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School Board Minutes 10/03/2016

October 3, 2016

There was a Regular Meeting of the Lake Region School Board on Monday,    October 3, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. in the Cafeteria at Songo Locks School.


Janice Barter 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, Thomas Hancock, Joseph McMahon, Philip Shane, Nina Stoddard, and Karla Swanson Murphy.  Cindy LeBlanc and     Mallory Strain were absent.

Administrators Present:  Lisa Caron, Cheryl Cline, Kirsten Goff, Erik Good,
Pat Hayden, Andrew Madura, Rosie Schacht, Sherrie Small, Guy Stickney,
Joshua Sturk, Cheryl Turpin, and Alan Smith, Superintendent of Schools

Others present:  Barry Johnson and Anne McMahan


Everyone was asked to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.


A motion was made by Karla Swanson Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the agenda with the addition of the Agenda Addendum and the deletion of the Executive Session – Student Matter.  Motion carried unanimously.


A motion was made by Karla Swanson Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the Minutes of the Regular Meeting of September 12, 2016.  Motion carried unanimously.

A motion was made by Karla Swanson Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the Minutes of the Board Workshop of September 19, 2016.  

Joseph McMahan requested a change in the Minutes to add to Page 2, second paragraph, as follows:

The law allows public meetings to be recorded.

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


Songo Locks School, Cheryl Cline

  • The school is off to a great start for the 2016-17 school year. ~As of this morning, the enrollment was at 459 students. ~
  • We are adjusting well to the changes in our physical plant. ~The fifth grade teachers have done a great job making the portable a pleasant learning environment. ~They are working with the fifth grade students to create
Songo Locks School, Cheryl Cline

efficient and workable routines and procedures for working and moving within the portable space and moving between the portable and the main building. ~Parents have adjusted to the new traffic patterns which have been made much safer with the help of additional personnel on campus during arrival and dismissal. ~Many thanks go to Andy Madura and his staff for working with us to ensure that traffic is moving about campus, buses are able to get into the bus loop, and pedestrians are able to walk between parked cars and the building safely.
  • Roxanne Mayhew accepted the 2016 Helen Mohn Award for services and dedication to the “Eat Well” program on behalf of Songo Locks School. ~The award was presented by the Cumberland County Extension Association on September 7.
  • “Let’s Go!” recognized Songo Locks School at the gold level for implementing five priority strategies that support healthy eating and active living, communicating these efforts to families, and promoting strong policies to support and sustain the priority strategies. ~Special thanks go to     Roxanne Mayhew and Jay Partridge for their work with health classes and the
Wellness Committee and to Lori Andres and Joyce Small for their efforts to promote healthy eating in the cafeteria.
  • The Kindergarten class travelled to the Ciderfest at Lake Region Vocational Center (LRVC) last Friday. ~Students and teachers enjoyed activity stations that were more closely aligned to the kindergarten curriculum this year. ~For example, students learned safety skills of peeling fruits and vegetables, used a scale to weigh cut up fruits and vegetables, and practiced how to put a band aid on an apple. ~They also got to look inside an ambulance, a police car,~and a fire truck.  They learned about tools used for different jobs such as a stethoscope.  This was a direct connection to the concept of community that is part of kindergarten social studies.  Today some kindergarten teachers continued learning about community by reading a story that involved community workers. ~They also wrote thank you cards to the students and teachers at LRVC.
  • Two years ago, staff read the book Mindset by Carol Dweck.  Over the course of the past two years, teachers and staff have been implementing Growth Mindset lessons and language as part of their everyday expectations of students. This year one of our professional learning teams instituted a week-long series of lessons.  Each day the students rotated to a different classroom. Students were mixed from grades K-3. The engaging activities included hearing a story and reflecting on the challenges the character faced yet was able to persevere through the challenges.  Additional activities ranged from watching a video clip and discussing the message as well as creating a statute out of paper but having to work through several renditions until they accomplished making the statue.  What was most exciting to watch were the older students supporting the younger students with words of Growth Mindset encouragement.
  • The Response to Intervention (RtI) Assessment window opened on September 19 and closed on September 30. ~Reading and mathematics data was collected during the window. ~Johanna Bartlett and Songo Locks School (SLS) administration will work with teachers over the next couple of weeks to analyze the data and work with teachers to identify interventions needed to help students grow in reading and math achievement.

Songo Locks School, Cheryl Cline (continued)

  • Eight SLS teachers from grades 4, 5 and Special Education completed a summer course with Dr. Mahesh Sharma around remediation and mathematics. ~The course was intended to help teachers understand how children learn mathematics and to deepen the conceptual knowledge needed to implement the Common Core State Standards. ~The teachers are using this learning to create instruction that is more hands-on and engaging for students.
  • Several SLS teachers read a book during the spring and summer called Math Work Stations by Debbie Dillar. ~The teachers that read the book worked together over the summer to develop a plan for implementing math work stations.  I have been able to witness the math work stations in practice in a number of these kindergarten, grade 1, and grade 2 classrooms. ~In one second grade classroom, I observed the teacher working with a small group on a guided math lesson to shade 1/2, 1/3, and 1/4 of various shapes.  Other students worked at a variety of stations designed to practice and reinforce math skills that had been introduced previously. ~The stations included a sort of odd and even numbers, practice with shading 1/2 and 1/4, a game called Bump that allowed students to practice strategies for adding facts within 12, a guessing game that allowed students to offer clues to help the player with the card identify the shape that they were holding against their forehead, and a computer station with basic addition fact practice.
Stevens Brook Elementary School, Cheryl Turpin

  • The current enrollment is 302 students. Twenty-four percent of our students have moved in or out since last year. (42 students moved in and 26 moved out).
  • Open House was on September 13 and it was well attended.  Most classrooms averaged 95% of their families in attendance.  For the second year now, each grade level had an assigned block of time to do a parent presentation.  This allowed teachers the opportunity to share information about the curriculum and class routines.  This also ensured that parents, who had multiple children, were able to be present during each of their children’s presentations.  A number of parents expressed appreciation for this approach.
  • The backpack food program has been up and running for three weeks now.  This has proved to be an important program.  Many of our families are food insecure.  Maine has a higher rate of food insecurity than other parts of New England.  Here in Cumberland County, 14.2% of the population is considered food insecure.  We have 31 families, each receiving a backpack full of food on Fridays.  The funding for this comes primarily from a Community Development Block Grant from the town of Bridgton.  The grant is for $4,566.  The program also received several donations from Pondicherry Family Medicine and from the Bridgton PTA.  Ed Wright, grandfather of student, Joshua Wright, shops for the food and packs the backpacks each week.  He is entitled to a stipend from the grant for the work he does; however, he donates it back into the program in order to purchase more food. Mr. Wright is so dedicated to getting the most for the money that he shops at three supermarkets each week taking advantage of the sales.  We are also fortunate to receive food bags from Food City to stock the backpacks and that they allow Ed to shop at a discount.
  • September was Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. In recognition of that and a family in our school community that is fighting leukemia, we held two Hat
Stevens Brook Elementary School, Cheryl Turpin (continued)

  • Days to raise money to assist the family.  We raised $500 that will be presented to the family in the form of gift cards.
  • Kindergarten attended the Ciderfest at Lake Region Vocational Center last Friday.
  • Tomorrow, grade 3 is going on a walking field trip through the community. This trip links to their social studies curriculum.
  • On October 13, Grade 4 is going on a field trip to Bald Pate Mountain, this was previously a 5th grade trip.  Now with changes in the standards, it is a 4th grade trip.
  • October 14 marks the close of mid-trimester grades.
  • I was approached by the Literacy Coach at Oxford Elementary School to send a team of teachers to visit our school.  The team wants to learn more about the process of how a classroom teacher creates a positive climate and culture for learning and then maintains that positivity.  They will observe in all three grade 2 classrooms and use a recording tool record to record their findings.  After they observe, they will meet with the teachers and myself to share their findings.  We are in the process of setting a fall date and they will observe again in the spring.  We are looking forward to this as an opportunity to learn from the lens of colleagues.
  • The staff’s current book study is, “Fostering Resilient Learners.”  The book identifies eight Adverse Childhood Experiences that affect children’s brain development and their ability to cope.  On the last day of school last year, each classroom teacher completed a checklist for each student identifying known ACE’s.  The data was used to inform classroom interventions and students with four or more ACE’s were referred to the School Counselor.
Sebago Elementary School, Kirsten Goff

  • Enrollment is up from last year with a net gain of 12 students since June. Our K-2 classes are the largest classes; K-15, 1-20, 2-19, 3-12, 4-14, and 5-14.
  • On the 15th, we had a very successful Open House with 82 out of 93 students and their families coming.
  • Somehow, despite the drought, we, once again, have a bountiful crop of grapes.  In the past, we have made fruit leather, jelly, and syrup from our grapes.  This year, we made grape juice.  Everyone has had a taste.  The best part of it was that the juice was 100% grape juice with no added sugar and the kids loved it!  You can’t get more natural than that.
  • Students and teachers have been busily cleaning up the Walking Trail that runs from the end of the parking lot down to the river.  They have moved branches and rocks and even raked up leaves.  Once the trail was cleaned up, students spent last week building fairy houses to make the trail even more enjoyable.
  • On Tuesday, September 27th, Mallory Brooke from WMTW came to Sebago Elementary to do “Weather At Our School.”  Ms. Brooke broadcasted live from the school starting at 4:30 in the morning.  Students and their families were invited to come between 6:00 – 7:00 a.m. for a chance to be on television. We had 22 students and their families join us!  After the broadcast was over, Ms. Brooke talked to the K-2 students and then the 3-5 students about the weather and what it’s like to be a meteorologist.  We learned about weather patterns and what affects different weather patterns.
Sebago Elementary School, Kirsten Goff (continued)

  • As a staff, we are currently doing a book study on Fostering Resilient Learners.  This book focuses on helping students to be successful after suffering a traumatic event or events in their lives.
  • The Sebago Fire Department will be coming on October 14 to talk with the kids about fire prevention and safety.  Of course, the best part of the visit is when they get to climb on the real fire truck.  
  • Conferences are scheduled for October 25 and 26.
Special Services, Lisa Caron

  • Thirty-five (35) students with an IEP have moved into the District.
  • There is still an opening for one Resource Room Teacher at Songo Locks School and three or four educational technicians depending on student needs.
  • The MADSEC Fall Conference is scheduled for later this month.  Two teachers, Kim Guptill and Karen Lepage will be presenting on Co-Teaching.




A motion was made by Karla Swanson Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the appointment of Nicole Furlong as School Nurse Coordinator.  

Pat Hayden explained that none of the newly hired school nurses have school experience.  Ms. Furlong has a Professional School Nurse Certificate and 2 ½ years of successful nursing experience.  The following year, she was promoted to a Clinical Nurse Supervisor.  She also had supervision experience at Camp William Hinds as a Chief Medical Officer/Registered Nurse.  

Motion carried unanimously.

A motion was made by Karla Swanson Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the appointment of Mentors for the 2016-17 school year.   Motion carried unanimously.

A motion was made by Karla Swanson Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the request for a Child Care Leave of Absence for Jaime Fontaine from November 8 through the remainder of the 2016-17 school year.  Motion carried unanimously.

A motion was made by Karla Swanson Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the appointment of Paul Giangiacomo as a School Bus Driver, effective
September 21, 2016 for the remainder of the 2016-17 school year, replacing James Gerry who resigned.   Motion carried unanimously.


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

  • Bridgton 4 on the 4th Road Race donated $1,000.00 to the Stevens Brook Elementary School Greenhouse Project.
  • The First Congregational Church donated $75.00 to the Stevens Brook Elementary School “Greenhouse” Fund.
  • Al Hunnewell, a parent, donated $20.00 to his son’s Grade 2 classroom teacher, Debra Roy, for classroom supplies at Stevens Brook Elementary School.
  • The Bridgton Band Steering Committee has authorized R A Music to donate a new piccolo, a tenor sax case, and a French Horn case to the Lake Region Music Department so that they can use the remaining funds in the Dale & Carol Memorial Fund.  The value of these items is approximately $850.00.
Motion carried unanimously.

A motion was made by Karla Swanson Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the above block.  Vote:  11-Yes, 0-No, 1-Abstention.  Motion carried.

Delegate Assembly

A motion was made by Stan Buchanan, seconded by Debra Albert, to nominate Janice Barter as the Delegate for the Maine School Board Association’s Delegate Assembly.  Vote:  11-Yes, 0-No, 1-Abstention.  Motion carried.

A motion was made by Debra Albert, seconded by Karla Swanson Murphy, to nominate Stan Buchanan as the Alternate to the Maine School Board Association’s Delegate Assembly.  Vote:  11 – Yes, 0-No, 1-Abstention.  Motion carried.

Songo Locks School, Cheryl Cline

A motion was made by Karla Swanson Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve an overnight field trip to Italy in the Spring of 2018.

Donna Callahan requested that the Board approve an Overnight Field Trip to Italy during the spring of 2018 for 11 days.  Students will travel to Rome for 2 days; go to Gladiator school; Florence for 3 days; will be painting Fesco’s after a class; attending a cooking class; and then travel to Naples, Sorento, and the Isle of Capris.  Fundraising will be taking place for the trip.  The first planned activity is the Holly Berry Craft Fair on November 5.

Ms. Callahan explained that there is a peace of mind guarantee with the tickets.  If there is any trouble in the region of travel, the District has the choice to reschedule to another area or get a refund.

Karen Eller mentioned that the Curriculum Committee would be looking at overnight enrichment programs and asked that the Board postpone the vote until the Curriculum Committee meets on October 26.  

Songo Locks School, Cheryl Cline (continued)

Concern was expressed for students who could not afford the trip.  Ms. Callahan mentioned that is the main reason she is requesting the trip so early.  Students will be able to fund raise and come up with the remaining funds far in advance.   

An amendment was made by Karla Swanson Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to not  approve the overnight field trip but allow fund raising to begin.  

The Board will include the field trip request on the Agenda of November 7 for Board action.

Motion carried unanimously.


Sebago Withdrawal Information  

Superintendent Smith shared the following information:  

1.  Right of Sebago Students to attend S.A.D. #61 (Sections 3.C and 3.E)

SAD #61 Proposal, August 2016:  Only Sebago students already attending SAD #61
    schools in grades 6 – 12 would be guaranteed acceptance by SAD #61.

Sebago Withdrawal Committee Proposal, September 2016:  SAD #61 would serve as
    “school of guaranteed acceptance” for Sebago students in grades that Sebago
    does not maintain for 10-year period.

Explanation:  Students are not excluded under the Withdrawal Agreement that SAD #61 has proposed to Sebago.  It provided the opportunity for any current student as of the date of withdrawal wishing to attend SAD #61 an opportunity to continue to attend SAD #61 through grade 12.  The proposal requests the New Superintendent of Sebago to notify the Superintendent of SAD #61 on or before January 1 of the number of students from Sebago currently enrolled who plan to attend SAD #61.  Sebago would then commit funds to support the costs of educating these students for the following school year.  It further provides the opportunity for any new students that move into Sebago who wish to attend SAD #61 to request to the Superintendent of SAD #61 their intent to attend SAD #61.  The SAD #61 Superintendent would review the request.  Provided the student was in good standing and space was available, that student would attend SAD #61.  The process would be repeated each year.

Sebago has requested S.A.D. #61 to be the “School of Guaranteed Acceptance” for 10 years.  This request creates many challenges for this District particularly due to the fact that Sebago’s proposal is a non-exclusive agreement.  That would mean that Sebago residents have School Choice for their children.  They could go anywhere they want.  Should their choice not work out for the student or parent for any reason, they can return to SAD #61 no question asked.  The reasons could be anything from the student not willing to participate in their education and be failing to a student that has gotten themselves in trouble and been asked to leave.  Once back in SAD #61, we would need to immediately create an educational schedule/program for the student.  They might just decide they don’t like the new school, the parents’ do not feel the child’s special

1.  Right of Sebago Students to attend S.A.D. #61 (Sections 3.C and 3.E)   

education needs are being met, even if by law they are, we would then immediately have to accept that student.  This process further complicates day to day resources, budgeting for student numbers, and special education student needs such as space and staffing.  It would have an effect on staff regarding student health plans (physical, educational, or emotional) as well as 504 plans.  Staffing concerns would be very difficult, if not impossible, to manage, as well as building space and resources, etc.   

2.  Tuition Rate for Sebago Students (Section 3.C)

SAD #61 Proposal, August 2016:  Tuition of secondary students after first year     
     following withdrawal would not be subject to “maximum allowable tuition
     rate”; would be increased up to 10% by a “debt service factor”, and Sebago
     would be committed to a “guaranteed full tuition amount” based on prior
     year’s enrollment or enrollment commitment.

Sebago Withdrawal Committee’s Proposal, September 2016:  Tuition for secondary
     students after first year following withdrawal would be determined based
     on “maximum allowable tuition rate” under 20-A M.R.S.A. $$5805(2)(lesser
     of local rate or state average rate)

The agreement further states that Sebago will be responsible for the actual student educational costs SAD #61 incurs in the form of tuition for each student committed to attend SAD #61 as of January 1.  The student tuition costs would also include any new Debt Service Factor.  The reason Debt Service is in the proposal from SAD #61 is should we incur further debt it would affect the student educational annual costs.  The reason for the January 1 date is for budgeting purposes.

It’s important to note that each proposal Sebago has presented to SAD #61 has had a non-exclusive agreement in it.  This means that every household in Sebago who has school age children in grades 6 – 12 has the opportunity to select where their child goes to school.  Due to School Choice with a non-exclusive proposal from Sebago, it’s a reasonable request for SAD 61 to want to know who and how many of the Sebago children plan to attend our school district.  If this request wasn’t part of our proposal, budgeting would be impossible.

It’s odd to me that Sebago wishes to create School Choice for their students, but they are unwilling to provide SAD #61 with a count of students planning to attend.  They, too, would need to appropriately make a school budget and would also need to have this information.

Further, they have stated they are not willing to pay the actual student educational costs.  They are only willing to pay a maximum allowable rate.  The maximum allowable rate is a figure that the Department of Education (DOE) calculates each year from various financial information all public schools provide to the DOE at the end of each school year.

There are many problems with the maximum allowable figure.  The formula that the State has created is very flawed.  It doesn’t take into account where you actually live, who you have to compete with for teachers, staffing, the larger

geographical region and transportation issues for programming this creates.  Nor does it take into consideration the unique situation we have with high property values vs. our socioeconomic issues.  Unfortunately, we compete with Falmouth, Yarmouth, Kennebunk, Wells, Gorham and many others just to our south for staffing and resources, yet they receive greater state funding.  I am not aware of any school system that doesn’t have to provide additional funds to their budget to support student educational costs but certainly being a District that receives very little State funding adds to our student local costs.  If the District were to accept Sebago’s request to pay their students’ actual educational costs, then Bridgton, Casco, and Naples would be subsidizing the Sebago students’ educational costs.  I am certain that wouldn’t be received well in anyone’s tax bill.

3.  Buses (Section 5)

SAD #61 Proposal, August 2016:  Two buses would be transferred to New Sebago

Sebago Withdrawal Committee Proposal, September 2016:  Three buses would be
     transferred to New Sebago SAU.

About buses, I didn’t address as it really is something I am sure can be resolved.      

4.  Individual Employment Contracts (Section 6.A)
SAD #61 Proposal, August 2016:   Sebago would pay a lump sum amount of $144,895
     toward costs of employment contracts of SAD 61 central office/      
     administrative employees that extend beyond the effective date of

Sebago Withdrawal Committee Proposal, September 2016:   SAD #61 would be
     responsible for costs of the individual employment contracts of its own
     employees, which are included in calculation of the tuition rate Sebago
     will be paying.

    I hope the following will take care of your needs.

    Al Smith, Superintendent                      2019  $255,508
    Pat Hayden, Assistant Superintendent          2018   105,029
    Lisa Caron, Director of Special Services      2019   196,741
    Sherrie Small, Finance Coordinator            2019   154,524
    Julie Ridlon, Human Resources                 2018    44,241
    Gail Robbins, Payroll Specialist              2018    39,720
    Becky Ingersoll, Accounts Payable             2018    37,770
    Ramona Torres, Receptionist                   2018    26,656
    Maureen Quinn, Sp. Ed. Administrative Sec.    2018    44,369
    Deanna Keefe, Sp. Ed. Services Secretary      2018    28,454
    Kathleen Brugnoli, Sp. Ed. Services Sec.      2018    17,779
    Cathy Gerrish, Superintendent’s Sec.          2018    58,338

    Total $1,011,130     14.33%    $144,895

5.  Cost of Bond Bank Opinion (Section 7.F)

SAD #61 Proposal, August 2016:  Sebago would be responsible for legal cost of Maine Municipal Bond Bank opinion.

Sebago Withdrawal Committee Proposal, September 2016:  Sebago would not be responsible for legal cost of Bond Bank opinion.

The Maine Municipal Bond Bank has been requesting an opinion from Bond Counsel each time that a town withdraws from an SAD/RSU that the withdrawal of the town will not impair the security of any of the SAD’s/RSU’s existing bonds that have been issued through the Bond Bank.  The Bond Bank has required these opinions in order for it not to consider the withdrawal as an event of default under the loan agreements or the bonds.  Since the need for an opinion of Bond Counsel is occasional by the withdrawal of a town from an SAD/RSU, it has become an accepted practice in Maine SAD/RSU withdrawal agreements to require the withdrawing towns to pay the legal expense of preparing these opinions.  The Bond Bank is requiring these opinions in order to protect its rights as well as those of its bond purchasers.  The cost involved in preparing the opinions has generally been $5,000.  

6.  Undesignated Fund Balance (Section 9):  

SAD #61 Proposal, August 2016:   Sebago would receive 14.33% of undesignated fund balance for FY 2018.

Sebago Withdrawal Committee Proposal, September 2016:  Sebago would receive 14.33% of average undesignated fund balance for FY 2016, FY 2017, and FY 2018.    

Sebago has asked to receive upon withdrawal 14.33% average of fund balance monies for 3 years of SAD #61.  Sebago would still be part of the District up to the point of the actual year they withdraw.  Thus, we have no idea what our cost going forward for the next 2 years will be.  We could have a roof fail, a boiler become no longer functional, water issues, parking lot or road work that must be done, a bus failure, or other financial issues.  To create a three year average is not a reasonable request.

7.  Allocation of SAD #61 Real and Personal Property (Section 12)

SAD #61 Proposal, August 2016:  SAD #61 would not reimburse Sebago for 14.33% of the value of all real and personal property owned by SAD #61 (calculated at $7.7 million, over and above the value of Sebago Elementary School).

Sebago Withdrawal Committee Proposal, September 2016:  Sebago would forgo reimbursement by SAD #61 of $7.7 million if agreement can be reached on other disputed issues.

The request from Sebago was to provide them with $7.7 million for their % of value of the District.  The District owns all buildings and property.  I am not sure how this idea materialized.  Technically, the Town of Sebago doesn’t own the Sebago Elementary School or any of the grounds that are deeded to the District as part of the school.  The District owns and controls their usage and/or disposal by Board action.

Sebago Withdrawal Information  (continued)

Recently, the Board Chair and I met with Mr. Eastman and a representative of the Sebago Withdrawal Committee.  The purpose of the meeting was to go over their most recent proposal and where they felt the differences were.  I felt the meeting went well with both parties very respective of each other.  In that meeting, Mr. Eastman shared with us that he had been asked by the Sebago Withdrawal Committee to create a projected budget for two years out.  He stated that should Sebago withdraw from the District the projected educational budget would be approximately $100,000 dollars more than what the projection were should they not withdraw.  It really seems strange that Sebago’s Withdrawal Committee is not willing to commit to paying the actual educational costs for their students yet are willing to commit to higher educational costs than they currently pay.  It was also shared that they would like to eventually have a pre-k - 8 school.  They realize they would need to create a construction project to do this as the current structure isn’t large enough to hold all pre-K – 8 students.  The estimate that I have been told that was projected for this project is $4 million dollars.

Below, I would like to share a few things that came out of the meeting that Janice and I attended with Mr. Eastman and one of the Sebago Withdrawal members:

1.  I asked both members present if the Board were to commit to an agreement to
    not close the Sebago School for 5 years would that end their withdrawal
    process.  The answer from both was no.  They stated the Board would need to
    commit to a 10 year commitment.  I then asked once the ten year agreement
    was approaching the end, what then?  Would you want to revisit it?  The
    answer was yes.  Thus, you really wouldn’t have an agreement as at some
    point in time further negotiation would follow.

2.  Mr. Eastman further stated Sebago’s current plan would be to create a Pre-K
    to 6 Sebago Elementary School.  He said there was plenty of space to
    provide for those grades.  They could make the current teachers room into a
    classroom and repurpose the current music, health, and art room to
    classrooms.  I would then assume the health, art, music, etc. would then
    need to go into each classroom to provide these opportunities.

3.  He further stated that eventually Sebago wanted to make the school
    pre-k – 8, but they currently don’t have enough space.  Therefore, they
    would need a building project of at least 2 classrooms, perhaps more, and
    remodel the lunch area, gym, etc.  I did ask him if he understood that
    once the current building structure were opened, it would no longer be
    grandfathered.  They would need to bring the building up to current codes.  
    I further asked if he realized that todays classroom costs are  
    approximately $500,000 per classroom.  He stated he knew that.  I stated
    the project you are referring to will cost millions of dollars.  He
    acknowledged that it would.  I asked if he had shared that with the
    residents of Sebago and he had not yet done that.  I have since heard that
    he has shared with some community members at a meeting that a construction
    project to hold a student population for pre-k – 8 would be approximately
    $4 million.

Sebago Withdrawal Information  (continued)

4.  He further stated that if SAD #61 would be willing to be the School of
    Guaranteed Acceptance that would provide Sebago with enough time (5 to 6
    years) to evaluate their needs, finish their construction project and move
    the 7 and 8th grade back to Sebago.  This is a very sad statement.  We have
    a very overcrowded situation at Songo Locks Elementary School.  I would
    love to have the opportunity to have our kids in a very nice educational
    space, as the Sebago residents would, while we have 5 or 6 years to build
    the appropriate space for the Songo Locks School kids.

Sebago has also applied for and received an extension to file their withdrawal proposal for November 19, 2016.

Mr. Smith clarified where the Board is at the current time.  Sebago’s requests are not justified.  

Stan Buchanan commented that the School Board is frustrated and sad for the children.  They have the best interest of children to consider.  There may be programs that Sebago will not be able to afford and it could be difficult to hire part-time people to fill the positions.

The students in SAD #61 don’t want to see their education impacted.  The proposal as it stands now is not fair and not equal.  Other towns will be impacted.




Committee Reports

Finance Committee

Karla Swanson Murphy reported that the Finance Committee met on September 22.  The following topics were discussed:  

  • Karla Swanson Murphy was elected as Chairperson.
  • Meeting dates for the year were finalized (not including budget dates).
  • The next meeting will be on Thursday, October 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Office.
  • There was a discussion on the QSCB interest rate.  It was set at 6.9% which will cost an additional $35,000 over what was budgeted.
  • Questions were answered regarding approving the warrants.
Curriculum Committee

Karen Eller reported that the Committee met on September 28.  The Committee discussed the following:

  • Karen Eller was elected as Chairperson.
  • The Curriculum and Instructional Goal was approved as part of the Board Goals.
  • Academic Elibility was reviewed and approved with minor changes.

Curriculum Committee (continued)

  • NEASC – It was recommended that the Board read the Executive Summary and the Two and Five Year Plan, and the full report if possible.
  • The In-District policy was tabled until the next meeting.
  • Topics for future meetings.
The next meeting is on October 26, 2016 at 3:30 p.m. at the Central Office.

Personnel Committee

The Committee met on September 26, 2016.

Debra Albert reported as follows:

  • As there were some Committee members missing, the election of the Chairperson will be put on the next agenda.
  • Mr. Good reviewed the High School Handbook with the Committee.
  • Mr. True reviewed academic eligibility.
  • Ms. Thornton reviewed the job description of the After School Duty personnel.  The latest the After School Duty personnel would be on duty is 5:00 p.m.  It was suggested that the positions be staggered to allow for coverage.  The Committee approved trying it to see how it works.
  • The Special Education Handbook and Exit Interviews will be discussed at the next meeting.
The next meeting will be on October 17 at 6:00 p.m. in the Library at Stevens Brook Elementary School.

Facilities Committee

Phil Shane reported that the Committee met on September 26.   The following items were discussed:

Andy Madura shared the Facilities Plan which included everything that needs to be done in the District.   The Committee worked on prioritizing the list.  The first few items on the list includes the following:  

  • Updating the elevator at Lake Region High School
  • Parking for Lake Region Middle School and Songo Locks School
  • Crooked River and Songo Locks School
Mr. Madura is getting the cost figures of the parking projects.
The Committee also met tonight prior to the Board meeting.  The following items were discussed:

  • Review of the Crooked River Fee schedule  (possibility of leasing out space)
  • The Greenhouse project at Stevens Brook Elementary School was discussed.  The Committee requested more information.
  • An OSHA Walk Through will be done by a group of retired OSHA people.  They will submit a list of unsafe areas that need to be addressed.

Facilities Committee (continued)

  • The preliminary Facilities budget for 2017-18 was discussed.  An amount of $350,000 is proposed depending on other projects that are approved.
  • School Dude Maintenance was shared with the Committee.  Schedules for a week or a month can be reviewed at any time.  
Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent Smith mentioned that some adjustments have been made to the 5th grade portable at Songo Locks School following the walk through of the Board.   Some of the concerns will not be able to be addressed this year.


Stephanie Dembowski will be a Long-Term Substitute Grade 4 Teacher at Songo Locks School, effective October 5, 2016 through approximately November 29, 2016, replacing Melissa Arbour who is on a medical leave of absence.


A motion was made by Karla Swanson Murphy, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to go into Executive Session to discuss the disposition of property, pursuant to 1 M.R.S.A. 405 6.(C).  Motion carried unanimously.

The Board went into Executive Session at 8:25 p.m. and returned to Public Session at 9:07 p.m.


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

The meeting adjourned at 9:08 p.m.


                                                                        Date Approved