October 22, 2019

HSB Minutes 6-26-2019

 Hartford Board of School Directors

School Board Meeting Minutes

June 26, 2019 @ 7:00 pm

Hartford Town Hall

Members present:

Tom DeBalsi

Noel Bryant

Kevin Christie

Russell North

Nancy Russell

Michelle Boleski

Peter Merrill

1.  Call to Order  

The meeting was called to order by Mr. Christie at 7:00.

2.  Public Comments  

No members from the public spoke.

3.  Changes, Additions and Approval of Agenda

Mr. DeBalsi noted that an executive session is needed to discuss a legal matter. Moved by Merrill, seconded by Russell to accept the agenda with one addition, motion carried.

4.  Consent Agenda


` Regular Meeting 5-22-2019


Brian Thomas, OQS

Dr. William Slammon, Clinical Director, funded by a grant

Angela McBean, HHS

Kathleen Godek, MMS

Jordan Ela, DBS

Janet Potter, Substance Abuse Professional


Felecia Allard, HACTC

Moved by Merrill, seconded by Russell to accept the consent agenda, with a thank you to the departing staff members and a welcome to the new staff, motion carried.

5.   Items Requiring Board Discussion and Possible Action

Policy EL 9 Communication and Support to the Board – Incidental Information

- Superintendent Report

Lori DIckerson Bench dedication was held on June 12th; graduation went well-92 graduates, very successful class; many summer maintenance projects; Wilder School renovation has passed through zoning and permitting process, engineers have been onsite, temporary location is ready to go, have worked closely with safety inspector Mike Bedard who is retiring on Friday

Ms Bryant reported on the recent two day administrator retreat, looked at MTSS, Multi Tiered System of Support, currently in a transition period, looked at student data and a future protocol, what do we want to see by 2022?, exit survey was positive and a lot was accomplished

Changes to School Day Schedule
Mr. DeBalsi reported he has worked with HEA and administrators, changes to the school day will help in alignment of elementary school times 8:00-2:45, each will have two dedicated busses, MMS and HHS will share busses, no elementary students will ride busses with older students, this will help with after school professional work/meetings. 

Mr. Merrill reported that working with Butlers has been positive and they have worked hard to make this model work.

Mrs. Russell asked how this affects the teachers’ schedules, Mr. DeBalsi answered that it has a minimal impact and the bus duty times will be less. She asked how contract language is impacted. There is no defined day in the contract but a conversation was needed. Mrs. Russell also noted that this bussing arrangement will affect daycare drop-offs.

- Execution of the Bond Bank Documents for the Wilder School

Mr. Jim Vezina presented information about the 20 year bond,  $5,427,360, approved by the bond bank on June 12, 2019, the bond will be sold July 11th, Paul Guiliani is the district bond counsel.

The board was asked to sign The Resolution and Certificate, The Municipality Tax Certificate, and The General Obligation Bond, the chair was also asked to sign The Loan Agreement. 

Mr. Merrill thanked the citizens and the central office staff for supporting this. It’s important that all students in the district have the same opportunities.

- Employee Health Reimbursement Accounts 

Mr. DeBalsi reported on the HRAs for the staff members, since the changes in the plans require a high deductible the district pays a portion of the staff deductible, the district is currently using a third company for this service, many employees have had a hard time with the companies not paying the deductibles timely, thank you to the office staff for their work on this. 

Mr. North asked that future third parties be bonded, that would make that company liable for any losses.

- Update Consolidated Federal Grants Action Plan Approval

Ms. Bryant reported on the Continuous Improvement Plans, CIP, they are required annually so the district can apply for The Consolidated Federal Grants, Titles I, II, and IV.  There are six CIP documents, one for the district and one for each of the schools. 

Mr. Merrill asked that this document be shared with others as it is a great example of the work we have done and will do in the district. Ms Bryant noted that she and the superintendent both use their associations to gather and share information. The school plans should be linked to the individual school websites.

Mr. North asked to review the financial resources during the budgeting process. It will be important to support this work with budget requests.

Moved by Merrill, seconded by Russell, to formally approve the Hartford School District six Continuous Improvement Plans, motion carried.

Policy GP 7 Board Committee Principles

- Strategic Plan for Inclusivity and Equity – RFP Selection Process and Award

Mr. DeBalsi reported on the process, the two boards put out an RFP, six representatives from both boards and the committee met to review the RFP, the applicants, held interviews, and evaluate the three firms. The group decided on Vermont Partnerships of Curtis Reed and Mary Gannon.

Moved by Merrill, seconded by Russell, to accept the recommendation of the committee which reviewed the submissions and authorize them to award the contract to Vermont Partnerships, motion carried.

Policy B/SR4 Delegation to the Superintendent

Authorization to Hire Professional Staff during the Summer Months

Mr. DeBalsi reported that in the event of a resignation or need for a new hire between summer board meetings he would like this authorization.

Moved by  Merrill, seconded by Boleski, to authorize Mr. DeBalsi to hire such professional staff that may be necessary during the summer months, motion carried.

Policy GP 2 Governing Style

- Community Engagement Board Retreat Planning

Mr. DeBalsi asked the board what their preference is regarding a retreat, when, where, facilitator or not, topics?  Refer to May 22, 2019 minutes for topics, focus on community engagement, Date TBD

- Combined Select Board Meeting Planning

Mr. DeBalsi has confirmed with the Town Manager, August 14, 6PM, dinner provided, Town Hall, topics listed in the May 22, 2019 minutes


- Monitoring Reports

Ms. Boleski reviewed the monitoring reports. She cited evidence for all areas and found both in compliance.

- GP 2 Governing Style

She surveyed board members regarding the governing style, results were shared for the 2018 and 2019 years. She felt that all board members need to express their opinions of how the board is doing. There are areas of continued need and some areas of improvement.

- B/SR 2 Unity of Control

Moved by Merrill, seconded by Russell to accept the  GP 2 Governing Style and B/SR 2 Unity of Control monitoring reports, motion carried.

Policy GP 3 Board Job Outcomes 

Board Member Committee Reports
Select Board Liaison (North, Russell)
Racial Equity Committee (Boleski, Russell)
Boleski-Committee met last week, much discussion was about the community meeting with TJ Donovan, many agencies were represented, there is a need to educate the public about reporting hate crimes

        - Strategic Plan RFP Review and Selection

Sister City (Boleski, Russell)
DeBalsi-shared the letter that was sent to Cenon, France, three students and two teachers will come and visit the HACTC October 14-19, 2019

Social Media and Community Engagement (North)
North-Doug Heavisides has made suggestions about what should be included on the board page, North will discuss with the superintendent about how to get information

Wilder School Building Study (Merrill)
Hartford Community Coalition (Russell)
Russell-Committee will meet tomorrow to complete application for 501c status and a grant application; $4590 donated by community members/agencies to schools for snack packs; 537 volunteer hours to do the snack packs, deliveries, lunch preparation; Thank you to the White River School for the use of their kitchen.

Regional Advisory Board (Boleski) 
Manifest Approval (Christie)
Christie-North and Christie met with the district financial team to review policies, how to best work as a team to address the financial responsibilities of the district, all end-of-year manifests have been approved

6.   Meeting Review/Evaluation and Agenda Planning

 - Next Meeting Agenda/Parking Lot Items 

 - Meeting Evaluation

The meeting evaluation was completed by Merrill, the meeting was satisfactory, all in agreement.

Moved by Merrill, seconded by North, to enter Executive Session at 10:28, I ask, pursuant to Title 1, Section 313(a) (3) “that the appointment or employment or evaluation of a public officer or employee, provided that the public shall make a 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,” that we decide that an Executive Session is necessary ; 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) (3) of the Vermont Statutes, motion carried.

The board came out of executive session at 10:50. No action was taken.

7.  Adjournment

Moved by Merrill, seconded by Russell to adjourn at 10:51, motion carried.

Respectfully Submitted,

Cherrie Torrey, Recorder

Next Regular School Board Meeting is Wednesday, August 28, 2019 at 7:00 PM at the Hartford Town Hall