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March 15, 2023

Superintendent’s Announcements

The last day of school will be Wednesday, June 14, and high school graduation is on Friday, June 9.

Public Comment

Bill Regan commented on double dipping. About 139 Granby students who attend Vo-Ag or technical schools and are also counted in the student population for funding. He asked if the state also pays for those schools, and if so where does that money go. Thrall said that would be addressed in the budget overview.

Judy Baum-Baron said that recently there is a lot of commentary online about bullying in the Granby school system. She feels things are not being dealt with, which is very bothersome to her. She has two children in the middle school.

FY24 Budget Discussion/Approval

The board continued to discuss the FY24 Budget. In regard to the question asked by a community member, Robbins stated that the per pupil expenditure (PPE) is calculated from the Granby Public Schools’ expenses with some adjustments (additions/subtractions) that are not considered in the PPE. It is then divided by 1,725 students and comes out to a cost of $18,897 per student. Some students living in Granby who do not attend the Granby schools are not taken into consideration in our PPE; however, we do pay magnet school tuition. Granby also has students who attend Oliver Wolcott and Suffield Vo-Ag. We pay for Suffield Vo-ag but not for Oliver Wolcott. Sarah Thrall inquired if the question was answered. Regan inquired if the tuition paid for Suffield Vo-ag is reimbursable. Grossman stated there is a bill currently in the legislature that proposes to increase the Education Cost Share to districts because when magnet schools were created, they were meant to be funded by the state but are now being funded by districts.

The board approved the FY24 Board of Education Budget, an increase of 4.88 percent over the FY23 Budget.

First Reading of Policy 5131.911— Bullying

Peling said this policy is being revised to state that a single act of bullying constitutes bullying as opposed to multiple acts. The revision is due to statutory changes and updates regarding the definition of bullying.

April 5, 2023

Assistant Superintendent’s Report

Jennifer Parsons stated summative testing is underway. Grades 3-8 started SBAC testing in ELA, math and Next Generation Science Standards testing and the high school completed the CT School Day SAT. The Granby Equity Team met and spoke about action vs. lack of action and how that plays out in a system where you are looking to make change. They also looked at cultural heritage months acknowledged in each school and celebrated great things happening like photo murals, guest speakers and highlighted professionals within a content area. The group worked in collaborative action teams: updates will be shared at the end of the year.

Student Representative Reports

Chase Alexander reported that spring break starts on Friday and students are very excited. In addition, the spring sports pep rally will be held tomorrow to celebrate the upcoming spring sports seasons and celebrate winter sports which concluded, National Honors Society is currently running a clothing drive and encouraging donation of new or used clothing to be contributed to the community. Robotics is moving on to nationals after their weekend-long competition April 1–2.

Schools in the Spotlight

Jill Kozieradzki, PE teacher, Jennifer Miller, special education elementary instructional coach, and Kelly Lane Primary School students shared the experiences that have been afforded since the launch of Unified Sports at Kelly Lane Primary School. Forty-eight students meet on a monthly basis. Unified Sports provides access to sports as players and partners with opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy as well as develop sportsmanship skills. Students play soccer and bowl, learn balance beams, ball passing, bean bag toss, relay races and hula hooping.

Leadership Profile for Superintendent of Schools

Dr. Mary Broderick, Search Consultant from CABE Search Services, presented a leadership profile for the new Superintendent of Schools. 422 participants completed surveys, including students (50% of that number) parents/guardians (23%). Fourteen focus groups were scheduled and 43 people participated. According to Broderick the number one response was regarding the teachers and staff; the second most mentioned was the breadth and quality of academic offerings; and, the third most mentioned were the great opportunities to supplement their academics. Other strengths mentioned were communications culture/values; administration, facilities/resources; and, safety and security. Dr. Broderick reviewed the challenges surfaced from the surveys and focus groups: mental and behavioral health, discipline, and safety; attracting and retaining staff; student achievement, curriculum and program; administrative issues, including communication; diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging; funding and resources; special education; social and political influences; parental pressures; and facilities. Dr. Broderick reviewed the desired expertise in a new Superintendent as follows:  1) Builds trusting relationships with students, staff and community; 2) Communicates and collaborates effectively in school and community; 3) Shares district-wide vision of excellence & innovative instruction; and, 4) Possesses strong budget and finance knowledge and skills. She shared desired qualities in a new Superintendent, such as, a passion for student learning; a strong leader and savvy manager; models a work/life balance; attracts and retains teachers and staff; communicates and collaborates effectively; careful listener; values the ideas of others; communicates clearly and transparently both written and orally; grasps the business side of operations, facilities and capital project management; articulates a collective vision; inspires and excites staff about the direction of the district; understands teaching and learning in Granby; well-rounded in education, leadership and management; and, lastly, someone who is determined to stay in Granby for a long time.

Broderick shared next steps and stated the application deadline is this Friday, April 7. The Board will meet with her to review the applications. Interviews will start after that including a site visit to the final candidate(s) if the Board chooses to do so. Dr. Broderick stated a deep dive background check is performed to reassure the community that the person selected is who they claim to be. 

Public Comment

Kylie Coxon, Senior at GMHS, said she came to observe the meeting tonight but when she saw the bullying policy on the agenda, she felt compelled to speak about a prolonged issue at GMHS. She shared that she was awarded a $20,000 grant for GMHS to help middle school students transition to the high school and stated the culture makes it necessary to have a program like this. Kylie said she hopes the board follows through on the new policies being implemented.

Grace Darling, a senior at GMHS, commented she also attended the meeting tonight to observe for a scholarship but felt compelled to speak about a family member’s experience in Granby Public Schools. She stated it should not be hard to defend yourself if policies are working correctly. She understands changes are being made to the bullying policy and urged that language changes are going to make a difference and easier for victims to have their claims be acknowledged as bullying.

FY24 Budget Revision/Approval

The board discussed approving a revision to the FY24 Board of Education Budget. Sarah Thrall stated the Board of Education FY24 Budget was presented to the BOF last Monday, March 27th and the result of that meeting was an increase to the budget. An increase of 4.88% was presented. The BOF increased the budget by 0.2% to 5.08% to reflect insurance increases. A motion was made by Sarah Thrall and seconded by Monica Logan that the Granby Board of Education adopt a revision to the FY24 Board of Education Budget for a 5.08% increase over the FY23 Budget as presented in the revised FY24 Board of Education Budget Book. This motion passed unanimously.

Second Reading of Policy 5131.911 – Bullying

The Subcommittee recommended revised Policy 5131.911, Bullying, to the Board for a second reading and approval. Jennifer Parsons stated there are changes in the definition as to what is considered an act of bullying as it no longer needs to be a repeated act. Once the policy is adopted, there will be a second level of work done to this policy. The motion to adopt the policy was passed unanimously.