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Minutes of Region 9 Board of Education, 09/19/2017

AGENDA: Region 9 Board of Education

RECEIVED 09/25/2017 3:41pm

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Regular Meeting
Region 9 Board of Education
Joel Barlow High School Learning Commons
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
7:30 p.m.

Board of Education:  P. Coppinger, M. D’Agostino, C. Gombos, C. Hocker, T. Johnston, W. King
Administration:  T. McMorran, S. Reiss, S. Pearson Ugol, J. Desmarais
Others:  approximately 19 members of the public

Vice Chairman D’Agostino called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. in the JBHS Learning Commons.

Approval of Minutes from the June 29, 2017 Board of Education Special Meeting

MOTION:  move to approve the minutes of the June 29, 2017, Special Board of Education Meeting.
Coppinger, Seconded by C. Gombos.

The sentence on page one reads:  “Dr. McMorran noted the Budget Committee can
The Board Secretary will review the video recording to complete this comment.
The sentence on page two reads:  “The deductible for the insurance claim
Corrected by M. D’Agostino to read:  The deductible for the insurance claim is $10,000.
Page three, under Public Comment, second sentence reads “Jeannie Wendschuh, Redding noted that an Emergency Plan should be developed for “
Corrected by M. D’Agostino to read:  Jeannie Wendschuh, Redding noted that an Emergency Plan should be developed for failure of the wastewater treatment plant.

The motion to approve minutes was withdrawn.  Move to table the Approval of Minutes from the June 29, 2017 Special Board meeting to next month.  C. Gombos will review the video recording for corrections.  Approved.  Unanimous.

Student Comment
Maha Ulhaq updated the Board on Student Activities and Athletic events.

Public Comment
Barbie Powell, 30 Sanford Dr., Easton – spoke on behalf ERCCC working with area schools related to addressing risky behaviors.
Jeanne Wendschuh, 35 Deer Spring Rd., Redding – JBHS Wrestling Team helped to move boxes from the Transfer Station to the Mark Twain Library Along with members of the National Charity League.
Laura Wheatley, 52 Vista Dr., Easton – Asking for a student survey regarding drug attitudes and drug use at Barlow.
Nancy Gregoire, 20 Deer Hill Rd., Redding – Presented drug use statistics for Connecticut.
J. Simpson, 15 Long Wall, Redding – CT #3 nationally
Lisa-Lynn Kuhn (Siedmann), 1200 Sport Hill Rd., Easton – Local concerns regarding drug use, but would like to survey students like towns of Bethel and Ridgefield.
Eva Ortiz, 16 Cricklewood Rd., Redding – The Board of Education in the past has not agreed to some past suggestions regarding dogs in school, surveys, etc.  Hoping that the Board will have an open mind.

Board Member Comment
M. D’Agostino commented on the Administration’s Parking presentation including a drug awareness component. Questioned if the Administration was considering this presentation to all students and not only those who are granted parking permits.
C. Gombos asked the administration for statistics on school-related drug incidents for the last five years, noting that the Board has not been made aware of an epidemic.

Recess to Executive Session to Discuss:
Consideration of Proposed Agreement between the Region 9 board of Education and the Joel Barlow Education Association.  Invited Dr. McMorran, Dr. Pin and Mr. Reiss.

Recessed into executive session
Recessed at 8:15 p.m.

Return from Executive Session for Possible Action on Item Discussed in Executive Session
Return to Public Session at 8:50 p.m.

MOTION:  Move that the BOE enter into a 3-year agreement for July 2018 through June 2020 with the Joel Barlow Education Association as negotiated and direct the Board Chair to sign the agreement.  Hocker, Gombos.  Approved.  Unanimous.

Discussion and Possible Action:
A. Proposed Music Trip

  • Breault reviewed highlights of a proposed trip to Orlando, FL for March 1 to 5, 2018. Cost is $1,479 per student. Includes performances and a recording studio experience.
  • There is a fundraising opportunity.

MOTION:  Move to approve the Joel Barlow High School Music Department Field Trip to Orlando, FL for March 1 to 5, 2017.  Hocker, Coppinger.  Approved.  Unanimous.

B. New Hires

  • Pin reported that new staff has acclimated well to Barlow. Special Education Department Chair, 1 French teacher, 2 English teachers, 3 new Behavior Technicians, Writing Center Paraprofessionals and Library Learning Commons paraprofessional.

C. Sidewalk Project Update:

  • July 19, 2017, project began and the sidewalk was completed before school started. Cost will be
    $81,979 – below the original quote of $82,567.  Scott Reiss recommends a performance payment of 90% with the final 10% paid at completion of the work.  Recommend payment of $73,781.91.

MOTION:  Move to pay the contractor $73,781.91 with the remaining 10% to be paid upon completion of the work and issuance of the CO.  Gombos, Coppinger.  Approved.  Unanimous.

D.  Closing 2016-2017 Budget for Region 9

  • Scott Reiss reported that we ended the year 100% spent which included the expense for the flooding incident in May 2017.  His recommendation was to balance the budget, 22,127.94 on the Health Insurance reserve line.
  • Mr. D’Agostino asked a procedural question related to movement of funds from one line to another line.  How do we cover overages without transfers?
  • Mr. Reiss reported that the money does not move.  Transfers should be approved before expenditure is made.  Mr. Reiss reported that for 2017-2018 budget, transfer approvals would occur before expense.
  • Dr. McMorran reported that each budget object is reviewed for surplus/deficit performance.
  • Mr. Coppinger asked for an Object Summary for the last 3 years with Budget and Balance at close.
  • Mr. Hocker asked that the Long Term Debt Summary to be posted on the Website.

E.  Closing 2016-2017 Central Office Budget, Region 9 Portion

  • Closed out at 99.99% spent with $6,000 remaining per district.  Recommend using the surplus for the Health Insurance Reserve Fund for Central Office.
  • Mrs. Gombos questioned the funding of the CO Health Reserve.  Discussion of options continued.
  • Mr. Hocker requested that additional information be provided related to the CO surplus.
  • S. Reiss advised that more information regarding the transfer into the Central Office Health Reserve would be available at the October meeting.

F.  Water Treatment Plant, Insurance Claim Update

  • Mr. Reiss reported that there is no definitive root cause for the incident.  Likely cause was mineral deposits that kept the check valve open.  Currently, $104,848.54 in invoices and we have a $10,000 deductible.  We have received $59,563.15 and we expect a payment in the coming weeks.
  • Chris Hocker suggests that the Health Insurance Reserve be reinstated for the $22,127.94 and the remainder be deposited to the Capital Reserve Fund.
  • Mr. D’Agostino asked for a review of the purchase of the copper pipe.  Mr. Czudak reviewed the pipe issue.
  • Mr. Czudak discussed a monitoring system for the water system.  He recommends that this be researched.  The Board recommends pricing be obtained.
  • Scott Reiss will deposit the checks in 431 account to be held for future decision on transfer to the final account.

G.  Budget Committee Charge, 2nd Reading

  • Mr. Coppinger reported that the only concern was related to the community members on the committee.
  • Mr. Hocker commented that he would like a provision to review the Committee’s activates annually and re-instate a committee.
  • Insert the words “representing each member town” and “The BOE shall bi-annually review the committee’s activities and shall renew, revise or withdraw the committee’s charge as the Board deems appropriate.”
  • Mr. D’Agostino requested that all BOE members be invited to all committee meetings.
  • Mr. Coppinger will represent the charge at the October meeting.

H.  Update – Teacher Summative Evaluation Ratings

  • Dr. Pin reported on the ratings for 2016-17
    — 28/85 Leader
    — 56/85 effective
    — 1/85 developing Zero were below standard.
  • M. D’Agostino inquired about PD Day placement and the impact on teaching and learning.  For example, students were coming into a holiday, half-day PD, weekend and half-day PD.

Administrative Reports
Dr. Pin presented a written report which included the announcement of 32 teachers from China will be at JBHS to review our STEM program on September 29, 2017, and will shadow students.

The driving seminar included three parts:  Emotions and the Brain, Parking Rules, Partnership with ERCCC and making good decisions and risky behaviors.  When the survey results are complete, Dr. Pin will present to the Board.

Mr. D’Agostino commented that the BOE be apprised of serious issues that the Administration sees as needing addressing with parents and students.

Dr. Ugol reported on her written report noting that curricular work for this year is focusing on Science.  Dr. Ugol reported on the CES document where Redding was accepted as a member.  The membership fee is now split between the three districts rather than just Region 9 and Easton.

Mr. D’Agostino asked for the rationale surrounding the Professional Development Day schedule.

Scott Reiss:  Reported on the 2017-18 Budget Object Summary, Health Insurance Analysis and Expenditures for Equipment, Supplies and Services through Food Account were reviewed.

M. D’Agostino inquired about how the determination is made for spending of the Food Service funds.  Whatcriteria is used?  Determine how it is equitable?

C. Gombos expressed surprise that Barlow’s number is as high as it is.  Also requested an update on how the booths in the cafeteria were funded.

T. Johnston asked if there would be a full discussion on how we handle these allocations such as the food service allocations.  Requested that we add a future agenda item to look at how the money is being spent.

M. D’Agostino suggested that we might look at dividing revenue per district.

Board of Education Committee Reports

  • W. King reported on the Audit Committee meeting with the auditor and presented areas of focus: Capital vs operating expenditures, encumbrances, purchase order and invoice timing and the student activity fund, legal expenditures, travel expenses and budget transfers.
  • Mr. King reported on the Pension Committee. Started 2017 with -$5.4 million and ended -$5.7 million. Made two changes in funds investment vehicles.

Public Comment
Cheryl Graziano, 27 Deacon Abbott Rd., Redding – would like to volunteer for the Budget Committee.

Alyssa Mocco, 34 Morehouse Rd., Easton – Curriculum suggested that Stephanie be excused from the Board of Education meetings and hold informational sessions for parents instead.

Board Member Comment

  • Audit Committee – W. King added that he had no knowledge of fraud and urged anyone who did to come forward.
  • Coppinger asked that the ERCCC members meet with the administration to bring initiatives to the Board.

Recess to Executive Session to Discuss:
Evaluation of Superintendent

MOTION:  Move to enter in to Executive Session to discuss the Evaluation of the Superintendent.  Gombos, Hocker.  Approved.  Unanimous.  Invite:  Dr. McMorran.

Recessed at 10:14 p.m.

Return from Executive Session for Possible Action on Item Discussed in Executive Session
Returned to Public Session at 10:55 p.m. with no items requiring action.

Adjournment  MOTION:  Move to adjourn.  Coppinger, Hocker.  Approved.  Unanimous.
Meeting adjourned at 10:56 p.m.

Recorded by:
Catherine Gombos, Region 9 Board of Education Secretary

Submitted by:
Catherine Gombos, Region 9 Board of Education Secretary