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Minutes of December 21, 2017

MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS’ MEETING December 21, 2017

 

A  meeting of the Board of Directors was held at Noble High School in North Berwick, Maine on December 21, 2017 at 6:00 pm, with all members present except Ms. Hopper.  There were 26 in the audience.  

Mr. Cowan made the motion and it was seconded by Ms. Neubert to go into executive session pursuant to §405(6)(A), Employment of Employees.  All members voted in favor and the motion passed. In at 6:00 pm. Out at 6:17  pm.

Mr. Doiron made the motion and it was seconded by Ms. Beal to go into executive session pursuant to §405(6)(B), readmittance of a student.  All members voted in favor and the motion passed. In at 6:18 pm.  Out at 6:38 pm.

Ms. Hopper entered the meeting at 6:25 pm.

Mr. Doiron made the motion and it was seconded by Mr. Cowan to readmit the student under consideration.  All members voted in favor with enthusiasm and the  motion passed.

Ms. Neubert made the motion and it was seconded by Mr.Cowan  to go into executive session pursuant to §405(6)(B), long-term suspension of a student.  All members voted in favor and the motion passed. In at 6:43 pm. Out at 7:27 pm.

Ms. Neubert made the motion and it was seconded by Ms. Potter  to suspend  the student under consideration for up to 45 school days.  All members voted in favor and the  motion passed.

The vice chair shared the norms regarding public input.

Ms. Brenda Gagne, Adult Education Director, updated the board that the spring brochure is coming out the first of January, and she highlighted the fitness programs that are starting January 8th.

Michelle Tavenner of Berwick, also of Berwick Community TV, shared that BCTV is looking for students who would like to learn how to get involved with live TV coverage.  Any interested students may contact Michelle directly at tav_88@yahoo.com.

Mr. Cowan made the motion and it was seconded by Ms. Beal to approve the minutes as amended. All members voted in favor and the motion passed.

No student report occurred this evening.

The Superintendent shared an anonymous donation from a North Berwick resident of over $1200 to pay off the balances of the North Berwick Elementary school food service program. Ms. Neubert made the motion and it was seconded by Mr. Cowan to accept the donation with great thanks. All members voted in favor and the motion passed.

The Superintendent provided information to the board regarding the lease purchase of two buses, one full size and one mini bus. The large bus was approved by the board in the 2018 budget and the mini bus is a replacement due to an accident in the fall. Ms. Neubert made the motion and it was seconded by Mr. Doiron that the vote entitled, Vote to Authorize Lease Purchase of a New 77-passenger school bus and a new mini bus in the principal amount of $134,138.60 be adopted in form presented to this meeting. All members voted in favor and the motion passed.

The Superintendent then led a discussion regarding the Facilities and Finance subcommittee meeting which met in Lebanon Elementary on Dec. 13th.  The members of the committee discussed the needs of the building and the anticipated lifespan of the building. There needs to be long-term consideration of the needs in the future.

Board members then discussed the MSBA resolution to support public education and whether or not to support the resolution.  Board members expressed their opinions about the resolution as well as the rationale that was presented at the last meeting.

Mr. Doiron made the motion and it was seconded by Ms. Beal to support resolution for the support for Public Education: Support for Public Education. The public education system is open to all children and provides learning opportunities and support systems to prepare them to be lifelong learners, productive workers and good citizens. It also must support innovations that assure traditional public schools remain the schools of choice. This resolution officially puts Maine School Boards on the record as standing with other states to support the National School Boards Association’s “Stand Up for Public Schools” campaign. It calls for the adoption of local resolutions; better publicity around the excellent work going on in our districts; and public celebration of the educators and school leaders who support that work.  All members voted in favor and the motion passed.

The superintendent then shared a resolution in support of Public Education brought forth by the Maine School Superintendents’ Association.  The board shared their thoughts on potentially bringing forth their own version of the drafted resolution.  Mr. Cowan made the motion and it was seconded by Ms. Manley to table the resolution for further discussion. All members voted in favor except Ms. Beal who abstained and the motion passed.

The Superintendent then updated the board on legislative resolve in the Maine legislature at this time.

Carry-Over Bills

LD 40, “An Act to Strengthen Requirements for Water Testing for Schools” is about testing for lead in water in schools that are on public water supplies i.e. they don’t have their own wells. Schools with wells already have to test their water. The plan right now is to work with the state’s Drinking Water Program (part of DHHS) and design something that works. The problem in Maine is not with water mains, but most often with fixtures, like faucets and bubblers, and pipes connected with lead solder. The bill is before the Health and Human Services Committee. MSBA and MSSA last session testified we need to test, but also need a reasonable protocol and access to funding if major renovation is needed.
LD 1331, “An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Recapitalize the School Revolving Renovation Fund”, would put $20 million into the revolving renovation fund and that could help with the lead bill and other needs.

LD 1562, “An Act to Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Capitalize a Career and Technical Revolving Equipment and Renovation Fund” asks for $10 million to help capitalize equipment purchases for CTE programs and improve CTE buildings.

New Bills
An Act to Repeal Certain Provisions Regarding System Administration Allocation Affecting Maine School Districts in the 2018-2019 Biennial Budget” was put in by Senator Troy Jackson, D-Aroostook, to repeal the cuts to system administration funding currently tied to participation in School Management Leadership Centers.
“An Act to Ensure the Successful Implementation of Proficiency-based Diplomas by Extending the Timing for Phasing in Their Implementation” is being sponsored by Rep. Tori Kornfield, D-Bangor, to extend the timeline for requiring proficiency in all the Learning Results. Under current law, this year’s freshman class is supposed to be proficient in the core four – English, Math, Science and Social Studies – by the time they graduate in 2021. The remaining standards are supposed to be phased in
through a 2025 deadline.
The push for allowing guns on school property is back. “An Act Regarding the Prohibition on the Possession of a Fire Arm” is being sponsored by Rep. John Martin, D-Eagle Lake. The bill likely will mirror a bill defeated last year. That bill said the prohibition on the possession of a firearm on public school property does not apply to a person who possesses a firearm in a
motor vehicle while dropping off or picking up a student. MSBA and MSSA have supported keeping the bright line on prohibiting guns on school property.
“An Act to Restore Maine’s School-based Health Centers”, sponsored by Rep. James Handy, D-Lewiston, is in response to the elimination of funds for school-based health centers that was done at the last minute as part of the biennial budget negotiations.
Two bills have been submitted by the administration around Career and Technical Education (CTE), with the goal of running CTE funding through the EPS formula, versus funding based on prior expenditures.The two titles are An Act To Amend Career and Technical Education Statutes and An Act Concerning Membership in Career and Technical Education Regions and Centers.

The Superintendent then led a discussion regarding the strategic planning vision, mission, and values document.  Ms. Potter made the motion and it was seconded by Ms. Neubert to table the adoption of the vision mission values statement until a future meeting. All members voted in favor and the motion passed.

The Superintendent then shared an update on the strategic planning that has been ongoing.  He gave the board an updated timeline.  

Thurs, Jan 4: Strategic Plan focus areas for Board review

Jan 5-Jan 31: Admin drafts Strategic Plan

Thurs, Feb 1: Board Strategic Plan consideration and feedback

Thurs, Feb 15: Board consideration of Strategic Plan adoption

Thurs, Mar 3: Public Forum for Strategic Plan public presentation

The board then held the second reading of IHBJA, Homeschooling-Participation in school Programming Policy. The superintendent shared with the board the changes that were recommended. There were many instances of modifying the language for consistency.  Other small revisions were discussed and made. Ms. Potter made the motion and it was seconded by Mr. Cowan to approve policy IHBJA as amended. All members voted in favor and the motion passed.

The Superintendent then shared first readings of the following board policies:

  JFAA(nr)-Admission of Resident Students

              JICH-R(r) Student Substance Abuse Administrative Procedure

              JIH(nr)-Questioning and Searches of Students

              JIH-E(nr) Student Search Checklist

              JIH-R(nr) Questioning and Searches of Students Administrative Procedure

These will be reviewed for the second meeting in January.

The Superintendent then shared with the board two sabbatical requests from staff at Noble High School. The first was from Mr. Tim Lounsbury, guidance counselor at NHS who was asking for a second semester sabbatical focusing on the Study of Therapeutic Options for Substance Abuse Disorders in Youth. Mr. Cowan made the motion and it was seconded by Ms. Beal to approve the second semester sabbatical of Mr. Tim Lounsbury. All members voted in favor and the motion passed.

The second sabbatical was from Ms. Rossana Pass, Spanish teacher at NHS who was asking for a first semester sabbatical focusing on cultural content standards and creating partnerships with a school in Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico.Ms. Beal made the motion and it was seconded by Mr. Cowan to approve the first semester sabbatical of Ms. Rossana Pass. All members voted in favor and the motion passed.

Other Business:

Mr. Cowan would like to get some feedback on the workshop that was completed Dec. 7, 2017.  One of the specific recommendations was to have the senior teachers and admin meet to discuss the process but also to have a meeting with the seniors to discuss best next steps.

The superintendent updated the board on the Indoor Track and Field first meet.

Jonathan Grenier, a Lebanon resident and student of NHS, shared with the board information  on the Invitational Wrestling Tournament here at NHS on Dec. 29th and 30th.  All are invited to attend and cheer the wrestling team on.

The Superintendent then shared with the board pictures regarding the the Polar Express event that took place on Dec. 16th in Berwick.

The Superintendent updated the board on the number of students who are coming into the system in the fall of 2018 at the kindergarten level (31 known cases with numerous high needs) who are already identified for special education services.

Ms. Tavenner spoke again during public input and shared with the board the addition of Leigh Jaynes as a new wrestling coach at NHS. Female wrestling coach (see article).

She also thanked the Superintendent for being the conductor on the Polar Express on behalf of the  Berwick PTO.

Mr. Doiron made the motion and it is seconded by Ms. Neubert  to go into executive session for the evaluation of employees. In at 9:02 pm.  

Ms. Manley made the motion and it was seconded by Ms. Beal to adjourn. All members voted in favor and the motion passed.

Adjourned at  10:22 pm.

Respectfully Submitted,

Steve Connolly

Secretary of the Board