July 19, 2019

Meeting Minutes January 22, 2014

DATE: 02-24-2014

Hartford School District Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

January 22, 2014

6:30 PM White River School Library

Board Members present: Administration present:

Kevin Christie Tom DeBalsi

Lori Dickerson Julia Haynes

Peter Merrill Jim Vezina

Eric Michaels

Jeff Arnold

Student Representative:
Tanner Wilson

Kevin Christie calls the meeting to order at 6:35 PM.

Recognition of the White River School staff for their efforts in assisting the students in meeting Annual Yearly Progress on the NECAP assessment for the 2012-13 School Year.- Kevin Christie proudly thanks the staff of WRS. He notes the Picus report, and the parents, students and leaders of WRS. Mr. DeBalsi is having a plaque made in Middlebury VT to hang in the school, congratulating the hard work staff have done. Peter Merrill recognizes in the times of “flavor of the day” in education, it’s nice to have people who care enough to do the right thing with their students.

Jeff Arnold says it’s nice to see the WRS is still open and thanks Christopher Ashley for beginning the process and Sheila Powers for continuing the good work. He loves the warmth and comfortableness of the school.

Recognition of the Hartford school District Finance Department for their diligence in addressing and correcting auditing issues. Kevin Christie thanks Jim Vezina and Linda Nash (both present) to include the staff at the SOS. They have all done an outstanding job having an audit report that says “you’re doing a great job”.

Byron Baribeau, Maintenance/Grounds/Facility Director takes the Board and citizens on a tour of the WRS. He and David Laurin were available for questions regarding the facility and repairs to be made.

7:17 PM Mr. Christie resumes the Board Meeting

Public Comments-Mr. Christie asks Gail Hayes Librarian WRS to explain the artwork found in the library. The piece was done by an artist in residence in 1994 by the name of Neil Burch. He worked with each student to create a tile. The tiles compiled 4 separate colorful pieces. The one piece in the library displays a train, a mirror, and the front of the WRS. It’s orange, yellow and purple tiles make a colorful, unique piece.

2014 Final Bond Proposals- Mr. DeBalsi reads the Article #3 to be presented to the town. Bond for $3,000,000.00 for the track and field project. Tom DeBalsi and David Laurin report the numbers are real and up to date. DEW and Mr. Laurin have gone over the estimates. Mr. Laurin presents a document dated 12/11/13 with a total project budget estimate for the track and field $3,039,000.00. Discussion included; 6 lane red track vs. 8 lane black track, field prep work, and turf advantages. Jeff Arnold is adamant David Laurin should present the Board with an estimate on having a track without the artificial turf field. The Board argues they have discussed this and had previously decided on this conclusion. Discussion then turned to; personal interpretation of the facts, efficiency of 8 lanes vs. 6, transparency of the project and specific Bond language. Mr. DeBalsi states the language gives the Board room to decide on a different design as long as they keep to the Bond language and within the Bond amount. Tanner Wilson suggest the old goalposts be cut and distributed to past football Champions. The Board thinks this is a great idea and Mr. DeBalsi will check with The Tech Center to see if they could assist with the cutting.

Article #4 is read for the repairs on WRS for $3,600,000.00. DEW and David Laurin spent the week at WRS going over the repair list. An added item is fire alarm system per the fire codes. Mr. Laurin addressed the various heating options, pros and cons. Fuel oil is the safest for students and facility. Discussion of boilers and new systems.


Mr. DeBalsi reads the Warnings of the Annual Town/School Meetings.

Peter Merrill motions to approve the Warnings for the March 4, 2014 Ballot and the March 29, 2014 floor meeting with details presented by the Superintendent of Schools. Lori Dickerson seconds the motion. Discussion: none. A unanimous verbal vote 5-0 passes the motion.

Mr. DeBalsi reads the Resolution Certificate authorizing the Town Clerk to move forward presenting to the Town of Harford. Peter Merrill moves to adopt the Resolution Certificate just read by the Superintendent of Schools. Eric Michaels seconds the motion. Discussion: none. A unanimous verbal vote 5-0 passes the motion.

A sample ballot containing the 2 Articles that the School District will incur from the Bonds is presented to The Board. Peter Merrill moves to approve the official ballot as presented by the Superintendent of Schools. Lori Dickerson seconds the motion. Discussion: is this the official format? YES! Mr. DeBalsi worked for over 2 weeks to get the format correct. A unanimous verbal vote 5-0 passes the motion.

Mr. DeBalsi reads the Reimbursement Resolution. Peter Merrill moves to adopt the Resolution as presented by the Superintendent of Schools. Discussion: none. A unanimous verbal vote passes the motion.

Mr. DeBalsi has included the Certificate of Posting so the Board will know the steps taken for the voting/Town Meeting process.

All finalized Warrant Articles are presented to the Board to sign.

Dual enrollment Program Overview- Joe Collea HHS Principal presents. Mr. Collea explains the process of dual enrollment as it is now and the future of the program. The State is now paying tuition for a student to take 2 college courses. In the future the school district and state will pay 50/50. Discussion included: eligibility, future budgeting for the tuition, credits, teachers/professors, and Personal Learning Plans. Scott Farnsworth touched on “gatekeepers” of the program and tuition fees of the classes. Mr. Christie explained the colleges will have to agree to a tuition fee as addressed by the State. (Memo of Understanding) This program will be good for recruitment of tuition towns.

Hartford High School Graduate Survey- Scott Farnsworth,Guidance Director stated 76% of HHS seniors reported they were going to attend post secondary schools after graduation. (class of 2012) A 64% continuation rate was reported by VSAC. Vermont has a 61% continuation rate. The percentage of college sophomores continuing on is not available at this time. He will continue to try and get these numbers. Scott will continue research with 5-10 Vermont colleges on what is working for our students. Hartford recently had Lyndon State and Johnson college visit. Students were able to apply during the visit and be accepted on the spot within minutes. Students really enjoyed this! Research needs to include trades, and successful working students. “Did the education you received at HHS get you where you wanted to go?” Eric Michaels suggest the HHS Alumni could help in contacting the graduates as well as Tanner speaking to seniors on keeping in touch with HHS.

The subject evolved into Grants to help with research. The Board has suggested several times, hiring/finding a Grant writer. Mr. DeBalsi will research and return to the Board with some suggestions. Mr. Christie also mentioned the District needs a way to get the word out to the taxpayers great things that are going on. (publicist?)  Peter suggested the subject go into the “parking lot” and after the Town Meetings, revisit.

Jeff Arnold announces Paul Keene, retired HHS teacher, will have his name on the ballot for the School Board seat.

Minutes of 12/17/13 & 1/8/14-Peter Merrill motions to accept as written. Eric Michaels seconds. A unanimous verbal vote 5-0 passes the motion.

The Board agrees to meet February 3, 2014 at 6:00 PM SOS office to finish the Retreat topics.

9:24 PM-Peter Merrill motions to adjourn the meeting. Lori Dickerson seconds the motion. A unanimous verbal vote passes the motion.

Respectfully Submitted

Carol Bagley