MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS’ MEETING on March 5, 2015.
A regular meeting of the Board of Directors was held at Noble High School in North Berwick, Maine on March 5, 2015 at 7:00 pm with all members present except Ms. Olean. The student representatives were present and the press was absent. There were 10 in the audience.
Ms. Potter made the motion and it was seconded by Mr. Cowan that the minutes of February 26th be accepted as presented. All members voted in favor and the motion passed.
Mr. Rick Ingalls asked to speak, on behalf of the union, during the budget presentations regarding any RIFs that might affect his membership.
Mr. Joe Findlay shared an overview of his high school budget document. There is a total reduction in the high school budget by $37,371.00. Mr. Blair Marelli, athletic director, shared participation rates as well as did an overview of his FY2016 budget.
Mr. Marelli shared the participation rates for sports over the past 14 years. He also discussed the comparisons of coaching pay among the different districts. We are pretty much in line with those around us. There is a difficulty filling all positions. Mr. McCabe shared that he’d like to see the school district take a lead in consolidating the youth sports programs among the towns to form a committee to get together with all the youth sports programs league presidents and have a summit around athletics.
Mr. McCabe asked that we consider putting the extra days of late buses back into the budget for next year. We will get the numbers together for the boards review.
Ms Ruth Venell, special education director, shared an overview of the special education budget for FY16. She highlighted the cost decreases and increases. She shared a change in the Local Entitlement Federal Block grant, which is a reduction in revenue. She gave an overview of out of district placements etc. She also shared an overview of the Mary Hurd Academy. She noted that our percentage of special education students in the district is at 17.1% which is right in line with the state average.
The Superintendent shared a letter of resignation from Ms. Ruth Venell, special education director. Ms. Joanne Potter made the motion, and it was seconded by Ms. Alwin, to accept the resignation of Ms. Ruth Venell at the close of school year 2015, with regret. All members voted in favor and the motion passed.
The board then discussed the budget items that were put forward. There were many questions about the health center and the position that is proposed to be reduced. The Assistant Superintendent gave a quick overview of the history of the health center and the roles that people play in the health center. There was discussion regarding the policies and responsibilities of each organization. The board has concerns that what is happening in the health center through the new medical provider is confusing and would like some clarity. There is also a discussion of a reduction of a clerk position. Mr. Rick Ingalls, union president for the support staff union, shared his concerns with the potential reduction of that position. More to follow.
Mr. Cowan shared his concerns regarding not implementing the pre-k program. He asked what we are doing to alleviate some of the lack of school readiness that many students display. The Superintendent shared the two programs, Blast-Off and Kindergarten Jumpstart, which are still in the program. Approximately 30 students per town will be targeted. Literacy Boot Camp, intensive services for students in reading, will be added per school through the high school.
The Superintendent discussed with the board their board goals and will be discussing them with the board again after the budget is completed.
The Superintendent shared with the board that this week is National School Breakfast week.
The Superintendent shared with the board that we need to adopt a calendar by April 15. We are looking at a district calendar for professional development that would increase the opportunity for elementary teachers to have more collaborative time. This is out of the box thinking and Ms. Heidi Early-Hersey shared a document that outlined the thinking. The board was clear that this would not be a good time to implement a program like this for 15/16 but that we want to have the conversation going forward.
Mr. Price made the motion and Mr. Cowan seconded to adjourn. All members voted in favor and the motion past.
Adjourned at 10:06 pm.
Secretary of the Board of Directors