School Board Changes Policy on Adding Topics to Agenda

By Alex Malm

During the recent School Board meeting, one of the items of business was a final reading of a policy amendment to allow school board members the chance to have items put on school board meeting agendas.
The policy amendment reads: “No Board member shall be refused an Agenda Item(s), unless the item has been deliberated and voted on in the past 6 months and there is no new information pertaining to the topic.”
The policy amendment proposal was first raised by School Board Chair, Bob Slater, explaining that there had been times in the past before he was chair when was denied the chance to have items put on the agenda.
“I don’t ever want a sitting board member that’s been elected by the community to be refused an agenda item,” Slater previously told the School Board.”
During a previous meeting, Slater told the board that if the majority of the School Board feels they don’t want to move forward with a particular agenda item then the mechanism would be for it to be voted down and no further discussion would need to discuss it, rather than the item not be on the agenda altogether.
The policy also outlines how the superintendent is responsible for preparing all of the agenda items in consultation with the Board Chairperson and any appropriate school district administrators.
“Items of business may be suggested by any board member, staff member, student, or citizen of the district,” the policy reads. “The inclusion of items suggested by staff member, students, or citizens shall be at the discretion of the superintendent, who shall inform the board of any unresolved excluded items and the reason for the exclusion. The agenda, however, shall always allow suitable time for the remarks of the public who wish to speak briefly before the board.”
The members approved the policy change.
The board was also asked to vote on accepting General Assurances.
“In recent years, the NH Department of Education has required we bring the General Assurances to the School Board for review and approval,” Superintendent, Dan Black, told the board. “For this year, they have added the step of the School Board Chair providing their initials to each page.”
Black said General Assurances are essentially documents the district signs every year “to affirm that we are following the federal rules and regulations to be able to accept our federal funding.”
“We do follow all the rules and regulations, which can be found in our ‘clean’ audit that we receive every year,” Black said.
Slater and fellow members tabled the discussion to further review the request.
In personnel news, the board accepted the retirements of Moose Hill support staff employees Susan Brackett and Karen Dovidio.
The board also accepted the resignations of Alexandra Casey and Christine Derhak, support staff employees at the high school, Janelle Evans a support staff employee at Matthew Thornton, Ross McLean an assistant principal at Londonderry Middle School, and Melanie Smith a teacher at South Elementary School.

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