July 16, 2019

HSB Minutes 5/23/2018

DATE: 05-27-2018

Hartford Board of School Directors

School Board Meeting Agenda

May 23, 2018 @ 7:00 pm

Hartford Town Hall


Board members in attendance: Kevin Christie, Peter Merrill, Michelle Boleski, Russell North, Nancy Russell

Administrators in attendance: Tom DeBalsi, Noel Bryant


1.  Call to Order: Kevin Christie calls the meeting to order at 7:03 pm.


2.  Public Comments: None


3.  Changes, Additions and Approval of Agenda

  • Peter Merrill moves to accept agenda with change to approve the 5/9/18 meeting minutes next meeting. The motion is seconded. A unanimous verbal vote passes the motion (4 yes, 0 no).


4.  Consent Agenda

  • Nominations/Resignations/Leave of Absence Requests for Professional Staff

○      Tom Debalsi shares the nominations for new district hires and one resignation.

○      Peter Merrill moves to approve the nominations, welcoming new staff and thanking those departing. The motion is seconded. A unanimous verbal vote passes the motion (4 yes, 0 no).



5.   Items Requiring Board Discussion and Possible Action

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

○      Last week, there was a colloquium for district mentoring program for first and second year teachers.

○      On May 3 and 4, a team of teachers finalized the proficiency based learning objectives (PBLOs). The next step is to identify the indicators.

○      Tom DeBalsi thanks Chief Kasten and the police department for all of their support across the district.

○      Tomorrow night is the awards ceremony for HACTC at the Lebanon Opera House.


  • Policy EL 7 Asset Protection

○       HACTC Best Room Design

■      Doug Heavisides shares how the room is currently being used and the vision for the Best Room. He would like to move the health sciences program, where the LNA program occurs, up to the third floor. The academic portion of the building trades program requires a classroom. Finally, a portion of the room would be used as a district meeting space. The goal is to have selected a designer and have that designer determine a cost with detailed plans. Doug Heavisides provides the board with three designs. The tuition rate of programs and local funds would not be affected, as the HACTC could use funds that the program has generated.

■      Peter Merrill moves that Doug Heavisides contacts two members of the advisory council to develop a metric system for scoring the proposals and bring that information back to the board. The motion is seconded. A unanimous verbal votes passes the motion (5 yes, 0 no).


  • Policy GP 9.1 Governance Investment

○       Board Summer Retreat Planning – Social Media Proposal for the HSB

■      Doug Heavisides shares his proposal for the board’s social media training with the goal of creating a social media presence, mainly on one outlet, to increase outreach. Russell North volunteers to work with Doug Heavisides to determine foundational questions and a framework for the board to bring to a future board meeting. The board thanks Doug Heavisides.


  • GP 7 Board Committee Principles

○        Response to the Hartford Committee on Racial Inequality - Recommendations

■      Peter Merrill shares the response from the Policy Committee. As background to the response, he shares that there are policies that govern how the board operates; therefore, the idea that the committee is established as a standing committee doesn't fit with the HSB governance process as the board is also mandated to organize yearly after elections. Peter Merrill shares and explains the edits to the memo. 

■      The Hartford Committee on Racial Inequality is interested in visiting the schools with the superintendent.

■      The original charge was completed and it was determined there was still work that needs to be done. This new charge looks at the continued work. The two new policies, for the Selectboard and the HSB, are to resolve the next steps.

■      Alan Johnson, member of the Selectboard, speaks to standing committee structure for the town. The board discusses the differences that can exist between the two policies and next steps.

■      Peter Merrill moves that the superintendent works with the town manager to negotiate a joint charge and this be used for the starting point in the board’s negotiations. The motion is seconded. A unanimous verbal votes passes the motion (5 yes, 0 no).


  • Policy EL 7 Asset Protection

○       Solar Project Recommendation of the Superintendent for Board Consideration and Action

■      The original intent behind the solar project was to reduce the carbon footprint, educate the district’s students, and save money on energy bills. Tom DeBalsi recommends selecting Encore Renewable Energy. Peter Merrill believes it will be more advantageous to choose the Norwich Solar Technologies proposal.

■      Alan Johnson shares suggestions for how to save money and reduce the district’s environmental impact by investing savings in environmentally friendly technologies. Kevin Christie points out that an addendum to the 25-year maintenance plan could be added that addresses this subject.

■       Peter Merrill moves to have the superintendent approach Norwich Solar Technologies to enter in agreement to purchase energy from a solar array. The motion is seconded. A unanimous verbal votes passes the motion (5 yes, 0 no).


  • Monitoring Reports:

○      GP 8 – Board Committee Structure

■      Peter Merrill reads Nancy Russell’s monitoring report of GP 8 - Board Committee Structure, sharing her interpretation and explanation for the compliance of the policy.

■      Peter Merrill moves to accept the Monitoring Report on GP 8 by Nancy Russell. The motion is seconded. A unanimous verbal votes passes the motion (5 yes, 0 no).

○      Student Homework Review, part 2

■      Six surveys were developed for high and middle school students, parents, and teachers respectively. Tom DeBalsi shares the number of responses from each cohort. He will analyze the results and provide recommendations going forward around homework assignation.


  • Policy GP 3 Board Job Outcomes

○      Board Member Committee Reports

■       Hartford Community Coalition (Russell): The Block Party is June 6.

■      Manifest Approval (Christie): Additional activities include moving funds between accounts for scholarships.

■       Select Board Liaison (North): As of last night, the Selectboard is contemplating a new charter committee and would need a board member as well as two school board selected volunteers.

■      Sister City Update (Boleski): Tom DeBalsi met with a representative yesterday.

■       Wilder School Building Study Committee (Merrill): There was a consultation meeting with a construction company about how to approach the project.


6.   Meeting Review/Evaluation and Agenda Planning

  • Next Meeting Agenda: Monitoring Report GP2 Governing Style, Policy Reading 2 HCORI Response
  • Meeting Evaluation

○      Peter Merrill evaluates the board’s meeting tonight, finding the board satisfactory.


7.  Adjournment

10:07 pm Peter Merrill moves to adjourn the meeting. The motion is seconded. A unanimous verbal votes passes the motion (5 yes, 0 no). The meeting is adjourned at 10:07 pm.


Draft respectfully submitted 5/23/18 by Hannah Prescott