REDDING BOARD OF EDUCATION REGULAR MEETING
Tuesday, July 6, 2021- 7:30 p.m.
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Meeting ID: 941 1250 2224
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Board members: Parkin, Hoffman, Reilly, Hocker, Oulton, Pilato
Administration: Harrison, Pierson Ugol
Others: 15 Members of the public, staff and recording secretary
CALL TO ORDER
C. Parkin called the Redding Board of Education Special Meeting to order at 7:33 p.m.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education approve the minutes of the 05/04/2021 Regular Redding Board of Education Meeting. Approved. Unanimous consent.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education approve the minutes of the 05/05/2021 Special Easton, Redding, Region 9 Boards of Education Meeting. Approved. Unanimous consent.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education approve the minutes of the 05/25/2021 Easton, Redding, Region 9 Regular Boards of Education Meeting. Approved. Unanimous consent with the following change;
-on pg. 16, change motion to “adopt as equity statement the following”
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education approve the minutes of the 06/01 2021 Easton, Redding, Region 9 Special Boards of Education Meeting. Approved. Unanimous consent with the following change;
-on pg. 6 eliminate “call to question”
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education approve the minutes of the 06/01/2021 Regular Redding Board of Education Meeting. Approved. Unanimous consent.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education approve the minutes of the 06/14/2021 Easton, Redding, Region 9 Special Boards of Education Meeting. Approved. Unanimous consent.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education approve the minutes of the 06/21/2021 Redding Board of Education Special Meeting. Approved. Unanimous consent.
BOARD MEMBER COMMENT
J. Reilly welcomed M. Ward and wished her success in her new role. He thanked Dr. Harrison for his hard work and wished him well.
M. Hoffman reflected that at a recent meeting, Critical Race Theory was described as a figment of our imagination, but he shared a statement that CRT is real and national educational associations are adopting this into curriculums. In addition, M. Hoffman read a report of face mask side-effects and advocated that masks not be required in the fall for students.
Dr. Harrison welcomed the new JRMS principal, M. Ward. He is confident in her ability to lead the school and transition into the new school year. He stated he will offer his support even after his own transition.
Dr. Pierson Ugol stated that although Central Office is going through changes, she is hopeful for the year ahead. The Administrative Council is meeting in upcoming weeks to begin discussions for next school year.
BOARD OF EDUCATION COMMITTEE REPORTS
C. Parkin stated the search committee for the new Superintendent has been formed and is beginning to meet. He also said that the Policy Committee continues to meet on Friday mornings and it is open to everyone.
Prior to moving on to Discussion and Possible Action, the Board added an item to the agenda.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education amend the agenda to add 7A: Discussion and Possible Action: Establish a Personnel Search Committee for the Director of Finance and Operations position. (Hocker, Hoffman). Unanimous consent.
DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: ESTABLISH A PERSONNEL SEARCH COMMITTEE FOR THE DIRECTOR OF FINANCE AND OPERATIONS POSITION
C. Parkin presented the recent wording used in approved motions that established other personnel search committees for Central Office Administrators, updated to refer to the Director of Finance and Operations. He explained that the motion assumes that the Easton Board of Education and the Region 9 Board of Education would approve similarly worded motions in each of their upcoming meetings over the next week.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education establish the following:
1. A joint Easton, Redding, and Region 9 Boards of Education Personnel Search Committee of the whole, consisting of the membership of the Easton, Redding, and Region 9 Boards of Education for the purpose of identifying a Director of Finance and Operations. The Personnel Search Committee shall be chaired by the Chairperson of the Board of Education then acting as chairperson of the joint boards; and
2. A Personnel Search Steering Committee, to consist of two members of each of the Easton, Redding, and Region 9 Boards of Education with equal representation from the Towns of Redding and Easton. The Chairpersons of the Easton, Redding, and Region 9 Boards of Education shall be members of the Steering Committee ex officio. This Steering Committee shall be considered a subcommittee of the Personnel Search Committee and be empowered to collaborate with the Superintendent to design and implement a process for 1) reviewing resumes; and 2) interviewing and screening candidates. The Steering Committee shall be co-chaired by one member from Redding and one from Easton to be selected by the Committee and shall provide regular updates to the Personnel Search Committee.
The Joint Personnel Search Committee and Personnel Search Steering Committee and shall be automatically disbanded upon the execution of a contract between the three boards and the Director of Finance and Operations. (Reilly, Hoffman). Unanimous, 6-0.
DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: 2021-2022 STAY OPEN PLAN
Dr. Harrison reported that the US Department of Education is requiring all districts to develop a plan to reopen in the fall. The state provided the district with a template of what information is needed. ER9 made the decision to not offer remote learning next year as a permanent option, but learning options in case of short-term quarantines are being discussed.
Dr. Pierson-Ugol reported that guidance on seating, masks, schedules, etc are expected to be released soon. Once the district has that direction from the state level, discussions will begin with the Boards to make decisions regarding the 2021-2022 school year. M. Hoffman asked if the mask decision is left to the district, where does the district stand. Dr. Pierson-Ugol and Dr. Harrison both agreed that local health departments would be included in that decision. M. Hoffman encouraged the Board and ER9 to think of risk versus benefit in regards to wearing masks. He mentioned our low numbers, high vaccination rate, and adverse effects of mask wearing on our children as factors to consider. C. Hocker agreed with M. Hoffman’s statement regarding masks, and emphasized the importance of distinguishing between guidance from the state and a requirement. C. Parkin stated that he thinks the COVID numbers are higher than M. Hoffman reported, and that it is best to differ to medical authorities, but that it is premature to do so at this time.
Sarah O’Dell, Black Rock Turnpike: thanked the Board for already thinking about reopening plans for the upcoming school year. She shared her personal experience with COVID, and shared as a parent she supports indoor masking and not masking outdoors.
Montana Alexander, Stepney Rd: stated that if COVID was a risk to children, we would be aware of that, and she talked about the emotional aspects of mask wearing on our children not being able to see people’s facial reactions. She asked that the Board provide guidance based on listening to the community in equal part, if not more so, than the CDC.
BOARD MEMBER COMMENT
C. Parkin apologized and corrected his earlier comment to say that the COVID numbers are lower than he previously expected. In addition, he mentioned that the Board should conduct a self-reflection and self-evaluation to provide a good playing field for new leadership, and that he will be distributing a template for this reflection exercise at a later date.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education Regular meeting to be adjourned. (Hoffman, Reilly). Unanimous.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:16 p.m.
Submitted by Colleen Pilato
Secretary, Redding Board of Education
Recorded by Kim Keil