SAU 41 BOARD
The Organizational Meeting of the SAU 41 Board was held on Wednesday, April 22, 2009 at 6:07 p.m. at the Hollis Primary School Library.
Superintendent Hodgdon presided:
Members of the Board Present: William Beauregard, Vice-Chair, Hollis School Board
Susan Benz, Hollis School Board
Tom Enright, Hollis/Brookline Coop.
Marcia Farwell, Secretary, Brookline School Board
Beth Lukovits, Vice-Chair Brookline School Board (approx 7:15 p.m.)
Rich Manley, Hollis School Board
James McCann, Chair, Hollis School Board
Wanda Meagher, Brookline School Board (approx. 7:00 p.m.)
Forrest Milkowski, Brookline School Board
James O’Shea, MD, Hollis/Brookline Coop
Dan Peterson, Hollis/Brookline Coop. (6:43 p.m.)
Steve Simons, Hollis/Brookline Coop.
Tom Solon, Hollis/Brookline Coop.
Janice Tremblay, Chair, Hollis/Brookline Coop.
Members of the Board Absent: Alison Haytayan, Hollis School Board
Fred Hubert, Hollis/Brookline Coop.
Dave Partridge, Chair, Brookline School Board
Also in Attendance: Susan Hodgdon, Superintendent of Schools
Dawna Duhamel, Business Administrator
Bob Kelly, Director of Special Education
Carol Mace, Director of Curriculum
Christopher Siegfried, Director of Maintenance
Rich Raymond, I.T. Manager
Mr. Venu Rao
AGENDA ADJUSTMENTS – None
Superintendent Hodgdon entertained nominations for the position of Chairman.
MEMBER SIMONS NOMINATED MEMBER MILKOWSKI
NOMINATION SECONDED BY MEMBER O’SHEA
MEMBER MCCANN NOMINATED MEMBER BEAUREGARD
NOMINATION SECONDED BY MEMBER BENZ
The nominees departed the meeting to allow for consideration.
Ms. Farwell commented every other year the Chair is a member of the Brookline School Board. Ms. Benz remarked she had not been aware of the precedent.
Mr. Manley questioned the responsibilities of the Chair, and was provided with a brief synopsis.
Mr. O’Shea informed the board Mr. Milkowski has been on the Coop for several years as well as the Budget Committee. Mr. Enright commented Mr. Milkowski had been the Chair of the Budget Committee for several years.
Ms. Tremblay suggested asking each of the nominees what they saw as the top two goals for the coming year.
Mr. McCann remarked Mr. Beauregard has been on the Hollis School Board for quite a while. There is no one he can think of who has done more for their board. Went on to say Mr. Beauregard is on top of all issues and has the correct skill set for the position.
Ms. Benz cited a disadvantage in that she is not familiar with Mr. Milkowski.
When asked what is seen as the top two goals for the coming year, the nominees responded as follows:
Mr. Milkowski remarked he has not been involved as a School Board member, although he has been a Budget Committee member for eight (8) years. Cited the financial strain the district and the boards are faced with. Believes it a priority to address how we can help the boards and the district.
Stated the need for improvement in the communication area; how boards work with one another, how the boards work with the Budget Committee, and how the community sees and understands what the boards do.
Mr. Beauregard stated the two top goals for the coming year as creation of a mission statement and SAU-wide curriculum coordination. Remarked the board suffers from publicity problems. Believes citizenry does not have an understanding of the functions of the board. Touched on the lack of full meeting attendance.
Having been the Hollis School Board representative to the Budget Committee, understands there is concern the SAU board has no financial oversight.
VOTE ON ELECTION OF MEMBER MILKOWSKI TO THE POSITION OF CHAIRMAN
VOTE ON ELECTION OF MEMBER BEAUREGARD TO THE POSITION OF CHAIRMAN
MEMBER MILKOWSKI ELECTED TO THE POSITION OF CHAIRMAN
Chairman Milkowski entertained nominations for the position of Vice-Chairman.
MEMBER SIMONS NOMINATED MEMBER BEAUREGARD
NOMINATION SECONDED BY MEMBER MCCANN
VOTE ON ELECTION OF MEMBER BEAUREGARD TO THE POSITION OF VICE-CHAIRMAN
BEAUREGARD ELECTED TO THE POSITION OF VICE-CHAIRMAN
Chairman Milkowski entertained nominations for the position of Secretary.
MEMBER SIMONS NOMINATED MEMBER MANLEY
NOMINATION SECONDED BY MEMBER MCCANN
MEMBER MANLEY NOMINATED MEMBER SIMONS
NOMINATION SECONDED BY MEMBER BEAUREGARD
VOTE ON ELECTION OF MEMBER MANLEY TO THE POSITION OF SECRETARY
VOTE ON ELECTION OF MEMBER SIMONS TO THE POSITION OF SECRETARY
MEMBER MANLEY ELECTED TO THE POSITION OF SECRETARY
PUBLIC INPUT – None
APPROVAL OF SCHOOL BOARD MINUTES
SAU 41 Board. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . December 9, 2008
The following corrections were noted:
Page 9, 3rd line down the word “sent” should be “send”
Page 7 refers to Ms. Duhamel as Mr. Duhamel
MOTION BY MEMBER FARWELL TO APPROVE AS AMENDED
MOTION SECONDED BY MEMBER SIMONS
Mr. Rao reminded the board of the presentation given at the December meeting with regard to Phase I, Energy Efficiency, of the project PROGRESS (Project Green Energy for our Schools). At the conclusion of that meeting, a vote was taken for the team to work with the administration to get to the point where they would come back with a recommendation for an energy service company. The following is a status update on the team’s progress (copy of presentation attached).
Three team members have been added; Dr. David Gilmour, Roger Saunders, and Melinda Willis. Ms. Willis is working with the educational aspects of how to take the energy technology to the schools. Dr. Gilmour is working with how to work the political issue/how we can go about obtaining grants, etc. Mr. Saunders is coordinating the efforts of identifying the best energy service company.
Five energy service companies (ESCOs) have been interviewed; Trane, T.A.C., Johnson Controls, Siemens, and Constellation Energy Projects & Services Group, Inc. They would all follow the performance contracting process meaning their payment is derived from guaranteed savings.
When talking with the potential service companies, it became clear there are a lot of gaps in getting the job from start to finish that cannot be filled by the volunteer group. The team has spoken with surrounding communities that are further in the process, and have received strong recommendations for the hiring of a consultant to work with the energy service contractor as a way of filling those gaps.
A consultant would assist with; developing an effective RFP, evaluating the responses, writing an effective contract, and follow through to ensure honesty in performance and that the guaranteed savings are achieved and calculated properly. Three highly recommended local consultants have been approached; Beth Greenblatt of Beacon Integrated Solutions, John Rizzo of ADI, and Dick Henry of Jordon Institute (a New Hampshire based non-profit). The consulting fee can range from $40,000 - $70,000, and can also be rolled into a performance contract. However, as consultants cannot wait until job completion for payment, the need for a bridge loan or grant exists. Options are being reviewed.
The Board of Selectmen asked Mr. Rao to speak about what is being done in the schools and whether the team could be of assistance to them. The Advisory Council has stated the specific agenda is to make all school buildings energy efficient, wean off of fossil fuel dependency, bring energy efficient technology to the students, and take expedience to other schools. He was concerned assisting the town might dilute the objective, and recommended the town set up an energy committee, which has occurred with the Hollis Energy Committee. They are working together so that the Hollis Energy Committee is piggybacking the work done by the team.
Mr. Rao stated the first phase of the audits of the buildings (data collection; electric use, oil use, floor plans, etc.,) has been completed. That data has been entered into the EPAs portfolio manager database, which is accessible to potential bidders. The next step is to approach the Superintendent to seek approval for the five potential ESCOs to perform a preliminary audit. Also want to see how funding can be made available for the hiring of a consultant. Once the team has a recommendation for an ESCO they will report to the Superintendent and then to the board.
Once the ESCO is on board and the design is put in place, they will have a tool for going after stimulus monies. The sooner an ESCO is on board and a design in place, the better the chance for gaining stimulus funding.
SAU OFFICE LEASE/CONDITION OF BUILDING
Mr. McCann commented in the past, lease payments were set by contract and were fairly low. Going forward it will be kept the same. However, it is necessary to look at the condition of the building and its maintenance needs. Has asked Mr. Siegfried to provide a perspective on what is needed short-term, what it might cost, etc.
Mr. Siegfried stated, although we are through the heating season, the boiler needs to be replaced. Given the current situation; no insulation in the basement, holes in the basement, pipes not insulated, etc., feels the first priority should be to pour slab in the basement, fix the holes and the door that is open to the elements, and, if it is desired to use the radiant system, insulate the pipes. At the same time, should look at a central air system instead of the many air conditioning window units; perhaps a two-zone system for each floor. Would not suggest doing the work unless the slab is poured and the basement insulated.
Mr. Simons questioned whether a cost estimate had been acquired. Mr. Siegfried replied he wished to know the will of the board before proceeding. Ms. Duhamel stated she did not desire expending the time required to obtain the estimates prior to the decision of the board with regard to priorities. Ms. Farwell commented the Hutter Report identifies the boiler as newer and sufficient to meet current needs. Mr. Siegfried replied although new, the boiler is constantly fired/running. Ms. Duhamel informed the board she had read the report and then reviewed the items to see if she concurred with the report. Last year Lorden performed some maintenance (patchwork) on the boiler and had stated the patch would only hold for a year or so, and that the boiler had to be replaced.
Mr. McCann identified the items listed as part of a boiler replacement to be; slab floor, plugging the walls in the foundation and wrapping the pipes. Ms. Benz questioned if we would get more life out of the boiler if those issues were addressed. The response was absolutely. Mr. Simons questioned the cost. Ballpark estimates provided were $3,000 for the slab, $5,000 for the boiler, and less than $2,000 for insulation. Ms. Tremblay questioned the window replacement. Mr. Siegfried felt better heating efficiency could still be obtained without the window replacement, but if the whole package were to be considered, windows would be included. Ms. Tremblay asked if regular preventative maintenance was being performed on the boiler, and was informed it is.
When asked, Ms. Duhamel stated the maintenance fund balance would be $25,000 at year-end.
Mr. O’Shea questioned whether the building fits the needs of the SAU. Superintendent Hodgdon touched on conversations that had taken place within the office regarding where to house the new assistant, and how functional the building is. Have to take into account $8,000 a year is the best money in town. Does not believe administration would be able to move into a rental for anywhere near that amount of money. There is room for expansion on the 3rd floor. .
Mr. Enright questioned with $25,000 remaining in the maintenance account, and the estimate for the work to be significantly less than that, why hasn’t Hollis moved forward with the work? Mr. McCann commented there are other items on the list. The window replacement is another big-ticket item. Mr. Beauregard commented it is a Hollis School Board decision about what to repair. He asked Mr. Siegfried to provide the board with quotes. At that point it can be presented to the SAU board to understand the cost of the SAU staying in the building. They can then compare that cost to alternatives. Mr. McCann explained the discussion was placed on the agenda as a way of informing all districts of what is occurring.
Chairman Milkowski cited his appreciation that information will be provided prior to decisions being made, and stated the desire to be involved in the process.
Superintendent Hodgdon informed the board the Hollis, Brookline and Coop calendars were worked on at the leadership team level. Are proposing two options; start back on August 24th and have the Friday before Labor Day off, and start at the traditional time of the Wednesday before Labor Day. The calendar was presented to staff for input. The middle, high, and Coop schools preferred the earlier start, HUES leaning towards later start date. Both Principal and Assistant Principal prefer earlier start date. The Primary was split, and those who provided comment in Brookline preferred the earlier start date. A comparison of surrounding districts indicated Londonderry and Bedford have adopted the earlier start dates, and Nashua has adopted the later start.
Mr. O’Shea questioned whether the district is contractually obligated as to when they offer teacher workshop days. He stated his displeasure with the loss of days under the second option. Was worried about how late into the year option 2 goes. Would be in favor of starting on Monday the 24th, having teacher workshops the week before (20th and 21st), and no Friday (Labor Day) off. Believes we should be concerned with snow days and ending the school year at a reasonable time in June. He stated his desire to coordinate efforts for the schools with regard to the end of the school year. Superintendent Hodgdon replied there is no specific language in the contract regarding dates but rather number of days.
Ms. Benz commented she would be in favor of the more traditional/expected start date of Wednesday August 26th. Had no opinion one way or the other with regard to the off Friday.
Ms. Meagher remarked the idea of making April vacation optional was discussed at board meetings. Suggested it could be listed on the calendar, but taken away if snow days became an issue. Mr. Solon cited the need for preparation for April vacation. Ms. Tremblay stated she would not support the idea. Mr. Enright added his thought it should either be included in the calendar or not. Felt an earlier start makes sense.
Mr. Enright brought up the issue that the Coop contract is 182 days and the elementary contracts are 180 days. Stated they are paying people for three days they are not getting this year, something that does not make sense. Mr. Beauregard commented they didn’t realize that had a negative impact on the Coop board, and would not have made such a decision if they realized it would negatively impact the Coop.
Mr. Manley questioned whether an earlier start date would impact the students who travel to Nashua from the Coop. Superintendent Hodgdon remarked there are a very small number of students going to school in Nashua. There would be some impact if the board elected to start on the earlier date. Mr. Manley believed no eliminating the off Friday and instead having an additional snow day would be prudent. Believes starting before Labor Day is important.
Chairman Milkowski questioned how many members preferred a September 2nd start date. Only one member was in favor.
Mr. Peterson suggested teacher workshops could take place on the 27th and 28th with students starting on the 31st.
Mr. Solon questioned the Wednesday before Thanksgiving being an optional workshop day. Ms. Meagher cited it as an optional professional day. She explained the teachers have conferences the week before and are at the school all hours of the day and night. Mr. Solon remarked it is basically a day off. Superintendent Hodgdon stated it counts contractually but not on the student calendar.
Mr. O’Shea remarked he does not think a two-day school week is productive. Should start earlier in August and eliminate the off Friday. Should have a three day school week, full classes, and full expectation the week of Thanksgiving. Superintendent Hodgdon remarked the thought process behind the leadership team placing the day there was because a professional day is a requirement in some contracts and due to the out of state travel that typically occurs on that date. Mr. McCann was in favor of allowing the Wednesday before Thanksgiving as a travel day. Mr. Peterson touched on the fact that teacher conferences take place on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Ms. Tremblay remarked option 1 lists the conference dates as the 19th and 24th, which would be the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.
When asked about the workshop date of May 28th and whether it is mandatory in all 6 buildings, Superintendent Hodgdon stated the administrators plan professional development during those days or student related activities that need to be addressed. When questioned on what activities occur on dates when teachers are in school and students are not, she explained they do not, at this time, have a plan for that day, but there are periodic times throughout the year where administrators need to meet with staff. At the high school they are working on competencies, and they like to space that work out over time to do some of the work, implement it, and then have follow up sessions.
The standard pattern in professional development is to do it periodically across the year. Toward the end of the year is a good time to see what progress has been made on a particular professional development initiative. They are very limited in the amount of professional development time. Not listed in the calendar is time for K-12 staff to have a chance to get together to do professional development. A large obstacle exists in aligning curriculum across the districts with staff that never meet.
Mr. Peterson suggested the Coop teachers come back on the 27th and 28th for workshop days and students start on Monday August 31st, then the last day of school, including snow days, would be June 24th. Ms. Farwell felt that was a reasonable compromise. Mr. Solon suggested orientation day be moved to the prior week, where two grades have half days, so that the first week will be a full week. Under that model, the teachers would start on the 26th at the Coop.
Ms. Meagher asked for the board’s opinion on eliminating April vacation (perhaps one vacation in the March timeframe). Ms. Meagher felt that was an option. Mr. McCann believes it would be a big change and would be tough to sell. Ms. Meagher remarked every parent she has talked to has said to eliminate it. Mr. McCann suggested the concept could be considered for next year to allow time for feedback. Mr. Manley brought up the issue of students traveling on college visits during that timeframe.
MOTION BY MEMBER PETERSON TO MODIFY THE CALENDAR FOR THE COOP SO THAT THE START DATE WOULD BE MONDAY AUGUST 31ST, TEACHER RETURN WOULD BE ON THE 26th AND 27th, AND ORIENTATION WOULD BE ON THE 28th. SEPTEMBER 4th WOULD BE A FULL SCHOOL DAY. THE END DATE WOULD BE ADJUSTED ACCORDINGLY BY THE ADMINISTRATION
MOTION SECONDED BY MEMBER SIMONS
ON THE QUESTION
Mr. Beauregard questioned what impact that would have on the 1st grade bus ride day. Superintendent Hodgdon stated that would occur on Friday the 28th.
MOTION BY MEMBER SOLON TO AMEND THE CALENDAR SO THAT NOVEMBER 25th IS A NON-SCHOOL DAY
MOTION SECONDED BY MEMBER O’SHEA
ON THE QUESTION
The suggestion was made for the discussion to take place at the district level and brought back before the board. Mr. Solon took issue with the day identified as a professional day, not being mandatory. Ms. Farwell stated the hours are met during the additional time spent by teachers during conferences. Mr. Solon provided his opinion if comp. time was desired it should be placed in the contract, and not identified as development.
Mr. O’Shea cited the concern different districts may make different choices. Chairman Milkowski reiterated the suggestion that each district consider the option and return to the SAU board with the information.
Members Manley and Farwell Abstained.
Chairman Milkowski asked that each board present to the SAU the intent for the use of the day.
MOTION BY MEMBER MEAGHER TO MOVE TO RESEARCH FURTHER THE OPTION OF ELIMINATING APRIL VACATION IF NOT FOR THIS YEAR THEN NEXT YEAR
MOTION SECONDED BY MEMBER SIMONS
Chairman Milkowski would like the public to be surveyed. Mr. Peterson cited his concern with the wording of the motion in that he was unclear what research consists of and because of the lack of a timeline.
AMENDED MOTION BY MEMBER PETERSON TO MOVE TO RESEARCH FURTHER THE OPTION OF ELIMINATING APRIL VACATION TO INCLUDE A PUBLIC INFORMATION SESSION AND A SURVEY TO BE COMPLETED BY DECEMBER 31, 2009
MOTION SECONDED BY MEMBER BENZ
ON THE QUESTION
Mr. Peterson commented the results should be shared at the appropriate district meetings.
The members charged with spearheading the effort are Meagher, Haytayan/Benz, and Peterson.
A brief discussion ensued with regard to the means of providing the survey. Mr. Beauregard commented he does not feel it is appropriate for a board member to be doing that, as it is an operational item. Each district should coordinate with their administration and figure out the best way to get the survey out to the parents. Mr. McCann brought up the concern of each district handling it separately/differently.
Chairman Milkowski clarified the intent is to gain input from all three districts on the possibility of eliminating the April vacation. Mr. Peterson reminded the board of the two components to the motion, and stated the need exists for an informational session that is well publicized and the standardization of a meaningful survey. Offered to assist with the preparation of the survey.
Mr. O’Shea expressed his concerns with placing the burden of coordination of this effort on the plate of the Superintendent who is already over-extended with far more important educational issues. Suggested if the board feels so strongly about it they should make a decision, move on, and explain to the public after the fact. Mr. McCann strongly opposed putting a vote together to approve something like this and then explaining it to the public.
Rich Raymond informed the board they are moving forward with the implementation of PowerSchool to have it ready for the Fall. Implementation will occur over a period of 90 days. The first 30-day period will be spent on setup (hosting it on PowerSchool servers, which would leave all responsibility for disaster recovery, updates, etc. to them), choice of web site address, setting up grading scales (each school will have their own database). The second 30-day period will be spent on the trial import where data is exported out of the current databases and brought into PowerSchool to see what it looks like. The most scrutiny will be placed on the high school data as we need to bring 4 years in (need to have GPAs, class rank, etc.). The third 30-day period will be for production import. Hopefully, at that point, all the bugs will have been worked out, and data can be brought in the way it is desired to look in PowerSchool.
Three days of on-site training will occur in August just before the start of school (six ˝ day sessions). A “Train the Trainer” model will be used. It is expected leadership will determine the first 15 individuals to receive the initial training. It has yet to be determined whether the training will be mandatory.
Stated his belief school administrators are informing staff. Superintendent Hodgdon confirmed that is occurring. Mr. Raymond remarked leadership is choosing two individuals from each building to be involved in the first 30-day setup along with leadership.
Ms. Mace asked if the board had any questions related to the information she provided.
Mr. Solon asked for more detail on how far along we are in getting the 4th and 5th grade students who are not where they should be with automaticity up to speed so they are where they need to be for the Coop. Ms. Mace’s responded what the SAU Math Task Committee did was take the recommendations of the Hollis summer research report and outlined benchmarks in the National Math Advisory Panel Report and integrated those into the curriculum checklist so that expectations have been increased in the earlier grades. All of that information has been shared with the elementary principals and teachers in team meetings. During early release meetings, Brookline and Hollis teachers got together to review that, and began implementing immediately.
Mr. Solon asked if at the end of this school year 5th graders don’t yet have what is benchmarked for them, what happens to them next year? Ms. Mace replied there has been an intense focus to provide that extra practice in schools. In Brookline, they are talking about bringing in a math consultant on one of the end of year professional days to address the issue and the research based strategies for making sure we strengthen that area.
Mr. Solon asked if Coop programs are expecting proficiency for the kids entering or anticipating there will continue to be some kids without that proficiency. Ms. Mace stated it will take a while for us to be at 100%. However, it is an area of focus and we are working towards that goal. Mr. Solon questioned whether there would be 3rd and 4th graders lost in the shuffle. Ms. Mace responded she did not think so as it has been formally put into written curriculum. They are working on it now and will continue to work on it.
Ms. Duhamel informed the board the budget is in good shape. There were several small cost overruns. Preliminary estimate is will end the year around $16,000. Need to end the year with at least $10,000 for the reduction of next year’s budget.
LGC has finalized health rates and provided a guaranteed maximum rate of 10.1, which is the estimate used for the budget. Actual rates are 7%, which means about a $3,500 savings for the SAU budget.
With regard to the lease agreement, remarked it is not signed yet as there is a clause in the second paragraph on page 2 that talks about SAU unexpected building costs that cannot be absorbed in the budget and will not be reimbursed through insurance to be picked up by Hollis. Was unsure if that paragraph should be revised. The need exists to get the lease signed so that payment can be made before the end of the fiscal year.
Ms. Meagher stated it is to be repaid in the next lease period. The lease is the cost of expenses. We put a contingency fund in place to handle that. Ms. Duhamel responded the lease payment was used to offset the debt. As the debt for the addition was satisfied, the lease payments are used for building renovation or repairs.
Mr. Beauregard stated that had been a concern of his, and the Hollis School District does have a contingency, which would allow us to address issues until we can get things worked out with the other two districts. However, knowing how tight the financial situation is in the other two districts, believes it would be difficult for them to come up with the funds if there were some unexpected emergency.
Ms. Meagher remarked it says to take the lessee’s obligation forward to be repaid in the next lease period. So the next year we would sign the lease, but it might have to be more than the $8,000. Ms. Duhamel remarked the only difficulty with that may be the timing of the budget being set.
Mr. Beauregard commented this lease period is almost over and we probably should just change the end date since the SAU budget has already been set. He questioned whether the Hollis Board had the authority to change the lease end date. Ms. Duhamel’s reply was that both the SAU and the Hollis School Board would have to sign.
Chairman Milkowski suggested the SAU board could amend the agreement to have the date changed and then forward to the Hollis School Board with the hope of agreement.
Chairman Milkowski identified the changes as; the lease term shall be for a period of two (2) years rather than one (1) year… commencing on July 1, 2008, ending on June 30, 2010.
Ms. Duhamel suggested the word “Lessee” be replaced with “Lessor”, since the SAU does not own the building and cannot carry insurance. Mr. Beauregard suggested the language be left in place, but that the costs be attributed to the three districts in future budgets.
A typo exists on the back page “school administrative unit”. Mr. Manley suggested the lease funding should be due no later than the 30th.
MOTION BY MEMBER SOLON TO MODIFY BY CHANGING THE TERM FROM “ONE (1) YEAR” TO” TWO (2) YEARS”, BY REPLACING THE WORDS “FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 2008-2009” WITH “YEARLY”, FOR REFERENCE TO THE MAINTENANCE FUND TO READ “THE LESSEE WILL FUND A MAINTENANCE ACCOUNT FOR THE PREMISES OF THE SAU41 YEARLY IN THE AMOUNT OF THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS ($3,000), AND BY ADDING THE WORDS “WHERE SUCH PAYMENTS WILL BE MADE NO LATER THAN JUNE 30TH OF THE YEAR FOR WHICH THE TERM IS COVERED” AFTER THE WORDS “THE PERIOD OF JULY 1ST THROUGH JUNE 30, 2010”
MOTION SECONDED BY MEMBER TREMBLAY
MOTION BY MEMBER BEAUREGARD TO APPROVE THE LEASE AS AMENDED
MOTION SECONDED BY MEMBER SIMONS
MOTION BY MEMBER SIMONS THAT ANY UNEXPENDED FUNDS IN EXCESS OF TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS ($10,000) BE PLACED IN THE MAINTENANCE FUND
MOTION SECONDED BY MEMBER ENRIGHT
Mr. Manley was in favor of the intent, but not an identified amount of funds.
Ms. Duhamel informed the board if this were done there would be no funds left at year-end to reduce the budget next year, which will cause the appearance the budget is increasing.
Superintendent Hodgdon, having been informed some members are not aware of the composition of the leadership team, identified them as building administrators (both Principals and Assistant Principals across the SAU) and central office administrators. The meetings are held every other week.
ASSISTANT SPECIAL EDUCATION DIRECTOR APPOINTMENT
Mr. Kelly commenting on the stimulus funds citing the numerous changes in regulations and guidelines. In order to meet the maintenance of effort criteria you have to spend as much or more in each year following the infusion of stimulus funding or have a good explanation as to why that did not occur. If the district could not maintain the level of funding provided by the stimulus monies, it would experience a drop in maintenance of effort. There is what is called “Flexibility Authority” where if you meet certain criteria and have an issue with maintenance of effort, you are allowed to reduce the increase in your base year expenditures by 50%.
Monies in totality are available this spring starting at 50%. A second request can be made after September. Mr. Kelly stated extreme pressure is being placed on the government to have faster turnaround time between the expenditure and reimbursement of funds. Superintendent Hodgdon added the Commissioner is quoting a monthly turnaround time.
Understanding that monies cannot be attributed to an item already in the system or required, Ms. Meagher suggested the hiring of consultants at district levels or more technology in the special education administration area.
Mr. Peterson questioned whether funding could be allocated to salary of the new Assistant Special Education Director position. Mr. Kelly was unclear whether that would be viewed as supplanting the budget, and will pose the question.
Mr. Kelly touched on the amended policies and procedures provided to the board. Stated he has updated IDEA Section 504, ADA notices that go on the web sites and in parent handbooks as well as FERPA (Family Educational Rights to Privacy Act). Those two were amended federally in December ‘08 and January of ’09 effective almost immediately.
The KED is one he worked with Steve Simons and Janice Tremblay on for the Coop, and simply desired to share.
The IHBAA is the L.D. Evaluation Criteria that was originally introduced back in September. It is now federally required for a description on what criteria a district uses to identify a learning disability. The policy is very lengthy and believed not to be consistent with other policies we have. It has been edited and is now available. Although edited for size, has added to it several federal and state citations to formalize it. Referenced within the policy is the section of the manual where the lengthier description can be found.
Mr. Kelly stated he has provided a copy of the goals and responsibilities for the positions of Assistant Special Education Director and Special Education Director.
Mr. McCann questioned what duties have come off the plate of the Director with the addition of this position, what are we able to do as an SAU and as individual districts that we couldn’t do before?
Mr. Kelly replied; improvement and enhancement in reviewing IEPs with staff and providing suggestions of how to write them better in terms of measurable goals that can be in the form of accountability, can further drive the instruction, and assess student progress. Are going to start with a sub-set of that goal with students in all three districts who are not doing as well in AYP or are on the cusp. Will be developing a data warehouse for data driven instruction and monitoring of progress. Ms. Mace has been working with the Superintendent, administrators, and a consultant creating data warehouse resources and analysis. Has met with the consultant and provided feedback to Ms. Mace about dovetailing some of the MWEA and NECAP with special education information.
Another new initiative is putting an effort at establishing RTI and Early Intervening programs throughout all three districts that should maintain or reduce the IDA counts in future years and enhance support to students who are not in need of special education, but are in need of a boost to maintain their progress and grade level.
Another initiative is parent communication/relationships. Another additional duty for his office is the 20+ state monitoring data reports that have to be submitted. Will be establishing a system where they can be completed at an earlier stage.
With regard to differentiation of roles and what is being taken off his plate, although he will always have involvement, he will be distributing the different consultative responsibilities of the positions across K-12. He would be the primary person (first call) at the high school level and the Assistant Special Education Director, with her background, would be the primary person at the middle school level.
A discussion ensued with regard to the Special Education Department FY10 Goals. The following recommendations were made:
· Timelines should be included (a plan that recognizes the amount of time available and practical).
· The document, as presented, would be more suitably titled “Program Initiatives”.
· Under Performance Responsibilities, job description, lines 9 and 10 need to be amended as they are currently stated as overseeing.
· Greater definition is needed of the individual positions.
Mr. McCann stated he would not want to define what the positions do, but wants to ensure that collectively both positions can accomplish what they desire to. Stated it took a bit of a risk to fund this position, and the return on the investment needs to be understood.
MOTION BY MEMBER MEAGHER THAT THE BOARD GO INTO NON-PUBLIC SESSION PURSUANT TO RSA 91-A:3 II (b) THE HIRING OF ANY PERSON AS A PUBLIC EMPLOYEE AND PURSUANT TO RSA 91-A:3 II (c) TO DISCUSS A MATTER, WHICH IF DISCUSSED IN PUBLIC, WOULD LIKELY AFFECT ADVERSELY THE REPUTATION OF A PERSON, OTHER THAN A MEMBER OF THE BODY OR AGENCY ITSELF
MOTION SECONDED BY MEMBER BENZ
A Viva Voce Roll Call was taken, which resulted as follows:
Yea: James McCann, Susan Benz, William Beauregard, Tom Enright, Marcia Farwell,
Beth Lukovits, Rich Manley, Wanda Meagher, Forrest Milkowski, James O’Shea,
Dan Peterson, Steve Simons, Tom Solon, Janice Tremblay
The Board went into non-public session at 9:50 p.m.
SAU Board Chair _________________________________________ Date: ______
Brookline School Board Chair_______________________________ Date: ______
Hollis School Board Chair __________________________________ Date: ______
H/B Coop Board Chair _____________________________________ Date: ______