June 12, 2021

HSB Minutes 11-24-2020

Hartford Board of School Directors

School Board Community Engagement Meeting Minutes

November 24, 2020 @ 6:00 pm

Online Meeting  


Members Present                                        Administrators Present

Kevin Christie                                               Tom DeBalsi

Peter Merrill                                                  Cathy Newton

Nancy Russell                                              Roy Hathorn

Russell North

Michelle Boleski

Dylan Morse

Katie Trombley


1.  Call to Order

-       Changes, Additions and Approval of Agenda  
Mr. Christie opened the meeting at 6:04 PM.

Moved by Mr. Merrill, seconded by Ms. Boleski, to approve the agenda as presented, motion carried.

2.  Community Linkage Ideas (GP 3)


Report on and discussion of results of first ownership survey 

-       Thank you and promotion of upcoming surveys 
Mr. North announced that 599 responses were received and the next survey should have an increased participation rate once these survey results are posted. He suggested a thank you note to the community and posting links to the survey results. All feedback is appreciated. One comment was that the questions asked too much.
-       Discussion of results, their meaning, potential follow up, and communication of results 
Mr. North and Ms. Boleski discussed the survey results:

90% are not familiar with Policy Governance (PG)

These results will be used as a baseline data.

Mrs. Russell and Mr. Merrill were not surprised at the results.

Ms. Boleski asked about how to figure out who responded. She asked about having the student reps ask HHS students. Dylan responded that he would put something together for the next meeting.

Mr. Christie suggested adding a demographic question at the end of each survey. (student, parent, grandparent, community member, etc.)

Mr. Merrill asked the student reps for their comments.

Dylan asked about question 2 and the “level of influence”, could it be reworded about how much influence do they want. Further about attending school board meetings- do you have access?

Katie commented on student participation, possibly changing some of the vernacular would make the survey more attractive to participants. If they knew more about the school board meetings they might be more inclined to attend/watch a meeting.

Cathy Newton asked about the timeline for future action steps.
-       Action Steps 
      Thank you note to community

      Posting link for the results and where future surveys will be

      Publish survey results going forward unless noted otherwise

      Put information about PG on Facebook page

      Take a few minutes at each meeting to highlight sections of PG

      Diagram the flow of the Ends and Policies, like a flow chart

      Next survey question review in December 

      Review questions for reader ease

      Mr. Christie will send a note to Ms. Carlos thanking her for her comments and ask her to review the next set of questions.

      Review 2 different survey formats

      Highlight board members on district website, write-ups and photos? 
Education on Policy Governance and the relationship to the Ends Policies

-      Consideration of the ends policies on budgeting 

-      Indicators of each of the ends policies from 2011

 Mr. North noted that on the district website the Ends Policy is in two places. Board members should review the Ends and the relationship to the budget.

Mr. DeBalsi noted that the staff worked tirelessly on developing the indicators. He asked that at a future meeting Mr. Hathorn and Mrs. Newton present on the timeline of this work. 

Ms. Boleski asked about the indicators, Mr. North responded that it’s the superintendent’s responsibility to identify the indicators and the board’s responsibility to agree or make suggestions.

Mr. DeBalsi discussed the process of developing the Ends and how there are many reports that reference the Ends. 

Mr. Merrill noted that the Ends reflects what Hartford values in their student’s education program and what we want our students to gain here.

Mr. North noted about “Portrait of a Graduate” how does it fit in here?

Dylan stressed the importance of having students know what the goals are.

Katie said you need to make sure the students care about these goals.


Plans for future surveys and other linkage activities 

-       General outline of survey format/topics 

Update on linkage related policies

Mr. Merrill discussed the Executive Limitations draft document as shared earlier. The Policy Review Committee has reviewed the draft. He further explained that this sets the boundaries in which the superintendent can go and therefore sets his limitations. The superintendent would report back to the board on his actions. Mr. Merrill asked for suggested edits, Mr. North suggested an edit regarding the superintendent’s support of a culturally responsible workforce. Mr. Merrill thanked the group for the feedback, the committee will review further and report back to the board. The second reading of the policy will be at the next meeting.

Ms. Boleski suggested that HCOREI research other policies.


3.  Public Comments 

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

No one from the public spoke.

Mrs. Russell told the board that Santa and Mrs. Claus will come to the train station on December 12, 1:00-4:00. She will forward the information for the website.

Ms. Boleski reported on the Sister City Committee. They are looking for places to put signs up on school grounds. Mr. DeBalsi said it was ok. They are also looking for a student rep to join the committee. 


4. Meeting Evaluation

The meeting evaluation was completed by Mrs. Russell. The meeting was satisfactory. 


5.  Adjournment

Moved by Mr. Merrill, seconded by Mr. North, to adjourn the meeting at 7:30PM. Motion carried.



Respectfully submitted,

Cherrie Torrey



Next Regular School Board Meeting is 

Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at 6:00 PM