Disagreements continue among BOE members

NASHUA – Board of Education member Howard Coffman, who school employees publicly asked to resign last month, again found himself in a disagreement during the Tuesday meeting.

Toward the end of the meeting, Coffman attempted to bring an issue to the agenda for discussion. However, board member and Policy Committee Chair Heather Raymond said items must be brought to the agenda in advance.

Coffman argued the board’s policy states members can either bring items to the agenda prior to the meeting or during the meeting. He asked her for a copy of the policy, but Raymond said she did not have a copy of the policy at the moment.

A short while later, board member Doris Hohensee found the policy and asked to have the issue revisited. However, Board President Dotty Oden said the board had already moved to the next item on the agenda.

It was at this time that Coffman tried to bring up the item he was attempting to bring up previously. He began to talk about an email he received about an incident that occurred at Nashua High School South last week.

As Coffman was describing the email, Raymond made an objection and said Coffman’s comment was a point of privilege. Coffman argued that he couldn’t be interrupted during his comment.

Raymond argued that point of privilege allows for interruption to prevent someone from saying something that should not be brought up in a public session. Hohensee tried to argue on behalf of Coffman without getting into specifics, but Raymond said it was still a point of privilege. Raymond said if someone has an issue such as this, to discuss it with Superintendent Jahmal Mosley or ask for a hearing with the board.

Raymond then asked Coffman and Hohensee to recuse themselves because they were showing bias. Hohensee said her bias was the law.

As the arguing went back and forth, Oden hit her gavel multiple times. Oden asked Coffman to respect the issue.

Eventually, board members moved on to hear comments from other members before heading into a closed-door session that was motioned by board member Susan Porter.

In other news, board members discussed potentially changing the school policy for meal charges. Oden said she would like to look at the policy to know the guidelines and bringing it through the Finance and Operations and Policy and Procedures committees.

Nathan Burns gave updates on his process with bringing New England Association of Schools and Colleges to Nashua High School North to look at getting accreditation.

On Dec. 3-5 visiting NEASC team members will be at North to shadow students. Their goal is to get to every teacher’s classroom. The evidence gathered during these meetings will be used to evaluate the school based on NEASC’s standards. The members will then recommend whether or not Nashua High School North should be accredited.

Coffman said he believes this should be brought to the elementary schools and middle schools. He said it seems the schools should be doing this to prepare students for high school.

In another matter of business, Ledge Street Elementary School has been identified by the New Hampshire Department of Education as a Comprehensive Support and Improvement School based on gathered from the 2017-18 school year. The data indicate Ledge Street School is in the lowest 5 percent of all Title 1 schools in New Hampshire.

Superintendent Jahmal Mosley said this letter reflects the state of where the school is and is not meant to negatively reflect on the teachers or students.

“It’s an opportunity to improve,” Mosley said.

More information on how the school will be proceeding will be discussed in the future.