Board of Education: Gaspar, Irwin, Sobel, Witt
Administration: McMorran, Sullivan, Pierson Ugol, Edwards, Freeston, Martin, Wallin, Wessman Huber, Basta
Others: 12 members of the public and representatives of the Redding Pilot and videographer
Acting Chairman Sobel called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm in the Community Room of John Read Middle School.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education approve the minutes of the September 1, 2015 meeting as corrected. Gaspar, Irwin. Approved. Unanimous.
Correction: page 1, item B, “will be filled by majority vote at a regularly scheduled meeting
Chris Parkin, Indian Hill: Mr. Parkin commented on the changes in bus stops in the Seventy Acres area due to the roadwork being done, primarily the short notice given for the changes.
BOARD MEMBER COMMENT
Mrs. Sobel stated that after consultations with board counsel, Dr. McMorran and the town committees, the board will not move to fill the board vacancy due to the proximity to the November election.
On behalf of the Board of Education, Mrs. Sobel thanked Mr. Witt for his service on the board of education, the children and residents of Redding.
DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION ON 2015-16 CALENDAR—RES SPRING CONFERENCE SCHEDULE
Dr. Wessman Huber recommended adding an additional minimum day to the spring conference schedule to accommodate the number of parent conferences. There are four days in the fall, and three scheduled days in the spring. She noted that most parents expect and request a spring conference. Discussion followed, with suggestions on how to accommodate the conferences without a decrease in educational time for the students.
Board members asked Dr. Wessman Huber to explore other options with the staff. This item was tabled to the next meeting.
DISCUSSION OF SPECIAL EDUCATION TERMINOLOGY
Director of Special Services, Tracy Edwards, provided an explanation of various acronyms used in special education. These included:
- IDEIA, Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act
- IDEA, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
- FAPE, Free and Appropriate Education
- IEP, Individual Education Plan
- LRE, Least Restrictive Environment
- PPT, Planning and Placement Team
Discussion and questions followed. The material, A Guide to Special Education Terminology, will be posted to the website.
DISCUSSION OF ASSESSMENT RESULTS—SMARTER BALANCED PRESENTATION
The results of the 2015 Smarter Balanced Assessment for Redding schools was presented. The administrators discussed the results and provided plans for addressing the results.
- Differentiation at RES: Dr. Wessman Huber provided an overview on how the needs of all children are met in different ways.
- Extended Learning Time (ELT) at JRMS: Mrs. Martin reported on how the extended learning time was being used, primarily for student-driven specific projects. The extended learning time is also provided additional in-house professional development opportunities for the staff.
- Special Education Update: Ms. Edwards reported on that weekly meetings are being scheduled for all Easton & Redding special services staff, including teachers and service providers. These meetings include discussion of procedures, goals, issues, student, programs, etc. Staff members attended a workshop program on Dyslexia on the September 29 PD day. Ms. Edwards is also working closely with the Barlow Director of Special Education on transition plans for students of Easton and Redding.
Superintendent: Dr. McMorran commented on education, the value of testing, and the use of test results.
Assistant Superintendent: Dr. Pierson Ugol reported on the successful PD day with Dr. Yeap Ban Har on Singapore math and the parent presentation the same night.
Finance Director: Mrs. Sullivan reported the Health Insurance claims for July and August are lower than usual and well below the budget. She also provided the Transfer Report for review.
Dana Gray, Lamppost Drive: Mrs. Gray commented that more data is needed to understand the discrepancies in math education. She was very disappointed to see the math scores decrease from the elementary school to the middle school, and is concerned about how students will meet the high school expectations for math skills and abilities.
Kim Thompson, Old Stagecoach Road: Mrs. Thompson expressed concern about the testing results and need to find the root cause of the downswing in results. She urged the board and administration to explore the subject closely and openly, and devise a plan of action for improvements to be taken.
Chris Parkin, Indian Hill Road: Mr. Parkin questioned the class sizes for math in the middle school and if there was a board policy on number of sections per grade. He expressed concern about the new legislation concerning the MBR and impact of test scores on the MBR. He added that the 3 minimum days for parent conferences should be sufficient given the number of students in the elementary school.
Motion: move to adjourn the meeting. Gaspar Irwin. Approved, Unanimous.
The meeting adjourned at 9:28 pm
Recorded by Mary Maday