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School Board Minutes 01/13/2014

Regular Meeting/Board Workshop
January 13, 2014

There was a Regular Meeting of the Lake Region School Board on Monday,   January 13, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. in the Great Room at Lake Region Vocational Center.


Janice Barter called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.   Board members present were:  Debra Albert, Janice Barter, Stan Buchanan, Beth Chaplin, Karen Eller, Jody Gray, Paula Grace, Cindy LeBlanc, Joseph McMahon, Richard Merritt,    Erica Pond Green, and Philip Shane.  Peter Morrison was excused.

Administrators present were:  Tonya Arnold, Lisa Caron, Carrie Castonguay,  June Conley, Kirsten Goff, Deborah Howard, Sherrie Small, Joshua Sturk,   Cheryl Turpin, and Kathleen Beecher, Superintendent of Schools.


A motion was made by Richard Merritt, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the Agenda with the addition of the Agenda Addendum.  Motion carried unanimously.


A motion was made by Richard Merritt, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the Minutes of the Regular Meeting of December 16, 2013.  Vote:  11-Yes, 0-No,    1-Abstention.  Motion carried.


Robert Howe of Bridgton expressed his concern that the District is taking over where parents should be taking the responsibility.  


A motion was made by Beth Chaplin, seconded by Richard Merritt, to accept the resignation of Kathleen Beecher who submitted her intent to retire at the end of the 2013-14 school year, due to health reasons.  She shared the she still hopes to work, however, for less time and fewer weeks.

Janice Barter mentioned that she was on the Interview Committee when         Dr. Beecher was hired as a Principal at Sebago Elementary School.  She has appreciated Dr. Beecher’s work in the District and with the Board.  Dr. Beecher was wished the best in her new ventures.

Motion carried unanimously.


A motion was made by Richard Merritt, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the following policies as a block, as second readings:

  • School Board Authority, Powers and Responsibilities, File Code BBA
  • Energy Conservation and Management, FC-EC
  • Energy Conservation and Management Guidelines, File Code EC-R
Motion carried unanimously.   

Policies (continued)

A motion was made by Jody Gray, seconded by Richard Merritt, to approve the block:

Discussion included the following:

Added to School Board Authority, Powers and Responsibilities:  

  • Develops and/or revises a set of out-come based goals on an annual basis.
Motion carried unanimously.

Job Description

A motion was made by Richard Merritt, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the High School In-School Suspension Monitor as a first reading.  Motion carried unanimously.


A motion was made by Richard Merritt, seconded by Jody Gray, to approve the Access to Comprehensive Sexual Health Services, as a first reading.  

A motion was made by Philip Shane to table the Comprehensive Sexual Health Services policy, the Letter to Parents/Guardians re: FC-IGAE, and Parental Form to have Access to Condoms, FC-IGAE-F1.  As there was no second, the motion failed.

Erica Pond Green mentioned that at its last meeting in June, 2013, the Board asked for public comments on the topic of having the School Nurse distribute condoms at the high school.  The topic originally was taken up at the Personnel Committee and it was decided that there should not be a sign-off form.  From hearing comments from the Public and Board, it was determined that a sign-off form should be available for parents.

If the RN is not available and there is a substitute, would the substitute distribute condoms to students?  If the substitute doesn’t feel comfortable having the conversations with students, then there would be no condom availability that day.  

Will the District be responsible for defective condoms.  Kerry responded that condoms are being distributed in schools across the country and she hasn’t heard of any lawsuits.

The District is put in a position to do more and more parenting.  The District has to have the safety of children at heart.  If we don’t do this, who will?

A change was recommended to the wording in the first sentence of the third paragraph as follows:

Parents/guardians will be notified of condom availability in M.S.A.D. #61 and will have the opportunity to DECLINE THEIR CHILD’S ACCESS TO CONDOMS BY COMPLETING, SIGNING, AND SUBMITTING THE “PARENTAL FORM TO DECLINE ACCESS TO CONDOMS”.

Vote:  11-Yes, 1-No, 0-Abstentions.  Motion carried.

A motion was made by Richard Merritt, seconded by Jody Gray, to approve the Letter to Parents/Guardians regarding:  FC-IGAE.

The letter will be sent home in student packets at the beginning of each school year.  

It was suggested that the letter also be put on the Website so parents will be looking for the form.  

The following was added to the last sentence:  “or to confirm that the form for your child has been received”.

Only one letter is needed from parents who have joint custody.

Vote:  11-Yes, 1-No, 0-Abstentions.  Motion carried.

A motion was made by Jody Gray, seconded by Richard Merritt, to approve the Parental Form to Have Access to Condoms, FC-IGAE-F1.  

The title of the form was changed to “Parental Form to Decline Access to Condoms”.

The date in the second paragraph was changed to “2013-14”.  

Vote:  11-Yes, 1-No, 0-Abstentions.  Motion carried.


A motion was made by Richard Merritt, seconded by Jody Gray, to approve the appointment of Brenda Leo as an In-School Suspension Monitor at Lake Region High School.  Motion carried unanimously.

A motion was made by Richard Merritt, seconded by Jody Gray, to approve the appointment of the students with the addition of Keith Kinney as a Middle School Alpine Coach for a stipend of $2,049.    

Vote:  11-Yes, 1-No, 0-Abstentions.  Motion carried.

A motion was made by Richard Merritt, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the appointment of Amy Saunders as a Guidance Counselor at Songo Locks School, effective approximately January 30, 2013, replacing Mary Beach who resigned.  Motion carried unanimously.


Carrie Castonguay, Adult Education Director, mentioned the following:

A daytime CNA class will be held on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from
February 10 through April 18, 2014.  If anyone is interested in taking the class they should call the Adult Education office.


Superintendent Search

Janice Barter shared the timeline for filling the Superintendent of Schools position as follows:  

January 19 and 26 – Ads will be placed in the Bangor Dailey News and Portland Sunday Telegram as well as Serving, Education Week on-line, and Maine School Management Association – on-line.

February 14 – Applications Due

Wk of February 17 – Paper screening of applications and determination of
                    candidates to be interviewed.

February 27 or March 1 – Interviews for candidates selected and determination
                         of candidates to send forward to the full Board for a
                         second interview and site visits.

Selection Process -  Two committees to be comprised of administrators and Board
                     members.  One group will screen all applications and the
                     other group will do the interviews.  
                     The screening committee will need to review applications
                    school vacation week and find a time where they can all
                     meet together to determine the candidates to be
                    The Interview Committee will need to be available to do
                     ALL interviews.  They will also need to meet a few days
                     beforehand to develop interview questions.

Mrs. Barter mentioned she had asked Maine School Management Association about having applications sent to them, they review packets to be sure everything is complete, and then send them to the District.  It was proposed that the cost would be $150.00 per hour and that it would take an hour or two to complete the work.  They will be getting back to Mrs. Barter.  

It is hoped that all Board members will participate on one Committee or the other.

Committee Reports

Facilities Committee

Phil Shane reported that the Committee met prior to the meeting.  The following was discussed:

Information on cost comparison of fuel and wood pellet boilers - A tour will be scheduled for Board members to see the wood pellet boilers in Farmington.

Curriculum Committee

Erica Pond Green reported that the Committee met on January 8.  The following were discussed:

  • There was a presentation by the Lake Region High School Robotics Team.  The Team will be in a competition at the end of the month at Erskine Academy.  Their next project will be a submersible robotic.  
  • The policy for Appropriate Dress, K-12, File Code JFCA, was reviewed.  Administrators were invited to give their input.  The Committee chose to recommend leaving the policy as is.    
  • Bomb Threat and Bomb Threat Procedures policies, File Code JICIB and JICIB-R  were reviewed.  Principals shared how the information on how students and parents are made aware of the information.  Superintendent Beecher was asked to research and update the Cross Reference section.
The next meeting will be held on February 12 at 3:30 p.m.

Liaison Committee

Cindy LeBlanc reported that the Committee will meet at the end of February or beginning of March.

Finance Committee

Joseph McMahon reported that the Committee will meet on January 23 at 6:00 p.m. at the Central Office.

Personnel Committee

Karen Eller reported that the Committee will meet on February 3 at 6:00 p.m. prior to the Board meeting.  The Superintendent’s Evaluation and job description will be discussed.  

Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent Beecher reported on the following:

  • Dr. Beecher attended the Performing Arts and Exhibits at Lake Region High School.  She attended the second half which was held during the Girls’ Basketball Game.  The students were very prepared.  Some of the activities included singing, Slam Poetry, Film presentations, Stories, and original songs by students.  Kudos were given to the following teachers:           Bill Glennon, Teal Carlson, Carmel Collins, Bruce Hilton, Eugene Long, Kim Peterson, Brook Sulloway, and Sandy Arris.
  • A thank you note was received from the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department to Andy Madura and David Coye.  There was a Senior Thanksgiving event at Point Sebago.  David Coye shuttled people from the parking lot to the event location.
  • Dr. Beecher mentioned that she would be retiring at the end of the year due to health reasons.  She has enjoyed working with the staff and Board.  It has been an honor to be the Superintendent of Schools.


Carol Phinney submitted her resignation as a Title I Educational Technician, effective February 14, 2013.

Board Workshop

Elementary Facilities Discussion

Superintendent Beecher mentioned that the goal for determining the Elementary Facilities recommendations was December 1, 2013.  

As any recommendations will need to be included in the budget the Board needs to give direction to the administrators as to their preference.

It was suggested that each recommendation for the Facilities Ad Hoc Committee be reviewed and a straw poll be taken on whether to accept the recommendations or not.

Long-Term Goal

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.

  • Mr. Madura, Ms. Caron, and Superintendent Beecher met with the Principals at each of the elementary schools.  A list of the space available was submitted to the Board.  The administrators need more direction to make a recommendation at this time.
  • Crooked River was already too small when it was built.  The State’s guidelines only allowed you to build the facility for the current number of students.
  • When Songo Locks was built the guidelines were different.  
  • Cheryl Turpin clarified that the intent was that although the building capacity is set; programming in the building and the space that is needed currently should be looked at.
  • This will be a Facilities Committee topic.  Administrators and directors were invited to answer the question.
The Committee recommends that the District keep a minimum of three elementary schools, all similar in student population and modern facilities.

  • Discussion included the following:
  • Difficult to have similar population due to the geographic layout of the District.
  • It’s nice to have students attend school in their town.
  • Age of building has nothing to do with getting a good education.
  • There is no money available for school construction.
  • This is a District, all students come together at Grade 6.  There are facilities that have space and another facility that is overcrowded.  Look at students as a District.
  • The Board did not want to commit on the number of schools.
  • The recommendation was deleted.  

Short-Term Goals

The Committee strongly recommends that the Board consider funding the Capital Improvement Plan to solve the transportation and safety issues to Songo Locks School beginning with the 2013-14 school year.

  • DeLuca Hoffman, the engineer, is developing two proposals with cost estimates; one for the current capacity and one for the original number of students.  The proposals should be available in a couple of weeks.
  • This will be revisited once more information is received.
The Committee recommends that the Board implement redistricting in 2013-14 on a voluntary basis (first) as long as there is not substantial additional cost for bussing and staffing, based on seat availability.

  • There have been no formal requests to the Superintendent to do this.  Five or six students are taking advantage of this.
  • This could be done for 2014-15 – limited to bussing that is already happening.
  • With regards to Special Education, programs are replicated at Stevens Brook Elementary School and Songo Locks School.  This would not be available at Sebago Elementary School.  It would be a financial issue.
  • If a student lives in Naples, goes to school in Bridgton, would the student be able to play on the Bridgton Recreation Teams.
  • The Recreation Directors had met with the Superintendent and Mr. Madura.  They suggested that the Recreation programs stay by Town with some exceptions for certain sports.  (due to the number of girls and boys for teams at Sebago Elementary School)
  • There are not enough students to make a difference with the overcrowding at Songo Locks School – move on to some other plan
  • It was decided to survey people now to see if people would be interested so the Board could make an informed decision.
  • Superintendent Beecher will send a letter out re:  voluntary redistricting.
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.

  • A preliminary report has been shared.  The final report will include the geographic location of students.  The schools are reviewing the numbers regarding the number of births in each town.  The company gets their information from DHS reports rather than the Towns.
  • The Principals are reviewing their report, including home schooled students, and students attending private schools.
The Committee recommends that the Board begin the process of applying for State construction funding based on the geographic study of student population in preparation for the next round of school construction applications.

  • The projection for accepting applications is 2018.  
  • Take this recommendation off the list.
  • Hold off until closer to 2018.  Get information on costs to see if it is beneficial to submit applications for school construction.

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.

  • Every student transferred out of Songo Locks School will help; will depend on grade levels and where they live.
  • Have to start somewhere; incoming Kindergarten students – draw lines – siblings go with them if parents agree.  Redistricting started when Grade 6 was moved to Lake Region Middle School.
  • Change the date for mandatory redistricting to 2015-16.
  • The Recreation Programs will have an impact on this.
  • Selectmen and Recreation Directors could be invited to a meeting to discuss the possibilities.
  • Recreation Programs are less of a concern than the more urgent need to reduce the overcrowding at Songo Locks School.
  • Students attending school in their Town is huge.
  • Would rather go a different route than voluntary redistricting.
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.

  • One of the needs is to reopen Crooked River Elementary School
  • Is it possible to bring it back as a K-5 school for Casco students?  This would take 150 – 160 students out of Songo Locks School.
  • The whole school is not available.
  • The cost analysis was reviewed which was used for closing the facility.  To reopen the school it would take the following personnel/items:
  • Principal/Secretary – 1.4 positions
  • Maintenance – 3.0 positions
  • More than 1.2 bus drivers
  • Nurse – at least .8
  • Food Service – Cook at one place and serve
  • Full population would take one body
  • Construction/Renovation costs
  • Cafeteria tables/chairs
  • Library shelving
  • Playground equipment for lower grades
  • Kiln
  • Some classroom furniture
  • Books – depending on grades
  • What if grades 4 and 5 moved from Songo Locks School to Crooked River Elementary School?
  • If need additional room, move the Special Services staff to Songo Locks School
  • Issue:  Impact on children
  • Did layout on paper – there was no savings and an increase in costs
  • There would be additional costs to move students receiving Special Services  

  • What if grades 4 and 5 moved from Songo Locks School to Crooked River Elementary School? (continued)
  • Need adequate space for specialists - Crooked River was not built for Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy space
  • What is the cost of moving the other programs at CRES to the White House?
  • Another meeting should be scheduled in the near future to come up with some numbers of what it will cost.
  • People in Casco want to see Crooked River used for students and not have Songo Locks School so crowded.
  • There are currently 8 classes for grades 4 and 5 at Songo Locks School.  There are currently 7 classrooms available at Crooked River Elementary School.
Crooked River Elementary School has 14 classrooms – 9 upstairs and 5 downstairs.
The High School Alternative Education program would need to be relocated.
If you move the Adult Education Program, you compromise the enrollment.  The program is just building its numbers.  There would be decreased revenue without registrations and fees.
There are 29 students in the Alternative Program – 2 instructors and an educational technician (1 year only).  The enrollment will be 18 – 25 students next year.

Recap of what the Board is going to do:

  • Major capital improvement fund – talk about it at a budget meeting.
  • Costs to open Crooked River Elementary School for Grades 4 and 5 or
  • The District should be trying to use the space it has.
Ask for voluntary redistricting to see if enough students moved to solve any issues – then do mandatory redistricting.
  • A straw poll was taken to see if the Board was willing to look at mandatory redistricting.  The straw poll was 6-Yes, 5-No.  The District will need to determine where the lines will be.  This was shared with the Facilities Ad Hoc Committee.  The District will need to look at the impact to the schools – natural lines – grade levels.  Would staff need to be added or staff moved?
The meeting adjourned at 9:25 p.m.


                                                                        Date Approved