BERKSHIRE HILLS REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT

Great Barrington                      Stockbridge                  West Stockbridge

SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEETING

Regular Meeting

Monument Valley Regional Middle School – Student Center

February 13, 2020 – 7pm

Present:

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

Administration:                       P. Dillon, S. Harrison

Staff/Public:                             K. Farina, B. Doren, K. Burdsall, T. Lee, S. Soule

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: hour, 45 minutes.


CALL TO ORDER

Chairman Steve Bannon called the meeting to order immediately at 7pm.


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:
January 9, 2020
January 23, 2020
MOTION TO ACCEPT SCHOOL COMMITTEE MINUTES OF JANUARY 9, 2020 AND JANUARY 23, 2020                   A. POTTER            SECONDED:  B. FIELDS        ACCEPTED:  UNANIMOUS


TREASURER’S REPORT:


SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT:

  • Dillon – Since we have a lot of visitors, we will jump right into the budget presentation. I will start with part of it and walk us through then turn it over to Sharon Harrison.  You will find the big budget book and the small one and the one online is really good.  It is model work in terms of granular detail.  As we share this, I would like to thank the whole school committee but particularly the finance sub committee who pretty much started working on this the day after last year’s budget got passed by the school committee.
  • FY21 Budget Presentation: PowerPoint Presentation by P. Dillan and S. Harrison (See attached)
  • Jay Bikofsky from the town of Stockbridge:  I would just like to take this opportunity to compliment Superintendent Dillon as well as Sharon and the administrative staff for all their efforts in managing this school system along with the school committee.  I would urge you to continue on a positive note with your discussions with the neighboring towns.  It is the right thing for all.  Don’t be discouraged.  It takes time.  We thank you for your commitment.
  • Ann O’Dwyer, Kirk Street and also on the Great Barrington finance committee – I was just noticing in the booklet that transportation is listed as going up 17.4% but in here it is saying it went up 2.19%. Harrison – what showing in there is the increase by what the CPI was and not the total increase.  There is also a change in the cost of each bus route.  We are going into the fourth year so four years ago, the bus company bid a higher amount in the first year and would have been almost double for us so we negotiated that increase over the five years of the contract rather than all in the first year.  The increase is a small amount on the per route so the majority is the 2.19% and the combination of the special education and the regular education and the private school is what gets us to that amount.
  • Leigh Davis, Sumner Street, Great Barrington, Great Barrington Selectboard – I just had a question about the middle and elementary school bonds that will be retired in FY24. Has there been any discussion on strategic plans on that.  Dillon – my hope and fantasy would be that we get back in front of the MSBA or do it ourselves and as we retire elementary and middle schools, we are in a position to do some bonds around the high school.  There would be a seamless transition.  To me the worst thing to do would be to retire those and then wait a year or two, then start a new set of bonds for the high school.  We talk about it all the time. We have a little bit of time to get ahead of it with either the MSBA or in this other plan to do it ourselves.  Hopefully that transition will be smooth.  L. Davis – I am very happy to see that we are retaining the science teacher design teacher in the high school so thank you.
  • Dohoney – on the finance committee level, there were far deeper personnel cuts including professional staff at the middle school. Through the creative work with the administration we were able to avoid that this year which I think is a major victory that went on more at the sub-committee level.  P. Dillon – the bummer about it is the challenge isn’t going away and as soon as we get through this budget process, we will start the next budget process.  I think now more than ever we will have to be more deliberate about our resources because we have fixed costs that keep going up and the state’s share goes up incrementally, $30 a kid a year.  Maybe it will end up being $50 a kid or maybe not but it’s not enough to do it.  We continue to think and redesign and look at programs.  We will keep writing grants and bringing in resources that way too.
  • Dillon – we will do a similar presentation in Stockbridge on the 25th. On the 27th, there is a finance sub-committee meeting to make any additional potential adjustments and on the 27th there is our formal posted advertised public hearing which is also here.  Potentially, we could have a vote that night if it is the school committee’s desire to do so.
  • Dillon – When we have assistant coaches funded by booster clubs, we bring that to the school committee to vote on it and we do our best to have those votes at the beginning of the season. We are right at the tail end of this season; there is one week left.  The booster club sent a note to the high school and the high school sent it to me yesterday and I would like to request your approval to fund an assistant swim coach funded by the booster club.  I will give a big shout-out to the swim team.  My kids are all swimmers on the swim team but both the boys and girls teams had exceptional seasons.  The boy continued their undefeated streak which is huge.  The girls lost a couple of times this year to Pittsfield but they went to Central Western Mass and five girls managed to get 4th place without anybody diving.  You get a lot of points for diving.  That is unheard of.  Really high levels of participation.  That is my plug.  MOTION TO APPROVE THE ASSISTANT COACH FOR THE SWIM TEAM FUNDED BY THE BOOSTER CLUB             A. POTTER               SECONDED:  R. DOHONEY            ACCEPTED:  UNANIMOUS  P. Dillon – I want to thank people at the high school, Amy Shaw, Rob Putnam, Dan Leibert but particularly Kristi Farina, Sean Flynn and Emery Gagnon as well as several community members including Eva Sheridan, they put together this incredible grant proposal to continue some of the work at the high school.  They submitted at 4:54 today and it is 47 pages of narrative and budgets.  All of our fingers are crossed but it will continue to support the really transformative work at the high school.  I would like to recognize that effort.

Sub-Committee Reports:

  • Policy Sub Committee – NA
  • Building & Grounds Sub Committee – NA
  • Superintendent’s Evaluation Sub Committee – NA
  • Technology Sub Committee – NA
  • Finance Sub Committee
  • District Consolidation & Sharing Sub Committee
  • Next Steps Sub Committee – NA

Personnel Report:

  • Retirement(s) – P. Dillon – two long-time teachers are retiring. Karen Mackey, a teacher of special education at the high school and Juraye Moran, strings teacher who teaches all three schools are both retiring at the end of the year.  I would like to recognize them.
  • Leave(s) of Absence
  • Resignation(s) – Libby Grey is a school adjustment counselor/social worker and she was with us for a year and a half on a replacement position.  She secured a job closer to her home in the Connecticut Valley.  I want to thank her.  She is going to come back for graduation because she made some nice connections with kids and wants to celebrate that.
  • Extra-Curricular Appointment(s)
Long-Term Substitute(s):   
Adler, StephanieLong-Term Substitute – School Nurse-MV Effective 1/21/2020 thru apr. 3/19/2020 @ per diem of BA Step 1 ($234.30/day) (Pat Harper)
Trabka, IvanLong-Term Substitute – Music (All schools) Effective apr. 2/3/2020 thru apr. 3/3/2020 @ per diem of BA Step 1 ($234.30/day)  (Juraye Moran)
Retirement(s):   
Mackey, KarenTeacher – MMRHS Effective the end of school year – June 2020
Moran, JurayeMusic Teacher – All Schools Effective the end of school year – June 2020
Resignation(s):   
Gray, LibbyOne Year Appointment – MM Guidance Effective 2/3/2020
Extra-Curricular Appointment(s) Fund 
(all 2019 – 2020 unless otherwise noted)   
McCauley, SuzanParaprofessional – MM

1/21/2020 – 3/5/2020`

21stCCLC$17.65/hr. up to 26 hrs.

(grantfunded)

Campetti, RebeccaParaprofessional – MM

1/21/2020 – 3/5/2020`

21stCCLC$22.91/hr. up to 50 hrs.

(grantfunded)

Passetto, LauraParaprofessional – MM

1/21/2020 – 3/5/2020

21stCCLC$22.01/hr. up to 28 hrs.

(grantfunded)

Business Operation:


Education News:


Old Business:


New Business:


  • Public Comment
  • Written Comment

MOTION TO ADJOURN – R. DOHONEY             SECONDED: B. FIELDS                       ACCEPTED:  UNANIMOUS

The next school committee meeting will be held on February 27, 2020 – Public Hearing/Regular School Committee Meeting, Monument Valley Regional Middle School, Student Center, 7pm

Meeting Adjourned at 7:45pm

Submitted by:

Christine M. Kelly, Recorder

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Christine M. Kelly, Recorder

 

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School Committee Secretary