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School Board Minutes 03/07/16

March 7, 2016

There was a Regular Meeting of the Lake Region School Board on Monday, March 7, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. in the Great Room at Lake Region Vocational Center.


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

Administrators present were:  Lisa Caron, Kirsten Goff, Madelyn Litz,   Elisabeth Peavey, Rosie Schacht, Sherrie Small, Guy Stickney, Joshua Sturk, Maggie Thornton, Cheryl Turpin, and Alan Smith, Superintendent of Schools.  

Others present were:  Sandy Arris, Wayne Rivet, and Barry Johnson.


Everyone was asked to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.


A motion was made by Beth Chaplin, seconded by Cindy LeBlanc, to approve the agenda with the addition of the agenda addendum.  Motion carried unanimously.


A motion was made by Beth Chaplin, seconded by Debra Albert, to approve the Minutes of the Regular Meeting of February 22, 2016.  Vote 11-Yes, 0-No,       1-Abstention.  Motion carried.


Close Reading

Elisabeth Peavey introduced Holly Tremblay and Betsy Mayo who shared information on close reading as follows:

Mrs. Mayo and Mrs. Tremblay and Holly took a class from the University of No. Dakota on the Common Core.  The class was to help increase rigor of all students to help them meet standards, the common core, and career readiness.

Using the Literacy by Design curriculum, teachers introduce new themes by reading five or six pages of long, boring introductions.  The teachers took these pages and decided to use them for close reading with students.  

The meaning of close reading is “to uncover layers of meaning that lead to deep comprehension.”

“Close, analytic reading stresses engaging with a text of sufficient complexity directly and examining meaning thoroughly and methodically, encouraging

Close Reading (continued)

students to read and reread deliberately.  Directing student attention on the text itself empowers students to understand the central ideas and key supporting details.  It also enables students to reflect on the meanings of individual words and sentences; the order in which sentences unfold; and the development of ideas over the course of the text, which ultimately leads students to arrive at an understanding of the test as a whole. (PARCC, 2011, P.7)”
  • A copy of the introduction of a unit was distributed to all of the students.  
  • Students were given 2 highlighters – with one they were asked to read a page and highlight and word or phrase that didn’t make sense to them.
  • Each student has an elbow partner – who they then read the paragraph with and had discussions on what the paragraph meant.
  • A question was put on the Board that students had to find the answer to through their reading.
  • The other highlighter was used to highlight the evidence to answer the question.   The exercise can take two or three days – but it has been the best reading exercise and students have had great conversations regarding what they have read.  It is a great way to teach students to answer a constructive response question.  
A sample unit was shared which included information from various text sets for different reading levels, a Diagram,  and Reading Theater pages for low readers.  The students’ task was to determine who was more important to the Revolutionary War – Paul Revere or Sybil Ludington?

The students worked very hard and were very passionate on the reading.

The close reading has taken on a life of its own.  A SLO on Constructive Response was developed and is being used in all subject areas.  Students are aware of the rubrics – if they get a 2 they work to bring it up to a three, etc.

The process is making the fifth grade students better readers and writers.

The teachers were thanked for their presentation.  

Mr. Buchanan commented that with these success stories and our excellent educators he hopes that the program is shared and expands throughout the District.


Alison Caulfield mentioned that she had distributed the number of students involved in the Pleasant Mountain Ski Program to Board members prior to the meeting.


Sebago Elementary School - Kirsten Goff

  • The goal of the 100th Day Celebration this year~was to collect a minimum of 100 items.  Students were challenged if they could surpass the 283 items
collected last year.  Students brought in 418 items!  One student brought in a collection of 100 packages of ramen noodles for the Collections of 100 display in the foyer.
  • Students and staff are gearing up for the MEA testing that will happen at the end of the month.  A training session was led by Joshua Sturk this past Friday to get staff familiar with the site so they can give the students a chance to see what the test will look like and how to use the different tools that are offered.
  • Although Dr. Seuss's actual birthday was a snow day, we still honored his memory and love of reading the following day.  We had guest~readers, older children read to younger children, and everyone silently read together for a half-hour in the hallway.
  • The PTC is sponsoring a Father-Daughter Dance next Friday and then a Mother-Son Dance the Friday after.
  • A Family Engineering Night is planned for Thursday, March 24 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.  This will be a whole family event with families participating in multiple STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) related activities. It is hoped that some of the activities will also inspire students to get creative and participate in our annual Science Fair, which is scheduled for the end of April.
  • Lauren Berge was one of five winners of a $1,000 High 5 Scholarship from the Maine Red Claws.  She will be able to go to the game on March 20th with her family and go out on the center court to be recognized.
Stevens Brook Elementary School – Cheryl Turpin

  • The Backpack Grant was renewed for next year. This program enables us to send weekend food home to needy families.  We are feeding between 20-25 families every weekend.
  • Bingo Night was a huge success, our cafeteria was absolutely packed.  Whole families turned out. It was great to see students with their parents and grandparents enjoying a fun night out together.
  • Early Release days:
  • On February 8, K-5 staff participated in math professional development lead by Math Consultant, Cynthia Hillman.
  • On February 22nd, teachers worked in teams on Science units and report card rubrics.
  • On February 29, teachers engaged in team designed work to delve deeper into a topic presented during one of the previous Early Release days. They developed a plan to incorporate that new learning into their teaching practices.
  • Dr. Pam Brucker continued her work with support staff
  • Last Friday was a District-wide, Professional Development (PD) day.
  • Elementary staff was engaged in a variety of PD sessions.  Most of the staff began the day with a training session on administering the new State tests, the MEA, which stands for Maine Educational Assessment.  

Stevens Brook Elementary School (continued)

  • Following that, K-5 classroom teachers reconvened at LEA’s Maine Lake Science Center, where we were all trained in Project Learning Tree, which is an environmental education program of the American Forest Foundation.
  • Specialists met by discipline and Dr. Pam Brucker worked with the librarians on the foundations of reading.
  • Our Read Across America Day activities were scheduled for last Wednesday, which was a snow day, so our Librarian, Martha Jackson, is working to reschedule the authors and illustrators.
  • This is National School Breakfast Week. In conjunction with this week, the school piloted a Breakfast in the Classroom program to encourage more students to eat breakfast. Presently, 191 students are eligible for a free breakfast, but only 40 of them are eating breakfast at school.  Rather than having students eat in the café, we are promoting a community breakfast in the room, with their classmates.  We are hoping the classroom atmosphere will interest more students to eat at school.  Liz Shane and I rolled this out to students and families at our last School Meeting dressed as bacon and egg.  This morning we dressed up again and greeted students as they came in the building.  The number of breakfasts served doubled. Of course, it could have been the contest we are entered into to win a $500 prize.
  • Calendar Items
  • March 18 - Spring Pictures
  • March 22 through April 7 – is the window for the MEA State Testing
  • March 24 - Leslie McConnell is hosting a “Getting Ready for Kindergarten” presentation from 6:30-8:00 p.m.
  • March 25 - Second Trimester Report Cards go home
  • March 29
  • Meteorologist, Todd Gutner, from Channel 6 will be at the school.  He is presenting to the third grade classes. Teacher, Miranda Walker, contacted him and arranged for him to do a presentation on weather.
  • The Combined Elementary Chorus and Band Concert will be held at Stevens Brook Elementary School at 7:00 p.m.
  • Enrollment Update:  We currently have 313 students.  Forty-three students have transferred in and forty-eight students have transferred out. That’s a total of ninety-one students or 30.9% of our population.
Songo Locks School - Beth Peavey

  • On February 2, Candice Bray, and International Educational Consultant based in the State of Maine, met with staff to share phonological awareness activities and research.  On February 2, she modeled a phonological activities with a group of students in grades K, 1 and 2 while teachers observed.
  • On February 3 and March 3 the Principal Stars Assembly was held.  Students were surprised with eight Champion boy’s basetball players there for students to ask questions.  The players highlighted the importance of working hard in both academics and sports.  One of the students shared, “you can always be good, but to be GREAT, you have to keep working at it.  
  • Mrs. Flanagin and Ms. Johnson’s classes used the Tandberg, video conferencing system, with an educator from Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.  Students were impressed that the presenter could see
Songo Locks School (continued)

 them.  The students discovered the connection of living systems through video, images, and live plants as well as investigated why and how flowering plants have developed with their pollinator partners.  
  • On February 25, Grade 4 students participated in a Virtual Tour of the Universe.
  • On March 3, Tony Buzzeo, a Maine Author and former Portland educator, skyped with Kindergarten students.  She read her new book:  Just Like My Papa, which was inspired by a trip she took to Africa.
  • A reading challenge began on February 26 and will go through April 8.  Students and staff are all reading “Nicholas, a Maine Tale”.  There are two teams, Team Peavey and Team Cline.  The team that reads the most minutes will win.  The culminating activity will include a beach towel and a wet suit!!  Everyone will also participate in a Maine – Logo tee-shirt Day.
  • An Author will be visiting the school on April 8.  The author will be a surprise.
  • Report cards will go home on April 25.
  • On March 31, the school will hold its first Family STEM evening from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.   The PTC was thanked for their collaboration and time with organizing the event.
Special Services – Lisa Caron

  • The Special Services Department is gearing up for spring.  CDS has identified 20 students ages 3 – 5 who have a disability.
  • Kindergarten Screening is done in conjunction with Child Find.  Dates will be announced in the Bridgton News, Lake Region Weekly, and other local publications.
  • The Screenings will be done at Crooked River Elementary School as follows:
  • April 26 – Sebago Elementary School, Songo Locks School and Stevens Brook Elementary School students
  • April 27 – Songo Locks School and Stevens Brook Elementary School students
  • April 28 – Songo Locks School students  
  • The Home-to-School Liaison, Leslie McConnell, will be meeting with parents of in-coming Kindergarten students as follows:
  • Thursday, March 10 – 6:30 – 8:30 – Sebago Elementary School
  • Thursday, April 17 – Songo Locks School
  • Thursday, April 24 – Stevens Brook Elementary School


A motion was made by Beth Chaplin, seconded by Cindy LeBlanc, to approve the following personnel items as a block:

  • Renewal of Building Administrator and Program Administrator Contracts

Personnel (continued)

  • Elizabeth Maher as a Special Education Technician II at Stevens Brook Elementary School, effective March 7, 2016.  This is a new budgeted position.
  • Linda Hamilton as a Title I Educational Technician III at Songo Locks School, effective March 4, 2016 through the remainder of the 2015-16 school year.  This is a new position.
A motion was made by Beth Chaplin, seconded by Cindy LeBlanc, to approve the above block.


A motion was made by Beth Chaplin, seconded by Cindy LeBlanc, to approve the following donations as a block:

  • Loon Echo Land Trust has awarded $300.00 to Sebago Elementary School from its 2016 Environmental Education Grant Program.  The funds will be used for the annual visit from Chewonki along with a Winter Walk by the Audubon Society.
  • A grant was received from the Target Field Trip Grants Program for $700.00  The grant was written by Jill Flagg and will be used to take Kindergarten students on a field trip to Pineland Farms.
Motion carried unanimously.

A motion was made by Beth Chaplin, seconded by Cindy LeBlanc, to approve the above block.  Motion carried unanimously.

2016-17 School Calendar

A motion was made by Beth Chaplin, seconded by Cindy LeBlanc, to approve the 2016-17 School Calendar as a first reading.

  • Superintendent Smith mentioned that the Curriculum Committee and the Associations had reviewed the calendar.  The Curriculum Committee recommended the start prior to Labor Day as the calendar to use.  
  • The Early Release/Late Arrival Days are the same as last year.  
  • The calendar matches the Vocational sending schools.
Motion carried unanimously.

Employee Recognition Policy

A motion was made by Beth Chaplin, seconded by Cindy LeBlanc, to approve the revisions to the Employee Recognition Policy as a first reading.  Motion carried unanimously.  

Debra Albert shared that the Personnel Committee reviewed the policy and made the change in the number of years from 25 to 10 years to recognize retirees.  This will bring the policy in line with recognition awards beginning with 10 years.

Motion carried unanimously.




Julie Johnson asked if the calendar that was approved was the one starting prior to Labor Day.  That was confirmed yes.


Committee Reports

Finance Committee

Karla Swanson Murphy reported that the Committee met prior to the Board meeting at 6:00 p.m.   The following three Board Budget Workshops are scheduled:

Wednesday, March 9  – 6:00 p.m. – Great Room, Lake Region Vocational Center
Monday, March 14    - 6:00 p.m. – Library, Lake Region High School
Wednesday, March 16 – 6:00 p.m. – Great Room, Lake Region Vocational Center

Personnel Committee

The next meeting will be on Monday, March 21, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. in the Conference Room at Lake Region Vocational Center.  The Committee will be reviewing the Student/Parent Handbook and the Athletic Handbook for the Middle School.

Curriculum Committee

Karen Eller reported that the last Curriculum Committee meeting was cancelled due to a storm.  The next meeting will be on April 6.

Liaison Committee

Cindy LeBlanc reported that the next Liaison Committee meeting was scheduled for March 21 but it will be rescheduled due to the Budget Public Hearing beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Facilities Committee

Phil Shane reported that a meeting was scheduled for last week but was cancelled.  The meeting will be rescheduled.

Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent Smith thanked all the students that have participated on extra-curricular activities and sports for their efforts.  He has attended several musicals and sporting events and has been very impressed with student behavior.

Mr. Smith distributed a copy of the Minutes from the Sebago Withdrawal Committee of February 23, 2016.  

Superintendent’s Report (continued)

The Committee had to meet to nominate a Chairperson of the Withdrawal Committee.  Tim Mayberry was elected.

Mr. Smith clarified to the Committee that the purpose of this Committee is not to negotiate.  The Committee is assigned to come up with a proposal to withdraw from M.S.A.D. #61 within 90 days.  If the Committee shows due diligence that they are working on the proposal, the State will extend the date.  
Once the proposal is completed, it will be presented to a Board Working Committee and then to the full Board in an Executive Session.  The Board will then come out of Executive Session.

Mr. Smith mentioned that Joe McMahon will not be participating in the Executive Session as he is on the Sebago Withdrawal Committee.   Mr. McMahon shared that he thought he would be able to attend.  Mr. Smith told him he had checked with his attorney.

The above assignment is the only thing the Withdrawal Committee can do.  If they wish to do something different, they can go back to their Selectmen to stop the process.  


  • Karen Lewis will be a Long-Term Substitute Family Consumer Science Teacher at Lake Region Middle School, effective approximately the middle to end of March, replacing Lauren Moulton who will be on a maternity leave of absence.
  • Darlene Perry has resigned as an Administrative Assistant, effective     February 23, 2016.

A motion was made by Beth Chaplin, seconded by Debra Albert, to go into Executive Session to discuss a student matter.  

The Board went into Executive Session at 7:50 p.m.   Mr. Stickney was invited to attend.  

The Board returned to Public Session at 8:08 p.m.

A Special Board meeting was scheduled for Monday, March 14, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. in the Library at Lake Region High School.


A motion was made by Beth Chaplin, seconded by Cindy LeBlanc, to adjourn.  Motion carried unanimously.  

The meeting adjourned at 8:09 p.m.

                                                                      Date Approved