MINUTES OF MEETING
JACKSON SCHOOL BOARD
Jackson Grammar School
February 3, 2011
1. Call to Order: The Feb. 3rd meeting of the Jackson School Board was called to order at 5:30 p.m. Present were Andrew Kearns, Lauren Synnott, Joe Kopitsky, Genn Anzaldi, Keith Bradley, Dr. Carl Nelson and Principal, Gayle Dembowski.
Motion was made by Ms. Anzaldi, seconded by Mr. Kearns and carried by unanimous roll call vote, that the Board go into non public session under RSA 91-A:3, II (Personnel Matter).
Nonpublic Session Minutes
The Board discussed a personnel issue.
At 6:01 p.m. the Board returned to its regular session whereupon they were joined by the regular Recording Secretary and seven members of staff/public.
2. Approve Minutes (1-18-11 and 1-24-11) – Motion by Mr. Kopitsky, second by Ms. Anzaldi, to approve the Minutes of the Jan. 18th meeting as submitted. Motion carried with 4 votes in the affirmative and 1 abstention (Synnott).
1-24-11 – Ms. Dembowski noted on Pg. 2, end of 1st para., it should read “$3,000 to be left in for maintenance out of the extra hours.” 3rd para., $8443 was not the amount budgeted for the summer program last year, but the amount spent. Same para. should indicate 32 students attended overall. Motion was made by Mr. Kopitsky, seconded by Ms. Anzaldi, that the Minutes of the Jan. 24th meeting be approved as amended. Motion carried with 4 votes in the affirmative and 1 abstention (Bradley).
3. Citizen Comments: K-1 teacher, Kristin Groves, wished to address the matter of the Aide position, specifically as it pertains to K-1. She stated the Aide does more than help with snow pants and boots, noting that she had been invaluable in helping during reading and math blocks. Also during guided reading time the children are split up into small groups based on reading level, and having an Aide means more of the students can have targeted instruction, and children the teacher is working with can have her undivided attention. She noted that having an Aide during math enables the children on both the high and the low end of the class to be given challenges in addition to the core grade level instruction.
Ms. Groves agreed that they can function with less aide time, but children who struggle will not be given as much assistance.
Ms. Synnott questioned the amount of time involved by the Aide. Ms. Groves told her 1 to 1-1/2 hours per day. Ms. Anzaldi questioned how many in her class have IEPs. Ms. Groves said she would not comment on that, but said there are consistently 5 to 6 kids who need individual attention on the low end, either from her or an Aide, in order to do well. Also at times the Aide is able to cover the class while she is teaching.
Mr. Bradley stated for the record he would have voted against removing that Aide position had he been able to be present, noting the difference between an immature Kindergartener and a mature first grader is a huge difference. He questioned whether more parent volunteering would help. Ms. Groves said she is relying more heavily on parents for help; however, it is difficult to depend on parents since they have other obligations, whereas an Aide can be scheduled for a regular program.
Ms. Synnott noted most of the teachers did not feel they need an Aide as much except for the K-1, and questioned the possibility of having an Aide only for K-1. Ms. Anzaldi pointed out that the Aide offers some flexibility to cover classrooms when teachers are having professional staff meetings, and helps during recess, etc. Ms. Dembowski said the person in the position now is working 20 hours a week, 26 hours were budgeted. The time was reduced because some of the staff no longer felt they needed her in the other classrooms. That Aide is primarily for K-1, plus helping at lunch time and during recess. It was noted the Special Ed Aide will have to cover any needs for the entire K-6 if this position is removed. Ms. Anzaldi stated her concern is that without the Aide, because of the age of the children and their attention span, a lot of teacher time will be spent on children who need more help – she would like to see the level of help that she has been having remain.
Bob Thompson stated he wanted to make sure that the Board knew that people have noticed that at the Conway School Board budget hearing Jackson was the only Board that was there in its entirety and he wanted to show his appreciation for that. He noted there is also a coalition group forming and Jackson had two people at that meeting as well. He said it is key that the Board members are so supportive of what’s going on over at Conway.
Mr. Thompson stated he is the parent of a 7th grader who is having nothing but a positive experience. He is really pleased with what’s been going on at the Jackson Grammar School for the last couple of years with Principal support, staff support, and parental support. It is really a positive thing. He pointed out there is an opening on the School Board and one person is running for that; he thinks the continuity is a good thing. Mr. Kearns advised that there are two openings and both he and Mr. Kopitsky will be running for those positions.
4. Presentation of School Programs/FYI Items: Dr. Nelson reported there is an SAU Board meeting scheduled for Feb. 10th at 6:30 p.m. at the Middle School SAU Office.
5. Old Business: Wetlands Project – Passed over (holding).
6. Instructional Issues: None.
7. Consider Personnel Actions: None.
8. Business Affairs:
A. FYI – 2010-11 Budget Status Report – Report provided. There were no questions or comments.
B. FYI – Budget Transfer between Functions – Transfer of $670 from category 2140 to 2722.
C. Signing of Warrants and Budget Forms – All paperwork was duly signed.
9. Administrator’s Reports:
A. Superintendent – Dr. Nelson announced the Annual School District meeting is scheduled for March 16, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. at the Whitney Center.
B. Principal – No report.
10. Citizen Comments: None.
11. Board Member Issues: Next regular meeting scheduled for March 16th at 6:00 p.m. Annual School District Meeting at 7:00 p.m.
12. Signing of Manifest: Manifests were duly signed.
13. Nonpublic Session: At 6:20 p.m. Motion was made by Mr. Kearns, seconded by Ms. Anzaldi and carried by unanimous roll call vote, that the Board adjourn to non public session under RSA 91-A:3,II.
Nonpublic Session Minutes
The Board continued discussing a personnel issue.
Upon return to regular session at 7:00 p.m. all present adjourned to the Whitney Community Center for the Public Hearing on the 2011-12 Proposed Budget.
Gail T. Currier, Recording Secretary