June 2, 2021
Present: Jenny Emery, Mark Fiorentino, Melissa Migliaccio, Sarah Thrall, Rosemarie Weber, and Jacob Scotto and Jack DeGray (Student Representatives)
Absent: David Peling and Brandon Webster.
• Kindergarten enrollment is continually being monitored. There are currently 122 students registered with seven Open Choice slots. If all seven Open Choice students register, the number will be 129 (125 projected).
• Will apply for the America Cares Grant fund of $516,901 with a portion of these funds devoted to student learning recovery for the next two years.
• As part of receiving the grant funds, there will be a Granby Public Schools’ Reopening Task Force Committee Meeting to solicit feedback on the year and what the committee feels is needed for next year. A lot is still unknown about mitigation strategies; however, we need to start planning.
Revision to 2021-2022 School Calendar
Superintendent Jordan Grossman described changes that had to be made to next year’s calendar after collaboration with the teachers’ union and administration. The new school schedules have been added to the calendar reflecting an additional 10 minutes to the school day. Migliaccio inquired if virtual conferences will continue and Grossman said, yes, it is a matter of scheduling but will be reviewed. The board approved the revisions to the 2021-2022 school calendar as recommended by the Superintendent.
Fresh Picks Food Service Contract Amendment
The board approved the amendment to the Fresh Picks Food Service Contract for the 2021-2022 school year as recommended by the Finance/ Personnel/Facilities Subcommittee. Emery said this was reviewed at the last Finance Subcommittee Meeting and that the contract was renewed with the only change in the terms relates to imposing the consumer price index. Emery said the district is pleased with the work of Fresh Picks.
Granby Equity Team Presentation
Assistant Superintendent Jennifer Parsons and Jacky Paton, science teacher and Steering Committee Member of the Granby Equity Team (GET), updated the board on the Anti-Racism/Anti-Bias Plan. At the core of the Team’s work is building consciousness, responsiveness and advocacy around critical race and equity issues. A steering committee was established with staff members as well as two liaisons from the Connecticut Center for School Change that is essentially the heart of GET. Members plan all the meetings and make sure there is a through line in the work of the group. GET includes stakeholder groups such as other staff members, community members, parents, and students who meet virtually monthly for two hours. The idea is that the groups will network and branch out and eventually break into everything that the team is trying to do.
Paton reviewed the action items for building consciousness to increase faculty, students and families awareness and understanding of the impact of racism, bias and marginalization on student experiences and outcomes. She noted there were four sessions of professional development for teachers on equity; distribution of an equity and inclusion survey; and a book discussion with Debby Irving attracting more than 100 participants. Reviewing action items for building responsiveness this year to increase schools and district leaders capacity to actively lead for equitable opportunities, experiences and outcomes for students, Parsons said that protected time and space was established for regular equity-based discussions. A webpage was created with book lists and resources addressing equity. Supports were established for Open Choice students to foster relationships to attract and retain students. For the action steps taken to build advocacy and increase agency and action to actively address issues of racism and equity in Granby Public Schools, Parsons said a Vision of the Graduate was developed with an equity perspective and accessible to all students; engagement with the YMCA on the 21-Day Equity Challenge; a curriculum audit was conducted with an equity lens; and, a plan was created to expand the Bridges Program facilitated by students for students. Parsons said the district is very excited about participation in the teacher residency program; a candidate has been matched with a Wells Road teacher mentor for next year.
At the last GET meeting last week most of the of time was spent gathering feedback on each of the action steps. The team will meet to review the feedback and make any changes to the plan. Completed action items will be noted and a revised plan will be brought forward to the Board in the fall.
Fiorentino asked for definitions of the terms “tools and toolkit” under building consciousness to review lesson development and curriculum and effective time for teachers. Paton said the toolkit, suggests how teachers tackle difficult conversations with students.
Emery asked for a perspective or comment from the committee on how to keep the momentum of the community support going. Parsons said the committee continues to balance what is building that consciousness and responsiveness and are prepared to engage in the work.
Fiorentino asked student representatives if they had noticed any changes in school. Jack DeGray said he was on the Task Force in 8th grade and attended the Bridges meetings through the high school. He said it was a helpful experience for him and helped to change his perspective. Paton said she has had more teachers request to join. She said being one of the very few non-white members of the staff, she received a high percentage of support from staff members, so she personally sees a lot of change.
Fiorentino thanked Parsons and Paton and said a great measure of the team’s success would be if a year from now students say they are talking about these subjects.
Superintendent Contract Approval
The board approved the Superintendent’s Contract effective July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2024. Thrall said Grossman met or exceeded all the goals of his evaluation. The motion passed unanimously.