March 16, 2010


Hopkinton School District School Board   

School Administrative Unit #66

Meeting Minutes

March 16, 2010

 

 

IN ATTENDANCE:

School Board: Chairman: David Luneau, Louis Josephson, Larry Donahue, William Jones

Administration: Superintendent: Steven Chamberlin, Business Administrator: Michelle Clark

ADMINISTRATION OF OATH

At 6:22pm Michelle Clark, Business Administrator, Justice of the Peace, swore in: David Luneau, School Board Member, William Jones, School Board Member, and Elaine Loft, School District Clerk.

CALL TO ORDER AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE:

Superintendent Steven Chamberlin called the meeting to order at 6:30pm, and led the meeting in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS:

Mr. Donahue made a motion to nominate David Luneau as School Board Chairman, seconded by Mr. Josephson.

 

Mr. Donahue stated that Mr. Luneau has done a great job in his last two terms and he appreciates the leadership he has demonstrated.

Mr. Luneau stated that he is happy and willing to be school board chairman again. He owes the ease of the job to the stewardship from the superintendent.

Mr. Donahue moved the question, all in favor, motion carries, not opposed.

 

Mr. Donahue made a motion to nominate Ms. Durant for School Board Vice Chairman, seconded by William Jones.

 

Mr. Luneau stated that although Ms. Durant is not here tonight, she has learned a lot as vice chairman and she would like to continue in the role again this year. Mr. Luneau stated that as a board you need to be thinking of succession; Ms. Durant has been through three rounds of negotiations and we have another HESS contract to be negotiated this year. Mr. Luneau stated that we needed to build up the depth of the board.

Mr. Josephson stated that he appreciates what experience brings to the position.

Mr. Luneau posed the vote, motion carries, all in favor, not opposed.

 

Mr. Donahue made a motion to nominate Louis Josephson as alternate to sign manifests seconded by William Jones, all in favor, motion carries, not opposed.  

SUPERINTENDENT ADDITIONS/DELETIONS TO AGENDA:

None

CORRESPONDENCE:

Mr. Chamberlin passed around two cards of appreciation: a thank you note from Jeanne Gearing and Kim Emerson, copies of the 2010-2011 calendars (elementary school, secondary school and district), as well as copies of the latest edition of the Hawk Eye.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Motion to approve the minutes of March 2, 2010 was made by Mr. Donahue, seconded by Mr. Josephson, all in favor (William Jones abstaining), minutes carry, not opposed.

PUBLIC COMMENT (1):

Merle Dustin, community member, stated that she thought the annual school district meeting went very well – it showed a lot of organization and forethought.

 

COMMENTS FROM THE HOPKINTON SCHOOL BOARD

Mr. Donahue agrees with the sentiments of Merle Dustin on the district meeting and the events leading up to it. He received many compliments from people in general. He stated that the decisive votes received as well as the decisive vote for SB 2 were all reflections of that. He thinks that people recognized the best practices and how we are implementing them. Mr. Donahue stated that there were fewer parents of school age children at the meeting, so these decisive votes were felt strongly across the community; from parents and older members of the community that do not have kids in the school system anymore.

Mr. Donahue thanked Mr. Luneau from running again and thanked Bill for putting his name in and coming on board.

Mr. Donahue mentioned what a great night the Celebration of the Arts was.

Mr. Josephson stated the meeting was great for all the things Mr. Donahue stated. He stated that it always reaffirms his faith in the community and making the right decisions about things. He stated that when you do a good job and present a reasonable proposal, people see it and vote for it; the support was overwhelming. Mr. Josephson stated that it clearly was a victory.

Mr. Jones stated that as a citizen of the town observing, it went smoothly and there was great support – everyone seemed onboard.

Mr. Luneau stated that he is very happy to see Mr. Jones on the board. With the past experience working with him on the advisory board at NHTI, he is going to be a tremendous asset and resource to the district and to the board.

Mr. Luneau stated that when he worked the polls most of Election Day, that it was a lot of fun and a great experience; it is an opportunity that is unique to New Hampshire in a lot of ways and he is honored to have the opportunity to continue on the board.

Mr. Luneau stated that at this time last year they had a lot on the docket. He thinks that this year they may have an opportunity to have a district retreat. Mr. Luneau asked Mr. Chamberlin to organize this within the next two months.

STAFF REPORTS AND PRESENTATIONS:

Hopkinton Public Schools Foundation

Mr. Chamberlin gave an overview of the Hopkinton Public Schools Foundation. He stated that the Hopkinton School Board approved the foundation on July 17, 2007.

The articles of agreement that are filed with the state, requires that the incorporators (the board) and the continuation of the board, work together to form a board of trustees. Once the board of trustees is formed, they take the foundation from there and the board is done. Then there are the bylaws that the board of trustees follows with the membership of the board and the actions of the board. The major task ahead of the school board is to get a subgroup together to talk about recruitment and development of the Board of Trustees of the Hopkinton Public Schools Foundation.

Mr. Chamberlin stated that when he spoke with Tom Barry, school district legal counsel, and he said that we needed to file with the NH Department of Justice/the charitable arm of the NH Department of Justice and the IRS to get the federal status 501(c)(3). Depending on how much money we expect to accumulate in one year we may or may not be required to file (under $5000 we do not have to file, over $5000 we do have to file), but the recommendation is to file.

Mr. Chamberlin spoke to the former Bedford Superintendent Dennis Pope about the foundation and he said it is a significant challenge, but once you get it going with the right people it can sustain itself over time.

Mr. Chamberlin reviewed the Barrington School District’s foundation documentation. Some districts have used the foundation to have an early reading intervention, where every newborn gets a book (Barrington does this). It is not just grant fundraising, but keeping the public schools and what’s important in public schools in parents’ minds. Barrington has already created flyers for their foundation.

The next steps will be to invite the board of trustees and have a meeting of the board of trustees by May 15, followed by a kick-off event, then file with the Department of Justice and the IRS this summer.

Mr. Luneau and Mr. Donahue volunteered to meet with Mr. Chamberlin within the next couple of weeks to come up with some names of candidates for the Hopkinton Public School Foundation Board of Trustees.

Mr. Luneau asked the board if they wanted them (Mr. Luneau and Mr. Donahue) to work with Mr. Chamberlin on candidates for the board of trustees. The board was in agreement of this.

Hopkinton School District Staff Nomination Timeline

Mr. Chamberlin reviewed the following district staff nomination timeline with the school board:

Nominated Staff School Board Meeting Date

  • Teachers/Department Chairs                       April 6, 2010
  • Administration                                             April 20, 2010
  • Support Staff (HESS),                                 May 18, 2010

Non Union/Non Administration

Personnel

  • Custodians                                                            June 1, 2010

He stated that this is the timeline of nominations as we move forward; teacher nominations have to be completed by April 15.

c.   Hopkinton School Board – New Board Member Orientation

Mr. Chamberlin stated that he has reviewed the district policy regarding new board member orientation. He presented Mr. Jones with a notebook which included: HEA Contract, HESS Contract, leadership and email contact information, New Hampshire School Boards Association passwords, and the book How to be a Better Board Member. Mr. Chamberlin will meet with Mr. Jones within the next two weeks to discuss what is going on in the district. Mr. Chamberlin would like Mr. Jones to meet with Ms. Clark, Mr. Stone, and Dr. Aubry, as well as each building administrator and tour the buildings.

Mr. Donahue pointed out one element that was not mentioned, the NH School Boards Association orientation for new school board members. Mr. Chamberlin stated that the flyer is in the notebook, which includes the upcoming orientation dates. Mr. Donahue stated it is worthwhile attending – it does a great job of level setting.

Mr. Donahue talked about policy, stating that we have been so busy with contracts that we have not continued momentum. Mr. Luneau stated that this could be a retreat item.

Mr. Chamberlin stated that there are twenty mandated policies and we will make sure we have them all up to date. He stated that as we go forward, he would focus on the TEP policy and those issues first.

Mr. Luneau stated that in prior years we have looked at various committees (district committees and town committees) to make sure everyone is aware of what is going on and when they meet. Mr. Chamberlin will get the list of committees out in advance.

 

d. Theme-based Meetings and Reports

Mr. Chamberlin stated that the April, May, and June principal’s reports and the first board meeting of the month will be theme-based focusing on: April/instruction, May/curriculum, and June/assessment.

Mr. Chamberlin stated how and when can we squeeze in a board retreat? He stated that there are two areas that come to mind when he thinks of a retreat: look at our mission statement and professional learning communities. Mr. Chamberlin would like to spend time with the board focusing on student learning, how it changes our practice, and adopting the tenets of the principles.

Mr. Luneau stated that when they have the board retreat, they would look at the mission statement, professional learning opportunities, and how student learning changes their practice.

Mr. Donahue stated that maybe the fourth theme could be operations excellence. He thinks that we should hit on these in a periodic fashion, (2nd and 4th quarter of the school calendar) so the themes stay fresh in our minds.

Mr. Luneau thinks this is right. He stated to never lose sight of what the challenges right now are for Hopkinton and so many other communities, which is how to improve education in a financially sustainable way.

Mr. Chamberlin stated that the Leadership Team would focus on these three areas in their reports vs. an update on events.

Mr. Donahue stated the mission statement and goals – this is something that in his tenure on the board has never been effective at using to steer the ship at a board level. He stated that whatever goals are set for the year, anything discussed at a board meeting should be linked to those goals. Mr. Donahue stated that this would be a good way to guide the board’s involvement, so they are involved at the right level.

Mr. Josephson stated that he thinks it is a great idea. He thinks as a board member he is interested in accountability; it comes through with assessment and it came through in the newsletter about the transparency we are talking about – we are going to ensure that the students learn. Mr. Josephson stated this may be a retreat issue, but he is interested in the forum – do we have the right environment including buildings and personnel to do things efficiently and in a quality way?

ITEMS FOR SCHOOL BOARD DISCUSSION

Hopkinton School District Annual Meeting

Mr. Chamberlin stated that there has been a lot of positive feedback from the community and thanked everyone for all of their hard work. Mr. Chamberlin stated that he was happy to see people reading the Annual Newsletter and the Evergreen pamphlet at the meeting. He stated that March 5 next year is the Saturday of Winter Recess, which could push up the annual meeting to March 19. Mr. Chamberlin will contact Neal Cass regarding this.

Mr. Donahue stated for next year we should consider two bigger screens. Mr. Chamberlin stated that they could possibly hang a projector from the ceiling of the gym.

Mr. Donahue asked what was the latest on what happened publishing the Town Reports and when is an appropriate time to make our position known (if we have one) on what is and is not acceptable. Mr. Chamberlin stated that he and Mr. Luneau had discussions with Neal Cass on instruction to the printer, when it went to the printer, and their tardiness. They talked about ensuring the deadline much earlier. Mr. Donahue stated that once it is sent to the printer, it could be published online. Mr. Luneau stated the file is around 100 megabytes. Mr. Jones stated we could publish just the school piece, or break it up into multiple manageable pieces.

Merle Dustin, community member, stated that at the selectmen’s meeting last night they created a committee to look into the Town Report where it can be slimmed, condensed, and more user friendly.

Mr. Luneau stated that there was a suggestion from the floor with regard on how the district uses contingency funds. He suggested having a memo on contingency available to at next year’s meeting.  Mr. Donahue stated that some people get confused between contingency and trust, so we should also have a memo on the trusts as well.

 

Monthly Financials – February

Ms. Clark gave an overview of the February 2010 Financial Report. She stated there is nothing out of the ordinary on the revenue and expense side; the current estimated fund balance is $465,000. Food service is about the same. In looking at new ways to create opportunities for people that are not taking advantage of food service, they are going to sell Sal’s Pizza (not every day).

Mr. Luneau stated that his children are spending more on food service with their cards.

Mr. Luneau asked where we were with the contingency fund. Ms. Clark stated that she did not have the exact amount, but it was around $30,000 they used approximately $20,000 for retirement.

 

MS 22 Form

Mr. Chamberlin stated that copies were in the board packet. The originals need to be signed at the end of tonight’s meeting. Ms. Clark explained the difference between MS 22 and MS 27.

Mr. Luneau asked Mr. Chamberlin to review the difference in capital reserves and expendable trusts. Mr. Chamberlin stated the capital reserve 5251 is going into vehicle and the expendable trust – $50,000 is going into the maintenance trust and $25,000 is going into the health care trust.

 

Schedule B Nomination: Middle School Track Assistant Co-coaches (Action     Item)

Mr. Chamberlin stated that we have two nominations. Information was included in the board packet, both candidates are known in the community.  

Hopkinton High School Graduation

Mr. Chamberlin stated that last year it was discussed that the board would wear gowns and hoods at graduation.

Mr. Luneau likes the idea, stating it is a formal celebration for everyone: students and families.

Mr. Donahue does not like the idea, stating he does not hear a compelling reason to change at this point.

Mr. Luneau stated that they would take this offline and discuss it.

PUBLIC COMMENT (2)

Merle Dustin, community member, asked how many snow days we have used this year.  Mr. Chamberlin stated that we have had two and the last day of school is June 23.

11. Materials Included

Hopkinton Public School Foundation Information

MS 22 Form

Monthly Financial Report

Nomination Packets (2)

Hopkinton School District Staff Nomination Timeline

School Board Meeting Minutes – March 2, 2010 (Draft)

Important Dates

Early Release Day for Professional Development – March 25

Early Release Day for Professional Development – March 26

School District all staff meeting – March 30

Hopkinton School Board Meeting 6:30pm Maple Street School – April 6

Teacher Appreciation Week – May 3 – 7

ACTION ITEMS

13. The Hopkinton School Board approve the superintendent’s recommendation to accept Jenifer Dexter’s resignation, Technology Integrator, Maple Street School, effective March 12, 2010.

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

14. The Hopkinton School Board approve the superintendent’s nomination of Kim Sink, Instructional Assistant, Maple Street School, effective March 17, 2010.

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

15.  The Hopkinton School Board approve the superintendent’s nomination of Shawn

O’Dougherty .5 middle school track assistant co-coach, spring 2010.

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

16.  The Hopkinton School Board approve the superintendent’s nomination of Steven Claggett .5 middle school track assistant co-coach, spring 2010.

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

17.  The Hopkinton School approve the superintendent’s recommendation to accept Carole Reddish’s resignation, Instructional Assistant, Maple Street School, Effective June 30, 2010.

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

NONPUBLIC SESSION

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

Personnel

At 7:40pm, Mr. Donahue made a motion, seconded by Mr. Josephson, that the Board enter into nonpublic session in accordance with RSA 91-A: 3, II (a) and (c) for discussion of personnel. Motion passed on a roll call vote: Ms. Durant (yes), Mr. Donahue (yes), Mr. Jones (yes), Mr. Luneau (yes), Mr. Josephson (yes), all in favor, not opposed.

RETURN TO PUBLIC SESSION

19.            Adjournment

Maple Street School, Hopkinton, NH

Nonpublic Minutes

March 16, 2010

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

Personnel

During the nonpublic session the Board discussed personnel and negotiations.

Mr. Donahue motioned to come out of nonpublic session, seconded by Mr. Josephson.  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 8:00pm.