June 12, 2021

HSB Minutes 8-26-2020

Hartford Board of School Directors

School Board Meeting Minutes

August 26, 2020 @ 6:00 pm

Online Meeting 


Members Present:                                                  Administrators Present:

Kevin Christie                                                            Tom DeBalsi

Peter Merrill, joined during the meeting                                                          

Nancy Russell

Russell North

Michelle Boleski, joined during the meeting


              1.  Call to Order

-         Changes, Additions and Approval of Agenda
Mr. Christie called the meeting to order at 6:10.

Moved by Mr. North, seconded by Mrs. Russell, to approve the agenda, motion carried.

              2. Global Ends Reporting (Section 1 Policy EP)

-         Review of District Ends Policies in Relation to Current Events
Mr. DeBalsi reported that the pandemic has forced the district to address all areas of the Ends as we plan for the students to return to in-person school. The Ends gives a framework to work within.

              3. Board Professional Development (Section 4 Policy GP 9)

Mrs. Russell reported on her work with the VSBA, no new training is scheduled because everyone is focused on the start of school.

Mr. DeBalsi ordered the books referenced in the training session, all members will get a set. He suggested that the board pick one and do an activity at the second  meeting of the month.


4. Governance Process (Section 4 Policy GP 2)

-         Legislative Advocacy
Mr. DeBalsi is concerned about the student count given the number of families who have decided to home school this year. This will impact the budget.

CARES Act funding, grant due on Tuesday, Mr. DeBalsi is concerned about the state support given the changes the district has made, i.e. cleaning time/equipment, technology, nursing services.

Mr. Christie discussed the legislative timeline for developing the regular budget and the guideline for the federally supported funds.
-         Community Linkage Ideas (GP 3)
●       Board Corner, Chit Chat
Mr. Christie is looking for guidance with this in the training reference work.

Mrs. Russell told the board that there are 100,000 masks coming from the Rotary.

Mr. DeBalsi shared the Board Corner idea, the board would reserve a spot in the school newsletters to highlight the topics the board is working on, summary of activities, or even questions for families to consider.

Mr. DeBalsi shared the Chit Chat idea where the board posts a question for the community on the town’s listserv.

The board has previously discussed  providing a brochure for the area realtors.

Other boards have presented their work at a “table” at a community event.

Mr. DeBalsi suggested focusing on these ideas at the second meeting of the month.

Ms Boleski asked that the board review the minutes from last summer’s training (2019). An outline of activities would be helpful.

Mr. Merrill suggested developing and sharing a document that states the district’s position about moving to a hybrid or online model. Polling the families about their level of comfort with the number of virus cases would be important.
-         Annual Work Plan Review, Discussion and Possible Changes
Mr. North suggested Mr. DeBalsi report back on one or two Ends at each meeting, this highlights the Ends.

Mr. DeBalsi suggested reviewing/changing the annual work plan if the second meeting of the month is dedicated to community engagement.


5.  Public Comments 

The public was invited to join the meeting using https://zoom.us, meeting ID 974 3075 5984. The Board welcomed public comments. However this was not a time for discussion, but the board is interested in hearing comments, concerns and suggestions from the public.

No one from the public spoke.


6. Communication and Support to the Board (Section 1 Policy EL 9)

-         Superintendent’s Report
●       Re-Opening Plan Updates and Approval
Mr. DeBalsi reported: all staff is back at school and are preparing for the students to return, he praised the staff, tents are going up, outside meetings, he outlined the school plans that were provided in the board packet, elem -80% in person, 20% remote, common surfaces will be cleaned three times daily, inside distancing will be followed, masks are required inside (exemptions handled through the nurses), increased hand washing, travel patterns in the schools, temperatures taken at the door, each school has their own time schedule, HMS/HHS A/B student groups, HHS students will view their classes while at home, student absences may increase but the absence will not count if the student has joined via video, HACTC in person 5 days, forums held in all buildings, DBS/OQS afterschool program (Creative Kids) all ready to open, WRS is working with Hartford Rec to run an afterschool program

Moved by Mr. Merrill, seconded by Mr. North, to approve the Re-Opening Plan as provided in the packet and presented by the superintendent, motion carried.
●       Facility Projects Update
o   Wilder School, Ventilation Systems Assessment
Mr. DeBalsi reported:

Wilder target completion Oct. 12, 2020, how could we do an opening?, committee recognition?

HVAC assessment report completed- adequate air flow in all buildings, equipment in good shape, adjustments to the air flow schedules have been made, HEPA air filters have been purchased for the WRS classrooms to improve the air flow, 80 box fans have been purchased for the elementary schools, will install better filters in other areas for better filtration of particles, ionization devices for filter systems, recommended to duct nurses’ office air directly outside and not mix with the buildings ventilation system

Control Tech and ARC great vendors to work with.

Efficiency Vermont is handling the grant for heating and ventilation improvements.

Mr. Christie thanked Mr. DeBalsi and his team in moving forward on this, the 25 year facility plan has been helpful.

7. Consent Agenda (Section 4 Policy GP 4)

-Meeting Minutes

-Personnel Changes


                     Katie Hluchyj, HHS

Jessica Enright, HACTC


Rick Clavelle, HACTC

Bev Kerr, HACTC

New Hires

Crystal Brown, HACTC

Moved by Mr. Merrill, seconded by Ms Boleski, to approve the Consent Agenda, motion carried.


8. Next Meeting Agenda

September 9, 2020- review annual work plan

September 23, 2020-Community Linkage Idea work (Mr. North and Ms Boleski will review Summer 2019 notes.)

Mr. Merrill suggested surveying the families about the start of school. Mr. DeBalsi replied that he could send this out before the meeting.

September 23- move the policy review to the Oct meeting

Calendar shows the meeting starts at 7, meetings have been starting at 6.


9. Meeting Evaluation

The meeting evaluation was completed by Mr. North, the meeting was satisfactory.


              10.  Adjournment

Mr. Merrill shared his appreciation in working with the board given these very challenging times.

Moved by Mr. Merrill, seconded by Mrs. Russell, to adjourn the meeting at 8:38, motion carried.


Respectfully submitted,

Cherrie Torrey



Next Regular School Board Meeting is Wednesday,

September 9, 2020 at 6:00 PM