Minutes of October 19, 2023
MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS’ MEETING OF October 19, 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 October 19, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. with all members attending except Ms. Whalen and Mr. Doiron.
The board took a short recess of about 30 minutes to have a tour of the Eric Knowlton School facilities. Board members met with the ELKS administration Michelle Keniston gave the tour of the building strengths and needs. The board thanked Michelle and her staff for their time and input and were appreciative of the information provided through the tour.
There were 18 in the audience.
Ms. Neubert, the vice chair read the public input statement.
Mr. Kenneth Dutch, of North Berwick, shared with the board that in a non sarcastic and mean spirited way that the Noble School system is not doing their diligence for our students. He shared that he would like to have the bullying issues resolved in our schools.
Ms. Holly Dupuis shared a letter from Mr. Jeremy Kasten of Berwick who thanked the Excel staff at Knowlton and the admin team for working with his family specifically to support his son as he navigated the new school year and the need for communication, connection and individualized academic support.
Mr. Mark Rouillard of North Berwick, asked for numbers regarding students who left the public school to be homeschooled. We will provide that information at a future meeting.
Ms. Janousek made the motion and it was seconded by Ms. Wheeler to accept the minutes of the September 21, 2023 meeting. All members voted in favor except Ms. Basko who abstained and the motion passed.
Ms. Janousek made the motion and it was seconded by Ms. Wheeler to accept the minutes of the October 5, 2023 meeting as amended. All members voted in favor except Ms. Lovejoy and Ms. Neubert, who abstained, and the motion passed.
Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports
Ms. Michelle Keniston, principal of the Knowlton School and Ms. Missy Royce, our Behavioral Interventionist at ELKS, shared a presentation regarding Positive Behavioral Intervention System (PBIS). PBIS presentation for ELKS
The board asked some questions regarding the goals of PBIS and we had discussion regarding data on behavior from the past and how it was documented. Mr. Tabor noted that he looked forward to a comparison of our disciplinary data prior to PBIS and following PBIS implementation. He also shared a concern regarding entire classrooms of students being moved completely based on individual student behaviors.
There was a question about privacy agreements and whether or not the software that is utilized to support the data collection sold, leased or rented the information. As part of the signed agreements, the company does not sell, lease or rent student information. Ms. Dumont, our Technology Director, was able to verify this information and is in the process of verifying that this is true of all of our software programs.
September Financial Summary:
Denise VanCampen, shared with the board an overview of our monthly financial summary. She highlighted two areas of overages that she is watching. One is transportation for athletic events due to lack of drivers able to do those afterschool activities. We are also watching the electricity lines due to increases in costs directly from the providers.
Technology Lease Approval:
The technology lease that was included in the budget process for the 23/24 school year was presented for final approval by the board. The Technology Director, Ms. Brigette Dumont and Project Manager, Brett Saucier gave a review of the lease to the board. There were several questions from board members about the details of the lease. There were also questions regarding the efficacy of technology in our classrooms. We will provide more information going forward in our upcoming budget season about the use of technology in our school system and look forward to ongoing discussions.
Ms. Wheeler made the motion and it was seconded by Ms. Janousek that the
Resolution entitled, “Resolution to Authorize Lease Purchase of
Technology Equipment in Principal Amount of $457,000” be adopted in form
presented to this meeting. All members voted in favor and the motion passed.
No new teacher hires
The Assistant Superintendent shared a timeline for applying to the School Revolving Renovation fund and gave an overview of the potential HVAC projects which would be considered priority 1 projects under air quality. The board had a discussion regarding The SRRF programs and what it means going forward. There is a shortened timeline for the application process for this funding and we asked the board to allow the district to apply for the funding. If the district’s projects are chosen and approved, the board can then make a final decision as to whether we would like to move forward with the process. This is the first step in being able to access the funds if we so choose in the future.
Ms. Wheeler made the motion and it was seconded by Ms. Neubert to approve the ability to file the SRRF grant application for October 31, 2023. All members voted in favor and the motion passed.
Mr. Mark Rouillard of North Berwick remarked about Efficiency Maine and potential rebates and what would be asked of the district in return for those rebates. He also remarked about whether or not air conditioning was actually necessary for our schools as we go forward in HVAC renovations, etc.
Mr. Ken Dutch of North Berwick asked that the flag be more prominently displayed in all of our classrooms.
Mr. Cahoon of North Berwick shared that he thought we should be looking into solar options for energy efficiency and electricity off set.
Ms. Kelly Rouillard of North Berwick asked for the copy of the PBIS presentation. It will be included in the meeting minutes of this board meeting.
Mr. Tabor made the motion and it was seconded by Ms. Neubert to adjourn the meeting. All members voted in favor and the motion passed.
Adjourned at 9:08 pm.