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Minutes of Redding Board of Education, 11/04/2020

AGENDA: Redding Board of Education

RECEIVED 11/09/2020 3:23pm
Michele R. Grande – Redding Town Clerk

REDDING BOARD OF EDUCATION REGULAR MEETING
November 4, 2020 – 7:30 p.m.
Held Remotely Pursuant to Executive Order No. 7B
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Minutes

ATTENDANCE
Board members: Parkin, Whaley, Pilato, Hoffman, Oulton, Reilly, Hocker
Administration: Harrison, Pierson Ugol, Del Conte
Others: 24 members of the staff and public, and the recording secretary

CALL TO ORDER
C. Parkin called the Redding Board of Education regular meeting to order at 7:32 p.m.

C. Parkin noted that the Board of Education meeting had reverted back to a Zoom meeting because there were mixed reviews from the public as to the sound quality of the last hybrid Board of Education meeting and a recent Executive Order rolled Connecticut back to Phase 2.1 on the COVID restrictions scale, so out of an abundance of caution, this meeting is being conducted via Zoom.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education approve the minutes of the September 30, 2020, Special Easton, Redding and Region 9 Joint Boards of Education meeting. Approved by unanimous consent.

Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education approve the minute of the October 6, 2020, Regular Redding Board of Education meeting with the following correction: Remove the % signs on page 2 as the metrics are rates and not percentages. Approved by unanimous consent.

PUBLIC COMMENT
None.

BOARD MEMBER COMMENT
C. Pilato said that she congratulates the re-election of our local officials. She also said that they are invited to attend the Board of Education meetings at any time.

C. Parkin asked the building administrators to proceed with their reports for Agenda Item VI and said that the meeting would return to Agenda Item V after these reports.

BUILDING ADMINISTRATOR REPORTS
Redding Elementary School Principal, N. Hammond, first thanked the RES community, saying that everyone has really embraced the new systems and protocols and has made it a great place. She reported that there are six new enrolled students at RES, with most being new families to town. N. Hammond referenced her written report to the Board of Education which highlights the area of Fine & Practical Arts and said that RES staff J. Amodio, R. Saluzzi and M. Farina had put together a beautiful, virtual Veteran’s Day celebration. C. Parkin asked if there was anything she needed in terms of COVID mitigation. N. Hammond said that she appreciates the continued flexibility from all of us and that she appreciates the support of the Board of Education.

John Read Middle School Interim Principal, Dr. Amori, said that as the Board of Education reviewed her written report that she wanted to draw attention to the large size of the 8th grade and how this grade requires extra attention. She explained that parent/teacher conferences are coming up next week, but she also wanted to encourage parents to reach out to the faculty all year with any questions or concerns they may have. Dr. Amori also said that the staff is taking advantage of the outdoors and outdoor spaces as much as possible. C. Parkin asked if there was anything she needed in terms of COVID mitigation. Dr. Amori said that she echoes the earlier sentiment that she appreciates the continued flexibility from the community.

Superintendent of School, Dr. Harrison, added that each of the three Easton, Redding and Region 9 Districts have had positive COVID cases now, and that each case is different and the response decisions are based on each specific case. He said that teachers have also had to quarantine, and reminded the group that the transition to quarantine and live-stream may take quarantined staff a little time to get things up and running. Dr. Harrison said that he has gotten a lot of positive feedback about the way Central Office has been managing the COVID response. He also said that with the recent uptick in the Connecticut numbers, he wants everyone to please remember that this is a collaborative effort between everyone in the community.

ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Pierson Ugol, reported on the one-time flexibility for implementing educator evaluation plans as granted by the Connecticut Department of Education. The ER9 Professional Development and Evaluation Committee met on September 17, 2020 and adopted the plan. Dr. Pierson Ugol’s written report to the Board of Education also included an update on the October Technology Integration Academy, in which staff participated on Wednesday afternoons in October.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: 2020-2021 BUILDING GOALS
N. Hammond presented the RES 2020-2021 school year goal as: “During the 2020-2021 school year, RES students and families will demonstrate active engagement in the personalized approaches to social-emotional learning, communication, academic instruction and support provided by the RES staff.” She said that the action steps and focus areas to achieve this goal will be: technology; communication; school culture/climate; and, staff and student growth, development and engagement.

Dr. Amori presented the JRMS 2020-2021 school year goal as: “The community of educators at John Read is committed to supporting one another and our students during this global pandemic.” She said that, mainly, these efforts will fall under the three broad categories of: student engagement, technological skill development and social emotional learning. Dr. Amori said that evidence of progress toward attaining these goals will take place in the form of: analyzing trends of student attendance, student growth in reading and math and student SEL components; and, providing for all certified staff to meet district technology competency.

C. Pilato asked that measures be built into the language of the goals for both buildings.

C. Parkin said that the meeting would skip Agenda Item VII B for the moment and move on to Agenda Item VII C, as Dr. Eradi had not yet joined the meeting.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: REA CONTRACT

Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education approve the contract between the Redding Board of Education and the Redding Education Association for the period of July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2025 and authorize the chairperson to execute the agreement. (Hoffman, Reilly). Approved. Unanimous.

DISTRICT REPORTS
Director of Special Services, J. Del Conte, said that it was fairly quiet in her department at the moment, but expects an uptick in activity with the upcoming parent-teacher conferences. She also said that her staff is doing an incredible job and that the model has changed slightly to Integrated Co-Teaching. J. Del Conte said that she would provide a continuum report for the next Board of Education meeting.

In place of a Director of Finance & Operations, C. Parkin presented the budget object summary, transfers and health insurance analysis reports.

C. Parkin then returned to Agenda Item VII B.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: UPDATE REGARDING JRMS PRINCIPAL SEARCH
C. Parkin reported that a job posting for the JRMS principal position will take place in November, interviews in January 2021 and a candidate approval in February 2021. He said that a community forum about the principal position will take place and confirmed that the Board of Education Personnel Search Committee consists of all seven members of the Redding Board of Education.

BOARD COMMITTEE REPORTS
Curriculum Committee: J. Reilly reported that the Committee is a joint committee with Easton and met on October 5, 2020. He said that the Committee: is gathering guiding questions for DEI; is awaiting Dr. Pierson Ugol’s recommendation for K-5 math textbooks; elected a new Chair of the Committee – J. Reilly; and, will meet again in 60-90 days.

Task Force on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: H. Whaley reported that the application period for student and community members is now closed, and that they received lots of good applications.

PUBLIC COMMENT
None.

BOARD MEMBER COMMENT
None.

ADJOURNMENT

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

The meeting was adjourned at 8:54 p.m.

Submitted by Colleen Pilato
Secretary, Redding Board of Education

Recorded by Sarah Ota

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