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Minutes of Region 9 Board of Education, 02/19/2019

AGENDA: Region 9 Board of Education

RECEIVED 02/25/2019 8:30am
Michele R. Grande – Redding Town Clerk

REGION 9 BOARD OF EDUCATION
Regular Meeting
Joel Barlow High School
Tuesday, February 19, 2019 – 7:30 p.m.
Minutes

ATTENDANCE
Region 9 Board of Education members: D’Agostino, Hocker, Denny, Graziano, Coppinger, Hancock, Johnston
Absent: Williams
Administration: McMorran, Pierson Ugol, Reiss, Pin, DeAngelo, Desmarais, McTague, Panos, Roszko, Schemm, Staron, Santangeli, Angell
Others: Videographers and 6 members of the public

CALL TO ORDER
Mr. D’Agostino called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion: move to approve minutes of the January 31, 2019 Region 9 Board of Education regular meeting (Coppinger, Johnston). Approved. Unanimous. (Hancock abstained.)

STUDENT COMMENT
Max Monson reported on noteworthy student accomplishments from the previous few weeks as well as upcoming events, and fielded questions.

PUBLIC COMMENT
Jeff Fligelman, Redding, on behalf of himself and other parents, spoke in support of the current Latin program and the importance of allowing the current program to continue.

BOARD MEMBER COMMENT
Ms. Graziano offered a statement in preparation for budget discussions, including support for a more strategic vision of the budget; she also commented on recent legislative proposals for school district regionalization in Connecticut.

Mr. Hocker spoke about regionalization proposals and the differences between them, and noted that Easton-Redding-Region 9 had already achieved a significant degree of de facto regionalization.

Mr. D’Agostino acknowledged a letter from a parent in support of the Latin program; reported on his conversations with officials regarding regionalization; and noted that the Board’s scheduled budget workshop on March 14 may need to be rescheduled to avoid conflicting with another budget-related meeting in Redding on that day.

INITIAL PROPOSAL FOR 2019-2020 BUDGET
Dr. Pin presented the Administration’s initial budget proposal for the 2019-20 school year (Note: the PowerPoint budget presentation will be available online). The proposed budget calls for a reduction of $34,998 from the 2018-19 approved budget, or 0.14%. Due to a shift in student population from Easton to Redding, Redding’s share of the budget would increase by $547,065, while Easton’s share would decrease by $582,064. The proposed budget reflects a significant decrease in special education costs compared with the current year. Dr. Pin and Mr. Reiss responded to questions from the Board.

Detailed budget books were distributed to Board members, who were encouraged to submit their questions and comments on the proposed budget to Mr. D’Agostino for forwarding to the administration. Questions should be sent at least a few days in advance of the scheduled March 7 Budget Workshop.

ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTS
Dr. Pin referred to her written report on Joel Barlow High School Learning Expectations, noting that this month’s focus is on Communications.

Dr. Pierson Ugol referred to her monthly report on the upcoming Next Generation Science Standards testing that will be given to 11th grade students. This is a new test developed by the State of Connecticut. Science curriculum has been revised to meet performance expectations.

Mr. Reiss reported on anticipated funding levels at the end of the fiscal year, noting that due to several fortunate circumstances (which are subject to change), there is the prospect of significant unspent funds at year end. Mr. Reiss presented the health insurance reserve reports for Region 9 and Central Office, noting that the Central Office reserve is in deficit and there will likely be a need to transfer funds from the three districts’ reserve funds to replenish it.

Dr. McMorran spoke about proposed regionalization and the practical problems, as well as likely lack of cost savings, in the event that Redding, Easton, and Region 9 were required to formally regionalize.

COMMITTEE REPORTS
Mrs. Denny stated her opinion that the number of policies needing review and revision might make it necessary to engage outside assistance in order to stay current.

Mr. Coppinger reported on the recent site visit by prospective bidders on the facilities renovation project and noted the need for the Facilities and Fields Committee to meet shortly after bids are received in order to select a contractor and obtain Board approval according to schedule.

PUBLIC COMMENT
None.

BOARD MEMBER COMMENT
Mr. Hocker noted that population shifts between towns that affect each town’s tax burden from year to year are simply a fact of life rather than a flaw in the budgeting process, and that most referendum voters understand this.

Mr. Coppinger thanks members of the public who had voiced their support of the Latin program, noting that cutting the program had never been formally considered by the Board.

Mr. Johnston thanked the administration for its work in presenting the proposed budget.

Mr. D’Agostino noted the difficulty, unique to Region 9, of finalizing its budget on a compressed schedule.

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

The meeting was adjourned at 9:35 p.m.

Recorded and submitted by

Chris Hocker
Region 9 Board of Education Secretary

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