MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS’ MEETING on December 3, 2015.
A regular meeting of the Board of Directors was held at the Hussey School in Berwick, Maine on December 3, 2015 at 6:30 pm with all members present except Ms. Alwin, Ms. Manly, Mr. Cowan and Ms. Rose. The student representative was present and the press was absent. There were 5 in the audience.
Ms. Potter made the motion and it was seconded by Ms. Wheeler to accept the minutes of November 19, 2015 as amended. All members voted in favor and the motion passed.
None at this time.
The Superintendent shared a brief update regarding the district audit. We are now in the low risk audit category for federal grant purposes. There were no significant audit findings. We are currently working on a plan to manage the fund balance amounts over 3%, perhaps a facilities reserve.
The Superintendent shared highlights of legislative action. An Act to Improve Teaching Assignments in Maine’s Public Schools, LR2390; This bill would infringe on the school board’s legal right to set educational policy. An Act to Facilitate the Use of State Education Subsides, LR2329, this bill would enshrine in statute that voters can approve a warrant article giving the School Board the option of using additional GPA in the upcoming school year when the Legislature is late passing the state budget. This bill would be helpful to our district. An Act to Facilitate Homegrown Education in Maine, LR2352, seeks to overturn the Common Core in English and math as the state standards. We currently believe that the standards are clear, easy for teachers to work with and see how they build on each other and are easily translated into student action. An Act to Delay Any Statewide Assessment Test, LR 2213. At this point, if this passed, we don’t know that this would allow us to be in compliance for federal funding.
The board then held first readings of the following policies.
IJO (NR)- External Credits for Community –Based Activities
IMB (NR)- Teaching About Controversial Issues
IMB-R (NR)- Study of Controversial Issues Guidelines
KA (NR)- Civility Policy
KA-1 (NR) District Sporting Event Civility Policy
KBF (R)- Title 1 Parent Involvement
KDE (NR)- Responding to Threats in MSAD #60
The Superintendent then shared with the board the retirement letter from Ms. Linda Williams, long time art teacher at the Hussey School in Berwick. Mr. Price made the motion and it was seconded by Ms. Wheeler to accept the letter of resignation with regret. All members voted in favor and the motion passed.
The Superintendent shared a leave of absence request from Ms. Karen Gerrish, computer technician in Lebanon. She would like to take January through April of 2016 off to represent her constituents at the Maine State Legislature.
The Superintendent then shared that Jobs for Maine Graduates has hired Nicole Breton as the replacement for Mr. Jeff Kaste as the Job for Maine Grads teaching position at Noble High School.
Ms. Kaitlyn Price shared the NHS student report:
- Thanksgiving Break
- Sophomore College and Career Fair
- Snowball Dance
Last week November 25- November 30, Noble High school was out of session for Thanksgiving Break
Sophomore College and Career Fair
Tomorrow, December 4, during Blocks 2 and Knight Time, the Sophomore class is having their college and career fair in the Town Square, Each student will be prepared with a tri-fold display on either a college or career of their choice.
On Saturday, December 5, the High School will be hosting the Snowball dance for grades 9-12. It will be held from 7:30-10:00 and tickets will be $10 at the door.
The Superintendent shared with the board that there was a presentation by Mr. Derek Volk, a dad who wrote a book with his son, Dylan about raising a child on the Autism Spectrum, at Noble High School last Tuesday evening. Very powerful. The book is called Chasing the Rabbit.
The Superintendent then shared with the board the authorization of ESSA (Every Student Successful Act) which replaces NCLB and begins in 2017. There are some pluses and minuses to this new act that will play themselves out going forward.
The Superintendent shared an update regarding the new state assessment called eMPOwer ME which will covers grades 3-8 as well as the SAT for grade 11.
Yuhong Sun and her students, Dominic Poletta, Kylan Bowden, Kale Jones and Wenyi Wu participated in the Samsung’s Solve for Tomorrow Contest, a STEM based education competition. The challenge is for the teacher and the students to use STEM skills to solve a real life problem within their own community. They were selected as one of five state finalists and won two Samsung Galaxy Tabs S2. Now they will go on to the national competition. The real life problem that they focused on was that the town of Berwick has an issue with the fire hydrant drainage system due to chlorine. The team determined that utilizing a de-chlorination process using sodium ascorbate rather than the more expensive system would be beneficial.
Adina Hunter, Noble High School Excel Teachers was named Gifted and Talented Teacher of the Year for Maine. She was nominated by Ms. Janice Eldridge,. The award, bestowed by the state’s professional organization, is given to an educator who “best exemplifies excellence in teaching gifted students, the ability to meet the needs of gifted students, and a commitment to furthering the development of their teaching skills.” Ms. Hunter has worked in MSAD 6o as the excel teacher since 2007. We are very proud
The League of Innovative Schools spotlights Noble High School for their Knight Time program at NHS. They will be highlighted in a webinar on Wednesday Dec. 9 at 4 pm. This is the first of two webinars featuring Maine LIS members and is primarily designed to showcase one particular aspect of a League school’s personalized learning efforts.
Ms. Potter noted that Mr. Connolly, Superintendent, is running around as a mad scientist in all of the fifth grade classrooms throughout the district. He is really getting great feedback from staff, students and parents. He is using this opportunity to see where kids are in how they are working with their science notebooks, powers of observations, etc. Mr. Connolly, as the mad scientist in the picture below:
Ms. Potter made the motion and it was seconded by Ms. Wheeler to adjourn at 8:09 pm. All members voted in favor and the motion passed.
Steve Connolly, Superintendent