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School Board Minutes Workshop 09/17/2012
LAKE REGION SCHOOL DISTRICT
BOARD WORKSHOP
September 17, 2012


There was a Board Workshop on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. at Lake Region Vocational Center.   

CALLED TO ORDER AND ROLL CALL

Jody Gray called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.  Janice Barter, Beth Chaplin, Karen Eller, Elaine Heuiser, Cindy LeBlanc, Joseph McMahon, Laurie Mondville, Peter Morrison, Erica Pond Green, Philip Shane, and Karla Swanson-Murphy were present.  Richard Merritt was absent.

Administrators present were:  Tonya Arnold, Deborah Howard, and Kathleen Beecher, Superintendent of Schools.

Others present were:  Julie Johnson and Barry Johnson.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

A motion was made by Janice Barter, seconded by Laurie Mondville, to approve the agenda as presented.  Motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC COMMENTS ON AGENDA ITEMS

None.

BOARD WORKSHOP

COPS GRANT, Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department

Superintendent Beecher explained that she had a conversation with Phil Jones, a Police Officer from Bridgton, last spring regarding the high school and middle school having a resource officer on site.

As Lake Region High School and Lake Region Middle School are in Cumberland County, the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department had contacted Dr. Beecher regarding the COPS Grant.  Ms. Beecher introduced Chief Deputy Naldo Gagnon who shared information on the grant as follows:

Mr. Gagnon shared the following:

The following information was distributed:
  • Sample salary and benefits information
  • Fact Sheet regarding the COPS Grant
  • Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office Agreement for Law Enforcement Services
  • COPS Grant applications submitted in 2010 were awarded in 2010-11.
  • It is critical to apply and have everything ready in case the opportunity comes up to apply for the grant.
  • If the District is selected to receive the grant, they would have the opportunity to vote on whether or not it is wanted.



COPS GRANT, Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department (continued)

  • It is not known if a COPS Grant will be offered this year, it will be determined by who is elected and if new jobs are created.
  • The officer assigned would usually have an entrance level wage and benefits.  It would take 4 to 6 months to ramp up and have the officer working as a full-time officer in the schools.  A bid process is used for openings.  Officers with seniority get the open position first and then the junior officers get what is left over.  Mr. Gagnon explained the benefits and other costs that would be involved.
  • Several tests are needed included a Physical Education test, a polygraph test, etc.  Training is covered by the Cumberland County Professional Development.
  • Start-up costs include uniforms, equipment, and vehicle
  • Cumberland County is looking at how to deputize Sheriff’s.  At the current time, contacts for the program are all different, it is hoped that one person will handle the entire program.
  • With the new legislation that has been put into law, there will be times when the only person that can put their hands on a student is a police officer or a parent.  If a student is damaging property, however, is not endangering other people or him/herself, a teacher cannot restrain the student.  
  • The program would entail the following:
  • Security for inside and outside of the school
  • Monitoring students/traffic when they are coming and leaving school
  • Following up on tips if there is an issue
  • Drug detection
  • An officer would stay on-site at Lake Region High School or the Middle School for one day a week.
  • The program has been very successful at Bonny Eagle.
  • Mr. Gagnon would need a letter from the District stating that the District is interested in participating in the program.
  • The grant is a four-year program and the District is responsible for funding the costs of year four.
  • People who have received the grant have not reapplied.  The crime level has gone down due to the program being in place.
  • Approximately 30 applicants received funding in 2011 from applications received in 2010.  Thirty or 40 applications were approved for the first COPS grants.
A straw poll was taken to see if Board members wanted the item included on the October 1 agenda for further discussion and a vote.  11-Yes, 0-No.  The item will be on the October 1 agenda.

Ferry Beach

Superintendent Beecher mentioned that Tonya Arnold will also be looking for a straw poll vote for the Ferry Beach program.

Ms. Arnold shared the following information:  
  • Information on Ecology Education was distributed.
  • Due to a reduction in Rural Low Income funds this year, it will not be possible to have all students participate in the Ferry Beach program.   Last year, Grade 6 did activities at Lake Region Middle School, Grade 7 took a day trip to Ferry Beach, and Grade 8 students had an overnight field trip which was very successful.  The program was funded with a one-year grant.
Ferry Beach  (continued)

  • In reviewing the funds available for 2012-13, it would cover a residential program for 3 days and 2 nights for less than half the cost.  Ms. Arnold took the information back to the grade level teams.  The Grade 8 and Grade 7 Teams felt that they could not commit to the fund raising so decided not to go this year.  The Grade 7/8, Sugarloaf Team felt that the program fit in well with their curriculum.  They are looking at ways of operating like King Middle School by using in-depth hands-on learning.  They felt the program would be a good kick off, and would provide team building.  Students would learn about food systems, they would prepare their meal, learn where the food comes from, and clean up.  They would also learn about ecology.  The Ferry Beach staff help the teachers connect English/Language Arts and Science curriculum into the program.
  • Eighty to eighty-four students will attend with 10 adults for chaperones.  
  • The contract will be $3,290, bussing will be approximately $1,580.
  • Grants and fund raising will be done to pay for the trip.
There was a discussion regarding the trip.  It was felt that all students should be able to go.  Students who participated in the Grade 7 program last year are looking forward to the trip.  If they can’t go they will be disappointed.

Ms. Arnold mentioned that different teams do different types of trips, for example, the Katahdin Team goes to a play every year.

Board members were asked to take a straw poll to see if they would support the Grade 7/8 participating in the Ferry Beach program.  Vote:  7-Yes.  The topic will be included on the next School Board agenda.

Mrs. Arnold was asked to wait until after the October 1 School Board meeting before discussing the trip with parents.

Law Changes

Superintendent Beecher reviewed several laws that the Legislature changed last year.  She explained what the changes were, the timing of the change, and how they would affect the school board.  A copy of the power point is attached.  Highlights of the laws covered were mentioned as follows:

Bullying

  • Bullying legislation  - went into affect on August 30, 2012.
  • The Maine Department of Education is writing a model policy that is due by January 1, 2013.  School districts have to wait until the model policy is available before the Board can adopt it.  Administrators and teachers can get familiar with the Statutes in the meantime.
  • All classes are protected from bullying.   In some cases, if issues happen in the halls or on the buses, this would not be considered bullying.
  • Cyberbullying  is not allowed, the law doesn’t specify what the District needs to do.
  • The Code of Conduct will need to change.
  • Previously an issue outside of school was not dealt with inside the school.  If a complaint is made and copies of the documentation are brought to school, it can now be considered bullying and dealt with at school.
  • Progressive discipline will be needed which addresses positive disciplinary measures and gives alternative choices.
Student Restraint and Seclusion

  • Affects all students and staff
  • Sample policies are being developed by MADSEC and MSMA
  • The new changes tie the hands of the staff.  Only the parent can touch the child.
Teacher and Principal Evaluations

  • The Department of Education is developing a set of criteria for determining standards for teachers and principals.
  • Student learning will be a significant factor.
  • It was suggested that schools change to a calendar year cycle for evaluation.  Teachers would get their evaluation in February.  Teachers could then be dismissed for the following school year.
Freedom of Access Training

As the Board had to go into Executive Session, this training will be done at another time.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

A motion was made by Janice Barter, 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 9:00 p.m.  Mr. Stickney, the student and the student’s parents were invited to attend.  

The Board returned to Public Session at 9:37 p.m.

A motion was made by Jody Gray, seconded by Janice Barter, to expel this student from school pursuant to 20-A M.R.S.A. Secion 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.  

An amendment was made by Laurie Mondville, seconded by Elaine Heuiser, to change the number of days for the expulsion from 20 days to 30 days.  Vote:  4-Yes, 8-No.  The amendment was defeated.

Vote on main motion:  10-Yes, 1-No.  Motion carried.  

ADJOURNMENT

A motion was made by Laurie Mondville, seconded by Erica Pond Green, to adjourn.  Motion carried unanimously.

The meeting adjourned at 9:40 p.m.

                                                                        ____________________________
                                                                                 Secretary
                                                                        ____________________________                                                                                      Date Approved