PRESENT:Nelson King, Jonathan Moore, Richard Murray, Alexis Rich
OTHERS PRESENT:William Silver, Superintendent of Schools, Bradford
Thompson, Assistant Superintendent of Schools, Mary-
Beth Kinchen and Randy Ortiz, KHS Student Board
Members, Hoween Flexer and Sarah Thurlow, Incoming
Chairperson Richard Murray called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m. He indicated the first action that needed to take place this evening is to appoint the new board members.
MOTION:by Jonathan Moore, seconded by Alexis Rich to appoint Hoween Flexer and Sarah Thurlow as Board of Education members through the November 2009 elections filling the vacancies of Gail Oakley Pratt and Blair Mondor.
Vote was unanimous.
Diane Guertin, acting town clerk, swore them in.
Report of Killingly High School Student Board Members
Mary-Beth Kinchen and Randy Ortiz reported:
The fatal mock accident was held on April 28 which hopefully opened up some students’ eyes to drinking and driving.They thanked Troop D, Danielson Fire Department, KB ambulance, Peter Gerardi and everyone else who took part.
The National Honor Society’s spring blood drive had 93 people signed up to give blood and 63 people could donate.They ended up running out of time.
The Relay for Life is this weekend. There are three teams from the high school taking part.
Upcoming events – NHS car wash on May 30, spring sing on May 19 and sophomore lock on May 15.
Past events – rent-a-senior, ACES walk, senior class trip payments, spring band concert.
Academics – HIV/AIDS speakers came to speak to the freshmen, PGR opportunities will be held for one week so that seniors can get them done, AP exams are starting to wrap up.The teachers did a great job preparing students for taking the AP exams.
Report from Town Council Liaison
Mr. Young reported on the following:
Mr. Young complimented Mary-Beth Kinchen for her presentation at the town meeting.She raised a great point regarding extracurricular activities.
He said he knows that the Board is upset about the amount of money that is being proposed for the education budget.He supports both budgets, the town side and the board side. Let’s get our parents out there.He would like the budget passed the first time.
He indicated that the supplemental appropriation request for $604,639 for special education will go to a public hearing on June 9 for approval by the Town Council.
There is a need for $250,000 for a new air conditioning unit at the high school and exterior doors at KMS and KCS and went to bonding for $500,000 because it is easier to bond that amount.He expects that to pass on June 9 at their meeting.
Mr. Sarantopoulos raised an item to ask for volunteers from the Council to serve on an ad-hoc committee to determine what we will do with school space – they will do that at their next meeting.He urged that the Board do the same.He thinks the focus should be the renovation of the old high school and put whoever is going to be there.
Report of FRC News
Lynda Fosco reported the good news that the FRC grant will be available next year.She thanked the Regional School Readiness Council for advocating on behalf of the region.Our students at Goodyear are taking care of recycling to learn how people affect their environment, both in positive and negative ways.They are recycling things at Goodyear.They had the students pick up garbage outside.This year is the 11th year the multicultural festival has taken place and it will be held on June 11.It is a wonderful time, parents bring food and there is entertainment.They give the students who will be going to kindergarten next year a book with pictures of the people they will meet at the school which helps students with their kindergarten transition.
Recognition of Visitors
May 6 was National School Nurses Day.Richard Murray read a proclamation and congratulated the school nurses for all the hard work they do on a daily basis. Donna Doyle thanked the Board for their recognition.The nurses have worked very hard this year with all the issues that have been happening.
May 3-9 was National Teachers Week. Richard Murray read a proclamation recognizing them and thanked them for all they do.
Employee of the Month – Dr. Silver said this honor goes to various maintainers and mechanics who all winter long kept the school parking lots and sidewalks clear of snow.They are Glenn Steadman, Ernie Wright, David O’Leary, James Benzie, Ronald Jarvis, Steven Schings and Victor Beaudry.
John Krot, Athletic Director, received an award from the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association the State Award of Merit in recognition of meritorious service, leadership and special contributions to interscholastic athletics at the local and state level.John’s forty years as a teacher, coach and athletic administrator have been marked by extraordinary personal and professional achievement and exemplary service to the students whose lives he has influenced. Board members congratulated John for the well-deserved award.
John Krot thanked the Board for this recognition.It was a special night having family, friends, Dr. Silver and Mr. Thompson at the event.It meant a great deal for him that everyone was there because they are so busy.He said his doing things for the children was not done to get a pat on the back.He was not expecting the recognition but was very honored to receive it.
Richard Murray reported last week KMS was honored by the Governor for how well they did in the Summer Reading Program.They received a plaque.They were one of 19 schools in the entire state to earn the award.Marilyn Oat gave Mr. Murray a picture that was taken.
Richard Murray also said that the whole KMS school read “Three Cups of Tea” and gave it to the Board members to read.The author of the book was at the NSBA conference that he went to and he signed a copy of the book.He also stated that book is required reading for senior officers in the military.
Dr. Silver reported that Bonnie Brouwer is being recognized by ARC for being a professional who has positively contributed to students with intellectual disabilities.They are holding a program this Friday at the Imperial Room.
Karen Rubino, Brooklyn, teacher at Killingly Central School and KHS Cheerleading Coach wants the Board to reinstate the fall cheerleading.Richard Murray said they will take it under consideration.
Kristen Swartz, graduate of Killingly High School, resident of Brooklyn, said she was involved in cheerleading.Killingly cheerleading was the reason that she chose to attend Killingly High School.She knew that for some students cheerleading is what helped them.She said that cheerleading is more than girls with pompoms.
Samantha Robinson, Killingly High School cheerleader, lives in Brooklyn and came to Killingly High School for cheerleading.When she heard that fall cheerleading was being cancelled, she was very upset.Girls feel the team is like a family.They keep their grades up or they can’t cheer.She hopes that the Board can change it so that they do not cancel fall cheerleading.
Richard Murray thanked them.
Report of Superintendent of Schools and Assistant Superintendent of Schools
He will be scheduling a tour of new high school site the first week of June for Board members.
The High School overall project is 40% complete, all of the foundation work has been done, pre-engineered vo-ag barn will be done in 8 weeks.Sheathing and framing is underway.The boilers are on site and being installed.The bathroom walls are beginning.There are three staircases and they were waiting for one of them to be done so that the Board can go up to the second floor.FF&E to be approved in July, and submitted to state in August. Angelo still anticipates a completion date of April 2.
End of year activities list was provided to the board.Lynda Fosco asked them to add the multicultural festival on June 11.
The Board has received a proposed latest revision of 2009-2010 calendar – The first half of the year the calendar is closely linked to the EASTCONN calendar.We diverge in April where the regional calendar calls for the week of the 19th for vacation and he is proposing the week of April 5 to allow for a move into the new high school.The starting date for students is August 26, but this year Labor Day is September 7 a week and a half later than the first day of school.If we put off the start date, the last day would be June 18 and with snow days it could be even later than that.He is putting off the approval of the calendar to allow as much time to know as much as possible about the construction.
Request for supplemental appropriation for special education – There is a special arrangement for handling the funding of special education students because of the way we budget the tuition of outplaced students.If the tuition cost is less than the amount budgeted it goes back to the town and if it is greater we ask for a supplemental appropriation. Some schools have to hold regular education funds in order to pay for special education.The reason we are in need to request a supplemental appropriation this year is there have been nine students who came into town who have been placed out of the district.
There was an agenda item for the Town Council to do a budgetary transfer to fund clearing a site at the new high school for a maintenance building.The funding amount was provided by Gilbane and the contractor. Both Mr. Benway and I felt the amount of money quoted was much more than it should cost so Mr. Benway recommended that the council not approve it.
There were a number of comments made about the Board not considering reducing the level of the administration at the town meeting and instead reduced teachers and staff.When the public looks at the district they see teachers and specialists at each building but there is another way to look at the district. We are a $36 million business.This is a large operation, 556 employees.We have a total of 26 supervisors and administrators of the business. Dr. Silver showed a PowerPoint by Dr. John Draper.The perception of too many administrators is present and research shows that the perception is false.Killingly has 556 full and part time employees, 26 of those are managerial.
Mr. King said the information is appropriate and right on but it is a reaction on something that happens every year.We shouldn’t be bombarding the taxpayers with information at budget time and that information should be happening all year long.Community engagement is important and is an ongoing process all year long.It was asked if another newsletter was going to be sent out.
Dr. Silver mentioned that clarification needed to take place in the minutes of January 29, 2009 to include Bradford Thompson’s name in the motion.
MOTION:by Jonathan Moore, seconded by Nelson King to approve:
a.regular meeting minutes of April 6, 2009 and April 22, 2009 and special meeting of March 28, 2009
b.corrected minutes for meeting of January 29, 2009
c.payment of bills for the year 2008-2009 in April in the amount of $935,645.70
d.employee of the month.
The motion passed with four in favor, two abstentions (Sarah Thurlow and Hoween Flexer).
Approval of Second Reading of Revised Policy 6146.1, Weighted Grading
MOTION:by Jonathan Moore, seconded by Alexis Rich to approve as a second reading revised policy #6146.1, Weighted Grading.
Hoween Flexer asked when the change in policy was going to start.The change will be effective in the fall for all classes and the weighting will be retroactive for any AP classes students have already taken.It was asked what the plan is to handle if there are negative impacts such as changing rank 1 to 2 and 2 to 1 where a student may not have been able to take an AP class because of availability. Dr. Silver said that the high school administration would handle it.Where do they go if they are not happy with the answer.Mr. Micari said that they would take care of it at the school level.Ms. Flexer said that working in higher education they do not change a program or grading policy except with the incoming class.
The motion passed with five in favor, one opposed (Hoween Flexer).
Review of Proposed and Action on Goodyear BASP Fee Schedule
Lynda Fosco said that she is proposing to slightly increase the fees.That would generate between $35,000 to $40,000 per year from the increase.
The bottom third income base would not see a change, the next third would be minimal and the top third would be the largest.
Dr. Silver said that he hoped the Board would approve the increase.They have not increased fees in two years.It would take effect in September.
It was asked what happens if someone cannot afford the increase and Lynda Fosco responded that there are a couple of ways in which they help the families on a case by case basis.
MOTION:by Nelson King, seconded by Jonathan Moore to approve the increase in fees for Goodyear BASP.
Vote was unanimous.
Discussion and Possible Action Regarding Move Into New High School
Dr. Silver said this item is on the agenda so that the Board could give him guidance on whether they would like to take a position on moving into the new high school when construction is complete in April. The Town Council has stated they do not think it was appropriate to move during the year. It is still Dr. Silver’s contention that moving then is beneficial.1) The move is minimally disruptive.2) Having students in the building the last quarter of the year will make the start of the fall semester that much easier for them.3) Until we have staff and students in the building we won’t know how some of the things work and if things need to be fixed it would be done that much earlier (not losing four months).
Dr. Silver feels the benefits completely outweigh the negatives of moving in April.He needs the Board to decide if they are behind this thinking.He is uncomfortable doing this on his own. There will still be costs associated with the new high school even if it is not occupied. He found out that the heating contractor fills the tank for the first time. We had $60,000 in the amount we had budgeted.
Jonathan Moore asked if that money is what they took out of the budget.Dr. Silver said that was part of the $263,000 that was taken out of the budget.However, someone has to pay for the operating systems once the building is ready.There is no money being budgeted in either the Town or Board budgets.The Town Council said they will worry about that later.If we move into the building in April it will cost us a little over $200,000 and if we don’t it will cost the town about $165,000.
Mr. King said he understands all the beneficial points.With the drastic cuts that we have had to make in the budget that have affected the children, he cannot support using money to make this move. However, if it can be shown to him that it will not cost the board any money than he can support it.At this particular time, a move of that sort would be politically inappropriate.
Dr Silver said that if we move in April, we will have to ask for a supplemental appropriation because the funds are not in the budget.
Alexis Rich said she understands that the Superintendent is looking for guidance, however, she doesn’t feel it is right time to decide this now.In some ways, people may look at this as choosing it over the teachers.It will create more confusion than if we wait a few months.She said that she was not against it just that it is too early.
Hoween Flexer said she agrees with Mr. King and Mrs. Rich.From what we just heard from the cheerleaders and to move forward at the expense of the program is not what she would like to do.The programs and teachers which the students are involved in during high school career are what make their experience.
Richard Murray said he is concerned about getting ready for the move; the disruptions are before the move not after the move. Dr. Silver said that from his experience at RHAM when they moved it was not a disruption.The teachers made sure that it wasn’t.
There will be a process made on having the building turned over to the Board, through the PBC and the Town Council.
MOTION:by Alexis Rich, seconded by Jonathan Moore to table the item.
Vote was unanimous.
Discussion and Action on Adding TSP Program at the Elementary School
Dr. Silver said that the next two items are proposed programs that would be funded out of grant money, IDEA stimulus funding for two years.After the two years, the board would have the responsibility of funding it.
MOTION:by Jonathan Moore, seconded by Alexis Rich to approve the establishment of an elementary TSP program, funded by the IDEA grant, including adding one teacher and two instructional assistants to the table of organization.
This is another way that we look at special education costs and try to lessen that amount for the taxpayers in the community and to meet the needs of the children.This is a better way to education the children and they don’t have to travel out of district.
Vote was unanimous.
Discussion and Action on Adding a PM Section at Goodyear
The model program from the state is 50% special education children and 50% peer model. This year we are up to 60% special needs.One of the things we can do for next year to maintain 50/50 is by using one of the classrooms in the afternoon for another section to keep the ratio below 50%.This funding would come out of the stimulus money.
Lynda Fosco said they would need one teacher and one instructional assistant, not knowing what the needs would be of the children.
MOTION:by Alexis Rich, seconded by Jonathan Moore to approve the establishment of an additional Pre-K section at Goodyear, funded by the IDEA grant, including adding one teacher and one instructional assistant to the table of organization.
Vote was unanimous.
Approval of Textbooks
Bradford Thompson indicated that they have been compacting the math program at the early grades and expanding to the middle school.It has been a three year project.Elaine Kozak has been researching it.This would purchase the seventh grade algebra books.The subcommittee met on May 4 and approved the book.Richard Murray said it looks like a terrific book and he recommends that the Board approve it.
MOTION:by Alexis Rich, seconded by Jonathan Moore to approve the purchase of the textbook proposal approved by the Ad-Hoc Textbook Approval Committee:Math Course 2, published by McDougal Littell, 2008.
The purchase is included under the IDEA stimulus funding.The current seventh grade is sharing books.The purchase would be for the entire seventh grade.
Vote was unanimous.
Other Informational Items
Alexis Rich reported that the student board member committee will be meeting next Wednesday.
It was suggested that the superintendent’s evaluation committee report at the next meeting.
MOTION: by Alexis Rich, seconded by Nelson King to enter into executive session for the reasons of potential litigation and negotiations at
Vote was unanimous.
The Board came out of executive session at
MOTION:by Nelson King, seconded by Jonathan Moore to adjourn at