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Minutes of Region 9 Board of Education, 08/21/2018

AGENDA: Region 9 Board of Education

RECEIVED 08/28/2018 9:13am
Michele R. Grande – Redding Town Clerk

REGION 9 BOARD OF EDUCATION
Regular Meeting
Joel Barlow High School
Tuesday, August 21, 2018 – 7:30 p.m.
Minutes

ATTENDANCE
Region 9 Board of Education members: D’Agostino, Coppinger, Johnston, Hocker, Denny, Williams
Absent: Graziano, Hancock
Administration: McMorran, Pin, Pierson-Ugol
Others: Videographer and 3 members of public

CALL TO ORDER
Mr. D’Agostino called the meeting to order at 7:43 p.m.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion: move to approve minutes of the July 17, 2018 regular Region 9 Board of Education meeting (Coppinger, Hocker). Approved 4-0. Johnston and Williams abstained.

PUBLIC COMMENT
None.

BOARD MEMBER COMMENT
None.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: UPDATE ON SOLAR PROJECT AND APPLICATION CONSIDERATION FOR ZREC CREDITS
Mr. Coppinger stated that the Facilities and Fields Committee met before the Board meeting and discussed a proposed solar project and application for ZREC credits. He noted the October 22nd deadline and no fees for submitting the application. The Board discussed the structure and funding of the project and its benefits to the school and the investors. Mrs. Denny stated that New Pond Farm participated in a similar project and that its Executive Director could speak to the Board about its effectiveness on the farm.

Motion: move to approve the recommendation of the Facilities and Fields Committee to move forward with the application for ZREC credits, and to authorize Mr. Coppinger and Mr. Reiss to submit the application on behalf of Joel Barlow High School (Coppinger, Denny). Approved. Unanimous.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: EVALUATION RUBRIC FOR SUPERINTENDENT’S EVALUATION
Next, Mr. Coppinger reported that the rubric for Dr. McMorran’s evaluation was revised based on feedback he received and changes he recommended. Mr. D’Agostino discussed the ambiguity regarding electronic communications among the board on this topic. The Board postponed action pending further consideration.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: BOARD MEMBER USE OF INTERNET SOCIAL NETWORKS
The board reviewed a potential new bylaw governing use of social media by board members. Mr. D’Agostino spoke about the importance of having guidelines in place to address the Board’s use of social media in the ever changing electronic social media world. He opined that guidelines could be used to aid the Board in its interactions with the public via social media. Mrs. Williams reported that the Policy Committee recommended a full board discussion before it began editing the bylaw due to some ambiguities. The Board discussed those ambiguities. Next, Mr. D’Agostino led a discussion on the scope of the bylaw, proposed changes to the Bylaws and compliance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), among other topics. Dr. McMorran proposed that Thomas A. Hennick, Public Education Officer, Freedom of Information Commission present an educational workshop on FOIA and the public’s access to the records and meetings of public agencies in Connecticut.

Mrs. Williams agreed to revise and re-submit the policy based on the Board’s discussion at this meeting and any additional comments submitted to her attention.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: ACCEPTANCE OF GRANT
Dr. Pin reported that the United Way of Connecticut awarded the district a grant for the CT Networks of Care for School Systems Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Promotion Project. She noted that a total of $20,000 would be provided over a two-year period and could be used to integrate and coordinate mental health promotion, and suicide prevention, intervention and response activities. She announced a team effort led by Mrs. Patti Roszko, Administrator for Special Education to launch the “Bridge Program” in the fall. Dr. Pin explained how the program would provide a cost-effective alternative educational program for a small number of students who are currently enrolled but emotionally unavailable to learn in a traditional high school setting. She noted how the grant monies could be used to support the pilot program.

The Board discussed budgeting for the program once the grant expired, its physical location within the school, disbursing funds to other programs or schools in the district, the cost for educators, and accommodating teacher schedules among other things. Mr. Johntson requested that Dr. Pin provide more details about the program to aid in the Board’s consideration at the September meeting.

Motion: move that the Region 9 Board of Education accept a grant for the CT Networks of Care for School Systems Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Promotion Project (Hocker, Williams). Approved. Unanimous.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: POLICIES FOR 1ST READING
Mr. D’Agostino presented the policies for first reading. Dr. McMorran explained each policy and then noted the regulations that were provided as background materials. At the Board’s request Dr. McMorran agreed to keep the background materials separate from the actual policies.

Motion: move to approve the below policies for First Reading (Johnston, Williams). Approved. Unanimous.
 0521 Nondiscrimination
 6141.311 Programs for English Learner Students
 6172.12 Magnet Schools

ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTS
Dr. Pin reviewed referred to the Administrative Report included in the materials and discussed recent new hires, open positions, and summer highlights. Dr. Pin noted that two interns would be on staff in the fall. In response to a question from the Board, she stated that the school only participates in unpaid internship programs. She reported that the September report would include a presentation on waitlisted and closed courses. Also, she reported that she was asked to speak at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence due to the success Barlow has with implementing tools that assist in creating emotionally intelligent schools.

Dr. McMorran introduced Paul Rasmussen, Ed.D., an administrator in the Fairfield Public Schools observing Dr McMorran in preparation for taking the Superintendent of Schools (093) Certification.

BOARD OF EDUCATION COMMITTEE REPORTS
Pension Committee: Mr. Hocker reported that the Committee had selected the defined contribution plan’s investment advisor and that necessary changes in the implementation of this plan were being made.

Facilities and Fields Committee: Mr. Coppinger reported that the Committee had discussed security camera updates, progress made on the study and design of the capital improvements project, and the solar panel proposal and tax credits which were discussed earlier in the meeting.

PUBLIC COMMENT
None.

BOARD MEMBER COMMENT
Mr. Johnston reiterated the Board’s interest in receiving additional information on the Bridge Program.

Mr. Coppinger expressed his concerns about funding new pilot programs with an unfunded mandate.

ADJOURNMENT

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

The meeting was adjourned at 9:06 p.m.

Recorded by
Stephanie Benton

Submitted by
Chris Hocker, Region 9 Board of Education Secretary

 

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