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Minutes of Region 9 Board of Education, 01/18/2022

AGENDA: Region 9 Board of Education

RECEIVED 01/21/2022 10:03am
Michele R. Grande – Redding Town Clerk

Regular Meeting
January 18, 2022 – 7:30 p.m.
Joel Barlow High School Library Learning Commons
100 Black Rock Turnpike, Redding, Connecticut
On YouTube


Board Members: Johnston, D’Agostino, Graziano, Pampel, Denny, O’Brien, Lehberger, Thompson
Administration: McKinnon, Almeida
Members of the Public: None

Mr. D’Agostino called the meeting to order at 7:39 pm

Motion: move to accept the Revised December 21, 2021 Region 9 Board of Education Regular Meeting Minutes as presented. (Denny, Lehberger) Approved. Unanimous.

JBHS Student Representative, Griffin Ellis discussed happenings at Joel Barlow High School. The transition back from school break has gone well. The Youth Mental Health Club’s mission is to bring awareness about the importance of mental health, they help to identify resources for those seeking out mental health treatment. Recently, the group visited the 9th and 10th grade wellness classrooms to discuss strategies to help students who may be going through a difficult time. The Barlow debate team, won the second-consecutive debate state open, with a 3-0 victory. They competed against more than 200 students from 26 schools. Team leaders were seniors Ben Fligelman and Graham Litz. Fligelman was also the top speaker, earning himself a rare double-first finish. Graham Litz was the second-place speaker. The novice debaters also finished on top; Griffin Speck and Cade Fravel defeated pairs from Stamford, Westhill, and the Westfield-Watkinson Academies. JBHS senior, Nate Bass, became an eagle scout on December 5th. His classroom remake project included planning, painting, installing carpet, and building individual student learning stations for a school in West Orange, New Jersey. This year’s winter show will be a performance of Macbeth. This production will be Barlow’s virtual submission to the Connecticut Drama Association’s annual festival scheduled for a weekend in March. The winter show is scheduled to be performed at Barlow on February 24, 25 and 26. The JBHS Boys Hockey team is on a six-game winning streak. They haven’t lost since their first game on December 18.

M. D’Agostino congratulated the JBHS Debate Team for an exceptional performance. He also reiterated that the JBHS Hockey team is required to wear neck guards according to regulations. The coaching staff takes the safety of all athletes very seriously.



S. Pierson-Ugol reported on the Junior Writing Portfolio. The submitted portfolios are scored by assessors from within the school, as well as within the district. This is a graduation requirement, however some students deferred submitting last year due to the pandemic, so submissions are higher this year than in previous years. M. D’Agostino asked whether the school has been able to accommodate the needs of students seeking help from the Writing Center. Dr. Almeida said that they haven’t seen a backlog of students; the Writing Center is utilized almost every period within the day. Students who seek help, are given the support they need.

S. Petruzzelli presented the Budget Object Summary and financial reports. The procedural processes of transfer and transfer reports were briefly discussed. The health claims continue to trend lower than projections.


J. McKinnon explained the importance of enrollment reports and projections for the district. This data is necessary for drafting the budget, projecting class sizes, and determining size of the teaching staff. J. McKinnon presented the Prowda Enrollment Report for JBHS. Student enrollment is projected to continue to decline for several more years. However, enrollment will begin to increase in 2031, based on projected class sizes in HKMS and JRMS

Dr. Almeida reported that currently, JBHS has 813 students.  He discussed the historical enrollment numbers in the district. Between 2011 and 2021, the enrollment decline at Joel Barlow High was the largest compared to similar high schools in the region. Although the projected enrollment trend is downward for six more years, a rebound is anticipated after this time frame. Based on the data, high school enrollment could average 770 students over the ten-year projection period compared to an average total enrollment of 935 students over the past ten years. Dr. Almeida also explained the student scheduling timeline and what goes in to creating a student’s schedule/coursework selection (PowerPoint slide) ALL students meet with a school counselor to discuss this process. Input comes from students, teachers, parents, and counselor. The process is a collaborative effort that takes place during the prior school year. Towards the end of the school year, the Guidance department begins the process of determining how many sections of a class are needed, balancing class size, wait-listing classes as needed, and contacting students/parents to discuss scheduling.

K. O’Brien asked when incoming freshman are first introduced to high school course offerings. S. Pierson-Ugol explained that incoming ninth graders begin learning about private, prep, magnet schools and JBHS in the beginning of eighth grade. These schools present what they can offer, including course selections, athletics, clubs, and a general overview about school environment. A discussion ensued related to how Barlow should promote the Program of Studies in order to create an awareness with students. It was noted that Open House tours have been a challenge due to the ongoing pandemic. K O’Brien suggested having a JBHS Open House to showcase the high school offerings to students and families.

M. D’Agostino announced the two-year committee assignments for Region 9 members.


Audit Committee Johnston, Denny
Budget Committee Graziano, Johnston
Curriculum Committee Pampel, Thompson, O’Brien
Field & Facilities Committee Pampel, Lehberger, Johnston
Negotiating Committee Denny, Johnston
Pension Committee Pampel, Johnston
Policy Committee Graziano, Thompson, Lehberger
Superintendent Evaluation Committee Pampel, Thompson
Technology Committee Lehberger, Pampel, Denny, Johnston
Transportation Committee Denny
ER9 Joint Food Service Committee O’Brien
ER9 Joint Health Insurance Committee TBD
Joint Long Range Steering Committee Graziano
Joint Negotiating Committee Johnston, Denny
Joint Policy Committee TBD
ER9 Wellness Committee Pampel, O’Brien
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Taskforce Lehberger, Graziano



K. O’Brien asked J. McKinnon about the committee structure and what can be done to combine similar/redundant committees. Dr. McKinnon feels all the boards should meet to discuss possible changes after the budget season.


Motion: move to adjourn the Region 9 Board of Education (Graziano, Denny) Approved. Unanimous.

The Region 9 Board of Education meeting was adjourned at 9:42 pm

Submitted by K. O’Brien
Region 9 Board Secretary
Recorded by Kim Keil