September 26, 2012 School Committee Minutes

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Cranberry Isles School Committee Meeting, September 26 2012.

Attendance: Katelyn Damon, Barbara Myers, Ben Fulves, Heather Webster, Joanne Harriman, Jeri Spurling, via teleconference: Phil Whitney.

I. Call to Order: The meeting was called to order at 3:15pm by Barbara Myers.

II. Approval of Voucher

III. Approval of Minutes from 6 August 2012, to be presented at meeting.
Minutes from 6 August 2012 meeting were not approved as Secretary Kate Chaplin was not present at the meeting.
Katelyn Damon moves to approve the meeting minutes from September 5, 2012 workshop on Great Cranberry Island and the meeting minutes from the September 18, 2012 workshop on Little Cranberry Island. Barbara Myers seconds the motion. Vote: Yes, unanimous. Motion Passes.

IV. Principal's Report:
Principal Heather Webster gives a brief report.

Upcoming events for the Ashley Bryan School:
• September 26-28 is annual the Inter-Island Event which will be held on Cliff Island.
• October 5 No school, Professional Day.
• October 8 No School, Columbus Day
• October 19 Island Institute conference for teachers in Belfast.

Facilities Update:
• Jim Amuso has been making some necessary repairs at the school.
• Heather states that she is looking to find a solution to make the outside loom safer. The loom itself does appear to be dug into the ground, but the teachers have noticed issues with the buttresses. Ben Fulves states that depending on the wheel chair ramp that is chosen the loom may need to be moved to a new location. Katelyn Damon asks how often the loom is used, and if it would be easiest to take the loom down and put back up when it needs to be used. Heather Webster will ask the teachers how often they for-see the loom being used this fall and it may be the best idea to take it down until the spring. Heather also states that she doesn't want the loom to not be used either. So if the teachers say that they will use it periodically she would like to find a more permanent solution for the loom. There is some discussion about where the loom
can be moved to and what temporary solutions can be done to make the loom more sturdy.

Staff/ School:
• Lauren Simmons has been hired as the Physical Education Teacher.
• No applications have been submitted for the Longfellow Caretaker Position.
Ben Fulves asks what the job description is for the position. Heather states that it may be possible to ask Jim Amuso to go to Great Cranberry to look after small issues at the school until a permanent caretaker has been hired. Ben Fulves states that he will try and do some recruiting on Great Cranberry to find a person to fulfill the position.

Curriculum/ Instruction/ Assessment
• "Lindsey and Donna will be working on the new curriculum progressions and how they will be reported to parents. Report cards will be looking different this year and the district is asking teachers to report out on progress for the first two trimesters through conferences, narratives and progression with the summative report care being given for the third trimester."
-Heather Webster's Principal Report.
• Parent Teacher conferences have been changed from November to December so that they coincide with the end of the trimester.

V. Discussion and Possible Action Items
1. Cranberry Isles School Committee Meeting Dates
• October 17, 2012
• November 21, 2012
• December 19, 2012
• January 16, 2013
• February 27, 2013
• March 20, 2013
• April 24, 2013
• May 15, 2013
• June 19, 2013
There is discussion about what agenda items can be tabled until the next regular meeting, as the meeting is shorter than usual, and a there are other important topics that need to be discussed under other business.
2. Potential need for School Credit Card: Discussion Tabled.
3. Longfellow Caretaker Position: Previously Discussed
4. Money for completion of building projects: Discussion Tabled
5. Specials on Great Cranberry
• Specials on Cranberry is discussed briefly as Ingrid Gaither, Lindsay Eysnogle and Donna
Isaacs were not available to attend the September 26, meeting due to the Inter-Island event.
• Heather briefly discusses what progress has been made to date in integratingGreat Cranberry Island into the regular instruction. Shira, the Ashley Bryan School art teacher, has stated that she would be interested in holding an art event on GCI for both the students and the community.
The music program could also collaborate with the art program for these events.
• Cliff Smith, the cross country couch, is arranging for an Outer Island cross country meet to take place on GCI in October. Runners from Swan's Island and Frenchboro would also attend thisrace.
• Lindsay and Donna are willing to do a fall and/or spring event on GCI. They want the event to be connected to the curriculum and focused on the uniqueness of GCI, showcasing the community and/or resources that GCI offers over LCI to make it more clear why the event is held on GCI as opposed to be held as regular instruction at the Ashley Bryan School.
• Lauren Simmons, the physical education teacher, will be conducting some of her gym class onGCI. Such as, Geocaching, running and other outdoor activities.
• Katelyn Damon states that this is a fantastic start to beginning to integrate GCI into regular school instruction. She thinks that this is a great way to begin the trial and error of figuring out how to hold classes on GCI, what needs to be lugged and tugged and what other issues arise as a result of moving class spaces. She states that then if it is deemed advantageous that more and more classes could begin to be held on GCI once the issues have been sorted through.
• Shira previously voiced some concerns to Heather Webster, who repeats them for the board.
She is worried about losing interaction with Lindsay and Donna and being able to freely discuss with them what is going on with the students during her class. She also does not want to lose the collaborative teaching that she does with the music teacher. She said that if this is what the board wants she is willing to find a way to make it happen, but that she would be more interested in integrating traveling artists into the program instead of moving her entire class to
Great Cranberry.
• Barbara states that she thinks that all of this work and planning is really good. But that she doesn't think that it addresses what Ingrid was really trying to get at with her proposal of having regular class instruction on Great Cranberry. Barbara states that she does think that this process will need a development stage to work out the kinks as well as the fact that this situation would be made easier if there were a useable school space on Great Cranberry where supplies and such
could be stored. Barbara is very appreciative of the other Great Cranberry organizations that have offered to host special school events on GCI. Barbara does not want to make any final decisions without the rest of the interested parties in attendance at the meeting, so she asks Heather if there is anymore development that can be done in finalizing the ideas so that they are less theoretical and more probable. Heather states that the cross country event is going to
happen depending on the weather and organizing with the Sunbeam to bring runners from Swan's and Frenchboro.
• Heather suggests that there may need to be a subcommittee that works on this issue outside of regular board meetings. The subcommittee would then report back at regular school board meetings what has developed at the subcommittee meetings. Katelyn Damon is in agreement with forming a subcommittee. She thinks that it would be a great way to get more accomplished on the topic. She also states that at this time she does not think that the school is ready to have
regular instruction on Great Cranberry each week. She thinks that developing the previous ideas and seeing them through will act as a transitional period until the Longfellow School is ready to be used as instructional space.
• It is also stated that the idea of regular instruction on Great Cranberry was not budgeted for.
• There is also the idea of having a shorter school day on the day that travel is made to Great Cranberry.
• Heather will report back to the board how each idea is progressing.

VI. Other Business

Pay for Mailboat Tickets
• Barbara Myers opens the discussion with the background that this topic is about a parent who has been commuting with her young child. Barbara states that paying for the parent to commute was not budgeted for nor has the school board created a policy that states what should be done if this issue were to arise. Barbara believes that a precedent was set for paying for boat trips
when she and Lisa Hall traveled from GCI to Islesford with their daughters to take them to preschool.
Katelyn Damon states that at that time there was also no boat monitor that was hired to escort the children.
• Barbara states that in her opinion she would like to see that the board do whatever it can to support their children, as it is the child's first term at school. Barbara has also spoken with the parent and makes it clear that there is no issue with the boat monitor and that the parent actually feels a lot of trust and confidence in the monitor's ability to keep the children safe while on the
boat.
• The parent feels that traveling with her child is necessary to help ease the transition from being home-schooled to attending the Ashley Bryan School.
• Barbara Myers would like to try and find money in the budget to support the travel of the parent with her child, even if it is only for the first term of school.
• Heather states that the parent had other concerns about traveling with her child, such as bad weather days or sick days.
• Katelyn Damon states that she does not agree with Barbara in paying for the parent to ride the boat with her child to school. Katelyn states that she feels that it is the parent's decision whether or not she rides with her child and that the parent needs to cover the costs of commuting.
• Barbara states that as a parent on GCI there is little to no contact with the parents of the children on LCI, unless there are special school events or you are involved in social media. She states that the day to day conversations and getting to know the routines are lost for a GCI parent. The parent has stated that she needs to feel connected with the school and the parents and that
commuting with her son allows her to feel more at ease because she knows more of what is happening throughout the day.
• Katelyn Damon states that she understands the feelings and sentiments of the parent, but that she does not think that it is the school boards responsibility to pay for the boat trip. Katelyn Damon asks what the school board would be paying for these trips. Is it $28 per day or $14.
Heather Webster states that Beal and Bunker is charging $14 per day for the parent to commute with her child. Katelyn Damon states that this cost was just not budgeted for.
• Barbara brings up the fact that the boat monitor may not be able to handle a situation similar to the one that arose last year on the boat and that she understands why a parent would feel more comfortable being on the boat with their child. Katelyn states that if the parent feels it is too rough to ride the boat, than the parent can choose to not put their child on the boat for that day.
Katelyn states that she feels it is a families personal decision to choose to ride with their child or not and because of that, the family should then have to pay for those trips that they choose to accompany their child on.
• Heather Webster states if the board were to pay for one family to have a parent that gets to ride the boat with their child, than the board would then have to make that service available to the other Cranberry families as well, whether they choose to use it or not.
• Barbara states that this is a very specific situation and that the board has found the money to fund these special circumstances in the past. Barbara believes that this decision could go either way and that the decision is not be based solely on budget. It is being based on what individual board members do and don't want to do. She states that it would be nice if there were more of a concrete precedence but that new circumstances do arise and that they do not necessarily form a
larger pattern for the future. Barbara asks Assistant Superintendent, Joanne Harriman for guidance.
• Joanne states that she has been trying to think of a similar parallel to compare this situation with. The only thing that she can think of is the fact that there are families off-island who choose to transport their children to MDI from other towns, like Eastbrook, and that the family covers this expense on their own. Joanne states that she does not know what to say to offer more guidance, but that the board can make whatever decision it wants. The board could decide
to pay for everyone's tickets if it felt that was necessary.
• Heather Webster asks if the board is looking to set a policy on transportation or if the board will evaluate the circumstances of these requests on a case by case basis. Barbara states that she believes these situations should be evaluated on a case by case basis.
• Joanne states that it might make sense to compromise and agree to pay for the parent to ride with their child for a certain period of time through the fall and then beyond that period it is not within the school board's budget to pay for the parent's transportation.
• Heather suggests that the board set a blanket policy that any parent be able to have their boat trips paid for the first month of school to accompany their children to and from school or to bring them home when they are sick, etc. The parent would then need to petition the board if they feel they need to have their boat trips paid for a longer period of time.
• Katelyn Damon disagrees with setting a policy to pay for parents travel for any length of time. Katelyn states that the school budget is high enough and that the board has already hired a boat monitor to alleviate this situation. Katelyn states that if parents want to ride on the boat with their children to school, than they must do so out of their own pockets.
• Barbara Myers disagrees and would like to see a period of time where parents boat fares are paid for a period of time, if requested by a parent. Barbara does not believe the board needs to set a policy on this issue, but that this should be a case by case decision for the board. Barbara would like to see this kept as an option for parents and she envisions that the board will not run into this issue very often.
• Joanne states that on Frenchboro kindergarteners come for a half day of school until daylight savings takes effect in the fall, when they transition into a full day of school.
• Katelyn poses a question to the principal that she has heard a rumor that children traveling off to girl scouts have their boat trips paid for by the school. Katelyn is unsure as to the truth of the rumor, but wanted to ask to get this cleared up. Heather stated that she will look into the validity of this rumor.
• Heather states that if there is a sporting events and kids are traveling off, or other school sponsored event that this would be covered by the school.
• Barbara brings up another issue that there is some confusion on the morning commuter boat and possibly the mailboat about who is punched on the school ticket. Barbara states that there needs to be a way for deckhands to know who is able to charge the school for boat trips and who is not.
• Heather states that she will generate a student list to be kept on the boat for the deckhands to reference.
• Joanne asks if the meeting must still adjourn at 4:15 to make the last mailboat.
• Joanne states that she thinks that if the board were to vote on the ticket issue that it would be a split vote between Barbara and Katelyn. Joanne would like to get Howard's opinion on the topic and push this vote back to the next meeting when Kate Chaplin will also be available to weigh in on the topic.
• Heather will also contact other island schools to see how they handle this issue. Katelyn
suggests that Heather may check with Long Island in Casco Bay, as they have or had some students from Cliff Island who commute to Long Island for school.
• Discussion on the topic is tabled.
• Ben Fulves and Jeri Spurling were not able to present their work as the ending time of the meeting is miscalculated.
• Barbara states that the board will put together a special meeting to hear about Jeri and Ben's work. Ben states that they will need an hour to present their information. Barbara states that the board will communicate via email to set a date for a make-up meeting to hear about Ben and Jeri's work.

VII. Future Agenda Items
• Discussion with Ben Fulves and Jeri Spurling
• Pay for Mailboat Tickets
• Potential need for School Credit Card
• Money for completion of building projects
• Specials on Great Cranberry Island

VIII. Adjournment :
Katelyn Damon makes a motion to adjourn the meeting at 4:13. Barbara Myers seconds the motion.
Vote: yes, unanimous. Motion Passes.

Respectfully Submitted,

Katelyn Damon

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