July 19, 2019

Meeting Minutes 2/11/15

DATE: 02-23-2015

Hartford School Board Directors Meeting

February 11, 2015

7:00 PM The Getaway

Board Members present: Administration present:

Kevin Christie Tom DeBalsi

Cathy Newton

Paul Keane

Peter Merrill

Eric Michaels

Kevin Christie called the meeting to order at 7:05 PM.

Approval of Agenda- Eric Michaels moves to approve Agenda as written. Peter Merrill seconds the motion. A unanimous verbal vote passes 4 yes 0 no  the motion.

Public Comments-

Tim Fariel Hartford resident asks Board

  • where the school/town Bond payment schedule is. Mr. DeBalsi states the school section spreadsheet is in the town report.

  • is the Superintendent’s evaluation available to the public? Peter Merrill answers the template is on the website. As is the teacher’s evaluations. Paul Keane states he found the language in the Superintendent’s evaluation hard to understand

  • undercurrents of the Board is unsettling, focus on students and the good that is at Hartford while receiving better press for the Board.


Board Chair/Superintendent Training- Mr. DeBalsi reports on the training he and Kevin Christie attended. He explained the 7 responses for Public Comments. He also explained the process of going into Executive Session change. The Board must report in Open Meeting the reason for ES, vote, then motion to enter ES vote again.

Scott Johnson, Hartford resident reports due to the new Open Meeting law the Board Minutes should be on the District website 5 days after the Board Meeting. Kevin Christie reports he has addressed this. Mr. Johnson also requests later during the Substance Abuse Policy review that the Policy sub committee (all committee) meetings be warned and minutes be posted.

Second Reading Firearms and Weapons- Peter Merrill explains the 1994 Gun Free Schools Act and Ms. Dickerson’s previous concern having it in the documents, due to it’s being unconstitutional. Mr. Merrill states Vermont has never made a ruling either way so Act is assumed to be in effect therefore leaving it in the document. Mr. Keane suggests the Board wait further action until Ms. Dickerson is able to be in attendance. Mr. Keane would like this to be a motion, Mr. Christie states no motion is necessary at this time.

Approved Policy/Procedures 4/23/14 Student Substance Use and Abuse- Mr. Merrill apologizes to audience for stating at the January 28th meeting the policy would be warned for the February 11th meeting because the Policy was passed by the Board on 4/23/14. Mr. DeBalsi reminds the audience every incident is investigated whether anonymous or not, reported to the police and has to be reported to him by the Administrator in writing. The District is currently without an SRO. Discussion-  law and violations, Board’s role in due process, and staff training with Officer Vail (HPD) and order of offenses for violation.

Mr. DeBalsi reviews the Procedures document. Discussion of expulsion vs suspension continues. Scott Farnsworth was asked by Mr. DeBalsi (suggested initially by Eric Michaels) if he would like to speak to the issue. Mr. Farnsworth speaks emphatically to Mr. Keane and Board Members about the Community Coalition, preventative training for students, community human services agencies, and student curriculum related to the issues. Mr. Farnsworth reminds the community of a joint town/school meeting February 25, 2015 at 6:00 PM on 35 Railroad Row room 305. A viewing of Project Vision will be presented.

Tim Fariel, Hartford resident is concerned with adding more to a student and teacher’s school day on an already full plate.

Cathy Newton, reports the District has purchased the Michigan Model curriculum and the Middle school will begin using it this year. The model was one of several examined by the school nurses in the district.

Mr. DeBalsi invites the Board/community to participate in the February 23rd HHS morning meeting to discuss substance abuse with the HHS students. (Eric Michaels reminds Mr. DeBalsi to ask for student Board representatives!) Mr. DeBalsi also reports police presence on campus has increased during hours students are leaving and arriving on campus and more restrictions of access are being considered.

Mr. DeBalsi agrees to amend a portion of the Student Substance Use and Abuse Procedure as follows:

Students selling or distributing alcohol and/or drugs

  1. First Offense

    1. The student will be suspended from school for ten days after the parents have been notified

    2. Police shall be notified

    3. The student will be referred to the school’s Substance Abuse Team

  2. Second Offense

    1. The student may be recommended to the Board for long-term suspension or expulsion

    2. Steps A and B for 1st Offense will be followed

Minutes January 28, 2015- Eric Michaels motions to accept as written. Discussion- Mr. Keane requests Ben Gardner, Katie Hluchyj, and Doug Anton’s names be added to the Nicaragua trip roster. Mr. Keane also believes Mr. DeBalsi agreed to add the Harvard Title IX Gender Equity discrimination policy to Hartford School District’s policy. Mrs. Bagley(Board secretary) had not compiled that statement in the notes and asks the Board to clarify if this is appropriate to add upon request. Tom and Kevin will review and report to the Board at a future meeting.

Peter Merrill seconds with above amendment. A unanimous verbal vote passes the motion 4 yes 0 no.

February 23, 2015 Candidate/Budget night- 7:00 PM HHS Auditorium

Discussion of future Agendas-

  • Harvard gender equity policy

  • monitor report academic rigor

  • policy reporting

Mr. DeBalsi presents update:

  • Assistant Superintendent search continues and closes 2/14/15. The search committee of 12 people hopes to report to the Board by the end of April

  • The Field House is in final stages of planning, pump house pipe clearance is an issue and Mr. DeBalsi remains in talks with Mr. Reisberg

  • WRS sub contractors have been lined up and timeline is being made. Roof leaks and ice jams along with 2 days of furnace issues (no heat) have been reported

Peter Merrill moves to enter Executive Session to discuss an individual personal contract and Superintendent evaluation. Eric Michaels seconds. A unanimous verbal vote passes the motion 4 yes 0 no. Paul Keane moves to enter into Executive Session. Peter Merrill seconds. A unanimous verbal vote passes the motion 4 yes 0 no.

9:50 PM Eric Michaels moves to return to Public Session. Peter Merrill seconds. 4 yes 0 no passes the motion

9:55 PM Peter Merrill moves to adjourn. Paul Keane seconds. 4 yes 0 no passes the motion.

 Respectfully Submitted

Carol Bagley

2/13/15 (accepted 2/25/15)