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March 2, 2022

Board members present: Kristina Gilton, Monica Logan (via Zoom), Donna Nolan, David Peling, Whitney Sanzo, Sarah Thrall, Rosemarie Weber, and student reps Tess Bajek and Jacob Scotto.

Superintendent’s Announcements

Dr. Jordan Grossman congratulated Katrina McCord, Poetry Out Loud winner, who is one of five state finalists to participate in the Poetry Out Loud final competition on March 5.

Kelly Lane and Wells Road collected over $16,000 for the annual Kids Heart Challenge which raises money for the American Heart Association.

Online Kindergarten registration began in February and, including current PK students, there are 71 students registered

Assistant Superintendent’s Report

Jennifer Parsons said that three math coaches, Amy Lupoli, Kristin Rice and Dawn Olsen, attended the Curriculum Subcommittee and gave an update on the work last year to implement the Illustrative Math Program as our primary math resource in Grade 6-8. They have explored resources and piloted some units in Grades K-5, and at the Algebra level this year. Parsons shared teachers feel positive about the results they are seeing with conceptual understanding. The district will move forward with that resource in K-5 next year and continue work with CREC. She also shared that the second learning walk will occur and Bajek and Gilton will join the team of 12 visiting all four schools to observe the learning environment. There will be over 200 brief observations. The last learning walk of the year will be in May.

Student Representative Reports

Bajek said students have been very happy about masks being optional in class and at games and the energy at school has been much better.

Schools in the Spotlight

Michael Dunn, GMHS principal, welcomed seniors Carly DeMartino and Pearce Boit, along with their Capstone teacher Margaret Bastiaanse who spoke about how the Capstone projects at the high school have evolved.

Capstone has been in place at the high school for several years and is one of the graduation projects. Topics are anything students are passionate about from mental health of students in school, social media as well as air conditioning. DeMartino’s Capstone presentation was on Laughter is the Best Medicine and said it is one of the most important projects she has done in high school. Research for the project was on a much larger scale than other projects she’s worked on. Part of the research is to find an expert and formally interview them.

Boit spoke about choosing a topic and his project on the effects of the Black Lives Matter protests. He said finding the topic is one of the most important steps and it cannot be a broad topic. He is very proud of his project. He has learned so much along the way, giving him better communication skills in preparing him for college.

Bastiaanse called it the best teaching experiences she has had in Granby by giving her an opportunity to support students as a coach/mentor. Students leave high school with life and communication skills applicable to their college and career lives. Bastiaanse thanked Dunn for the opportunity to end her career in Granby working on these projects.

Thrall inquired how the students narrowed down their passion project. Boit said he went in with a vague idea, but research is what leads you to your focus. DeMartino said her topic was something she believed in as well and she expanded on a speech she had given. Peling inquired if all seniors do Capstone Projects and Bastiaanse said yes. Grossman said that the district is looking for K-12 alignment for students to build skills toward creating their Capstone projects.

Approval of Bus Contract Extension

The bus contract extension for CREC Transportation Services effective July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2027, was discussed. Grossman said the contract has been reviewed and discussed by the Finance Subcommittee, the attorney, and Town Manager. The district is pleased with the CREC services and requested an extension of the current bus contract. The Finance Subcommittee discussed the contract and compared it to going out to bid. It made sense financially to keep the quality and stability of the transportation received from CREC. The board unanimously approved the extension of the CREC Transportation Services Contract effective July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2027.

FY23 Administrative Budget Presentation

Grossman presented the FY23 Administrative Budget and thanked the administrative team and teachers for their involvement in the development process. He thanked Anna Robbins saying that behind every good superintendent is a very good business manager. He also thanked the Board of Finance led by Mike Guarco, who has been a true partner with the BOE and said he has never worked in a town that worked so collaboratively. This budget is grounded in what is best for children as well our Vision of a Graduate.

Other Board-Related Reports

Sanzo shared that a Granby Education Foundation grant submitted by Amber Wyzik was awarded for a poster printer at Kelly Lane.

Respectfully submitted,

Donna Nolan, Board Secretary