MEETING OF THE
MONTPELIER BOARD OF SCHOOL COMMISSIONERS
March 2, 2016
Minutes Approved: March 16, 2016
Board: Bridget Asay, Michele Braun, Ken Jones, Tina Muncy, Jim Murphy, Peter Sterling
Administration: Superintendent Brian Ricca
Students: Brynn Bushey, Theresa Noonan
Absent: Steve Hingtgen
Item I - Call to Order The meeting was called to order at 7:06 p.m. by Superintendent Ricca.
Item II – Board Reorganization (Process Policy 4.4)
Superintendent Ricca opened nominations for Board Chair. Mr. Jones nominated Mrs. Braun for Chair, seconded by Ms. Asay. There were no further nominations and Mrs. Braun was elected unanimously. Mr. Sterling nominated Ms. Asay for Vice Chair, seconded by Mr. Murphy. There were no further nominations and Ms. Asay was elected unanimously. Mrs. Braun nominated Mr. Jones for Clerk/Treasurer, seconded by Ms. Muncy. There were no further nominations and Mr. Jones was elected unanimously. Mrs. Braun nominated Mr. Murphy for Parliamentarian, seconded by Mr. Jones. There were no further nominations and Mr. Murphy was elected unanimously.
Item III – Public Comment None.
Item IV - Consent Agenda
Superintendent Ricca requested to add approval of a teacher resignation to the consent agenda.
Approval of Minutes of February 17, 2016 School Board Meeting
Approval of Warrants for Payroll for March 4, 2016 (Limitations Policy 2.4)
Approval of Resignation
Mr. Jones moved, seconded by Ms. Muncy, to approve the consent agenda including minutes of the February 17, 2016 regular meeting, Warrants 41 and 42 dated March 3, 2016 in the amounts of $523,812.08 and $24,726.53 respectively and the resignation of Paulette Fiorentino-Robinson. Motion carried unanimously.
Item V – Financial Planning and Budgeting (Limitations Policy 2.4)
Superintendent Ricca reported that there is now a repository on the MPS website for all reports accepted by the Board.
A written report was provided. Areas identified as not in compliance or partially in compliance were discussed. Ms. Asay suggested to Superintendent Ricca going forward and when thinking about evidence that supports whether or not a policy has been satisfied that perhaps there should be some effort to address the general statement of the policy and not just the bullets. This suggestion was made in relation to all reports and not just this report in particular. Mr. Jones suggested that budget changes be presented in relation to the ends. Superintendent Ricca requested that #8 be considered for possible deletion.
Mr. Jones raised the issue of the Board needing to define and accept a “budget” in addition to approving a total expenditure amount. Following discussion, there was consensus to revisit that matter at the Board’s annual summer retreat.
Accept Superintendent’s Report
Mr. Jones moved, seconded by Mr. Murphy, to accept the superintendent's report. Motion carried unanimously.
Item VI – Compensation and Benefits (Limitations Policy 2.7)
A written report was provided. There was discussion about which employees fall within the category of “non-unionize employeess” Superintendent Ricca promised to provide a comprehensive list of those employees. Mr. Murphy commented that the policy, as written, seems to be aimed at protecting the image of the District rather than the employees. In that regard, Ms. Asay suggested alternative language for the policy to make it easier to understand. Superintendent Ricca shared his thoughts on #6 and pointed to #7 as a means for addressing poorly performing employees. Ms. Asay pointed out that #6 did not contain a status. Superintendent Ricca acknowledged that was not intentional and said he would have to indicate not in compliance or not planning on being in compliance given the fact that linking compensation to performance is simply a value he does not share.
Accept Superintendent’s Report
Ms. Asay moved, seconded by Mr. Murphy, to accept the superintendent's report. Motion carried unanimously.
Item VII – Agenda Planning (Process Policy 4.3)
Update from Commissioners Asay and Muncy
An updated list of new member orientation tasks was provided. It was suggested that the task in regard to how meetings are run (Robert’s Rules) previously assigned to Mr. Hingtgen be reassigned to Mr. Murphy. Mrs. Braun confirmed that the VSBA meeting for new school board members is going to be available via webinar. The VSBA is also offering a policy governance webinar. Mrs. Braun informed board members of her and Superintendent Ricca’s plan to begin planning two meetings at a time and to give a preview of the items that are going to be on the next agenda on the back of the current week’s agenda.
Item VIII – Governing Style (Process Policy 4.1)
Next steps regarding letter from Roxbury School Board Chair
Superintendent Ricca updated the Board on his conversations with Nikki South, Act 46 Implementation Project Director at the Vermont School Boards Association, and Laurie Gossens, Superintendent of Washington South Supervisory Union. According to Ms. South, one of the districts will need to apply for an exploratory grant though the AOE. If the Boards are interested in working with a consultant through the Act 46 Implementation Project, they are happy to supply a few resumes for consideration. Superintendent Gossens has indicated to Superintendent Ricca that the Roxbury Board Chair is happy to apply for the exploratory grant. Superintendent Ricca asked board members if they were okay with the Board Chair applying for the grant or if they preferred to wait for full board approval which would not take place until after Roxbury’s next scheduled meeting on March 14th. Following discussion, there was consensus to have the Roxbury Board Chair go forward in applying for the grant.
Superintendent Ricca also provided information about a letter received from Washington Central Supervisory Union indicating an interest in having a member of the Montpelier Board come and be an advisable member as part of their conversations around unification. As a result, Mrs. Braun will attend a meeting next Wednesday as an advisable member of the WCSU unification committee. Mr. Jones pointed out the fact that school boards do not have to unify in order for high schools to have more relationships and expressed interest in knowing the mechanisms that would allow this to occur.
Item IX – Governing Style (Process Policy 4.1)
Ms. Muncy expressed thanks for the ends policies being on the back of the agenda again. Mrs. Braun welcomed Mr. Murphy and Mr. Sterling as new school board members. Superintendent Ricca thanked the community personally and professionally for their huge show of support for the budget.
Item X – Adjourn
On a motion duly made and seconded, the Board voted unanimously to adjourn at 8:34 p.m.