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Minutes of Redding Board of Education, 05/04/2021

AGENDA: Redding Board of Education

RECEIVED 05/11/2021 1:27pm
Michele R. Grande – Redding Town Clerk

Tuesday, May 4, 2021- 7:30 p.m.
Held Remotely Pursuant to Executive Order NO. 7B
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Meeting ID: 910 7536 1809 Passcode: 63455
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Board members: Parkin, Whaley, Hoffman, Reilly, Hocker, Oulton, Pilato
Administration: Zachery, Harrison, Pierson Ugol, Del Conte
Others: 35 members of the staff and public

C. Parkin called the Redding Board of Education Special Meeting to order at 7:33 p.m.

Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education approve the minutes of the April 6, 2021 Regular Redding Board of Education Meeting. Approved by unanimous consent.

This year’s CABE Student Leadership award was given to two eighth grade students at JRMS, who exhibit exceptional leadership skills. The CABE award was awarded to Caroline Beihl & William McKenna. The Board congratulated the winners.


C. Pilato thanked all the poll workers who were staffing the polls for the referendum vote, and acknowledge the school staff for Teacher Appreciation Week.

Superintendent, Dr. Harrison discussed the current water issue at RES, which led to two remote learning days. Dr. Harrison gave an update on what has been done to address the problem. Dr. Harrison reviewed how COVID recovery grants will be used, and he thanked all staff members for their hard work during this challenging year.

Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Pierson Ugol gave an update on welcoming back student teachers and interns, which will begin in September and is funded with COVID Relief grant money. The program allows student teachers and interns to learn the craft of teaching through hands on learning within the school environment. Interns will also work with students in small group instruction, one on one remedial help, and serve as substitutes as needed.

Redding Elementary School Principal, N. Hammond thanked the RES staff in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week. The RES community made the staff feel special and acknowledged. After numerous discussions, between teachers and administration, RES has decided to pilot a program in fourth grade using team-teaching. The model is more like a middle school model, where students see one teacher per subject. The pilot program will have two classes in the team-teaching model and three classes in the traditional model. Students who are in the Gifted and Talented program will still receive that service. Parents can opt-out of the pilot is they feel that it is not a good fit for their child. N. Hammond reported 77 potential kindergarteners for the 2021-2022 school year. A lot of movement is still happening and shifts and changes are expected. The Cohort C number has decreased significantly, less than 25 pre-K to 4th grade students are in this cohort. Discussion followed.

John Read Middle School Interim Principal, Dr. Amori acknowledged the CABE Award winners, the hard work of the staff at JRMS, and thanked the PTA for the Teacher Appreciation Lunch. Less than 20 students are currently in Cohort C. Dr. Amori also reported that any challenges that the school encounters, they work together to solve. She went on to explain how students in seventh grade participated in Cool Science Investigations class, have been creating their own investigations to explore the world around them. Students in 8th grade have been participating in Poetry Slam.

Director of Special Services, J. Del Conte reported that end of the year IEP and 504 transition meetings are taking place. Parent meetings, teacher collaboration between teachers and schools are included in these meetings. The SPED team is also beginning to look at projected caseloads, services, and needs for the following school year. The SPED team is also collaborating on Extended School Year services for eligible students.

C. Zachery reviewed the monthly Object Summary that showed the budget numbers are on track to allow for a soft, on-target landing at the end of the fiscal year. The Health Insurance numbers had not come in yet but will be reported as soon as they are received. He also reviewed the transfers report.

Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education approve the transfer of $12,500 from 24-1100-330 to 24-2225-732 at the request of the Director of Finance and Operations. (Hoffman, Whaley). Approved. Unanimous.

C. Zachery explained the upcoming building survey report which will help inform future Capital Expenditure projects.

H. Whaley reported on the DEI taskforce. The taskforce is working on student and staff surveys for 6th grade and above. These surveys and questions are optional. This is an informative resource to help make future DEI taskforce decisions. Dr. Harrison added that the taskforce has also drafted an aspirational statement that will be recommended at the next tri-Board meeting.

N. Hammond reported the “Stepping Up” ceremony for fourth graders is scheduled to take place on June 17th. Administration is currently working with Redding health director, Doug Hartline to
be sure events adhere to guidelines and finalize logistics. Field Day and other end of year celebrations are also in discussion. The end of year classroom celebrations will stay within the classroom and keep visitors at a minimum.

Dr. Amori said that June 15th will be the eighth grade graduation using the JRMS field. It has been suggested that parents will bring their own seating; students will face forward and be spaced apart. The final details will come in the next weeks. Field day will take place the last day of school. Indoor and outdoor activities are being planned. An ice cream truck is also in the conversation. JRMS cannot hold the traditional 8th grade dance this year, but they will be having an onsite event in the afternoon hours. Details to follow.

JRMS PTA President and Vice President, J. Dyer and D. Bradford presented “Creating an Oasis for Outdoor Learning,” a PTA funded project that will construct an outdoor learning space on the property of JRMS. Discussion followed. The Board thanked the JRMS PTA for their generous offer and professional presentation.

Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education accept, with gratitude, the JRMS PTA’s donation of an outdoor learning space, and direct the administration to take appropriate steps to secure permitting and other approvals with the Town of Redding (Hoffman, Whaley). Approved. Unanimous.

Assistant Superintendent, Dr. S. Pierson Ugol gave an update on the summer enrichment program. The program will be 4 weeks long and include academic and enrichment programs. The Summer Academy cost will be offset by COVID Relief funding. Parents will receive information about the program soon.

Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education approve the Memorandum of Agreement with the Redding Education Association regarding the 2021 Summer Academy program at RES and JRMS. (Reilly, Hoffman). Approved. 6-0-1 (Parkin abstained).

Motion: move to accept for second reading of Policy 4118.1 Personnel, Policy Regarding Prohibition of Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment In The Workplace. (Reilly, Hocker). Approved. Unanimous.

Motion: move to accept for second reading Policy 5145.44 Students, Policy Regarding Title IX of The Education Amendments Of 1972 – Prohibition of Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment (Whaley, Hocker). Approved. Unanimous.

Kristen Anstett, Whortleberry Road, thanked the PTA for the outdoor classroom and to the board for approving it. She expressed her dissatisfaction on the limited playground equipment for fifth graders at JRMS. Her son is a fifth grader and frequently complains that they have no options during recess. She would like to see a discussion about a playground at JRMS take place in the immediate future.

Sarah O’Dell, Black Rock Turnpike, thanked everyone for voting today on the budget. She is very happy about the construction of an outdoor classroom for the Redding school community and thanked the board for approving it.

Danielle Garavito, Ledgewood Road, said she was thankful for the new smartboard in her son’s class. She expressed the need, now that many parents are back at work in-person, to have a mechanism in place to walk students over to the after-school program at dismissal.

Meredith Ferris of 26 Ledgewood Road, reiterated other community members comments, thanking the board for passing the outdoor classroom project. She agrees the lack of playground equipment at JRMS is problematic and needs to be addressed.

H. Whaley thanked the community for approving the budget.

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

The meeting was adjourned at 9:26 p.m.

Submitted by Colleen Pilato
Secretary, Redding Board of Education

Recorded by Kim Keil

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