Minutes For BOE April 23, 2007 Meeting




April 23, 2007


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


Also Present:   Paula Schwartz - Superintendent

                                 David Lenihan - Business Manager

                                 Michael Landry – Assistant Superintendent

                                 Jacqueline Evans, Everett Doninger – Student Representatives


  I.   Call to Order - The regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting was held at Harwinton Consolidated School, was called to order at 7:34 pm by Chairperson Beth Duffy.


 II.   Pledge of Allegiance - The Pledge was recited.


III.   Communications, Resignations – Superintendent received letters of intent to retire from:  Barbara Flaherty, Family & Consumer Science teacher at Har-Bur, Barbara Thompson, Lake Garda’s early intervention specialist, and John Bigos, technology teacher. effective at the end of the ’06-’07 school year.  Resignation letter from Xinia Novia, effective April 1, 2007, was also received.  Superintendent also received thank you letter from First Selectman, Ted Scheidel, for donation of generator to Burlington.


         Congratulations to the “Justice is..”  art contest winners.  They are: Steven Kondej, Jaelene Ruey, Carley Marenna, Courtney Walker, Emily Fletcher, Natalie Beland, Chad Caovo and Brook Dayan.  This statewide contest was sponsored by the Greater Hartford Legal Aid.


         Congratulations to “Long Island Sound and its Watershed Foundation” drawing statewide contest winners.  They are: Hope Shevchuk (1st Place), Nicole Morin, Joseph Varanelli and Jacob Poppel


         Recognition of students who participated in the Connecticut COLT (the Rhyme Celebration) event and sang “Mi Familia Grande” were Madeline Powell, Sarah Kozlo, Evan Berardinelli Teagan Dunn, Spencer Howe, Seth Kellogg, Sarah Martin and Martha Kelley..


         Barbara Angelicola, LSM Business Teacher and head of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), provided an overview of the program.  Student Eric Satherlie spoke more extensively about the program and the fundraising done for their chosen charity, the March of Dimes.  Twenty six members of our FBLA chapter successfully competed at the annual state competition bring back 10 awards. 


         Eric Satherlie was also one of thirty students in the state chosen to participate in the 2007 Youth Financial Literacy Institute at UCONN School of Business.


         Thanks were extended to Dave Miller, John Deeb, the stage and production crews, for making the first high school drama production, staged in the new auditorium, successful.


IV.   Consent Agenda - A motion to approve the meeting minutes of:

            BOE regular meetings of March 5, 8, 12, 19, and April 9.

            District meeting of April 4, 2007 and

            Special BOE meetings of March 19, and two on April 4


         was made by P. Omichinski and seconded by B. Gilbert.  All in favor none opposed.


         Corrections include:  Meeting of March 5, 2007, Page 3, 6th paragraph, beginning with Mr. Kambi.  Last sentence has an extra “are” that does not belong.  March 8th meeting, 1st page, Item III, 2nd sentence “and not salary.” should be removed and replaced by” and not “Salary”.”  Page 3, 3rd paragraph referring to pavers as a fundraising effort refers to brick pavers at the front entrance of the building.  Meeting of 3-19, 2nd page, third paragraph, replace irregardless with regardless.


  V.   Public Participation – Due to the many items on the agenda, Chairperson asked that questions and comments be kept to a 3 minute limit if possible.


         Dave Crompton of Harwinton requested an update on the status of the Anthem arbitration, which had been settled a few weeks ago.  D. Lenihan stated the arbitrator’s decision awarded $59K (including interest) to current teachers by reducing the premiums paid by teachers over the next pay periods.  Consequently the arbitrator’s decision did not provide for retired teachers.  Mr. Crompton stated this decision was extremely unfair to those who had served the District for many years.  He made a request to obtain the cost of legal and arbitration expenses, which P. Schwartz stated she will make arrangements for him to receive.


         Fred Boland of Harwinton wanted to know how widespread the recent pornographic incident was, and whether any filters had been turned off to allow this to occur.  Questions will be referred to a tech expert.


VI.   Business -

               A.  Summer Arts Program.  A recent brochure went out concerning the proposed Summer Arts Program.  John Deeb provided feedback on the responses.  Approximately 40 students have signed up with a majority interested in Visual Arts and Drama.  Programs with insufficient student interest will be dropped.  Some of the feedback indicates interest in one or two week program rather a 4 week program as proposed.  There will also be the opportunity for students from local towns to participate.


               B.         End of Year Activities – Board Assignments are as follows:


                        Catherine Bergstrom          National Honor Society

                        Elaine Schiavone                  LSM Scholars’ Breakfast

                        Karen Sullivan-Shepard         LSM Honors Night

                        Jayne Stocker                  Flag Day

                        Barbara Gilbert                  HSC Grade 4 Special Event

                        Barbara Gilbert                  Lake Garda Grade 4 Special Event

                        Joe Arcuri                           HSC 5th grade moving up ceremony

Paul Omichinski                        Lake Garda 5th grade moving up ceremony

                       Beth Duffy                           Har-Bur End of Year Ceremony

                        Ray Sikora, Peter Turner,

                          Beth Duffy                           LSM graduation.  To be determined.

C.         Student Sports Uniforms Fund – D. Tanner, K. Niehoff.  K. Niehoff announced that Eric Satherlie and Gina D’Daddario had been chosen as Region 10 CIAC student athletes.  Awards ceremony is scheduled for May 6, 2007.

K. Niehoff went over handout, a summation of information from CIAC website and discussion with other schools on a “pay for play/activity” policy.  In general, many schools found it difficult to collect money and policy has not been well-received by the communities.  P. Omichinski stated that the request had been to determine the feasibility of implementing a yearly uniform rental fee.  After some discussion, Chairperson suggested the formation of a committee to review this issue.  In addition to K. Niehoff and D. Tanner, B. Duffy, P. Omichinski, and J. Arcuri expressed interested in serving on the committee.  A meeting date will be determined, and a proposal will be brought to the Board at a future date.  It was pointed out that $11,200 for uniform purchase had been removed from the ’07-’08 budget and, in order to put that amount back in, cuts will have to be made elsewhere.

D.         District Website Student Security – M. Landry stated that in the new website design, student names and schedules had been included.  It was determined that although pictures of students participating in classroom and other activities were appropriate, names, schedules, and any other identifiable student information would be eliminated.  E. Schiavone asked if parents had an opt out option for pictures.  P. Schwartz stated that parents could submit one in writing.  Liz Cornish of Burlington and J. Stocker suggested a form, to be included in the yearly packet sent to parents, giving them the option to allow or not allow their child’s picture to be included in any media.

VII            Action -

A.         Requests for Leaves of Absence for Teachers.  LSM Chemistry teacher Alice Frazer had requested a third year leave of absence.  P. Schwartz did not recommend granting a third year.  There was some concern that the current Chemistry instructor may seek employment elsewhere.  After much discussion, a motion to approve an additional year of absence was made by R. Sikora and seconded by E. Schiavone.  All in favor none opposed.  Motion carries.

A motion to grant maternity leave to Stacy Charette, Science teacher at LSM, was made by P. Turner and seconded by P. Omichinski.  All in favor, none opposed.  Motion carries.

B.         Approval of Social Studies Club Trip to New York City.  This is a model UN Conference.  Student Rep. Everett Doninger participated last year and spoke of the group’s experience.  They would be representing Panama in the Conference.

A motion to approve the UN trip to New York was made by P. Omichinski and seconded by P. Turner.  All in favor none opposed.  Motion carries.

As students will be funding this trip themselves, P. Schwartz requested that the Board approve some money to assist with transportation costs.  The plan is for the club to take the train into NYC from Waterbury.  However, there is the additional cost of getting to Waterbury.

A motion to approve $200 to pay for bus transportation to Waterbury was made by P. Turner and seconded by B. Gilbert.  All in favor none opposed.  Motion carries.

C.         Approval of FBLA Trip to Chicago.  Two Region 10 students are eligible to attend the 2007 National Leadership Conference in Chicago because of their state awards.  A motion to approve the FBLA trip was made by R. Sikora and seconded by P. Omichinski.  All in favor none opposed.  Motion carries.

There was discussion on funding a portion of the trip.  Last year, the District contributed to airfare.  A motion to approve $880 in airfare was made by P. Turner and seconded by C. Bergstrom.  Members to approve the motion were P. Turner and C.  Bergstrom.  Motion fails.  P. Omichinski felt the contribution was beyond that which was paid for other requests such as the earlier one for the UN trip.  J. Stocker felt if a policy were in place, it would provide guidelines for the BOE in determining funding.  J. Arcuri would have preferred a personal appeal by a member of the FBLA.

B. Gilbert made a motion to approve $440 to defray travel costs, seconded by K. Sullivan-Shepard.  Members approving the motion were C. Bergstrom, P. Turner, K. Sullivan-Shepard.  Members opposed were R. Sikora, P. Omichinski, J. Arcuri, E. Schiavone.  Motion fails.  It was decided to ask the FBLA members to come up with a new request for the next BOE meeting.

D.         Approval of Student Trip to China.  Of the six students interested in going to China this summer, two are from Region 10.  Cost is approximately $2,400 per student for the 10 days.  They will be chaperoned by an instructor from Farmington High and students will be housed with host families.  A motion to approve the trip was made by P. Omichinski and seconded by R. Sikora.  All in favor none opposed.  Motion carries.

E.         Graduation Date.  Suggested graduation date is Monday June 18, 2007.  A motion to approve the graduation date was made by P. Omichinski and seconded by R. Sikora.  All in favor none opposed.  Motion carries.

F.         Magnet Schools.  Superintendent read letter from former BOE member, Ned Mann, whose daughter has been a student at the Academy of Performing Arts in Hartford.  The letter asks that the District consider increasing its tuition assistance for future students accepted into the program.  Currently, the District has a total cap of $7,000 and contributes a maximum of $1,000 per student.  Over the years, only one or two students have been accepted into the program.  For ’07-’08 two students from Region 10 are interested.  P. Omichinski made a motion to leave the cap as is but increase tuition assistance to $2,500 per student.  There was no second.  Motion did not carry.

G.         Participation in Connecticut Nutrition Standards.  D. Lenihan asked that this item be tabled until the next meeting so Dolores Allocca, Food Services Director, would be present.

VIII.         Board Committee Reports

A.  Facilities and Grounds Committee – Nothing to report.

B.  CREC Committee – Chairperson attended a NSBA Conference, and various workshops, in San Francisco recently.  Will provide highlights over the next few months.

C.            Curriculum Committee – Heard of a couple of presentations by subject coordinators.

D.            Negotiations Committee – Nothing to report.

E.         Technology Committee – Nothing to report.

F.         Building Committee – On time, on schedule, and on budget.

G.         Community Relations Committee – Results of survey are in and will be reviewed.

A motion to go into Executive Session was made by E. Schiavone and seconded by B. Gilbert at 10:10 pm.  All were in favor.

A motion to come out of Executive Session was made by E. Schiavone, seconded by B. Gilbert at 11:00 p.m.  All were in favor.

A motion to adjourn the meeting was made by P. Omichinski, seconded by R Sikora at 11:00 p.m.  All were in favor.

 The next regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting will be held on Monday, May 14, 7:30 pm  at the Learning Center of Har-Bur Middle School.

Karen Sullivan-Shepard, Secretary

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