September 15, 2009


 

Hopkinton School District School Board  

School Administrative Unit #66

Meeting Minutes

September 15, 2009

IN ATTENDANCE:

School Board: Chairman: David Luneau, Vice Chairman: Elizabeth Durant, Kim Fuller, Louis Josephson, Larry Donahue (not in attendance this evening), Student Representatives: Emma Brown and Noah Meister

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

CALL TO ORDER AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE:

School Board Chairman, David Luneau, called the meeting to order at 6:30pm. Kate Sintros, Social Studies Teacher at Hopkinton Middle High School, led the meeting in the Pledge of Allegiance.

SUPERINTENDENT ADDITIONS/DELETIONS TO AGENDA:

(Additions are underlined in the agenda)

There are two additional action items that are underlined on the revised agenda: numbers 17 and 18, regarding two positions at Harold Martin School.

 

CORRESPONDENCE:

Mr. Chamberlin passed around a thank you note from Mme Cotnoir for the flowers that were sent when her mother passed away recently.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Motion to approve the August 25, 2009 minutes as amended was made by Ms. Durant, seconded by Mrs. Fuller, all in favor, minutes carry.

 

PUBLIC COMMENT (1):

No public comment.

 

COMMENTS FROM THE HOPKINTON SCHOOL BOARD:

Ms. Durant does not have any comments at this time. Noah Meister and Emma Brown also do not have any comments at this time. Mr. Josephson stated that he has some comments for later about the Special School District Meeting. Mrs. Fuller thanked Mr. Chamberlin for the way he handled President Obama’s speech. She stated that she felt he handled it correctly and appropriately. Mr. Luneau echoed Mrs. Fuller’s comments on the way the President’s address was handled, stating that it was thoughtfully done. He also expressed condolences from the board to Mme Cotnoir who lost her mother.

 

STAFF REPORTS AND PRESENTATIONS:

Proposed trip to Washington, DC (Action item)

Mrs. Sintros presented an overview of the trip to Washington, DC, and how it ties into the second semester 9th grade curriculum. Mrs. Sintros presented information about costs (hotel, transportation, meals), chaperones, fundraising, and scholarships. (This is step one of a two-step process for new trips: (1) permission to plan (2) presentation of findings and logistics).

 

SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT:

Steven Chamberlin, Superintendent, presented a report on the recent Commissioner’s Meeting he attended with Dr. Virginia Barry. The two major topics of the meeting were: H1N1 and Stimulus Funds. He stated that in regard to H1N1, it was a repeat of the conference call on the Internet.  They were asked to think about what if, tomorrow, 25-50% of our faculty called in sick. Mr. Chamberlin stated that we can run school if 50% of our students are out sick, but whether we should is another question. What is the threshold for faculty? This will be discussed tomorrow at the Leadership Team Meeting and we will work on a contingency plan if a significant number of our faculty is out. Also discussed was vaccination availability and how it will be distributed.

The second topic discussed was about the serious amount of money available to states called “Race to the Top” funds. This is a competitive grant by state.  The New Hampshire Department of Education has to decide if it meets the criteria to pursue these funds. The next Commissioner’s Meeting is on October 23 and the meeting will be focused on the “Race to the Top” funds.

ITEMS FOR BOARD DISCUSSION:

Hopkinton School District Policy for determining a specific learning disability IHBAA [Third Reading] (Action Item)

Dr. Aubry and Mr. Chamberlin had a conference call with Attorney Barry. Dr. Aubry and Mr. Chamberlin felt it was a worthwhile half hour conference. Attorney Barry made some recommendations to the wording of the policy; to provide the district with as much flexibility as possible to have the tools to do what is best for kids.

Mr. Luneau asked what the cost impact might be associated with this policy. Dr. Aubry stated that it would not impact in terms of cost – it simply is following best practice in our area.

Budget Overview/Timeline

Mr. Chamberlin stated that he will be meeting with the Leadership Team this week to review budget goals; utilizing the budget to maintain quality program, looking at programs that were discontinued, along with supporting time, tools, and training. The community has supported education incredibly and they want to be sensitive to the current economic climate. Mr. Chamberlin has been discussing the budget drivers: enrollment, projections, revenues, reimbursements, and the instability of state funding; all of this will be looked at closely. Mr. Chamberlin and Ms. Clark will be reviewing the capital improvement plan. Mr. Chamberlin stated that they are looking at bringing the first draft of the budget to the Board on December 1.

Mr. Luneau asked when to expect a school board’s budget going to the Budget Committee. Mr. Chamberlin stated at the first board meeting in January.  Mr. Luneau stated that the Board would like to present the information to the community right at the beginning of the process. Ms. Durant stated that the Board has continued to work hard trying to improve the process of presenting information to the community.

Mr. Josephson stated that he had a couple of comments. He feels that Mr. Chamberlin is articulating the goals of the school district very clearly and the priorities are absolutely right. He is not concerned about, but he is wondering about it sounding like same old, same old. He thinks it is incumbent on the board and also on the leadership at some point to talk about bending the curve – what is our strategy for the next few years? He will feel very different going to the community saying that we want you to approve this budget and plan for this school year and next year, but when we get to 20xx we think the district will be in a different place and that will have some long-term impact. Mr. Luneau was glad Mr. Josephson raised this point and that he is right. How does this fit into Hopkinton Schools 2.0 – does it move us in that direction? Absolutely, as a Board, we need to maintain the pressure on Mr. Chamberlin and the Leadership Team for improving our schools in a way that is consistent with the goals of Hopkinton Schools 2.0. Mr. Luneau stated that it means that we continue to improve education in a manner that is financially sustainable for this community.

Mr. Chamberlin stated that there are ways to improve within the current structure (how we allocate time, allocate funds, know thy student better). It is about advocating and making things better. Mr. Chamberlin stated that when you refer to the pressure, that he loves that aspect of this community, teachers, and students – the pressure to improve is there, and how do we manage that and be sensitive to the economic needs. The pressure is all around us to make tomorrow better than today; it is continual improvement in this district.

Planning for the Special School District Meeting

The Budget Committee endorsed and voted on a Special School District Meeting on October 21. The postings have begun. Mr. Chamberlin has done a lot of communicating with the Budget Committee. The supervisors of the checklist informed Mr. Chamberlin that the attendance at the March 2009 meeting was 633, so we need 317 at the Special School District Meeting. Mr. Chamberlin will be making a presentation to the Rotary on October 7 to talk about contracts; he will be meeting with someone from the PTA to talk about making a presentation at the October 1 meeting. Jim Brizard and Mr. Chamberlin have talked about going to the Contoocook Farmer’s Market and the dump on October 10 or 17.  Mr. Chamberlin stated that the Hopkinton Education Association and the Leadership Team would share the cost of elevator cards to handout. They are trying to get the word out on its merits. Mr. Josephson stated that he had some thoughts on the FAQs. The slogan “Time, Tools, and Training” means a lot to us, but may not mean the same to the community. Mr. Josephson thought it would be helpful to compare the cost of both contracts over several years and to show that we are doing better.  Also, did we have any data to show what other districts offer for life and dental insurance; to show them these are the reasons why this is a good value.

Joint Meeting with the Hopkinton Board of Selectmen

Mr. Chamberlin stated that he felt it was important for the two boards to meet together once a year.  He will be meeting with them in the next couple of weeks to bring this idea to the table. Planning together would be positive for the community.  Getting to know the selectman better and having open lines of communication would be very valuable. Mr. Luneau stated that our goal is to move the relationship forward together because we cooperate in so many areas.

PUBLIC COMMENT (2):

Mr. Luneau recognized two high school seniors, Cassie Mellen and Maggie Thompson, who were present at the meeting. Mr. Manseau, community member, asked Mr. Chamberlin if the real world challenge was discussed at the Commissioner’s Meeting that he attended. Mr. Chamberlin said it was in some information that he received. Mr. Luneau suggested that Mr. Manseau follow-up with Mr. Chamberlin about this during business hours or via email. Mr. Manseau expressed his frustration with Mr. Luneau’s suggestion.

 

MATERIALS INCLUDED:

Frequently Asked Questions regarding proposed contracts

Policy IHBAA Draft/Revised

Nomination Packets (1 2)

Copy of the warrant for the Special School District Meeting

 

IMPORTANT DATES:

  • September 23, 2009: Hopkinton Budget Committee
  • October 6, 2009: School Board Meeting
  • October 20, 2009: School Board Meeting
  • October 21, 2009: Special School District Meeting

ACTION ITEMS (Part II)

ACTION ITEMS

13.    Recommend the Hopkinton School Board approve the Superintendent’s nomination of Karen Morse, Payroll/AP Clerk, Hopkinton School District, 2009-2010 school year, effective September 28, 2009.

A motion was made by Ms. Durant, seconded by Mr. Josephson, motion carries, all in favor, not opposed.  

  1. Recommend the Hopkinton School Board approve the Superintendent’s nomination of Tim Stokes, Mathematics Team Coach, Hopkinton Middle School.

A motion was made by Ms. Durant, seconded by Mrs. Fuller,

motion carries, all in favor, not opposed.  

  1. Recommend the Hopkinton School Board approve the Hopkinton School District Policy for determining a specific learning disability IHBAA.

A motion was made by Ms. Durant, seconded by Mr. Josephson, motion carries, all in favor, not opposed.  

  1. Recommend the Hopkinton School Board grant permission to plan the freshmen overnight trip to Washington, DC.

A motion was made by Mr. Josephson, seconded by Ms. Durant, motion carries, all in favor, not opposed.  

  1. Recommend the Hopkinton School Board approve the Superintendent’s nomination of Patty Guay, an additional .5 Instructional Assistant, Harold Martin School, 2009-2010 school year, effective September 16, 2009.

A motion was made by Ms. Durant, seconded by Mr. Josephson, motion carries, all in favor, not opposed.  

  1. Recommend the Hopkinton School Board approve the Superintendent’s nomination of Colleen Sawitsky, a .3 Instructional Assistant, Harold Martin School, 2009-2010 school year, effective September 16, 2009.

A motion was made by Mrs. Fuller, seconded by Mr. Josephson, motion carries, all in favor, not opposed.  

NONPUBLIC SESSION:

Nonpublic Session for the Discussion of Matters as Per RSA 91-A: 3, II (a) and (c)

 

Personnel

At 8:05pm, Ms. Durant made a motion, seconded by Mr. Josephson, that the Board enter into nonpublic session in accordance with RSA 91-3:II (a) and (c) for discussion on negotiations and potentially the litigation, motion passed on a roll call vote: Ms. Durant (yes), Mrs. Fuller (yes), Mr. Josephson (yes), Mr. Luneau (yes), all in favor, not opposed.

RETURN TO PUBLIC SESSION

At 8:45pm, a motion was made by Mrs. Fuller, seconded by Ms. Durant, to return to public session, motion passed, all in favor, not opposed.

ADJOURNMENT

At 8:45pm, a motion to adjourn was made by Mrs. Fuller, seconded by Ms. Durant, motion passed, all in favor, not opposed.

Respectfully submitted, Jean Eaton