April 6, 2010

Hopkinton School District School Board   

School Administrative Unit #66

Meeting Minutes

April 6, 2010




School Board: Chairman: David Luneau, Vice Chairman: Elizabeth Durant, Board Members: Louis Josephson, Larry Donahue, William Jones

Administration: Superintendent: Steven Chamberlin, Business Administrator: Michelle Clark, Director of Student Services: Dr. Valerie Aubry, Director of Technology: Matthew Stone, Principals: Christopher Sousa, Hopkinton Middle High School, William Carozza, Harold Martin School, and Michael Bessette, Maple Street School, Assistant Principal, Christopher Kelley, Hopkinton Middle High School.


Mr. Luneau called the meeting to order at 6:30pm, and Janet Krzyzaniak, community member, led the meeting in the Pledge of Allegiance.






Motion to approve the minutes of March 16, 2010 was made by Mr. Donahue, seconded by Mr. Jones, all in favor, minutes carry, not opposed.


Merle Dustin, community member, commended the FIRST Robotics Team for their success.



Mr. Donahue stated he appreciated getting the administrator’s reports focused on instruction and the sense of tutorial that came along with it. He particularly appreciated and highlighted Michael Bessette’s report, which talked about the focus areas of moving forward and what is being done. He encouraged everyone to consider looking at things this way.  He would like to see it taken to the next level and have some indicators on the focus areas – what are the goals and how do we track to those goals, so we can get a sense of progress.

This weekend he attended the memorial service for Jim Cleary. What he wanted to highlight was that he saw at least four staff members at the service, from his perspective, to support a current or former student. He said it speaks volumes to the commitment of our staff that were there to support a student – it was great to see.

Mr. Luneau echoed Merle Dustin’s comment on the FIRST Robotics Team and their extraordinary win in Boston. He went down on Friday with three seventh graders to watch the competition. The team was struggling with some technical problems, but they came back on Saturday and won the tournament – it was incredible. Mr. Luneau gave Kudos to everyone involved with the program – it is part of the direction of getting kids interested and understanding science and technology programs.

Mr. Luneau reported on Safe Routes to School. He stated that school districts apply for federal grants administered through the state department of transportation – to date they have received approximately $573,000 in grant dollars. Probably the most noticeable thing so far is the walkway into Harold Martin School. There are other projects that will be starting: a sidewalk from the Fountain Square area – via Cedar St. to Maple Street School. The engineering work is still in its early stages. The community will soon see some of the money being spent starting this summer.


  1. a. Insight Into Instruction at the Hopkinton School District
    1. i. Principal Reports  

William Carozza, Principal, Harold Martin School

Mr. Carozza had nothing to add to his report, but stated he would be happy to answer any questions.

Mr. Donahue stated under assessment Mr. Carozza talks about our local curricula aligned with state standards – this is something that he thought would be defining the curriculum. Mr. Carozza stated that local school districts have a decision whether or not they want to align (there have been times where our district did not align with state standards, if they felt it was not appropriate). He said it is part of the process where you look at the state standards and by and large you do accept them as part of what you do. State tests are based on those standards, so if you don’t follow the standards you may not do as well on the testing.

Michael Bessette, Principal, Maple Street School

Mr. Bessette stated he hoped the board members saw his email sharing some good news.  Maple Street School was honored as a “top school” for the State of New Hampshire in the 2009 Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth talent search. Mr. Bessette stated that Johns Hopkins looked at the top 100 schools by state to determine the number of student enrollments received into their annual talent search.  They noted that the level of participation suggests that we have a solid core of very high achieving students.

Mr. Jones asked what is Jason?  Mr. Bessette stated it is the brainchild of

Dr. Robert Ballard the finder of the Titanic (The Jason Project).  Over the years he created an enrichment program, which is now all technology based. It is research projects (e.g., geological research in a volcano, penguin research, weather research, roller coaster design, etc.) intended to motivate and inspire students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – it is all interactive web based.  Mr. Bessette gave kudos to Pat Heinz and Jen Dexter for taking the initiative and starting the ball rolling.

Mr. Jones asked what is X2?  Mr. Bessette gave an overview of our (district) school information system/accountability software (e.g. scheduling, attendance, grades, state data, etc.) Mr. Stone stated that X2 is a hosted web platform.

Mr. Josephson asked what place and how do you access how much silent sustained reading you do as part of instruction?  Mr. Bessette explained that as a writing/literacy committee, they committed to 45 minutes of silent sustained reading (2 blocks per week).

Mr. Josephson also asked how much teachers are called out of the classroom for different meetings?  Mr. Bessette stated that depending on the time of the year, it differs greatly. He stated that they utilize the permanent substitute and try to balance using Instructional Assistants (some are certified teachers). They also try to set schedules when students are not in instructional time.

Christopher Sousa, Principal, Hopkinton Middle High School

Mr. Sousa highlighted on the success of the Robotics Team and what a wonderful experience the French Exchange has been for everyone. This week, the administrators went out to lunch with the French Exchange hosts and enjoyed it very much. Mr. Sousa stated the students and staff have been enriched by the experience.

Mr. Jones asked about Wormeli Wednesdays. Mr. Kelley explained that Mr. Chamberlin purchased a site license over the summer for the middle and high schools. It’s an online classroom for educators from all three schools to access (every other Wednesday, at the middle high school). Rick Wormeli is a nationally known speaker with an extensive background in differentiated instruction, assessment, and grading. Mr. Chamberlin stated that he finds Rick Wormeli very inspirational.

Mr. Donahue asked, echoing back to a question Mr. Josephson had earlier, are Wormeli Wednesdays during the school day? Mr. Kelley stated no, they are held after school.

  1. ii. Technology Director Report

Matthew Stone, Technology Director

Mr. Stone pointed out when talking about technology that it is easy to get focused in on the tools. The technology staff does some direct instruction and a lot of instructional support for both tools and training offered. He is looking forward to being fully staffed – they are working on hiring a technology integrator to replace Jen Dexter at Maple Street School.

Mr. Bessette stated that due to Jen Dexter’s efforts, they received a $12,000 grant from the Jason Project for teaching professional development.  Jen wrote the grant before she left the district.
Mr. Luneau asked Mr. Stone what he had in mind regarding the new and improved support for research/movie editing in his report. Mr. Stone stated the level of computer resources in our library media center is below par, so one of the foci for allocating technology for this coming year is to bring this up to par.

  1. iii. Superintendent Report

Steven Chamberlin, Superintendent of Schools

Mr. Donahue asked to what end are we going after areas of focus and what are we looking to get out of them?  Mr. Chamberlin stated the focus is increasing student learning, whether it is measured through common assessment, NECAP, SAT, MAP – through any of these indicators; if we increase our use of technology, it will increase student learning, if we share instructional practices, it will increase student learning.

Mr. Donahue asked how would we know what was the right thing to do: technology, teachers’ observing each other, the NECAP indicator, or what was the wrong thing to do? It seems like a disconnected indicator feeds back to the student. How do we get a sense of what the benefit is from one to another and where do we benefit best?

Mr. Chamberlin stated what strategy, what metric, what tool – they look at a lot of things that demonstrate success. Typically they do not isolate, they usually look at many things that increase student learning: observing instructional practice, the use of technology to increase student learning.

Mr. Donahue stated, in essence, we know there are good practices, but what is the comparative benefit from one to the other and where do we benefit best? Mr. Donahue stated that this is something to think about and it would help us.
Mr. Luneau stated maybe Mr. Donahue is also suggesting that there are more subtle indicators that, by themselves, would not be collected and evaluated, but can naturally happen during every day learning (an intermediate indicator – not a goal).

Mr. Chamberlin stated the board has been completely clear about the desire to know the goal and meet the goal; this is a process we are learning more about.

  1. b. Teacher Evaluation Plan (TEP)

Mr. Chamberlin gave an overview of the key points of the Teacher Evaluation Plan (TEP) report that was included in the school board packet.

Mr. Chamberlin handed out the Hopkinton School District Standards for Teacher Performance, which articulates the process of new staff all the way through nomination, as nominating staff is an action item at tonight’s meeting. Mr. Chamberlin highlighted on the following:

The TEP process underwent significant revision from 2002-2004, in collaboration with Best School Leadership Team (BSLT) program supported by the New Hampshire Department of Education. He stated one of the significant change in the Teacher Evaluation Plan is professional development is linked to the TEP process, as well as allowing for unannounced classroom visitations (walk-throughs).

Mr. Chamberlin stated the Hopkinton School District Standards for Teacher Performance is used during the interview process, as well as to orient new teachers to important documents, processes, culture, climate, and expectations of teachers and administrators.

All new teachers to the District participate in the Prescriptive Evaluation Plan.

The plan requires:

  • Meeting with guidance counselors
  • Meeting with mentors
  • Meeting with the special education coordinator
  • At least five unannounced walk-throughs
  • At least three clinical model, full cycle formal evaluations
  • To attend one concert, one athletic contest, and one dramatic performance
  • Building specific activities (Bang, Bang You’re Dead at the middle and high school)

Mr. Luneau asked if this was the TEP that has been in place since 2004/2005. Mr. Chamberlin stated it has been in place for about seven years and it was significantly changed four years ago.

Mr. Donahue asked what is the time constant of this system? Meaning, how quickly can it respond when we have an acute issue with a teacher?
Mr. Chamberlin stated you would not move to a plan based on an anecdote; however, yes they have had a situation. The administrators’ must make a strong commitment to get into the classrooms; stressing visibility is credibility.

Mr. Josephson asked when you have someone that has been here for a while, how do you hold yourself accountable to see where someone needs to grow?  Do you have something in the TEP?

Mr. Chamberlin stated the culture has to be part of the continual improvement process – teachers have to embrace it.  He believes in visibility – you build trust and communication by being there, reiterating – we have to be in the classroom.

Ms. Durant stated that she struggles with the TEP process when you read the six-page rubric – it is a lot of checking the box.  The one thing touched on is how much a teacher is with their students on a daily basis building relationships? How they greet their students when they walk in – how do you measure and evaluate this?  In all this, where does the passion of teaching come in? How do we keep them passionate about what they are teaching?  Do we reach out from other resources – such as students and parents?

Mr. Chamberlin stated that every year for the last few years, teachers at the high school have developed a system to obtain student feedback on their teaching. Some teachers have showed him the feedback. The one thing that was consistent is how teachers treat students: with respect and care.

  1. c. PLTW – Society of Manufacturing Engineers Education Foundation Matching Grant (Action Item)

Mr. Chamberlin gave an overview of the grant. He stated Hopkinton was a founding school for PLTW.  This is a $2,500 matching grant to update equipment in the CIM course.  We have to accept by April 15, 2010.  


  1. a. Cultural Visitation: Spanish Trip (Action item)

Mr. Chamberlin gave an overview of the trip to Spain: February 22, 2011 – March 2, 2011. (Senora Hassett is the trip organizer). He stated for past trips, they have raised significant funds to defray costs. This is an approval to start planning the trip for next year.

  1. b. FIRST Robotics: Atlanta Trip (Action item)

Mr. Chamberlin gave an overview of the FIRST Robotics trip to the Atlanta, Georgia, to compete in the FIRST World Championships: April 14 (lead crew leaves), April 15 (balance of team)– April 18, 2011.

Mr. Donahue asked if there were at least two chaperones going with each group where there are two departure dates. Mr. Chamberlin stated yes, the mentors from the school.

  1. c. Schedule b: Final Spring Nominations (Action Item)

Mr. Chamberlin stated one nomination is for an assistant track coach, Wanda Denoncour, and an assistant boys lacrosse coach, Matthew Restivo (resumes were included in the board packet).

  1. d. School Board Retreat  

Mr. Chamberlin spent some time with Mr. Luneau and Ms. Durant on the board retreat: possibly May 18. He stated they are trying to look at a couple of things: the mission and a vision and value statement. What does this group see as our standards to achieve and maintain?
Stage 1 – vision and values (stage 1 for the retreat)

Stage 2 – collective commitments from the board and administration

Stage 3 – Measureable goals

This would be our framework – three to four hours with a facilitator.

Mr. Donahue asked the superintendent to work with someone from the leadership team on putting up a straw man for what the vision and value statements ought to be.

Mr. Luneau asked how this timeline worked. Mr. Chamberlin stated May 18 starting around 3:00pm and sliding into the school board meeting. Mr. Luneau asked Mr. Chamberlin to keep the board meeting that evening to business items.

  1. e. Hopkinton Public Schools Foundation

Mr. Chamberlin gave an overview of the Hopkinton Public Schools Foundation bylaws (and passed out copies of the bylaws). Mr. Chamberlin spoke to the Department of Justice representative for public school trusts and foundations. He stated those who signed the articles of incorporation in 2007 (Mr. Donahue, Mr. Luneau, Mr. Rowe, Mrs. Fuller, and Ms. Bloomfield) three must vote to seat the board of trustees. The former board members are: Marshall Rowe, Kim Fuller, and Joy Bloomfield.

  1. f. 2010-2011 Kindergarten Sections

Mr. Chamberlin stated that they are currently at 54 – it would be 3 sections of 18.  Four sections would be 14 (15/16 is ideal) – Mr. Chamberlin stated his recommendation is 4 sections of 14.

Bill Jones asked what was the typical growth over the summer? Mr. Carozza stated this year we had six.

Mr. Donahue asked if we were ever in the 18, 19 range?  Mr. Carozza stated he thinks in the 1970s.  Mr. Donahue asked if the concern about the class size is an academic concern?  Bill Carozza – it depends on the flavor of the class.

Mr. Carozza stated that 1997-1998 was the last time we went above 16. Mr. Donahue stated that in recent history we have not crossed over when we had classes too big. When this does come up as an action item Mr. Donahue would like to have this addressed – maybe we can go bigger? He said we owe it to the taxpayers to ask these questions.



Merle Dustin, community member, stated that Justin La Vigne got the seniors a Wii. Merle has played bowling – she stated it has been marvelous.


Overnight Trip Form (2)

Principal Reports (3)

Technology Report

Superintendent Report

Department Chair Nomination Slate

Teacher Evaluation Plan Memorandum

2010-2011 Hopkinton School District Nomination Slate

Nomination Packets (5)

March 25 – 26: Early Release Day Descriptions

All District Staff Meeting Program


  • April 16 & 17 – High School Drama Production
  • April 20 – Hopkinton School Board Meeting: Administrator Nominations
  • 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


12.  Hopkinton School Board approve the Superintendent’s recommendation to support the Hopkinton High School FIRST Robotics Team Trip to Atlanta, Georgia, April 15 – April 18, 2010 (Lead Crew leaves April 14).

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

13. Hopkinton School Board approve the Superintendent’s recommendation for the preliminary approval of the Hopkinton High School Spanish Students Cultural Exchange Trip to Spain, February 22, 2011- March 2, 2011.

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

14.  Hopkinton School Board approve the Superintendent’s nomination of Wanda Denoncour, Varsity Track Assistant Coach, Spring 2010.

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

15.  Hopkinton School Board approve the Superintendent’s nomination of Matthew Restivo, Varsity Boys Lacrosse Assistant Coach, Spring 2010.

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

16. Hopkinton School Board accept Katherine Graham’s resignation as afternoon bus monitor, Maple Street School, effective Winter 2010.

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

17. Hopkinton School Board accept the superintendent’s nomination of Catherine Fleming, long-term substitute Instructional Assistant, Harold Martin School.

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

18.  Hopkinton School Board approve the superintendent’s nomination of Stacey Price, Clerical Assistant, Maple Street School, effective April 7, 2010.

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

19.  Hopkinton School Board approve the superintendent’s nomination of Karen Locke, Technology Integrator, Maple Street School, effective April 12, 2010.

A motion was made Mr. Donahue seconded by Mr. Jones, motion carries, all in favor, not opposed.

20.  Hopkinton School Board accept Custodian Supervisor Doris Cayer’s notice of resignation, effective June 25, 2010, with regret.

A motion was made Mr. Donahue seconded by Mr. Jones, motion carries, all in favor, not opposed.

21.  Hopkinton School Board approve the Superintendent’s recommendation to accept the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Education Foundation Matching Grant in the amount of $2,500.

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

22.  Hopkinton School Board accept Maple Street School Physical Education/Health Teacher Geraldine Kitrick’s notice of resignation, effective June 30, 2010.

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

At 8:00pm Mr. Donahue 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 23 and 24. Motion passed on a roll call vote: Mr. Luneau (yes), Mr. Donahue (yes), Ms. Durant (yes), Mr. Josephson (yes), Mr. Jones (yes).


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




23.  Hopkinton School Board approve the Superintendent’s nomination of the 2010-2011 Department Chairs, as presented.

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

24.  Hopkinton School Board approve the Superintendent nomination of the 2010-2011 Hopkinton School District Teachers, as presented.

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

26.            Adjournment

At 8:55pm a motion to adjourn was made by Mr. Josephson, seconded by Mr. Donahue, motion carries, all in favor, not opposed.

Respectfully submitted,

Jean Eaton

Maple Street School, Hopkinton, NH

Nonpublic Minutes

April 6, 2010

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


During the nonpublic session the Board discussed personnel.

Mr. Josephson motioned to come out of nonpublic session, seconded by Mr. Donahue.  Motion passed on a roll call vote: Ms. Durant (yes), Mr. Luneau (yes), Mr. Josephson (yes), Mr. Donahue (yes), Mr. Jones (yes) all in favor, not opposed. The board came out of nonpublic session at 8:52pm.