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School Board sets goals for next year

PETERBOROUGH — ConVal School Board members have agreed on three goals for the board to have in mind as they prepare for a new school year.

Two of the goals are quite specific. The board wants to work to produce a budget that will pass muster with voters and that all board members will be willing to support. And the board wants to develop and negotiate a teacher’s contract and inform voters about the contract so that it will be supported at the polls.

The third goal that the board agreed on is to articulate and define a strategic planning and goal-setting process that will yield a high quality strategic plan.

The goal of creating a budget that will pass comes after ConVal residents in March turned down the School Board’s proposed $45.8 million operating budget, forcing administrators and the School Board to cut about $770,000 in order to reach a default budget of about $45 million. The budget proposal passed by wide margins in Peterborough and Antrim, the district’s two largest towns, but it drew less support in the smaller towns, especially Temple, where just 19 percent of voters were in favor, and Greenfield, where 23 percent were in support.

The School Board’s Negotiations Committee is currently working with representatives of the ConVal Education Association, the union that represents the district’s teachers and paraprofessionals, to develop a contract proposal. Members of the Negotiation Committee are School Board Chair Butch Estey of Peterborough and board members Rich Cahoon of Antrim, David Martz of Temple and Linda Quintanilha of Bennington. The district’s current four-year teachers’ contract expires on June 30, 2015.

At the goal setting workshop, the board also formed an ad hoc committee to look at objectives and ways to measure success in reaching each of the identified goals. Members of that group at Cahoon, Quintahilha, Pierce Rigrod of Hancock, Jon Ingram of Peterborough, Myron Steere of Greenfield and Stephan Morrissey of Francestown.

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