REDDING BOARD OF EDUCATION
Regular Meeting Minutes
John Read Middle School Community Room
May 7, 2019
Board of Education: Irwin, Hoeing, Hoffman, Parkin, Pilato, Reilly, Whaley
Administration: Pierson Ugol, Reiss, Hammond, Martin, McMorran, Twiss
Members of the Public: 9
CALL TO ORDER:
Dr. Irwin called the meeting to order at 7:31p.m.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education approve the minutes of the April 2, 2019 Regular Board of Education Meeting. Hoeing, Reilly. Unanimous.
Darrell Bradford, Cross Highway, noted that he had voted in favor of the budget and hopes it passes. He opined that gifted and talented should be part of long range planning process and also that he thinks gifted and talented education will eventually be mandated by the State. He expressed concern about the drop off in gifted education between fourth and fifth grade and said that it’s “not enough to just keep them busy.” He asked that the Board in this and future years not ignore the needs of fifth graders.
Kristen Anstett, Whortleberry Dr., noted that she has heard that gifted and talented programming at JRMS is “a disappointment” compared to RES. She noted that she has researched all manner of methods for accommodating gifted students and encouraged the district to “be creative.”
BOARD MEMBER COMMENT:
C. Pilato thanked Dr. Martin for her presentation to the RES PTA regarding the transition to middle school. She noted that the lone Facebook post made since the referendum date was set had been approved by counsel. She also noted that she attended the recent Board of Finance meeting where the BOF discussed the audit report with the auditor. She noted that she had a different impression of the results than the BOF seems to have had.
H. Whaley noted that the Facebook page had not been updated to include the meeting materials yet because she was waiting for the polls to close so as not to post anything while the referendum was still pending.
Dr. Irwin briefly responded to the comments regarding gifted and talented at the middle school.
BUILDING ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTS
N. Hammond described the student choice vote, provided an update on the assistant principal search, and offered an enrollment update.
Dr. Martin encouraged everyone to attend the JRMS play and described a visit by the Anti-Defamation League who met with seventh and eighth graders recently.
DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION – CABE Student Leadership Award
Dr. Martin presented the CABE award to 8th graders Adam Hoeing (present) and Kelcie Petrone (not present). She also recognized JRMS counselor Joy Squitieri who was present and recently named Connecticut school counselor of the year.
REDDING BOARD OF EDUCATION FINANCIAL PROCEDURES AUDIT
C. Pilato and C. Parkin summarized the recent BOF meeting regarding the completed audit. Brief discussion followed. C. Parkin noted that the BOF suggested that the auditor should return in the summer to train the new Special Services Director. C. Parkin noted his concerns regarding the auditor’s compliance with the terms of the engagement with the Board and that he would oppose the same auditor returning. Dr. Irwin echoed concerns regarding the auditor and his general failure to communicate with her. Additional discussion followed before the Board discussed how to move forward with the results of the audit.
Motion to direct the administration to prepare a response to the audit report, including recommendations based on the data that was provided, including the auditor’s recommendations. Hoffman. Whaley. Unanimous.
S. Reiss distributed numbers detailing potential savings should the new bus provider be able to find a place to house the buses within the ER9 district. General discussion followed with a reminder that it is the provider’s obligation to contract with a potential depot and that the districts themselves would only be financial beneficiaries through reduced transportation costs. They would not be parties to such arrangements. No action was requested or taken.
Motion to amend the agenda and move VI.D., approval of non-certified bargaining unit agreement to X, immediately prior to adjournment. Parkin, Hoffman. Unanimous.
POLICIES FOR REVIEW – 2nd READING
0524 Hate Crimes and Bias Incidents at School
Brief discussion was had regarding the policy and its adoption.
Motion to adopt policy 0524 without the alternate language as recommended by the Superintendent. Hoeing, Hoffman. Unanimous.
POLICIES FOR REVIEW – 3RD READING
9327.1 Board Use of Internet Social Media.
The Board briefly renewed its discussion of this policy and discussed raising it again as a part of a broader bylaw discussion. It was also suggested that the proposed bylaw be used as a guideline for new Board members.
Motion to add Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Plan to the agenda as next item. Hoffman, Reilly. Unanimous.
VOLUNTARY EARLY RETIREMENT INCENTIVE PLAN
The Superintendent asked the Board to formally approve the VERIP plan offered during the budget process.
Motion to approve a Voluntary Early Retirement Plan benefit for certified staff members who give notice of their retirements prior to February 25, 2019 effective at the conclusion of the 18-19 or 19-20 schools years as set forth in the plan document signed by the Chair. Reilly, Hoffman. Unanimous.
DISTRICT ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTS:
Dr. Pierson Ugol discussed her written report regarding funding for the TEAM program for new teachers.
S. Reiss provided an update on the health reserve balance and anticipated spending through the end of the fiscal year. Brief discussion regarding year end planning followed.
Dr. Twiss noted that it was her last meeting in Redding. She thanked the Board for the opportunity and asked that everyone not lose sight of the well-being of the children.
Dr. McMorran highlighted the JBHS team at the Sikorsky helicopter design competition. He also commented regarding confusion over vaccination rates at Redding schools and set the record straight with accurate numbers.
C. Parkin provided a brief update from the structure and ways of working committee.
M. Hoffman summarized the facilities committee’s recent work and noted that it plans to meet every 60 days going forward.
C. Pilato provided an update on Communications Committee work and noted that when the referendum date is formally set, formal communications will have to be very carefully drafted to avoid advocacy.
Mike D’Agostino, Glenn Hill Road, made his annual pitch to see the JRMS play.
BOARD MEMBER COMMENT
C. Pilato noted that the BOF had also discussed long term planning by the town and BOE at its recent meeting.
L. Hoeing commented that she understood the vaccination rate data to reflect the percentage of students missing any vaccine so that some of the students counted would be inoculated against some but not all illnesses.
Motion to recess. Parkin, Hoffman. Unanimous.
The Board stood in recess at 9:27 p.m.
Dr. Irwin reconvened the meeting at 9:36 p.m.
Motion: move to approve the non-certified staff bargaining unit agreement. Hoffman, Whaley. Unanimous.
Motion to adjourn. Parkin, Whaley. Unanimous.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:37 p.m.
Recorded and Submitted by
Chris Parkin, Redding Board of Education Secretary