Select Page

Minutes of Region 9 Board of Education, 11/20/2018

AGENDA: Region 9 Board of Education

RECEIVED 11/29/2018 9:14am
Kathleen R. Miserendino - Redding Deputy Town Clerk

Regular Meeting
Joel Barlow High School
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Board Members: M. D’Agostino, P. Coppinger, T. Johnston, C. Hocker, G. Denny, C. Graziano, M. Williams
Absent:  V. Hancock
Administration:  Dr. McMorran, S. Reiss, Dr. Pin
Others:  2 members of public; videographer; Scott Bassett, Partner and Paul Sabetta, CPA RSM US LLP

Referring to the previously distributed Board materials, M. D’Agostino called the meeting to order at 7:33 p.m.

The Board reviewed the minutes of the meetings held on October 16, 2018, October 23, 2018, and October 30, 2018, including proposed changes to the minutes from the October 30, 2018 Special meeting.

Motion:  move to approve minutes of the October 16, 2018, Region 9 Board of Education Regular meeting (Coppinger, Denny).  Approved.  Unanimous.  Johnston abstained.

Motion:  move to approve minutes of the October 30, 2018, Region 9 Special meeting (Coppinger, Hocker).  Approved.  Unanimous.  Denny, Johnston abstained.

Motion:  move to approve minutes of the October 23, 2018, Easton, Redding, Region 9 Boards of Education Special meeting, as corrected below (Hocker, Coppinger):

Page 2, under “Discussion and Possible Action:
New ED-099 Agreement for Child Nutrition Program & Authorized Signers”:  1st Motion – made by
(Hancock, Denny) was incorrectly recorded as (Hancock, Graziano)

Page 3, under “Recess to Executive Session to Discuss:
“Responses to the Transportation RFP”: 1st Motion – made by (Hancock, Denny) was incorrectly
recorded as (Coppinger, Denny) 2nd Motion – made by (Parkin, Hoeing) was incorrectly recorded as
(Parkin, Hoffman)

Page 4, under “Return to Public Session for Possible Action on Discussed Item in Executive Session”:
1st Motion – made by (Hocker, Hancock) was incorrectly recorded as (Hocker, Williams) 3rd Motion –
made by (Hicks, Bindelglass) was incorrectly recorded as (Parker, Bindelglass)

Page 5, under “Adjournment”:
2nd Motion – made by (Parker, Hoeing) was incorrectly recorded as (Parker, Reilly) 3rd Motion – made
by (Hicks, Bindelglass) was incorrectly recorded as (Parkin, Bindelglass)

Approved.  Unanimous.  Johnston abstained.



M. D’Agostino and C. Graziano commented on the outstanding fall musical performances.
G. Denny reported that the Criminal Justice Club received positive feedback regarding the SRO’s involvement at the school. She was happy to also report that he was meeting expectations.

S. Reiss, Director of Finance and Operations, introduced S. Bassett, Partner and P. Sabetta, CPA of RSM US LLC, the ER9 District’s independent auditors. He noted that RSM met with the Audit Committee and reviewed a draft of the Audit Report in full detail. He also noted that the firm conducted a review of the district’s financial statement practices over the last few years.

S. Bassett then reviewed the Audit Report for the year ending June 30, 2018 with the Board. He noted that no issues were discovered in the audit. He advised that the audit firm is waiting for State of Connecticut General Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement No. 75 Report for post-employment benefits other than pension in order to complete the Report.  He reviewed Management’s responsibility in the financial reporting process and how the auditors render an independent audit opinion.  He commented on significant events during the year, the adoption of GASB 75 and other government auditing standards.  He noted one audit adjustment, resulting from the new GASB standard that was significant in nature, which had previously been reported to the Board during the year.  S. Bassett reported that Management cooperated fully with the audit and that there were no disagreements or difficulties encountered by the auditor during the scope of the audit.

S. Bassett led a discussion on how other communities have established a trust to be funded over time for Other Post Employee Benefits (OPEB) payments. In response to a question from the Board, S. Bassett recommended the monthly or quarterly monitoring of the self-insurance fund as a best practice. He commended the Board for having an Audit Committee that meets regularly to review the Student Activity Fund, payroll risk, vendor risk and other material risk factors.  S. Bassett discussed the timing and delivery of the Audit Report by the end of the year given the uncertain release date of the GASB No. 75 report.  He did not foresee any issues with the state granting an extension if needed due to a delay in the third-party report.  The Board discussed the preparation and timing of Management’s Discussion and Analysis.  S. Bassett responded to several questions before he and P. Sabetta exited the Meeting.

S. Reiss distributed the site evaluation report at the Meeting and recapped where he left off from a previous discussion about the seven campus improvement alternatives suggested by Gale Consultants. He summarized the terms, project areas, dollar amounts and range of options. He reviewed the high level estimates and a variety of alternatives the Board should consider. The Board discussed less inclusive options and deliberated the costs of each.  Among the items the Board considered in its deliberations were the health and safety of the students, the lifecycle of each of the existing structures and the priority given to each based on recommendations received from the engineers and Administration.  The Board also considered technical recommendations, the impact on academics, design development and contingencies. The Board weighed the cost and affordability of the improvements and the impact to community and how it might affect votes during the referendum.

The Board prioritized the improvements and agreed that the tennis courts, track and Barlow Drive should be given priority over the Southeast junior lot, rear parking lot, front drop off area and the North/South walkway.  The Board noted some minor modifications but nothing that would cause a delay or significantly change the cost of the projects that were given priority.  P. Coppinger spoke in favor of including most of the potential improvements, with some modifications, while other Board members believed that some of the projects could be eliminated or deferred to future years.  The Board also discussed the estimated costs and similar modifications for the secondary projects.  The Board concluded that the health and safety of the students and the community who also use these shared resources should be given priority.

Motion:  move to authorize Gale Consultants to proceed on a design of track improvements, asphalt tennis court improvements, Barlow Drive improvements, and North-South walkway improvements  along with new stairs and sidewalk areas around the main building (Hocker, Williams).  Approved 6-1, with P. Coppinger opposed.

S. Reiss stated that he would contact the consultants with further instructions and that the Facilities and Fields Committee would work with Gale to refine the scope of the project and report back to the Board as needed before the February Board meeting.

M. D’Agostino led a discussion on the seat belt options available under the contract with the new transportation provider. The Board noted its responsibility to provide safe transportation and discussed the safety of the 3-point vs the 2-point harness option. The Board considered the cost per district, actual student use and the approval of the Redding and Easton Boards of Education.

Motion:  move to approve 3-point seatbelts (Coppinger, Denny).  Approved.  Unanimous.

Dr. McMorran also commented on the fall musical performances and noted that the girls’ volleyball team won the CT state championship.

S. Reiss reported that the district would be over budget for heating oil due to the strike price for oil being set after the budget was finalized. He explained how being a part of the consortium affects oil prices. He reported on transfers, the Health Insurance Reserve Fund, claims, and the high deductible health plan.  He discussed projections for the end of the year and changes to the JBHS Capital plan as marked up and presented to the Board for approval at this Meeting.

Motion:  move to approve the November 20, 2018 changes to the JBHS Capital Plan as presented to the Board at this Meeting (Coppinger, Graziano).  Approved.  Unanimous.

 The Board continued to discuss the community’s use of the school’s fields and the usefulness of updating the Capital Plan as changes occur.

C. Hocker reported that the Pension Committee had met to review the status of the pension fund and plans to move forward with finalizing and formalizing the defined contribution plan.

P. Coppinger confirmed that the Facilities and Fields Committee would meet with the engineering consultants as required to move the improvement projects forward. He also reported on progress made on the Superintendent Evaluation Policy. He commented on setting and revisiting goals every year.

Audit Committee
Johnson reported that the Committee reviewed the Audit Report presented to the Board at this Meeting.

Policy Committee
Denny reported that the Committee would meet on Wednesday, November 28th to review several policies.

S. Krivit offered to volunteer as a local resident, whose property abuts Barlow Drive, to relay information to her neighbors throughout the process of the Campus Improvement Project and to serve on a Building Committee for execution of the project.


Motion:  move to enter Executive Session to discuss Superintendent’s Evaluation (Coppinger, Graziano).  Approved.  Unanimous.

The Board entered Executive Session at 9:55 p.m.

The Board returned from executive session at 11:08 p.m.  No further action taken.

ADJOURNMENT  Motion:  move to adjourn the meeting (Coppinger, Johnston).  Approved.  Unanimous.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:09 p.m.

Submitted by Chris Hocker,  Region 9 Board of Education Secretary

Recorded by Stephanie Benton