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Minutes of Redding Board of Education, 01/07/2020

AGENDA: Redding Board of Education

RECEIVED 01/14/2020 9:47am
Michele R. Grande – Redding Town Clerk

REDDING BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING REGULAR MEETING
John Read Middle School – Community Room
January 7, 2020 – 7:30 p.m.
Minutes

ATTENDANCE
Board members: Parkin, Whaley, Pilato, Hoffman, Reilly, Oulton
Absent: Hoeing
Administration: McMorran, Pierson Ugol, Reiss, Del Conte, Hankla
Others: 14 members of the staff and public, and the note taker

C. Parkin called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

J. Reilly asked that the words from “on the future” to “synergy” be stricken from his comments in the minutes of the December 3, 2019, Redding Board of Education Regular Meeting.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education approve the minutes of December 3, 2019, Regular Meeting with one revision. (Hoffman, Whaley). Approved. Unanimous.

PUBLIC COMMENT
None.

BOARD MEMBER COMMENT
C. Pilato said that she’s new to the position of BOE Secretary and that she’s happy to learn as she goes. C. Pilato also acknowledged the videos from RES and JRMS, saying that they are the kind of communication that can touch the community. She also said that if there is ever anything important to any BOE members, then she wants to hear about it. C. Pilato also said that perhaps the BOE members should schedule some listening meetings.

ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT FOR CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION REPORT
Dr. Pierson Ugol reported on the professional learning sessions called “A Gateway to Connecticut’s Success: Leading Schools into the Future,” which a tri-district team participated in this past fall. The sessions challenged the tri-district team to consider current practice, the changes associated with a future-focused education and the needs of today’s students for the purpose of drafting a framework to guide future-focused teaching and learning. Dr. Pierson Ugol said it is this framework that will shape the portraits of a graduate and give life to Redding’s vision, mission and student learning goals. A brief and positive discussion on the topic took place.

BUILDING ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTS
Redding Elementary School: Principal Natalie Hammond acknowledged and thanked RES LLC Specialist S. Peronace – who was in attendance at the meeting – for making the RES video. N. Hammond reported on a recent visit by the RES orchestra to Meadow Ridge (a retirement community in Redding) during the holiday season. She said it was wonderful to see the children playing and the residents singing along; she was left thinking that this event will always be a part of the RES program. N. Hammond also said that she and M. Farina gave a presentation about the RES Gifted & Talented program at a recent PTA meeting and that it was well received.

John Read Middle School: Interim Principal Dr. Phyllis Amori reported that she and Assistant Principal D. Wallin had spent that day doing “informal” observations in classrooms. She said that she was very encouraged by the students who were following directions from their teachers and were ready to learn. Dr. Amori also said she was encouraged by the teachers with whom she enjoys being colleagues.

DISTRICT ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTS
Director of Special Services: J. Del Conte reported that transition meetings, for students who will be moving to a new school building in the fall, have now begun. She acknowledged a slight decrease in numbers and said that it’s the result of a strong collaboration between the staff and a trust that has formed with parents. M. Hoffman asked what happens to a student who has been exited from special services. J. Del Conte said that it depends on if the student has a diagnosed disability or a weakness. J. Hankla said it is an overall positive experience, but it initially can be scary for the student. J. Reilly said that a parent had reached out to him about how their child was exiting special services, and that the family was pleased with both the student’s progress and the people within the special services department.

Director of Finance & Operations: S. Reiss reported that at a recent Facilities Planning Committee meeting they decided to change from a manual chlorine monitoring system at RES to an automated system.

Motion: move that Redding Board of Education accept the Facilities Planning Committee recommendation, waive the three quote requirement and retain Water System Solutions and Design, to install an automated chlorine analyzer at RES as a cost not to exceed $8,500. (Hoffman, Reilly). Approved. Unanimous.

S. Reiss reported that costs are within budget and that Central Office has started the second half of the year ordering process. He said that there had been five transfers since the last BOE meeting and that motions need to be passed for two transfers.

Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education approve the transfer of $28,800.00 from 23-1200-563 to 24-1200-563 at the request of the Director of Finance and Operations. (Reilly, Oulton). Approved. Unanimous.

Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education approve the transfer of $50,548.48 from 24-1100-235 to 24-1200-563 at the request of the Director of Finance and Operations. (Whaley, Reilly). Approved. Unanimous.

S. Reiss also reported that health insurance claims are 26% higher than they were at this time last year, and that in a three-year comparison, claims are up 14%. He stated that he expects the claims to now decrease.

BOARD OF EDUCATION COMMITTEE REPORTS
None.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: BOARD SOCIAL MEDIA GUIDELINES
C. Pilato explained that H. Whaley had the idea of extending district information by reposting posts from existing social media accounts that are entirely dedicated to the district and education. She said they now had a revised social media guideline for the reposting proposal. A brief discussion took place with comments from C. Parkin stating that Facebook has thus far been successful for the district, and First Selectman Julia Pemberton – who was in attendance at the meeting – suggesting that the BOE consider using Instagram as well.

Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education approve the policy on Social Media as follows,
Move to approve the following revised guidelines for the Board of Education Facebook page to now include other Social Media platforms:
 The intent is to share board and school related information with the community.
 Postings will include the information provided in Board of Education meetings, including: agendas, meeting minutes, building reports, financial reports, and videos and other communications from the administration, staff, and the chairperson.
 Re-posts will include information from existing school dedicated Social Media accounts pre-approved by the Administration with the intent to extend the reach of such posts.
 The account administrators will consist of members of the Communications Committee.
 No Board of Education members will respond to comments.
 No posts or re-posts will be made during pending referenda, except where approved by Board counsel.
 Unless the Communications Committee is otherwise authorized, posts consisting of
 Information not made publicly available will be approved by the Board.
 Vulgarity is not permitted. (Reilly, Oulton). Approved. Unanimous.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: CONTRACT WITH SEARCH CONSULTANT
A discussion took place regarding the contract with JE Consulting for services related to the JRMS principal search.

Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education approve the contract between JE Consulting and the Redding BOE for services related to the JRMS principal search, in an amount not to exceed $8,000. (Hoffman, Reilly). Approved. Unanimous.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: BOARD COMMITTEE COMPOSITION
A discussion about the BOE committees took place including the composition of members, frequency of meetings, possible combining of committees and possible new committees. H. Whaley asked BOE members to consider forming a Special Services Committee, and a Diversity and Inclusion Committee. C. Parkin told BOE members to email him about the committees on which they were interested in serving.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: BOARD GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
C. Parkin asked BOE members to consider two questions, “What is the lens in which we work?” and “How can we work together?” when formulating their goals and objectives for the year. A brief discussion took place that focused on communication and working together as potential goals for the year.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: 2020-2021 OPERATING BUDGET
Dr. McMorran presented a proposed budget for the Redding School District for the 2020-2021 school year. His presentation included budget variances in the areas of: human resources; transportation; special education; academic and student programming; operations, buildings and grounds; and, Central Office. The proposed budget reflects an increase of 3.48%.

PUBLIC COMMENT
Jamie Barickman, Church Hill Lane, Redding, said he was intrigued by the recommendation of Kindergarten being the largest in class size. He said that he feels that the emphasis of small class size should be on the youngest children, and he would like to hear more from the Redding BOE on this topic.

BOARD MEMBER COMMENT
None.

ADJOURNMENT

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

The meeting was adjourned at 10:00 p.m.

Submitted by Colleen Pilato
Redding Board of Education Secretary

Recorded by Sarah Ota

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