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March 3, 2021

Board Members Present: Jenny Emery, Melissa Migliaccio, David Peling, Sarah Thrall, Rosemarie Weber, Brandon Webster, and Student Representative Jacob Scotto

Absent: Mark Fiorentino and Student Representative Jack DeGray

Superintendent’s Announcements

The collaborative effort with East Granby Public Schools for providing breakfast and lunch to East Granby students is going extremely well. For the month of February, a daily average of 170 breakfasts and 224 lunches were served.

Congratulations to Josh Davis, Garrett Holness, Jayden Okoro, David Sigmund, Ginny Sleavin and Will Sleavin as they represented GMMS in the Hartford Chapter of the MathCounts competition in February. Josh Davis led the pack with the highest score, which earned him a seat in the next round of the competition. We eagerly await his results and if he made it to the State Round of competition. Good luck, Josh!

Grossman said he will attend a combined MS/HS PAC Meeting on April 5 to discuss the budget with parents.

Assistant Superintendent’s Report

Jennifer Parsons provided updates on COVID. There was a decrease in the number of cases during February largely due to daily screening and mitigation measures. Except for a few snow days, Granby Public Schools had consistent instruction over the month of February. With regard to vaccinations, Parsons said she worked internally with the Farmington Valley Health District (10 towns and 11 school districts) to support the vaccination efforts in March. There is a huge push to vaccinate education staff. There is a registration pathway for staff to obtain vaccinations. During March, 2,500-3,500 vaccinations will be given. Migliaccio inquired if any mobile units will come to Granby for vaccinations. Parsons said all staff have access to one location in the Farmington Valley over the course of four weeks.

There will be a March Book Club to read  Stamped as well as staff and student meetings. 

A survey is being finalized that will go out to staff and students. Thrall inquired if the Granby Equity Team is sending the survey and Parsons said, yes, and it will go to Grades 6–12. 

Emery said she has realized many Connecticut schools are not open fully yet and inquired if we know what percentage is not fully open. Grossman said those numbers change. He said Granby is currently the only school district in the Farmington Valley that is open full in-person without a schedule change or time change.

Student Representative Reports

Seniors have begun to order their caps and gowns and are preparing for graduation.

Robotics has been meeting after school and has been putting their robot from last year to use.

New Business

FY22 Administrative Budget Presentation

Final budget information for Education and Municipal FY22 is available in the Budget Issue of the Drummer delivered in April.

March 10, 2021 Budget Workshop

Board Members Present, via Zoom: Jenny Emery, Mark Fiorentino, Melissa Migliaccio, David Peling, Sarah Thrall, Rosemarie Weber, and Brandon Webster.

FY22 Administrative Budget

Dr. Jordan Grossman reviewed the budget appropriation request of 3.56 percent and said it is below the guideline of 3.6 percent. He explained to just roll the budget over from last year, it is a 3.45 percent budget. 

When special education is added in it is a 3.57 percent and when retirement and other savings are added it comes to a 3.56 percent. Grossman was asked if any considerations were in place for children who have academic catch-up needs and the answer to that question is yes. The budget includes extra tutor support, social/emotional support and transitional programming. 

Another question referenced requirements/limits to what was allowed in the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Grant. Grossman said the grant listed four priorities that funds could be used for: Academic Supports, Learning Loss, Learning Acceleration, and Recovery; Family and Community Connections; School Safety and Social Emotion Well-Being of Students and Staff and Remote Learning and Staff Development. These funds will be used for tutor support and technology needs directly resulting from the effects of the pandemic. 

A question regarding the Q and D budget asked if the district has an understanding of which line items within Q and D are actually utilized by students of color. Grossman said the Q and D fund provides funding for items such as transportation, snacks, magnet school tuition, supervision, and various enrichment activities for all students but also specifically our Open Choice students. 

The last questioner asked if there are other grants available to offset the increase in technology. The answer is, yes. The other grants used to help offset technology needs are ESSER I and ESSER II, the Open Choice Academic and Student Support Grant, and the Governor’s Education Emergency Relief Fund Grant.

Grossman said he feels comfortable with where the district is in the budget cycle and that it meets the needs for the district. Next year the plan laid out within the Plus One Budget with regard to subsequent years should be followed because it sets the foundation for future years. 

Emery said she would be interested in any new initiatives needing funding from the Q and D Budget. Hopefully, new initiatives would be an investment to close the achievement gap. Grossman said the Anti-Bias/Anti-Racism Plan sets a strategic initiative to guide the Q and D fund and analyzing needs such as culture, climate and achievement and where funds need to be spent.

Fiorentino said regarding the action steps we have identified and are building on in our Anti-Bias Plan, what is important is that we execute and fund them—not necessarily what fund that covers the cost.

Peling inquired what would be the first thing Grossman would put in next year that he could not have this year. Grossman said everything he wanted is in the budget thanks to grants and moving things around with health savings; however, he would probably move up the Humanities Coach that was not funded this year.

Webster inquired how the next budget cycle is expected to look without grant assistance. Grossman said the district was very careful and strategic about what was put into the grants. The 0.5 FTE Social Worker can be in the grant for a maximum of two years and will need to be discussed going forward. The software ($29K) will have to be reviewed in two years with regard to online learning. Tutoring ebbs and flows a little bit. He added that the State of Connecticut will receive federal funds and Granby may receive an additional $500K next year. He anticipates that he will be able to use those funds for possible remote learning issues

Respectfully submitted,

Rosemarie Weber, Board Secretary