September 25, 2023
To: RSU #74 Board of Directors
From: Mark Campbell
Re: Board Report for October 2023
As expected our students who changed schools have settled in nicely to their new surroundings. As I visit schools, the teacher's engagement of their students has allowed students to get to know their new classmates. As Jean shared in September, she was expecting even more new students to move into Embden that would end up in Solon. This did happen. I will provide you with updated enrollment numbers at our meeting next week.
There were inquiries from Board members regarding Stipends particularly around the amount and what the expectation(s) are for the person receiving the stipend. There also have been inquiries from employees as to whether the pay is comparable to what is paid to others in similar positions in other districts. I had suggested a workshop for the Board to discuss stipends so if we are going to move in a certain direction that impacts finances we can properly prepare our 2024-2025 budget. Troy and Kevin have given me direction on the type of information they would like you to have ahead of any discussions. Please let me know if you have any questions you want researched in case your questions are not in the scope of what has already been asked of me. Thank you. We will look to schedule the workshop later this fall.
In the current budget we put into place a plan to provide a teacher for students with Autism. I happened to be in Garret Schenck last week to witness the challenges that staff often need to support a student with as they also deliver the student’s learning plan. Upon my entry, the kicking and biting did cease, but in the nearly two hours I was present, engagement in learning of the intended topics did not happen. The staff was amazing in at least refocusing the student from destructive behaviors. Fortunately, only one of the two students, who are normally provided intense intervention, were present that day as all hands were needed for this one individual. We do have another autistic student, age 5, who lives in Anson that we were planning to have starting this fall but the parents are hesitant about enrolling the student. This child has no prior experience in an educational setting. Mrs. Cram continues to work with the family in an effort to get this student enrolled.
The hiring process continues with hopes of having enough support in all 4 buildings to allow the Special Education staff to meet the needs of students with IEPs. Grace and her team are setting up interviews for ed-techs as well as for a Special Education Teacher for Solon. Currently there are 17 students in Solon where instruction is solely provided by Ed-techs with Grace providing the support as the Case Manager/Teacher of Record. We also have applications for the open Maintenance position to review and interview for.
Within the last week to 10 days, you should have received an email from MSMA on their fall conference which is scheduled for October 26 and October 27. Please let Linda know if you would like to attend one or both days so she can register you. Registration deadline is Wednesday, October 18 without a late fee so if you could let Linda know before Friday, October 13, she then would have time to process the paperwork. Thank you. I will be attending as there are two sessions that I wish to attend on behalf of the district that will complete the checklist for receiving a deduction on our Property and Casualty Insurance.
I have included a draft of the district goals and am open to feedback. I have written up results for the 2022-2023 goals set and will have that as a handout for you on October 4. The building principals will be preparing their data results for you and will be presenting this information as part of our November Board meeting. We will be following a very similar structure as in the past where we will set principals up at tables and split the Board up to move from table to table to listen to each presentation. It was mentioned last year about personal professional goals for me. I will be presenting those to the Superintendent Evaluation subcommittee on October 4th.
As part of the co-op football team with Madison, we agreed to pay the stipend for one of the assistant coaches which is why Joe Hayden’s appointment is on our agenda. The remaining are appointments funded through ESSER monies as part of our continued efforts to support students to catch up and remain caught up with their academics due to COVID 19.
We received two resignations shortly after the start of school from two educational technicians. We wish them well and thank them for their service to our communities.
I would ask for a motion of support for the appointment of Tabatha Burke to be our Pre-K Teacher in Solon. Tabatha has been working in Title I for us but has graciously agreed to help us with the Pre-K program. Tabatha does have experience as an early childhood teacher as she was employed by KVCAP as the Pre-K teacher in Solon for the 20-21 school year.
Item #6: It was brought to my attention that the district had not voted on a school physician for the current school year. With a little review, it was determined that the last time action was taken by the Board on this was in July 2020. Despite asking each month for the prior year’s monthly agenda in preparing our agendas for last school year and the current one, because it had not been done for multiple school years, I didn’t pick up on this important task. For that I apologize. Linda keeps a little notebook on monthly agenda item musts. This has been added to the June agenda list to ensure a new vote is taken yearly prior to the expiration of the existing contract. The Madison Health Clinic has been providing the district with coverage for several years. According to our nurse, besides providing us with standing orders for epi-pens, inhalers, Benadryl, Hydrocortisone, Antibiotic cream, they have been extremely helpful in providing families who need immunization updates but do not have a primary care physician with the necessary updates.
Item #7: Maurice Langlois is asking again this year to take a group of high school students for an overnight trip to Augusta so these students can participate in a two day conference called Youth and Government in Maine. You will find a write-up on this request within this packet. Your support is appreciated.