June 12, 2021

HSB Minutes 5-26-2021

Hartford Board of School Directors

School Board Community Engagement Meeting Minutes

May 26, 2021 @ 6:00 pm

Online Meeting  

Members Present     Administrators Present

Kevin Christie     Tom DeBalsi

Peter Merrill      Cathy Newton

Nancy Russell     Roy Hathorn

Russell North     Tristan Upson 

Havah Armstrong Walther    Nelson Fogg

Dylan Morse      Doug Heavisides

 1.  Call to Order 

Welcome School Board Student Representative Candidates
Changes, Additions and Approval of Agenda  
 Mr. North called the meeting to order at 6:06 PM.

 The public was invited to the meeting using Zoom, meeting ID 97430755984.

 Mr. North welcomed the student candidates. Olivia Merrill and Sydney Stillman introduced themselves as candidates for the student representative positions. Dylan Morse shared that he had a presentation to show from Connor Tierney. 

 Moved by Mr. Merrill, seconded by Mrs. Russell, to approve the agenda as presented, motion carried. 

 2.  Engagement Topics

School Board Student Representative Candidates Presentations
 Dylan Morse shared Connor Tierney’s presentation. He was unable to attend due to a lacrosse game. He is a sophomore, represents his peers well, and is a hard working student athlete. His goal is to share his peers’ and classmates’ insights to show what the students are thinking about.

 Olivia Merrill, a junior, is interested in becoming the senior class representative. She is ranked 10th in the class and participates in several school activities. She currently has 309 hours of volunteer service, both in and out of school. She enjoys her community service. She would like to inform the board of the student priorities. She suggested one way to get more students involved was to include the board agenda and minutes in the student daily announcements. 

 Sydney Stillman, a sophomore, is both the girls hockey and soccer goalie. She enjoys studying world languages, history, geography, and music. She feels her strength is communication and is interested in helping make a change in the Hartford community. She has a sense of what the school needs, would help the district grow and help HHS become a more safe, welcoming, and diverse community. She would like to be part of changes in both educational and facilities in Hartford. She would advocate for the students.

 Mr. North thanked the candidates for their presentations. Mr. DeBalsi will send out a Google Form for board members to select their two top choices. Mr. Christie suggested Mr. DeBalsi and Dylan put together a rubric for the board members to use in their selection process. The goal is to have a representative for both the junior and senior classes. 

 Mr. DeBalsi invited the candidates to stay in the meeting to see the Ends presentations.

HACTC, HHS and HMMS Ends Presentations
 Mr. Hathorn introduced Mr. Heavisides who presented the HACTC report. He linked data in the report, shared how the staff uses the data, and will use this to set next steps. Their data coach works with instructors to review data from a math pre and post assessment. The WorkKeys Assessment is required for the Perkins grant. Other data is used as well to show meeting the two district goals, Academic Proficiency and Safe and Healthy Schools. He noted that Bill Yates created a program to record the data in Infinite Campus. 

 Mr. Fogg presented the high school information. He shared about the past year at Hartford High School. With the late fall start high failure rates and attendance rates were bleak. The Leadership Team met to identify the cause and develop a plan. Many students were not engaged in their learning. The hybrid model, seeing students every other day, made for a difficult start. Targeted interventions were put in place for some struggling students. Changes were made for the second semester to improve student success, and increased academic performance was evident. Health and safety became the top priority, second was building relationships, and the third was academics. Several steps have been identified for future improvements with “Partner With All Learners” as the main focus. 

 Mrs. Upson presented the middle school report. She wished the three student candidates good luck and was happy to see them. The school year was different, the days students were in school the focus was on the basic academics and the remote days were devoted to other areas of their learning. Staff worked together to build common assessments, and used backward design for all curriculum. Another focus this year was to use the data to make more decisions to target students who need more support. A new math program was adopted. Forty-nine percent of students received math intervention. Some students were not able to follow the hybrid model, 13% of students attended five days a week. IXL was used this year, additional practice for math and reading based on the STAR assessment. Relationship building was a major focus, smaller pods made a difference. Modified community events and celebrations were held following safety guidelines. The schoolwide outdoor learning project, create an outside proposal or activities for outside learning. Students have come up with amazing projects, this has been a great whole school event. She invited the board to visit the school to see the projects. She outlined the goals for the next three to five years.

 Mr. Merrill asked each principal to reflect on the year and what they did to support their staff. The support of the community and the families was great. Supporting each other was important. Teachers have had time built into the day to collaborate. The students stepped up to be “greater”, they are the motivation and inspiration for us!

 Mr. DeBalsi thanked the staff for such a successful year. The board agreed. 

 Mr. Hathorn thanked Dylan Morse for a great year as student representative. Mr. DeBalsi and the board thanked Dylan as well. This is his last meeting since the June meeting is during his senior day. Dylan said he will share his Capstone project with the board once it’s complete.

 3.  School Board Business

 -  School district retirements, resignations and appointments


 Shannon Reilly, HMMS; Sheri Gauvin, HARP; Seayra Gilman, HACTC; 

Hannah Romeo, HHS


Linda Sampson, HMMS; Megan Currier, OQS       

Moved by Mr. Merrill, seconded by Mrs. Russell, to approve the appointments and resignations, with thanks to those who have served us and a welcome to the new staff, motion carried. 

4.  Meeting Monitoring

 The Monitoring Report was completed by Mrs. Russell, the meeting was satisfactory. 

5.  Next Meeting

School Board Summer Retreat Planning Meeting
 Mr. DeBalsi reported on the availability of a couple of facilitators. He would like to poll the board on potential dates for the training. The administrative team will work to develop the agenda: reinvigorating The Ends and how to engage the community in that work; facility projects, renovations, or other; and the use of data.

6.  Adjournment

 Moved by Mr. Merrill, seconded by Mrs. Russell, to adjourn at 8:20 PM, motion carried.

 Mr. Christie thanked the board for their support to his family. 

Respectfully submitted,

Cherrie Torrey


Next Regular School Board Meeting is June 9, 2021 at 6:00 PM

School Board/Hartford Education Association Retirement Reception June 2, 4:00 PM

High School Graduation June 11, 2021 7:00 PM