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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Flewelling

Minutes of March 4, 2021


A meeting of the Board of Directors was held virtually at Noble High School on March 4, 2021 at 7:00 pm, with all members present virtually.

Ms. Neubert shared the public input statement.

Public Input for March 4, 2021.

Ms. Hopper made the motion and it was seconded by Ms. Neubert to accept the minutes of February 18, 2021 as amended. All members voted in favor except Ms. Potter and Ms. Hagenbuch who abstained and the motion passed.

Donation of $700 to the Backpack Program from the Anton Rhzahnov family. Mr. Doiron made the motion and it was seconded by Ms. Potter to gratefully accept the donation of $700 to the Backpack program. All members voted in favor and the motion passed.

Attendance update. Superintendent updated that student attendance average for February 22- March 4 ranged from 87%- 96%. The staff attendance averaged about18 absences per day.

Use of facilities… We will be looking at the use of inside and outside facilities. The board is open to outside use of facilities, but that does entail use of bathroom facilities etc. More information will be gathered for a future meeting and we will solidify the plans.

The Superintendent and Board discussed what is the goal of the March 18th Workshop. The workshop on March 18th is designed to discuss in person learning and increasing time for our 9-12 students. Concern about social emotional health for our adolescents is very high, as well as balancing the health and safety guidelines that are still in place from the CDC.

Graduation updates… We are continuing to receive guidance from the state of Maine DOE and we are hopeful for more information in the very near future.

Superintendent’s Budget Overview:

Thank you for allowing me to present the Superintendent’s Budget for FY 22. The FY 2022 Budget represents a $991,628 increase to taxpayers which is equivalent to a 4.79% increase from the FY 2021 District Budget.

Before highlighting the major driving factors of that increase, I‘d like to talk about the process. In early fall, cost centers met and together we identified 2 goals for this budget cycle. The goals focused on Social/Emotional Learning and support, as well as our continued work on increasing literacy skills for all students Kindergarten to grade 12.

From there, cost centers began to develop budgets taking into consideration the two goals previously identified. The detail pages in each of the school building costs center budgets addresses those goals through Professional Development, Guidance Supplies, Instructional Supplies and Textbooks.

Over the last few months, cost centers and the central office met to review budgetary requests, honing in on the goals, while also addressing Facilities and Capital Improvement Projects, School Nutrition, Technology, Transportation, and Health.

As a result of the ongoing cost center meetings, the full budget was compiled and presented to the Facilities and Finance Committee for discussion and review. The initial budget was dated 2/18/21 and represented a 6.82% increase to taxpayers.

At the Facilities and Finance Committee level, discussion occurred around ways to lower the percent increase of 6.82%. Due to the fact that the budget was already lean, the committee asked that cost center budgets be reviewed again rather than the Facilities and Finance Committee creating a decision sheet at that point in time.

The result of the Facilities and Finance Committee meetings and further honing in on each cost center budget, the revised District Budget, dated 3/1/21 was created. For discussion purposes, please be sure you are referring to the documents dated as 3/1/21 in the bottom left hand corner.

As we delve into this budget, you have a sheet listing some changes that occurred between both drafts. Again, those changes are a result of the decision of the Facilities and Finance Committee to bring an overall % increase to taxpayers less than the initial 6.82%

A great deal of our BOD meetings have focused on the impact of COVID-19 in the school setting. The budget has also been impacted as we highlighted a few weeks ago during a financial update.

I will take some time right now to remind the board of those factors:

Governor Mills notified us in the fall of 2020 that she would refrain from curtailment in FY 21 and would instead curtail funds in FY 22 so Districts could plan for that. As a result, MSAD #60 will not only be losing $367,211 in state subsidy but we will not receive the fund increase in subsidy which is typical.

Due to the federal mandate that School Nutrition Projects operate under the Summer Food/Summer Program, the district is providing meals to all students at no cost. MSAD #60 School Nutrition is running at a loss of approximately $2,000 per day and under this mandate we anticipate a $500,000 deficit for FY 22’. $102,000 is currently represented in the district budget while the remainder will come from COVID related grant money.

Last July, the voters approved 4 projects (sprinkling of Leb, No Ber, Ber, asbestos abatement NMS) for 1.8 million dollars with the state paying all but $733,000 which will be paid back to the Maine Bond Bank over 10 years. When the projects went out to bid, the bids came in $500,000 over the projected 1.8 million dollars. The Building Committee, Facilities and Finance Committee, and the BOD sees these projects as necessary and given the significant state grant funding, agrees it is responsible for MSAD 60 to pay the overage to complete the work. That $500,00 overage is represented in the FY 22’ budget.

Major construction projects in the form of additions in all three towns are in the planning stages. The current estimate of $100,000 in payment of engineers and architects for the new project development is also reflected in this budget.

Staffing is typically another driving factor in the district budget. We are proposing the addition of the following positions:

-1 Kindergarten teacher at NBES due to projected enrollment

-1 Advanced Math teacher at NMS to be shared between Grades 6 and 7

-1.5 teachers at the high school which were formerly grant funded but are coming back into the district budget- Multiple Pathways teachers.

-1 Permanent Sub. for Special Education-self contained

-1 Part time bookkeeper to assist with the additional documentation requirements for the federal grants, SRRF projects, and upcoming building projects.

In addition to these new positions we are proposing changes to some current positions:

-Increase the Literacy Coach at VEH School by 1 day to address ongoing professional development to staff and support and guidance to teachers new to the classroom.

-Increase the Community Engagement Coordinator 10 hrs. per week to broaden the scope of the position to include working with students and their families who have chronic attendance issues.

-Increase .4 for a School Psychological Provider.

I would like to draw your attention to the slides Sue will be presenting. Both slides provide a breakdown of costs. The first slide is the overall budget breakdown. As you can see, our fixed costs; salaries, wages, and benefits total 85% of the entire budget. Again, those are fixed costs largely driven by contracts and insurance premiums. Going through the remainder of the list….. Purchased/Contracted services (ie:Specialty Services-heating) account for 7.8% of the budget while Supplies/Books and Dues/Fees account for just 6% of the total budget…..

The second chart shows a further breakdown of salaries and benefits. I’ll give you a moment to review that.

Moving to estimated revenue for FY22, you will see that overall revenue is up $40,000 from FY21, but the amounts in each category have shifted. We will receive $367,211 less in state subsidy due to the previously mentioned curtailment from the state. FY22 will use more fund balance than FY21 to cover the costs of one-time expenses and to reduce the impact to taxpayers. MHA student tuition will increase to reflect 7 out-of-district students in the program. You will also note that we no longer will receive reimbursement for shared employees from MSAD 35. Technology Director Chris Russo and Installation and Service Technician Steve Vitale will not be shared between MSAD #60 and MSAD#35. The need for dedicated staff in both districts is too great with technology demands.

As you remember, our two goals for this budget cycle focus on Social/Emotional Learning and Supports and continued work on increasing literacy skills for all students kindergarten to grade 12. We have been fortunate to receive another Federal COVID-related grant which we will use for FY 22’ to further address Educational Recovery (aka Learning Loss for math and literacy), Multi Tiered System of Support (MTSS, formally RTI), a Remote Learning Academy, technology, and School Nutrition. All of these areas of focus address the budget cycle goals.

That wraps up the budget overview. I realize this overview covered a lot of information as does the budget itself. Next Thursday, March 11th, there is a scheduled budget workshop. At that time, there will be an opportunity to meet with all cost centers to ask specific questions related to their budgets. There will also be dedicated time for board discussion.

Mr. Doiron left the meeting.

The Superintendent shared a request for a leave of absence for Hanson Elementary School Teacher Katelynn Fink. Ms Potter made the motion and it was seconded by Ms Hagenbuch to approve this request.

Superintendent Beauvais shared with the Board the letter of retirement submitted by Margie Smith. Ms Smith is currently a speech and language therapist at North Berwick Elementary School. Ms Potter made the motion to accept and was seconded by Ms. Hagenbuch. The Board voted, all in favor to accept. The Board is very happy for Ms Smith for her but are accepting her notice of retirement with regret.

Finally the Superintendent shared the resignation of teachers Kristen Bennett who is currently on LOA, Nickie Dawes who is currently also on an LOA and Andy Kyriakoutsakos. Ms Potter made the motion and it was seconded by Ms. Hagenbuch to accept the resignations. All members voted in favor to accept the resignations.

Other.. none

Ms Potter made the motion and it was seconded by Ms Neubert to adjourn. All members voted in favor and the motion passed.

Adjourned at 8:25 pm.

Respectfully Submitted,

Audra Beauvais


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