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Mascenic school board discusses superintendent, busing and election at Monday meeting

  • The Mascenic Regional School Board met on Monday, May 15, 2017. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Mascenic Regional School Board will hold a public hearing to discuss approval of election results from the delayed March 16 votes in Greenville and New Ipswich.

The New Hampshire General Court’s House Bill 329 asks for governing bodies, the school board, in this case, to ratify election results due to the date change. Elections were originally meant to be held on the second Tuesday of the month, March 14.

The board consulted a municipal law attorney and took advisement from District Moderator Bob Romeril in scheduling the hearing. There will be a public comment window. The hearing is scheduled for Monday, May 29, at 5:30 p.m., before the next school board meeting.

At the school board meeting on Monday, May 15, officials scheduled that hearing and discussed assessment tools, the future of bus contracts, teacher appreciation week and more.

“It’s encouraging to hear we have that kind of community involvement,” Chair Jeff Salmonson said after hearing the district’s three principals mention how teachers were honored in their schools.

Joel Weissman of Community Transportation addressed the board asking for a partial contract extension. Community is one year into a three year contract for day-to-day and special education transportation, and one year into a four year contract for field trips and athletics transportation with Mascenic. Weissman hoped to align the two by adding a year to the regular and special education contract. The board said it could not do that.

“When we do anything substantial, we normally go to bid,” Salmonson said. “It’s our policy to go to bid on anything greater than $5,000, and I don’t think anyone is going to start bidding out for the 2019-2020 year, so I think we’re going to have to wait.”

Weissman hoped to lock in the bid for stability and the funds to buy a new bus.

“The price of busing is going way up,” he said. “We were low bidder and we can live with it, and we’d like to continue our relationship.”

After that debate, the board approved a $5,440.50 renewal for Highbridge Hill’s student assessment tool, from the Northwest Evaluation Association.

Principal Marion Saari noted that the digital testing tool has worked well in the past. Boynton Middle School and Mascenic Regional High School use an ACT assessment program. Because that only goes as low as third grade and Highbridge Hill has first and second grades, NWEA is better because it covers the whole school.

Salmonson said at the meeting that interviews with superintendent candidates began last week. The board has interviewed five people in non-public sessions for the interim post to replace Superintendent Ruthann Goguen, who begins at the Webster School District in Massachusetts in July.

“It will be a difficult process, difficult decision who to choose as finalists for superintendent,” he said.