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School Board Minutes 10/01/2012

Lake Region School District
Regular Meeting
October 1, 2012

There was a Regular Meeting of the Lake Region School Board on Monday, October 1, 2012, at 7:00 p.m at Sebago Elementary School.


Jody Gray called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m.   Board members present were:  Beth Chaplin,           Karen Eller, Elaine Heuiser, Cindy LeBlanc, Richard Merritt, Joseph McMahon, Laurie Mondville,
Peter Morrison, Erica Pond Greene, Philip Shane,  Karla Swanson-Murphy.  Janice Barter was excused.


A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Laurie Mondville, to approve the agenda with the addition of the Agenda Addendum and deletion of the following items:

  • Head Lice Information presentation
  • Removal of Letter from Policy Book re:  Head Lice
Motion carried unanimously.


A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Laurie Mondville, to approve the Minutes of the Regular Meeting of September 10, 2012.  Motion carried unanimously.

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Laurie Mondville, to approve the Minutes of the Board Workshop of September 17, 2012.  Motion carried unanimously.


Resource Officer

Mr. Dana Tripp, retired Chief Deputy for Oxford County was introduced.  He was the first Resource Officer in Oxford Hills and also has been a DARE Officer.  

Mr. Tripp mentioned that the following benefits were noticed from having a Resource Officer in Oxford Hills:

  • Students have a better understanding of what police officers do.
  • The Resource Officer is able to build a good rapport with students.
  • Classes in self-defense were held after school.
  • The officer was able to sit in on some classes and also to teach some classes.
  • He tried to visit all the schools once a day.
  • He went to Town/Selectmen meetings.
  • There was some controversy about the Officer carrying a gun in school,  After explanation, it was fine and considered part of the uniform.
  • There were a few issues with students.

Resource Officer  (continued)

Questions were asked as follows:

  • How is this information different from the previous meeting?  Mr. Tripp has been a Resource Officer.  The previous presentation was more on the process of getting an officer.
  • What classes were taught by the Resource Officer?  Classes taught by the Resource Officer included reading books, explaining the equipment that he wore, speaking to constitutional law or other law related topics.  
  • Did having a Resource Officer make a difference in Oxford Hills?  It definitely made a difference.
Academy Credit Proposal

Mr. Finn shared the following information regarding an Academy Credit Proposal:

  • An “Academy Credit Proposal” was distributed to Board members.  
  • It was requested that students receive a ½ credit for each semester for the Academy time, for a total of one credit for the school year.
  • Seven academies are being offered to students to promote the school’s vision which is “To create a culture of personal excellence where every student pursues passions, interests, and skills that support solving real and meaningful problems as 21st century learners.” including:
  • The Academy of Visual and Performing Arts
  • The Academy of Sports, Health, and Wellness
  • The Academy of Design and Engineering
  • The Academy of Natural Sciences
  • The Academy of Community Service and Public Relations
  • The Academy of Global Studies
  • The Academy of Vocational Studies (*Vocational students only)
  • The Academies meet for two hours on each Monday.  
  • There is a one semester focus with a final project/presentation that is due at the end of each semester.
  • Students would receive a Pass/Fail grade based on whether or not they completed the expectations of that Academy for their project/presentation.
  • If a student fails an Academy, they will have 3 chances to pass the Academy within the first 2 weeks of the new semester (or during summer school).  
  • Giving students credit for the Academies will add credibility and validity to this unique opportunity.
  • Based on last year’s experience, without the credit, many students chose not to do the work.
  • The Pass/Fail grade will be based on 50% for attendance and 50% for the product at the end of the semester.
Questions and answers were as follows:

Is the Academy time within the six classes or over and above the six classes?  Mr. Finn responded that the Academy time is for 2 hours, one day a week, on Mondays.  It is over and above the six classes.  Freshmen and sophomores have math every day.

Global Studies is huge, who directs the content?  It is the smallest Academy with 30 to 35 students.  The Guatamala trip is part of this Academy.  

Academy Credit Proposal (continued)

Students would be receiving credit for showing they are critical thinkers, problem-solvers?   Students are already getting credit in Math, Science, Social Studies, etc.  

The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) adopted the 21st Century framework as part of the high school’s accreditation.

Ms. Heuiser asked for a forum on what the 21st Century Skills include.




Lake Region Vocational Center – Rosie Schacht

  • The Vocational Center is very busy.
  • If you drive by the school and see a formation by the flag pole, the Law Enforcement students have taken over this duty.
  • There was a PRIDE Kickoff Assembly.  Liz Leddy was a motivational speaker.  She is a female boxer who had a rough childhood which involved drugs and alcohol.
  • The Cider Fest was held on Friday.  Approximately 400 to 600 Kindergarten students visited the Cider Fest.  Culinary Arts students ran most of the activities.  There were 14 stations that the students went through including a live bee station, making applesauce, hand washing, and vegetable chopping.  Law Enforcement students were responsible for the perimeter of the school and had the cruiser out by the road with the radar going.
  • The Vocational Center has joined the National Technical Honor Society for students that excel in their vocational classes.
  • A comprehensive school review will be held on October 29.  Six members from the Department of Education will come to do the review and will meet with the Advisory Group that evening.
Lake Region Middle School – Tonya Arnold

  • The Middle School started the year off with renewed energy for PBIS.  New Laker cards were implemented and students are excited. There is a lot of positive feedback from parents.
  • Open house was very well attended.  It is great to partner it with the laptop training.
  • NECAPS are underway this week.
  • The first dance was last Friday.
  • Fundraising will be done this week and next.  All the funds will go to the Citizenship awards and field trips.
Lake Region High School – Ted Finn

  • Mr. Finn thanked Joey Austin for being the Student Representative to the Board.
  • The High School lost a member of the Senior Class at the start of the year.  Staff and students have pulled together and worked through this difficult time.
  • There was a great Laker Pride night which is the high school’s version of open house.  Hamburgers and hot dogs were served.
  • The Senior Awareness trip was awesome.
Lake Region High School – Ted Finn (continued)

  • Homecoming Week went very well.
  • Fine Arts Teachers, Paul Greenstone and Carmel Collins, were honored at the Blaine House.  
  • Overall it has been a wonderful opening this year.

Academy Credit Proposal

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Laurie Mondville, to approve the Academy Credit proposal.  

Joey Austin was asked his opinion regarding the credit proposal.  He likes the idea of getting credit for the class.  Last year he and other students didn’t push to get the work done because it didn’t affect their grades.  Joey mentioned that he got to meet new people and brainstorm with students that he may not have had an opportunity to work with.   Vocational students are having difficulty with the Academy schedule and their vocational classes.

Mr. Finn mentioned that since the Academy of Vocational Studies has been added, staff have been working to come up with a plan so that Vocational students can also attend an Academy.

All assignments for the Academy are done within the two-hour period.

Aren’t students learning these skills in their other classes or vocations?  Ms. Schacht responded that in the Vocational Academy, they are really supporting their academics.  In the other academies, students are working on critical thinking, problems/projects, etc.

Are Special Education Students included in the Academies?  Yes, all Special Education students are on an Academy.

Vote:  11-Yes, 1-No.  Motion carried.

Ferry Beach Overnight Field Trip

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the Ferry Beach Overnight Field Trip.  

  • Chairperson Gray mentioned that a representative from Ferry Beach is available for questions.
  • Mrs. Arnold distributed a hand-out regarding the field trip.
  • The Middle School has been doing a lot of work researching ways to turn the school around.
  • Why is just the 7/8 Team going, when all the students in grade 8 were looking forward to going?  What does the Board have to do to have all 8th graders and possibly the whole 7th grade go?
Linda Dutil, a teacher at the Middle School, mentioned that last year everyone at the Middle School was involved and planning was very last minute.  During the summer, the 7/8 Team worked very hard to incorporate the trip into the curriculum.  

Ferry Beach Overnight Field Trip

Discussion included the following:

  • If the students and team leaders have worked for it, they should have the opportunity to attend.  The Board should not punish those that have been preparing for the activity.
  • Students are being punished, whose staff members have not worked for it.
  • Support brainstorming to get all the grade 8 students to be able to attend.  
  • Fundraising has been done to support certain groups to do things that other groups don’t do.
  • All teachers should be teaching to the common core.  All students should have the opportunity.  Superintendent Beecher responded that all teachers are teaching to the common core.
  • Drew, the Representative from Ferry Beach, mentioned that there is $18,000 for scholarships available for Lake Region and that a slot has been held open for the middle school.  Ferry Beach works with many organizations to provide the scholarships.
  • How much has the Sugarloaf Team raised for this project?  $1,573.50.
  • Mrs. Arnold told Board members that teachers work so much more than the school day.  The 7/8 Team is working with two curriculums, like this project and has worked to incorporate it into the curriculum.  The 8th grade team isn’t as excited.  The 7th grade team would love to work it into their curriculum.  
How much money do we have?  There is no money in the budget.  A grant has been written for $3,000, however, the school will not know if it will be awarded until December.

An amendment was made by Richard Merritt to have the District pay the balance for the 7/8 Sugarloaf Team.  There was no second.  

How many kids are on the Katahdin Team?  80.

Vote:  7-Yes, 4-No.  Motion carried.

Public Access Officer

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to elect Kathleen Beecher as the Public Access Officer.  Motion carried unanimously.

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to elect Deborah Howard as the Public Access Officer Designee.  Motion carried unanimously.


Board Goals

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the Board Goals, File Code BA, as a second reading.  

An amendment was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to add the following goal:

“Through education, create young members of our community that contribute positively to our society as a whole.”  

Vote:  8-Yes, 3-No.  Motion carried.

Petty Cash

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Laurie Mondville, to approve the Petty Cash policy, File Code DJB, as a first reading.  Motion carried unanimously.

Job Descriptions

Elementary Assistant Principal

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the Elementary Assistant Principal job description as a first reading.  

Superintendent Beecher explained that in reviewing the policy book, there was not a specific job description for the Elementary Assistant Principal.  The elementary principals got together and created this job description.

There was a general discussion on the motion.

An amendment was made by Laurie Mondville to include a minimum of two years teaching and/or administrative experience.  There was no second.  

Who interviews for this position?  Superintendent Beecher responded that an interview committee is made up of principals, staff and parent(s).  The principal then recommends the applicant to the Superintendent, who meets with the candidate, and then recommends the candidate to the Board.  

Vote:  10-Yes, 2-No.  Motion carried.

K-12 Content Leader

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the K-12 Content Leader job description as a first reading.  

Deborah Howard mentioned that instead of having specific curriculum area leaders, we have a curriculum chair for the curriculum area under review.  This is not the Teacher Leader position.

Discussion included the following:

  • Do we already have this position?  The position is in the budget but it has not been filled for two years.
  • Is there money in the budget for this position?  Yes
  • The position has not been filled in two years, why do we need it?  Superintendent Beecher stated that the Teacher Leaders this year will by continuing their work in writing.  This position will be heading up a Committee looking at math.  This is the first time this has happened since the curriculum committee structure has changed.
  • Does the content leader review one area one year and another area the next year?  It would be a different person with expertise in the area, if needed.
  • How much is the stipend?  $3,902.00
Vote:  Motion carried unanimously.

Middle School Team Leader

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Peter Morrison, to approve the Middle School Team Leader job description as a first reading.  

Middle School Team Leader  (continued)

Mrs. Arnold explained that the Leadership Team decided that any teacher in a leadership position needs to take the “Skillful Teacher” class, and serve as an instructional leader.  

Why does the position require five years of previous teaching experience?  Mr. Morrison asked to have it be five years because of the 3 year probationary requirement.

Vote:  10-Yes, 2-No.  Motion carried.

Title I Literacy Teacher

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the Title I Literacy Teacher job description as a first reading.

Superintendent Beecher mentioned that when the Title I position became open, it was noticed that there is a Title I Math Teacher job description included in the policy book but not a Title I Literacy Teacher job description.  Deborah Howard created the proposed job description.

Vote:  Motion carried unanimously.  


A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the following personnel items as a block:

  • Reappointment of Marcia Miller as a part-time Writing Teacher Leader
  • Reappointment of Eleanor Botka as a part-time Writing Teacher Leader
  • Reappointment of Alanna Doughty as a Contracted English as a Second Language Teacher
  • Teresa Odum as a K-2 Educational Technician III at Songo Locks School, replacing Caroline Grumnitz who resigned.
  • Additional Duty positions as listed on the spreadsheet of October 1.
  • Ben Braasch as a Gifted and Talented Teacher at Lake Region Middle School, he has been working as a Long-term Substitute Science Teacher.
  • Amanda Doherty as a Long-term Substitute Kindergarten Teacher at Stevens Brook Elementary School, replacing Jaime Fontaine.  
Motion carried unanimously.

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the block.  Motion carried unanimously.


MSBA Proposed Resolutions

Board members were asked to review the proposed resolutions and email Elaine Heuiser with their comments as Ms. Heuiser will be the Boards representative at the Maine School Management Association’s Delegate Assembly.  

The following Information Items were tabled until the next meeting:

  • Funding for Additional Window Replacement - Kathleen Beecher explained that the Finance Committee voted to use construction project monies to pay for the remainder of the window project at the high school as the windows could not be included in a lease purchase per the District’s attorney.  A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by
      Philip Shane.  The motion carried unanimously.
  • Committee Reports
Superintendent’s Report
  • Jaime Fontaine will be on a Family and Medical Leave of Absence from September 26, 2012 until approximately December 15, 2012.
  • Amanda Doherty, K-2 Educational Technician, will be on a Leave of Absence from      September 26, 2012 until approximately December 15, 2012.
  • Barbara Moulton has submitted her intent to retire as of January 12, 2013.
  • Board Members – MSMA Preliminary Clinic Titles for the MSMA Fall Conference



A motion was made by Jody Gray, seconded by Karla Swanson-Murphy, to go into Executive Session to discuss a personnel matter, pursuant to M.R.S.A. 405 6.A.  Motion carried unanimously.

The Board went into Executive Session at 9:00 p.m. and returned to Public Session at 9:20 p.m.


A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Karen Eller, to approve the request for up to 20 additional sick leave days.  Vote:  0-Yes, 10-No.  The motion failed.


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

The meeting adjourned at 9:21 p.m.

                                                                                Date Approved