January 10, 2018

5:30 p.m.


Committee Members Present:  Chair:  Pia Holmes; Jason Bersani, Tom Connors 

Board Members Present:  Staci Fortunato, Edward Hastings 

Administrators Present:  James Anastasio, Donna Madore, Heather Gauthier, Jim Holland, Kim Silsby, Jon Stonier, Theresa Violette 

Others Present:  Janet Frake, Brandi Grady, Pat Hannigan, Jason Morgan, Jennifer Tripp 

Motion by Jason Bersani to amend the agenda to appoint a chair.  Second by Pia Holmes, so moved 3-0. 

Motion by Tom Connors to nominate Pia Holmes as chair.  Second by Jason Bersani, so moved 3-0. 

1.  Cony Department Head Reporting 

Jennifer Tripp – Social Studies

            Attachment 1 

Jennifer Tripp, Social Studies Department Head has been teaching at Cony for 31 years and has been a department head for 14 years.  She shared that she meets with both middle and high school staff  once per month as a unit to ensure consistency within the content area and Social Studies curriculum. There are 204 years of experience within the Social Studies Department.  Five teachers have master’s degrees, one has a certificate of advance studies, and two are working on administrative degrees.  Social Studies teachers are very involved in extra-curricular activities and coaching setting a good example for students.  Graduation requirement courses offered include:  Honors Global Insights, Global Insights, US History, Modern US History, Economics, and Civics.  Elective Courses include:  Honors World History, World History, Introduction to Psychology, Introduction to Sociology, and Current Events.  Other courses offered include:  Advanced Placement United States History, Dual Enrollment US History Class associated with UMA, Advanced Place Government, and Unified Arts.  Although there is not a requirement, most of Cony’s students take four years of social studies.  Social Studies standards are from the Maine Learning Results.


Jason Morgan – Art

            Attachment 2 

Mr. Morgan shared that the Department Head for Art has returned this year after being vacant for some time. This is a district coordinator position for Grades K-12.  The department serves six schools with 4 ½ teachers.  Overall goals are to continue growing as an art department in regards to offerings, and provide an enriching, well-rounded art experience to develop “universal skills” that can serve students in post-secondary goals. Cony 7th and 8th grade art courses are 25 days per sessions.  There are six sessions which rotate through all the UA offerings.  For high school, Introduction to Art is a pre- requisite into most electives except for ceramics.  It gives students a good survey of all the different media.  Elective courses offer are ceramics, drawing, painting and sculpture.  Digital photography is being rotated with self-directed studies.  Each course follows the Maine Learning Results Standards.  There are a lot of opportunities for students to show their work and be involved in projects in the community like the Harlow Art Gallery.  The Domestic Violence Project had an exhibit as well as UMA, Portland Museum of Art, and Calloway Coffee House.  The elementary schools also do an art night which takes place in the spring.  One idea the art club came up with was to create some art appreciation in the school by picking some very well-known art pieces and putting ram heads on them.  It had a lot of humor with it but it also teaches them a little bit about the art and some school spirit as well.  The Art Department is currently working with the music department and ELL for the Resiliency Project which is based on a collaborative portrait project that will be part of the chorus concert in the spring.


Pat Hannigan – Math

            Attachment 3 

Ms. Hannigan said she’s been a department head at Cony for 12 years and a teacher for 16 years.  There are 10 math teachers in grades 7-12, four middle school and six high school teachers.  Five of the 10 math teachers are new within the last three years.  The Math Department follows the Common Core State Standards.   Tools used in math classes are calculators, smartboards and online software however, teachers feel paper to pencil is the best way to learn math.  Students do writing within the math classroom.  There are three levels of math, an integrated level, college prep level and an honors level.  Students, who are challenged in math coming in to the 9th grade, are offered the Math Strategies course which is a response intervention course where students learn skills needed to go into Algebra I.  In the last 10 years six new courses have been added:  Math Strategies, Introduction to Probability and Statistics, Senior Math/College Algebra (a dual enrollment course through Thomas College), Advanced Placement Statistics, Level 2 Calculus B/C, and an SAT Prep Course.  She reported that the Cony High School Math Team consistently does well and usually ranks 2nd or 3rd in the Central Maine Math League each year.  The team currently ranked 22 out of 153 teams and is the highest ranking in over 20 years.  Mr. Poulin has been coaching the Math Team approximately 12 years. Ms. Hannigan and her 7th and 8th grade teachers are on a math research team with some elementary teachers reviewing the CMP Math Program. Last year they piloted 4 different math programs and have narrowed it down to 2 this year.  A decision will be made by next month.


2.  Lincoln Elementary Outside Classroom Presentation

            Attachment 4 

Janet Frake and Brandi Grady, classroom teachers gave a presentation on an outdoor classroom.  They envision using the outdoor space year round to get students outside, into nature, into fresh air and into movement which is important to keep them engaged.  The idea is to incorporate the outdoor space with the existing garden project.  It would be a 12 x 20 foot structure.  Removal of the shrubs and fencing the area is planned for spring.  Completion of the cement paid is planned for summer and the structure will be built with the help of CATC students in the spring of 2019.  There would be no cost to the school department.  The costs would be covered by donations and fund raising.  Jon Stonier, Director of Buildings and Grounds was consulted throughout the planning process.


Meeting adjourned at 6:00 p.m.