Minutes For BOE June 11, 2007 Meeting

MINUTES (not approved)



June 11, 2007


Members Present:   Joseph Arcuri, Beth Duffy, Paul Omichinski, Elaine Schiavone, Ray Sikora, Jayne Stocker, Karen Sullivan-Shepard, Peter Turner


Members Absent:   Catherine Bergstrom and Barbara Gilbert


Also Present:   Paula Schwartz - Superintendent

                                 David Lenihan - Business Manager

                                 Michael Landry – Assistant Superintendent

                                 Jacqueline Evans – Student Representative

                                 Alex Murphy – Student Representative

I.   Call to Order - The regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting was held at Lake Garda School Library, and was called to order at 7:36 pm by Chairperson Beth Duffy.

II.   Pledge of Allegiance - The Pledge was recited.

III.   Communications, Resignations -  Superintendent read resignation letters from the following -  Karen Craig, Har-Bur Science teacher; Jennifer Bousquet, Speech-Language Pathologist at Har-Bur/Mills; Elizabeth Gove, 1st grade teacher at HCS; and Joan Schroeder, Special Ed. instructor at Har-Bur, effective at the end of the current school year.

Superintendent received thank you letters from Barbara Thompson and Sanita Gingras for last month’s reception for retiring teachers.

Brennan Glasgow, Region 10 Math Specialist, was selected as the 2007 Marilyn Shaffer Award Winner which is given to an outstanding graduate of the University of Hartford in the educational Technology Program.

Student awards and recognitions include: Lewis S Mills High School receiving the Ted Allen award for sportsmanship; girls’ track and field receiving for the first time the Class S championship; boys’ volleyball team won the Class M championship for the 2nd year in a row; Jeff Ellsworth and Michael Cohen were both selected to participate in the National Student Leadership conference on mastering  leadership this summer at Bethesda, MD; and  Jonathan Adamski is one of six CT students who will be attending the National Federation of High Schools National Leadership Conference in Indianapolis this summer.

A note was received from someone outside the district to Denise Skelton telling how impressed she was by her web page.

Superintendent announced D. Lenihan’s appointment as President of CASBO (Connecticut Association of School Business Officials). 

Superintendent informed Board of her intent to retire at the end of December 2007.  After 35 years in education, she has decided to spend time with her family.  She discussed her accomplishments in the district, including the building project and world language opportunities. 

She thanked the Board and the communities for their support.  She expressed willingness to remain beyond the December date should it be necessary.

IV.   Consent Agenda - A motion to approve the regular meeting minutes of May 14, special meeting minutes of May 31, 2007, and May 31, 2007 financial report was made by P. Turner and seconded by P. Omichinski.  All in favor none opposed.  Abstention by K. Sullivan-Shepard.  Corrections include Mary Driscroll incorrectly identified as a retiring teacher in the 2nd paragraph of Item II.  In Item III list of teachers resigning, HSC should be HCS.

V.   Public Participation - Kristen Osanitsch of Harwinton stated that at least 15 incoming freshmen girls were interested in forming a Girls’ Lacrosse Team and wanted to know what the procedure was.  Chairperson recommended she speak with Athletic Director Dave Tanner, and to call Central Office to obtain Board policy on clubs and teams.

Karissa Niehoff announced additional student achievements including Roger Parent who was named All-State Volleyball Player, Anna Shield for running a mile under 5 minutes, Kevin Smith coming in 5th in the 200 meter dash, Jennie Lowery invited to attend leadership conference in D.C., and Rachel Considine for receiving an 800 on the Math SAT.

VI.   Business –

A.  Senior Citizen Computer Program – Ethan Duffy of Harwinton presented his plan for providing computer instruction to interested senior citizens in both towns.  In Harwinton, instruction will be conducted at the Harwinton Library and in Burlington at the Senior Center.  Instruction will include how to use a computer, accessing the internet, word processing, etc.  Currently, eight laptops are available and there are eight interested seniors.

B.            Report on Boundless Playground at Lake Garda School.  The Boundless Playground concept uses handicapped and non-handicapped student input to design an outdoor play and recreational area.  This process began at Lake Garda School 2-1/2 years ago.  With a $175K grant from the State, it will be completed this month.

 C.            Athletic Eligibility.  Karissa Niehoff and Dave Tanner suggest raising the minimum criteria used for determining if a student can participate in sports.  The current criteria is the CIAC minimum standard, which, in essence, allows students carrying Fs to participate.  Raising the minimum standard is not meant to be punitive but to be an incentive for students to achieve and/or maintain good grades.  Tutoring and other intervention programs would be available.  There was much discussion among Board members on this issue.  E. Schiavone suggested the criteria also be applied to all extracurricular activities and not just sports.

It was decided that more work needed to be done on developing and implementing this plan, not necessarily for the upcoming school year.  Ms. Neihoff and Mr. Tanner will prepare a presentation for the fall.

Some of the agenda items were moved forward so that students could leave early and prepare for final exams.

VII            Action –

               A.  Approval of Trip to Spain.  Ginny Powell and Elizabeth Lapman, World Language Instructor and Coordinator, respectively, sought Board approval to implement another student exchange between Spain and Region 10.  Approximately 18 students from Spain would come to Region

                        10 from September 4 to 23, 2007 and stay with host families.  LSM students would travel to Spain in February 2008 and stay with the families of the students who came in September.  Cost per LSM student is approximately $1,200.00.  Anthony DiNicola and Rachel              gave a slide show presentation of LSM students’ last trip to Spain.


                        P. Omichinski asked how students were able to keep up and complete assignments during the time they were away.  Because trip occurred during February vacation, they only missed three actual school days.  Arrangements were made with instructors ahead of time and students were able to complete homework while in Spain.


                        A motion to approve the trip to Spain was made by R. Sikora and seconded by P. Turner.  All in favor none opposed.  Motion carries.

B.         Approval of 2007-2008 BOE Meeting Schedule.  A motion to approve the schedule was made by K. Sullivan-Shepard and seconded by R. Sikora.  All in favor none opposed.  Note:  the November 13th meeting is on a Tuesday, not on a Monday.

C.         Approval of New Course, Grades 11-12, Personal Finance.  M. Landry applied for and received a $25K, one year grant for Region 10 to offer a personal finance course.  M. Landry will be looking at another grant to add a level one course.  A motion to approve adding the Personal Finance course was made by R. Sikora and seconded by P. Omichinski.  All in favor none opposed.  Motion carries.

D.         First reading of Building Use Fee Schedule #3513A.  K. Sullivan-Shepard pointed out that the fee schedule did not set a time limit for use.  Board members agreed a set time needed to be included with the rate.  A motion to approve the 1st reading was made by K. Sullivan-Shepard and seconded by P. Turner.  All in favor none opposed.  Motion carries.

VII.   BOE Retreat.  Chairperson asked each member for feedback on their preference of when to hold the next Board Retreat.  Most preferred a full Saturday sometime in the Fall.  P. Schwartz suggested “issues facing boards” as the topic.  Location and more information to follow.

VIII.         Board Committee Reports

A.  Facilities and Grounds Committee – Nothing new.

B.  CREC Committee - Had their annual meeting.  Chairperson extended invitation to any Board member to accompany her to any future CREC meetings.

C.         Curriculum Committee – Final meeting last week, which included a language arts presentation.  R. Sikora suggested presentation be added as a future BOE agenda item.        

D.            Negotiations Committee – Nothing new.

E.         Technology Committee – Nothing new.

F.         Building Committee – Central office work has started.

G.         Community Relations Committee – Nothing new.

 A motion to go into Executive Session was made by E. Schiavone and seconded by R. Sikora.  Board went into Executive Session at 9:37 pm.

A motion to come out of Executive Session was made by E. Schiavone and seconded by P. Omichinski. 

A motion was made by P. Omichinski, seconded by R. Sikora, to form a committee of the Board of Education to conduct a search for a new superintendent.  All were in favor.

A motion to adjourn the meeting was made by P. Omichinski, seconded by K. Sullivan-Shepard at 10:12 pm.

The next regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting will be held on July 9, 2007 at Harwinton Consolidated School.

Karen Sullivan-Shepard, Secretary

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