Minutes For BOE March 12, 2007 Meeting




March 12, 2007


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


Members Absent:   Barbara Gilbert


Also Present:   Paula Schwartz - Superintendent

                                 David Lenihan - Business Manager

                                 Michael Landry – Assistant Superintendent

                                 Jacqueline Evans – Student Representative


  I.   Call to Order - The regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting was held at the Lake Garda School library, and 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 resignation letters from Kelly Pergola, 3rd grade teacher at HSC, Susan Comito, Spanish teacher at LSM, and Richard Freeman, Math teacher at LSM.


IV.   Consent Agenda - A motion to approve the minutes of the Regular BOE meeting of February 12, special meetings of February 7, 13, and 21, 2007, and financial report of February 28, 2007, was made by P. Omichinski and seconded by R. Sikora.  All in favor none opposed.  Motion carries.  Corrections include page 1 in the corrections section, Karissa Neihoff was incorrectly identified as attending the January 22, 2007 special meeting.  On Page 2, Lauren Doninger was incorrectly identified as having issues with the Emergency Notification System.  Correct speaker was Brenda Frasco.  Ms. Doninger had concerns with suspensions and expulsions concerning drug/alcohol issues.


  V.   Public Participation -

               A.         Student and Staff Recognition – Members of the Crew Team thanked the Board for giving them official recognition as a sport of Region 10.


               B.         Members of girls’ Lacrosse made their request to be recognized as a team sport, which the Board had reviewed and tabled for the future.  B. Duffy said the matter would be reviewed again.  Policy is for a team to begin as a club and then later be recognized as a team sport.


VII.            Business –

                        Superintendent presented a proposal for allowing community members 18 and over to use the weight and fitness rooms.  Information will be available at the upcoming Health Fair.  Each program would be offered two nights a week for 6 weeks.  Generally the cost would be $50 per session or $75 for both sessions, with seniors 55+ free.  Fitness instruction would include Yoga or Ti Chi.  Times would be 5:30pm – 6:30pm or 6:30pm – 7:30pm.

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A.   Review of Special Services Portion of 2007-08 Budget.  Linda Carabis gave a PowerPoint presentation on Special Ed. budget.  Programs funded by Special Services include:  Odyssey of the Mind, Kids in the Middle activities, Home/School collaborative (counseling service), Music Therapy, Homework Clubs at the middle and high schools, Tutoring (academic, homebound, expulsion), Counseling Groups, Social  Worker home visits, CREC consultants, Student Support Centers, Early Learning Center, Pandemic Flu Plan, Emergency Preparedness Plan, FAVARH summer program, etc.  Special Ed organization remains the same with a Coordinator at each school.  298 students are identified as Special Ed.  Budget request is as follows:


                        Salary                  $3,269,705 (Certified, noncertified, and benefits)         or    7.88%

                        Prof. Services         $110,000                                                      or    4.76%

                        Transportation         $147,589                                                      or -17.46%

                        Tuition                  $308,991                                                      or  - 7.36%

                        Other                  $  93,867                                                      or     3.27%

                        Total                           $3,940,152                                                      or 5.07%


                        Salary account increase due to 70% of special education teachers will be on steps 2-8 in the newly negotiated contract (lower steps received highest percentage increase).


                        Transportation cost decreased due to purchase of minivan last year and less reliance on outside vendors.  Tuition, which includes out of District placement, DCF placement, alternative high school placement, etc., decreased in part due to larger State reimbursement rate.


                        Review of Curriculum & Instruction Portion of 2007-08 Budget.  M. Landry gave a Powerpoint presentation outlining the goals and focus of curriculum and technology.  The goal is to educate and prepare students for the challenges in a global economy, to be creative and independent-thinking.  More professional development will be offered to teachers, one of which is a 3-day summer math development program.  There will be investigation in studies focusing on the brain and how students learn. 


                        Technology budget was cut last year and needs to be adjusted to the 5-year plan.

                        Leigh Pont explained in technology, computers in Tech Ed and laptops for the 5th graders will need replacement.


               B.         Discussion of Connecticut Health Survey – Superintendent presented information on two State survey’s schools are asked to participate in.  One is on smoking and is for middle school students and the other is on drug and alcohol use and is geared for high school students.  The State has asked Region 10 to participate in the smoking survey.  The results, when published, are not by school or district, but a compilation of data from all the schools participating.  A sample group of students will be surveyed with parent notification.


                        J. Stocker did not feel the survey was relevant and felt the time spent taking the survey could better be spent in instruction.  Superintendent stated that randomly selected classes would be

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                        chosen to take the survey, that it was designed by professionals, and that there was an obligation to the State to participate in the survey.  Members of the Board spent some time

                        discussing the issue and P. Omichinski suggested that perhaps the District could design its own survey for its own use.  The Board agreed to participate in the state survey.


               C.         Discussion of After-School Services for 5th & 6th Grades – M. Landry presented a proposal in which the Bristol Boys and Girls Club would run an on-site, after-school program at Har-Bur.  They have had many years of experience doing the same thing in Bristol’s schools and at Lake Garda.  The program would run out of the middle school cafeteria.  There was discussion on types of activities to be offered, whether students could take the late bus home, the cost, what would parents be willing to pay, and perhaps even offering a before school program.  A survey will be going out to 5th and 6th grade parents to obtain ideas and feedback.  A decision would have to be made by June, 2007 in order to begin the program in the Fall.


VII            Action -

               A.  Discussion and Approval of China Consortium Exchange Program.  Each of the schools participating in the Mandarin language program has a “sister” school in China.  The sister school for Farmington High School has requested an exchange program this summer.  The school is located in Chengdu, the site of the sailing competition for the Beijing Olympics in 2008.  Students from China would come over this summer and students in the consortium would go there in August.  It is anticipated that three or four students from each of the consortium schools (Farmington, Simsbury, Bristol, Litchfield, Region 10, Plainville) would be given the opportunity to participate.  Cost would be approximately $2,400 per student paid by the family.  Superintendent pointed out that person who arranges trips to China for teachers and administrators for the state is the same one who would run this trip.  A motion to approve participation with this exchange plan was made by P. Omichinski and seconded by R. Sikora.  All in favor none opposed.  Motion carries.


               B.         2nd Reading of  Facilities Use Policy #3513.  A motion to accept the second reading was made by E. Schiavone and seconded by P. Omichinski.  All in favor none opposed.  Motion carries.  It is anticipated that the fee schedule will be ready for presentation at the next BOE meeting in April.


               C.         1st Reading of Facilities Use Administrative Regulations #3513A.  This was an FYI and voting was not needed.


               D.         2nd Reading of Coordinator of Athletics Job Description.  A motion to accept the second reading was made by K. Sullivan-Shepard and seconded by Elaine Schiavone.  All in favor none opposed.  Motion carries.


               E.         2nd Reading BOE Community Relations Policies #1112 and #1120.  A motion to accept the second reading was made by K. Sullivan-Shepard and seconded by J. Stocker.  All in favor none opposed.  Motion carries.


VIII.         Board Committee Reports

A.  Facilities and Grounds Committee – Nothing to report.

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B.  CREC Committee – B. Duffy will be attending as a representative of CREC the NSBA Conference and requested that members go to website and view agenda items and email her what meetings or workshops they would like for her to attend and report back on.

C.            Curriculum Committee – Meeting Wednesday.

D.            Negotiations Committee – Nothing to report.

E.         Technology Committee – Nothing to report.

F.         Building Committee – Project is progressing.

               G.         Community Relations Committee – Nothing to report.  Results of survey due in April.


A motion to go into Executive Session was made by P. Omichinski and seconded by R. Sikora.  Board went into Executive Session at 10:15 pm.  Board came out of Executive Session at 10:30 pm on a motion made by K. Sullivan Shepard, seconded by R. Sikora


A motion was made by E, Schiavone, seconded by P. Omichinski, to move that the Board of Education accept the superintendent’s recommendation per CT Gen. Stat. Sec 1-200(6) that the contract of the named teachers in the memo dated March 12, 2007 not be renewed for the 2007-08 school year.  All were in favor, none opposed.


A motion to adjourn the meeting was made by  P. Omichinski, seconded by r. Sikora at 10:32 pm.


Final review of budget by BOE will be on Monday, March 19, 2007 at 7:30 pm in the Learning Center of Har-Bur Middle School.  The District budget hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, April 4, 2007 at Lewis S. Mills High School.


 The next regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting will be held on April 23, 2007 at Harwinton Consolidated School.


Karen Sullivan-Shepard, Secretary

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