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ERCSB Meeting Recap

ERCSB Meeting

June 21, 2022 @ 7pm

Video can be found here

Board members present: Kimberly Meyer (Exeter), David Slifka (Exeter), Scott Dennehy (Brentwood), Paul Bauer (Newfields), Helen Joyce (Stratham), Travis Thompson (Stratham), Kim Casey (East Kingston), Bob Hall (Kensington), Bill Gauthier (Exeter)

Administration present: David Ryan (Superintendent), Mollie O’Keefe (Director of Finance and Operations), Rusty Lyster (Facilities), Michael Monahan (EHS Principal), Eris Hersey (Interim CMS Principal), Michelle Voto (Adult Education), Bill Ball (EHS Athletic Director)


The meeting began honoring Bill Perkins, Assistant Principal of CMS who is retiring after 33 years of service. He was recognized for being an advocate for kids and awarded the SAU16 Champion for Children Award.

Ball recognized two sports teams for their accomplishments: Girls Varsity Track and Girls Varsity Softball for winning State Championships in NH.

Clara Gorham, EHS and SST graduate shared her experience with SST including two internships and placing 1st in Educators Rising NH competition.

Two members of the EHS Senate shared the groups achievements, including Honor Council of the Year in NH along with their advisor, Mr. Provost who earned Advisor of the Year.


Liz Faria (Brentwood)

Q) How many ongoing legal cases are there against the SAU and what has been the annual spend for 2021-2022?

A) Ryan: Three legal cases remain: two are at the NH Supreme Court and one is waiting response from the plaintiff. All others have been dismissed. Legal costs will be emailed to Faria.

Q) Since voting to increase pay for substitute teachers by $1/hour did not work, what is the plan moving forward to hire for the next school year?

A) Joyce: Will be discussed at the next school board meeting August 16

Hersey: An additional full-time substitute was added to the budget for the upcoming year, bringing the total to two full time substitutes.


Data collected for Seniors 2022

· 74% will be attending a 2- or 4-year university in the fall vs. 62% National average; believes the college commitments surpass any other year

· 6 students will be joining the military

· 44 students are undecided/pursue gap year

Recognized the guidance staff for helping each student find their way

Awarded Thompson for serving 12 years as Joint Board Chair, Joyce commented Thompson had done an exemplary job as Chair


Described the process for EHS accreditation with New England Association of School and Colleges (NEASC)

· Self-study conducted in 2018/2019 by 12 teachers

· Completed collaborative conference and recommendations for improvement

· Site visit completed in 2021

· Four areas of growth prioritized

1. Creating a written curriculum

2. Implementing work/study practice

3. Data collection for intervention

4. Shared leadership


Annual review

· 45 graduates with HS credentials, 27 students served by earning credits that will transfer back to their district (188 credits/47 courses)

· 224 students for ESL program

· Partnership w/Hutchinson is underway serving 15 refugees ESL

Joyce commended Voto on her leadership and enthusiasm


Recapped end of year activities: field days, field trips and 8th grade send off

SAS testing: Drew Barstow will review results at next meeting in August

Recognized Assistant Principals Melanie Faulkner, Bill Perkins and Lauren McGrath as the hardest working people she has ever worked with

Thanked Chris Andreski, Cooperative School Board and teachers

Most grateful for getting to know 1000 kids she never knew before and wished Barstow luck in the role next year.

Bauer thanked Hersey for her impact and leadership. Joyce wished Hersey nothing but the best with her new role at Salem Elementary School


Sharon Wilson (whose contract was not renewed for next year) was not in attendance

Three students spoke about the incredible impact the school has had on their lives


Andres Mejia is on vacation, but submitted a written report to the school board


Expenses were down, mostly due to unfilled staff positions. Unanticipated revenue of $552k from the health trust surplus and FEMA created $1M in surplus. Projected unassigned fund balance $3,303,543 to be returned to the taxpayers.

Meyer: Budget surplus amount is amazing. Had they been able to hire staff, the unassigned fund balance would be roughly $2M, within best practice.


Proposed schedule of meetings:

August 16 – to set goals for 22-23 school year; four members will be unable to attend on that date, but they should still have a quorum

Great Bay Charter School (GBCS) – Meyer, Gauthier, Hall and Joyce visited and were treated to brunch and classroom visits. Joyce describes GBCS as an exceptional program with high academic standards. The GBCS committee consisting of: Dennehy, Hall, Joyce, Peter Stackhouse, Cheryl McDonough and O’Keefe will meet in the fall. A three-year lease agreement was drafted between GBCS and SAU16 re: space at Tuck Campus which includes a clause allowing either party to withdraw with one academic year notice. The agreement required a motion and vote to accept. SB voted 9-0 to accept the lease agreement.

Meyer: Stated a rumor was circulating the SB wanted to kick the school out for office space (and was told this at a restaurant) and wished to go on record that it was untrue as the lease agreement was evidence.

FACT CHECK: ExeterPACT reviewed meeting minutes re: Meyer’s claim about false rumor. The discussion can be found below and may be what drove community concern:

Hall reported $157,389 in scholarships were awarded to EHS students via the Wheelright Fund



· Approved new signage

· Renewal project: final occupancy permit was granted; remaining $400k in funds which can be spend on the building itself (a list of improvements is being created) or to use towards the bond payment – SB has final approval

· Gym floor sustained water damage during construction and was repaired by construction company; further damage has occurred resulting in filing insurance claim to replace gym floor

Blue Hawk House

· On track to open in the fall


Track needs to be resurfaced: last year bid was $125k, new bid is $150k which should extend life of surface for seven years; replacement cost would be $500k

Financial options

o Use unassigned fund balance

o Use Capital Reserve Fund

O’Keefe: reported $2m available in unassigned fund balance

Joyce: informed SB if money is taken from reserve fund, a warrant article will be necessary to replace funds; may impede finances should an emergency occur

Thompson: asked Lyster if the current surface is unsafe, and the response was no. However, if it is not resurfaced, replacement in the next year or two may be the only option. Recommended using Capital Reserve Fund and allow voters to decide whether to replace the fund

Slifka: Recommended Capital Reserve Fund

Motion was made for track resurfacing and funding from Capital Reserve approved 9-0


Reviewed updated policies and procedures


Karen Berg reviewed all grants for the school year during the committee meeting

A suggestion was made by a parent during the committee meeting to use remaining $275k in ESSER funds to hire additional full time substitute teachers for the upcoming school year since we are outside of budget season. SB will discuss in August.

Coop Budget

$400k unspent special education aides

$160k unspent substitute teachers

$3.3M unassigned fund balance

Meeting moved into non-public session at 9:00pm

ERCSB Finance Committee Meeting

June 21, 2022 @ 6pm

Board Members Present: David Slifka (Exeter), Bill Gauthier (Exeter), Travis Thompson (Stratham)

Administration: Mollie O’Keefe, Karen Berg

Berg presented an overview of all grant allocations which totaled $1,574,179 of which $313,805 remains unbudgeted.

Berg reviewed what each grant is for:

Title I-A: amount is determined by free and reduced lunch student population and is used for students who have academic gaps; unused funding rolls over in October. Funds remain due to position for academic tutor unfilled.

Title II-A: used for professional development/leadership; allocations are fully encumbered

Title IV-A: used for social emotional learning, includes contract with UNH

Robotics: from Department of Education for CMS/EHS programming

CARES: first round of ESSER funding

ESSER II: used for summer learning

ESSER III: partially budgeted

ARP Homeless: new grant due to Covid, open PO to purchase items for students as needed

O’Keefe reviewed the overall budget

· Expenses were down: SLC and First Student

· Special Ed: $600k unspent ($400k in salaries and $94k in benefits)

· $2M under budget + unplanned revenue (FEMA, Health trust surplus)

· $3,303,543 projected unassigned fund balance

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