February 28, 2021

HSB Minutes 8-12-2020


 

Hartford Board of School Directors
School Board Meeting Minutes
August 12, 2020 @ 6:00 pm
Online Meeting

Members Present Administrators Present
Kevin Christie Tom DeBalsi
Peter Merrill
Nancy Russell, joined during the meeting
Russell North, joined during the meeting
Michelle Boleski

1. Call to Order
Changes, Additions and Approval of Agenda
Mr. Christie welcomed everyone to the board meeting. He read a statement about the board’s desire to improve community engagement. He introduced Mr. DeBalsi who discussed the new meeting format which was an action step from the recent board training. There will be a review of the Universal Ends at each meeting as it pertains to current happenings in the district.
Moved by Mr. Merrill, seconded by Ms Boleski, to accept the agenda as presented, motion carried.

2. Global Ends Reporting (Section 1 Policy EP)
Review of District Ends Policies in Relation to Current Events
Mr. Merrill shared his concern about the peer to peer interaction given that the suggested model includes developing cohorts of students who would “travel” together in order to limit student exposure to others. Student achievement should continue to be a focus.
Mr. DeBalsi and the administrators are anxious to share the actual learning model, and are currently bogged down with the logistics of starting school safely.

3. Board Professional Development (Section 4 Policy GP 9)
Mr. DeBalsi invited the board to identify any training that may be needed or items that need to be further researched.
Copies of the suggested readings will be available for board members. Ms Boleski said she would prefer a book discussion or review of chapters versus independent reading.
Mr. Merrill asked about the Vermont School Board and Superintendent conference. Some district staff attended as did Ms Boleski.
Mrs. Russell reminded the group that she is the local representative from the VSBA. She can get resources or training material.

4. Governance Process (Section 4 Policy GP 2)
Legislative Advocacy
Mr. Christie is an advocate for Hartford in his role at the House.
Community Linkage Ideas (GP 3)
Mr. DeBalsi said help is needed here, will continue to research, the district had great returns on the recent surveys, how can we best get the community’s feedback? He asked board members to research how other districts get feedback. Ms Boleski reported that there has been an increase in the facebook inquiries.
Status and Methods
Annual Work Plan Review and Update
The 2020-21 work plan was presented a couple of months ago. It should be revised to identify any new initiatives for the upcoming year. Mr. North and Ms Boleski volunteered to be on the review group with Mr. DeBalis.
Mr. Merrill reminded the board that they had discussed having a monthly board business meeting and one meeting for community engagement.
Mr. DeBalsi asked about the timeframe for this work. It was suggested that this be a discussion on the next meeting agenda.

5. Public Comments
The public was invited to use the link  https://zoom.us/j/97430755984, Meeting ID = 974 3075 5984 to join the meeting.
The Board welcomes public comments. This is not a time for discussion, but the board is interested in hearing comments, concerns and suggestions from the public.
Geri Williams, Wilder, shared that she was happy to see the board asking for community engagement. She noted that other districts ask for community members to join committees. There are many individuals that are passionate about education even though they don’t have children in the school system. She is willing to be an advocate and help with resources. Ms Boleski invited her to look at the school board facebook page.
Mr. Merrill commented on the role the schools play in the community in caring for the children. This is not addressed in an Ends Policy. We need to be aware of how opening schools will impact families. Mr. North echoed the concern.
Ms Boleski shared her frustration with the state and federal government related to the opening of schools. It seems that it sends a mixed message when many staff in those offices are still working remotely. She understands that each district is different and flexibility is key. She thanked Mr. DeBalsi and the staff for all they are doing. She is also concerned about equity in student opportunities.
Ms Boleski asked about committee reporting and meeting with the Select Board. Mr. Christie said there would be a change in the format of reporting out and that the joint meeting would take place in September.

6. Executive Limitations Monitoring (Section 2 Policy EL 1-9)
Monitoring report review process and worksheet for Executive Limitations Policies
Mr. DeBalsi asked the board to review the monitoring sheets provided in the board packet. Mr. Christie suggested that a Google Document be developed to allow for an ongoing review. This would allow the board to keep track of the superintendent’s monitoring reports and would be readily available at evaluation time.
The board supported using the document.

7. Board Management Delegation (Section 3 Policy B/SR)
Tracking Tool for Recording Board Decisions on Monitoring Reports
Mr. DeBalsi asked the board to review the tracking tool to record the monitoring reports prepared by the board. Mr. Merrill asked for more directions in using the tool.

8. Communication and Support to the Board (Section 1 Policy EL 9)
Superintendent’s Report, Mr. DeBalsi reported:
Re-Opening Plan Update
Rolled out 2 weeks ago; not everyone was happy; focus was on students, then staff, then families; PreK-5 students in person is the best, students would be in school a shorter period of time due to wearing a mask and social distancing; MS/HS on an AB schedule (every other day); good chance that the elementary model will change next week- in school ¾ of the day with some remote learning to support that work; remote option at the elementary level-won’t be able to change back and forth unless at semester breaks; cleaning protocols are in place (hand sanitizing stations); new traffic patterns in all buildings; ventilation report just in- under review; hallway signage; extra items have been removed from classrooms; maintaining 6’ distancing; temperatures will be taken at the entrance of the schools- health checks; change in lockdown procedure?; tarps/tents will be available(rentals from Bloods); no outside groups will be able to use any facility; athletic teams can begin practicing on the first day of school; after school care- working with the two group agencies- asking them to expand to meet the needs- how will they pick who gets to attend; enrollment numbers will be provided at the next meeting; no data available on the homeless increase due to rent due; no homeschooling increase due to remote option; extra curricular activities will be done remotely; all schools will hold community forums to share information (will be posted on the school board facebook page); two physicians (from APD/DHMC) will be able to perform COVID testing with fast results; worked with district nurses to ensure safety- videos for staff training- redesigned office space to include an isolation room; support for staff/students/families; delayed opening will be used for training purposes
Mrs. Russell reported to the board that the VSBA will be presenting to the legislature the need for shortening the student year.
Independent Auditor Update
Jake Vezina reported on the audit. They did the initial field work the week of July 27th and will return next week for student activity accounts. They anticipate a mid September finish.
End of the Year Financial Report
Jake Vezina reported: $1.6M to the good after adjustments to General Fund, $144,000 deficit to the Tech Center(recording method changed three years ago due to construction project)
Facility Projects Update
Wilder- gained a couple of weeks, mid/end Sept completion
Covell House/ Christian Street Property- board subcommittee to discuss options for this property (Merrill/Boleski volunteered)
BEST Room-
HMMS Roof- completed next week, ventilators will be installed Monday
OQS Boiler- new boiler/heating system before the winter

9. Consent Agenda (Section 4 Policy GP 4)
Meeting Minutes (June 24, 2020 and July 29, 2020)
Personnel Changes- none
Moved by Mr. Merrill, seconded by Mrs. Russell, to approve the consent agenda, motion carried.

10. Next Meeting Agenda
Discussion on Annual Work Plan Review
Re-Opening Plan approval

11. Meeting Evaluation
The meeting evaluation was omitted for this meeting and will be included in the next meeting.

12. Adjournment
Moved by Mr. North, seconded by Mr. Merrill, to adjourn at 8:28, motion carried.
Mr. Christie thanked the board for their work with the new meeting format.

Respectfully submitted,
Cherrie Torrey
Recorder

Next Regular School Board Meeting is Wednesday, August 26, 2020 at 6:00 PM

Hartford Board of School Directors
School Board Meeting Minutes
August 12, 2020 @ 6:00 pm
Online Meeting

Members Present Administrators Present
Kevin Christie Tom DeBalsi
Peter Merrill
Nancy Russell, joined during the meeting
Russell North, joined during the meeting
Michelle Boleski

1. Call to Order
Changes, Additions and Approval of Agenda
Mr. Christie welcomed everyone to the board meeting. He read a statement about the board’s desire to improve community engagement. He introduced Mr. DeBalsi who discussed the new meeting format which was an action step from the recent board training. There will be a review of the Universal Ends at each meeting as it pertains to current happenings in the district.
Moved by Mr. Merrill, seconded by Ms Boleski, to accept the agenda as presented, motion carried.

2. Global Ends Reporting (Section 1 Policy EP)
Review of District Ends Policies in Relation to Current Events
Mr. Merrill shared his concern about the peer to peer interaction given that the suggested model includes developing cohorts of students who would “travel” together in order to limit student exposure to others. Student achievement should continue to be a focus.
Mr. DeBalsi and the administrators are anxious to share the actual learning model, and are currently bogged down with the logistics of starting school safely.

3. Board Professional Development (Section 4 Policy GP 9)
Mr. DeBalsi invited the board to identify any training that may be needed or items that need to be further researched.
Copies of the suggested readings will be available for board members. Ms Boleski said she would prefer a book discussion or review of chapters versus independent reading.
Mr. Merrill asked about the Vermont School Board and Superintendent conference. Some district staff attended as did Ms Boleski.
Mrs. Russell reminded the group that she is the local representative from the VSBA. She can get resources or training material.

4. Governance Process (Section 4 Policy GP 2)
Legislative Advocacy
Mr. Christie is an advocate for Hartford in his role at the House.
Community Linkage Ideas (GP 3)
Mr. DeBalsi said help is needed here, will continue to research, the district had great returns on the recent surveys, how can we best get the community’s feedback? He asked board members to research how other districts get feedback. Ms Boleski reported that there has been an increase in the facebook inquiries.
Status and Methods
Annual Work Plan Review and Update
The 2020-21 work plan was presented a couple of months ago. It should be revised to identify any new initiatives for the upcoming year. Mr. North and Ms Boleski volunteered to be on the review group with Mr. DeBalis.
Mr. Merrill reminded the board that they had discussed having a monthly board business meeting and one meeting for community engagement.
Mr. DeBalsi asked about the timeframe for this work. It was suggested that this be a discussion on the next meeting agenda.

5. Public Comments
The public was invited to use the link  https://zoom.us/j/97430755984, Meeting ID = 974 3075 5984 to join the meeting.
The Board welcomes public comments. This is not a time for discussion, but the board is interested in hearing comments, concerns and suggestions from the public.
Geri Williams, Wilder, shared that she was happy to see the board asking for community engagement. She noted that other districts ask for community members to join committees. There are many individuals that are passionate about education even though they don’t have children in the school system. She is willing to be an advocate and help with resources. Ms Boleski invited her to look at the school board facebook page.
Mr. Merrill commented on the role the schools play in the community in caring for the children. This is not addressed in an Ends Policy. We need to be aware of how opening schools will impact families. Mr. North echoed the concern.
Ms Boleski shared her frustration with the state and federal government related to the opening of schools. It seems that it sends a mixed message when many staff in those offices are still working remotely. She understands that each district is different and flexibility is key. She thanked Mr. DeBalsi and the staff for all they are doing. She is also concerned about equity in student opportunities.
Ms Boleski asked about committee reporting and meeting with the Select Board. Mr. Christie said there would be a change in the format of reporting out and that the joint meeting would take place in September.

6. Executive Limitations Monitoring (Section 2 Policy EL 1-9)
Monitoring report review process and worksheet for Executive Limitations Policies
Mr. DeBalsi asked the board to review the monitoring sheets provided in the board packet. Mr. Christie suggested that a Google Document be developed to allow for an ongoing review. This would allow the board to keep track of the superintendent’s monitoring reports and would be readily available at evaluation time.
The board supported using the document.

7. Board Management Delegation (Section 3 Policy B/SR)
Tracking Tool for Recording Board Decisions on Monitoring Reports
Mr. DeBalsi asked the board to review the tracking tool to record the monitoring reports prepared by the board. Mr. Merrill asked for more directions in using the tool.

8. Communication and Support to the Board (Section 1 Policy EL 9)
Superintendent’s Report, Mr. DeBalsi reported:
Re-Opening Plan Update
Rolled out 2 weeks ago; not everyone was happy; focus was on students, then staff, then families; PreK-5 students in person is the best, students would be in school a shorter period of time due to wearing a mask and social distancing; MS/HS on an AB schedule (every other day); good chance that the elementary model will change next week- in school ¾ of the day with some remote learning to support that work; remote option at the elementary level-won’t be able to change back and forth unless at semester breaks; cleaning protocols are in place (hand sanitizing stations); new traffic patterns in all buildings; ventilation report just in- under review; hallway signage; extra items have been removed from classrooms; maintaining 6’ distancing; temperatures will be taken at the entrance of the schools- health checks; change in lockdown procedure?; tarps/tents will be available(rentals from Bloods); no outside groups will be able to use any facility; athletic teams can begin practicing on the first day of school; after school care- working with the two group agencies- asking them to expand to meet the needs- how will they pick who gets to attend; enrollment numbers will be provided at the next meeting; no data available on the homeless increase due to rent due; no homeschooling increase due to remote option; extra curricular activities will be done remotely; all schools will hold community forums to share information (will be posted on the school board facebook page); two physicians (from APD/DHMC) will be able to perform COVID testing with fast results; worked with district nurses to ensure safety- videos for staff training- redesigned office space to include an isolation room; support for staff/students/families; delayed opening will be used for training purposes
Mrs. Russell reported to the board that the VSBA will be presenting to the legislature the need for shortening the student year.
Independent Auditor Update
Jake Vezina reported on the audit. They did the initial field work the week of July 27th and will return next week for student activity accounts. They anticipate a mid September finish.
End of the Year Financial Report
Jake Vezina reported: $1.6M to the good after adjustments to General Fund, $144,000 deficit to the Tech Center(recording method changed three years ago due to construction project)
Facility Projects Update
Wilder- gained a couple of weeks, mid/end Sept completion
Covell House/ Christian Street Property- board subcommittee to discuss options for this property (Merrill/Boleski volunteered)
BEST Room-
HMMS Roof- completed next week, ventilators will be installed Monday
OQS Boiler- new boiler/heating system before the winter

9. Consent Agenda (Section 4 Policy GP 4)
Meeting Minutes (June 24, 2020 and July 29, 2020)
Personnel Changes- none
Moved by Mr. Merrill, seconded by Mrs. Russell, to approve the consent agenda, motion carried.

10. Next Meeting Agenda
Discussion on Annual Work Plan Review
Re-Opening Plan approval

11. Meeting Evaluation
The meeting evaluation was omitted for this meeting and will be included in the next meeting.

12. Adjournment
Moved by Mr. North, seconded by Mr. Merrill, to adjourn at 8:28, motion carried.
Mr. Christie thanked the board for their work with the new meeting format.

Respectfully submitted,
Cherrie Torrey
Recorder

Next Regular School Board Meeting is Wednesday, August 26, 2020 at 6:00 PM