Summary of Aug. 24th School Bd. Mtg

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lee fankhauser

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Sep 2, 2011, 11:00:58 AM9/2/11
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The school board met on Aug. 24th and here are the highlights from the
meeting.

Paul Farley, former VP at Middle School South, was named Principal of
Middle School North. Mr. Fiore will be recalled as VP of Middle School
North along with Mr. Cuppari while Dr. Henig will be moving over to
Memorial Middle School and the Memorial VP (Ms. Suarez) will move to
Middle School South as VP.

The superintendent recommended restoring after school transportation for
sports/clubs and, after some discussion, the board approved late buses
for the Middle Schools effective Sept., since some sports have tryouts
at that time and this way parents for whom transportation is an issue
(and the reason they do not have their child try out)will know early on
that transportation will be provided. The cost is around $40K for
middle schools assuming data from the last time transportation was
offered (3 schools, longer routes). The board agreed to send the issue
of elementary late buses to Finance since time is not such an issue for
these programs (Oct. start dates generally) and the cost for the
elementary late buses was estimated to be considerably higher than the
middle schools given the number of elementary schools served. I think
the total for all late buses was estimated to be about $118K, but that
again was based on data from two years ago, as I recall.

I assume that, if transportation is offered but the activities are
underutilized, then they will/may be canceled and that too could affect
late buses. The bd. generally revisits the issue of club/sport
utilization and late buses in the winter, after the conclusion of the
fall sports/clubs.

I am hoping that "If they provide it, they will come."

As is usually the case, there was a bit of shuffling staff around in
order to be ready for school to open. I would suggest you look at the
board agenda and addenda to see what changes specifically affect your
school. You can probably also note these changes on your school's
homepage, assuming it is updated regularly.

The board also approved using Twitter as another means of getting
information out to the public; another "push" technology. So, if you
have a Twitter account, please sign up to get these "tweets." If you do
not tweet, please consider getting an account to stay informed at your
convenience to school issues. I do not use Twitter at present but I
understand that the convenience is that the messages come in as texts on
your cell phone. Nice.

After second closed session, the board came out and approved a sidebar
agreement with the bus drivers unit. No details, other than it dealt
with hours and benefits, were shared and I presume that the unit has to
ratify the agreement as well (if they had not prior to the meeting)
before those details can become public. If I recall correctly, a
sidebar agreement is like a mini contract made with one unit of the
larger collective bargaining unit. In our case, the bus drivers are a
part of the "teachers' union," the HTEA, so it appears that that part of
the HTEA has come to terms with the board, or at least agreed to some
modified terms for a new contract. But, again, I am speculating since
details were not made public. If I hear anything more, will update you
then.

That is all for this meeting. Good luck with back to school and I hope
you all are well after Hurricane Irene.

Amy Fankhauser

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