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School Board Budget Workshop Minutes 02/27/2012

LAKE REGION SCHOOL DISTRICT
BUDGET WORKSHOP
February 27, 2012


There was a Budget Workshop on Monday, February 27, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. at Lake Region Middle School.

Board members present were:  Janice Barter, Vice-Chairperson,          Beth Chaplin, Laurie Mondville, Laura Ordway, Erica Pond Green,
Trina Sanborn, and Philip Shane.  Jody Gray, Cindy LeBlanc, Richard Merritt, and Donna Norton were excused.  Sherry Miller and             Karla Swanson-Murphy were absent.   

Administrators present were Kirsten Goff, Deborah Howard, Sherrie Small, and Dr. Kathleen Beecher, Superintendent of Schools.

Others present were:  Carmel Collins, Barry Johnson, Julie Johnson, and
                      Jennifer Null.

Laurie Mondville, the Finance Committee Chairperson, asked the Board members to review the power point presentation at the front of the Budget Book and asked for any items that Board members had questions on.

Discussion included the following:

Jobs Bill

Is the District keeping any positions which were funded by the Jobs Bill?  Three teaching positions and three educational technicians were paid from the Jobs Bill.  The three teaching positions will be eliminated.  The three educational technician positions have been moved into the Special Education budget for next year.  

A list of “FY 2012-13 Program/Positions Evaluations for Budget” was distributed to Board members.  

There was a reduction of 3 Co-Curricular Stipends at the Middle School.  These are Intramural type positions such as club activities. There were too many reductions in last year’s budget and it was corrected this year.  There was an elimination of one book club this year.

The Permanent Substitute at Sebago Elementary School was eliminated as they do not need one every day.  This year, if the permanent substitute is not need at Sebago Elementary School, the person goes to Songo Locks or Stevens Brook Elementary School to substitute.

Songo Locks School has a reduction of 3 teachers; one Grade One, one Grade Two, and one Grade 5.

RTI Coordinator

The RTI (Response to Intervention) Coordinator is a new position.  Administrators had to find the savings to include this position.  This position is mandated by the Federal and State Special Education regulations as of June, 2012.  


Superintendent Beecher explained that RTI requires that the teachers try to meet a student’s needs prior to the student being referred to Special Services.  The teacher’s determine the lowest 20% of the students and remediate these students in the classroom in hopes that they will not need to be referred to Special Services.

The District is reducing the number of teachers, increasing class sizes, why do we need this position?

This position has been put off for a year and a half.  The Federal and State mandate requires that the District has an RTI system and a Coordinator is needed to be sure all the guidelines are being met at all of the schools.

Class Sizes for 2012-13


Songo Locks School
Class Sizes between 17 and 22
One class of 24
Stevens Brook Elem.
Class Sizes between 16 and 19
One class of 24
Sebago Elementary Sch.
Small class sizes

Elimination of Teaching Principal

Concern was expressed regarding elimination of a Teaching Principal.

Superintendent Beecher responded that the current administrative structure is working right now.  The reduction is a compromise.  Dr. Beecher has been told by community members and at least one Board member that they would not approve the budget without a leadership position reduction.

Why not eliminate the Assistant Principal at Songo Locks School?

The recommendation is to consolidate the Principal’s position.  The Principal currently at Songo Locks School would work 3 days a week at Songo Locks School and 2 days a week at Sebago Elementary School.  There will be a Head Teacher at Sebago Elementary School.

The District should have been looking at redistricting some of the students in the District.  Some of the students in Naples and Sebago live closer to Bridgton and Sebago.  Songo Locks is overcrowded.  It would ease up the numbers and possibly save a bus run.

Professional Development

Professional development has been greatly reduced or taken out.

Superintendent Beecher responded that this is not a cut that the administrators wanted to do.  However, they had to reduce their budgets to come in at the requested amount.  Professional development is not a contractual item.  At the regular schools, professional development was totally cut.  The Vocational Director and Director of Special Services, did not feel they could make a cut in this area.  If a conference or workshop offers CEU’s, a staff member can take it by completing a Course Approval form and having the money come out of the tuition line.

 

Technology Supplies

There is a technology supply section in each school’s budget.  This covers supplies used for technology. It does not include any computers.
The High School Library has a line for On-line - HS Technology.  This would cover on-line subscriptions.

Library Furniture

Money is included in the budget to furnish the new Library with furniture.  Most of the money usually used to purchase books is being budgeted for this purpose.  In developing the construction project, the intent was not to furnish the rooms.

The electricity line has been greatly reduced.

The property insurance, liability insurance, and the copier lines have all been reduced due to accepting new bids.

The $150,000 in Technology is for the MLTI Program.  This is the fourth year of the one-on-one laptop computer program at the High School.  

PCB Removal – This is included in the budget.  There is more PCB work to be done through the summer and fall.

Math/Literacy Educational Technicians

The Elementary Principals spent time assessing everything at the elementary schools.  They are recommending cutting all the Kindergarten Educational Technicians and having Reading/Math Educational Technician IIIs for grades K, 1, and 2.  The Technicians would be assigned where the needs are.  This change would eliminate 2.5 technicians.  The technicians who remain would be paid approximately $1.00 per hour more than currently being paid. Educational Technician III’s are desirable as it is a more flexible position.  They are able to work alone with students and can do planning.


Songo Locks School
Reduction of 5 Kind. Ed. Technicians
Addition of 3.5 Math/Literacy RF’s
Stevens Brook Elem.
Reduction of 3 Kind. Ed. Technicians
Addition of 2 Math/Literacy RF’s
Sebago Elementary Sch.
Reduction of 1 Kind. Ed. Technician
Addition of 1 Math/Literacy RF
The Math/Literacy RF’s will have students for 40 minute blocks for each grade for both Literacy and Math.
The Educational Technicians will be working with students that are behind, instead of concentrating on classroom management.  
In reviewing test scores from the elementary grades, the old model of having Kindergarten Technicians in the room is not working.





Overview of the budget

The Administrators were asked to keep the budget at a 0% increase.  The only increase is $83,409 for Debt Service and $49,716 for the Revolving Renovation Fund Loan.  

The cuts to get to this number are too severe.

The Finance Committee has left the Board to decide what should be included or taken out of the budget.  

There was a discussion regarding not having Kindergarten Educational  Technicians in the classrooms.

The next budget meeting will be on Thursday, March 1.  Board members were asked if they needed any information for that meeting.

Technology

It was asked if the Technology Department could get by with one less person.  If not, why not.

Guidance Department

The Guidance Department at the high school has two secretaries.
Songo Locks School has 1.6 Guidance Counselors and Lake Region Middle School has 1.4 guidance counselors.  The split was made when Crooked River was closed and the Grade 6 students went to Lake Region Middle School.  

A question was asked regarding how the Health Service person at Sebago Elementary School was reduced.  It was reduced by having the person come in when students arrive and leave when students leave.

A request was made to have the Elementary Principals explain the Math/Reading Educational Technician plan.

The meeting adjourned at 7:05 p.m.

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                                                                                     Secretary

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                                                                                 Date Approved