Andover School Board, February 1, 2022

Condensed from approved minutes

  1. ROLL CALL AND CALL TO ORDER: The ASB meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m. by Board Chair, Aimee Menard.

In Person Board Present: Adam Jones, Dan Newton, Lisa Burbach, and Aimee Menard

Administration Present: Mark MacLean, Randy Wormald, Dennis Dobe, Dennis Audet, Hilary Denoncourt, Beth Page

Public Present: Caden Heath, Donna Crisp Duclos, Kent Hackman, Myles Keyser

  1. MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS: For the PUBLIC SESSION of 1/4/2022, Burbach motioned to accept the minutes and Jones made the second. All others were in favor and the minutes were approved with no discussion.

  2. FINANCE REPORT: Most overages have not changed. Chromebook purchases will be reimbursed. Lisa motioned to accept the finance report. Jones seconded. All others in favor, the finance report was approved.

  3. PUBLIC COMMENT: Mr. Heath feels that wearing masks hurts and is damaging to children.

  4. CHAIRPERSON’S REPORT: March 7th will be the School District’s Annual Meeting where the school budget will be presented to the public. Ms. Duclos thanked the Board for their support of the Budget Committee. 


March 8th is town voting; the school will hold a Professional Development day for staff, no school for students during elections.

There are two open seats on the school board. A feasibility study for heating systems is in progress. There will be an update in April. The tuition agreement review remains in progress, spearheaded by Jones. There is no Board meeting on March 1, as the Annual Meeting is being held the next week.

  1. PRINCIPAL’S REPORT: Dobe spoke of yesterday’s teacher in-service day, where recently completed Winter STAR assessment data was reviewed and used to guide programming. AE/MS will begin an in-house student recognition program.

The annual Spelling Bee was recently completed, with Lorenzo Guzman as champion. The Ski/Skate program is up and running and scheduled to continue until February 11. AE/MS Basketball program ends next week. Audet spoke of looking into a monitoring system for our boiler. Window quotes have been received and came in higher than anticipated. It was recommended to use CARES money for the windows.

Audet is looking into grants to support a new key card access system.

  1. OLD BUSINESS: The Board discussed impacts of COVID and the Omicron strain. New CDC guidelines were discussed. Prior to the Omicron surge, there was a plan to discuss the potential for lessening masking restrictions. Burbach reviewed statistics from last month’s notes and referenced the frequency of email communication from Dobe in regard to COVID cases at AE/MS. Menard noted that at the last meeting, Omicron was appearing to peak in our area. Jones feels that our current framework that supports masking is conservative and would
    be worth reevaluating. MacLean suggested working with Wormald, Dobe, and nurse Frost, to come up with suggestions and have them presented at the April meeting. This will provide time to continue watching the infectious rate and determine that trends remain to decline. Wormald provided some context to last month’s reported numbers, as the data had included populations from New London and Franklin which was impactful. A review of past trends indicates a swift decline of numbers, which Wormald reported is currently happening for the Omicron strain. A cluster is defined as 3+ cases from the same cohort, and at this time an outbreak is defined as 2+ unrelated clusters within the community. DHHS defines cluster and outbreak events. 


Dobe advocated for taking a slower approach and possibly convening in March if the
number of cases continues to decrease. Burbach offered some observations from her work in that vaccinated staff continue to contract COVID. 


Jones made a motion to adjust the stay at home framework to make masks optional, with the continued decline of Omicron numbers (to be reviewed February 11) to go into effect February 14th. Newton seconded. Burbach noted that previously a community forum was provided to support the Board’s decision. MacLean discussed stocking high quality masks. Menard feels
that the community has been afforded the opportunity to be a part of this conversation. Menard agrees with the February 14 start date, and in the presence of an outbreak, mandatory masking is reinstated for two weeks. Wormald noted that DHHS will not release numbers on the 11th. Burbach advocated for striking the conditional nature of the motion. All were in favor, the motion passed. 


For clarity: starting on Monday, February 14, masks are optional at AE/MS with the following caveats: an identified cluster results in mandatory masking for that cohort (for two weeks or until the cluster has abated), and an identified outbreak results in mandatory masking for the entire school community for two weeks or until the outbreak has abated.

  1. NEW BUSINESS: The draft warrant was provided and reviewed. Jones made a motion to accept the warrant, Burbach seconded. The Board discussed how the budget will be presented. All were in favor, the warrant was approved.

  2. MANIFEST JOURNAL ENTRIES: Burbach made a motion to accept the manifest journal entries. Jones seconded. All were in favor, this passed.

  3. SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT: MacLean reported that he will be attending the AASA conference later this spring. It will be in Nashville.

  4. ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT: Wormald spoke of he and MacLean visiting with the AE/MS staff recently and hearing from teachers over coffee. Both Wormald and Denoncourt are involved in finance training at this time, which hopefully will support further education funding initiatives.
    12. ADJOURNMENT: Menard made the motion to adjourn at 7:38 p.m.