BOSC approves stadium cameras, budgets, scrapping insurance, recommends class size limits
As well as honoring retiring teachers and providing a recommendation on block programming for the coming school year, the Manchester School Board Committee (BOSC) has been busy this week with a full board meeting Monday and committee meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Here are some of the highlights from this week’s meetings.
Finalized budgets for district and catering services
On Monday, the BOSC approved a finalized school district budget for the 2022-23 school year, after a final amount was ratified by the council of mayor and aldermen several weeks earlier.
In this ratification, the Council of Mayor and Aldermen cut $2 million from the budget in hopes that Concord’s pending legislation would make up the shortfall.
In the event that the $2 million is not allocated, Manchester School District Chief Financial Officer Karen DeFrancis said cuts have been made to benefits, debt service payments and tuition fees. out-of-district, with homeless transportation costs transferred to grant funding.
The restoration budget, which has an independent fund from the rest of the district, was also approved.
Ward 6 BOSC member Ken Tassey called for the food service budget to reduce the number of high sugar items and also called for more efforts to be made to provide halal and kosher offerings as well as food that meet the other dietary needs of other students.
Other BOSC members and Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig did not oppose Tassey’s proposals in theory, although some BOSC members said the nutritional content of foods should be balanced with whether students would eat these foods.
Craig also asked that more in-depth conversations like this be undertaken at the committee level.
Upcoming Live Stream for West, Central and Memorial Sports Teams
On Monday, the BOSC approved a contract with Play On/Pixellot to install cameras at Manchester’s three public high school football/soccer grounds (Gill Stadium, Bill Meisel Memorial Field, Clem Lemire Athletic Complex) as well as on the grounds of school basketball for the upcoming school year.
Ward 10 BOSC member Gary Hamer expressed concern about the Better Business Bureau’s complaints with Pixellot and preferred that the district seek contact with Hudl, a company that already supplies game movies for football teams. and district football.
Manchester School District sports co-ordinator Christine Telge replied that she had no preference between Hudl and Pixellot, but noted that providing live cameras through Hudl would cost the district over $30,000 a year, while Pixellot would derive revenue from advertisements and subscription fees on live streams, costs the district nothing.
She added that there were only a few dozen complaints out of millions of live streams viewed across the country via Pixellot.
Until the vote, Manchester Central and Manchester West were the only NHIAA Division I schools without live football matches.
Health insurance benefits removed for BOSC members
Also on Monday, the BOSC voted to cut all medical and dental benefits for BOSC members effective July 1 and asked the Council of Mayors and Aldermen that BOSC members receive allowances equal to those Aldermen receive. from the next BOSC in January 2024.
The problem arose when several BOSC members learned that access to the health and dental benefits they received as BOSC members made them ineligible for health insurance plans through the health care marketplace, Medicaid and other means.
Not all BOSC members were enrolled in health or dental plans, but Ward 11 BOSC member Dr. Nicole Leapley said she paid significantly more in premiums for the school district plan. than she would have paid for the diet she wanted in the market.
A legal gray area over whether BOSC members were employees or independent contractors or something else completely delayed a final decision several months before Monday.
It was also determined that it would be legally acceptable in the city charter for elected officials to be able to opt out of benefits, as under the charter, elected officials can only vote to increase the benefits of elected councils in the future. .
Set of recommendations on maximum class size
At Wednesday’s BOSC policy committee, a policy recommendation requested by Ward 2 BOSC member Sean Parr was passed on to the full board regarding maximum class sizes.
From kindergarten through fourth grade, a maximum of 20 students will be allowed per class, with 25 students in grades 4 through 12 and 24 students in any one lab class.
Classes of fewer than 15 students may be allowed to operate in situations where resources are available, and district administrators may waive minimum or maximum class sizes if instructors are unavailable to meet guidelines.
The proposal was made with the aim of increasing academic success and graduation rates by providing students with more personalized attention.
Additionally, the proposal aims to help reduce fluctuations in class size, which should help the BOSC and administrators create long-term facility plans.