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School Board Minutes 03/28/2011

LAKE REGION SCHOOL DISTRICT
Regular Meeting
March 28, 2011


There was a Regular Meeting of the Lake Region School Board on Monday,
March 28, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. in the Cafeteria at Songo Locks School.  

CALL TO ORDER AND ROLL CALL.

Chairperson Warner called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.  Board members present were:  Janice Barter, Beth Chaplin, Jean Clancy, Jody Gray,  
Richard Merritt, Laurie Mondville, Lesley Niemy, Philip Shane,
Karla Swanson-Murphy, and Shelby Rider the Student Representative.  
Ken Brown, Donna Norton, and Laura Ordway were excused.

Administrators present were:  Kathleen Beecher, June Conley,
Kirsten Goff, Lisa Caron, Andrew Madura, Jason Manjourides,
Peter Mortenson, Roseanne Schacht, Guy Stickney, Joshua Sturk,
Paul True, Sherrie Small, Cheryl Turpin, and Patrick R. Phillips, Superintendent of Schools.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

A motion was made by Jody Gray, seconded by Karla Swanson-Murphy, to approve the budget with the following change:

Move “Action Item – Board Discussion of 2011-12 Budget” up on the Agenda to be discussed after “Approval of Minutes”.  Public comments will follow the Board discussion.  Motion carried unanimously.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

A motion was made by Janice Barter, seconded by Laurie Mondville, to approve the Minutes of March 7, 2011.  Motion carried unanimously.

ACTION ITEM

Board Discussion of the 2011-12 Budget

There is a difference between the Expenditure Budget and the Revenue Budget of $1.3 million.   

Sherrie Small responded that there is $1,000,000 in carry-over which will be brought forward for next year.

Other Revenues include:
State Clients – (Special Education)                             $834,133
Medicaid                                                                 225,000
Miscellaneous                                             50,000
(unanticipated funds such as insurance claims
 and refunds from companies
Medicaid                                                25,000

In previous years, the balance forward was built larger to anticipate for revenue shortfalls.  As the District is now a minimum receiver, it is no longer necessary to carry a large balance forward.  The balance forward is used to offset revenue shortfalls.  The balance goes back into the revenue line for the next year.

Superintendent Phillips clarified that the Unanticipated Revenue lines are very volatile.  For example, the Medicaid line is controlled by the Federal and State governments.  The District can receive $650,000 one year and then may not receive anything the following year.  It makes it look like there is a balance but you won’t actually know until the end of the year.  
 
A question was asked about the daycare program.

Mr. Clement responded that the program was estimated at a cost of $85,000.  This amount will be offset by revenues.  It is projected that the program will be self-sustaining.

A question was asked regarding the balance forward amount of $1,000,000.  Is the District spending the balance forward although they did not raise that amount?

Superintendent Phillips clarified that the balance forward is always counted as revenue.  It is a natural outgrowth of the budget process.  The budget is prepared a year and a half prior to the actual year administered.  Expenses are estimated as closely as possible, however, costs, like fuel oil, can fluctuate.  The Finance Committee, in previous years has carried a larger balance forward to help with revenue shortfalls.  The Finance Committee has been working to lower the amount of the balance forward.

A question was asked regarding the Middle School Transition program.  What does the $45,000 represent?  Superintendent Phillips responded that this number represents a reduction in transportation and facilities costs that were built into the program.  Options are still being explored with regard to where to house the program.  Possibilities include Crooked River, the Middle School or Bridgton Memorial School.  There has been a discussion with the Town of Bridgton at an exploratory level to see how the Town of Bridgton is planning to use the Bridgton Memorial School and if a Cooperative Agreement might be possible.  If the program is located at Crooked River, students could be picked up on the regular bus runs so there would be no additional costs.    

A question was asked as to when the District would be notified of the rates for health insurance for next year.  Sherrie Small responded that the information should be received in April.

What was the estimated savings of closing Bridgton Memorial School?    
Mr. Madura responded that the savings was approximately $56,000 including salaries and benefits and heat.  It would be possible to open up a portion of the newer part of the building and the old part could remain cold storage.  

Superintendent Phillips asked to go on record that the discussion regarding Bridgton Memorial School was at the exploratory level only.  It would only be possible if it could meet the needs of the Town of Bridgton and the District at the lowest possible cost.  A variety of options are being considered for the program.

What is the cost of the Coop Program and the half-time Law Enforcement program?  The Coop Program will be $35,000 and the Law Enforcement Program - $31,000.  These will be offset by the School-to-Work Program which was budgeted at $58,000.  There is a net increase of $5,000.


The equipment and supplies for the Law Enforcement Program are in storage from five years ago.

Janice Barter, in reviewing the budget numbers, thought there should be an additional $19,000 reduced from the budget.  She will discuss this with
Ms. Small.

The discussion was opened for pubic comments and questions.

Mr. Morton suggested that the Board consider using the $250,000 from the Capital Reserve fund to reduce this year’s budget and reduce the scope of the construction project to take care of the PCB’s.

A motion was made by Janice Barter, seconded by Jody Gray, to approve the 2011-12 budget for the amount of $26,121,000.  

Mr. Merritt encouraged the Board to consider reducing the budget by an additional $250,000.  The amount could be offset by funds budgeted for benefit increases.  The Board should be able to find $300,000 and have no affect on programs or students.  He will be voting against the motion.

There was a discussion on the alternate bids for the high school construction project.  Mr. Madura told Board members that some of the alternates are mandatory to include in the project, such as the Fire Alarm System.  These are separated out so that the District can possibly get a better price by doing the work locally.  The architects are speculating that the cost of the fire alarm upgrade will be $100,000.  By having an Alternate, the District can get bids from local contractors and possibly save some money.  

It was suggested that the balance forward be reduced by $250,000 to help the taxpayers.   Superintendent Phillips explained that the District would need to raise that much more money from the taxpayers.  The balance forward is counted as revenue to offset the revenue budget.

What happens if the health insurance rate comes in less than anticipated?  Any funds not used would go toward the balance forward.  If not enough is budgeted, the amount will be taken from the $400,000 that is budgeted for salaries and benefits.  The District is obligated to pay the insurance costs.
    
Vote on the motion to approve the budget at $26,121,000:  6-Yes, 4-No.  Motion carried.

A motion was made by Janice Barter, seconded by Karla Swanson-Murphy, to set the Adult Education Budget at $717,433.  Vote:  7-Yes, 3-No.  Motion carried.

PRESENTATION

Middle School 8th Grade Summit

Mr. Mortenson did a presentation on the 8th Grade Summit as follows:

Pathways Open to 8th Graders

  • Transition to High School
  • Attend the 8th Grade Summer Academy and Transition to the High School
  • Enroll in the Diversified Occupations Program as part of the Transition to the High School
  • Attend the 8th Grade Summit
  • Be retained by Lake Region Middle School
Concerns

  • Status of the high school being placed on the persistently low achieving list.
  • The Leadership Team has discussed the implications for grades K-12.
  • The addition of the K-2 Literacy Coaches is a clear indication of the Leadership Team’s goal to support students coming up through the grades.
  • The goal is to be sure students enter the High School prepared for success.
What is the current situation?

  • Spring 2010 NWEA assessments showed that 1/3 of the Lake Region Middle School students are two or more years behind the standards.
  • 2009 NECAP results showed similar results.
  • 2010-11 Scantron assessments also showed similar results.
  • Of the current 8th grade students showing significant deficits, 44 are not receiving special services.
What is the 8th Grade Summit Program?

  • It will be a separate program where the focus will be on reading and math via a program that emphasizes:  investigative, experiential, community-based, service-learning, and project-based methodologies.
  • Students designated for this program are in need of something different from the traditional classroom.  They have been very unsuccessful.
  • It will service students who are not ready for any of the pathway options above.  These students are very far behind in their academic work.  Summit students will be retained students.
  • There are currently 40 students who fall into this category (Four students made improvements and were taken off the list).  Several of the students are working very hard and getting extra help to get their work caught up.
  • 37% of the 8th grade students are proficient or proficient with Distinction in writing.    
Expected Results

  • It is expected that students from this program will show significant progress, and will be ready to enter LRHS in the fall of 2012.
  • That all the 8th grade Summit students reach the academic target of end-of-seventh grade skills to enter High School.
  • It is hoped that the program will only be needed for a couple of years.  
 


8th grade Summit Program (continued)

Douglas Maker was asked to tell what a typical day would look like.
  • Students will feel a sense of community.
  • Students will gather together and all hear the message for the day – Goals for the day will be shared.
  • The goal of the program would be to improve math and reading skills, attitudes and aspirations.
  • Students have to buy into the program.  It will be hands-on, inquiry-based methodology.
  • Students will need to show significant progress and be ready for high school in 2012.
  • It is hoped to bring students up to at least the end of 7th grade level.
  • These students will be moved into a redefined high school and will need to learn 21st century skills.
  • Students will attend the Summer Institute for Service Learning.
  • There will be a lot of interaction with the community.
  • Reading and math skills in the content area will be taught.
  • Activities will be introduced that require math and reading skills.
  • Art will also be incorporated into the activities.  One example would be a picture framer coming into the class.  Students would learn how to measure right angles, etc.
  • The Summit may include the 8th grade students and the sophomore students.  The maximum number for the program is 30 students.
  • Screening for the program will include attitude, assessment scores, grades, and whether or not the student can be successful.  Students must also be non-IEP students.
  • There will be transportation costs as the students will need to travel to do various activities.  Some may include the following:
  • Visits to local artists/galleries
  • Maine Authors
  • Historical Societies
  • Lakes Environmental Association projects
  • Gulf of Maine Research Institute
  • Students will learn to cook.  Students will go purchase food for lunch and prepare the meal.  A lot of learning takes place at the dinner table.
The crisis in Japan has been a huge global learning experience.  Students are asking about nuclear energy and about what a tsunami is.  Students are learning how we are interconnected with the world.

If the program is approved, the Middle School will begin the deep level of planning that is needed.    

ADMINISTRATIVE COMMENTS

Songo Locks School, June Conley

  • On Dr. Seuss Day, everyone in the school wore red and white.  At 2:30 in the afternoon, everyone congregated in the hall and read for 20 minutes.  The number of pages read were counted and translated into miles.  When tallied on a map of the United States, students read enough pages to travel back and forth across the Country three times.
Songo Locks School, June Conley (continued)

  • Cynthia Lord, an Author, visited the school on March 3 and visited with students in grades 3-5.
  • The pin number system is being used by the students for the food service program.  This is going very well.
  • The Scholastic Book Fair was held last week.  
  • Parent/Teacher Conferences were held last Thursday night and Friday.
  • Last month, NECAP data and DRA scores were reviewed for strengths and weaknesses.  Discussions were held on how to help the students meet the standards.
  • Family Fun Night is scheduled for April 18.  Multiple activities will be going on around the school.  Donations from families will be taken for a relief fund to help Japanese friends who have lost their schools.
Stevens Brook Elementary School

  • The Parent Involvement Committee hosted a Parent Panel with the theme “Effective Citizens”.  Parents shared what interested them about their job and what they needed to know to follow that career path.
  • Read Across America was celebrated by “Drop Everything and Read”.
  • Cynthia Lord came to SBES today.  She did three different presentations and shared what is involved from thinking of an idea all the way through the publishing process.  She shared how many months and years it takes before you can publish a book.  It was helpful for students to see pages and pages of rewrites.
  • Parent/Teacher Conferences were held on Thursday night and Friday.  One- hundred percent of the parents will be contacted.
  • A “Choices” event was held.  A basketball game with the Staff vs. the Sheriff’s Department was played.  The police won by one point.  The school mascot was at the game and kids wore they “Choices” shirts.
  • The PTO is busy planning the Father/Daughter Dance and the Mother/Son Carnival.
  • The Scholastic Book Fair is in process.
  • The school is collecting “Pennies for People”.
  • Report cards go home this week.
Sebago Elementary School, Kirsten Goff

  • April 15 is Kindergarten Screening.
NECAP data was reviewed by the staff.  A discussion was held on how to improve reading and math skills and how to take the test well.  Trends in taking the test were reviewed.
  • Katherine Patterson came to visit Sebago Elementary School.  It was a full day event, with parents and grandparents being invited to attend.  She shared “Read for Life and Pass It On”.  She read a grade appropriate selection for the students.  It was an honor to have her at the school.  
Ms. Goff shared a scrapbook that students made during her visit.  It is a work-in-progress and writing can be added each year.  It is a book that can be passed on for generations.




Lake Region Middle School – Peter Mortenson

The National Junior Honor Society will sponsor a Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, April 2 at Songo Locks School.  Everyone was invited to attend.  

PUBLIC COMMENTS ON NON-AGENDA ITEMS

None.

8th Grade Summit – Alternate Program

A motion was made by Janice Barter, seconded by Richard Merritt, to approve the 8th Grade Summit.

  • Janice Barter mentioned that Mr. Mortenson had discussed the program with the Curriculum Committee.  She expressed concern for the program if it is not on the Middle School site.  Students will be unable to participate in extra-curricular activities and will not be involved in Creative and Fine Arts.  Also, if the program is off-site and there are two male teachers, it will not be a safe situation.  Mr. Mortenson responded that the program may be shared with the Sophomore class.  If so, there will be a female instructor.
  • The students need to concentrate on their core subjects, not Fine Arts or group sports.
  • Will the students be allowed to play sports?  If off-campus, who will transport?
  • Fine and Creative Arts will be woven into the curriculum.
  • Will the Board get to vote on the location of the program?
  • The program, if approved, will need to be developed and a location decided on.  Once determined, the topic will be included on a future agenda for Board approval.
  • Trust the Administrators and Superintendent, not interested in voting on the location.
  • The program should be housed at Crooked River Elementary School.
  • State law requires the Board to decide where students will go to school.  The Board should vote on the location of the Summit Program.
  • This program is very important, need to get the students up to grade level.
  • This is a systemic problem.  It needs to be addressed at all grade levels.
  • Standards interventionists have been hired at the elementary level.
  • Scantron tests are being used by teachers to see where students are falling behind and are implementing interventions.
  • If students are not participating in extra-curricular activities and fine arts, it may be an indication that the students are at-risk.  
Vote on motion:  Motion carried unanimously.

Policies

A motion was made by Richard Merritt, seconded by Laurie Mondville, to approve the following policies as a block:

  • School Records Retention Policy
  • High School Teacher Leader
  • Recruiting and Hiring of Administrative Staff Administrative Procedures
Vote:  3-Yes, 4-No.  The motion was defeated.

Policies

A motion was made by Janice Barter, and seconded, to table the policies until the next meeting.  Motion carried.

CPPW Garden Grant Award

A motion was made by Laurie Mondville, seconded by Janice Barter, to approve the CPPW Garden Grant Awards as follows:   

  • Sebago Elementary School - $2,250.00
  • Songo Locks School - $2,247.00
  • Lake Region Middle School - $1,935.00
  • Lake Region High School - $2,250.00
Motion carried unanimously.

Personnel

A motion was made by Philip Shane, seconded by Laurie Mondville, to approve the following items as a block:

  • Daniel Turner as a School Bus Driver
  • Appointment of Additional Duty Positions for the Spring Athletic Season
Motion carried unanimously.

A motion was made by Janice Barter, seconded by Karla Swanson-Murphy, to approve the above block.  Motion carried unanimously.

As the Board needed to go into an Executive Session, the Discussion Items and Information Items will be discussed at the next Regular Meeting.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

A motion was made by Jody Gray, seconded by Laurie Mondville, 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 9:05 p.m.  Mr. Stickney was invited to attend the Executive Session.

The Board returned to Public Session at 9:16 p.m.

A motion was made by Richard Merritt, seconded by Laurie Mondville, to expel this student from school pursuant to 20-A M.R.S.A. Section 1001(9) on the grounds that such expulsion is necessary for the peace and usefulness of the school and to direct the Superintendent to provide the student and his/her parents written notice of this action and the reasons therefor.  Motion carried unanimously.


ADJOURNMENT

A motion was made by Richard Merritt, seconded by Karla Swanson-Murphy, to adjourn.  Motion carried unanimously.  

The meeting adjourned at 9:17 p.m.

                                                                   ________________________
                                                                                Secretary

                                                                   ________________________
                                                                           Date Approved