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School Board Minutes 12/03/2012

LAKE REGION SCHOOL DISTRICT
School Board Workshop
December 3, 2012

There was a Board Workshop on Monday, December 3, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. in the Cafeteria at Lake Region High School.  The Board invited elected officials to join their meeting at 7:00 p.m.

CALL TO ORDER AND ROLL CALL.

Janice Barter, Vice-Chairperson called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.   Board members present were: Beth Chaplin, Karen Eller, Elaine Heuiser,     Cindy LeBlanc, Joseph McMahon, Richard Merritt, Peter Morrison,
Erica Pond Green, Philip Shane, and Karla Swanson-Murphy.  Jody Gray was excused and Laurie Mondville was absent.

Administrators present were:  Lisa Caron, Carrie Castonguay, Kirsten Goff,        Ted Finn, Deborah Howard, Andrew Madura, Sherrie Small, Paul True,        Cheryl Turpin, and Kathleen Beecher, Superintendent of Schools.

Others present were as follows:

  • Bridgton:  Mitchell Berkowitz, Town Manager; Selectmen:  Bernie King and
  •            Woody Woodward
  • Casco:  Selectperson:  Mary Vienessa-Fernandes
  • Naples:  Derek Goodine, Town Manager; Selectmen:  John Adams,
            Bob Caron, Sr., Rick Paraschak, and Dana Watson.  
            Christine Powers was also present as a Selectperson and as
            Representive Elect for the Towns of Casco and Naples  
  • Sebago:  James Smith, Town Manager   
  • Others:  Grant Plummer, Parent and Senator Elect:  Jim Hamper
APPROVAL OF AGENDA

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Richard Merritt, to approve the agenda as presented.  Motion carried unanimously.

FREEDOM OF ACCESS TRAINING

Deborah Howard reviewed the “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ”s) for the Freedom of Access Training.  

The Board signed off on the Freedom of Access Training forms.

SCHOOL BOARD GOALS

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Richard Merritt, to approve the Board Goals as presented.

Janice Barter suggested wording changes as follows:

On-Going Goals:

  • #8 – Support students as they acquire the skills necessary to be successful in a post-secondary environment.
  • #9 -  Support students to become responsible for their learning/success.

A motion was made by Richard Merritt, seconded by Philip Shane, to table the Board Goals to set measureable limits for each goal.  Motion carried.

DISCUSSION WITH SELECTPEOPLE AND ELECTED OFFICIALS

Superintendent Beecher welcomed and thanked everyone for coming. Elected officials, administrators and Board members were asked to introduce themselves and tell what Town they were representing.  Superintendent Beecher mentioned that Ms. Small, the Financial Coordinator, would share information on the following forms which were distributed:

  • Computation of Unit Allocations to Fund Public Schools (EPS Formula) - Form ED279
  • Town Valuations
  • Comparison of the Town % of Local Assessment including an estimate for 2013-14.
Ms. Small presented the following information:

Concerns:
  • $35,000,000 State short-fall
  • Health and Human Services deficit
Ms. Small reviewed how the State calculates the EPS Funding Formula.  She mentioned the following:
  • There are no State funding formulas for Special Education or Vocational – The State uses amounts from two years prior.
  • Casco is the only town that the District receives State support.
  • The District received the largest adjustment in the State for Economically Disadvantaged.  This amount is based on the number of free and reduced students in the District.  
  • Title I Teachers are added into the # of teachers so it looks like there are more teachers than are funded in the general fund.
Federal Grant money received by the District includes the following:
  • Title I funds are used for students who do not qualify for Special Education services.
  • Local Entitlement Money is used to help fund Special Education.  To the extent possible, the funds are not used to cover positions.
  • Carl Perkins money is received to support some of the Vocational Center costs.
  • The District should be in line with what the State says the District should have for a total operating budget.  
  • The total operating budget on the ED279 represents the amount that is needed to meet the Maine Learning Results only.
  • 2012 State Valuations will be used to calculate the 2013-14 budget.




Superintendent Beecher gave an update on what was happening in the District as follows:

  • The cafeteria was renovated through the construction project.
  • The construction project is coming to an end.
  • A window project was done on the back side of the school which was not included in the construction project.
  • Songo Locks School is paid off this year.  Debt service will go up a little bit due to the High School/Vocational Center construction project.
The meeting was opened for comments:

Mr. Berkowitz  asked about AARA funds
  • The Title I Grant money was used up and final reports have been turned in.
  • Shovel Ready Projects, which are specific projects, have to have every penny spent.
  • The District is receiving the final year of the School Improvement Grant for Lake Region High School (SIG).
  • Any positions that will need to be funded by the general fund are being identified.  Data is being reviewed to see how effective the position(s) have been.  This will be a budget discussion.
  • Sequestration with regard to a possible reduction in Federal funds would have an affect on the District as follows:
  • Students would receive less help if there is a reduction in Title I Funding.
  • Adult Education positions would be affected.
  • If there is a reduction of positions, new teachers coming into the District would be laid off due to the Lake Region Teacher Association’s Impact List.   
  • Local Entitlement – 10 educational technicians are paid through the grant along with occupational therapy and physical therapy costs.  If there are reductions in the grant, there would be a significant impact.
  • There were 71 educational technicians when the last contract was negotiated.  There is a cap on insurance for newly hired people.  The District will only pay for the employee.  Employee dependents must be paid by the employee.
  • The EPS formula does not work for the District.  Geography and the population density are a major factor due to busing.
  • Citizens for this District have approved construction for the buildings and  grounds to keep them in good shape.  The majority of these projects have been approved through local funding.  The State does not share in this amount.  
  • There are maintenance expenses for the older schools such as boilers that can be costly.
  • The District went though Efficiency Maine and saved a lot of money by changing the lighting in the schools.
  • The District hired its own electrician to save money.
  • Academic challenges – keeping Sebago Elementary School open
  • The options are transporting students to other schools – this would be expensive and students would be on the buses for longer than the 40 minutes which is currently the preferred limit.  Also, students would be on the roads longer during bad weather.
  • We still need teachers for 84 students.
  • Crooked River Elementary School was closed and students were merged into Songo Locks School
  • Bridgton Memorial School and Casco Memorial School were closed to consolidate facilities
  • The District has had really flat budgets for 7 years.  
  • Late buses cost $40,000 which is not covered by the EPS formula.
  • Mr. Woodward suggested that it would be good to show the public the equivalency of what the EPS formula covers and what is not covered.
  • Food service money stays in the food service budget.
  • Free and reduced funds are based on Title I.  The District gets $.24 for every paid meal.
The budget process:
  • Get public input at the start of the process .
  • Last year the parents were asked to get involved at the end of the process
  • It is difficult to get people out to meetings.  It is not until people hear about cuts that they want to get involved.
  • The District has 1,800 students and there are 12 administrators.  The High School has lost 15 ½ positions over the past two years.  The rating of the high school went from 110 to 37.  The school has done so much more with less.  The District is being as mindful as possible.
  • There is no extra money in the budget to be able to do long-term planning.  Administrators have to look at everything every year to get to a certain amount.
  • Any increases in the District’s budget effects the Towns’ mil rate.

  • These meetings are very much appreciated.
  • Superintendent Beecher told everyone to watch the District’s website at www.lakeregionschools.org to get any budget documents as they are developed.
Superintendent Beecher thanked everyone for coming to the meeting.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

Student Matter

A motion was made by Janice Barter, seconded by Karla Swanson-Murphy, to go into Executive Session to discuss a student matter, pursuant to M.R.S.A. 405 6.(B).  

The Board went into Executive Session at 8:39 p.m.  Guy Stickney, the Student and the student’s parents were invited to attend.

The Board returned to Public Session at 9:03 p.m.

A motion was made by Janice Barter, seconded by Karla Swanson-Murphy, 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.  Vote:  8-Yes, 3-No.  Motion carried.

Negotiations

A motion was made by Janice Barter, seconded by Karla Swanson-Murphy, to go into Executive Session to discuss negotiations, pursuant to M.R.S.A. 405  6.(D).

The Board went into Executive Session at 9:04 p.m. and returned to Public Session at 9:33 p.m.

ADJOURNMENT

A motion was made by Janice Barter, seconded by Karla Swanson-Murphy, to adjourn.

The meeting adjourned at 9:30 p.m.

                                                                ________________________________                                                                                  Secretary   

                                                                ________________________________
                                                                          Date Approved