REDDING BOARD OF EDUCATION REGULAR MEETING
John Read Middle School – Community Room
March 3, 2020 – 7:30 p.m.
Board members: Parkin, Whaley, Pilato, Hoffman, Reilly, Oulton, Hocker
Administration: McMorran, Pierson Ugol, Del Conte
Others: 9 members of the staff and public, and the recording secretary
CALL TO ORDER
C. Parkin called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education approve the minutes of February 6, 2020, Regular Meeting with Budget Workshop. (Reilly, Whaley). Approved. Unanimous.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education approve the minutes of February 18, 2020, ER9 Joint Boards of Education Meeting. (Whaley, Reilly). Approved. Unanimous.
Sarah O’Dell, Blackrock Turnpike, spoke about the RESPTA project redesigning the RES cafeteria that was taking place using $9,500 in grant money from a private foundation and the donation of goods and services from members and businesses in the community. She said the cafeteria walls would be painted during the RES spring break in April and invited the Redding BOE members to visit during and after the work.
BOARD MEMBER COMMENT
DISTRICT ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction: Dr. Pierson Ugol reported on the upcoming visit of the Tri-State Consortium Consultancy to ER9 from April 29 – May 1, 2020. She said that ER9 is a founding member of the Consortium, which supports member schools through systems thinking and collaborative inquiry. During their consultancy visit, members of the Consortium will focus on special education and response to intervention. Dr. Pierson Ugol said that a final report from the Tri-State Consortium will provide comprehensive feedback and will be made public after it is shared with the district and the boards of education.
BUILDING ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTS
Dr. McMorran stated that he challenged each administrator to report on the mid-year progress of their buildings within a 10-minute time frame.
Redding Elementary School Principal, Natalie Hammond, spoke about the progress within the areas of: academic goals, social goals, and parent communication goals. Within academic goals, N. Hammond highlighted the invention process and the subsequent measurable growth rates in reading and math in students. Within social goals, N. Hammond spoke of the success of the Restorative Practices and SEL programs. Within parent communication goals, N. Hammond explained the increase of RES social media followers and the increase of parent responses to climate surveys. N. Hammond also gave examples of student growth and action steps of educators in the content areas of Spanish, physical education, art, music, and library media.
John Read Middle School Interim Principal, Dr. Phyllis Amori, explained that she and D. Wallin sent out a blank google document to the entire faculty asking for input to the JRMS mid-year “State of the Union.” At the time of the BOE meeting, they had received 52 slides from faculty that highlighted student growth within their students. Examples of the teacher’s slides included: a 7th grade social studies teacher who identified student growth within the areas civic engagement and responsible citizenship so that explicit instruction could be provided; 5th grade math & science that explained the growth of students’ data literacy by gathering & organizing data, creating graphic representations, and analyzing & interpreting data; and, the art teacher’s Mindset Rubric that helps students move from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset through project and performance based activities.
DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: PROPOSED 2020-2021 BUDGET
C. Parkin outlined the areas of the 2020-2021 budget that still needed to be resolved: 1) RES faculty and class size; 2) JRMS faculty and class size; 3) allocation of capital items; 4) excess cost reimbursement; 5) insurance/overhead shift to town; and, 6) Central Office budgeting. C. Parkin said that time constraints would prohibit 5) from occurring in this budget process, and that 6) was resolved at the Tri-Boards of Education meeting. A discussion ensued about the benefits of moving a new phone system to a capital item in the budget. A thorough discussion ensued about smaller class size vs. larger class size for 3rd grade. Dr. Pierson Ugol said that small class size will lead to teachers knowing their students and early intervention, and this, in turn, will lead to less intervention later on. A lengthy and robust discussion took place about faculty and class size at JRMS. Dr. Amori explained how important it was to maintain the grade level teams of faculty in order to have a whole child approach to student success.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education approve the Redding School District budget for 2020-2021 in the amount of $22,761,634; an increase of $694,187 and 3.15%. (Reilly, Oulton). Approved. 4-3. (Whaley, Hoffman, Hocker dissented.)
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education approve a capital request not to exceed $60,000 for the purpose of replacing the phone system at RES and JRMS. (Oulton, Hoffman). Approved. Unanimous.
DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: AGREEMENT BETWEEN REDDING BOE AND UPSEU – CUSTODIANS – JULY 1, 2019 – JUNE 30, 2023
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education approve the agreement between the Redding Board of Education and the United Public Service Employees Union – Custodians – for the period of July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2023. (Hocker, Whaley) Approved. Unanimous.
Motion: move that an Agenda Item, Voluntary Retirement Clause to Custodians Contract, be added to the Agenda after Item X. (Hoffman, Reilly). Approved. Unanimous.
DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS
C. Parkin lead a review of committee assignments, with most assignments remaining the same and with new BOE members receiving committee assignments. The committee assignment list will be updated.
DISTRICT ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTS
Director of Special Services, Jennifer Del Conte, reported on the current status of student evaluations, saying that there were 15-16 students currently in referrals.
BOARD COMMITTEE REPORTS
Mike D’Agostino, Glenn Hill Road, Redding: Said that he didn’t want to overhype the coronavirus, but he had been at a meeting and learned that other school districts are making plans for a school closure in the event of a coronavirus outbreak in their community. He also said, in reference to the BOE’s decision to put the new phone system as a capital request, that the town could put it on the voting ballot as a separate referendum, and so the request could possibly then be voted down by the town.
BOARD MEMBER COMMENT
H. Whaley said that if we get the budget back from the Board of Finance as it is, she will support it.
DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: VOLUNTARY RETIREMENT CLAUSE TO CUSTODIANS CONTRACT: This item was passed.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education have a short recess. (Hoffman, Reilly). Approved. Unanimous.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education meeting be adjourned (Hoffman, Oulton). Approved. Unanimous.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:07 p.m.
Submitted by Colleen Pilato
Redding Board of Education Secretary
Recorded by Sarah Ota