May 27, 2019

HSB Minutes 2-13-2019

DATE: 02-16-2019

Hartford Board of School Directors

School Board Meeting Minutes
February 13, 2019 at 7:00 pm
Hartford Town Hall

Administration present: Tom DeBalsi, Noel Bryant

School Board Members present: Russell North, Peter Merrill, Nancy Russell, Michelle Boleski, Kevin Christie (speaker phone)

Student Representatives present: Madj Abdelghani, Abigail Koff


    1. Call to Order: The meeting is called to order at 7 pm.
    2. Public Comments: None


  • Changes, Additions, and Approval of Agenda


      • Policy GP 5 is moved to the next meeting.
      • Recommendations about reserve accounts are moved to the next meeting.
      • Peter Merrill moves to accept the agenda as presented with the changes noted. The motion is seconded. The verbal vote is unanimous (4 yes, 0 no).


  • Consent Agenda
  • Minutes


        • Regular Meeting 1-23-2019
          1. Under Policy EL 2, Doug Heavisides is listed incorrectly as associated with Breadloaf.
        • Special Bond Hearing 2-5-2019
          1. No corrections


  • Appointments, Resignations, Leave Requests


        • Janice Beal, a 5th grade teacher at White River School, has resigned for personal reasons.
      • Peter Merrill moves to accept the consent agenda. The motion is seconded. A unanimous verbal vote passes the motion (5 yes, 0 no).


  • Items Requiring Board Discussion and Possible Action
  • Policy EL 9 Communication and Support to the Board - Incidental Information


        • There are two student representatives on the board from Hartford High School: Abigail Koff (junior) and Majd Abdelghani (senior).
        • Andrea Nardone, a music teacher at Hartford High School, earned an award.
        • Some students at Hartford Memorial Middle School held a food drive for the Haven and created a presentation around homelessness.
        • The search committee for the new director of special education met today and Tom DeBalsi expects to have a nomination for the board at the next meeting.
        • School action plans presentations will occur at the March HSB meetings.


  • Policy EL 2 Relationship with Students, Parents, and Community
  • Town/School Meeting Cycle Planning and Presentations


          1. February 25 is the budget presentation, to be presented by Russell North, and meet the candidates night.


  • Wilder School Renovation


          1. Expansions of the programs are possible after the renovations.
          2. The programs that are housed in the Wilder School are highly specialized and could lose efficacy if they were housed in one of the other existing, educational buildings.
          3. Tom DeBalsi encourages those with questions to reach out to him.


  • Adjacent Property Presentation


          1. No further discussion


  • Budget


          1. The last presentation will be on March 2.


  • GP 3 Board Job Outcomes
  • 1st Read and Review of Naming Policy


          1. This policy outlines the process to handle proposals to name school property after an individual. Peter Merrill reviews the policy with the board.
          2. Draft language will be created around criteria for the removal of an individual's name from school property.


  • HCOREI Charge Change


          1. Selectboard has already approved the charge.
          2. For charges that require approval from both boards, the school board would like to presented with the charge prior to any approval from the Selectboard.
          3. Peter Merrill moves to approve the changes made by the Selectboard to the charge of HCOREI.  The motion is seconded. A unanimous verbal vote passes the motion (5 yes, 0 no).
          4. Kevin Christie and Tom DeBalsi will work with the selectboard to refine the process.


  • Policy EL 5 Financial Planning and Budgeting
  • Reserve Accounts Overview and Recommendations


          1. Tom DeBalsi reminds the board that funds in reserve accounts need to be spent within 5 years for its established purpose or it is taxed more heavily. This is important to keep in mind as adding more into the construction reserve fund is being considered. The amount in each fund is reviewed. Tom DeBalsi wants to make any recommendations next meeting after he has received recommendations from Jim Vezina.
          2. It is important to have a spending plan for each account to effectively use the funds within each account.


  • Monitoring Reports
  • EL 4 Financial Condition and Activities (Superintendent)


          1. Tom DeBalsi shares the report with the board.
          2. The monitoring reports are posted online. A link to the material will also be provided on the board’s Facebook account.
          3. Peter Merrill moves to accept the superintendent’s report on the policy EL 4. The motion is seconded. A unanimous verbal vote passes the motion (5 yes, 0 no).


  • Board Member Committee Reports
  • Hartford Community Coalition (Russell) - none
  • Regional Advisory Board (Boleski)  - none
  • Manifest Approval (Christie) - There have been three cash requests to HRA/HSA accounts, two payrolls, and an extra accounts payable since the last meeting.
  • Racial Equality Committee (Boleski, Russell) - The committee discussed a recent harassment case in Bennington. There will be a book panel discussion on March: Book One by John Lewis with Vermont Reads at the Quechee Library. John Hall will be on the committee.
  • Policy Review (Merrill) - none
  • Sister City Update (Boleski, Russell) - There will be an overview presentation in March.
  • Wilder School Building Study Committee (Merrill) - The committee met to discuss the ability to expand the program and how much space is required.
  • Negotiations (Christie, North) - The goal is to increase communication between the two groups and final language is being drafted.
  • Select Board Liaison (North)  - None
  • Social Media and Community Engagement (North) - Russell North made three recent posts and will continue to post information.
  • Meeting Review/Evaluation and Agenda Planning
  • Next Meeting Agenda/Parking Lot Items


        1. The student representatives will provide a summary about current events at HHS (policy EL 2).
        2. There will be a solar panel project update next meeting.
        3. Michelle Boleski would like the employee harassment and bullying policy to be revised and possible amendments to be added in order to make the policy preventative.
      • Meeting Evaluation
        1. Tabled until after the executive session

8:30 pm Peter Merrill moves to have an executive session around the appointment or employment or evaluation of a public officer or employee, provided that the public shall make the final decision to hire or appoint a public officer or employee in an open meeting and shall explain the reasons for its final decision during the open meeting; I further move that the Board enter into Executive Session to discuss the evaluation of a public employee under the provisions of Title 1, Section 313(a) (1) of the Vermont Statutes. He makes a motion to enter executive session.The motions are seconded. A unanimous verbal vote passes the motion (5 yes, 0 no).


8:58 pm The Board came out of executive session. No action was taken.


Michelle Boleski completed the meeting evaluation. The board rated the meeting as overall satisfactory.


9:04 Meeting adjourned.

Draft Respectfully Submitted on 2/15/2019

Hannah Prescott