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Minutes of Region 9 Board of Education, 10/20/2020

AGENDA: Region 9 Board of Education

RECEIVED 10/28/2020 8:30am
Michele R. Grande – Redding Town Clerk

REGION 9 BOARD OF EDUCATION REGULAR MEETING
October 20, 2020 – 7:30 p.m.
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Minutes

ATTENDANCE
Board members: Johnston, Graziano, Berry, D’Agostino, Denny, O’Brien, Pampel, Williams
Administration: Harrison, Pierson Ugol, Reiss
Others: 33 members of the staff and public, and the recording secretary

CALL TO ORDER
T. Johnston called the Region 9 Board of Education Regular meeting to order at 7:40 p.m.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion: move that the Region 9 Board of Education approve the minutes of the September 15, 2020 Regular meeting as submitted. (D’Agostino, Pampel). Approved. Unanimous.

Motion: move that the Region 9 Board of Education approve the minutes of the September 29, 2020 Special meeting as submitted. (D’Agostino, O’Brien). Approved. Unanimous.

Motion: move that the Region 9 Board of Education approve the minutes of the September 30, 2020 ER9 Joint Boards of Education Special meeting as submitted. (Graziano, Williams). Approved. 7-0-1. (D’Agostino abstained).

STUDENT COMMENT
M. Monson gave a student perspective on the current hybrid learning model, saying that most students think having Wednesdays back in the building is good.

PUBLIC COMMENT
None.

BOARD MEMBER COMMENT
M. D’Agostino said that he wondered if the BOE would receive a presentation of academics and college acceptances at some point.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: JBEA BARGAINING UNIT AGREEMENT 2021-2024

Motion: move that the Region 9 Board of Education amend the Agenda to move into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing the JBEA collective bargaining unit agreement and inviting Dr. Harrison, Dr. Pierson Ugol, Dr. Pin and Mr. Reiss to the Executive Session. (D’Agostino, Denny). Approved. Unanimous.

RECESS TO EXECUTIVE SESSION TO DISCUSS: JBEA BARGAINING UNIT AGREEMENT 2021-2024
Invited Dr. Harrison, Dr. Pierson Ugol, Dr. Pin and Mr. Reiss. Recessed at 7:58 p.m.

RETURN FROM EXECUTIVE SESSION FOR POSSIBLE ACTION ON ITEM DISCUSSED IN EXECUTIVE SESSION
Return to Public Session at 8:12 p.m.

Motion: move that the Region 9 Board of Education approve the collective bargaining unit agreement with JBEA for the 2021-2024 school years. (D’Agostino, Denny). Approved. Unanimous.

M. Agostino said that he would like to recognize our exemplary staff. T. Johnston thanked everyone for their cooperation.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: UPDATE ON PROVIDING ALL-IN MODEL
Dr. Harrison spoke about the steps to be taken for the all-in model at JBHS and that the concerns for the October 5 date were the density of students in the building and not being able to social distance. He said that input from the Departments of Public Health in Easton and Redding currently advise the use of caution and pausing on adding more students into the building. Dr. Pin explained decisions that would need to be made and their potential costs for the All-In model of learning at JBHS. These issues included the areas of: scheduling, health & safety, facilities, transportation, food services and academics. Dr. Pin also said that in regards to a return to the All-In model, Step One would involve close collaboration with the Department of Public Health and Medical Health Advisor; and Step Two would involve consideration of the natural semester break of February 1, 2021. A lengthy discussion took place about these topic points and also the possibility of the staff professional development schedule being revised to include Wednesdays in November. Dr. Harrison and Dr. Pin said that the data changes almost daily and that they are determined to continue to work to get more students back in the building.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: DIVERSITY & INCLUSION CONSULTANT PROGRESS UPDATE
Dr. Harrison said that he and Dr. Pierson Ugol had met with the Connecticut Center for School Change and they had come up with a plan that consists of five components: access efforts, audit, focus groups, goal setting and action plan. This plan will be presented to the JBHS staff who serve on this committee. He said that he doesn’t want the District to be reliant on consultants and believes the staff will be able to take on this initiative.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: DIRECTOR OF FINANCE SEARCH UPDATE
T. Johnston tabled this Discussion and Possible Action item until a future BOE meeting.

ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTS
Joel Barlow High School Head of School, Dr. Gina Pin, reported that the staff professional development for September focused primarily on safety protocols; in October it has, and will continue to, focus on technical training; and that in November it will focus on addressing challenges in the academic areas.

Administrator for Athletics, Health and Physical Education, Michael Santangeli, reported that spectators are now allowed at fall athletic events, but that you need to preregister for the event; there will be a post-season for fall sports; and that the CIAC has approved a winter sports schedule, but will make a final determination about winter sports on November 10-11.

Director of Special Education, Michael DiStefano, reported that he meets weekly with Jennifer Del Conte, the Director of Special Services for Easton and Redding, and that they have now aligned their reports and that the Bridge Program now has eight students. M. DiStefano also said he would like to acknowledge the amazing work by the Special Education staff.

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Pierson Ugol, reported on the October professional learning days, called “Technology Integration Academy.” She said that more time was spent on technical improvements and skill-building, and that the long term goal is the integration of the technology with teaching methods and pedagogy. BOE members asked Dr. Pierson Ugol for a further breakdown on what took place on the professional learning days.

Director of Finance & Operations, Scott Reiss, reported that the conversion to the E-Finance Plus system has been done and that imputing budgeting data is the first active use of the system. He said that the District is on track to spend the $259K allocated in July for reopening expenses, with the biggest expense occurring in non-personal needs. S. Reiss also reported that the amount between savings and COVID spending is almost a wash, and that the District received $102,879K from the Coronavirus Relief Fund. M. D’Agostino said that he will surely miss S. Reiss and appreciates his service. G. Denny said, S. Reiss you are wonderful to work with. M. Williams said we are going to miss you Scott. S. Reiss said that it’s been his honor to serve the BOE.

BOARD COMMITTEE REPORTS
Audit Committee: C. Graziano reported that the audit was going well and that they are using a new audit firm.

PUBLIC COMMENT
None.

BOARD MEMBER COMMENT
None.

ADJOURNMENT

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

The meeting was adjourned at 10:38 p.m.

Submitted by
Juliette Berry, Secretary, Region 9 Board of Education

Recorded by
Sarah Ota

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