March 20, 2019
Attended CABE Day on the Hill with our student representatives and Lynn Guelzow. Visited with two of our state legislators, Representative Simanski and Senator Kissel. Students got a chance to see what happens behind the scenes. Regionalization, classroom safety bill, and ECS were some of the topic discussed and students advocated for what they thought was important. Lynn Guelzow stated the students were brought into one of the hearings and heard from Dianne Wentzell, Commissioner of Education.
Friday June 14 is currently the last day of school. The board will set the date at the first meeting in April.
Business Manager’s Report
Business Manager Anna Robbins presented the February 2019 Statement of Accounts to the Board. As of the end of February, the BOE showed an unfavorable forecast of $405K and Special Education was unfavorable $676K and regular education unfavorable $271K. The increase in the unfavorable forecast is due to minimal adjustment in transportation and tuition. Favorable for employee benefits, textbooks and supplies. Line item savings after the March 1 purchase order cutoff. There was no change in Q and D, which continues to show an unfavorable forecast of $8K. Excess cost grant funding to the town shows a positive forecast of $155K to the town, which corresponds to the overall out-of-district placement costs. Regular tuition from other towns is $68K and this has been adjusted slightly due to the transfer of students. Overall, we have added $105K to the revenue forecast which shows a year-to-date favorable balance of $400K. The $559K increase in Education Cost Sharing is revenue received directly by the town. Jenny Emery stated this was reviewed in the Finance Subcommittee. Special education is flattening out. In April the subcommittee will be looking at what the numbers look like when the books close.
Schools in the Spotlight
Middle School Principal Sue Henneberry stated that about a year ago we were only hoping to bring the enrichment model to GMMS. She stated the board would see what this has allowed students to do, because much has happened since September. Shirley Cowles, enrichment coach, presented the School-Wide Enrichment Model being implemented at the middle school. She spoke about Renzulli’s three Es: Enjoyment around work; Engagement into a topic; and Enthusiasm for learning. The goal of the program is to identify gifted and talented students and currently 36 students have been identified. Students learn to use critical thinking, problem solving and creativity skills.
Opportunities for students are broken down into Type I, Type II and Type III groups. The Type I group provides guest speakers for students, such as practicing professionals and outside experts; Type II Group Training provides creativity, critical thinking and problem solving and Type III Group provides individual and small group investigations of real-world problems.
Andrew Meier informed the board about Fancy Math where students chose to elaborate on what was learned in class and decided to recalculate the cross country course. Addie Zinck spoke about how FAST (Female Advanced Science Team) students studied the ecosystem in science class and furthered their understanding of the topic by studying how non-native trout are affecting the Salmon Brook River. Megan Allshouse described what she has done with an enrichment cluster in audio/video editing by overseeing a group where students could use the equipment from the tech ed room and edit their own videos. Cowles spoke about enrichment clusters and the movement toward student-led learning, which includes eight categories and 33 student-identified topics.
Lynn Guelzow inquired how many students are serviced in Type II and Type III scenarios. She also inquired how consistently are gifted students being challenged. Cowles stated teachers are aware of the list of students and continue to challenge students in the classroom.
A motion was made by Rosemarie Weber and seconded by Jenny Emery to adopt the consent agenda. This motion passed with two abstentions (Brandon Webster (3/6/19 min.) and Lynn Guelzow (3/13/19 min.)) at 7:53 p.m.
NEAS&C Accreditation Report
GMHS Principal Michael Dunn updated the board on the recent accreditation report for the high school. He reviewed commendations, recommendations and next steps. Dunn stated accreditation was awarded about a month ago and many findings in the report pointed out the alignment between the self-study and evaluation, as well as an alignment to the district mission. The first two of three phases have been completed and a special progress report will be due December 2019 as well as a two-year progress report due October 2020. The two-year progress report will have five categories: Completed, In Progress, Planned for Future, Rejected or No Action. Migliaccio congratulated Dunn and the high school team on a great job. Webster inquired what the biggest challenge was in addressing the recommendations. Dunn stated it is always a challenge to talk about things that cost a lot of money but he will try to prioritize what will be 1, 2, and 3 in his School Improvement Plan. Guelzow inquired about a guidance data collection process as a good way to track post-high school results. Dr. Addley stated this report serves as a blueprint for the high school going forward and congratulated Dunn and his staff. The report captured the obvious things but lacked in the area of teaching and learning and he expected stronger intellectual language.
The board continued to discuss and consider approval of the FY20 Budget. A motion was made by Emery and seconded by Migliaccio that the board adopt the FY20 Board of Education Budget. Migliaccio stated she was comfortable with this budget and it is a responsible budget. Guelzow agreed that it is responsible and hopefully the community agrees. She stated if it does not pass, there would be some very hard decisions to make. She does not agree with increasing screen time for very small children. She also stated she would love to see less subs being used and teachers in the classroom instead of being pulled out for meetings, etc. Fiorentino stated he is comfortable with the budget and proud of what Dr. Addley and his team does every year. This motion passed unanimously.
CSEA/SEIU Local 2001 Contract Ratification
The board considered the approval of the contract for CSEA/SEIU Local 2001 for Secretaries, Bookkeepers, Payroll Clerks, and Data Entry Clerks beginning July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2022. A motion was made by Emery and seconded by Migliaccio that the board approve the contract. Emery thanked the board negotiating team and the secretaries and stated some contract highlights as follows: General Wage Increase for the first year is 3 percent and 2.75 percent in the last two years; health insurance cost share increased and moving to a buy-up situation for PPO; dental increased; language changes were favorable in retirement benefits and grandfathered employees with at least 10 years of service to continue beyond two years at their own expense as well as service recognition language changed to only on the anniversary dates as indicated. This motion passed unanimously at 8:33 p.m. with one abstention (Sarah Thrall).
Jenny Emery reported that CREC Council discussed Act 7109 that will increase the state’s funding of magnet schools. She also shared that, for the first time ever, the Academy of Innovation in New Britain won its basketball tournament. The is the first time a CREC school has achieved this.
Granby Education Foundation
Emery reported Gran-Bee is May 3. Migliaccio stated she will sponsor one team and Fiorentino stated that he will sponsor two teams.