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School Board Minutes 03/04/2013

LAKE REGION SCHOOL DISTRICT
Regular Meeting
March 4, 2013



There was a Regular Meeting of the Lake Region School Board on Monday, March 4, 2013 in the Cafeteria at Lake Region High School.  

CALL TO ORDER AND ROLL CALL

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

Administrators present were:  Lisa Caron, Carrie Castonguay, June Conley,     Ted Finn, Deborah Howard, Cheryl Turpin, and Kathleen Beecher, Superintendent of Schools .

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to accept the agenda with the addition of the agenda addendum.  Motion carried unanimously.

MINUTES

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Karen Eller, to approve the Minutes of the Regular Meeting of February 25, 2013.  Motion carried unanimously.

PRESENTATION

None.

PUBLIC COMMENTS ON AGENDA ITEMS

With the topic of including distribution of condoms to students at Lake Region High School into the School Nurse’s job description, Chairperson Gray asked to see how many people planned to speak.  She informed people that only those people who reside in the District could speak.  She asked everyone to identify themselves and to tell what Town they were from.

The following comments were made:

  • Support for making condoms available to students.  
  • Interested in taking the correct action for the students.
  • Studies show that making condoms available does not increase sexual activity of students it just increases the number of students who use condoms.
  • Helps to keep students safe from STDs and unwanted teen pregnancy.
  • Parents/students not always comfortable talking about sex.  Condoms will give students some protection from harm and they can talk to the school nurse.
  • Does not support giving condoms to students

PUBLIC COMMENTS ON AGENDA ITEMS (continued)

  • It seems like this conversation is being rushed and is going behind the parents.  The Board should speak to the parents before making a decision.
  • There is availability for condoms in the community, the school is not the place to have them available.   
  • The District needs to look at what is going on in our District.  It is not appropriate to approve this without any discussion.  Parents have not received any information regarding this.
  • Condoms should not be given out behind the scenes.
  • Condoms are not 100% affective.
  • It seems like parents are being circumvented.  Put information or a survey or questionnaire out on Infinite Campus for parents.
  • Parents need to talk to their children.  Parents need to be informed of what is going on with their children.
  • The school nurse at the high school has had requests from students to distribute condoms, she has spoken to students in confidence, and she decided to act on the request.   Parents need to be part of the process.   
  • Parents should talk to their children at home, they should be providing the condoms at home.  This process is to see what we can do on behalf of the students.
  • It was suggested that a task force of parents, teachers, students, and school board members be made up to gather the data.
  • Wenda Saunders, the School Physician has two teens.  Condoms are available at grocery stores or pharmacies but there is a huge barrier in purchasing condoms as someone might see them do it.
  • Condoms are not 100% effective, but they are a lot better than nothing
  • It has proven counter intuitive, having condoms available does not lower the age of students being sexually active, it has proven that more people delay for longer.  
  • It’s good to get the discussion going, it is very important for the health of the students.
ADMINISTRATIVE COMMENTS

Lake Region Middle School, Ted Finn reported for Tonya Arnold

  • The Civil Rights Team held a food-for-thought inspiring kindness campaign today with quotes posted to lockers when students arrived today.  This was a follow-up to a presentation they made to the student body at lunches last week.
  • The Middle School and High School Choral Concert is on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m in the Auditorium at Lake Region High School.
  • Team Kineo parents will hear about the expectations and Ferry Beach experience on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
  • The Student Breakfast with the Board will be held on Friday, March 8 at  7:30 a.m.
  • Spring pictures will be taken next Tuesday, March 12 at 7:30 a.m.



Lake Region Middle School, Ted Finn reported for Tonya Arnold (continued)

  • The Instrumental Concert for the Middle School and High School will be held on Thursday, March 14 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Grades close next week for Trimester 2.  Report cards are planned to be ready for March 22.
  • Parent/Teacher conferences for all Teams except Kineo will be on March 25 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.   All Teams will hold Parent/Teacher Conferences on April 2 from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.  Team Kineo will hold their second round of conferences on April 8 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Lake Region High School, Ted Finn

  • Mr. Finn had an opportunity to spend last Thursday and Friday in Washington D.C.   There was a meeting at the U.S. Department of Education regarding public education.  He had many conversations with principals from many other states.
  • Maine’s graduation rate has gone up for three years in a row.   In 2010, Lake Region was reported as one of the 10 persistently low performing schools.   Graduation rates have improved to 91% in 2011-12.  This is one of the biggest gains in the State.   Mr. Finn commended the students for their hard work during the last three years.  From the publicity that this received, Mr. Finn received a message that the Commissioner of Education will be coming to visit the school sometime during the next two weeks.  The Principal from South Portland, along with others schools, have also arranged  visits to the school.  This academic success is something for the community to celebrate.
  • Winter Carnival is this week.
  • Grades close on Thursday, March 14.
Adult Education, Carrie Castonguay

Ms. Castonguay shared the following information:

  • A snapshot of the enrollments at the Adult Education Center was given as follows:
  • 58 students in the GED program, 10 to take the test this week.  
  • 25 high school students
  • 22 new intakes – new students coming in
  • The Career Pathways Plan will be submitted next week.
  • Working on the Family Literacy Grant
  • The CNA class is full in Fryeburg
  • Firefighters are moving along in their class.  They will be practicing using real fire on Thursday.
ACTION ITEMS

Changing the School Nurse Job Description

Karry Joly shared the following information:

  • She has been a nurse at Lake Region High School for 4 years.  Her job is to advocate on behalf of the students.
Changing the School Nurse Job Description (continued)
  • She has information that students are having unprotected sex and having sex with multiple partners.
  • She promotes abstinence to the students when the opportunity arises.
  • She is responsible for the students health and wellness including sexual health
  • This process has not been rushed.  She has been working on the issue for the last year and a half.  A year ago she discussed what was going on and shared some data with a Board Committee.
  • She Recommended that condoms be given out in the clinic.  She can use the opportunity as a teaching moment re:  abstinence, STDs, and pregnancy.
  • There was a discussion regarding sending a letter home to parents with the possibility of a declination letter.  The declination letter could be another barrier.
  • It was decided to move forward and not put further restrictions on the topic.  Condoms should be made available to students.
  • Maine CDC will supply the condoms free of charge.
  • There are no family planning resources in the area, no STD testing
  • For students under 18, sexual health and pregnancy is confidential, the nurse cannot inform the parent.  She encourages the student to talk to their parents.
Dr. Beecher mentioned that if the Board votes no on the motion, the topic will be done and finished.  If Board members vote yes, she will work with Karry Joly to set up procedures for distributing condoms.  The nurses job description would be revised and would need two readings by the Board.

There was discussion on the motion as follows:

  • A Board member felt that the community should decide whether condoms should be given out at the high school.
  • The Student Representative to the Board supported having condoms distributed at the high school.   It is difficult to talk to your parents about sex.  
  • If the Board includes distributing condoms into the job description, and another school nurse is morally against it, what would happened.  The nurse would have to turn down the position.
A motion was made by Elaine Heuiser, seconded by Philip Shane, to table the motion until a meeting in June and hold a public forum prior to June to get public input.   Vote:  5-Yes, 4-No.  Motion carried.   

Donations

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

  • Two teachers, Christine Bennett and Anita Quinlan, at Sebago Elementary School have received a $50 Caring for Classrooms Gift Card to purchase books for their classrooms.



Donations (continued)
 
  • Two $150.00 grants have been awarded from the Loon Echo Land Trust’s 2013 Environmental Education Grant Program to Sebago Elementary School.  The funds will be used for the grade 3 Audubon Winter Walk and the Chewonki Bugmobile program.
  • $500 has been received from Potter Trust to put towards the cost of Sebago Elementary School’s all-school trip to Story Land.   
  • Thomas Conway gave a charitable contribution in the amount of $250.00 to the Future Business Leaders of America.  His generous scholarship will enable two students to participate in the upcoming 2013 State Conference and Competitions.
Motion carried unanimously.

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

Job Descriptions

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the following job descriptions, as a first reading:

  • Principal, 3.06.1
  • Vocational Center Direction, 3.21
  • Director of Special Services, 3.50
Motion carried unanimously.

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

Personnel

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the appointment of Becky Cross as an Accounts Payable Secretary at the Central Office.  Vote:  9-Yes, 0-No.  Motion carried unanimously.

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the Additional Duty positions as presented.

Superintendent Beecher explained that the Health Coordinator stipend appointments replace Courtney Kennedy who resigned.  The two candidates agreed to share the duties for the remainder of the year.

Motion carried unanimously.  

INFORMATION ITEMS

Committee Reports

The following Committees have not met since the last meeting:

  • Facilities Committee
  • Liaison Committee
  • Personnel Committee
Finance Committee

The Board was reminded of the Budget Workshops scheduled for Monday, March 4 and March 6 at 6:00 p.m. at Lake Region Vocational Center.

Curriculum Committee

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

Superintendent’s Report

  • Superintendent Beecher commented that although the girls did not win the State competition, it was a good game.  They played well all through the season, are excellent student athletes, and had excellent coaching throughout the season.  It was fun going to the games and she hopes the girls feel great about the season.
  • Finance Committee members were asked to stay after the March 18 meeting for a few minutes to discuss a recommendation that will be made to the full Board.
  • Superintendent Beecher mentioned she had received an email from Rick Fox at Lake Region Middle School inviting Board members to see Sugarloaf Team’s interdisciplinary project as students will be “landing at Ellis Island, hoping to be accepted into the United States”.  This will be happening after the Board/Student Breakfast.
PUBLIC COMMENTS ON NON-AGENDA ITEMS

Phil Shane mentioned how proud he was of the number of parents and spectators from Lake Region who attended the basketball games.  

There was a question regarding why there was not going to be a dance after Winter Carnival which is usually a part of the event.

Principal Finn responded that at the last dance students were “grinding”, a style of dancing.  He had a conversation with the students leaders from all 4 classes about what can happen and what cannot happen at the dances.  There was a unanimous vote to not have the dance.

Cindy LeBlanc commented that it is uncomfortable chaperoning dances at the Middle School due to the style of dancing.

A parent acknowledged that although the girls did not win the State Basketball Championship they did receive the Sportsmanship Banner.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

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

The Board went into Executive Session at 8:30 p.m. and returned to Public Session at 8:56 p.m.  





ADJOURNMENT

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

The meeting adjourned at 8:57 p.m.

                                                                ______________________________                                                                              Secretary

                                                                ______________________________
                                                                          Date Approved