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School Board Minutes 05/03/2010

Regular Board Meeting
May 3, 2010

There was a Regular Meeting of the Lake Region School Board on Monday, May 3, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. at Songo Locks School.


Board members present were: Jody Gray, Vice-Chairperson, Janice Barter,
Kenneth Brown, Beth Chaplin, Jean Clancy, Richard Merritt, Philip Shane, and Janet Ver Planck.  Laura Ordway, Nikki South, and Wayne Warner, Sr. were excused.     

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


A motion was made by Janice Barter, seconded by Richard Merritt, to approve the agenda with the addition on the Agenda Addendum.  Motion carried unanimously.


A motion was made by Janice Barter, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the Minutes of the Regular Meeting of April 5, 2010.  Motion carried unanimously.

A motion was made by Jean Clancy, seconded by Richard Merritt, to approve the Minutes of the Special Meeting of April 26, 2010.  Motion carried unanimously.


School Bus Safety Poster Contest Winners

Mr. Madura mentioned that the School Bus Safety Poster Contest is an annual event.  He introduced Sandy Eldridge, the Safety Trainer.  She has been coordinating the program for many years.  Each year, School Bus Safety Week is held in October.  Students are taught bus safety during the week and students are given a topic to design a poster.  Posters are judged by the bus drivers and winners are recognized at this Board meeting.  These posters will go to the State Competition at Sugarloaf in July.  The State winners are invited to a Tea at the Blaine House.  The three top posters will be entered into the National Competition.  The overall winner’s poster will be used for the cover for next year’s Bus Safety Week information.  

John Mayo was thanked for making the posters into calendars for the Board members, parents of the winners, and principals.  
The students were presented with a medal, a certificate, and a calendar as follows:

  • Sebago Elementary School – Sarah Stefaniak, Katie Proia, Tyler Small, and
  Maggie Luce
  • Stevens Brook Elementary School – Wendy Ducas, Ellery Hunt, Madison Morse,
  and Isabella Wears

School Bus Safety Poster Contest Winners (continued)

  • Songo Locks School - Thomas Tibbetts, Zeke Clement, Aisley Sturk, and
    Lauren Jacobs   

All the students were congratulated.   


Rosie Schacht, Vocational Director, thanked the Board for having the students come to the meeting.  

Jeanette Vanidestine mentioned that the students attended the competition in March.   The students were well behaved and had a good time.  The students won 5 medals, one gold.  Also, two Lake Region students are State SkillsUSA officers.  The gold medalist and the two officers will be going to Kansas City to compete, and to attend Officer Training.  Several fund raisers are planned to raise money for the trip.   

Angelica Beek and David MacDonald were introduced as the State Officers.
Since November, the students have gone to Augusta once a month.  They talk about anything coming up for the State Skills competition and the Nationals which will be held in June.  The officers also planned the State Leadership Conference.  
David MacDonald is the Sergeant at Arms – He mentioned that the Giant Yard Sale would be held at Lake Region High School and Vocational Center.  Two Adirondack Chairs will be auctioned off at 1:00 p.m. the day of the auction.   
Sally Thompson, the Drafting and Design Instructor, mentioned that there were two winners.  Chris Bettencourt won a bronze medal in Architectural Drawing and  
Dylan Dupee won a gold medal in Technical Drafting.  This is the 5th year in a row Lake Region has won a gold medal in this event.  Chris Bettencourt mentioned that he had to write 3 pages on “Champions Connecting the Opportunity”.  He had to memorize the paper which was about living the American dream.  Chris mentioned that it was an honor to be at the event and it was the first medal he had ever won.  

Eric Botka, the Culinary Arts Instructor, took 9 students, some juniors so they could see what it was like.  There were 3 medalists – Dave MacDonald was in a contest on Customer Service and won a bronze medal.  The competition was similar to “Undercover Boss” and it was dealing with customer service on the internet.  The person who won the gold medal decided not to go to Kansas City, the Silver medalist was unable to go as the school wouldn’t send the students, so David MacDonald will be representing the school and the State at the competition in Kansas City.  Demetria Banks from Sacopee Valley High School won a bronze medal in extemporaneousness speaking, and Jake Newbegin from Fryeburg Academy, won a bronze medal in Action Skills.   
Audrey Langley, the Business Practices Instructor, mentioned that 9 students had attended the FBLA competition.


Jemalee Tracy came in 1st place in Job Skills and Shawn Dust came in 2nd      place; both students are from Sacopee Valley. Katelyn Paul, a Lake Region
High School student and Chapter President of FBLA, came in 2nd place in Word Processing and Spreadsheets.  

Stevens Brook Elementary School, Cheryl Turpin
  • Parent conferences were held and 97% of the parents attended.
  • The Bridgton Rotary donated a dictionary to all Grade 3 students.  
  • Doug Mayo was the Channel 13 Weather Kid.  He went to Portland and gave the weather forecast for the day.
  • “Steps into Reading” was the reading theme this year.  Students received a footprint for each book read.  The footprints went around the school almost 3 times in 3 ½ weeks.
  • The PTA was thanked for replenishing the white paper supply.
  • A $750 grant “Mobil on the Run” was received to be used for math or science – it was one of 12 grants awarded in the country.
  • An Exceptional Students Breakfast was held.  
  • The Elementary District Concert was held on April 11.  The three elementary schools practiced together in the morning and then had the concert that evening.  The students did an amazing job.  
  • Grade One students went to “Theatre Works”.  The PTA paid for the bus and tickets.
  • Students are participating in Kid Correspondent on Channel 13. Students were filmed talking about the highlights of the school.  It is a competition between 20 schools.  Songo Locks School is also competing.  The school that wins will have a big assembly.   
  • Kindergarten Screening was held and 45 students were registered.
  • Students participated in the King Arthur Bread program.  Forty-one loaves of bread were brought in for the food pantry out of 44 students.
  • A Mother/Son Carnival was held on Friday night.  
  • Upcoming /event:
  • There will be a Parent Involvement event on May 26 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.  “The Good, The Bad and the Ugly” will be held regarding the internet and video games.  It is hoped that a lot of people will attend.
Songo Locks School, June Conley

  • An Ice Cream party was held for the whole school on April 1 as an ending to the March reading program.
  • On April 9, King Arthur Bread held an assembly for grade 4 students.  They learned to make bread.  Each child went home with all the ingredients to make 2 loaves of bread over the weekend.  Monday, 69 loaves of bread came in to school which were donated to the food pantry.  
  • “Snow White” was performed by the After School Drama Club for the school and for parents.  It was directed by Kathy DeVoe, with help from
Janet Ver Planck, Heather Jordan, Avis Boyer, and Dan Cornely.  

  • Kindergarten screening was held and there were 80 incoming Kindergarten students signed up.
  • The specialists (Art, Music, PE/Health, and Library) held their culminating activity for their school goal on April 28.  The students studied the Songo Locks.  They did square dancing, log rolling art work, sang songs, and wrote and read poetry all focused around the locks and waterways.
  • Hampstead Theater Company performed Secret Garden for grades 3-5 students on Friday, April 30.
  • Songo Locks School is competing in the “Channel 13 Kid Correspondent” program which should be airing fairly soon.
  • May and June will be very busy with IOWA testing, field trips, the budget vote and Pride In Our School Day on May 20.  A Pizza party will be held and all are invited.  It will be an outdoor activity.  
Sebago Elementary School – Kirsten Goff

  • Fourteen students were registered at Kindergarten Screening.
  • “Getting Ready for School” was presented by Leslie McConnell, the District’s Home School Liaison for Pre-School Children.
  • On May 25, Grandpals Day will be held.  The theme will be “All About Reading”.  
  • A Band and Chorus concert will be held on May 27 at 1:30 p.m.  
  • A school-wide field trip is planned to take students to Macworth Island on
June 3, with a rain date of June 4.  This is sponsored by the PTC.
  • June 10 is Field Day.
  • June 16 is the 5th Grade Graduation at 1:00 p.m.
  • IOWA testing is going on now.
  • Title VI funds were used to provide after school activities for students in grades 3-5.  There was a Reading Club, Games Club, Knitting Club, and Talent Show which included singing, a dance routine, and jump roping.
  • Grade 3 students practiced their speaking skills by performing the play “Bug off”.  They had costumes, lighting, and performed the play in front of the whole school.
Lake Region Middle School - Mr. Mortenson

The Annual District Art Show will be held on May 14 and 15 at Lake Region Middle School.  The public and the Board were invited to the Art Show.  


Barry Johnson, President of the Lake Region Teachers Association, mentioned that there was unanimous support for everybody going to early release days for staff development time. This is also done in surrounding Districts.  With the changes that are going on at the high school, uninterrupted time will be helpful.  The Board was asked to consider early release for the high school.  

Action Items

Certification Policy

A motion was made by Janice Barter, seconded by Janet Ver Planck, to approve the Certification Policy as a second reading.  Motion carried unanimously.

2010-2011 School Calendar

A motion was made by Janice Barter, seconded by Beth Chaplin to approve the 2010-2011 School Calendar as a second reading.

  • Janice Barter mentioned that the calendar came back to the Curriculum Committee for review.  Superintendent Phillips and Mrs. Conley made a recommendation to to back to Late Arrival/Early Release days.  The elementary school lost a lot of their professional development time by having late arrival days.  Early release was discussed at the high school but it was decided to continue with early release due to the impact on sports and extra help for students.   
  • August 24 will be Kindergarten Orientation for all schools.
  • The November and February Late Arrival/Early Release days were eliminated.
  • The Leadership Team discussed the Early Release/Late Arrival benefits and disadvantages.  There were more benefits to the Late Arrival/Early Release option.  
  • The Late Arrival/Early Release Day is a better match for the Vocational Center and for sports.  Games could be moved so it wouldn’t be a problem, however, students may not be able to get back to school for practices.
  • Students needing extra help would be leaving school at 11:30 a.m.
  • With block scheduling, it could be a whole week without contact with a teacher.
  • Students arrive early on late arrival days at the high school, which is disruptive to teachers.
  • There would be more of a problem with students being at the school for 4 hours waiting for practice.
  • The Special Education Department has 110 employees and it would be preferable to have all early release to allow for more K-12 Special Education work.
  • Why is a Late Arrival/Early Release Day scheduled for June?  Students need to be in school.  There needs to be some kind of schedule available on what is happening at the Late Arrival/Early Release days.  Mrs. Conley responded by sharing a list of staff development that has been provided this year as follows:
  • Response to Intervention – help support students – K-12
  • Positive Behavioral Intervention Support – (PBIS) – Mr. Toews and
Mrs. Caron have been working on this.  Each school has a PBIS Team.
  • Mental Health Training
  • Teachers have reviewed the curriculum standards and unpacked the standards.  
  • Unit Development – looking at the standards – writing units – developing common units to be used in all elementary and middle school grades.
  • Grades 9-12 – Curricula Showcase – workshops were held for colleagues.
  • Vertical Curriculum Review between the middle school and high school
  • Unpacked the MEA and NECAP – looking at individual student’s needs
  • The elementary level incorporated technology using Skype between buildings for professional development.  
  • The benefit for having a Late Arrival/Early Release day in June is to wrap up everything for the current year and to begin planning for the next year.  The Teacher Workshop Day in March has not happened for the
2010-2011 School Calendar (continued)

last 3 years due to make–up days for inclement weather and this year, the furlough day.
  • The day-long Teacher Workshop days provide time to have speakers for staff development.  This year a Vocabulary Specialist was brought in  
  • for explicitly teaching vocabulary for all elementary and special services teachers.
  • The Late Arrival/Early Release days are usually used for on-going curriculum work.
  • It was suggested that Minutes of what is happening on Late Arrival/Early Release Days and Workshop Days be posted on the web so everyone can see what is being worked on.  
Superintendent Phillips told Board members that it would not be wise to reduce professional development time.  Intense work is needed at the high school and the K-12 program needs to be strengthened.  He encouraged the Board to approve the professional time.

Vote:  7-Yes, 0-No, 1-Abstention.  Motion carried.

Bond Anticipation Note Bid

The Finance Committee met prior to the Board meeting.  Bids were opened on Friday.  Androscoggin Bank had the low bid of 1.12%, with a draw down of 2.13% line of credit.  There were three other banks that submitted a bid.  The Committee unanimously approved recommending the bid of Androscoggin Bank for the anticipation of the bonds for the construction project.

A motion was made by Janice Barter, seconded by Richard Merritt, to approve the following vote:

Voted:  That the offer of Androscoggin Bank to purchase bond anticipation notes
        of the Maine School Administrative District No. 61 in the original
        principal amount of Seven Hundred Thousand Dollars ($700,000) with an
        interest rate per annum on the outstanding principal amount thereof
        equal to 1.12%, be and the same hereby is accepted and approved.  
        Motion carried unanimously.

A motion was made by Janice Barter, seconded by Ken Brown, to approve the following vote:

Voted:  That the School Board of Maine School Administrative District No. 61
        hereby authorizes a borrowing in the amount of Seven Hundred Thousand
        Dollars ($700,000) from Androscoggin Bank on behalf of the District,
        with interest on the principal amount thereof at a rate of 1.12% per
        annum, principal and interest to be paid at maturity on November 3,
        2010, which borrowing is for the purpose of renovating Lake Region High
        School and Lake Region Vocational Center.  Motion carried unanimously.

A motion was made by Janice Barter, seconded by Richard Merritt, to approve the following vote:  

Voted:  That under and pursuant to the provisions of Title 20-A M.R.S. Sections
        1490 and 1501, the Chairperson of the School Board and the Treasurer of
        the District be and they are hereby authorized to borrow from
        Androscoggin Bank in the name and on behalf of the District the sum of
        up to Seven Hundred Thousand Dollars ($700,000) at the per annum
        interest rate of 1.12%, and that the Chairperson of the School Board
        and the Treasurer be and they are hereby authorized to issue general
        obligation securities of Maine School Administrative District No. 61 in
        an aggregate principal amount not to exceed Seven Hundred Thousand
        Dollars ($700,000) which securities are for the purpose of financing
        costs of renovating Lake Region High School and Lake Region Vocational
        Center, and to execute and deliver a note or notes under the seal of
        the District attested by the Secretary, dated on or about May 12, 2010,
        in such form as the Chairperson of the School Board and the Treasurer
        may approve; and that the appropriate officials of the District be and
        hereby are authorized to execute and deliver on behalf of the District  
        such other documents and certificates as may be required in connection
        with such borrowing; and that no part of the proceeds of said borrowing
        shall be used, directly or indirectly, to acquire any securities and
        obligations, the acquisition of which would cause the notes to be
        “arbitrage bonds” within the meaning of Section 148 of the Internal
        Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”); and that the bond
        anticipation notes issued pursuant hereto be designated as a qualified
        tax-exempt obligation within the meaning of Section 265(b)(3) of said
        Code; and that the Chairperson of the School Board and the Treasurer be
        and they are hereby authorized to covenant on behalf of the District to
        file any information report and pay any rebate due to the United States
        in connection with the issuance of said notes, to take all other lawful
        actions necessary to insure the interest on the notes will be excluded
        from the gross income of the owners thereof for purposes of federal
        income taxation and to refrain from taking any action which would cause
        interest on the notes to become includable in the gross income of the
        owners thereof.  Motion carried unanimously.

Board Approval of Concept and Draft Budget for the Department of Education School Improvement Plan

Superintendent Phillips shared an Overview on the DOE School Improvement Grant Application (attached).  

  • The Board needs to approve the concept and overall dollar amount of the grant.
  • A small working group of teachers, community members, and Board members met to give feedback on the grant.  Included in the group were Sue Sloan,
Harvey Toews, Barry Johnson, Kathleen Beecher, Janice Barter, Ray Stanford, Jeff Hall, Katie Cash-Staley, Sandy Arris, and Josh Sturk.   
  • Based on findings and recommendations of the Lake Region High School Status Committee, the group came up with the 3-year overview.
  • The group continued to use some of the essential documents that were used by the LRHS Status Committee including Breaking Schools II and using the vision of what an excellent school looks like.

Board Approval of Concept and Draft Budget for the Department of Education School Improvement Plan (continued)

  • Superintendent Phillips will continue to develop and fill out the Department of Education’s application including budget, analysis, and goals.
  • It is important to keep the high school faculty up to date on the process.  
  • May 14 is the submission date.
  • Teachers are our greatest resource – they need to have cutting edge training to teach students the 21st century skills they will need.  
  • The Board needs to have a bold vision, we have an opportunity for supporting and investing in the high school curriculum.  We are spending $14 million on the building, we need to improve the program.  
There was a discussion regarding the grant application as follows:

  • Teachers were not in favor of taking the money and now they are on board for taking the funds.  They should not get a bonus for doing this.  Students are the ones that we need to see results from.
  • Superintendent Phillips told Board members that the process has been very hard for all the Districts that were put on the list.  He met with 35 teachers to begin outlining the plans and there was very strong, positive energy.  The focus is now what do we need to do, with no thought about what extra time is involved.  We need to get beyond what has happened.
  • A decision needs to be made on whether to continue block scheduling or go to 40 minutes.  A review of block scheduling will be done right away.
  • Need to be sure boys are treated the same as girls.  
  • Nothing addresses SAT’s – the District should require students take a mandatory SAT prep class.  
  • Instructional reforms, professional development, is what is being proposed.  We have systems in place. Visit other schools that are similar to our District, find out what is working and make the appropriate changes.  Implement changes as of September 1.
  • What will be the local burden in year 4.  The grant is for a three year period.  The Board would need to decide if anything continues after the three years.
  • Can you eliminate professional development from the plan and take out that money?  The grant requires that we have a very strong professional development program.  We need to research programs that are successful nationwide.    
  • Kathleen Beecher mentioned that from talking with Districts that have been successful, part of the discussion included teachers going on visits.  It can be cost neutral to do it by having teachers be subs for each other.
  • We do not want to reinvent the wheel.  Find a system that is working and has similar demographics.
  • There is a sentence about the SAT, it is not strong enough, we need to make sure students do well on the test.
  • 8th Grade Summer Academy - How many 14 year olds want to give up their summer?  The academy will be for graduating 8th graders.  It will be a 4 week program including field trips to the University of Maine, motivational work, and some remedial work.
A motion was made by Janice Barter, and seconded by Jean Clancy, to accept the draft concept, subject to refinements.

Vote:  7-Yes, 1-No, 0-Abstentions.  Motion carried.

Peter Mortenson mentioned that he previously worked for a school in Vermont and a similar thing happened.  People were brought in to provide professional development to staff over a two-year period of time.  They have been using new practices since 1988 and have made AYP since.  Professional development is a necessary process, however, not a cheap process.


Kathleen Tragert’s appointment as Summer School Supervisor at Lake Region Middle School was removed from the agenda due to the possibility of the 8th Grade Summer Academy.

A motion was made by Ken Brown, seconded by Richard Merritt, to approve the appointment of James Stacey as a 7th Grade Baseball Coach for the Spring 2010 season.  Motion carried unanimously.  


Andy Madura mentioned that the District has a good opportunity to have a School Health Coordinator.  
  • The Wellness Team has been dealing with good nutrition and physical activity.  Mr. Madura was approached about a grant and if the school would sponsor it.  The Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) grant was awarded to PROP and it will provide a full-time District Coordinator.  It was done as a joint application with the City of Portland to seek funding for obesity prevention efforts in Portland and the Sebago Lakes Region.
  • In the schools, the grant will allow for the purchase of equipment required to process local foods and offer microgrants to start school gardens, school outing clubs and to create walking trails.  
  • In the community, the grant will seek to increase the percentage of local foods being utilized at community suppers, increase access to existing trails and opportunities for physical activity, and offer microgrants to after school programs to increase physical activity offerings.
  • The District’s responsibility is providing office space, a laptop, and computer equipment.  The position will be housed at Crooked River Elementary School or at the Central Office.  The financial commitment is very limited and the resources are huge.   
Superintendent’s Goals

Superintendent Phillips mentioned that he had reviewed his goals with the Personnel Committee.  The full Board is getting them a little later than hoped for, however, he still stands by them, and will also continue his work with the high school review.  The concentration on STEM courses will be changed to STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math – as the arts have a fundamental role in building creativity in students.

Committee Reports

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee met prior to the meeting and discussed the Bond Anticipation Bid.  They also discussed a personnel item that may have a budget impact.

Curriculum Committee

The Committee will meet on May 12 at 3:30 p.m. at the Central Office.

Personnel Committee

The Personnel Committee met prior to the Board meeting. The following items were discussed:  

  • Teacher Evaluation policy
  • Sick Bank policy
  • Search for High School Principal  
The form was revised for employees who resign from the District.

Facilities Committee

Phil Shane reported that the Facilities Committee would be meeting before the next Board meeting.   

The Building Committee will be going before the Naples Planning Committee on Tuesday night for final approval of the Lake Region High School/Vocational Center project.
Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent Phillips reflected on what has been happening in the District.   It has been through a difficult process for the last five weeks.  He is proud and encouraged by the energy that has gone into the recent work.  The teachers have begun to pick up the pieces and come together on behalf of the students.  He is happy to be here and there will only be good things to come in the next three years.


  • Eleanor Botka has submitted her intent to retire from her position as a Gifted and Talented Teacher at Lake Region Middle School, effective
June 30, 2010.

  • Hilary Hamilton has submitted her intent to retire from her position as a Guidance Counselor at Songo Locks School and Lake Region Middle School, effective June 17, 2010.
  • Donna Woodward has submitted her intent to retire from her position as a Kindergarten Teacher at Stevens Brook Elementary School, effective
June 17, 2010.

Laura Grace will be on a maternity Family Medical Leave of Absence, effective approximately May 28, 2010 for the remainder of the 2009-10 school year.

Marjorie Jansz is a Long-term Substitute English Teacher at Lake Region High School, replacing Donald Weafer who is on a Family and Medical leave of absence, effective April 5, 2010.


Kathleen Beecher mentioned that Tony Buzzeo, a Children’s Book Author, sponsored a contest for students to write a story about “No T-Rex in the Library” to coincide with the book being published.  Three Extended Studies students at Songo Locks School participated in the contest.  Sharon Ridley submitted the entries.  The District was one of 10 schools to win.  The school received a copy of the book.

A motion was made by Janet Ver Planck, seconded by Jean Clancy, to go into Executive Session to discuss negotiations, pursuant to M.R.S.A. 405 5.D. MRSA.

The Board went into Executive Session at 9:28 p.m. and returned to Public Session at 9:45 p.m.

A motion was made and seconded to adjourn.

The meeting adjourned at 9:47 p.m.


                                                                           Date Approved