May 27, 2019

HSB Minutes 1-23-2019

DATE: 02-13-2019

Hartford Board of School Directors

School Board Meeting Minutes

January 23, 2019 @ 6:30 pm

Hartford Town Hall


Board Members:  Peter Merrill, Michelle Boleski, Russell North, and Kevin Christie


Administrators:  Tom DeBalsi, Noel Bryant, and Jim Vezina

  1.  Call to Order – Kevin Christie called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM


  1.  Public Comments – None


  1.  Changes, Additions and Approval of Agenda
  • No changes or additions.  There will be two new student representatives to the Board, but due to the weather, they will start for the next Board meeting.
  • Peter Merrill moves to approve the Agenda. The motion is seconded. A unanimous verbal vote passes the motion.
  1.  Consent Agenda

Minutes- Regular Meeting 1-9-2019

  • Peter Merrill moves to approve the Consent Agenda.  Michelle Boleski seconds. A unanimous verbal vote passes the motion.


  1.   Items Requiring Board Discussion and Possible Action

Policy GP 9 Governance Investment

Independent Auditor’s Report

  • Christopher Barrett gives an overview of the HSD Audit Report for 2018.  Report includes audit of required Federal regulations for programs as well as district-wide and fund statements.  Separate statements are shown for HACTC and the regional collaboratives. The auditor suggests that the Board oversee the activity funds at each of the schools.  All of the schools are now on the same accounting systems, employing sound financial practices, and making everything accessible to the SOS.
  • Peter Merrill moves to accept the independent auditor’s report.  The motion is seconded. A unanimous verbal vote passes the motion.


Policy EL 2 – Relationship with Students, Parents and Community

       Town/School Meeting Cycle Planning and Presentations

Wilder School Renovation

  • Doug Heavisides (Breadloaf) discusses the reasons behind the Wilder School Renovation recommendation and highlights the deficiencies and subpar conditions of the building as the site for the Regional Alternative Program (RAP) and Hartford Autism Regional Program (HARP).   Other than heating modifications, not many other improvements have been made. While other schools are experiencing significant decreases in student population, Hartford’s population is steady and consistently serving as host for students from other districts. Heavisides presented the alternatives explored prior to deciding upon the renovation of the school building.  Because HARP and RAP are community programs, the direct financial hit on Hartford residents would be minimal.
  • Ed Clark (NBF architects) reviews the building program process and highlights schematic design, remaining true to the historic structure but featuring energy-recovery system and other energy-saving facets.
  • John Johnston, from Breadloaf, presents line item estimate to generate most accurate proposal including construction costs, professional fees, carrying a 10% contingency in construction costs.
  • Cost of bond is relatively low (Currently 3.4%).

Adjacent Property Presentations


  • Peter Merrill provides update on property adjacent to the Superintendent’s office. No immediate plans; intention is to leave in current state until a purpose for the building is determined.  The property has been appraised and inspected with few and minor problems. A down payment and then payments over the next three years will be paid out of the operating budget. The property boasts unique, unrestricted zoning opportunities.




  • The Superintendent informed that an infographic is being created to facilitate future review and discussion.



Policy EL 9 Communication and Support to the Board

Annual Report Overview

  • Noel walks through annual report and recaps accomplishments among which are the success of the implementation of proficiency-based learning; the Middle School moving away from punitive to restorative system; piloting of world language program at Dothan Brook; the STEAM program at OQS allowing students to connect with communities around the world.
  • A number of new assessments are now in place as a way to improve the way comparative data is captured.  Instead of three different systems, assessments allow data to be captured in a more unified manner to better understanding how schools’ performance compare.


Policy EL 5 Financial Planning and Budgeting

Reserve Accounts Overview and Recommendations – POSTPONED DUE TO WEATHER


Monitoring Reports

Policy EL 4 Financial Condition and Activities (Superintendent) - POSTPONED DUE TO WEATHER


Harassment and Bullying Prevention Education for Staff - POSTPONED DUE TO WEATHER


Board Member Committee Reports

      • Hartford Community Coalition (Russell) – No report.
      • Regional Advisory Board (Boleski) – No report.
      • Manifest Approval (Christie) –Three payrolls, eleven cash requests and five accounts payable manifests.  Questions have been asked and responded to by either AP clerk or Jim Vezina.
      • Racial Inequity and Inclusion (Boleski, Russell) – One of the members recommended an MLK presentation at Geisel.  Also, an active bystander training took place.
      • Policy Review (Merrill) – Discussing new procedure for acquiring new buildings.
      • Sister City Update (Boleski) – The committee held a presentation for the Selectboard last week.  It is determining a date to present to the school Board.
      • Wilder School Building Study Committee (Merrill) – No additional information.
      • Negotiations (Christie, North) – A lot of activity.  Group came to consensus on language on several contract items; anticipates signing off on numerous tentative agreements at next meeting and has a clear agenda for remaining items moving forward.
      • Selectboard Liaison (North) – Most recent discussion around how rates have changed.
      • Social Media and Community Engagement (North) – Several posts in anticipation of informational meeting and waiting for info from Tom regarding budget and impact.  The level of engagement is now 300 people. Posts will be added to remind of upcoming meetings.


  1.   Meeting Review/Evaluation and Agenda Planning


Meeting Evaluation:  Peter Merrill completed the meeting evaluation. The meeting was deemed to be satisfactory.


  1.   Executive Session – POSTPONED DUE TO WEATHER


  1.   Adjournment


Peter Merrill made a motion to adjourn at 8:29pm. All in favor.

Next Regular School Board Meeting is Wednesday, February 13, 2018 at 7:00 PM at the Hartford Town Hall

Parking Lot Items:

Redrafting language in governance materials

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

Harassment and bullying prevention education for staff

Redrafting of language in monitoring report

Submitted by Amy Shaw 1/25/18