July 18, 2019

HSB Meeting MInutes from May 25, 2016

DATE: 05-29-2016

Hartford Board of School Directors
School Board Meeting Agenda
May 25, 2016 @ 7:00 pm
**** Hartford Town Hall ****

Board Members Present: Lori Dickerson,  Kevin Christie, Peter Merrill, Nancy Russell

Administration Present: Tom DeBalsi, Noel Bryant

1.  Call to Order: Lori Dickerson calls the meeting to order at 7:04 pm.

2.  Consent Agenda

  • Minutes - Regular Meeting 5-11-2016: Edits made

  • Accept Resignations and Nominations:

    • Tom DeBalsi shares the following appointments: Jessica Enright (Allied Medical Services at HACTC), Tessa Johnson (.75 FTE Media Specialist at DBS), Andrea Nardone (Choral at HHS), Rebecca McKenney (Grade 5 at DBS), Rebecca Whitney (.75 FTE Media Specialist at OQS), John Mitchell (Art at HHS), Roozbeth Nazari (Science at HHS), and Tim Hebert (counselor at HACTC).

    • Emily Murray (Technology Education at HMMS) is retiring.

  • Peter Merrill moves to accept the consent agenda with changes. Kevin Christie seconds. A unanimous verbal vote passes the motion (3 yes, 0 no) with Nancy Russell abstaining.

  • Peter Merrill moves to approve the nominations and accept the retirement. Nancy Russell seconds. A unanimous verbal vote passes the motion (4 yes, 0 no).

3.   Changes, Additions and Approval of Agenda:

  • Lori Dickerson shares that Paula Nulty, who was the dissenting vote on the issue, asks that discussion around a teacher representative not occur without her. She is attending the HACTC banquet.

  • Kevin Christie requests that discussion around GP5 and GP6 be moved to a future meeting since he wants to take a longer look at the policies.

  • Tom DeBalsi suggests delaying the presentation about the Puerto Rico trip until the group arrives.

  • Peter Merrill moves to approve the agenda with the changes of discussing GP5 and GP6 as well as the teacher representative topic to a future board meeting and to delay the Puerto Rico presentation. Nancy Russell seconds. A unanimous verbal vote passes the motion (4 yes, 0 no).

4.   Public Comments relative to items not on the Agenda:

  • Jeff Arnold would like more the discussion around staff changes in the district to occur in order for the public to be informed, and also warns the board against delegating all personnel decisions to the superintendent. He would like the public to be invited to the new field house and is concerned that the board does not have a pulse on what is happening in the schools.

    • Lori Dickerson replies that personnel matters are discussed in the executive session and that when layoffs are necessary, the board considers the viewpoints of those who are in the schools and know the situation. Peter Merrill reminds the board that there was a tour of the field house that took place and that the public was invited to. Tom DeBalsi shares that the board will review the division of power between the administration in the high school so the public will be informed.

5.   Items Requiring Board Discussion and Possible Action**

  • Presentation – Puerto Rico Science Education Exchange Program

    • Megan Wilson, a HHS science teacher, has been attending a summer program at St. Michael’s and this year has the opportunity to bring two students to learn how to collect data.  HHS was paired up with a team from Puerto Rico and began an exchange program, bringing six HHS students to Puerto Rico this April and also hosting ten students and five teachers from Puerto Rico. She shared that her biology students created the lessons to teach the visiting students, and showed photos as well as a video from the experience.

    • Multiple students who participated in the experience shared specifics around the events, trip, and information learned. They thanked the board for their support and interest, stressing that they would like other HHS students to be able to have the same experience in the future.

    • Peter Merrill asks how the economic problems will affect chances for a trip. Megan Wilson shares that there hasn’t been an impact yet, and that fortunately the tickets for the students from Puerto Rico are paid by St. Michael’s College.  

    • The board thanks Megan Wilson for the presentation and the work she is doing as an educator.

    • Tom DeBalsi thanks the students for coming, stating that he is proud of them and thrilled with Megan Wilson for organizing the program.

  • Action Plan Presentations – DBS, OQS, WRS

    • Cathy Newton, the DBS principal, shares that the staff focused on creating a new vision for the school and then worked hard to bring that vision to life.

      • Madeline Carlock ( 4th grade teacher and the ELA teacher leader for the elementary schools), Lynn Porter (Title I Reading Recovery teacher), and Ross McGee (Title I Reading Recovery teacher and math teacher leader) share many of the academic enrichment activities that occurred: purchasing 250 new books for students, implementing professional development to increase student vocabulary, Mystery Readers, Math Night, the formation of math intervention groups, and PNOA assessment in K-2nd grade.

      • Jodi Tierney shares how OQS has been working on community building with rewarding positive behavior.  Christine Bourne (4th grade teacher) tells how the teacher buddies program has helped address students’ negative attention seeking behavior.  Cathy Newton explains that instead of student council, OQS has the PAW Squad who meet weekly. Other positive programs at OQS include: a therapy dog, Girl Inc, weekly paraprofessional training, garden club, Wolves on the Prowl, and Girls on the Run.

      • In terms of program innovations, Cathy Newton shares that OQS had two forest kindergartens and created collaborative learning environments for the 4th and 5th graders. She thanks all of OQS’s partners.

    • Cathy Newton shares that the target area for next year is academic learning with the focus on language development and word knowledge. The goal is that students’ comprehension, reasoning, written and oral expression across content areas will improve as a result of increased word knowledge and language development.  

    • Kevin Christie is proud of the school and the work that has been done. Lori Dickerson echoes the sentiment,  seeing the positivity around the programs that have been instituted.

  • Sheila Powers, the WRS principal, continues to be proud of her students and is blessed with staff who continue to grow and do whatever is necessary for the students.

    • Reflecting on this year’s goals, she feels that WRS needs to focus more on using protocols to make sense of data and having teachers become comfortable with those protocols.

    • WRS has implemented the Fundations Reading System for grades K-2nd and the program will be implemented in the  3rd grade to meet the needs of students who are struggling with language. Sheila Powers feels that the school needs to spend more time helping teachers with 3rd-5th grade with the Words Their Way program.

    • Sheila Powers expresses that WRS is doing well with providing an inclusive environment for all and with the fully implemented WRS school-wide behavior plan. There was professional development around understanding trauma and how to be proactive in order to help students with regulation. 57%  of WRS students (a 4% increase from last year) receive free/reduced lunch and SPED numbers have increased also. The Title I teachers meet with 41 students (21% of the school population) and there were 7 1st graders in the Reading Recovery program.

    • Goals for next year are to bring in a math consultant to work with teacher teams once a month, provide 2-3 days of professional development for teachers around the a new edition of Bridges math, and have Phyl Macomber come for 5 days of embedded coaching and an overview of the PACT system.

    • Sheila Powers shares some of the great enriching opportunities at WRS, including Girls on the Run and the Boys’ Athletic Training Club.

  • In response to Lori Dickerson’s concern in hearing from two elementaries schools that language and vocabulary is a concern, Sheila Powers responds that there is a direct correlation to poverty and poor language development. The need is recognized and they are collectively combating it.

  • Nancy Russell expresses that the success coming out of WRS is greatly credited to Sheila Powers  and how she interacts with staff, parents, and students.

  • Peter Merrill is proud of the effort and interventions implemented to improve the children’s lives.

  • Rick Dustin-Eichler, DBS principal, shares that the standards teachers are expected to teach to are high and that the students needs are also high. At DBS, they look to the whole student, talking about the social/emotional wellness of students and putting programs into place so all can achieve.

    • Rick Dustin-Eichler shares images from DBS’s Facebook feed to show events from the school year such as Friday food packs, engineering in the library, the therapy dog, unity week around anti-bullying, the clothing drive, and the biography fair.

    • He shares that the Fundations program that is in the Pre-K-1st grade is being rolled out to the 2nd grade. DBS is continuing with professional development, especially around reflecting and planning interventions. The school worked this year to develop a consistent behavior plan and process. The goal is all students with an intensive PBIS level have behavior support plans that are monitored and implemented. The school is using Second Step, moving towards more of an advisory model for 4th and 5th grade. In terms of math, DBS has adopted a revised Number Corner program and is adopting Bridges 2 since the current program is not aligned with the CCSS.

    • Rick Dustin-Eichler would like to come talk to the board further about the inclusive pre-k pilot morning program.

  • Lori Dickerson worries about consistency between schools. Tom DeBalsi shares that next year the schools will most likely have similar goals and objectives. Kevin Christie knows that each school has its own identity and believes that public misconception or unhappiness just means that there needs to be a better job done of letting the community know what is occurring at the schools. Rick Dustin-Eichler explains that the three schools share common programs: Fundations, Number Corner Program, STAR, PNOA, reading assessments, and the same teacher leaders. Sheila Power shares that programs implemented are based on data and decisions are made on the population of students, accounting for differences between the schools. It’s important to maintain the culture and traditions of the respective schools. Peter Merrill concurs, commending the principals in their generosity for sharing and selflessness when switching programs to meet the needs of students.

  • The board thanks all of the principals for their presentations.

  • Subcommittee/Liaison Reports

    • Policy

      • Peter Merrill shares that the committee has not met since the last board meeting.

    • Negotiations

      • Lori Dickerson shares that there is no negotiation news.

    • Consolidation

      • Peter Merrill and Kevin Christie met as a sub group over the last weekend and are in the process of putting together a lunch meeting with the Windsor school district. There is group forming from the consolidation team that wants to have a meeting to explore how they would be able to move forward.

    • HCC

      • Nancy Russell shares that the Block Party is on 6/2 at 5 pm.

      • In regards to Taking a Bite Out of Hunger, the committee is starting with programs to get food out to the kids during the summer. The program is set up for providing backpacks with food on Fridays. Food preparation will occur out of the HMMS cafeteria.

    • Select Board

      • Lori Dickerson will coordinate meeting attendance with Rebecca White.

    • HACTC – RAB

      • Tom DeBalsi shares that the committee has not met since the last board meeting.

    • Partnership

      • Tom DeBalsi shares that the committee has not met since the last board meeting.


6.  Incidental Information

  • Discussion of Future Items for Board Consideration

    • Tom DeBalsi would like to discuss the division of power by administrators at HHS.

    • Lori Dickerson would like to discuss the idea of a teacher representative on the board.

    • Policies GP5 and GP6 will be prepared for next meeting; Nancy Russell will take GP7 and GP8 for the next meeting in case the two previous GPs are not ready to be discussed.

    • Peter Merrill would like to discuss a date for an open house for the athletic facility.

    • Tom DeBalsi shares that students who competed in the bridge building contest will present at the next meeting.

7.  Adjournment

9:44 pm Peter Merrill moves to adjourn. Nancy Russell seconds. A unanimous verbal vote passes the motion (4 yes, 0 no).

9:44 The meeting is adjourned.

Draft Respectfully Submitted 5/29/16

Hannah Prescott