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School Board Minutes 12/21/15

December 21, 2015

There was a Regular meeting of the Lake Region School Board on Monday,
December 21, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. in the Great Room at Lake Region Vocational Center.


Superintendent Smith welcomed everyone to the meeting.  He shared the criteria for being chosen for the Laker Pride Award as follows:  Students:  For being a positive role model, reliable, trustworthy, respectful, conscientious, consistently helpful, and selfless.  Staff:  For promoting, creating, and enhancing a positive school community.  

Superintendent Smith explained that there are a lot of students who are nominated for the award that are not at the meeting as their name was not randomly selected.  Teachers nominate students that are doing great things.  The following students were recognized and received a Laker Pride Tee-shirt and a certificate.

Sebago Elementary School – Students:  Ella Dubay, Abigail Lavoie,
                     Emma McKenney, Audrey Dubay, Brooke Randall, and
                     Blake Kirk.  Staff member:  Kirsten Goff

Songo Locks School – Students:  Madison Pond, Shelby Horning, Ava Johnson,
                     Kaya Czerw, Samantha Jones, and Grace Page.  
                     Staff member:  Noreen Casey

Stevens Brook Elementary School – Students:  Zachary Vogel, Emma Aker,
                     Alexis Jackson, Madyson Gibbons, Harlow Ross, and
                     Aurora Hart.  Staff member:  Karen Lepage

Lake Region Middle School – Students:  Libby Blais, Kathryn McIntyre,
                     Hunter Hills, Benjamin Nelson, and Sanjay Tucker.
                     Staff member:  Rachel Sevigny

Lake Region High School – Students:  Francis Mirante, Emma Brown,
                     Olivia Deschenes, Katelyn Sullivan, Zachary Gray,
                     and Abby Horne.  Staff member:  Andrew Stacy

Transportation – Staff member:  Stefanie Crockett.

Lake Region Vocational Center – Staff member:  Larry Stevenson

Adult Education/Central Office/Special Education:  Staff member: Pat Hayden


Janice Barter called the meeting to order at 7:20 p.m.  Board members present were: Debra Albert, Ben Bowditch, Stan Buchanan, Alison Caulfield,
Beth Chaplin, Karen Eller, Tom Hancock, Joseph McMahon, Philip Shane,
Nina Stoddard, and Karla Swanson Murphy.  Cindy LeBlanc was excused.

Administrators present were:  Lisa Caron, Cheryl Cline, Kirsten Goff,
Erik Good, Pat Hayden, Matthew Lokken, Madelyn Litz, Andrew Madura,
Elisabeth Peavey, Rosie Schacht, Cheryl Turpin, and Alan Smith, Superintendent of Schools.


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

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


A motion was made by Karla Swanson Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the Minutes of December 7, 2015.  Motion carried unanimously.


Madelyn Litz, Adult and Community Education

Mrs. Litz shared some significant changes to the Adult Education Program as follows:

  • The WEB Page has been changed including the name of the program.  The name has changed from the Crooked River Adult and Community Education program to the Lake Region Adult Education program.  Fryeburg has equal partners.
  • The new brochure will be going out shortly.  
  • It includes day and evening classes.  
  • The Program is open five days a week.  
  • There are several locations for the evening classes.
  • The cover has a picture from the top of Shawnee Peak.  A press release has been given to the Bridgton News, Conway Sun, and several other newspapers.  
  • The Town of Bridgton has offered the use of the lower conference room to hold classes on Wednesdays from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.  This is on the bus line.  The Town of Bridgton will also allow the Adult Education Program to have a sign outside.
  • Ms. Litz is looking for several locations of this type, including a site in Fryeburg.
  • Adult Education is the place to go.
  • People were asked to call if they have any questions or want to teach a class.

Math Presentation – Stevens Brook Elementary School

Cheryl Turpin introduced Alison Sands, a Grade 5 Teacher at Stevens Brook Elementary School.

Allison and five of her students shared a lesson using Digi-blocks, a math manipulative.

Elizabeth Shane was observing Ms. Sands’ class and videotaped the students using digi-blocks to figure out a division problem.  The digi-blocks support learning with a hands-on, concrete way of understanding division.  
The video was shared with the Board.

Ms. Sands and the students were thanked for the presentation.


Mr. Crabtree, from Sebago, commented on the vote on the Crooked River project.  There was an outstanding, successful, turnout of voters with 2,300 votes cast.  The vote was 3 to 1 against the $9.6 million proposal for Crooked River.  He shared that the voters are not against solving the overcrowding issue, they are opposed to the price and the size.  He hopes the District will bring back a smaller and less costly proposal that relieves the overcrowding issue.  
He also asked how much it cost to print the brochure, how much to mail it, and where the money came from.

Songo Locks School - Cheryl Cline

  • On November 13, the Songo Locks School Wellness Committee sponsored and evening at Escape the Room in Portland.  A small, but motivated group of staff gathered to identify clues and then used those clues to unlock four combination locks.  A great deal of teamwork, lots of laughter, and a couple of hints from the room monitor ended with the last lock being opened with 58 seconds left in the allotted hour.  
  • SARSUM (Sexual Assault Response Services of Southern Maine) presented Personal Body Safety lessons for grades K, 1 and 3 on November 17, 18, and 19.
  • On November 24, Fire safety presentations were made to grades 4 and 5 by the local fire departments.  The focus was on winter.
  • On December 3, there was a Title I Parent night with students and parents to introduce the Title I reading and math programs.  
  • Report cards went home on December 4.  
  • The Annual PTC Craft Workshop was held.  Approximately 115 students, parents and other family members attended to make Christmas ornaments and crafts.  The most popular were the handprint mitten ornaments, the felt holiday pencil toppers, the glitter cupcake ornament, and the snowman measuring stick.  
  • The Wellness Committee sponsored an evening with “Paint the Town” for staff.  Twenty people participated in painting a scene called Winter Birches.   
  • Five holiday concerts were held on December 16 and 17.  The students put on great performances and enjoyed singing with their families.  Parking was a challenge.
  • The Dance Outreach program from Lake Region High School performed for grades K-2 and 3-5.   Mr. Good, the High School Principal, attended the first performance.  The LRHS Dance performers honored Mr. Good with a silver sparkly bow-tie.
  • Two Mad Science performances were held for all students in celebration of meeting PBIS ROCK Star goals.  Students couldn’t believe their eyes as they tried to determine if what they were seeing was magic or science.  Lightening Lucy explained it all as she used indoor fireworks to create a

festival of lights and shared Mad Science top secret “special ice”, shipped straight from the North Pole.  It all came together with magical no-melt snow.  Students and staff were fully engaged and excited with the interactive science performance.

Stevens Brook Elementary School - Cheryl Turpin  

  • Walmart conducted a vision screening and Tooth Protectors have provided dental cleanings for students.
  • Mrs. Varney’s 4th grade class hosted Tea time.  This was a poetry reading for parents.
  • On December 1, students in grades 3 and 4 attended the performance of the “Nutcracker” at Merrill Auditorium.  This was a Backstage Program that provided free admission.  The PTA covered the cost of transportation.  
  • Mrs. Turpin shared a copy of Representative Phyllis Ginzler’s 2015 Update she sent out.  The flyer features a picture of last year’s 5th grade class visiting the capitol.  The students were able to attend a legislative session because Representative Ginzler covered the cost of the transportation.   There is also a picture of Che Che Stoddard, who served as a page, and her Mom, Nina Stoddard, currently a School Board member.  
  • Santa’s Workshop was held on December 4.  This was a PTA sponsored event, where the students shop for family presents.  The Bridgton Academy boys were elves and helped the students shop.
  • On December 9, Title I had their Parent Night.  Families were treated to pizza and salad.  There was a short presentation, followed by games.
  • Report cards went home on December 11.  
  • Mrs. Turpin publicly thanked the many anonymous donors for their donations to help families in need.  
  • Food City, once again, contacted the school about food bags patrons had donated to be distributed to the District’s schools.
  • Last week, the Student Council sponsored Spirit Week and featured a special way students dressed each day.  By Friday, which was a school-wide PJ and stuffed animal day, the school was full of spirit.  
  • On December 21, Santa visited the kindergarten and grade 1 lunch period.   
Sebago Elementary School – Kirsten Goff
  • On Halloween, Chewonki visited the students and brought a real bat; put together a skeleton of a small whale that was 16’ long; and taught students about mammals in Maine.  The visit was provided by the Sebago PTC and a grant from the Loon Echo Trust.
  • Also, on Halloween, Leslie McConnell read a story to pre-school students and then they went on their annual parade in their Halloween costumes throughout the school visiting each classroom.
  • For Veteran’s Day, students created a quilt made out of oak tag.  Each child completed a square about what freedom means to them.  It was displayed in the gymnasium.  In the morning, students from the Lake Region Vocational Center’s Honor Guard came to demonstrate a formal raising and lowering of the flag along with a demonstration of the proper method of folding the flag.  In the afternoon, students gathered at Sebago’s Veteran’s Memorial to sing a few patriotic songs with local veterans.  Everyone went inside and Brian and Kevin Lucy, 4th grade students, played a special rendition of “American the Beautiful” on their clarinets.  Students in grades 3 read
Sebago Elementary School – Kirsten Goff (continued)

sentences they wrote to thank the veterans for their service.  Some students in grades 4 and 5 read short essays about freedom.  To end the special event, all the students shook the hands of the veterans who attended.  
  • During the week of November 16, the annual Penny War was held.  The Student Council sponsors the program to raise money for the “Holiday Wishes” program in conjunction with the Town of Sebago.  The program provides meals and gifts to children at Christmas.  Students bring in spare change.  The students and families raised over $820.00.  On December 11, the Student Council members went on a shopping trip using those funds to purchase gifts for Sebago families in need.  
  • On November 24, Mrs. Bennett’s class held their annual Thanksgiving Celebration.
  • On December 4, the PTC helped students make personalized ornaments to decorate the tree in the lobby.
  • Holiday concerts were held on December 15.  Students sang a blend of familiar holiday songs along with some new ones.
  • On December 21, Santa came for a visit and delivered books that were written by and, personally, autographed for each student by noted local author, Toni Buzzeo.  Students in grades K-2 received “Stay Close to Mama” and students in grades 3-5 received “Lighthouse Christmas”.  To help Santa out, the books were purchased by the PTC.  
Special Services - Lisa Caron  

  • There are still Educational Technician openings available.   
  • This year has been challenging.  Sixteen students have moved into Songo Locks School with an IEP and 9 students are in a self-contained classroom.  
  • Information was received from the Child Development Services that 20 students would be coming into the District; 10 are high need students that need 1-to-1 support.  The programs are great and full.  If Board members would like a tour, please contact Mrs. Caron.


A motion was made by Karla Swanson Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the following personnel items as a block:

  • Clayton Jones as a Science Teacher at Lake Region Middle School, replacing Andrea Capano who has transferred to another position
  • Additional Duty Positions
  • Danielle Rowland as a Special Education Social Worker at Lake Region Middle School and Sebago Elementary School, replacing Sheri Truax who has resigned
Motion carried unanimously.

A motion was made by Karla Swanson Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the above block.  Motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Lokken introduced Mr. Jones.  The Board welcomed him to the District.

A motion was made by Karla Swanson Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the following donations as a block:

  • Hayes True Value donated $2,789.93 worth of screws and hardware to be used for the Technology Departments at Lake Region High School and Middle School and Lake Region Vocational Center.  
  • Cynthia Magill donated $500.00 to Stevens Brook Elementary School to sponsor needy families for the holidays.
  • Lake Region Middle School was awarded a 3-D Printer from the Perloff Family Foundation with a value of $3,000.00.
  • Hancock Charitable Trust Foundation has donated $4,803 to the Music Department to purchase music instruments to be used by elementary students who have the desire to play an instrument but cannot always afford to pay for a musical instrument.  
Motion carried unanimously.

A motion was made by Karla Swanson Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the above block.  Motion carried unanimously.  

Computation and Declaration of Votes for the Crooked River Project

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

VOTED:  That the Computation and Declaration of Votes dated December 9, 2015
        and attached hereto be and it is hereby approved.  

FURTHER VOTED:  That the Computation and Declaration of Votes be entered upon    
        the records of the Maine School Administrative District No. 61 (the

FURTHER VOTED:  That a certified copy of the Computation and Declaration of
        votes be sent to each of the municipal clerks within the District.

Karla Swanson Murphy read the Computation and Declaration of Votes as follows:

The total number of votes cast in all of the municipalities within the Maine School Administrative District No. 61 (the “District”) in the affirmative on Article 1 of the Warrant and Notice of Election of the District Referendum held December 8, 2015, relating to the issuance of bonds or notes of the District for school construction project purposes is 604, and the total number of votes cast in all the municipalities in the District in the negative on said Article is 1,698, said votes being computed as follows:

                           Affirmative                  Negative

Town of Bridgton               181                                      537
Town of Casco                       188                                 186
Town of Naples                      215                                 390
Town of Sebago                       20                          585

Total                          604                        1,698  

Computation and Declaration of Votes for the Crooked River Project (continued)

The School Board hereby declares that there were less votes cast in the affirmative than in the negative on said Article and finds that said Article has failed.        

Nina Stoddard commented on the vote.  She mentioned that she lives in Bridgton in the middle of town.  There are a lot of retired people that live near her.  Many people in this area are on fixed incomes.  They took a look at this project and they couldn’t afford it.  She suggested that the Board invite people from each town including parents at these schools and interested citizens to give the Board input.
Stan Buchanan commented that before the Board goes forward, it should meet with some groups that may have been missed and explain the project and how important it is to support District initiatives for all students.

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


By Laws

A motion was made by Karla Swanson Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the revision to the By Laws, File Code B, as a second reading.  Motion carried unanimously.   

Janice Barter told Board members they would start saying the Pledge of Allegiance at their first Board meeting in January.    
Purchasing Procedures

A motion was made by Karla Swanson Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the revisions to the Purchasing Procedures policy, File Code DJF, as a second reading.  Motion carried unanimously.  



Cheryl Turpin recognized Riley, a grade 5 student.  Mr. Casimiro, who requested that the Board salute the flag at each meeting, asked 5th grade students to create cards displaying the American flag.  Riley was recognized for the card she made.  She was congratulated and thanked for her work.  Mr. Casimiro had planned on being at the meeting to share the card but was not present.  


Committee Reports

Finance Committee

Karla Swanson Murphy reported that the Committee met on December 9.

  • Most of the meeting was spent on reviewing the budget process including expectations from administrators.  
  • The budget timeline was included in the Board packet.  Budget meetings are scheduled with Administrators from January 5 through January 12.  The Finance Committee is scheduled to review the budget beginning February 1 through March 7. Board members are welcome to come to any of the meetings.  Board/Budget Workshops will be held beginning March 9 through March 16 with a Public Hearing scheduled for April 4.    
  • The Finance Committee will get a full budget book.  Other Board members will get the summary documentation.  Board members were asked if they preferred to get the full budget book.  Ben Bowditch and Janice Barter requested the full book.  
  • The bid for copiers and printers is going out to the public for a lease contract.  
  • The next Finance Committee meeting will be on January 21, there will be no meeting in February as the Committee will be working on the budget; and the following meeting will be on March 17.  
Facilities Committee

Phil Shane reported that the Facilities Committee will meet on January 4 at 6:00 p.m.

Personnel Committee

Debra Albert reported that the Personnel Committee met prior to the Board meeting.  

  • The Committee will be reviewing the Exit Review process.  
  • The role of the Personnel Committee was discussed.  
  • The Committee, along with the Curriculum Committee, will be reviewing student handbooks and discussing whether the code of conduct should be included in the handbooks.  
  • Job Descriptions
  • The Delivery Technician job descriptions was reviewed.  This is a new job description for an existing position.  It is ready for a first reading of the Board.
  • The Groundskeeper and Groundskeeper Coordinator job descriptions were tabled.
The next meeting of the Committee will be on January 11 at 6:00 p.m. at the Central Office.  

Curriculum Committee

The Curriculum Committee met on December 9.  

  • There was a discussion regarding the tools and uses of the assessment program.  
  • There was a demonstration of the new Scantron program.
Curriculum Committee (continued)
  • The Title I Reading Recovery grant will be expiring and will not be renewed.  The Title I teachers are properly training for Reading Recovery and will be able to continue using it as a tool with students.
  • The next meeting will be on January 6, 2016 at 3:30 p.m at the Central Office.
Liaison Committee

The Liaison Committee’s next meeting will be on January 4 at 5:50 p.m.
Superintendent’s Report   

Superintendent Smith thanked the public for coming out to vote for the Crooked River project as had been previously mentioned.   He shared the following with respect to the Overcrowding Educational issues at Songo Locks School:

1.  It is necessary to have 5 school lunch sessions.
2.  Students have to stay in the school and not be released when they are
    done eating due to other students out on the playground which, in turn,
    creates unintended consequences such as behavior and not getting as much    
     physical activity time as we would like.
 3.  Gym time is an issue with scheduling.
4.  Large green spaces for Occupational Therapy (OT) and Physical Therapy      
     (PT) are difficult to provide.
5.  Teachers are working in cafeteria spaces, smaller spaces than are
     appropriate, inappropriate space to support students in crisis.
6.  Five Christmas concerts created safety issues and other student concerns.
7.  School lunches, recess, and transportation issues are driving the  
     students schedule rather than academics.
8.  A 3-5 grade configuration would provide enough years together for the   
     students to create a positive educational community where staff would get
     to know the children.  This would provide better educational supports.
9.  A grade 3-5 configuration would create a true school culture.
10.  A grade 3-5 configuration would lesson transitioning.
11.  Grade 3 is the year the students go from learning to read to reading to
     learn.  They are now working with content.  Thus, beneficial for
     instructional knowledge and flexible grouping.
12.  In having a 3-5 grade configuration, the teachers have more day-to-day
     practice with reviewing, thus being able to incorporate the students early
     reading skills.
13.  The teachers have a greater opportunity to share their experiences and
     expertise with other staff when needed.  The 3-5 grade configuration has
     meaningful connections in reading and mathematics.
14.  Grade 3 is when the students start to take their MEA assessments.  This
     grouping will provide greater opportunities for practice and under-
15.  The State has made statements about all Maine Schools having a pre-k
     program.  Senator Pingree, who is on the Federal Education Committee, just
     made the announcement that the Government would be providing $250 million
     to support pre-k programming.  Having a pre-k program across the District
     is a sound educational direction to move towards.  Mr. Smith commented
     that this would be one that he didn’t think the District would be able to

Superintendent’s Report (continued)

16.  Removing just grades 4 and 5 from Songo Locks School would be short-sited.  
     The District would be right back at the table in a very short period of
     time trying to figure out how to relieve the overcrowding at Songo Locks
17.  Superintendent Smith commented that he believes the District is
     potentially losing students to other Districts because the District does
     not have a pre-k program.  Students attend a pre-k in another district,
     they make friends and roots in that District and then want to stay in that
     educational system.

Addressing the idea of Crooked River being able to be renovated for $500,000 to $600,000.00.

Two Architectural firms were asked that specific question.  Responses were as follows:

PDT Architects had already provided a rough estimate of construction and renovations to be able to use the building as a grades 4 – 5 school.  They provided a price of approximately four and a half million dollars.  It did not address the parking area, busing issues, parent pick-up/drop off, stage, literacy room, existing windows, existing building insulation, and play fields.

Superintendent Smith consulted with the District’s current Architectural firm to gain more incite to the issues:

There isn’t enough square footage to meet the District’s current needs.
Even if you were to leave the classrooms as they are with the portable walls, there is still not enough square footage in the building for the following:  music area, OT/PT, Speech, Literacy, Gifted and Talented, Small group/project room, staff break area, day treatment room, psychologist, resource room, stage, and staff toilets.

Further issues are:  no classroom storage, extensive renovations needed to the kitchen as well as it being enlarged, the cafeteria renovated and reconfigured, the windows may need to be replaced, and the building insulation R-value reviewed.

There are plumbing issues that need improvements, guidance and nurse area renovations and a bathroom put in the nurse area, the main office area would be renovated and appropriate student and public toilets installed.

The parking area, bus drop off, parent drop off, and pick-up areas would need to be renovated or constructed.  Permits and site work needed.   

Sheri Truax has resigned as a Special Education Social Worker at Lake Region Middle School and Sebago Elementary School, effective December 22, 2015.



A motion was made by Karla Swanson Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to go into Executive Session to discuss a personnel matter pursuant to (M.R.S.A. 405 6.A.).  Motion carried unanimously.

The Board went into Executive Session at 8:25 p.m. and returned to Public Session at 9:10 p.m.

A motion was made by Karla Swanson-Murphy, seconded by Stan Buchanan, to extend the Superintendent’s contract for an additional year through 2018-19.  Vote:  11-Yes, 1-No, 0-Abstentions.  Motion carried.

A motion was made by Stan Buchanan, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to give the Superintendent a 4% salary increase.   Vote:  11-Yes, 1-No, 0-Abstentions.  Motion carried.

The Declaration and Computation of Votes were signed.


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

The meeting adjourned at 9:20 p.m.


                                                                              Date Approved