Minutes of the Chebeague Transition Committee February 28, 2007 at 7:00 at the Parish House. (Accepted 3/7/07)
The meeting was called to order by John Martin at 7:10.
Members present: Donna Damon, Mark Dyer, Leon Hamilton, David Hill, John Martin (Chair), Jim Phipps, Doug Ross, Stephen Todd and Carol White.
Minutes: Jim Phipps moved, seconded by David Hill to accept the minutes of February 21 with amendments. After considerable discussion of numerous revisions, the motion passed unanimously.
Public comments: none.
Report of the Education Subcommittee:
Carol White started with some additions to the report handed out last time. She said that her committee is still getting feedback on the education proposals from Mr Feeney, Superintendent of Schools in Pownal and Mrs Feeney of Special Education for the State of Maine DOE, and other superintendents. Several have said that they should have more of a technology budget and that there will be more revenues than they had originally estimated. The Subcommittee had a meeting with the State about having a pre-K program which had been recommended by Commissioner Gendron. There will be a public meeting on education at the Hall at 1:00 on Sunday March 4.
Carol explained that FTSE in the report means Full Time School Equivalent. A full-time educational position is based on the school year only. 1.0 FTSE is 2080 hours or 7.5 hours for 180 days. Normally a full-time teacher would have 1600 hours.
Recommendation ED 001: [E Approve hiring Superintendent and Secretary]. This is the administration section of the budget. The position of superintendent was approved already but not the hours. The time for the superintendent was based on an average between Long Island, Islesboro and North Haven.
Carol said that the secretary would provide administrative support for the superintendent and the special ed director who are responsible for a lot of reporting to the state. Jim Phipps asked whether it would make sense to have the secretary be full-time during the school day. He also asked whether there was a contingency fund in the school budget in case the initial estimates for time required were skimpy. Carol said there is a contingency fund. John Martin compared the budget as presented with the CICA budget. The major difference is the secretary position. Also he made a comparison to Long Island. Carol said they were very Spartan, whereas, in the Report table, North Haven is at the generous end of the spectrum.
Donna Damon asked where the superintendent and the secretary would have their offices. Carol said that is not clear yet. John Martin asked whether there would be a contractual increase in the salaries over the years. Carol said there would not.
Leon Hamilton moved, seconded by Doug Ross, that the recommendation to approve the hiring and hours of the superintendent and secretary be approved. Approved unanimously.
Recommendation ED-002 [E Approve the position and hiring of a special education teacher.] Carol passed out a revised recommendation form. She said that the subcommittee had been advised that it would do best to have the superintendent serve as the administrator for special ed, rather than hiring a special ed director, and hire a special ed teacher instead. The superintendent would check on the special ed students on the mainland and be an advocate for them. The Feeneys also recommended hiring a consultant to review SAD51 programs for special education students. The state thinks SAD51 is underestimating the need for special education. The review would need to be done soon, before the TC could hire a special ed person, hence the consultant.
Mark Dyer, seconded by Jim Phipps, moved to approve the position and hiring of a special education teacher. Approved unanimously.
Recommendation ED 003 [E K-2 teacher and ed tech]. This proposes the same arrangements as exist now, as required by the state, with the salaries of the existing teachers. David Hill moved, seconded by Jim Phipps to approve the k-2 staffing. Approved unanimously.
Recommendation ED-004 [E grades 3-5 teacher and ed tech]. Carol said this is also a status quo recommendation. Leon asked why the staffing pattern was different for the two classrooms. Carol said this used to be required. Jim Phipps moved, seconded by Doug Ross to approve the grade 3-5 staffing. Approved unanimously.
Recommendation ED-005 [E approve contracted staff to teach art, music and PE]. Each would be half a day per week, same as now. They will need to be reimbursed for travel to the island. David Hill asked how they would be hired. Carol said that they will initially try to find their own people, though this may be difficult because they have to be certified teachers. They have talked with Yarmouth about using their teachers. Have not talked with SAD51 yet. If they cannot find people willing to come they may be able to go to the state with a request for greater flexibility. Jim Phipps suggested working with the Rec Center to have joint personnel. David Hill moved, seconded by Donna Damon to approve the contracted staff positions. Passed unanimously.
Recommendation ED-006 [E Guidance councilor and school nurse]. Donna Damon asked if the subcommittee had considered a social worker. Carol said they will look at that. It also may be possible to have a guidance counselor who could advise older children about college and other options. It is difficult to get this help from SAD 51, as they are spread very thin. Jim Phipps moved, seconded by David Hill to approve the guidance councilor and school nurse. Approved unanimously.
Recommendation ED-008 [E teacher professional development]. Carol said that SAD51 will allow the Chebeague teachers to come to their Wednesday afternoon professional development sessions. Jim Phipps asked whether there was professional development money for the superintendent and the special ed teacher. Carol said there was in the administrative budget. However, there is no allowance for special ed and this should be discussed. Jim Phipps asked whether there would be a recommendation on the school schedule including the early-release Wednesdays. He wants to vote against it. Carol said the subcommittee had discussed changing the schedule but decided not to address that now. Donna Colbeth said that it would be difficult for parents to deal with different schedules on the island and the mainland. John Martin asked whether Long Island has professional development. Carol said they do and this might be something that could be worked on cooperatively among islands. Leon Hamilton moved, seconded by David Hill to approve the professional development. Approved unanimously.
Recommendation ED-009 [E stipend to Chebeague Library as school library]. Carol said this preserves the status quo and is required by the withdrawal agreement. It is also cost effective. David Hill pointed out that the present amount is $2900 not $3000. John Martin asked about Long Island. Carol said that their new library is the school library so there is no separate payment. David Hill moved, seconded by Mark Dyer, to approve the stipend for the library. Passed unanimously.
Recommendation ED-010 [E to lease the Rec Center facilities for school phys ed]. This recommendation also involved leasing the pool and contributing to the maintenance of the irrigation system for the ball field. The irrigation system is a responsibility shared between the school and the Rec Center. Leon Hamilton was worried about the expense of this, particularly the irrigation system cost. Considerable discussion of the costs associated with the irrigation system and maintenance of the ball field ensued. Jim Phipps point out that SAD 51 assumed a contractual obligation to spend up to $3,000 annually to maintain the ball field when it accepted the $100,000 gift of ³Volunteer Field² and this obligation will be assumed by the Town of Chebeague. Therefore, the $1700 in the recommended budget may be low. Carol White clarified that the budget is an estimate based on the average amount actually spent in recent years, but that if actual maintenance expenses exceeded this amount, the contract will control. Leon Hamilton asked how much the Rec Center is used by the students. It is used mostly for gym and swimming and on rainy days, but the craft room might also be used. Carol said it is much more cost effective to hire the gym than to provide a gym for the school. The use of the pool is a substitute for the earlier practice of transporting the children to the mainland for swimming lessons. Mark Dyer said that it might make sense to see if the Town Public Works department could maintain the irrigation system instead of the Rec Center. Donna Damon moved, seconded by David Hill to approve the lease of the Rec Center facilities. Approved unanimously.
Recommendation ED-011 [E School custodian]. This is a year-round position and the .7 FTE is what is done now. Presently the custodial job and the food service job are done by the same person. The food service job is a school year job. That is why they are listed separately.
David Hill moved, seconded by Jim Phipps to approve the custodian position. Donna Damon said it seemed like more hours than would be necessary for cleaning the school. Carol said she did not know in detail the breakdown of hours actually worked for the two jobs. Donna asked for more information about the hours the employee spends on each job. Donna moved to table the recommendation until that information was provided. John Martin pointed out that the CICA budget had only $10,000 for a contracted custodian. Long Island paid even less. Carol said the subcommittee had not considered contracting for the custodial work because they thought it would be impossible to find someone to do it for the present $14.25 per hour. Jim Phipps pointed out that Donna Damonıs tabling motion had not been seconded, and he moved to call the question on the original motion. David Hill seconded.. The vote was 4 in favor and 5 against (Leon Hamilton, Carol White, Donna Damon, John Martin and Stephen Todd). Several visitors said that the person who is the custodian/food service person now is really excellent. Stephen Todd asked whether the recommendation is for the position or the person. Carol said it was the position. Donna Damon asked who sets the tasks for the custodian. Carol said that the superintendent would do that.
Leon Hamilton moved, seconded by Donna Damon toamend the original motion to approve both recommendations together. Jim Phipps said that the combination would make the 1 FTE clearer. The amendment passed unanimously. The question was called on the main motion which was passed unanimously. Carol said she would bring back more information on the breakdown of custodial and food service work within this job.
John Martin said that he was constantly referring to the CICA budget because the bottom line for the present school proposal is $117,000 higher than the CICA budget. Carol said they were not trying to hide anything and that the bottom line was likely to change. Jim Phipps said that, without intending any criticism of CICA, he thought CICA had overestimated the savings in the school budget and that we should not feel that we are limited by their estimates.. Carol said her committee had done a bottom-up, needs-based budget.
Recommendation ED 13 [E School bus driver]. Carol said that this is a full-time, school year position. The hours spent driving the bus is 27 to 30 and the balance is maintenance at the school, things like taking the trash to the dump and shoveling snow. There is also some time for bus maintenance, and next year there will be a need to transport food for the school lunch program. Jim moved, seconded by Mark Dyer to approve ED 13. Donna Damon said she would like to amend the motion to investigate having Public Works do some of this work. Sue Campbell said she disagreed with Donna. The employee at the Transfer Station should pick up the trash at the school. Carol said that the extra jobs had been added to the bus driverıs job because driving the bus takes up so much time that the person cannot work at another job. David Hill called the question, Jim Phipps seconded the motion. The vote on calling the question was 7 in favor and 2 opposed (Donna Damon and John Martin). The vote on the main motion was unanimous.
Recommendation ED 14 [E Contracts for transportation services]. Carol said that they recommend continuing the contract with Veteransı Taxi, and recommend having the TC negotiate a contract with CTC for the ferry transportation. Jim Phipps moved, seconded by Mark Dyer to accept the recommendation. Donna suggested that the bus driver take the teachers to the ferry instead of the taxi. Virginia Calder said that the times conflicted, that is why two forms of transport are necessary. Carol said she though using the bus might cost more in fuel than the cost of the taxi. Jim Phipps said they should maintain the existing pattern for the first year. Donna moved to amend the motion by substituting ³negotiate an MOU² instead of ³enter into². This would make the need to have the negotiation clear. Seconded by Jim Phipps. The vote on the amendment was unanimous. The vote on the main motion was unanimous.
Recommendation ED-007 [E curriculum materials and supplies]. This recommendation was missing from the report. Mark asked whether the $5000 had been left out of the budget, too. Carol said no, it was in the budget. Donna Damon asked whether grade-level books are included? Carol said they are. Jim Phipps moved, seconded by Mark Dyer to approve the recommendation. Passed unanimously.
Recommendation ED-015 [E School repairs and equipment]. This also was left out. Jim Phipps moved, seconded by Mark Dyer to approve the recommendation. Carol said her committee had not put any money in the capital budget for school repairs, though they are needed. Instead they are asking for $18,000 for immediate repairs and equipment. She said that Ken Peltonıs examination of the school building had been very thorough and there are many more issues than the ones covered in this recommendation. John Martin pointed out that the CICA budget had allocated $25,000 for repairs. Ken Pelton said the building needs preventive maintenance to save money in the future. Ken Hamilton asked whether the flat roof needed repair – it will be a large capital item. Ken said he had not looked at the main part of the roof. Jim Phipps said he thinks there should be a capital budget allocation of at least $10,000 toward future expenses on the school building. Donna Damon agreed. Carol White said she would bring back a recommendation on having a capital budget allocation. The motion on repairs and equipment passed unanimously.
Recommendation ED-016 [E All resident k-12 students be included in the school-ferry service contract]. Carol said that all the other islands in Maine have this policy. Children will be covered for ferry transportation regardless of what school they attend on the mainland. Mark Dyer and Jim Phipps said it would only have a minimal effect now, but in seven years children might go to many different schools. Jim Phipps, seconded by Donna Damon, moved that the recommendation be accepted. Donna Damon said that it might not be possible to cover children going to religious schools. She moved to add to the language ³to the extent permitted by law.² Seconded by Mark. The amendment passed unanimously. The main motion passed unanimously.
Jim Phipps said the TC should have a discussion about tuitioning students on the mainland before the seven years with SAD51 is finished. Carol said it will be discussed at the education meeting on Sunday. Jim said the TC needs to discuss it as well.
Mark Dyer said he was impressed by the work Carol and her Subcommittee had done on the education budget and proposal. Carol said she will bring back reports on the issues like the custodian and the tuition.
Leon Hamilton asked what the status of the land use moratorium proposal was. Beth Howe said that she has talked with Kevin Beal, the lawyer at Brann and Isaacson and that her subcommittee is still working on it. Leon said he had talked with Bill Longley, Cumberland CEO who said he had been discouraging people from Chebeague from making applications in Cumberland because there was not time for them to be completed before July 1. Longley said people were applying for permits because a moratorium had been discussed. Leon said that the issue needs to be settled. Jim Phipps and Donna Damon said that Cumberland can not refuse to accept applications. Leon said Longley was not doing that. Beth said she would bring a written recommendation on the moratorium to the TCıs Sunday morning meeting.
Ken Hamilton asked whether the TC had considered having their meetings video-taped. The answer was no. Donna said it would be a good idea to have the Historical Society tape one meeting. Ken said he would arrange it.
At 9:50 David Hill moved that the TC go into executive session descriptions pursuant to MRSA 405.6.A.1 – Title 1, Chapter 13, Section 405 to discuss contracts and legal matters. The vote was unanimously in favor.
At 10:35 Jim Phipps moved, seconded by Carol White that the TC come out of executive session. Passed unanimously.
At 10:36 Jim Phipps moved, seconded by Carol White, that the TC adjourn. Passed unanimously.