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Minutes of Redding Board of Education, 01/02/2018 7:30pm

AGENDA: Redding Board of Education

RECEIVED 01/10/2018 9:38am
Michele R. Grande – Redding Town Clerk

REDDING BOARD OF EDUCATION
Regular Meeting
January 2, 2018
Minutes

ATTENDANCE:
Board of Education: Irwin, Hoffman, Parkin, Hoeing, Pilato, Reilly, Whaley
Administration: McMorran, Reiss, Hammond, Martin, Torre
Members of the Public: Approximately 8 plus a representative of The Redding Pilot

Dr. Irwin called the meeting to order at 7:31 p.m.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES
December 5th Minutes were reviewed and the following corrections made:
Page 4 under ELECTION OF BOARD OFFICERS, third paragraph:
Nomination: Dr. Irwin nominated Colleen Pilato as secretary. She declined. Mrs. Pilato nominated Chris Parkin as secretary. The nomination was seconded by Mrs. Whaley and unanimously approved.
Mr. Hoffman offered the following correction:
Dr. Irwin nominated Laura Hoeing as secretary. She declined. Mrs. Hoeing nominated Chris Parkin as secretary. The nomination was seconded by Mrs. Whaley and unanimously approved.

Page 2 under BOARD MEMBER COMMENTS, third paragraph:
Mrs. Hoeing said she did research to find out if there was a gentleman’s agreement to fill a Board vacancy based on the political affiliation of the exiting Board member, and a previous Board Chair who no longer lives in town told her there was. Stated the election process was a long one. Feels the Board needs to fill the vacancy.
Mrs. Hoeing offered a correction to clarify her remarks to read as follows:
Mrs. Hoeing said she did research to find out if there was a gentleman’s agreement to fill a Board vacancy based on the political affiliation of the exiting Board member and a previous Board Chair, who no longer lives in town, told her there was and it had long ago been breached, first by Region 9 and then by Redding Board of Education. Stated the election process was a long one. Feels the Board needs to fill the vacancy.

Motion: move to Approve the December 5th minutes as corrected. Reilly, Hoffman. Unanimous.

December 18th Minutes were reviewed and the following correction made:
Under PUBLIC COMMENT:
Wolf Boehme – Chalburn Rd – Mr. Bohm compared Redding Police staffing levels to that of Tolland and suggested that Redding look into the size of its force as a way to save money.
Corrected to read: Wolf Boehme – Chalburn Rd – Mr. Boehme compared Redding Police staffing levels to that of Tolland and suggested that Redding look into the size of its force as a way to save money.

Motion: move to Approve the December 18th minutes as corrected. Reilly, Hoffman. Unanimous.

Motion: move to Approve the December 21st minutes. Hoffman, Reilly. Unanimous.

PUBLIC COMMENT: None

BOARD MEMBER COMMENT: Mrs. Whaley expressed disappointment that Orff no longer exists at RES despite an expectation that it would be based on the manner in which the budget was structured and approved. She also commented that the TIP is no longer as strong as it was prior to reductions made this year.

ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTS:
Mrs. Hammond reported that today was a successful first day back from winter break. Upcoming professional development day is a welcome opportunity.

Mrs. Martin also said it was a great day. Student council representatives were elected by their peers after impressive campaigns that resulted in elections being more than just popularity contests. Election winners were sworn in at town hall. JRMS welcomed two new students this week and 3 or 4 this past month.

Mrs. Torre commented on the prevalence rates, ongoing IEP compliance efforts. Mr. Parkin asked about the number of 1:1 paraprofessionals on staff; Dr. Irwin asked about whether prevalence rates are generally higher at RES.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: REVIEW OF COMMITTEE MEMBER ASSIGNMENTS
Committee assignments were reviewed and new appointments made to all Redding and ER9 committees.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: ENROLLMENT PROJECTIONS FROM PROWDA AND NESDEC
Dr. McMorran’s report on enrollment projections was accepted as written without further discussion.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: BUDGET CONSIDERATIONS FOR 2018-2019: POINT OF DEPARTURE
Dr. McMorran presented his Budget Considerations and “Point of Departure.” Preliminary discussion regarding the budget ensued. The Board agreed to focus on Special Education at Thursday workshop session, weather permitting.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: POLICY REVIEW
3280 Gifts, Donations and Bequests – 2nd Reading
Potential revisions were discussed, including capping the Superintendent’s authority to accept gifts meeting the criteria without prior Board approval at $10,000. Consideration of the policy was continued for a third reading with a new draft for discussion.

5118.2 Tuition, Children of Non-Resident Certified Staff – 3rd Reading
Additional revisions were discussed to clarify language in the policy, which continued to need work. Consideration of the policy was continued to a fourth reading on 1/4/18.

ADMINISTRATOR REPORTS:
Mr. Reiss reported that about 5% of the budget is unexpended or unencumbered and provided a transfer report. He also reported that health insurance claims continue to run high and threaten to entirely deplete the health insurance reserve before the end of the fiscal year. Discussion ensued regarding the new health insurance plan for ’18-’19, claims history, and contingency plans for a shortfall.

BOARD OF EDUCATION COMMITTEE REPORTS
None.

PUBLIC COMMENT:
Mike D’Agostino, Glen Hill Rd: Mr. D’Agostino thanked the Board for its thoughtful questions, requested the board budget book be put online promptly, noted that the proposed Director of Digital Learning would increase the Redding district budget by approximately $43k, and reminded the Board not to look past a predicted 3-4% enrollment decline for next year when thinking about future stabilization/modest increase.

Girish Arora, Newtown Turnpike: Also requested the Board budget book be put online and asked if the health insurance plan is self-funded. It was confirmed that it is self-funded.

BOARD MEMBER COMMENT:
Mr. Parkin commented that the Digital Learning position would be subject to further discussion at the tri-board meeting and the ultimate allocation of cost among the three districts remained one of several questions to discuss.

RECESS TO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion: move to enter executive session for the purpose of discussing the Superintendent’s contract and invite Dr. McMorran to attend.

The Board entered executive session at 9:43 p.m. Dr. McMorran was invited to attend.

RETURN TO PUBLIC SESSION
The Board exited executive session at 10:02 p.m. The Chair reconvened the meeting in public session on item discussed in Executive Session.

Motion: move to add an additional Board Member Comment period to the agenda immediately prior to adjournment. Parkin, Hoffman. Unanimous.

Motion: move to approve a salary increase of 1.75% for the superintendent for the 2018-2019 year and contribute a total of $6,000 to his health savings account. Hoffman, Hoeing. Unanimous.

BOARD MEMBER COMMENT
Mrs. Hoeing commented that the superintendent’s presentation underscored the importance of effectively communicating to the public regarding the budget.

Mrs. Whaley, Mr. Hoffman, and Mr. Parkin each made comments regarding communication.

ADJOURNMENT

Motion: move to adjourn the meeting. Hoeing, Hoffman. Approved. Unanimous.

The meeting adjourned at 10:10 p.m.

Recorded and Submitted by
Chris Parkin, Redding Board of Education Secretary