388 Somersworth Rd., North Berwick 03906
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Minutes from February 12, 2015


February 12, 2015


A regular meeting of the Board of Directors was held at Noble High School in North Berwick, Maine on February 12, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. with all members present except Mr. McCabe. The Assistant Superintendent, the student representatives and the press were absent.  There was one in the audience.

Mr. Price made the motion and it was seconded by Mr. Cowan to go into executive session for the possible readmission of a student pursuant to 1 MRSA 405 (6)(B). All members voted in favor and the motion passed. In at 7:00 p.m. Out at 7:30 p.m.

Ms. Alwin made the motion and seconded by Ms. Rose that the student under consideration be readmitted. All members voted in favor and the motion passed.

Mr. Price made the motion and it was seconded by Ms. Olean to accept the minutes from February 5, 2015. All members voted in favor and the motion passed.

Public Input: Ms. Deb Randall, a parent from North Berwick, shared her interest in starting a conversation about the direction district schools are going.

The Superintendent updated the board on the work being completed by the Evaluation Task Force and shared that the positive approach and team effort involved has resulted in the near completion of handbook material and online tools and resources. The task force expects to present its proposal to the board at the beginning of May, in advance of the Maine Department of Education’s June 1 deadline. At the state level, the Education Committee approved an extension that would allow districts to pilot (instead of fully implement) the program in 2015-2016, a measure that will be passed on to the full Legislature for consideration this session.

The Board Chair shared with the board a brief update on the status of a community substance abuse forum, tentatively planned for March, and shared that she has received a number of messages from community members about how different types of substance abuse affect families. Ms. Potter noted the number of drug-related arrests that have been reported and the potential impact on district families. Ms. Alwin noted that D.A.R.E. programs and health classes tend to focus more on the physical dangers of substance abuse than on psychological and social impact. There was some discussion regarding the best approach to reach students, especially at the middle school level.

The Superintendent recognized the work of maintenance staff and bus drivers for the work they have done to clear the schools and the bus depot following each of the recent snowstorms. Drivers will participate in the Southern Maine Bus Rodeo at Bonny Eagle on Tuesday, April 21. There was some discussion about having snow removed from the middle school and high school roof over school vacation week.  (Civil Consultants have subsequently worked with Mr. Kevin Moore to do a district roof site review.  Any areas of concern have since been noted and addressed.)

The Superintendent then announced the availability of Engaged Learning Mini Grants funded by the MSAD 60 Believe Committee for current eighth- and ninth- graders seeking additional summer learning opportunities. The inaugural grant is supported by Believe Committee fundraisers. Award criteria is listed on the Believe Committee Web site: http://www.msad60.org/community

The Superintendent shared a note from Ms. Emily MacKinnon that the Noble Middle School Excel program has received a donation of two Lego MINDSTORM w/ EV3 Expansion Sets valued at $899 from Mr. Kelly Smith. Ms. Olean made a motion and it was seconded by Ms. Alwin to accept the donation. All members voted in favor and the motion passed.

Ms. Wheeler then requested a future presentation and update on the district Excel program at both the elementary and secondary levels.

The Superintendent then announced that Noble High School science teacher David Parker is the recipient of the 2015 Robert E. Yager Foundation Excellence in Teaching Award. The career-long recognition is awarded each year to six full-time K-12 teachers nationwide based on excellence and innovation in the field of science education. Mr. Parker teaches Physics and Electric Guitar Building at the high school. The 2015 teacher award recipients will be honored at the annual teacher awards gala on March 13 in Chicago.

The Superintendent also announced that a number of Noble High School students have received Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Noble High School students recently captured 10 awards in this year’s Maine Scholastic Art & Writing awards competition.  The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are the longest-running and most renowned student art and writing competition in the country.

Senior, Kailey Coleman (taught by Ginny Vakalis) won a Gold Key for her digital photograph Life in a Bottle and also a Silver Key for her digital photograph Stuck in the Muck.  Both pieces are on display at the Maine College of Art from January 24 to February 14, 2015.  Kailey’s Gold Key award winning photo will be automatically entered for judging in the National Scholastic Art Competition.  In New York City, panels of nationally renowned artists, art professionals, and arts educators review Gold Key works from across the country.

Senior Aaron Snow (taught by Kate Mochon) won Honorable Mention for a drawing titled “Aaron”.

This year, a total of 501 submissions were made to the Maine Regional Affiliate Scholastic Art Awards Competition. From these submissions, the jury selected 104 Honorable Mentions, 46 Silver Key Awards, 31 Gold Key Awards and 5 American Visions.

A total of 329 submissions were made to the Maine Regional Scholastic Writing Awards at the University of Southern Maine (up from 222 last year).  Junior Brooke Holmes (taught by Katie Reilly), captured a Gold Key for her Personal Memoir titled My Addition.  Her work will be forwarded on for national consideration.

Silver Key recipients are junior Jacob Burgess, also taught by Katie Reilly, for his Short Story Sebastian Polk and the Caboose Situation, and freshman Morgan Griffin (taught by Adina Hunter) for her Journalism article titled Small Town Girl to Big Time Soccer Player.  

Honorable Mention awards go to junior Caitlynn Bryant (taught by Katie Reilly) for her Personal Essay/Memoir Scattered Pieces In the Wind, senior Ben Couture (taught by Adina Hunter) for his Poetry A Place Not Forgotten, freshman Eleanor Mallett (taught by Adina Hunter) for her Journalism article Voters Support Redevelopment of Prime Tanning Site, and junior Amy Pass (taught by Katie Reilly) for her Short Story Nijuuhibaku: Vignettes from the Day of the Atomic Bombs.

The Superintendent then shared the Noble High School Jobs for Maine Graduates (JMG) newsletter prepared by NHS JMG Specialist Jeff Kaste. In the newsletter, Mr. Kaste reported that the program raised more than $400 in a recent fundraiser, and that JMG students were trained by the United Way of York County using its Raising Readers program to become effective readers and mentors so they may visit elementary schools and read to students a few days a week.

A winter sports summary and update, prepared by the high school athletic department, was shared by the Superintendent. Noble High School cheerleaders placed third in the Class A State Cheering Championship on Feb. 7. Eleven wrestlers will compete in the Class A State Wrestling Championship on Saturday, Feb. 14. Fourteen girls and fourteen boys will compete in the Class A State Indoor Track Championship on Monday, Feb. 16. The write up is as follows.  Noble High School’s Winter Sports season is coming to a close and playoffs are right around the corner. Our Cheering Team had a great season placing third at States. They have qualified for the first time as a non-coed team to the New England Competition held in Lawrence, Mass.

The Boys Track Team had an amazing regular season meet record tying with Scarborough for being undefeated.  (They did not compete against each other.) The boys are heading to the State meet with 14 qualifying athletes for the following events: 4X800 Relay, 55 Meter High Hurdles, 55 Meter Dash, Mile, 400 meter, 800 meter, 200 meter, 4X200 Relay, Shot put, Long Jump, and the High Jump.  Lastly, Coach Rodney Brown was named the SMAA Boys Indoor Coach of the year.  Congratulations Coach Brown!

The Noble High School Girls Track team has 14 qualifying athletes going to the State Meet in the following events: 55 M Hurdles, 55 Meter Dash, High Jump, Shot Put, Long Jump, One Mile, Two Mile, 4 X 200 Relay & the 4 X 800 Relay. In addition to a strong season the Girls Track team tied the GPA Team Challenge with the Girls Basketball Team with an average GPA of 3.27.

Our Boys Basketball Team won 4 games this season with several close losses and several games going into overtime.  They are a young team with over half of its member being underclassmen this year.  Next year they should be back on track to get on the winning side.

The Girls Basketball Team had a transitioning year with a completely new coaching staff.  They won one game but more importantly learned how to work together as a team and they are showing promise for the future.  Off the court they tied our academic GPA challenge with our Girls Track team with an average GPA of 3.27

Noble High School Wrestling Team is having another outstanding year only losing to Marshwood.  They have 11 wrestlers going to States this weekend with a huge possibility of winning the meet.

Ice Hockey is having another amazing year currently sitting fifth in the standing for the Class A  West.  It appears they are going to enter playoffs in that fifth spot.  Senior Dean Pratt has scored 100 goals in High School Career not an easy task.

The Superintendent then reminded board members to fill out a form suggesting ways to implement Board goals.

Other business:

Ms. Potter mentioned that some New Hampshire schools have so-called “Blizzard Bags,” packets of work given to students at the beginning of the school year to complete on snow days. The idea is that if a certain percentage of students complete the work, those snow days do not have to be made up at the end of the school year.

Mr. Cowan asked if the cost of new standardized testing has been figured into budget prep. The Superintendent gave an example of how it can cost up to $17,500 to offer a test to a single student in the format they need it. He also noted that the state renamed the Smarter Balanced standardized test the Maine Educational Assessment test in order to include subject matter and content not included in the national test.

Ms. Alwin said she has spoken with some teachers about bringing back “Coffee with the Board” and said one possibility may be on a late start Thursday or Early Release day.

Mr. Price shared that he had recently visited Noble Middle School and Noble High School. He said he has also scheduled a meeting with Rep. Beth O’Connor about the school-based health center since funding for it is not in the governor’s current budget. The Superintendent said that Nasson Health Partners is currently contracted to provide service. Ms. Potter asked whose policies – NHS or Nasson – does the health center at the high school follow? The Superintendent said there would be a presentation and update on the health center at a future board meeting.

Mr. Cowan made the motion and it was seconded by Mr. Price to adjourn the meeting. All members voted in favor and the motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 9:00 p.m.


Respectfully Submitted,

Steve Connolly

Secretary of the Board of Directors