REDDING BOARD OF EDUCATION REGULAR MEETING
John Read Middle School – Community Room
November 3, 2021 – 7:30 p.m.
Board members: Parkin, Whaley, Pilato, Hocker, Hoffman, Oulton, Reilly
Administration: McKinnon, Pierson Ugol, Petruzzelli, Del Conte
Others: 3 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 7:30 p.m.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
C. Parkin asked for any comments, questions or concerns with the Minutes from the Redding Board of Education Regular meeting of October 5, 2021. Hearing none, he deemed the Minutes Approved by Unanimous Consent.
M. D’Agostino, Glenn Hill Road, thanked the retiring Board of Education members for their service and said to remember that school lunches are free.
BOARD MEMBER COMMENT
C. Parkin read a prepared statement in which he spoke about the role of a Board of Education member and the service and dedication required for serving on a school board; he also recognized the four retiring Board of Education members.
H. Whaley said that it’s been an honor for her to serve on the Board of Education and thanked her colleagues and the people of Redding.
C. Hocker said that the collegiality between the Board of Education members has been very gratifying.
J. Reilly read a prepared statement in which he spoke of his time on the Board of Education and thanked his fellow Board Of Education members and the public.
C. Pilato said thank you for the honor of serving on the Board of Education.
Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Jason McKinnon, said thank you to the retiring Board of Education members and said that future board members will build on their prior work.
Redding Elementary School Interim Principal, S. Weirsman, reported that: the Halloween parade had been held for the first time in two years, there will be a virtual Veteran’s Day celebration, and that the fine and practical arts had returned to their home spaces to teach. S. Weirsman said that they had just had a very productive professional development day where the staff spent time on the math resources and report cards, and had productive conversations on students’ adjustment back to school. She also said that numbers at RES are steady with enrollment at 495 students.
John Read Middle School Principal, M. Ward, reported that: Project Adventure has begun, the students for the Wingman project have been selected, the student body has been distributing Ben’s bells coins for kindness, there’s an upcoming Unity Day and last week was Spirit Week. She said the entire school had participated in an evacuation drill, where they walked to the Mark Twain Library parking lot. M. Ward said that during their recent professional development day the staff had trauma sensitive and trauma informed sessions.
Director of Special Services, J. Del Conte, reported that: SpEd teachers were able to join in some of the sessions during the professional development day and that they also used the time for some necessary recertification. She said now is the time of year when the preschool application opens up, and that her department’s numbers are consistent with last year.
Director of Finance & Operations, S. Petruzzelli, reported that: he still does not have complete access to eFinance; he is about to close out FY21, and pending any unexpected invoices, there should be approximately $268K in unused funds; and that the District is in a medical deficit position. C. Parkin said that the health insurance numbers need to be more fully examined at the December BOARD OF EDUCATION meeting and S. Petruzzelli agreed.
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Pierson Ugol, reported that: the elementary math specialists conducted a Zoom session for parents that included a question and answer period and was recorded; the health curriculum is under review; and climate web pages with information on the climate policy will be published in the next two weeks. Dr. McKinnon reported that a point of contact person for quarantined students will be identified, that asynchronous learning opportunities are being streamlined and that they are receiving information on the new “Test & Stay ” guidelines from the State of Connecticut. He also reported that he had organized a vaccination clinic for children aged 5-11 at RES and SSES on November 16 and 18. Dr. McKinnon said that he had sent out a vaccination-interest survey to parents and 65% of respondents indicated that they will get their children vaccinated. Board members had questions about the changes to the math program. Dr. Pierson Ugol replied that the philosophical approach has not changed: it is still concrete to pictorial to abstract.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education add Agenda Item “Personnel Search Committee for Redding Elementary School Principal” to the Agenda to become Agenda Item VI. A. and move down other Agenda Items accordingly. (Parkin, Oulton). Approved. Unanimous.
DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: PERSONNEL SEARCH COMMITTEE FOR REDDING ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PRINCIPAL
Dr. McKinnon said that he would like to keep the following timeline for the principal search: November 19, 2021 for interviews of upwards of seven-eight candidates, November 30, 2021 for Board Of Education interviews of upwards of four candidates and December 7, 2021 to appoint a successful candidate.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education amend the Personnel Search Committee for Redding Elementary School Principal to include retiring Redding Board of Education members: C. Hocker, C. Pilato, J. Reilly and H. Whaley. (Whaley, Reilly) Approved. Unanimous.
A discussion followed on who would be eligible to vote on the candidate and what the role of the retired Board of Education members would be in the candidate search process.
DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: DISTRICT AND SCHOOL GOALS FRAMEWORK
Dr. McKinnon presented a report on District & School Goals Framework by first stating that data rarely leads to action if it’s not connected to a framework of strategies. He said the priorities for 2021-2022 are: High Impact Instructional Strategies, Inspiring Student Outcomes, Students Owning the Learning Process, School Climate & Safety, and Social Emotional Learning. Dr. McKinnon said priorities are selected if they are research tested, are at the instructional core, and are focused, coherent, synergistic, discussed, understood and measured. He said the next steps are to build understanding with faculty and leaders on priority areas and to develop goals and action steps. Dr. Pierson Ugol added that the building staff are working on their goals.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education Regular meeting be adjourned. (Whaley, Reilly). Approved. Unanimous.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:12 p.m.
Submitted by Colleen Pilato
Secretary, Redding Board of Education
Recorded by Sarah Ota