July 18, 2019

HSB Meeting Minutes from December 14, 2016

DATE: 12-18-2016

Hartford Board of School Directors
School Board Meeting Agenda
December 14, 2016 @ 7:00 pm
Hartford Town Hall

Board members present: Lori Dickerson, Kevin Christie, Peter Merrill, Paula Nulty, Nancy Russell

Administrators present: Tom DeBalsi, Noel Bryant

1.   Call to Order: Lori Dickerson calls the meeting to order at 7:01 pm.   

2.   Public Comments:  

  • Jeff Arnold disagrees with the bond proposal for the parking lot and the Wilder school renovation, and the hiring of David Laurin as the architect.

3.   Changes, Additions and Approval of Agenda:

  • Kevin Christie requests that B/SR 5 is reported at the next meeting and Tom DeBalsi requests that the EL 5 Monitoring report occur later in the meeting.

  • Peter Merrill moves to adopt the agenda as amended. The motion is seconded. A unanimous verbal vote passes the motion (5 yes, 0 no).

4.  Consent Agenda  

  • Minutes - Regular Meeting - 11/9/2016

  • 2017-18 School Calendar

  • Peter Merrill moves to accept the consent agenda with the amendment to the Regular Meeting Minutes from 11/9/2016. The motion is seconded. A unanimous verbal vote passes the motion (5 yes, 0 no).

5.   Items Requiring Board Discussion and Possible Action

  • Policy EL 9.4 Communication and Support to the Board – Incidental Information

    • Noel Bryant shares positive news from the HHS around students attending an MIT weekend math program, a robotics competition, and nominations for the All-Eastern Honor Ensemble. She invites everyone to the first exhibition night for HHS on Thursday, January 5 from  5:30-7:30 pm with presentations from the Eye Program and students who traveled to Peru.

    • Tom DeBalsi thanks the Valley News for the recent articles, and shares that the district has received a grant to study the special education department, and that Rebecca Lallier will be honored in Washington, D.C. as one of five finalists for counselor of the year.

  • Policy EL 5 Financial Planning and Budgeting

    • Bond Recommendation FY18 Presentation

      • Tom DeBalsi supports a 20-year bond to renovate the Wilder School and proposes to host HARP at the Wilder School also. There are waiting lists for both programs.

      • Roisin Viens (program coordinator of  RAP) and Liz Barker (director of Special Education for the HSD) review the services provided to meet their 30 students’ needs and the qualifications of the staff to meet those needs. The school is designed for students with emotional behavioral difficulties and is recognized as an exemplar program. Students average 2.5 years in the program and there have been more intense behaviors observed at a younger age. Jessica Poludin (program coordinator of HARP) reviews the services provided for their 15 students such as teaching communication, social, functional academic, self-help/personal skills as well as  prevocational and vocational skills training. The goal is to transition the students to a less restrictive environment if it meets the students’ needs.

      • Liz Barker reviews the finances involved in the running of the programs.

      • David Laurin summarizes the proposed renovations to the Wilder School to allow it to hold both RAP and HARP. The estimated cost is around five million dollars and the construction duration would be around one year.

      • The board discusses other alternatives to a full renovation.

      • Peter Merrill moves to ask the superintendent to work with the architect to bring back a fuller explanation of the proposal with full cost and an examination of alternatives for the next board meeting. The motion is seconded. A unanimous verbal vote passes the motion (5 yes, 0 no).

  • FY 18 Budget Preparation

    • Jim Vezina reviews changes in the budget. The proposed budget has a 3.4% increase. The newly proposed bond is not included in the numbers being discussed.

    • The board thanks Jim Vezina for his time.

  • Policy EL 4.8 Financial Conditions and Activities

    • Waldorf School Proposal to Lease Land

      • The Waldorf School proposes to lease a 0.44 acre piece of land by OQS for a shared parking lot. Tom DeBalsi is concerned about a perpetual lease and liability, but is interested in working with the Waldorf School as development is mutually beneficial.

      • Christine Scherding (administrative director) and  David Meredith (facilities manager) speak to the Waldorf School’s need for the land and how the district has benefitted from using their facilities in the past.

      • Peter Merrill moves that superintendent work with the Waldorf School to develop a memorandum that does not have a perpetual lease and that addresses some of the liability issues. The motion is seconded. A verbal vote passes the motion (4 yes, 1 no).  

9:43 pm Peter Merrill moves to take a 5 minute recess. The motion is seconded.  A unanimous verbal vote passes the motion (5 yes, 0 no).


  • Policy EL 5 Financial Planning and Budgeting

    • Monitoring Report

      • Tom DeBalsi presents how he scored the policy EL 5 Financial Planning and Budgeting, his interpretations, and evidence.

      • The board discusses the interpretations, the evidence for the monitoring report, and a potential language change to the policy.

      • Peter Merrill moves to accept the monitoring reports of EL 5 Financial Planning and Budgeting to be in substantial compliance with policy. The motion is seconded.  A unanimous verbal vote passes the motion (5 yes, 0 no).  

      • Peter Merrill moves to bring policy foward to be amended at the next meeting.The motion is seconded.  A unanimous verbal vote passes the motion (5 yes, 0 no).  

  • Policy GP 3 Board Job Outcomes

    • Board Member Committee Reports

      • There was a thank you celebration for the Hartford Coalition volunteers.

      • Support staff negotiations are continuing. The teacher negotiation meeting is rescheduled for next Monday.

      • Peter Merrill met with the superintendent to review a policy brought forth for the disposal of surplus property.

      • Kevin Christie met with the superintendent and the finance team around reserve accounts. Tom DeBalsi will bring the report to the next meeting.

    • 4th Hartford Charter Commission Recommended Changes for Board Consideration and Action

      • Peter Merrill moves to approve the amended charter for presentation to the voters. The motion is seconded. A unanimous verbal vote passes the motion (5 yes, 0 no).

  • Policy GP 9 Governance Investment – Policy Amendment 2nd Reading

    • Paula Nulty discusses changes agreed upon last meeting with removal of dollar amounts from the policy.

    • Peter Merrill moves that the board approves the changes to GP 9 Governance Investment. The motion is seconded. A unanimous verbal vote passes the motion (5 yes, 0 no).

6.  Meeting Review/Evaluation and Agenda Planning

  • Lori Dickerson suggests having one member evaluate the rest of the board and rotate that job with Nancy Russell evaluating first.

  • Next meeting:  EL 4 report will be brought back to the board, EL 5 policy amendment reading, B/SR 5 monitoring report.

10:21 pm Peter Merrill moves that the Board find that premature general public knowledge of the discussion of Labor Relations Agreements would clearly place the School Board at a substantial disadvantage, because the School Board risks disclosing its negotiation strategy if it discusses Labor Relations Agreements in public. I further move that the Board enter into Executive Session to discuss Labor Relations Agreements with Employees, under the provisions of Title 1, Section 313(a) (1) of the Vermont Statutes. The motion is seconded. A unanimous verbal vote passes the motion (5 yes, 0 no).

7.  Executive Session

  • Peter Merrill made a motion to accept the Negotiated Agreement between the Hartford Administrators association and the Hartford School Board. The motion was seconded by Kevin Christie. A unanimous verbal vote passed the motion (5 yes, 0 no.) Executive session ended at 10:50 pm.

8.  Adjournment

10:55 pm The meeting was adjourned.

Draft respectfully submitted 12/18/2016

Hannah Prescott