Hollis School Board
Kathy de Lacy
Lee Ann Blastos, Business Administrator
Carol Mace, Curriculum Director
9:03 Chair Haytayan called the meeting to order.
Bob Sanderson of Plodzik & Sanderson PA/Accountants & Auditors presented the audit report for FY2004. The bottom line of the audit report is that $88,525 is the amount returned to the taxpayers of Hollis in 2005. This was composed of an unexpended budget amount of $72,493 and a revenue surplus of $16,032.
A major part of the audit discussion centered on the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) statement No. 34, as Mr. Sanderson’s report stated that the Hollis school district was required to implement that standard for the year ending June 30, 2004 but still has not done so. Mr. Sanderson stated that only 25-30% of his several hundred clients are in compliance with this relatively new requirement. Ms. Moynihan asked if there were penalties or fees associated with being non-compliant; Mr. Sanderson replied that right now such a small percentage of state school districts were in compliance that there is no penalty. However, as each year passes, more districts become compliant and eventually fines could be assessed and/or our bond rating could go down and we could possibly lose federal funds.
Mr. Sanderson stated that in order to be GASB 34 compliant two major things need to be in place: an inventory of all district capital assets at cost; and a Management Discussion and Analysis, which is a narrative report of five or six criteria. LeeAnn Blastos stated that she hopes to have much of this in place by June; she is working on getting appraisals done and has a sample MD&A and is starting to model our own.
Regarding the inventory, Mr. Sanderson stated that federal government recommends an asset threshold of $5,000. Ms. Blastos stated that Primex’s Valuation Management Team would handle the inventory valuation for us. She also reported that we received a $4000 state grant to buy the software we need to do this.
Ms. Moynihan stated that as far as the inventory was concerned, $9,000 has been budgeted at the SAU level for the baseline inventory. She stated her concern that the lion’s share of the inventory (i.e. items over $5,000) will be Coop property, and that the HSB and Brookline School Board should not have to pay as much as the Coop. Ms. Blastos replied that the $9,000 will be billed out to each district depending on each building’s usage.
Ms. Moynihan asked if we have budgeted more money for GASB 34 compliance; Ms. Blastos replied that we had not. Mr. Sanderson estimated that we would need to increase our audit budget by 50-100% to do so. Ms. MacLeod asked if this would be an ongoing expense or if it was a one-time expenditure to attain compliance status. Mr. Sanderson stated that the costs are most extensive in the first year (both expense and time-wise) and that only minimal upkeep is needed year-to-year beyond that.
Mr. Sanderson was asked if we should become GASB compliant as a district or as an entire SAU. Mr. Sanderson replied that we should work as individual districts.
Mr. Cleveland corrected several typographical errors in the audit report. He also identified a problem on page 9 (section 2-C), regarding special revenue funds such as food services. These fund areas are 100% self-funded, however, if an accurate appropriation is not made in the budget, it will negatively impact the year-end audit. Ms. Blastos replied that this has been addressed in next year’s budget.
Mr. Sanderson left the meeting. Gail Paludi and Carol Thibaudeau joined the meeting.
9:52 Open Forum
Ms. de Lacy reported that she has met with Superintendent Pike, future Police Chief Russ Ux, HBHS Principal Tim Kelley, Selectman Mark Johnson and Coop SB members Dan Peterson and Tom Enright regarding a future Student Resource Officer. If approved by the voters at Town Meeting in March, the SRO would be shared by the school districts. The Hollis elementary schools would have the officer for 3 hours per week, since the greatest need is at the high school and middle school. Because of this shared time arrangement, the Hollis School Board will need to pay only 6% of the SRO cost; therefore we will need to budget $4000 for this potential new asset to the district.
9:55 Approval of Minutes
Ms. de Lacy made a motion to approve the minutes from the November 10, 2005 HSB meeting. Ms. Moynihan seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.
(Dr. Paludi stated she will present the Sitton Spelling program update at our January HSB meeting instead of today).
· Dr. Paludi presented Eileen Kidder’s request for maternity leave effective as of April vacation through the end of the current school year. Ms. Moynihan made a motion to approve the request for maternity leave with congratulations. Ms. MacLeod seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.
Dr. Paludi will now begin the recruiting process to find a temporary 3rd grade teacher.
10:03 Business Administrator’s Report - LeeAnn Blastos
Ms. Blastos stated that the changes to the Food Services Manager’s job description were made in October, however the changes were never officially approved by the HSB. Ms. Moynihan made a motion to approve the job description as edited; copy to be attached to these minutes. Ms. de Lacy seconded. Motion passed 5-0.
(Mr. Cleveland stated that all other job description updates are almost finished and should be ready for a vote at the January meeting.)
Ms. Blastos reported the plan for Food Services Manager Amy Cassidy’s upcoming maternity leave: Ms. Cassidy plans to work up until her February 20th due date. While she is gone, staff will divide the ordering duties. Ms. Cassidy plans to still handle menu planning and bills throughout her leave.
Ms. de Lacy asked if Ms. Cassidy is at the point yet where she is able to spend 50% of her time at HPS & HUES. Ms. Blastos responded that she is having Ms. Cassidy keep track of her schedule, (i.e. what hours she is putting in at each site.)
Mr. Cleveland asked Ms. Blastos for an update on our boiler claim with Primex. Ms. Blastos responded that she had not had an update from Atty Drescher today, but would follow up.
10:38 Budget Discussion
Chair Haytayan questioned what was currently in the budget that we can afford to cut that will not affect the quality of education. The HSB agrees philosophically that no programs should be cut. Chair Haytayan directed the principals to revisit their budgets to cut line items which are not absolutely necessary.
Ms. Moynihan will prepare a spreadsheet for the Hollis Budget Committee meeting as she has done in the past.
With regard to the budget, Dr. Paludi reported that a recent physical plant problem may have considerable impact on the budget. She stated that while installing acoustical materials in the music room, it was discovered that the wall paint and surface were bubbly. Contractor Bill Clark was called in to evaluate the situation. He stated that the wall was constructed of hollow masonry blocks filled with insulation. The insulation is now wet, which is permeating the wall surface. Mr. Clark was unwilling to give even a ballpark estimate at the time of inspection because of the scope of the problem. Dr. Paludi reported that estimates would be forthcoming for repair/replacement.
11:25 SPED Budget Discussion – Bob Kelly
(Mr. Kelly joined the meeting at this point). Mr. Kelly is forecasting roughly the same Medicaid reimbursement amounts for 2006-07 as we have seen this year ($46,663). Ms. Moynihan stated that the Granite State billing amounts should be reducing now from 10% to 9%. Chair Haytayan stated that an accurate SPED percentage increase figure was needed. Mr. Kelly and Ms. Blastos will calculate using benefits figures for FY06 & FY07.
Mr. Kelly left the meeting.
12:00noon HPS Principal’s Report – Gail Paludi
The preschool has received full approval through 2007. Paperwork has been filed with the state to change the name to Hollis Early Learning Program, or HELP. In anticipation of this approval, new brochures with the new name have been produced, which Dr. Paludi distributed. Two new students have been enrolled. Parent survey results have been extremely positive for the new preschool program.
Dr. Paludi reported that the second & third grade classrooms along the outer wall of the building have been cold. Granite State came and inspected and reported that the system is not working efficiently unless set at 70 degrees; apparently if the temperature climbs above the set amount (65-67degrees), cool air will blow in to mitigate it back down to the set temperature. Ms. MacLeod questioned this as other heating systems with which she is familiar have a heat-only setting in addition to an “auto” setting (which would cause the air conditioning to come on the bring the temperature down to the set amount.) Ms. MacLeod stated she feels a starting temperature of 70 degrees is too warm for a conducive learning environment, especially considering body heat is added to that. Dr. Paludi stated that she and Chuck Stohl were still looking into it. Dr. Paludi asked whether the principals can adjust temperatures as needed; the Board responded unanimously that the principals are free to use their discretion. Chair Haytayan reiterated the Board’s position that the quality of education must not suffer. Furthermore, the energy conservation initiative is still in the “test” phase, and adjustments should be made as appropriate.
Dr. Paludi then recommended Audra Millhouse as the interim replacement for third-grade teacher Julie Sommorostro while she is on maternity leave. Ms. Millhouse earned a 2005 Master’s Degree in elementary education from the University of Central Florida. Dr. Paludi stated that her references were excellent and that she will hold a meet & greet tea for the students and parents.
Ms. de Lacy made a motion to accept Dr. Paludi’s recommendation to appoint Audra Millhouse as Julie Sommorostro’s replacement for the duration of her maternity leave. Mr. Cleveland seconded the motion. The motion passed 5-0.
12:17 HUES Update – Carol Thibaudeau
The generous students, staff, and families of HUES put together 20 fantastic Thanksgiving baskets, which were distributed to needy families by HUES nurse, Gail Ansaldo.
This year a record number of students (157) signed up for the after-school ski program. The program will again be held at Pat’s Peak on Mondays. The program is being organized by Pam Kravitz.
Ms. Thibaudeau then recommended Chris Greissinger as the interim replacement for fifth-grade teacher Ofelia El Fakih. Ms. Thibaudeau stated that Ms. Greissinger has been extremely well received in the past as a long-term substitute, and she is confident that Ms. Greissinger will do a great job as Ms. El Fakih’s substitute. Ms. de Lacy made a motion to accept Ms. Thibaudeau’s recommendation to appoint Chris Greissinger as the interim substitute for Ofelia El Fakih from December 19th through March 10th. Ms. Moynihan seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0.
The principals left the meeting.
Mr. Cleveland reported that he had asked Janet Listowich to review the HSD policies with regard to the HB Coop policy edits, which she did. Chair Haytayan stated that the Board had extensive non-public business to still attend to, and asked that policy review be moved to the January meeting. In January, the Board will hold a second reading of section J and first readings of sections K & L and the Coop edits.
At this point, Carol Mace and members of the public left the meeting.
12:25 Non-public session
Mr. Cleveland made a motion to go into non-public session under RSA91-A3II (B) Negotiations and Consideration of Potential Litigation. Ms. de Lacy seconded. Passed 5-0 roll call vote.
1:38 Ms. MacLeod made a motion to come out of non-public session. Ms. de Lacy seconded. Passed 5-0 roll call vote.
1:39 Ms. Moynihan made a motion to adjourn. Ms. MacLeod seconded. Motion passed 5-0.