School Board Meeting Minutes December 20, 2012

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School Board Meeting Minutes
12/20/12

I. Meeting called to order at 3:06 pm. Present at the meeting: School Board Members: Barbara Meyers, Katelyn Damon, Superintendent Howard Colter, Principal Heather Webster, Phil Whitney, via polycom on Islesford: School Board Member Kate Chaplin, Lindsay Eysnogle, Donna Isaacs (and Ruby)
II. Opening remarks – Originally on our agenda: School communications, work from home items. This is a standard agenda item for other schools, but doesn’t apply to Ashley Bryan School, so not discussed.
III. Minutes for 10/17 approved. KD moved, BM 2nd, all in favor. Voucher signed on 12/17 already.
IV. Principals Report –
a. Safety at school discussed to install a buzzer or beeper and to make sure the door is locked in basement. Staff and School: Lindsay and
b. Donna are doing a graduate course on Service Learning.
c. Considerable buzz about the substitute position. Applications will be taken over Christmas vacation and interviews will be conducted beginning of January. Discussion followed about whether or not school board members need to attend interview.
d. Practice of emergency procedures.
e. Report Cards and assessments done with new criteria – difficult, but teachers felt they were able to conform to new practices
V. Update on School projects from Ben Fulves
a. No report – do we have questions? BM – timeline for projects at Ashley Bryan School? BF: By the end of this fiscal year.
b. KD – could you clarify the budget you’ve created? BF: Based on priorities already established and on fire marshal’s related projects, we’ve rearranged some of the projects to prioritize them. Stairs to be done by end of fiscal year, and roof to be looked at (a leak in the closet, Jim is fixing). KD: You are saying we need $210,000 for the coming year? BF: Yes – siding on Longfellow is not urgent, so funds still being carried over. KD: Last meeting $100,000 was approved. BF: So do we pull out $100,000 from the list? KD Don’t think voters will approve $ otherwise. Discussion followed on different projects – sprinkler system installation, some of the safety measures, front entry. Buzzer system – HC: they’re imperfect. Can cause staff a lot of time and annoyance to have to check and look to see who’s coming and going. BM: Should we attempt to take care of all of these projects by borrowing the funds. BF: with an all at once approach, would exclude local contractors. KC: Why? BF: Because only a larger company could front the funds to pay for materials before being compensated by school. BM: Why not just break up the projects and have them bid out separately. BF: Any time you have a big project, hard for smaller outfits to manage. Local workers often jammed up during the summer and can’t manage smaller projects. KD: Have an account at EBS? BF: There could be some configuration to make all these things possible, but I don’t see it. Would take some thinking and planning to make it feasible. PW: My sense is that town is willing to take on the whole thing. KD: Some confusion around what work needs to happen. BM: Some requests to have the two school budgets separated to make clear what’s being spent where, but up against the deadline for the warrant. Asking for a borrowing bond would be risky. If we’re at the point of working on Longfellow as a public assembly building. Discussion also followed regarding how best to communicate the needs and upcoming projects to explain where the money is going. KC: Need to create a report that shows what we’ve spent, and a report to show what we want to spend and where and to demonstrate that we are in fact spending the money and executing the projects we need to do, and that we are working towards making Longfellow School viable. Discussion followed whether or not we put such a statement in the town report or in a separate letter. KC to put something together over Christmas break to present to town either in warrant or as a separate “open” letter.
VI. Longfellow School caretaking position. Heather had a good conversation with Ingrid about caretaking. Have sorted out a number of responsibilities and pay agreement. Filling out district paperwork. Who is the go-to person if she can’t be there? Should be able to set up a volunteer or two to cover her.
VII. Change in heat budget due to town’s decision to stop paying for heat at Longfellow. Can we absorb the % that the town had been paying? Nancy Thurlow: Not a problem.
VIII. Transportation policy update – letter sent out to anyone who charges passage for school purposes. Contacted the state to see what other policies are in place. School related “events” are paid for. Need to clarify that very carefully since set precedence. Should create guidelines, not policy. Teachers living off island to be paid for. Passage paid for parents during transition period for kindergarten students. Six weeks optional for parent. Has spoken with Ted on how best to track tickets.
(Katelyn Damon departed meeting at 4:40 pm in order to meet 5pm boat).
IX. Future Agenda Items – next meeting January 16.
a. Five-member school board.
b. Update on crisis planning and safety procedures.
c. Follow up on Transportation policy.
d. Inclement weather issue and how to address. No other business.
X. Adjournment: BM moved, KC 2nd . All in favor. Meeting adjourned at 5:05 pm.

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