October 23, 2017

HSB Meeting Minutes from March 8, 2017


Hartford Board of School Directors
School Board Meeting Agenda
March 8, 2017 @ 7:00 pm
Hartford Town Hall

Board members present: Kevin Christie, Lori Dickerson, Peter Merrill, Nancy Russell, Michelle Boleski

Administrators present: Tom DeBalsi, Noel Bryant


1.   Call to Order: Tom DeBalsi calls the meeting to order at 7:04 pm.


2.   Reorganization of the Board:

  • Oath of Office for Newly Elected Board Directors: All of the board members take the Oaths of Allegiance and Office and sign the Hartford Code for School Board Members.

  • Nominations for Board Chair: Peter Merrill proposes to let those interested nominate themselves. Lori Dickerson and Kevin Christie put their names forward to be the board chair. The nominations are seconded. The board votes: two votes for Lori Dickerson and three votes for Kevin Christie. The board and Tom DeBalsi express their gratitude for Lori Dickerson’s service as board chair the past years.

  • Nominations for Board Clerk: Peter Merrill nominates Lori Dickerson as board clerk. The nomination is seconded. A unanimous verbal votes passes the motion (5 yes, 0 no).


3.   Public Comments:

  • Peter Merrill speaks to the Valley News article that contained an error around David Laurin’s involvement with the failed track bond.

  • Lori Dickerson speaks to teacher and support staff negotiations, which are at an impasse in part due to the future change in health care plans. A professional mediator will assist the parties with negotiations.

  • Kim Souza, John Hall, Lucy Danger, Griffin Shumway, and other residents ask if the current school board would reconsider the invitation to the committee forming around racial injustice in the community.


4.  Changes, Additions and Approval of Agenda:

  • Peter Merrill suggests that the agenda planning portion be moved before the Consent Agenda.

  • Tom DeBalsi suggests adding the 3-4-2017 meeting minutes to the Consent Agenda and an executive session around the bond vote.  

  • Peter Merrill moves to change the agenda as noted. The motion is seconded. A unanimous verbal votes passes the motion (5 yes, 0 no).


5. Agenda Planning

  • Peter Merrill moves to add two items to the next board meeting on 3-22-2017: the school board participation in the committee around racial injustice, and a superintendent monitoring report about the status of school district policies around racial inequality.


6.   Consent Agenda  

  • Minutes

    • Regular Meeting Minutes  2-8-2017

    • Special Meeting Minutes 2-27-2017

    • Community Day Meeting Minutes 3-4-2017

  • No Approval needed but informational only:

    • Pre-Town Meeting Minutes 2-27-2017

  • Nominations/Resignations/Leave of Absence Requests for Professional Staff

    • Noah Detzer and Gretchen Allen are resigning. Megan Wilson is requesting a leave of absence to study abroad and research in Spain.

  • Lori Dickerson moves to table the minutes of 3-4-2017 until the next meeting. The motion is seconded. A unanimous verbal votes passes the motion (5 yes, 0 no).

  • Nancy Russell moves to accept the consent agenda. The motion is seconded. A unanimous verbal votes passes the motion (5 yes, 0 no).


7.   Items Requiring Board Discussion and Possible Action

  • Policy EL 9.4 Communication and Support to the Board – Incidental Information

    • Noel Bryant and Cathy Newton attended a program at the Center for Creative Leadership.


  • Policy EL 7 Asset Protection – Preliminary Solar Project Discussion

    • Mike McCarthy from SunCommon shares a preliminary proposal and timeline for adding solar panels to the roofs of the high school and middle school, explaining the benefits, sharing an example and description of the type of panels that would be used, and reviewing the financial benefits. The first payment and installation  could occur in late 2017 and the first year savings should be around $12,400. Mike McCarthy will supply more information in an email to Tom DeBalsi around insurance and what would happen if SunCommon closes.


  • Annual Review of the Ends – Part 2 Elementary Schools and HACTC School Reports

    • Noel Bryant recaps the discussion from the previous school reports around Act 77, EQS, and the overlap between the Ends policies and the proficiencies.

    • Rick Dustin-Eichler, DBS principal; Cathy Newton, OQS principal; and Sheila Powers, WRS principal, all review how their respective schools use the summative and formative assessments that are administered to inform instruction and change at the schools. Additionally, all discuss how the schools are approaching and working on proficiency and personalization, and data around creating a safe and secure learning environment.

    • There is a trend of more intensive needs that are on the rise around self-regulation. The principals speak to how issues around race and diversity appear and are handled at the elementary level. Each principal shares an aspect of the STAR assessment.

    • Doug Heavisides, HACTC director, shares 2015 FAUPL (Formally Agreed Upon Performance Level indicators) data and the consequent focus on math. He speaks to the center’s approach to proficiency and personalization, and steps taken to create a safe and secure learning environment. He has also seen an increase in student needs, and how the center is dealing with issues such as attendance. The culture of the center lends itself to celebrating and welcoming diversity, so issues around race are rare.


  • EL 4 Financial Condition and Activities - Brookmeade Development Infrastructure Construction Bid

    • Doug Heavisides shares the four bids and recommends Potter Construction, the lowest of the confirming bids at $271,124.00.

    • The open house is April 1 and 8 from 10 am - 2 pm.

    • Peter Merrill moves to accept the recommendation of the Potter Construction bid. The motion is seconded. A unanimous verbal votes passes the motion (5 yes, 0 no).


  • Policy GP 3 Board Job Outcomes - Board Member Committee Reports

    • Nancy Russell thanks Luke Mattern and Springfield Auto for his generosity and continued support.


8.  Meeting Review/Evaluation and Agenda Planning:

  • Kevin Christie leads the board through the evaluation of tonight’s meeting.

  • For the next meeting: A discussion about the change in presentation delivery from the principals, school board participation in the committee around racial injustice, and a superintendent monitoring report about the status of school district policies around racial inequality.



9. Executive Session:

10:10 pm Peter Merrill moves that the Board enter into Executive Session to discuss a contract issue under the provisions of Title 1, Section 313(a) (1) of the Vermont Statutes. The motion is seconded. A unanimous verbal vote passes the motion (5 yes, 0 no).



10. Adjournment:

There was no action taken.

The meeting adjourned at 11:05 pm.


Draft respectfully submitted 3/11/17 by:
Hannah Prescott