Board of Education: Denny, Florkowski, Gaspar (7:37 pm), Hoffman, Irwin, Sobel
Administration: McMorran, Sullivan, Edwards, Freeston, Martin, Wallin, Wessman Huber, Basta
Others: ten members of the public
Chairman Sobel called the May 4, 2016 meeting to order at 7:30 pm.
Chairman Sobel asked all to notice the new student art work hanging in the room. She also congratulated Dr. Carrie Wessman Huber on her recognition as the CT PTA Principal of the Year. Additionally, Chairman Sobel noted that this is teacher/staff/bus driver appreciation week and asked everyone to take the time to thank them for all the work they do each day to help our children.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion: move that the minutes of the April 5, 2016 meeting be accepted as corrected. Florkowski, Denny. Approved. Unanimous.
Correction: page 2, the vote on the Motion for Non-Renewals was correct, but the record of votes was incorrect. The correct record is Voting yes, Sobel, Gaspar, Hoffman, Denny. Abstaining: Miller, Florkowski, Irwin.
Chris Parkin, Indian Hill Road: Mr. Parkin commended Mr. Miller on his letter to the editor in The Redding Pilot regarding the budget reduction. He also asked about the following: 1. The status of the Long Range Planning Committee; 2. Why the bus contract was not being put out to bid; 3. Why the food service contracts bid process was during executive session?
BOARD MEMBER COMMENTS
Chairman. Sobel stated that the Long Range Planning Committee is in the process of being reorganized. A meeting was scheduled for prior to this May BOE meeting, but the minutes were not approved as there was not sufficient membership present who were at the last meeting. The new committee will consist of two representatives from each of the three BOEs and representation from each town. She noted that meetings will follow FOI regulations and Robert’s Rules of Order.
Chairman Sobel thanked all those who supported the budget. She also noted that in the interest of collaboration, several joint meetings with other Town boards will be planned in the fall.
Dr. Gaspar arrived, 7:37 pm
Mrs. Florkowski, responding to the comments of Mr. Parkin, noted that Thomas Hennick of the CT Freedom of Information office had informed the Redding BOE that the review of contract bids was an allowable discussion in executive session per section 1-210, subsection b-24 of the CT FOIA.
DISCUSSION AND ACTION ON TRANSFER REQUEST
Mrs. Sullivan stated that the request for a transfer is not necessary at this time. Due to the States annual Redding Elementary School playground safety inspection flagging immediate repairs, Mrs. Sullivan originally believed funds would need to be transferred to cover the cost to make those necessary repairs. However, since the report showed that $24,000 was needed to repair the equipment Mrs. Sullivan said the repairs would be made and funded through the budget and under used accounts. Dr. Wessman Huber noted that the condition of the equipment was a concern and that a section of the playground has been taped off and not in use due to the condition.
DISCUSSION OF ELT PROJECTS
Two John Read Middle School students, Ali Siddiqi (6th grade) and Kate MacDonald (8th grade) presented web-based projects they worked on during ELT (Extended Learning Time).
DISCUSSION OF STEM INTEGRATION
Rebecca Richards, the Redding Elementary School STEM coach, presented an overview of how STEM is incorporated into each grades lesson plans. In addition, there are afterschool programs in coding and robotics offered for students.
DISCUSSION OF REDDING SCHOOLS MISSION-VISION-GOALS
Dr. McMorran shared a draft document with the board that will begin discussions of how education is provided for the children of Redding. This was an introductory discussion with many more to follow.
DISCUSSION AND ACTION ON POLICY REVIEW
The Policy Committee presented five policies for a second and final reading. One Policy, 5113(a) was not discussed and was deferred to the next meeting. The other four policies were each reviewed.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education accept Policy 4115: Evaluation and Support Program for a second and final. Irwin, Florkowski. Approved. Unanimous.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education accept Policy 4131(a): Personnel—Certified Professional Development for a second and final. Gaspar, Irwin. Approved. Unanimous.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education accept Policy 5131.6: Drug Use, Drugs and Tobacco (including Performance Enhancing Substances) for a second and final reading. Irwin, Florkowski. Approved. Unanimous.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education accept Policy 5113.2: Students Truancy for a second and final reading. Irwin, Denny. Approved. Unanimous.
John Read Middle School: Principal Martin described her observation of a language arts class that was focused on a nonfiction unit. The students collaboratively wrote and illustrated children’s books, then shared their work with the class.
Redding Elementary School: Principal Wessman Huber reported that the 3rd & 4th grade ORFF Ensembles performed at the Connecticut Music Education Association conference. Kindergarten enrollment continues to grow. Originally, the Prowda projection was for 69 students, however as of this meeting, 92 children are registered. In addition, Dr. Wessman Huber is aware of others that could raise the total to 99. Five sections of Kindergarten are planned for 2016-17.
Special Education: Ms. Edwards stated that the early end of school has condensed the time for annual reviews and conferences. Planning for the extended school year is being completed.
Assistant Superintendent: Dr. Pierson Ugol was not present but provided a written report.
Director of Finance: Mrs. Sullivan noted that the health insurance claims for March were up, but the Reserve Fund is in good shape.
Superintendent: Dr. McMorran congratulated Dr. Wessman Huber on her recognition by the CT PTA as the Principal of the Year for 2015.
Insurance Committee: Dr. Gaspar reported the committee met to review the increase for costs from Anthem, and reviewed other options for health insurance. Another meeting will be scheduled and consideration will be given to the advantages and disadvantages of changing the stop-loss level.
Mike D’Agostino, Glen Hill Road: Mr. D’Agostino encouraged all to attend the JRMS spring musical production May 11 to May 14, 2016.
Chris Parkin, Indian Hill Road: Mr. Parkin suggested that the Principal’s report should be posted on the school web pages. Dr. Wessman Huber commented that her report has been posted and Principal Martin said that they will post theirs immediately.
BOARD MEMBER COMMENTS
Mrs. Denny reflected on recent conversations she has had with friends from neighboring towns regarding the quality educational programs Redding students receive. One example she stated was the enrichment program and how parents in neighboring towns must supplement with programs outside of school if their children need further advancement.
Motion: move to adjourn the meeting. Florkowski, Hoffman. Approved. Unanimous.
The meeting adjourned at 9:29 pm.
Submitted by Allyson Florkowski, Redding Board of Education Secretary
Reported by Mary Maday