HOLLIS SCHOOL BOARD MEETING
November 10, 2005
Harry Haytayan, Chair
Anita Moynihan, Vice-Chair
Kathy de Lacy
Rich Pike, Superintendent
LeeAnn Blastos, Business Administrator
Gail Paludi, HPS Principal
Carol Thibaudeau, HUES Principal
5:07 Meeting called to order by Chair Haytayan. [At this point, only Board members and the Superintendent were present. The principals and Business Administrator joined the meeting at 6:40pm) Roll call vote passed unanimously to enter non-public session under 91:A,3 II (B). The Board was briefed on the status of negotiations by the negotiations subcommittee.
6:40 Ms. Moynihan made the motion to come out of non-public. Ms. de Lacy seconded the motion. The motion passed 5-0.
6:40 Open Forum
Recreation Director Kevin MacDonald, Steve Schmalz, and Pat Eastman wanted to discuss the recreation department’s requests for gym time at HUES. In October the Board had discussed the Rec Dept’s request for facility access. Per Carol Thibaudeau, the request this year was much more extensive than it has been in the past, requesting 7-day access (including virtually all day Saturday and Sunday); in addition to the gym, the cafeteria was also requested. Because of rising energy costs, the expense of having overtime custodian coverage, and past history with facilities damage, the Board wanted to grant the Rec Dept’s request with the exception of Sundays and cafeteria usage. The Board felt that both the facility and our custodial staff should have a “day of rest;” furthermore, the energy and overtime savings could be substantial.
At this meeting, Mr. MacDonald stated that his second request asked for only 10 weeks’ access, 4 weeks less than the initial proposal. He also stated that without gym access on Sundays, the travel teams would suffer, as that is the day on which all other towns schedule games. Mr. Eastman stated that he feels gym time is more limited each successive year over the previous year.
Ms. Moynihan explained that custodian overtime is a significant cost for the schools. She suggested the possibility of having high school students open and close the gym on weekends or giving a key to the Recreation Director so that custodian costs could be minimized.
Superintendent Pike stated that there has been a history of having a custodian on site, on overtime pay, from 9-noon on a Sunday when no game or practice is occurring. Discussion ensued that the games or practices may have been cancelled. Nevertheless, no notification was made to the school, so the facility was heated, lit, and staffed for no reason. Ms. de Lacy stated that when this happens (and in fact, every time the buildings are used by the Rec Dept after hours), the school department, not the Rec Dept, is footing the bill.
Ms. MacLeod asked Mr. MacDonald where the fees for the travel and rec basketball leagues go, stating that she knows from personal experience that the travel league fees are well over $100/player, and the rec league fee is at about $30/player. Grades K-4 don’t have paid referees, so the only visible expense is the t-shirt. Ms. MacLeod questioned whether any of the fee was to pay for facility usage. Mr. MacDonald replied that the fees are spent on t-shirts, refs for the older leagues, and some equipment purchases; he also stated that there is no direct line item or cash exchanged for facility usage.
Mr. Cleveland asked if the Rec Dept has explored using the HBMS gym as an option. Mr. Schmalz replied that he believes it is fully booked.
Ms. Thibaudeau stated that it is a huge amount of work for her support staff, who manage the schedule, and that a lot of their time is spent coordinating space and staff coverage for the Rec Dept.
Chair Haytayan reiterated the Board’s position that student sports programs are certainly worthwhile and beneficial. He also stated that the Board is responsible for a limited budget for this year, which is already set and is being hit hard by increased oil prices. The Board is not trying to squelch rec sports; the Board is simply trying to work within a pre-set budget and to do what is reasonable. Chair Haytayan suggested that Mr. MacDonald, Mr. Schmalz, and Mr. Eastman present their position to the Budget Committee.
Superintendent Pike will set up a meeting with Chair Haytayan, Mr. MacDonald, Mr. Schmalz, and Ms. Thibaudeau to work out an arrangement for this year’s rec requests.
Lisa and Jim McCann wanted to get an update on the life-threatening food allergies situation. Superintendent Pike stated that two things are happening. First, per our last Board meeting minutes, the Board needs to hear back from our teams that went to the food allergy conference October 28th in Henniker. Second, Jennifer MacLeod has been designated to draft a food allergy policy for Board consideration at the January Board meeting.
Ms. McCann stated that she feels more work needs to be done to create a safe environment for food-allergic children. She presented a letter from her daughter’s pediatrician documenting what is needed to provide a safe environment for her daughter’s complex medical situation. She stated that she is not requesting a nut-free school. Instead, there is an emphasis on avoidance, thereby minimizing the amount of allergen possibly transferred in the school. Per the physician’s letter handwashing should be required of all HPS students after lunch.
Superintendent Pike stated that the 2006-2007 budget includes funding for handwipes. Ms. McCann stated that staff is also needed to facilitate the handwashing, and also that formalized education is needed for staff/faculty regarding food allergies. She stated that protocols and procedures seem to be lacking. Superintendent Pike responded that the policy must come first, then the procedures.
Ms. MacLeod stated that she has already begun her research and was in the process of scheduling information forums with both staff and parents. Because there is no formal policy in place, she is starting from square one. As such, she is collecting information from various sources and is open to any information the McCanns would like to supply. She gave the McCanns her home phone number and stated that she would be scheduling parent forums over the next few weeks.
7:52 Approval of October minutes, with one sentence deleted at the request of Ms. Moynihan.
7:54 Dr. Paludi recognized parent Janet Merrithew as present and a member of the Chronic and Life-Threatening Illness Committee.
7:55 2006-2007 Budget Overview – LeeAnn Blastos
Ms. Blastos distributed budget binders to all Board members. She stated that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is currently at 4.7%, yet the Budget Committee is asking us to hold our increases to 4%. All budget questions & comments should be funneled through Mr. Cleveland to Ms. Blastos. Mr. Cleveland and Chair Haytayan will set up a budget workshop with Ms. Blastos for the near future.
(At this point, Ms. de Lacy left the meeting.)
8:13 HPS Principal’s Report – Gail Paludi
HPS is performing more Child Checks per month because people are now realizing that the service is available in our school district. The service, which begins at age 3, is performed by our preschool staff.
As for preschool budget figures, in 2005-2006, it cost $169,000 to educate students who otherwise would have cost $210,000 to educate at preschools out-of-district. In 2006-2007 our cost will be down to approximately $139,000, as most of the start-up costs will be gone.
8:25 HUES Principal’s Report – Carol Thibaudeau
Ms. Thibaudeau created an incident report form for both HPS and HUES after-hours facility incidents. Chair Haytayan stated that any after-hours damage should be billed directly to the user. Ms. Moynihan suggested a process for billing non-Hollis groups that use our facilities. It was stated that the policy drafted in 2000 needs to be revised. Supt. Pike and Ms. Blastos will review and operationalize it.
8:43 Superintendent’s Report – Rich Pike
Supt Pike stated that a Board vote was needed to allow Mike Molkentine of Brookline to hold the district’s seat on RSEC. Ms. Moynihan made a motion to allow Mike Molkentine to hold the district’s seat on RSEC. Mr. Cleveland seconded. Motion passed 4-0.
8:45 Old Business
The Board reviewed its action item list with many changes and deletions.
Ms. Moynihan made a motion that job descriptions, as they exist in policy, be rescinded and moved into procedure. Mr. Cleveland seconded the motion. Motion passed 4-0.
Discussion of well and pump situation that caused an early dismissal from school recently. Mr. Cleveland stated that he will be meeting with Wayne Zold and Skillings & Sons to evaluate our entire water situation and plans for the future. Ms. Moynihan questioned if costs are shared with the HBMS/Coop when problems arise with our shared pipes or pump. Ms. Blastos responded that if HBMS pipes are the problem, they pay; if our pipes are the problem, we pay. Pump costs are borne entirely by Hollis. Ms. Moynihan stated she feels it should be apportioned out, as it is a shared system and asset.
Ms. Moynihan made a motion to bill 1/5 costs of fixing the pump issue to the Coop school district. Ms. MacLeod seconded. Motion failed to pass, 2-2.
Mr. Cleveland stated that paving preparation will begin Friday, 11/11; actual paving will be done next week.
Discussion of HSB meeting times. At the October HSB meeting, Mr. Cleveland, Ms. deLacy, and Ms. MacLeod voted to change the HSB meeting time to be daytime only, no nights. The reason for this was three-fold: first, day meetings are more respectful of our principals’ and SAU staff’s time as they are on campus during day hours anyway. Evening meetings require them to work an extraordinarily long day. Second, daytime meetings are consistent with our conservation goals, as evening meetings require us to heat, light, and staff a building that would otherwise be shutdown. Third, public attendance has been higher during day meetings than during night meetings.
Ms. Moynihan stated that she feels it is important to alternate between day and evening meetings so that the public has a variety of times to attend a meeting.
Ms. Moynihan made a motion to revert to our alternating meeting schedule, whereby during even months, the meetings will be at 9am, and during odd months HSB meetings will be in the evening starting with non-public at 5pm. Mr. Cleveland seconded. Motion passed 3-1 (Ms. MacLeod voting against.)
9:30 Discussion of Farley Building
Ms. Blastos to check to see if Farley Bldg could be used as rental income. It was also stated that it would be prudent to get a market analysis done.
9:48 Mr. Cleveland made a motion to adjourn. Ms. MacLeod seconded. Motion passed 4-0.