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Meeting Recap: ERCSD Policy, Personnel & Communication Committee - 9.7.21

Meeting recap provided by SAU parent/taxpayer in attendance. Please read in conjunction with draft minutes submitted by ERCSD committee member Helen Joyce.

1. CMS Improvements

• Mix pods each year at CMS?

• Add an Environmental Science class in 2023? Budget neutral.

• Would like to incorporate more STEM into school - add a STEM Coordinator position?

• Follow students’ interests in middle school to determine what classes to offer at the high school - “voice & choice”

• What are the post-secondary implications?

• About 1,000 students at CMS

2. CMS Curriculum Coordinator Position

• Currently one coordinator for grades 6-12 (Ann)

• Focus on CBE (many teacher’s in the CAGS Master’s program at SNHU

• Started using Canvas

• Pandemic - curriculum was not as robust at CMS - teachers were just trying to survive

• New math program at CMS called Ready Math - the teachers need a lot of support

• EHS wants Ann as a coach for teachers, but she’s trying to handle CMS too. She is supposed to support teachers with instruction and assessment. Ann also runs UNH Internship Program, SAT program, and the Title I Summer Institute at CMS. She is spread too thin.

• Elementary schools in Exeter and Brentwood have an actual curriculum coordinator. All other elementary schools in the SAU only have a teacher who serves as a curriculum rep (volunteer position).

• Public complaint in the past - SAU16 is adding more administration positions, but the student population has been going down, so committee member wants to keep this position (if added) budget neutral.

• Teachers/Paras/Admins - 8/14 contracts up for a vote this year.

• Ann has been curriculum coordinator for 3 years. This will be her 4th year.

• At a previous school board meeting, a parent stated that the school went from being ranked #13 to #38. Melissa Litchfield wanted to know if that was true. - School ratings have been tracked from 2012. Dr. Ryan doesn’t know if the standardized scores have gone down since then as he has only been in the district since 2018. - Lots of families opted out of SAS test given by the state. Higher level kids may have opted out. Did this skew the data? Balanced Scorecard looks at more items. - Melissa Litchfield asked why the district doesn’t stop all of the extra stuff (STEM coordinator, DEIJ, etc.) and go back to the basics (academics) to improve the school.

3. Public Input at Board Meetings

• Looking at the East Kingston Elementary School Board’s policy - wants to use it for all school boards in the SAU - Committee wants to add “Chair can limit total time for public input” to the policy. - Helen Joyce feels uncomfortable that the school boards are not answering the questions asked from the public. She would like the questions to be answered at the meeting if the information is available to answer the questions. It was suggested to have public input, take a break for the board to gather the answers, and reconvene to answer the questions for the public. If answers are not available at that time, they would be sent out via email or posted on the website. Helen requested that, “Questions will be answered after public input, via email or posted on the website” be added to the policy. - Melissa Litchfield want there to be no time limit on the public input. She feels that all people should be heard if they made an effort to show up to the meeting. - Committee member said that it is important that only residents of the towns belonging to SAU 16 be allowed to comment or ask questions at school board meetings. Melissa Litchfield asked to keep things fair and have the same requirements at all meetings, i.e. only allowing residents of SAU 16 to have input at DEIJ meetings. - This policy will be presented at the September 21st meeting.

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