MEETING OF THE
MONTPELIER BOARD OF SCHOOL COMMISSIONERS
March 4, 2015
Minutes Approved: March 18, 2015
Board: Sue Aldrich, Michele Braun, Ken Jones, Tina Muncy, Carol Paquette, Lowell VanDerlip
Administration: Superintendent Brian Ricca
Students: Theresa Noonan, Alex Stetter
Absent: Steve Hingtgen
*NOTE: Ms. Muncy was elected but not sworn in prior to tonight’s meeting. She therefore will not be voting on any items requiring action.
Call to Order The meeting was called to order at 7:03 p.m. by Superintendent Ricca.
Board Reorganization Superintendent Ricca opened nominations for Board Chair. Mr. Jones nominated Mrs. Aldrich for Chair, seconded by Mr. VanDerlip. There were no further nominations and Mrs. Aldrich was elected unanimously. Mr. VanDerlip nominated Mrs. Braun for Vice Chair, seconded by Ms. Paquette. There were no further nominations and Mrs. Braun was elected unanimously. Mr. Jones nominated Mr. VanDerlip for Clerk/Treasurer, seconded by Ms. Paquette. There were no further nominations and Mr. VanDerlip was elected unanimously. Mr. VanDerlip nominated Mr. Jones for Parliamentarian, seconded by Ms. Paquette. There were no further nominations and Mr. Jones was elected unanimously.
Mrs. Aldrich expressed heartfelt thanks to outgoing board members Mrs. Bean and Mr. Phillips for their past service, especially Mr. Phillips for twelve years of a lot of great service. Mrs. Aldrich welcomed newly-elected members Tina Muncy, as well as Steve Hingtgen who was unable to attend tonight’s meeting.
Adjust/Review Agenda Absent objection, items #7 and #8 were moved to the next scheduled meeting on March 18th in order to allow time for newly-elected board members to familiarize themselves with board policies. Superintendent Ricca reminded the Board that the class size policy is on the schedule for April. Mr. VanDerlip requested any updated information from the Agency of Education in this regard to be used as a reference point and to give context. It was suggested that new board members be provided with a copy of the Board’s annual calendar, as well as a policy governance notebook. Val Gardner is going to come for another discussion about governance.
Public Comments None.
Discuss Budget Vote Outcome It was agreed that the budget vote resulted in a great outcome. Mrs. Braun suggested a letter from the Board for the Times Argus and Front Page Forum thanking the voters for their support. Superintendent Ricca will draft the letter and put it in Google Docs for editing.
Discuss School Foundations Per the last meeting, a suggestion was made that the Board explore the possibility of a school foundation as a way to raise additional revenue to support the work of Montpelier Public Schools. Following some preliminary investigation, it was discovered that although school foundations are legal, neither schools nor school districts have the authority to establish or administer them. If, however, a group of parents or other interested persons wanted to set one up, that would be fine but the school district would not control it. Mr. Jones suggested that it might be time to sit down with the Boosters for a discussion as to where they are going and to better understand what needs they have that are not currently being met by their activities.
Review and Discuss “Gold Policies” Passed over.
Review Superintendent Limitations Policy 2.8 – Communication and Support to the Board Passed over.
Discuss Future Possibilities for Funding the MHS Auditorium Project The Board discussed possible ways for raising additional revenue to supplement resources already set aside from the bond to further renovation work on the auditorium. Mr. Jones suggested the approach of a community-wide effort to support what could be considered as a community asset. Mrs. Aldrich added that Steve Frey has done a little bit of outreach and has some ideas in this regard. Superintendent Ricca acknowledged that there is some leftover money from bond projects in addition to other money earmarked from the bond for auditorium renovations. He will be providing the Board with a recommendation for spending that money in the near future. Superintendent Ricca acknowledged, however, that he sees some separation of funding with the approach of utilizing the auditorium as a community asset that could be shared outside of school hours. Mrs. Aldrich said word on the street is that Lost Nation Theater might be interested in using our facility if the venue were in better shape.
Mr. Jones believes the bigger topic is city facilities, acknowledging the need for an inventory of building assets so things can be done in a more coordinated fashion going forward. He said he would like to talk with the City about infrastructure needs and the need to understand where things stand. Superintendent Ricca informed the Board of a meeting just that day between himself, Director of Recreation Arne McMullen and Jesse Baker from the City in regard to a capital needs assessment to be done at the Recreation Department around ADA compliance. Part of that discussion included having a larger comprehensive discussion about what the assets are. The City is going to try to price it out. Originally the assessment was just going to be the Recreation Department itself, but this was expanded to include the pool house, the pavilion, and the Mountaineer field facilities. If the amount is more than $5,000, it will be proposed formally to the Board. If it is less than $5,000, the assessment will go forward. Superintendent Ricca added that regardless of where supervision of the Recreation Department ends up being, it will be good to know what that building needs and important to have it as part of the list of community assets to be used for various purposes.
Minutes of February 18, 2015
Mr. VanDerlip moved, seconded by Mrs. Braun, to approve the consent agenda including minutes of the February 18, 2015 regular meeting and Warrants 46 and 47 dated March 12, 2015 in the amounts of $547,980.54 and $20,754.50 respectively. Motion carried unanimously.
Announcements/Review Meeting (+/∆)
Superintendent Ricca thanked the community for their support on the budget.
Superintendent Ricca reiterated sincere thanks to Mr. Phillips and Mrs. Bean for their service to the board, and specifically Mr. Phillips who served the community well in many different capacities. Superintendent Ricca also welcomed new board members Tina Muncy and Steve Hingtgen who could not attend tonight’s meeting because he was travelling.
There is a set of singers scheduled to perform a few numbers for the Board at the next scheduled meeting on March 18th.
The MHS Learning Expectations were posted on Twitter yesterday by Edutopia and were retweeted hundreds of times.
Executive Session Mr. Jones moved that the Board find that discussing contract negotiations in open session would put the Board at a substantial disadvantage. Mrs. Braun seconded and the motion carried unanimously at 7:40 p.m. Mrs. Braun moved that the Board enter into executive session in accordance with 1 VSA §313 to discuss contract negotiations. Ms. Paquette seconded and the motion carried unanimously at 7:40 p.m. Mr. Jones moved to amend the motion to enter into executive session for permission to include newly-elected board member Ms. Muncy in executive session regardless of the fact that she was not sworn in prior to tonight’s meeting. Mr. VanDerlip seconded and the motion carried unanimously at 7:41 p.m. On a motion duly made and seconded, the Board voted unanimously to leave Executive Session at 8:28 p.m.
Adjournment On a motion duly made and seconded, the Board voted unanimously to adjourn at 8:28 p.m.