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Ormond announces resignation to Ashland School Board


October 14, 2015
ASHLAND — The Ashland School Board's Oct. 6 meeting included the announcement of the retirement of Superintendent Mary Ellen Ormond, a review of the past year's school budget, the setting of dates for developing next year's budget, the review of proposed policies and reports on past and future school activities. 

Chairman Glenn Dion announced the retirement of Superintendent Mary Ellen Ormond, at the end of the school year next June. He thanked her for  all the time and effort she has put in and for recognizing that the Inter Lakes and Ashland School Districts had different needs. Assistant Superintendent Trish Temperino will be serving as Interim Superintendent, so more responsibilities will eventually be shifted to her. The Board approved without discussion the three goals for the Superintendent that Ormond had previously presented to the Board.

Temperino presented a year end financial report for the 2014-2015 school year, explaining that the District was in "a sound financial position" despite a large increase in special education costs. Those costs rose from $348,070 in 2013-14 to $497,037 in 2014-15, while offsetting revenues increased by only $10,361. It was anticipated that the school would have to dip heavily into its Special Education Expendable Trust Fund. But cost savings, premium holidays for medical, dental and workmen's compensation insurance, and greater than expected revenues, allowed the District to avoid using the Expendable Trust Fund. At the end of the fiscal year, the School Board encumbered $77,570 for special education costs, leaving a surplus of $83,162 to lower the property tax rate. The Food Service Fund moved from barely breaking even in 2013-14 to ending 2014-2015 with a balance of $7058. The district received various Federal grants totaling $142,102. Temperino will present the report to the Budget Committee on Oct. 22. 

The School Board discussed the calendar for the development of the 2016-2017 budget. The proposed budget will be given to Board members in late October. They decided to spend an hour on the budget before their regular meeting on Nov. 3, and then hold a special budget work session on Nov. 16. The board decided to hold the 2016 deliberative session of the school district meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 2, a departure from the past practice of holding the meeting on Thursday evenings. 

The Board held the first readings and gave initial approval to policies presented by the Policy Review Committee, revisions to two existing policies on Transportation of Students To and From School and on Progress Reporting and Marking, and two new policies on Transfer of Appropriations and on School Bus Safety Program. 

Superintendent Ormond reported that the special education program had received a perfect score of 0, meaning complete compliance with the rules, in a recent review by the New Hampshire Department of Education. 

Principal Shannon Bartlett reported on school activities, starting with two short videos. The first showed the dropping of eggs in packages made by Intermediate Tier Science students from the Ashland Electric Department's bucket truck. There was far less breakage than the teacher Jim Wenhart had expected, with a few students having no breaks at all. The other video chronicled the visit of firefighter Kendall Hughes and Sparky the Fire Dog to the school, as part of Fire Prevention Week. Other events in the week will include a visit to the Fire Station by Primary students and a muster by the Fire Department at the school. Picture Day was the day of the meeting. The school was hosting a SAU Dance that Friday. The annual Halloween Parade will begin at 1 p.m on Friday, Oct. 30. Grade 7 is holding a Little Caesar's Pizza fundraiser. Packets for the winter recreation program were to be sent home to parents. Two students will attend a statewide chorale event at the Bow school. Term reports will be sent home on Oct. 23. The Primary students traveled to the Windy Ridge Apple Orchard to learn about apple science. The Intermediate students will be going to the Boston Museum of Science. Planning and fundraising for Project Week has begun. The four teams will include Take Flight, on rockets and space travel, Captain Planet, on New Hampshire's natural resources, and Architecture, on bridge and tower building. Behind The Scenes, which will put on a play, attracted the largest number of students, who will work on costume design, set design, script writing and acting. 

Bartlett reported that teachers are working on individual professional development plans. The New Hampshire Department of Labor will do an inspection, following up on an inspection made last  spring. Inter Lakes teachers and principals will be visiting the school to observe classes. The Schools of Excellence winners from 2014 and 2015 have been invited to a plaque hanging ceremony at the New Hampshire Department of Education. The Safety Committee has revised the emergency management plan. A workshop will be held for coaches and other volunteers at the school. Behavioral consultant Tim O'Malley visits the school once a month to help the staff with student problems. The Parents Advisory Committee is turning into a Parents Teachers Committee and may be developing a more goal oriented program. The principal named school nurse Ellen Young and guidance counselor Carrie Sanborn as the staff members of the month, noting all they do to help new students and anxious students adjust to Ashland school life. 

Dion reported that the Fourth of July Committee is considering shifting the site for launching the fireworks from the Town ball field to the school grounds, because of safety concerns. The ball field would then be available for more events and for more people viewing the fireworks. He said that the Fourth of July Committee has not yet decided to make the change, but asked the School Board members to began thinking about the possibility in case such a request is made. The School Board ended its meeting with a non public session on staff.  

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