Minutes For BOE March 13, 2006 Meeting




March 13, 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

                                 Jeffrey Linton - Director of Curriculum and Instruction

                                 David Lenihan - Business Manager


  I.   Call to Order - The regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting was held at Lake Garda's library, and was called to order at 7:30 pm by Chairperson Beth Duffy.


 II.   Pledge of Allegiance - The Pledge was recited.


III.   Communications, Resignations -

         Jeffrey Linton, Director of Curriculum and Instruction has taken a position as Barkhamsted's Superintendent.  His last day will be June 30, 2006.  Lois Charlow, 7th grade Language Arts teacher submitted retirement request.  Jeanne Dowd, LSM English teacher, submitted letter of resignation.


         Superintended received letter from Richard Pacholski of the Harwinton Historical Society concerning renaming upper portion of HCS in honor of Mrs. Florence Smith.  This item will be put on a future meeting agenda.  Received letter from District #5 Superintendent seeking support to address the needs and long-term goals of district schools.


         Superintendent spoke of an upcoming newsletter being put together and wanted to know if Board members e-mail addresses should be included.


         Superintendent was informed that nine students taking the CAPT test, and one who took the SAT were affected by errors made by the respective testing companies.


         The United Way of Northwestern Connecticut recognized Har-Bur students' participation in a recent food drive.  One hundred sixty items were donated.


            Taylor Publishing recognized last year's yearbook design.


            Dillon Ladd, a senior at LSM, received award for that school's website.


IV.   Consent Agenda - A motion to accept the meeting minutes of February 6, and 13, Special meeting of March 7, 2006, and financial report of February 28, 2006 was made by P. Turner and
second by R. Sikora.  All in favor none opposed, abstention by J. Arcuri.  Correction to February 6th minutes include a .4 World Language Instructor, not .2 (Page 2).  Correction to February 13 Curriculum Committee report include Leigh Pont made the presentation.  Also, during tour of the 5th grade classes, students provided feedback on their technology needs.

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  V.   Public Participation - Janet Burritt of Harwinton raised concern regarding two female students attending a conference in Detroit with a male counselor.  Cited a policy from 1985 regarding chaperones.  Superintendent stated trip may not occur due to other factors.


         Laurie Natalye of Harwinton expressed thanks to the Board for its support of the Football program in conjunction with St. Paul and E.C. Goodwin.  Several members of the football team were on hand to extend their thanks and speak of the impact the football experience had on them.


VI.   Business -

               A.  Demonstration of Emergency Event Notification System (Mutare Software).  Rich Quattrocchi provided a PowerPoint presentation, and later a demo, of the Emergency Event Notification System.  The system would allow Region 10 to issue emergency and non-emergency broadcast messages.  Examples would be sending notification to parents in the event of early dismissal.  The message can be transmitted to everyone in a database program or to a select group, such as reminding Board members of an upcoming meeting.  The program allows each individual in the database to be accessed by up to five different ways, e.g., cell phone, e-mail, PDA, landline phone, pager.  When the message is received, the system sends notification of it back to the school.  Cost would be approximately $6,700 per year to subscribe, and a one time $1,500 set up fee.  This would allow unlimited access and tech support.  Another plan is available at a reduced fee.  There is no need or cost for any additional equipment.  The database would be stored at the company's facility in Chicago.  The Superintendent, or someone designed, would act as administrator of the system, determining who would have access, and how much.


               B.         Review of Special Services and Curriculum & Instruction Portion of '06-'07 Budget; Superintendent's Summary and Recommendations.  J. Linton gave a PowerPoint presentation on Curriculum.  Highlights include the need to replace 1999 and earlier computers, the summer reading program for at risk kindergarten and 1st grade students, the use of grants to offset costs.


                        L. Carabis gave a PowerPoint presentation on the Special Education Budget.  Each school has a coordinator.  The number of students serviced are:  57 disabled and 8 gifted at Lake Garda, 57 disabled and 10 gifted at HCS, and 81 and 64 disabled at Har-Bur and LSM respectively.  Eighteen students are out-of-District placements.  There are 23.5 special ed. teachers. The '05-'06 Special Services Budget was $2,968,454.


                        The proposed '06-'07 budget is $3,094,078, a 4.23% increase.  Major cost items were reduced as follows:

                                                                     '05-'06                           '06-'06

                        Professional Svcs.                  $  144,000                  $  105,000                  -27.08%

                        Transportation                       261,387                      246,400                  -  5.75%

                        Tuition                                535,420                      432,722                  -19.18%

                        Other Accts                                109,337                      107,197                  -  1.9%

                        $4,018,598      $3,985,397      -33.201

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                        P. Schwartz distributed a list of items some of which will be actual line item reductions to the budget.  Other items are potential cost savers if eliminated.  These include:


                                                                                       Potential Adjustments

                        Eliminate late bus                                             -  11,800

                        Reduce technology                                             -  10,000

                        Reduce supplies                                             -   5,000

                        Reduce athletic transportation and insurance         -   5,000

                        Eliminated gifted and talented program                  - 23,000



                        T. Scheidel suggested increasing the kindergarten size to reduce the number of teachers.  Also, reiterated his suggestion from prior years of using a professional negotiator at the next salary negotiations for certified personnel.  Janet Burritt expressed support for this as well.


                        Jayne Stocker did not want to see kindergarten class sizes increased nor elimination of any of the above listed items except for supplies.


                        P. Turner suggested using monies still available from the Anthem demutualization to offset health care benefits and the transfer of two teachers from Lake Garda to HCS to add additional 3rd and 4th grades.  P. Omichinski suggested trying to get the budget from a 7.61% increase down to around 5.5%.  Members were asked to think about additional ways to reduce the budget and to share those ideas at the meeting next week.


               VII         Action -

                        A.  Second reading of the fingerprinting, criminal history records and employment reference checks policy #4111.2 & #42111.2.  This policy concerns the timeframe a new hire has to be fingerprinted and undergo Federal and State background investigation.  A motion to accept the second reading was made by P. Omichinski and second by E. Schiavone.  All in favor none opposed.  Motion carries.


                        B.   First reading of Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction (to replace Director of Curriculum).  This outlines the duties and qualifications needed to perform this job.  A motion to accept the reading was made by P. Turner and second by P. Omichinski.  All in favor none opposed.  Motion carries.


                        C.   First reading of Affirmation Action - Non-Discrimination Policy #4111.1 & 4211.1.  The policy affirms Region 10's nondiscrimination in hiring, promotion, etc.  A motion to accept the reading was made by P. Omichinski and second by R. Sikora.  All in favor none opposed.  Motion carries.


                        D.   Authorization signature change form for ED-099 agreement for child nutrition programs.  A motion to change signer from a former Board member to K. Sullivan-Shepard was made by E. Schiavone and second by J. Stocker.  All in favor none opposed.  Motion carries.

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                        E.   Request for teacher leave of absence.  A motion to grant a family leave of absence for Xinia Novia, 2nd grade teacher at HCS was made by P. Omichinski and second by R. Sikora.  All in favor none opposed.  Motion carries.


VIII.         Board Committee Reports

A.  Facilities and Grounds Committee - Meeting tomorrow at HCS.

B.  CREC Committee - Will be attending the NSBA Conference.  Provided members with a list of workshops and asked that they indicate which ones they would like her to attend and report back on.

C.            Curriculum Committee - Nothing to report.

D.            Transportation Committee - Nothing to report.

E.            Negotiations Committee - Nothing to report.

F.         Technology Committee - Will need to prepare a 3-year plan on technology required by the State.

G.         Building Committee - Meeting next week.  Was asked by Board members as to when a tour could be arranged.  Will wait for better weather.  Anyone interested in touring the site before then, can see Dave Fortin.

               H.         Communications Committee - Nothing to report.


A motion to go into Executive Session at 11:05 was made by R. Sikora and seconded by P. Turner.


A motion to come out of Executive Session was made by P. Turner, seconded by J. Stocker.  All in favor.


Final review of the budget will held on Monday, March 20, 2006 at the learning center of Har-Bur Middle School.  The District Budget Hearing will be held Monday, April 3, 2006 at 7:30pm at LSM cafeteria.


The next regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting will be held on April 10, 2006 at Harwinton Consolidated.


A motion to adjourn at 11:20 p.m. was made by R Sikora, seconded by P Turner.  All in favor. Meeting adjourned.





Karen Sullivan-Shepard, Secretary

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