REDDING BOARD OF EDUCATION
Regular Meeting Minutes
October 3, 2017
Board of Education: Denny, Gaspar, Hoffman, Irwin, Miller, Whaley
Administration: McMorran, Pierson Ugol, Reiss, Martin, Wallin, Hammond, Basta, Torre, Visners
Others: Members of the public/staff
Chairperson Irwin called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm in the John Read Middle School Community Room.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
MOTION: move that the Redding Board of Education approve the minutes of the September 5, 2017 regular meeting as submitted. Irwin, Whaley. Approved. Unanimous.
BOARD MEMBER COMMENT
BUILDING ADMINISTRATOR REPORTS
RES: Mrs. Hammond spoke of Teacher Evaluations at RES for the 2016-2017 school year. Out of the 58 certified staff, 45 were rated effective and 13 were rated leaders. There is an active, vibrant environment at RES. The students come running, skipping and hopping into the building in the morning and really enjoy being there. It continues to be a very exciting place to be.
JRMS: Mrs. Martin also spoke of the generally positive experiences of the students at the middle school.
Special Education: Mrs. Torre shared a report on the Special Services planning/placement team meetings. The Special Education administrators also reported on the percent of students with identification for special services in the state of Connecticut: Grades K-3 = 11%, Grades 4-8 = 14.9 %, Grades 9-12 = 15.4%. In Redding, Grade K-4 = 13.8% and Grades 5-8 = 13%.
DISCUSSION 2017-2018 PLAN OF ACTION AND SCHOOL-WIDE GOALS
Dr. McMorran presented five elements of the plan for 2017-2018. He acknowledged that we want more than simply academic attainment for our children. We seek to nurture our students as they grow, engage, think, communicate, innovate, collaborate, problem solve and learn. Excellence is defined by what is attainable in order for our children to turn out to be educated, competent adults who exercise autonomy well and actively participate in becoming a part of a caring community. Dr. McMorran’s plan of action links the following: Goal Setting, Budget, Implementation, Assessment, and Evaluation.
DISCUSSION: 2017 STUDENT PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS: SMARTER BALANCE AND OTHER STANDARDIZED ASSESSMENTS
Student Performance Data – Such data should be usef as a way to inform decision-making. State adapted common core state standards are the framework that guides our pre-K-12 curriculum design). Our teachers write the lessons and curriculum but follow the state’s framework. Smarter Balance Assessment is restricted to Literacy and Mathematics. Both Easton and Redding performed well at the district level. There were approximately 220 reporting districts, charter schools or local educational authorities in the State, but not all had released their data. The Superintendent compared Easton and Redding with the 192 districts with complete data available. Easton had 84.8% of the students who took the language arts assessment in grades 3-8 meet or exceed the goal. In Redding, the percentage was 76% in language arts. In mathematics, both districts had students who met or exceeded the goal with the same percent: 75.4%.
DISCUSSION: DRESS CODE, PROPOSED REVISISIONS, FIRST READING
Dr. Irwin recommended that the Board members take home the draft of the proposed policy on a revised dress code to review and make any necessary edits before the second reading at the next Board meeting. Mr. Miller sought clarification on whether the wording of the dress code should be a Board matter, or if it were more properly left to the administration. The Board will review and provide feedback at the second reading.
DISCUSSION: GIFTED AND TALENTED
Dr. Pierson Ugol presented on the 2017-2018 Redding Gifted and Talented Program. Her review of the program was framed by two questions: What are the components of an exemplary gifted and talented program? To what extent do our schools provide the structures and resources (within and outside of the operating budget) aligned with those components? A committee will continue to research these topics.
DISCUSSION: LISTENING – COMMUNITY OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK WITH THE BOARD
Dr. Irwin thought it would be beneficial to hear from the community at large as to what their thoughts, concerns and recommendations are as to how the Board can make things better. This would be used as a guide to a public forum for the top five comments or concerns or to just have a ‘free-for-all’ session. No action was taken.
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction: Dr. Pierson Ugol provided a handout on Cooperative
Educational Services (CES) four school programs offered to Redding.
Director of Finance & Operations: Mr. Reiss reported that health claims for August were high. It was Redding’s second highest month ever at $402,954. He also provided an update on overall budget status and transfers in the last period.
BOARD OF EDUCATION COMMITTEE REPORTS
Colleen Pilato, 38 Portland Avenue: PTA suggested the BOE consider a newsletter that could serve as a source for identifying achievements.
Cheryl Graziano, 27 Deacon Abbott Road: Spoke about the dress code and gifted and talented program.
Chris Parkin, 19 Indian Hill Road: Expressed his hope that the BOE, Board of Selectmen and Board of Finance would find better ways to communicate in the upcoming budget cycle. He also commented on the Smarter Balance performance in math last year and asked for greater clarity on the status of the bus depot.
Dana Grey, 19 Lamppost Drive: Spoke in support of the teachers but questioned whether the curriculum in math was appropriate.
Mike D’Agostino, 18 Glen Hill Road: Noted that November 7th is Election Day and thanked Jess Gaspar for his many years of service as a member of the Board. Called for a balanced approach to presentations that would help the communities understand how the Easton and Redding districts have similarities and differences in performance. He asked for a uniform format for presentation of data each year.
BOARD MEMBER COMMENT
Mrs. Whaley commented on funding Professional Development. Maybe look into partnering with Easton on hiring one individual for the middle school.
Dr. Irwin expressed her appreciation of all the presentations. She recognized the good work of the administration in promoting learning. The busing issue or discussion on the depot location will be discussed at the ER9 Joint Board Transportation Committee, which will be scheduled by month-end.
Mrs. Denny commented that some Redding residents had concerns with paying 1/3 of the cost of the bus depot and how the fair market value would be determined going forward.
Dr. Gaspar commented that we should think about the information being supplied to the Board of Finance prior to the Board of Education meetings. He recommends that the material instead be distributed after the Board of Education meetings.
Mr. Miller sent an email to all ER9 board members highlighting recent articles regarding school start times and the impact it has on the children. Miller would like to see the three boards chairs form a committee to review and discuss school start times in our districts.
MOTION: move to adjourn the meeting. Miller, Hoffman. Approved. Unanimous.
The meeting adjourned at 10:10 p.m.
Dr. Thomas McMorran, Superintendent