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School Board Minutes 02/27/2012

LAKE REGION SCHOOL DISTRICT
Regular Meeting
February 27, 2012


There was a Regular Meeting of the Lake Region School Board on Monday,   February 27, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. at Lake Region Middle School.  

CALL TO ORDER AND ROLL CALL

Janice Barter called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.  Board members present were:  Beth Chaplin, Sherry Miller, Laurie Mondville, Laura Ordway,
Erica Pond Green, Trina Sanborn, Philip Shane, and Karla Swanson-Murphy.  
Jody Gray, Cindy LeBlanc, Richard Merritt, and Donna Norton were excused.  

Administrators present were:  June Conley, Kirsten Goff, Deborah Howard,
Andrew Madura, Guy Stickney, Joshua Sturk, Paul True, Cheryl Turpin, and Kathleen Beecher, Superintendent of Schools.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the Agenda as presented.  Vote: 9-Yes, 0-No, 1-Abstention. Motion carried.

MINUTES

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Laurie Mondville, to approve the Minutes of February 6, 2012 with the following change:

Page 5 – Personnel

Karla Swanson-Murphy (not Janice Barter) made the motion to approve the appointment of Gloria Verrill as an Adult Education Math Teacher.

Motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC COMMENTS ON AGENDA ITEMS

Barry Johnson questioned what “inappropriately” means in the “Staff Conduct with Student” policy.  He commented that there are a lot of misconceptions in the policy, especially with Section F.  Socializing.  Most of the items mentioned are covered by law.  Employees are supposed to be trusted.  They all have to be fingerprinted.

Mr. Sulloway also spoke in regards to the “Staff Conduct with Student” policy.  He commented that the changes made on the policy from the previous version are going in the right direction.  His concern is reporting to an administrator prior to engaging in an activity.   Wording on the policy still needs to be cleaned up. Other areas to look at include: D. Has “unless” in the sentence twice – would recommend getting rid of the parenthesis.
What are customary student – teacher gifts?
Most of the problems are with the family friend piece with parental approval.  

ADMINISTRATIVE COMMENTS

Elementary Principals

Sebago Elementary School - Kirsten Goff

  • On February 1, several staff from the elementary schools attended a conference at the University of Southern Maine on unpacking the language arts portion of the Common Core State Standards.
  • The 100th day of school was celebrated just before the winter break with special reading activities, wearing robust vocabulary words around for the day, and collecting food for the Sebago Food Pantry.  Thanks to the generosity of the families of Sebago Elementary, the school was able to pass 166 cans and boxes of food down the hall.
  • The core, full-time staff will be participating in a minimum of 12 hours of Safety Care Training starting on Thursday.
  • On March 2, “Read Across America” will be celebrated in honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday.  Students are eagerly keeping track of their reading and one student will be chosen to put a pie in Mrs. Goff’s face during the school’s special 25th anniversary of Grand Pal’s Day on May 25.
Stevens Brook Elementary School, Cheryl Turpin

  • Parent Night (Puzzle Night) - was held and over 300 parents and students attended.  Mr. Madura and his employees were thanked for catering the event with pizza and salad.    
  • The Student Council did a fund raiser at Shawnee Peak guarding skis at Shawnee Peak.
  • “Read Across America” will be celebrated on Friday.  Guest readers will be reading to students.  There will also be DARE time (Drop Everything and Read).  Also, everyone will get a new book.  
  • Family Game Night is scheduled for March 19.  The purpose is to bring back board games and show kids how much fun they are to play.  Fifty new games will be given away and every student will go home with a game bag which will include a deck of cards, dice, and various math games with directions to help students develop their math skills.
  • Parent Conferences will be held on March 22 and 23.
Songo Locks School, June Conley

  • Many of the same events previously mentioned will take place at SLS also.
  • On February 1, Nurse Deb shared information on heart health with staff including how to stay healthy and symptoms of a heart attack as they are different with women.  
  • Dress in Red Day – a picture of a heart was hung in the lobby and staff pictures with them dressed in red are placed on the heart to promote heart health.
  • Mrs. Ridley, the Extended Studies Teacher and Mr. Cushing, a Social Studies Teacher at Lake Region High School, did an activity with a large National Geographic map.  Students did multiple activities with the map and they also used a compass rose.  Pictures will be included in the Newsletter.


Songo Locks School, June Conley

  • On February 1, SLS received an email from Ruth’s Reusable.  The value of furniture and school supplies taken from Ruth’s equals $23,699 this year. This membership gives the District a great return on its investment.
  • March into Reading began on Monday with the Books to Bike Program.  This is a Masonic program and before April vacation, a girl’s bike and a boy’s bike will be given away to the students that read the most books.
  • Visitors will be coming in to read on Dr. Seuss Day.
  • The Book Fair will be held on March 19 through the 23 – buy one get one book free.
  • Book Character Week has been scheduled for the week of March 26.
  • Kindergarten through grade 3 students will be voting on the Chickadee Award books.
ACTION ITEMS

Policies

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Laurie Mondville, to approve the Purchasing and Contracting:  Procurement Staff of Code of Conduct policy as a second reading.  Motion carried unanimously.

Purchasing Authority

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Laurie Mondville, to approve the revisions to the Purchasing Authority policy as a second reading.  Motion carried unanimously.

Nepotism

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Laurie Mondville, to approve the Nepotism policy as a second reading.
 
Superintendent Beecher mentioned that she had discussed the previous revisions by the Board with Mr. Badger from Drummond Woodsum.  With the elimination of the “Exceptions” paragraph, immediate family working in the District would not be able to continue.  The positions would need to be transitioned out between now and the end of the year.  This would affect at least three people.   With the “Exceptions” paragraph, the people can continue in the District and the Board can vote to waive the policy.  It is very typical to have a paragraph like this.  It was recommended that the Board keep the paragraph in the policy.  It could be in the best interest of the District to have immediate family working in the schools.  The Board has the opportunity to look at each situation and make a decision.

An Amendment was made by Erica Pond Green, seconded by Trina Sanborn, to include the “Exceptions” paragraph into the policy.  

Discussion included the following:
  • The policy should be timeless, the policy could be abused with a change of personnel.  The paragraph was previously taken out to protect the District from future liability.

Nepotism

  • The Superintendent has established procedures to report the hiring of immediate family to the Board.  The Board has to review each situation.  
  • If a Board member is aware of a relative being hired and the Board is reviewing the appointment, the Board member would abstain from voting.
  • A lot of relatives work in the District.  Taking out the “Exceptions” paragraph would limit the District from having the best person in the job.  Fewer people would be able to move up into supervisory roles.   Any relationship has to come before the Board and the Board has to approve the recommendation.
Vote on amendment:  7-Yes, 2-No.  The motion carried.

Vote on the main motion with the inclusion of the “Exceptions” paragraph:  
7-Yes, 2-No.  The motion carried.

Job Descriptions

School Health Coordinator

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Laurie Mondville, to approve the School Health Coordinator job description as a second reading.  

It was suggested that the position be called the District Health Coordinator instead of the School Health Coordinator.  Courtney Kennedy shared that the position is called a School Health Coordinator across the State.

A motion was made by Laura Ordway, seconded by Karla Swanson-Murphy, to change the job description title to District Health Coordinator and make the necessary changes throughout the job description.  Motion carried unanimously.

Family Literacy Coordinator

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the Family Literacy Coordinator job description as a second reading.  

A question was asked as to whom the “Team” referred to that was mentioned in the job description.  As Carrie Castonguay was not present to answer the question, it was recommended that the job description be tabled until the next meeting.  

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Laura Ordway, to table the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.

Adult Education Instructor

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the Adult Education job description as a second reading.  Motion carried unanimously.

Staff Conduct with Students Policy

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Laura Ordway, to approve the Staff Conduct with Students policy as a first reading.

Superintendent Beecher mentioned that she had spent many hours rewriting this policy since the first version.  She spoke to day care providers, staff members and had several emails representing a group of people who had concerns on the first policy.  Dr. Beecher thanked Julie Johnson who did some research to find wording from other Districts.  She thanked everyone for their input.  The intent of the policy was never to affect family and friends relationships.  This is a common policy to have throughout the State and the revised policy is the most permissive of any that were reviewed.   The policy is intended to protect the District’s children and to keep them safe.  

Discussion included the following:

  • A question was asked if all teachers are mandated reporters to the Department of Human Services.  Superintendent Beecher responded that they are.  This relates to students in general not only students’ in their classroom.
  • The policy is for the protection of the staff and students.  As there is so much going on in the world today, a policy needs to be in place.
  • Section F – If a current teacher in the District and their children have friends and they do different activities together, this should not need to be reported to an administrator.
  • Section F is covered in other areas of the job description.
An amendment was made by Laurie Mondville, seconded by Laura Ordway, to remove Section F. from the policy.  Vote:  8-Yes, 0-No.  The amendment carried.

Discussion continued as follows:

  • A question was asked as to what a customary gift would be.  Customary gifts would be like a Christmas gift; a baby gift if a baby shower was held for a teacher; a teacher/student gift for a student who has been an officer or to thank a teacher for being a good mentor, etc.
  • There was an issue with the word “coercing in 1. c).   Superintendent Beecher mentioned that in the previous policy it said encouraging and people had an issue with that word.  In reviewing other policies, coercing was the word that was used.  
  • Superintendent Beecher addressed the issue of reporting to administrators when you are doing an activity with students.  This refers to activities such as taking a Girl or Boy Scout Troop camping.  Employees would just need to informally let their administrator know they are doing an activity like this.  If the activity did not seem appropriate to the administrator, they would notify the Superintendent.
The following changes were made throughout the policy:

Paragraph 2 – Next to the last sentence, delete “professional” add “appropriate”
1. b) – delete “and friendship
1. c) – delete “For non-guidance/counseling/nursing staff,”
1. d) – move parenthesis to before first “unless”, delete the second “unless”
        and add “or”


Staff Conduct with Students Policy (continued)

1. g) delete “or non-school matters”

Vote:  Motion carried unanimously.

Grant

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Laurie Mondville, to approve a grant for $530 from Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW), The Opportunity Alliance, to Sebago Elementary School to purchase garden equipment, along with technical assistance, community connections, or planning assistance needed.  The grant was written by Ted Bridge-Koenigsberg, a Grade 3 Teacher.

Overnight Field Trip to Boston

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Laurie Mondville, to approve an overnight field trip to Boston as an Educational Learning Opportunity for Boston students.

Superintendent Beecher reported that the students will be going to see “Les Miserables” as part of the trip.  As this trip was not on the Overnight Field Trip list approved at the start of the year, it was put on the agenda for approval.  

Motion carried unanimously.

Personnel

Contract for Superintendent of Schools

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Laurie Mondville, to approve a three-year contract for the Superintendent of Schools for the period July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2015, the salary for 2012-13 will be $110,000 with the next two years to be negotiated in the contract year.

Laurie Mondville thanked and commended the Superintendent for doing a wonderful job.  Vote:  8-Yes, 1-No.  Motion carried.

Renewal of Building and Program Administrators

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Laurie Mondville, to approve the renewal of Building and Program Administrators as presented.

Superintendent Beecher mentioned that all Building and Program Administrators need to receive their contract by March 1.  Dr. Beecher mentioned that it was questioned if Ms. Goff should be on the list.   In checking with legal counsel, as the current budget proposal does not include a half-time Teaching Principal at Sebago Elementary School is was recommended that her name not be included on the renewal list at the current time.  A letter will be sent to Ms. Goff by March 1, informing her that due to a change in local conditions, her contract will not be not renewed at the current time.  If the Board puts the position back into the budget, she will be appointed at that time.


Renewal of Building and Program Administrators (continued)

There was a discussion regarding a one-year contract versus a two-year contract for administrators.  This will need to be taken up during negotiations.

Vote:  6-Yes, 3-No.  Motion carried.

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to appoint Courtney Kennedy as the District Health Coordinator.

Courtney Kennedy mentioned that the contract date will be from March 17 through June 30, 2012.  

Motion carried unanimously.

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the appointment of Katherine Callahan as a Special Education Technician III at Songo Locks School, effective February 16, replacing Cynthia Wentworth who is retiring.  Motion carried unanimously.

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the appointment of Jacqueline Caron as an Educational Technician III, Student Support Center Monitor, at Lake Region Middle School, effective February 27, 2012, replacing Kayla Nowell who has resigned.    

Superintendent Beecher mentioned that Ms. Caron is a cousin of Lisa Caron’s husband.  She is not an immediate family member.   

Motion carried unanimously.  

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve Kathy Terhune as a Mentor from November 18 through the remainder of the 2011-12 school year.  Motion carried unanimously.

DISCUSSION ITEMS

None.

INFORMATION ITEMS

Committee Reports

Finance Committee

Laurie Mondville reported that the Committee met three times since the last meeting to review the budget book.  The budget was referred to the full Board with no recommendation as the Committee couldn’t come to terms with some of the reductions including a reduction of $10,000 for educational technicians; a reduction of teachers at the elementary level and an increase to 24 students in two classes; one at Songo Locks School and one at Stevens Brook Elementary School; and $50,000 going into the capital reserve fund with windows to be replaced at the high school.




Facilities Committee

A Building Committee meeting was held.  The following was reported:
  • Over vacation, furniture was moved into the new upstairs portion of the high school.  Today was the first day in that area.  
  • Mr. Finn and Mrs. Anderton, his secretary, have moved into Mr. Madura’s old office during the completion of the front lobby.  
  • Asbestos removal is taking place across from the Special Education classrooms.
  • The Vocational Wing should be ready to be move into during the first or second week of April.
  • The Guidance Offices will move into the White House, Vocational modular while their offices are being renovated.
  • PCB work will begin the last week in March to be ahead of the contractors in the cafeteria.
Personnel Meeting

Only two Board members attended the meeting prior to the Board meeting.  Some policies were reviewed and other items on the agenda were tabled until the next meeting.   A date for the next meeting will be determined by the Chair of the Committee.

Curriculum Committee

  • Sandy Arris and Linda Freese came to the meeting and shared the ELOs (Educational Learning Opportunities) that were held at the end of the first trimester.  Students were very enthusiastic about the offerings.  
  • Josh Sturk shared a program which will help with Curriculum Mapping.  The Committee approved the purchase of the Atlas software.  
  • Assistant Superintendent Deb Howard shared the results of the 2010-11 NECAP Science Testing.  The results showed growth.    
  • Four nursing policies were reviewed and will come to the full Board to review in March.
  • The next meeting will be on March 21 at 4:30 p.m. at the Central Office.
Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent Beecher mentioned that the High School Girls’ Basketball Team won the Quarter Final and Semi-Final Games.  They are Class B Champions.  The State Competition will be held in Bangor on March 2 at 7:00 p.m. at the Bangor Auditorium.  

Liaison Committee

Erica Pond Green reminded Board members of the Dine and Discuss with Staff and the Breakfasts that are scheduled with students.  She encouraged as many Board members as possible to attend.  Staff would like to talk with the Board before the budget is complete.






Structural Program Changes at Lake Region High School

This was tabled until the next meeting as Mr. Finn was not present.

Stevens Brook Elementary School - CIPs Plan

Cheryl Turpin distributed a copy of the CIPs Plan (School Improvement Plan) to Board members and shared the following:

Stevens Brook had to have a CIPs Plan for the following reasons:
  • Reading scores for the disaggregated group of students with disabilities – This group did make enough improvement to be eligible for safe harbor, however, the group did not make the state target for Average Daily Attendance and in turn did not make the second component of safe harbor.
  • Areas of strength and areas in need of improvement were reviewed by a Team
  • Certain areas need to be addressed as follows:                                                                                                                     
Test Preparation
  • Students will learn and apply effective test taking strategies
  • Students will use the RACE acronym to Restate the prompt/questions, Answer clearly, Cite Evidence, and Explain/Extend their thinking
  • Students will arrive at school well-rested and prepared for the test
  • The school’s Interventionist, the CIPs Data person, has been downloading released items to teachers in grades 3, 4, and 5 three times a week.  She then collects the test items, scores, and tabulates the data.  There has been tremendous growth in this area.
Communicating with parents about attendance and test preparation
  • A SBES Facebook Page has been set up for parents (this is very safe, teachers are instructed not to friend the page)
  • Classroom Newsletters are available on Facebook
  • A Blog has been set up for communicating with parents
  • A Smart Phone applications is in the works and has not been successful as yet  
  • A CIPS Team was developed.  The Team meets twice a week during the school year and a couple of days in the summer.  
  • The District had to set aside $6,000 from the Title I grant as Stevens Brook was a CIPs school and the school was also given additional $4,871 to help with the following:
  • Providing parent nights
  • A “Puzzle Night” was recently held.
  • Family Game Night is another activity planned.
  • “Attendance Counts” wristbands were given to students.
  • Attendance Banner activities are held including:  “Where’s the Banner”, and school meeting presentations of learning.
  • Attendance incentives are given to students if they meet their goal, as needed.
  • Pamphlets have been given to parents to show where their child(ren) should be developmentally and where they should be year-by-year.
  • Teachers are participating in Peer observations and sharing “best practice” at staff meetings.

Stevens Brook Elementary School - CIPs Plan

  • Staff Development – funds are available to pay educational technicians to come to a meeting to watch educational CD’s that were purchased
  • A Consultant will be coming in for 3 professional development days
  • Provides funds to compensate teachers beyond the school year
  • Covers the cost of substitutes for teachers who are doing Peer Observations
  • Literacy Teachers have developed a Literacy Wall at the school using library pockets.  Each student’s name and reading level are put on a popsicle stick and included in the appropriate pocket.  Staff members can see the reading levels of all students by grade and this tool helps to inform classroom instruction.   
  • Staff has watched some webinars regarding the new Common Core State Standards and Mrs. Turpin has, also, shared information she has learned.
  • Prior to school or at the start of the school year, staff were required to read the book “Annual Growth for All – Catch Up Growth”.  This book fueled conversations at the beginning of the year.  The book affirmed the need to reach out to parents/students before they start Kindergarten to be sure they are ready for school.  Kindergarten teachers are taking their students to the Bridgton Library and encouraging younger siblings to come and get a Public Library card so they can be reading also.  
  • AYP (Annual Yearly Progress) follows the NECAP teaching year and the attendance for that year.
  • The State is holding the target lines for this year at the same level as last year.  This will be the same for everyone.
Personnel

Kayla Nowell has resigned as an Educational Technician III, Student Support Center Technician at Lake Region Middle School, effective February 13, 2012.

Jessica Kimball has resigned as a Special Education Technician III at Songo Locks School, effective March 9, 2012.

PUBLIC COMMENTS ON NON-AGENDA ITEMS

Mr. Shane congratulated Paul True for a great coaching job with the Girls’ Basketball Team.  He wished Mr. True and the Team good luck at the State competition with Presque Isle.

Laurie Mondville mentioned that she had received a letter from Songo Locks School regarding budget reductions.  She asked what the Board is going to do about this and suggested that a one solution could be looking at Sebago Elementary School.  

Kirsten Goff, the Teaching Principal at Sebago Elementary School, shared reasons why it is important to have a Teaching Principal at the school as follows:

  • Sebago Elementary School is not an inexpensive school to operate.  
  • It would take at least 20 minutes for an administrator to get from point A to point B in an emergency.


PUBLIC COMMENTS ON NON-AGENDA ITEMS
 
  • At what point would a staff member call an administrator; as soon as a child goes into crisis or once the situation is de-escalated.  
  • The role of the administrator is different at Sebago as there is only one Special Education Teacher at the school.  The administrator needs to be available if the teacher needs assistance.   
  • Travel for an administrator between the two schools could be costly.
  • The administrator would need twice the time to do budget work.
Rosie Schacht invited everyone to the Open House of the Educational Services Building on Tuesday, February 28 from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

Student Matter

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, 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, the student and the student’s parent were invited to attend.

The Board returned to Public Session at 9:18 p.m.

A motion was made by Janice Barter, seconded by Karla Swanson-Murphy, to allow the student re-enter school.  Motion carried unanimously.

Negotiations

A motion was made, and seconded, to go into Executive Session to discuss negotiations, pursuant to M.R.S.A. 405 6. D.  Motion carried unanimously.

The Board went into Executive Session at 9:20 p.m. and returned to Public Session at 9:50 p.m.

ADJOURNMENT

A motion was made, and seconded, to adjourn.  The meeting adjourned at 9:51 p.m.

                                                                        ________________________
                                                                                 Secretary
                                                                        ________________________
                                                                                Date Approved