MEETING OF THE
MONTPELIER BOARD OF SCHOOL COMMISSIONERS
November 7, 2012
Minutes Approved: November 14, 2012
Board: Sue Aldrich, Ken Jones, Charlie Phillips, Steve Robinson, Lowell VanDerlip
Administration: Superintendent Brian Ricca
Student: Meghan Wingate
Public: Mit Allenby, Pam Arnold, Bridget Asay, Zachary Beechler, Paul Boffa, Laura Bozarth, Kathleen Bryant, Ann Bushey, Maureen Carr, Peter Diego, Stephanie DiLena, Maria Duggan, Alisa Dworsky, Suzanne Francke, Kane Gilmour, Gerard Holmes, Sigrid Lumbra, Jennifer Matthews, Lara Merchant, Lyn Munno, Keith Porter, Julie Robichaux, Denise Russell, Berenice Sarafzade, Kim Smith, Amy Tatko, Dennis Wallace, Paul Wallich, and others
Absent: Jennifer Cahill Bean, Carol Paquette
Call to Order The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m.
Adjust/Review Agenda The student presentation will take place before the public comments portion of the meeting.
Student Presentation Amy Kimball, Don Taylor and members of the Team Summit Green Team discussed their experience studying Main Street Middle School’s waste stream. The students explained the steps they’ve taken to reduce, reuse and recycle at the school. The students also described their great locker cleanout initiative.
Public Comments Amy Tatko gave her opinion on the progress in the second grade classrooms at Union Elementary School over the last three weeks. According to Ms. Tatko, there has been no improvement/changes. The coaches have not been used, and the current second grade teachers and Mr. Bradley continue to believe that a fifth second-grade teacher is still the best solution. Ms. Tatko reported on her efforts to contact the other second grade families. According to Ms. Tatko, there are 86 second-grade families. Of the 48 families with whom contact was made, 35 families actively and fully support the hiring of a fifth second-grade teacher and 9 expressed concern about having their own child moved to a new classroom in the event a fifth teacher is hired. Mr. Phillips reported that he was in contact with four families who expressed concern about the potential disruption for their children. Mr. Jones heard from two families, one of which said things are actually better than they were last year. Superintendent Ricca confirmed that the existing second-grade teachers and Principal Bradley do believe that the ideal solution would be to hire a fifth teacher, but he disagreed with Ms. Tatko’s statement that the coaches have not been utilized in the second-grade classrooms over the past three weeks as planned.
Mr. VanDerlip noted the need for additional information before agreeing to commit additional funds to the hiring of another teacher. Mr. VanDerlip cited the importance of obtaining assessment results in order to ascertain how this group of kids is doing academically, as well as the importance of obtaining feedback from genuine observations. Following further discussion, Mr. Phillips moved, seconded by Mr. Robinson, to instruct the administration to begin the process of hiring a fifth second-grade teacher, and to begin work on the logistics for the transition as soon as feasibly possible. Mr. VanDerlip shared that he would not support the motion for the reasons stated earlier, i.e., he needs more data. Mr. Jones said he would support the motion, noting respect for Mr. VanDerlip’s observations, and that he intends to play a significant role in the hiring of the new teacher. Mr. Robinson noted his support, but emphasized that his position could easily change based on disruption and teacher choice, etc. The motion passed 4-1.
Discuss Athletics with MHS Athletic Director and Athletic Trainer Passed over.
Discuss Class Size Policy See public comments section above.
Discuss Potential Bond Superintendent Ricca asked the Board for their preference on packaging all items together for one vote on March 5th or dividing the items and spreading them out over a longer period of time. The money for the district heat is a must have for March 5th and that amount is approximately $737,000.00. Mr. Jones suggested a three-tiered approach – a list of “must haves” for bond vote on March 5th, a list of “items for consideration” for bond vote on March 5th, and a list of items for future increased capital spending. Superintendent Ricca will prepare additional documentation for consideration at the next meeting.
Discuss Calendar Draft A second draft of the proposed annual calendar was provided. The limitations reports will be reviewed and handled on a case-by-case basis and the Board will tell Superintendent Ricca the level of specificity they want for each one. The Board agreed to the schedule as presented. Mrs. Aldrich thanked Mr. VanDerlip for his work on this.
Discuss National Honor Society Superintendent Ricca will collect feedback from Principal Bunting and report back to the Board.
Discuss Limitations Reports See calendar draft section above.
Discuss Administrator Contracts Notice of non-renewal for administrators is March 15. In light of this, Superintendent Ricca requested that the Board build time in the calendar for this discussion. Superintendent Ricca also asked the Board to consider multi-year contracts for administrators.
Discuss Bridge Educational Pages Mr. Sheir gave a thumbnail sketch of the past reporting schedule. Mr. Jones suggested student participation in this work. Mr. Sheir offered to assist with the transition.
Minutes of October 17, 2012
Unpaid Leave of Absence Requests
Mr. Phillips moved, seconded by Mr. Robinson, to approve the consent agenda including minutes of the October 17, 2012 regular meeting, Warrants 19 and 20 dated November 8, 2012 in the amounts of $632,150.03 and $14,541.70 respectively, two unpaid leave of absence requests, and the FY13 first quarter financial report. Mr. Robinson inquired about the existence of a District policy or standard to address leave of absence requests. Following discussion, it was agreed that future requests for leave require a meeting with the superintendent, whenever possible, before the request is brought to the Board. Motion carried unanimously.
Announcements/Review Meeting (+/∆)
Congratulations to both soccer teams on phenomenal seasons.
Congratulations also to the football, field hockey and cross country teams on successful seasons.
The fall harvest festival was a cause for celebration.
Mr. Phillips would like to revisit the class size policy.
Adjournment On a motion duly made and seconded, the board voted unanimously to adjourn at 9:06 p.m.