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School Board Minutes 10/19/2015

October 19, 2015

There was a Regular Meeting of the Lake Region School Board on Monday,
October 19, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. in the Cafeteria at Stevens Brook Elementary School.


Janice Barter called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.  Board members present were:  Debra Albert, Ben Bowditch, Stan Buchanan, Allison Caulfield,
Beth Chaplin, Karen Eller, Tom Hancock, Cindy LeBlanc, Joseph McMahon,
Philip Shane, Nina Stoddard, and Karla Swanson-Murphy.

Administrators present were:  Lisa Caron, Cheryl Cline, Kirsten Goff,
Erik Good, Pay Hayden, Andrew Madura, Madelyn Litz, Rosie Schacht, Guy Stickney,
Joshua Sturk, Maggie Thornton, Cheryl Turpin, and Alan Smith, Superintendent of Schools.

Others present were:  Anne McMahon, Julie Johnson, Barry Johnson, Steve Blatt,
                      and Wayne Rivet.


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


A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the Minutes of the Regular Meeting of October 5, 2015.  Motion carried unanimously.


Crooked River Project
Steven Blatt, the Architect for the Crooked River Project updated the Board on the progress of the Crooked River project.  He shared the following information:

  • There have been several Public Forums in the District to share information on the Crooked River project.
  • A copy of the site plan was displayed.
  • There will be a new driveway for parents and visitors with a separate lane for the buses.
  • Parking will be increased by 40%.
  • There will be a soft play area and a hard play area.
  • The site is in very good condition.
  • Classrooms will be located on the south side of the building so the rooms will get the sun during the winter.  
  • An underground sprinkler system, including a sprinkler pump, will be installed.

Crooked River Project (continued)

  • Fiber optic wires are already available at the school, technology will be increased at the school.
  • A wood chip boiler will be installed in the rear of the building and will be the major heating source for the building.  An existing oil furnace will also be used.
  • A number of existing air conditioners will be used in the summer.   
  • The gym will remain where it is; consideration is being given to cutting into the locker room area which is not currently being used to make a stage.
  • The cafeteria’s size is being increased.  It will be enlarged to include a wall of windows and a door so students can go outside following lunch.  It will have a capacity of 130 students which is the recommended limit.   There will be 2 serving lines.  
  • Classrooms will be arranged in 3 neighborhoods – it will create a school within a school and each area will have a work room and a staff room.
  • A wing will be added to the front of the building which will include a music room, stage, and auditorium for 150 students.  Consideration is being made to possibly make the auditorium large enough for 300 to 350 students.  If it is affordable, the stage in the gym will not be needed.
  • Special uses rooms including art, special services, literacy, etc. will be sprinkled throughout the building
  • The Library will be located in the middle of the building.
  • The current square footage of the building is 35,000 square feet; 20,000 square feet will be added.
The security system will be improved.
Auditorium – will include movable seats and an acoustic wall.  It will be able to be used as another teaching space.


  • December 1, 2015 – Public Hearing – 7:00 p.m. – Lake Region High School Gym
  • December 8, 2015 – Referendum Vote held in each town
  • The project will go out to bid by next August
  • Start building next year
  • Construction finished in less than a year

The seating in the cafeteria seems too small??  Having 120-130 students at a time in the cafeteria is the recommended limit for noise level.  It was mentioned that by serving lunch to 40 students and then 8 minutes later, 40 more students – that all students could be served in 20 minutes.

Mr. Blatt was asked to explain the change in the Auditorium size.  Mr. Blatt mentioned that consideration is being made to change the auditorium seating from 150 students to 350 students.  The change would cost an additional $240,000.  It is hoped that prices stay low and with favorable bids, the auditorium can be enlarged as an Add Alternate.  Increasing the size would allow the whole student body to meet at one time and the stage in the gym would not be needed.

Mr. Blatt was thanked for the presentation.


Anne McMahon questioned the numbers that were shared at a previous meeting.  
At a previous workshop figures were shared with Sebago remaining open or being closed.  If Crooked River has students from Songo Locks School only, it would by 37% empty (63% full).  Mrs. McMahon commented that Sebago Elementary School is being dragged into the Crooked River project and it is offensive.

Robert Casimiro mentioned that at the August 31 School Board meeting he noticed that the Board did not do the Pledge of Allegiance.  He mentioned that the Lions Clubs, American Legion, and the Bridgton Board of Selectmen all begin their meetings with the Pledge of Allegiance.  He asked the Board to consider starting their meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Chairperson Barter responded that the topic would be included on a future School Board agenda.  


Sebago Elementary School - Kirsten Goff

  • Progress reports went home on Friday, October 16.
  • Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held on October 27 and 29.  Parents are signing up for conferences using PTC Fast, a free on-line service.
  • The Scholastic Book Fair will be held during the Conference week.  Proceeds from the fair go to the Library.
  • The Sebago Fire Department will be coming on October 22 to do Fire Awareness presentations to all the classes.  The highlight for students is to see the fire truck up close and get to climb in it.
  • Mrs. Harmon and Ms. Skarbinski have been working with students to clean and spruce up the Walking Trail that runs from the end of the school’s parking lot down to the river.  Students from all grade levels have participated, with some students volunteering almost every day.
  • Mrs. Fournier, the Physical Education Teacher, has been teaching students in Grades 2 and 3 how to ride a bike.  The students were also allowed to practice during their recess.  All students are now riding on 2 wheels by themselves.  A grant was received which will allow all students to take their helmets home.
  • Fruit leather was made using the grapes that grew in the garden.  Students and teachers created an engineering plan to harvest, separate, and process the grapes.  The process was coordinated by Mr. Bridge-Koenigsberg.  A by-product of the process was grape syrup.  All students were involved in some part of the process and everyone sampled the syrup and the fruit leather.
  • John Lucy donated two bushels of apples from Douglas Mountain Orchard.  The apples on the tree in front of the school were also picked.  Mrs. Harmon coordinated making applesauce for the whole school to try.  Students in grades 1, 2, and 5 made the applesauce.
  • Mr. Madura and his crew were thanked for the delivery of wood chips for the playground.

Stevens Brook Elementary School – Cheryl Turpin

  • The Bridgton Academy Volunteers have started up again this year.  The goal is for the boys to volunteer one hour each week.  The students love working with the Bridgton Academy boys.
  • On October 15, there was a lockdown drill with Scott Parker, the District’s Emergency Preparedness consultant and local responders.  It was the first time the school had practiced with responders and it had a heightened level of realism.  Students were told the drill would be taking place.  The drill took about 40 minutes.  Following the drill, there was a debriefing of the emergency team.  Blackboard connect was used to send an email message out to families and then a voice message was sent to household phones in the evening to let parents know it was a routine drill and that the police and sheriff were involved.
  • Mid-trimester reports went home on Friday, October 16.  Conferences will be held on the evenings of October 20 and October 22 from 3:30 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Kindergarten classes are taking a walking field trip to the Bridgton Public Library.
  • This week and next, Grade 4 students are going on their Holt Pond field trip.
  • SBES McTeacher Night at McDonalds will be held on Thursday, October 22, from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.  The school earns 20% of all the proceeds and the monies will be used for the Greenhouse Fund.  To date, $14,178.46 has been raised from various sources including grants, fund raising, donations, and events.  
  • The Bridgton Literacy Taskforce began on October 19.  The group is led by Doctors Pam and Bill Bruker, retired college professors from Connecticut.    Mr. Brucker screens, vettes, and trains all of the volunteers.  The volunteers are working with the three kindergarten classes and one first grade class.  There are currently 14 volunteers and as more become available it is hoped to expand to the remaining first grade classrooms.  The volunteers work with students individually for 20 minutes.  The school provides the literature selections, there is a lesson format, a student response sheet, and an observation form for the volunteers to complete.
  • The Four Star Writing Program which was used to promote writing in grades 1-5 has been in place for approximately 15 years.  It was reviewed, changes made and the Writing Stars Program is now in place.  All students in grades K-5 will participate by submitting one story each trimester that they consider their best work.  Each month, one student from each class will be chosen as a Writing Star Writer and their work will be displayed in the lobby.  Each month, six stories will be selected and read at School Meeting.  By the time the trimester is over, all Writing Stars will have had their story read at School Meeting.  All students will receive a special pen.
  • The Book Fair will be held from October 20 – October 23.  There will be evening hours during conferences.
Songo Locks School – Cheryl Cline

  • On October 2, the Kinderpond Team held on Elmer’s Day Parade after their teachers’ had read Elmer by David McKee out loud to them as part of their “All About Me” unit.  The story taught students about individual differences and celebrates the importance of being yourself.  Students made Elmer masks to wear during the parade through the Songo Locks School’s halls.
  • The first Principal Star assembly was held on October 5.  Students were recognized for a variety of positive behaviors including learning math facts, owning their choices and giving their best effort on the Developmental Reading Assessment.
Songo Locks School – Cheryl Cline (continued)

  • The Songo Locks School Wellness Committee has expanded opportunities for staff including paddleboarding, kayaking, and hiking at Bald Pate.
  • The Parent Teacher Connection group met on October 8.  Planned activities include a Family Bingo night on November 5 and a Craft Day on December 5.
  • Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held on October 27 and 29 from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • The Scholastic Book Fair will be held during the week of October 26 –
October 30 and will be open both evenings during the parent/teacher conferences for families who wish to purchase books.
  • The Learning Lane Team will hold a Harvest Day Celebration on October 30.  Kindergarten, grade one and grade two students will be mixed across classrooms and students will participate in a variety of literacy, art, and math/science activities around a fall and harvest theme.
  • Ms. Cline has enjoyed observing in co-taught classrooms this fall.  Students in the classrooms (primarily math and writing at this time) benefit from a brisker pace, a higher level of clarity in regard to the concepts, the directions, and the expectations.  They also receive an increased quantity of timely feedback for learning.  Teachers have grown in their ability to work collaboratively and are finding creative ways to meet student needs.  
Special Services – Lisa Caron

  • The Local Entitlement Grant has been approved.
  • There are currently 7 educational technician positions and one speech pathologist position open.  
  • On the teacher workshop day, there was a double session held on co-teaching.  There were 24 participants.  Discussion included what is going well, what are the challenges, and what are the needs.  There are currently 12 special services teachers co-teaching with other models at the regular level.
  • A new Special Services Council has been formed which has 10 members.  The Council’s focus is on professional development.
Athletics – Paul True

Mr. True shared the following information:

  • The Field Hockey Team qualified for the Regional Playoff which will be in Kennebunk at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 20.
  • The Girls’ Soccer Team qualified for a preliminary game.  They will be playing on Friday – location to be determined.
  • The Cross Country Team will have a meet at Twin Brook.
  • The Volleyball Team qualified for a playoff game.  They will be traveling to Machias on Saturday.    
  • Tyler Walker participated in the Golf Individual State Championship – He shot a 77 in 18 holes and finished in 4th place in the States.



A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the appointment of Greta Marley-Hughes as a Standards Interventionist at Stevens Brook Elementary School, effective October 14, 2015, replacing Jessica L. Hunt who transferred to another position.

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

Warrant and Notice of Election for the Crooked River Project

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the following vote:

VOTED: That the warrant and notice of election of Maine School Administrative
      District No. 61 (the “District”) presented to the meeting be and is hereby
       approved and that a referendum election for the District be and is hereby  
       called for December 8, 2015 for the purpose of approving the issuance of
       bonds or notes of the District for school construction project purposes as
       described therein.

Vote:  11-Yes, 1-No, 1-Abstention.  Motion carried.

Joseph McMahon mentioned that at a Board Workshop in June, it was mentioned that Sebago students could be transported to Crooked River and Stevens Brook Elementary Schools.  Closing Sebago Elementary School is part of the pitch for the Crooked River project.  Public hearings were scarcely attended and numbers were avoided.  He questioned why it is not ok to transport Naples students to other schools?  He cannot support the project and he is voting against it.

Phil Shane shared his concern for the capacity of Songo Locks School.  It has been overcrowded since Crooked River was closed.  It is important to pass this referendum through all of the towns.  The District cannot put any more students into Songo Locks School, it is an unhealthy situation.  If the school continues to be overcrowded, there will be other expenses at the school.   

The Board has talked about closing Sebago Elementary School.  A few years back it was an option.  Closing Sebago Elementary School is not the reason for the Crooked River Construction project.  A study needs to be done before a recommendation can be made to close Sebago Elementary School.  It is important to pass the referendum to eliminate the overcrowding at Songo Locks School.

Joseph McMahon stated that he did not agree that this is the way to do it.  The proposal is a Cadillac and supersized school.  The truth of the matter is that Sebago is included in this – it has not been presented honestly.

Superintendent Smith shared that if the project goes through, the first year there will be 250 - 260 students enrolled.  If it is renovated for 250 students it will already be overcrowded.  The District needs to build for the next 40 – 50  years.

Stan Buchanan shared that the referendum is about opening Crooked River and not about closing Sebago.  All the students in the District are our students.  The Board must do what is best for all students district-wide.  This is the best way to alleviate the overcrowding at Songo Locks School.  

Vote:  11-Yes, 1-No, 1-Abstention.  Motion carried.

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the following vote:

FURTHER VOTED:  That the Notice of Public Hearing presented to the meeting
               be and is hereby approved and that a public hearing on the
                issuance of bonds or notes for school construction project
                purposes be held on December 1, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. as provided
Vote:  12-Yes, 1-No, 0-Abstentions.  Motion carried.

Tobacco Use and Possession Policy

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the revisions to the Tobacco Use and Possession Policy, as a first reading.  

Superintendent Smith mentioned that State Law has banned e-cigarettes from public places.  The revision is to prohibit the use of electronic cigarettes and other devices designed to deliver nicotine through inhalation or “vaping,” or used to stimulate smoking.  

Motion carried unanimously.





Committee Reports

Liaison Committee

Cindy LeBlanc reported that the Committee met prior to the Board meeting.  She was elected as Chairperson.  

The Committee will meet on November 2 at 5:30 p.m. at Songo Locks School.

Laker Pride Awards were scheduled as follows:

Nominations Due at Central Office    Board Meeting Awarded
     December 7, 2015                 December 21, 2015
     March 7, 2015                    March 21, 2015
      May 2, 2015                      May 16, 2015

Curriculum Committee

Karen Eller reported that the Committee will meet on October 21 at 3:30 p.m.

Personnel Committee

Debra Albert reported that the Committee met prior to the Board meeting.  She was elected as Chairperson.  The Committee will meet at 6:00 p.m. prior to the 2nd Board meeting of each month.  Planning for the evaluation of the Superintendent will be the Committee’s first business.

Facilities Committee

Phil Shane mentioned that the Committee will meet on Monday, November 2 at 6:00 p.m.

Finance Committee

Karla Swanson-Murphy reported that the Committee was scheduled to meet on Wednesday, October 21, but it was postponed and will be rescheduled.

Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent Smith congratulated the student athletes.  It is a big student component to be eligible to participate in athletics.  He mentioned that he had attended quite a few of the events and was impressed with the sportsmanship and behavior of the athletes.


Chelsea Wheeler resigned as a speech/Language Pathologist.

Amy Santos resigned as a Day Treatment Support Technician.


A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to go into Executive Session to discuss a student matter, pursuant to M.R.S.A. 405 6.B.

The Board went into Executive Session at 8:10 p.m.  The student, the student’s parent, Guy Stickney, Lisa Caron, and Judith Prevost were invited to attend.

The Board returned to Public Session at 8:20 p.m.

A motion was made by Janice Barter, seconded by Karla Swanson-Murphy, to readmit the student to school.  Vote:  10-Yes, 0-No, 3-Abstentions.  Motion carried.

Warrants and Notice of Election for the Crooked River Project

The Warrants for the Crooked River Project were signed.


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

The meeting adjourned at 8:40 p.m.


                                                                             Date Approved