April 20, 2010


Hopkinton School District School Board   

School Administrative Unit #66

Meeting Minutes

April 20, 2010

 

 

IN ATTENDANCE:

School Board: Chairman: David Luneau, Vice Chairman Elizabeth Durant, Board Members: Louis Josephson, William Jones, Student Representative: Emma Brown

Administration: Superintendent: Steven Chamberlin, Business Administrator: Michelle Clark, Director of Student Services: Dr. Valerie Aubry, Harold Martin School Principal: William Carozza

CALL TO ORDER AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE:

Mr. Luneau called the meeting to order at 6:30pm, and Emma Brown led the meeting in the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

ADDITIONS/DELETIONS TO AGENDA:

None

CORRESPONDENCE:

None

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Motion to approve the minutes of March 16, 2010 was made by Mr. Josephson, seconded by Ms. Durant, all in favor, minutes carry as amended: page 2148, line 14, change $400,000 to $573,000 and page 2149, line one, change who is Jason to what is Jason.

PUBLIC COMMENT (1):

Merle Dustin, community member, congratulated the drama troupe on a wonderful production last weekend. She also asked if the senior-to-senior program would continue next year?

Mr. Chamberlin stated he would inquire about this program for next year.

Mr. Luneau welcomed two students from Mrs. Sintros’s class to tonight’s meeting.

 

COMMENTS FROM THE HOPKINTON SCHOOL BOARD

Emma Brown stated she participated in the senior-to-senior program this year and from a student perspective it is very rewarding.

Ms. Durant stated it has been an incredibly exciting week in the district: the drama production, Robotics in Atlanta, spring sports opening. She stated the community support has been outstanding; it is a real demonstration of our community’s commitment to our kids. She appreciates this as a parent, a school board member, and as a community member.

Mr. Josephson stated he read an article in the New York Times today about how nationally many districts are dramatically cutting back, and as he is reading this his daughter came home from school all excited about all of her options transitioning to middle school. He is humbled by what we have here in Hopkinton.

Mr. Jones seconded Ms. Durant’s comments on the Robotics Team and what a phenomenal job they did.

Mr. Luneau stated the Robotics Team had a hugely impressive outcome. He watched some of the Boston Regional competition – it was fun to see and great to spend time in the pits with the kids; hats off to our students and many thanks to the parents and mentors who put in countless hours to support the program. It is great to see this depth of dedication in the community.

Mr. Luneau reported that overall the Hopkinton Robotics Team came in 13th or 14th out of 350 teams competing worldwide.

STAFF REPORTS AND PRESENTATIONS

William Carozza, Harold Martin School

  1. a. 2010-2011 Kindergarten

Mr. Chamberlin stated that currently there are 55 students registered for fall kindergarten. He appreciated working with Mr. Donahue on this as well as Mr. Carozza and Ms. Wilder.

Mr. Chamberlin spoke about class size based on pedagogy. Mr. Chamberlin and Mr. Carozza talked to many teachers, administrators, and reviewed a variety of studies and believe that having small class sizes is most crucial at the K-1 level, more than any other grade level.

Mr. Chamberlin stated that currently they do not have a district policy on class size; this is purposeful, as we look to do what is best for all kids. Our goal is ensuring student learning and to keep the learning gap small, which begins in the early grades.

Mr. Chamberlin stated someone asked if we went to three sections would we have an increase in support staff. The answer is yes; we would be adding an instructional assistant per section.

Mr. Carozza stated you could look at class size in two ways: quantitatively and qualitatively.

Quantitatively

With 55 students registered for next year: three sessions – 18, 18, 19 and with four sessions – 13, 14, 14, 14.

Kindergarten enrollment history:

-       They have had similar kindergarten numbers in the past keeping four sessions: 06-07/53 students, 02-03/55 students, 01-02/53 students.

-       In 05-06 class sizes were: 15/15/14, 07-08 class sizes were 15/16/14 – both years we had three sessions instead of the usual four.  Clearly this is smaller than if we were to go to 18/18/19 next year.

-       Being late April, we set ourselves up for very high kindergarten numbers if things increase even a little with three sections.

-       The average kindergarten class size over the past 10 years is 55.8, about what our projections are for next year.

-       The largest kindergarten we have had was 2001-02 – 72 (18 per class). With three sections next year, this would be our largest kindergarten class in at least 13 years.

In the end the research is mixed for the older kids, but it is pretty clear for K-1 that smaller class size really makes a difference. With the 55 students next year, three sessions would be 18/18/19 and four sessions would be 13/14/14/14.

Qualitatively

The STAR (Student/Teacher Achievement Ratio) Study in the 1980s (one of the most important educational studies ever carried out).

-       11,600 students, 1300 teachers, 76 schools (Tennessee)

-       13-17 students vs. 22-26 students

-       Benefits greatest for primary classes

-       Extra adults do not necessarily guarantee academic success and do not compensate for higher class size

-       STAR investigators found that the students in small classes were 0.5 months ahead of the other students by the end of kindergarten, 1.9 months ahead at the end of 1st grade, 5.6 months ahead in the 2nd grade, and 7.1 months ahead by the end of the 3rd grade.

Mr. Carozza stated that many of the other studies he reviewed are similar and that it is all about the first two years (K-1).

Mr. Carozza gave an overview of kindergarten enrollment for NH towns similar in socio-economics (12 different towns) and reported the average class size was 16.8.

Lastly, Mr. Carozza stated the other issue is special education needs, which also can be a factor.

Ms. Durant asked what the research had to say regarding full day vs. half-day kindergarten and appropriate class sizes. Mr. Carozza believes that you could likely have a larger kindergarten class size due to a longer school day. Also, research is clear that extra adults do not help the situation with class size.

Mr. Luneau stated given the potential for slightly smaller class sizes this year and for the next few years, is there an opportunity to add new content? Mr. Carozza answered absolutely. He stated that they have found with lower class size, the difference is amazing in terms of what they can do in enrichment, e.g. guided math and reading groups. He stated they have a responsibility to do more with smaller class size. Mr. Luneau commented that he has heard it mentioned in town about world language being a possible content area.

Mr. Josephson stated when we get new kindergarten students we get new families. Have we heard comments from those families about wanting a smaller/larger classroom for their child – do they care?  Mr. Carozza stated he meets with the parents of all new students and they always ask about class size.

b.    Purchasing Card Program (Action Item)

Ms. Clark gave an overview of the P-Card program, highlighting the cash back; she plans to use these funds to pay for fuel oil. She thanked Jim Hersey, community member and member of the Operations and Efficiencies H20 Committee, for coming to tonight’s meeting. Ms. Clark stated there are 15 school districts in the state that have the P-Card program.

P-Card highlights:

-   The P – Card program is a form of credit card that is issued to employees for the purchase of goods and services without having to process the purchase through a traditional purchasing procedure, such as using purchasing requisitions and purchase orders.

-   The P – Card is a tight credit card as the card is “loaded” with funds for specific purposes. The vendors as well as types of purchases through a vendor can be tightly controlled.

-   The P – Card program is especially efficient, as small purchases can be combined on one purchase order.

-   The P – Card program expands the vendor pool as more vendors accept the P – Card (for the vendor it acts as a MasterCard credit card) than purchase orders which should translate to cost savings. This card does not alter the policy or procedures around bidding or obtaining price quotes.

-   The P – Card is a free purchasing system. The only possible cost is a late fee. The school district will not be participating in the cash advance option. As an added benefit, the school district will receive “cash back” for utilizing the card.

-   The P – Card program will increase efficiency as department chairs and office managers will notice a more streamline approach to the P – Card purchasing. The central office will still process each purchase. A monthly P – Card statement will show evidence of the purchases on the card.

Mr. Luneau asked what if a staff member was at dinner and they pulled out the wrong card? Ms. Clark stated the card would be denied.

Ms. Durant asked if this changed the auditing program. Ms. Clark stated it would not change, they still require a purchase order, then sign for the card, and then return the card with the receipt.

Ms. Durant asked Ms. Clark if she felt personally that this is a better use of her time than the current purchase order system. Ms. Clark stated there is still a purchase order system, but she feels it would be more efficient.

Mr. Luneau asked how do you see the manifest process changing? Ms. Clark stated you would still see the detail as well as the exact detail charged to the P – Card.

Ms. Durant asked if there was a time limit when someone signs out a card to when they make a purchase. Ms. Clark answered yes; there will be a time limit.

Mr. Josephson asked about fees. Ms. Clark stated there are no fees, only if we are late.

Mr. Hersey, community member, stated that it is efficient and gives people responsibility. He stated he had a similar card when he worked for the government and he was always cautious.

Mr. Jones asked if there were any terms we had to adhere to, and if we don’t like it can we get out? Ms. Clark answered yes.

Mr. Luneau asked Ms. Clark if her colleagues liked using the P-Card program. Ms. Clark answered they love it – she has not heard anything negative at all.

  1. c. Hopkinton School District and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)

Mr. Chamberlin stated that in the fall we took the NECAP tests and reported that the vast majority of our students performed above the state average in every test and grade level except one.

No Child Left Behind/ESEA now requires us to look at disaggregated data to determine if sub groups made adequate progress in addition to schools as a whole. We made AYP in all sub groups except for Maple Street School in math. We did not make AYP in low socio-economic and educational disability. Dr. Aubry, Mr. Bessette, and Mr. Chamberlin will look at members of those groups and review their performance. Mr. Chamberlin will report out at the next meeting on power standards, common assessments, and tiered supports. He believes they are in a good place to continue this work and should see an increase in student achievement.

  1. d. NH Department of Education School Approval Designation (s)

Mr. Chamberlin stated we have a bylaw – the NH Dept. of Education School Approval Designation that approves elementary, middle, and high schools.
Maple Street School: conditional approval

The only concern was a certified health teacher. Mr. Chamberlin sent a letter and a copy of the teacher’s certification to the State Dept. of Education reporting we did hire a certified health teacher. Maple Street School is now fully approved.

Middle School: fully approved

 

High School: (four issues)

-   The Boys and Girls Club (off-site program for supervised out of school prevention program) requires a fire and health inspection. The fire inspection has been completed; the health inspection will be done.

-   Competencies: the high school made a conscious choice to phase in competencies. They aligned the competency movement with the change in graduation requirements starting with last year’s freshman class. We knew this would not align with state standards, but felt it was what’s best for our kids. You have three years to be compliant – we will have competencies by the end of three years. (This is an accepted practice by a number of high schools.)

-   Family and consumer science – we have a full time teacher. We offer two fifths in the middle school (no credit from the state for this) and careers (which is not considered family and consumer science). We offer 1.5 credits: (2) On Your Own classes and (2) Foods classes. In order to meet the state requirement we need to offer three, which would change the program and we don’t have the enrollment requests to expand the program. Mr. Chamberlin will be writing a letter to the State Department of Education.

ITEMS FOR SCHOOL BOARD DISCUSSION

  1. a. School Board Committees and Committee Participation

Mr. Chamberlin passed out a memorandum outlining regional, town, and district committees. He gave an overview of the committees and their responsibilities; there are two new committees: wellness, and negotiations for HESS.

Mr. Luneau stated that the Safe Routes to School Committee is missing from the list. He also stated he would be happy to continue being the school board representative to the budget committee. School board committees and committee participation will be discussed at the next board meeting.

 

  1. b. Teacher Appreciation Week Planning (May 3 – May 7)

Mr. Chamberlin stated when we return from vacation it is teacher appreciation week and tradition is the board provide and spend breakfast with all staff at all three building.

Wednesday, May 5: Maple Street School, 7:30am

Thursday, May 6: Harold Martin School, 7:30am

Friday, May 7: Middle/High School, 7:30am

Mr. Jones stated he could be there on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday and Mr. Josephson stated he can attend on Wednesday and Friday.

c.  Monthly Financial Report

Ms. Clark gave an overview of March 2010 financials, stating revenue and expenses are on target – the fund balance is about $45,000 ahead of what was anticipated being returned to the Town.

Food Service:

Ms. Clark pointed out at the bottom of the report to compare food service to the past. One thing that is in the food services expenditures is the implementation of the POS system, which is about $37,000 more in expense than in revenue that is being projected at this time. Ms. Clark stated we are definitely moving in the right direction. The food service director had to fill in a lot last year because of staffing shortages – now she is able to focus on being more of a manager. She has done a great job organizing promos, e.g. baseball day, etc. They are receiving approximately $1,700 per week online. It is great to see, on a daily basis, what you are selling and what you are bringing in vs. what you have for staff.

Ms. Durant asked if we knew what percentage of families are using the online option? Ms. Clark stated approximately 15%. Ms. Durant also asked if the money left on cards would carry over to the next year? Ms. Clark stated yes. Ms. Durant stated it would be helpful to communicate this to parents, sooner than later.

Mr. Chamberlin will send a letter out about all of this soon.

PUBLIC COMMENT (2)

Ms. Krzyzaniak asked if the Robotics Team brought in enough money to fund their trip?

Ms. Durant stated there are still support funds coming in. As of Tuesday night (the night before the first group left), they were at approximately $16,000 pledged and supported for the trip, which was going to cost between $17,000 and $20,000. The hotel and flights were costly because it was planned in such a short time frame. The final number should be available by the end of the week.

MATERIALS INCLUDED

Administration Contract Proposed Salary and Benefit Recommendation (Confidential)

Hopkinton School District Nomination Slate

Purchasing Card Program Summary

Monthly Financial Report – March 2010

Nomination Packet

Draft School Board Meeting Minutes – April 6, 2010

Spring Sports Schedule

HHS Winter Sports Awards Program and Newsletter 2010

IMPORTANT DATES

  • April 26 – April 30: Spring Recess
  • May 3 – May 7: Teacher Appreciation Week
  • May 3 – May 7: School Nutrition Employee Week
  • May 15  – PTA Fun Fair: Harold Martin School
  • May 27 – Hopkinton High School Academic Awards Night
  • June 17 – School Board/Senior Class Barbecue
  • June 18 – Hopkinton High School Graduation

ACTION ITEMS

12.  Hopkinton School Board approve the Superintendent’s recommendation to April Lakevicius, elementary school teacher (1.0), 2010-2011 school year.

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

13. The Hopkinton School Board approve the Superintendent’s recommendation to implement the Purchasing Card Program, effective July 1, 2010.

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

 

At 7:44pm Mr. Josephson made a motion, seconded by Mr. Jones, that the Board enter into nonpublic session in accordance with RSA 91-A: 3, II (a) for discussion of personnel, action items 14, 15, and 16.  Motion passed on a roll call vote: Mr. Luneau (yes), Mr. Josephson (yes), Ms. Durant (yes), Mr. Jones (yes).

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

Personnel

RETURN TO PUBLIC SESSION

ACTION ITEMS

14. Hopkinton School Board approve the Superintendent’s nomination of Bridgett Dornik as Hopkinton Middle High School Chorus Teacher (1.0) 2010-2011 school year.

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

 

15. The Hopkinton School Board approve the Superintendent’s nomination of Bridgett Dornik as Hopkinton Middle High School Chorus Teacher (.2) 2010-2011 school year.

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

16. Hopkinton School Board approve the Superintendent’s nomination of Hopkinton School District Administration as presented, 2010-2011 school year.

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

18.            Adjournment

At 8:17pm a motion to adjourn was made by Ms. Durant, seconded by Mr. Josephson, motion carries, all in favor, not opposed.

Respectfully submitted,

 

Jean Eaton