The Board of Selectmen approved the $170K BOE appropriation for the high school roof repair. Four teachers from the Foundation Public School in Pakistan joined the district for three weeks and were to come to the board meeting on Nov. 7.
The mentoring program will be up and running in early November with a small number of primary school students to start.
We are close to hiring the high school security monitor as a contracted service by CREC.
Communication regarding STOPit will be sent to parents this week.
Sports report: Boys’ and girls’ soccer both won vs. East Windsor and field hockey won 3-1 vs. Canton. Maria Nolan, a junior soccer player, has been selected as a Hartford Courant Varsity Athlete of the Week.
Model UN is going on its yearly NYC trip to meet with Cuba and Brazil delegates.
Anna Robbins, business manager, presented the September statement of accounts and said that there is a negative forecast of $558K. Special education expenditures are unfavorable at $545K and regular education expenditures are projected to be unfavorable at $14K. The unfavorable forecast for special education includes expenditures for four additional teaching assistants to meet the requirements for students’ individual education plans as well as tuition and transportation for three out-of-district placements this month. The unfavorable forecast in regular education is due to the need for additional long- term substitutes to cover for medical leaves. Additional funding for the excess cost grant should be $163K, which corresponds to the increase in out-of-district placements. Regular education tuition from other towns is favorable at $15K. The Quality and Diversity Fund continues to show an unfavorable forecast of $137K as it includes two of the three additional teaching assistants to support Kindergarten.
SCHOOLS IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Jeannie Bryanton, art teacher at Granby Memorial Middle School, and three of her 8th grade students, Isabel Gravlin, Taylor Henry and Amy Rogers, presented to the board how they incorporate writing into art class using personal artist’s sketchbooks. This project was started three years ago when all of the students were in 6th grade. As 6th graders, students set up their sketchbooks by creating sections for each year as well as copying several pages of notes. In 7th grade, students began to add samples of work. In 8th grade, students took their own notes and only wrote down important information. Students shared paintings they created from an original piece and compared the two stating they often refer to their notes when they need assistance with art techniques.
Michael Dunn, principal of Granby Memorial High School, updated the board on the recent visit by the NEASC visiting committee on Sept. 23-26. He thanked the entire high school community for its work in the self-study and the board for attending the events. The committee worked in teams interviewing students, attending classes and reviewing evidence. The co-chairs of the committee gave Dunn updates in the morning and the afternoon. On the last day of the visit, one of the co-chairs read a summary of their findings, and one of the most important ones was that the high school was on target with its self-study. The committee also found that the high school was getting the big things right and had a clear vision for graduates. They were also impressed with the cleanliness of the physical plant. Dunn stated he expects to get a draft of the report around the holidays.
DISTRICT TESTING REPORT
Christopher Tranberg, assistant superintendent, presented the Annual Testing Report to the board for the 2017-2018 school year. Tranberg presented per- pupil expenditure graphs for Granby as it relates to test scores for SBAC ELA, SBAC Math and SAT. The graphs show that Granby is doing a very good job in testing with the money spent per pupil.
He presented the SBAC results for ELA and stated there was a strong area of growth in ELA for Grades 3 and 4. He went on to state SBAC performance this year was very steady. SBAC Math results, were favorable in growth in Grades 3 and 4. Grades 3, 4, 6, and 8 improved in their standing in the District Reference Group (DRG). Lynn Guelzow commented that Granby is generally well above the state average and this year is at the state average. Tranberg stated, in general, these are our scores and we have work to do; however, the scores are stable and this is not where we want to be.
Dr. Addley stated that in Grades 3-8 the general average of students meeting goal is 73 percent and the state is 82 percent, which means 13 students per grade level in Grades 3-8 need to do better. Guelzow would like to have a breakdown of students in the advanced category by grade.
Advanced Placement testing was presented and the number of students taking at least one AP exam increased and there was also an increase among all test takers scoring a 3, 4, or 5.
Lastly, SAT scores were reviewed and, for the Class of 2018, there was a 20-point increase in aggregate performance. The high school will continue to connect students to the free resource Khan Academy as well as utilize PSAT data and College Board analytics to inform instructional decisions. Guelzow requested a breakdown of SAT scores in the DRG for the last three years as well as a breakdown of AP test scores by course.
Mark Fiorentino inquired what the difference is in the number of questions correct/incorrect in a 561 score vs. 585 score. Tranberg reviewed the strategic actions for ELA and Math and stated the district will be aligning the school improvement plans with district strategic actions. Guelzow thanked Tranberg stating she appreciated his honesty as to where the scores are. Jenny Emery stated she is interested in understanding what comparable DRG schools do that are doing better than us and spending more money than us. Dr. Addley stated other districts are spending more money, but it is very hard to compare districts, as structures that work in one town may not work in Granby. It is difficult to draw out the greatest variable of a district that spends more money and receives greater results than Granby.
ADMINISTRATORS’ CONTRACT APPROVAL
The board discussed the approval of the contract for the Granby Association of School Administrators effective July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2022. A motion was made by Jenny Emery and seconded by Rosemarie Weber to approve the contract for the Granby Association of School Administrators effective July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2022. Emery stated the three- year salary includes a wage and step increase of just under $134K. With regard to health benefits, the PPO is eliminated. Administrators agreed to an increase share in the cost of an HSA from
16.5 percent to 18 percent, as well as assumed a smaller but gradual increase of dental costs. Contract language was agreed upon as related to a reduction-in-force where the superintendent will have the ability to manage the system as seems most appropriate and taking seniority out of that language. This motion passed unanimously at 8:21 p.m.
Dr. Alan Addley presented his goals for the 2018-2019 school year and stated that they are aligned with the board’s goals. He reviewed some of the goals in each category of student achievement; professional/personal leadership; board and community relations; educational leadership (instructional and curriculum); and, business matters. He was asked, if he could add another goal that is not listed, what would it be. He stated he wished he had more time and resources to give to the Kearns building, as well as another opportunity in town concerning agricultural resources as they relate to educational opportunities for students.
Mark Fiorentino reported CREC met today and discussed the under funding of magnet schools. The state has been under funding CREC schools for some time and if the state does not pick up the tab, districts will have to pay the difference. Linda
Powell will circulate a resolution from CREC to the board for review. This will not be voted on at CREC until Dec. 5. The board may have to separately approve this as a resolution but will cross that bridge when it comes up.
Respectfully submitted, Rosemarie Weber