Present Board Members: Jenny Emery, Mark Fiorentino; Melissa Migliaccio, Sarah Thrall, Rosemarie Weber, Brandon Webster, and Dwaritha Ramesh (Student Representative).
Absent Board Members: Lynn Guelzow
Interim Superintendent Mark Winzler stated that the opening of school went very smoothly noting it was the smoothest opening he has ever experienced in his entire career including new teacher orientation (nine new teachers), professional development for teachers, and convocation.
Many projects completed over the summer and others are continuing to progress, such as, the playground shade at Kelly Lane and the MS/HS gas detection project.
FY21 budget season began yesterday. Met with all administrators and distributed budget worksheets and timeline.
The district will be participating in Sandy Hook Promise/Safety Assessment and Intervention (SAI) training this month as part of an inter-district collaborative with Simsbury, Windsor Locks, Plainville, and the Master’s School. SAI is a national violence prevention program that establishes and trains multidisciplinary teams within schools to identify, assess and respond to threats of violence.
The high school project involving the music rooms, kitchen and tech education areas must be filed with the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) no later than June 30, 2020. The DAS only allows projects of this nature to be filed once a year.
SBAC scores are still embargoed. There are positive gains in ELA; however, still work to do in math.
Winzler thanked the board for having him return to the district to serve as interim superintendent stating he first served in this capacity in Granby 10 years ago when Alan Addley was out on medical leave for a few months.
I.C. Teaching and Learning
Katie Busbey, director of summer programming, and Jennifer Miller, assistant director of summer programming, reported on the Summer School Enrichment Academy and Camp Kelly held in July. Busbey stated there were huge changes to the program last year and this year was a year of adjustment. The Drama Academy occurred again at the end of June for Grades 4-9 in collaboration with The Hartford Stage. Thirteen Open Choice students participated this year and 45 students overall. Students performed their play on Friday for parents. The board inquired about the increase in Open Choice participation and what attributed to that and Busbey stated the brochure was given out at open houses, which was a tremendous help and there was also a lot of follow-up with parents.
Busbey stated the Summer Enrichment Academy in July offered a wide range of programming for half-day or full day and the district also partnered with the YMCA again this year. There were many options for all students from kindergarten through high school. There were some new class offerings and the district also partnered with New-
Gate Prison and the Connecticut State Museum Program for a class where students created trashcans that will be featured at New-Gate Prison. A total of 214 students enrolled for summer programming with 41 Open Choice students and 71 special education students. Twenty teachers staffed the Summer Enrichment Academy and Camp Kelly in addition to four teachers for reading and math labs, one occupational therapist, one physical therapist, two social skills camp teachers, one speech therapist, 16 high school volunteers, two Camp Kelly teachers, and teaching assistants.
Jen Miller presented on Camp Kelly and stated the reading and math labs saw an increase with 42 students attending this year compared to 24 last year.
These labs provide direct instruction for students with specific needs in small group settings. Students who are one–two years behind their peers are eligible to attend the reading and math labs. Camp Kelly ran for five weeks with consistent classroom routines and expectations. Additionally, 17 students participated in the Social Skills Camp this year that was expanded to four weeks to better support students in the transition/work within enrichment opportunities.
Busbey stated a survey was sent out again this year and of the few people who responded, families stated that their child enjoyed the program. A comment was made on the brochure and how it was categorized this year. With regard to future planning, she said she would like to begin developing class ideas and teacher recruitment; continue collaboration with outside agencies; have more promotion for middle and high school classes and look at enrollment offerings to adjust offerings. Chris Tranberg stated the marketing would need to be a little different for the secondary offerings next year. He thanked Busbey for all of her work in developing this program.
Bill Regan, 62 Hungary Road. made a public comment to the board about special education stating he has a different perspective in that he has been driving special education students in Simsbury for the last 10 years. He stated he does not know how the facilities that special education students attend are monitored or evaluated but that each Connecticut town or regional BOE should be able to negotiate collectively either via a fee for services or on how each student progresses. Tax dollars are spent on an ever-increasing special education budget with little or no end in sight unless the BOE and others take a proactive approach to the problem and engage the parents to become more of a part of the solution.
A motion was made by Rosemarie Weber and seconded by Jenny Emery to adopt the consent agenda. Melissa Migliaccio thanked the negotiating team of Rosemarie Weber, Sarah Thrall and Lynn Guelzow. This motion passed with three abstentions (Sarah Thrall from the 6/19/19 minutes and Mark Fiorentino and Rosemarie Weber from 8/7/19 meeting).
CABE Board Recognition Award Application
The board discussed applying for the CABE Board Recognition Award again this year. Melissa Migliaccio stated Granby has received this award from CABE the last 11 years and she is in favor of applying for the award stating the Level Two criteria is met handily by the board. The board agreed to apply for the CABE Award again this year.
Board Standing Committee Reports
This subcommittee will meet before the next board meeting. Mark Fiorentino stated the facilities tour held before school opened was great and the facilities staff does a terrific job. Mark Winzler stated the facilities staff takes great pride in their work and it shows across the district. Jenny Emery stated the Building Committees have been appointed by the BOS and she is hopeful that a chairman is selected for each committee soon so work can begin.
Before adjourning the meeting, Student Representative Dwaritha Ramesh, inquired about the difference between Pre-AP and honors courses for underclassmen. Christopher Tranberg stated the main goal is high expectations for all students and this is a way to meet one of the districts equity goals. Melissa Migliaccio inquired if students get a weighted GPA and Christopher Tranberg stated courses are weighted as an honors course.
Board Secretary Rosemarie Weber