News Feature

Blue Hill
Originally published in The Weekly Packet, January 2, 2014
Blue Hill School Board
Further details on proposed pre-K program

Wednesday, December 11 - Members present: Chmn. Richardson, Rice, Snow, Wootten. Members absent: Keenan. Others participating: Supt. Mark Hurvitt, Prin. Della Martin, Bob McCormick, Judy Cole, Franklin Burke, Heather Nelson, Lisa Arhontes-Marshall. Discussion: 1. Proposed pre-K program - 8-10 students projected for 2014-15 based on current response. Projected budget of $88,000-$117,000 for one or, if over 12 students, two classrooms, apart from building renovation costs. Two classrooms means “big shift around,” said pre-K committee member Heather Nelson. Program to run five days weekly, full school days, with regular bus transportation; half-day, with parent pick-up also offered. Pre-K “levels the playing field,” said Nelson. State curriculum guidelines include readiness skills in language and socialization, “so [students] can hit the ground running,” Nelson said. Committee plans community presentation of proposed program prior to town meeting, after board votes on 2014-15 budget in February. 2. Current budget “kind of on track” - Supt. Mark Hurvitt presented “snapshot of where we are today” in budget. Transportation budget holds $15,000 “for something that didn’t happen,” said Hurvitt; summer school and special education costs higher than anticipated; instructional supplies and equipment and furniture and fixture lines closed. Projected state subsidy of $102,000 for 2013-14 close to $90,000 in budget. Ended 2012-13 with $149,000 carryover; $123,857 estimated for 2013-14. “We’re kind of on track,” said Hurvitt. 3. PACER presentation - Phys. Ed. teacher McCormick presented data on student cardiovascular, endurance and strength improvement through PACER (Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run) program/test. BHCS physical education program using PACER receiving recognition at state, national level from universities; government inquiries. McCormick: “I want [students] to lead a long and healthy life.” 4. Building and grounds, security report - Library skylight leak temporarily fixed. Will “tear it apart” in better weather,” said Burke. Evacuation process, lock-down procedures improving. Outside camera sent photo on December 8, 1 a.m., of person trying front door, during school snow plowing. “I’m glad they were deterred,” said Burke. “[The camera] works like it’s supposed to.” Photos get auto-emailed to Burke, Martin. 5. Storage - Wootten proposed offering 120 square foot attic storage space to Union 93 central office, with required renovation paid by U93. Would also increase “usable” space for school, said Wootten. Not all members convinced. In November, union had proposed leasing empty space in current building, citing more storage needed as one reason. Action: 1. New bully policy - Meets new state requirements; all U93 schools adopted same policy; approved 4-0. 2. New coaching position, appointments - “Swing” basketball coach position; stipend $900; Emily Herrick nominated; approved 4-0. Kristen Mullen nominated as winter AD, $1,500 stipend, approved 4-0 pending fingerprinting. 3. Unpaid leave request - Judy Cole, three personal days, four unpaid leave days, in January; not to set a precedent, per Wootten; approved 4-0. Next meeting: Wed., Jan. 8, 5 p.m., BHCS. (A. Berleant)