Approved: April 19, 2007

SAU #41 Board Meeting

H/B High School Music Room

September 28th, 2006

 

Mike Dreyer, Chair

Bill Beauregard, Hollis

Tom Enright, H/B Coop (late arrival 7:50)

Beth Lukovits, Brookline (late arrival 7:50)

Wanda Meagher, Brookline (late arrival 7:50)

Jim Murphy, H/B Coop

James O’Shea, Hollis

Dave Partridge, Brookline

Dan Peterson, H/B Coop

Venu Rao, Hollis

Steve Simons, H/B Coop

Tom Solon, Brookline (late arrival 8:45)

 

Richard Pike, Superintendent of Schools (late arrival 8:20)

Carol Mace, Director of Curriculum

Bob Kelly, Director of Special Education

Mellinee Capasso, Business Administrator

Mary Kay MacFarlane, Recording Secretary

 

Mike Dreyer called the information portion of the meeting to order at 7:45 pm

 

Report on Education in China

 

Venu Rao spoke regarding his visit with Chinese educators.  He spent time with a middle school principal and high school principal.  He was interested in curriculum and what they teach.  National Ministry of Education in China decides curriculum and sends it to the provinces.  All text books are approved by the Ministry.  Every principal in China must be a Communist Party member.  Chinese subjects are similar to ours.  Key schools are for gifted students. There is a strong emphasis on Math and Science, but not on the arts and humanities.  His conclusion is that the education system in the US is far superior to that of China.  The Chinese principal was interested in a cultural exchange.  Venu Rao feels that our children need to be exposed to other cultures and other languages.

 

 

Mike Dreyer called the regular meeting to order at 8:00 pm.

 

 

 


 

 

Minutes

 

A motion was made by Jim Murphy to accept the June 29, 2006 minutes as written.  Steve Simons seconded the motion.  The motion carried by unanimous vote 9 yes, 0 no, 2 abstentions.

 

SAU Acceptable Use Policy.

 

Jim Murphy spoke regarding the policy.  There have been issues brought up at the Coop Level.  The policy is directed to student use, but it should also be addressed at the staff level.  Jim Murphy wants a census of the SAU Board on this issue before pursuing it with Rich.  He is looking for a committee of a few people; one person from each board with a presentation at the next meeting.  Mike Dreyer authorizes a committee to be formed to review the SAU #41 Acceptable Use Policy with a representative from each district.  The committee will report to the SAU Board at the next meeting.  Dave Partridge will represent Brookline; Jim Murphy will represent the Coop, Hollis representative to be determined.

 

Director of Special Education Report

 

Bob Kelly gave the report .

 

Overview

 

Congruent with the federal IDEA 2004 Reauthorization mandates and the 2002 New Hampshire Rules for the Education of Handicapped Students, School Administrative Unit (SAU) #41 coordinates a diversity of special education programs and related services to meet the unique needs of educationally identified students throughout the Hollis and Brookline communities. In 2005/06 school year, the department provided services for 298 students K-12 under IDEA, which constituted approximately 9.6% of the total SAU 41 student body. The department staff also serves a number of preschool children age’s 3-Kindergarten as well as an additional 189 students (K-12) under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  In total, the SAU Special Education Departments are providing services and supports for over 500 students and families. 

 

The number of students served by our special education departments has significantly increased over the last decade.  However, it is noteworthy that the percentage increase of students identified under IDEA regulations from 1995 to present has been slightly less than the percentage increase of our overall student population.  That is, the marked increase in students serviced in special education has been consistently commensurate with the growth of our overall student population.  It is also noteworthy that the complexity of some student profiles has also increased over time resulting in the development of new programs and services.

 

Program Development Updates

 

To further address a greater diversity of student needs, the Hollis Brookline Cooperative special education department has also established a comprehensive Life Skills Program for both the middle and high school curriculums.  The Hollis School District has established an Integrated Preschool Program at the Hollis Primary School to service children ages three to kindergarten who are in need of comprehensive programming per IDEA regulations.  Both the Brookline and Hollis School Districts have added special education faculty to address an increase in caseloads for 2006/07, including remedial reading specialists.  Both districts have also established additional related services, such as ABA therapies (Applied Behavioral Analysis) including home components, to better service a number of students within the autism spectrum.  The special education departments across SAU 41 have likewise continued staff training on systematic remedial programs in reading, mathematics, language arts and study skills. 

 

Focus & Purpose

 

The predominant goal of special education is to assure all children have an "appropriate educational experience" or FAPE, Free and Appropriate Public Education, which means making continuous progress in all skill areas.  When students have significant deficits in the learning process, resulting in delayed achievement relative to their grade level, the school system provides a diversity of services to address those factors adversely impacting a student’s academic performance.  Such factors or educational deficits include specific learning disabilities in reading decoding, reading fluency, reading comprehension, listening comprehension, written and oral expression, math reasoning and calculation as well as speech and language skills.  Orthopedic, emotional and health conditions are also addressed by the department when they significantly impact the learning process. 

 

Special education interventions are twofold, remedial services to enhance growth in the child's deficit area(s) and compensatory services to facilitate the student's successful engagement with his/her regular classroom instruction.  For example, if a student has significant difficulty learning to read, the special services personnel provide both reading programs to enhance the child's reading skills as well as assistance with their classroom experiences so that his/her acquisition of knowledge taught in the regular classes is not prevented by their learning difficulties.  Parents and staff meet periodically to document and review student progress relative to their annual goals as outlined in the individual’s specific education plan.

 

Procedural Safeguards Compliance

 

The special education process involves numerous formal meetings accompanied by an extensive number of documents to assure the adherence to all federal and state regulations.  The department staff continues their success with the highest level of compliance with all state documents and procedural safeguards.  As a result, each district has received its maximum entitlement for federal funds.  The Department of Education periodically conducts “onsite reviews” for all New Hampshire districts.  SAU 41 districts have always received most positive evaluations resulting in the maximum time period for program approval of five years.  The Department of Education will again be conducting program and procedural reviews of SAU 41 districts during this 2006/07 school year.

 

SAU 41 LEGAL NOTICES

 

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

N.H. Department of Education’s Procedural Safeguards Handbook

 

 

-Public Notices-

 

 

All district and SAU websites

All district Parent/Student Handbooks

Annual Notice in Hollis/Brookline Journal

Annual written notices to local agencies

 

Departmental Goals & Staff Training - 2006/2007

 

 With the new 2004 federal re-authorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the recently published federal regulations (August, 2006), additional requirements have occurred such as EIS or Early Intervention Services.  These are mandated supports for children who do not meet the disability criteria under IDEA but who would benefit from additional support beyond the regular grade level curriculums.  All three SAU 41 districts had already established a number of such interventions prior to this new 2004 IDEA regulation.  That is, specialized remedial reading personnel and programs exist in all of our districts which are beyond regular education instruction, but are not part of the special education department services.  Additional Early Intervention type services will be reviewed by our administration throughout the 2006/07 school year. As one of the department’s objectives for this year, staff will review “research based interventions” as well as identify “screening instruments” to better monitor student progress.

 

A review and analysis of the August 2006 federal regulations will also be a salient goal for our departments throughout the 2006/07 school year.  This will include updating procedural safeguard practices, documents and operational definitions of the “educational handicapping conditions” for determining eligibility of IDEA services.  There have been a number of changes in the identification procedures for specific learning disabilities.  As such, there will be continued in-service training for our staff throughout the year.  Furthermore, the development of new state procedures and regulations remain pending.

 

Finally, the 2006/07 school year will also include department staff undergoing a number of training sessions regarding the state department’s establishment of a new SPEDIS (Special Education Information System) called NHSES (New Hampshire Special Education System).              This is essentially the registration of student information with the state department.  Due to the new system not being finalized to date, the last DOE memorandum indicated that districts will be required to complete both systems concurrently throughout 2006/07.

 

Revenue Funding

 

The special education budgets reflect all expenditures for in-district programs and related service therapies including staff salaries, instructional materials, evaluation and placement services, out-of-district tuition and specialized transportation costs.  Some revenues are received annually to assist our districts in providing these specialized instructional programs. For the 2005/06 fiscal year, SAU 41 districts received approximately $422,000 in federal IDEA funds and $32,785 in NH Catastrophic aid reimbursement, as well as approximately $98,000 in Medicaid Reimbursement funding.  An additional type of revenue occurs under Chapter 402 court placements.  That is, if a N.H. district court places a foster child in our communities, we have a responsibility to educate the student, but have the right to charge tuition to the “sending” district where the biological parents reside.  All revenue sources are currently projected to be approximately the same for the 2006/07 fiscal year with a slight increase in IDEA funding.

 

Future Year Budget Development Process:*

 

Projected Preschool Population:  1200-560-(Tuition) & 1200-300 Series (Related Services)

 

      Childfind and Child Check Referrals

      Early Intervention Referrals:    D.O.B. & Complexity of Disabilities Rating

 

Projected Paraprofessional Needs:  1200-114 &/or 1200-117

 

      Preschool

      Preschool to K/1

      Elementary Transitions

      Grade 6 to 7 Transitions

      Secondary Transitions

      Post Secondary Graduation

 

Professional Staffing Service Hours/Caselaods:   1200-100 Series (Salaries)

 

      Special Education Teachers

      Speech/Language Therapists

      Occupational Therapists

      Physical Therapists

      Nursing

 

Out-of-District Programs and Related Services:  1200-330 to 500 Series

 

Student    Program/Tuition   Transportation    Sp/L    OT      PT    ABA                                                                                    

 (Cost Share Options) - (Total Hours x Rates)

 

       Teaching Materials, Supplies and Equipment:  1200-600 & 700 Series

 

*Total Projected Budgets are solely based on the known cases October – December

 

       - No contingency cases included -

 

Bill Beauregard asked if the cost per student has increased. 

 

Bob Kelly replied no.  The cost has not increased.  The SPED population has increased proportionally with town population.  The cost is lower than it was in 1995.  Bob Kelly commented that not every SPED child is identified in first grade.  They do have an early intervention program which does identify some children, but other children develop more slowly and are not identified until the later grades.

 

 

 

 

SAU41 Technology Report

 

Richard Raymond gave the technology report.

 

The 2005-2006 school year was a busy for the IT department.

 

The NT 4.0 domain was migrated to Active Directory with Microsoft 2003 Servers.  This involved exporting all users from the old domain and importing them into Active Directory.  As part of this migration a 2003 Domain Controller was deployed to each site.  Updated print server and file servers were also required as part of the migration.  This was done with minimal downtime for the WinSchool and Fundsense databases.  All WinSchool, Follett, and Cafeteria servers have been migrated to Active Directory.

 

The district’s mail server was upgraded to 2003 Exchange.  In June a hardware failure caused the mail store to be corrupted and was not recoverable.  We now have Veritas with the Exchange plug-in in place and can demonstrate a “brick level” restore.  This was not possible with the Microsoft solution even thought it appeared to be operating correctly.  With the Veritas backup if a staff member deletes a single email by mistake it can be restored.  Backups are done every night to hard drive and once a week to tape.   There is a 6 week rotation of the tapes.

 

Currently we are in the process of deploying SOPHOS as the virus solution.  SOPHOS is about half the cost of Symantec and protects clients from spy-ware and Trojan horse infections.

 

Starting in August the anti-spam protection was out-sourced to our ISP.  At a monthly cost of 20 cents per mailbox this is less expensive than owning our own solution.  With this new system the end user can manage their own accounts to create white and black lists as well as the overall aggressiveness of their individual spam detection.  The other benefit is that viruses and spam never enter our network but are stopped at Destek’s server.

 

A new web server was brought online in May.  The old server was running on NT 4.0 and was becoming unreliable.  Each building has its own webmaster and many of the web sites have been redesigned to making them easier to navigate.

 

Mary Albina and I have attended workshops given by the DOE and Edu-Team to stay up to date with i4see reporting.  Enrollment data is exported in October and July as well as information for students taking the NECAP tests.

 

The 3 year updated Technology Plan was submitted to the DOE in November of 2005 and was approved through June of 2008.

 

Currently a technology audit is being done by Mike Duhaime who is the Director of Technology for SAU 29 in Keene.  Over a 2 day period Mike visited all SAU 41 sites.  His final report will be ready in the next few weeks.

 

The Board is concerned that they will not get a report in time to do something before the budget cycle.  The Board stressed to Rich the importance of having all solutions researched before coming back to the Board with needs for the district.  The Board is also concerned that Mike Duhaime has the appropriate background and experience to give the district the best opinion.

 

Jim Murphy would like to see not only where the problems are, but a strategic vision for technology.

 

Dan Peterson would like to see Rich Pike focus on a strategic vision for technology for the district.

 

Rich Pike feels that Mike Duhaime is qualified to do the audit.  He works in another school district with similar issues.  Rich did contact two other candidates, who were unavailable due to other commitments.

 

Bill Beauregard suggested duplicating a plan of the district with the best technology department, and then adjusting as needed to suit this district.

 

Mike Dreyer asked Rich Raymond to be proactive with a strategic Technology vision.

 

Dan Peterson challenges Rich Pike to come up with the strategic vision and Rich Raymond to manage the tactical issues.

 

Director of Curriculum Report

 

Carol Mace gave the curriculum report.

 

The following are my reflections on the state of SAU 41 in the area of curriculum and instruction:

 

CURRICULUM

 

Background

Curriculum development in the Hollis, Brookline, and Hollis Brookline Cooperative School Districts is an SAU-wide effort.  A Curriculum Council oversees the work of twelve curriculum task committees in the areas of Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Foreign Language, Technology, Library Media, Visual and Performing Arts, Physical Education, Health, Guidance, and Citizenship.  A common curriculum template, developed by the Curriculum Council and endorsed by the SAU Board in April, 2003 defines the written curriculum.  Major components of the template include standards, grade-level benchmarks, assessments, activities, and materials.   Every task committee is converting existing curriculum guides to a template format. When completed, each curriculum guide will be posted on the SAU 41 website, so that it will be available to any interested party, including teachers, administrators, parents, and community members.   Currently, Health and Library Media are posted on the website.  The goal is to complete 2 additional content areas by the end of 2006-2007 (Foreign Language and Language Arts).  More detailed curriculum information is available at http://www.sau41.k12.nh.us.

 

Summary

Ø      Curriculum Council is operating with increased effectiveness, focusing on communication and accountability, as evidenced by documentation in task committee goal-setting reports, monthly updates, and curriculum work proposals

Ø      Improved process and well-established format for curriculum development and renewal has been implemented, as evidenced by progress on the curriculum template

Ø      Review cycle needs a stronger link to materials adoption and implementation, which will be a major focus this year by the Curriculum Council and the Leadership Team

Ø      Policy for curriculum adoption needs clarification, and I will bring recommendations to the Board

INSTRUCTION

 

Background

Differentiated Instruction has been a major SAU-wide initiative for several years.  A plan to introduce, implement, monitor, and assess the initiative was presented to the SAU Board in October, 2001.  In the intervening years, building-level plans were developed and a substantial number of professional development opportunities have been offered.  The initiative has been closely monitored by administrators as part of the evaluation process.  Teachers new to the SAU are inducted into this process through each building mentoring program.  Additional programming to provide for the range of learners has included both enrichment activities and early intervention programs.

 

In addition, the newly-adopted (July 2005) New Hampshire Standards for School Approval will have a substantial impact on curriculum and instruction, particularly in the areas of technology, high school competencies and competency assessment, and extended learning opportunities.

 

Summary

Ø      There must be a continued focus on Differentiated Instruction – including identification of additional professional development and programming needs

Ø      There is a need for analysis of School Approval Standards requirements and specific strategies to implement them

 

ASSESSMENT

 

Background

An SAU 41 assessment schedule, identified by the Leadership Team last year, is a first step in the development of a coherent K-12 assessment plan to include local, state, and standardized assessments. We are now examining what is currently in place to identify additional needs.  There is also a critical need for a data warehouse. Without one, we are data rich, but information poor.  We need to be able to store, organize, and analyze our multiple data sources in order to make data-driven decisions.  The SAU Data Team had identified a grant funded project, Quality Support Portfolio (QSP), but funding was eliminated, resulting in a setback for our initiative.

 

Summary

Ø      State testing results remain high, although need continues for emphasis on supports for struggling learners

Ø      Analysis of results is more difficult due to number of grades being tested and fewer questions being released

Ø      Preliminary analysis indicates need for greater focus on writing, test vocabulary, and test-taking strategies

Ø      Need to develop local assessment programs, with plans to pilot the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), a computerized assessment program developed by the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA), in the Brookline and Hollis elementary schools in 2006-2007

Ø      Data warehouse project (QSP) is at a crossroads due to withdrawal of state funding - the New Hampshire Department of Education (NHDOE) has promised a product by December 2006/January 2007

 

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND EVALUATION

 

Background

The SAU professional development program is driven by the Professional Development Master Plan.  This plan outlines professional development requirements and articulates a program that is high quality, long-range, and tied to instructional growth.  Approved by the state in 2002, this plan is due for review this year. The goal is to develop a plan which will satisfy State Department requirements and also serve the needs of the districts. 

 

The SAU 41 Professional Staff Evaluation Plan referenced in each of the Master Agreements has been in place since 1998. The plan is reviewed and revised annually by a team of administrators and teachers from all SAU schools and the Education Associations.  In the intervening years since the plan’s adoption, only minor revisions have been made.  At the 2006 review on June 8th, it was the consensus of the review team that it is time for an in-depth examination of the plan.  The SAU Board has endorsed the committee’s recommendation and an in-depth review will be carried out this year.

 

Summary

Ø      Professional Development Master Plan must be completed by June 2007 to meet State Department requirements

Ø      Building–level professional development plans are established to align with the goals of each district  There is a need for an SAU-wide component that links the goals of the individual districts and is tied to the SAU vision and goals

Ø      A beginning point to this SAU-wide approach is a professional development program for the Leadership Team to create professional learning communities

Ø      Additional resources are needed to support SAU-wide professional development opportunities and I would be happy to develop a proposal for consideration

Ø      Review of the SAU 41 Professional Staff Evaluation plan to include a stronger emphasis on peer coaching and to assure alignment with research-based best instructional practices

 

Carol stated the need for a data administrator to manage a data warehouse.

 

Jim Murphy stated that if data warehousing is a critical need.  Don’t wait to see what the DOE comes out with.  If Carol thinks there is a need, come to the Board with a proposal.

The Board asked Carol to come back to the Board with a list of what she needs and what the cost is for this budget cycle.

 

Carol does not feel that we are in a crisis mode with teacher evaluations.  The timeline that was presented is reasonable and they do not feel comfortable accelerating it.  Carol stressed the point that the Danielson plan is a philosophy, not an off the shelf program and it is not something that you jump right in with.

 

The Board was concerned that the teacher evaluation committee might be reinventing the wheel.  The Board stressed the fact that the committee’s time was valuable and that they wanted it spent efficiently.

 

Rich Pike states that you not only need to look at the evaluation models, but how effectively it can be administered.

 

James O’Shea is concerned that differentiated instruction is not appropriately meeting the needs of gifted children. 

 

Carol Mace feels that these are serious concerns and that she would like to meet with administrators and teachers.

 

Dave Partridge also agrees that differentiated instruction is not meeting the needs of gifted children.  If a child is below the curve it is obvious, however, if they are at the high end it is less obvious.

 

Dan Peterson has heard a lot of feedback that the differentiated instruction is not working and how do we proceed if it not working.  He would like the administrators come back with some ideas and solutions.

 

Business Administrator Report

 

Mellinee Capasso gave the Business Administrator Report.

 

SAU #41 State of the State—Business Administration

 

The area of School Business Administration is responsible for managing all financial and operational aspects of the school districts and SAU #41. 

 

 

1.      Business Office Staff :

The function of the Business Office is to handle all financial aspects pertaining to the school districts and the SAU.  Specifically, the areas of concentration include human resources, payroll, accounts payable, and accounting.  The staffing is comprised of the following:

 

    1. Assistant Business Administrator—responsible for managing the financial and budgetary responsibilities, including accounting, payroll/human resources, and accounts payable.
    2. Part-time Accountant—responsible for performing accounting tasks necessary to maintain the record keeping function of the general ledger system.
    3. Payroll Clerk—responsible for processing of bi-weekly payroll and related payroll functions.
    4. Benefit Specialist—responsible for maintaining and updating the SAU #41 and district-wide benefit plans, including the maintenance of employee personnel records.
    5. Accounts Payable Clerk—responsible for the processing of purchase orders and the payment of bills for services other than payroll.
    6. Part-time Secretarial Support (school year schedule)—responsible for handling all aspects of mail collection and dissemination, receptionist/front desk support (as needed), and secretarial assignments as assigned by the Business Administrator.

 

2.      Buildings and Grounds Management:

The Buildings and Grounds Supervisor is responsible for the overall maintenance of buildings and grounds of all the school districts and the SAU including, but not limited to, supervision of maintenance/custodial staff, building security and energy conservation.

 

3.      Food Service Management

a.       Food Service Manager (Hollis School District and Hollis Brookline Cooperative School District)

b.      Kitchen Manager (Brookline School District)

Ø      Responsible for administering and directing the implementation of school food service and nutrition programs in accordance and compliance with federal, state and school districts regulations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CURRENT ASSESSMENT

 

 

The previous fiscal year was challenging with the resignation of two positions, accounting and payroll, with combined district experience of over 15 years; and the introduction of the new position of Benefits Specialist to address the Human Resources needs of the districts.

 

The current fiscal year continues to step up to the challenge with the replacement of the payroll specialist, new hire of accountant, and new hire of Assistant Business Administrator.  In conjunction with the training of new staff and new functions, the accounting system is undergoing a significant hardware/software upgrade affecting all aspects of financial, payroll, and human resource record keeping and reporting.  With the full implementation of BudgetSense, the goal is to improve accessibility and functionality of reporting for internal and external users.

 

The Business Office Facilities and space are at full capacity and this will need to be addressed to accommodate the expanding requirements for efficient records retention and accessibility.

 

 

The maintenance of our buildings and grounds throughout the district is handled by a staff of supervisors, custodians and groundskeepers who take great pride in their work.  The challenge continues to be meeting the demands of building and field renovation and expansion within the district. 

 

As we continue to improve our facilities, the need for a comprehensive tracking system for maintenance is imperative.  With the transfer of the Farley Building to the Town of Hollis and the move of maintenance records to the SAU #41 office, the necessity for appropriate space and storage of the facilities records, warranty information and architectural plans is paramount.

 

While the development of play areas and athletic fields bodes well for the wellness of our students and our athletic programs, resources will need to be allocated to fund the maintenance of these areas, such as irrigation systems, landscaping/mowing needs, lining of fields for appropriate sports, and equipment needed to move bleachers and provide staging for coaching needs

 

 

The Food Service staff of managers, head cooks and food service workers meets the daily challenge of providing nutritional sound meals in a safe and healthy environment for our entire school community.   In addition to the lunch program, breakfast is served at both Captain Samuel Douglass Academy in the Brookline School District and at the Hollis Brookline High School in the Hollis Brookline Cooperative School District.

 

With increased regulation and compliance with state/federal nutritional guidelines, the cost of operating an effective food service program increases.  Our food service programs across all districts experienced increased costs during the past fiscal year without proportionately increased revenues.  We may need to consider additional funding sources to cover the transitional period of determining the balance between healthy food choices and higher profit margins.

 

 

 

SUMMARY

 

The area of School Business Administration has experienced a great deal of change over the past two years in terms of staffing and will experience significant change relative to training required with the upgrade of BudgetSense.  It is my goal to encourage the enhancement of the professional development of the staff by introducing opportunities for learning (workshop offerings), cross training to allow for flexibility among positions, and to empower staff to encourage a positive work environment for all. 

 

It will be important over this next year of significant technical change, that people have the support necessary to learn the new system and the comfort to challenge procedures without the fear of failure.  It will be necessary to be sensitive to all stakeholders in this process:

ü      Business office staff who will be on the front lines—the first to take the plunge.

ü      Building level staff that will require training depending on their participation within the system (secretaries—input of requisitions, time sheet preparation).

ü      Information retrievers and users who will be interpreting data for end-use.

 

Steve Simons asked about the Building and Grounds Supervisor lining the fields.  Mellinee said that she thinks that work needs to be done to better delegate jobs within the Building and Grounds Department.

 

Assistant Business Administrator

 

Tom Enright wants to know where Rich and Mellinee are with a job description.

 

Rich Pike worked with Mellinee on coming up with the responsibilities of the assistant business administrator.  The candidate has a BA in Business Administration/Accounting.  She came in and did some work for the district as a contracted employee.  References have been checked and have been very good.  The candidate has strong analytical skills, supervisory skills and hiring experience. 

 

Mike Dreyer wanted to review the appointment of the Assistant Business Administrator.

The Board discussed whether or not the Board should be involved in hiring the Assistant Business Administrator. 

 

The Board wanted to hear what Mellinee did to find the Assistant Business Administrator candidate and their qualifications, however, the decision of who should fill this position should be left to the Business Administrator

 

Compensation:  $55,000

Number of candidates that applied for the job:  13

Number of candidate that came from a municipal background:  0

Start date:  next day

 

The Board requested a written job description and hiring process.

 

Organizational Chart

 

Mike Dreyer requested four items from Rich Pike.

  1. an organizational chart
  2. job descriptions
  3. hiring process
  4. strategic goals

 

The Board discussed the organizational chart at length.

 

Tom Enright stated that he feels that positions, such as Business Administrator and Director of Special Education and others should be hired by the entire SAU Board.

 

Superintendent Evaluation Committee

 

The Board had a lengthy discussion regarding the timing of assessments, as well as, goal setting.

 

Dave Partridge thinks we need to do an assessment in October, even though a formal plan as not been established to do that yet.

 

Venu Rao suggested a check list for administrators and board members to evaluate the Superintendent.

 

Dan Peterson thinks that 3 assessments a year unrealistic. Two evaluations are more realistic.  He feels that December is a good month.

 

Jim Murphy feels that February is an impossible time to give an assessment.

 

Rich Pike would like to use a similar model for his staff.  

 

Mike Dreyer asked the Board how many assessments should they do and when to does the Board schedule it if there’s to be a hard assessment in June.

 

The Board voted by show of hands for 2 periods of assessment.

 

October through December was the timeframe discussed for the first assessment.

 

Superintendent Report

 

Rich Pike gave the Superintendent’s report.

 

Opening Day Breakfast

 

As I did last year, I would like to share with the Board excerpts from my Opening Day remarks to staff.

 

“(This morning) I have chosen to limit my remarks to a smaller, and I believe more meaningful, focus.  That focus is the challenge and the responsibility that all of us share in improving the quality of education for ALL of our students.  

 

In my open letter to staff last year I recommended 10 books for your professional enlightenment. So now that you have had ample time to finish those, I offer a new list this year but only one title. The book is THE COURAGE TO TEACH by Parker Palmer, a highly respected writer and traveling teacher. In his book he explores the inner landscape of a teacher’s life.

 

Those of us who chose this noble profession know that the demands of teaching have caused many educators to lose heart in what I have often characterized as the loneliest of all professions.  Palmer’s book has one simple premise---good teaching cannot be reduced to technique alone; good teaching comes from the identity and integrity of the teacher. It’s all about connections. Committed educators create communities of learning and strive for the daily pursuit of excellence that the Japanese refer to as kaizen.

 

In the rush to reform, many critics of public education have overlooked an important truism: Schools will not succeed if we believe that rewriting curricula, increasing appropriations and smaller class sizes alone will get the job done. With a sharp focus on students and learning, collectively and collaboratively we ALL can make a difference!”

 

 Superintendent’s Goals (2006-07 Draft)

 

Increase communication between SAU 41 and board members and between SAU staff and building principals.

 

Increase visibility in schools and increased direct contact with building principals.

 

Articulate the vision for SAU 41 schools via board retreats, collaborative goal setting board presentations with an education agenda.

 

Increase oversight of SAU administrators with a clearer focus on their roles, responsibilities and goals.

 

Engage all stake holders in the concept of continuous improvement in all aspects of the public school education enterprise.

 

Review all existing job descriptions and the current organizational chart and make recommendations for any changes.

 

Define the processes by which all SAU 41 positions will be filled; i.e. the search process.

 

Implement the Superintendent Evaluation Model in conjunction with all administrators’ evaluations.

 

Continue to promote high quality professional development opportunities for all SAU administrators and SAU staff.

 

Review and make recommendations for an SAU Policy Manual.

 

Explore various District Report Card models and make recommendations for 2007-08 implementation.

 

A similar goal setting process is in place for all SAU administrators.

 

Supreme Court Decision

 

As most everyone knows, the NH Supreme Court recently issued its opinion on the current educational funding law "2006-258, LONDONDERRY SCHOOL DISTRICT SAU #12 v. STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE." The Court’s complete decision may be found at the following website: http://www.courts.state.nh.us/supreme/opinions/2006/index.htm.

 

Needless to say, it would be impossible at this point to judge the total impact of the decision, and we will certainly see a number of new legislative initiatives designed to create a new and improved system that will meet the requirements of the court edict.  More than likely there will also be new bills introduced as early as December designed to amend the constitution and thus limit the Court’s authority over matters of educational funding.

 

Would it be worthwhile to invite our elected officials (present company included) to a future SAU meeting to discuss the implications of the Supreme Court decision and to share perspectives on this landmark ruling? In my opinion, it is a very high stakes issue particularly when it comes to the immediate future of our school district budgets, contract negotiations and any potential bond votes.  In my experience, when voters are faced with the unknown of educational funding solutions, there is some reluctance or at least considerable pause before the public at large is ready to spend, spend, spend!

 

Other Business


Mike Dreyer asked for a SAU meeting on November 2nd.at 6:30 pm at the H/B High
School Music Room.

 

A motion was made to adjourn by Dave Partridge.  The motion was seconded by Venu.  The motion carried by unanimous vote 12 yes, 0 no.

11:00 pm

 

 

 

 

SAU Board Chair  _________________________________________                              Date:  ______

 

Brookline Board Chair  _____________________________________             Date:  ______

 

Hollis Board Chair  ________________________________________                              Date:  ______

 

H/B Coop Board Chair  _____________________________________               Date:  ______