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School Board Minutes 03/13/13 Workshop

LAKE REGION SCHOOL DISTRICT
BUDGET WORKSHOP
March 13, 2013


There was a Budget Workshop on Monday, March 13, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. in the Great Room at Lake Region Vocational Center.

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

Administrators present were:  Deborah Howard, Andrew Madura, Rosie Schacht, Sherrie Small, and Kathleen Beecher, Superintendent of Schools.

The following Information was distributed:

  • Revenue/Tax Comparison
  • Cost Center Summary Totals
  • List of New Positions
  • List of Grants received with C. Kennedy’s help
  • Debt Service Schedule
Lake Region Vocational Center, Rosie Schacht

Ms. Schacht reviewed the programs at Vocational Center as follows:

  • Drafting and Design – budgeted as full-time, will depend on recruiting to
   determine whether the program is full-time or half-time.
  • Construction – There are currently 5 students returning for a second year program – recruiting will determine whether this program is full or half-time next year.
  • Diversified Occupations for grades 9,10 and Grade 8 – There will be a personnel change in Construction Technology, so there will be a new instructor.   Diversified Occupations and Construction Technology may be able to be combined.
  • Business Administration – This is a new program, however, it is not new money.
  • Health Occupations – This position was shared with Adult Education this year.  This did not work as well as hoped.  Recruiting will determine whether this position is half-time or full-time.
  • Culinary Arts – This program is very popular.
  • Child Care Provider – This would be a new program.  Dr. Beecher and        Ms. Schacht went to Oxford Hills to see their program.  The Pre-K program is running through the Vocational Center.  
  • Diversified Occupations Program – Grade 8 – The District receives $27,181 in revenue from M.S.A.D. #55 and #72 for this program.  The program pays for itself.  A small engines component was added this year.  An additional educational technician is included in the budget.
  • Law Enforcement – will stay the same.




  • Fire Science – A survey of courses was done to see the interests of students.  If Drafting and Design and/or Health Occupations are only half-time next year, there is enough interest in Fire Science and the Early Childhood program to possibly one or both as half-time positions.
  • Automotive Technology – will be the same.
  • The Cooperative Education program is serving 21 students.  Instead of the students traveling from Sacopee Valley and Fryeburg, Ms. Nobert travels to  Fryeburg 1 day a week, Sacopee Valley 2 days a week and is in Lake Region for 2 days a week to work with the students.
  • Academic Skills – Playdough Lab – The Vocational Center is working closely with the high school.  There are over 80 students enrolled for various reasons including using it as an advanced class, remediation, and improving English and math skills before taking the Accuplacer test.  
  • The Americorp Group – a facilitator is included in the budget for $4,000.  This offers students a classroom management experience.  As math is the area students need the most help with, Joanne Eaton’s time is being split between the high school and the vocational center.  
  • Student Support Services – A Career Counselor from the Adult and Community Education program was moved over to the Student Support Services program.  As Drafting and Design was only half time this year, the remaining funds paid for this position.  This person is working on the Career Fair and working with individual students to be sure they make it to graduation.  
She is also working on a non-traditional fair.  $61,000 was included in the budget for this position.   
  
The slow-down in the construction business is impacting the program at the Vocational Center. Oxford Hills is having the same problem.  Three drafting programs at the secondary level and one at the post-secondary level have closed over the last there years.

The Vocational Center gives tours of the various programs to sophomores, freshmen, and students in grades 3, 4,5, and 8.  A presentation is made to Brownfield students in grades K-6.  Sebago Elementary School’s grade 5 students  comes to the Vocational Center for an aspirations program.  Mollyocket School from M.S.A.D. #72 comes for a tour.  Eighth grade students attend the Career Fair.

Scheduling is much better for students to take Vocational classes.  Also, the playdough program allows students to double-up on classes.  Fryeburg and Sacopee Valley students are doing playdough at the Vocational Center also.  Students can get an integrated credit for doing a hands-on class.

The Career Student Counselor’s job expectations will be to oversee all the career awareness, college visits, work with at-risk students, serve on the Student Assistance Team, work with the school-based learning team, subbing as necessary, by going into the classrooms, the counselor gets to know the students, and would be a liaison to three high schools.  This will allow for more services for students.

Future Business Leaders of America recently had their competition.  Erin McDaniel won a trophy for public speaking.  Ms. Schacht was able to watch her give the speech on a u-tube video.  

Rosie was thanked for the presentation.

Transportation, Facilities and Food Service, Andy Madura

Mr. Madura gave the highlights of changes as follows:

  • He started with a $0 budget and developed a needs-based budget using best practices.  
  • There is a need for an additional half-time (.5) custodian position.  
  • Due to the needs from the construction project, a 20-hour per week, school year position is needed.
  • The east wing will continue to be used and will need to be maintained over the next few years.
  • It was originally estimated that two hours per day would be sufficient to take care of the Educational Services Building, but that is not enough time.
  • Mr. Madura will schedule some of the new positions for Saturday and Sunday so there will be building coverage for sporting events, etc.
  • Two summer workers are being requested.  Year-round positions have been changed to school year positions to save money.  Building maintenance is falling behind due to custodians taking vacation in the summer.  These two positions will make it possible to have a paint crew to keep the buildings looking good.  The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Alternative Sentencing Program is helpful and may be a possibility but it is not guaranteed.
  • The District is approximately $4,000,000 behind on its Capital Improvement Plan.  This was a 10-year plan.  The Facilities Committee supported including $361,000 in the budget for capital improvement projects.  Also, at least $350,000 will be recommended for the Capital Reserve account.   
  • Mr. Madura is working on the next 10-year plan and will submit it to the Facilities Committee in July or August based on the $350,000 being put in the Capital Reserve account each year.
  • Staff Development – $1,500 was in the budget and an additional $1,000 was added.  This will allow enough money for staff to have compliance training.  The District is proposing to do more in-house maintenance with its employees so they need to be properly trained.     
  • Custodial substitutes was minimally budgeted.  If a custodian is out for one night, a sub is not called in.
  • $20,000 was put in the Contingency fund to help cover a major catastrophe.
  • The District has stayed current on roof maintenance.
  • Equipment – Some equipment is needed as we have not budgeted for any in the past few years.  Vacuums cost $500 as they require special filters due to air quality needs in the schools.
  • Energy usage is going down.  The District has done some conservation work.  An energy policy will be proposed to the Board.  
  • Heating oil – This is hard to predict.  A five-year forecast is used.  If possible, tanks are filled in June when the prices are lower.  The Greater Portland Council of Governments has a bid price for fuel, however, the District is allowed to call around and get a cheaper price if possible.
  • The cost of related items such as trash bags and cleaning supplies have increased.




Transportation

  • The District applied and was granted 4 new buses by the State.  One will be paid with cash up front and the other three will be paid through a lease-purchase.  The District is reimbursed the following year for the cost of the buses.  There is a good chance that the bus replacement program will not be funded by the State much longer.  If the District has buses that are in good shape, it can work on building up some vehicle replacement monies.  Due to the bus accident, the District is getting a new bus to replace the one that was totaled.
  • Staff Development – There are 50 people in the Transportation Department.  Substitutes have to meet the same standards as regular bus drivers.  The bulk of the funds is for Safety Care training which is training bus drivers on how to deal with students when they are out of control.
  • Bus Drivers salaries – the biggest change is in Special Education busing.  Contracted service money was included to share transporting students with other Districts.  Due to changes in Individual Education Plans, this will not work next year and the District will have to do our own transporting of students.
  • Bus mechanics are paid higher than bus drivers.
  • The dispatcher is paid at a higher rate due to problem solving.  The dispatcher also does bus runs if a substitute is needed.
  • $229,000 had been included in the budget and was taken out for transporting Pre-K students.  There was a loophole in the law and pre-k students can be counted as school-age students so they can ride on the regular bus runs.
  • $25,000 is included in the budget for one extra bus to go to Sebago for the Pre-K program.
  • $1,500 is budgeted to send half the staff to the Regional Conference.  The other half will be sent next year. The Sugarloaf conference is not included in the budget.  
Food Service

  • It is recommended that $40,000 be paid by the District for the food service program.  This will allow the food service program to stay in the black. Due to requirements of the Federal government, participation numbers are down.  Some labor was reduced at the schools.  
  • $5,000 was put in an account for uncollectable debt.
  • A report will be presented to the Facilities and Finance Committee to see how far the Department should go in collecting debts.
  • K-8 students have to pay for the same meal.
  • The high school can restrict students from buying ala carte meals if they do not have funds available.  At the lower levels, you have to feed the child.
  • On-line collections are going well.  
  • Free and reduced numbers are pretty high.  Student’s eligibility from the previous year continues for the first 30 days.  If people do not fill out a new application, the numbers do not count towards free and reduced lunch.  The State uses October 31 numbers to determine the free and reduced lunch numbers.
  • Mr. Madura was thanked for the information.




  • The meeting was opened for Board discussion.  
  • The bottom line is currently 8.75% - The Pre-K transportation amount was taken out.
  • The retirement amount of $357,550 the State may be transferring to the District (2.65%of Maine State Retirement wages) has been included in the budget.  The State Legislature will vote on this in May.
  • The QSCB bond was approved by the Federal government and was supposed to pay all of the interest.  The District received information that it should budget $500,000 for interest and that it would received revenue of $450,000 to offset the amount, leaving a balance of $50,000 the District would have to pay.  
  • Songo Locks School’s debt has been paid off.  That is a savings of $300,000 which was absorbed by including the retirement amount into the budget.
The Board had a discussion regarding the budget.

Superintendent Beecher reminded Board members of the Public Hearing on Monday, March 18 at 6:00 p.m. at Lake Region High School (later moved to Lake Region Vocational Center).  The Board Workshop following the Public Hearing would be to discuss the budget.

The meeting adjourned at 8:10 p.m.

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                                                                             Secretary

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                                                                           Date Approved