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October 19, 2022

Present: Kristina Gilton, Monica Logan, Donna Nolan, David Peling, Whitney Sanzo, Sarah Thrall, Rosemarie Weber and Student Representative Chase Alexander.

Superintendent’s Announcements

Dr. Jordan Grossman said creation of the FY24 Budget is well underway at the building level.

Assistant Superintendent’s Report

Jennifer Parsons said assessment results have been sent home to parents for students in Grades 4-9. If students are flagged in terms of skill development, parents are contacted and additional information is gathered on the students. She added that all K-12 students will have a Devereaux Student Stress Assessment (DESSA) screener and teachers will complete eight questions on each student on how students interact with other students and how they are feeling with schoolwork, etc. If there are concerns, staff will reach out to parents. Parents will receive a letter explaining DESSA in the near future. Thrall asked if the data is accessible by the state since the state purchased the assessment and Parsons stated, yes, it is, but parents can opt out of it.

Schools in the Spotlight

Granby Memorial Middle School science teachers Ann Buckley and Sue Alender, along with 7th grade students Thomas Erickson, Ashley Hodgkin, Sean Pomponi, Joseph Tofil and Mia Woods, shared their recent field trip experience to Project Oceanology in Groton. The field trip provided a real-world science experience supporting the Grade 7 science curriculum. Joe shared what they learned about water chemistry and water quality; Sean described the types of fish they saw; Thomas explained how they were able to catch the fish; Ashley explained that some plankton turn into other sea animals and some stay plankton for their whole lives; and Mia spoke about the crab habitat lab and Asian green crabs that are an invasive species.

Business Manager’s Report

Anna Robbins presented the Statement of Accounts for September. The fiscal year forecast shows an anticipated over-budget condition of $551K. The forecast for regular education is favorable $67K, but $62K lower than the previous month. This change centers around staffing adjustments. Expenses in salary line items are favorable due to two open positions currently filled using the instructional purchased services line item. Special education is over-budget $618K but is better than last month by $66K. The over-budget condition is due to changes in out-of-district transportation caused by the shift in the ride sharing program and bus driver shortages. Revenue to the Town is projected to be favorable $400K due to the projected increase in the Excess Cost Grant. The Q and D Fund continues to trend positively but there is lower than budgeted revenue due to slightly lower enrollment of Open Choice students.

GMMS Continuous Improvement Plan

Dr. Taylor Wrye, middle school principal, stated students and teachers are working hard and exceptional things are happening in classrooms every day. Goal #1, Student Achievement, for GMMS students to achieve levels of proficiency or higher on the state assessment in math by monitoring their growth and performance over time and providing high-quality, effective instruction in Math, ELA, and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). In Math, GMMS will provide professional development for teachers in the Illustrative Math Program; have data team discussions during team meetings; and implement a co-teaching model. In Reading and Writing, GMMS will provide professional development for teachers from the Teachers College; implement the Teachers College Reading and Writing Workshop model; and provide small group instruction on specific standards/skills identified to students receiving reading interventions. In Science (NGSS), which is offered to students in Grades 5, 7 and 8, GMMS will analyze data by the department and have data discussions during team and department meetings; implement formative assessments with fidelity to monitor student progress; and determine where science and math overlap and how teachers can support each other. Gilton inquired about crossing over with math and science. Wrye said this is happening with the new STEM teacher and math coach, Ms. Olsen. Tutoring and intervention services are needed at the middle school level.

Peling voiced a concern with all the assessments being done throughout the year and could any of these be scaled back. Parsons stated the STAR assessment is a predictor and should only take 25 minutes three times a year and that assessment blocks are at the most 10-15 minutes and are used as a teaching tool as well as to pre-assess and measure retention after a unit ends.

Wrye continued reviewing the goals: Goal #2, Community Engagement: continue to improve the transition process for all new students entering GMMS by hosting events before the arrival at school; meeting support staff; celebrating new students and providing opportunities to connect with peers and other new students; and GMMS 6th grade teachers collaborating with 5th grade teachers at Wells Road to support the students’ transition. The second goal is developing a school-wide plan for branding GMMS by acknowledging the Granby Bear Student of the month; an active presence on social media and school website; and develop a morning news Broadcast Club.

Goal #3, Safety and Social Emotional Well-Being: teachers utilize a restorative approach around inclusive, relationship-centered and culturally responsive practices to create supportive classroom environments by creating school-wide expectations; implementing the DESSA assessment; and continuing to implement and utilize Restorative Practices.

Goal #4, Budget Development and Fiscal Management: GMMS will continue to create a long-term financial plan that aligns with the vision of the Board of Finance by monitoring class sizes to ensure appropriate BOE class guidelines and conducting a staff structure review to ensure that the middle school’s structures are the best possible.

Goal #5, Embracing Diversity: to ensure system-wide practices and structures are in place at GMMS to support the implementation of the Granby Public Schools’ Anti-Bias/Anti-Racism Plan by acknowledging Cultural Heritage Months and developing classroom libraries.

Goal #6, Professional Learning: the learning environment will have classroom routines that are well understood and initiated by students. Achieved by developing the capacity of the leadership team to model and use protocols and utilize Restorative Practices to build a classroom culture of connectedness.

New Policy 4113.12–Minimum Duty–Free Lunch Periods for Teachers

The Curriculum/Policy/Technology/Communications recommended new Policy 4113.2, Minimum Duty-Free Lunch Periods for Teachers, for a first reading. Parsons said this policy is legislatively driven for teachers to have a 30-minute duty-free lunch period that is in place at all of our schools.

Revised Policy 5113.2–Truancy

The Curriculum/Policy/Technology/Communications recommended revised Policy 5113.2, Truancy, to the Board for a first reading. Parsons stated the changes are legislatively mandated as to how truant students are handled, i.e., following procedures and supporting these students with interventions and contacting families prior to a student’s truancy.


Weber stated this subcommittee met this evening to discuss the September statement of accounts and the shortage of Speech and Language Pathologists, bus drivers, etc. and the impact on the budget. The roofing project was discussed briefly and administration is looking at the increased costs of this project and town leadership is meeting to discuss options. Also received a food service update and administration is continuing to monitor this program; received a GEF Grant update on the Video Production Studio; approved a leave-of-absence request; and, discussed storage space for robotics.

Granby Education Foundation

Sanzo stated Grossman and Thrall attended the recent GEF meeting to provide an update of the video production studio. GEF members were able to go through the details as well as the progress of the project. Sanzo stated classes will start next semester and there is a lot of excitement about it.

Respectfully submitted,

Donna Nolan, Board Secretary