top of page
Search
  • Writer's pictureJennifer Flewelling

Minutes of December 21, 2023

MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS’ MEETING OF December 21, 2023 

Current Board Members- 

        North Berwick-  Lauren Janousek, Kate Whalen, Joshua Tabor

                           Berwick- Travis Doiron, Elva Lovejoy, Peg Wheeler

                           Lebanon- Victoria Travers, Jeridene Basko, Nancy Neubert          


A meeting of the Board of Directors was held in person in Berwick, Maine on December 21, 2023 at 7:15 p.m. with all members attending. There were 25 in the audience.


Ms. Nancy Neubert, the vice chair read the public input statement.


Public Input: 

Ms. Holly Dupuis shared her support for the School Resource Officer within the Lebanon Schools.  She shared her concern about the statements made regarding citizens coming to the help of the schools with weapons.   She asked that we consider metal detectors in the schools to increase the ability to keep schools safe and show that the school board cares.  


Mr. Mark Rouillard of North Berwick shared his concerns regarding the “expulsion” of his nephew due to a lack of immunizations.  He feels that this is not an issue for the schools to deal with but for parents to deal with. He then noted that the world has changed greatly and that when he was younger there were no shootings, but that kids brought their rifles to school because they hunted before school. He feels that things HAVE changed.  He stated that the reason that the world has changed is because of the education system and what is being taught. 


Ms. Desiree Labbe, a teacher at the Hanson School in Lebanon, shared a letter that she wrote addressing her support of the SRO in the Lebanon schools as well as her concerns regarding the discussions from specific board members regarding the SRO. Public Input DL  


Ms. Amanda  Turner, North Berwick, She stated that she is disgusted with MSAD 60 district due to what’s happening in the schools. She shared that her children state they can’t use the bathrooms in the high school etc. due to vaping etc and she is considering pulling her students out of school.


Mr. Mark Cahoon, of North Berwick, shared his belief that mental health is one of the biggest concerns and that we need to provide mental health counselors in the schools so that we can provide the services to decrease issues for our children. He also supported the SRO in Lebanon. He felt that funds in Augusta may be available to support the SRO piece.  


Minutes:  


Ms. Janousek made the motion and it was seconded by Mr. Doiron  to accept the minutes of the December 7, 2023 as amended.  All members voted in favor except Ms. Whalen who abstained and the motion passed. 


District Feedback before Legislative Session: 

Representative Tiffany Roberts, shared that she is asking for input from the area before they head into their legislative session.  She shared that she has been to other area school boards and has received questions regarding staffing, minimum salaries, vaping concerns, bus driver shortages, guidance counselor needs, safety grants etc. She noted that we had worked together in the past and have been able to put into legislation consequences for chronic absenteeism.  The Superintendent shared that we are looking for more information about safety grants, implementation of Pre-K programming and funding, space concerns and staff implementation concerns for Pre K.  


Mr. Tabor shared that he’s concerned about parents and schools and parent partnerships. He’s worried about empowering schools without the empowerment of parents as well. He feels that Covid is a good example of how state and federal mandates and determinations impacted school and parent partnerships.  Schools and parents need to work together. He also pointed out concerns around behavior and that this is a parent issue.  Ms. Roberts asked a clarifying question so that she understands what he is asking for in terms of actionable items as she heads into the legislative session. Ms. Roberts asked that she be able to meet with Mr. Tabor and Senator Rafferty to meet with him or connect with them virtually to discuss further his concerns and allow her to better delineate concerns to be brought forward around his concern around parent and school partnerships. Mr. Tabor responded that he would definitely like to meet and talk about actionable items and open up a public dialogue.


Mr. Tabor also shared that he is really concerned about technology use in our student’s lives. Particularly for ages under 13. He quoted information around anxiety and depression and how technology impacts the higher numbers seen in our society. Ms. Roberts also noted the double edged sword in regards to technology and how it impacts our society in general. 


Ms. Travers of Lebanon noted the US News and World report regarding the ranking of high schools in the state of Maine.  Noble was ranked  as 47th of 111 schools. That puts us at around average. Ms. Travers noted that it’s not what we should be shooting for “average,” but that we should be going for higher scores academically. She noted that she had read an article that stated that Maine Education Commissioner Makin believes that social emotional needs should be placed above academics at this point. (This article was date stamped March 2023)  Ms. Travers shared that she feels that the education in Maine needs to be put back toward academics rather than the social emotional well being. Ms. Roberts noted she would look into the statements that are being referenced. She also asked that our board members go into classrooms and watch what is happening in real time in order to best make decisions for the students in MSAD 60. 


Mr. Doiron of Berwick, asked Ms. Roberts to potentially encourage the surplus of funds that has been declared in the Governor’s budget to perhaps be given back to the citizens of the state, particularly to the schools. 


Ms. Basko of Lebanon  asked specifics regarding the Sweetser social workers that are provided space in our schools. She asked if we provided any funds for that. We provide space only and the organization bills insurance for services provided. Any social work services are provided only with parent permission and consent forms signed. 


Representative Tom Lavigne of Berwick, gave an overview of the process in Augusta. It’s very unique what we have in Augusta.  He noted that this second part of the legislative session is for emergency bills only, so they will deal with very few “new” items. Representative Jeff Adams shared his role in the legislature and asked that people reach out to all three of them with questions and concerns. 


Financial Summary:

Denise Van Campen, Business Manager, shared with the board the updated Financial Summary for the end of November 2023. We are running on track at this time. 


Employment: 

LOA:

Ms. Lauren Jones, an Occupational Therapist at Noble Middle and  Knowlton Schools, is requesting to take a leave of absence after her maternity leave. Ms.Wheeler made the motion and it was seconded by Mr. Doiron to approve the leave of absence for Ms. Jones. All members voted in favor and the motion passed. 


Resignation:

Glenn Hoag, Special Education Teacher, Mary Hurd Academy. Ms. Wheeler made the motion and it was seconded by Ms. Travers to approve the resignation for Mr. Hoag. All members voted in favor and the motion passed. 


Superintendent Update:

The Superintendent also acknowledged the high school administration, staff and students for their ongoing diligence and following protocols in a difficult situation.


The Superintendent shared with the audience that we will be looking at the metal detector component in the budgets and where they would be placed. Ms. Travers asked about if we would be looking just at the high school and the superintendent noted that when we look at safety we look at the entire district and will share information with the board for decision making. 


The Superintendent noted that in our tours of the buildings, there were some classrooms that did not have flags displayed and that situation has been rectified. 


The Superintendent updated the board on the open Excel position at the Knowlton School.  We have filled the opening with a long term substitute who is highly qualified and able to fill in for the rest of the year and he will be starting right after break. The position will be readvertised in the spring. 


Other:

Mr. Doiron asked to follow up with the flag etiquette at each of the schools.  We will follow up with all of the staff who manage the flags and be sure they are up to date on daily requirements regarding flags at half mast etc. 


A board member asked about the student representative. The superintendent noted that we are still working with the high school administration to find representatives of the student population. 


Mr. Tabor had shared a request with Ms. Lovejoy regarding NWEAs, etc. Ms. Lovejoy noted that she shared that request with the Superintendent and they will follow up with it. 


Ms. Travers asked about a follow up with activities and events that occurred in the past couple of weeks: Math Meet, holiday concerts and a movie night with the PTO.   


Ms. Basko shared her response to public input and the concerns about comments regarding the fact that our citizens in Lebanon would provide safety support to the schools should something occur. She felt that Sheriff King had highlighted weaknesses in the schools in Lebanon regarding isolation and response time and that she felt that was inappropriate and shined a beacon on the schools.  She felt that it was important for people who are listening or watching the video to know that the town would be supported by armed citizens if necessary so that it was known that the schools are not as vulnerable as was being portrayed.  She felt the need to defend her town.


Public Input: 

Mr. Mark Rouillard, shared his belief that we should look at veterans who are highly skilled and can be supportive of an SRO in a building.  He also noted that Sheriff King should not be bringing out the information regarding the isolation of the Lebanon schools. He noted again his belief around the issues around education and the world at large. 


Ms. Holly Dupuis felt that Sheriff’s King's statements were appropriate and already public knowledge. She noted that she was glad that Ms. Basko made her statements so that she understood clearly where the Lebanon board member stood. 


Ms. Kelley Rouillard, noted that she was here for the school board meeting and she didn’t feel that Ms. Basko’s comments were inappropriate. Ms Rouillard asked about the ten Educational Techs needed. Specifically, she wanted to know how many of those were not for behavioral health. The Superintendent noted five were for behavioral health and five for academic. Ms. Rouillard noted that she did not see any advertisements for academic positions.  


Executive Session 1 MRSA §405(6)(D) Labor Contract Negotiations- Administrators:

Ms. Neubert  made the motion and it was seconded by Ms. Travers  to go into executive session for Executive Session 1 MRSA §405(6)(D) Labor Contract Negotiations- Administrators.  All members voted in favor and the motion passed. In at 8:30 pm. Out at 9:12 pm.


Adjournment: 

Ms. Doiron made the motion and it was seconded by Mr. Tabor to adjourn the meeting. All members voted in favor and the motion passed. 


Adjourned at 9:13 pm. 


Respectfully submitted,

Audra Beauvais

30 views

Recent Posts

See All

Minutes of April 2, 2024

MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS’ MEETING OF April 2, 2024 Current Board Members- North Berwick-  Lauren Janousek, Kate Whalen, Joshua Tabor Berwick- Travis Doiron, Elva Lovejoy, Peg Wheeler Lebanon-

Minutes of March 28, 2024

MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS’ MEETING OF March 28, 2024 Current Board Members- North Berwick-  Lauren Janousek, Kate Whalen, Joshua Tabor Berwick- Travis Doiron, Elva Lovejoy, Peg Wheeler Lebanon

Minutes of March 21, 2024

MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS’ MEETING OF March 21, 2024 Current Board Members- North Berwick-  Lauren Janousek, Kate Whalen, Joshua Tabor Berwick- Travis Doiron, Elva Lovejoy, Peg Wheeler Lebanon

Comments


bottom of page