BERKSHIRE HILLS REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT

Great Barrington                   Stockbridge                West Stockbridge

SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEETING

Meet and Confer – District Offices – Stockbridge, MA

January 31, 2019 – 6 p.m.

Present:

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

Administration:                      P. Dillon, S. Harrison

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

Absent:

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, 17 minutes.

CALL TO ORDER

Chairman Steve Bannon called the meeting to order immediately at 6pm.

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 December 13, 2018

Meeting of School Committee Meeting dated January 10, 2019

MOTION TO APPROVE SCHOOL COMMITTEE MINUTES OF MEETING DATED JANUARY 10, 2019 – A. POTTER    SECONDED:  J. ST. PETER               ACCEPTED:  UNANIMOUS

TREASURER’S REPORT:

SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT:

  • Set Date for Public Hearing – FY20 Budget – P. Dillon – I am recommending we do that for February 28th.  MOTION TO SET THE PUBLIC HEARING DATE FOR FEBRUARY 28, 2019 – A. POTTER              SECONDED:  FIELDS                ACCEPTED:  UNANIMOUS
  • Requests:
    • Approval – High School Senior Week Out of State Field Trip – MMRHS – MOTION TO ALLOW SENIOR OUT OF STATE FIELD TRIP FOR WHITE WATER RAFTING IN NEW YORK STATE – A. POTTER SECONDED:  FIELDS             ACCEPTED:  UNANIMOUS
    • Approval – Seal of Biliteracy – MMRHS – P. Dillon – this has started to become a national movement. If you have had a chance to read the memo you would know what it is.  Otherwise, around the country it is valuable to be bilingual or multilingual.  This is something students can do in collaboration with schools.  A native speaker of a language would then show there additional proficiency in english and an english native speaker would show their additional proficiency in another language.  It could be either way.  We would attach and additional seal to a graduates diploma.  There are no significant costs associated with it.  Kids have to take an assessment.  MOTION TO ACCEPT THE SEAL OF BILITERACY FOR MMHRS – A. POTTER          SECONDED:  FIELDS                 ACCEPTED:  UNANIMOUS
  1. Dillon – just a head’s up. Today we had a, actually it started at 6pm yesterday as a two-hour delay and then transitioned into a snow day because it was really cold. There were two things behind that but the weather didn’t break the way I had hoped it was going to break.  It stayed colder instead of warming up even as the sun rose.  The other issue is, even though our bus company does a really good job of treating their diesel fuel, it is often better and luckier than other bus companies, but it was so cold this morning that even with all the additives, etc. they put in, the fuel gelled up at the big fear was that even if the buses can get going, they stop and because they can’t run the engines, the bus loses heat quickly.  I don’t know if anyone was up early this morning but it was -16 on the dashboard.  It was brutal.  This was our first official snow day so the next one we would go into the blizzard bag thing.  Assuming there is another snow day, the blizzard bag protocol would be activated and kids would have a week to work on their blizzard bags.  This will not count against days at the end of the year anymore.  Also, athletic events and practices are tied to the school day, so if we don’t have school, we usually don’t have games or practices.  Occasionally, if the situation changes dramatically, we might make an acception.  Today, the bus company wasn’t competent they could keep the buses running.  I think we are in good shape for tomorrow.

Personnel Report:

  • Non-Certified Appointment(s)
  • Re-Assignment(s)
  • Resignations(s)
  • Retirement(s)
  • Extra-Curricular Appointment(s)
 Non-Certified Appointment(s):   
Haiss, DarcieAssistant Cook – MMRHS Effective 2/4/19 @ $14.00/hr./7 hrs./day (workday 7/hr./day)

(replaces Shannon Cella)

    
Jaquins, JeanKitchen Helper – MBRES Effective 1/28/19 @$12.00/hr./7 hrs./day (workday 7/hr./day)

(replaces vacancy created by Susan McCarroll)

    
Re-Assignment(s):   
Hall, JodyLead Cook/Supervisor – MMRHS (from MB) Effective 1/23/19 @ $18.47/hr./7.5hrs/day (workday 7.5/hr./day)

(replaces June Lovett)

    
Petersoli, VickieLead Cook/Supervisor – MBRES (from Asst. Cook) Effective 1/23/19 @ $17.00/hr./7.5hrs/day (workday 7.5/hr./day)

(replaces vacancy created by Jody Hall)

    
McCarroll, SusanAssistant Cook – MBRES (from Helper) Effective 1/23/19 @ $14.00/hr./7.5hrs/day (workday 7.5/hr./day)

(replaces vacancy created by Vickie Petersoli)

    
Resignation(s):   
Schilling, SandraParaprofessional – MV Effective 1/18/19
    
    
Retirement(s):   
Arnold, DianeTeacher – MV Effective 8/12/19
    
Extra-Curricular Appointment(s)

(all 2018-2019 unless otherwise noted)

   
Voglewede-Green, AnneAccompanist – Winter Concert – MV Stipend: $150
    

Meet & Confer Topics:

  • Review: Career/Vocational/Technical Education (CVTE) Pilot Program – S. Flynn – Where we are specifically around CVTE programming, I have included a document that lays out the process that we have been going through over the last six months.  When I first took the position, in the back of my head, I was thinking to myself that I was going to be able to come forward and give you the full game plan of where we should be going for the next 15 years by this point.  We are not even close to that and as I go out and visit different places and talk to people, I realize that what we are going right now is embarking on a rigorous process.  I want to make sure we do it in a way that is built on the best of what we are.  This is a really vibrant and invested community with incredible resources and we should be looking to figure out what is the best way for us to create sustainable futures for all of our students.  It should be the heart of our ecos in whatever we are doing in Berkshire Hills specifically.  (See attached Update and Summary for CVTE provided by S. Flynn).  We are working with Great Schools Partnership and doing a lot of work around our focus and our mission.  I think one of the shifts that we want to begin to use now is we are going to have to start educating more than our students when you use the word college.  College for all of us in many cases, feels like it fits one particular area.  Most people picture four year, liberal arts, pre-med, engineering, etc.  It is a little harder to use college now instead of post-secondary training.  We want to make sure all students are prepared for post-secondary training.  They are going to be required to be lifelong learners regardless of what field they choose.  They make choose multiple fields over their lifetime.  It is implicitly understood that we should be making sure we are getting a good foundation of skills to all students regardless of what path they choose and as learners, they need to be ready and open to know how to go into new situations and adapt and thrive and be ready to deal with adversity and ready to adjust and be better.  Post-secondary training is really important when you see college right now.  It is going to look different.  It has been different for a long time.  For a long time students have been coming out of our vocational programs and pursuing post-secondary education through Hudson Valley College tech program, or seeking out a design schools; we have had years of students coming through and pursuing an associates degree from Stockbridge School of agriculture.  Many of them could have never imagined continuing on and getting a four-year degree at UMass Amherst but did because they began their experience at Monument through our horticulture/agriculture program.  Post-secondary education has always meant something more than just four-year college.  The implementing and planning process has been evolving and a way of looking at it as time has gone on, really the first phase of this has been a discovery and preparation for planning which really was from the fall up until now.  Phase 2, based on a number of different grants that we applied for and received, we are going to start with a fairly rigorous planning process over the next year and for a number of different reasons we will incorporate a lot of work we are doing with Great School Partnership, we see this as a great opportunity to do a deep dive on how we are going to be approaching things.  Phase 3 is essentially, a year from now, beginning the implementation process being that any kind of changes that we come to terms with being important to consider and begin to start to move on, we will need to be ready to start to communicate to all of those to all of you, our families and our students so that by Phase 4 which is full implementation, the fall semester of 20-21, that is what we are working towards.  Really, the most important thing for us to do is be thoughtful, careful, making sure that we are providing opportunity to provide input and look at this practice to see what the next bigs steps we should take at Monument specifically around CVTE but you can’t look at CVTE and not know that there are going to be implications for the other aspects for our program in terms of making sure we can deliver that in a robust way.  (S. Flynn reads Guiding Principles from Update and Summary)  In my head, I have been saying to myself, I am going to ask everyone to take a piece.  At this point, it is in the discovery process and in the planning process, many hands make light work and we really want people to take some piece that they feel like they can own.  That is part of other people collaborating on something better.  (S. Flynn reads additional Guiding Principles).  For example, me visiting Worcester Tech which is one of the top vocational schools in the county, we know we are never going to be able to offer such a broad range of programs like Worcester Tech does, nor does that even feel necessary; they are the technical high school for the Worcester area but there are things within their programs we feel we can pull from and begin to make our own.  (S. Flynn reads additional Guiding Principles).  You are getting a sense of my thinking is on moving forward specifically around career vocational and technical education.   The visits I have had thus far are listed on the update and summary.  I went to Taconic High School and met with Tammy Gage who previously used to work with Berkshire Works and Berkshire County Employment Board.  She was really helpful to me in terms of giving me a little bit of introductory “get ready for this” and the CVTE world.  I took copious notes and I wasn’t even close to being ready but I am getting there.  #2 was I took four faculty to McCann Tech and we met with the superintendent and principal and toured the building and visited specific teachers and programs and pulled a lot of great resources from them.  I mentioned the Worcester Tech program recently.  I took Gordie Soule, a teacher at Monument, and a student as well as the advisor to our Project Sprout program, Jen Salinetti, who is a parent of a freshman at Monument, and we visited Housatonic Valley in Falls Village and they have a vibrant agriculture program and probably a third of their students are very involved in it.  Beyond that, I think once the word got out that somebody was going to be holding this position for the first time in a really long time, I think there was a lot of excitement on the part of the community relative to possibilities and wanting to provide some sort of input.  I have had a number of meeting and I tried to capture as many of them as I could.  The ones that are specifically pointed toward CVTE in terms of getting input and working on developing partnerships and potentially collaborating, include working with Mass Immersive and Josh Spapiro who is a Monument graduate specifically on working on a collaborative model for using design and technology.  Josh is the director of community development at Mass Immersive which is the big project they are trying to use for the economic development in North Adams.  They are going to be building a two football field long museum around extreme model railroad and architecture.  He is working on student being involved in the fabricating of those exhibits like Grand Central Station model as well as the Brooklyn Bridge.  The students are going to have an opportunity to some video taping as well.  In addition, Construct is going through their own real deep look at providing better support for sustainable futures for the people coming to our area.  Jane Wolfe and Jane Ralph started an advisory and they are doing a lot of planning and I was fortunate to be referred to them by Diane.  We met and now they are on our CVTE advisory committee and also began to meet with some of our teachers as well.  I had a meeting with Greenagers and Berkshire Environmental team which is Will Conklin and Elia Delmolino in thinking about ways we can collaborate with really strong existing community programs and support what we are doing at Monument.  There were meetings with Tony Saxton from Terra Container Farms and Great Barrington Agric. Commission with Vivian Orlowski.  I also gave a presentation to the Next Steps Committee and some community members that wanted to share their vision.  I think the meeting where I went with a lot of color in my face to no color in my face was when Dave Edmonds from the state came and gave us a number of us a presentation about what CVTE done at a high standard looks like and the requirements of that.  He was actually fantastic.  He has been a fantastic resource for me and has been made himself available for all the questions I had.  That was a really productive meeting and really helped form my decision making.  The additional school visits I have planned are Shawsheen Technical High School, they have a really robust program; Bristol Agricultural is one of the largest agriculture programs I think in New England.  It is specifically they have the largest Future Farmers of America program which is something we are bringing back to Monument for the first time in a long time.  Sanborn High School in NH and Souhegan High School in NH that is associated with our work with Great Schools Partnership.  Those are two schools that have been recognized as outstanding schools for us to considered relative to looking at their programs, around deep interdisciplinary learning.  They have really addressed the issues really well.  We are looking forward to going up there as as team.  I thought it was important to mention culinary.  Not necessarily how we are going to offer a culinary program but we know that there are good resources that we could create some sort of hybrid partnership given the community resources that we have; given the resources at BCC in South County and the redevelopment they are going through with their campus down there and the apprenticeships that Railroad Street Youth Project offers.  We had a neighbor of Rich Dohoney’s reach out.  He is a retired lawyer from New York City.  He literally retired the day before he met with me; he wanted to start a similar program he had with his law students in the pro bono work he did with them and had them do and specifically a pretrial program.  I reached out to Kathleen Kinne who was also a former practicing attorney.  She had run a mock trial program through Berkshire School so we partnered with them and our social studies teacher Brian Leslie and now eight students are doing a deep dive into the law through a mock trial program.  We are trying to look for ways we can be partnering with project-based learning and look for ways to bring the community into our experience in a way that isn’t seen as an add on but becomes more central to the learning that is going on in the students’ experience.  This can be used a a model to bring more of these things into the experience moving forward.

CVTE plans moving forward:

  1. We will be implementing a S-P2 safety training unit in each of our CVTE programs during the 2nd semester. We figured with would be a shared unit of some sort. We decided to start with safety and Chris D’Aniello brought a great package to our attention called SP2 safety training unit. All of our programs will be going through some sort of safety unit.  At the end of that unit, all of the students who take the test and pass it, hopefully they will all pass it, they will get some sort of microcredential.  This takes me to the next step of that process, is one of the things that became really evident in talking with Dave Edmonds is one of the things that really differentiates a good program from a great program is that a number of really strong programs find ways to create opportunities for students to get certifications and microcredentials while they are still in high school.  There are more of those coming forward and the state smiles broadly when they see those things come forward.  In a lot of ways, it provides students with an opportunity to go into a beginning process and come out on the other side feeling like they have something they can actually put on a resume.  It is a way in celebrating some success they have and it is a way of following a process if they were going out to get licensed in a trade.  They will have to continue to get licenses as they go forward as adults so it is a great start.
  2. Automotive will be applying for ASE Light Maintenance and Repair certification
  3. Horticulture/ Agriculture will be convening a meeting with community partners and faculty to create project based learning experiences which could include a chainsaw certification unit as well as possibly interdisciplinary unit next year in Biology and our People and Environment course. Bill Florek has run a really fantastic curriculum through our agriculture program and he has an advisory that has consistently met over a number of years but we our enrollment is lower there than we would like it to be. We feel like much of that has to do with its physical proximity. They nature of a comprehensive that tends to be largely driven by a college-bound student body, is that students takes courses toward graduation and pursuing college and the way in which we schedule students, tends to create this silent approach to learning.  There is not much migration across disciplines.  There is not a tremendous incentive for students to go down for one period of agriculture right now when there are other electives to choose from there.  We think there are a few things we could be doing to try to grow the program and the relationship in ways we collaborate better.  There is a lot of science in Bill’s program that we want to take a longer look at down the road.  Specifically we are meeting tomorrow morning with faculty members and having them come down to the greenhouse to be talking about ways they can be collaborative.  For example, we can be providing a chainsaw certification unit for both students in our agriculture program as well as student in our automotive program as well as our wood technology program.  Bill could be teaching a unit on tractor driving certification, Chris D’Aniello could be teaching a unit on small engine repair so they could be collaborating on those.  We think there is also opportunity for our science programs to be collaborating.
  4. We have applied to and will receive $90,000 from Project Lead The Way for funding for training to offer courses in Introduction to Engineering and Design, Principles of Engineering, and Computer Science Essentials and Computer Science Principles. These will specifically support students enrolled in Autotech, Woodtech, Computer Science Education as well as the new Advanced Manufacturing pathway. One of the things we thought about was again thinking more collaboratively about using the sense of community we have and better integrating across disciplines. Aaron Fisher is a science teacher who has a great background in applied science.  He taught freshman science class called Science and Technology and it got bumped out of the curriculum because of biology becoming the entry point for 9th graders in order to take MCAS.  He was excited and came with us on the trips to McCann Tech and Worcester Tech to want to offer applied science class for students who are thinking about wanting to go into the trades and maybe into advanced manufacturing or applied engineering.  We think there is a cohort of students that we could help that would really capture that and help deepen their understanding of the science behind a lot of the trades they are going to need to know about moving forward.  K. Farina – One thing about the Project Lead the Way grant is some of the fund are actually dedicated to the middle school so our plan is to start Project Lead the Way programs in 6th grade and over the next three years, phase it into 6th, 7th and 8th grade exposure to this programming which will also support building the connection to the programs at the high school that Sean is talking about.  S. Flynn – that grant in addition to two other grants I will tell you a little more about, they would not have happened with Krista Farina.  She has been invaluable to us.  The way in which those grants came off, they really represented the best of us.
  5. Our Wood Tech teacher., John Hartcorn, put in a course proposal with our Art teacher, Neil Weber, for a Design and Build course for students to learn to use Design programs like CAD, Soft works etc.
  6. We will be doing a 9th grade Career Exploratory Unit with 9th grade English classes built around around Career Pathways and a career speaker series, guidance will be involved in career awareness unit and use curriculum through Naviance. All 9th graders will choose pathways they are interested in and will have an opportunity to listen to speakers from those different pathways. English teachers will be providing some sort of research project around a pathway or a career that they found or had some interest in.  They will write about and present.  Prior to the speaker series, the guidance department will also do a career awareness unit to get students started on our naviance college career readiness platform as well as doing resumes and getting students exposed to the language and ways in which you go about what careers are out there.
  7. Industry tours are being planned for each of the CVTE programs with community partners as well.
  8. CVTE General Advisory Committee convening at least 2 more times this year including a March 20th dinner. We will be doing more meetings given the implications for long range planning. This is a requirement for CVTE programs or schools that have CVTE programs. Given the nature of what we are embarking upon, I will be asking a large group of people to be part of that committee in what I think will be a year long process.  Ultimately, I would like to come back a year from now with recommendations for what direction we should be going long term based around a really thoughtful process that was inclusive of many community stakeholders.

I am going to talk about two grants that we applied for.  The first one is a bit more narrow in scope and it was kind of the gateway grant that lead to other grants.  DESE is sponsoring a grant opportunity for schools to create high quality career pathways that are built around the regional labor market blueprint.  In Berkshire County, the blueprint that was determined, the two major needs were around labor and industry in advanced manufacturing, medical care and hospitality/tourism.  We felt like it was a worthwhile grant for us to pursue without having to go through any hefty lift.  We felt like he had existing courses as well as staff; we had existing partnerships in the community where students could take part in the 100 hour internship, and we had a solid post-secondary partner in BCC.  We felt that it was logical for us to take a shot at this in a way we could start offering hybrid models for students to pursue career pathways without having to create brand new, full programs and try to add staff to them.  We felt is was a scalable model.  The guiding principles around it were  Equitable Access, Guided Pathways, which meant the courses and experiences they will pursue in this pathway will be endorsed by post-secondary institutions as well as the community partner, Enhanced Student Support is targeted to students we want to try to better support and more forward to sustainable futures by getting in earlier in their high school experience and finding ways to set them up and advise and support them in rich career opportunities, Relevant Connection to Careers and Deep Partnership- Schools, Post-Secondary, Workforce Dev. and Business.  (reads Our Rationale from Update and Summary)  The old model of if you are not going to college, then we should direct you toward a vocational program is way outdated and has been for for a long time.  We want to make sure that we are building systems and programs and procedures that have protocols that are actually much more explicit about what that looks like.  People can start to shift this mindset about the spectrum opportunities as opposed to college or non-college bound.  Ultimately, Boyd Technologies and Berkshire Innovation Center came forward to be our industry partner for advanced manufacturing and Fairview Hospital was instrumental and we already a presence at Fairview.  The other player in this has been Berkshire County Regional Employment Board; they signed onboard and has been great support.  All committed to 100 hour internship and earlier career exploration within the school/ classroom experience.  (Reads directly from Update & Summary) (Remaining presentation completely outlined in attached Update & Summary hitting all bullet points).  S. Bannon – that’s not bad for five months!  Questions/Comments?  B. Fields – Sean, I’m the co-chair of the Next Steps committee.  Could you briefly explain what the problems are with the building and how the need for a redesign or whatever we come up with, dovetails right into what you cannot do now but would hope to do with the next steps of the building.  S. Flynn – if we really want to create a better integrated education for our students considerably around students who are wanting to pursue things and aspects more associated with career technical education, it would be important for us to be sure that the flow of the building and the capacity would interact not just student to student but faculty member to faculty member across departments becomes more possible.  If we are going to have a vibrant agriculture program, it needs to be tied to our building better than it is right now.  Ideally, I would love to see it tied somewhere in close proximity to our science department where I think there could be many ways for rich collaboration.  The same things holds true with the automotive and trades.  There should be a way of having a more opportunities for project-based learning and collaboration and interaction among students and faculty in a wide range of areas.  B. Fields – having been at the high school for the years that I have, one of the problems  with the horticulture programs is the distance involved.  I know the KY governor says we are a bunch of wimps because we close schools when it gets cold but that is a deterrent to kids taking that program.  From school committee people that haven’t been in the greenhouse, and even if you have, try to put a class in there.  I subbed there.  The need for that to be almost knocked down and carted away.  S. Flynn – I think the emphasis in the world today is much more around greater collaboration, much more open ended work that better supports innovation on the fast paced nature of our economy, requires the students to be working in a way they are interacting more with teachers and teachers with each other rather than everything be around seat time in specific classroom for a short time.  If you go on to NextGen Learning or Mass Ideas website and see what is being made available to us, we are now part of a network of really cutting edge group of schools that are doing really dynamic work and really maximizing their resources in doing so.  S. Bannon – in the meeting last night, the state said you really need to have a horticulture program that is closer to the school but never tear down that building.  He was very clear on that.  S. Flynn – yes, he understands community so that is great.  He has been adamant about that actually.  D. Weston – transportation; if these internships require transportation and I am always interested in all having equal access is that going to be considered?  S. Flynn – that is really important.  Ideally, having access to a van or two particularly if we are having longer blocks of time with programs, a teacher could actually get off so Chris D’Aniello could take a group of students from the automotive program off site to Bachetti Automotive for example if he knew he had a block of time and some transportation to get him there.  Transportation will be really important.  In fact, for years, we have gone out of our way to make sure we never let transportation get in the way of a student having access to an internship.  We found ways to make that work.  We rode that van into the ground.  Somewhere along the way, it got towed away.  D. Weston – you just alluded to the scheduling being crucial.  There are core classes that have to be scheduled so there is time for the internship.  S. Flynn – right.  There are some pretty innovative models for scheduling.  We are taking a really hard look right now as part of our instructional lead group.  We are going to other high schools that have that innovative approach to their schedules.  J. St. Peter – I want to thank you for the great job you have done.  It is amazing.  Reading and listening to you, I am so glad we approved the position and more so that you took it.  I have been getting some feedback from the community and my kids are in the middle and elementary schools so some of those parents as well, people are looking for and I am not sure this is CVTE or the school in general, more health and wellness aspects.  Because we live in south county we have places like Canyon Ranch, Kripalu, etc.  I had had people wondering if yoga, OT, PT, wellness, health could be incorporated and that made a lot of sense to me.  I’m not asking for it now but maybe down the road.  Just getting kids those careers are available and part of the learning environment.  I think the district as a whole, we do a great job with Project Sprout and eating well, bottle ban, straws, but one aspect is the actual physical health of our students.  It is a huge industry going forward.  It would be great to have those programs in the school from a health perspective.  P. Dillon – so you want to see it as a career option as well as having it available to students?  J. St. Peter – more of a career thing as far as athletic trainers, yoga, that type of area.  It is a huge business that is significantly overlooked and people that do those jobs really seem to enjoy it.  B. Fields – it fits into your focus on medical care.  S. Flynn – what is kind of happening is everybody is taking a little piece of this.  The teacher that is currently teaching our anatomy/physiology class what thinking about other courses she could teach to get more students to be involved.  She was thinking about a student who might want to be an athletic trainer or strength and conditioning so she looked at what the requirements were to become a certified strength and conditioning coach and there is a segment related to psychology and another around physical fitness so she went and had a conversation with the psychology teacher to see if they could collaborate and then went to one of our physical education teachers to talk about that as a possibility.  That is really good thinking on your part; that is an industry that is available to us.  We would try to capture them in that medical care pathway, however, I think that we had some really good existing relationships with Kripalu over the years and we have an intern at Berkshire South and Crossfit and it has changed their lives.  We had a student who graduated from Monument who was interning at Crossfit his senior year who went on to become a professional Crossfitter.  J. St. Peter – like Bill said, just the proximity, just to walk 100 yards to the greenhouse, so if we ask people to go to Berkshire for this, that is going to be multiplied.  We can’t do everything at the school, but I think there needs to be a strong base at the school for whatever program there is with the space allowed and the monetary factor.  P. Dillon – We might want to look into replacing the van we ran into the ground and the other thing is running more buses in the context of Project Connection and after school we might come back to a thoughtful plan on mixed age buses at the end of the day so the kids have opportunities to get to different work sites for internships.  R. Dohoney – when you deciding about the areas to focus on, it is not processed purely with what the existing economy is in Southern Berkshires or is it an eye to building a work force toward different industries.  Where are you at in that thinking?  S. Flynn – it is really difficult.  We want to be attracting more people to this area and ideally that is going to need more industry to come this way in some capacity.  I think we need to be bringing as many people to the table as possible.  At the meeting last night, rather than go into a big lengthy planning process, we just had a big share out of the people at the table and the resources that were already in existence and the thinking that was there so that people began to be aware of what was happening around them.  The more we bring more people to the table to have conversations that could potentially lead to thinking about attracting industry or the type of things we are providing for students in our school so they are ready for whatever might be coming their way.  The most important things for us to be thinking about are relative specifically to CVTE is providing them with the types of skills they couldn’t possibly be allowed to work on in a work environment, because it is against the law because they are minors.  We know a student isn’t going to be able to go out and work necessarily in a garage at 15 or 16 years old, but if we can provide a safe setting for that to happen, we should be investing in that automotive program; we should be investing in a thing related to that trade.  Maybe a student can’t go out and be a carpenter’s apprentice until he is 18 but we can make sure he or she is getting a lot of reps with that and working on some really good quality hands-on experience so they are ready to go.  The other part of that is making sure we are preparing them for the habits of mind and the habits of being they will need in being successful in whatever field they are in.  If industry sees there is a really well educated workforce available to them in an area that is safe, hopefully has access to broadband and advanced technology, and where you can raise your families, all for the same reasons be decided to raise our families here, if you build it, they will come.  We have been in a deficit mindset for a very long time.  Rather than thinking about being aggressive and trying to think about ways of where our assets are and nobody has here, if they start to bring high speed rail in, how much quicker, and how much quicker it will be for people to get to metropolitan areas and see us as a resource.  If Pittsfield grows, we could do some dynamic work through Berkshire Innovation Center, that will benefit us as well.  D. Singer – once you look at the programs you want to offer, I think it would be really wonderful if it could be a full school scheduling; you could look at the requirements with the state but also if you are going to combine things like psychology and science, kids can satisfy much like they do with Fact and Fiction, which I think is an excellent course.  If  a lot of those kids who want to take a lot of courses but can’t get them in their schedule, if you can somehow change the scheduling, a lot of the kids can take them.  As an example, you have to fit gym into the schedule or tech, then you can’t take a lot of things.  Kids that are athletes or are in the play, get plenty of that in their day, can they not take gym and take something they would rather take to open them up.  S. Flynn – the idea with us having Aaron Fisher teaching class that would be an implied course, student would start looking beyond the departments and thinking about ways to have interconnected experiences.  The more we go into a collaborative, co-teaching schedule, I think more will open up.  Bill Florek, who is a science teacher, could be offering a class in plant based science that students could take for a science credit.  I don’t want to set him up to offer that right now, but we should be thinking more integratively and that type of approach.  S. Bannon – thank you Sean.

  • Public Comment
  • Written Comment

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

The next school committee meeting will be held on February 14, 2019 – Regular Meeting, Monument Valley Regional Middle School Student Center,  7pm

Meeting Adjourned at 7:17pm

Submitted by:

Christine M. Kelly, Recorder

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Christine M. Kelly, Recorder

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School Committee Secretary