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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Flewelling

Minutes of February 17, 2022

MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS’ MEETING OF February 17, 2022

A meeting of the Board of Directors was held in person in North Berwick, Maine on February 17, 2022 at 6:30 p.m. with all members attending. Ms. Stanton, Ms. Travers and Ms. Manley were remote, all others were present in person.


The Vice chair shared the public input statement.


Public Input:


Rob Williams, of North Berwick discussed a letter of support from 275 parents (and counting) on the mitigation strategies, particularly regarding masking. He noted that the mitigation strategies are now at a place where they are causing more harm than good. He shared that society is at a place where strategies have been implemented for a long time and we should consider moving beyond those. He noted that we need to lift the heavy blanket of anxiety that has shrouded society. The longer we continue with these restrictions, the more harm there is and learning is lost. The question really is “if not now, then when?” Parent Public Input Letter


Rick Pelletier, of Lebanon, shared his concerns regarding the masking in MSAD 60. He wanted to share with the board that he feels that the board is an elected board and that the will of the people needs to be adhered to. He feels that they are not doing that and therefore he announced his plan to run for school board to represent Lebanon and to address the will of the people.


Alexandra Houston of North Berwick first shared her thanks and appreciation for the work that the school board has done on behalf of students and staff during this pandemic. She noted the hard choices and acknowledged the flexibility that has been provided. Her belief is that we need to stop burdening kids to protect them. The mandates served their purpose, students have met the requirements but the disruption is ongoing and needs to stop. She asked that the mandating masks should be reviewed and moved on from.


Lauren Janesek, of North Berwick, encouraged the board to consider keeping the students foremost and the goal to keep the kids in school when considering removing the mask mandate.


The board reviewed the minutes from February 3, 2022. Ms. Hagenbuch made the motion and it was seconded by Ms. Mallett to approve the minutes as amended. All members voted in favor except Mr. Doiron and Ms. Travers who abstained and the motion passed.


The Budget timeline was discussed with the board. There will be meetings every week in March and the facilities and finance committee is meeting on Feb. 28th and March 1 to review the initial budget and then it will be presented to the board on March 3.


The Financial Summary for the district was reviewed.


Educational Programming:


Ms. Amy Creighton, Director of Nursing, shared an update.


Employment:


Ms. Brooke Dunphey requested a leave of absence for the 22/23 school year. Ms. Lovejoy made the motion and it was seconded by Ms. Hagenbuch to approve the leave of absence. All members voted in favor and the motion passed.


The superintendent nominated Kaitlin Libby for the position of third grade teacher at the Hussey School. Mr. Doiron made the motion and it was seconded by Ms. Hagenbuch to approve Kaitlin Libby for the third grade position. All members voted in favor and the motion passed.


The superintendent shared the resignation of Rebecca Alfredson, fifth grade teacher at the Knowlton School. Ms. Lovejoy made the motion and it was seconded by Mr. Doiron to accept the resignation of Ms. Alfredson. All members voted in favor and the motion passed.


The superintendent shared the retirement of Ms Jackie McGarry. Ms. Lovejoy made the motion and it was seconded by Ms. Hagenbuch to accept the retirement of Ms. McGarry with appreciation. All members voted in favor and the motion passed.


The Superintendent shared the letter of retirement of Ms. Patti Gilley principal of the Lebanon schools. Ms. Lovejoy made the motion and it was seconded by Ms. Hagenbuch to accept the retirement of Ms. Patti Gilly, principal of the Lebanon schools with appreciation and regret. All members voted in favor and the motion passed.


The Superintendent shared a list of Administrators who are up for continuing contracts for the 22/23 school year. Mr. Doiron made the motion and it was seconded by Ms. Lovejoy to approve the list of administrators for continuing contract. All members voted in favor and the motion passed.


Other: The Superintendent passed out the updated Wellness Policy for board members to insert into their board policy books.


Public Input: Darin Thomas of North Berwick asked the board to consider ending the masking now and not wait longer. He shared his feelings that the world around our students are basically all unmasked except for school. What message of fear does this send to our children.


Mr. Pelletier asked questions regarding the other aspects of health issues in society and then shared his beliefs around the need to follow the will of the people and end the masking mandate in schools.


Ms. Manley left the meeting at 7:59 pm.


Mr. Mike Barker of North Berwick asked the board to make the motion this evening based on the input of the public this evening, and not push it out for another meeting or two.


Ms. Kate Mariscal, Berwick resident and school nurse at the Knowlton School shared her opposition to the optional masking. She asked for understanding and for supporting the continuation of the mask mandate based on supporting students who are immunocompromised.


Ms. Mallett made the motion and it was seconded by Ms. Lovejoy to adjourn the meeting. All members voted in favor and the motion passed.


Adjourned at 8:16 pm.


Respectfully submitted,

Audra Beauvais


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