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Ashland School Board encumbers funds for building repairs and maintenance


August 15, 2018
ASHLAND — At its Aug. 6 meeting, the Ashland School Board encumbered $150,000 for repairs and improvements, hired two staff members, reviewed policies and learned of school activities.

Superintendent Mary Moriarty at first asked the School Board to postpone action on various encumbrances from the 2017-2018 unreserved fund balance, because the administrators did not yet have firm figures for all the proposed repairs and improvements. She proposed holding an Ashland School Board meeting in conjunction with the SAU 2 Board meeting on Aug. 21. Encumbrances have to be voted on no later than Aug. 31.

Chairman Glenn Dion was concerned that it may not be possible to get a quorum of the School Board at the SAU meeting, and that with the posting requirements and School Board members schedules, it may then not be possible to schedule a meeting before the deadline. He noted that contractors are now very busy and that it is therefore

difficult to get them to provide estimates, a situation that would probably not change in two to three weeks. After some discussion, it was agreed to vote on encumbrances at this regular meeting, rather than wait for more exact figures. Any money not spent from the encumbrances will go into next year's unreserved fund balance. Assistant Superintendent Trish Temperino estimated the present unreserved fund balance, sometimes called the year end surplus, at approximately $180,000. The work to be done includes replacing boilers, adding automatic controls to the boilers, electrical work, strobe safety lights, security cameras, cleaning the oil tank, adding a filtering system to the oil lines, and repairing or replacing a chimney. The best guess that could be offered for all these projects was between $125,000 and $150,000. The School Board therefore voted to encumber $150,000 for facility maintenance, cameras and safety improvements.

Superintendent Moriarty nominated and the School Board voted to hire two new teachers, Alyssa Nelson as a Title I teacher and Diana Paul as a primary tier teacher. This completed the hiring of teachers for the 2018-19 school year, Other new staff that have been hired for the coming year include Susan Rubbe, school nurse; Veronica Cutter,

primary and intermediate tier teacher, and Megan Wright, primary tier teacher.

Principal Shannon Bartlett reported on summer activities and the beginning of the new school year. Twenty students attended Summer Blast, a summer school session that ended the previous week. The school custodians have been working very hard to get the buildings ready for the new school year. The roof is completed, save for the repairs of some damage done during the work. The freezer's compressor is almost done. The new school nurse was to attend a two day conference. Training for the new teachers was scheduled for Aug. 15 and 16. Bartlett was planning the teacher workshop days held before school opens. The school was still waiting for the results of the statewide science test. Reports will be provided to parents on the various statewide tests in the early days of the new school year. The

first day of school for students will be Monday, Aug. 27. Open house is scheduled for 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 6. Principal Bartlett and maintenance manager Tim Paquette met with playground designers to discuss a phased upgrading of the school playground. The SAU's newly hired Director of Student Services Elaine Dodge reported

that the New Hampshire Department of Education had determined that the Ashland School District has again met the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act for special education students.

The School Board reviewed policies. They held second readings on a new policy on Emergency Care-Staff, and on amended policies on Student Discipline and Due Process, on Emergency Care-Students, on Hazing, on Bomb Threats, on Safe Schools, and on the Use of Media in the Classroom. At the suggestion of new Director of Student Services, they made a one word change during the second reading of a revised policy on Determination of a Specific Learning Disability. The Board held first readings on amended polices on the Family and Medical Leave Act,

on Admission of Homeless Students, on Conduct, on Student Drug and Alcohol Policy, on Concussions and on Proof of Residency. At the Superintendent's request, they tabled the first reading of a new policy on Employee Leaves of Absence, so that she could discuss it with the Ashland Teachers Association.

For months, school administrators have been working on memorandums of understanding between the Ashland School District and the Pemi Baker School District and SAU 48, to outline the relationship of the Ashland school with the Plymouth Regional High School, which most Ashland students attend. Superintendent Moriarty presented the final versions of the memorandums, noting that there were no changes in the agreement with SAU 48 and only minor changes in the agreement with the Pemi Baker District. The Board voted to approve both Memorandums, which will now be sent to SAU 48 and the Pemi Baker School District for their final approval.

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