November 5, 2015 Minutes




Pittsfield School Board Meeting
Thursday, November 5, 2015
Pittsfield Middle High School


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

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 Faculty
Members of the Public

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


The following items were added to the agenda:
· Excursion Request (Mr. Hamilton)
· Essential Oils (Mr. Hamilton)
· Logic Model (Ms. Chassie)
· Request for Release from Contract (Dr. Freeman)
· Engineering Proposal (Dr. Freeman)
· Request for Non-Resident Attendance (Dr. Freeman)
· School Board Member Resignation (Dr. Freeman)

The following item was deleted from the agenda:
· Pittsfield Listens (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 October 22, 2015, with Bea Douglas’s name deleted from attendance list as she was not present at the meeting.


Ross Morse reported that the PES PTO Trunk or Treat event was a success. He thanked Mr. Wolfe and Police Chief Cain for their assistance in making the event a positive experience for the children.

Dr. Freeman stated the Chief of Police, Jeff Cain, was present to answer any questions regarding the school resource officer proposal. Board members did not have any questions, but expressed support for the proposal. The Board will vote on the memorandum of agreement and role description at their next meeting.


Tucker Wolfe reported on the production of a flyer that explains Site Council is being considered. He stated that the brochure will be used to help students and guests understand the purpose of Site Council.

Representative Tucker explained that a training for Site Council members is being planned for later this fall.

Feedback was sought by members from their classmates about what to do when they incurred a debt in the lunch room. There was agreement in having a consequence for students who did not pay their bills.


A. Children Literacy Foundation (CLiF) Grant

Ms. Harvey explained that in 2012-13, PES was a recipient of a grant from CLiF. As a follow up, the Foundation has requested that PES participate in an impact survey; an honorarium grant of $250 in books will be provided for participation.

B. Off Pace Report

Ms. Harvey explained that she and Ms. Brown are working with teachers to find the best way to run the off pace report for students who have fallen behind the teacher pace for courses. They have piloted a report that will be presented to the Board after the close of the first quarter..

C. Nellie Mae Clinic

A Nellie Mae Education Foundation continuous improvement clinic was held on October 26 through October 28, 2015. Ms. Harvey stated her confidence that the work started at the conference will support school improvement at both schools.


A. Excursion Request

Mr. Hamilton asked the Board to consider a ski trip to Vermont in March. The trip will be chaperoned by Mr. Strickhart, Mr. Mitchell, and Mr. Mitchell’s wife. The students will pay for their own participation. They will be traveling by van to Vermont.

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

B. School Resource Officer

Mr. Hamilton distributed a draft of the memorandum of understanding, the job description, and a salary schedule for the proposed school resource officer initiative. Dr. Freeman explained the salary schedule and cost for this project. The memorandum specifies that the resource officer will work at the schools according to the school calendar.

C. Emergency Management Team

Mr. Hamilton reported that the ALICE program has agreed to provide technical support to review and revise the district’s lockdown protocols. A half-day work session will be scheduled to provide training to the Emergency Management Team.

D. Fall Athletic Awards Ceremony

The Booster Club will host the annual fall season awards ceremony on Friday, November 20, 2015, at 6:30 p.m.

E. School Celebrations

On October 23, 2015, a celebration was held at PES for good attendance and at PMHS for honor roll. Mr. Hamilton stated his appreciation of the Appleview Orchard of Pittsfield for generously donated more than four hundred apples for students and staff to enjoy.

F. Essential Oils

Mr. Hamilton distributed information regarding essential oils, which was provided by a parent. He explained the advice given by the School Nurses Association, that schools either do not permit essential oils in schools or treating essential oils as medication and following the protocols in place for students bringing medications to school. Discussion ensued. The members of the School Board agreed to maintain the policies that are in place and consider the essential oils as medication.


A. Data Update

Ms. Lehmann explained the ways in which she is monitoring the data being collected by special educators on student progress. She stated teachers are making a better effort to write solid goals and objectives, as well as developing measurable criteria against which to student progress.

Ms. Lehmann stated the individual education program meetings for seniors are being scheduled for January, allowing them plenty of time to make any needed adjustments to their programs prior to anticipated graduation.

B. Behavioral / Educational Specialist

Ms. Lehmann introduced Behavior / Educational Specialist, Kim Morganti to the members of the Board. Ms. Morganti explained that she began her work in the district approximately ten years ago, serving ten to twelve students. Currently, as a full-time member of the faculty, she is able to work with approximately twenty-five students. Ms. Morganti explained her goals and their alignment with the district’s mission, vision, and guiding principles. She is interested in assisting students in meeting their academic potential by helping them to work on the challenges of their behavior.

C. Transition Update

Ms. Lehmann explained that the special education staff participated in trainings relative to writing required transition plans for students age fourteen and older. The New Hampshire Department of Education will be visiting the district on March 8 to ensure compliance with the requirement.


A. Graduation Status

Ms. Brown reported there are thirty six seniors, six of whom will be fifth year seniors. She explained these students will not be graduating with their cohort in
June of 2016. Ms. Brown provided further information regarding the circumstances surrounding the educational plans for the six students.

B. Online and Dual Enrollment

Ms. Brown reported there are forty-two students currently taking an online course, either through the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School, Virtual High School, or Odysseyware. In addition to online dual credit courses, twenty juniors and seniors are enrolled in dual enrollment courses.

C. Extended Learning Opportunities (ELO)

According to Ms. Brown eleven students have started an ELO. Additionally, there are nine ELOs that are in the development process.

D. Browne Center

The annual Browne Center field trip took place on October 20, 2015, according to Ms. Brown. School counselor Jeff Martel, along with the freshman advisors, accompanied the freshman students for team building and leadership activities. Forty-four of forty-six freshman participated.


A. PES Logic Model

Ms. Chassie distributed the proposed PES logic model and asked the Board for their consideration of approval at their meeting on November 19, 2015. Upon suggestion by Mr. Morse, Ms. Chassie will email the glossary of terms to the members of the Board. Ms. Chassie invited the Board to call either project manager with any questions.


A. Employee Resignation

Dr. Freeman distributed a letter of resignation from PES special education teacher Jeanne Howard. On a motion made by Ms. Douglas and seconded by Mr. Mullen, the Board voted unanimously to approve the resignation effective December 4, as requested.

B. Engineering Proposal

Dr. Freeman distributed a proposal from Building Envelope Specialists for work to be done to investigate excessive ice build-up and moisture at PMHS. The quote was $9,284.35 to assess the issue and recommend remediation. After discussion, the Board decided to not pursue the investigation at this time.

C. Request for Non-Resident Attendance

The Board received a request from Gary and Wanda Mullen to allow their fifth grade son to finish the school year in Pittsfield; the family has moved to Barnstead. On a motion made by Ms. Douglas and seconded by Mr. Wolfe, the Board voted unanimously to approve the non-resident attendance of a student.

D. FY Budget Proposal

Dr. Freeman distributed a draft of the proposed fiscal year 2017 budget. He complimented the administration and business manager, Sally Blanchette, for their work on the budget proposal.

Dr. Freeman also distributed a memo explaining items for consideration, including: 1) personnel; 2) significant increases, such as collective bargaining obligations, health insurance, out of district special education placements, and special education transportation; 3) current positions impacted in the proposed budget; and 4) salary adjustments for support staff and professional positions outside the collective bargaining agreement. The current version of the proposal reflects a bottom line of $10,155,182.74, the increase over current budget of $351,311.82, and an estimated tax impact of $1.30 per thousand on property taxes.

The Board will take continue this discussion at their next meeting.


On a motion made by Mr. Wolfe and seconded by Ms. Douglas, the Board voted unanimously to accept the resignation of Gary Mullen from the School Board. Mr. Mullen is moving to a neighboring town and will be unable to finish his term. Mr. Wolfe thanked Mr. Mullen for his dedication throughout the duration of his tenure on the Board.

Mr. Wolfe stated the Board has options regarding the filling of the empty seat, which will be discussed at the next meeting.

Mr. Wolfe appointed Ms. Douglas to fill the vacancy of Vice-Chair.

XIV. PUBLIC INPUT (Second Session) – None


The next School Board meeting is scheduled for November 19, 2015, at 5:30 p.m. at the Pittsfield Middle High School.


On a motion made by Mr. Wolfe and seconded by Ms. Douglas, the Board voted unanimously to adjourn the meeting at 6:55 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Tobi Gray Chassie
Recording Secretary