Thursday, September 15, 2005
Hartwell multi-purpose room, Lincoln

Present: Julie Dobrow (Chair), Laurie Manos, Dennis Picker, Cathy Rogers, Pam Borgert (Hanscom Representative).
Also present Michael Brandmeyer (Superintendent), Paul Naso (Assistant Superintendent), Susan Bottan (Business Administrator).
Absent: Sandy Hessler (Vice Chair), Corie Cruise (Hanscom Representative).
  1. Greetings and Call to Order
    Ms. Dobrow called the meeting to order at 7:04 P.M.


  2. Chairperson’s and Members’ report
    Ms. Dobrow reported on participation in the Lincoln Fourth of July parade by Ms. Dobrow and Ms. Hessler on behalf of the School Committee. Ms. Dobrow also reported that she welcomed the teachers back at the Teacher Orientation day prior to the start of the students’ school year and she commended Mr. Brandmeyer and Mr. Naso for the excellent program for this day and the presentation on the Teacher Evaluation Program. Ms. Dobrow also thanked Mr. Brandmeyer for re-launching Lincoln Ink.

  3. Public Comments

  4. Consent Agenda
    1. Changes to School Committee Meeting Schedule
      Ms. Dobrow moved that the consent agenda be adopted(changing School Committee meeting dates from September 8th to September 15th , from September 22nd to September 29th, and from April 13th to April 27th). Mr. Picker seconded the motion. All elected members voted in favor, with Ms. Borgert concurring.

  5. Time Scheduled Appointments
    1. Department of Defense DDESS Report
      Mike Smiley of DDESS (Department of Defense Office of Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools) and Greg Long of Baker and Associates presented the DDESS report on the Hanscom schools’ facility project. Mr. Smiley described the project team and the process which started in November, 2004 and produced its final report in September, 2005. Mr. Smiley set forth how the team looked at the current school population of 528 (as of November and January of the last academic year), the school’s current capacity of 620, the housing privatization program, and shifts in military population to project an absolute maximum number of students at Hanscom of 940 with 705 in grades K-5 and 235 in grades 6-8. They projected a teaching staff of 83 for the population of 940 students. They then determined parking needs (74 for primary and 34 for middle), gross square footage needs (100,535 for the primary school, 76,118 for the middle school, and total 177,653), and projected cost ($21 million for the middle school and $40.9 million for the entire project).

      Greg Long described three sites that the team considered and the criteria for site selection. The team determined that the existing school site is the most promising site. A phased approach is being recommended building the new Middle School first and the new Primary School later. The plan would be to build the Middle School on the site of the current Middle School using temporary classrooms during construction and then to construct a new Primary School using temporary classrooms during construction. In developing the plans, they are attempting to stay out of 200 foot zone next to the Shawsheen River. There is a 100 foot no build zone next to the river and a 200 foot area which requires remediation if there is building within that zone. Administrative services and food services would be located on the road side of campus with the classrooms on the river side. Current safety standards also require that the school be 80 to 100 feet from parking and roadways which cramps parking.

      Mr. Smiley described the process for obtaining approval for the project. The usual way of doing this would be through the MILCON Process. There is a pre-MILCON meeting in April 2006 and a meeting where votes are taken on projects in May/June 2006. There are eight voting members with the DDESS Director’s vote breaking a tie. MILCON has $147 million in projects which have been chosen for funding. These projects are planned five years out into the future but projects already chosen for funding can be shuffled if a greater need arises. They fund between $25 to $40 million of projects each year. There is an effort to increase this amount. Another way to get funding would be through the Future Years Defense Program (FYDP) which involves getting a special Congressional insert.

      Mr. Smiley said if events come up which highlight Hanscom’s need, to send him the information because it could improve the case for funding. The Committee discussed where and how to garner support for the project from command support to political support from State Representatives, Congressmen, and Senators.

      Randy Davis, Principal of the Hanscom Primary School, and Barry Hopping, Principal of the Hanscom Middle School, said that they are pleased that the process has begun. Mr. Hopping said that the Hanscom Middle School has many pressing needs.

      Mr. Brandmeyer thanked Mr. Smiley and Mr. Long for their work and said that he will check in with them periodically. Mr. Brandmeyer said that the next step would be to build a work plan with specific actions to keep this moving.

      At this time Ms. Dobrow called a five minutes break from 7:45 P. M. to 7:50 P.M. Ms. Manos left at this time.

    2. Personnel Update
      Ms. Dobrow thanked Mr. Brandmeyer, Mr. Naso, and all the administrators and teachers who worked on the search committees. Mr. Naso said that the School Committee packets included a report identifying the eighteen new teachers, their assignments, and describing their backgrounds. Mr. Naso described the review process for selecting new faculty and the process to get them started and support them in their first year. He said that the existence of an articulated review process helped in selecting new faculty. This process began on March 2005 when Mr. Brandmeyer met with administrators to set forth expectations and procedures for hiring. These procedures included a timeline for creating and operating interview teams, developing questions appropriate to a prospective faculty members role in the school, asking questions in a consistent way in each interview, keeping the central office informed, and the process for selecting interviewees. The hiring process for almost all of the new teachers included observing them teach. Both on site and take home writing samples were required and reference checks were conducted. The final interviews were with both Mr. Brandmeyer and Mr. Naso in almost every case. All the new teachers have licenses (one teacher from out of state has some paperwork to do but is clearly eligible for a Massachusetts license) and are “highly qualified” to teach the subject matter they are teaching. Mr. Brandmeyer will be reporting on this to the Massachusetts Department of Education.

      Before a new teacher was hired, their commitment to attend the new teacher orientation program on August 30 was obtained. This day included explanation of the e-mail system, the phone system, and information about the two campuses. It was also the beginning of the mentoring program. For part of the day mentors and new teachers worked together. The new teachers contract permits higher support for teachers who are new to teaching as well as new to Lincoln. The Orientation Day also had time for teams which are mainly new to work together. For instance, the third grade Lincoln team had time together.

      Eighteen new teachers is consistent with recent years in which the new teachers have numbered in the low twenties. The Committee discussed making sure to advertise so that minority applicants are reached.

    3. Transportation Update
      Ms. Bottan provided an overview of this year’s school transportation. She noted that an additional bus has been added this year. Last year nine bus runs were conducted with eight school buses but this year nine buses are necessary to transport all students to school on time. The addition of the new bus resulted in a shortfall for $9,140 which Ms. Bottan anticipates covering through savings and efficiencies from other accounts as well as the differential in salaries between outgoing and incoming faculty and staff. The addition of the new bus would have resulted in a greater shortfall but part of the projected cost has been offset by the ability to eliminate an expense to and from the Carroll School. There is one bus which has been arriving a few minutes late and the district is working with Doherty’s to insure that all buses are on time. Ms. Bottan commended Stephanie Brown for her great work on transportation. The Committee discussed the long Kindergarten runs beginning at 12:30 PM with some students on the bus for more than an hour. Ms. Dobrow suggested that a short note be sent to Kindergarten parents explaining that the school is working on this problem. Ms. Bottan will report back at the next School Committee meeting on this.

    4. Facilities Update
      Ms. Bottan reported that Patrick MacMillan managed a variety of projects during the months of July and August. The removal of the canopies has been completed except for the sole task of painting the remaining posts. Ms. Bottan is waiting to receive a quote on the painting of the posts.

      Ms. Bottan noted that the storefront replacement at the Hanscom Middle School has been delayed. Mr. Brandmeyer said that the project became delayed because the contract, with a sole-source pre-approved vendor, got hung up in getting approval from the New England Core of Engineers. The project started at the end of August and is expected to be completed by November 15. Ms. Bottan said that the noise from the storefront replacement has been kept to a minimum. The so-called “ storefront” doorway, used mainly by parents rather than students, cannot be used but a new temporary entrance has been created and the repaired storefront doorway should be in operation by the second or third week of October.

      Ms. Dobrow noted that the first meeting of the Lincoln School Facilities Committee will be held next week, and said that the Committee will receive periodic updates once their work is underway

    5. Review Draft of Long-term Agenda
      Ms. Dobrow presented the first draft of the long-term agenda which she and Mr. Brandmeyer drafted. She said that the Communications Subcommittee will have coffees and other events to add to the long-term agenda. Ms. Dobrow recommended that a more informal meeting be held in Boston on November 1 paired with the METCO Coordinating meeting and that not all School Committee members would need to attend.

      The Committee then presented its feedback on the draft long-term agenda, changing wording and moving the dates for consideration of certain items. They added an item to consider the Hanscom Middle School, preferably at a Hanscom meeting. The Committee wants to hear a report on the status of a minor subject curriculum such as art or health and physical education. Sometime in the fall, perhaps November 3, the Committee will hear a report on the policy work that Cathy Rogers spearheading.

  6. Superintendent’s Report
    Ms. Brandmeyer welcomed Ms. Bottan to the School Committee meeting. He said that Ms. Bottan worked half-time in July and began on a full time basis on August 1 and that the transition has been smooth. He reported that Ms. Bottan has found efficiencies such as eliminating the cost of a bus run to Carroll.

    Mr. Brandmeyer recognized the teachers, school staff, custodians, and administrators for their work during the summer which made the school opening very smooth.

    Mr. Brandmeyer announced that this is the 40th year of METCO and that the School Committee is invited to a celebration on September 24 at Franklin Park.

  7. Curriculum
    1. Update on Summer Curriculum and Professional Development Activities
      Mr. Naso provided a written report which detailed the many summer curriculum and professional development activities organized by curriculum area. Mr. Naso emphasized that many of these programs relate to ongoing efforts to articulate learning expectations and define units of study. The Committee noted that far more activity took place this summer than in the past and considered how to get the word out that so much work took place this summer. The Committee recommended that Mr. Naso’s memorandum detailing the work done be made available to parents on back to school night. The Committee also discussed the extent of alignment between the Lincoln School and the Hanscom Schools and how when there is alignment this could be spelled out more clearly in the memorandum summarizing the summer work.

  8. Policy
    1. CORI Policy: Second Reading and Vote
      Mr. Brandmeyer reminded the School Committee that this was a second reading of changes to the CORI policy regarding collecting additional information and giving applicants/volunteers the right to challenge CORI information before an adverse decision is taken. Mr. Brandmeyer said that changes suggested by the School Committee in the first reading have been added to the policy as presented at this meeting. Mr. Picker moved that the School Committee vote to accept the revised CORI policy. Ms. Dobrow seconded the motion. All elected members voted in favor, with Ms. Borgert concurring.

  9. Budget and Financial
    1. FY05 Final End-of-Year Report
      Ms. Bottan reported on the financial status of the Lincoln schools for the FY05 end-of-year. Ms. Bottan said that once the Town of Lincoln closes the fiscal year a final report will be completed and sent to the School Committee. In the meantime the auditing firm has reviewed the FY 2004 DOE EOY Report. In response to the auditors report, the District and the Town of Lincoln are working on an articulated written agreement between the town and the school department of how the town supports the school.

    2. FY07 Capital Planning: Initial Discussion
      Ms. Bottan presented a comprehensive draft list of capital planning initiatives for the Lincoln campus prioritized into three categories: (1) health and safety, (2) necessary repairs, and (3) preventative maintenance. Ms. Bottan said that the work of the Capital Facilities Committee will influence recommendations and decisions for work on this list. Ms. Bottan would like to work with Ms. Hessler on this list and present a three year plan for the School Committee’s approval.

      Mr. Brandmeyer said that the Capital Planning Committee wants requests by September 23. He has spoken with them to ask that the District submit its requests by October 16 and was told that this would be fine.

      Mr. Picker suggested that Ms. Bottan go through the architect’s facilities report to see whether there is anything that should be added to the list she has compiled.

      Regarding technical capital planning, Mr. Brandmeyer said that the RFPs for technical consulting are due back on October 1 and proposed that we consider an FY07 tech capital warrant similar in size and substance to the past several years.

    3. Warrant Approval
      Mr. Picker reported that Ms. Manos had reviewed the warrants with Ms. Bottan. Mr. Picker moved that the School Committee vote warrants in the amount of $1,849,320.03. Ms. Dobrow seconded the motion. All elected members voted in favor, with Ms. Borgert concurring.

  10. Old Business
    Ms. Rogers presented the Policy Subcommittee charge for School Committee review. A revision was suggested to make clear that the Subcommittee’s role is to “suggest policy revision projects for the School Committee to consider.” The Committee discussed the Subcommittee’s role and that the School Committee may ask for policy recommendations from the Subcommittee but that the Subcommittee’s charge is to recommend policies that need attention. The Committee also suggested modifications in member qualifications. Ms. Dobrow moved that the School Committee establish the Subcommittee with the charge as amended. Mr. Picker seconded the motion. All elected members voted in favor with Ms. Borgert concurring. The charge will be publicized on the web page and in the Lincoln Journal and the Mini Link.

  11. New Business
    1. MCAS Dates
      Mr. Naso explained that in July the Commissioner of the Department of Education sent out a change and that the seventh grade long composition is now scheduled for the 29 of March which is currently an early dismissal day. Mr. Naso said that in the near future the administration would be proposing a change to make the 29th a full day and to have an early dismissal day on another day, probably a Friday.

  12. Approval of Minutes
    Ms. Dobrow moved that the School Committee approve the minutes of July 14, 2005 as amended. Mr. Picker seconded the motion. Ms. Dobrow, Mr. Picker and Ms. Rogers voted in favor. Ms. Borgert abstained because she was not present at the July 14 meeting.

  13. Information Enclosures

  14. Adjournment
    Ms. Dobrow moved that the Committee adjourn to Executive Session not to come back to open session for the purpose of discussing contract negotiations. Mr. Picker seconded the motion. The motion was approved by the following roll call:

    Ms. Dobrow – yes
    Mr. Picker – yes
    Ms. Rogers – yes
    Ms. Borgert - concurs
    The Committee adjourned to Executive Session at 10 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,
Sara Rolley, School Committee Recording Secretary