LAKE REGION SCHOOL DISTRICT
September 23, 2013
There was a Board Workshop on Monday, September 23, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. in the cafeteria at Lake Region High School.
CALL TO ORDER AND ROLL CALL
Janice Barter called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Board members present were: Debra Albert, Janice Barter, Stan Buchanan, Karen Eller, Jody Gray, Elaine Heuiser, Cindy LeBlanc, Joseph McMahon, Richard Merritt,
Peter Morrison, Erica Green, and Philip Shane. Beth Chaplin was excused.
Administrators present were: Andrew Madura and Kathleen Beecher, Superintendent of Schools.
Committee members present were as follows: Frank Gorham, Facilitator; Tony Schweiterman, parent; Grant Plummer, Selectman for the Town of Casco; June Conley mentioned that John Dickerson, the Assistant Principal at Songo Locks School, was on the Committee and could not be here tonight; Kirsten Goff, Teaching Principal at Sebago Elementary School; Cheryl Turpin, Principal at Stevens Brook Elementary School, Andy Madura, Facilities Director, Bernie King, Selectmen for the Town of Bridgton; and Kathleen Beecher, Superintendent of Schools.
A motion was made by Richard Merritt, seconded by Jody Gray, to approve the following personnel items as a block:
- Lisa Ferland as a District-wide School Psychologist/School Psychologist Specialist for the 2013-14 school year, replacing contracted services. Ms. Ferland is working her notice and her start date will be determined.
- Cynthia Bruno as a Math Teacher at Lake Region Middle School, effective September 18, 2013, replacing Allison Veilleux who has resigned.
Motion carried unanimously.
A motion was made by Jody Gray, seconded by Philip Shane, to approve the appointment of the above block. Motion carried unanimously.
Elementary Facililites Ad Hoc Committee Recommendations
Frank Gorham the Facilitator for the Facilities Ad Hoc Committee was asked to review the recommendations of the Committee. He mentioned the following:
The Committee presented the recommendations to the School Board at its meeting of Monday, June 17. At that time it was decided that it would come up for further discussion in the Fall.
Mr. Gorham went through each of the recommendations as follows:
The Committee recommends that an Ad Hoc Committee be formed during 2013-14 to look at education today, what it involves, and the space it needs to meet the programming requirements. It is recommended that membership on this Committee be stakeholders involved in education programming and facilities.
This Committee would be charged with looking at what elementary programs are required in the schools, how elementary programs need to take place, and the facility needs of these programs for the students of the three elementary schools.
A question was asked if the Committee’s recommendation was to build another school.
Mr. Gorham responded that the Committee recommends that the District maintain three elementary schools.
The District has not heard back from the Maine Department of Education as to whether it can reopen Crooked River as an elementary school.
The School Board will need to review all the information recommended to be gathered and make a decision as to what to do with the elementary schools.
The Committee recommends that the District keep a minimum of three elementary schools, all similar in student population and modern facilities.
The Committee toured and reviewed data on all three elementary schools and they recommended that the District keep three elementary schools.
The Committee strongly recommends that the Board consider funding the Capital Improvement Plan to solve the transportation and safety issues at Songo Locks School beginning with the 2013-14 school year. Many parents transport their students to Songo Locks School and pick them up after school. The buses have to enter the same area. There is only one way in and one way out of the parking lot. Concerns were raised that it would be difficult if the school had to be evacuated, or emergency vehicles had to enter the property at the beginning or end of the day. Also, assemblies with more than one grade level are not possible due to limited parking. There is no area where all students can get together at the same time. Solving this problem was a very strong recommendation of the Committee.
An engineering study will need to be done to see if it is possible to widen the access road, review property lines, and see what space is available at the site.
The Committee recommends that the Board implement redistricting in 2013-14 on a voluntary basis (first) as long as there is no substantial additional cost for bussing and staffing, based on seat availability.
Songo Locks School is very crowded due to the programming that needs to take place. In 2009, a study was done regarding the elementary schools and redistricting was a consideration. There was a good deal of negativity to the suggestion. The District will need to address the geographic lines and
the bus routes to determine if students could attend another school. It was determined that redistricting did not have to take place in 2013-14.
The Committee recommends that the Board request an updated enrollment projection report through 2018; to include a geographic study to see where the student population is as soon as possible.
The last full report was done in 2004 and an update was done in 2008. It was recommended the Board have a study done that would show where the students live to help address the population of all the schools and the demographics of the four towns.
The State will not be taking applications for school construction until 2017. This study would be an indicator of whether there was a need for construction. It would help the Facilities Committee and the Board move forward if there was an indication that a new school should be built. This is a required piece for a school construction application and it would be in place. There is a lot of preparation that needs to be done to even submit an application.
Songo Locks School has 467 students, it is 100 students over capacity of what it should be servicing right now.
Stevens Brook has 128 extra seats, which are distributed throughout classes.
In the past the District has been way down on the State’s approval list for school construction. Would the District have a possibility of being higher on the list?
It would depend on the State’s criteria, should the Board consider applying. Songo Locks is overcrowded and Sebago Elementary School is a wooden structure. It is possible that these two criteria would put the District higher on the list. As the District is a minimum receiver, it is possible that it could get less funding from the State for school construction.
A feasibility study which would look at the manpower and the demographics of the area needs to be done to determine the need. An estimated cost of the study is $3,500.00.
Casco people do not want their children sent to Bridgton and Sebago people do not want their children sent to other schools. Casco students should be put back in Casco.
We need a study of what these schools can hold. With the type of education that is offered today, we need to determine how many students the Crooked River school could hold. Would the community support building a new school? The studies will help determine where a new school should be built, if necessary. There are currently 290 students from Casco attending Songo Locks School.
Sebago Elementary School has 82 students.
The Committee recommends that the Board consider mandatory redistricting based on school location, seat availability, and budget if voluntary redistricting is not effective, beginning in 2014-15, as needed.
The Committee recommends that the Board consider adding funds to the major capital improvement fund for future elementary facility needs beginning with the 2014-15 school year.
The Committee recommends that the District keep three elementary schools. Although the District has had a substantial reduction in funding from the State, the Board should continue to add funds to the major capital improvement fund to keep the elementary schools up to date.
At the first three meetings of the Facilities Ad Hoc Committee, it was emphasized that it is important for students to be educated in their own community if it is possible. The District needs to provide the same educational opportunities to all the students.
The District needs to hear back from the State regarding the reopening of Crooked River Elementary School as an elementary school.
The District needs to keep consistent education programs for students. Having students go from K-3 at one school and then transition to another school for 2 years is an interruption in their education.
The Special Education Administrative Offices and the Adult Education Program is currently located at Crooked River Elementary School. Is this a good fit for those programs?
The first thing that needs to be done is the engineering study at Songo Locks School.
The members of the Elementary Facilities Ad Hoc Committee were thanked for the many hours they spent touring the facilities and discussing the issues.
As we have not heard from the State regarding reopening Crooked River Elementary School, it was suggested that we call our attorney to get a legal opinion.
The modular at Songo Locks School only has a life of 10 years. The parking lot issues were the same when the school was housing students in grades K-3. There were just not as many parents dropping off and picking up students.
Stan Buchanan thanked the Committee members for coming up with the recommendations.
Janice Barter suggested that the following topics be on the next School Board agenda for further discussion:
Engineering Study at Songo Locks School
District-wide population study
Three elementary schools and capacity question
Call Drummond Woodsum
The Board needs to make a decision by December to include any funding in the budget.
Mr. Madura reported that he did some preliminary work and the enrollment projection report and the engineering study will take approximately 30 days to get something back once the Board gives the go ahead to do the studies.
The Workshop was closed.
A motion was made by Richard Merritt, seconded by Jody Gray, to go into Executive Session to discuss a student issues, pursuant to M.R.S.A. 405 6.B. Motion carried unanimously.
The Board went into Executive Session at 8:02 p.m. Mr. Stickney,
Ms. Castonguay, the student and the student’s parent was invited to attend.
The Board returned to Public Session at 8:20 p.m.
A motion was made by Janice Barter, seconded by Jody Gray, 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: 10-Yes, 1-No, 0-Abstentions. Motion carried.
A motion was made by Jody Gray, seconded by Richard Merritt, to go into Executive Session regarding a student matter, pursuant to M.R.S.A. 405 6.B.
The Board went into Executive Session at 8:22 p.m. Mr. Yorkey, the student and the student’s parent were invited to attend.
The Board returned to Public Session at 8:35 p.m.
A motion was made by Janice Barter, seconded by Stan Buchanan, to allow the student to re-enter school after completion of 20 days. Vote: 9-Yes, 3-No. Motion carried.
A motion was made by Richard Merritt, seconded by Stan Buchanan, to go into Executive Session to discuss a student matter, pursuant to M.R.S.A. 405 6.B. Motion carried unanimously.
The Board went into Executive Session at 8:46 p.m. Mr. Stickney,
Mrs. Castonguay, the student, and the student’s parent were invited to attend.
The Board returned to Public Session at 9:06 p.m.
A motion was made by Janice Barter, seconded by Stan Buchanan, 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: 0-Yes, 12-No. The motion was defeated.
A motion was made by Jody Gray, and seconded, to adjourn. Motion carried unanimously.
The meeting adjourned at 9:07 p.m.