August 11, 2009

Hopkinton School District School Board   

School Administrative Unit #66

Meeting Minutes

August 11, 2009


School Board: Chairman: David Luneau, Vice Chairman: Elizabeth Durant, Kim Fuller, Louis Josephson, Student Representative: Emma Brown

Administration: Superintendent: Steven Chamberlin; Business Administrator: Michelle Clark; Director of Student Services: Dr. Valerie Aubry.


School Board Chairman, David Luneau, called the meeting to order at 6:30 pm.  Student Representative, Emma Brown, led the meeting in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Mr. Luneau welcomed everyone to the meeting.  He stated that tonight we were trying a new venue.  They would be looking at the quality of the audio recording, and asked for feedback on whether the room is working out.


There were no additions.  There was one deletion: number 21 was deleted from this meeting’s agenda.


Thank you note from Mrs. Sue Roberts was passed around for flowers sent to her family when her mom passed away.

A letter from the Local Government Center was distributed, regarding proposed Article 28-a lawsuit against the state.

A thank you note from Dr. Aubry and her husband Ken was passed around, for the flowers sent when her father-in-law passed away.


Mr. Luneau made a comment and asked that the minutes be amended, regarding the tail end of the minutes on page 2005 on how we adjourn.  He asked that all the minutes reflect an adjournment, if we are going into non-public shows a motion with a roll call vote of the board.  Also, then there should be a separate sheet of minutes for the nonpublic session.  Then when they come out of nonpublic, we go back to these minutes again.  Any motions that take place should be reflected in these minutes, such as if we take an action on an item that was discussed in nonpublic.  This should be in these minutes following the going into and coming out of nonpublic session.  Often because of the nature of the content being discussed, the board can move to seal the minutes for one or two years, then, finally, the adjournment.

Dr. Aubry asked for a change on page 2002, line 13.  It is not the Title 1 Grant, it is the IDEA Grant.

Mr. Luneau made a motion to approve the July 21, 2009 minutes as amended, all in favor, minutes carry.


Jim Hersey, community member, had a question about the sidewalk safety improvements being made with the federal funds.  He stated he was not against the sidewalk on Kearsarge Ave, which is near his house (on the high school side).  He asked to be notified and involved with the planning of it.  He is concerned about the water running down the street into his driveway and his neighbors back lawn, and he does not want it to be any worse.  Mr. Luneau stated that it is important to note that the school board, the board of selectman, and an ad hoc committee called the Safe Route to Schools Committee are involved; this is not strictly a school board function.

Scott Flood, selectman and community member, stated that Mr. Kenison has volunteered to help with this project.

Mr. Flood recommend the Hopkinton School Board ratify the Collective Bargaining Agreement.  Mr. Flood asked what impact there would be to the town as far as dollars and what the major points of it are.

Mr. Luneau stated that he believes it is confidential until both parties have ratified, so once signatures are on paper for both parties then we can comment. His plan is to take this to the budget committee tomorrow with full copies of the ratified agreement.

Mr. Luneau stated that we normally have public discussion before the board takes action, but in this case, as we just talked about, it is relating to the ratification of the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Hopkinton Educational Support Staff.  Specifics on this agreement have been the subject of numerous nonpublic sessions of the school board, so your school board members and the members of the negotiating team (Liz Durant, Kim Fuller, Steve Chamberlin, and Michelle Clark) are up to speed on the details of both agreements.

As this agenda item was put forward, Mr. Luneau stated that he did want to make note to all school board members that if they had any questions to please bring them up with a member of the negotiating team.  Mr. Luneau asked if any school board member had questions or any issues that would prevent them from acting on this at this point.

Mr. Luneau stated that they were going to go ahead to look for a motion.


Recommend the Hopkinton School Board ratify the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Hopkinton School District and Hopkinton Educational Support Staff (HESS) for the period of ratification at the Special School District Meeting until midnight, June 30, 2010.

A motion was made by Mrs. Fuller, seconded by Ms. Durant, all in favor, motion carries.


Mrs. Putnam and Mrs. Wilson, co-presidents of HESS, thanked the negotiating team for being wonderful to work with.

Members of the school board and the co-presidents of HESS (Denise Putnam and Bonnie Wilson) signed two copies of the document.  One copy will be kept until Mr. Donahue returns to sign.

Mr. Luneau asked Mr. Chamberlin to give a high level flyover of the agreement.  Mr. Chamberlin stated that essentially we restructured some time and cleaned up some language issues, but there is no increase in salary and no increase in cost to the district. This is a one year agreement.

Mr. Luneau asked what this meant today, as far as a special district meeting. Mr. Chamberlin stated that we are committed to having a special school district meeting.  Currently, we are in negations with another bargaining unit (HEA), and depending on the results, we hope to have one special school district meeting in October.

Ms. Wilson stated that this unit saves the town a lot of money; she is willing to attend the budget committee meeting and speak to them and answer any questions they may have.  Mr. Luneau will offer this information tomorrow night.  Ms. Wilson stated that they would like to work very closely with the budget committee, so they understand what they do and how much money they save the district.

Mr. Luneau asked if anyone had anything pertinent to ask about this they want to comment on.

Mr. Flood asked if there would be any salary increase from last year. Ms. Clark and Mr. Chamberlin answered no.

Mr. Flood asked if they had to have a special meeting when there is no additional appropriation.  Mr. Chamberlin stated that after much discussion it was their hope and effort to be fully transparent, and to make sure everyone understands and has full knowledge about the contracts.  To honor this process and honor this community with full knowledge about what they are doing, we felt it was an important step to have the hearing, posting process, and have the meeting.

Tom Manseau, community member, asked Mr. Chamberlin to elaborate on how he worked the hours around.  Professional development is compulsory on these days; in the past professional development was not required.  This increases time and training not salary.  Mr. Chamberlin stated that he believes that we are investing in these people who do such a great job for our kids.


Ms. Durant thanked everyone in the SAU office for the constant communication during the transition; she is confident about a great year in the district.  Mr. Josephson wanted to add one thing about the contract and other contracts to be ratified. Hopefully as we move forward, we should think, as a school board, how to inform the town about the value of these contracts.

Ms. Wilson stated that she wished more people would come into the school and see what they are doing with children, and the level of disabilities that they are dealing with.

Mrs. Fuller stated she was looking forward to the special school district meeting and presenting this contract to the town – it is a very favorable contract.

Mr. Luneau stated that he is grateful to everyone on both negotiating teams for all of their hard work. He is hopeful to have a good contract with the HEA that will move this district forward in a positive way with the support of the broader Hopkinton Community, and he is looking forward to school starting.   He also wanted to extend his hand to Mr. Chamberlin and members of the Leadership Team for whatever support or assistance they need from the school board, please let them know.

Mrs. Fuller thanked Ms. Clark and Mr. Chamberlin for this round of negotiations – they both were invaluable.


Report on Post High School Plans for the Class of 2009

Mr. Chamberlin gave an overview of his report on post high school plans for the Class of 2009. The report listed colleges and universities our students are attending, as well as some statistics in the areas of study.

Mr. Chamberlin commented on the variety of new colleges listed – our students are branching out.  Mr. Chamberlin thanked Corrine Lajoie and Gene Fox for their contributions to the report.

Mrs. Fuller asked if we look at what areas our students are studying/majoring in comparison to our curriculum.  Mr. Chamberlin stated that each year we do a post high school survey; last year we used SurveyMonkey (phone survey used in the past was more successful). He believes they will be going back to the phone survey, which includes questions from our counseling and teaching staff.  Mrs. Fuller stated that many of our students are going into the health field and we do not offer anatomy and physiology.  She asked if this is this something we should be looking at whether we should change one of our science fields of study.  Mr. Chamberlin stated that we have an approved curriculum review cycle and this year begins the year of science.  They are planning an entire review of our science curriculum.  This is part of our systemic curriculum review cycle.

Mrs. Fuller asked if it was an option for a student to take this class in Concord.  Mr. Chamberlin stated that there is a health program through CRTC.  Students can also take courses at NHTI, NEC, and through the Virtual Learning Academy.

Mr. Josephson stated that the public would be interested in this information; maybe this could be posted on the website or passed out at the school district meeting.  Mr. Josephson asked Mr. Chamberlin for his impression on how we compare to other comparable school districts.

Mr. Chamberlin stated that we have available our school profile, which includes colleges and universities our students are attending.  This is updated each year and available at he school district meeting.  He stated that one of the initiatives is to get more information available to the public. As he commented on earlier, it is exciting to see that our students are spreading out.  He does not know how this group relates to another school.  (Some schools track ivy leagues.)  He stated that we are looking at first choice, second choice, and how many students are transferring.

Mrs. Fuller stated that many students are now doing the first two years at NHTI.  Mr. Chamberlin stated that this is a trend nationwide.  Also, when we talk about SB18, compulsory education through age 18, NHTI is an option for GED.  Mr. Chamberlin stated that GED is a real quality option for some students.

Mrs. Fuller asked if we have any early graduates.  Mr. Chamberlin stated that we had one in the Class of 2009 (this student was one year ahead).  When a student leaves HMHS in January, it is usually to work and save money for college.

Contoocook Carry

Mr. Chamberlin talked about the Contoocook Carry on Sunday, September 27, 2009.  It is a wonderful community wide event.  The school district will support this event as it has done in the past.  All facility use forms have been completed.

Update: Hiring Status for 2009-2010

Mr. Chamberlin reminded everyone that the process is to advertise in local newspapers (expand to a bigger newspaper if necessary),, and our new website will have an employment tab.

Mr. Chamberlin has a nomination from Harold Martin School for their last position, and a tech integrator at MSS. The middle high school has two IA, one special ed, and one mathematics opening.  We should have more nominations by the August 18 meeting and the final nominations by the meeting on August 25.

The administrative assistant to the director of student services interviews will be completed this week.  We are still collecting resumes for the accounts payable/payroll position at the central office.  Mr. Chamberlin is concerned about the food service positions at the high school.  We have had to expand our recruitment to another newspaper.


Hopkinton School District Policy for Determining a Specific Learning Disability

(First Reading)

Dr. Aubry explained the state requirement for a District policy of this type as well as the three options now permitted in determining whether a student has a Specific Learning Disability.  This policy directs teams to use the New Hampshire Learning Disability Checklist, which will be included in the special education manual for the District. The checklist delineates criteria and leads teams through the step-by-step process of considering eligibility. This version of the checklist formalizes the District’s decision to allow a combination of options in determination of a learning disability.

Dr. Josephson asked how this policy aligns with the three options.  Dr. Aubry stated that the option we have chosen is the combination of the other two approaches and that they are included in the checklist.  Dr. Aubry feels that this combination will be the option chosen by most New Hampshire school districts.

Ms. Durant asked whether the Checklist is used when a referral by the teacher is made. Dr. Aubry stated that when a referral comes from anyone such as a parent, teacher, or administrator, the team meets to decide if testing should be completed. When the testing is completed, the checklist is used to determine eligibility based on the results.

Hopkinton School Board Bidding Requirements Policy DJE (Action Item)

Ms. Clark stated that the current district policy has a bidding requirement for any item over $4,000.  She contacted other school districts and they are at the dollar threshold of $7,500. As we do now, anything under $7,500. we would get three quotes from reputable companies. Mr. Luneau asked what the difference between going out to bid and collecting three quotes.  Ms. Clark stated that the bid process is a lot of work (preparing requirements for the proposal), then getting it out to the newspaper. Ms. Clark stated for instance a vendor might raise their bid due to the extra preparation of a proposal. Mr. Chamberlin supports this figure; he thinks it is a fair number. Mr. Luneau asked for an example of something that would be between $4,000 and $7,500.  Mr. Chamberlin stated an air compressor, which is around $5,000. We have a vendor that we have faith in, but we still get three quotes. Mr. Chamberlin stated that the $4,000 figure is an antiquated number (in 1998 NHSBA’s figure was $5,000).

Ms. Durant asked if we have a vendor list from LGC that we use.  Ms. Clark stated that usually the director of facility makes a recommendation; she also utilizes other districts for vendor recommendations.

Local Government Center/School Boards Association request to contribute to and join a lawsuit regarding the NH Retirement System. (Action Item)

Mr. Chamberlin stated that there was a correspondence from the School Boards Association and other groups, about a request to join a lawsuit regarding the state’s change in the funding of the New Hampshire Retirement System.  LGC is our connection to this action.  We joined a similar action in 1998. The cost will be approximately $2,500 to join the lawsuit against the state.  The increase could cost the district approximately $25,000 this year and $50,000 next year and all future years.  Mr. Luneau asked Scott Flood if the town was joining the lawsuit.  Mr. Flood answered yes; stating he thinks it is a worthwhile endeavor.
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: (ARRA) Title I, Part A

Mr. Chamberlin met with Val Aubry, Michelle Clark, Deidre Smith, and Bill Carozza on how to best utilize these funds to enhance student learning.  He stated that the way to do this is to increase time of staff working with students in the reading area.  We need to be cautious not to commit funds beyond the ARRA funds.


School Board Meeting Schedule

Tuesday, August 18, 2009, 7:45am, Maple Street School

Tuesday, August 25, 2009, 6:30pm, Maple Street School

Tuesday, September 1, 2009, 6:30pm, Maple Street School


Scott Flood, selectman and community member, spoke to bring the board up to date on

the completion of assessments.  He stated that the town has lost 20% in valuations.  Also, the additional spending approved at Town Meeting, which was not included in the June tax bill, will add to the fairly dramatic increase in the December tax bills.  In addition, they have a request from the Open Space Committee to contribute $400,000 for the development easement at the Bohanon Farm.  Another concern is the H1N1 flu, regarding the implementation of the vaccines.  Hopkinton is the POD for the emergency management program.  If this program goes forward, we will be inoculating 14,000 people.  The point is that from a tax standpoint, it will be an unfortunate year.  Mr. Flood asked that we consider these factors when we are deliberating future contracts.

Mr. Luneau asked Mr. Flood if he had prepared an estimated real tax impact. For example, on someone that had a $500,000 assessed home and what there real dollar tax bill would be.  Mr. Flood answered no.  Mr. Luneau suggested that this analysis would be a good fact based test.

Marion Paxton, community member, said thank you for the relocation of the meeting.  She appreciates that she can see everyone’s faces.  She hopes we will continue this venue.

Merle Dustin, community member, complimented Dr. Aubry for speaking up.  She mentioned to Mr. Chamberlin that he talks quite fast.  Mr. Chamberlin said he would try to slow down.

Tom Manseau, community member, asked Dr. Aubry if the legislation passed by the state was just a recommendation.  Dr. Aubry stated that we are required by law to delineate a District policy based on the options described in the NH Rules for the Education of Children with Disabilities (2008).

Tom Manseau asked Ms. Clark what does the DJE stand for?  Ms. Clark stated that it was the coding (established by the New Hampshire School Boards Association) to locate policies in the policy book.  He also asked Ms. Clark how she sends out a bid.  Ms. Clark stated that they advertise in the Concord Monitor, sometimes the Union Leader depending on the size of the job.

MATERIALS INCLUDED (in board packet):

  • Report on post high school plans for the Class of 2009
  • Summary of the 2009-2010 Hopkinton Educational Support Staff (HESS) Contract (Confidential)
  • Proposed HESS Contract 2009-2010 (Confidential)
  • Draft of Proposed Hopkinton School District Bidding Requirements Policy
  • Draft of Proposed Hopkinton School District Identifying Students with Specific Learning Disability Policy and Check List
  • Nomination Packets (2)


  • 8/12/09 Negotiation session with the Hopkinton Education Association
  • 8/12/09 Hopkinton Budget Committee Meeting
  • 8/28/09: New staff orientation, Hopkinton Middle High Schools
  • 8/31/09: Welcome back Kick Off Celebration breakfast, Hopkinton Middle High School
  • 9/01/09: First day of school for students


13) Recommend the Hopkinton School Board approve the Hopkinton School District     Bidding Requirements Policy DJE.

A motion was made by Mr. Josephson, seconded by Ms. Durant, the motion carries, not opposed.

14) Recommend the Hopkinton School Board join the School Boards Association lawsuit regarding the funding of the NH Retirement System.

A motion was made by Mrs. Fuller, seconded by Ms. Durant, as amended by Mr. Josephson to include a cap not to exceed $2595.57, the motion carries, not opposed.


15) Recommend the Hopkinton School Board approve the Superintendent’s nomination of Robin O’Dougherty as an Instructional Assistant at Hopkinton High School, 2009-2010 school year.

A motion was made by Ms. Durant, seconded by Mrs. Fuller, the motion carries, not opposed.


16) Recommend the Hopkinton School Board accept the Superintendent’s nomination of Bonnie Wilson for Substitute Caller, 2009-2010 school year.

A motion was made by Mrs. Fuller, seconded by Ms. Durant, the motion carries, not opposed.


17.  Recommend the Hopkinton School Board accept the Superintendent’s nomination of Paige Kingsley for the Junior Varsity Field Hockey Coach, 2009-2010 school year.

A motion was made by Mrs. Fuller, seconded by Mr. Josephson, the motion carries, not opposed.

18.  Recommend the Hopkinton School Board accept the resignation of Christin Doneski, Cross Country Coach at Hopkinton Middle School, effective August 4, 2009.

A motion was made by Mrs. Fuller, seconded by Ms. Durant, the motion carries, not opposed, with regrets.

19. Recommend the Hopkinton School Board accept the Superintendent’s nomination of Meaghan Ezen for the morning recess monitor at Harold Martin School, 2009-2010 school year.

A motion was made by Mrs. Fuller, seconded by Mr.Josephson, the motion carries, not opposed.

20.  Recommend the Hopkinton School Board accept the Superintendent’s nomination of Georgina Richardson for the morning bus monitor for the Hopkinton School District special education bus, 2009-2010 school year.

A motion was made by Mr. Josephson, seconded by Ms. Durant, the motion carries, not opposed.

21. Recommend the Hopkinton School Board accept a tuition student at Hopkinton Middle High School, 2009-2010 school year.

This item was deleted from this meeting’s agenda.


At 8:05 pm, a motion was made by Ms. Durant, seconded by Ms. Fuller, that the Board enter into nonpublic session in accordance with RSA 91-3:II(a) and (c) for discussion on negotiations and personnel.  Motion passed on a roll call vote:  Ms. Durant (yes), Ms. Fuller (yes), Mr. Josephson (yes), Mr. Luneau (yes), all in favor.


At 9:10 pm, a motion was made by Mrs. Fuller, seconded by Ms. Durant, to return to public session. Motion passed on a roll call vote:  Ms. Durant (yes), Ms. Fuller (yes), Mr. Josephson (yes), Mr. Luneau (yes), all in favor.

Following a motion by Mrs. Fuller, seconded by Ms. Durant, the board voted to seal the minutes of the nonpublic session for one year.  Motion passed on a roll call vote: Ms. Durant (yes), Ms. Fuller (yes), Mr. Josephson (yes), and Mr. Luneau (yes), all in favor.


At 9:15 pm, a motion to adjourn was made by Mrs. Fuller, seconded by Ms. Durant.  Motion passed on a roll call vote: Ms. Durant (yes), Mrs. Fuller (yes), Mr. Josephson (yes), and Mr. Luneau (yes), all in favor.

Respectfully submitted, Jean Eaton