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Minutes of Region 9 Board of Education, 03/20/2018

AGENDA: Region 9 Board of Education

RECEIVED 03/26/2018 8:30am
Kathleen R. Miserendino - Redding Deputy Town Clerk

REGION 9 BOARD OF EDUCATION
Regular Meeting
Joel Barlow High School – Library Learning Commons
Tuesday, March 20, 2018 – 7:30 p.m.
Minutes

ATTENDANCE
Region 9 Board of Education members:  D’Agostino, Coppinger, Hocker, Graziano, and Denny
Administration:  McMorran, Pin, Reiss
Others:  6 members of staff, public, press, and videographer

CALL TO ORDER
Mr. D’Agostino called the meeting to order at 7:32 pm.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion:  move to approve the March 8, 2018 Region 9 Board of Education Regular Meeting with Budget Workshop.  Coppinger, Hocker.  Approved.  Unanimous.

STUDENT COMMENT
Maha Ulhaq reported the Debate Team received top honors in both the varsity and novice levels at the state-wide tournament.  Barlow is hosting state finals on March 24. Members of the baseball team volunteered with Habitat for Humanity.  Nineteen Barlow students competed at the Northeast Regional Science Bowl that was hosted at the UConn Storrs Campus on March 3.  Two students placed at the 2018 Danbury Area Scholastic Chess League Tournament in the classical competition and blitz tournament.  Joel Barlow Theater performed The Lark on February 23 and 24 and they are taking the show on the road on March 9 and 10.

Maha Ulhaq also reported Wednesday’s SAT test has been moved to April 24 due to the forecasted winter storm.  The incoming freshman transition dance is scheduled for March 23 and the transition to high school meeting, A Day in the Life at Barlow, is scheduled for March 27.

Maha Ulhaq reported on the March 14 student organized walkout.  About 200 students participated in the event.  There were also some students who felt the event was too political and they were expecting more of a memorial.  Mr. Hocker commented the students handled March 14 well.  He noted some other high schools didn’t handle the event as well.

PUBLIC COMMENT
None.

BOARD MEMBER COMMENT
Mrs. Denny attended a music concert at JRMS and noted many of the students will be joining Barlow next year.  She was also impressed with the diversity of student support for each other.
Mr. Hocker inquired on adding an Executive Session to the agenda.

Motion:  move to add Executive Session to the agenda as item 7C to discuss security issues and to invite Dr. McMorran, Dr. Pin, and Mr. Reiss to attend.  Coppinger, Hocker. Approved.  Unanimous.
Motion:  move to add possible action related to the Executive Session as agenda item 7D. Coppinger, Hocker.  Approved.  Unanimous.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION:  RIGOR/RELEVANCE FRAMEWORK
Dr. McMorran presented on the need to plan for the educational needs for 2032 and beyond.  We are heading in the direction of a knowledge-based economy which will require a highly engaged and challenged workforce.  He shared the importance of creating more engaging classroom experiences to build a strong, healthy community and to move learning from the text book setting to real world simulations.  Students should engage in authentic learning experiences to guide them to professions of their choice.

There was a discussion on the topic.  Mr. Hocker requested comments from the student perspective.  Maha Ulhaq noted that this is already happening in some of the classes at Barlow.  Mrs. Graziano added that we are at a pivot point.  How do we evolve to this framework over time with limited resources, staff training, and societal and political restraints?  How does the Board help the administration and what other factors and resources are needed?  Dr. McMorran added we should consider the combination of technology and tools with fewer teachers to engage students in higher learning.  Professional development will play a role to nurture innovative thinking of teachers.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION:  REVIEW OF 2018/2019 STAFFING DOCUMENT AND ENROLLMENT NUMBERS
Dr. Pin reviewed the Teacher/Professional Staff Analysis report and noted the enrollment/staffing numbers are finalized in September when classes resume.  Mr. Coppinger inquired if the number of sections could be limited.  Dr. Pin responded the elective programs are harder to predict due to changes in students’ interests.  If an elective was dropped, then the students would need to select another class and that may result in increased class sizes.

Mr. Coppinger commented this was not a philosophic change, but external factors are forcing change upon us.  As the student population decreased, we can’t keep the same number of teachers.  We need to do this in a well thought out manner as opposed to fighting the whole way. Residents are upset with the rate of increase.  We need to look at alternatives and change the way we’re viewing it.

Mr. D’Agostino requested establishing guidelines on target class sizes.  He noted a decline is harder for people to understand if we are down student numbers, but teachers do not decline proportionately.  Dr. McMorran suggested a sub-committee look at the decline in student/teacher metrics over the summer and report back to the Board in August.  Mr. D’Agostino suggested starting the budget process sooner and include projected numbers.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION:  PROPOSED 2018/2019 OPERATING BUDGET
Mr. D’Agostino noted the Board voted to approve the proposed budget at the last budget workshop.

There was a discussion on tuition payments from teachers who, by contract, may enroll their children at Barlow.  Mr. D’Agostino inquired if it was appropriate to recognize the tuition payments as an offset in the budget.  Mr. Reiss noted there are no restrictions or procedures preventing the offset.

There was discussion on servicing the acid tank.  Mr. Reiss reported a portion of the service fee was for disposal and the rest was for service.  Going forward, the maintenance would be done on an annual basis.  Mr. D’Agostino requested experts who are providing recommendations be invited to a Board meeting to answer questions.

Motion:  move to amend the 2018/2019 operating budget to reduce the certified instruction salaries line to reflect an offset of $24,000 for tuition payments.  The proposed 2018/2019 budget will be $24,483,453 and the year-over-year increase will be 2.91%.  Coppinger, Graziano.  Approved.  Unanimous.

ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTS
None

BOARD OR EDUCATION COMMITTEE REPORTS
Facilities and Fields Committee – Mr. Coppinger reported they will discuss security protocol in the Executive Session.

Motion:  move to open the meeting to additional public comment instead of waiting for the Board to return from their Executive Session.  Coppinger, Denny.  Approved.  Unanimous.

PUBLIC COMMENT
None.

RECESS TO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion:  move to recess to Executive Session to discuss security issues and invite Dr. McMorran, Dr. Pin, and Mr. Reiss to attend.  Coppinger, Denny.  Approved.  Unanimous.

RETURN FROM EXECUTIVE SESSION FOR POSSIBLE ACTION ON ITEM DISCUSSED IN EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion:  move to accept the proposal of $82,371.50 from United Alarm Co. for security improvements at Joel Barlow High School and to authorize the Director of Finance and Operations to negotiate the terms of a contract, funded through the Capital Reserve Account.  Coppinger, Denny.  Approved.  Unanimous.

BOARD MEMBER COMMENT
None

ADJOURNMENT
Motion:  move to adjourn the meeting.  Approved.  Unanimous.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:34 p.m.

Recorded by
Christine DiDomenico

Submitted by
Chris Hocker, Region 9 Board of Education Secretary
Filed Subject to Approval