RSU 83/M.S.A.D. #13 BOARD OF DIRECTORS

AMENDED MINUTES OF REGULAR BOARD MEETING

TUESDAY, AUGUST 25, 2015 (Rescheduled from August 11/18, 2015)

VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL, BINGHAM, MAINE  04920

7:00 p.m.

 

6:15 p.m. – Finance Committee Meeting

Nancy MacDonald (absent), Elizabeth Brochu, Bonnie Atwood (absent)

The Committee reviewed snow removal bids (one) and recommended acceptance.

 

6:30 p.m. – Policy Committee Meeting

                        Leo Hill, Danette Messer, Sheree Brown (absent)

The Committee reviewed the Policy DJ Bidding/Purchasing requirements as a draft.

 

I.               CALL TO ORDER – The meeting was called to order at 7:03 p.m.

 

II.        ATTENDANCE/DECLARATION OF QUORUM

 

Present:           Bonnie Atwood, Adrienne Mathieu, Sheree Brown, Leo Hill, Nancy McDonald, Danette Messer, Pauline Lagasse, Brian Malloy, and Elizabeth Brochu

 

Absent:            Scott Shaw (excused)

 

Also Present:   Julie Richard (entered 7:18 p.m.) and Virginia Rebar

 

III.       PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE - Conducted

 

IV.          APPROVAL OF MINUTES

a)     Upon motion by Pauline Lagasse and second by Bonnie Atwood the Board unanimously voted to approve the minutes of July 14, 2015 (regular meeting).

 

V.             ADJUSTMENTS

a)     Move XIII (b) to beginning of the agenda

b)    Move XIII (c) vote on nomination of World Language teacher, Joe Garbowski, and authorization of the Superintendent to issue a contract to beginning of the agenda

 

VI.          GOOD NEWS AND CELEBRATION

a)     Summer projects including painting, field work, roof repair, general cleanup on schedule – Ms. Rebar reported that custodians, contractors, and summer staff have worked diligently to ready facilities for school opening.

b)    Gear-Up After School Academy start-up – Ms. Rebar explained the new addition of a “Homework Café” at the high school for grades 7-12 students.  Busing arrangements have been made and were explained.

c)     Recent SAT scores extremely strong – Ms. Rebar mentioned that 16 students took the SAT tests and out of 48 possible scores in writing, reading, and mathematics, only 10 were not at proficiency or exceeds proficiency levels.

 

VII.        COMMUNICATIONS

a)     Financial Statement - Reviewed

b)    Resignation and acceptance of Krista Lyman, Music teacher - Reviewed

c)     Superintendent – Opening letter – Ms. Rebar shared her opening staff letter as well as the agenda for staff professional days.

 

VIII.      REPORT OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

a)     Summer A-Team leadership work – Ms. Rebar explained that the new expanded leadership team worked over the summer to develop a detailed road map for District focus in terms of goals.  The four major goal areas are (1) student achievement (2) increase student familiarity with proficiency based education (3) community relations and public relations (4) increase teacher effectiveness

b)    NCLB application and performance reports completed – Ms. Rebar reported that these tasks were completed and approved by the DOE.

c)     Communications with town officials in Embden – Ms. Rebar indicated that she contacted Betty Pratt, Embden Selectman, in charge of the withdrawal committee.  Betty welcomed the call.

d)    High school burglary resolved per Detective Mike Ross – Ms. Rebar reported that she was contacted by Mike Ross of the police department with a report that the high school break-ins were resolved.  The criminal has been identified and arrested.

 

IX.          SUB-COMMITTEE REPORTS (Ad-Hoc Restructuring Committee, Finance Committee, Policy Committee, Negotiations Committee, Transportation Committee, Buildings and Grounds Committee)

Finance (Bonnie Atwood, Elizabeth Brochu, Nancy MacDonald)

Policy (Sheree Brown, Danette Messer, Leo Hill)

Negotiations (Pauline Lagasse, Brian Malloy, Sheree Brown)

Transportation (Leo Hill, Adrienne Mathieu, Nancy MacDonald, Scott Shaw)

Buildings & Grounds (Leo Hill, Bonnie Atwood, Nancy MacDonald, Scott Shaw)

 

a)     Finance Committee – The Committee reviewed snow removal bids (one) and recommended acceptance.  The Finance Committee recommended that one bid had been received for snow removal from Arthur Kennedy of Kennedy Construction.  The Committee recommended that the bid be approved.

b)    Policy Committee – The Committee reviewed the Policy DJ Bidding/Purchasing requirements as a draft.  The Policy Committee presented some considerations regarding a draft for a District bidding policy.  Discussion ensued.  Ms. Rebar will make adjustments for further Committee review.

 

X.            PROFESSIONAL STAFF INFORMATION

a)     Report of Principal

Three teachers attended a conference presented by Syntro for Focus and Priority Schools.  Mellissa Vitalone, Crystal Rollins, Bethany Szarka, and I attended the two day workshop which was excellent.  The focus of the work was design of classes to engage students and provide differentiation of instruction.  This workshop will be followed by three webinars, led by the presenters, and held during the school year.

Heather Merrill, Melissa Vitalone, and I will also attend a two day workshop in Bangor August 11 & 12.  Like the earlier conference, it too will use three follow-up webinars to reinforce elements of the August training.

The Summer Gear-Up Reading program concluded July 30.  Students participated in reading instruction and visited a college library on the regular Thursday field trip.  An average of 12-15 students attended the reading sessions, usually 20 students attended the field trip.  Engaging high school participants was difficult, but staff recruited several as “Junior Counselors” to assist and encourage interest.  Students visited 6 college libraries:

·       University Maine Farmington Library and Early Historic classroom.

·       Colby College Library and art museum

·       Unity College Library and discussion with a student tagging

·       University Maine Rockland; electronic library

·       Bowdoin College library and art museum

·       University of  Southern Maine , art museum and Osher Map Library

·       Maine State Library and Museum in Augusta

No news on the results of the Smarter Balanced tests, anticipated in late August.

SAT scores are in for the upcoming Senior Class and look very strong. Six of the nine students tested met all three standards, two students met two of the three tests, only one student missed all three subject tests. This indicates that most students have met graduation standards at the beginning of their Senior year.  Math was the strongest subject with just one up-coming Senior missing the standard bar.  Two students missed the reading standard, three missed the writing standard.

Work has been completed on the soccer field drainage.  We adjusted the layout of the field at Valley to include a legal length & width field and avoid most of the drainage patch.  We removed the baseball pitching mound as a safety measure, but plan to re-establish it prior to baseball season.

 

b)    Report of Special Education Director

In my report for last month I wrote about the professional development training I received at the MADSEC Director’s Academy from the main presenter, Diana Browning Wright. She recommended a look at the work of Martin Seligman, who runs the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia. Mr. Seligman has written a number of books, of which “The Optimistic Child” and “Authentic Happiness” are two. I recently completed reading the later book.

      Marty Seligman has championed the concept of ‘positive psychology’. He contends that the psychology we have inherited from the 20th century has been focused on fixing problems of the human psyche such as depression and anxiety. He advocates for a psychology that works on lifting the human psyche up to happiness. Mr. Seligman believes that this can be accomplished in three ways. He contends that happiness can be enhanced by identifying the areas of our lives where we experience pleasure and optimizing these areas so that we spend more of our lives experiencing these pleasant experiences.

      He goes on to posit that a higher (authentic) level of happiness is obtained by achieving gratification, which can be done by pursuing goals that require the use of our character, strengths and will. He contends that the typical psychology often taught and practiced today discounts the existence and value of things like character and will. He pays particular attention to a concept called ‘flow’ that was developed by a psychologist by the name of Mihaly Csikszentmihaly. Mr. Seligman contends that the state of ‘flow’ is achieved when a person is using one’s strengths to achieve a gratification, such as a project from the workplace. He contends that when one is in a state of ‘flow’ there is little to no emotion present, and the person is immersed in a deeply satisfying endeavor that will bring gratification (authentic happiness). He goes on to say the meaning and purpose can be achieved by aiming our gratification and ‘flow’ to an area of deep personal conviction.

     There are many implications for our educational endeavors in the concept of positive psychology. I believe we can assist our students in identifying their signature strengths, and in enhancing these strengths in the work they engage in while at school. We can also be aware of the concept of ‘flow’ in our work with students and support students in experiencing ‘flow’ in their educational work. We can help students understand this ‘flow’ state and how to make it a more common experience in their educational lives.

 

XI.          PUBLIC INPUT

 

XII.        OLD BUSINESS

a)     It was moved by Bonnie Atwood and second by Liz Brochu approved the second reading of Policy JL Student Wellness.  The motion passed with all voting in favor except Leo Hill and Brian Malloy who voted against.

 

XIII.      NEW BUSINESS

a)     Upon motion by Bonnie Atwood and second by Nancy MacDonald the Board unanimously voted to approve the nomination of Elisabeth Alexander as Art teacher (.5) for 2015-16 and authorized the Superintendent to issue a contract.

b)    Upon motion by Bonnie Atwood and second by Nancy MacDonald the Board unanimously voted to approve the nomination of Karen LaForgia as Media Coordinator (library/media oversight) and authorized the Superintendent to issue a contract.  Ms. Rebar explained the recommendation to hire Karen LaForgia as a library/media oversight coordinator with the addition of a 3/5 Ed Tech III to serve as an on-site library aide.

c)     Upon motion by Bonnie Atwood and second by Pauline Lagasse the Board unanimously voted to approve the nomination of Joseph Garbowski as World Language teacher for 2015-16 and authorized the Superintendent to issue a contract.

d)    Upon motion by Pauline Lagasse and second by Adrienne Mathieu the Board unanimously voted to approve the nomination of Adam Soosman as Music teacher for 2015-16 and authorized the Superintendent to issue a contract.

e)     Upon motion by Pauline Lagasse and second by Leo Hill the Board unanimously voted to accept the Snow Removal bid for 2015-16 from Arthur Kennedy, Kennedy Construction in the amount of $16,500 for the 2015-16 school year.

f)     Upon motion by Pauline Lagasse and second by Nancy MacDonald the Board unanimously voted to increase lunch prices from $2.35 to $2.45 for elementary and from $2.60 to $2.70 for secondary to meet DOE School Nutrition guidelines.  (Note:  Adult price lunch is currently $4.90)

 

XIV.      PUBLIC DISCUSSION OF NON-AGENDA ITEMS

 

XV.        ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned at 8:57 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

Virginia Rebar

Secretary to the Board