School Board Meeting Minutes December 14, 2010

<<< Return to School Committee-Minutes Selection Page

Cranberry Isles School Board
Minutes of December 14, 2010

I. Meeting was called to order by chairperson Barbara Meyers at 1:00 P.M. at the Superintendent’s Office, MDIHS. Present: Board members Barbara Meyers, Katelyn
Damon and Ted Spurling, Jr.; Principal Carol MacRae; Superintendent Rob Liebow; Jim Fortune (Administrative Assistant to Cranberry Isles Selectmen); Jeri Spurling
and Phil Whitney, members of the public; and Financial Officer Nancy Thurlow later in the meeting for budget discussion.
II. Approval of Voucher: Reviewed and signed by board members.
III. Approval of Minutes of 17 November 2010: Motion to approve: Katelyn; Second: Barbara, with correction: In the line VI.A, change “wiring” related to computer airports to “hard-wiring”. Vote: yes, unanimously, with correction.
IV. Reports:
A. Principal’s Report: Carol MacRae (see sheet of 12/14/2010):
1. Concert tonight at Mount Desert Elementary School. Islesford School students will participate, and thanks to Rob Liebow for running a special boat.
2. Teachers’ collaboration with other island teachers.
3. Music teacher: Carol has interviewed for the vacant position and recommends hiring Beau Lisy (see under “Other Business” for nomination and vote).
B. Update on Goals:
1. Teaching and Learning Collaborative (TLC): Focus on what to learn in particular units; what to expect from students (getting involvement from students).
2. Different way for many teachers in district. Focus on what children are learning rather than what teachers are teaching.
V. Discussion Items:
A. Budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2012: Nancy Thurlow entered for explanation.
1. Carol: Five high school students are anticipated next year.
2. Nancy explained budget (see sheet).
3. Specials Teachers: Carol said that they now come in afternoons, and should receive 60% of a day’s pay instead of 50%. Carol suggested that this be factored into the budget. Barbara commented that teachers are relieved that mornings are now for academics.
4. Health Insurance: Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield has increased rates 10%. Currently, only one teacher receives coverage through the School Department and the other has private coverage. Rob commented that a teacher with family could add $18,000 per year to the budget for insurance.
5. Tuition: Nancy has figured a 4% hike for 2011-2012.
6. After-school care of Great Cranberry students: Carol said that we have no figure for this at present, and have not needed funding in recent years because of inter-family connections.
7. Special Education: Nancy has boosted the reserve; also tuition surcharge, based on actual expenditures.
8. Health Services: Carol recommended more first aid for sports events.
9. Library/Audio-Visual: Barbara asked if the budget would include hardwiring
for computers/internet. Nancy said that this should be included in Building Maintenance.
10. Transportation (includes Room/Board for high school students):
a. Nancy said that this can fluctuate depending on boat transportation
or room/board.
b. Carol: The increase reflects additional elementary student from
GCI.
c. Carol said that with five high school students anticipated, we should budget for five or six, and that normally we budget for one extra. However, we currently have $12,000 in the tuition reserve.
Nancy said that this could be decided at the next meeting.
d. Carol said that in 2013 there may be a greater number of students entering high school. She recommended a tuition reserve to cover this, while spending less at present (taken out of order from discussion after Islesford School Entrance).
B. Great Cranberry Island students/Longfellow School (taken out of order):
1. Barbara reminded that she had e-mailed to the Board the birthdates of pre-school children on both islands (see e-mail of 12/13/2010).
2. Discussion of possible use again of the Longfellow School on GCI (or) boating GCI students to Islesford as currently (or) alternating schools.
3. Barbara said that critical mass of students is important. She said that it would be better to run one school, but would sympathize with parents who did not want a young child to ride the boat each day.
4. Rob agreed that having one quality school would be better.
5. Currently, there are seven (or six) pre-schoolers, and those closer to school age live on GCI.
6. Phil Whitney said that saving communities should also be considered, that it would be a good idea for children to have an appreciation of both islands. He said that alternating schools would serve that purpose, and
that a discussion of quality and cost alone may result in the loss of Great Cranberry as a community.
7. Barbara said that this would be important for identity as well.
8. Rob said that he will get a legal opinion about the Town’s obligation to open Longfellow School if a family were to insist—for handicap reasons, for example.
9. Katelyn said that alternating schools may result in a change in ferry schedule.
10. Carol said that a majority of students from GCI is not anticipated until 2013-2014.
11. Rob said that for current budget purposes Islesford should be considered.
12. Barbara said that it is important not to lose families that we do have on GCI.
13. Ted said that it is also important to attract more families, and to consider the intangible of families that may not have moved to GCI, or would not move there, because of a lack of school.
14. Phil said that he agrees with the concept of alternating—not necessarily each year, but possibly based on amount of students from each island.
He agreed that attracting families is unlikely without a functioning school.
15. Housing possibilities for teacher at Longfellow School: possibility of an apartment above the school; the Parsonage; building to suit on donated land (some interest in this on GCI).
16. Barbara and Katelyn agreed that it would be important to meet face-toface, and on Great Cranberry, with families concerned.
C. Islesford School Entrance (possible renovation):
1. Jeri Spurling presented floor plan and sketch. She offered two options, based on previous discussion.
a. Jeri said that Option B seems better: extend front of building four feet beyond existing porch (plus filling in existing porch area).
Option B also widens the face of the building front eight inches in order to make cornices match, due to extension of the front. This option would require foundation work. Option A would not require foundation work, although it would be desirable.
b. Ramps: Slope of 1:8, which is code for existing buildings.
c. Bathroom: With Option A, no change. With Option B, some change to bathroom and the option of additional office space.
2. Barbara said that discussion of Longfellow School may skew plans for this project.
3. Katelyn said that this project is important enough to set reserve money aside.
4. Carol said that shingling of roof and sides may be a factor in budgeting.
She also said that teacher Lindsay Eysnogle and husband may be moving into their own house soon, and that the vacancy of the apartment may provide a good time for construction.
5. Ted said that re-shingling should be considered general maintenance, and that the entrance renovation should be considered capital improvement. He said that the roof would need re-shingling regardless of the project.
6. Rear entrance (outside staircase to apartment) a safety concern.
7. Estimate on re-roofing Islesford School: Carol will ask Courtney Chaplin for a ball-park estimate.
8. Barbara recommended $30,000 additional into maintenance budget for shingles, etc. Agreement among board, no vote.
D. Internet Safety Concerns:
1. Carol said that this is no longer an emergency, that she has ordered office furniture to resolve the problem for now. She said that a technologist will come to the island to assess and complete hard-wiring of internet ports.
2. Barbara said that many European cities are eliminating wireless in schools.
E. Heliker-LaHotan Foundation Residency Program at Longfellow School: Patricia Bailey of the Foundation has presented a letter of appreciation for use of the
school space, and has included photos.
VI. Action Item: Appointment of Representative to the Special Education Reserve Subcommittee: (No action at this time.)
VII. Future Agenda Items (for January 12 meeting):
A. Budget: Maintenance; Capital Improvement; Longfellow School.
B. Planning for meeting with families of pre-schoolers.
VIII. Other Business: Barbara moved to sign a working agreement with Beau Lisy as music instructor through the current school year at 60% of a day’s salary per week, at
base salary. Seconded by Katelyn. Vote: Yes, unanimously.
IX. Adjournment at 4:00 P.M.
Respectfully submitted,
Theodore L. Spurling, Jr.

<<< Return to School Committee-Minutes Selection Page