October 19, 2017

HSB Meeting Minutes from March 22, 2017


Hartford Board of School Directors
School Board Meeting Agenda
March 22, 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: Kevin Christie calls the meeting to order at 7:00 pm.  


2.   Public Comments:

  • Tim Schaal asks for an update on the parking lot project.

  • Jeff Arnold wants public comments throughout the meeting, asks about Kevin Christie’s change of roles in the legislature, and supports the school board joining the committee on racial inequality in the community.

  • Laura Simon also supports the board joining the committee.


3.   Changes, Additions and Approval of Agenda:

  • Tom DeBalsi adds resignation, retirements, and appointments to the agenda.

  • Lori Dickerson flips the order of topics under BS-R 1 Global Governance-Management Connection to have the report occur first.

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


4. Consent Agenda  

  • Minutes

    • Special Meeting 3-4-2017

    • Regular Meeting 3-8-2017

  • Resignation, Retirements, and Appointments

    • Logan Humphreys, Christine Bourne, and Jessica George are resigning.

    • Beverly Barton, Cathy Bartolini, Carole Whitney, and Bruce MacAdams are retiring.

  • Peter Merrill moves to accept the consent agenda and extends the board’s thanks to those leaving the district. The motion is seconded. A unanimous verbal vote passes the motion (5 yes, 0 no).


5.   Items Requiring Board Discussion and Possible Action

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

    • Noel Bryant shares that Rebecca Lallier, Ruth Fleishman, and Heather Scudder attended conferences, and shares highlights from their respective conferences that they brought back to their schools.

    • Tom DeBalsi shares that the Washington, D.C. trip was cancelled due to the weather and that the robotics team from the Tech Center won a championship.

    • In regards to the parking lot, there will be meetings with administration and David Laurin for input as well as a meeting for community input. After the traffic study, proposals will be brought back to the administration and community. There is concern around the timeline for completion. The pieces of the project that are going out to bid are explained.

    • The board discusses the feasibility of the parking lot construction occurring this summer due to conflict between balancing the planned timeline and the consideration of community feedback. There is discussion around completing pieces of the project this summer.

    • Ashley Andreas wonders if the traffic study cost was factored into the budget that the town voted on, which it was. Jeff Arnold asks about the types of engineers who will be involved in the project. Tim Schaal advises building in a phasing option to the schedule, explains that the design process will be a combined effort between various engineers, and is concerned about the use of an architect as the main consultant. Skip Nalette wonders when RFPs will go out and is informed that David Laurin will make the decision to choose the sub-consultants.


  • BS-R 1 Global Governance-Management Connection

    • Report on Policies pertaining to or dealing with Racial Inequality

      • Tom DeBalsi shares two documents that address how issues would be dealt with in the district: the updated Policy on the Prevention of Hazing, Harassment, and Bullying and the Ends Policies. He would like to look at curriculum and instruction, collecting data around how racial inequality is addressed. Peter Merrill would like to hear about individual experiences in order to gather data to address the issue more thoroughly.

    • Board Participation on Town Racial Inequality Committee

      • Lori Dickerson speaks to the processes and policies in place on the school board. The board participated in implicit bias training. Kevin Christie speaks to institutionalized bias and the need for increased awareness. The board discusses the role they would play in the committee.

      • Olivia Lapierre speaks to her personal experiences, systemic racism, and the risks of making a report for students. The purpose of the committee is education of the boards through implicit bias and racial justice trainings. Ashley Andreas encourages ongoing implicit bias training. Kim Souza speaks to the importance of creating proactive policies. A citizen expresses that elected officials should be allies to those affected and that the school board shouldn’t hesitate to join. Bethany Fleishman speaks to the importance of addressing these issues at schools. John Hall looks at the policies, pointing out that there is no approach for prevention of harassment, bullying or hazing, or a way to gauge the effectiveness of this policy. He hopes that this is something that is addressed with the committee. Kevin Christie speaks to the commitment to look at the schools’ curriculums.

      • Peter Merrill moves that the board accepts the invitation to join the Racial Inequality Committee and appoint two members. The motion is seconded (4 yes, 1 no). A verbal vote passes the motion.


  • GP 7 Board Committee Principles/ Board Member Committee Assignments

    • Wilder School Study Committee

      • The board discusses the steps that need to be taken and how the process could be approached. Tom DeBalsi will report back with a design for the structure.

    • Board Member Committee Assignments

      • Racial Inequality Committee - Michelle Boleski, Nancy Russell

      • Act 46 Merger Study Committee  -  Kevin Christie, Peter Merrill

      • Negotiations  - Lori Dickerson (teacher negotiations); Peter Merrill, Lori Dickerson, and Peter Merrill (support staff negotiations)

      • Hartford Community Coalition - Nancy Russell

      • Regional Advisory Board  - Michelle Boleski

      • Manifest Approval  - Kevin Christie


  • Annual Review of the Ends Policies – Board Discussion of Administrator Presentations and Ends Policies

    • This discussion is tabled until next meeting.


6.  Meeting Review/Evaluation and Agenda Planning

  • Board Work Plan Review and Planning

    • Monitoring reports on April 12: GP 6 (Nancy Russell), EL 3

    • Annual Review of the Ends Policies – Board Discussion of Administrator Presentations and Ends Policies

  • Peter Merrill leads the board through the meeting evaluation.


7.  Adjournment


9:41 pm  Peter Merrill moves to adjourn. The motion is seconded. A unanimous verbal vote passes the motion (5 yes, 0 no). The meeting is adjourned at 9:41 pm.


Draft Respectfully Submitted 3/24/17 by

Hannah Prescott