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Minutes of Redding Board of Education, 10/09/2018

AGENDA: Redding Board of Education Special Meeting

RECEIVED 10/18/2018 12:46pm
Michele R. Grande – Redding Town Clerk

REDDING BOARD OF EDUCATION
Special Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

ATTENDANCE
Board of Education: Irwin, Hoffman, Parkin, Whaley (6:33 p.m.), Pilato, Hoeing, Reilly
Administration: McMorran, Pierson Ugol, Reiss, Hammond, Basta, Martin, Wallin, Twiss, Kirby
Others: Approximately 4 members of the public/staff

CALL TO ORDER
Meeting was called to order by Dr. Irwin at 6:30 p.m.

Mrs. Whaley arrived at 6:33 p.m.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The Board discussed the September 4th minutes with respect to the PTA donations and Mr. Parkin agreed to correct Dr. Martin’s title as well as revise references to Mrs. Hoeing to Ms. Hoeing.

Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education approve the minutes of the September 4, 2018 regular meeting, as amended. Reilly, Hoffman. Approved. Unanimous.

PUBLIC COMMENT
None.

BOARD MEMBER COMMENT
Dr. Irwin commented on the tremendous success of the community playground build organized by the RES PTA.

BUILDING ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTS
Mrs. Hammond reiterated similar comments with respect to community’s support during the playground build despite the weather. She acknowledged the parents, teachers, staff and the Barlow football team’s help in getting the job done. She noted that the Sensory Garden would open on Friday and thanked Mr. Hoffman for his support and contributions throughout the process. Mr. Basta described stepping stones and how the garden could be used as an outdoor learning space.

Dr. Martin reported on the staff’s focus on analyzing a considerable amount of data related to learning objectives and how it could be useful for standardizing data and creating areas of focus. Mrs. Wallin explained the intent and purpose behind Focus Groups at JRMS. Then in response to a question, Dr. Martin noted the unexpected increase in student enrollment since the beginning of the year.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: REDDING BOARD OF FINANCE AUDIT; FERPA ACCESS
Dr. McMorran provided an update on the status of the Board of Finance’s request to review the special education records of a select group of students. The Board reiterated previous concerns shared during the September 4, 2018 Board meeting. Dr. McMorran reviewed a draft of the Board of Finance and discussed in detail whether any suggested course of action violated a student’s right to privacy and FERPA regulations.

Motion: move that the Chair be authorized to enter into a limited scope engagement with the firm of PKF O’Connor Davies for the limited purpose of reviewing and investigating filings and internal review of procedures with respect to state reimbursement for special education spending and determining if, and why, discrepancies existed in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 academic years. Parkin, Reilly. Motion was withdrawn without a vote.

Further discussion ensued regarding Board member’s comfort level with this solution, and the precedent it would set. Concerns were raised regarding whether this approach violated the spirit of FERPA even if it did not violate the letter of the statute, the narrowness of the motion as well as the likelihood that the proposed engagement would, in fact, assist in achieving the stated goal of the audit. When it became clear that Board members needed additional information and understanding of the proposal before proceeding, the motion was withdrawn.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: STUDENT PERFORMANCE 2018 SMARTER BALANCED ASSESSMENT/SCHOOL-WIDE GOALS
Dr. McMorran referred to the presentation on the 2017-2018 Smarter Balanced Assessment data and reported on the school’s strong performance in ELA and Math. He compared the schools’ performance against other schools in the district and then reviewed state and district growth targets and the average percentage of growth in those subjects. Dr. McMorran noted that the information could also be found on the Department of Education’s website.

Mrs. Hammond explained performance measures and how it relates to a student’s learning experience. She advised that this was the first year the school had access to such data. She shared the teacher’s appreciation for the information and discussed how it could be useful for evaluating teacher performance and spotting any irregularities. Mr. Basta reviewed last year’s goals and results. He discussed social and emotional goals and building classroom communities by empowering the teachers to resolve disputes in the classroom which would reduce office discipline referrals. He discussed benchmarks, Restorative Practices, increasing communications between parents and resources.

Next, Dr. Martin stated that unlike RES, JRMS had a lot of SBAC data from prior years of testing. She reviewed cohort proficiency and trends. She discussed the Safe School Survey, transitioning models, goals and the school’s focus on diversity and accepting difference.

The Administrators responded to questions from the Board throughout their presentations.

At the discretion of the Chair and in the interest of time, the balance of the action items under Section VI of the agenda was passed until a future meeting.

DISTRICT ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTS
Accepted in writing.

BOARD OF EDUCATION COMMITTEE REPORTS
Dr. Irwin reported that the Curriculum Committee meeting was postponed until further notice.

PUBLIC COMMENT
Mike D’Agostino, Chairperson Region 9 Board of Education commented on the schools’ reliance of performance data as noted in the materials and rhetorically asked if the administration was comfortable that the district was performing in line with its peers.

BOARD MEMBER COMMENT
Mr. Parkin stated that he circulated comments on the proposed policies, discussion of which was tabled, and that additional comments would be welcome in advance of the October 15th meeting of the policy committee.

ADJOURNMENT

Motion: moved to adjourn meeting. Hoeing, Hoffman. Approved. Unanimous.

Meeting was adjourned at 7:32 pm.

Submitted by Chris Parkin,
Redding Board of Education Secretary

Recorded by Stephanie Benton