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Minutes of Redding Board of Education Meeting and Budget Workshop, 03/07/2017 7:30pm

AGENDA: Redding Board of Education Meeting and Budget Workshop

RECEIVED 03/13/2017 10:26am
Michele R. Grande – Redding Town Clerk

REDDING BOARD OF EDUCATION
Board of Education Minutes
John Read Middle School Community Room
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
7:30pm

Attendance:
Board of Education Members: Denny, Florkowski, Gaspar, Hoffman, Irwin, Miller, Whaley
Administration/Staff: Basta, Edwards, Lagas, McMorran, Pierson Ugol, Martin, Wallin, Wessman Huber
Others: Approximately 18 members of the public

Dr. Irwin called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion: Move that the Redding Board of Education approve the minutes of the February 14, 2017 Special Redding Board of Education meeting as submitted. Florkowski, Hoffman. Approved. Unanimous.

PUBLIC COMMENT
Chris Parkin, Indian Hill Road: asked the Board to consider whether or not there is room in Redding for the bus maintenance garage given the updated specs. He asked if this could provide potential savings in rent paid to Easton.

Colleen Pilato, Portland Avenue: congratulated RES on being recognized as a “School of Distinction.”

Lisa Goldstein, Redding Road: asked that the Board consider Grandfathering in students currently enrolled who are children of teachers from other districts, by allowing them to remain enrolled tuition free. Ms. Goldstein also stated that given the comparably low tuition rate at the Preschool, an increase should be considered.

BOARD MEMBER COMMENT
Ms. Florkowski thanked the members of the public who attended the meeting of the Board of Finance and Boards of Education.

Mr. Hoffman asked that the public contact the Board directly if they have serious concerns. There is an increasing reactionary climate based on falsehoods that are shared outside of meetings.

Mr. Miller asked that the Board look into ways to keep meetings shorter. Ms. Florkowski noted that they are currently discussing this with the Superintendent. Dr. Irwin suggested that perhaps having more joint meetings with Easton could reduce overall meeting time. Mr. Miller agreed that aligning and streamlining meetings could make the schedule more efficient.

At this point in the discussion, motions were made to add items to the meeting agenda under Discussion and Possible Action:

Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education add agenda item 6, Administrative Reports, to the agenda. Florkowski, Hoffman. Approved. Unanimous.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION ON THE FOLLOWING ITEMS
A. Board Chair Election:
Dr. Irwin and Mr. Hoffman both gave brief cases for their desire to be Board Chairman. The Board voted on the role of Chairman the results were; four votes for Irwin and three votes for Hoffman.

Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education add agenda item, Election of Vice Chair, to the agenda. Miller, Hoffman. Approved. Unanimous.

B. Election of Vice Chairman of the Board:
The three nominees for Vice Chair were; Miller, Florkowski and Hoffman. After the board voted, the results were: three votes for Miller, one vote for Florkowski, and three votes for Hoffman. After a second, tie-breaking vote the results were; four votes for Hoffman, and three votes for Miller.

C. Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Plan:

Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education accept the Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Plan as stated in the corresponding document. Denny, Miller. Approved. Unanimous.

D. 2017-2018 Operating Budget:
There was discussion on the expense and benefit of the current policy of teachers schooling their own out of district children in Redding. The cost to the Board of Education is approximately $3000 per student. There are currently 11 students enrolled under this status. Dr. McMorran stated that the current no-fee policy could be updated by Board Policy or through teachers’ contracts. This will be an agenda item for the next meeting in April.

Ms. Edwards gave a brief statement on the potential Preschool tuition raise. Mr. Gaspar mentioned that the tuition needed to be re-evaluated and indexed to the cost per student. Ms. Edwards will provide more information at the next meeting in April.

Mr. Lagas presented on the Health Insurance Reserve, stating reserves should be about 3 times the Incurred But Not Reported amounts (IBNR). It is currently around 1.45 times IBNR for approximately half the year. Mr. Lagas stated that the budget is not over reserved.

Dr. McMorran reported on Excess Cost Sharing. He presented a plan to close the gap in special education. He recommended eliminating the proposed additional custodian at RES. This would cover the $49,628.56 special education shortage and leave $18,155.44 for a custodial substitute.

E. CS Explorers Update:

Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education direct the Superintendent to take such actions as are necessary to sign the agreement with CS Explorers to operate their program beginning 3/8/2017. Whaley, Hoffman. Approved. Unanimous.
F. Policies- 2nd Reading

Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education accept the following policies:
– 4121 Personnel Certified or Non-Certified: Substitute Teachers
– 4111/4211 Personnel Certified or Non-Certified: Recruitment and Selection
– 4112.5/4212.5 Personnel Certified or Non-Certified: Security Check/Fingerprinting (includes
Regulation)
– 4112.51/4212.51 Personnel Certified or Non-Certified: Employment Reference Checks
– 4112.2 Personnel Certified or Non-Certified: Certification
– 4118.14/4218.14 Personnel Certified or Non-Certified: Non-Discrimination on the basis of
Disabilities
(includes Regulation)
– 4118.41/4218.41 Personnel Certified or Non-Certified: Rights, Responsibilities and Duties:
Electronic Mail

Miller, Denny. Approved: Unanimous.

ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTS:
Principal, Redding Elementary School: Wessman Huber referred to her handout and announced that RES was recognized as a school of distinction.

Assistant Principal, John Read Middle School: Martin also referred to her written report and recognized Guidance Counselor Jesse Shalett for being awarded School Counselor of the Year for 2017 by the CSCA.

Director of Special Services: Mrs. Edwards referred to her written report and noted that they are already preparing for the summer transitioning period.

Interim Director of Finance & Operations: Mr. Lagas referred to his written reports on Object Summary and Transfers.

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction: Dr. Pierson Ugol referenced her written report and noted that the three districts will begin the curriculum review process associated with the adoption of new Arts standards this spring.

Superintendent: Dr. McMorran referred to his written report and noted that the Easton Learning Foundation is hosting a Trivia Bee at SSES on 3/15/17. He encouraged Redding residents to attend.

PUBLIC COMMENT
Chris Parkin, Indian Hill Road: thanked the Board for the detailed transfer report.

Amy Arnold, Werf Drive: stated that she attended the PTA meeting where three Board of Finance members were in attendance. She recalled that these BoF members implied that programs may be lost and that the budgets had “contingencies” built in that should be cut. She noted her concern.

Colleen Pilato, Portland Avenue: noted her concerns about the comparison of past years and the current years in regards to enrollment and budget. She asked what the teacher/students ratio comparisons are, how we compare to area schools, and requested that the term “peak” be defined when used in documents/presentations.

Laura Hoeing, Umpawaug Road: requested that the Board appeal to the state regarding the proposed budget by writing a letter to the Governor’s office.

BOARD MEMBER COMMENT
Dr. Irwin acknowledged that the Board would write to the Governor’s office, either individually or as one Board.

Mr. Miller stated that we are paying less now with inflation adjusted terms than back in 2010.

Mr. Hoffman asked Dr. Huber if there were any changes to the projected Kindergarten enrollment rates, she replied that the current enrollment is at 73.

Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education authorize the Chairman to take such actions as are necessary to write a letter to the Governor’s Office voicing opposition to the proposed budget cuts. Whaley, Miller. Approved. Unanimous.

Mr. Gaspar said that he was pleased to see so much public interest in the meeting. He then reiterated his belief that there needs to be a re-evaluation of how the three boards structurally operate. He stressed that there have been many reports done on how to make the design more efficient. He suggested that Redding and Easton merge, or maybe do one K-12 Region.

Mr. Miller stated that the Board of Finance and the Board of Education are not acting as partners anymore. Unification of the three Boards of Education could resolve this issue. He also noted that Redding could abolish the BoF.

Motion: move to adjourn the Meeting. Denny, Miller. Approved. Unanimous.

The meeting adjourned at 9:37 p.m.

Submitted by Allyson Florkowski, Secretary of the Redding Board of Education.
Recorded by Elise Cavanaugh.