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Minutes of ER9 Joint Boards of Education, 05/26/2020

AGENDA: ER9 Joint Boards of Education

RECEIVED 06/02/2020 1:29pm
Michele R. Grande – Redding Town Clerk

EASTON, REDDING, REGION 9 JOINT BOARDS OF EDUCATION REGULAR MEETING
May 26, 2020 – 7:30 p.m.
Virtual Meeting via Zoom

https://us02web,zoom.us/j/85056108111
Meeting ID: 850 5610 8111
Dial by your location: +1 929 205 6099

Minutes
ATTENDANCE
Board members:
Region 9: Johnston, Graziano, Berry, D’Agostino, Denny, Williams, O’Brien, Pampel
Easton: Parker, Stinson, Chieda, Hicks, Goldstein, Reed
Redding: Parkin, Whaley, Pilato, Hoffman, Reilly, Oulton, Hocker
Administration: McMorran, Pierson Ugol, Reiss, Del Conte
Others: 31 members of the staff and public, and the recording secretary

T. Johnston called the Region 9 Board of Education meeting to order at 7:32 p.m.
J. Parker called the Easton Board of Education meeting to order at 7:32 p.m.
C. Parkin called the Redding Board of Education meeting to order at 7:31 p.m.

PUBLIC COMMENT
None.

BOARD MEMBER COMMENT
C. Parkin said that he will save his thank you to Dr. McMorran for a June BOE meeting, but that he is feeling sad tonight that we’re losing a superintendent who will have given 13 years of his professional life to the students of Redding and Easton as an administrator. He said that he feels that as communities we have failed in some way because we’ve allowed a superintendent with forward thinking ideals and aspirations to be ground down with the way we do business in our towns. C. Parkin said that we all need to think long and hard about how we treat our administrators and take affirmative steps in that direction and not waste any more time.

G. Goldstein said that she agrees and that she would like to see a discussion going, and that it makes sense to move in that direction.

The Easton Board of Education unanimously approved the Healthy Food Certification and Exemption for Food and Beverage Items at the May 12, 2020 regular meeting.

The Redding Board of Education unanimously approved the Healthy Food Certification and Exemption for Food and Beverage Items at the April 30, 2020 special meeting.

The Region 9 Board of Education Healthy Food Certification and Exemption for Food and Beverage Items was unanimously approved at the May 4, 2020 special meeting.

Motion: move that the Region 9 Board of Education amend the Agenda to add Agenda Item IV. F. Reopening Committee. (Graziano, O’Brien). Approved. Unanimous.

Motion: move that the Easton Board of Education amend the Agenda to add Agenda Item IV. F. Reopening Committee. (Hicks, Goldstein). Approved. Unanimous.

Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education amend the Agenda to add Agenda Item IV. F. Reopening Committee. (Hocker, Whaley). Approved. Unanimous.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: APPROVAL OF TRANSPORTATION CONTRACT AMENDMENT
S. Reiss reported that the request for the amendment was necessary for the two reasons: The Federal CARES Act, and Gov. Ned Lamont’s Executive Order 7R. He said that the amount being paid is 77.4% of the cost of transportation of the time period of March 13, 2020 through the end of the school year.

Motion: move that the Region 9 Board of Education approve the May 2020 Amendment to Contract for Transportation Services with First Student and authorize the Chairperson to execute Amendment pending review of counsel. (D’Agostino, Williams). Approved. Unanimous.

Motion: move that the Easton Board of Education approve the May 2020 Amendment to Contract for Transportation Services with First Student and authorize the Chairperson to execute Amendment pending review of counsel. (Hicks, Stinson). Approved. Unanimous.

Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education approve the May 2020 Amendment to Contract for Transportation Services with First Student and authorize the Chairperson to execute Amendment pending review of counsel. (Reilly, Hocker). Approved. Unanimous.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: APPROVAL OF EXTENSION OF CHARTWELLS CONTRACT

S. Reiss explained that this is a continuation of the same contract, except with a small increase for the cost of living index. A brief discussion took place. BOE members thanked Dave Kennedy of Chartwells for keeping the meals program running during the distance learning period.

Motion: move that the Region 9 Board of Education exercise its option to renew the Chartwells contract for the 2020-2021 school year. (D’Agostino, O’Brien). Approved. Unanimous.

Motion: move that the Easton Board of Education exercise its option to renew the Chartwells contract for the 2020-2021 school year. (Hicks, Stinson). Approved. Unanimous.

Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education exercise its option to renew the Chartwells contract for the 2020-2021 school year. (Reilly, Oulton). Approved. Unanimous.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH COMMITTEE
A Motion for possible action was presented, to which M. D’Agostino said he felt the Motion was inappropriate. A lengthy discussion then took place which included the topics of the composition of past superintendent search committees, and BOE by-laws vs. past practice vs. legality. C. Hocker provided some historical reference for the process as he served on a past superintendent search committee. The discussion then continued to explore the functions of the BOE Superintendent Search Steering Committee and the Personnel Search Committee, and the responsibilities of these two committees.

Motion: move that joint Easton, Redding, and Region 9 Boards of Education establish the following:
1. The joint Easton, Redding, and Region 9 Boards of Education Personnel Search Committee of the whole, consisting of the membership of the Easton, Redding, and Region 9 Boards of Education and charge the committee with identifying a finalist for the role of Superintendent of Schools. The Personnel Search Committee shall be chaired by the Chairperson of the Board of Education then acting as chairperson of the three boards. This Committee shall not be extinguished until a permanent Superintendent of Schools is appointed by the three boards and a contract is fully executed; and

2. A Superintendent Search Steering Committee, to consist of two members of each of the Easton, Redding, and Region 9 Boards of Education with equal representation from the Towns of Redding and Easton. The Chairpersons of the Easton, Redding, and Region 9 Boards of Education shall be members of the Steering Committee ex officio. This Steering Committee shall be considered a subcommittee of the Personnel Search Committee and be empowered to design and implement a process for 1) reviewing resumes, 2) interviewing and screening candidates, and 3) considering and recommending the selection and appointment of an individual on an interim or permanent basis, and shall not be extinguished until a permanent Superintendent of Schools is appointed by the tri-boards and a contract is fully executed. The Steering Committee may, in compliance with Freedom of Information laws, also solicit bids and propose the hiring of a search consultant to tri-boards. The Steering Committee shall be co-chaired by one member from Redding and one from Easton to be selected by the Committee and shall provide regular updates to the Personnel Search Committee.

Region 9 Board of Education: (Graziano, O’Brien). Approved. 7-1. (D’Agostino dissented).
Easton Board of Education: (Stinson, Reed). Approved. Unanimous.
Redding Board of Education: (Reilly, Whaley). Approved. Unanimous.

The Superintendent Search Steering Committee will be comprised of the following BOE members: Mike D’Agostino (R9); Maureen Williams (R9); Gretchen Goldstein (E); Jenny Chieda (E); Heather Whaley (R); and Chris Hocker (R).

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: JOINT NEGOTIATIONS COMMITTEE SELECTION
C. Parkin explained that this Agenda Item and motion were intended to resolve concerns raised at the January 2020 Joint BOEs meeting. A Motion was put forth by K. O’Brien, R. Hicks and H. Whaley which was subsequently withdrawn by all three. A discussion took place regarding some of the specific verbiage of the Motion.

Motion: move that the joint Easton, Redding, and Region 9 Boards of Education establish a Joint Negotiations Committee to consist of one member of each of the Easton and Redding Boards of Education, and two members of the Region 9 Board of Education. This Committee shall be a standing committee charged with negotiating the terms of employment for Central Office administrators, including but not limited to annual compensation adjustments. The Committee shall meet no less than annually and make recommendations for employment contracts, compensation, and benefits for such Central Office administrators to the three boards and also be directed to prepare and maintain a documented process for the selection and hiring of Central Office administrators to be ratified by the three boards for use in future selection processes.

Region 9 Board of Education: (O’Brien, Graziano). Approved. Unanimous.
Easton Board of Education: (Hicks, Goldstein). Approved. Unanimous.
Redding Board of Education: (Whaley, Hoffman). Approved. Unanimous

BOE members assigned to the Joint Negotiations Committee are: M. D’Agostino (R9); M. Williams (R9); M. Hoffman (R); Easton BOE decided to wait until their June 9 meeting to assign a member.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: JOINT CALENDAR COMMITTEE SELECTION
BOE members assigned to the Joint Calendar Committee are: M. D’Agostino (R9); C. Pilato (R); Easton decided to wait until their June 9 meeting to assign a member.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: REOPENING COMMITTEE
A Motion was put forth regarding a new BOE Reopening Committee by G. Denny, J. Stinson, and J. Reilly, and after a discussion about the need for such a committee, the motion was withdrawn by all three. Dr. Stephanie Pierson Ugol explained the work of the Central Office Reopening Committee and said that this committee was meeting weekly and that any BOE member was welcome to attend the meetings.

PUBLIC COMMENT
None.

BOARD MEMBER COMMENT
C. Pilato thanked S. Reiss for all his efforts in helping us through this process. She also said that if there is an opportunity to get the information before BOE meetings that would be helpful.

M. D’Agostino said that in regard to the Steering Committee, he wants teachers to be involved in the interview and selection side and would like to see some public input as well.

C. Graziano said that she echoes M. D’Agostino and would like to get as many constituents involved in the process as possible.

ADJOURNMENT
Motion: move that the Region 9 Board of Education meeting be adjourned. (Graziano, Pampel). Approved. Unanimous.

Motion: move that the Easton Board of Education meeting be adjourned. (Hicks, Stinson). Approved. Unanimous.

Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education meeting be adjourned. (Hoffman, Whaley). Approved. Unanimous.

The Region 9 meeting was adjourned at 9:55 p.m.
The Easton meeting was adjourned at 9:55 p.m.
The Redding meeting was adjourned at 9:55 p.m.

Submitted by Juliette Berry
Secretary, Region 9 Board of Education

Recorded by
Sarah Ota

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