August 17, 2019

HSB Minutes 11-28-2018

Hartford Board of School Directors

School Board Meeting Minutes

November 28, 2018 @ 7:00 pm

Hartford Town Hall


Peter Merrill

Kevin Christie

Michelle Boleski

Russell North

Nancy Russell: 7:14 PM

Tom DeBalsi

Jim Vezina

    1.  Call to Order - Kevin Christie called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM

    2.  Public Comments- Michelle Boleski has safety concerns regarding drivers passing busses while loading/unloading. Police are aware of the issue. Possible solution is re-educating people, ie, poster contest, flashing sign warnings of fines, possible cameras on busses, and contacting legislators. Mr. DeBalsi spoke to this, confirming he has personally stopped drivers to make them aware in the school yard. He’s been in touch with Chief Kasten regarding the issue. He’s willing to investigate the camera issue. Discussion: safety training with the kids on the bus, educate people, adding reminders  to principal's newsletters, reminders at public events, share on sites on social media,Valley News etc

    3.  Changes, Additions and Approval of Agenda-

  • Mr. DeBalsi reports EL 4 isn’t complete with Board’s auditor information. Jim, Tom and accountant are meeting Friday. Next meeting the end of year balance should be available.Would the Board consider moving that monitor report a couple of weeks forward in the future?

  • Russell North requests an executive session to discuss negotiations.

  • Peter Merrill moves to approve the Agenda with the two additions requested. Russell North seconds. A unanimous verbal vote passes the motion.


4.  Consent Agenda-

      (Removing items from the consent agenda requires a vote by the full board)   

Minutes- Regular Meeting 11-14-2018

Russell North corrects the spelling of the Selectboard member (Jameson) in the GP3 Sister City Update.

Peter Merrill  moves to approve the Consent Agenda with the 1 correction. Russell North  seconds. A unanimous verbal vote passes the motion.

5.   Items Requiring Board Discussion and Possible Action*


Policy EL 9.4 Communication and Support to the Board –

Incidental Information- Tom DeBalsi

  • Tom DeBalsi  announces Red Cross needed to open the shelter in the High School, opening at 6PM tonight, for those w/o power due to the storms this week. There’s also a shelter for pets in the high school. There will be  an officer from HPD present during the shelter hours to help with security and privacy. Donations are accepted.

  • Snow/ice season is here. Tom discusses the process for delays vs closing. Tom will put the process on the website. Discussion: power outage incidents. The District does not have a policy for when schools lose power. Sending students home is not an ideal situation. Sheltering in place is the safest for students. District may look into generators for certain schools. (renting generators is not an option due to phase/wattage)

  • $3,000.00 check was received from VIP Tire. There was a  promotional oil change ($10) and proceeds went to Lebanon and Hartford schools.

  • Town/School Meeting Cycle Presentations-Bond issues proposals will be Peter and committee members and school budget presentation. Board members need to think who will speak/present on February 25th and March 3rd.

  • 2019-2020 School Calendar Draft 2-Adjustments have been made. Teachers start 20th, March 3rd staff will have professional development day during the polling at the school. Discussion: Tom will bring the calendar back to the Board one more time.

Policy EL 5 Financial Planning and Budgeting

2019-20 Budget – Finalizing: Kevin Christie shares that the matrix spreadsheet that has been developed was shared w/AOE and they were impressed with the tool Hartford uses. Jim Vezina speaks to the Board. Census information is still needed from the state. Jim reminds the Board there’s a lot of action in health insurance during this procedure. Staff can opt in or out during this time. Review of certain areas of the financial plan were reported on.

  • Revenue (page 5 line 2) offsetting taxes

  • State Education tax (page 6) waiting for equalized pupils calculations from VT AOE

  • CLA and Grand List numbers should be favorable and available soon

  • Six semester average from Tech Center is not in yet

  • Ratio: teachers to students

  • ADM state numbers are not in yet.

Tom would like the budget to be decided during next Board meeting. This will be an Agenda item. There was a general discussion of the budget timeline/process and what possible additions to the budget could be made, ie: adding more equitable foreign language in the elementary schools.  

Monitoring Reports

  • EL 4 Financial Condition and Activities- held over to December 12th meeting.

  • Staff Policy Education- Mr. DeBalsi reported on the harassment and bullying policy with staff and how to educate staff. Administration are working on modules for staff to do on their own. Tom’s working on one for School Board policies. Refresher training modules staff have done. Preschool teachers are trained. Michelle asks to revisit the harassment and bullying prevention piece of it for staff. What are we doing to prevent it or be proactive.

  • Implicit Bias Training Update- Tom reports, Noel and Tom are completing modules and will meet with Admin Council and would like to work w/Board. Possible professional coming in to meet with both boards. He’s working on getting estimates and earmarking money for the training. The Boards would then create an RFP together. School board could look into free or on line training. Should this be added to the dashboard for teachers to use?

  • Rain Garden Update-Current gardens can be added to. He has a list of appropriate items to be added in. Could be done with staff and students.Tom will talk to Kit Farnsworth in RRC.

Policy GP 3 Board Job Outcomes

Board Member Committee Reports- Tom gives the Board a spreadsheet to document their meetings/travel for stipends instead of separate  emails to the payroll clerk

    • Hartford Community Coalition (Russell)-Nancy reports they’re now a 5013C corporation! Winter food deliveries have begun.

    • Regional Advisory Board (Boleski)-  NO RAB report

    • Manifest Approval (Christie)-Moving well.

    • Racial Inequity and Inclusion (Boleski, Russell)-No report

    • Policy Review (Merrill)-No report

    • Sister City Update (Boleski)-No report. Nancy will co chair with Michelle. Peter Merrill moves to restructure sister city membership sub committee of the board to add Nancy Russell. Michelle Boleski seconds. A unanimous verbal  vote passes the motion.

    • Wilder School Building Study Committee (Merrill)-No mtg of sub committee. Directors have met with the architect, plans are being drawn up, those have been shared with the committee, engineers & architects were at the building last week,structure is sound,next meeting is next Wednesday.

    • Negotiations (Christie, North)-Joint press release was read by Russell North

    • Select Board Liaison (North)-No report

    • Social Media and Community Engagement (North)-School bus issue and school closing process will be posted soon.

6.   Meeting Review/Evaluation and Agenda Planning

-    Next Meeting Agenda-Budget expectations,and a placeholder for additions to priority list should the budget allow.

- Meeting Evaluation

At 9:18 PM Peter Merrill  motions to enter Executive Session, (1 VSA 313) “Labor Relations Agreements with Employees: In accordance with Vermont’s Open Meeting Law requirements, I move 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 with employees, under the provisions of Title 1, Section 313 (a) (1) of the Vermont States”. Russell North seconds. A unanimous verbal vote passes the motion.

The Board came out of executive session at 9:48. No action was taken in executive session.

Nancy Russell completed the meeting evaluation. Everything was rated as satisfactory. Russell North motioned to accept the Board Meeting Monitoring report, all in favor.

Peter Merrill made a motion to adjourn at 9:53. All in favor.

Next Regular School Board Meeting is Wednesday, December 12, 2018 at 7:00 PM at the Hartford Town Hall

Parking Lot Items:

Joint Select Board/School Board Meeting (Spring time frame)

Harassment and bullying prevention education for staff


Respectfully Submitted:

Carol Bagley 11/29/18