MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS’ MEETING on July 20, 2015.
A regular meeting of the Board of Directors was held at Noble High School in North Berwick, Maine on July 20, 2015 at 6:00 pm with all members present except Ms.Wheeler, Mr. McCabe, Ms Manley and Ms. Alwin. The student representative and the press were absent. There were none in the audience.
Ms. Olean made the motion and it was seconded by Mr. Price that the minutes of June 4th be accepted. All members voted in favor except Ms. Alwin who abstained and the motion passed.
Public Input: None at this time.
The board was updated by the Superintendent regarding lease purchase agreements for a couple transportation areas and other large purchases for the district.
The first lease purchase is focused on cameras for the school buses. Ms. Potter made the motion and it was seconded by Mr. Price, to allow the Superintendent of Schools to authorize and accept the proposal of Gorham Savings Leasing Group, LLC to provide tax-exempt lease purchase financing for three (3) school buses and a camera system (the “equipment”) in the principal amount of up to $329,158 at an interest rate of up to 2.82%.
The second lease purchase is focused on the mini buses that will be available in November. Mr. Price made the motion and it was seconded by Mr. Cowan to allow the Superintendent of Schools to authorize and accept the proposal of Gorham Savings Leasing Group, LLC to provide tax-exempt lease purchase financing for three (3) school buses and a camera system (the “equipment”) in the principal amount of up to $329,158 at an interest rate of up to 2.82%.
The third lease purchase is focused on the univent heating system at the North Berwick Elementary School. Ms. Potter made the motion and it was seconded by Ms. Rose to allow the Superintendent of Schools to authorize and accept the proposal of Gorham Savings Leasing Group, LLC to provide tax-exempt lease purchase financing a new heating system for North Berwick primary school (the “equipment”) in the principal amount of up to $229,488 at an interest rate of up to 3.85%.
The fourth lease purchase is focused on the technology equipment. Ms. Potter made the motion and it was seconded by Mr. Cowan to allow the Superintendent of Schools to authorize and accept the proposal of Gorham Savings Leasing Group, LLC to provide tax-exempt lease purchase financing for laptop computers, iPads, LED televisions and related technology equipment (the “equipment”) in the principal amount of up to $138,637 at an interest rate of up to 2.63%.
The Superintendent then updated the board regarding the newest charter schools in the state of Maine five charter schools who have applied. Only one of the charter schools is in our area. We will hear in the near future who has been approved.
The board then took a tour of the health center and the summer construction work that has been done as well as the changes to the concession stands.
The Assistant Superintendent updated the board on the No Child Left Behind Application and shared the information regarding the use of funding for the upcoming 15/16 school year. NCLB overview for 2015/2016
Title IA: total funds: $675,906
($332,820 (SW Lebanon)
$16,115 district oversight, title I coordinator
$6,759 Parental Involvement
$317,972 (TA Berwick)
At risk students will be identified in grades K-5. Support will be provided to those students that have been identified through a series of assessments to help them attain adequate progress in classroom assessments and on screening assessments (DIBELS, Early Numeracy, STAR). Title 1A money will be used to pay salary and benefits of Title 1A teachers and educational technicians.
Educational technicians and/or teachers will work with the students individually or in small groups., doing skill activities to review the skills in need of more instruction as determined through district and classroom assessments. Staff will sometimes reteach skills that are not secure or do activities that focus on skills that are determined to be weak Other Title 1 students will be placed in groups that will use a particular program such as: Targeted Reading or Math, Great Leaps Reading or Math, Compass Learning, Leveled Literacy Intervention, Fundations, FAME, LiPS, Keymath. Individual skills will be assessed to determine whether or not adequate progress has been made.
Student success will be measured with regular classroom assessments: Everyday Math unit profiles, running records, informal assessments and DIBELS, Early Numeracy, and STAR. 40% of all identified students will successfully meet this standard.
A whole school approach will be taken in Lebanon and a targeted needs approach will continue in Berwick.
Mandated Homeless Set aside: $2240.00
This funding covers the coordination of our homeless students, securing transportation, providing books and materials and support supplies as necessary. We provide supplies and materials to students and families as needed. We coordinate all transportation with the appropriate school districts and track and maintain homeless data for the district and state.
Title IIA… $100,918
On going professional development will be provided by a trained staff member in MSAD 60 who will have access to all STAR information, will set up individual and group trainings and provide support in utilization of the STAR testing scores for classroom teachers. All teachers who participate in the individual and group training will increase their understanding and use of the STAR testing scores.
Weekly and monthly informal training sessions in each of the district schools going over specific classroom and/or individual student scores with classroom teachers. Large training sessions at the annual Winter conference in December. Formal sessions at least quarterly in each building. Increased use of STAR data to inform instruction to be determined by observational survey from the STAR coordinator as well as a pre and post survey of staff.
Mentor Stipends $7000
It is a requirement that we provide new teachers with mentors for at least two years as they transition into their professional certification. At the secondary level, veteran staff take on the support of new teachers specific to grade and subject area. These funds will be utilized to pay stipends to those veteran staff for the time and effort put forth on behalf of the new teaching staff.
Curriculum Work $55,450
This funding will be utilized to provide funding of an administrative assistant to support the Director of Teaching and Learning in her work. . The Director of Teaching and Learning will continue to focus on the district goal of increased literacy skills. She will coordinate professional development around the implementation of the pilot units of the common core in ELA and Math. And this year will also add in the National Science Standards. This funding will also support two outside evaluation specialist who will support administrative mini observations and provide face to face feedback to our professional staff. Each of these individuals have expertise in literacy and can provide grade level specific support to staff as we work towards our district literacy goal.
Community Engagement Center Coordinator $31,168
The Community Engagement Center provides external learning opportunities for students, mentoring relationship, support with job shadows, internships and connections for students working on their senior projects. The coordinator is the key contact in the center and interacts with all students and staff who seek to use the support. She works with local businesses to create relationships that will foster more opportunities and positive community support. The funding will not only support her position but will also provide a small budget to support students in summer internships, mentoring programs and opportunities for increased engagement in school.
Title III $3,025
The project will address the need for more professional development for the ESL teacher in understanding and interpreting WIDA scores, best practices in literacy instruction for ELLs, and to stay current in assessment trends for ELLs, in particular preparing for the transition to the computer based ACCESS test in the 2015-2016 school year. The ELL teacher will attend multiple professional development workshops provided by MSAD 60, the Maine Dept. of Education, WIDA, NNETESOL, and/or the International TESOL Convention.
Mr. Cowan made the motion and it was seconded by Mr. Price to approve the NCLB application and use of funds for 2015/2016. All members voted in favor and the motion passed.
The Superintendent shared with the board the Fosters article on the STEM program that highlights building electric guitars. STEM Program Fosters Article
The Superintendent then shared the proposal for health and wellness offering at North Berwick Elementary School. The proposal is as outlined here:
*maintain General Music for trimesters 1 & 2
* Health/Wellness for trimester 3
* maintain General Music for trimester 1
* Health/Wellness for trimesters 2 & 3
We believe that the critical areas of the Health/Wellness offerings can be done in 1 trimester for 4th grade, but 5th grade requires 2 trimesters.
In essence, with this proposal, 5th graders leave our school with 5 years of General Music… and 2 years of Band and Chorus (if they so choose to join), and 1 year of Health/Wellness.
There are 5 main reasons we believe this new proposal is a very good alternative to our current offerings:
1) It is a “balanced” approach to delivering Health/Wellness content/skills to our 4th and 5th graders, so critically needed in today’s world.
2) It maintains over 80% of General Music offerings and 100% of Band and Chorus.
3) It will bring community and regional professional resources, and trained Alternative Pathway students to our school in a collaborative model. For instance, the North Berwick Town Manager has offered to participate in community connections offerings.
4) This model will offer a pro-active approach to the critical challenges facing our youth today. This will weave nicely into what DARE, our guidance program, and our nursing services provide.
5) Offering the specific domains outlined in our original plan is consistent with our school’s and district’s mission, as it more fully supports preparing our students for tomorrow’s challenges.
We appreciate the opportunity to present this balanced recommendation for offering Health and Wellness to our 4th and 5th grade students here in North Berwick. The time and efforts given this by you and our School Board, is much appreciated, and we hope this proposal may be realized for this coming school year at our school.
Mr. Price also offered up his services to teach guitar to the elementary age students if volunteers are needed.
The Superintendent then shared updates regarding the summer school programs.
The Superintendent then shared with the board a list of hires, resignations and retirements that were accepted between the last board meeting and today. Karen Colby, 2nd grade, at Hussey School; Michelle Johnson, Early Childhood Occupations, at NHS; Debbie Moores half-time, 3rd grade, at Hussey School
The Superintendent then updated the board on the summer work that has been going on. Several exciting a powerful professional development experiences have occurred already this summer. June was a VERY busy month!! All professional development has been designed in support of our district literacy goal and subgoals that support overall student achievement, including a standards based written curriculum for all students, effective interventions for all struggling learners, and increasing shared ownership and leadership at the building level for progress toward district goals.
On June 19th, 10 middle school teachers and leaders convened for initial leadership training. The group will be charged with leading departments in the ongoing work of developing common units of student and assessments as well as routinely leading peers in examining student data. The NMS leadership team set goals for the coming school year, drafted a calendar for professional development to maximize late start and after school PD time, and explored tools for facilitating their departments including norm setting and protocols.
Also on June 19th more than 40 teachers in grades 1-5 participated in an Everyday Math Training. We are excited to try out the newly revised EM4 program for elementary mathematics. The fully revised program is designed to be tightly focused on the skills and knowledge student need for mastery of grade level standards. While there was also some excitement about other math curriculum we have been exploring and piloting of the past two years, the team felt this program was the best option available to ensure consistency and integrity of implementation in all classrooms. An additional 20+ teachers who were unable to come to the June training will attend the same training in August.
The week of June 22-26 was action packed! During that week 37 high school teachers participated in a 3 -day curriculum development institute focused on continuing to develop common assessments and units by department that are fully aligned to required standards. Teams tuned units of study and also began to work on developing high quality formative assessments.
Additionally, 39 K-5 teachers participated in a 3-day writing institute. The focus of this 3- day workshop was around best practices for teaching writing and strategies for effectively implementing writer’s workshop.
Also occurring this week, 40 teachers and educational technicians were trained in Lindamood Bell Phonemic Sequencing (LiPs). This is a powerful intervention for struggling readers. We are excited about the increase this training will provide in our capacity to provide effective interventions for all students who need accelerated growth in literacy.
In addition to the large number of teachers trained in LiPs, several other special education teachers were also trained in Seeing Stars and/or Visualizing and Verbalizing, which are companion interventions.
Lastly, the full administrative team and district data team met for a 2-day data retreat on June 25 & 26. This group carefully examined STAR reading data as well as other school based literacy data, practiced using a detailed data driven dialogue analysis process, and planned for school based data work in the coming school year.
On June 29 & 30 the majority of NMS staff, 32 people, convened for 2 full days of training in the Building Assets Reducing Risks program (BARR). This program was piloted by one 9th grade team at the high school last year with great success as part of a research grant. Given the positive results of the research study, NMS was invited to participate in the program as part of a broader implementation grant. This program is designed to bolster the developmental assets of all students, thereby ensuring they are ready and able to learn. The program will dovetail nicely with efforts to continually improve the RTI process and overall student supports at the middle school.
Ms. Potter made the motion and it was seconded by Mr. Cowan to adjourn at 7:10 pm. All members voted in favor and the motion passed.
Adjourned at 7:10 pm.
Steve Connolly, Superintendent
Secretary of the Board of Directors