June 25, 2017

HSB Meeting Minutes March 23, 2016


Hartford Board of School Directors
School Board Meeting Agenda
March 23, 2016 @ 7:00 pm
Hartford Town Hall

Board Members Present: Lori Dickerson, Paula Nulty, Peter Merrill, Nancy Russell, Kevin Christie (on speaker phone)

Administrators Present: Tom DeBalsi, Noel Bryant

Student Representatives: Luke LaFountaine, Madelyn Koff


1.  Call to Order: Lori Dickerson calls the meeting to order at 7:01 pm.  


2.  Consent Agenda

  • Minutes - Regular Meeting 3-9-2016: No changes made

  • Accept Resignations and Nominations

    • The following staff members are resigning: Tom Eberhart (HHS/HMMS looping guidance counselor), Kate Kenny (HMMS art teacher), Rob Hemmings (HHS Social Studies teacher), Louisa Vanderberg (Allied Medical, HACTC), and Laurie Gould (HHS math teacher).

    • The following staff members are retiring: Sarah Spaulding (OQS paraeducator), Al Flory (HACTC guidance counselor), Robert Gattie (HHS music teacher), Ellen Langtree-Roberts (HHS art teacher), Cherrie Torry (DBS 5th grade teacher),  Marcia Peterson (OQS librarian), Joan White (HMMS 6th grade teacher), Cheryl Shattie (DBS 3rd grade teacher), and Hessie Harris.

    • Tom DeBalsi thanks the retiring and resigning faculty/staff for their years of service.

  • Peter Merrill moves to accept the consent agenda as presented with thanks to those retiring and with accepting the resignations. Nancy Russell seconds. A unanimous verbal vote passes the motion (5 yes, 0 no).


3.   Changes, Additions and Approval of Agenda

  • Peter Merrill moves to accept the agenda as presented. Paula Nulty seconds. A unanimous verbal vote passes the motion (5 yes, 0 no).


4.   Public Comments relative to items not on the Agenda

  • Cherrie Torry, a 5th grade teacher at DBS, tells the board about the Empty Bowls event at DBS, which raised over $1,500 for the Friday Food Bag program that sends food home over the weekend with students who might not have access to any. The 3rd-5th grade made bowls and all the students were able to glaze them; 200 of the 300 bowls made were sold. She would like to thank the community for all of their support. Also, the association team is looking forward to meeting with the board tomorrow since there are several items that have already been agreed upon. Making more headway tomorrow, would mean a shorter list for the fact finder. She states that the budget cut is already starting to hit the schools hard and that a close look needs to be taken at the working conditions and salary schedule so staff will want to come to Hartford and to stay.

    • Lori Dickerson responds that the tax base is larger in the other towns that teachers are leaving to teach in. The school board is sensitive of respecting teachers and taxpayers while always thinking about the students.

  • Jeff Arnold, a Hartford resident, looked into the differences between the tax bases of Hartford, Hanover, and Lebanon, finding a 30% difference between the Hanover/Lebanon and Hartford. He suggests that money is set aside to allow principals to dole out to teachers performance bonuses. He points out that the staff member filling in as the librarian at HHS is not a certified specialist, and he also wonders when the cuts will be explained to the town.

    • Tom DeBalsi answers that Nelson Fogg is holding informational meetings with coaches, parents, and athletes about the redistribution of the athletic director’s duties. While he is not opposed to discussing the cuts, there is still some movement possible since letters of intent are not due until the start of April. He wants to be sensitive to the situation. Lori Dickerson adds that addressing the cuts can be a future agenda item.


5.   Items Requiring Board Discussion and Possible Action

  • Hazing, Harassment and Bullying Policy and Procedures – 2nd Reading with Proposed Revisions

    • Peter Merrill did some research after the last reading, finding that economic status is not a protected class. In regards to the educational training around compliance with the procedure, the entire correct procedure is now in the document.

    • Paula Nulty would like a brief description of Title IX to be included. She also wonders if there is any disciplinary action around complaints that occur and are proven true. Peter Merrill answers that immediate disciplinary action is taken in cases (i.e. a student punches another student) and then the procedure is followed to see if the behavior is considered hazing, harassment, or bullying.

    • Cherrie Torry wonders if there is a policy and procedure for staff. Peter Merrill answers that this policy is in response to new language from the state that came out and was directed only at students. The district’s existing policy, which covered both staff and students, will be edited to be focused on staff only.

    • Nancy Russell moves to accept the procedure as well as the policy of hazing, harassment, and bullying with the addition of the Title IX explanation. Paula Nulty seconds. A unanimous verbal vote passes the motion (5 yes, 0 no).

    • Lori Dickerson thanks the committee for their work.


  • Policy Governance - Board Work Plan Development and Calendar

    • Tom DeBalsi shares a draft calendar that could be used by the board to check compliance with its duties and policies. The calendar starts in March with the turnover and attempts to coordinate policies with the natural flow of work that happens. With previous boards, a member would take a policy, review it, and interpret it for the board. When the board was unsure about a policy, they would request a report for more information. This process helped lead the board to have in-depth knowledge about how the district runs.

    • Peter Merrill shares that the idea of the calendar is to explicitly set out what the board cares about and what is important to the functionality of the school district. It’s  easy to focus on current events and he feels this will help discipline the board. In the past, he found the practice of having board members “adopt” a policy was a great educational tool.

    • Kevin Christie concurs that the board needs to have a degree of focus around issues/concerns, which can be achieved by establishing goals and objectives. Examining the policies to ensure they are on track will refocus the board’s energy, resulting in a stronger board and district.

    • Lori Dickerson found training in the past very valuable and feels the board should go through training again. The last training helped her see that the board should have a policy to look at for every issue that comes to the board, and that the board should in turn be using those policies to address the issues.

    • The board agrees that there should be a retreat or additional meeting for training, possibly in late April or early May.

  • Floor Meeting Agenda and Preparation

    • Tom DeBalsi shares the draft agenda with the board. During the meeting, there will be a short video to recognize a reward a DBS counselor received and a student will read the speech that the speech club won the state championship with. This will happen toward the start of the meeting.

    • The board decides that there should also be a handout of other student and faculty/staff in the district who have been recognized on a state or national level.

    • Peter Merrill volunteers to read the the resolution for the school board.

    • The board decides to keep the current salary rates for board members ($50 per meeting, $150 per year for the chair, and $75 per year for the clerk).


  • Subcommittee/Liaison Reports

    • Student Representatives

      • Luke LaFountaine reports that fifteen HHS students joined the National Honor Society. Students auditioned and were selected to participate in the New England Music Festival in Grantham, New Hampshire. There was a three day Social Studies/History trip to D.C. Pizzazz is on 3/31 and 4/1 in the HHS auditorium.  

      • Madelyn Koff shares that the 8th grade transition night was today.  Students and administration presented, followed by tours of HHS. There was a meeting for the Peru trip, which will occur next November break.

      • Noel Bryant shares that four freshmen went to a League of Innovative Schools conference in Massachusetts around PBL. She also would like to take students on the South Portland visit.

    • Policy

      • Peter Merrill reports that the committee began work on the policies around athletics, regarding coaches, students, and fans. After not finding much to base the policies off of in the surrounding area, the committee is conducting research. They are discussing their aims and the overarching themes wanted from the policies (i.e. athletics is an extension of the classroom, character building is more important than winning).  

    • Consolidation

      • Kevin Christie shares that he was contacted by representatives from the Windsor consolidation group and is in the process of scheduling a time to meet, possibly in the last week of April.

    • HCC

      • Nancy Russell attended the meeting this afternoon and the committee is working on plans for the next community picnic tentatively planned for 6/1 (rain date on 6/8). There will be bands and food for 700 people since it is in combination with the Listen Center’s dinner.

      • Lori Dickerson reminds the board about the documentary “The Other Side of Cannabis: The Negative Effects of Marijuana on our Youth” that is showing 4/4 at 6 pm in the HHS auditorium.

    • Select Board

      • Lori Dickerson and Rebecca White have coordinated meetings; Lori Dickerson will attend the first Selectboard meeting and Rebecca White will attend the second school board meeting each month.

    • HACTC – RAB

      • Tom DeBalsi shares that the committee went on a bus trip to look at the new building in the Brookemeade development. They also discussed the number of students applying, which looks healthy.

    • Partnership

      • Tom DeBalsi reports that he met with superintendents and school board representatives from surrounding schools (Hanover, Mascoma, Lebanon, and Windsor), talking about sharing some of the costs and benefits of professional development. They also discussed sharing summer camp staff around robotics and STEM programs as well as special education.


6.  Incidental Information

  • Discussion of Future Items for Board Consideration

    • Lori Dickerson would like to talk about changes in staffing.

    • Peter Merrill would like to address the issue of the acting HHS librarian not having the proper credentials.  

    • Peter Merrill will choose one or two policies for the next meeting to demonstrate the process for discussing them.

  • Showing of “Most Likely to Succeed”

    • Nancy Russell and Lori Dickerson will attend the showing on Friday (8:30 am in the HHS auditorium).


7.  Adjournment


8:27 Peter Merrill moves to adjourn the meeting. Nancy Russell seconds. A unanimous verbal vote passes the motion (4 yes, 0 no).



Draft Respectfully Submitted 3/25

Hannah Prescott