Approved:  6/24/08

SAU #41 Board

Hollis Primary School

April 3, 2008

 

Bill Beauregard, HSB

Tom Enright, H/B Coop (late arrival 7:18 pm)

Marcia Farwell, BSB

Maura Loftus, HSB

James McCann, HSB

Wanda Meagher, BSB

James O’Shea, H/B Coop

Dave Partridge, BSB (left early 10:00pm)

Dan Peterson, H/B Coop

Cindy Ryherd, BSB

Tom Solon, H/B Coop

Janice Trembley; H/B Coop

 

Rich Pike, Superintendent of Schools

Dawna Duhamel, Business Administrator

Carol Mace, Director of Curriculum

Bob Kelly, Director of Special Education

Rich Raymond, Network Administrator

Mary Kay MacFarlane, Recording Secretary

 

Rich Pike called the meeting to order at 7:07 pm

 

Senator David Gottesman spoke regarding education funding at the State level.  Education adequacy in New Hampshire is estimated to cost 967 million.  Presently the grant is about 847 million.  The governor is not in full support of the current legislation.  Under this program, grants to towns will change.  The town of Brookline is presently scheduled to get $1,041,000 less than they currently receive.  The town of Hollis is presently scheduled to get $1,074,000 more than they current receive.  The grant amount is composed of base aid, disparity aid and transitional aid.  Base aid is determined to be $3450 per student plus special education.  Disparity aid is for communities with low property wealth and low family income.  This is estimated to be approximately 47 million dollars.  Transitional aid is available for communities that have low property wealth and large grant decreases, for two years.  Brookline is scheduled to get some transitional aid.  This would amount to an extra $250,000 a year for two years.  The numbers he is presenting tonight are not finalized.  If this passes it would most likely take effect for the 2009-2010 school year.

 

Senator Gottesman directed board members with questions regarding the formula to call Senator Iris Estabrook.  She is chair of the NH Senate Education committee.  Her number is 271-2111.

 

Tom Enright suggested talking to Dean Mitchner at the NHSBA.  He is also very knowledgeable on the subject of state funding to schools.  His phone number is 228-2069.

 

Dave Partridge asked Senator Gottesman what happens if the governor vetoes this and the house and senate can’t come up with the votes to override the veto.  Senator Gottesman stated, in that case, the formula would likely stay the same as last year.  Senator Gottesman stated that there were no guarantees.

 

If the state legislature doesn’t solve the problem, then it could be bounced back to the courts to resolve.  The state legislature doesn’t want the courts to resolve this issue.

 

State Senator Gottesman also spoke regarding Retirement Bill 1645.  Over the past 20 years approximately $400 million dollars in the retirement plan has been mishandled.  This has resulted in the plan not earning the income to its full potential.  The retirement plan is now at the point where the plan will fail in 10-15 years if nothing is done. 

 

The House has passed Retirement Bill 1645 and it has just arrived at the Senate.  The bill changes the qualifications for retirement from 20 to 25 years of service and the cost of living increase changes.  The Senator distributed a side by side comparison to the board.

Right now, in Bill 1645 there is a provision to transfer $250 million from the special account into the pension account in order to prolong employer contributions to the medical subsidy payments.  This money would need to be paid back.  The NHSBA supports this bill.  If this bill doesn’t pass there may be an increase in the number of  retirements before June 30, 2008, as teachers, firefighters, etc try to hang on to the current benefits.

 

State Senator Gottesman discussed the Evergreen Bill.  The Evergreen Bill states that if a contract for an employee expires, then the employee will continue to get salary plus step increases.

 

The State Senator ended by discussing how you fund this and taking questions.

 

The Board discussed the news from the Senator.  Tom Enright stated that there was a dinner and a presentation on the Retirement 1645 in Nashua at the Radisson Hotel on April 17th  The School Board association is discussing bring a lawsuit, citing that what is being done with the Retirement Fund is unconstitutional.

 

Board Reorganization

 

James O’Shea nominated Cindy Ryherd for SAU Board chair.  Tom Enright seconded the nomination.

 

Bill Beauregard nominates Jim McCann for SAU Board chair.  Dan Peterson seconded the nomination.

Jim McCann and Cindy Ryherd left the room while the board discussed the nominations.

 

James O’Shea makes a motion for a secret ballot.

 

Rich Pike announce the Jim McCann as SAU Board Chair.

 

Dave Partridge nominates Cindy Ryherd for Vice Chair.  Wanda Meagher seconded.  The motion carried by a majority vote.

 

Marcia Farwell nominates Janice Trembley as Secretary.  Dave Partridge seconds.  The motion carried by a majority vote.

 

Winschool

 

Rich Raymond said that Winschool called and stated that as of 2010 there will be no support or updates for Winschool.  Rich said that Powerschool and MMS are the two most popular programs in the state.  Rich said that MMS is not a real user friendly program.  Powerschool is a web based product.  MMS does state reporting, scheduling, contact information, report cards and attendance.  Rich Raymond says that every building has its own server.  He would like to see one large server at the SAU office.  Funding for the new software should be in the 2009-2010 budget.

 

Dave Partridge would like to start a sub committee to research the available products and nominates Wanda Meagher and Bill Beauregard.  Carol Mace agreed to be on this committee as well.  There would need to be some users on this committee and there should be a representative from SPED.  A site visit to Milford to see Powerschool in action was discussed.  Tom Solon stated the data conversion should be part of the contract of the new supplier.  Rich Raymond will compile the requirements needed for the new software and set up product demos.

 

Internet Log File Policy

 

Rich Raymond recommends the following policy language.

 

All SAU41 Internet activity is logged by the St. Bernard iPrism Internet filtering system.  Activity is recorded by user and computer IP address.  The iPrism is capable of generating reports showing detail of all sites visited by the individual, group, or location.

Reports may be generated at any time by SAU41 Technology staff at the request of a building or SAU41 administrator.  Log files are retained for a minimum of 28 calendar days.

 

The board had a lengthy discussion regarding if a log should be kept and if so for how long.  The board also discussed who logs should be kept on and blocked web sites.  Currently logs are maintained for students only. 

 

Dave Partridge makes a motion to accept the following Internet Log Retention Policy as a first reading.  SAU 41 does not have a policy requiring the maintaining of Internet Logs.  Logs involved in a current investigation or disciplinary action may be retained at the administration’s discretion.  Wanda Meagher seconds the motion.  The motion carried by a vote of 10 yes, 2 no.

 

The policy will be reviewed with legal council.

 

SAU Technology Plan 2008-2011

 

Bill Beauregard has issues with the Mission Statement. The Board discussed mission statements.  Rich Raymond is going to review the Mission Statement.  This Technology Plan is submitted to ERATE in order to received funds.  James McCann asked anyone who has ideas for a mission statement to get them to Rich Raymond.  The Board said that this technology plan is ok for ERATE purposes however, they would like to amend this at a later date.

 

Dan Peterson makes a motion to accept the current technology plan as our tactical technology plan with a strategic update to follow.  Wanda Meagher seconded the motion.  The motion carried by a vote of 11 yes, 0 no.

 

Special Education Report

 

Bob Kelly gave the report on Special Education.

 

I.                   Medicaid to Schools Revenue Changes:

 

A federal review of the Medicaid to Schools Reimbursement Program has been ongoing this year.  Although a number of “eligible” services were examined, “specialized transportation” is the only area which has changed at this time.  Unfortunately, transportation reimbursement will no longer be eligible as of June 30, 2008.  As a projected estimate of this impact, the Specialized Transportation reimbursement for FY2006/07 was:

 

Brookline:           $9,453           (19.1%)

Hollis:               $13,297           (21.4%)

HB Coop:        $27,126           (46.7%)

 

 

II.                New Hampshire Department of Education Special Education Parent Survey:

 

 

As part of the New Hampshire Department of Education State Performance Plan (SPP) for 2005-2010, the bureau of special education has been required by OSEP (Office of Special Education Programs) to report data for twenty prioritized “Indicators.”

 

Indicator #8 pertains to the:

 

Percent of parents with a child receiving special education services

who report that schools facilitated parent involvement as a means

of improving services and results for children with disabilities.

 

To this end, the N.H.D.O.E. is currently conducting a Parent Survey of approximately twenty-six questions.  The D.O.E. has contracted with an independent firm, MAGI Services, to complete the survey, aggregate and analyze the data.  The data will become part of every NH district’s profile as compared to state averages.  The D.O.E. State Performance Plan has a target of 77% of parents who positively report satisfaction with their involvement for the 2007/2008 school year. At this time, the survey results are not forecasted to be available until the Spring of 2009.

 

Based on D.O.E. Memo #26, these surveys were to be distributed via local NH districts by March 25, 2008.  Parents are asked to return them to MAGI Services by April 25.  As with most NH districts, SAU 41 did not receive our packets until March 25th and so a one page flyer from the DOE was sent out by all SAU 41 schools last week informing parents of the forthcoming survey.  The flyer indicated mailings by April 3rd.  All three districts completed their mailings on March 28, 2008.  Postage was provided by MAGI Services.  There are separate surveys for parents of preschool students and one for those K-12.  The packets included:

·        Cover letter to parents (attached)

·        A copy of the survey (attached)

·        Self-addressed stamped envelope for return to MAGI Services

 

 

III.             D.O.E. SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAM APPROVAL ONSITE        UPDATES:

 

All SAU 41 Special Education programs were approved:

 

“The districts of SAU 41 have developed a strong continuum of programming for students with disabilities as evidenced by the array of special education programs and supports presented in the individual buildings.”

 

 

            SAU 41 Continuous Improvement Activities throughout 2007/2008:

 

·        All SAU 41 special education administrators meet bi-weekly reviewing procedural updates, district forms and continuous improvement activities within our respective buildings.

·        SAU 41 Special Education Procedural Guidelines Manual was updated and a separate Special Education Paperwork/Forms Manual has been produced pertaining to all procedural safeguard meetings. 

·        The DOE has forecasted completion of our state’s revised special education regulations by July 2008 and our Procedural Guidelines Manual will be further edited accordingly.

·        Monthly consultations with Early Intervention (0-3) agencies enhancing preschool transitions.

·        Consultations with adult agencies expanding resources and services for graduating students.

·        Development of high school student transition meeting participation form.

·        Review of Best Practices and Research Based Interventions, teaching methodologies, instructional techniques and monitoring student progress.

·        Enhancing Parent Communication: A number of building level activities have been conducted for review and expansion SAU wide.

o       Monthly Parent Newsletter articles regarding special education issues including: study skills, organization techniques, learning styles, self-advocacy, knowing your IEP and transition planning.

o       Monitoring reports for parents highlighting missing assignments.

o       Parent coffee hour discussion centered around special education,  Section 504 and Early Intervening procedures.

o       Post IEP meeting parent surveys

o       Parent survey for 7th & 8th grade students regarding facilitation of grade level transitions.

o       Parent night for students transitioning from grade 6: April 8, 2008.

 

·        Numerous staff in-services conducted regarding procedural guidelines, regulations and intervention strategies.

o       NHSEIS data entry

o       Writing measurable IEP goals and objectives

o       Writing IEP goals reflecting grade level expectations

o       IEP progress reporting

o       Transition Planning from preschool to post-secondary

o       Co-teaching models and collaborative planning between general and special educators

o       NWEA

o       Use of data for guiding instruction and monitoring progress

o       Crisis Prevention Intervention

o       Section 504 Accommodation Plans versus IDEA programs

o       Paraprofessional staff trainings and supervision

o       Programming models for students on the autism and aspergers spectrum

 

IV.       Determination Letter from the State Department of Education

·        IDEA evaluates all districts to see if they meet standards.  All districts of SAU #41 met IDEA standards and received the best possible score.

 

Cindy Ryherd asked for an update on monies that been earmarked for funding a study to assess structure and organization of SPED at the administrative level.

 

Rich Pike reported that Municipal Resources Inc. (MRI) was supposed to have a proposal tonight, however, their team disbanded and there is no proposal.  MRI is going to assemble a new team.  Rich Pike told them they need to have a proposal done in two weeks.  Rich Pike will call other vendors and ask them for proposals.

 

James O’Shea feels we may have missed our window on this and maybe the board should wait for the new superintendent comes on board.

 

Tom Enright asked Bob Kelly if it was realistic to take an assessment of SPED to be accomplished by school year end.

 

Bob Kelly stated it was realistic.

 

The Board had a lengthy discussion regarding SPED structure and the proposals.

 

Rich Pike will gather proposals and then let the board decide if they want to act on it. 

 

Bill Beauregard is concerned that the new superintendent may have concerns and questions that may not be addressed by this proposal. 

 

Rich Pike is going to set up a conference call with himself, Bob Kelly, Jim McCann and the new superintendent to get her input on what she would like to see.

 

Marcia Farwell made a motion to authorize the Superintendent and the Business Administrator to represent SAU #41, Brookline, Hollis and the H/B Cooperative School Districts for the purpose of signing Bureau of Business Management forms for any state and federal funds due those entities.  Bill Beauregard seconded the motion.  The motion carried by unanimous vote 11 yes, 0 no.

 

Curriculum Report

 

Carol Mace gave the Curriculum report.  She reported on the National Mathematics Advisory Panel’s findings and recommendations.  What are the implications for us?  I think there are a number of actions which we should take:

 

  1. We need to coordinate our efforts k-12 across all three of our districts.
  2. We need to examine the outcomes that must be mastered by all students who graduate from our high school.  We should also identify the outcomes that should be mastered by our advanced students.
  3. We should review specific benchmarks which must be mastered by students at various levels of their development.
  4. We should provide additional training in mathematics instruction, particularly for our elementary teachers.  We expect miracles from our elementary teachers, and if we are to expect greater student outcomes and mastery, we need to provide continuous support.
  5. We need to narrow our curriculum along the lines recommended by the National Mathematics Advisory Panel, and focus our efforts on depth and mastery of critical knowledge and skills.
  6. We need to broaden our instructional approaches so that we may reach all of our students.  No single program meets all our students’ needs or learning styles.  Our students need to have great and nearly automatic facility with mathematics operations, and they need to be able to think mathematically and have understandings of mathematics, not simply recall of calculations.  Some of our students learn best through a language based approach to teaching mathematics, and some learn better through more direct approaches.  We do a disservice to our students if we do not provide for the range of their needs and strengths.
  7. We need to base our work on objective data rather than on preconceived biases.  Well defined data should lead us to informed decisions, and both defining and gathering data should be an important part of what we do.
  8. The Hollis School District is already in the process of examining its use of the Everyday Math program, and has a Committee Report completed, including a Minority report from parent representatives. Superintendent Rich Pike has made recommendations for next steps, which could easily be incorporated into an SAU wide approach.
  9. We have in place an SAU-wide Curriculum Task Committee, co-chaired by Mathematics Department Chair Dot Ball and Principal Tim Kelley, which is focused upon these issues for the 2008-09 school year. 
  10. The State Department of Education is in the process of developing a Numeracy Plan to accompany their recently released Literacy Plan. Hollis Mathematics and Science Curriculum Administrator Karen Kelley is a member of this State Task Force, and will be able to bring information to us as we move forward with our own efforts.

 

I believe that we should bring independent and powerful assistance to these tasks.  Last September, I was fortunate to attend a conference on assessing teacher quality sponsored by the Educational Testing Service.  One of the major presenters was Professor Deborah Loewenberg Ball, from the University of Michigan.  I was greatly impressed with her work on establishing measurements of quality for mathematics instruction.  Professor Ball was also a member of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel, and an author of its Final Report.  She and/or her colleagues could provide invaluable guidance to us.  I am aware of another nearby NH District that is initiating contact with Professor Ball, and I believe we could share a relationship with that district.

 

We stand, I believe, on a strong foundation for this work, and it is important work.  I believe that we can continue to build on our foundation if we work together across our districts, if we pay careful attention to this powerful report.  It will be important to involve the community, and strengthen links between community members and our schools.  We are fortunate to have both strong schools and great expertise among community members, and need to take advantage of those circumstances.  We need to move forward based upon our common concerns for our students’ welfare.  As your Director of Curriculum and Instruction, I look forward to providing leadership in this effort, if this is the direction that our School Boards wish to pursue.

 

I propose that the Mathematics Curriculum Task Committee be asked to work throughout the summer, in order to make recommendations in time for budgets for the 2009-10 school year, as well as to make recommendations for steps that could be taken during the 2008-09 school year.

 

The Board had a lengthy discussion regarding the findings of this study and math curriculum throughout SAU #41. 

 

SAU 41 TEACHER EVALUATION PLAN – IMPLEMENTATION TIMELINE

 

Development Phase 2007-2008

 

April – May 2008

 

June 2008

ü      The document will be posted to the SAU website well in advance of the June presentation, to allow the Board ample time to review the plan.  It is a lengthy document, and hardcopies will be made available to board members upon request.

·        Secure adoption by Brookline, Hollis, and Hollis Brookline Cooperative School Boards

 

Implementation Phase 2008-2009

 

To support full implementation:

 

August 2008

 

January 2009

 

April 2009

 

May 2009

 

Bill Beauregard is concerned that only 1/3 of teachers will be evaluated on the Danielson model every year.  He would like to see all teachers evaluated every year.

 

Carol Mace will have a presentation on this in June.

 

Business Administrator Report

 

Dawna Duhamel gave the business administrator’s report.

 

  1. EPA grant to retro-fit school buses with diesel particulate filters (DPF) and crank case ventilation systems (CCV):

 

We had our first meeting with personnel from NHDES on March 26, 2008. Next steps for the project:

 

    1. Issue RFP for consulting services
    2. Issue RFP for equipment (DPF and CCV)
    3. Issue RFP for 20% bio-diesel fuel blend (B20)

 

 

  1. Capital asset valuation. To be in compliance with GAAP, the district’s capital assets must be reported on our financial statements for fiscal year ending 6/30/08. We are working with our vendor to finalize the dates the valuation will take place.

 

 

  1. 403(b) plan administration. The IRS changed its regulations governing 403(b) plans, which become effective January 1, 2009. To ensure compliance with the new regulations, we are researching third party administrators (TPA).

 

 

4.     Business office:

 

a.       A review of the district’s internal controls is on-going. If needed controls will be strengthened and/or added. Part of this process will include the documentation of our internal controls. (The documentation is a requirement of a new auditing standard – SAS 112).

b.      Cross-training. We have begun the process of cross-training business office staff in key processes such as payroll and accounts payable. To date, two people have been cross-trained in payroll.

c.       BudgetSense implementation. We have funds budgeted next year for software training. (Much of the training that was accomplished was done with personnel that no longer work at the SAU). We are identifying and prioritizing our training needs and plan to have training begin in August.

 

Wanda Meagher asked about the expendable trust and maintenance.  Last year’s rent was put into a reserve so that it could be carried forward this year and put in the expendable trust this year.  Total amount in expendable trust is $17,282.

 

Cindy Ryherd asked if all the NESDEC search expenses have been paid. 

 

Dawna Duhamel said yes.

 

Bill Beauregard asked about capital asset valuation.  Dawna Duhamel stated that American Appraisal will be evaluating the capital assets over April vacation.  This will make our balance sheet complete and incompliance with GAAP.

 

Janice Tremblay informed the Board that her email has been changed from Charter.net to Verizon.net.

 

A motion to adjourn was made by Cindy Ryherd.  The motion as seconded by Wanda Meagher.  The motion carried by unanimous roll call vote.

 

11:04 pm

 

 

SAU Board Chair  _________________________________________       Date:  ______

 

Brookline Board Chair  _____________________________________      Date:  ______

 

Hollis Board Chair  ________________________________________       Date:  ______

 

H/B Coop Board Chair  _____________________________________      Date:  ______