What better way to spend a balmy summer evening in Andover than at a Board of Education Special Meeting? The temperature was 81° Fahrenheit with a humidity of 51% which felt like you'd expect. The Thursday afternoon Andover Farmer's Market was just wrapping up for the day when the meeting was called to order, late, at 6:04. There was some issue with logins that held up the show.
Two members of the public were in attendance including myself and Julia Spencer. The door was indeed unlocked this time. Also in attendance were BOE President Brian Perkins, Superintendent Derek Schuelein, Business Administrator Jen Joyce, District Clerk Jamie Coyle, BOE Vice President Pat Howland and BOE members Mark Sisson, and Sabrina Gaylord. It was about as many people as the poor AC could keep up with.
After the call to order and pledge of allegiance President Perkins graciously opened the floor to public comments. As I did not prepare any statements and Ms. Spencer, I'm assuming, was just there to see if her appointment was approved, there were no public comments.
There were some new business resolutions passed primarily accepting bids and awarding a bid for the 2022-2023 Capital Outlay project as well as approving the contract for professional services with Maple City Physical Therapy. Board Member Sabrina Gaylord asked for some clarification on what the capital outlay project entailed. Dr. Schuelein explained that each year capital outlay project of up to $100,000 could be submitted and would be reimbursed up to 94% for qualifying projects. Previous years projects have included septic maintenance, moving wiring, and other things like that. This coming years projects will include a partial renovation of the counseling office, completion of the business office renovation, and some additional security measures (NOT a fence, the fence is fake news). All the new business stuff was approved.
The main reason for the meeting followed, which was to appoint Julia Spencer as Director of Pupil Services and approve terms and conditions of her employment as an Interim Director. Dr. Schuelein recommended Ms. Spencer for board approval to this position, and it was stated that she does have her NYS STL certificate, which I'm assuming is required. The board approved this appointment and Ms. Spencer stated, "I'm very excited to get started."
After approving a summer program lifeguard, Board Member Sabrina Gaylord wanted to ask that a question posed the board previously be answered. The question posed by Amy Brown about 2 meetings ago was "What is the motivation behind moving the 6th grade class upstairs for the coming school year." Dr. Schuelein fielded this question citing some studies and best practices and it sounded very smart. What it boils down to is that having more subject matter specific instruction rather than general elementary instruction is more developmentally appropriate at that age, better academically, and in-line with other middle-school programs.
Ms. Gaylord went on to state that as a parent her concerns would be having high school type behaviors around such young children. Dr. Schuelein did discuss that they would be keeping this in mind as they continue to develop the middle-school program.
The meeting adjourned at 6:15. This meeting was a 9.5/10. The meeting was informative and did answer a question posed previously. Ms. Spencer seemed nice though we didn't chat directly. She was wearing purple which we all know symbolizes an uplifting spirit, creativity, and compassion. It's also the color of amethyst which fosters intuition and inner peace. * So, she's already off to an amazing start. I also really liked the questions that Sabrina posed as it cleared up some stuff. Overall good meeting vibe.
*Look...I googled it. It was a short meeting, and I needed some filler.
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