Windham LINK attended the June 2 and June 9 School Board meetings. The following is an update based on our understanding of the proceedings.*
It has come to the attention of the public that there has been a delay in issuing contracts to the Windham School District Administrators, who would typically expect to see their contracts in April or early May with a July 1 start date. Administrators (which include Directors) are part of the non-union pool of School District employees. They have been working with the District to amend the terms of their compensation and benefits for over a year.
At the June 2 meeting, Dennis Senibaldi made a motion “to approve the signing of Administrator's contracts, as they currently are, with revisions to happen as soon as possible that are considered fair and equitable by Administrators and the District.” The motion was seconded by Rob Breton. The motion failed 2-3. (Tom Murray, Daniel Popovici-Muller, Ken Eyring opposed.)
At the June 9 meeting, the Board took action to direct the Superintendent to issue signed contracts to the Administrators with benefit packages at the status quo and with no more than a 3% raise (herein referred to as “current contracts”). Subsequent to that action, there will be negotiations between Board and Administrator representatives, which, if successful, will result in new contracts with new benefit and salary parameters, and the current contracts will be null and void. If the negotiations are not successful, then the current contracts will be revised to reflect raises (3% +/-), based on merit increases recommended by the Superintendent.
On June 2, the Board discussed conducting a survey to gather information about education issues and public opinion about facilities. Preliminary quotes for the survey range from $8,300 - $27,000, depending on the scope of outreach. Based on these quotes, the Board voted 3-2 to move forward with the survey with Panorama Education as proposed. (Rob Breton, Dennis Senibaldi opposed.)
On June 9, former School Board member Jerome Rekart addressed the Board and offered to conduct a survey on behalf of the District at no cost. Dr. Rekart is the Director of Research and Analytics at College for America at SNHU. He suggested this would be a fiscally prudent use of local resources. He also spoke of the potential to bring together former and current School Board members.
Center School Roof
Business Administrator, Adam Steel, along with Russo Bar, a professional firm hired by the District, recommended the replacement of Windham Center School roofs sections “C & E” this summer. On June 2, a motion was made by Dennis Senibaldi, "to replace the roofs as outlined by the Business Administrator for Windham Center School roof sections C & E.” The motion was seconded by Rob Breton. After discussion, the motion failed 1-4. (Tom Murray, Daniel Popovici-Muller, Ken Eyring, Rob Breton opposed.)
Interviews of potential Superintendent candidates will begin this week. If the Board does not find a suitable candidate, they will appoint an acting or interim Superintendent. There has been extensive public input encouraging the Board to appoint an interim Superintendent, rather than going through a search process.
On June 2, Superintendent Winfried Feneberg said that he does not want the Board to underestimate the job at hand. He stated, “It is a complex job”, and went on to say the Board should, “be mindful that as much transition time as you can give whoever comes in is going to be beneficial to the District as well as the person.”
Golden Brook School Facilities/Option 2+
During the June 2 meeting, Tom Murray asked that other professionals be brought into the Option 2 review process. A motion was made by Dennis Senibaldi "to move forward with Phase 2 of Option 2 as prescribed by the Business Administrator." The motion failed 3-2. (Tom Murray, Daniel Popovici-Muller, Ken Eyring opposed.)
Phase 2 would be for the Board to authorize the Administration to engage an architect, civil engineer, and construction manager to develop potential conceptual designs for Option 2, choose a preferred conceptual design and obtain input and to further develop the design, site plan, and project budget by September 1, 2015 for a total of $87,500 (Note: These monies were approved in the FY2016 budget that was passed in March 2015.)
On June 2, a second motion was made by Tom Murray "to engage groups B & C with K-8 educational experience and disclose that they have worked for or with any school board member in the past." The motion passed 4-1. (Dennis Senibaldi opposed.)
During an update on June 9, it was reported that two other firms have agreed to meet with the District on a pro-bono basis and provide input on Option 2. The timeline for Phase 2 has been pushed back to October, 2015.
The next School Board Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 16, 2015 at 7 PM.
For more information, please visit www.WindhamLINKtoEducation.com.
*Meeting Minutes and video recordings are available on the SAU95.org website under the School Board tab.
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