June 12, 2021

HSB Minutes 9-9-2020

Hartford Board of School Directors

School Board Meeting Minutes

September 9, 2020 @ 6:00 pm

Online Meeting 


Members Present                                                              Administrators Present

Kevin Christie, joined the meeting in session                 Tom DeBalsi

Peter Merrill             

Nancy Russell

Russell North

Michelle Boleski


            1.  Call to Order

-       Changes, Additions and Approval of Agenda 
Mr. North called the meeting to order at 6:02.

Moved by Mr. Merrill, seconded by Mrs. Russell, to approve 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. DeBalsi shared his concern about the pandemic changing our everyday lives. He stressed the importance of teaching students about protecting themselves and others. He has reminded the staff to protect themselves as well. This ties into the Ends well.

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

Mr. North questioned the new evaluation form that was sent for the Aug. 26th meeting. He will save his discussion for the next meeting.


            4. Governance Process (Section 4 Policy GP 2)

-       Legislative Advocacy
Mr. DeBalsi shared that the Superintendents’ Association is working on the school calendar, but they don’t know whether the governor will change the number of student days. He also is concerned about the student count number and the reimbursement from the state. There has also been additional funds spent to prepare for the return of students, it’s unknown if there will be state funds to cover this.

Mrs. Russell added that the VSBA will be testifying tomorrow about the student count number. There has been an increase in the number of homeschooled students in the state.
-       Community Linkage Ideas (GP 3)
The September 23, 2020 meeting will identify steps to engage the community. This was discussed at length at the Sept 8, 2020 meeting.
-       Annual Work Plan Revisions, Discussion
The new work plan was sent out in the board packet. The new format will match the new agenda format. Mr. DeBalsi sent two draft plans and welcomed comments from the board. Mr. Merrill noted that plan #2 works best for him. Mr. DeBalsi suggested that the Monitoring Reports be chunked and covered in a couple of meetings, the board concurred, however some reports might be time sensitive. Having deadlines for report completion and review would be helpful.

            5.  Public Comments 

The public was invited to join the meeting using  https://zoom.us/j/97430755984, Meeting ID = 974 3075 5984.

No one from the public was in attendance.

Mr. Merrill spoke as a member of the public. There have been a couple of issues in his family given two days of school. He suggested that a help line/email “desk” be created so that students/families can share concerns without contacting the administration. He also noted that it would be a way to track issues and the resolutions. Mr. DeBalsi said that was an earlier suggestion he would look into. He also noted a Q and A spot would be helpful.


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

-       Superintendent’s Report
Mr. DeBalsi introduced Jake Vezina who highlighted some of the business office action: did apply for COVID relief money,  grants already awarded, FEMA  covers March to June expensenses,  CRF March to June, July/Aug, and anticipated Sept to Dec expenses. There has been mixed communication from AOE for available grant reimbursements makes it difficult. Jake has been working with Cathy Newton and Roy Hathorn to develop the expense sheets.

Mr. North asked about whether the district is tracking the COVID expenses separate from regular expenses. Mr. DeBalsi replied yes. The district has spent a lot of money to keep students and staff safe.
●      Re-Opening
Mr. DeBalsi reported that the first two days have been very positive. The drop off traffic is a little congested, temperatures at the door are going well. He asked that anyone email with concerns. It was announced last week that all students are eligible for free lunch until Dec 31st, even remote students are eligible. All staff are working well together. He sent the staff a reminder notice on Monday to make sure they curtailed their travel. Mandatory mask wearing and social distancing is a little tricky for the younger students. Two nurses have been identified as COVID coordinators, they review any new health information. Having a RN in every building has been helpful. Enrollment numbers have been shared: DBS 242, HACTC 328, Autism 14, HHS 510, HMS 294, OQS 213, WRS 165, Wilder 22, total 1788. HVAC study work continues, each school has the potential of a minimum $25,000. MERV 13 filters are on order, as soon as they come in the systems will be tested to see about the air flow. HEPA filters for WRS are on order. He has been working with the teacher association about a MOU for staff attendance. He is meeting with a mediator and the association tomorrow which has been helpful with open discussions.

Mr. Merrill asked about a protocol of benchmarks for COVID cases and when would a class/building/school district close. The nurses have been discussing this. Mr. DeBalsi said we will need to work on that also related to staffing levels in a building. It seems as if the state is leaving it up to the districts. The health guidance is very strict this year and staff and students are told to stay home for any sign of illness. Mr. DeBalsi will work with the COVID coordinators to develop these guidelines.
●      Facility Projects Update
Wilder School will be completed by mid Oct or Nov, looks terrific. There will be a plaque for the front lobby. HMS roof is finished on budget, DAYCO.

            7. Consent Agenda (Section 4 Policy GP 4)

-           Meeting Minutes August 26, 2020

-           Personnel Changes

Charmain Lowe, RRC

Cassandra North, HHS part time spanish at HHS

Moved by Mr. Merrill, seconded by Mrs. Russell, to accept the Consent Agenda, motion carried with Mr. North abstained.


8. Next Meeting Agenda

Evaluation form

Revisit Annual Work Plan and draft schedule

September 8, 2020 minutes


            9. Meeting Evaluation

The meeting evaluation was completed by Mr. Merrill. The meeting was satisfactory.


            10.  Adjournment

Moved by Ms Boleski, seconded by Mrs. Russell, to adjourn the meeting at 7:06, motion carried.


Respectfully submitted,

Cherrie Torrey



School Board Community Engagement Meeting is Wednesday, September 23 at 6:00 PM

Next Regular School Board Meeting is Wednesday, October 14, 2020 at 6:00 PM