Home Forums Live Blog Forum Manchester BOSC Meeting, 5/14/18

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    Patrice Benard

    There’s a meeting tonight, but we need help to blog it as I am having trouble with the webstream.

    Here’s the Agenda


    Please sign-in and blog if you are able to watch it live.

    -Patrice Benard

    Patrice Benard

    At this point it’s 8:09 pm. Manchester Proud just made their presentation (which is available in the Agenda). Desrochers is very pleased. Beaudry as well. Scannell jumping on board. (You should really read the list of “Founders” as it will give you a good clue as to where this is heading…)

    Let me go snip that slide….

    Patrice Benard

    (Sorry, Snip tool doesn’t seem to work here)

    Bergeron also chiming in. Georges also wants to say Thank You. Girard wants to also thank them for coming forward. Mentions a few cautionary points. Suggests reaching out to those who have chosen other schools (home school, charters, private) to find out why they have made those choices and how we could address their concerns.

    Vargas – thanks them for their efforts.

    Patrice Benard

    They just returned from recess. Now voting on a settlement stemming from an incident at West High School.

    Motion passes.

    Motion passes on the spring coaches.

    Patrice Benard

    Consent Agenda – passes. A few items removed.

    STS Contract- An increase over the past year. Craig asks where the funding will come from. DeFrancis says we have to find it once the Aldermen give us a figure. Vargas- if we don’t get the extra we asked for, we will have to re-assess our needs. Girard- we really don’t have a choice. Put it out and this was the only provider. These are special ed costs and we hope that with the new administrator we will get a handle on our special ed costs.

    Patrice Benard

    Craig claims this was included in the 2 million extra that was presented to the Aldermen. If we approve it tonight, we have to include it in whatever budget we get.

    Freeman- asks about the consultants and will we realize any savings that could be used? Vargas- we are monitoring our costs weekly and will continue so that we can best meet our students’ needs.

    Motion passes

    Patrice Benard

    Craig commenting on the $700,000 increase in special ed in just the past month. Are we doing a review? Vargas- we have to meet IEP needs immediately and we cannot anticipate that. We are seeing some improvement in compliance. We are looking at the drivers for the increase in costs and hope to have that for you by the end of the summer.

    Scannell- special ed is expensive. We have legal obligations and special ed is sometimes the whipping boy. Craig- we hope to get some answers and go to the state for more study.

    Patrice Benard

    Girard- PV is doing things in a way that has reduced their referrals for special ed. Wants to take a look at how children are being identified. Thinks there are other factors to look at.

    Beaudry- has asked in past years for an audit of special ed. Would like to invite Congressional delegation in to discuss the funding needs of our city.

    Lehoux- would like to audit all our programs. We just add, add, add without looking at what our programs are doing and are they working for us.

    Bergeron- asks to speak to the new student services director. Do we ever solicit feedback from special ed parents? Exit interviews? 3000 + surveys were sent out this year, as they have been in years past. Were sent directly to the homes. Go back to State. State gives us results. Working with South Central Spec Ed Directors to see what is being done state wide.

    Motion passes

    Patrice Benard

    Want on Paper Contract – why did go with Central Paper which costs $7,000 more than WB Mason. Girard- were problems with Mason.

    (sorry, phone call…. brb)

    Patrice Benard

    (Back now – sorry, that was an important phone call)

    Now discussing Pre-K at Memorial

    Beaudry- would like to push back the remodeling of Memorial. MST is growing. Already needing 3 classrooms at Memorial and could need more in future. Would like to push back at least one year to see how it would work.

    Want- opposed. Says that Facilities Plan says there is plenty of room at Memorial. Can take the 600 wing for Pre-K. Plenty of room for MST classes. (no comment from the peanut gallery. I’ve been told to not be so ….. )

    Girard- reminds board that Gatsas came to board with proposal to by a building at Sununu Center for Pre=K with cost of 1/2 million and Board rejected it. Asks Vargas about MST enrollment. Vargas says this is the first year we did not turn anyone away. Over 160 new students. Over 160 returning students confirmed. Speaks about the move of Admin to West. Girard didn’t support the redistricting plan in part because of the preschool. But as Want says, the Board made a decision and should stick by it. Can’t keep going back and cherry-picking what we don’t like. Would be counter-productive to block this part of the plan.

    Desrochers- echoes Girard. Can’t start chipping away at prior votes.

    Beaudry- only trying to push the preschool off for a year. Thought that the 600 wing would be for MST, as it has its own door. Thought the preschool would have gone down to the business/ELL wing by field. Wants to let MST use the extra classrooms to avoid a 5.5 million addition at MST.

    Lehoux- will support this motion as he thinks that MST will be growing. Has heard lots of concern about this preschool and feels it has no support.

    Bergeron- thinks Manchester Proud could offer some different solutions. Will not support the motion.

    Patrice Benard

    (missed some of this discussion – daughter needed me… life of a Mom)

    Still on the Preschool discussion.

    Vargas- if we can move the preschool to one location we can free up class spaces, then if we have the money we can hire more teachers and reduce class sizes, which is what you wanted me to do.

    Girard- can’t believe we are rehashing the redistricting plan. Asked Board to set priorities. Asked for Full Time Athletic Director. Board wanted to wait for Vargas’ plan. Voted for his plan. This discussion about where in MMHS the preschool should go should have been had during redistricting discussion. Why are we now backing away.

    Vargas- we have to start now and do this in phases. Construction during this next school year, moving students the following year to reduce class sizes.

    Girard- our leader says it has to be done this way, and now you want to back away. You have to support him now that you approved his plan.

    Lehoux- still thinks there are other options for preschool. Memorial keeps taking the hits on MST and PreK. West is taking the Admin. Nobody ever talks about Central, where we could close an entire building. Just wants to slow it down.

    Beaudry- wants to move the West Side first. Then the 5th grade on the East Side. Wait and see about the preschool. People have voiced opinions since our vote. We should listen to them.

    Vargas- his choice is start the work in July of 2018. Move the preschool Sept 2019. Beaudry’s plan would push it back to work in summer of 2019 and move students in Sept of 2020.

    Craig- questions about the cost of teachers.

    Girard- brings up the presentation that the Board approved.

    Craig- also voted against the plan because of preschool.

    Beaudry- amending his motion to clarify the dates.

    Roll call requested.

    Want trying to clarify. Vargas – wanted to start construction now. But it is up to you. Don’t do to me now what you did about the move to West.

    Want- do what did you want? Vargas- To clear the space, have design team in, start separating the space from the rest of the school.

    Girard- are we now binding a future board? New board could be voted in and could take a different vote? Thinks if this passes, redistricting won’t get done.

    Going to try to record those in favor of postponing.

    Terrio, Lehoux, Beaudry, Scannell, Georges, Freeman, Thomas, Craig

    Motion passes

    (I really would like to comment…… you can imagine my thoughts)

    Patrice Benard

    Want going on about the Comcast Volunteers who worked at McDonough School (guess they don’t have a PTA to organize it)

    Freeman- we should give the organizer who has been doing this for years a commendation. Board should be notified.

    Scannell- Armed Services ceremony on the 31st

    Patrice Benard

    Personnel Report – 3 items removed, 2 for non-public

    New Business

    Want- walk against hunger this weekend. very proud of all the participants from schools both children and adults.

    Desrochers- w/regard to Ad Hoc committee on Student Voice. Thinks it is a slap in the face to not add any student from Young Organizers United as they have been coming to meetings to make us aware. Asks Beaudry to include them. Scannell agrees. Craig also agrees.

    Terrio- they are welcome to come to meetings. Points out the RSA requires that there is one rep from each high school. Craig says it is not binding on the committee, just when they are actually seated on the board.

    Want wants to make it a motion to add YOU member from Central. Bergeron thinks one of the ones that has spoken would be a good choice. Freeman asks how Beaudry how he picked students.

    Beaudry asked each principals for a student. Asked if principals wanted to participate. Adamakos volunteered. Will keep it the way it is. Thinks it is appropriate. YOU group can come to meetings if they want. Doesn’t like how they spoke before Coordination, making untrue remarks about staff. Craig wants him to rethink.

    Beaudry is comfortable with his choices. Georges says take out a Board member and replace with a YOU member.

    Girard- you just heard Manchester Proud tonight come say they were looking for all voices. Beaudry compiled the committee the same way. Shouldn’t necessarily place members there who have pre-determined outcomes they want.

    Scannell- we would want any child to be treated as our own child. YOU group has been doing the difficult work on this. Feels it is our adult responsibility that we should include them. This is excluding them.

    Bergeron- quotes YOU “It doesn’t make any sense to do this without us.”

    Terrio- understands that YOU is under the umbrella of GSOP, which is definitely partisan. Has heard that YOU is aggressive in recruiting minority youth and ostracizes youth that refuse to join.

    Craig wants Beaudry to reconsider.

    Patrice Benard

    Members are going on about great events they have attended around the district….. (Not going to list them here… sorry, too tired)

    Patrice Benard

    They went into non-public.

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