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School Board Minutes 02/25/2013

February 25, 2013

There was a Regular Meeting of the Lake Region School Board on Monday,
February 25, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. in the Great Room at Lake Region Vocational Center.


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

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

Others present were:  Deborah Farrar, Barry Johnson, Julie Johnson, Karen Knox, Lucy Saunders-Kish, and Anna Walker.


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


A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the Minutes of the Regular Meeting of February 4, 2013.  Vote:  9- Yes, 0-No,   1-Abstention.  Motion carried.     


Reading Recovery and Title I Presentation

Deborah Farrar, a Title I Teacher and Anna Walker, a Literacy Coach at Songo Locks School shared a powerpoint presentation.  They also introduced the other Reading Recovery teachers present as follows:  Karen Knox and Lucy Saunders-Kish.  Lynn Curran Sargent, the Reading Recovery Trainer, was also present.




Elementary Principals

Stevens Brook Elementary School – Cheryl Turpin

  • Martha Jackson is running an afterschool Book Club for students.  
  • Cathy Grigsby, SBES’s Art Teacher, was nominated for Art Teacher of the Year.
  • The Pizza and Mystery Night was a huge success, 300 people attended.  Students read clues and solved riddles.  Once students and their families solved their riddles, everyone enjoyed a family meal of pizza, salad, cookies and juice.  Ms. Turpin thanked the food service staff for the great job they did in preparing a great meal.  The event was financed with CIPS funds.
  • Barbara Beeson, one of our third grade teachers, is teaching a Project Enrichment Writing course after school for teachers.
  • Jacqueline Grenier, the Literacy Coach at Stevens Brook Elementary School, recently published a guided reading book.  She also attended the National Reading Recovery Conference in Ohio, where she was a featured author.  
  • Today, grade 4 students participated in the NAEP testing.  It is a federal test, the District does not receive student scores, but the data from the test provides the information for the Nation’s Report Card.    
  • Read Across America will be held on Friday, March 1.  SBES is celebrating with a DEAR (drop everything and read) time in the morning.  Martha Jackson, the school’s librarian, has organized guest readers to read in the classrooms.  Thanks to Evelyn Abrams,  the school is hosting the mascot from Kidsville, which is a newspaper publication for students.  Again, thanks to Eveyln, all the students at the school will receive a personal copy of the newspaper.
  • A Pre-K Club has been organized for incoming kindergarten students and their parents.  The first meeting is on March 6 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.  Teachers have planned activities for the students and Jacque Grenier and Mrs. Turpin will speak with parents about early literacy skills and provide parents with a Pre-K Toolkit filled with learning materials.
  • March 8 is Kentucky Fried Chicken Dinner-in-a-Box Day at Stevens Brook Elementary School.  This is a fund raiser to build up funds to support events that have previously been funded through CIPS.
  • On the March professional development day, a math consultant will be providing a day of training.  This is also funded with CIPS funds.
  • The Choices Basketball game was scheduled for Friday at the high school from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.  This has been postponed because of the Girls’ Basketball Game.    
  • March 21 is Family Game Night from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.  This is held to instill an interest in students’ playing board games to get them away from their video games.  Forty games will also be raffled off.  
Songo Locks School – John Dickerson, Assistant Principal

  • On the Monday before vacation, “Hare’s Apology” was shared with students via video link.  Carly Dyer wrote a play and it was selected by a Chaicago-based Weigel Broadcasting Company for the TV show “Green Screen Adventures”.  Once taped, the company shared a copy of the video with Songo Locks School.
Songo Locks School – John Dickerson, Assistant Principal (continued)

  • For Random Acts of Kindness week students observed students doing Random Acts of Kindness.  
  • One Book, One Community – The kick off will be on Friday in the gym.  This will be a school-wide celebration of reading.  It will be a Family Reading project.  The name of the book is not being disclosed but it is an Andrew Clement book.

Sebago Elementary School – Songo Locks School
  • Part I of II of Safety Care Retraining was held for staff.  
  • Dr. Seuss Day is on Friday.  A different activity is planned for every day this week based on a different Dr. Seuss Book. Kirsten will be the Cat In The Hat Mascot on Friday.
  • On March 11, students will receive bus safety training.
  • NAEP Testing was done on February 11.
  • The 100th Day of School Celebration was held by students passing 119 cans down the hall for the Sebago Food Pantry.  Students were challenged with collecting 100 cans prior to the 100th day of school.  Jim Libby, along with other volunteers from the Food Pantry, joined in the passing of the food.
Lisa Caron, Special Services Director

  • The Late Arrival/Early Release Days have been used for Safety Care Training/Recertification and training in Social Thinking curriculum.  As of today’s training, all Special Ed Staff are now trained in Safety Care and Social Thinking.
  • A Lindamood-Bell consultant will be in-District during the week of March 4 to work with staff as part of our School Partnership.
  • The new math program, Equals, a research-based program, was ordered, has arrived and been provided to the special education teachers.  It will be used with students with an IEP requiring specially designed instruction in math who are having difficulty with the Everyday Math program which is a heavily language-based program.  Training for the new math program is being provided by the company on the March 15 professional development day.
  • ~ We are looking at our staffing needs for students who qualify for   
Extended School Year Services for the summer of 2013.  
  • Regarding next year's proposed budget for Special Services, you will see an increase.~ The increase is due to the needs of several incoming Kindergarten students who currently have I.E.P.'s and receive services from Child Development Services (CDS).~
  • Ms. Caron mentioned that Bill Diamond summarized Chapter 33, the Restraint and Seclusion Law, into laymen’s terms.  Dr. Beecher will send the article to the Board for their review.
Paul True, Athletic Director

Mr. True publicly shared the following successes:

  • Taylor Davis, a Freshman, came in 6th Place at the State Alpine Ski Championship in Giant Slalom.
  • The Girls’ Basketball Team won the Western Maine Championship.  
  • Kate Hall is one of several students who participated in the State In-door Track Championship.  She is the State Champion in 3 events; the 55 meter, 200 meter, and long jump.  She is a special athlete.
  • Mr. True received a call from the Maine Principal’s Association today and the Girls’ Basketball Team will receive another Sportsmanship Banner.  This is a
special honor as every team in the Conference votes for the team that best displayed sportsmanlike conduct for the season.
  • Tiana Jo Carter, a junior, won the Dick Direnzo Western Maine Tournament Outstanding Player and Sportsman Award for the tournament.  She is the 5th player in the last 8 years to receive this award.  
  • Sydney Hancock and Kelsey Winslow were selected to play in the McDonalds’ All-Star Game.  The top 10 Eastern Maine students will play the top 10 Western Maine students.  The students will also tour a Ronald McDonald House and meet a family who has a child with cancer.

Resignation of Board Member

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to accept the resignation of Laurie Mondville as a School Board Representative for the Town of Casco.  Motion carried unanimously.   Jody Gray thanked Laurie for her service on the Board.

Overnight Field Trip Request for World Quest Team

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Peter Morrison, to approve the overnight field trip for the World Quest Team to go to Washington D.C. for the National competition.  

Mr. Nye, Social Studies Teacher, at Lake Region High School, introduced Mackenzie Mchatton and Brody Stofflett, representatives for the World Quest Team.

  • Mackenzie and Brody explained about the World Quest Team as follows:
  • The Team studies together in class and out of school for a regional competition.
  • Categories the students have had to study for the Regional and National competition include Afghanistan and Pakistan, Current Events, Geography, China, Middle East, Cuban Missile Crisis, UN Milennium Goals, US Education-Competing Globally, US Economic Competitiveness and US Energy Policy.
  • The students competed against 27 other colleges, businesses and schools.
  • After the third round, the Team tied for second place.
  • After the sixth round, the Team tied with Wayneflete.
  • There was one tie breaker and it was another tie.
Overnight Field Trip Request for World Quest Team

  • There was another tie breaker as a sudden death and Lake Region won the competition.
  • The Team received three awards for winning the competition including a Globe trophy.
  • The Team will now represent the school at the World Quest National Competition in Washington, D.C.  The cost will be $14,000.  They have raised $3,000 so far.
  • Three members of the team are juniors and will be able to participate again next year.
  • There will be 12 students going to Washington D.C. and two chaperones.  
Vote:  Motion carried unanimously.

Senior Class Trip

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the Senior Class Trip to 6 Flags New England.

Greg Watkins mentioned that during Senior Week in the past students have had a Senior Banquet and Senior Picnic.  As the attendance has been declining for these two events over the past few years, the Advisors want to provide an activity that would keep students’ interest and they would enjoy.  The advisors are proposing that students leave for 6 Flags at 5:00 a.m. via a chartered Coach bus.  They would spend the day until it closes.  A catered lunch would be served by 6 Flags.  There will be one chaperone for every 10 students.  The bus will stop for dinner on the way home and will arrive back at Lake Region at approximately 11:00 p.m.  The cost of the event will be covered by funds generated by the class.  

Vote:  Motion carried unanimously.

Overnight Field Trip to Ferry Beach

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve an overnight field trip to Ferry Beach for the Grade 7, Kineo Team on Monday, March 25 through Wednesday, March 27, 2013.

Tonya Arnold mentioned that the “Share the Dream” grant paid for the previous team to go to Ferry Beach.  This trip will be paid with Rural Low Income funds, a donation from the Rotary Club and fund raising.

Vote:  Motion carried unanimously.   


A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the donation of $150.00 by the Jack V. and Deborah D. Heffernan Foundation.  Motion carried unanimously.
2012-13 School Calendar

Superintendent Beecher asked the Board for its direction on the school calendar.
To date, there have been four snow days and there is one additional day available before the seniors will need to make up a day.  The Leadership Team was asked to make a recommendation.  As two contracts have been signed for the March 15 workshop day and the Vocational Center goes to SkillsUSA that day, it was decided to recommend using the April 12 Parent/Teacher Conference Day as a school day if needed.  Parent/Teacher conferences are usually done prior to the 12th in the afternoon and evening and April 12 is used as a comp day for staff if they have all of their conferencing done.  Teachers who have made travel plans will need to be given a personal day and substitutes will need to be arranged.

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Donna Norton, that if we have two more snow days before April 11, April 12 will be used as a regular school day for all students.  Motion carried unanimously.


By Laws

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the By Laws, File Code B, as a second reading.   

A question was asked as to what ethical behavior means on #11.  Jody Gray responded that it means that once the Board votes on a topic and the majority of the Board is in favor, you go with the majority.  If you voted no, you should not go out and say why you voted no as it may undermine the Board.   If you voted against an issue, you can write a minority report and bring it to the next Board meeting so that it is added to the Minutes.

A question was asked how “effective” is defined in #5. and #9.  Superintendent Beecher responded that it speaks to class size, how well students are doing on testing, and local assessments.  Raising class sizes, making classes too large, could be the tipping point of being effective.

Vote:  9-Yes, 1-No.  Motion carried.

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Peter Morrison, to approve the following policies and job descriptions as a second reading, as a block:

  • Elementary Assistant Principal
  • Middle School Assistant Principal
  • Lake Region High School Assistant Principal
  • Administrative Secretary for the Director of Transportation, Facilities, and Food Service
  • Administrative Secretary for the Director of Special Services
Motion carried unanimously.

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Peter Morrison, to approve the above block.  
Policies (continued)

A comment was made that experience for administrators was taken out of “Qualifications”.  Karla Swanson-Murphy mentioned that the Personnel Committee reviewed the job descriptions and it was recommended that the requirement be removed.  Administrators would be looking for someone with experience.  As they are all Assistant positions it may be difficult to find someone with experience.

There was a question on Qualifications - #4. “Such modifications to the above qualifications as the Superintendent may find appropriate.”  Should the Board be included also to be able to make modifications.  Superintendent Beecher responded that the Personnel Committee requested that it be written as presented.  As the Superintendent hires the employee, it takes the Board out of being able to modify the qualifications.  The Superintendent recommends a candidate to the School Board, the Board approves the nomination, and the Superintendent offers the position to the candidate.
Vote:  9-Yes, 0-No, 1-Abstention.

Renewal of Building and Program Administrator Contracts

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the renewal of the Building and Program Administrator contracts as presented.

Vote:  Motion carried unanimously.

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the appointment of Shawne Hargis as Head Custodian at Lake Region High School, effective February 19, 2013, replacing Scott Dyer who transferred to another position.   Motion carried unanimously.




Committee Reports

Facilities Committee

Phil Shane reported that the next meeting is on Thursday, March 14 at 6:30 p.m.

Personnel Committee

Karla Swanson-Murphy reported that the Committee met prior to the meeting. The following items were discussed:

  • The Committee voted to transfer the Adult Education Career Counselor to a Student Services Coordinator at Lake Region Vocational Center.
Personnel Committee (continued)

  • Job Descriptions were reviewed.
  • Karry Joly will be making a presentation to the full Board regarding distributing condoms at Lake Region High School shortly.
Liaison Committee

Cindy LeBlanc reported that the Dine and Discuss for staff needs to be rescheduled due to a conflict with another meeting.

Curriculum Committee

The Curriculum Committee will meet on March 20, 2013 at 3:30 p.m. at the Central Office.

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee will meet on March 21, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. at the Central Office.

Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent Beecher mentioned the following:

  • The Dine and Discuss for staff needs to be rescheduled.
  • The High School Graduation rates came off the press today.  Lake Region High School’s rate has improved.  The 4-year Cohort Graduation rate is 90.97% which is the highest in the area.  This is something to celebrate.  Kudos to the staff and the SIG Grant.
  • The preliminary subsidy report was received today.  This year the District  received $1,739,000; next year it is projected that the District will receive $1,580,000.  This is a decrease of $159,000.  
  • The proposed retirement costs projected for the District to pay is $357,550.  This is the 2.65% that the State has paid in the past.  The teachers, guidance counselors, nurses, etc. pay 7.65% towards Maine State Retirement.  As it is included in the Subsidy report, it looks like that cost will be passed onto the District.  As the Songo Locks School debt service is paid for, there will be a savings of $324,000 in the budget so the two amounts will almost cancel each other out.  
  • A letter was received from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges approving the Special Progress Report of Lake Region High School and continued the school’s accreditation.  NEASC was pleased to learn of the following:
  • the completion of the $13.8 million expansion and renovation project with improvements to the exterior, lobby, main office, cafeteria, library, vocational wing, student support services area, and the addition of a new classroom wing
  • the increase in the number of opportunities for students to engage in higher order thinking activities including studios and academies
Superintendent’s Report (continued)

  • the creation of analytical rubrics for reading and writing
  • the elimination of the pre-Algebra course to ensure all students have access to a math curriculum designed to support proficiency on the Maine High School Assessment
  • the adoption of community-based projects to promote higher order thinking in the social studies acquisition of Atlas curriculum mapping software to aid in the alignment of curriculum to the Common Core State Standards  
Superintendent Beecher gave kudos to the taxpayers for approving the construction project so that the high school’s accreditation would not be in jeopardy.

  • Superintendent Beecher attended the last two games for the Girls’ Basketball Team including the Western Maine Championship game.  Both games were great.  She congratulated and gave kudos to the girls.  Tiana Jo Carter was also congratulated for receiving the Dick Direnzo Western Maine Tournament Outstanding Player and Sportsman Award.

Marielle Jackson, Information System Manager/Instructional Technology Coordinator Assistant, has submitted her intent to resign effective March 1, 2013.




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

The meeting adjourned at 8:20 p.m.
                                                                        ______________________________                                                                  Date Approved