HB COOP School Board Meeting Highlights 12/14/2022


Nik Tigert

HBHS renovations and scheduling were major topics discussed at the December meeting

Nik Tigert and Tate Klauber

The Hollis Brookline Cooperative School Board held a meeting at the middle school on December 14. 

Chair Holly Babcock presided over the meeting, with notable attendees including Superintendent Andrew Corey, Assistant Superintendent Gina Bergskaug, Senior Assistant Business Administrator Linda Sherwood, HBHS Principal Tim Girzone and HBMS Principal Patrick West.

At the beginning of the meeting, the board celebrated the successes of the school district, starting with the recognition of the 2023 All-State musicians. The board congratulated these talented individuals and acknowledged their hard work.

Another highlight of the meeting was the report from the High School Athletics Department, which showed a significant increase in participation in various winter sports. This includes Unified Basketball, Indoor Track and Wrestling, all of which have seen an increase in the number of students participating. 

The board was pleased to see such a strong increase in engagement from the student body. Chair Babcock said, “Congratulations to the teams that are starting out, that’s awesome.”

The Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest also saw success, with three students receiving top honors. Sage Cospito placed first, Everett Bird placed second and Bria Sheehy placed third in the competition. The board praised these students for their writing skills and commended them on their achievements.

The meeting featured discussions of facilities updates in relation to the Fiscal Year 2024 budget. Major changes related to the energy efficiency of both co-op schools were suggested, including switching all lighting to LEDs, with savings per year estimated to be nearly $70,000. Also suggested was upgrades to school heating systems; savings per year are estimated at $78,591. With a total project cost estimated to be about $3.9 million.

Renovation discussions also touched on improving the district’s STEM education resources.

Another topic that has been debated extensively by the board is schedule changes for the high school. Vice Chair Tom Solon suggested that the board should specifically deliberate on the proposed idea of an ‘advisory’; a period of time dedicated to checking in on students both academically and emotionally. 

The recommendation came from the Advisory Subcommittee, and their proposal would introduce a dedicated advisory period into the schedule. The board expressed concerns due to a lack of supporting evidence and trials, ultimately deciding to table the proposal until further research and investigation has concluded.

The board also addressed the issue of staffing schools on January 2, by voting to give Superintendent Corey permission to adjust the schedule should staffing issues continue. The vote passed unanimously.

Member Tom Enright commented on the meeting’s productivity, and the board is looking forward to continuing to support the growth and development of the school community in the future.