REGION 9 BOARD OF EDUCATION REGULAR MEETING
Joel Barlow High School – Library Learning Commons
October 22, 2019 – 7:30 p.m.
Board members: D’Agostino, Coppinger, Hocker, Graziano, Hancock, Williams.
Absent: Johnston, Denny
Administration: McMorran, Pierson Ugol, Reiss, Pin, McTague, Desmarais
Student Representative: Monson
Others: four members of the staff, three members of the public, recording secretary and the videographer.
Mr. D’Agostino called the meeting to order at 7:31p.m.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion: move that the Region 9 Board of Education approve the minutes of September 17, 2019, Regular Meeting as submitted (Hancock, Hocker). Approved. Unanimous.
Student representative, Max Monson, spoke of the two Barlow students, Colin Holm-Hansen and Ekaterina Taylor-Yeremeeva, who have qualified as National Merit Scholarship semi-finalists. Max reported that Joel Barlow High School was ranked as the 3rd Best High School in the State of CT by SchoolDigger.com. Max explained the upcoming Homecoming festivities, stating that there will be a Homecoming Dance and a Homecoming Parade; he said that the student body seems to be very excited about these events.
BOARD MEMBER COMMENT
Mr. D’Agostino said he had gotten a few emails from JBHS parents asking where the 1st Quarter Honor Roll was printed or acknowledged. Dr. Pin replied that the JBHS is still within the 1st Quarter, and so no Honor Roll would be available yet.
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction: Dr. Pierson Ugol reported on the concept of Authentic Intellectual Work on the part of our students. She stated that this is a pedagogy where students understand what they have learned and then apply this understanding to another — and often higher level — connection and/or problem. Dr. Pin added that they see this when seniors apply their learning to the Senior Passages and Lens projects; that these projects are an opportunity for the students to extend and apply what they’ve learned.
Mr. D’Agostino asked if this type of learning is limited to certain academic subjects and if it slows the pace of exposure to content within the context of a class. Dr. Pierson Ugol said that this concept might be more prevalent in some classes than in others, but it does exist in all classes; she also said that it will lead to a better understanding, and therefore, a better performance on the part of our students. Dr. Pierson Ugol explained that topical learning is not affected and is still very important in framing the essential questions that guide Authentic Intellectual Work.
Director of Finance & Operations: Scott Reiss reported that the items in the annual budget are in line with the approved budget, and that there are no concerns at this point in time. Mr. Reiss explained seven budget transfers within district accounts. Mr. Reiss reported on health insurance that July and August claims were not materially out of line and that 100% of district employees were now on the high deductible health insurance plan. Mr. D’Agostino asked if when planning the budget, the high deductible costs had been taken into account. Mr. Reiss replied that yes, health insurance had been calculated within trends.
DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: STRATEGIC PLANNING
Dr. McMorran spoke to his report that he presented on the continuous effort for the alignment and coordination within the five buildings of ER9. He said that the “right size” of the programming of each school to fit the size of the school population is under consideration. He stated that currently the trends are indicating that the JBHS population will be approximately 700 students in 2026.
DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: STUDENT PERFORMANCE DATA
Dr. Pin presented a lengthy report on student performance that detailed student achievement growth and provided insight into upward performance trends; the report connected initiatives to performance. Dr. Pin explained that her report reinforced the 2019-2020 ER9 Priorities of 1) Enhance our ability to make data-informed decisions and, 2) Empower student ownership of their learning. Dr. Pin reported that in Student Behavior, incidences of policy violations had either decreased or remained the same over the last three years. In College Data, there is consistency in the JBHS student applications and acceptances to competitive and highly competitive colleges and universities; in Athletics, there remains a high percentage of participation from the student body; in Advanced Placement Courses, there continues to be a high percentage of participation in courses and high performance on AP exams. Dr. Pin said that going forward this data will continue to inform: goal setting, student learning outcomes, curriculum updates, differentiated instruction within a class, all discussions about teaching and learning, and budgeting requests.
DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: DISBURSEMENT OR DESTRUCTION OF OUTDATED AP BIOLOGY TEXTBOOKS
Motion: move that the Region 9 Board of Education authorize the administration, per their request, to dispose of outdated AP Biology textbooks (Coppinger, Williams). Approved. Unanimous.
DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: DISPOSITION OF LIGHT MACHINES CNC ROUTER
Motion: move that the Region 9 Board of Education authorize the administration, at their request, to dispose of the Light Machines CNC Router (Coppinger, Hancock). Approved. Unanimous.
DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: POLICIES FOR 2ND READING
Motion: move that the Region 9 Board of Education accept Policies 0523; 1120; 1331; 1700; 3323; 3520.1 (version 1); 3523.11; 3542.22; and 3542.33 for a second and final reading (Coppinger, Graziano). Approved. Unanimous.
Motion: move that the Region 9 Board of Education add the Agenda Item Campus Improvement Update and invoices to be Agenda Item VIII (Coppinger, Hancock). Approved. Unanimous.
DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: CAMPUS IMPROVEMENT UPDATE AND INVOICES
Scott Reiss, Director of Finance & Operations, reported that the Building Committee met and reviewed all renovation projects, which are completed or have just a punch-list of items that need to be completed. He stated that there are three invoices that need to be approved for payment at this time.
Motion: move that the Region 9 Board of Education approve Invoice 1908324 in the amount of $18,138.35 and Invoice 1909301 in the amount of $11,419.40 to Gale Engineering; and Request No. 3 in the amount of $190,879.75 to A & J Engineering (Coppinger, Hocker). Approved. Unanimous.
BOARD OF EDUCATION COMMITTEE REPORTS
Pension: Mr. Hocker reported that the recommended annual pension contribution for the next budget will show a small decrease.
Audit: Ms. Graziano reported that matters related to the auditing of District accounts appeared to be in satisfactory shape.
BOARD MEMBER COMMENT
Motion: move that the Region 9 Board of Education meeting be adjourned (Coppinger, Hancock). Approved. Unanimous.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:41 p.m.
Chris Hocker, Region 9 Board of Education Secretary