School Board Meeting Minutes May 26, 2010

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Cranberry Isles School Board
Minutes of 26 May 2010

I. Meeting was called to order by chairperson Barbara Meyers at 3:05 P.M. at the Islesford School. Present: Board members Barbara Meyers, Katelyn Damon and Ted
Spurling, Jr.; Superintendent Rob Liebow; Principal Carol MacRae; Teachers Lindsay Eysnogle and Donna Isaacs; Custodian Iann Krasnow.
II. Voucher was reviewed, approved and signed.
III. Minutes of 28 April 2010 were reviewed and approved (Motion: Barbara, with amendment that high-frequency sound devices for mice prevention be prohibited (see article V.B.4 of 4/28/2010); Second: Katelyn; Vote: Yes, unanimously.
IV. Principal’s Report (deferred to later in meeting—after article VIII—see also sheet from Carol):
A. Carol reports a new family moving to Islesford and two new students in school—first and second grade. This should bring enrollment to ten students.
B. Service Learning Project: Lindsay took students on a “trash walk” on Earth Day. This led to a study of ecosystems and effects on animals. The students made a weaving with trash from the beach. The students plan to put up posters and weavings, and have designed trash bins. They have approval from the Selectmen to place them in the Town. They have organized a beach cleanup and barbecue for June ninth.
C. The students had responded to a note in a bottle found by Rick Alley. A girl in Quebec had thrown the bottle from Schoodic Point five years ago and it had washed up into the bushes at Bunker’s Cove. The family arranged a visit with the students and combined it with French class and a visit with Ashley Bryan, who gave a tour—in French—of his home and puppet/toy collection.
D. Lindsay reported on the inter-island project curriculum and development of a web-based program to make it easier for future teachers on all islands. Because
of the grant that Lindsay and Jessie Campbell (teacher on Monhegan Island) have written, the Island Institute has made school sustainability a priority. Lindsay said that a relationship can be better established now that teachers can stay more than two years and therefore think long-term. Donna said that another island school that had considered closing can stay alive this year because of this project.
Lindsay is to be trained at a workshop in Cambridge.
V. Discussion Items:
A. Capital Improvements
1. Discussion of Ceilings, Islesford School: The test results from Riverside Lane Corp. (Tim Henderson) of the peeling paint from the ceilings indicate high levels of lead. A rough estimate for a “renovation” of the ceilings could cost around $20,000 and would involve covering with wallboard after first strapping the ceiling. A complete “abatement” would cost far more. Barbara asked whether the students should be tested for lead because of the structural work on the ceiling in 2008. Teachers had reported a great amount of dust after that project. Discussion followed about lead paint in homes, boats, etc., and that it could not be conclusive as to where any levels of lead might originate.
Rob suggested that removing the problem should be sufficient. Katelyn suggested a memo to parents. Rob called Tim Henderson during the meeting and arranged for him to come to the school at 7:30 A.M. Tuesday, June the first.
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2. Discussion of front steps, Islesford School (The present front steps are made of concrete and have deteriorated. They have also been a longtime safety concern because of the steepness, and the slope on the treads):
Iann Krasnow, custodian, gave a brief report. He said that new steps would not be as steep, would be made of wood, and could incorporate a wheelchair ramp similar to the one at the Neighborhood House. Iann also suggested the possibility of a lift instead of a ramp. Depending on size and model, the cost of a lift could be $2500 to $5000. This would require less space. Katelyn asked about a composite material such as vinyl for steps or ramp. Barbara said that the board’s ongoing discussion of renovation of the front entry may now be “on hold” because of the ceiling expense, and asked Iann if new steps could be built in order to be incorporated into a new front entry project in the future. Iann said yes. He also said that a lift might not cost any more than a new ramp. Discussion followed about the availability of the lift to the general public (Iann had said that it should be key-accessed). Lindsay was also concerned that a lift might make a wheel-chaired student feel more self-conscious. Iann agreed to give an estimate for steps built of cedar and also of composite material.
B. Transportation Policy: Barbara said that there had been misunderstanding and disagreement between the Selectmen and the School Board about the School Board’s hiring of a boat service to provide students access to high school five mornings per week starting mid-May. The Board of Selectmen had canceled the service, unknown to the School Board. Selectman Richard Beal had said, according to Barbara, that not only did he see an expense problem but a process problem. Ted stated that the Board of Selectmen also displayed a process problem in going over the head of another elected board, and outside of a meeting. Discussion followed about weekend fares on Beal and Bunker for high school students and how to account for these. Barbara agreed to talk with the Town Transportation Committee members about school share of funding for the morning boat starting fall 2010, which was approved at the annual town meeting in March. The School Board agreed to continue with the morning boat for the remainder of the school year and to monitor cost. Barbara said that Karl Brunner (owner of the morning ferry service) had said that it averaged $60 per day last fall.
VI. Action Items:
A. Reorganization of school committee:
1. Ted nominated Barbara chairperson; second by Katelyn; vote: yes, unanimously.
2. Ted agreed to continue as “unofficial secretary”. No vote taken.
B. Truant Officer: Katelyn nominated Richard Howland; second by Barbara; vote: yes, unanimously.
C. School Physician: Barbara nominated Dr. David Painter; second by Katelyn; vote: yes, unanimously.
D. Authorization for Superintendent to Apply for and Receive Federal and State Funds: So moved by Katelyn; second by Barbara; vote: yes, unanimously.
VII. Future Agenda Items:
A. System for more accountability of boat tickets.
B. Ceilings, Islesford School.
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C. Window shades.
VIII. Other Business:
A. Barbara received an email from Patricia Bailey of the Heliker-LaHotan Foundation. They are interested in renting the classroom in the Longfellow School for use as a studio for artists or writers. Barbara said that the delay in the window renovation project may present a problem. The Foundation plans only a summer residency at present but may extend into the fall. Ted said that this could be an appropriate use for the space, but that the School Department would have to retain the right to use the room, if needed, as a school classroom, as had been the case with the Historical Society. General agreement in favor to pursue an agreement with the Heliker-LaHotan Foundation for their use of the classroom for the residency program. Barbara agreed to contact the Selectmen and Eric Dyer (Facilities Supervisor) about the windows, to determine a time frame, and to research rent paid by the Historical Society. Barbara also said, in disclosure, that she has agreed to do gardening work for Heliker-LaHotan.
B. Katelyn said that she has had a report from a concerned individual about the presence of Ruby, the dog belonging to teacher Donna Isaacs. According to that
individual, Ruby had barked during the incident. Donna said that Ruby is a trained service animal and is an “alarm barker” and that Ruby is at the school only occasionally, about once per week. Lindsay agreed that Ruby is not a distraction to the students and that Ruby’s barking when someone is at the door is valuable. Donna said that Ruby is also valuable as a “therapy dog” and as a “reading dog”.
Lindsay agreed with this (the students read to Ruby). Katelyn said that her concern was only as a distraction, and suggested putting a sign on the door to inform visitors. Donna said that Ruby is good for discipline, because the
kindergartners believe that they have trained Ruby to sit—and so they now are expected to sit quietly in order not to confuse Ruby. Rob said that a sign at the door would be appropriate and that Tremont also has a reader dog.
IX. Executive Session Pursuant to 1 M.R.S.A. § 405(6)(A) – Personnel Evaluation:
Began Executive Session at 5:59 P.M.; ended at 6:07 P.M.
X. Action Item: Renewal of Contract and Adjustment of Salary for Administrator: Rob recommended that the School Board renew the contract with Carol MacRae as Principal through April 30, 2011, and at a salary of $20,258.00. Ted moved to renew Carol and at that salary; Barbara seconded; vote: yes, unanimously.
XI. Adjournment at 6:12 P.M.
Respectfully submitted,
Theodore L. Spurling, Jr.

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