Minutes For BOE November 13, 2006 Meeting




November 13, 2006


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


  I.   Call to Order - The regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting was held at Harwinton Consolidated School, and was called to order at 7:35 pm by Chairperson Beth Duffy.


 II.   Pledge of Allegiance - The Pledge was recited.


         Introduction of new teachers and newly tenured instructors were made by each school principal.


         A motion to add another action item (VII., G. Discuss Ratification of Teaching Assistants’ Contract) was made by P. Turner and seconded by P. Omichinski.  All in favor none opposed.  Motion carries.


III.   Communications, Resignations –


         Superintendent read resignation letter from Kent Hurlburt, Assistant Principal at Har-Bur.


         Superintendent received letter of thanks from Jean Chiron for senior reception.  Also received letter from Jeff McDonald concerning why drivers of the 3 school-owned buses were allowed to take the vehicles home.  P. Schwartz indicated that the school district had researched the matter and concluded that based on security (two vehicles did not lock), scheduling flexibility (drivers able to maximize student pickups), convenience (drivers clean and routinely maintain vehicles, heat the vehicles with their own electricity, etc), there was no need to change the arrangement.  There was no negative impact on insurance rates with this arrangement either.  P. Schwartz indicated we also had looked into the possibility of housing the vehicles at Burlington Town Hall, but that would mean parking them outdoors in an unsecured area, the town would charge for electrical use and this would require additional overtime by drivers to prepare and clean busses at offsite lot.  The Board was satisfied with the current arrangement.


IV.   Consent Agenda - A motion to accept the meeting minutes of October 16, special BOE meeting of October 23, Public Relations Committee Meeting of October 30, and Financial Report of October 31, 2006 was made by P. Omichinski and seconded by P. Turner.  All in favor none opposed, with abstention by J. Arcuri and B. Gilbert.  No corrections or additions.


  V.   Public Participation – Chairperson stated it was the Board’s desire to begin this portion of each meeting with public recognition of outstanding achievement by students and/or staff.  First and second place winners of the Connecticut Bus Safety poster contest were introduced – Kelsey Perkins and Nicole Stark, both 6th graders.  Their entries will be available for viewing on the District’s website shortly. Also receiving recognition was Rachel Cutler, LSM student, for participating in a juried competition last year at the Museum of Modern Art.  Entry earned an Honorable Mention.  

Chairperson reiterated that complaints or concerns should also include suggestions for solutions.  Stated that rather than have the Board try to resolve a problem brought forth during a meeting, it would be turned over to an administrator for further research and information gathering, and who would report back their findings and possible resolution at a future meeting.  Chairperson will keep public up-to-date on status of items being worked on.  As always, public can ask questions or offer comments during any portion of Board meetings.

Ed Gasser of Burlington brought up two issues.  One concerned whether the District had addressed or had any procedure to address teachers or administrators leaving for other positions prior to the end of their contract or the end of the school year.  P. Schwartz to look into this item.  The second concerned whether there was a forum for parents to discuss curriculum issues.  M. Landry to look into this item.

VI.   Business -

               A.         Student representatives to the BOE were introduced.  They are Jacqueline Evans, a junior, and seniors Everett Doninger and Alex Murphy (received tied votes).  Main reason for seeking the position was to provide information back to the student body.


               B.         Pam Lazaroski presented a report on the Class of 2006.  Highlights include a rebound in math scores this year over last, but a drop in AP English exam which may have been due to proctor not informing students of the halfway mark.  More college-bound students are choosing to attend colleges and universities closer to home.


               C.         Strategic School Profiles.  P. Schwartz stated this report has been generated by the State for approximately 15 years.  It shows statistical data comparisons between the District’s schools, other comparable schools, and the State as a whole.  District highlights include many juniors and seniors work more than 16 hours a week, there is an increase in non-English speaking families, 85% of teachers have Master’s Degrees and above, physical fitness is above State average, but always room for improvement, and cost per student is still less than what the State and comparable communities spend.


                        Superintendent distributed Special Ed. Report to Board members, which will be presented and discussed at the next meeting.


D.   The Board of Selectmen and Finance from Harwinton and Burlington were invited to speak on issues and projects in their respective towns.  Frank Chairamonti of Harwinton discussed the town’s desire to obtain more open space, $2M earmarked for adding more playing fields, and $700K to build an ambulance garage.  Although final audit has not been completed, he anticipates a $2M surplus.  F. Chairamonti also expressed concern with teacher and

administration negotiations particularly with regard to medical costs and premiums.  Stated, he would be comfortable with a 3 to 3.5% education budget increase over last year.

                        Ted Scheidel spoke of Burlington’s continuing and future projects.  These include bringing the water line to the center of town, finishing the last phase of the Lake Garda sewer project, negotiating new recycling and garbage pickup contracts, road repair and reconstruction.  There were 33 new housing starts last year as compared to 20 this year.  Seventy-five lots are

about to be approved.  There is a need for a new fire truck and re-evaluation of property at a cost of approximately $100 - $125K.  Some of the town goals are to provide tax relief to elderly and some type of exemption (perhaps $10K) for veterans which would be applied toward assessment.


               E.         Fifth Grade Transition Report – Ken Platz, Har-Bur Principal, discussed the transition plans for the current 4th grade class moving to the new, self-contained 5th grade wing of the Har-Bur complex in the Fall of ’07.  K. Platz discussed curriculum changes, such as all 5th graders taking math at the same time of day, increasing Physical Education time and World Language, and program additions and enhancements such as access to music, art, and technology that are not available at the elementary level.


               F.         Report on Adequate Yearly Progress on No Child Left Behind.  P. Schwartz presented the District’s progress in following the NCLB mandate.  By 2013, 100% of students in all schools in the U.S. must meet the Federal Guideline of proficiency in all courses.  Currently, grades 3 through 8 and 10th are tested to see if they are meeting the Federal standards.  Board members discussed some of the implications of not meeting these goals in the future, such as schools opting out, which would curtail or end federal funding, and being placed on a list of inadequate schools, etc.


VII            Action -

               A.         A motion to accept the 2nd Reading of Organizations/Associations/Clubs Policy #6145.5, et al, was made by P. Omichinski and seconded by R. Sikora.  All in favor none opposed.  An important area governed by the new policy is in regard to Booster Clubs.  Before, there was no control or oversight of their activities.  Now, they are the province of the Athletic Director.


               B.         A motion to accept the 2nd reading of the Naming of Buildings, Fields, or Specific Facilities Policy #1600 was made by K. Sullivan-Shepard and seconded by P. Turner. After some discussion, it was decided to remove the following sentence.  “No facility shall be named after an individual who has been alive during the immediate past five years.”  A motion to approve the policy, as amended, was made by K. Sullivan-Shepard and seconded by P. Turner.  All in favor; E. Schiavone opposed.  Motion carries.


               C.         A motion to accept the 1st Reading of Revised Administrative Policy for Reporting of Suspected Child Abuse/Neglect Policy #4118.25A was made by P. Turner and seconded by P. Omichinski.  All in favor none opposed.


                        E. Schiavone felt the policy needed to state that police would be notified or a report submitted to them.  P. Turner suggested that the District’s counsel be consulted on this item.  It was also suggested that the Superintendent be included in the list of “mandatory reporters,” such as

                        school nurses, teachers, other administrators, etc., who can report suspected abuse/neglect to the Department of Children and Families.


               D.         Review of Code of Ethics #9271.  It was decided the code was appropriate, and no action needed to be taken.

               E.         Discussion and Possible Action on Business Manager’s Contract.

F.         Discussion and Possible Action on Superintendent’s Contract.

               G.         Discussion of Ratification of Teaching Assistants’ Contract.


               The above Action Items are to follow the Board Committee Reports.


VIII.         Board Committee Reports

A.  Facilities and Grounds Committee – Meeting on November 28, 2006.

B.  CREC Committee – Relayed information obtained from CREC meetings such as the Federal Government decrease in education funding.

C.            Curriculum Committee – Meeting scheduled for November 29, 2006.

D.            Negotiations Committee – Will adjourn to Executive Session.

E.         Technology Committee - J. Arcuri discussed changes to the website including consistency in appearance, making it easier for staff to update, more interactive, etc.  CREC will be performing a tech audit, and the results will be presented at the December Board Meeting.

G.         Building Committee – Met last week.  Project is about six weeks behind schedule.  P. Schwartz working with KBA and O & G to get critical areas completed.

               H.         PR Committee – Meeting scheduled for the last Monday of each month.  Next meeting is scheduled for November 27, at 7:15 pm.  Members will be mailing out survey early part of next year.  Survey will also be included with the January newsletter.  Will be generating press releases to local newspapers and including information in the school newsletters.  Have generated a list of clubs/groups in Burlington and Harwinton and would like Board members to volunteer to visit and speak to those groups.  Requested Board Members make a commitment next month.


A motion to go into Executive Session to discuss Action Items E., F., and G, was made by K. Sullivan-Shepard and seconded by E. Schiavone.  Regular meeting ended at 10:25 pm.


A motion was made to approve the Agreement Between Regional School District No. 10 and CSEA. Local 760, SEIU, AFL-CIO for the Period July 1, 2006 through June 30, 2009 was made by P. Turner, seconded by J. Stocker.  All were in favor.


A motion was made by K. Sullivan-Shepard, seconded by E. Schiavone, to give the Superintendent a new three-year contract effective September 1, 2006.


The next regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting will be held on December 11, 2006 at 7:30 pm at the Learning Center of Har-Bur Middle School.


A motion was made by R. Sikora, seconded by B. Gilbert, to adjourn at 10:25 pm.  All were in favor.



Karen Sullivan-Shepard, Secretary

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