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School Board Minutes 02/12/14
February 12, 2014

There was a Board Budget Workshop on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. in the Great Room at Lake Region Vocational Center.  

Janice Barter called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.  Board members present were:  Debra Albert, Janice Barter, Karen Eller, Paula Grace, Joseph McMahon, Erica Pond Green, and Philip Shane.

Steven Mercer was also present.

Adult Education – Carrie Castonguay

Ms. Castonguay reminded the Board that she has a revenue based budget and that she is responsible for balancing all the money for the program.   Funds include local appropriations, State Subsidy based on the funding formula, registration fees, use of facilities and a portion of the general fund for the 16 – 20 year old program.  

She reviewed her budget with the Board and mentioned the following:

  • Decrease in Technology service costs
  • Decrease in copier costs
  • Slight reduction in custodial hours
  • Increase in Administration clerical due to contract agreement
  • No changes in child care – this enables Adult Ed to provide child care services for students attending classes.
  • Certified Nurses Aid program.  Only one course per year has been held as there are not enough students to run two.  It is Hoped to have a course in Fryeburg in June.
  • High School Completion Program – money shifted to Work Force Program
  • Supplies – use grant funds
  • Transportation – use grant funds
  • Enrichment – Pay to participate - in and out line
  • With the potential of opening Crooked River to elementary students, there is an extreme urgency in knowing where the Adult Education program is going and the timeline.   Need to prepare for course proposals for the summer semester.  This will affect revenues.  With the move from Bridgton Memorial School, there was a 33% decrease in revenues for registrations.  She needs to let the programs that are currently using the building know where they will be located.  Site approval is needed to continue with the HiSET testing.  
Cost Implications :
  • Hope to keep partners in place
  • Purchase switches and airports for internet connectivity - $7,500
  • Signage
  • Advertising
  • Security Cameras/Adequate lighting

K-5 Elementary Budget

 Stevens Brook Elementary School. - Cheryl Turpin  

  • Stevens Brook’s budget is at 0% increase.  To do this, a teacher was cut.
Stevens Brook Elementary School. - Cheryl Turpin  

  • Class size was reviewed.  Fifth grade is at 24 and 25 per class.   With newly enrolled students, the numbers will be 27 and 28 next year.  Would like to reconsider the reduction of a teacher.
  • The budget is down to bare bones, there is nothing left to cut.
  • Three teachers are projected for kindergarten.  There are 49 students on the census.
  • Enrollments have increased to 315 students this year with 6 students enrolling last week.
  • Class sizes for next year are projected as follows:
Kindergarten – 49 students – 3 teachers  
Grade 1      – 47 students – 3 teachers
Grade 2      – 54 students – 3 teachers
Grade 3      – 56 students – 3 teachers
Grade 4      – 53 students – 3 teachers
Grade 5      – 55 students - 2 teachers – Need 3 teachers

Songo Locks School – June Conley

  • Songo Locks budget is at a 0% increase.
  • Last year 2 classrooms were added, money was spent to outfit the classrooms.
  • Making cuts to come up with a 0% budget increase was difficult.  Supplies were cut by $10,622.  This is a really big cut so it would be helpful if $4,000 could be reinstated for supplies.
Enrollment Projections

Kindergarten     – 73 students - 5 Teachers
Grade 1          - 93 students – 5 Teachers
Grade 2          - 77 students – 5 teachers
Grade 3          - 66 students – 4 teachers
Grade 4          - 72 students – 4 teachers
Grade 5          - 74 students – 4 teachers

  • There have been several students coming and going since Christmas.
  • In 2013-14, there are 5 grade 3 teachers, next year there will be 4 teachers with one teacher transferring to Kindergarten.
  • The K-2 Academic Support Technicians are working out well.  They work with the Kindergarten students at the beginning of the year and then are all over the school working with children.  The interventions are working well and the educational technicians are receiving coaching by the Literacy Specialist.

Songo Locks School – June Conley (continued)

  • There is much more collaboration among teachers.  Teachers are looking at individual students to see what their needs are and sharing students from other classes to match up skill sets.
  • Really good growth has been seen in kindergarten students.  Educational technicians are focusing on instruction, not on students needs.  Kindergarten students are more independent.
  • Improvements are being seen in Grades 1 and 2 also.
Sebago Elementary School – Kirsten Goff
  • Sebago Elementary School is at a 0% budget.
  • The nurses hours were reduced from 6 hours per day to 4 hours per day, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  If there is a medical issue, someone will be taking over who is not medically certified.
  • The Secretary is being cut from 7 hours per day to 6 hours per day.
  • There were cuts in the supply lines.
  • The budget is down to bare bones, no other place to cut.
  • If anything is reinstated would request the nurse is reinstated to 6 hours per day and the secretary is reinstated to 7 hours per day.
Lake Region Middle School – Tonya Arnold

  • A Family and Consumer Science Teacher has been cut, this will allow for health to be taught during that time slot.  
  • There are currently 15 physical education classes.  Grades 7 and 8 physical education classes can be increased so they will have P.E. every other day.    
  • Administrative Page - $700 was added to Staff travel – this is for van usage – for attendance issues, field trips.
  • 6-8 Program – Entry fees increased by $6,280 – field trips were evaluated to be sure each teacher had one or two trips – the goal was to have the #’s equal to last year.
  • Music instruments are being purchased through the Middle School budget.  The instruments are being purchased so students can borrow them.  It is hoped that getting the students involved will improve their attendance.
Staff was commended for squeezing their budgets as much as possible.
Career focus is being increased at the State Level.  Research is showing that if you catch students in Grade 6, they have bigger career aspirations.  There was an increase of $400 in the guidance section for this.
$22,000 was added to purchase cross county skis and boots to have enough for a larger class.
Class sizes were reviewed.  Classrooms are tight in all areas – trying not to go above 24 students per classroom.
  • Difficult to keep budget low.  In 2010, 8 positions were cut.  Retirement tax benefits have been added into the budget.
  • A Draft proposal was shared with the Board to have the Alternative Education program be made full-time and include grade 7 students.  This would ensure that all educational programs meet all students’ needs.  Sacopee Valley will
help out with an educational technician and Fryeburg will help out with a  

Curriculum – Deborah Howard

English Language Learners – There are 2 students at the middle school and 2 students at the elementary level.  The ELL Consultant, Teacher, Tutor was commended for her work.  With the WIDA (World Class Design and Instruction) Assessment, 5 students tested out of needing services.  Additional assessments were just given, so only 3 students may need services.  There is no cost to the District for WIDA testing as this is a Federal program.

Extended Studies – Elementary and Secondary

  • The Gifted and Talented Application process requires that only 3 – 5% of the student population can be identified as Gifted and Talented.  Currently, there are 90 academic students identified which is 5%.  The District has until the end of the month to complete the visual and performing arts testing.
  • Testing was reduced by $760.
  • The Instructional supplies line was reduced by $900.  There are some consumables that need to be purchased.  
  • The Books and Periodicals line was reduced by $1,000 for this year only. Staff will use books purchased through Scholastic and Great Books and the enVision math curriculum for next year.    
  • Secondary – the Consultant at the high school was reduced to 2 days per week.
  • Concern was expressed regarding reducing the consultant time at the high school.
Improvement to Instruction

  • A teacher leader for writing was taken out - $26,000
  • K-8 Summer School was not funded – reduction of $15,000
  • Summer School was more appealing with the SIG money.  The current summer school would be more traditional.  Seventy-five students were eligible last year and only 20 students took advantage.  Would continue this program if funds were available.
  • A Resource officer was not budgeted as the grant was not approved - $10,000
  • The Salary line for the literacy coaches was reduced by $60.00 due to a resignation and a less experienced person being hired than was previously budgeted.  Sherrie Small will check on this figure.
  • Professional Education Services – Reduced by $2,000.
Andy Madura – Transportation

Not able to come in with a 0% increase.

  • Transportation is $121,126 over level funding
  • No control of salary and benefits – contract agreement
  • Workers Comp increased
  • An additional driver and monitor was needed for a Special Education run which is dictated by an Individual Education Plan (IEP).

Transportation – Andy Madura

  • Professional Development was reduced by $5,000.  This is used for Safety Care Training.  Several staff members have received the training by
the Special Services Department.  The training is used to teach drivers   de-escalation techniques in case an incident happens on a bus.  This is a needed piece.
  • Equipment – Reduced by $3,000.  Last year the transportation department moved into a new facility and there were one-time expenses.
  • Video cameras for the buses have come down in price.  
  • There is no money for a bus this year.  The State used to reimburse Districts 100% for the purchase of buses.  Only 8% on the dollar is being reimbursed now due to the funding formula.  Mr. Madura suggested that next year the Board should start putting $25,000 - $30,000 a year in the Capital Improvement account to continue the purchase of buses.  
42 Staff members - 3 mechanics, 23 drivers, a dispatcher, 2 caravan drivers and 13 substitutes.  

Facilities – Andy Madura

  • Facilities is over-budget by $96,000.
  • Salaries and benefits increases are $87,000.
  • There are increases in heating oil, electricity and propane.
  • Songo Locks School has a drinking water issue.  Bottled water has been donated by Hannaford’s this year.  A grant loan has been approved for $135,000 to correct the issue.  The first year’s payment will be $15,000.  This has to be done.  
  • The budget does not include any funds for the traffic and parking issue at Songo Locks School.  A cost analysis and recommendations will be discussed with the Facilities Committee on March 3.
  • The high school is working off of 2 boilers, it is down one.  The Facilities Committee is looking at various proposals.  A recommendation should be coming to the Board shortly.
  • The budget does not include any security camera upgrades at the high school.  These were eliminated from the lease-purchase bid.  We did not get a Homeland Security grant.  Some areas are not covered by security cameras.
  • Repairs and Maintenance – a copy of the 11 year cost analysis of long-range projects was distributed.  The 12 year plan expired last year.  Mr. Madura met with the Facilities Committee and Mr. Madura was asked to update the plan.  The plan was not being followed.  It needs the Board’s support.  $350,000 needs to be budgeted on an annual basis to fund special projects.  
  • $50,000 - $100,000 needs to be put into the Capital Improvement Fund on an annual basis to have money available for unplanned expenses.  This account needs voter approval to use the funds.  The boilers in the buildings are 20 years old or older.   
There are 36 staff members – 4 maintenance technicians, 25 custodians in the buildings, a Maintenance Technician Coordinator, Grounds Coordinator, 3 grounds people, and 2 secretaries.

Community Use of Facilities – Recommend including $50,000 in the budget - $20,000 salaries, $12,000 – consumables - $3,000 redo the gym floor every year; heat, lights, propane and water - $10,000 and Miscellaneous repairs - $5,000.  Mr. Madura tries to fill Saturdays and weekends with regular staff so we don’t have to pay overtime.

Food Service – Andy Madura

Mr. Madura has to keep the Revenue and Expense side of the budget.  The policy was changed to make him accountable on a monthly basis.  The program was kept in the black.  He is trying to do that again this year.

Salaries and benefits are over a 0 budget by $16,000.

  • The program is maintaining a $17,000 to $20,000 uncollectible debt.       Mr. Madura is working with the Finance Committee on this.  Children in grades K-5 are required to get a meal.  Students beyond grade 5 can have an alternate lunch.
  • Working on ways to reduce costs.
  • Staff are paid at the top of scale – not much turnover.
  • New regulations require the following:
  • A fresh fruit component to be served 3 times a week
  • Reduction in sodium
  • All grains have to be at least 50% whole grain   
  • The District is in a Co-op with 24 other schools to get better prices on things like milk and produce.  
  • Mr. Madura is concerned regarding re-opening Crooked River.  Another kitchen has to be opened and the customer-base hasn’t gotten any bigger.  
  • Postage was $785, reduced to $200.  Hope to use email, text messaging, and twitter more.
  • There is a commitment from the Maine Hunger Group to pay for postage for the Free and Reduced mailing.  All schools but the high school are over 50% free and reduced lunch.  
  • This allows the District to ask for the Fresh fruit and vegetable grant.  Stevens Brook is already participating in the grant – An application will be submitted for the Middle School, Songo Locks School, and Sebago Elementary School.  
  • Due to the Nutrition rules, the auditor recommended that the District include $10,000 in the budget for the Food Service Program.
  • Staff has been looking at ways to increase participation.  
  • Students are allowed to have breakfast at 1:00 (muffin and juice) – breakfast sales went up.
  • The Middle School started a second start breakfast in the late morning – 140 students are now getting breakfast.
There is a staff of 13 - 5 Kitchen managers, one in each school, and 8 School Lunch Workers.

The meeting adjourned at 8:00 p.m.

                                                                              Date Approved