Lyme Elementary School
approved w/ changes, 5/25/17
Board Members Present: Board members Elizabeth Glenshaw, Jay Davis, Hayes Greenway, Pinky Tullar, Sam Levey. Administrators Jeff Valence, Michael Harris, Teresa Thurston; teachers Jen Pratt, Heather Stadheim. 2 Public attendees.
1. Call to Order
Chair Glenshaw called the meeting to order at 7:07 PM.
2. Agenda Reorder
The public comments were moved later in the meeting and the principal report will include a discussion about tuition. There was also need for a nonpublic meeting.
3. Items for Business Requiring Action
A. Approval of Minutes
A motion was made and seconded (Jay Davis, Sam Levey) to approve the Lyme School Board nonpublic meeting minutes for February 7, 2017 as submitted. The motion passed with 3 in favor and two abstentions (Greenway, Tullar).
A motion was made and seconded (Jay Davis, Sam Levey) to approve the Lyme School Board regular meeting minutes for February 7, 2017 as submitted. The motion passed with 3 in favor and two abstentions (Greenway, Tullar).
A motion was made and seconded (Jay Davis, Sam Levey) to approve the Lyme School Board regular and organizational meeting minutes for March 22, 2017 as submitted and amended. The motion passed unanimously. The change was the spelling in the attendee list of Greenway.
The District Meeting minutes were tabled for a future meeting.
The Board discussed issues for new board members’ orientation on board service including that they should ask questions as necessary and be aware that the community will look to them for information regarding the school district. There is diplomacy with the town Budget Committee and it will take some time to learn about the school district. Committee work is good time to learn and question how things work. Superintendent Harris commented about getting the Board business accomplished and trusting the deliberative process to foster debate and make decisions. Once the Board makes a decision, the Board members have the responsibility to support the decision. Principal Valence commented that the school system is governed by the Board comprised of people who are not regularly involved within the system. Board member trust and respect (civility and demeanor) is important along with a stewardship role.
The Board discussed how the number of members on the town’s school board is determined and it requires an odd number of board members and can be changed by proposal and vote at the annual school district meeting to be put into effect for the next school year.
3. Public Comment
Yolanda Bujarski informed the Board about a nonprofit organization (Lyme Early Education Foundation) that was created to develop an on site after school kindergarten program at the Lyme School that would be paid for by participants. The program would be play-based and provide continuity and reinforcement but not new educational activity. The program staffing and the “Forest Friday” program were also discussed by the Board. Funding the program would be covered outside the school district budget such as state grants or perhaps a charter school application for funds. There is also an intention that it would be easy for families to opt out of the program and there could be scholarship funding available to those who could use financial help to cover the cost.
4. Business Requiring Discussion and/or Action
Superintendent Harris explained the teachers’ continuing contracts and 5-year probationary period to attain tenure. The evaluation program has been conducted with observations of the instructors in the classrooms.
A motion was made and seconded (Hayes Greenway, Pinky Tullar) to approve the list submitted at the Lyme School Board meeting on April 27, 2017 of renominated teachers. The motion passed unanimously.
The Board discussed the list of nominations of the support staff and administrators and changes that will occur this year. A question was asked about evaluations of these school district employees. It was stated that Teresa Thurston would serve on the search committee to fill her position and that she has offered to provide support to the new hire if necessary.
A motion was made and seconded (Jay Davis, Sam Levey) to approve the list submitted at the Lyme School Board meeting on April 27, 2017 of nominated administrators and support staff. The motion passed unanimously.
The annual school district meeting minutes and collective bargaining votes were tabled.
B. Tuition Waiver
Superintendent Harris explained the Policy JFAB to waive tuition for children of school district employees. This policy allows enrollment of these children in the Lyme School on an annual basis.
A motion was made and seconded (Pinky Tullar, Hayes Greenway) to approve the waiver of tuition for Jennifer Wilcox’s child according to the Policy JFAB. The motion passed unanimously.
C. Committee Assignments
Chair Glenshaw cited the Committee assignments and requested that the Board Committee Roster be posted on the website by Teresa Thurston. The number of board members serving on the committees was discussed. There has been a request by the teachers to participate in some board committee activity and it was suggested that it would be appropriate for representatives from the staff and community to serve on some committees while it might be problematic on other committees. It was decided that the respective committees could make a recommendation to the Board with regard to this matter.
A motion was made and seconded (Hayes Greenway, Jay Davis) to approve the Lyme School Board committee assignments as submitted. The motion passed unanimously.
Business Coordinator Teresa Thurston explained the different type of ways that end-of-the-year balances can be handled (such as grants, food service transfers, assigned or unassigned).
A motion was made and seconded (Pinky Tullar, Jay Davis) to approve the Lyme School Policy DIA –Fund Balance as submitted. The motion passed unanimously.
A motion was made and seconded (Pinky Tullar, Jay Davis) to approve the Lyme School Policy DFA – Investment as submitted. The motion passed unanimously.
The manifest signing authority was bestowed to Board members Lange, Levey, Tullar, and Willette.
5. Communications and Reports
A. Superintendent Report
Superintendent Harris reported on the school financial status saying that the amount of the surplus had decreased. Food service will require a larger transfer and there will be a $60,000 transfer from the special education reserve fund. The reserve fund transfers were explained to the new Board members. The first $10,000 of the surplus will go to the Retirement Reserve Fund and $25,000 would go to the High School Reserve Fund. It is unlikely that much would be put into the Special Education Fund.
B. Principal Report
Principal Valence informed the Board about two nonresident students who are expected to tuition into the Lyme School. One student is a kindergartener and the other is in the third grade, where the cohort size is close to the upper limit of class guidelines. There is a plan to split the fifth and sixth grades but not the third, where there may be a decline in enrollment. It was explained that a factor in class sizes includes the make up of the class. The Board would decide about the third grade tuition student in the June meeting, but the kindergartener could be accepted now. The principal explained the formula used to derive the tuition.
A motion was made and seconded (Jay Davis, Sam Levey) to accept admission of the kindergarten student in the Lyme School for the 2017-18 school year. The motion was passed unanimously.
A motion was made and seconded (Jay Davis, Sam Levey) to approve a 60% rate of the 2015-16 per pupil costs for the nonresident student tuition rate for the Lyme School for the 2017-18 school year. The motion was passed unanimously.
6. Nonpublic Session
A motion was made and seconded (Sam Levey, Jay Davis) to enter nonpublic session in accordance with NH RSA 91-A:3 II to address personnel matters. The motion passed unanimously. The roll call was conducted and the Board entered nonpublic session at 9:01 PM.
The public meeting was reconvened at 9:20 PM.
A motion to adjourn was made and seconded (Jay Davis, Hayes Greenway). The motion was passed unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 9:23 PM.