Lyme Elementary School
approved as is, 12/15/17
Board Members Present: Jay Davis, Elizabeth Glenshaw, Hayes Greenway, Heidi Lange, Sam Levey, Pinky Tullar, Alicia Willette. Administrators: Jeff Valence, Elise Foxall, Janet Mitchell; staff Mindy Lyons. Recorded by Roger Lohr
1. Call to Order The meeting was called to order at 7:12 p.m. by Board Chair Elizabeth Glenshaw.
2. Business Requiring Action
a. Minutes Approval
A motion was made and seconded (Davis, Lange) to approve the Lyme School Board regular meeting minutes of October 26, 2017 as submitted and amended and the nonpublic meeting minutes of the October 26, 2017 as submitted. The motion was approved 6-0-0. The change on public meeting minutes on item 6F is to include in the motion, “for the school district credit card with a maximum limit not to exceed $2,000.” Last sentence of item 4, second paragraph should read after the word budget, “was presented and the preliminary decisions about the issues were reviewed.”
A motion was made and seconded (Levey Willette) to approve the Lyme School Board special meeting minutes of November 7, 2017 and the nonpublic meeting minutes of November 7, 2017 as submitted. The motion was approved 6-0-0.
b. Policy GBAF – Substitute Teachers
There was a first reading of Policy GBAF – Substitute Teachers. The last sentence in the first paragraph should include “for the non certified position being filled.”
Board member Hayes Greenway arrived at the meeting.
3. Communications and Reports
a. Financial Update
Coordinator of Business Services Janet Mitchell distributed a document of the finances and reviewed variances of expenses and revenues in the budget. The food service is running above projected expense but sales are on track for the year. The cost per meal has increased and it is projected that a larger transfer will be needed for the food service at the end of the year. The students receiving free and reduced meals have increased from 8 to 25 this year. The revenue and expense of the food service program were reviewed and it is expected to be $2,029 over budget.
The revenue surplus is $41,972, and surplus from expenses is $69,039 yielding a projected surplus of $111,012.
b. High School Agreements Update
The Board and Administration have completed discussions with Thetford Academy relative to the substance of the enrollment agreement and have signed the contact.
c. Committee Reports
The Board was again informed about the need to warn committee meetings and produce meeting minutes that would include a list of meeting attendees and what was covered. Such reports are due within five work days of the meeting and would be sent to Nancy Wilson. The formal details of each committee meeting are recorded in the full Board meeting minutes as derived from the committee report.
c1. The High School Committee has not met since the last Board meeting.
c2. The Academic Committee had updates about the 8th grade math split in algebra, considered communication software and the newsletter, discussed the technology position, class sizes and split options.
c3. The Personnel Committee discussed the timing of searches for anticipated open positions and how to address situations that arise between committee meetings.
c4. The Policy Committee has not met.
c5. The Wellness Committee has not met. Board member Alicia Willette raised the issue of auto idling in front of the school.
c6. The Strategic Plan Committee chair is Jen Boylston and meetings are held on Tuesdays in Norwich. A survey has been drafted and is being reviewed. There will be surveys of teachers, parents, the Lyme community and the Board.
c7. The Finance Committee discussed recommendations on budget guidelines.
4. Business Requiring Discussion and/or Action
The Board was asked to decide about the preliminary budget that would be brought to the Lyme Budget Committee meeting on December 13. The town will be addressing the road problems so the school district has expressed an interest to keep the budget increase low so that residents did not face a substantially larger tax rate. The health premiums will increase 2.6% and the bus contract will increase by 12%. The Board discussed new busses and why smaller busses were not requested (larger busses needed for field trips and ski season). The proposed budget objective was to be at or below 1.8% (CPI) and warrant articles including full day kindergarten and the roof project if passed would increase the total budget another 1%.
It was decided to use $145,000 from the High School Trust, reduce one potential split class, and a 0.5 FTE aide. Last year the increase was 6.8% and lower increase of the budget this year was due to a number of factors including savings associated with hiring, the administration restructuring, and the decrease in high school students, and savings in Elementary Special Education.
There are class size pressures to have splits in the first, third, sixth, and seventh grades. There will be some increases to substitutes and supplies. The enrollment is anticipated to be lower (184) due to the large size of the graduating 8th grade and smaller class in the 2nd grade (15). The crossing guard was also discussed in the context of a town responsibility. The Board discussed the impact of the reading position at the Lyme School.
The end-of-year surplus could be applied to the High School Trust so that less than $145,000 would be withdrawn. There was a Board consensus to present the 2018-19 school district budget as discussed at the meeting with a 1.78% increase and the added warrant articles for the roof project and full day kindergarten.
Superintendent Valence distributed a resume and reviewed the 8th grade algebra class split. There was also a need for a crossing guard.
A motion was made and seconded (Lange Davis) to approve Christian Durgin as an 8th grade algebra teacher at the Lyme School for the remainder of the school year. The motion was approved 7-0-0.
A motion was made and seconded (Levey Greenway) to approve Larry Reed as the school crossing guard at the Lyme School for the remainder of the school year for one hour per day at an amount not to exceed $2,391. The motion was approved 7-0-0.
c. Board Committees and Organization
Superintendent Valence distributed a document regarding school board policies and activity for the Lyme School District. He reviewed the information on committees and board operations. He spoke about coordination between the Board and the superintendent where the Board provides direction and support. He wanted the Board to feel comfortable with their level of input on decisions and impact on the school.
A motion was made and seconded (Tullar, Levey) to adjourn the meeting at 10:18 PM. The motion was approved 7-0-0.