LEBANON SCHOOL BOARD MINUTES
July 20, 2011
The Lebanon School Board met on Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at Sacred Heart School in
Lebanon. Board members present were Kathleen Berger, Laura Dykstra, Christina
Haidari, Bob McCarthy, Carissa Means, Al Patterson, Jeff Peavey, Hank Tenney, and
Beth White. Also present were Superintendent Gail Paludi, Assistant Superintendent
Shirley Ferguson, Business Administrator Jim Fenn, Lebanon High School Principal Nan
Parsons, minutes taker Margot de l’Etoile, and members of the public.
1. Call to Order/Pledge of Allegiance
Jeff Peavey called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance.
2. Additions/Deletions from agenda by Superintendent
Kathleen Berger reported that as Board Secretary she has received an invitation to the
Board from WorkCampsNE to Residents Night, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on July 24 at
Lebanon High School. This is a way of thanking us for our gracious consideration in
allowing them to use our facility to work on the homes of those less fortunate.
Gail Paludi has received correspondence from Elizabeth Beraldi, Administrative
Assistant to Lebanon Police Chief James Alexander informing us of a Public Safety
Committee meeting for a second discussion of traffic and pedestrian safety concerns near
Lebanon Towers on Hanover Street. The meeting will be on Tuesday, July 26 at 6:00
p.m. in the council chambers.
4. Public Comment
Melissa Billings Ward 2, said her concerns about curriculum have intensified since her
comments to the Board on June 1. She addressed the 8th grade Social Studies curriculum.
Before 2008 it was a potpourri of Social Sciences topics that didn’t really fit with our
central K-8 Social Studies themes. In May of 2008 she was excited that the Education
Committee approved the administration’s revised outline that divides the 8th grade Social
Studies year into 4 broad world regions. She believed the administration would expand
the outline and create a complete curriculum, but the curriculum remains an outline, in
Ms. Billing’s opinion, incomplete haphazard and vague. It is too broad to inform what is
actually going to be taught. There is no way to hold teachers accountable for what they
teach, or to achieve consistency across classrooms. In the 1990s the School Board
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ordered the administration to create clear, concise, content-specific curriculum
documents in all four core subject areas. Ms. Billings believes the Board needs to act
again, and she is concerned about the timeframe. Children going into 8th grade in six
weeks deserve a year that provides consistency, continuity, and high standards. She
thinks it could be created it in a couple of weeks and asks Board to act.
Louisa Spencer said she is amazed that this district thinks they have to come up with their
own curriculum when excellent curricula exist already. She volunteered to put together
something from published sources, and hopes the Board will take a look at what she
could send in a week or so, and talk about it at the next Board meeting. She will send the
material she gathers, and hopes for a response.
Hank Tenney asked if this should be an Education Committee discussion. It seems to
him we don’t get any feedback from that committee directly, but only from the
administration. Al Patterson expressed concern that we seem to be at the same place we
were three years ago and hopes the Board will aggressively look into it and see that it
changes. Bob McCarthy urged the Board to accept the help offered, and do whatever it
takes to move this on. Carissa Means noted we are a district in need of improvement and
must talk about educating students. She thanked Louisa for her offer of help. Al and
Hank thanked Melissa and Louisa for their presentations.
5. Consent Agenda
A. Approval of minutes of June 22, 2011
MOTION by Hank Tenney and seconded by Beth White to approve the minutes of June
22, 2011 as presented.
VOTE: 6 YES 0 NO 3 ABSTAIN [Christina Haidari, Carissa Means, Al
B. Nominations and Resignations
Gail Paludi presented Nominations/Resignations July 20, 2011. She made special
mention of Romeo Russell who has served the district in a variety of capacities for 57
MOTION by Laura Dykstra and seconded by Beth White to accept the
Nominations/Resignations July 20, 2011 as presented, offering our gratitude to the people
who are retiring.
Laura Dykstra asked if the high school secretary position will be filled. Gail replied it
will. It has been offered to the secretary who was riffed and she has 14 days to consider.
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Jeff Peavey noted all the hires are new, not renewals. Hank Tenney asked if any come
with portable tenure. Gail believes not but will need to check on Amy Whalen’s status.
Al Patterson asked that in future we be sure about portable tenure status. Laura asked for
clarification that portable tenure is not a factor if someone has changed position
classification or if their experience is outside New Hampshire. Gail confirmed that
portable tenure is only within the State. She noted the tenure law has recently changed.
It has gone from 2 years to 4 for portable tenure and 3 years to 5 for actual tenure.
Jeff Peavey announced a change in order of the agenda to take up item 7, l next.
7. Items for Board Discussion & Action
l. Curriculum Coordination – K-12
Nan Parsons, Shirley Ferguson and Gail Paludi have been discussing how curriculum and
curriculum coordination K-12 is going to look in Lebanon School District. Gail noted
that the Board has asked for continued input about this issue. The Board has received a
packet including job descriptions of people who are directly involved in curriculum in the
district and two charts showing interactions among these people for K-8 and for 9-12.
Shirley Ferguson explained interactions on both charts, the topics that are discussed, and
the work undertaken such as professional development and community resources. Laura
Dykstra asked if the interactions indicated on the flow charts are ongoing day to day once
curriculum is in place, as opposed to ideological conversations about developing the
documents. Shirley replied that the practice in District has been for the teachers to work
with the curriculum committee and do the writing of the documents with guidance from
the subject coordinators and the Assistant Superintendent. Teachers are the specialists
for their subject areas at the high school and for their grade level at the elementary
schools. She said the work is both conceptual/big picture and also day-to-day oversight,
with principals observing classrooms and having conversations with teachers, and
curriculum coordinators having conversations with teachers.
Bob McCarthy asked who the 9-12 Director of Curriculum answers to. Shirley replied
the director is directly supervised by the Principal and also answers to the Assistant
Superintendent, and both set priorities for the director. The Principal knows more closely
first-hand what the needs are at the school and the Assistant Superintendent offers
support and guidance from outside sources she may know about. The Principal does
primary evaluation in consultation with the Assistant Superintendent. Bob observed it is
difficult for an employee to be accountable to two people. Hank Tenney asked who
would make the final decision if the Assistant Superintendent and the Principal disagreed.
Shirley replied it would be the Assistant Superintendent and the Superintendent would be
involved if there were a problem with the decision.
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Hank Tenney asked what role the School Board has in curriculum and curriculum
coordination. Where are decisions made? Shirley replied when curriculum documents
are ready and when there are changes to curriculum, it goes to the Education Committee
for review, and then comes to the full Board for approval. The Board sets the policy and
approves the curriculum documents.
Beth White noted that in her time on the Board she hasn’t seen many curriculum
documents that the Board have approved changes on. She asked is it correct that
everything is on a cycle and also if coordinators, teachers and principals make changes
that we do not see. Shirley replied that the last changes that were made to the curriculum
were when the math curriculum was aligned to the NH State grade span and grade level
expectations. The EC approved it and the Board chose not to approve it. Beth clarified
that K-8 teachers are able to change programs to address student’s needs, but that is not
really changing the curriculum. Therefore the curriculum is not being changed very often
to reflect needs or test scores or assessments. Shirley replied that the curriculum revision
cycle takes about five years. The changes that have been made to Science and Social
Studies have been to align their content sequence to grade level expectations. Work that
is still ongoing is to flesh out the uniform document.
Bob McCarthy noted that from the flow chart it looks as though the Superintendent, who
we hired for her strong background in curriculum, is not involved. Shirley responded that
she supervises the Assistant Superintendent and attends monthly meetings of the
Assistant Superintendent and the curriculum coordinators. Hank Tenney noted it appears
there is duplication among job descriptions. He added that all job descriptions should
include a sentence: “Performs other tasks and assumes such other responsibilities as the
supervisor may assign from time to time.” He said this protects the School Board. Bob
McCarthy and Al Patterson concurred. Gail will make sure it gets added to all the job
Carissa Means asked how the Assistant Superintendent makes sure the curriculum is
carried out evenly, District wide. Shirley replied that the first person to make sure is the
principal, the one who supervises the teachers directly. At the end of every year teachers
submit a curriculum map to the Assistant Superintendent that goes through month by
month what content they have covered. Carissa asked how the Assistant Superintendent
makes sure throughout the year that there is consistency of curriculum District-wide.
Shirley replied her conversations are with the principals.
Member of the public Melissa Billings asked if we have a situation where year after year
teachers are not getting through the curriculum, what does turning in maps mean in terms
of improvement or change. Gail Paludi said that she has been reviewing maps during the
past week. When she is not satisfied with what she has seen, she tells Shirley to have a
conversation with the principal and teacher about why this map is not complete, why
topics were not covered, and what are we going to do to solve the problem. Gail
explained Shirley reviews the maps and Gail’s responsibility as superintendent is to
oversee everything, and she also does the review so that they can have a collaborative
conversation about where we are headed.
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Al Patterson said conversations are great but we need to see some change. Gail said she
can only speak to what has happened this year, as we review the process she is trying to
put into place, so that we have a more comprehensive review of our curriculum. She
believes we are in a good place. It takes a lot of time, and it is important work. Our
focus right now is proficiency in math and language arts, and we have made a
commitment to move forward with mathematics. Everything our children learn is
important but we can’t spread ourselves so thin that we are not doing due diligence to the
areas where we are a school and district in need of improvement.
Hank Tenney asked what role the Education Committee has. Christina Haidari
responded that at the presentation Shirley had made about curriculum changes coming to
us from the State there were serious questions about why curriculum descriptions are the
way they are. Hank asked if Christina feels the EC is serving their role with regard to the
curriculum. Christina said they could probably get into it more to understand it better and
have more of a conversation than listening. That would be beneficial.
Nan Parsons described how we are going forward from today with our Director of
Curriculum and Instruction. The interview process included all constituencies to find the
person we need to move Lebanon High School forward and make sure our children learn
what they are supposed to be learning. We have a recommended candidate. Nan has met
twice with that person to go over her five strategic goals for the first year and to discuss
specific tasks and outcomes. They are beginning a discussion of what needs to be done
to get there, and what the outcomes will specifically look like.
Bob McCarthy noted that there are 30 job duties and asked if they are prioritized. Nan
replied they are prioritized through the five goals. Bob wondered if there are too many
duties. Nan replied it has to be done. Bob asked about the relative importance of
participating in cafeteria duty. Nan explained all administrators do two duties a week for
63 minutes. Al Patterson suggested prioritization should be based on the concerns that led
to the hiring of the Director of Curriculum and Instruction. He said perhaps all
administrators need to share duties but right now it is more important to get our
curriculum up to speed. Nan responded that there is value in cafeteria duty. If done well,
this duty is a place to gather information about students and student learning.
Bob noted there is no timetable laid out for completion of the tasks. Nan responded that a
job description is not a timeline. What is specific are the five goals, and the tasks and
outcomes that will be accomplished in the first year: a working online curriculum
document which includes the syllabus, an updated competency document, a one-page
summary for every department, and an updated program of studies.
Al asked if the director will lead or facilitate the assessment and development of the
curriculum. Nan replied both and said a facilitator is a leader. At the end she expects the
document to be done – period. Bob noted that the job description qualifications do not
include experience in curriculum design or evaluation. He asked if this person is going to
be in charge of reviewing and revising the high school curriculum and is that a critical
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need. Nan replied absolutely. The requirement of the job itself is that the person has a
degree and certification at the Masters level or above in curriculum and instruction
assessment, as well as an administrative degree. Our candidate has those two things.
Christina Haidari asked if she will be not only in the office but also interacting with
students and teachers daily. Nan replied that the goal is to spend lots of time in the
6. Staff Reports and Presentations
a. Superintendent’s Report
Gail Paludi noted that the new Director of Special Services Helene Anzalone was present
at tonight’s meeting, and welcomed her.
We learned today that Language Arts Coordinator Judy Klunder, Applications
Administrator Allison Mollica and Stephanie Karabaic, Reading teacher at Lebanon
Junior High School, were awarded a literacy mini-grant of $2,835 from the New
Hampshire Department of Education. Grant monies will be used to purchase iPads to
support Stephanie’s work. Gail congratulated them for receiving this Competitive grant.
Gail took a bus tour of the District with Director of Transportation Wanda Hastings,
looking at routes and bus stops. They discussed stops with questions or controversies.
Wanda has direction to make a few changes to better accommodate the needs of the
District, with the priority always of making sure our children are safe.
Board members’ laptops will be collected tonight for reimaging. This work will be done
quickly and we will get an e-mail when they are ready.
Gail and Jeff Peavey have considered the possibility of a Board retreat/work session on
August 10, which would normally be a Board meeting night, or August 3. Gail has been
in touch with Ted Comstock of NHSBA to arrange Board refresher training as part of the
retreat, to go through the goals we have established, look at our progress, and make sure
we are all certain about the direction we want to take. Paul Dominico, now in charge of
training at NHSBA, will get in touch regarding the date, and Gail will let us know.
b. Assistant Superintendent’s report
Shirley Ferguson announced that a position for a registered nurse has opened up, a
replacement for our district RN. She will interview four candidates on Monday. Laura
Dykstra noted we just hired the District health person. Gail Paludi explained the District
health person was the RN at the high school so that position is now vacant. Jim Fenn
added that Ellen Bailey retired. We hired from within for her job, so the position that we
hired from is now vacant.
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Summer School programs are in progress: Reading at Mount Lebanon for rising 1st and
2nd graders from both K-4 schools; Math Camp for rising 3rd and 4th graders; 6th grade
reading support with Read180; and at the high school, Math/Science, English and Social
Studies. Hank Tenney asked for attendance figures and Shirley will get those for our
next Board meeting.
Shirley is in the process of working on federal grants: Title 1 which we use in our two K-
4 schools for reading and math support; Title 1D which supports Hannah House; and
Title 2A in support of professional development.
c. Business Administrator’s Report
Jim Fenn reported that summer projects are going well. Footings for the gym ramps are
in and the foundation for the new ramps is on the way. New windows have been ordered.
We are getting all the windows that were part of the final bid. Our maintenance crew will
paint the inside trim. We may end up storing one window if we run out of money. Roofs
are being done at Mount Lebanon and the gym roof at Seminary Hill is being redone
because of leaks. The Alleyway at the high school was awarded last week. All bids
came in above our $45,000 budget. We went back to the drawing board with the low
bidder and modified the project a bit and it will go forward.
Bob McCarthy questioned the Seminary Hill project when we don’t know how the
building will be used in the future. Jim replied we are spending $24,000. It is a rubber
membrane roof and we have stretched its life as long as we can. Hank Tenney reminded
the Board that this building is important to maintain as we do not plan on selling it. Jim
noted that the Finance & Facilities committee decided not to go forward with several
projects scheduled for this year because of concerns about budget. This was deemed
important enough because of the integrity of the roof, even understanding that we are
vacating that building in a year as a school. Hank added it is important to note that this
work was already approved years ago in capital improvements.
Bob McCarthy asked why is there such a difference between Hanover Street School’s
$40,670 administration insurance compared with the other elementary schools when the
only administrative person there is the principal. Jim recalled that our administrator there
does not participate in health insurance so it is cash back. Also we have two secretaries
there who do have health insurance. In both our other elementary schools we have a
lower level of participation.
7. Items for Board Discussion and Action
a. Policy JI – Student Rights and Responsibilities – Second Reading
MOTION by Beth White and seconded by Al Patterson to waive the second reading of
Policy JI – Student Rights and Responsibilities.
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MOTION by Bob McCarthy and seconded by Hank Tenney to accept Policy JI – Student
Rights and Responsibilities.
b. Policy IGDA – Co-Curricular Programs – Second Reading
MOTION by Beth White and seconded by Al Patterson to waive the second reading of
Policy IGDA – Co-Curricular Programs
MOTION by Bob McCarthy and seconded by Hank Tenney to accept Policy IGDA –
c. Policy IGDB – Co-Curricular Funding – Second Reading
MOTION by Beth White and seconded by Al Patterson to waive the second reading of
Policy IGDB – Co-Curricular Funding.
MOTION by Bob McCarthy and seconded by Kathleen Berger to accept Policy IGDB –
d. Policy KCD – Public Gifts/Donations – Second Reading
MOTION by Beth White and seconded by Carissa Means to waive the second reading of
Policy KCD – Public Gifts/Donations.
MOTION by Bob McCarthy and seconded by Laura Dykstra to accept Policy Policy
KCD – Public Gifts/Donations.
Jeff Peavey asked if the flagpole piece is within this? Gail Paludi responded that
discussion is in a separate policy and hasn’t been addressed yet.
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e. Policy DEB – Other Revenues – Second Reading
MOTION by Beth White and seconded by Al Patterson to waive the second reading of
Policy DEB – Other Revenues.
MOTION by Christina Haidari and seconded by Bob McCarthy to accept Policy DEB –
f. Policy JJF – Student Activities Fund Management - First Reading
MOTION by Beth White and seconded by Al Patterson to waive the first reading of
Policy JJF – Student Activities Fund Management.
g. Policy JJF-R – Administering Student Activity Funds - First Reading
MOTION by Beth White and seconded by Al Patterson to waive the first reading of
Policy JJF-R – Administering Student Activity Funds.
h. Policy DI – Fiscal Accounting and Reporting - First Reading
MOTION by Beth White and seconded by Al Patterson to waive the first reading of
Policy DI – Fiscal Accounting and Reporting.
i. Policy DJC – Petty Cash Accounts - First Reading
MOTION by Beth White and seconded by Laura Dykstra to waive the first reading of
Policy DJC – Petty Cash Accounts.
Hank Tenney explained for the public that we can go through these policies quickly
because a policy committee meets weekly and puts a lot of time into going through them
and making necessary revisions. Jeff Peavey thanked the committee for their work and
noted it is a needed job.
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j. Budget FY12
Gail Paludi presented the updated potential budget impact sheet that reflects decisions at
the State level regarding funding. Also distributed was a spreadsheet showing our
original budget amount and the changes we looked at in an adjusted budget, with
cumulative cuts totaled.
Jim Fenn said the change in Concord that impacts us the most is the State deciding to no
longer fund its portion of the teachers retirement contributions. That increases our
contribution from around 9% to almost 14%, effective July 1. The Impact to us is
$627,115, based on the wages that are in the budget.
Hank Tenney recalled understanding that the cost would be picked up by employees. Jim
explained that employees have to pick up the increase on their portion. For teachers the
State had been paying 35% of the employer contribution. Hank noted this is the first he
has heard of it. Jim replied that is correct. In one of their last moves they decided that the
35% they have paid historically for teachers they are not paying any more. They have
put $3 million to $5 million aside to pay some of this but that sum is for police and fire as
well as teachers. They have directed the retirement system to run a new actuarial study
which will take 90 days. A number of associations are challenging a lot of this. Hank
commented that the unions are only concerned about what is happening to their
employees, not the employers. Jim said that although they are not representing us it is
important. They are fighting for the State to pay its share because it impacts their jobs
and their ability to have jobs. Gail noted that in Sakai is a document from NHSBA
providing a lot more detail on this.
Catastrophic aid has been reduced again. Last year they funded at 69% of expenses. It
will be funded at 50% in the next biennium. The impact is about $75,000.
Adequacy will be fully funded, although the formulas were tweaked. We will get the
same amount we got last year, subject to the fact that the next biennium’s funding is
based on stability in headcount. That is good news.
Building Aid was fully funded. This year was important and next year is extremely
important as it is our first hit on the new middle school bond.
So the big hits are retirement and catastrophic aid. Tweaking of vocational aid will not
impact us significantly. They took away support for Drivers Ed which will impact our
students but not our budget.
Hank Tenney asked if we are looking at another 5.5% to 6% increase in benefits next
year including retirement. Jim replied that based on what we know today retirement is a
substantial increase. Hank asked if we set aside that money for this year. Jim said yes.
He recapped that we assessed and evaluated every position before we filled it, eliminated
several teaching jobs, made adjustments to library books, eliminated 2.5 secretary
positions, eliminated .8 custodian at the junior high. Some capital projects didn’t go
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forward. At this point we are at $879,158 saved. We went deeper than the final amount
lost from the State of $701,136.
Hank asked Jim to keep in mind that when we talked about the next year’s budget and
consolidation, we talked about savings. We have already included one of those savings
in this year’s reductions. Gail said more than one as we didn’t fill a teaching position and
a custodian position. Jim assured Hank that he has the original document from 3 years
ago where we talked about what our consolidation savings would be, and he is keeping
that in the forefront.
Gail reminded the Board that the FY12 approved budget planned for four 1st grade
teachers at Hanover Street School. At one point we thought we might only need three
classes, but we are now looking at two 1st grade classes with 21 students and one with 22.
She recommended that we fill the fourth 1st grade teacher position. It was not part of the
cut list but rather has been held in the FY12 budget. However, we will need to take from
the cut list the money to hire a para for that classroom. Jim added that wages and
benefits would total between $30,000 and $35,000. Hank Tenney asked if the money that
was added to the budget at the deliberative session, and we decided at that time not to
use, is part of the $879,158. Jim said yes, it is the $194,747 figure on line 2 of the
proposed final cuts spreadsheet. Hank noted that means we will have to spend some of
the money we said we weren’t going to spend. Jim agreed, given the difference between
what we have saved and ($879,158) and the impact of the State ($701,136). He reminded
Hank that we talked about not using the $194,747 for the positions that the public asked
to add back. Hank said to put the aide back in at $35,000 we would have to use some of
that $194,747. We basically have $178,022 between the cumulative cuts and the impact
of State budget cuts.
Jeff Peavey asked if we do not have enough aides at Hanover Street School to fill this
position. Gail replied that all of the aides currently employed are employed in a specific
position. Kathleen Berger wondered if three paras could rotate among the four 1st grade
classes since class size in each of those would be decreased to about 15 students. Gail
replied that would not be parity of support, and therefore not equitable to all of our
students. Every K-8 classroom has a para regardless of number of students in the room.
Al Patterson noted it is not what we do, but asked would it work. If we can figure out a
way to be more fiscally responsible why can’t we do that? Gail said one of the things we
have tried to do is have parity across the district.
Bob McCarthy expressed a problem with doing something because of parity. You either
need it or you don’t. Gail said in order to provide the same level of support in each
classroom it is needed at this time. Jim added that if you have fourteen teachers in 1st and
2nd grade and thirteen have a full-time aide, it is not fair to the fourteenth with a similar
load to not have the aide. If the Board wants to make a philosophical change in delivery
of services that should be a conversation we have during next year’s budget development.
Gail said we also have a contractual obligation to provide a paraprofessional.
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Laura Dykstra asked Gail if enrollment for Mount Lebanon is predicted, and also asked
her to tell us about students’ experience and your threshold of enrollment in every room
lying around this decision. Gail replied that for Hanover Street the discussion was to
look at a certain cut point to make the class ratio approximately 16 or 17 to one which is
the Board guideline. We weren’t sure we would be there so we waited. Gail and
Principal Bouranis set a maximum number between 64 and 65 students when we would
begin to talk about adding a fourth teacher. We are at 64 now. We looked at the Board
guideline for class size and have been watching the numbers at Mount Lebanon.
Hank Tenney noted we were lucky to have the $194,747 as a buffer. He asked why
would we put a teacher in the budget and not the aide and said he is not happy with the
process. Jim agreed we should have taken both out or left both in.
MOTION by Laura Dykstra and seconded by Beth White to expend the money to add a
paraprofessional for the additional 1st grade classroom at Hanover Street School.
Carissa Means asked where else can we cut to come up with the $35,000. Jeff Peavey
felt we should add the para, but is uncomfortable taking the money from here when we
told the public that we were not going to fund the positions at the high school and the
money would not be spent. He could therefore not vote in favor of the motion. Hank
Tenney agreed. Gail said we would have to go back to the leadership team and talk about
where we can find it because this is a collaborative district-wide process. Al Patterson
expressed a problem with having made these cuts to save money and now we start
spending. It appears the process was not intentional but he is not comfortable with how it
Laura Dykstra offered to amend her motion to say we authorize the position of the
paraprofessional. What is important is that the students get the teaching staff they need.
Board members generally agreed that the funding should be found elsewhere in the FY12
budget and not from the savings made from previous budget cuts. Kathleen Berger
suggested this is unfair because cuts were made and people got riffed. Laura pointed out
that the positions we riffed were based on low enrollment, and this is for increased
enrollment. Beth added that we were aware we needed to wait for enrollment in that
Hanover Street School class. Jeff Peavey noted we told the public the money voted at the
deliberative session would be given back to the taxpayers. He said we are looking at
$16,725 to come up with in the FY12 budget. Jim Fenn said he will go back to the
administrators and work to find it.
Laura Dykstra withdrew her motion and Beth White withdrew her second.
MOTION by Laura Dykstra and seconded by Beth White to authorize the hiring of a
paraprofessional for the additional 1st grade classroom at Hanover Street School to be
funded from somewhere in the FY12 budget other than the $879,158 cuts already made.
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VOTE: 8 YES 0 NO 1 ABSTAIN [Hank Tenney]
Laura clarified that the $879,158 is part of our budget. Hank cautioned that the $701,136
to cover the State’s cuts must come out of this. Jim Fenn assured Hank that he will do
the procedure, and it will leave us short about $16,000 which will have to come out of the
$194,747. Laura noted that we are bound by our vote to raise the full amount. If we do
everything as we just said, we will have a surplus of $194,747 minus the $16,000 no
matter how we manipulate this. She recalled that the State had considered allowing
school boards to go back to the public for a second vote. Jim Fenn said that has dropped
by the wayside. Christina Haidari said that the reality is we have to pay the bills. She
believes the voters can understand that we have done what we could to proactively not go
over budget and be in debt. Hank said there should be a surplus of $194,747 at year end.
k. 9 Bixby Street
Gail reported that we have a signed agreement between the School District and the City
to allow us to start some of the project prior to actual conveyance of the property. The
first piece is asbestos removal. Dave McBride is hopeful this will occur late next week or
the beginning of the following week. We are trying to get on the agenda for the Planning
Board in August to get permitting we need. Jim Fenn added that the only permit we need
is for demolition. As soon as it is certified that the asbestos has been removed, we will
work with the City’s attorney to get the demolition permit, if necessary prior to having
the deed recorded.
m. Sealed Bid Document
Jim Fenn reported that the administration has worked with the Real Estate Committee to
establish procedures for selling School Street School and Sacred Heart School. The
School Board’s policy requires us to get permission from the voters at the annual meeting
or a special meeting when we sell real estate. So we cannot transfer the ownership of
either of these two buildings until after the March meeting. We have worked with our
legal council on a request for bid document, essentially a sealed bid process. It is posted
on Sakai. We would accept bids on a certain date and would put that in a warrant article
in January to bring to the voters in March. The Board would decide if we will accept the
high bid. The whole process will probably take 30 to 45 days from the day we put out
bids until bids come in. It is a process we use all the time when we do our contracts. The
language in this contract has been adjusted for real estate.
Laura Dykstra noted that on p. 3, a qualification of bidders prohibits a felony. She
wondered if this is standard practice. Jim said that may be language copied from other
contracts where it is appropriate. Al Patterson said it is important that it be removed.
Laura noted an inconsistency on p. 4. We have never asked people to say what they
intend to use the building for. If we truly want that to be effective it has to say in
perpetuity which can seriously limit the value of the property. Jim explained the intent
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was to give the Board the opportunity to say the property should continue as a school
building, and accept a lower bid. Laura observed that is only good on closing day.
Carissa Means said the intent was to reassure the Board that the committee had done
what we could to assure what would be happening to the buildings.
Jim asked the Board to vote to go forward and authorize 2 buildings to be considered.
MOTION by Hank Tenney and seconded by Al Patterson to give permission, with the
changes on the bid application, to send out bids for both Sacred Heart School and School
Gail said before we would bring a final document forward we will bring the two
questions back to legal council. There may be a reason they kept those statements in. If
there are no issues, Jim will make the changes and get the revised document out to the
Board. If there are issues he will bring these back to the Real Estate Committee.
Jim will work with Dianne Estes to get the word out. It will be on the website, with
virtual tours and we will advertise in the newspaper.
Jeff Peavey asked Jim and Gail to pressure SUR to get the back of Sacred Heart School
cleaned up before we go out to bid. If they don’t clean it up the City is responsible.
8. Standing Committees
a. Education Committee
Christina Haidari drew attention to the list of suggested topics for the 2011-12 year. The
first half of the list, up to Co-Curricular Manual, are mostly presentations and the
handbook we go through every year. After that are topics discussed at previous meetings
that were not completed or followed through on this past year. Then come curriculum
and homework. The committee decided that the priorities would be math review and
band uniforms. Christina asked the Board for suggestions.
Carissa Means asked that correcting the curriculum on the website, a discussion of how
we will work with the new curriculum director, and the Social Studies curriculum, be
added to this list, and have priority over band uniforms.
Hank Tenney asked why band uniforms is an Education Committee topic. Christina
responded it has gone back and forth between Co-Curricular Council and Education
Committee. Beth White recalled it has never been on the Co-Curricular budget. Laura
Dykstra noted that students get academic credit for band.
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Jeff Peavey recalled that when he sat on the Education Committee in the mid-90s,
committee members were more involved with curriculum development and discussions
so that when it came back to the Board could understand what was happening. He said
the Board is here to educate our children and should be as involved as possible.
Carissa Means said she was very concerned the first time Mrs. Billings spoke. She
provided a clear, concise, and well thought out presentation about what she knows and
perceives. Carissa felt her concerns were not addressed, almost to the level of being
dismissed. She asked if this will be addressed and was told we set our agenda items in
June for the fall. Carissa stressed that our job as school board members is to ensure our
students are being educated and maybe we need to shift our focus to that.
Laura Dykstra said her sense, in the six years she has been on the Education Committee,
is that action achieving satisfaction has been up and down over time. She advised caution
with the words we use. If a parent comes to a Board meeting concerned about a
classroom issue, it is not appropriate for the Board to take action. It is appropriate for the
family to be guided to the teacher, the principal, and the administration. We need to
absolutely support that and follow up as the policy-making body, but we need to be
careful with what we can impact one-on-one with a family or teacher. She would like to
see more active involvement by the Education Committee. SINI and DINI are very time-
consuming. Things have changed, but we could make different impacts with what our
Al Patterson noted that this wasn’t a parent coming to complain. She had thought it out
and documented her concerns. There are some good ideas and we should listen as well as
hear. Obviously something is not working and we ought to get it right. Laura stressed
she is not discrediting any person who comes with a concern, but as a policy-making
body we can’t try to dictate what teachers do in the classroom. Hank Tenney said he
trusts the people we have on the Education Committee. When it comes to curriculum he
hopes they give us what they feel is the knowledge we need.
Al asked the committee members if they feel their input is part of the final decisions.
Beth White said not all meetings are about curriculum. Laura added that there is a good
percentage of agenda time in a year that gives the committee insight into things like
English language learners. They are presentations and are meant to be that. Hopefully
we are conveying the very good work going on in our district, as well as participating in
decision making. Jeff recalled that two years ago the Board said we would take one year
off World Language and the Education Committee would bring it back. He suggested it is
the Education Committee’s job to ensure follow through. Christina Haidari noted that to
review and implement something like World Language the committee has to work with
the entire District. It is a big process, and different from dealing with action items.
Hank Tenney urged the Education Committee to put curriculum on the front burner. Gail
Paludi said we all agree this is the year’s priority is to work on the math curriculum.
The next meeting will be on Monday August 22.
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b. Finance/Facilities Committee
Al Patterson reported that they talked about windows, and 9 Bixby. Food services
collection was tabled to the next meeting. The policies they are reviewing were tabled to
next meeting. They heard about the fund balance. They decided composting will be
funded through the high school’s budget this year. We will put it in as an item for next
c. Personnel/Negotiations Committee
Beth White said they will be meeting in early September.
a. Building Committee
Laura Dykstra reported they met on June 30 and July 14. We have the full building
permit. They went through seven change orders on June 30 including door changes at
$3,500, and adding a steel ladder to the roof at $1,000.
Al Patterson asked if these change orders are coming out of taxpayer’s money. It could
be argued that these are architectural mistakes that should be paid for by the architect.
Hank Tenney said the only changes he has been approving are the ones that involve
upgrading to a certain code. What was put in the budget originally met code, but Calvin
Hunnewell goes a little farther, which he has the right to do. City Hall goes along with
his interpretations. Jim Fenn reported we have successfully argued some of those. Gail
Paludi said there was a meeting with the City where questions were asked regarding the
plans. As a result of that a few minor changes were made. Al felt these are things that
should have been picked up by the architect.
Beth White asked if there is a list of items that were put in for the contingency fund.
Laura said a year ago we put some things aside, not out of the bottom line, but to wait to
see where we are. Some have been put back in. We still have a contingency of $723,000
and T-N has one that they don’t keep, and they get zero on change orders. Laura noted
that no plans come out perfect. If we need a roof ladder there is no extra time being
incurred. The contract we have with Banwell indicates that it is for the betterment of the
project and we would have paid for it anyway. Al countered that the fire codes do not
change overnight. These are mistakes that were overlooked and missed.
Bob McCarthy said to understand fully, one has to listen to the whole presentation at
change order meetings. Laura added that in the case of the ladder the design specified a
surface mount and they asked for a flush mount.
Jim Fenn said that even though we have paid for some of these changes, we are still
$500,000 ahead of what we expected to be when we designed the building.
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Laura continued that at this point we are about 50% done. We expect the building to be
enclosed within three weeks. Preliminary paving has been done to help with dust on the
site. The brick and stone veneer is working its way around the gym. Steve Horton and
Pathways are working with the Department of Transportation on the school speed zone
on Rte 4. The law allows you to drop the speed from the original by 10 mph. Al
suggested that we consider solar-powered flashing speed signs.
Ingrid will bring flooring color boards with a full array of color patterns to next week’s
Building Committee meeting.
The next neighborhood meeting will be after Labor Day.
Gail said we continue to work on a date and time, perhaps before an August Board
meeting, for a tour that would include Grantham’s board, and perhaps the Plainfield
b. Real Estate Committee
c. Policy Committee
The next meeting is on Friday, July 22.
10. Other Reports
a. Hartford Area Career and Technical Center Regional Board
b. Athletic and Co-curricular Council
Hank Tenney said the next meeting will be on September 2. They will talk about the hall
of fame, coaches’ ideas for schedule changes, the banners that were taken down.
c. Recreation Liaison
d. Staff Development Committee
11. Important Dates
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12. Other Business
Bob McCarthy asked if the letter received from Melissa Billings regarding the history
curriculum is being addressed. Gail reported she e-mailed Melissa that she is in the
process of reviewing the curriculum and would get back to her.
Hank Tenney asked if we are following through with our commitment that we would
contact people who address the Board during public comment. Jeff Peavey said he has
been calling them. Kathleen Berger said she would be happy to write letters.
Jeff Peavey noted that we hired Gail with an eye to her background in curriculum. He
would like to see her step away from the Building Committee to be able to concentrate
more on our curriculum if she and the Board wish. Gail replied she loves the curriculum
work and has started to do more. She is concerned about stepping away from the
Building Committee. She is hopeful that it will not be meeting as often.
Al Patterson noted that Gail knows her capabilities and it is her decision. The Board
13. Nonpublic Session for the Discussion of Matters as per RSA 91-A:3, II (a), (b), (c),
(d), and (e)
MOTION by Hank Tenney and seconded by Kathleen Berger to go into non-public
session pursuant to NH RSA 91-A: 3, II (c) and (d) at 9:52 p.m.
ROLL CALL VOTE: Unanimous
MOTION by Hank Tenney and seconded by Carissa Means to extend the meeting to
MOTION by Hank Tenney and seconded by Al Patterson to extend the meeting to 10:30
MOTION by Hank Tenney and seconded by Al Patterson to extend the meeting by 3
RETURN TO PUBLIC SESSION
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The public session resumed at 10:35 p.m.
MOTION by Hank Tenney and seconded by Al Patterson not to grant a personnel
MOTION by Al Patterson and seconded by Kathleen Berger to adjourn at 10:36 p.m.
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