School Board Meeting Minutes February 27, 2008
Cranberry Isles School Board
Minutes of 27 February 2008
I. Meeting was called to order by chairperson Kate Chaplin at 1:00 P.M.
Present: Board Members Kate Chaplin, Barbara Meyers and Ted Spurling; principal Carol MacRae; and superintendent Rob Liebow.
II. Voucher was reviewed and signed.
III. Minutes of 1/16/2008 were reviewed and approved. Motion: Barbara; second: Kate; vote: yes, unan.
IV. Discussion Items:
A. Town Involvement in Maintenance Issues:
1. Kate briefed members regarding the recent Selectmen’s meeting in early February. Selectmen had inquired into the possibility of assisting with school maintenance issues, particularly Longfellow School, as this is currently not used as a school building. They suggested using assistant Eric Dyer as a resource. Kate reported the discussion as generally favorable.
2. Review of Michael Westphal’s inspection (dated 2/18/2008) of the Longfellow School, done at request of selectman Richard Beal.
Mike has studied 12 areas of concern, listed order of priority, and given rough estimates.
3. Rob said that some turnover of maintenance issues to the selectmen might be in order for Longfellow, as the school is dormant.
4. Barbara voiced concern about lead paint during renovations and said that correct procedure should be followed.
5. Discussion about authority over the building if used in the future as a school.
6. Kate suggested that the school board draft a list of needs and give it to Eric Dyer (for bids, credentialing, billing, etc.) as this would be in line with his duties for other town projects.
7. Ted asked if this could include input from the Municipal Advisory Committee—or is Mike’s report sufficient for our needs at present?
8. Carol asked if concern about relinquishing control was because of environmental issues. Kate thought not, because the school may not be on their (the selectmen’s?) radar.
9. Barbara said that one possibility for Longfellow would be to provide space for a town office.
10. Rob said that the school committee could have final authority while allowing the selectmen to maintain it. Safety issues, etc, could be overseen by the school committee.
11. Discussion about future enrollment at Longfellow: How many students would it take to re-open? Would it be better to boat fewer than five students? Barbara said that many feel that without a school it would be difficult to attract more families with children.
Cranberry Isles School Board — Minutes of 2/27/2008 — page 2
12. Kate said that it appears that the message coming from the selectmen is for the building to be used better for functions other than school-related. But, she said, the school board will need to maintain the option for use as a school in the future.
13. Discussion of environmental issues: Barbara said that the school board should retain authority and review each project.
14. Ted said that he is OK with Rob’s idea that selectmen assist with non-school-related projects such as maintenance, but school matters must be handled by the school committee, as this board is more concerned with education—that typically the selectmen are concerned with budget—that there needs to be a balance, but our focus should be on education.
B. First Reading of Policies: KHB advertising in schools—see sheet
C. Defining, posting that Cranberry Isles Schools and grounds be smoke-free:
signs, etc at both schools.
D. Crisis-response plan: Carol said that we currently have a simpler plan.
E. Action Item (taken out of order): Barbara moved to accept revision of
policies. Ted seconded. Vote: yes, unan.
V. Action Items:
A. Approval of legal funding for Regional Planning Committee (RPC). Rob said that this is not as applicable to Cranberry Isles schools as it is to MDI schools, that it would be reasonable to request up to $1000 of the
selectmen, that this is not necessarily a “school” thing but a “town” thing that concerns school consolidation. Barb moved to approve, Ted seconded. Vote: yes, unan.
B. Adoption of 2008-2009 calendar. Discussion: Carol discussed a parent teacher conference day. This would be the first year, and that teachers would be happy to have one in November and one in April—and would trade for two days in June to get out earlier. Rob said that these are
technically professional days and to consider them school days would not be correct. (Currently there are 175 student school days and 184 teacher contract days.) Motion to approve calendar: Ted; second Kate; vote: yes, unan.
VI. Other Business:
A. Validation Referendum: Rob explained that this new state law involves a two-step process. The school budget must be approved at the town meeting, then again by referendum at a later date. Kate moved to authorize the Superintendent to sign off on the budget referendum
pursuant to 20-A MRSA § 1486(2) and 2307, the form of Notice of Amounts. Barbara seconded. Vote: Yes, unan. This to be delivered to the Town Clerk for display publicly.
B. Brief budget explanation: Rob
C. Ferry Policy: Report from Drummond, Woodsum and MacMahon regarding the pros/cons of having a policy for students riding ferries.
There are negatives to a policy that is flawed or not enforced strictly. Kate said that we should not have a standard policy but rather a strong Cranberry Isles School Board — Minutes of 2/27/2008 — page 3 recommendation and provide a monitor on board—and not to provide PFD’s (life jackets) as these are to each family’s individual preference.
Carol said that education about safety is key—to prevent accidents on the dock as well as the boat. She said that we should encourage involvement from passengers and off-island workers waiting on the dock to prevent children from misbehaving or failing to wear PFD’s. Kate asked whether
we should ask students not to arrive on the dock without a monitor. Carol to discuss these matters with teachers. (See sheet entitled “Student Safety on Ferries” for more.) Motion by Kate to accept modified draft of policy for Student Safety on Ferries. Second: Barbara. Vote: yes, unan.
D. Barbara voiced concern from a citizen regarding tuition for a non-resident student attending a private school. General agreement that this is a real concern and that we need a firmer policy. Rob said that adhering to the
letter of the law would be difficult and likely more costly in this case.
E. Principal’s Report: See sheet.
F. Quebec Trip: Carol explained briefly and said that the school expects it will cost approximately $8900.00. Verbal approval for Carol to send deposit for trip expenses (no action taken).
VII. Adjournment at 2:50 P.M.
Theodore L. Spurling, Jr.