October 24, 2011 Joint Meeting
Dunbarton School Board
Hopkinton School School Board
Joint Public Meeting
October 24, 2011
Hopkinton School Board: Chairman: David Luneau, Vice Chairman: Elizabeth Durant, Board Members: William Jones, Larry Donahue, Student Representatives: Susanna Keilig and Elizabeth Wallingford
Administration: Superintendent: Steven Chamberlin, Business Administrator: Michelle Clark, Hopkinton Middle and High Schools Principal: Christopher Kelley, Assistant Principal: Rebecca Gagnon
Dunbarton School Board: Chairman Rene Ouellet, Vice Chairman Carl Metzger, Board Members: Jeff Trexler, Deb Trottier, Deb Foster (arrived at 5:45pm)
CALL TO ORDER AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Mr. Luneau called the meeting to order at 5:30pm; Susanna Keilig and Elizabeth Wallingford led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mr. Luneau welcomed everyone to the meeting and invited members from both school boards for introductions.
SUPERINTENDENT ADDITIONS/DELETIONS TO AGENDA
PUBLIC COMMENT (1)
COMMENTS FROM THE HOPKINTON SCHOOL BOARD AND DUNBARTON SCHOOL BOARD
Mr. Donahue stated he is interested in having the discussion with the Dunbarton School Board. This is the first time they have met to talk ? there has been some discussion between the school board chairs.
Ms. Durant welcomed the Dunbarton School Board and thanked the community members for coming to the meeting tonight.
Mr. Luneau thanked the members of the Hopkinton and Dunbarton communities for coming tonight and Elizabeth Wallingford and Susanna Keilig for giving a great tour of the middle high school. He welcomed the Dunbarton School Board and thanked Mr. Ouellet for reaching out to talk, as they make decisions for their future.
Mr. Ouellet stated that they are very appreciative to have this chance to talk. They are here to explore to see if Hopkinton is a good match for Dunbarton. They have been in an area agreement since 1971 with Goffstown. Their area agreement expires in 2014.
Mr. Ouellet stated that they visited with Bow last week, toured the school and were given information. They are also working with Goffstown and New Boston where they are currently under contract. In March of 2012, they will vote to stay with Goffstown and New Boston or join another district. At their school board meeting next month they want to narrow their search down to one town and Goffstown.
Mr. Metzger thanked the student representatives for the tour of the school.
Mr. Trexler thanked the board and stated he is glad to be talking to a good quality neighbor.
Ms. Trottier stated that Susanna Keilig and Elizabeth Wallingford did a great job with the middle high school tour.
ITEMS FOR BOARD DISCUSSION
a. Purpose of Meeting
Covered by Mr. Luneau and Mr. Ouellet during Comments from the Hopkinton School Board and Dunbarton School Board.
b. Areas of Inquiry
Mr. Chamberlin welcomed the Dunbarton School Board. He gave an overview and answered question on the following PowerPoint presentation.
How does this concept support both communities?
Economy of Scale
- Learning is it…
Ensure student learning
Ensure the utilization of best practices in all aspects of operations
Ensure High School Plus for all students
Raise the bar/close the gap
High School Plus is defined as the ability to achieve acceptance into a post-secondary academic institution or obtain a certification in a specialized area upon graduation.
Tuition Calculation (handout)
- 2.5% rental fee $514,000
Adjustments for additional staff/program
Bonded Debt Schedule
- Current 4th, 5th, 6th grades have capacity
Consideration of joining SAU 66
- SAU costs
Middle School Program
High School Program
- Graduation Requirements
- AP Courses
Program for at-risk, under performing students
- Relevance, Relationships, Personalization
- Academic Support
- Middle School: Core/4, UA/5, Plus Time, band, chorus
- High School: 17-18 students in core classes, less in unified arts classes
Teacher Salary Grid
- Include to the fullest extent possible
- Very few students placed out of district
- Language Based Learning Disability Program
- Activities of Daily Living Program
Vocational Education Program
- Career Program: career course, job shadow, internship
- Concord Regional Technical Center
Positive Student Behavior
Safety and Security
- School Resource Officer
Mr. Kelley spoke about “A Day in the Life” of middle school students and how it ties into Hopkinton School District goals. He stated that the staff works hard to know all the students.
Middle School Highlights:
Guided Study Hall
Middle School Sports
Middle School Math Team
Student Support Center
Mr. Chamberlin spoke about the daily high school schedule.
High School Highlights:
Advanced Placement Classes
School to Career: Internships
Experiential Education: internship, community service project
Vocational Programs (CRTC)
Mr. Ouellet asked how middle school chaos is handled?
Mr. Kelley stated that they work hard to know all students – “Know Thy Student.” He is in the classroom, attends plays, concerts, sporting events, dances – building relationships. Teachers are in the hallways, visibility of our staff, having our guidance counselor’s part of our discussions – the culture is getting to know our students.
Mr. Ouellet asked how the district deals with challenging learners and what resources are used out of district?
Mr. Chamberlin stated that very few students are placed out of district (the District has used the Contoocook School). He stated that there is a tremendous behavior and guidance program and willingness to make it work here – the best model is to stay in our school community.
Mr. Kelley stated that the student support team meets weekly – students are brought up at the meeting and supports are put into place.
Ms. Foster asked if the vocational program is an extra tuition cost or is it built in?
Mr. Chamberlin stated that it is built into the cost.
Ms. Gagnon spoke about middle school culture. She stated they emulate the theory of being proactive – maintaining positive behavior and recognizing student achievement.
Ms. Foster stated that Dunbarton students attend Sargent Camp, how do we envision getting to know the students?
Mr. Chamberlin stated the following steps are taken to get to know students:
- Salute to Seventh Graders
- Step up Day
- Step up Dance
- Environmental Camp – Mount Cardigan
Mr. Chamberlin reviewed the following material included in the Dunbarton information packets:
- Post high school plan report 2009, 2010, 2011
- School District Staff Newsletter (Hawk Eye)
- Hopkinton High School Profile
- Hopkinton Community Newsletter (2)
- Hopkinton School District websites/wikis
- NECAP Report (2)
- Hopkinton Middle and High School Extracurricular Activity List
- Statement of Bonded Debt
- Middle and High School Teacher Salary Schedule Placement
- Tuition Calculation document
- HHS Advanced Placement Results: Spring 2011
Ms. Foster asked how supported is the school budget and have we had default budgets?
Mr. Luneau stated that the last few years have been challenging for the town, but each year the school board’s budget has been approved. Personally, he feels the community supports high quality education.
Mr. Trexler provided the following information about Dunbarton:
- Not SB2
- Town is tremendously supportive of the school board and school board budget.
- Capital improvements: 7 since 1998 – all passed / bond article passed
- A two-district agreement would receive 40% building aid – Hopkinton would receive another $40,000
- Bring 30% more students
- Bring costs down
- Ability to offer an enhanced Program of Studies with a larger student body
- Greater number of opportunities/provide more offerings
Ms. Foster stated that of the top ten from the senior class, at least half are from Dunbarton.
Mr. Luneau stated that Dunbarton is identified as a community with a potential to grow quickly – what do you see your growth down the road?
Mr. Trexler stated that Dunbarton’s growth has been steady; they are half the size of Hopkinton. There is a lot of land for future growth; people would find Dunbarton appealing if partnered with Hopkinton.
Mr. Donahue asked if there were any provisions in the Goffstown area agreement if growth skyrocketed?
Mr. Ouellet answered there was not.
Mr. Trexler stated that Dunbarton wants a long-term commitment, a permanent commitment.
Mr. Donahue asked the Dunbarton board members what it was that motivates them to look around at this point?
Mr. Trexler stated they are looking for better value and quality in the surrounding communities.
Mr. Ouellet stated that it is an opportunity to make an informed decision.
- c. Next Steps/March 2012
Mr. Ouellet stated that Dunbarton votes to renew the area agreement, then votes for a study to renew or votes down the area agreement and to form a study committee with another town.
PUBLIC COMMENT (2)
Matthew Taylor: Handed out a memo to the Hopkinton School board, some of his concerns were:
Mr. Taylor expressed concern about comments attributed to Mr. Luneau stated in the Dunbarton School Board draft meeting minutes, dated October 5, 2011, regarding Mr. Luneau’s meeting with Mr. Ouellet, Dunbarton School Board Chair.
20% increase in student population
The District is currently at 90% capacity, with the middle school at nearly 100%.
Loss of local control – we will become dependent on their tuition dollars.
Loss of opportunities for Hopkinton students
Resources will be spread even thinner for both academics and sports.
Traffic will become even more of a problem.
Lance Whitehead: Reiterated Mr. Taylor’s comments. He would want to see detailed outlines of what the expanded opportunities would be.
Jessica Sheiman: What is Dunbarton’s motivation – what is not working in Goffstown – is there something specific?
Mr. Ouellet stated they would make a better decision if they explore and get as much information as possible.
Jessica Sheiman: If this gets to a study committee, it would be important to know what the opportunities are and how Dunbarton students place on national statewide standardized tests, and how that benefits Hopkinton and how it does or does not push us forward.
Lisa Metzger: Asked how involved would the Hopkinton community be in this decision?
Mr. Luneau stated that first the community would vote to form a study committee; second the community would vote for the area agreement.
Mr. Chamberlin stated that there would be “listening posts” and the school board meetings.
Charlene Betz: Asked regarding the current area agreement – are you autonomous?
Mr. Ouellet stated that over the last few years they have had good relationships at the Goffstown Board Meetings.
Tom Manseau: Asked for a copy of the packet given to the Dunbarton School Board members.
Bill Tworek: Stated he appreciates tonight’s discussion; Dunbarton is a high quality town and it makes sense to do the study.
Mr. Luneau thanked everyone for their thoughts and comments.
At 7:44pm Mr. Donahue made a motion, seconded by Mr. Jones to adjourn the meeting, motion passed, all in favor, not opposed.