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School Board Minutes 03/01/2010

LAKE REGION SCHOOL DISTRICT
REGULAR MEETING
March 1, 2010

      
There was a Regular Meeting of the Lake Region School Board on Monday, March 1, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. at Lake Region Middle School.  

Good Kid Awards

Superintendent Phillips welcomed the students and parents to the meeting. He explained that the Good Kid Awards are sponsored by the Liaison Committee.  The criteria for being selected for the award.  Students were presented with a Good Kid Certificate and tee-shirt.  The following students were recognized:

Sebago Elementary School – Eizabeth Stefaniak, Matthew Douglas, Gage Young,  Dabry Plourde, Sarah Stefaniak, and Christopher Brewer.  

Songo Locks School – Joseph Jensen, Ainsley Wescott, Stella Shimko,        Jessica Jensen, Meaghan Goodine, and Kelley Paul.

Stevens Brook Elementary School – Alexander Kuvaja, Trevor Hill,           Dekota-Rose Durant, Caroline Smith, Gage Burgess, and Frank Kimball.           Devyn Hatch was also recognized who was selected in the Fall but was unable to attend due to illness.

Lake Region Middle School – Keyana Prescott, Samantha Young, Tyran Martin,   Maggie Scarlett, Briana Gallinari, and Tyler Plummer.

Lake Region High School – Michael Brooks, Nicole Conley, Stephen Greenlaw,
Hannah Carver, Dorothy Leckie and Kyle Nowinski.

CALL TO ORDER AND ROLL CALL

Janet Ver Planck, as Acting Chairperson, called the meeting to order. Board members present were:  Mody Botros, Kenneth Brown, Beth Chaplin, Jean Clancy, John Fillmore-Patrick, Richard Merritt, Laura Ordway, Philip Shane,          Nikki South, Janet Ver Planck and Dylan Dupee.   Janice Barter, Jody Gray, and Wayne Warner were excused.

Administrators present were:  Kathleen Beecher, Zane Clement, June Conley, Kirsten Goff, Lisa Caron, Roger Lowell, Andrew Madura, Peter Mortenson,
Roseanne Schacht, Joshua Sturk, Paul True, Cheryl Turpin, Sherrie Weese and
Patrick Phillips, Superintendent of Schools.

Others present were:  Nancy Hayes, Barry Johnson, Julie Johnson, Wayne Rivet, and Bonnie Wetmore.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA   

A motion was made by John Fillmore-Patrick, seconded by Richard Merritt, to approve the agenda as presented.  Motion carried unanimously.  








APPROVAL OF MINUTES

A motion was made by Jean Clancy, seconded by Ken Brown, to approve the Minutes of the Regular Meeting of February 1, 2010.  Motion carried unanimously.

A motion was made by Nikki South, seconded by Richard Merritt, to approve the Minutes of the Special Meeting of February 11, 2010.  Motion carried unanimously.

A motion was made by Jean Clancy, seconded by Ken Brown, to approve the Minutes of the Board Budget Workshop of February 22, 2010.  Motion carried unanimously.

A motion was made by Jean Clancy, seconded by Ken Brown, to approve the Minutes of the Board Budget Workshop of February 24, 2010.  Motion carried unanimously.

PRESENTATION

None.
            
ADMINISTRATIVE COMMENTS
        
Elementary Principals

Stevens Brook Elementary School, Cheryl Turpin
  • On January 26 and 28, Muffins for Mom and Danish for Dad was held.  This is an opportunity for parents to visit with their child and class.  Two Hundred four  parents participated in this event.
  • Mike Meserve, Assistant Hockey Coach at Bridgton Academy, has been coming to Stevens Brook Elementary School with the Bridgton Academy Wolverines (Hockey students) who have been working with the students at the school.  
  • On February 8, students from grades 2 and 3 went to a theatre performance by the Drama Club.  
  • The PTA dontated $200 to the Drama Club and $150 to support giving snacks to students who do not have one.   
  • On February 12, there will be a Parent Involvement Committee Panel.  Professionals in the community who use science in their job have been invited in to speak to students.  There will be a wide range of professionals and they will be asked to tell students how science is used in their job.
  • March is “Step into Reading Month” which will begin with “Read Across America Day” tomorrow.  
  • All students and staff will participate in the DEAR program, “Drop Everything And Read.”
  • All students will participate in the Chickadee program where students in Maine get to vote on the best book of 10 read in the library.
  • A Book Fair will be held from March 19 – 26.
  • On March 24, Rebekah Raye, a Guest Author, will be working with students.
Sebago Elementary School, Kirsten Goff
  • PBIS work is continuing with hallway procedures being the focus.
  • There will be a Book Swap on March 2.  Students will bring one book in and take 3 books home.  
  • Several staff members will be receiving PBIS training this week.
  • CPR Training will be given to staff on March 25 after school.
  • Tomorrow is Dr. Seuss’s Birthday.  Dr. Beecher and Alan Crabtree will be reading to classes.  

Songo Locks School, June Conley  

  • In February, there was a school-wide sports day.  Students wore a hat or tee shirt from their favorite sports team.
  • March 17 will be “Dress Green” day.
  • Students will be participating in “Read Acoss America.”  All students will be reading in the hallway.  The number of pages read will be changed into miles.  A map from Casco, Maine to Dr. Seuss’s birthplace in Springfield, MA will be marked with the miles earned.  Older students were reading with Kindergarten and 1st grade students.
  • The March Calendar was distributed which is full of reading events as follows:
  • A Reading Incentive for the month of March - “Ice Cream for Reading” has begun.  For every 15 minutes students read, they will receive a paper ice cream scoop.
“Decorate Your Classroom Door” with a reading theme - on Friday,
Superintendent Phillips, Assistant Superintendent Beecher, and
Janet Ver Planck will judge the doors and select a winner.
  • The Scholastic Book Fair will be held from March 8 – March 12.  
  • Students will participate in the Chickadee Award books.
  • Rebekah Raye and Lynn Plourde, Guest Authors, will work with K-2 students and Grades 3 – 5 students, respectively.
  • On April 2, students will be celebrating the ending of “Ice Cream for Reading” with real ice cream.
Lake Region Middle School, Peter Mortenson

Mr. Mortenson reported that on Friday he took a truck to Fairchild Semiconductor in So. Portland and filled it with tables, chairs, televisions and other furniture.  He thanked Jean Clancy for her help in arranging the donation.

PUBLIC COMMENTS ON AGENDA ITEMS

None.
   
ACTION ITEMS
      
2010-11 School Calendar

Superintendent Phillips gave an overview of the 2010-11 school calendar.  
Draft A was recommended by the Leadership Team and it was reviewed by the Curriculum Committee.  A copy of the calendar was shared with the Associations.  
Draft B was revised as a result of feedback from the Lake Region Teachers Association.  

Key Issues include the following:

  • The start date is before Labor Day.
  • Christmas vacation will begin on Thursday, December 23 with 3 days of school scheduled for that week.

2010-11 School Calendar (continued)

  • A Teacher workshop Day is scheduled for October 8 in recognition of Fryeburg Fair Week.
  • On Draft A, Teacher Workshop Days were scheduled for Friday, August 27 and Monday, August 30.  This would allow all students to have two school days before Labor Day.  
  • Orientation for Grade 6 and Grade 9 students is scheduled for Tuesday,    August 31, exclusively.  Grades 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 would start on Wednesday, September 1.
  • Mr. Lowell mentioned that the calendar was discussed at Lake Region High School and it was determined that having one day for high school students during that week is possible as students rotate through all their classes in one day by having 40-minute periods.  Students receive their books and are filled in on the class expectations.      
  • Peter Mortenson voiced that two days would work better for Middle School students, however, there was not a strong preference.  Going to school in September can be more productive than in June.  
Barry Johnson shared that a lot of teachers who have second jobs commit to summer schedules and are booked for August 27.  Also, teachers have booked vacation for that week as those days are usually free.

Late Start/Early Release days -  This year all students had late start on scheduled Wednesdays.  It has not been as productive as having early release days, as there are only one hour of common time between middle school, high school and elementary teachers.  It is recommended that all students have early release on scheduled Wednesdays next year.  This will add an additional hour for K-12 core curriculum discussions.  Also, older children can provide day care for younger brothers and sisters.

It was suggested that the early release days be eliminated as follows:
September – Students are only in school 12 days prior to an Early Release Day
October – there is a Teacher Workshop Day on the 8th and an Early Release Day scheduled for October 27
November – there is a Teacher Workshop Day on November 12 and then an Early Release Day on November 17.

It was mentioned that early release/late arrival days are extremely important as teachers need time for training.  Professional development is invaluable.  


A motion was made by Nikki South, seconded by John Fillmore-Patrick, to approve Draft B for the 2010-11 school calendar.

There was a discussion on the motion as follows:

  • There are other ideas on ways to get curriculum needs met and have less interrupted time.
  • Is video conferencing a possibility instead of using travel time for teachers?  Josh Sturk answered that we do that now and it does save some time.
  • By having a couple of school days prior to Labor Day, it gets the preliminary paper work out of the way and students re-acclimated to procedures.  Teachers can get right into teaching after Labor Day.
2010-11 School Calendar

  • No way to know how many storm days will be needed, it is better to start before Labor Day than get out too late in June.
Dylan Dupee, the Student Representative, was asked what he thought about the school calendar proposal.  He responded that having two days before Labor Day is quite a bit of help as Freshmen Orientation allows the freshmen to get to know the building and procedures without other students there.  The second day is used to go through all your classes and get your syllabus, books and sometimes homework and then you have a three day weekend.  

Mr. Lowell mentioned that the Leadership Team has spent a lot of time going over the calendar.  He recommended that the first reading be approved as things need to be planned and set based on a calendar for next year.

A motion was made by John Fillmore-Patrick, seconded by Richard Merritt, to cease debate.  Vote:  9-Yes, 1-No, 0-Abstentions.  Motion carried.

Vote to accept Draft B as a first reading:  8-Yes, 1-No, 0-Abstentions.  Motion carried.

Request for Overnight Field Trip

A motion was made by Richard Merritt, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the request by the WorldQuest Team for an Overnight Field Trip to go to Washington D.C. for a national competition.
           
Mr. Lowell explained that the World Quest Team is a group of students who competed and won in a statewide Social Studies event, much like Jeopardy, and are going on to compete in the National competition.  High school, business, and college teams participated in the competition.  Students are raising the money for the trip independently.

Vote:  Motion carried unanimously.

Personnel

A motion was made by Richard Merritt, seconded by Laura Ordway, to approve the following Personnel Items as a block:
  
  • Julie Johnson as an Administrative Assistant to the Adult Education Director, effective January 12, 2010, replacing Marilyn Winslow who has resigned.
  • Belinda Van Decker as a Clerk at Stevens Brook Elementary School, effective January 12, 2010, replacing Julie Johnson.
  • Jennifer O’Connor as a District-wide Sub Caller, effective February 23, 2010, replacing Julie Johnson.   
                             
There was a discussion regarding the Sub Caller position and whether it could be done by staff in the Central Office.  Superintendent Phillips responded that it could not be done without taking away current duties from the current position.  A staff member in the central office did have an opportunity to apply for the position and chose not to.

Vote to move as a block:  9-Yes, 1-No, 0-Abstentions.  Motion carried.

A motion was made by Laura Ordway, seconded by Richard Merritt, to accept the above block.  Vote:  9-Yes, 1-No, 0-Abstentions.  Motion carried.    
                      
Budget

There was a Board Budget Workshop prior to the Board meeting.  It was decided to continue the discussion during the Board meeting.  During the workshop, Board members reviewed a list of possible reductions and explanations of what was on the list.

A motion was made by Nikki South, seconded by Jean Clancy, to use the two lists of reductions in the amount of $122,474 and the $152,844 as “pick lists”.

  • Some of the reductions will require to be approved through negotiations as it affects the number of workdays.
  • The reduction of a half-hour per day for educational technician does not need to be negotiated.
  • An original no growth administrative budget was presented to the Board on February 1, 2010 for a total of $25,844,927.
  • The Leadership Team reviewed the budget further and reduced the budget by an additional $584,000. Included in this list is one furlough day for 2010-11 which will need to be negotiated.
  • The Finance Committee had requested additional cuts and could not come to a consensus on the list so they asked the Leadership Team to review the budget to see if there was anything the District could do without for this year without setting a target amount.  A reduction list of $122,474 was presented to the Finance Committee.
  • At the February 24 Budget Workshop, the Board asked the Leadership Team to bring back reductions for an additional $100,000 to see what it would look like.  A reduction list of $152,844 was presented to the Board at the Board Workshop prior to this meeting.  
  
Vote:  6-Yes, 2-No, 0-Abstentions.  Motion carried.

Discussion continued regarding the recommended cuts as follows:

  • Can accept all of the $122,474 reductions, can accept very little on the $152,844 reduction list.
  • In support of cutting the library and the guidance position.
  • Support a policy change to have minimum participant numbers before a sport can be authorized.
  • There will only be a savings in the Retirement Incentive program if you have 5 teachers retire.
  • In favor of charging for summer school at the high school.
  • Opposed to paying for summer school.  If a student needs summer school, the District should do everything possible to get the student to graduate.
  • Health Insurance - $200,000 or 10% has been budgeted.  If there is a 15% increase we will need to find an additional $300,000.  If that happens, we will need to go into the budget and make reductions to compensate for that amount.  
  • How can you cut $600,000 without having a considerable affect on the education of the students.  Teachers are a big resource in our community.  It is a balance between the children and the taxpayers.  You cannot be a community without sports teams, drama, etc.
Budget (continued)

  • Non-association expenditures being cut, cut cut.  Association things going up.  Everyone needs to pitch in to help lower the budget.
  • There is a budget shortfall of $2.1 million.  Taxpayers are strapped.
A motion was made by Nikki South, seconded by John Fillmore-Patrick, to approve the original cuts of $584,000, the reductions of $122,474, and to continue discussion on the second reduction list as a pick list.  Vote:  8-Yes, 1-No,    0-Abstentions.

Discussion continued as follows:

  • The Board should reduce the budget by the full $152,844.
  • The Board was reminded that the Leadership Team is not recommending any of the cuts on the $152,844 list, the Board asked to see what a list would look like.
  • Pay to Play is nickel and diming the budget.
  • The Board goal is “kids come first”. Cannot support the $152,844 as the items do affect kids.
  • The balance forward is an allocated balance forward.  The money is already factored into the revenue line.  This is not a surplus.   
  • If there is an unforeseen need, the Board has the authority to move up to 5% from one budget line to another.
It was decided to go through each item.

Pay to Participate

A motion was made by Nikki South, seconded by John Fillmore-Patrick, to reject the $25,000 cut for Pay to Participate. Vote:  8-Yes, 1-No, 1-Abstention.  Motion carried.

Teacher Workshop Day

A motion was made by Nikki South, seconded by John Fillmore-Patrick, to reject the $54,000 for a second teacher workshop day.  Vote:  5-Yes, 4-No,
1-Abstention.  Motion carried.  

District-Wide Curriculum

A motion was made by Nikki South, seconded by Kenneth Brown, to reject the $11,244 for district-wide curriculum.  Vote:  6-Yes, 4-No, 0-Abstentions.  Motion carried.

Middle School Librarian

A motion was made by Nikki South, seconded by Jean Clancy, to accept the reduction of $15,000 to change the middle school librarian position to an educational technician III position.  Vote:  7-Yes, 2-No, 1-Abstention.  Motion carried.  
  




Middle School Summer School

A motion was made by Nikki South, seconded by Jean Clancy, to reject the reduction of $12,000 for middle school summer school.  Vote:  7-Yes, 2-No,
1-Abstention.  Motion carried.

High School Summer School

A motion was made by Nikki South, seconded by Jean Clancy, to reject the reduction of $4,000 for the high school summer school.  

Vote:  5-Yes, 5 – Yes, 0-Abstentions. (Weighted Vote: 394-Yes, 371-No.  Motion carried.  

Life Skills

A motion was made by Nikki South, seconded by John Fillmore-Patrick, to accept the reduction of $11,500 to transfer the remainder of the cost for the life skills position to the ARRA grant for one year.  

Superintendent Phillips mentioned that the Department of Education had advised the District to be very careful about paying for items with the ARRA funding.  The position is a co-teaching position and covers a wide spectrum of students.  The need may change over the next two years, however, the money may need to get put back into the budget the following year.

Vote:  9-Yes, 1-No, 0-Abstentions.  Motion carried.

CRES – 4-Hour Per Day Custodian

A motion was made by Nikki South, seconded by Ken Brown, to reject the reduction of $7,500 to change the 4-hour per day custodian at Crooked River Elementary School to a school year position from a year-round position.

There is one full-time and one part-time person at the school.  Mr. Madura could move people from another school to that school to cover vacations in the summer.  Adult Education is running through the summer.

Vote:  6-Yes, 3-No, 1-Abstention.  Motion carried.  

Postponement of Replacement of Maintenance Vehicles

A motion was made by Nikki South, seconded by Ken Brown, to reject the reduction of $8,000 to postpone the replacement of maintenance vehicles.
Mr. Madura explained that there are a couple of vehicles that are in the cycle to be replaced.  As the winter has been gentle on the equipment, it may be possible to get through another year with these.  Mr. Shane added that the District could also spend the $8,000 on repairs for the vehicles next year.
Vote:  6-Yes, 4-No, 0-Abstentions.  Motion carried.

Literacy Specialist

A motion was made by Nikki South, seconded by Laura Ordway, to reject the reduction of $2,600 to reduce 8 days from the Literacy Specialist’s teacher contract.  

Dr. Beecher mentioned that there is money in the curriculum budget for summer work.  The work will need to be prioritized and not all of the 8 days will be able to be covered in the curriculum budget.
  
Vote:  5-Yes, 5-No.  (Weighted Vote:  381-Yes, 384-No.)  The motion was defeated.

MS Guidance Secretary

A motion was made by Nikki South, seconded by Mody Botros, to accept the reduction of $2,000 for the Middle School Guidance Secretary.

This is a position that was added this year and was included in the budget again as it is needed.  

Vote:  5-Yes, 4-No, 1-Abstention.  Motion carried.

As a review, the items which have been reduced from the budget include the following:

Middle school library position to an educational technician III - $15,000
Life Skills (remainder of position moved to ARRA Grant for 1 year  11,500
Literacy Specialist (reduction of 8 days from teacher contract      2,600
Middle School Guidance Secretary (5 hour per week position)         2,000
                                                                 $31,100
A motion was made by Nikki South, seconded by Jean Clancy, to adopt the budget as modified with the previous votes.

The Budget Hearing is scheduled for Monday, March 15, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. at Lake Region High School.  The public is invited to share their input on the budget.

The Board will then have an opportunity to further discuss the budget following the Public Hearing.  

Vote on budget as modified: 7-Yes, 3-No, 0-Abstentions.  Motion carried.  

DISCUSSION ITEMS

None.

INFORMATION ITEMS

Committee Reports

Facilities Committee

Phil Shane reported that the Facilities Committee had not met.




Building Committee Meeting

Phil Shane reported that there had been a Building Committee meeting and the following items were discussed:

  • Continued to review the refinements to the plans including the most recent changes and cost estimates
  • Reviewed the financial plan – there will be two different funding streams and 2 bondings; one for the educational services building and the other for the renovation projects
  • Firmed up what would be in the base bid and what would be alternates; if removing asbestos in the renovated area and there is asbestos in a non-renovated area, it may be possible to get a better bid by doing a bigger area.
Liaison Committee

Mody Botros mentioned that the Breakfast with Freshmen and Sophomore was held and went very well.  Forty-five students were in attendance.  Board members learned a lot from the students.  The Junior and Senior Breakfast is scheduled for 8:30 on Wednesday, March 3.  The next Liaison Committee meeting is scheduled for
April 13.
  
Personnel Committee

Janet Ver Planck reported that there was no meeting prior to this meeting as a Budget Workshop was held.  The next meeting will be on April 5, 2010.

Finance Committee

Richard Merritt reported that the Finance Committee has not met.  A meeting will be scheduled.

Curriculum Committee

Patrick Phillips reported that the Committee met in February.  The 2010-11 Calendar and technology policies were reviewed.  The next meeting is scheduled for March 17 at 3:30 p.m. at the Central Office.
Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent Phillips extended his and the Board’s best wishes for a speedy recovery for Mr. Berkowitz, who received an injury and is hospitalized.  He mentioned that he has the highest regard for Mr. Berkowitz.  They are currently working on planning the next economic business and education summit.

Revolving Renovation Funds will be available for construction renovations.  Renovations at Lake Region High School and Lake Region Vocational Center will be submitted.  Any funding that can be received through the revolving renovation  program will save on funds that need to be bonded.  

The District is working with Mr. Stockmeyer from Drummond Woodsum regarding the QSCB (Qualified School Construction Bond.)





The Leadership Team was thanked for their work in developing the budget and coming up with additional reductions.  The Team has given great thought and solid support to providing the best education possible for the students of the District.

Personnel  

Lauren Gillespie is a long-term Substitute Science Teacher at Lake Region High School, replacing Gabe Miller, who is on a family and medical leave from
February 22, 2010 through March 12, 2010.

Public Comments on Non-Agenda Items

Beth McCarthy, a parent of a high school student, expressed her appreciation to  everyone for the work they are doing.  There were 7 parents in attendance with Beth.  

Public Comments on Non-Agenda Items (continued)

She expressed concern based on conversations with her child and with other parents in the District regarding the block scheduling at the high school.  Students are having difficulty staying focused through 80 minute classes and  having classes every other day.  Managing homework on the every other day schedule is difficult for the students.  Math, history and science seem to be
the most difficult, with math being the priority after speaking to parents.  

It was suggested that the schedule be changed to allow some subject areas to be held in 40 minute periods and held every day.  This would help the students grasp the concepts better and do the homework the same day it is assigned.  It would also be easier for students to make up work if they were absent.   

Superintendent Phillips told the parents that their concerns were heard and that the Board, Mr. Lowell, and the high school staff will evaluate the need to change the scheduling, make a recommendation to the Board’s Curriculum Committee, and then report back to the full Board.

Jody Gray, the Curriculum Committee Chairperson, told the parents that the Chair sets the agenda for the Curriculum Committee meetings and that this topic would be included on the agenda for a discussion with Mr. Lowell.

Mr. Lowell mentioned that he is always willing to meet with parents anytime they have an issue.  Several adjustments have been made to the scheduling.  Long periods work better for some courses.  Three different proposals for schedules have been reviewed.  Block scheduling has been used for 16 years.  

EXECUTIVE SESSION

A motion was made by Mody Botros, seconded by Laura Ordway, to go into Executive Session to discuss a student matter, pursuant to M.R.S.A. 405 6.B.  Motion carried unanimously.
 
The Board went into Executive Session at 10:00 p.m.   John Fillmore-Patrick, Nikki South, and Janet Ver Planck were excluded.


EXECUTIVE SESSION

The Board returned to Public Session at 10:12 p.m.

A motion was made by Mody Botros, seconded by Richard Merritt, to allow the student to return to Lake Region Middle School.  Vote:  5-Yes, 2-No,            0-Abstentions.  Motion carried.  

ADJOURNMENT

A motion was made by Mody Botros, seconded by Ken Brown, to adjourn. Motion carried.  

The meeting adjourned at 10:13 p.m.

                                                        ___________________________________