Minutes For BOE April 10, 2006 Meeting

MINUTES

REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT #10

BOARD OF EDUCATION

April 10, 2006

 

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

 

  I.   Call to Order - The regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting was held at Harwinton Consolidated, and was called to order at 7:32 pm by Chairperson Beth Duffy.

 

 II.   Pledge of Allegiance - The Pledge was recited.

 

         P. Schwartz began the meeting with the yearly acknowledgement and recognition of student achievements, individually and as a group.  Amanda Cote, a student as Lewis S. Mills High School won the National Merit Scholarship award.  A ceramic piece entitled “2nd Place – 1st to Lose” created by Steven Cozzolongo, also of LSM, was selected to be exhibited at the National Juried High School Ceramics Exhibition at the Everson Museum in Syracuse.

 

         Delegates to Girls' State are Dina D’Addario of Burlington and Marianne McElwee of Harwinton.

 

         Delegates to Boys' State include Eric Satherlie of Burlington and Orie Simko and Michael Michaud from Harwinton.

 

         Cory Mengual represented the students from LSM on the National High School Model United Nations.  He explained that the students represented Guatemala and had to learn not only about the country, but also its role in the U.N.

 

         Students from Har-Bur, with assistance from Andy Komar, participated in a science competition at UCONN.  The students were Julia Discenza, Philip Lubik, Greg Shepard, David Cote, Declan Murray and Rebecca Leonard.  They came in 5th in the first portion of the competition and second for the other portion.  Students designed and built a working model of a hydroelectric vehicle.

 

         Four teams of students participated in the Odyssey of the Mind competition held at the Learning Corridor.  Each team presented the problem they were required to solve and what they did to solve it.  They were Matthew DiSorbo, Abigail Roberg, Kaylee Viets, Joseph Ricard, Alex Cullen, Zachary Wietsma, Craig Amasya, Kevin Sullivan, Lydia Pang, Chris Farmer, Chris Jurkiewicz, Cullen McHale, Siobhan O’Neil, Alex Walker, Mike Mudgett, Catie Jennetta and Nicholas Wollman.  They were under the direction of Gwen Kalina, Darren Murphy and Byran deManbey.

 

         Tom Rachielles received 1st place in web design in FBLA competition and will be going to the Nationals in June.  

 

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         Two hundred eighty-six items were collected and donated by Har-Bur Students to the United Way of Northwest Connecticut.  The 7th and 8th grade student council collected and donated $1,000 to assist in the rebuilding of an all girls’ school in Pakistan after the recent earthquake.

 

III.   Communications, Resignations - Superintendent received letter of resignation from Catherine Watso, second grade teacher at Lake Garda School effective June 30, 2006.  Also received retirement letter from Kathleen Suprenant, Art Teacher at Har-Bur Middle School.

 

         The district was notified that the LSM girls basketball team will receive the Litchfield Sportsmanship award.

 

IV.   Consent Agenda - A motion to accept the following:

        

             March 13, and 20, 2006 regular BOE meetings

             March 17 and April 4, 2006 special BOE meetings

             April 3, 2006 District meeting

             March 31, 2006 financial report

 

         was made by P. Omichinski and seconded by R. Sikora.  Correction to the March 20, 2006 minutes:  Under Item 4, Business, page 3, Jayne Stocker did not agree with the cuts proposed to reduce the budget to 5.06%.  All in favor of accepting the above items, as amended, none opposed.

 

  V.   Public Participation - Dave Crompton of Harwinton supported the proposed budget and suggested the Board review teacher salaries in August to see if there would be enough left over after adjusting for retirements and resignations to hire another teacher.  Asked that this be added as an agenda item.

 

         Jaye Tower of Burlington expressed concern over the size of the 3rd and 4th grades at Lake Garda School.

        

VI.   Business -

               A.  End-of-Year Activities (Board Assignments).  P Schwartz asked members to volunteer to represent the Board at various year-end events.  Assignments are as follows:

 

         Date         Time      Activity             Location    Who

         Thurs. May 18      6:45 am   LSM scholars' breakfast       LSM          Schiavone

         Wed., May 24      7:00 pm   LSM Honors Night          LSM   P. Turner

               Thurs. May 25            6-9 pm         Nat' Honor Soc. Induction             LSM         C. Bergstrom

               Wed. June 7            9:30 am         Flag Day                               LG                  J. Stocker

               Mon. June 12            9:00 am         LG moving up ceremony             LG              K. Sullivan-Shepard

               Mon. June 12            10:30 am         HCS 5th grade final Assembly   HCS                  J. Arcuri

               Mon. June 12            2:00 pm         Har-Bur end-of-yr. Ceremony    LSM         R. Sikora

               Mon. June 12            7:00 pm         LSM Graduation                      LSM         B. Duffy

 

B.    Discussion of Expulsion Policy - P. Schwartz discussed how the expulsion committee had been formed, participants chosen, and its goal, which was to review and recommend changes to the expulsion policy as it pertains to suspected and obvious drug and alcohol use on school

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      property.   In the report, the Committee found that members had different perceptions of what the policy meant that it was difficult to follow, and did not provide enough information on intervention strategies.  The Committee came up with the following recommendations: 1) establish a community-wide taskforce to consider the issues related to drug/alcohol use  2)  investigate with communities and students a place for students to “hang out”; 3) establish mentoring opportunities for students beginning in grade 7 or 8; 4) provide additional parent meetings to educate them on the issue; 5) review of the current policy to simplify language and delineate the punishments and interventions; 6) create a brochure outlining the consequences for each type of incident and the procedures of an expulsion to help students and parents to be more informed; 7) list the policy and regulations on the Region10 website; 8) assign a case manager/advocate to parents during expulsion process; 9) consider a community service component to expulsion terms; 10) consider tutoring sessions at a specific time and location; 11) review and establish procedures for guidance staff on records; 12) consider using breathalyzers at school dances, proms and sports events; and 13) consider attendance at appropriate AA or NA meetings for expelled students.

 

Members of the committee were thanked for their service and students who represented others were also thanked.

 

                  Wendy Corman of Burlington wanted to know what happens if a student comes to school either under the influence or suspected of being under the influence.  B. Duffy described the process from initial evaluation by the school nurse to what occurs during the expulsion process.

 

                  Peter Bogen had done some research into the types and costs of breathalyzers.  His recommendation was for a unit that provided results in a few seconds and cost approximately $600.

 

                  Kathleen Gothery of Harwinton supported the use of a breathalyzer.  J. Arcuri did not, felt it was an invasion of privacy.  Maureen Judd of Harwinton, a victim of a collision with a drunk driver, volunteered to speak to students about her experience.  Jessie Smiley of Burlington asked if the policy applied to Har-Bur and the answer was yes.  Ed Gasser of Burlington asked what was the Board's policy on the breathalyzer.  The superintendent does not require Board approval to initiate use of a breathalyzer.  It was recommended that a trial run begin at the upcoming Junior and Senior Proms with feedback presented to the Board in June or July.  Dave Schwartz of Burlington compared West Hartford's Hall High's expulsion policy with Region 10, stating it was less severe while Region's 10 was harsh and gave the impression it did not care for its students.

 

                  Ed Gasser stated there had been no mention of an expulsion policy during 6th and 9th grade orientations.  Also stated that the public perceived the Board as not showing much interest outside of the elementary level in that there was a lack of a PTA organization in the middle and high schools.  C. Bergstrom stated she had sent out a survey to parents soliciting feedback on starting a Middle School PTA or PTO.  She received 12 responses.  J. Stocker stated that by the time children reach middle school level, parents are "burnt out."

 

C.   Discussion of BOE Retreat was moved to the end of Action items and prior to Committee Reports.

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D.   "Play Your Way" Program.  Phyllis Jones described the "Play Your Way" concept of getting kids and teachers to think up of new ways to incorporate physical activities into not only recess but throughout the day.  Studies have shown physical activity increases cognitive learning.  R. Garry added more information about the program and the contribution of ESPN and spoke of its success in Bristol.  One class at Lake Garda and one at Harwinton Consolidated School would pilot the program for a year.

 

VII            Action -

               A.  Approve the CALL of the Region 10 Annual Budget Meeting on Monday, May 1, 2006 at the LSM High School Cafeteria.  A motion to approve the CALL was made by P. Turner and seconded by R. Sikora.

 

                              A meeting of the electors and citizens qualified to vote in District meetings of Regional School District #10 will be held at Lewis S. Mills High School in the Town of Burlington, Connecticut on Monday, May 1, 2006 at 7:30 pm for the following purpose:

 

                              To discuss and vote, by paper ballot, on the acceptance of the 2006-2007 Regional District #10 budget of $30,762,252.

 

                           (Copies of the budget are available at the office of the Town Clerk in both Harwinton and Burlington)

 

                        Dated in Harwinton, Connecticut this 10th day of April 2006.

 

                        Beth Duffy, Chairperson

                        Regional School District #10 Board of Education

 

                        All in favor none opposed.

 

                        Jaye Tower of Burlington wanted to know what the Board intention was if more students entered kindergarten at Lake Garda School than estimated or predicted.  P. Turner stated that if the total number of entering kindergarten students exceeded 120 then another class would be added.

 

               B.         Set graduation date.  P. Schwartz proposed doing all the graduations on the same day, June 12.  The times would be:  elementary at 9:30 and 10:30 am, Har-Bur at 2 pm and LSM at 7 pm.  A motion to approve the high school graduation date and time was made by R. Sikora and seconded by P. Turner.  All in favor none opposed.  Motion carried.

 

               C.         1st reading of the administration of student medications in the schools policy.  Linda Carabis gave an overview of the policy.  A motion to accept the first reading was made by P. Omichinski and seconded by P. Turner.  All in favor none opposed.  Motion carries.

 

               D.         2nd reading of the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction (to replace Director of Curriculum).  A motion to accept the second reading was made by R. Sikora and seconded by P. Turner.  All in favor none opposed.  Motion carries.

 

              

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               E.         2nd reading of Affirmative Action, Non-Discrimination Policy #4111.1 & 4211.1 was made by P. Turner and seconded by P. Omichinski.  All in favor none opposed.  Motion carries.

 

               F.         Purchase of Bus.  D. Lenihan discussed the proposal of purchasing a special ed bus from the current 2005-06 budget to replace current one.  He reported that there is enough money in the 05-06 budget to be able to do this.  A motion to direct the Superintendent to purchase a new special ed. Bus from the 05-06 budget was made by P. Turner and second by K. Sullivan-Shepard.  All in favor none opposed.  Motion carries.

 

               G.         Change June BOE Meeting Date.  Meeting was originally scheduled for June 12, the graduation date.  A motion to change meeting date to June 13, 2006 was made by R. Sikora and seconded by P. Turner.  All in favor none opposed.  Motion carries.

 

               H.         Alice Frazier has requested a second year leave of absence.  A motion to approve the request was made by P. Turner and seconded by R. Sikora.  All in favor none opposed.  Motion carries.

 

 VI.          Business

               C.         Discussion of Board of Ed. Retreat.  P. Schwartz proposed having the District's Attorney speak in the morning regarding the expulsion issue and Pat Howley in the afternoon concerning ways to make the Board more effective.  P. Omichinski also suggested focusing on extracurricular activities.  Fenn Technology in Newington will be the site used for the Retreat.

 

VIII.         Board Committee Reports

A.  Facilities and Grounds Committee - Met at HSC and toured the new improvements.

B.  CREC Committee - Chairperson attended CREC meeting in Chicago this past weekend and will e-mail Board members a brief report.

C.            Curriculum Committee - Nothing to report.  Next meeting April 26, 2006.

D.            Transportation Committee - Nothing to report.

E.            Negotiations Committee - Negotiations with paraprofessionals ongoing.

F.         Technology Committee - Jeff Linton and Leigh Pont putting together a 3-year technology plan to present to the State.

G.         Building Committee - High School art rooms will be the first completed area.  Project continues on schedule.

               H.         Communications Committee - Nothing to report.

 

The next regularly scheduled BOE meeting will be on Monday, May 8, 2006, at 7:30 pm, at the Learning Center of Har-Bur Middle School.

 

The annual meeting to vote on the 2006-2007 budget will be held on Monday, May 1, 2006 at 7:30 pm

at the Lewis S. Mills cafeteria,

 

A motion to adjourn the meeting was made by P. Omichinski and seconded by J. Stocker.  Meeting ended at 10:25 pm.

 

_____________________________  

Karen Sullivan Shepard, Secretary

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