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Minutes of Region 9 Board of Education, 09/15/2020

AGENDA: Region 9 Board of Education

RECEIVED 09/21/2020 9:57am
Michele R. Grande – Redding Town Clerk

REGION 9 BOARD OF EDUCATION REGULAR MEETING
September 15, 2020 – 7:30 p.m.

Virtually via Zoom
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Minutes

ATTENDANCE:
Board members: Johnston, D’Agostino, Graziano, Berry, Denny, Pampel, Williams, O’Brien
Administration: Harrison, Pin, DeStefano, Reiss, Pierson-Ugol, Santangeli, Panos, Desmarais, Czudak
Others: 5 members of the public

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion: move to approve the minutes from the August 18, 2020 Region 9 Board of Education Regular Meeting amending page 2 of 5 to clarify investment policy change for defined contribution plan. (D’Agostino, Graziano). Approved. Unanimous.

Motion: move to approve the minutes from the September 3, 2020 Region 9 Board of Education Special Meeting. (Pampel, Williams). Approved. Unanimous.

STUDENT COMMENT
Max Monson spoke about seniors at Barlow efforts to regain normalcy at the high school. He spoke about Zoom use by teachers and how inclusive it is for both in person and virtual learners. Max reported about the September 11 memorial ceremony and a moving speech given by Vanessa Burton-Hansen. The board members thanked Max for sharing his Zoom online experiences. He also spoke about how well students are adjusting to the new rules that include social distancing and class participation. He included examples of student breakout rooms where students could interact with each other online.

PUBLIC COMMENT: None.

BOARD MEMBER COMMENT: None.

ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTS
Dr. Pin asked Mr. DiStefano to share his report. Mr. DiStefano said he was happy to meet staff and students. He reported the trends in special education were stable for this year. He feels that the 3E program and Bridges program provide the best benefits for special education students. He added that small class size is critical for special education student success. Mr. D’Agostino asked Mr. DiStefano some follow up questions regarding trends and thanked him for the report.

Dr. Pin praised the work of the K-8 teachers and how their hard work reduces the need for continued special education in high school. Dr. Pierson-Ugol said she was glad to have the students back and proud of the teacher’s efforts in engaging the students both online and in person. There is an excellent presentation of “Dr. Dad” posted on the ER9 website for viewing. Mr. Johnston spoke about the positive feedback he received from parents regarding student’s academic progress. Dr. Harrison reported that we are in phase one of the reentry plan and looks forward to moving to phase two.

Mr. Reiss provided updates on grants providing funds for chrome books for the students, as well as for PPE, transportation costs, and internet connectivity for those in need. The grants were given by the COVID relief fund. He reviewed budget transfers for 2020-21. Mr. Reiss spoke about health insurance claims being somewhat higher than last year, but overall, we are still doing well. He attributes this to the reopening of doctors’ offices increasing services to members.

Motion: move that the Region 9 BOE approve budget transfer $14,196.00 from the 1200-320 account and move to the 1200-330 account. (Denny, Pampel). Approved. Unanimous.

COMMITTEE REPORTS
Ms. Graziano reported that the budget committee meetings need to be looked at every two years. The Facilities and Fields committee met last week. Mr. D’Agostino reported that the FFC are continuing to review and revise policies.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: CAMPUS IMPROVEMENT PROJECT CLOSEOUT
AND APPROVAL OF INVOICES
Mr. D’Agostino reported that the Campus Improvement Project is officially completed including the cobblestone apron at the entrance to JBHS. He thanked Mr. Reiss for his hard work. Mr. Reiss spoke regarding the final payment.

Motion: move that the Region 9 BOE approve final invoice #7 from A & J construction in the amount of $79,448.75 for the Campus Improvement Project. (D’Agostino, Denny). Approved. Unanimous.

Motion: move that the Region 9 BOE has no intention to obtain any authorized and unissued funds in the Campus Improvement Project in the amount of $1,780.00. (D’Agostino, O’Brien). Approved. Unanimous.

Mr. Reiss reported that the $12,202.95 was lower than originally planned for the project.

Motion: move that the Region 9 BOE fund landscaping and site improvements which align with approved scope of Campus Improvement Project and authorize the Director of Finance and Operations to pay invoices not to exceed $12,000. (D’Agostino, O’Brien). Approved. Unanimous.
Motion: move that the Region 9 BOE commit all residual funds for the Campus Improvement Project to be expended for scheduled bond interest payments in the 2020-21 fiscal year. (D’Agostino, Pampel). Approved. Unanimous.

Motion: move that the Region 9 BOE disband the Barlow Campus Improvement Project Building Committee with great appreciation for their efforts to complete the project on time, under budget and to the highest industry standards. (D’Agostino, Denny). Approved. Unanimous.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: UPDATE ON SCHOOL REOPENING, ATHLETICS, EXTRACURRICULAR, AND GRAB-AND-GO MEALS
Dr. Pin thanked Max Monson for his insightful comments regarding students and school reopening. She admires how well the students have transitioned to the new school environment. Mr. Santangeli spoke about coaches adapting to smaller cohort size and family cooperation regarding sports. The plan is that on September 21, 2020 we will transition to 90 minutes of training and no cohorts. Dr. Pin is hopeful that student activities will begin at the end of September, starting with student government.

Extracurricular activities and clubs have been meeting online. Mr. Reiss spoke about Grab-and-Go meals and how they are provided to all students at no charge and are reimbursed by the USDA. This pertains to school meals only, not a la carte items. Remote learners can pick up meals at a designated location, they just have to fill out a form.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: BARLOW DIVERSITY CONSULTANT
Dr. Harrison spoke about diversity, equity, and inclusion framework. He provided a PowerPoint presentation that is available for viewing online.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: COMMITTEE LIST UPDATES
Updates on committees are posted online on the Barlow website.

PUBLIC COMMENT: None

BOARD MEMBER COMMENT: None

ADJOURNMENT

Motion: move that the Region 9 Regular Board of Education meeting be adjourned. (O’Brien, Denny). Approved. Unanimous.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:36 p.m.

Recorded by
Deborah DeLorenzo

Submitted by
Juliette Berry, Region 9 Board of Education Secretary