REGION 9 BOARD OF EDUCATION
Joel Barlow High School Library Learning Center
Tuesday, August 20, 2019
Board Members: D’Agostino, Coppinger, Johnston, Hocker, Denny, Graziano, Williams
Administration: McMorran, Pierson-Ugol, Pin, Reiss, McTague, Desmarais
Others: Two members of the Public and Videographer
CALL TO ORDER
Mr. D’Agostino called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion: move to approve the minutes of the August 5, 2019 Special Meeting (Williams, Johnston). Approved. Unanimous.
Susanne Krivit, Black Rock Turnpike, Redding, spoke about the curbing and driveway granite apron construction at JBHS. She suggested exploring ways to inform the public about these projects since there is no longer publication of the Redding Pilot or Easton Courier.
BOARD MEMBER COMMENT
Ms. Denny and Ms. Graziano noted how members of the board were checking on the construction work throughout the summer and will continue to do so for the duration of the project. They both thanked Ms. Krivit for her input.
Mr. Reiss reported on the Budget Object Summaries for the previous and current fiscal years and explained that schools are still in the process of encumbering funds for the coming school year. He reported that the health insurance claims were lower in 2018-19 than in past years. The health insurance reserve in June 2019 was approximately $667,000.00.
DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: CAMPUS IMPROVEMENT PROJECT UPDATE
Mr. D’Agostino gave a PowerPoint presentation to outline the construction project and explain costs. In particular, the granite cobblestone and curbing is projected to pay off in the future and driveway repairs will cost less in the long run, based on cost-benefit data.
Mr. Reiss provided updates on the status of ongoing projects, including the financial status. Most of the projects are in the final phases, and the tennis courts have a projected end date of September 15, 2019.
APPROVAL OF INVOICES
Motion: move to approve Invoice #2 for $544,155.25 as presented by A & J Construction for construction services (Coppinger, Denny). Approved. Unanimous.
DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: CONSIDERATION OF WEIGHTED GRADING POLICY
Dr. Pin presented a proposal to modify grading for honors and AP classes at JBHS. Her presentation described the current grading practice, the proposed change, and the practices of comparable school districts. Practices vary considerably from district to district, with only Wilton practicing no grade weighting at all. Mr. D’Agostino expressed concerns about changing the present policy and Dr. Pin answered questions regarding how colleges regard weighted courses. A discussion ensued among board members about assigning each letter grade a fair number of points. There were a variety of opinions on this matter, and the board recommended that the Curriculum Committee and Administration continue research and discuss at a future meeting.
DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: RIGHTSIZING PLAN FOR PROJECTED ENROLLMENT DECLINE
Dr. Pin gave a PowerPoint presentation (available online) reviewing considerations in planning for managing costs at a time of declining enrollment, such as cross-certification of full-time teachers rather than numerous part-time teachers. She and Dr. McMorran talked about way the Board and Administration could work together to lower costs as student population is in decline. Mr. Coppinger spoke about the public opinion that if student enrollment is decreasing, the budget should be decreasing as well. Board members held an extensive discussion of the topic; no action was taken.
DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: POLICY PROCEDURES AND PRACTICES FOR THE POLICY COMMITTEE
Dr. McMorran, Mr. D’Agostino, and members of the board spoke about policies that need to be reviewed and the possibility of outsourcing this work. They also discussed possibility of scheduling a separate meeting to address policies.
Motion: move to dispense with the practice of two successive Policy Readings until the current backlog of policies requiring Board approval is cleared (Coppinger, Johnston). Approved 6-0-1. Mr. D’Agostino abstained.
Policies presented for First Reading at this meeting:
– 0523 – Mission Goals Objectives
– 1120 – Public Participation at Board Meetings
– 1331 – Smoke-Free Environment
– 1700 – Otherwise Lawful Possession of Firearms on School Property
– 3323 – Soliciting Prices (Bids and Quotations)
– 3520.1 – Info. Security Breach & Notifications
– 3523.11 – Unmanned Aerial Systems (Drones)
– 3542.22 – Food Service Personnel Code of Conduct
– 3542.33 – Food Sales Other Than National School Lunch Program
– 5141.4 – Reporting of Child Abuse, Neglect, Sexual Assault
Policies presented for Second Reading at this meeting:
– 1110.4 – Automated Calls/Text Messages (Auto Notification System)
– 1321.2 – Public Videotaping of Educational Activities
– 2141 – Recruitment & Appointment of Superintendent
– 3280 – Gifts, Grants & Bequests
– 3516.33 – Do Not Resuscitate Order
– 3520.13 – Student Data Protection & Privacy
– 4111/4211 – Recruitment and Selection (Certified and Non-Cert.)
– 4112.2 – Certification
– 4112.51/4212.51 – Employment / Reference Checks
– 4118.114 – Pregnant Women in the Workplace
Motion: move to approve all policies as presented on August 20, 2019 (Coppinger, Johnston). Approved. Unanimous.
REPORTS: BOARD OF EDUCATION COMMITTEE REPORTS
Mr. Coppinger presented a revision of the Capital Plan to include the replacement of six fireproof doors that had been found to contain asbestos and had been removed and disposed of safely, as recommended by the Facilities & Fields Committee. He reported that the mechanisms for the doors were proprietary to a specific vendor, and that Committee had recommended waiving bidding requirements to avoid the need to have two separate vendors for the work.
Motion: move to add item to the Capital Plan the replacement six fireproof doors at a cost of approximately $22,000.00 (Coppinger, D’Agostino). Approved. Unanimous.
Motion: move to authorize up to $22,000.00 from the Capital Reserve Fund to replace doors and to waive bidding requirements for the vendor due to the proprietary nature of the door mechanisms (Coppinger, Johnston). Approved. Unanimous.
Mr. Hocker reported that the Pension Committee had met and that the pension and retirement funds were being managed well with no items of concern.
RECESS TO EXECUTIVE SESSION TO DISCUSS SUPERINTENDENT’S EVALUATION
Motion: move to recess to Executive Session to discuss Superintendent’s evaluation, and invite Dr. McMorran to attend (Coppinger, Graziano). Approved. Unanimous.
The Board entered Executive Session at 10:31 pm and returned from Executive Session at 11:13. No action was taken.
Motion: move to adjourn the meeting (Coppinger, Graziano). Approved. Unanimous.
Recorded by Deborah DeLorenzo
Submitted by Chris Hocker, Board Secretary