BERKSHIRE HILLS REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT

Great Barrington                   Stockbridge                West Stockbridge

SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEETING

Regular Meeting

Muddy Brook Regional Elementary School – Library

December 13, 2018 – 5:30 p.m.

Present:

School Committee:                S. Bannon, A. Hutchinson,  J. St. Peter, B. Fields, M. Thomas, D. Weston,
R. Dohoney,  D. Singer, A. Potter

Administration:                      P. Dillon, S. Harrison

Staff/Public:                           B. Doren, T. Lee, K. Farina, K. Burdsall, D. Wine

Absent:                                   S. Stephen

List of Documents Distributed:

RECORDER NOTE:  Meeting attended by recorder and minutes transcribed during the meeting and after the fact from live recording provided by CTSB.  Length of meeting:    1 hour, 10 minutes.

CALL TO ORDER

Chairman Steve Bannon called the meeting to order immediately at 5:30pm.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

The listing of agenda items are those reasonably anticipated by the chair, which may be discussed at the meeting. Not all items listed may in fact be discussed, and other items not listed may be brought up for discussion to the extent permitted by law. This meeting is being recorded by CTSB, Committee Recorder, members of the public with prior Chair permission and will be broadcast at a later date. Minutes will be transcribed and made public, as well as added to our website, www.bhrsd.org once approved.

MINUTES:
Meeting of School Committee Meeting dated November 8, 2018

MOTION TO APPROVE SCHOOL COMMITTEE MINUTES OF MEETING DATED NOVEMBER 8, 2018 – A. POTTER    SECONDED:  B. FIELDS               ACCEPTED:  UNANIMOUS

TREASURER’S REPORT:

SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT:

  1. Dillon – thank you for making it at this unusual time. We had to move things around due to some events so we will work to have a deliberate and thoughtful agenda tonight. You received a nice packet of good news from the three schools.
  • Good News Item(s) – See attached and below
  • Request(s)
    • Overnight Field Trip – MMRHS; it is for three days at the end of March and the beginning of April. It is sponsored by the Berkshire County NAACP and it is the the National Museum in Washington, DC for African History and Culture and the United State Holocaust Memorial Museum.  They have done a lot of fundraising around this so the cost to students is only $25 which is the best deal ever.  We hope to send 16 students as well as a staff member.

 

MOTION TO APPROVE MMRHS OVERNIGHT FIELD TRIP FOR MMHRS TO WASHINGTON DC – A. POTTER      SECONDED:  B. FIELDS                         ACCEPTED:  UNANIMOUS

 

  • New Job Description/Position-School Psychologist Intern (all levels) – This is a proposal put together by Kate and you have a memo around this. There are several pieces to it but the quick story is we would like to host a school psychology intern with a small stipend at market rate of $10,000 for the year.  The downside for having an intern is you have to train and support them and the upside is they force you to make your practices complicit and as they start having a better sense of what is going on, it is another set of hands that can contribute to our work.  I strongly recommend it and Kate is here if you have questions.  Dohoney – is this a position we would have to approve?  P. Dillon – Yes I do because there are budgetary implications and then it is also a job description.  The job description is a small portion of a salary and we will carry them on our liability insurance.  S. Bannon – my only comment on the job description is when you report to two people you usually set yourself up for failure so maybe report to one or the other.  It is a minor glitch.  Do what you may with it but it’s always difficult when you report to two people.

MOTION TO APPROVE NEW JOB DESCRIPTION/POSITION FOR SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST INTERN – D. WESTON     SECONDED:  A. POTTER                   ACCEPTED:  UNANIMOUS

  • FY20 Draft Preliminary Budget – P. Dillon (reads Mission on PowerPoint); We are presenting our draft preliminary budget. It would be harder to make it sound more conditional than that so there is always someone in the room or on the TV who freaks out about what we are about to share.  This is our best thinking at this point in time.  As we go through this, you will see that there are lots of unknown variables that will come in at different times.  The big thing that is impactful is the minimum local contribution.   From a school committee budget policy standpoint, these are the three ideas that come up:  achieve the greatest educational returns and contributions to the educational program in relation to the dollars expended.  We are hoping that we are just investing our resources wisely and they are impactful.  Have funding levels that let’s us provide high level education for all our students and use the best available techniques for budget development and management which is what we have been doing for a long time and also our work with the radar grant and the academic return on investment.   We moved and continued to reallocate stipend funds across the district in between buildings and we are continuing to invest in professional developmental learning to support the shifts in education.  We are focusing on co-teaching and team teaching and the difference between the two, actually Kate can you give a brief description.  Burdsall – co-teaching refers to when a special education teacher goes in to the regular classroom and co-teaches with the regular teacher.  The regular teacher is the content expert/specialist and the special education teacher brings in all of the specialities they have.  Team teaching is typically when there are two regular ed teachers who are team teaching a class.   Within our special education programs, pushing more on co-teaching and trying to bring back students from external programs to our internal programs.  There are three reasons we like to do that.  If we can serve our own kids at our own schools, that is good.  It is good for families when possible to have kids more home based and travelling less and occasionally in a residential program and we have been able to do it at a reduced cost.  One of the biggest costs sending somebody to an outside program is transportation costs.  I am all for supporting high individualized programming but it pains me to invest a lot in bussing.  We want to open up opportunities after school for all students at the elementary and middle school and provide after school bussing.  That is around access and equity.  R. Dohoney – there isn’t after school bussing provided in the budget so far is there?  P. Dillon – right now we have some funding through Projection Connection grant to support that.  A. Potter – we actually zeroed it out.  It was in the budget last year and we took it out.  R. Dohoney – if it is there is year, it was going to be news.  P. Dillon – It is outside of our budget.  Tim and his teachers are leading a lot of work on curriculum; looking at having the right size classes and sections in each grade.  It seems there is always a little bubble of kids in one place and a valley in another.  We have been pretty nimble in moving staff around in an appropriate way.  We need to keep looking at the early childhood programs meaning the PK and EK in means of numbers.  Ben and his folks have been doing a lot of work around the mass core and the connections to all the disciplines.  This year in particular there is a hope to invest in supplies and materials but we would like to do more in science than we are proposing but we are starting in that process of updating particularly text and materials in science classes.  Again, right sizing all grades and sections.  At the high school, we will do a mid-year check in on the CVTE director position.  We think it is going very well and Sean is having a lot of success but we will share that in a few meetings.  We are keeping a placeholder for continuing to invest in that position and also to begin the restructure of the CVTE program at the high school.  We have several grants in and Kristi and her team and in some cases Doug have participated in a number of interviews and I hope to send a good email to people in maybe a week about what has happened with those.  We had a lot of fun and Doug and I did a mock interview with the team that included Sean and Kristi, a local business person, a student and Meghan St. John, an english teacher and we really ran them through their paces and the interview as apparently easier than our mock interview so that is a good sign.  Our preliminary draft budget looks like this: a 4.24% increase and that is probably higher than some of you would like to see and we will get into the details of it.  A large percentage of it is around commitments to salaries, contractual commitments that we made in the last round of negotiations and this year in particular in the contract, we have a drop step for people who are on the steps.  People on step will be receiving bigger raises and that is to make us competitive and enable us to recruit and retain high quality teachers.  In the way the contract is structured, this is the one year that is much bigger than either this current year or the year after.  That is not the case for the off step people.  Transportation is another significant area; student activities, enrichment activities, athletics is another one; non-discretionary spending, mostly insurances, professional development has a slight increase.  Our capital budget is fairly straightforward.  P. Dillon continues to read pages from budget (see attached or online).  We are still getting some revenue from the MSBA.  As our budget gets adapted to each of the member towns, there are three big things.  One is the population assessment and we will look at it in detail but typically Great Barrington has about 72% of the kids, and each of the other communities have about 14.  Those have changed a little overtime so those are going down and Great Barrington is going up and that is how part of the assessment gets charged.  The next two are the minimum and local contributions which is the complicated state formula.  What is interesting about that one is as the assessed value of a particular community goes up the state thinks that community has more capacity to pay which isn’t always a good thing.  Great Barrington total population of the kids is going up slightly; Stockbridge is going down slightly and West Stockbridge is going up slightly.  S. Harrison – The E&D was certified last week.  We were certified for excess and deficiency which basically is retained earnings.  $1,558,224.  We have a maximum of 5% that we can have of the operating budget and our capital costs for the year this exceeding a fiscal year so that was last year’s E&D level.  For this year it can be no more that 5% of this year’s total budget.  We have exceeded that by $194,852 so we will have to apply this amount against the fourth quarter assessment to the towns.  The towns would then share in that at the percentage of their enrollment.  That will leave us a balance of $1,363,372 to use for our budget.  P. Dillon – this is quite remarkable.  We have not shared this chart in awhile but we can put it together in a subsequent meeting.  We have never had it at 5% so that is remarkable.  If you as a committee decide…do we have to have a formal vote to give the remainder back to the towns?  S. Harrison – no, it’s law.  P. Dillon – it is a big deal.  We will actually be giving money back to the towns.  S. Harrison – I will bring balances for revolving accounts back to the next meeting because that might be something the school committee might want to consider when setting the budget.  We will bring the October 1 report next time as well.  In your binder, you do have a section that says changes.  There are a couple of narrative pages and then the detail on those changes.  I did not include the salary because that is pretty evident as you go through the budget.   What you are going to see is because the teacher salaries, the contract wasn’t settled for FY19, so the FY19 last year when we created the budget was entered at the known FY18 rate so you are seeing a two-year jump because now we are going into FY20.  That is why some of those might look higher than the average of 3%.  You are looking at a two-year jump.  B. Fields – the bussing contract is for how long?  S. Harrison – five years.  We are in the second year.  B. Fields – how many new positions are being tentatively presented right now?  P. Dillon – the CVTE director which is new to the budget but was approved in June.  The psychologist intern position….B. Fields – but the impact on the budget on that one is relatively minor.  We are not talking full time.  R. Dohoney – so this includes changes in the staffing level of the PK and Kindergarten or it just doesn’t?  S. Harrison – it includes what we have this year.  It mirrors what we have this year.  The two PK’s and one EK.  That was a flip this year from last year.  Right now that is what we are anticipating.  R. Dohoney – you are budgeting the same as you did?  S. Harrison – we are budgeting for two PKs and one EK.  Last year it was the other way around.  It was two EKs and one PK.  In FY19, this school year, we have two PKs and one EK and that is how we are budgeting it for FY20.  Again, depending on what the census numbers come in, it could probably change.  P. Dillon – as the process goes on we will give you more pages.  If you don’t already have them, I would get a stack of post-it notes and in your free time read parts of it and stick post-it notes on those things and have questions then if it is a really complicated question, shoot me an email in advance so I have time to mull it over and if it is a simple question, just feel free to ask at a meeting.  S. Harrison – I have one other piece of good news.  I did get the assessment from Berkshire County today.  I put that in at 12%.  It came in at about 6% so I was able to take out $42,000, so we are down to about 4.09% to the gross budget.  J. St. Peter – looking at this, new this year is paying for enrollment for one charter school kid and one Taconic School vocational program.  It looks like the charter school is over $18,000 and Taconic is over $17,000 per year.  That is a certified vote program that currently if kids are not in our district come to Monument to do auto, etc., we currently don’t have that type of system in place.  They are just regular school choice, correct?  S. Harrison – right.  J. St. Peter – I am assuming that is something Sean will be working on as the CVTE director.  So kids coming into our district if we have a certified program, our return coming in with be greater than just a school choice.  P. Dillon – it could be but the wrinkle in that is a kid would have to declare the intention of being in that certified program as they are an 8th grader coming into 9th grade and we would have to set up a slightly different process.  R. Dohoney – for the charter, we are not in their region.  S. Harrison – that is what the state is charging us.  P. Dillon – I will look into it.  I think we are obligated to pay but I will confirm it.  R. Dohoney – I think that has to be explored to its fullest possible extent because that is an important precedent to set if we are going to do that.  Right now, we are not in the region of any charter school so we cannot….this isn’t a wrinkle.  This is a huge policy if that is what is going to happen.  D. Weston – I thought that the towns paid for vocational not the school district.  S. Harrison – I will check into that because when I talked to DESE, they said we were obligated.  R. Dohoney – if kids transfer to a vocational program, and we offer the same type of program, can we deny that or are we forced to accept it?  If it was auto, we have auto.  S. Harrison – it isn’t.  R. Dohoney – is it something we don’t offer?  S. Harrison – yes, and something we don’t anticipate.
  • Updates: BHRSD/SMSU Shared Superintendency – P. Dillon – There was a meeting with the chairs of the Berkshire Hills, Hancock, New Ashford and Richmond school committees to check in around the shared superintendency arrangement.  When we extended it for this year, initially we did it for two years, then we extended it for this year and we decided that by December we would make a decision about what we wanted to do going forward because if we wanted to do something different, whichever communities were no longer part of this, we need time to find another superintendent.  We had an interesting discussion and Steve said he would bring that back to us so I will turn it over to you.  Bannon – there are a lot of moving targets here because they are a school union and we are regional.  Right now, we have an agreement to share our superintendent and administrative team.  What they were looking for and what I said I would bring back and actually agree with is that we would wait for another year until next December before any decisions were made and in that course, explore our options and the options are numerous including one of the towns possibly joining with us, which would take some time to dissolve the union.  The other is we could make this arrangement more permanent but I think we have looked into it as deeply as we might want to.  Has this worked for us as well as it has worked for them?  We are sharing a superintendent; we are losing out on this?  Is the $60,000 we are getting right now, worth it?  I think from both sides there is going to be some soul searching and some research; some meetings together, some meetings separately to decide where we really want to go with this agreement.  I don’t see a problem waiting until next December as a deadline to come up with a more permanent solution.  If right now we wanted to break this apart, we would have to do it per the agreement and per ethics now so they would have time to look for a superintendent as of July 1st.  R. Dohoney – our current agreement only goes through July 31st at this point.  S. Bannon – right, so we are extending it another year with the realization that we need to finalize something.  We haven’t had the discussion about if this working for us and we need to have that discussion.  They need to do some searching to decide what they want to do with their union.  P. Dillon – to be real explicit, we talked about a handful of possibilities; keeping it the way it is now, potentially Hancock and New Ashford going with a district to the north and Richmond coming with us and what does that mean for Richmond coming to us.  Everybody in the room with maybe the exception of me, thinks we need more time.  S. Bannon – I went to the meeting because I thought it was a shared services meeting.  It wasn’t.  I covered well.  I think the real decision we have to make is do we want to go through another year with this arrangement before we make a decision?  Once we make that decision, then a lot of other dominoes will fall.  R. Dohoney – we need a change in compensation but we don’t need to match it to our costs.  D. Weston – if our administrators salaries go up 3%, then they should kick in 3% more as well.  It is not huge costs; it is not a flat rate forever.  R. Dohoney – no, we have gone up 3% each year.  We might want to go up more than 3%.  I want to change the structure of how it is charged.  What we have learned over the experience is there are certain narrow aspects of the superintendent agreement that are inequitable but not the entirety of it.  S. Bannon -there definitely has to be changes.  Whether this year or a year down the road; we have to make some changes.  We have not had the discussion as a shared services subcommittee with the superintendent and the business manager who are the two people most impacted by this to discuss this also.  R. Dohoney – we had a pretty candid conversation with the folks from Shaker Mountain, those that were there.  P. Dillon – the other conversation is both sides of the equation.  Is it working for those towns?  Is it working for us?  Everytime I spend X number of hours doing something in one of those communities, I might be spending X fewer hours doing something to support Ben, Doug or Tim.  I think we should gather feedback in lots of areas.  S. Bannon – the discussion we had was basically, we want to do what is best for the students in all the districts and the union.  We really haven’t really looked if this is good for our students.  It may not be.  If we were able to join with Richmond only, that might be more doable because it is closer, it is one school; it is K through 8.  P. Dillon – it might have all sorts of implications for a potential high school building whether that community was able to contribute to that or just their participation in a different kind of entity would make us eligible for all sorts of credits.  A. Potter – it would also have to work with a bus schedules for lower grades because we would be reallocating where kids are or giving them options.  R. Dohoney – that is another step ahead.  B. Fields – Richmond have their futures committee that stated they didn’t want to make any changes.  I think they stated that two years ago; they are very possessive of that school because they almost lost it.  P. Dillon – I would never in the context of having worked there and it was reiterated here today, that school is the heart of that community and I wouldn’t make a recommendation to do anything with that school.  B. Fields – I think the issue would be in some people’s minds if Richmond joined Berkshire Hills, what would happen to that school.  S. Bannon – the good news for them is the K-8 students are 170, don’t fit into our buildings.  R. Dohoney – the only way that school survives more than ten years is if they merge with us.   S. Bannon – from this discussion, you can see why in two weeks we can’t make a decision.  R. Dohoney – I disagree.  Here is my whole thing.  Our obligation is not to any of their students.  The obligation is to our students and when we do this budget, students from our three towns are going to show up at our door on September 1 and if the cost of delivering services to them next year will exceed what they are paying us, then it is money we are taking away from the education of our kids.  D. Weston – I think the cost is not the money but it is with our administrators’ time.  I really want to be done with this.  I think it was a positive venture with them but I did want to be done at the end of this year because I have seen the impact.  I have heard people complain.  It impacts our staff which impacts our students.  I am willing to go another year but with them understanding that the next phase of this will not be this at all.  It will either be nothing or some sort of stronger union with Berkshire Hills or some other entity.  I am also willing to go another year if we start talking about this in January not April or May then we will be in the same boat.  We will not have time.  This is a very complex and long discussion.  It needs to happen.  Just pushing it of because we haven’t had the discussion isn’t going to make the discussion happen.  We have to have the discussion.  S. Bannon – the meeting is already set up for the shared services group.  We need to put in on our agenda as well because this is the first time we have had the discussion.  I think what we have done so far is good.  The first year, the superintendent spent a lot of time over there the first year but we have gone to subsequent years and that time has not reduced and now we have an understanding of what it means to do this.  I don’t disagree that Dan that it is more time than we wanted to have a superintendent spend in three towns.  R. Dohoney – I do think now we are at a significant sample size.  I have come to the conclusion that the stability of the union and their superintendent needs, far exceed what was presented to us when we entered the contract.  S. Bannon – I don’t think it was misrepresented; I don’t think they understood.  They do now.  They already said how much help it has been, including Sharon’s services with the budget which was really helpful to them.  I think we need to get a handle on it ourselves and I agree it  shouldn’t take away from our students if it has.  P. Dillon – in each one of the communities it has been some dramatic thing that has been a black hole in terms of time.  S. Bannon – they may want to go back to the old school system where they have a part time superintendent and that is ok.  They can do what they want to do.  It will still be an amicable split.  Everyone understands that this was a trial and it didn’t fail but it was different than we thought it was going to be.  A. Potter – I think Dan’s point about getting started early is critical.  At least on of those proposals you just floated out there is going to involve special town meetings.  It is basically rewriting agreements, etc.  D. Weston – we just can’t keep going perpetually at this.  We have good administration and we need to utilize them well.  I don’t like to agree with people, but I agree with Rich.  This board’s priority is to the students at Berkshire Hills and to the communities of our three towns.  This board has no obligation to Shaker Mountain Union except we act in good faith.  S. Bannon – that is what I am asking for is we need to act in good faith.  We wouldn’t pull our administrative team out tomorrow and leave them in a lurch.  We would make it as smooth a transition as we can.  R. Dohoney – I agree but between now and the town meetings across Massachusetts, 20 superintendents will quit in these schools.  It happens every year.  S. Bannon – what I am saying is since we have an agreement with them, we should keep that agreement at least through the end of this year because we owe it to them.  We can vote no tonight and give them this tomorrow that we are not going to extend the agreement, and that is okay but we are not going to pull out tomorrow.  No one is suggesting that.  B. Fields – Dan’s motion is to extend it to next December?  No, until June 30, 2020.  P. Dillon – there could be a place where our needs as the Berkshire Hill district and one of the other communities’ needs overlap and are mutually beneficial.  We are sort of analyzing this and we should look at that.  D. Weston – my other concern is that Peter and Sharon have managed, as well as Steve Soule and some others, they have managed to pull this off.  We have an agreement with them but we don’t necessarily have a guarantee that this our personnel and if they decide to move on, we are out looking for a superintendent and/or business manager to come in here….it is not the best selling point.  R. Dohoney – at the shared services meeting, what I said there was one of my concerns was that we are pushed to the edge of our administrative bandwidth and any little thing could push us over; if we have a change of personnel, if there are more demands on this side.  If we decided to move forward on the high school project, we don’t have the capacity to do this.  The day this committee votes to approve a project, we are voting the next day to terminate the agreement.  You can’t do it.  It would be impossible and it would be a disservice to our students if we did.  B. Fields – we are going to be considering something maybe in May in regards to that.  We are going to be making a recommendation and I see implications for Dan’s motion.  S. Bannon – so a couple of things on the motion, maybe we don’t need to change it but I would like to extend it to not later June 30, 2020; if in fact their union says we don’t think we are interested, we should just mutually agree to terminate this earlier because it will be beneficial to us to do that when they find a superintendent if that is the direction they go in.  R. Dohoney – would a better motion be to authorize the chair of the shared services committee to negotiate an agreement for another year that will bring back the vote again.  The devil is in the details right now I think.

MOTION TO AUTHORIZE THE CHAIR AND THE SHARED SERVICES COMMITTEE TO NEGOTIATE AN AGREEMENT FOR AN EXTENSION FOR FISCAL YEAR 2020 OF THE SHARED SERVICES AGREEMENT SUBJECT TO FINAL VOTE APPROVAL BY THE SCHOOL COMMITTEE – R. DOHONEY       SECONDED:  D. WESTON            ACCEPTED:  UNANIMOUS

  • Updates:
    • Security & Safety – P. Dillon – we had a great meeting with the three assistant principals, Steve Soule and myself, Chief Walsh, Officer Bragdon and the head of State Police Barracks in Lee and Trooper Andy Canada talking about recent drills we had and different thing we could do. Steve Soule got a nice grant from our insurance carrier for Stop the Bleed so we are going to do some training there.  It is horrible that we have to do that kind of training but it is nice that we got the grant and can do it.  Oh, sorry, Sharon got the grant.  We did some drills that went well and there were some other incidents in the county that we used as a learning experience.
    • Diversity – P. Dillon – all of the school have been doing interesting things. We also have the DuBois basketball jam that was referenced earlier.

Good News:  (See attached as well)

Muddy Brook Regional Elementary School – Tim Lee:  Just to highlight a little bit; it has been our concert season.  Kudos to our music teacher Kim Chirichella but also Juraye Moran.  They put together a really amazing performances today for our youngest students, PK, Early K, Kindergarten and then grades 1 and 2 also had a performance today.  The little ones had a lot of fun.  They sang songs about things they are learning about in class.  It was a creative and expressive experience.  Grades 1 and 2 focus was on Mozart today.  In the weeks and perhaps months leading up to today’s performance, they were learning a lot about the composer and put together a musical play to celebrate his work.  It was very creative and the kids had a lot of fun.  It was well attended by parents.  A shout out to Paul Kakley from the high school.  He recently did quite a bit of work here on our sound system in the gymnasium.  It has fallen into disrepair in the past years; we needed to rewire the amplifier and th sound board.  Paul was able to get some components and set it up for us and today we had a fully functioning, much improved sound system.  Thank you to Paul.  Also, Steve Soule who was really responsive in accessing bits and pieces we needed to pull that system together.  Thank you.

Monument Valley Regional Middle School – B. Doren:  I really want to praise the chorus concert we had on Tuesday.  Sunhwa Reiner is our choral director at the middle school and our music teacher.  She is simply amazing.  This is her third year out of college.  Typically our winter concerts are Christmas songs, a Hanukkah song, a few snow songs; same thing with the band and orchestra concerts; but this one was really taken to heart.  It is the 150th anniversary this year of WEB DuBois.  She really made that the entire theme.  The choral concert was all about spirituals, in the African American musical tradition.  It was amazing.  Both the younger students in 5th grade, all the way up to our 7th and 8th grade chorus and our select chorus had the focus of being both educational for our students as well as musical.  They studied some of DuBois’ writings and incorporated that into the concert.  Also she has a connection to a Berklee College of Music professor and she was able to skype him in for the students in the 7th and 8th grade chorus.  They did a lesson on the spiritual tradition; got the students to really understand the meaning on the feeling behind it.  I was there for one of those connections and it was amazing; then to hear the kids sing some of the songs they had been practicing and listen to this man and engage in dialogue with him was really cool.  The concert was spectacular with the kids sings these beautiful songs but also conversing with them speaking.  One of our students did an entire mashup and arranged it, of Sing Lo, Amazing Grace which is quite a technical feat doing the overlays and the harmonies.  It came out beautifully.  They finished with the entire full chorus doing a song called Rise Up, a contemporary song by Andra Day and students were able to speak up about things they felt passionately about.  In my mind, what she has done, has take it from an amazing musical experience to an educational experience and made some great academic connections.  I am proud of her and our students.  Because of the work we have been doing recently in 5th and 6th grades which requires those students to choose band, chorus or orchestra, we had well over 100 students which is a quarter of our school, participating in this program.

Monument Mountain Regional High School – D. Wine:  Our concert is tonight, so I will just tell you it will be great.  Chris D’Aniello took all of our auto students down to a senior center and had them bring in their vehicles.  He taught our students how to work with them and service all of their cars and winterize them all.  It is so great for them to be doing community service.  That happened after the report I was able to do.  We have three different events.  Today was the first one; Community Unity is Wednesday.  Today we had our first discussion all student led in small communities about dignity.  Our students decided that the goal of it was dignity and discussion.  We had a reading on the ten elements of dignity and student talking about those and how the apply to their lives to the rest of the school.  We are following up with dignity on Tuesday; Community Unity is Wednesday.  We are trying to work on as we look at the potential of changing our schedule, part of that is an advisory program that would include such discussions like this.  Everything we are doing, while connected to Community Unity is also connected to what we consider our vision and our future.  We had some students running dialog; teachers were there as participants not as leaders to be moved toward a student centered model of learning.  That went well.

Sub-Committee Reports:

  • Policy Sub Committee – S. Bannon – we have a first reading and just a review, this is not a vote. Any comments to make either now or email to the superintendent before the next meeting and we will take the final vote then.  The majority of these are minor changes so if anybody has any questions now, we will be glad to answer them.  If not, email them to Peter and we will vote on them at the next meeting.  Dillon – we had our existing policy then we have the MASC model policy.  The committee looked at the two against each other and if ours is really unique and we love it, we sometimes keep it but often we go to the more typical policy.  Sometimes it is just updates around legal references and the thing around the tobacco so because nicotine delivery devices are changing so quickly.  D. Weston – I actually did my homework so I am going to ask my question.  Is the change to staff and employees reflect somebody who is working for us but not paid.  I noticed we change employees to staff members.  S. Bannon – it was a recommendation by MASC.  It was one of those things we looked at and said there is no explanation but ok.  Maybe it is the politically correct term.  We didn’t dig deep into some of these because they seemed harmless.  We have to be somewhat in par with MASC.
    • 1st Reading:
      • Policy ACE-Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability
      • Policy ADC-Tobacco Use on School Premises
      • Policy BBA-School Committee Powers and Duties
      • Policy BBBA/BBBB-School Committee Member Qualifications/Oath of Office
      • Policy BDD-School Committee-Superintendent Relationship
      • Policy BDF-Advisory Committees to the School Committee
      • Policy BEDA-Notification of School Committee Meetings
      • Policy BEDB-Agenda Format
      • Policy BHE-School Committee Members’ Use of Electronic Messaging
      • Policy BIBA-School Committee Conferences, Conventions and Workshops
      • Policy CB-Regional School Superintendent
      • Policy CBD-Superintendent’s Contract
      • Policy CBI-Evaluation of the Superintendent
      • Policy CE-Administrative Councils, Cabinets and Committees
      • Policy CH-Policy Implementation
      • Policy CHA-Development of Procedures
      • Policy DB-Annual Budget
      • Policy DBC-Annual Budget Deadlines and Schedules
      • Policy DBD-Budget Planning
      • Policy DBJ-Budget Transfer Authority
      • Policy DJE-Procurement Requirements
      • Policy DK-Payment Procedures
      • Policy DKC-Expense Reimbursements
      • Policy GBEB-E-Confidentiality Agreement
    • Buildings and Grounds Sub Committee – N/A
    • Superintendent’s Evaluation Sub Committee – N/A
    • Technology Sub Committee – N/A
    • Finance Sub Committee – N/A
    • District Consolidation & Sharing Sub Committee – N/A
    • Next Steps Sub Committee – B. Fields – we had a good meeting two weeks ago. We are going to start to nail down things.  I was very concerned that we present a vision of what we want and I think we are at that point and now we need to move toward more substantial issues.  That will start on Tuesday.  Dillon – the vision is most substantial issue and the other stuff will follow.  Our ability to go into some of the fine detail may not be super productive because the architects and designers are going to have to do that again.  I think we are going to keep looking on the theme level and point in some direction but I want to manage expectations.  B. Fields – I thought it was an excellent meeting.  Doug had presented in two sessions, a vision of the high school so we had an educational perspective and then we had an agricultural perspective with the chairman of the agricultural commission from Great Barrington who brought along graduates of Monument.  That was interesting to listen to.  I kept on pressing her to keep it simple and short but that was a losing battle I think.  Steve Boyd another graduate of Monument Mountain came in from Boyd Technologies and he gave a real eye-opening presentation.  We had three different aspects and perspectives of what we want in a building.  I thought it was excellent.  I looked at the agenda and I said to Paul, the next meeting we are going to start to get the specifics so we are going to look at finances.  Steve is coming in to look at with Dan Bailey just the health of the building.  The functional stuff.  J. St. Peter – Sean Flynn gave a great presentation.  He updated us on the CVTE program.  It really made me think that he really needs to come in and update us sooner rather than later because with all of the work he has been doing, I personally had a couple of questions for him and I didn’t want to address him in that forum but I think other people on this committee might have going forward, because it is such a critical aspect to the district going forward.  S. Bannon – it was kind of backwards.  He should have come here first then to the Next Steps but it fine. The amount of work he is doing is amazing.  It was a good decision to hire someone in the CVTE position.  It was a good hire and it is amazing the amount of work he has gotten done in a fairly short period of time.  J. St. Peter – it might justify a special meeting.  R. Dohoney – I have no problem with that.  Maybe even starting at 5:30 so we could just focus on that.  S. Bannon – I think would be a good idea.  We can arrange it with Sean and Doug.  I think we won’t do it justice in the half hour.  B. Fields – I keep in mind Diane’s comment a couple of weeks ago; the Field of Dreams comment.  If you build it, they will come.  I look at that position as being…and what is in the budget and Doug’s presentation and the presentations we had last Tuesday as that.  If we build it, they will come.

Personnel Report:

  • Extra-Curricular Appointment(s)
Extra-Curricular Appointment(s)

(all 2018-2019 unless otherwise noted)

   
    
Arnold, DianeNature’s Classroom Trip Leader – MV Stipend:  $1,056
Arnold, DianeCo-Advisor – Student Council – MV Stipend:  $1,321.50
Astion, DonnaAdvisor – Newspaper – MV Stipend:  $2,643
Astion, DonnaWebmaster – MV Stipend:  $1,269
Boudreau, MattAssistant Swim Coach – MMRHS Stipend:  $2,643
Cormier, StephenAssistant Wrestling Coach – MMRHS Stipend:  $2,643
Dupont, CortneyAssistant Coach–Girls Varsity Basketball-MMRHS Stipend:  $2,643 (funded by Booster Club)
Gillespie, MichaelBand Director – MV Stipend:  $1,269
Hankey, TomAssistant Coach–Boys Varsity Basketball-MMRHS Stipend:  $2,643 (funded by Booster Club)
Jones, SimonWrestling Coach – MMRHS Stipend:  $4,231
Knight, NikkiAssistant Ski Coach – MMRHS Stipend:  $2,643
Lucy, ChristineWashington DC Trip Leader – MV Stipend:  $1,056
Malone-Smith, KatieAdvisor – Yearbook – MV Stipend:  $2,643
Perreault, JohnGirls JV Basketball Coach – MMRHS Stipend:  $2,643
Powell, CamBoys Assistant JV Basketball Coach –MMRHS Stipend:  $2,643
Seminara, BrianSki Coach – MMRHS Stipend:  $4,231
Soule, StevenGirls Varsity Basketball Coach-MMRHS Stipend:  $4,2331
Spence, DebraCo-Advisor – Student Council – MV Stipend:  $1,321.50
Spence, DebraProject Leader – PowerSchool Implementation-MV Stipend:  $2,319
Svirida, JillSwim Coach – MMRHS Stipend:  $4,231
Swarbrick, KimLevel 2 Mentor – Muddy Brook Stipend:  $557
 


Education News:
 Business Operation: 

Old Business: 

New Business:

  • Public Comment
  • Written Comment

MOTION TO ADJOURN – A. POTTER               SECONDED:  B. FIELDS                       ACCEPTED:  UNANIMOUS

The next school committee meeting will be held on January 10, 2019 – Regular Meeting, Monument Valley Regional Middle School Library,  7pm

Meeting Adjourned at 6:40pm

Submitted by:   Christine M. Kelly, Recorder

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Christine M. Kelly, Recorder

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School Committee Secretary