April 21, 2021
Present: Jenny Emery (via Zoom), Melissa Migliaccio, David Peling, Sarah Thrall, Brandon Webster, Rosemarie Weber and Student Representative Jack DeGray.
Absent: Mark Fiorentino and Student Representative Jacob Scotto.
SBAC testing began this week for fifth grade students; fourth graders will take their tests next week, and third graders the following week. AP testing begins on May 3.
The collaborative effort with East Granby Public Schools for providing breakfast and lunch to East Granby students continues to go very well. So far this month, a daily average of 84 breakfasts and 173 lunches were served and Granby numbers thus far in April are 194 breakfasts and 704 lunches.
Outdoor tents are back up at all of our schools now that the weather is nice enough to go outside.
There will be a Memorial Day Parade this year. Grossman said he had a conversation with Jim Hall from the American Legion and he will be the keynote speaker this year. He invited board members to walk the parade route with him and said students will be walking with him as well.
Student Representative Reports
Jack DeGray announced that he will be attending the University of Florida next fall.
Senior Prom and graduation will be held on June 10 and June 11, respectively.
Schools in the Spotlight
Colleen Bava, principal of Kelly Lane Primary School, presented a day in the life of a preschooler at Kelly Lane and welcomed Mrs. Scully and her students. Scully said the preschool program is an integrated program with morning and afternoon sessions and that it has been a different year for the students. It has been challenging to develop social/emotional skills while being socially distant.
Students taught board members how to do mindful breathing that they learned this year demonstrating various breathing techniques. A video was shown about the day in the life of a preschool student showing how they learn, play and interact throughout the day.
School Improvement Plan Update: Kelly Lane Primary School
Bava presented an update on her 2020-21 School Improvement Plan. Bava reviewed her Vision, Mission and District Achievement Goal to support a positive, safe and collaborative environment by focusing on building and maintaining positive relations with staff, students and families.
She said this is being done via a quarterly staff check-in survey; integrated second step bullying prevention unit; training in Responsive Classroom; school-wide participation in kindness activities and school/family communication. Bava said the Student Achievement Goal is for all students to increase achievement in literacy and numeracy standards across disciplines as measured by the STAR Reading/Math and the Benchmark Assessment (BAS) by June 2021. She said assessments are done three times per year.
In Kindergarten, students received 81 percent at or above goal for STAR Reading; 64 percent for BAS; there is no assessment for Star Math. First graders do a winter and spring baseline as follows: 59 percent for STAR Reading; 75 percent for BAS; and, 87 percent for STAR Math. Second graders are just under 80 percent at 79 percent for STAR Reading; 88 percent for BAS; and 79 percent for STAR Math. With regard to the Instruction Goal, teachers will increase opportunities for students to take ownership of their learning to foster an environment of independence and engagement. Kelly Lane organized a Global Play Day and STEAM Day; kindness activities; student-led goal setting; and the establishment of an Equity Team.
Bava said in looking ahead to next year, Kelly Lane will work on an aligned instructional focus with teaching assistants, review schedule and instructional minutes for all grades, create a School Improvement Team and hire an Elementary CAS Leader to support the instructional work and analyze school-wide data.
Assistant Superintendent’s Report
Jennifer Parsons provided COVID updates and said the district is full steam ahead to the end of the year. All staff vaccination clinics are complete and staff will be fully vaccinated the beginning of May. With state guidance, she is hoping to encourage vaccinations for students aged 16-18 through the FVHD and is expecting to bring some normalcy back to the end of the year with the prom, graduation and perhaps field days.
Addressing equity work, Parsons said the pool for the Teacher Residence Program is being finalized and the mentor position is currently posted for an internal Granby teacher to work with a resident. The book club for Stamped has begun and over 60 staff members and 50 community members have signed up. She will continue to promote the book club for students.
She said the K-12 math program is up for curriculum revision as well as program evaluation. It has been over five years since Eureka was brought into the district. Prior to Common Core State Standards, the district made a move to algebra for all. With Common Core there are now slightly different standards across the nation and state. There are gaps at the middle school level. All students have two years of standards condensed into one year and not all students are ready to stay with the pacing of the integrated and condensed standards.
Currently discussing a model based on readiness accelerating with three years of standards which would lead to the same outcome—algebra for everyone by ninth grade. The math curriculum needs to be written for the majority of all the middle school grades; however, it is expensive at $1,500/unit ($10,000/course).
Business Manager’s Report
Anna Robbins presented the March 2021 Statement of Accounts and said it reflects a receipt of coronavirus relief funds.
Funds received for prior years’ expenses in FY20 were returned to the town, which was just over $1M. Overall, the district is in a very positive place currently considering the expenses incurred in bringing everyone back to school safety. Emery said the Finance Subcommittee reviewed the statement of accounts this evening and despite unbudgeted COVID expenses, the grant money has made a huge difference.
Second Reading and Approval of Revised Policy 4118.231/4218.231-Drug, Alcohol and Tobacco- Personnel
The Curriculum/Policy/Technology/Communications Subcommittee recommended revised Policy 4118.231/4218.231, Drug, Alcohol and Tobacco – Personnel to the board for a second reading and approval. Weber said there were no changes made to this policy since the last meeting. A motion was made by Weber and seconded by Webster that the Granby Board of Education adopt revised Policy 4118.231/4218.231, Drug, Alcohol and Tobacco – Personnel, as recommended by the Curriculum/Policy/ Technology/ Communications Subcommittee. This motion passed unanimously at 7:52 p.m.
Second Reading and Approval of Revised Policy 5135.5 – Drug and Alcohol Use – Students
The Curriculum/Policy/Technology/Communications recommended revised Policy 5135.5, Drug and Alcohol Use – Students, to the board for a second reading and approval. Weber said there were no changes made to this policy since the last meeting. A motion was made by Weber and seconded by Webster that the Granby Board of Education adopt revised Policy 5135.5, Drug and Alcohol Use – Students, as recommended by the Curriculum/Policy/Technology/Communications Subcommittee. This motion passed unanimously at 7:52 p.m.
High School End-of-Year Activities
Michael Dunn, GMHS principal, discussed the planning for end-of-year activities for the senior class of 2021. He said this has involved many meetings with staff, students and speaking to other districts. Unfortunately the Senior Outing and Safe Graduation Party have been cancelled this year; however, a traditional graduation on the stadium field will occur on Friday, June 11 at 5:30 p.m. Masks and social distancing will be required, and guests will be invited. There will be rain dates rather than a rain location. Rain dates are Saturday, June 12 and Sunday, June 13. Senior Prom will be held on Thursday, June 10 at the Riverview in Simsbury from 6-10 p.m.
Senior and Underclass awards will be held virtually on Friday, June 4 similar to last year. Spring concerts for band and chorus will be held in-person outside in the main high school entrance circle. The band concert will be held on May 20 and the chorus concert on May 27.
AP Exams will be held May 3-17 in person. There will be no final exams for high school students this year. Migliaccio expressed concern about the decision for no finals this year. Dunn said there have been many conversations about it this year and the impact this year has had on students especially more vulnerable students. Most schools in our DRG and the Farmington Valley did not do midterms, but Granby did. Student Representative Jack DeGray said he was quarantined four times this year and feels that he would be at a disadvantage when taking finals this year. Weber asked if we going to make sure students are up to grade level with standards and able to make normal gains in a non-pandemic year. Dunn replied that there are other sources of information used: assessments, final presentations/projects.
In terms of overall impact, Webster is happy to see the prom happening and inquired if extra chaperones are necessary. Dunn said students will have daily screenings and there will be grouping by cohorts and table groups will have fewer than 10 students. If anyone tests positive after the prom, and we are aware of close contacts, the number of quarantined students should be minimal. Grossman said the June 10 date was chosen specifically and the chances of quarantine are almost null after attending graduation, etc. There is a strong possibility that the senior class could be offered vaccines on May 1.
Educational Specifications for Phase I: Alterations at Granby Memorial High School
The board discussed and considered the approval of the educational specifications for Phase 1. A motion was made by Thrall and seconded by Migliaccio that the Granby Board of Education approve the educational specifications for Phase 1: Alterations at Granby Memorial High School that includes the construction of a kitchen and reconfiguration of the cafeteria, choral and instrument areas as recommended by the Finance/Personnel/Facilities Subcommittee. Emery said the educational specifications are part of the process that the state requires to follow through and make payment on the grant. This was on the Board of Selectmen agenda this past Monday. Toby Proctor presented and it was endorsed. The Finance Subcommittee reviewed and endorsed these educational specifications this evening. This motion passed unanimously at 8:18 p.m.
Educational Specifications for Granby Memorial High School Roof
The board discussed and considered the approval of the educational specifications for the Granby Memorial High School roof. A motion was made by Thrall and seconded by Peling that the Granby Board of Education approve the educational specifications for the Granby Memorial High School roof as recommended by the Finance/Personnel/ Facilities Subcommittee. Emery said the same process is followed for this project.
The high school roof was experiencing problems and it was realized that this project needed to be done sooner rather than later. The Finance Subcommittee reviewed the educational specifications this evening. Webster inquired if this is the roof that Shannon Sullivan said was previously repaired. Grossman said it is all related and is basically the entire high school roof. This motion passed unanimously at 8:21 p.m.
Board Standing Committee Reports
Emery reported that this subcommittee met this evening to discuss the following: statement of accounts; began to review a year-end needs assessment; update on the Food Service Program – the federal program of funding meals for students will be continued through the 2020-21 school year and Granby is hoping to continue our partnership with East Granby; and, Healthy Food Certification, which will be brought forward to the board at the next meeting.
Board Member Announcements
Migliaccio said she is in awe as to what Granby accomplished this year by being in school full in-person since Sept. 17, transporting students, holding sports and, on top of that, returning $1M to the town with a 0 percent mill rate increase.
Rosemarie Weber, Board Secretary