Attendance: Region 9 Board of Education members: D’Agostino, Gombos (7:25 pm), Hancock, Hocker, Johnston, King, Lewis
Administration: McMorran, Sullivan, Pin, Pierson Ugol, Czudak, Sheehy, Geraghty, Santangeli, Panos, Roszko
Student Representative: Katherine Waugh
Others: two members of the public and videographer
Mr. Hocker called the meeting of the Region 9 Board of Education to order at 7:05 pm in the Joel Barlow Media Center.
Motion: move to add to the agenda a report from the student representative. Johnston, D’Agostino. Approved. Unanimous.
Student Representative, Katherine Waugh, reported on student activities and school spirit events.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion: move that the Region 9 Board of Education approve the minutes of the August 12, 2015 meeting as submitted. Approved. 5-0-1. Mr. Hancock abstained.
DISCUSSION AND ACTION ON THE FOLLOWING:
A. June 30, 2015 year-end results and year-end transfer request: Mrs. Sullivan reported the year-end unexpended balance of $75,000. The accounts under expended included electricity, cleaning, supplies, conference & travel and salaries. She recommended that amount be transferred to the Capital Reserve Account.
Motion: move that the Region 9 Board of Education transfer the $75,000 year-end balance to the Capital Reserve Account. King, D’Agostino. Approved. Unanimous.
B. Refund of property taxes paid to the Town of Bethel: Mrs. Sullivan reported the Town of Bethel has refunded the property taxes paid in 2012, 2013 & 2014, a total of $182,733.48 to the districts. That amount is split three ways between the towns of Easton, Redding and Region 9. The amount to Region 9 is $60,911.16 and will be reflected as revenue for fiscal year 2015-16. The funds will be allocated at the end of the fiscal year, either to the Capital Reserve Fund, Health Insurance Reserve Fund or returned to the two towns.
Mrs. Gombos arrived, 7:25 pm
C. Special Education: from “Child Find” to IEP Plan: Special Education Director, Patti Roszko presented an overview and explanation of the process used by the Special Education Department. She will provide a briefing on the process for 504 students at the next meeting.
- Staffing Update: Mrs. Pin reported on staff position changes and additions. The only open position at this time is for the Choral Director/Music Teacher.
- Enrollment Numbers: Mrs. Pin reported 1,027 students were present on the first day of school. The official enrollment date is October 1st. A new student orientation day was well attended, as well as the evening parent orientation session. All students and parents have access to the JBHS Student-Parent Handbook. One new dance protocol will include breathalyzing all students as they arrive. This was piloted last year for the senior banquet and was well received by students, staff and parents. Mrs. Gombos expressed her concern that the Board of Education was not informed of this change prior to implementation. Mrs. Pin responded that the change is a procedural change that was done in conjunction with conversations with the ERCC, PTA and focus groups, and follows what other districts are doing. Mrs. Gombos suggested that the Board be informed of these types of changes of procedure in advance of the change.
- Status of Building: Mrs. Pin reported the building was in good shape and thanked Mr. Czudak and his crew for their hard work over the summer months. The roof project will be completed next week.
- Summer Athletics Report: Mr. Santangeli’s report noted that 391 athletes signed up to play or tryout for a Fall sport.
- Goals and Vision Statement: Mrs. Pin reviewed the goals and vision statement for the year that included academic goals and self, social and situational awareness.
- Professional Development: Dr. Pierson Ugol provided a listing of 2015 summer curriculum work that was undertaken.
- Special Education data: Mrs. Roszko provided a data summary of the 2014-15 school year for the Special Education Department. Also included was current data, as of August 27, 2015
- Finance Report:
a. Transfer Reports: Mrs. Sullivan provided the 2014-15 Transfer Report and the 2015-16 Transfer Report for review. Mr. Lewis and Mrs. Gombos questioned the transfer made for the purchase of Chromebooks and how they fit with the overall Technology Plan. Mrs. Gombos suggested the board have a broader discussion of the Technology Plan and the need of the school.
b. Health Insurance: Mrs. Sullivan reported the Reserve Fund is in good shape. July claims were high, but she does not see that as a trend.
c. School Buses: the transportation contract is up for renewal at the end of the 2015-16 school year. She is in discussion with Easton officials regarding the creation of a bus depot at the Morehouse Road site near the Samuel Staples Elementary School. There are also ongoing discussions on the potential of using natural gas fueled buses and natural gas is available at that site. Natural gas fueled buses are not yet available. She will need a board member volunteer for the Transportation Committee.
d. School Lunch Program: following a federal audit of the school lunch program in Connecticut, it came to light that the contracts (approved by the State of Connecticut) were not in compliance with the federal program. As a result, the school lunch program will need to be rebid for the 2016-17 year. The primary problem was that Chartwells offered a scholarship and funding for a nutritional program for the schools.
e. Roofing Project: Mrs. Sullivan reported the Redding Building Inspector was on site for an inspection. The “substantial completion date” was met by the contractor. The work should conclude next week.
- Superintendent’s Report: Dr. McMorran commented on the importance of communication in his role and how he was transitioning to that new role. He will be working to align he education of the Easton Redding and Region 9 students, and that students would learn to care for themselves, our school and our community.
BOARD OF EDUCATION REPORTS
Audit Committee: Mr. King reported the Audit Committee is working on a procurement policy and developing a report for expense reporting on a quarterly basis. As part of the audit process, members of the board are required to be asked if they have any knowledge of fraud. Mr. King asked that if any member had such knowledge, they should let him know immediately. Mr. King also noted that the Student Activity Fund totals about $400,000 and more than 150 line items. Mrs. Sullivan has been asked to create a method for the handling of the smallest of these accounts. Mr. King asked if the Board wanted the auditor to attend one of the meetings or just report to the Audit Committee. The consensus was to have the auditor attend a BOE meetings.
Dana Gray, Redding: Mrs. Gray asked that the Special Education Report follow the same format that is used for the elementary & middle schools so that comparison can be more easily made. She also asked Mrs. Roszko for data on the number of students exiting the program. Mrs. Gray requested that Dr. Pierson Ugol provide a presentation of synopsis of changes in the math program.
BOARD MEMBER COMMENTS
Mr. D’Agostino suggested that the board meetings begin at 7:30 pm to be more consistent with most of the town meetings. This will be a discussion for the next meeting.
Motion: move that the meeting be adjourned. D’Agostino, King. Approved. Unanimous.
The meetings were adjourned at 9:30 pm
Submitted by Catherine Gombos, Region 9 Board of Education Secretary
Recorded by Mary Maday