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Minutes of Region 9 Board of Education, 03/19/2019

AGENDA: Region 9 Board of Education

RECEIVED 03/21/2019 3:01pm
Kathleen R. Miserendino - Redding Deputy Town Clerk

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

ATTENDANCE
Region 9 Board of Education members:  D’Agostino, Hocker, Denny, Graziano, Coppinger, Hancock, Johnston, Williams
Administration:  McMorran, Pierson Ugol, Reiss, Pin, Desmarais, Panos, Roszko, Czudak
Others:  Videographer and 7 members of the public

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes from the March 11, 2019 meeting were reviewed.  Mr. Reiss corrected the Redding’s percentage share increase in the Region 9 budget to be 3.77% (as opposed to 3.72% as shown in the March 11, 2019 minutes), while Easton’s percentage share decrease would be -5.65% (as opposed to -5.59% as shown in the March 11, 2019 minutes).

Motion:  move to approve minutes of the March 11, 2019, Region 9 Board of Education special budget workshop as corrected (Coppinger, Graziano). Approved. Unanimous. (Hancock abstained.)

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

PUBLIC COMMENT
None.

BOARD MEMBER COMMENT
None.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION:  STUDENT SCIENCE RESEARCH PRESENTATION

Mr. Testa of the Barlow Science Department introduced two students to present a summary of their recent research projects:  Zachary Shortt and Anika Morgan.  Each made presentations and answered questions from members of the Board.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION:  PROPOSED 2019-2020 OPERATING BUDGET

Mr. D’Agostino asked if there were any changes that needed to be made to the budget as approved at the March 11 workshop.  There was discussion of paper supplies, hand dryers, and copper piping.  No changes in the budget as previously approved were offered.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION:  BRIDGE

Dr. Pin presented information regarding “Bridge” services being offered in-school to school-avoidant students and a budget-neutral proposal to continue these services for a second year, and answered questions.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION:  MATH CENTER

Dr. Pin presented a pilot program to create a Math Center, to be similar in concept to the established Writing Center, which would provide assistance and support for improving math skills.  The Math Center is intended to be budget-neutral.  Dr. Pin answered questions from the Board.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION:  GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS/WEIGHTED GRADING

Dr. Pin and Ms. Panos presented information regarding increasing the minimum number of credits for graduation from 48 to 50 starting with the Class of 2023, including two credits in World Language.  This would conform to state requirements put in place in 2017.  Ms. Panos stated that a large majority of students historically have graduated with 50 credits or more, and have taken a World Language offering, so that increasing the requirement from 48 to 50 would not be burdensome on staffing or scheduling.

Motion:  move to increase graduation requirement from 48 to 50 credits, with the addition of a World Language requirement (Coppinger, Williams).  Approved.  Unanimous.

Dr. Pin presented a proposal to change the current practice of weighted grading for students taking Honors and Advanced Placement courses.  The current practice increases Grade Point Average weighting for students receiving above a C+ in these courses.  The proposal would increase GPA weighting to those receiving a C-, C, or C+ in these courses.  There was extended discussion of this proposal, with some Board members supporting it in order to encourage students to try higher level courses, and some opposing it, including expressing a preference to have no weighted grading at all.

Motion:  move to approve changes in grade weighting practice as presented by Dr. Pin, to be instituted beginning with the Class of 2023 (Hocker, Hancock).  Failed 4 – 4.  In favor:  Hocker, Hancock, Graziano, Williams.  Opposed:  D’Agostino, Coppinger, Denny, Johnston.

There was general agreement that the administration and Curriculum Committee should work further on this issue, including investigating what comparable school districts do with grade weighting, with the possibility of revisiting it at a future meeting.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION:  POLICY REVIEW – FIRST READING

Proposed policy revisions were presented for first reading.

Motion:  move to approve for first reading Policy 5144.5 – Discipline and Policy 5144.12 – Student Discipline:  Restorative Justice Approach (Hancock, Coppinger).  Approved.  Unanimous.

ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTS

Dr. Pin reported that after consideration of various dates for Graduation, she was recommending June 12, 2019.

Dr. Pierson Ugol spoke to her written report on recent work to align curriculum vertically within the Easton, Redding, Region 9 schools.  She noted that aligning curriculum for Music and Art was more challenging than for some other academic areas but that efforts were necessary in order to meet state standards.

Mr. Reiss distributed a draft Resolution authorizing the appropriation and financing for the Campus Improvements 2019 Project, with the final Resolution to be approved by the Board at a later meeting.  Mr. Reiss then reviewed the Budget Object Summary, the Health Insurance Reserve Analysis for Region 9 and Central Office, and a recent budget transfer.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Ms. Graziano reported on a recent meeting of the Tri-District Health Insurance Committee, noting that after a review of alternatives, the current Health Insurance program would remain in place.

Mr. Hocker reported that the Pension Committee had approved the transfer of administration for the defined contribution retirement plan to Horace Mann Educational Corp.

PUBLIC COMMENT
None.

BOARD MEMBER COMMENT
None.

RECESS TO EXECUTIVE SESSION TO DISCUSS:  PERFORMANCE REVIEW, HEAD OF SCHOOL
Motion:  move to recess to Executive Session to Discuss Performance Review, Head of School (Coppinger, Hocker).  Approved.  Unanimous.

The Board went into Executive Session at 10:31 p.m.

RETURN FROM EXECUTIVE SESSION FOR POSSIBLE ACTION ON ITEM DISCUSSED IN EXECUTIVE SESSION
The Board returned from Executive Session at 11:23 p.m.

Motion:  move to approve the contract with Dr. Gina Pin as recommended by the Board’s Negotiations Committee, and authorize the Chair to execute the contract after review by legal counsel (Johnston, Coppinger).  Approved.  Unanimous.

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

The meeting was adjourned at 11:25 p.m.

Recorded and submitted by
Chris Hocker
Region 9 Board of Education Secretary

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