School Board Meeting Minutes January 16, 2013

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School Board Meeting Minutes
1/16/13
I. Meeting called to order at 4:18 pm, Ashley Bryan School, Islesford. Present at the meeting: School Board Members: Barbara Meyers, Katelyn Damon (Elliott in utero), Kate Chaplin, Community members: Phil Whitney, Teacher Lindsay Eysnogle, (Luciana in utero) and Ingrid Gaither. Via polycom on MDI: Superintendent Howard Colter, Principal Heather Webster
II. Minutes for 11/28 as amended: KC moved, BM 2nd, all in favor. Minutes for 12/20 approved as amended. BM moved, KC 2nd, all in favor. Voucher signed on 12/17 already.
III. Reports and updates –
a. Principals Report
i. No school on MLK Day (January 21st). Music Teacher having “Hawk Henries” out at beginning of March.
ii. Jim did some repair work on steps at the teacher’s apartment – stabilized structure and put asphalt shingles on treads to make less slippery.
iii. Melissa starting on the robotics team in the basement. Some discussion on the use of the basement for the group, which we have been told is not to code for student use. BM Some investigations on making the space usable, and there are too many encumbrances to bring it to code. LE: Maybe the old firehouse next door? It is heated and not packed with stuff. Not a nice space, but might work. HW to look into the space on Friday.
iv. Update from Ingrid Gaither on Longfellow building – things seem fine.
v. Conducted interviews for long-term sub position (Heather, teachers, and Katelyn): Great candidates, but unanimously chose Lauren Simmons (also the phys-ed teacher). May need to have someone take over her phys-ed position. Will also be the Wednesday boat monitor and coming/going with students.
vi. Curriculum instruction and assessment – Donna Isaacs at Houston for a CFG conference – paid for by grants. LE: School Reform Initiative annual meeting (the group that supports CFG). Presentations made from teachers all over the country, keynote speakers etc. Donna presenting her own work, which will benefit her own practice and the TLC activities.
vii. HW headed to Augusta area to workshop on progressions practices (where we’ll be in two years).
viii. Lego League – little competition in spring. Hats off to Melissa Amuso and Amy Palmer for good work there.
b. Update on Crisis Plan – Reviewed plan with Katelyn Damon, reviewing evacuation sites. Also looking into the presentation/format style. Meeting with teachers and planning drills and looking at feasibility of everything. Done before next board meeting. Approved plan will go to the fire department, Katelyn, Admin office, Town Office
c. Update on Transportation Guidelines – still trying to streamline and trouble shoot – parent participation in PTC – paid for? Ingrid looking into whether or not skyping is an option. LE: Skype won’t work well, but setting up a MOVI account would work for Cranberry parents. Any function at the school or on the island to which parents would want to attend, transportation would be paid for by School Board.
d. School buildings update. Heather debriefed with Ben Fulves in lieu of his attendance since he’s not feeling well. Ben has had difficulty planning projects to take place at ABS when students are not in session. Some of the larger projects are hard to schedule and finish within fiscal year. Whatever projects can’t be completed by end of fiscal year, funds for those projects will be encumbered for the coming year. BM that should work. Anything planned for February break? HW: Not sure, but will ask. BM: Any sense when the plan will be laid out? HW: Checking back at beginning of next week, and will have a sense of his timeline. KD: Make sense to have him put a schedule together within a certain time frame so we can review before next school board meeting. HW: February 13th? Will have him email that information to all of us. Will ask for a stair replace project update and indicate that’s our priority.
IV. Expansion of school board – BM: Three reasons for bringing up was to 1 - make it easier to establish a quorum. 2 - Could also share out work to stay connected with the district. Most importantly: 3 - our school budget is such a big portion of town budget, more controversy surrounding what is being discussed in the meetings. Makes sense to broaden the representation on the board, help create a greater sense of security on what is going on within the community. KD: How would it work – warrant article for town to vote on? BM: Yes. Would want to have a guideline of representation, two from each island, one at large when possible. KC: Would support if the town is supportive. BM: Creating some pitfalls if we went to a five-person board. HW: Does it make it easier to create a “committee” with two members. With present situation, any time two people meeting, creating a quorum and therefore presenting a problem. Discussion followed about the hiring process and how to conduct interviews without creating a meeting process. KD: In favor of a three-person board. Concerned it would become even more cumbersome. HW: Can see how having better representation at AOS board would be beneficial. HC: Was present when Tremont went to three members to five, and can’t say that it has made a huge positive difference. LE: Concerned that the dynamic of five people would complicate to the process more and make it harder to reach consensus. What steps would you take to make sure that the meetings would be run more smoothly. KD: Good to have even with three people. BM: A lot depends on dynamics and personalities – can work regardless the number. HW: Would need to update technology in order to accommodate each other better. BM: Need to tie islands together better in general. KC: Would need to create a structure to make meetings run more smoothly. KD: Adding two people at this point won’t solve our problems. BM: What should we do from here? LE: Have learned things from TLC, CFG and best ways to facilitate meetings. We’d be willing to share what we know. Facilitating tips and technology stuff. IG: If you wanted to gauge other peoples’ opinions, does it have to be on the warrant, and would a decision be required if so? BM: If on the warrant, would have to be voted on, but we can discuss the possibility within our report. HW: If we are trying to get more input on AOS, perhaps can invite members of the community to attend. HC: Anyone can come and participate and then report back to the school board. They wouldn’t have a vote, but they’d have input, and then one of us would have a vote if we wish it. KC: What would tapping into teacher’s skills look like? A workshop? Does anyone have any time? LE: Won’t have time right after the baby is born, but would later be able to meet with people. HW: Will talk to Norm about polycom on GCI. Tamberg. BM: Make sure we schedule meetings to accommodate more community members. Could hire someone to bring people earlier than 3:30 and then leave on 5:30 commuter trip back.
V. Other Business? HW: Asked Howard to give a brief summary of the findings from the drop-out committee. Article coming out in Islander tomorrow. Basically, January meeting for AOS, looked at history of last five years and drop-out rate. Hard reality is that a 10-15 students walking away without any kind of certificate, GED, or diploma. Hard to define “Drop-out” since students who come back for a fifth year or sixth year, still considered a drop-out, even if they get a diploma. How can we turn this around? Credits to students who go to Hancock County Technical center. Should they get academic credit at same time? Feeling is yes – principals working on that. Meet vocational interest and earn credit towards diploma. Summer school opportunities and being more flexible for students to earn credit. At high school meeting, two assistant principals would be renamed as Dean of Students, and one Dean of Faculty. Steps being made to turn corner on situation.
VI. Future Agenda Items – next meeting February 27th 3:15-5:30 (2:30 boat from Northeast Harbor to Islesford)
a. Building update outline
b. Crisis plan
c. Transportation update
d. Responsibility sharing report
e. Technology update on Tanbergs/Polycoms for GCI/LCI – by that meeting, town warrant will have been put in place. Need to look into grants.
f. Begin talking about what we want to present at the Town Meeting (Saturday, March 16th – 8:45 am)
VII. Adjournment: BM moved, KD 2nd All in favor. Meeting adjourned at 5:45 pm.

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