October 1, 2015 Minutes




Pittsfield School Board Meeting
Thursday, October 1, 2015
Pittsfield Middle High School


Members Present: Mike Wolfe, Chair
Gary Mullen, Vice Chair
Bea Douglas

Others Present: John Freeman, Superintendent of Schools
Melissa Brown, Director of College and Career Readiness
Tobi Gray Chassie, District Administrator
Derek Hamilton, Dean of Operations
Danielle Harvey, Dean of Instruction
Donna Lehmann, Director of Student Services
Kathy LeMay, Director of Interventions
Ross Morse, Community Liaison
Members of the Public

Chairperson Wolfe called the meeting to order at 5:31 p.m.


The following items were added to the agenda:
· Student Led Conferences (Ms. Brown)
· Video Exemption (Ms. Harvey
· PYW Bus Stop (Mr. Hamilton)
· FY15 Fund Balance (Dr. Freeman)
· NH Charitable Foundation Playground Report (Dr. Freeman)
· Gymnasium Floor (Dr. Freeman)


On a motion made by Mr. Mullen and seconded by Ms. Douglas, the Board voted unanimously to approve the amended agenda.


On a motion made by Mr. Mullen and seconded by Ms. Douglas, the Board voted unanimously to approve the minutes of the September 3 and 17, 2015, meetings.


Susan Bradley thanked the School Board for the support displayed by attending the premiere showing of the video, Students at the Center: Inquiry Based Learning.

Ross Morse stated that it is encouraging to see students emerge who can talk about their education (in the video).

Mr. Morse mentioned the impact the change of lighting has made on the environment within each of the schools. The difference it is making in the hallways is remarkable. He suggested hosting an open house when the transition is complete.


A. Video Exemption

Ms. Harvey asked if an exemption can be made to the instructional materials policy, School Board Policy IKJ, so that James and the Giant Peach can be shown in an elementary school class, despite the rating of the film (PG). On a motion made by Ms. Douglas and seconded by Mr. Mullen, the Board voted unanimously to approve the exemption.

B. Curriculum

Ms. Harvey explained the work being done by teachers to create syllabi and year-at-a-glance documents. She indicated that all curriculum documents will be housed in the teachers’ website. Through a validation process, teachers are working to break down the standards into teachable objectives and to state what student competence would look like.

C. Work Study Practices

Ms. Harvey explained that work is in process to replace the previously articulated 21st Century Skills with Work Study Practices. The restated Work Study Practices will be assessed by teachers and reported on PowerSchool.

D. UNH Marine Docents

On Wednesday, September 23, science teachers from grades 1 through 8 were able to meet with two representatives of the Marine Docent Program of the University of New Hampshire. Opportunities for student involvement in the University’s marine sciences programs were discussed.
E. New Staff

Ms. Harvey reported she is working with newly hired teachers to develop their individual SMART goals for the year. Mini observations of all teachers are underway.

F. Science NECAP Scores

Ms. Harvey distributed data regarding the scores on the Science NECAP for grades 4, 8, and 11. Teachers will analyze the data and make recommendations for changes in curriculum and instruction.


A. PYW Bus Stop

Mr. Hamilton distributed a letter from Zach Powers, Executive Director of the Pittsfield Youth Workshop (PYW), requesting a bus stop for students leaving school and going directly to the PYW after school. Mr. Wolfe stated the Board supports the stop being added, but that the change did not require Board action.

B. ALICE Training

Mr. Hamilton showed the School Board a video which outlines the ALICE method to prepare for an active shooter threat. He asked the Board to consider the information about the “counter” component of the method, which will entail retraining students and staff to counteract any threatening behavior on the part of an intruder to guide the Emergency Management Team (EMT).

Mr. Hamilton explained to the Board that he, along with Chair Wolfe, has
participated in training on ALICE. He asked the Board for guidance for the

Mr. Wolfe stated the training was excellent. He questions how we would train
the students to change their response to an incident. Ms. Douglas stated the
key was the training of teachers. Mr. Wolfe explained that in other situations,
the students who did not counter were the ones that were victimized by a

Mr. Hamilton suggested the ALICE procedures be considered by the
EMT with suggestions vetted by multiple stakeholders before final decisions
are made. He suggested working closely with the Pittsfield Police Department
before making any changes. The Board thanked Mr. Hamilton for informing
them of the ALICE procedures and gave their support for further exploration
with the EMT.

C. Food Services Charge Policy

Mr. Hamilton presented a proposed policy to establish consistent meal account procedures throughout the district. He reported unpaid balances over the 2014-15 school year totaled more than $7,000. He requested feedback on the proposed policy. The School Board supported the approach outlined in the proposed policy.


A. State Monitoring

Ms. Lehmann explained that the New Hampshire Department of Education, during a special education monitoring process of the district’s program, identified improvement needs in the area of meeting deadlines for timely evaluations and inputting information accurately into the New Hampshire Special Education Information System (NHSEIS). She reported that training is being provided to staff in response to the identified need.

B. New Hampshire Rules for the Education of Children with Disabilities

Ms. Lehmann reported the Rules for the Education of Children with Disabilities are being updated. There are numerous changes being proposed. Public hearings will be posted to receive input from all stakeholders.

C. Universal Design for Learning

Ms. Lehmann shared a video on Universal Design for Learning (UDL). According to Ms. Lehmann, the special education team will be investigating the principles of UDL this year. As teachers are involved in the development of units of study, they are helping to support the use of UDL.

D. Transition Training

Ms. Lehmann reported the district will be monitored for the accurate completion of transition elements of individual education plans for students who are age fourteen and above. She disseminated and explained the requirements of a transition plan. Staff will be receiving training.


A. College Board

Ms. Brown reported Dena Johnson from the College Board provided PMHS faculty with PSAT / SAT information on September 30.

B. New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation (NHEAF)

Angela Castonguay from NHEAF provided students with SAT preparation on September 30. Ms. Castonguay is scheduled to return to PMHS throughout the year to make helpful presentations to students and families. Information has been sent home notifying students and families of these training opportunities on a number of topics, including financial aid.

C. Concord Regional Technical Center

Ms. Brown stated she and her administrative assistant, Lyndsey Blanchette, have visited the Concord Regional Training Center. They gained a better understanding of the program’s requirements and expectations.

D. High School Promotion Numbers

Ms. Brown stated reported there were forty-three students in grade nine and ten that were retained last year. She has adjusted their schedules in order to help them get back on pace. Ms. Brown has also adjusted schedules for students retained in grade 11. She reported she will be meeting with seniors and their families in the next few weeks to monitor their progress toward graduation.

E. UNH College Fair

Ms. Brown stated a trip to the UNH College Fair is planned for interested juniors and seniors on October 6.

F. HOPE: Honesty, Ownership, Persistence, Effort

According to Ms. Brown, the HOPE program is designed to support students that may be behind in credits and are at risk for not completing high school. It is a student-driven program that provides students with the tools necessary to take ownership for their learning and responsibility for their future.

G. Student Led Conferences

Ms. Brown reported she and Mr. Hamilton will be attending common planning time teams to review the expectations relative to student led conferences. Administrators will be attending various conferences to assure continuity from one advisory to another.


A. School Board Policies

Dr. Freeman presented policies with recommended action, including Policy EEAA – Video and Audio Recordings in School and On School Property, recommended; Policy EHAA – Computer Security, E-Mail, and Internet Communications, recommended; Policy GBJ – Personnel Records, recommended; Policy JICK – Pupil Safety and Violence Prevention (Bullying), recommended. On a motion by Ms. Douglas and seconded by Mr. Mullen, the Board voted unanimously to adopt the recommended policies as presented.

B. Wage and Classification Process

According to Dr. Freeman, a contract has been formalized with Municipal Resources, Inc., to conduct a wage and classification study of all non-union, non-professional positions in the district. The cost, which was previously approved, will be a bit higher than originally estimated. A list of components of the final report was provided.

C. School Resource Office Grant

Dr. Freeman reported the COPS grant submitted with the intent of funding a school resource officer has been approved. Chief Cain and Dr. Freeman will be drafting a memorandum of understanding to ensure clarity of this role and the relationship of the officer with school administration.

D. October 15 School Board Meeting

Dr. Freeman stated he will be out of town on Thursday, October 15, and asked if the Board wanted to move the meeting to October 22. Discussion ensued and it was decided to move the meeting to October 22.

E. FY15 Fund Balance

Dr. Freeman distributed the year-end expenditure report. The report concluded with a balance of about $204,000; when unanticipated revenues of about $87,000 were considered, the year-end fund balance was about $291,000. This equates to about $1.12/thousand on the tax rate.

F. NH Charitable Foundation

Dr. Freeman distributed a New Hampshire Charitable Foundation media release on the new playground at Drake Field. The project was supported through funding from the Foundation.

G. Gymnasium Floor

Dr. Freeman reported Attorney Philpot has called to inform the Board of their options relative to the legal disposition of the gymnasium floor. He suggested he spend time outlining the financial ramifications of the options presented by the attorney and report back to the Board.

H. Upcoming Dates

Dr. Freeman provided the Board with several important dates.

XI. PUBLIC INPUT (Second Session)

Mr. Morse asked for a copy of the FY15 expenditure report, which was supplied to him.


The next School Board meeting is scheduled for October 22, 2015, at 5:30 p.m. at the Pittsfield Middle High School.


At 6:50 p.m., a motion was made by Mr. Mullen and seconded by Ms. Douglas to enter into non-public session to discuss personnel issues pursuant to RSA 91-A:3, II (c). The Board was polled and voted unanimously (Ms. Douglas, yes; Mr. Mullen, yes; Mr. Wolfe, yes) to enter into a non-public session.

Dr. Freeman advised the Board on two personnel issues that had been ongoing.

No action was taken in non-public session

At 7:00 p.m., a motion was made by Ms. Douglas and seconded by Mr. Mullen to exit the non-public session and to re-enter into open session. The Board was polled and voted unanimously (Ms. Douglas, yes; Mr. Mullen, yes; Mr. Wolfe, yes) to exit the non-public session and to re-enter into open session.


On a motion made by Mr. Mullen and seconded by Ms. Douglas, the Board voted unanimously to adjourn the meeting at 7:01 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Tobi Gray Chassie
Recording Secretary