Minutes For BOE August 28, 2006 Meeting




August 28, 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

                                 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 7:32 pm by Chairperson Beth Duffy.


 II.   Pledge of Allegiance - The Pledge was recited.


III.   Communications, Resignations - The following instructors have submitted letters of resignation.  From Har-Bur:  Marie Mulvey, Special Ed., Jill Sahlin, Guidance, Michael Gaydos and  Keith Winans, PE.   Also submitting resignation letters:  Jennifer Marino, 3rd grade Lake Garda teacher, and Amy Piurkowski, HSC 2nd grade teacher.  Jack Nedorostek, music instructor at HSC submitted retirement request effective October 1, 2006.  Except for Special Ed. and Guidance, replacements have been hired.


            Noreen Saksa, Region 10 parent representative at Wamogo, submitted letter of resignation.


         Received correspondence from New England Association of Schools and Colleges, who will be evaluating Lewis S. Mills High in 2009.


         P. Turner expressed concern that so many instructors waited until the beginning of the school year to resign.  Factors contributing to some resignations included a long commute, career advancement, pursing self-employment, etc.  P. Turner noted for the record that waiting till the last minute to resign was unprofessional.


         Assistant Superintendent M. Landry spoke about the new teacher orientation (25 new teachers hired), describing them as very eager and enthusiastic to begin the school year.


         It was noted that Dave Tanner of Simsbury will be replacing Jay Pelcher as athletic director.  J. Pelcher will be teaching math along with some PE sessions.


IV.   Consent Agenda

               A.         A motion to accept the meeting minutes of July 10 and the District meeting minutes of July 24, 2006 was made by R. Sikora and seconded by K. Sullivan-Shepard.  All in favor none opposed.  Abstention by B. Duffy and C. Bergstrom.  For the July 10th meeting, Marion Thiery’s last name should have been spelled Thierry (page 3, 4th paragraph).

B.         D. Lenihan presented the financial report and stated that some line items need to be adjusted. Auditors will be conducting their review in December.  A motion to approve the financial report of June 30, 2006, and allow D. Lenihan to make transfers and adjustments as discussed, was made by P. Turner and seconded by P. Omichinski.  All in favor none opposed.  Motion carries.


  V.   Public Participation – B. Duffy asked that now and in future meetings, if participants had complaints about anything, that it would be helpful if they could also provide a solution.


         Jessie Smiley of Burlington was concerned with the new lunch payment system and that students would not spend wisely.  Suggested that during orientation they be shown what a $2.25 meal consisted of.  Also suggested that snacks be paid via cash.  There was some discussion concerning the slushie machine, which is only available at the middle and high school.  E. Schiavone stated that in the school she had worked at, it was a real “money maker.”


         Lori Segan of Burlington expressed two concerns – Third grade classes at Lake Garda are too large and would like to see another session added.  Second, was concerned that poor air quality during construction may have contributed to her child’s persistent cough, which went away a couple of weeks after school ended.


         Ed Gasser of Burlington thought the breathalyzer issue was to be an agenda item for this meeting.  It will be added to the October agenda.  Mr. Gasser brought up the issue of a drug and alcohol problem at the middle school level and asked the Board how it plans to disclose the information to parents.  P. Omichinski stated that while suspensions and expulsions at the high school level provide hard data on what they were for, no data is available at the middle school.  Without data, it would be irresponsible to tell parents there is a drug or alcohol problem.


         Terry Gasser of Burlington was concerned about the facility being ready for resumption of classes.  Also, felt the Board’s confrontational nature kept people away from meetings.


VI.   Business -

               A.  Enrollment and Staffing.  Staffing was covered in Item III, Communications and Resignations.  Current enrollment is as follows:


                        Lake Garda                742

                        HSC                           636

                        Har-Bur                     677

                        Lewis S. Mills            772

                                 Total                  2,827  an increase of 50 more students over last year.


Other data includes:  18 students at Bristol Tech, 48 attending Oliver Wolcott Tech, 9 at Wamogo, 16 attending private schools, 14 out-of -district special ed. placements.

An additional 1⁄2 kindergarten teacher was added at HCS.

B.  Building Project Update – Contractors and custodial staff are working diligently to get as much completed as possible prior to school opening on September 5, 2006.  Currently, hallway ceilings will be secured but not closed.  The last of the asbestos removal and monitoring will be done this week.  Cafeteria staff have been trained.  There may be a need for modified lunches if not all areas of the cafeteria are completed.  Not all classrooms will be ready and alternate plans are in place.  Before school can open, the Fire Marshall will do an on-site inspection of alarms and egress.

C.         2005-06 Board Goals Report.  P. Schwartz presented strategies, and results, which have been implemented to attain the 5 Board goals, which are:

1.  Promote literacy.

2.  Promote wellness.

3.  Promote appreciation of the Arts.

4.  Improve communication among administrators, teachers, parents, community. 

5.  Find ways to better serve students, parents, and the community.

D.         Preliminary 2006 CMT Results.  M. Landry presented the preliminary results for the 2006 Connecticut Mastery Tests in reading, math, and writing that had been administered to grades 3 through 8.  This is the first year additional grades have been added.  In prior years, only grades 4, 6, and 8 were given the CMTs.  Due to the No Child Left Behind Federal mandate, the CMTs are now given to grades 3 through 8.  Because this begins a new generation of testing, with more grades included and redesign and enhancement of tests, comparisons to results from prior years cannot be made.  The preliminary numbers are good, indicating most students are achieving or exceeding the goal and proficient levels.


               E.         New and Revised Policy Review – The following is a list of policies that need to be reviewed and updated if needed:


                                    Student Representative to Board of Ed.

                                    Kindergarten policy

                                    Sports/Clubs – Instruction

                                    Sports/Clubs – Personnel

                                    Memorial/Honoree Recognition

                                    Purchasing Procedure

                                    Student Activity Accounts

                                    Use of Facilities

                                    Cell Phones, video devices

                                    Drug & Alcohol

VII         Action -

               A.         1st reading of Student Representative to BOE Policy.  A motion to accept the first reading was made by P. Turner and seconded by B.Gilbert.  All in favor none opposed.  Motion carries.  Discussion ensued as to how a Junior and Senior representative to the Board should be chosen.  Suggestions were to have students apply, with suitable candidates selected by administrators and then voted for by the student body.  It was also suggested that interested students attend a Board of Ed. meeting to make sure they are willing to make the time and commitment to attend future meetings and to have alternates in case those selected cannot fulfill their obligation.


               B.         1st reading of School Social Worker Job Description.  Linda Carabis was asked to create a job description as none had existed prior.  A motion to accept the first reading was made by P. Omichinski and seconded by B. Gilbert.  All in favor none opposed.  Motion carries.


               C.         Appointing Mr. & Mrs. James Murdock to the Wamogo Regional Agricultural Education Consulting Committee.  A motion to nominate Mr. & Mrs. James Murdock to the Wamogo Regional Agricultural Education Consulting Committee was made by K. Sullivan-Shepard and seconded by E. Schiavone.  All in favor none opposed.  Motion carries.


               D.         Change Date of October Meeting.  This item was tabled until the September 11th meeting.


VIII.         Board Committee Reports

A.  Facilities and Grounds Committee – Need to select time for meeting.

B.  CREC Committee – CREC is looking for nominations of outstanding programs among member schools and districts.  P. Omichinski suggested the Wellness program.

C.            Curriculum Committee – Nothing to report.

D.            Transportation Committee – Have met with bus drivers.

E.            Negotiations Committee – Upcoming negotiations for teachers and administrators’ contracts.

F.         Technology Committee – Technology plan has been approved by the State.

G.         Building Committee – A walkthrough for Board members is scheduled for Monday (Labor Day) morning.

H.         PR Committee - Haven’t met yet.

A motion to go into Executive Session was made by P. Turner and seconded by K. Sullivan-Shepard.  Meeting ended at 10:45 pm.

The next regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting will be held on Monday, September 11, 2006, at 7:30 pm at Lake Garda School.

Karen Sullivan-Shepard, Secretary

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