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School Board Minutes 03/04/2013

Budget Workshop
March 4, 2013

There was a Budget Workshop on Monday, March 4, 2013 at 5:30 p.m. at Lake Region Vocational Center.

Board members present were as follows:   Jody Gray, Chairperson, Beth Chaplin, Karen Eller, Elaine Heuiser, Joseph McMahon, Peter Morrison, Donna Norton,
Philip Shane, and Karla Swanson-Murphy.  Cindy LeBlanc arrived late.  
Janice Barter, Richard Merritt, and Erica Pond Green were excused.

Administrators present were:  Lisa Caron, June Conley, Kirsten Goff,       Deborah Howard, Cheryl Turpin, and Kathleen Beecher, Superintendent of Schools.

Sherrie Small mentioned that the Administrators were going to share the rationale for the Pre-K program and any positions on the New Position list.

Elementary Team

Songo Locks School -  June Conley

Currently there are two new positions included in the budget due to enrollments, a grade 1 and a grade 3 position.

Projected enrollments are as follows:

  • Kindergarten – 92 students are anticipated at the current time, with 5 teachers.  Class size would be 18 – 19 students.   Enrollments will need to be monitored.  Kindergarten screening will be held on May 22 – May 24.
  • Grade 1 – 81 current kindergarten students – 4 teachers -20 and 21 students per class, with an additional teacher there would be 16 and 17 students per class.
  • Grade 2 – 77 Students, 4 teachers – class size 19 – 20 students.
  • Grade 3 - currently there are 86 students in grade 2.  This is a needy population.   With four teachers, class size would be 20, 21, 22 students.  With the addition of another teacher, class size would be 17 and 18 students per class.   
  • Grade 4 – 81 students, 4 teachers – class size will be 20 – 21 students.  These are the largest class sizes.
  • Grade 5 – 75 students, 4 teachers - class size 18 – 19 students.
There will be approximately 470 – 500 students next year.  The school will be very crowded.

Phil Shane mentioned that previously the District redistricted students by determining where students lived and sending them to the most appropriate school.

It was also suggested that all grade 5 students could be located at Stevens Brook Elementary School.

Stevens Brook Elementary School – Cheryl Turpin

Mrs. Turpin is asking for one additional grade 5 teacher to keep class sizes at 18.  Class sizes and staff are broken down as follows:

Kindergarten    50 students, 3 teachers                 16 -17 students per class
Grade 1         47 students, 3 teachers          15 – 16 students per class
Grade 2         55 students, 3 teachers          18 – 19 students per class
Grade 3         55 students, 3 teachers          18 – 19 students per class
Grade 4                 51 students, 3 teachers          17 students per class
Grade 5                 46 students, 3 teachers          15 – 16 students per class  

Mrs. Turpin is also requesting to increase the hours of the clerk from 6 hours per day to 8 hours per day.  There is a need to have coverage due to the security system.  This is a $4,000 increase to the budget.

The Elementary Principals are requesting reinstatement of the standards interventionists – Stevens Brook would get 34% of that position.

For equity purposes, Stevens Brook Elementary School and Songo Locks School are asking for a stipend for the Drama Advisor and the Student Council Advisor.   These two positions are paid a stipend at Lake Region High School and Lake Region Middle School.

Songo Locks School is requesting a half-time Head Teacher stipend.  This would be to cover the office when the Principal and Vice-Principal are at Leadership Team meetings or out of the office for other reasons.

Questions and Answers:

Where are the 2 new teachers going to be placed at Songo Locks School?  One will go in the health room and one in the Title I room.  The Health Teacher will go from room-to-room with a push cart.  Title I people will go into smaller spaces.

Is there space at Stevens Brook Elementary School?  There is room at Stevens Brook Elementary for an additional classroom.  The Lindamood Bell Center will need to be relocated.  Currently the Literacy Coach and 3 educational technicians work out of this room.

A suggestion was made to consider redistricting students.

What is the thought process for Pre-K?

The Pre-K would be housed at Crooked River Elementary School.  Would June Conley be the Principal as she has an Assistant Principal?  Yes, as she is the closest administrator to the school.

Kathleen Beecher shared a chart of area District’s who offer a Pre-K program.

From the Pre-K program held at Stevens Brook Elementary School in 2010-11, there are 3 students at Sebago Elementary School, 10 students at Stevens Brook Elementary School, and 8 students at Songo Locks Schools who are in Grade 1.   An RTI Assessment was given to the students in the following areas:  letter sound frequency (upper case and lower case letters), Oral Letter Fluency, Number ID,

Quantity Discrimination, and Missing Number Test.  The at-risk score is 19.  The students scored as follows:   

                       SES – 3 Students   SBES – 10 Students    SLS – 8 Students

Letter Sound Fluency     All above 19        All above 19         All above 19
Oral Letter Fluency      All above           All above            All above
Number ID                One below           One below            All above
Quantity Discrimination  Two below           Three below          Four below
Missing Number ID        All above           One below            One below

Superintendent Beecher commented that she was amazed at how high the scores were for these students.  They are not at-risk at the current time.            

Kathleen Beecher explained that the Board asked for a needs-based budget.  She would be remiss if she did not bring the request for the Pre-Kindergarten forward.

Discussion continued:

  • All the students who attended the Pre-K program, passed Kindergarten and are now in Grade 1.
  • The District needs to get students learning earlier.
  • Offering a Pre-K will keep students out of special services.
  • Save money by spending money.
  • The cost of the program is revolving around busing - currently a Pre-Kindergarten Program is included in the budget and will be located at Stevens Brook Elementary School and Crooked River.
  • A different configuration can be used to save additional funds.
  • The District will need to request a waiver from the State to have a pre-k program.
  • Oxford Hills is a higher subsidy district – the Pre-K counted on their subsidy the next year and they almost had enough funds to subsidize the program the following year.  They have more students.
  • Transportation for Kindergarten – Mr. Madura will speak to this at a later date.
  • Sherrie Small mentioned that the Department of Education is considering Pre-K students as school-age children, therefore, they can be transported on the K-5 buses.  In some Districts, older students act as mentors for the Pre-K students.
  • $45,000 was budgeted for the Pre-K Teacher at Songo Locks School and $37,000 for Stevens Brook Elementary School.  The previous Pre-K Teacher is now certified and teaching as a Kindergarten Teacher.  The higher amount was budgeted in case an experienced teacher was hired to fill the position.   
  • There would be 30 students in each location.  Two sessions of 15 students each.
  • Sebago students would be bused to Crooked River or Stevens Brook Elementary School.
  • $50,000 was budgeted in transportation – that amount would not be needed if the students can ride on the K-5 buses.  Fifteen harnesses would need to be purchased, we currently have 15 from the previous pre-k program.

Sebago Elementary School has one hour per day for the secretary reduced from the budget.  The secretary will leave at 3:15 p.m.  The only issue is that there may not be someone in the office if there was a bus concern.

Lake Region High School – Ted Finn

When the District accepted the SIG Grant, there were components that the District would need to continue once the grant ended.  The following positions are included in the 2013-14 budget:

  • Student Advocate position – this will change from a student advocate to a High School Completion Coordinator – this position has served the students very well.
  • An additional Permanent Substitute – last year there were 2 permanent substitutes, there has been only one this year who has been assigned to work with a staff member.   There is a need for one more substitute who can go from room to room as needed.   
  • An In-School Suspension Monitor position is in the budget for 3 days a week for next year.
  • Academy Leader – Six (6) stipends were added for next year.  The teachers have been working half-time as Teacher Leaders and teaching for half-time.  Next year they will go back to teaching full-time.  A stipend will be paid to the leaders to oversee the work in the academies to carry on that component of the SIG Plan.
A request was made to see the job description of a high school guidance counselor vs. the student advocate.

High School stipend positions:
  • There are Content Area Leaders who oversee staff in the content areas (Science, Social Studies, English and Math) and help with the evaluation process.
  • Academy Leaders work on the goals and objectives of the specific academies.
  • If we keep all the positions in the SIG grant, it would cost $250,000, only $70,000 has been included in the budget.
  • Ten additional days for each guidance counselor has been budgeted so guidance counselors can work 5 days prior to the start of school and 5 days after the school year ends to assist with student schedules, etc.
  • The high school is two months ahead for scheduling.  Based on information from student sign ups, there were 32 options put out for students to choose from.  At least 18 students signed up for 27 of the 32 options.  Students are stepping up to the plate to do more than asked.  They want to take classes instead of sitting in study hall.
Mr. Finn is asking the Board to add a 2/5 Fine Arts Teacher to restore a position (dance) to full-time.  This would cost $16,000 including benefits.   

Also, an educational technician was reduced from the Alternative Education program.  This program services 25 students with 3 students on the waiting list.  Currently the program is not serving students in grades 9 and 10.  With the addition of an Educational Technician III, the program could serve 36 students.    The cost of the educational technician would be $23,400 plus benefits.

Athletic Director – Paul True

There are no increases in the budget at the Middle School.

The high school budget increased as follows:
  • $5,000 for possible stipend increases through negotiations.
  • Funds for a half-day for the School Nurse to work on sports registration day.
There was a discussion regarding pay-to-play.
Mr. True told Board members he would not recommend pay-to-play.   The District has gone in the opposite direction to reduce fees for students.  Also, it has a serious affect on students who cannot afford to play.

The current cost of pay-to-play sports are as follows:  
  • Hockey - $275.00,
  • LaCrosse - $150.00 to cover the cost of the stipend for the coach
  • Volleyball – less than $100 per player for volleyball to cover the stipend for the coach
  • Boys’ Tennis – no cost to students
  • Girls’ Lacrosse – minimal fee as it is a club sport – it will depend on who is playing against who, the girls’ have their own equipment, approximately $100 or less
The meeting adjourned at 6:55 p.m.


                                                                               Date Approved