July 17, 2019

HSB Minutes 4/11/2018

DATE: 04-18-2018

Hartford Board of School Directors

School Board Meeting Agenda

April 11, 2018 @ 7:00 pm

Hartford Town Hall


Board members present: Peter Merrill, Michelle Boleski, Russell North, Kevin Christie

Administrators present: Tom DeBalsi, Noel Bryant


1.  Call to Order: Kevin Christie calls the meeting to order at 7:01 PM.


2.  Public Comments - could there be more sharing from the schools (e.g., presentation on ASCD conference.  Sampling of some of the activities our teachers do.


3.  Changes, Additions and Approval of Agenda

Peter Merrill moved to approve the agenda.  Russel North seconded.  All voted in favor.


4.  Consent Agenda


Nominations for new positions:  Tom DeBalsi explained that all of these people worked for HSD this current year but since they were hired after July 1 they were considered 1 year positions, requiring re-hiring.

  • John Sanchez (HHS School Counselor)
  • Melissa Cole (HMMS School Counselor)
  • Maryann Nugent (HMMS Teacher)
  • Aria Robison (OQS Teacher)
  • Lance Johnson (HACTC Building Trades)



  • Cindy Edson, HHS School Counselor


Peter Merrill moved to approve the consent agenda congratulating those that secured positions for next year and expressing gratitude for their service to those resignations.  Russell North seconded.  Passed unanimously.


5.   Items Requiring Board Discussion and Possible Action

  • Monitoring Reports: The Annual Ends Report – Part 2 Dothan Brook School
    • Rick Dustin-Eichler presented a report on DBS.  He reported out on what DBS was doing in relationship to the three district goals.  Slides for this presentation are in the Board Meeting Materials packet.
    • Policy EL 9.4 Communication and Support to the Board – Incidental Information
      • HHS students headed off to Germany today.
      • Noel reported on a Sabbatical Request that Lanni Luce-West had taken advantage of attending this year’s ASCD conference in Boston. 
      • Michelle made the suggestion that all of the elementary schools come together to do some integrated, cross-curricular activity.  Kevin suggested putting it on the retreat agenda.  Doesn’t necessarily have to fall on the administrators, but could possibly be organized by the PTOs. 


  • Policy EL 7 Asset Protection – Solar Project RFP Review and Decision


  • HSD schools have cut their energy costs substantially in the last few years.  They have been considering solar power/net metering contracts for about a year.  A RFP (Request for Proposals) was put out early in this calendar year. Part of the proposal required an educational component be incorporated into the agreement.   Five proposals were submitted. Norwich Technologies and Encore Energy submitted the strongest proposals.  The Board will need to decide what requirements of the proposals are most important to them, environmental and cost savings.  
  • Mr. DeBalsi received the report from the VT Law School this morning. The Law School does this for municipalities.  This report outlines the various proposals and how they compare.   Mr. DeBalsi will ask someone from the law school to come and present to the Board.
  • Mr. Russell requested a copy of the RFP.  Mr. Christie requested that a copy of the RFP go to all the Board members.


  • Policy GP 3 Board Job Outcomes
  • Board Member Committee Reports

▪       Hartford Community Coalition (Russell): Regional Advisory Board (Boleski): Ms. Russell was not present

▪       Regional Advisory Board (Boleski): Nothing new to report.

▪       Manifest Approval (Christie):  Mr. DeBalsi talked a little about the hiring that is going on at the Superintendent’s Office for two positions.  Both positions are posted in the Valley News, Indeed, and School Spring.

▪       Racial Inequality Committee (Boleski, Russell):  Waiting for the charged to be renewed. 

▪       Policy Review (Merrill): Conversations between Mr. Merrill, Mr. Christie and Mr. DeBalsi about how to move forward with a response to the recommendations.

▪       Select Board Liaison (North): not able to attend the most recent meeting as it was going on at the same time as this meeting.

▪       Sister City Update (Boleski): A group coming from the sister city on June 24th.  Have begun creating itineraries.  Budget is challenging.  Considering some potluck meals.  Plan to email Mr. DeBalsi about connecting with the school.  Possibly visiting HACTC Tech Camp and meeting some administrators.  The group is looking for donations - monetary or in-kind donations to the Town of Hartford.  Ms. Boleski is in charge of the gift basket.  They will be naming a subway stop after the Town of Hartford.

▪       Wilder School Building Study Committee (Merrill): The committee met last week.  They had visited both RAP and HARP to see their spaces.  A volunteer at the college drew up a mock-up of how both programs might fit into the existing RAP school.  Concern about parking, busing. Determined to bring this to some local architects to get some feedback on if this might work in terms of space.  Committee is very involved and ambitious. Mr. Christie spoke with Nathan Cleveland from the Department of Housing and Community Development, Historic Preservation. He is a Hartford alumni.  There might be some opportunities for supports and possibly funding.  A sub-committee is meeting to talk about other possible spaces for the programs within the community.  Ms. Boleski wondered if they were considering projected population numbers.  Mr. Merrill replied that there is significantly more demand than the space we have now.  If we were to increase the space, we could fill it.  They discussed housing this programs in other schools especially with the decrease in the number of students.  It was suggested that a study be done on this.


6.   Meeting Review/Evaluation and Agenda Planning

  • May 9th - Board Retreat - will be in the conference room at the Superintendent’s Office.  It was suggested that at some point we might want to hear the viewpoint of some other consultants.  Also, Carver Institute offers an annual conference with some good information.  There was a suggestion that we look at community engagement at the retreat.  The second meeting of the month was intended to be about topics that people are interested in (e.g., cell phone usage, parental issues at the elementary level, social issues at the high school, student privacy, school safety, proficiency based graduation requirements, etc.).  Perhaps map out things the board is more interested in finding out about. 


  • Next Agenda - Items for Discussion
  • Nancy Russell - Monitoring Report on G6
  • Mr. DeBalsi - Homework Monitoring Report (concern was noted regarding consistency across classes and correspondence between classwork and homework, are there standards in place to evaluate if the homework assigned is worthwhile).
  • Continued discussion about solar proposals (put off actual decision until after May 1st since new regulations are coming out, but continue discussions)
  • May 24th - graduation of HACTC at Lebanon Opera House, date was moved to accommodate for Hartford Board meetings
  • Retirement Reception for HSD staff is June 4, 3:30-6 in the HHS cafeteria.
  • Meeting Evaluation
  • Peter Merrill evaluates the meeting as satisfactory.


7.  Executive Session:  Peter Merrillmade a motion to go into Executive Session.  Ms. Boleski seconded the motion.  (4 - Yes; 0 - No).  They went into Executive Session at 8:44.


The Board came out of Executive Session at 9:17. Peter Merrill motioned to authorize the Board Chair and Superintendent to negotiate with the property owner, seconded by Michelle Boleski, all in favor.


8.  Adjournment


Peter Merrill motioned to adjourn at 9:20, seconded by Michelle Boleski. All in favor.




Next Regular School Board Meeting is Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at 7:00 PM at the Hartford Town Hall


Respectfully submitted by Noel Bryant, April 11, 2018