Minutes For BOE October 16, 2006 Meeting




October 16, 2006


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


Members Absent:   Joseph Arcuri, Barbara Gilbert


Also Present:   Paula Schwartz - Superintendent

                                 David Lenihan - Business Manager

                                 Michael Landry – Assistant Superintendent


I.   Call to Order - The regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting was held in the Har-Bur Middle School Media Center, and was called to order at 7:33 pm by Chairperson Beth Duffy.

 II.   Pledge of Allegiance - The Pledge was recited.

III.   Communications, Resignations – Letter of resignation received from Michael Ridley, LSM Special Ed. Coordinator.  Deb Greenier recognized by Taylor Publishing for yearbook publication.

IV.   Consent Agenda - A motion to accept the meeting minutes of September 11, 2006 and Public Relations Committee meeting minutes of September 25, 2006 was made by J. Stocker and seconded by P. Turner.  All in favor none opposed.  Abstention by C. Bergstrom.  Correction to page 3, Section VII, Item B, third line, “meet” should be “met.”

V.   Public Participation – Chairperson suggested the public participation portion of meetings be used to bring up issues or questions.  Rather than try to resolve the problem at that time, she suggested allowing the Board time to consider the problem, assign the most qualified person to do any needed research, and then present the findings at the next meeting.  As always, audience members were free to ask questions, offer comments, etc. regarding agenda items during any portion of a meeting.

Janet Burritt of Harwinton asked when did Superintendent’s review take place and will she receive a salary increase.  Chairperson stated review had been put on hold, with Superintendent’s approval, due to delay in approving a budget, and was being done now.  This delay did not violate the Superintendent’s contract.

       VI.   Business –

A.  Food Services Report – Delores Allocca, Food Services Coordinator, stated the new cafeteria, menu choices, payment methods, were well-received by students and everything was working smoothly.  Healthier menu choices are being offered and, according to the State, Region 10 menus are one of the lowest in fat content.  D. Lenihan extended thanks to Delores and staff for getting the cafeteria and new food service program operational and running smoothly.  D. Lenihan indicated the program would not participate in a State program that would have reimbursed .10 per student if the District followed the State menu plan.  The plan was to get schools to offer healthier choices, which the District implemented several years ago.  The current state program is very inflexible and bureaucratic and following the new plan would have also resulted in slight revenue loss.   As a result, we will monitor the state program and review it again in the future.  It was pointed out food services is self-supporting and is not a budget line item.  Surplus revenues are used to pay for improvements.

P. Omichinski asked if the new cafeteria program allowed students to have more time to eat their meals compared to the prior system.  Requested comparison of food purchased this year over last year.  D. Allocca to research answers to these questions.

B.         Adequate Yearly Progress/CAPT Results.  M. Landry gave a Powerpoint presentation which included 2006 and 2005 CAPT test results.  The CAPT tests include Math, Science, Reading and Writing.  The District did not do as well this year compared to last year, a phenomenon also experienced by other schools.  Science scores were the weakest possibly because it was the last test taken.  There was some discussion as to possible causes for the decline in scores.  Two LSM students, Senior Everett Doninger and Junior Phil Pasco, relayed their experience in preparing and eventually taking the CAPT test.  For many students the goal was to pass the tests, not necessarily achieve a high score.

M. Landry outlined some of the strategies to improve preparation and test taking such as practice tests for 8 graders, identifying students who have not met proficiency, looking at the way questions are presented in the tests and incorporating them as part of the curriculum, etc.  

C.         Emergency Planning Update.  P. Schwartz and M. Landry went over each listed item.  E. Schiavone asked if there would be any simulated emergency scenario utilizing fire, police and emergency personnel.  P. Schwartz stated it would be something to consider for the future.  R. Sikora suggested asking high school students for their input and ideas.

D.         Discussion of 5th Grade Transition Timeline.  A committee had been formed of parents and administrators to develop a schedule of events leading to the 5th grade transition to Har-Bur Middle School.  P. Schwartz went over each item, which will be listed on the Region’s Website.

 VII            Action -

A.         Discussion and Approval of 2007-08 Budget Preparation Timeline.  The Budget Timeline follows the same structure as in prior years with 6 additional community meetings.  Two meetings are scheduled for the middle and end of February and the other four are scheduled for March.  It was felt  the community meetings held during the ’06-’07 budget process were very informative and helpful to the community, and that they should be continued in the upcoming budget process.  Meetings could also be cancelled if not needed.  It was recommended that the referendum date be changed to proposed referendum date.  A motion to accept the budget timeline, as amended, was made by P. Turner and seconded by R. Sikora. All in favor none opposed.  Motion carries.

 B.         First Reading of Sports/Club Rules Policy.  A motion to accept the first reading was made by K. Sullivan-Shepard and seconded by P. Omichinski.  All in favor none opposed.  Motion carries.

Athletic Director D. Tanner presented information on the process groups need to follow in order to form a club or sports team, and the role booster clubs may play in funding, etc.  Two policies were presented – 6145A governing organizations, associations, clubs, etc., and 6145.2 governing interscholastic/intramural athletic groups.

C.         First Reading of Naming of Buildings, Fields, or Specific Facilities Policy #1600.  A motion to approve the first reading was made by P. Turner and seconded by P. Omichinski.  All in favor none opposed.  Motion carries.  Janet Burritt of Harwinton did not favor naming buildings, facilities, etc., for a specific individual.

D.         Teachers’ Requests for Leaves of Absences.  Jamie Mischke, Jennifer Parsons, and Nya Duncan requested maternity leaves of absences.  A motion to approve the requested maternity leaves was made by P. Turner and seconded by P. Omichinski.  All in favor none opposed.  Motion carries.

VIII.         Board Committee Reports

A.  Facilities and Grounds Committee – Have not met yet.

B.  CREC Committee – Nothing new to report.

C.            Curriculum Committee – Nothing to report.

D.            Negotiations Committee – To be discussed in Executive Session.

E.         Technology Committee – Looking at emergency notification systems.  J. Arcuri researching website use for public relations.

F         Building Committee – Work is progressing.  Project estimated to be 6 weeks behind schedule with 60% of project completed.  This slight delay is expected to be addressed over the next few months.

G.         Public Relations Committee – Had first meeting on September 25, 2006.  Plans are for doing a community survey.  Meetings are scheduled for the last Monday of each month.

A motion to go into Executive Session was made by P. Omichinski and seconded by P. Turner.  Meeting ended at 10.00 pm.

The next regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting will be held on November 13, 2006 at Harwinton Consolidated School.

Karen Sullivan-Shepard, Secretary

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