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Minutes of Redding Board of Education Budget Workshop, 01/10/2019

AGENDA: Redding Board of Education Budget Workshop

RECEIVED 01/15/2019 2:52pm
Michele R. Grande – Redding Town Clerk

Budget Workshop
January 10, 2019

Board of Education: M. Hoffman, C. Parkin, C. Pilato, L. Hoeing, J. Reilly, H. Whaley
Administration: T. McMorran, S. Pierson Ugol, S. Reiss, N. Hammond, D. Martin, C. Twiss, A. Kirby, D. Wallin, C. Basta
Others: Approximately 10 members of the public/staff

M. Hoffman called the Meeting to Order at 7:30 p.m.



Motion: move that the agenda be amended and Board use of Social Media be added as IV. A. Parkin, Pilato, Unanimous (6-0)

Communications Committee Chair C. Pilato reviewed the work of the committee since the prior full board discussion of communications and social media in November. She advised that it was the committee’s recommendation that the Board authorize a Board Facebook page to assist in dissemination of Board information.

Motion: move to approve a Redding Board of Education Facebook page for the purpose of sharing information from the Redding Board of Education online, subject to the following guidelines:
– The intent is to share information from Board of Education meetings with the community.
– Postings will include the information provided to us in Board of Education meetings, including agendas, meeting minutes, building reports, financial reports, and videos from meetings and staff.
– The page administrators will consist of members of the communications committee.
– No Board of Education members will respond to comments.
– No posts will be made during pending referenda, except where approved by Board counsel.
– Unless the Communications Committee is otherwise authorized, posts consisting of information not made publicly available will be approved by the Board.
– Vulgarity is not permitted.
Pilato, Whaley

Discussion followed regarding concerns about monitoring the page and avoiding it deteriorating into a toxic space. The Board discussed potential to shut the project down should it go in that direction. Susan Clark, BOF, was recognized by the chair and noted that the BOF is looking at starting a blog of its own. She also opined that she believed the number of people in town on Facebook is small.
The motion carried 4-2 (Hoffman, Hoeing opposed)

Dr. McMorran reviewed the current status of the budget proposal and offered detail on financial impact of various programmatic and other cuts.

Motion: move to recess until 9:05pm. Parkin, Hoffman, Unanimous.

The Board stood in recess at 9:00pm.

M. Hoffman reconvened the meeting at 9:07pm.

Dr. Twiss and A. Kirby delivered a presentation on special services. They detailed the roles and schedules of various special services staff, discussed the legal requirements of IEPs, and the upward pressure created on the budget. Discussion followed to clarify issues related to delivery of services, costs associated with the preschool, and other related issues.

The Board briefly discussed the focus of their next discussion in February on operations.

Jeannue Wendschuh, Deer Spring Rd, requested clarification on the grade level team approach used at JRMS and asked for information regarding Middle School class sizes. She also expressed appreciation for the detailed Special Education presentation.

Mike D’Agostino – Glenn Hill Road noted that communication continues to be a theme. He suggested the Board be mindful in ordering discussion when a BOF member is present and lamented that Ms. Clark, the only BOF member to attend a BOE budget meeting, departed before the core of the budget discussion despite sitting through a lengthy discussion of social media. He called the decision to launch a Facebook presence bold and asked the administration to make paper copies of budget presentations available for the public as it’s very difficult to see. He wished that there was greater insight into why Special Education spending is up: are there new students, newly identified students, how many kids is it really?

H. Whaley commented that she personally hates Facebook but that it was the best of subpar options. She is open to suggestions for better avenues of communication.

M. Hoffman commented that the administration should not take the Board’s various lines of questioning as anything more than attempts to fully understand the proposal so as to be in a better position to answer questions in the community.

L. Hoeing thanked the Board and administration for their devotion and noted that she felt disrespected by the suggests about how to run our meetings.

Motion: move to adjourn the meeting. Reilly, Whaley. Approved. 6-0.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:26 p.m.

Submitted by Chris Parkin
Redding Board of Education Secretary

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