June 12, 2021

Annual Meeting Minutes 2-27-2021

Town of Hartford Selectboard and Board of School Directors

Annual School District Meeting Minutes

Saturday, February 27, 2021, 10:00 AM


The citizens of Hartford who are legal voters in Town Meeting are hereby warned to meet on Saturday, February 27, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. for the purpose of transacting Town of Hartford School District business not involving voting by Australian ballot.

The legal voters of the Town of Hartford School District are further notified that voter qualification, registration, and absentee voting relative to said Annual Town School District Meeting shall be as provided in the Town Charter and chapters 43, 51, and 55 of title 17, Vermont Statutes Annotated.


This meeting was conducted in compliance with Vermont Open Meeting Law with electronic participation: https://zoom.us/j/96585007814, please mute your microphone; Youtube.com/catv810 – click “live now”; by phone (415) 762-9988, Room ID: 965-8500-7814 followed by #, press # a second time, press *9 to raise your hand for public comment; or on TV go to Comcast channel 1085.


School Board Working Agenda


Call to Order the Annual Town and School District Meetings
Chuck Wooster, Town Moderator, called the meeting to order at 10:00 AM. He reviewed the ground rules of the day and how to ask questions using the Zoom format. He welcomed participants, thanked the many folks responsible for making this meeting happen, and reviewed ways to vote in Tuesday's election.

At 10:09 AM there were 35 attendees and 15 panelists. He noted that he would monitor the number of attendees throughout the meeting.

At 10:30 AM there were 38 attendees and 17 panelists.

At 10:38 AM there were 41 attendees and 16 panelists.

At 10:45 AM there were 40 attendees.

At 11:08 AM there were 28 attendees and 16 panelists.

At 11:34 AM there were 28 attendees and 15 panelists.

Recess of Annual School District Meeting

Town Meeting
Annual School District Meeting
            Board Members Present: Kevin Christie, Peter Merrill, Nancy Russell,

                                                     Russel North, Michelle Boleski
            Chuck Wooster, Town Moderator, called the Hartford School District Meeting to order at 10:46 AM.  He asked Kevin Christie, School Board Chair, how he would like to proceed. Mr. Christie asked the attendees for questions. He noted that the audit report for 2020 was approved on February 24, 2021, with no findings from the auditor.

To receive the reports of the Board of School Directors
Mr. Christie shared a presentation regarding the school district’s response to COVID 19. A response team was formed who identified areas of concern. Families and staff were surveyed. The Finance Team explored funding for COVID expenses. All COVID related expenses were tracked for reimbursement purposes. They studied the infrastructure of all buildings. The district administrators and staff studied all possibilities for the best learning model for students. Reopening in the fall focus was on students, staff, then families. A plan for in-person for elementary students and hybrid model for middle and high school students was adopted for the delayed opening. Health screenings, social distancing, and masking were also put in place. Cleaning protocols were updated. The district has remained open. Plans for next year will include a reflection of the current year. Mr. Christie then thanked the community for their support.

Cathy Newton, Director of Elementary Curriculum, highlighted the school portion in the Town Report. She encouraged residents to read the document, specifically the School Board Report. The Ends are included, or goals that students need to meet before graduation. The data, staffing, and enrollment numbers are included. The annual snapshot does not include testing data from Spring 2020, due to the pandemic.
                        Mr. Wooster declared the report of the Hartford School District received.


To do any other necessary and proper non-binding business
Mrs. Nancy Russell shared a resolution recognizing Michelle Boseski, retiring board member. Ms Boleski was given a vote of sincere appreciation for her four years of service. Ms Boleski addressed the meeting, stating it was an honor to serve. She thanked her fellow board members, Mr. DeBalsi and the administrative team, and the Select Board for their work on the shared committees. She further thanked Lisa O’Neil, Town Clerk, for her work during the pandemic. Mr. Wooster thanked Ms Boleski for her service.

Lannie Collins, Quechee, asked about truancy in the district given the pandemic. Mr. DeBalsi responded that truancy has affected the district. In-person learning has been going well, although quarenteening has impacted attendance. The remote learning model attendance has been impacted. District staff have followed up on the “missing” students, students with excess absences have been called back to full time in person learning. Middle and high school students attend on alternate days, the remote days are more difficult for attendance.

Mr. DeBalsi shared information about Panorama, a social emotional health survey of all students. Students’ mental health has been a concern of district staff. Engagement is an issue for students, students enjoy being in school and have special relationships with school personnel. Information about this is on the district website. Mr. DeBalsi noted that the district hired inhouse clinicians and Dr. Bill Slammon, who all work to assist students' social emotional state. Having district personnel addressing these issues has been key.

Mike Morris asked about a school resource officer vs other models Mr. Merrill responded that former chief Kasten had an officer allocated to each building for familiarity purposes. This was a good model for the district.

Ms Susanne Abetti thanked the district for the wonderful graduation last June and thanked the board for their service.

Adjourn Annual School District Meeting
Mr. Wooster thanked all employees of the town and school. He further thanked attendees.

Mr. Wooster closed the meeting at 11:36 AM.

Respectfully submitted,

Cherrie Torrey