Minutes for February 2, 2010




February 2, 2010


Committee Members Present        :           L. Andrews, G. Emery, P. Moran-Wotton,           

Other Board Members Present      :           R.A. Hohfeld,

Staff Members Present                   :           J. Lucarelli, N. Guyer, K. Gamage,


Others Present                                 :           2 RSU 13 parents

Location                                             :           Superintendent’s Office – McLain Building


I.              Call to order:


This meeting was called to order by Loren Andrews at 6:35 PM.


II.         Discussion of the High School Study Group’s recommendation for a preferred reorganization option for secondary programs that would include grades 8 & 9 at GVHS and grades 10-12 at RDHS.


          The committee engaged in a wide ranging discussion regarding the proposal as brought forth by the RSU 13 High School Study Group.  Within the committee’s purview of curriculum and programs, the following elements were highlighted within this discussion:


·         The essential strengths that teaming will bring to the 8th/9th configuration in building more rigorous and independent habits of work and improved strategies for supporting students in being more successful – particularly at the 9th grade as they begin their high school career.

Teachers at both grade levels will bring a unique skill set into this new configuration designed to better support students through this critical developmental transition – ensuring that as many students as possible begin high school on a positive, successful footing.


·         Implications for needed professional development and the recognition that effective teaming is not something that occurs via ‘automatic pilot.’  If the RSU School Board decides to pursue this option, then professional development for building a common set of teaming skills and operational norms for the 8th /9th grade configuration will need to be a forefront consideration.


·         The expressed hope that creative programming strategies like Expeditionary Learning will see enhancement and growth within a new 8th /9th configuration – and possibly beyond. It was noted that this will require strengthening a basis of support among the involved faculty in order to build the necessary commitment to carry this forward. 


·         Implications for being able to preserve and strengthen a broader set of curriculum offerings for students in grades 10-12, and the need to emphasize professional development in bringing needed high school reform efforts to bear on every-day practice.  Within this context the committee also discussed the desire of the high schools to de-track and move to more standards-based formats of operation. These efforts will also be emphasized within the NEASC accreditation process that will be moving forward for RDHS.


·         The impact of the proposed reorganization option on NEASC accreditation should the plan be endorsed with a near-term implementation vs. a longer-term plan of action.


·         Plausible options for better coordinating between the two high schools were discussed in the event that the RSU School Board adopted an extended timeframe for implementation or rejected the proposed reconfiguration option.  These included better schedule coordination, technology linked classrooms for collaborative offerings, transportation services between the two schools, etc.






·         Enhancing ‘early college’ options, broadening pathways to graduation choices, and extending the degree to which MCST offerings can be made available on site at RDHS – were all seen as natural steps in building ‘Many Flag’ aspects into the 10-12 configuration that is part of this over-all plan.  It was noted that the RSU 13 Policy Committee will play a critical role in re-crafting graduation requirements for one high school program within the RSU. This will need to be accomplished regardless of reorganization efforts with new requirements phased in over a several year period.  


·         The financial constraints and challenges for maintaining academic programs that are likely to emerge as enrollment and resources decline over the next few years – and the cost/benefits of the district remaining status quo vs. pursuing reorganization as proposed.


·         Curriculum and program coordination that will need to occur regardless of reorganization and how they might be impacted by a decision to reorganize sooner rather than later.


·         Dr. Lucarelli reviewed a draft sequence of implementation steps contemplating a proposed  implementation date of September 2011.  It was emphasized that if the RSU School Board endorses the proposed option as a way forward, having a clear target date for implementation would be critical in crafting a work plan that will bring that about in a realistic manner.



III.        Agenda items for next meeting:


            Neal Guyer will confer with the Chair of the Curriculum Committee and determine agenda items for the March meeting.


IV.       Date, time, and location of the next meeting:


            The RSU 13 Curriculum Committee will meet again on Tuesday, March 2, 2010, at 6:30 PM.

            This meeting will be held at the Superintendent’s Office.


V.        Other/Adjourn.


            This meeting was adjourned by Loren Andrews at approximately 8:05 PM.