REDDING BOARD OF EDUCATION
Regular Meeting Minutes
February 5, 2019
ATTENDANCE: Board of Education: Irwin, Hoffman, Parkin, Pilato, Reilly, Whaley, (Hoeing 7:35 pm)
Administration: McMorran, Reiss, Hammond, Wallin, Basta, Kirby, Twiss
Members of the Public: Approximately 5
CALL TO ORDER: Dr. Irwin called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Motion: move that Redding Board of Education approve the minutes of the January 8, 2019 Redding Board of Education Regular meeting. Unanimous (6-0).
Motion: move that Redding Board of Education approve the minutes of the January 10, 2019 Redding Board of Education Regular meeting. Reilly, Hoffman. (5-0-1; Irwin abstained).
Motion: move that Redding Board of Education approve the minutes if the January 23, 2019 Redding Board of Education Regular Easton, Redding, Region 9 Joint Boards of Education meeting. Unanimous (6-0).
Whereupon Hoeing arrived
Jeff Fligelman, Pocahontas Rd., spoke in favor of the Latin program and asked that a decision be made quickly to end questions for Latin families.
BOARD MEMBER COMMENT:
Dr. Irwin thanked the 8th grade Snow Ball committee for their hard work, and thanked the Board Policy Committee for its work.
N. Hammond noted that the first semester instructional focus was not posted online. She also noted that kindergarten enrollments continue to rise with over 90 confirmed enrollees.
D. Wallin shared the 7th graders work with the simple prompt “Love is…”
DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION:
Dr. McMorran led the Board through a discussion on the comparative special education prevalence rates in Redding and other districts throughout the state. The central thesis being that Redding’s rate is not out of step with peers.
INITIAL 2019-2020 BUDGET:
Dr. McMorran led the Board through an update of revisions made to the budget since the January meetings and a spreadsheet laying out carious cuts that could lead to different levels of reduction in spending and service. The Board engaged in a varied discussion of the potential cuts, the item that remain open, and how to approach the workshop on Thursday.
UPDATE: PROPOSED EDUCATION LEGISLATION:
C. Parkin outlined several bills worth watching in the Legislature, including efforts to reduce the excess cost reimbursement threshold and proposed bills to force regionalization of small districts. Potential motions opposing the Looney regionalization bill and supporting efforts to reduce the excess cost reimbursement thresholds were proposed.
Motion: move that the Board formally supports reducing the excess cost reimbursement threshold for small districts and authorizes the Superintendent and Chairperson to communicate this support to members of the Conn. General Assembly. Hoffman, Whaley. Unanimous.
Motion: to approve 6162.51, Survey of Students, without the proposed forms appended. Parkin, Reilly.
Brief discussion followed. L. Hoeing expressed concern that the work of the Policy Committee was for naught and expressed frustration at the committee’s workload. Dr. Irwin offered to reshuffle committee assignments.
Motion: carried, unanimous
SEARCH INSTITUTE SURVEY:
Motion: move that the Board approve the Search Institute Survey as proposed at the 2018 and 2019 January tri-board meeting. Parkin, Hoeing.
Very brief discussion followed.
Motion: carried. Unanimous
S. Reiss noted that health insurance claims continue to run lower than expected. Nevertheless, due to higher than expected substitute costs and special education outplacements, the 2018-2019 budget is projected to be spent to within $100,000 of total.
The Board accepted the Assistant Superintendent’s report in writing.
C. Pilato reported that the Communications Committee is working on a phased communications plan.
Kristen Anstett, Whortleberry Rd., discussed her experience with the Gifted and Talented Program and encouraged the Board to think creatively about meeting the needs of the gifted population.
Jeff Fligelman, Pocahontas Rd., asked the Board to prepare a summary that could help explain the budget to the Board of Finance and the community.
BOARD MEMBER COMMENT
Dr. Irwin acknowledged K. Anstett’s concerns.
H. Whaley provided anecdotal information regarding her family’s experience with combined grade level classes in a school in New York.
Motion: move to adjourn the meeting. Parkin, Whaley. Unanimous.
The meeting adjourned at 10:51 p.m.
Recorded and Submitted by
Chris Parkin, Redding Board of Education Secretary