Raymond School Board News
Raymond School Board Meeting Agenda click: AGENDA HERE
Raymond School District Business Administrator Ron Brickett presented the School District 2013 - 2014 Budget Summary to the Budget Committee on Thursday, January 10th in the RHS Media Center.
The proposed budget eliminates seven employees jobs: District Wide Psychologist, Iber Holmes Gove Middle School (IHGMS) Special Education Teacher, IHGMS Sixth Grade Teacher, Lamprey Elementary School (LRES) Media Center Aide, IHGMS Media Center Aide, Raymond High School Guidance Department Aide, and the IHGMS Physical Education Aide.
Two additional positions are being eliminated, the LRES Special Education Teacher and the combined School Administrative Unit (SAU) Receptionist/ Payroll position to be replaced by a Special Education Para Educator and Special Education Emotionally Handicapped Teacher, both in the elementary school.
Two new positions will be added, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a Counselor, which will be grant funded by Federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to provide consulting and counseling to students, teachers and staff in the CARE Special Education program at the elementary school.
This year’s proposed budget is $21,800,318, a 0.4% net increase of $96,002.00 and is up from last year’s operating budget of $21,704,316 with an estimated $0.30 impact on the tax rate per $1,000.
Ed French commented during public input that Ron Brickett has been presenting school budgets to the Budget Committee for seven years, and complimented him on “a well thought out budget. I support it. It’s logical, with only a $96,000 increase. I hope you folks support it. ”
The answer was yes when Arlene French asked if the superintendent’s salary for next year was included. Ms. French said she was “concerned about the removal of the school psychologist and high school Guidance Department Aide.”
During a phone interview, Brickett explained that the “one Superintendent salary included in the budget” is the salary amount paid to the current superintendent through June 2013. Earlier this month, the School Board reached a separation agreement with Superintendent Jeannie Richards, in which she will resign effective June 30, 2013. IHGMS Principal Ellen Small continues to serve as Acting Superintendent.
Currently the district has 278 salaried union employees, not including temporary staff, substitutes and contractors.
The meeting can be viewed on RCTV.
The Raymond School Board has decided that Raymond High School could accept 75 tuition students for the 2014-15 school year.
At its Jan. 2 meeting, the School Board discussed varying numbers of tuition students to accept from the Hooksett and Candia school districts. Those districts, which currently are contracted to send their high school students to Manchester Central High School, have expressed dissatisfaction with the arrangement, particularly because of overcrowding at Central.
Vice chair Kelly Lehman said 50 students should be allowed in at the high school. Board member Tina Thomas disagreed and favored 100 tuition students because that would generate a good source of revenue.
Raymond High School has a capacity of 750 students, 450 currently in attendance. But according to School Board member John Harmon, the school isn’t equipped to teach 750 students
“I would like to see us educate Raymond children as best as we possibly can before we start to open up to other communities,” said Lehman.
Board chair John Stewart agreed with Thomas that Raymond should accept 100 tuition students, which he said would bring in more money and allow the district to increase staff.
Harmon was open to meeting in the middle and allowing 75 tuition students.
“I like even numbers, so I like 100,” Thomas said, but Lehman reminded her that 50 is also an even number. The board agreed on 75 students.
Thomas said Raymond could accept the students in the 2013-2014 year by creatively using the funds currently available. The board, however, voted that the soonest the students could be added to the school is 2014-2015.
The board left the discussion up for negotiation on how to choose and accept students.
The average cost per student at Raymond High School is $14,714.
According to Phil Littlefield, Superintendent for School Administrative Unit (SAU) 15, which includes the Auburn, Candia and Hooksett school districts, no discussion is currently under way about changing high schools for Candia students. Hooksett has 550 high school students, and he said no changes will be made any time soon about changing the contract that sends them to Manchester Central. Its contract with Manchester doesn’t expire until 2023.
Auburn voters agreed to tuition their high school students to the semi-private Pinkerton Academy in Derry beginning in the 2013-14 school year.
Littlefield said Raymond is one of a handful of schools that reached out to Hooksett to say it was interested in accepting that district’s high school students. Littlefield said the districts asked those schools what they meant by being interested, including how many students and when.
Hooksett plans to explore all options and what relationships with different high schools could look like. No changes are imminent.
The confidential separation agreement reached on Wednesday January 2nd between Superintendent of Schools Jean Richards and the Raymond School Board states, "Superintendent Dr. Richards has resigned from the district effective June 30, 2013 to pursue other educational and professional options."
A Raymond school bus stop will be changed to keep youngsters from having to walk in front of a registered sex offender’s home to take the bus.
Raymond resident Lisa McCoole told the School Board at its Wednesday, Jan. 2 meeting that the current bus stop forces her daughters - one in middle school, one in high school - to walk past a sex offender’s house on Shannon Drive.
McCoole used the NH Criminal Offenders Registry at http://www4.egov.nh.gov/nsor/ to find out where the nearest sex offender lived. She said she brought the information to the attention of the Transportation Committee one month ago via emails and phone, but said nothing was done to help keep her daughters safe. She was eventually told the Transportation Committee to present her case at the Jan. 2 School Board meeting.
McCoole said she spoke with representatives of Dail Transportation, which provides school bus services to Raymond, and said they didn’t see a concern with changing the location of the bus stop by .6 miles. The change in the bus stop would add four or five minutes to the bus route and could affect the time it returns to the school.
At the Jan. 2 meeting, School Board member John Harmon said the board needs to take this factor into consideration when making a decision.
Another concern for McCoole is that the current bus stop is located at a part of the road that has blind turns and no space for walking.
McCoole has been relying on friends to pick up her daughters from school and the bus stop. School Board member Maurice Titcomb said he wants to decide on the bus stop change soon as to not put the children in danger.
Harmon said he wanted to see the area before the board makes any changes. The School Board decided to meet at McCoole’s house on Saturday, Jan. 5, at 9 a.m. to observe the road conditions in order to make a decision. McCoole reminded the board that it was not just the blind turns on the road but more importantly, the sex offender’s residence the youngsters must walk by.
However, on Friday, Jan. 4, McCoole was informed by Jennifer Gillespie, Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent of Schools, that the Transportation Committee decided to change the bus stop without the board’s having to do the site walk. School Board chair John Stewart is a member of the Transportation Committee.