Great Barrington               Stockbridge         West Stockbridge



September 1, 2016 – 7:00 p.m.


School Committee:    S. Bannon,  A. Potter, J. St. Peter, R. Bradway, C. Shelton, F. Clark, R. Dohoney,   D.Weston

Administration:          P. Dillon,

Staff/Public:               M. Berle, B. Doren, M. Young, S. Soule, Kate Burdsall, Joshua Briggs

Absent:                       S. Harrison,  W. Fields, K. Piasecki

List of Documents Distributed:

BHRSD School 08-18-2016 Committee minutes; September 01, 2016 agenda; September 01, 2016 Pers. Report; Letter from Massachusetts Department of Elementary; Secondary Education – Response to Tuition; World Languages Study Abroad in Ecuador request; 2017-Parent and School Board Info for Study Abroad in Ecuador

RECORDER NOTE: Meeting being transcribed after the fact from recording provided by CTSB. Length of meeting: 48 min



Chairman Steve Bannon called the meeting to order @ 7:00pm



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 and will be broadcast at a later date. Meeting is also being recorded by the Committee Recorder, other Committee members and members of the audience. Minutes will be transcribed and made public, as well as added to our website, once approved.



BHRSD School Committee minutes for:

06-02-2016;  08-18-2016 – presented by S.Bannon for Committee approval

R.Bradway made Motion to approve minutes:     Seconded: D.Weston     Approved: By Majority vote        Abstained: A.Potter abstained on both sets of Committee minutes.





P.Dillon: Couple days of a wonderful work. Great day and breakfast put together by Kathy Sullivan and her crew. Bill Fields and Andy Potter joined the breakfast.  Things ares are quiet for the superintendent first week of school but ramp up during second week. The principals, assistant principals, teachers, and paras are doing a great job.



Muddy Brook Elementary School (MBE)

  1. Berle, Principal:
  • recommitted to responsive classroom: social emotional program that focuses on building relationships with kids and pre-teaching routines.
  • Lynn Shaw has retired after decades of service to the district. Wanted to publicly thank her for all her contributions to MBE, especially the Kindergarten program.
  • New program: Girls on the Run- a national program with Berkshire Health Systems and Adrian Conklin in particular at Macony Pediatrics. Very pro-social after-school activity w/ trained coaches from the Girls on the Run national program. Families received information about in their welcome packets, can sign up for a fee or apply for scholarships.
  • really done a very beautiful job. Never seen such an earnest and hard-working group of people. Their classrooms are just beautiful and it’s been incredibly fun to welcome and support them.
  • Emily Olds has come from the high school to MBE- really energizing & building a wonderful approach english as a second language. Very grateful as we have 17 new students who do not speak English as their first language at home. Support for teachers and reaching out to families.

Monument Valley Middle School (DBM)

  1. Doren, Principal:
  • Introduce new Vice Principal, Miles Wheat. Lots of work since July 1 but we hit the ground running.

M.Wheat, Vice Principal:

  • built a advisory curriculum: social-emotional development of the kids and forming strong relationships in small groups. Built a program that will shepherd teachers through implementation through mid-December.  By then, he’ll be partnering  w/ teachers to run the curriculum out and document it through the end of the year; leave us with something in place that we can just start up again next year pretty smoothly.


  • Miles ran a PD for two hours on Monday morning for the teachers and the advisors, which was very well received and appreciated.
  • Hired 11 new teachers for DBM this year.
  • Students back- bringing lots of missed energy with them.
  • We have instruction crafted around some of the highest needs kids- whether they are advanced /exceptional kids or students who struggle in closing gaps
  • Amazing para crew doing a lot of work. Well placed and even though they’re moving about the building so much, they really are doing what they love to do: to help kids and working with teachers. Great team approached, loved so much at DBM.

Monument Mountain Regional High School (MMRHS)

  1. Young, Principal:
  • Welcomed the 50th year of students: the Seniors will be the 50th graduating class at MMRHS. Senior class ~150 students.
  • Freshman convocation went well- split day went well- still having the morning /the building by themselves. Welcomed 125 freshman.
  • Pleased with number of 10th through 12th graders that came to school yesterday. There was some concern that half day would be viewed as not important but very few students were absent yesterday.
  • State regulations do allow for a 180-day waiver, if demonstrate an innovative program that influences the instruction of students. Monument faculty will clearly be able to create that program and will be presented to the Commissioner.
  • Berkshire magazine this month they did a column on the ideal school size & Monument fits in the in the ideal school size of 500-700.
  • Tom Hankey spent his summer earning metals bowling. Article in Berkshire Eagle- article not only celebrates him but he talked about how important it is to be part of a team and what he’s learned on the Monument bowling team has just given him another perspective.
  • Kevin Costello is a national Rubik’s Cube competitor. Met with him this morning he wants to bring a Rubik’s Cube position to Monument in November, so we’ll be hosting that.
  • An exchange student from Spain with us this year.
  • Mike Gillespie joined Monument as band director. Brought first band camp to MMRHS. Around 25-30 students came over three evenings to work with Mike. He is very much a marching band musician, he was part of the Penn State marching band.

tudy Abroad Proposal, Dan Bouvier:

Chose a mountain city in Equador because the Zika virus cannot exist at the high altitudes. In Ecuador they have a colonial city named Cuenca just about 400.000, people that’s been named the top retiree destination for Americans on a budget for last six years. Everyday is high of 72 degrees and a 50 degree low. School Center, Inc funding to allow me to go spent a week visiting classes, with a host family, speaking to the director of the school.  Really excited about doing the trip. Asking for permission to do a trip very similar to all others. Focus: the students would take language classes for four hours a day in the morning and then be with host families in the afternoon with two different sorts of activities: cultural, touristy, community service, cultural exchange with other young people. Weekends learn Incan / Spaniard history. Estimating a little high, just over $2,500 – never charged over $2,500. To help students who can’t afford it: School Center, Inc. and Berkshire Taconic Foundation and small gifts. In past, students who have needed a little bit of a boost, we put them in contact with different granting agencies that have allowed some students to go for less than half the price of the total trip. That connection will certainly happen again.

D.Weston made a Motion to approve the trip      Seconded: R.Bradway


C.Shelton: Asked about altitude sickness affecting the students and ruining the trip?

D.Bouvier: Altitude is 8,200 ft. Won’t ruin the trip. On second day there, was hiking in mountains at 10,000 ft and could feel the shortness of oxygen. Wouldn’t take the students on a mountain hike within the first couple days, giving time to adjust. Headache is a common symptom.

Approved: Unanimously

Joshua Briggs, Director of Learning and PD:

This Summer:

  • 96 Summer Fellowships- online classes, Holyoke- Math Institute and work with Michael Flynn building curriculum that works here, curriculum development on our campus going into Atlas.
  • Project Connection- last year’s $30k Service Learning grant went into developing this Summer’s programs.
  • Service Learning- where students could go on the community and have some impact. . Service learning is where students are asked to work with community partners to identify an actual problem in their community. They’re asked to brainstorm a solution to that problem and then they’re asked to actually put that solution into practice and all of this is directly tied to the curriculum. Worked to enhance programs with Berkshire Co-op Market and GreenAgers
  • Made a chicken run for Bluebird Farm; Made trail-head bench for The Nature Conservancy; Berkshire Botanical Gardens to protect pollinators in our community and another group focused on food waste in our schools.
  • Applying for another grant in that area. If we get it would be for two years and we would build more on the curriculum and develop a curriculum or vision is to have a whole service learning component to the summer project connection and hopefully use that to infuse some of those ideas into our school.
  • New Hires: 7 new teachers at MBE, 6 new teachers and three new paras and other faculty at DBM, 3 new teachers at MMRHS. Of those, 6 are new to the profession. last week we had a two-day orientation- teachers spent the morning at the district office talking about vision and goals, making generative mistakes and taking risks.  Technology set-up. Spent time with Kate Burdsall talking about how to teach all classroom students. Other half the time they were down at the buildings- working w principles, meeting staff, doing tours, getting to know curriculum. All new teachers are paired up with their master teacher mentors who work with them throughout the entire year to help guide them through their work & help them get to know the community. New teachers and the second-year mentoring- have 23 mentorship relationships happening right now. For the six new to the profession- we’ll be starting our bi-weekly small group meetings / induction sessions to talk about best practices. Will address problems, bring in teachers from our from our school community to present to them. Another layer of support for these teachers.
  • Want to stress, probably the best money that we can invest in our schools is investing in these new teachers where we’re helping support them and they’re in their first years, helping keep them as part of our community and with the stipends to these master teachers’ mentors.


  • Berkshire County Task Force- N/A with Summer
  • Southern Berkshire Shared Services Project(SBSSP)- N/A with Summer
  • Regional Agreement Amendment Process- N/A with Summer
  • Discussions with Shaker Mountain, Lee & Farmington River- N/A with Summer



  • Policy Sub Committee- Clark:
    • We have a proposal for reviewing how the valedictorian and salutatorian are selected at MMRHS. We would like to address that next time. The policy committee has asked Mrs. Young & Dr. Dillon to solicit the faculty and to review the background information on how Valedictorian, Salutatorian and other related honors are awarded. Also, other high school issues by taking some time to talk about graduation & reviewing requirements.
    • Would like to propose the School Committee itself did a self-evaluation to find out if there are any specific issues and how we’re doing. MA Association has a questionnaire template we discussed with the school committee. Would like the go-ahead to do this- questionnaire to be returned beginning of October.

F.Clark makes a Motion that the School Committee conduct a self-evaluation review.       Seconded: C.Shelton           Approved:  Unanimously

  • Building and Grounds Sub Committee- R.Bradway: Haven’t met
  • Superintendent’s Evaluation Sub Committee- D.Weston: Met last evening. Dr. Dillon presented evidence for goals. Next step: to write it up in state format, discuss with sub-committee, then bring to SC, then get together with partners from Shaker Mountain School Union to bring them into process and start anew,
  • Technology Sub Committee-R.Bradway: Haven’t met.
    • Dohoney: Would like to see a way to have student information be auto generated from year-to-year rather than repeat the SAME info every year on long forms for every student.
    • Dillon: Hope/intention is for next year to only be form for new or changed information.
  • Finance Sub Committee- R.Dohoney: Meeting Sept 14 @ 6pm- District Office
  • Regional Agreement Amendment Committee- S.Bannon: Meeting September 20 @ 6pm- District Office
  • District Consolidation and Sharing Committee- R.Dohoney: Haven’t met
    • Dillon: SC Meeting set for September 15, 2016 has been cancelled due to a meeting with Shaker Mountain School Union in Richmond @ 5pm being scheduled the same evening.



  • Certified Appointments
  • Non-Certified Appointments
  • Resignation
  • Extra-Curricular Appointments

                                                                                                          September 1, 2016 Personnel Report

Name                                                             Position                                                                 Fund                   Salary/Stipend

                                                                                                                                                            Source                    Effective Date:

Non-Certified Appointment(s):
Gardino, MarthaKitchen Helper – Monument MountainEffective 8/25/16 @ $11.00/hr.

6 hr./day (workday 6 hr./day)

(Replaces Rebecca Childs)

Lindsay-Negrich, AngelKitchen Helper – Monument MountainEffective 8/25/16 @ $11.00/hr.

6 hr./day (workday 6 hr./day)

(Replaces Sally Herrick)

Fox, JudithParaprofessionalEffective 8/30/2016 @$11.25/hr.

6.5/hr./day (workday 7/hr./day)

(Replaces Mary Huggins)

Leave of Absence:
Kahlstrom, LindaParaprofessionalEffective 08/30/16 for apx. 12 weeks
Heath, ElizabethParaprofessional


Effective 8/30/2016
Dean, CliffordCustodian Supervisor – MMRHSRetroactive to 7/1/16 @ $19.86/hr.

8/hrs./day  (workday 8.5 hrs./day)

(Replaces Ed Frigon)

Hall, JodyAssistant Cook – MBRESEffective 8/23/2016 @ $13.96/hr.

7.5 hr./day (workday 7.5/hrs/day)

(Replaces Dawn Barenski)

May, BenjaminParaprofessional – Monument Mountain08/22/2016
Barenski, DawnAssistant Cook – Muddy Brook08/12/2016
Extra-Curricular Appointment(s):

(coaches/advisors/project leaders, etc.)

(All 2016-2017 unless otherwise noted)Fund Source
Monument Mountain  
Henry, KyleVarsity Volleyball  Coach – MMRHSStipend: $4,108
Martin, DennisAssistant Football Coach – MMRHSStipend: $2,566
Wilson, PeterAssistant Football Coach – MMRHSStipend:  $2,566
Muddy Brook
Auger, MarySummer Fellowship-Literacy Intervention(25015)Stipend: $500(grant funded)
Minkler, BarbaraSummer Fellowship-Literacy Intervention(25015)Stipend: $500(grant funded)
Olds, MelindaSummer Fellowship-Social Emotional Development(25015)Stipend: $500(grant funded)
Pevzner, AngelaEarly Morning Drop-Off – MBRES-.5 hr./each day½ hour – current rate of pay
Way, CarolSummer Fellowship-Literacy Intervention(15015)Stipend: $500(grant funded)
Lovett, JuneReceivables, Clerk – Food Services20100-FSStipend:  $500













F.Clark: Letter from Massachusetts Department of Elementary; Secondary Education – Response to letter asking the State about setting tuition rates between districts. State responded: That is not what is enabled right now in state law and so the state doesn’t have to do it. Commissioner Chester is saying that if the law is to be changed, it should be approached through Legislation and not the Department of Education. It was suggested that the same calculation model that applies to vocational schools be used throughout the state as it is based on actual independent cost.


Motion to Adjourn: D.Weston    Seconded: A.Potter     Approved: Unanimous

Meeting Adjourned at 7:48pm

Reminder Note: Meeting set for September 15, 2016 has been cancelled due to a meeting with Shaker Mountain School Union in Richmond @ 5pm being scheduled the same evening.

The next meeting is scheduled for September 29, 2016 – Meet & Confer – Stockbridge District Office – PD room – 7pm

Submitted by:


Rebecca Burcher, Recorder




School Committee Secretary