School Board Meeting Minutes August 28, 2007

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Cranberry Isles School Board
Minutes of Meeting — 28 August 2007

I. Meeting called to order by chairperson Kate Chaplin, 3:00 P.M.
Present: Board members Kate Chaplin, Barbara Meyers and Ted Spurling; Superintendent Rob Liebow; Principal Carol MacRae; teachers Jane Grover and Lindsay Eysnogle; parents Steve Philbrook, Sally Rowan and Skip Stevens.
II. Voucher approved and signed.
III. Reading of minutes approved by board.
IV. Discussion items:
A. Islesford School: Toilet in teacher’s apartment leaks, floor tiles bad,
ceiling in classroom below discolored. Kate (?) to call plumber or carpenter. Possible failure of wax seal under toilet.
B. Longfellow School: Discussion about roof.
C. Kindergarten: Jane reports that some parents prefer either full-day or halfday.
Trend nation-wide is toward full-day. Carol said that kindergartners receiving full-day have higher level of reading skills. Jane said that the teachers recommend a full day, but that kindergartners start with a halfday and transition over six weeks or a trimester. She would like to hear from everyone involved. Kate asked if specials were available with halfday. Lindsay said that Spanish would only be available for grades 4-8, not K-3. Steve said that he would accept either decision—half or full day. Concern expressed about a daily boat ride for a Great Cranberry kindergartner. Rob agreed with the plan to start with half-day and transition to full-day; that Mount Desert schools begin the year with full day.
D. Question from Barbara about absenteeism for a kindergartner that may be away for three weeks. Carol said that family time in early childhood is important, that travel can be good education. Jane said that 93% attendance is important to maintain [Acceptable Yearly Progress?] status. Rob explained that as far as No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is concerned there is no distinction between excused and unexcused absences. Must meet AYP.
E. Agreement—but with no action voted—to teach kindergarten half-day until after Columbus day weekend (Oct. 9).
Action Item: Approval of letter of intent regarding the governor’s consolidation plan (see separate sheet). The board voted to file intent for both of two options: (A) intent to submit a reorganization plan and (B) intent to submit an alternate plan. Rob explained that both fulfill the requirement to file. Motion by Ted to approve, seconded by Barbara. Vote: yes, unanimously.
VI. Other Business:
A. Music: Carol reported that Kim Cass, who plans to work with MDIHS, is interested in teaching music at Islesford. Kim has a B.A. but is not certified as a teacher. Rob recommended Kim highly. Motion by Kate to hire Kim Cass one day per week at a rate of 1/5 base salary. Seconded by Barbara. Vote: Yes, unanimously.
B. Custodian: Carol said that Cari Q. is interested in the job. No vote taken regarding the position because the principal may hire support staff. Carol asked about the hourly rate, and will investigate with Nancy Thurlow.
Jane recommended changing to non-harmful cleaning products in the school. Without vote, all agreed to the use of such products.
C. Rob asked about the lease of the Longfellow School upper room to the Futures Group (athletic club). Question during discussion also about the Islesford teacher’s apartment lease. Decision (no vote) that the Chairperson of the school board may sign leases.
D. Kate reported that she has asked the selectmen about compensation for school board members attending Consolidation meetings, as these are above and beyond normal board requirements. Selectmen agreed generally but said, “How much?” Barbara reports going to Augusta and Ellsworth for meetings and the need for overnight lodging. General agreement (no vote) to ask for $750 per board member, plus special boat fare, overnight accommodation and extraordinary mileage.
E. Carol said that she is happy to be part of the community; that she sees her role as communicator; and that she will schedule to be here on Tuesdays and another half-day per week as well. She would like to do a weekly newsletter.
F. Discussion about Inter-Island Event (Frenchboro Sept 27-28): Carol would like to hold school for kindergartners those days, possibly with a field trip.
G. The “Big Trip” is scheduled for May of 2008, possibly Quebec or Montreal. Discussion of fundraising and REAP money for the trip. The trip will include grades 4-8. Budget to be announced after plan developed by Carol and teachers. Jane commended Lindsay for working hard to make the previous trip so economical. Passports? Process of applying for them could be valuable. Process of fundraising also important.
H. The Islesford School has received a grant of $50 from the A.W. Chesterton Co. in memory of Philip Bowditch.
I. Desks to arrive on Friday (used ones from Pemetic Elementary). Window blinds also to arrive soon.
VII. Adjournment 5:10 P.M.

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