February 15, 2012ALTON — The Prospect Mountain High School Board regretfully approved the non-renewal of a contract for superintendent Paul Bartolomucci at its meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 7.
Bartolomucci said that it was "an honor working here." He thanked the staff for their support during his time as superintendent. He is looking forward to spending more time with his family.
"It's time to hang up the cleats and enjoy the family," Bartolomucci said.
The board discussed the process for searching for a new superintendent at length. Bartolomucci said he drew up a procedure for hiring a new superintendent and would bring his recommendations to the next board meeting.
Principal Jay Fitzpatrick informed the board about the recent New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) test scores for students at PMHS.
Fitzpatrick said that 117 juniors were tested and there was an increase of students receiving a three or four on the test in all three disciplines, reading, writing and math.
Fitzpatrick said the results of Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) won't be known until March.
In reading, 81 percent of the students tested scored a three or higher, with 26 percent scoring a four and 55 percent scoring a three. Four percent of the students scored a one and 15 percent scored a two.
This is an increase of 13 percent for students scoring with proficiency, compared to last year's score of 68 percent.
In math, 36 percent of the students scored a three or higher, with 34 percent scoring a three and two percent scoring a two. Thirty percent scored a one and 34 percent scored a two.
Again there was an increase in proficiency compared to last year. There was an increase of 16 percent that scored a three or better, compared to 20 percent in 2011.
In writing, which isn't used to determine AYP, a total of 49 percent of the students tested demonstrated proficiency, with three percent scoring a four and 46 scoring a three.
Again, this was an increase of seven percent compared to last year when 42 percent of the students scored a three or higher.
Ten percent scored a one on the writing portion, and 41 percent scored a two.
Member Diane Beijer asked if any rewards would provided to the students. She pointed to Tim Rice, the principal at Barnstead Elementary, who agreed to take a pie in the face for every score of four on the test.
She said that Rice will be getting 147 pies in his face.
Fitzpatrick said that he is planning a trip in the spring to celebrate their efforts and reiterated that the school won't know if they made AYP for a couple of weeks.
Chair Eunice Landry agreed that the students should be rewarded for their efforts, and Fitzpatrick talked about the effort of the students and teachers.
Barolomucci reported that the enrollment at PMHS is currently 525, with 275 students from Alton and 250 from Barnstead. This is a decrease of 16 students from the start of the year, when the enrollment was 541 students.
Fitzpatrick talked to the board about the discipline report from the second quarter, while also mentioning that 162 students made honor roll in the second quarter.
He reported that 75 Saturday detentions were handed out to 46 different students, which boils down to 8.7 percent of the student population.
Fitzpatrick said that more than 50 percent of the detentions were to freshmen and that many of the offenders are repeat freshmen.
A public hearing was held on expending funds from the maintenance trust fund.
Business Administrator Chuck Stuart reported that a total of $12,212 was used to pay for a new air conditioning unit in the server room.
He also reported that a total of $53,072 has been spent on flushing the fire suppression system at PMHS.
Funds were spent from local funds and Landry questioned how this money would be returned to the local funds.
Stuart said that an award was recently given to the school from a lawsuit and should be able to be treated as insurance recovery.
Vice-chair Jeff St. Cyr suggested that the public hearing should be held prior to the funds being spent and Stuart agreed that this could be done in the future.
Bartolomucci talked to the board about a letter that was recently sent to the Alton Parks and Recreation Department detailing why they wouldn't be able to use the PMHS gym on Saturday mornings.
Some PMHS teams shifted their practice from Sunday to Saturday after the board agreed that no practices should be held on Sunday mornings.
As a result, 140 students enrolled in a parks and recreation program will no longer be able to practice on Saturdays.
Beijer questioned this move and was disappointed with the decision.
Barolomucci explained that any program at PMHS would take preference over any community program, and many members of the school board displayed disappointment in the decision.
St. Cyr reported that the 2011 Fiscal Year audit is still ongoing during the finance committee report.
Stuart provided the board with an update on flushing the fire suppression system.
The plan is to install additional valves during the February vacation to suppress the system during the
The board approved a change in the sign placement that is being donated by the class of 2011. The board approved having part of the sign out by the bleachers and the rest of the sign on the wall near the gymnasium.
The board approved disposal of surplus equipment that included a table saw, pull down projection screens and a floor scrubber.
Stuart reported that the equipment would be donated to the elementary schools; the two towns and any equipment left over would be placed on a surplus bid list.
Bartolomucci reported that the Annual Fire Inspection Report recently came in, and that there were no issues with the school.
Fitzpatrick brought the board several changes to the program of studies at PMHS.
Several classes will be added; human development, essential mathematics and music appreciation.
Member Lynda Goossens talked about the possibility of students getting waivers to get out of the requirement for physical education, particularly students that the play multiple varsity sports.
Fitzpatrick said this is something that could be worked out in the future.
The board also approved a change to the graduation requirement to 24 credits. Under the new class schedule, a maximum of seven credits can be taken each year, with a minimum of six credits taken each year.
Over a four-year career, the maximum amount of credits that a student can take will be 28 credits.
Steve Miller asked Bartolomucci about the vice-principal search and what the school was doing.
He suggested calling other schools to try and get the best possible candidate.
Landry explained that $5,500 was trimmed out of the vice-principal's salary, making it hard to get the best possible candidate.
Miller asked why Bartolomucci couldn't go out and recruit, and he said that that isn't the policy to steal other administrators from other school systems.
The next scheduled Prospect Mountain High School Board meeting is on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 6:30 p.m. at the Prospect Mountain High School library.
Tim Croes can be reached at email@example.com or 569-3126