REDDING BOARD OF EDUCATION REGULAR MEETING
April 5, 2022 – 7:00 p.m.
John Read Middle School – Community Room
Board members: Parkin, Hoffman, Belfatto, Gibbons, Hardridge,
Absent: Oulton and Sadana absent
Administration: McKinnon, Pierson Ugol, Petruzzelli, Del Conte
Others: 5 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 7:03 p.m.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education approve the minutes of the February 22, 2022, Joint Easton, Redding and Region 9 Boards of Education Regular meeting, with the following revisions: on page 6, it should read “M. Pampel said that it is also the responsibility of the superintendent to look out for the safety of our staff and that she doesn’t want that to be forgotten in our discussions;” on page 1, “Petruzzelli” and “Scrofani” are misspelled; on page 4, it should read “…accept to 1st reading to repeal…;” on page 5, it should read “…written lease with the Town of Easton.” (Gibbons, Hoffman). Approved. Unanimous.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education approve the minutes of the March 1, 2022, Redding Board of Education Regular meeting with the following revisions: on page 1 “Scrofani” is misspelled; on page 1 “Ortegon” is misspelled. (Hoffman, Gibbons). Approved. Unanimous.
Mike D’Agostino, Glenn Hill Road, said that student lunches are being provided without any direct cost to students or parents and that ER9 is seeking people for the Recording Secretary position.
BOARD MEMBER COMMENT
Redding Elementary School Principal, Melissa Labrosciano, reported on: the sunflower mural project that included artwork from every RES student and serves to promote hope, peace, and unity; the Mindfulness in Music project that helps students practice mindfulness strategies through music; the 3rd and 4th grades strings program; the recent Zoom visit by well-known children’s book author Bob Shea; the Circus Unit in P.E., when students were able to develop strength, coordination, and balance; and “Los Animales,” during the entire month of March, in Spanish class. BOE members had questions about a date for the 4th grade Stepping Up ceremony and the number of kindergarten packets sent out and received back. M. Labrosciano said that they were still deciding on a date for the ceremony and that she will have the number of kindergarten packets for the next BOE meeting.
John Read Middle School Principal, Meghan Ward, reported on the St. Baldrick’s fundraiser for cancer research on March 28, 2022, with $10,891 raised; the kind word lesson, which explored the idea that our words “stick” to people; the upcoming 8th-grade joint field trip to Brownstone Water Park with Helen Keller Middle School; the upcoming day-long 5th-grade field trip to Nature’s Classroom; the music recital on April 7, 2022; the upcoming 4th-grade visit to JRMS; and April Spirit Week.
Director of Special Services, Jennifer Del Conte, reported that it is now a busy time for the SpEd Department as they prepare for student transitions and the Extended School Year program. She said that Board members will notice in her prepared report for them, a slight decrease in the SpEd numbers, but to keep in mind that these numbers always fluctuate.
Director of Finance & Operations, Scott Petruzzelli, presented reports on the Budget Object Summary, Health Claims Analysis, and Transfers. He said that the District is in a spending pause and that the health claims are now trending in the direction that he wants them to be.
Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Jason McKinnon, reported that JRMS Assistant Principal, Darlene Wallin, is retiring and that the search for a replacement has already commenced. He said that they had received resumes from 80 applicants and that the process will be as follows: M. Ward will review the 80 resumes and narrow them down to approximately 15; the 15 applicants will be interviewed via Zoom and narrowed down to eight applicants; the eight applicants will be interviewed by him, Assistant Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Pierson Ugol, and M. Ward; approximately four of these applicants will be asked to complete a performance task, and then approximately two to three applicants will advance to interviews with BOE members. Dr. McKinnon said that he has started the process to develop a strategic plan for the District with the faculty focus groups he held last week with RES staff; next week focus groups with JRMS staff will be held. He said that there will be an opportunity for the community to be involved in the process – via focus groups and a Steering Committee – and that he will be sending out a communication soon.
DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: BONNIE SPIES AWARD/RECOGNITION
M. Ward presented JRMS art teacher, Bonnie Spies, with a Fund For Teachers award in the amount of $5,000. In accepting the award, B. Spies said that she “loves teaching at John Read Middle School because it fosters teachers to still be learners.” She said that she will use the award to study contemporary art in Mexico and work with local artists while in Mexico.
DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: DISTRICT CLIMATE SURVEY
Dr. Pierson Ugol reported on the District’s plans for the annual climate survey by saying that they surveyed area districts to find out from where they get their climate surveys, and that most districts use “home-grown” surveys just as Redding does. She said changes to the survey this year include removing questions about distance learning, questions involving inferencing the feelings of others, questions with two terms, and some open-ended questions. Dr. Pierson Ugol said that questions were added to the survey about race, and cleanliness and that there is now more consistency in response choice. A discussion followed regarding the objective of the survey, if any improvements have occurred since the survey was first given in 2012, and qualitative vs. quantitative surveys.
DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: FACILITIES UPDATE
M. Hoffman reported that the Committee had completed a roof to basement tour of the facilities and that areas of concern include: the roof, alarm system, paved recreation area, JRMS library room, storage, windows, older air conditioning zones, and boilers. He said that the District needs to rehabilitate the Capitol Plan, while including strategizing in the process and find broader ways to collaborate with the town. A discussion followed concerning the rear recreation area at RES and the urgent need for this area to be resurfaced.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education approve the resurfacing of the paved rear recreation area and authorize the administration to send the proposal to the ARPA Committee and/or the Town of Redding for approval and funding. (Hoffman, Gibbons). Approved. Unanimous.
BOARD COMMITTEE REPORTS
DEI Task Force: L. Gibbons said that the Task Force had met the previous night and reviewed some of the lines from the School Climate Survey. She said they will be working toward moving away from quantitative to qualitative surveys.
Policy Committee: C. Parkin said that the Committee is working through the Shipman & Goodwin policies and that he can share the policy folder with any Board member.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education Regular meeting be adjourned. (Gibbons, Hoffman). Approved. Unanimous.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:41 p.m.
Submitted by Stephanie Oulton
Secretary, Redding Board of Education
Recorded by Sarah Ota