunity so that it can be taken into consideration with performance on standardized testing. 


Chair. Beauregard inquired how parents are involved in goal setting or understanding what students would be doing during camp.  Dr. Paludi responded that in terms of Special Education students, the parents are involved as a part of the IEP process and the ESY process in the spring.  Anything done over the summer is a continuation of their IEP objectives.  The purpose of ESY summer camp is for maintenance to prevent regression that happens over the summer.


Mr. McCann inquired about what was entailed in looking at test results from the spring and identifying students who needed additional support.  Dr. Paludi responded that since this was a pilot in the spring where HPS tested all 2nd graders, she manually went through scores and identified students in all 3 areas – reading, mathematics, and language arts - who scored lower than 50% and referred those students. They are looking at what kind of support they are going to receive this year. The reading team has decided to look at a clinic model where they’re identifying groups of students in areas of weakness. They will pull those children together for about half an hour every day to work on specific areas of fluency, reading comprehension. That’s part of the beginning to use that data to drive instruction. Sue Peron is doing the same thing in the math area. 


Dr. Paludi is looking at the Performance Tracker for additional ways to aggregate the reports.  It’s very labor intensive.  There has been no training.  Initially it’s something that will have to be done on nights and weekends.  Linda Walsh has been pulling some reports already.  The NWEA reports are very user friendly, and there has been some training on NWEA.  The NWEA interface allows you to do aggregate reports.  You can ask the NWEA database for everyone who scored below 50%.


Board Candidate Interview

Susan Benz stepped forward as a candidate for the School Board and answered questions presented by the Board.  She stated that she is interested in being on the school board because she feels strongly about public school education.  She was raised in the public schools in Nashua but later moved to Hollis in large part because it is the best school system in the state. 


Ms. Benz stated that she has worked on several committees.  She has been in the Hollis Women’s Club for years and on their board, a volunteer with the PTA doing publicity and other things.  She is also a Girl Scout Leader.  She works at Hewlett-Packard, and has been employed there for 20 years.  Ms. Benz stated that although she sounds very busy, she is very good at organization, running meetings, making decisions and prioritizing. She wants to make a meaningful contribution to the town.  She has the time, energy and enthusiasm to do so. 


Ms. Benz has done salary and contract negations in her position with HP.  She has interviewed applicants, hired and managed throughout her career.  She takes pride in her time-management skills and is comfortable juggling work and volunteering. 


Ms. Benz had reviewed prior School Board minutes and took note of the pay for performance issue.  She knows from the corporate world how a lot of that is done, and this is a challenge she would like to be involved in.  Ms. Benz feels she would be able to help with the challenges of budgets and contract negotiations.  She has looked at the challenge of the new teacher evaluation program and reviewed the Danielson program. She would like to discuss in the future a program for talented and gifted students that wouldn’t require spending budget money.


Ms. Benz inquired what the Board feels is the biggest challenge this year.  Chair. Beauregard responded that they have two contracts to negotiate and a budget with challenging guidance.  The Budget Committee is setting aside Special Education and the cafeteria program.  For everything else, they’ve set guidance based on a CPA number. Two years ago it was 4%.  Last year it was 3.6%.  This year it is 1.8%.  Special Education is growing double digits.  If it continues the way it’s going, it’s not sustainable. They have also been discussing establishing a Communications Committee on the Board to deal with a district wide communications strategy.   It would be for outgoing logistical information with a multimedia approach, student accomplishments and achievements, as well as information important to the town such as legislation that’s coming up, school board policy under consideration, and budget information.  On the input side of things, they would have a survey for parents, teachers and students.  One of the curriculum issues is the district report card.  Currently they are measured by cost per student and NECAP data. They’re looking to have something more meaningful and appropriate in the way of measuring performance. 


The Board will discuss Ms. Benz’ candidacy in a non-public session and then vote.  A clerk will be available at 8:00 p.m. to swear her in if she passed the Board vote.


Data-Driven Decision-making Initiative

Ms. Mace was unable to attend this meeting.  She will give a full report at the next Board Meeting. 


Data-driven decision-making was first discussed and proposed by the principals in June ‘06. Two major accomplishments have been made so far.  NWEA MAP testing is in place. It was piloted last spring and will be fully implemented this fall with 2nd graders testing in November.  That is a major accomplishment to supplement local assessments already in place. The other major accomplishment was the state data warehousing system got online this summer. The information includes NECAP from the last two years and NWEA results from the spring and this fall. This demographic data is in there for the administration and teachers to make better decisions about students’ needs. 


For the next meeting they need to know about user requirements, what questions the principals would like to have answered and what reports they would like to see.  An objective for this year is adding local assessment data to the NECAP and NWEA data.  Supt. Pike and Ms. Mace are to meet to ensure they are on the same page before the next Board meeting.


Parent/Student/Teacher Survey

A parent survey was conducted in 2001.  The Board discussed reviewing that survey, updating it with current questions, and submitting that to parents at the open house or as soon as it is completed.  The Board will look for volunteers to help put this survey together.  The PTA is a resource to use.  There would be substantive input from the administration about what they would like to glean from the survey.  It would need to reflect goal setting and other initiatives.  They would look into publishing the survey on the town web site with help from the Strategic Planning Committee.  Supt. Pike suggested using someone with experience in other districts to help prepare the survey.  He would look into their availability and costs involved.  Chair. Beauregard stated it would be a good idea for the Board to prepare a statement or charter of what they want the committee to do.  It can be voted on at the next meeting.


Policy First Readings

(New) Health Education – Daily Physical Activity (IMAH)

There was a letter NH School Board Association to the Board Chair and Superintendent stating the need for this policy.  All schools are encouraged to adopt the policy as soon as possible. 

More input is needed before the second reading of the policy.  Input should come from PE instructors, nurses, staff, administration, students, and the public. 


Chair. Beauregard read the policy into the record as follows: 

“The Board recognizes that developmentally appropriate daily physical activity, exercise and physical education are ways to minimize health risks created by chronic inactivity, childhood obesity, and other related health problems.  The Board recommends that students and staff participate in developmentally appropriate physical activity and exercise at for at least 30 to 60 minutes each day as a way to minimize these health risks.  The Board recommends the following practices:

(1)  Encourage parents/guardians to support their children's participation in enjoyable physical activities, and recognize that parents/guardians act as role models for active lifestyles;

(2)  Support special programs such as student and staff walking programs, family fitness events, and events that emphasize life-long physical activity;

(3)  Integrate health and physical activity across the school curriculum;

(4)  Encourage student-initiated activities that promote inclusive physical activity on a school-wide basis;

(5)  Commit adequate resources that include program funding, personnel, safe equipment, and facilities;

(6)  Provide professional development opportunities for all school staff that will assist them to effectively promote enjoyable and lifelong physical activity among youth, and that will assist school staff to recognize their influence as role models for active lifestyles;

(7)  Establish relationships with community recreation and youth sports programs and agencies to coordinate and complement physical activity programs;

(8)  Encourage physical activity recess periods; and

(9) Institute a tracking and evaluation method to ensure that all students are engaging in developmentally appropriate daily physical activity.”

Supt. Pike stated that they are already doing a lot of what is on the list. The recommendations here are already in place.  Supt. Pike stated that this policy is related also to their interest in wellness in general. 


Chair. Beauregard hopes more will be done to increase the number of students that qualify for the Presidential Physical Fitness Award.  In years past most children achieved this award.  Last year only one 5th grader passed and no 4th graders. This is not attributed completely to the school. Lifestyles of the children and other factors contribute.


Mr. McCann emphasized how this dovetails with the next policy.  There is a single gym teacher in each school.  There are a very limited number of hours that kids can participate.  This is a great opportunity to have a closer tie between the school and the Recreation Department within the town.  The same students in the school district participate in the sports programs.  Closer ties between the two would achieve this in a more efficient manner.


Everything that is discussed in Board meetings is public record and available by contacting the SAU office if someone needs a copy of the minutes.  Attendance at the next Board meeting and comments in the public forum are welcome.


(Update) Use of School Buildings and Facilities (KF)

This was Policy KG in the old policy manual.  It was approved in August of ‘81, amended in February ’97, November ‘89 and 2002.   Supt. Pike is proposing another amendment to the policy.  It will impact the Recreation Department or any other organizations that fall into Categories A and B.  The significant shift in the policy is the recommendation to go back to a user fee for the facility, even for Groups A and B.  Currently when any group from Category A or B, the Town of Hollis, or any party uses the facilities, the SAU picks up the tab for utilities, overtime, etc.  There has to be someone there to supervise when the gym is being used.  The school’s insurance carrier said there are liability issues with assigning a key to someone and stated they should have someone there to be responsible officially. 


Supt. Pike’s recommendation would be that they charge a $25 an hour custodial fee with a minimum of three hours on Saturdays and Sundays.  That is not calculating any utility fee.  It would be a flat $25 per hour for anyone to use the facilities on the weekend.  It was calculated that the Parks and Recreation Commission used about 100 hours of facility time on weekends during the course of the basketball program.  This would impact the Parks and Recreation program potentially by $2,500. 


Chair. Beauregard stated that back in July they had discussed Supt. Pike meeting with the Recreation Commission to discuss everyone’s needs, including HUES staff and scheduling.  They were to get all of the needs from all sides on the table and craft a proposal. Chair. Beauregard inquired if this policy was the sum total of the proposal. Supt. Pike responded that this did not address everything.  There were some concerns about having more time in the building and using certain parts of the building.  There is new equipment in certain areas that the principals want to preserve the integrity of.  This policy only addresses fee schedules.


Supt. Pike stated this is fair in terms of providing this cost to help offset some of the issues heard during the budget cycle.  What does become problematic for the Parks and Recreation is how this becomes an assessment passed on to the users.  It would come down to how people feel about a raise in taxes benefiting students in the community or if they would prefer to pay as they go.  Supt. Pike is recommending this policy and seeking the Board’s approval.  Otherwise, they would be looking at continuing to absorb these costs.  There is a need to get their costs under control.  Having $2,500 to $3,000 in next year’s budget would be significant.


Mr. McCann stated he would like to see a policy that says they will allow all athletic activity in school, whether it is part of town athletic teams, as much as possible.  Mr. McCann is a member of the Recreation Commission and feels that the schools and Recreation Commission work closely together.  It might be policy or operational procedures.  There is a lot of commonality with the students and the facilities that are used.  There’s a lack of space in town as far as fields and gyms.  The schools have facilities.  If they are not meeting, they should play if they need to. 


Chair. Beauregard stated he didn’t know how that $2,500 or $3,000 impacts this year’s Recreation budget, if they would have to increase their user fees or so forth. He hopes to discuss that at the next meeting, have a 2nd reading and determine if they will need a 3rd reading and vote on it at the October at the latest. 


Under the schedule for usage, gym usage was inadvertently left out.  There classes and cafeteria usage were listed, but there was not a line item for gym usage.  Supt. Pike will ensure that is included.


In Category C, educational groups are listed with religious groups and fraternal organizations. 

Ms. MacLeod stated that she felt that went against their mission statement, and that they should support educational groups.  Educational groups should be in Category A or B or they should create another category for that. 


Mr. McCann pointed out that Number 12 mentions cleaning the gym or cafeteria by a certain time if the next day is a school day and a different time if it is not a school day.  That would impact the basketball program if they had something on Friday evenings for Sundays.  He suggested they make it the same time whether it is a school or non-school day. 


(New) Receipt and Use of Sex Offender Registry Information (EEAED)

This is a lengthy policy about sharing information between local law enforcement and schools to protect children on school grounds, buses and walking routes and sharing that information with employees to facilitate that goal. Supt. Pike stated that he is going to meet with the Chief of Police next week in order to discuss the implications of the policy if it were in place, their roles and how to work together. There will be something more definitive next month. 


Mr. McCann made a motion to accept the first reading of the (New) Health Education – Daily Physical Activity (IMAH) Policy. Ms. MacLeod seconded the motion.  Motion passed 4-0. 


Mr. McCann made a motion to accept the first reading of the (Updated) Use of School Buildings and Facilities (KF) Policy. Ms. MacLeod seconded the motion.  Motion passed 4-0. 


Mr. McCann made a motion to accept the first reading of the (New) Receipt and Use of Sex Offender Registry Information (EEAED) Policy. Ms. MacLeod seconded the motion.  Motion passed 4-0. 


School Board Meeting Schedule

Meetings are scheduled for the second Wednesday of the month.  September’s meeting is rescheduled until Thursday, September 27th due to Rosh Hashanah.  November’s meeting will also be rescheduled.


Nomination to Hire

Supt. Pike proposed the nomination to hire Jaime Pelletier, 1:1 Teacher, Gr. 6, a new position at HUES, Step 2, salary $35,759. 


Supt. Pike and Dr. Paludi received news from the Superintendent that the new HUES Assistant Principal and Special Ed Director will be coming.  Supt. Pike requested the Board’s authorization to enter into a contract with this person with a start date of no later than September 10th. 


The Board had previously approved this nomination.  They will have a non-public discussion about authorizing entering into contract and then vote on it.


Open Forum

Kevin  McDonnell – 75 Richardson Road, Hollis

Mr. McDonnell is the Recreation Commission Director, and he discussed the impact that the Use of School Buildings and Facilities (KF) Policy would have on them.  Implementing the $25 per hour fee for the hours used during last baseball season would create an increase of $2,500 in recreation fees.  Broken down to the number of participants in the program, this adds an additional cost of $12 per participant. That is a 39% percent increase to the fees currently charged.  They haven’t decided how this would be divvied up.  This increases the Recreation budget by over 3%.  The impact would be not being able to expand their programs as they have planned and/or possibly having to cut some programs completely.  This policy would have a significant impact on the recreation’s small budget.


Mr. McDonnell clarified that the Recreation Department provides all of their own equipment, with the exception of the score cards.  They have their own controller now for the score cards so that their use would not place a burden on the school. The only involvement of the school staff required on behalf of the Recreation Department is for the scheduling of usage dates and putting recreation flyers in the backpack mail system.  He didn’t see this as a burden on the staff. 


Mr. McDonnell stated that they have had no issues at any school.  They offer decent programs for the community.  The implementation of this policy could force them to cut back hours, usage and would have a negative impact.  They can’t reduce any more, and their enrollment has increased.  He asked that the Board please consider this policy heavily as it does have a major impact.


Chair. Beauregard stated that this policy will have a second and perhaps a final reading.  Chair. Beauregard suggested that Mr. McDonnell work together with Supt. Pike and perhaps have a Board member at their meeting to try to find a solution that would meet everyone’s needs and interests. 


Mark LeDoux – 64 Dow Road, Hollis

Mr. LeDoux stated that he is a Hollis Selectman and that he supports and echoes Mr. McDonnell’s sentiments.  The Board of Selectmen is a willing partner to help find a solution.  They understand that budget times are tough and don’t get easier.  They place a great deal of value on the children in the community, in the educational process and physical activities, and giving children a sense of community through interleague play and recreational assets.  They don’t want the school to lose money, but thinks there is a better solution.  Mr. LeDoux thanked the Board for all they do for the children. 


Chair. Beauregard inquired if the Recreation Commission would have to cut programs if there was a usage fee in place and how it might impact their participation level.  Mr. McDonnell responded that this would be more than a 3% increase to their budget, and there have been increases already in the past two years.  If the fees were passed on to the users, it would be an increase of 40% in one year.  Previously they had a 2% increase in fees, and that had repercussions.


Mr. LeDoux stated that the Recreation Commission already has scholarship programs in place for those that can’t afford the current fees. An extra $25-$30 is a lot of money for some families.  The Recreation Commission would not be achieving the stated purpose of their program if they were unable to have the entire fabric of society participate.


Supt. Pike suggested that perhaps the town and school officials could convince the Budget Committee to make this an outside-of-the-box mini-category.  That would not impact the town’s budget and would enable the schools to use that money towards supplies and other needed items.  They could make an exception to the cap. 


Ms. MacLeod made a motion to enter Non-Public Session pursuant to RSA 91-A:3 II. (c) for reputation.  Mr. McCann seconded the motion.  Motion passed 4-0.


The public session adjourned at 8:13 p.m.