Board of Education Meeting Minutes Dec. 4, 2019

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Present Board Members : Jenny Emery, David Peling, Sarah Thrall, Rosemarie Weber, Brandon Webster, and Jack DeGray (Student Representative).

Absent Board Members: Mark Fiorentino, Melissa Migliaccio and Dwaritha Ramesh (Student Representative).

Administrative Reports

Superintendent’s Announcements

Mark Winzler, Interim Superintendent, welcomed Amber Wyzik, Kim Narciso and Kelly Lane students who were here to present Schools in the Spotlight this evening.

Congratulations to the girls’ soccer and field hockey teams on their state championships. Also good luck to the football team this evening as they play in the quarterfinals.

Congratulations to Dr. Heidi MacDonald, Granby 2019-2020 Teacher of the Year, who is being honored at the Bushnell this evening escorted by Assistant Superintendent, Christopher Tranberg.

With yesterday’s snow day, the district has used three of its five emergency days. Currently, the last day of school is Friday, June 12.

The next regularly scheduled Board Meeting will be December 18. 

All conference reports were released: Boys’ soccer: Matthew Ligouri, Teddy Courmier, and Grady Kelly (Matthew Ligouri was selected to All-State). Girls’ soccer: Natalie Schock, Maria Nola, Tessa McMillan, Sarah Cramer, and Samantha St. Pierre (Samantha St. Pierre and Maria Nolan selected to All-State). Girls’ field hockey: McKenzie Pederson, Alana King, Lauren Roy, Morgan Wichmann, Avery Bryanton, Abby Cotsonas, and Julie Olchowski (McKenzie Pederson and Alana King selected to All-State).

Schools in the Spotlight

Amber Wyzik, Media Specialist, and Kim Narciso, First Grade Teacher, shared how students and teachers use Seesaw to engage with families and communicate learning and Kelly Lane students shared how they take ownership of their learning by using Seesaw. Seesaw is a platform for students to use creative tools to capture their learning by drawing pictures, recordings, etc. and work can be sent to parents. It also can be used as a portfolio to show student progress. Wyzik explained Seesaw is a school-safe social media site. A student’s work can be shared with just the student’s parent or with other parents in the class. Narciso stated Seesaw is a great way for parents to give feedback right away and also informed the board that goal-setting can also be done in Seesaw. Additionally, parents can hear their students reading, Students have many options in Seesaw and can take ownership of their learning. Before students post any of their work, it needs to be approved by the teacher. Teachers have full control as to what can be posted. Students can see each other’s work so that they can review their work and give feedback. 

Teaching and Learning

Chuck Hershon, Middle School Assistant Principal, shared outcomes from the 2018-2019 District-Wide PLC Collaborative Action Team and highlighted areas of focus for PLC 2.0. He stated PLC is being re-vamped in the Granby School district this year and explained that PLC starts with asking the four key questions: 1) What do we want students to learn? 2) How will we know if they’ve learned it? 3) What will we do if they didn’t learn it? 4) What will we do if they already know it? The district was trained in PLC 17 years ago by the Dufours who led the professional development and felt an urgency for new learning for teachers who were not part of that professional development experience. There is a need to streamline PLC and to focus around the four questions. Hershon reviewed the PLC Collaborative Action Team recommendations to revise a continuum to the four guiding PLC questions; utilize a new continuum formatively throughout the year during PLC; and, consider developing a PLC handbook. The district is under a curriculum revision process which will include PLC collaboration as well. Recently, professional development focused on job-embedded professional learning and the keynote speaker was Dr. Acosta from Marzano Research. There were also opportunities for teachers to focus on various topics presented by coaches, such as, Tier 1 conversations for addressing challenging behaviors and enriching student learning, Rosemarie Weber inquired if there was dedicated PLC time set aside at the middle school for teams. Hershon stated all schools have time set aside for collaborative time and the middle school is during X block. The middle school also sends some teachers over to the high school to collaborate with those teachers. Dave Peling inquired how many hours do teachers typically have in a week and Hershon stated middle school teachers have 55 minutes each week. Brandon Webster inquired if there is a plan to validate if the changes are effective two years down the line and Hershon stated, yes, surveys will be used to evaluate if they find that the increased focus has helped improve practice over the course of this year. Webster also inquired if other areas in the district will be measured for efficiency. Hershon stated we are working very closely to evaluate our practices within the Administrative Council to identify what processes are working or not but stated this should be shared by Central Office or administration. Webster inquired if this is something that administration will share with the board. Mark Winzler stated Christopher Tranberg is probably the best person to answer that because he is working on this as a whole continuum but he will make sure to let him know this is a question from the board. 

New Business

FY21 Draft Budget Goals

The Board considered adoption of the FY21 draft budget goals. Jenny Emery inquired if the budget goals can be deliberated more at a Finance Subcommittee Meeting. The budget goals are designed to categorize budget items under each budget goal. A motion was made by Sarah Thrall and seconded by Dave Peling, that the Granby Board of Education adopt the FY21 Budget Goals. Brandon Webster stated he agreed with Emery that it would be good to take a little more time to review them. This motion did not pass with one (1) yes vote (Sarah Thrall), three (3) no votes (Jenny Emery, David Peling, and Brandon Weber) and one abstention (Rosemarie Weber) at 8:04 p.m.

Calendar of Events

The calendar of events was as presented. Jenny Emery inquired if the date for graduation was set yet. Mark Winzler stated the date for graduation has not been set as of yet but the date could be the 180th day of school when the calendar was passed.

Action Items

Brandon Webster: Will other efficiencies/processes in the district be evaluated in addition to PLC?

Executive Session/Non-Meeting

There was no need to enter into an Executive Session/Non-Meeting this evening. A motion was made by Jenny Emery and seconded by Brandon Webster to adjourn the meeting. This motion passed unanimously at 8:10 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Rosemarie Weber

Board Secretary