Rich Pike, Superintendent
Gail Paludi, HPS Principal
Carol Thibaudeau, HUES Principal
Meeting called to order by Chair Haytayan
Mark Johnson, Ray
Lindsey, and Melinda Willis from the Hollis Board of Selectmen were in
attendance to discuss the status of the
Supt. Pike stated that he
has met with Atty. Bill Drescher,
Mr. Johnson stated that
the Hollis Board of Selectmen toured the
Chair Haytayan raised the issue of the original intent of the grantor. Mr. Johnson recommended Atty. Drescher research this for us to ensure that potential future town use of the property would be appropriate per the original deed restrictions, if any.
Melinda Willis then
stated that the town has a definite need for the space; it is a question of
whether the town residents recognize the need and are willing to pay for it by
approving a bond. She stated that the
BOS is already in the process of applying for a grant to pay for an engineering
study of the property, which would be done after
A draft of the warrant article, prepared by Atty. Drescher, was distributed for Board review. Mr. Cleveland stated that Atty. Drescher has drafted four warrant articles regarding the Farley property.
Mr. Cleveland, who is
also a member of the Middle School Building Committee, then stated that the
only outstanding part of the middle school renovation is the parking lot
expansion. The middle school would like
to create 70-75 new parking spaces behind the Farley building in the space
where the portables were. This main
parking lot would be on what is currently
Ms. Moynihan and Ms. de
Lacy each stated that they were in favor of conveying the backlots
to the Town in addition to the
Chair Haytayan stated that
he favors the HSB working with the BOS to allow immediate usage of the Farley
building to meet immediate needs. Ms.
Willis stated that the BOS had considered a phased approach, but that after
touring the building it was apparent that it is not even partially usable. Supt. Pike stated that Fire Chief Towne
stated that the
Chair Haytayan stated
that the HSB needs further time to discuss and ensure that we cannot anticipate
any long-range need for the Farley property.
Chair Haytayan also stated that if a grant for an engineering study
isn’t available, the HSB will split the cost 50/50 with the Town of
The selectmen left the meeting.
Chair Haytayan stated to the principals that the negotiated settlements with HEA (the teacher’s union) and HESSA (the support staff union) included relatively generous raises as well as some adjustments to the health insurance benefits that we feel the staff should be happy with. The Hollis School Board was able to negotiate a step withholding provision, whereby step and track increases can be withheld at the discretion of the Superintendent. The HEA contract also includes a study committee to examine options for performance-based pay; this project is expected to yield recommendations in time for the next negotiations cycle, which will begin in October 2007.
Chair Haytayan emphasized that this study committee is not the same as the performance evaluation initiative the HSB hopes to undertake in the near future. The performance evaluation subcommittee is an extra initiative on the part of the HSB and not part of any negotiated settlement.
Supt. Pike stated that he would like the evaluations subcommittee to be a Superintendent’s Committee, and would like Carol Mace, Curriculum Director, included. Chair Haytayan stated he would like Ms. MacLeod, the building principals (or assistant principals), and former school board members such as Mr. Cleveland and/or Ms. de Lacy to be on the committee. He stated that the charge of the committee would be “To study the current evaluation system and determine what, if any, improvements should be implemented to improve instruction and the learning experience.”
Ms. Moynihan stated that the HSB is bound to the SAU evaluation plan for at least two more years. She also stated that Atty. Flygare has stated that the new employment law gives school boards more ability than before to handle employee performance issues. Furthermore, she stated that she would like to see a specific evaluation item to encourage collaboration among teachers.
Ms. Moynihan made a motion to authorize Supt. Pike to create a committee to review the performance evaluation system and make recommendations to the HSB. The Committee shall be composed of administrators, HSB members, former HSB members, and other personnel at the Superintendent’s discretion. Ms. de Lacy seconded. Motion passed 5-0.
The Board held a second reading of Section J. Ms. Moynihan presented several edits she found. Ms. Thibaudeau stated that she had several as well and would review her notes and report later during this meeting. The Board agreed to move on to the first reading of Sections K & L.
Ms. de Lacy made a motion to accept the first reading of Sections K & L. Mr. Cleveland seconded. Motion passed, 5-0.
Mr. Cleveland stated that the second reading of K &L could be next Thursday, Feb 16th at the HSB meeting following the Budget Hearing. There were questions raised regarding the dates of completion for previous first and second readings, as Kathy O’Sullivan’s dates differ from HSB recollection. Ms. MacLeod will research with Doris Lindgren and past minutes to double-check dates for accuracy.
Mr. Cleveland and Ms. MacLeod reported that the support staff job description project was nearly completed. All existing job descriptions have been reviewed and updated with the building principals, edited, and then reviewed with representative staff members performing each individual job. Ms. MacLeod stated that the only job description still outstanding was a modified Food Services Worker job description, as it was discovered during the review process that we needed to create a FSW/Clerical description to apply to one employee at HPS and one at HUES. Food Services Manager Amy Cassidy is developing this.
Ms. Moynihan made a motion to accept all support staff job description revisions with the exception of the Food Services Worker/Clerical description which is still outstanding. Ms. de Lacy seconded. Motion passed, 5-0.
Mr. Cleveland distributed final copies to the principals and the HSB.
Enrollment/Staffing for 2006-07
Ms. Thibaudeau addressed the Board question regarding the status of Mrs. Nickerson. She stated that Mrs. Miller is on a 1-year contract covering for Mrs. Nickerson in 4th grade this year, and that next year Mrs. Nickerson will return to her slot in 4th grade.
Dr. Paludi is projecting for next year that HPS will need 4 kindergarten sections, 6 first grade sections, 6 second grade sections, and 6 third grade sections. This year she has a total of 19 sections in Gr 1-3; next year she will only need 18. Furthermore, Dr. Paludi stated that second-grade teacher Carole Jackson will be retiring, Beth Cregan will be returning to HPS from her one-year computer position at HUES, and she has two staff members on one-year contracts this year. With respect to the budget, she has budgeted for 19 teachers. As always, the wild cards at HPS will be kindergarten and first grade enrollment figures. Registration is already underway and will continue through summer.
Ms. Thibaudeau reported that at HUES next year she could operate with 6 teachers in each of the three grades as with this year. Ms. MacLeod voiced concern that that would put class ratios in 4th and 5th grade at about 24 students per class, not including any additional enrollments. Ms. Thibaudeau stated that HUES typically adds a net total of 15 students over the course of the summer, but it is impossible to predict if this will happen again and to which grades the students will enroll. Ms. MacLeod stated concern that the educational experience is better for both students and teachers if the ratio is closer to 20 students per class than 24. If HPS will be down one teacher next year, Ms. MacLeod would like to see that resource shifted to HUES, at a minimum. Ms. MacLeod stated that she has personally heard from several fourth grade parents regarding class size this year, and feels parents would be strongly in favor of smaller classes next year. Ms. Moynihan stated she does not feel it necessary to add an extra teacher, as a few years ago a class ratio of 25:1 existed. Supt. Pike stated that his experience has been that it is not simply a numbers issue and that group dynamics are a big factor as well. Dr. Paludi stated that this year’s fourth grade is an active group and could benefit from being split into 7 combinations instead of 6. Ms. Thibaudeau stated that classroom space is also an issue. A discussion of space needs at HUES ensued.
Chair Haytayan raised the possibility of keeping the Farley building as a HSD property and renting it to the town in the short term. Should the school district eventually need additional classroom space, instead of needing a costly building addition, classroom space could be reconfigured at HPS and HUES and the Farley building could be used as an early learning center housing kindergarten and preschool. The Board agreed to think this over and to revisit this issue at a future meeting.
Ms. de Lacy made a motion to increase the contingency amount in the 2006-07 budget to $100,000 and to reduce the HPS budget by the amount of one retiring teacher’s salary. It is the intent of the HSB to have funds available in case another teacher is needed at HUES. Ms. Moynihan seconded. Motion passed, 5-0.
Ms. Thibaudeau made several suggested edits to several policies within Section J.
Mr. Cleveland made a motion to adopt all changes to section J as presented. Ms. Moynihan seconded. Motion passed 5-0.
Ms. Moynihan will give the precise changes to Doris Lindgren so that they will be permanently edited.
11:15am Budget Discussion
Ms. Moynihan pointed out that all management salary increases have been budgeted at 5%, a 3.75% increase plus a 1.25% bonus. (The bonus would be paid in the next fiscal year based on the base salary of the previous fiscal year.) She stated that she feels this is unfair as it is higher than the raises all other employees will get.
Supt. Pike stated that this issue will be further discussed at the budget presentation preparation meeting next Tuesday morning.
Supt. Pike left the meeting.
Ms. de Lacy made a motion to go into non-public session under RSA 91-A:3II(c). Ms. MacLeod seconded. Motion passed by roll call vote, 5-0.
11:39am Ms. MacLeod made a motion to come out of non-public session. Ms. Moynihan seconded. Motion passed by roll call vote, 5-0.
11:40am Ms. de Lacy gave a brief update of the status of the Student Resource Officer proposal. There will be two warrant articles that will need to be passed in order for the program to be implemented, one on the Town warrant and one on the Co-Op School warrant.
Chair Haytayan left the meeting.
11:47am Ms. Moynihan made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Ms. MacLeod seconded. Motion passed 4-0.