Minutes of February 27, 2020
MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS’ MEETING February 27, 2020
A meeting of the Board of Directors was held at Noble High School in North Berwick, Maine on February 27, 2020 at 7:00 pm, with all members present except Ms. Neubert and Ms. Beal. There were 80 people in the audience.
Ms. Mallett, Vice Chair shared the explanatory statements regarding public input.
Public Input: None at this time.
Mr. Connolly introduced Mr. Aaron Watson, MSAD 60 Athletic Director, to present a sports update. The focus specifically on the Noble wrestling and track accomplishments. Click this link for Mr. Watson’s details regarding these accomplishments. Mr. Watson introduced Mr. Kevin Gray, Noble’s head wrestling coach. Mr. Gray introduced several of his accomplished athletes. Mr. Gray thanked his assistant coaches, the community and the local fire and police departments for their support. Mr. Connolly congratulated all the coaches and athletes.
The minutes of January 16th were reviewed. Ms. Potter made the motion and it was seconded by Ms. Corliss to accept the minutes of January 16th. All members voted in favor except Mr. Doiron who abstained and the motion passed.
Student Report: Ms. Caitlyn McCabe and Mr. Sam Grant shared their student report. Click this link for their report.
Budget Presentation Workshop: Mr. Connolly presented updates to the budget.
Formal meeting stopped for 30 minutes for the Board members to ask for clarification or questions of the school administrators.
VW Settlement Funds/State Bus Subsidy - Mr. Connolly shared the Maine DOT’s decision to replace one of the two buses that we submitted for consideration under the VW Settlement Funds application. Click here to review the letter from the State of Maine.
Mr. Connolly notified the Board that the NBES PTO donated $329 to the Backpack program. Each month North Berwick Elementary chooses a word of the month. Empathy was December’s word. The PTO held a holiday family event that asked families to make monetary or food donations for the Backpack program as an entry fee to the event. The Board thanked North Berwick Elementary School and PTO.
Ms. Schaeffer shared an update on the Superintendent Search. Interviews took place on February 26, 2020. Six candidates were interviewed by 20 people consisting of Board members, staff, community members and students. The 20 interviewers met prior to the interview date to finalize the questions to be asked during the interview. The next steps are: 1) Each of the three finalists will tour the schools in the district and participate in question and answer community event, 2) The Board will meet on March 19, 2020 to review questions they will ask during the final interviews, 3) Final interviews will be held the week of April 6, 2020, 4) The Board will vote to approve the final candidate on April 16, 2020.
Mr. Connolly presented the building committee update. He and Mr. Moore met with CHA to review spacing, insuring square footage and population studies. The census data for Lebanon and North Berwick seemed reasonable. The census data for Berwick posed a problem indicating that the student population would only increase by seven between now and 2029, this seems unrealistic given the growth Berwick has seen to date. Ms. Mallett asked what information is being used to compile the data. Mr. Connolly answered that the census determination is based on live births, permits, economy and property being built. The other factors for Berwick are the 55+ community (only 1 member of the household has to be over 55) slated to go in across the street from Hussey School and the Prime Tanning renovation which includes apartments.
The current plan for the district: 1) First floor wing at NBES connecting to current building, 2) Relocate district wide services from Hussey to NBES. The District does not want to be in the middle of a 20 year bond and have to increase the building again.
The decision to put the referendum on the major construction in the district on September 15, 2020 was due to not being ready for the June vote and the November vote would be too late to book contractors. The District will be on the hook for $329,000 in fees if the bond does not pass, if it does pass the fees are rolled into the project cost.
Mr. Connolly shared the results of the School Revolving Renovation Fund. There are 4 projects for a cost of $1.8 million of which the state will cover $1 million. Leaving a $730,000 bond that will go out for vote in June. Bill Stockmeyer, Drummond Woodsum attorney, will share sample language to assist in writing the bond for vote.
Mr. Doiron inquired about the projects we received through RRF. Sprinklers will need to be installed. The asbestos abatement at NMS is planned for this summer. A grant was received to help complete Phase 3 at NMS. Updates to the music, cafe, chorus, locker administrative area and library at NMS are planned for summer 2021.
All attempts will be made to reduce the cost to the towns for any projects that absolutely need to be done.
Mr. Connolly presented the 2020-2021 Calendar for Board approval. Our calendar is six days out of sync with SRTC because of the election day on November 3, 2021. The district will seek an exemption for being over the five day maximum. The teacher association has reviewed the proposed calendar.
Mr. Doiron commented that several parents have complained to him about the Thursday schedule. He inquired if there has been consideration for Teacher workshop days once per month.
Mr. Connolly responded that the current State language for teachers accountability to scores and curriculum work warrant the weekly work. It also always teachers the opportunity to meet with colleagues weekly to make current updates to instruction and develop consistent plans district wide. In addition a once per month workshop day would impact the budget substantially due to an increase in teacher paid days to 185 per year instead of 181 and extend the student calendar. 2020-2021 School Calendar
Mr. Doiron made the motion and it was seconded by and Ms. Corliss 2nd, Vote 7-0.
Mr. Connolly shared MSAD 60’s Guidelines regarding ED 1684- Food Shaming Bill
ED 1684- Food Shaming Bill MSAD 60 Guidelines Students who may owe a balance are eligible to receive the regular meal offered. Food Service does not have to provide a la carte items as those are not reimbursed unlike the regular meal.
Mr. Doiron inquired how much debt is incurred for unpaid balances. Ms. Van Campen responded that $7,627 was transferred last year to cover the outstanding balance. Green Truck Farm has donated $2,500 to assist with outstanding balances. The District budgets $25,000 towards food service needs, i.e. equipment needing to be replaced and covering outstanding balances.
Ms. Mallett asked if there is a mechanism in place to encourage families to apply for the Free and Reduced Lunch program. Mr. Connolly responded that efforts were made in the past to contact families, but this did not seem to increase the number of applications received. The food service department is currently seeing record a higher number of applications than in the past.
Mr. Connolly asked for Board approval of the retirement of physical education teacher Rebecca Good after 36 years of dedicated service at Noble Middle School. We wish her the best. With much regret Ms. Potter made the motion and it was seconded by Mr. Doiron to accept Ms. Good’s retirement, Vote 7-0.
Mr. Connolly asked for Board approval of physical education teacher David Sprague after 38 years of dedicated service at Noble Middle School. We wish him the best. With much regret Mr. Doiron made the motion and it was seconded by Ms. Corliss to accept Mr. Sprague’s retirement, Vote 7-0.
Mr. Connolly asked for Board approval of the leave of absence for the remainder of the school year of teacher Kristine Rickard at Lebanon Elementary. Ms. Potter made the motion and it was seconded by Mr. Doiron to accept Ms. Rickard’s leave of absence, Vote 7-0.
Mr. Connolly asked for Board approval to hire Sarah McGonigle to teach second grade at Hussey School. Mr. Doiron made the motion and it was seconded by and Ms. Corliss 2nd to approve Ms. McGonigle’s employment, Vote 7-0.
Mr. Connolly shared NMS word of the week. Students talked to him about how they have a word each week they learn and are challenged to use. These seemingly small things make a big difference for student literacy. Ms. Deb Butler elaborated (recent NMS word of the week) that there is a contest for students to hear staff use the word during the week.
Ms. Mallett shared an update from her recent Berwick Comprehensive Planning Committee Meeting. A regional economic development group has been hired to gather census data such as where are people working, tax revenue, what kind of jobs are available. This data will be used as the Prime Tanning development begins. The plan stands to offer a lot of retail space and some residential. There is concern with the disconnect of the data gathered and actual growth. In the fall a meeting will take place to discuss the future growth and development of the District towns.
Ms. Mallett and Mr. Doiron commented on the Costa Rica trip and what a great experience it was for the students and the outstanding efforts by the teachers who organized and attended.
Ms. Schaeffer made the motion and it was seconded by Mr. Doiron to adjourn. All members voted in favor and the motion passed.
Adjourned at 9:54 pm.
Secretary of the Board