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Minutes of Redding Board of Education, 01/03/2019

AGENDA: Redding Board of Education

RECEIVED 01/14/2019 8:55am
Michele R. Grande – Redding Town Clerk

REDDING BOARD OF EDUCATION REGULAR MEETING
Listening Session 1
Mark Twain Library
January 3, 2019

ATTENDANCE:
Irwin, Hoffman, Parkin, Hoeing, Pilato, Reilly, Whaley

ADMINISTRATION: McMorran, Pierson Ugol

MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC: Approximately 15 members from the public

CALL TO ORDER:
Dr. Irwin called the meeting to order at 6:32 p.m.

PUBLIC COMMENT:
Jeanne Wendschuh, Deer Spring Rd, thanked the Board for holding the listening session.

BOARD MEMBER COMMENT:
Dr. Irwin welcomed the attendees, encouraged dialogue, and requested attendees refrain from naming specific individuals in their comments.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: PUBLIC DISCUSSION TO SHARE INSIGHT AND ASK QUESTIONS
The Board, administration, and public engaged in a free-flowing discussion of topics of interest to the community. The conversation was dominated by discussion of communication in the post-Redding Pilot era. The consensus was that something had to be done to improve communications with the public and make complicated information, particularly as it relates to the budget, understandable. Efforts that Board has been taking to improve communications were discussed.

Specific topics of questions/requests included:
– historical information on per pupil costs in Redding and neighboring communities
– the potential for social media presence by the board and/or schools and a printed newsletter
– The offer of the use of library space for dissemination of school related information facts, and figures
– Outreach to Meadow Ridge
– The First Selectman’s new “06896” newsletter
– Means of shifting costs to the town budget to garner additional excess cost reimbursement for special education
– The pros and cons of marketing to families in other towns to take tuition paying students
– The way the town is marketed in general
– Potential funding sources for a district newsletter
– The overall vision for the future of our schools and the work of the Board, administration, and wingman program is curating an operational vision statement
– How different programs and expenses are viewed as “nice to have” or “mandatory”
– The marketing and organization of the preschool
– The gifted and talented program
– The restoration of extracurriculars
– Feedback from staff on the budget process
– Professional development
– Budget referendum confusion and advisory questions
– The potential to shift fifth grade back to RES
– Improved communications at JRMS

BOARD MEMBER COMMENT:
Mr. Parkin stated the evening was a valuable opportunity for the Board to meet with the community. He encouraged the public to keep coming to the forum and to tell the Board what the problems are.

Mrs. Pilato commented if you can’t attend the meetings, email the Board. Our emails are available on the ER9 website.

Mrs. Whaley asked if there are local groups the Board can have conversations with? Ms. Susan Winters, Seventy Acre Road mentioned the Current Affairs group at the Heritage Center.

ADJOURNMENT:
Motion: move that the meeting be adjourned (Hoffman, Reilly). Approved. Unanimous.

The meeting adjourned at 8:32 p.m.

Submitted by,
Chris Parkin, Redding Board of Education Secretary

Recorded by,
Christine DiDomenico

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