Tuesday, November 12, 2013

CTES Special Board Minutes 10/15/13

Note that approval of these minutes will take place at the November Board Meeting. 

Board: Dr. Bont, Stuart Lindberg and Scott Ranney, Sharon Huntley (5:45)
Administration: George Thomson-Principal, Bruce Williams-Superintendent, and Linda Waite- Associate Superintendent
Public: Mike Ripley, Peggy Svec, Connie Kendall, Amanda Tyrell, Brenda Gregory, Christine Balch and Debbie Carleton-Recording Secretary

Call to order: Dr. Bont called the meeting to order at 5:35 p.m.

Comments from the Community: None

Approval of Minutes of September 17, 2013: Scott made a motion to approve the minutes of September 15 , 2013. Stuart seconded the motion. Motion approved as presented.

School Board Candidate Interview: Brenda Gregory of Cavendish was the only candidate to submit a letter of interest for the vacant school board position. Dr. Bont asked George to introduced Brenda Gregory to the board. George introduced Brenda and gave a brief update. She has lived in Cavendish for twenty years and has been a volunteer at CTES for many years. She is involved in many community events as well. She was on a school board in New Jersey many years ago. She has a particular interest in physical education.

Brenda gave her speech. She said she has always been involved with children. She informed the board that she is in fact a feminist and the school board that she served on for eleven years, she was the only female. She was elected President of the board. She and her husband travel to Hopi Reservation in Arizona twice per year and are involved in the classrooms.

Sharon arrived - Dr. Bont updated Sharon as to where we are at on the agenda.

Bruce explained that an executive session is not necessary unless there was more than one candidate or if the board would like to discuss the candidate further. The board agreed there was no need for executive session.

Scott made a motion to appoint Brenda Gregory to the CTES school board until March 2014. Stuart Seconded the Motion. Motion approved
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After School Program Assistant: George informed the board that the After School Program serves 30 students at this point. Many stay for the Homework Club. Teacher are really pleased as kids are getting their homework done on time, parents are happy too. Setting a positive impact in the classroom and with families as well, when students get home they can do family activities. The After School Program coordinator has informed George they have a significant interest for the next session. They are going to open on half days from 12:30p.m. to 5:30p.m. George informed the board that Scott Kelly has been hired as the After School Program Assistant. He has worked in the After School Program in Springfield. This is not full time position.

School Bus Driver Update: George informed the board he had hired a school bus driver that didn’t work out. He is now looking again. He has now has two candidates that he interviewed last week. One candidate is interested. This person is a local, has let CDL expire but is get it back in place.
At the present time parents are making other arrangements.

Finance: George explained budget summary that was included in the packet (attached). Things look a little different from WSWSU. He thinks everything looks good. There were no questions.

Comprehensive Policy Handbook: Bruce reiterated the history of the policy handbook. He informed the board that at this point Black River High School, Ludlow Elementary School, and Mount Holly Elementary School have adopted the policy handbook. Chester-Andover is doing a comparison walk through and plan to adopt next month. Bruce explained that process is going to have to happen at all schools but doesn’t have to be done before adopting.

Bruce explained paring-back. He referred to the graduation policy as an example and explained policies such as this will go into a parent handbook instead of the policy handbook.

Our goal is to find and create Administrator Procedures and Practices for each school and place into a handbook. This process is going to take some time. Mike Ripley has started this process for GMUHS.
Sharon said some of our policies are different from other schools and we would like to keep them. Sharon said she has an issue with doing a blanket acceptance without reviewing them first. Bruce explained we are not asking the board to rescind all policies tonight any policies that were clearly needed would be brought back to accept and then rescind all the rest. He said procedures are easier to change than policies. Sharon asked if CTES policies had been compared for replacement. Bruce answered they had been by the Policy Committee. Sharon said she wanted to clarify that policies are not forgotten.

Stuart said he would like to read it before adopting. Bruce said this is the second read, the policies were sent with the first read last month. Stuart didn’t recall getting it, he was reminded that the policies were sent to board electronically and board members were notified that copies were/are available at the
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Supervisory Union. Bruce had two copies that he handed out. He informed the board that policies E4
and E6 should be ignored as they would be placed in the procedure handbook. Bruce also explained that state statute requires policies to be warned separately 10 days prior to adopting and this was done.
Bruce explained the policy committee put in several hours of work on the Policy Handbook; George let the board know that VSBA does the model policies, and Linda reminded the board that consultant John Nelson also reviewed and made recommendations to the policy committee.

Sharon said she understands that this group made a lot of efforts and did a great job. Brenda Gregory requested a copy. Bruce said Debbie will send an electronic copy and mail her a copy as well. Bruce encouraged the board to review the policy handbook. He ensured the board that the TRSU Policy Committee had done a tremendous job in making sure everything was covered.

George said if they had any questions regarding the current policies, the binders are at the school and SU.

Bruce said will put on agenda for next month. Bruce said once the policy handbook has been adopted his plan is to rescind one month after.

Principal’s Report: George said Parent Teacher conferences are this week, therefore Thursday and Friday will be half days. 

George reported the Asbestos Management Plan is complete and a duplicate copy is at the SU.

George gave an update on the playground. Woodchips are now in place but we are still waiting on cushions for the swing set to arrive.

The After School Program has been approved as a subsidized program.

The boiler issue has been determined, the supply line was crushed. They did replace all lines and is working fine now. The cost for this was unanticipated$2,861. Furnace cleaning completed this week now awaiting inspection.

George said there had been questions regarding the eligibility of students attending CTES. He looked into this and determined 3 reasons a child is eligible to attend school. As long as one parent lives in the town. If a family is living in the town and becomes homeless, that child can continue to go to school.

George informed the board the USDA pricing has increased again this year. The hot lunch program target price is now at $2.59 which is also the reimbursement rate. Free and reduced lunch now actually means free. The problem is that we charge $2.50 which means we have to increase the price to at least $2.60 to get full reimbursement or get local funding to make up the difference. Bruce said this is not an action item on agenda for this meeting. We can have either have a Special CTES Board meeting or take action at the November meeting.

Bruce informed the board that GMUHS board has made a proposal to increase the hot lunch price to higher amount. Bruce and Linda have agreed that $2.60 would be the highest they would want to

Scott asked why we are subsidized for 4500 lunches. George said it is outlined in the budget and it’s not a self supporting program. We have enough have enough students to support it fully.

Stuart asked about using a local contracted service for the entire school district. Bruce explained the margin on school lunch programs are very tight but he will look into this. Discussion ensued.

Two Rivers Supervisory Union Update: None

Superintendent Report: Bruce informed the board that the VSA/VSBA conferences are coming up. He invited the board to attend. The conferences are on Wednesday, October 23rd at 7:30p.m. in Dartmouth. And Thursday and Friday the VSBA conference will be held at the Lake Morey Inn. Diane Ravich is the keynote speaker. Can register online or contact the SU.

Other Business: Stuart said we don’t have a governing policy regarding athletics. He said he is not certain if it would be an administrator procedure or policy but believes one should be in place. Stuart handed out a drafted soccer policy (attached). Discussion ensued.

George stated there are no policies for sports. There are some guidelines, but no policies. All sports programs are run through the community and the school contributes small amounts of money to the town. Stuart asked who assumes the legal liability if a student gets hurt on the field. George said the release states that both town and school share that responsibility. Discussion ensued.

George will facilitate a group that will develop reasonable sports guidelines in the best interest of the students.

Scott asked when Rolf would be giving an update. George said Rolf will be presenting a proposal at the next board meeting with a proposal for venting.

Adjournment: Stuart made a motion to adjourn at 6:55 p.m. Sharon seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,
Debbie Carleton Recording Secretary 

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