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Minutes of Region 9 Board of Education, 06/26/2018

AGENDA: Region 9 Board of Education

RECEIVED 07/02/2018 2:24pm
Michele R. Grande – Redding Town Clerk

Regular Meeting
Joel Barlow High School
Tuesday, June 26, 2018 – 7:30 p.m.

Region 9 Board of Education members: D’Agostino, Coppinger, Hocker, Graziano, Hancock, Williams
Administration: McMorran, Pin, Reiss, Pierson-Ugol
Others: 2 members of public and videographer

Mr. D’Agostino called the meeting to order at 7:37 p.m.

Motion: move to approve minutes from May 22, 2018 Regular Region 9 Board of Education meeting with the following changes: correct the spelling of “Aproval” to read “Approval of Minutes” and correct reference made to who prepared certain letters. Coppinger, Hancock. Approved. Unanimous.

Motion: move to approve minutes from June 4, 2018 Special District Region 9 Board of Education Meeting. Coppinger, Williams. Approved. Unanimous.


Mrs. Graziano reiterated student comments received during the May 22nd Public Comments portion of the meeting, requesting that the musical production at JBHS be scheduled in the fall instead of Spring. Ms. Graziano stated that considering recent budget cuts and, in an effort, to reduce costs, the JBHS stage crew offered to help JRMS with lighting for its annual production if the community were able to raise private money to fund the production.

Motion: move to add agenda Item VI F to consider the Facilities and Fields Committee proposal to request professional services from an engineering and design firm for study and design of potential renovations/improvements to certain facilities at JBHS. Coppinger, Hocker. Approved. Unanimous.

Motion: move to add agenda Item VI G to discuss the notification of an impending change in textbooks. Coppinger, Hocker. Approved. Unanimous.

Mr. D’Agostino stated that it was an honor to attend the JBHS graduation and see students turn into such wonderful young adults. He referred to Ms. Graziano’s earlier statements and declined to comment on moving the Spring musical. Mr. D’Agostino expressed some reservation with the suggestion raised by the JBHS stage crew. He discussed implications to the Board and Region 9 District for partaking in any official fundraising capacity or intervening in matters set by the Redding voters and their Board of Education. He highlighted some of the ways the JBHS program already collaborates with the middle school production. He also commented on Easton’s successful fundraising campaign to save its annual play.

Dr. Pin referred to the Administrative Report handed out at the meeting. She noted that the AP Art students in association with other organizations, helped to design a mural to be displayed along a wall in the Pollinator Garden. Next, Dr. Pin commented on the special dedication of a granite bench installed in the Pollinator Garden in memory of Nick Tiseo. She stated that the tribute exemplified Unified Wellness at Barlow. Dr. Pin then noted that she would correct the date in the Special Education Service Report and re-submit it to the Board for the official record.

Next, Dr. Pin mentioned that a representative from JUUL Labs, an electronic cigarette company known for its vape pens, contacted the administration to inform them about a grant opportunity ranging from $10,000 – $30,000.

Motion: move to add agenda Item V A to consider applying for a grant opportunity offered by JUUL Labs for educating parents, educators and youths on the risks of vaping and making nicotine less attractive to young people. Coppinger, Graziano. Approved. Unanimous.

Dr. Pin explained how JUUL Labs is contracted by the JUUL Company to foster the company’s desire to end high school vaping. She then discussed vaping at the high school and how the district could use these funds to educate parents and eliminate vaping by school aged children. She explained the different ways the school could to qualify for funding and the application deadline. Lastly, Dr. Pin sought guidance from the Board as to whether she should pursue these funds from JUUL. The Board weighed the pros and cons and after some discussion, Dr. Pin reported that she would provide the Board with a copy of the Grant Proposal details at the next meeting to aid in its deliberations.

Dr. Pin reviewed the “Board Report – Student Services Update” and additional data the Board received at a previous meeting. She discussed enrollment changes and staff reductions since the 2013-2014 school year. Mr. D’Agostino opined that it was better to have as much information in advance of next year’s budget discussions. Dr. McMorran explained how having strategic commitments in advance help to guide the allocation of resources.

Dr. Pin compared Region 9 to schools in DRG-A and -B. She reviewed counseling ratios, support staff and caseloads. She noted that the effective yet expensive school solutions program in Weston employs outside clinical counselors to provide support services for its students.

Next, the Board discussed those comparisons and included a discussion on how the Guidance Department is structured and how staff reductions corelate to a decline in population. At this point, Dr. McMorran requested that Dr. Pin’s Student Services Update be made available to both him and Dr. Pierson-Ugol during the summer months, well in advance of next year’s budget season. The Board also discussed course selections and electives, athletic programs and how modelling could be used to draw some conclusions. The Board agreed that this would be a good discussion for the September Board meeting and Curriculum Committee discussions.

Dr. McMorran stated that every profession must do more with less and that the ER9 district would have to re-think how it delivers quality education with staff and program reductions.

Dr. McMorran opened the discussion with an explanation of how he treats unexpended funds versus surplus funds. He stated that he tries manage so that spending occurs during the year and not at the end of a year. He reported that Mr. Reiss would ask for motions on how to spend these unexpended funds later in the meeting. He noted that the administration made compelling cases for how any unexpended funds should be spent.

Mr. Reiss referred to the materials handed out at the meeting and reviewed the Budget Object Summary in detail. He noted that the report was run last Friday and would be updated to reflect bill that are paid in arrears. In response to a question from Mr. Hocker, Mr. Reiss reviewed possible options for the allocation of unexpended funds. Mr. Reiss referred to the Region 9 Health Insurance Analysis and led a discussion on the Reserve Fund’s beginning and projected ending balances. Mr. Reiss explained how he relied on guidance received from Brown and Brown with respect to setting the amount of money to leave in the Reserve Fund. He also included a discussion on Central office’s reserve funds.

Mr. Reiss then discussed his request to approve a transfer from the police and game officials accounts to cover remaining athletic cost for the Spring season. He explained that there are available funds in the 330 accounts due to cutting back on the number of police and game officials used at competitions. Dr. Pin explained how the money would have been spent if the school had a full season, or if sports teams had hosted more post-season games. The Board deliberated how transfers were treated historically for cleaning and repairs, maintenance of athletic and field equipment, transportation and annual maintenance of the turf field.

Motion: move to approve the transfer $16,551 from police and game officials’ accounts to athletics transportation to cover remaining athletic bus costs. Hancock, Coppinger. Approved. Unanimous.

Next, Mr. Reiss reviewed the end of the year financials with respect to flood insurance monies from the 2016-2017 year received at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year. He also reviewed “Unexpended Funds.” Mr. Reiss reviewed the options for both and asked the Board to consider how this money should be spent. The Board deliberated all its options and discussed directing the flood insurance money to the Pension fund.

Mr. Reiss and Dr. Pin agreed to provide the Board with a report showing items “budgeted for” but “unspent during the year” to aid in these deliberations going forward. Mr. D’Agostino expressed the need for transparency when setting the budget.

Motion: move that the $94,669.48 received at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year from the 2016-2017 fiscal year flood insurance surplus, be allocated to the Capital Reserve Fund. Coppinger, Hancock. Approved. Unanimous.

Motion: move that any unexpended funds from the 2017-2018 fiscal year be allocated as follows: $16,000 for the purchase of an Auto scrubber; $35,000 towards the payment of a 2018-2019 settlement payout; and $4,263.84 to upgrade the Comparative Politics textbooks; any remaining amounts shall be moved to the Capital Reserve Fund. Coppinger, Graziano. Approved 4-1. D’Agostino opposed. [Note: Ms. Williams was temporarily absent from the meeting for this motion.]

Dr. McMorran presented the Policies for first reading. Mr. D’Agostino requested the Board members review the policies and submit comments to the Policy Commitment. Dr. McMorran agreed to provide the Board with the most recent copy of the “5114 Appendix: Provision of an Alternative Educational Opportunity for Eligible Expelled Students.”

Ms. Williams commented on the Policy Committee’s review process and recommended the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE) online policy service to post policies in an online and searchable database. Dr. McMorran talked about his experience with CABE and he wasn’t sure the benefits outweighed the advantages. Mr. Hancock commended the Policy Committee for getting through the number of policies this year compared to previous years.

Motion: move to approve the following policies for First Reading:
– P6162.51 (Instruction): Surveys of Students (Student Privacy)
– P6163.32 (Instruction): Live Animals in the Classroom – Service Animals
– P6159 (Instruction): Individualized Education Program/Special Education Program
– 5114 Appendix: Provision of an Alternative Educational Opportunity for Eligible Expelled Students
Coppinger, Hancock. Approved. Unanimous

Mr. Reiss reported that the ER9 Joint Food Service Committee proposes raising the price of a school lunch from $2.85 to $2.95 after taking into consideration that the last increase was in 2012 and the quality of the food continues to improve. Mr. D’Agostino suggests the Committee also review menu selections and quality of the food considering the increase.

Motion: move that the Region 9 Board of Education approve a $0.10 increase in the price of the school lunch program beginning with the 2018-2019 school year. Coppinger, Williams. Approved. Unanimous.

Dr. Pin reviewed the rationale behind the proposed resale of outdated technology and equipment. She advised that the expected revenue would be approximately $900-$1,500 with the proceeds to be used to purchase new iMacs which are highly specialized to run video editing and Photoshop software for classes. She further advised that all machines would be wiped clean of information and that site licenses are machine specific, not school specific so there is no license infringement risk.

Motion: move to approve that the Administration move forward with the sale of the technology equipment. Coppinger, Williams. Approved. Unanimous.

Mr. Coppinger distributed an “Invitation to Bid for Professional Services” for the study and design of road and parking resurfacing, running track and tennis court renovations. He advised that the Committee intended to work with a consultant to get a better of understanding of its options and the costs associated with it. The consultant would likely create a matrix of possibilities to determine the scope of the project. Mr. Reiss stated in response to a question that the consultant will be funded with monies in the Capital Reserve Fund.

Motion: move to accept the Facilities and Fields Committee proposal to solicit bids from engineering and design firms to perform a study of potential renovations and improvements to exterior facilities at JBHS. Coppinger, Hancock. Approved. Unanimous.

Mrs. Graziano reported that during the Curriculum Committee had considered a pending change to the Biology and AP 2 Accounting textbooks. Mr. D’Agostino advised that the Board would review that matter at the next Board meeting.

Dr. Pierson-Ugol reviewed the June Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Report. She expressed her gratitude for Department chairs and the administration.


Motion: move to recess to Executive Session to discuss Superintendent’s Evaluation. Coppinger, Hancock. Approved. Unanimous.

The Board entered into Executive Session 10:05 p.m.

RETURN TO PUBLIC SESSION TO REVIEW ITEM DISCUSSED IN EXECUTIVE SESSION The board returned from Executive Session at 10:29 p.m. No action was taken on the matter discussed.


Motion: move to adjourn the regular meeting of the Region 9 Board of Education. Coppinger, Williams. Approved. Unanimous.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:30 p.m.

Recorded by Stephanie Benton

Submitted by Chris Hocker,
Region 9 Board of Education Secretary

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