Robbinston School Committee Holds November Meeting

By Dorothy Johnson

The Robbinston School Committee met at the school on Thursday, November 20th with all members , Superintendent Underwood and nine staff members and/or residents present.  Chairman Joe Footer opened the meeting at 6: 02 with the Pledge of Allegiance and a moment of silence. The minutes from the October 29th meeting  were approved unanimously.

The next order of business was Public Comment.  Special Education teacher Sue Johnson stated that because of her recent illness, she has depleted her sick leave.  A co-worker has volunteered to donate five sick days from his/her own total without going through the sick bank.  The school board instructed Mrs. Johnson to submit her proposal to Superintendent Underwood who will research the contract language and get back to Mrs. Johnson with more information.

Also under Public Comment resident Cathy Footer commented on the extra work of the staff and how the team was co-operating to give the students the best program possible in spite of the fact that the funds are not always available.

In the principal’s report Principal Lingley announced that the lights were going out in the gym and needed to be replaced before basketball season begins.  School Committee was advised that an efficiency grant available for financial help for schools, which install efficient lighting.  Chad will investigate with Border Electric and report to the Superintendent.

Mrs. Lingley also reported that Helen Brooks asked that the school students sing carols for the Veterans’ Home in Machias and possibly for Marshall’s Nursing Home.  The School Committee gave permission to work out the logistics of the trip.

The teachers are working on getting students to recognize test language and material with the Star Renaissance program and are giving mock tests every two months with the results of each class being posted in the hallway to the gym. This is one of the strategies to improve the school’s test results.

The new playground equipment arrived but will not be installed until spring because of the cold weather. Nathan Moore, the new tech ed. person, will be at the school for one day per week.  His first day was Thursday.

Several tiles in the gym floor need replacing.  Alexander Elementary School is having a company visit that school for the same kind of project. Julie Murray suggested that a five-year maintenance plan be established and all repairs be prioritized and put on the plan. Chairman Footer asked about putting an article in the warrant for the March town meeting to establish a repair fund for the school.  More research will be done on this issue.

Mrs. Lingley also reported that the Parent-Teacher Committee provided the funds for a presentation by the Cherwonki Foundation entitled “Scales and Tails.” Because Charlotte Elementary School had included Robbinston Grade School in some of their previous programs, Charlotte students were invited to this program in the afternoon.  The programs were a huge success.

A second reading and adoption of the following policies were next on the agenda.  After the reading on IJNDB (Student Electronic Devices and Internet Use and Internet Safety and Policy), IHBEA (Program for Limited English Proficient Students), JJIF (Management of Concussions and Other Head Injuries), DJH (Purchasing and Contracting: Procurement Staff Code of Conduct) and GBEBB (Staff Conduct with Students), and some discussion and explanation, Chairman Footer made a motion to accept all wording.  The motion was seconded by Julie Murray and unanimously passed.

The quote for bringing the phone system up to code was considered high and the committee instructed Chad Allen to further investigate the plan.

Two quotes were submitted for bringing the security system up to code.  More information was needed about the two companies’ maintenance plans and cost so this was tabled until more information could be ascertained.

Under other, Julie Murray brought up the workshop scheduled for November 25th with the Robbinston School Committee and the Calais School Committee to discuss the possibility of having a partnership with Calais and leaving the AOS. This is an information- gathering meeting and many questions will be answered before a decision will be made.

The Planning Board has asked the School Committee to find another night for its meetings because the third Thursday of the month conflicts with planning board meetings. Secretary in the front office of AOS will e-mail Superintendent’s schedule to committee members to find another night that would fit everyone’s schedule.


This session of the meeting ended at 7:15 pm after which the committee went into executive session.  No action was taken after executive session.