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Minutes of Redding Board of Education, 12/03/2019

AGENDA: Redding Board of Education

RECEIVED 12/10/2019 3:55pm
Michele R. Grande – Redding Town Clerk

REDDING BOARD OF EDUCATION REGULAR MEETING
John Read Middle School – Community Room
December 3, 2019 – 7:30 p.m.

Minutes

ATTENDANCE
Board members: Hoffman, Parkin, Hoeing, Reilly, Whaley, Oulton, Pilato (by remote means and not voting)
Administration: McMorran, Pierson Ugol, Reiss, Del Conte, Hankla
Others: 6 members of the public and staff, and the note taker

Dr. McMorran, Temporary Chairman, called the meeting to order at 7:30p.m.
Dr. McMorran appointed M. Hoffman temporary vice chairman and C. Parkin temporary secretary

APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education approve the minutes of October 29, 2019, Joint Boards of Education Meeting with two revisions. (Reilly, Whaley). Approved. 5-0-1. (Oulton abstained).

L. Hoeing noted that the minutes should be revised to correct the name of “Sheila Duke” to “Stephanie Duke,” within the Public Comment section. L. Hoeing noted that the minutes should be revised to reflect that the Attitudes & Behavior survey was conducted by the Search Institute and not the ERCC.

Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education approve the minutes of November 6, 2019, Regular Meeting with one revision. (Hoffman, Riley). Approved. 5-0-1. (Oulton abstained).

H. Whaley noted that the minutes should be revised to state that S. Reiss would be meeting with Chartwell’s, and not her.

PUBLIC COMMENT
Annie Evans, Topstone Road, stated that she believes Joel Barlow High School should have a later start time and asked that the BOE consider this option.

Laura Cunningham, Gallows Hill Road Ext., stated that she believes that Joel Barlow High School should have a later start time. She urged the Board to think over the holidays about why nothing happened on this topic.

BOARD MEMBER COMMENT
J. Reilly stated that he has some concerns about the upcoming collaborative discussion on the future of education in Redding and more synergy between the BOE, BOF and BOS. He stated that the agenda at a recent BOF and BOS meeting stated this discussion as “Update on School Consultant,” and this was not what the Redding BOE had agreed upon at previous meetings. He also stated that he was not pleased that these meetings are not public meetings.

L. Hoeing said that she toured RES with Principal Hammond and that is was very informative. She urged Board members to do the same.

Dr. McMorran welcomed S. Oulton to the Redding BOE.

H. Whaley stated that she has the same concerns as J. Reilly concerning the upcoming collaborative discussion on the future of education in Redding and more synergy between the BOE, BOF and BOS.

M. Hoffman stated that everyone should keep an open mind and listen to one another.

Dr. McMorran, acting as Temporary Chairman of the Redding BOE, reminded Board members that any further discussion on the upcoming collaborative discussion on the future of education in Redding and more symmetry between the BOE, BOF and BOS would need to be within the context of an agenda item.

ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTS
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction: Dr. Pierson Ugol reported that the primary resources of the K-8 math curriculum, Math in Focus, will be phased out by the publisher by the end of the 2020-2021 school year and noted that a textbook review committee will be convened to select a new text.

BUILDING ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTS
Redding Elementary School Principal N. Hammond thanked L. Hoeing for visiting RES. She also thanked C. Parkin and his fellow Eagle Scouts for their work on the Veteran’s Day Ceremony. She made note of the student-authored class newsletter from RES 4th grade teacher, R. Fischler, saying that is was exceptional.

John Read Middle School Interim Principal Dr. Amori reported on the recent Parent-Team/Student Led Conferences. She explained that parents first met with two core leaders, and then the conference transitioned to a student-led conversation that included social aspects as well as academics. Dr. Amori said that a survey about the conferences had yielded many positive comments. C. Parkin asked about the recent SBA Celebration and any plans to recognize achievement in other academic and non-academic areas. Dr. Amori replied that were only two complaints about it, some students were confused because it was not well communicated, and that other celebrations would be appropriate. This event was organized on the initiative of the math department.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: ELECTION OF OFFICERS
Dr. McMorran opened the floor for nomination for chairperson.

L. Hoeing nominated M. Hoffman, who accepted the nomination.
H. Whaley nominated C. Parkin, who accepted the nomination.

Very brief discussion followed and Dr. McMorran called for a vote by paper ballot. C. Parkin was elected chairperson by a vote of 4 (Whaley, Oulton, Reilly, Parkin) to 2 (Hoeing, Hoffman).

C. Parkin was seated as chairperson and relieved Dr. McMorran as temporary chairman.

C. Parkin opened the floor for nominations for vice chairperson.

L. Hoeing nominated M. Hoffman, who accepted the nomination.

S. Oulton nominated H. Whaley, who accepted the nomination.

C. Parkin called for a vote by paper ballot. H. Whaley was elected vice chairperson by a vote of 4 (Oulton, Whaley, Reilly, Parkin) to 2 (Hoeing, Hoffman).

C. Parkin opened the floor for nominations for secretary.

L. Hoeing nominated C. Pilato, who indicated her acceptance.
There being no additional nominations, C. Pilato was elected by a show of hands 6-0.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: APPROVAL OF 2020 PROPOSED BOARD MEETING SCHEDULE
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education approve the 2020 schedule of Board Meetings. (Hoeing, Hoffman).

Brief discussion followed highlighting the additional meeting in January 2020.

The question was called and the motion carried. Unanimous.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: SPECIAL SERVICES PRESENTATION AND PROGRAM USE
Director of Special Services, J. Del Conte, and Supervisor of Special Services, J. Hankla, gave a presentation on Special Services within the Redding School District that included: the definition of special education; Section 504; data terminology; data sources and sets; 2020-2021 projections; eligibility for special education; State of Connecticut primary disability classifications; impacts on the Special Services budget; least restrictive environment; Redding School District staff and services (including preliminary projections for 2020-21); the SRBI process; Redding School District SpEd numbers; and the number of Special Education meetings held for parents and staff.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: RES: PROJECTED CLASS SIZE AND STAFFING
RES Principal N. Hammond reported on the current enrollment figures, sections of each grade and class size at RES. She went over the early projections for enrollment for next year and said that she expects to have a better gauge of the numbers in January after kindergarten enrollment formally commences.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: RES: METRICS WE WANT TO BE MEASURERED BY
Dr. McMorran explained that this project came about by considering: “What would it look like if we measured the whole school experience?” He added that there is so much more to being a child that doesn’t make it in to the state mandated assessments, so the administrators at both schools were given the challenge to show the side of the child that doesn’t show up in the Smarter Balanced Assessments. A video narrated entirely by students was presented. N. Hammond noted that RES Library Media Specialist S. Peronace had completed the video project in just three days.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: JRMS: METRICS WE WANT TO BE MEASURRED BY
A similar video presentation of JRMS was shown. It was narrated by the Student Council President, who interviewed his peers. JRMS Interim Principal Dr. Amori said that JRMS Media Specialist M. Fredrick led the project. M. Fredrick said that the JRMS Student Council was instrumental in completing the video project. H. Whaley asked if the JRMS Student Communications Committee would like to meet with the Redding BOE Communications Committee. Dr. Amori replied that she thinks the students would enjoy such a meeting.

Brief discussion about both videos followed, including an agreement to share the content through social media channels.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: POLICY – 1ST READING 6142.101 SCHOOL NUTRITION & PHYSICAL ACTIVITY (SCHOOL WELLNESS)
C. Parkin noted that the administration wished to withhold action at this time. C. Parkin noted that it had also not been reviewed by the policy committee.

C. Parkin distributed an update on the work of the policy committees of each of the three boards to create a uniform policy book across ER9 and the core principles being used to guide that collaborative work with a goal of being able to present something for discussion sometime in January.

ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTS
Director of Finance & Operations: S. Reiss reported that 2019-2020 spending is in line with the budget. He stated that there is a concern about the health insurance claims so far; that they are 20% higher than they were at this point last year. There were no transfers to report.

BOARD COMMITTEE REPORTS
Communications Committee: H. Whaley reported that the communications committee is looking to expand social media presence to include Redding BOE Twitter and Instagram accounts to help amplify the voices of faculty and staff who already post on these platforms. She also stated that they will retain the same policy of not responding and/or engaging with comments on either of these platforms. C. Parkin encouraged the committee to present a proposed revision to the social media guidelines for discussion by the full Board.

PUBLIC COMMENT
Mike D’Agostino, Glen Hill Road, said congratulations to C. Parkin on his election to Chairperson of the Redding BOE. He also thanked the Special Services Department for their presentation, saying that it
was great. M. D’Agostino said that he’d like to see a more in-depth analysis of the State vs. DRG Special Services numbers to justify our expenses.

BOARD MEMBER COMMENT
M. Hoffman said that he did not understand the fear of other Board members to hearing opinions of the other boards in town. He said the Redding BOF and BOS are your peers. M. Hoffman also said that your tone matters and he urged other Board members to leave defensiveness behind and to listen on Friday.

L. Hoeing expressed her disappointment in the officer elections, particularly at the omission of M. Hoffman from a leadership position. As a result, she noted, she feels vulnerable and defensive going into budget season and questions whether she can trust her colleagues.

C. Parkin thanked his colleagues for the faith they have placed in him to be the Chairperson of the Redding BOE for the next two years. He said he will put forward the best interest of the school district.

ADJOURNMENT
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education meeting be adjourned (Whaley, Hoffman). Approved. Unanimous.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:28 p.m.

Submitted by Colleen Pilato
Redding Board of Education Secretary

Recorded by Sarah Ota

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