Reflections on the first school quarter

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Our students have just finished their first quarter of the school year; I thought it would be a good time for an update.

Teacher Contract

A major focus of the board this fall was to negotiate a fair contract with our teachers for the contract term beginning in July of 2024. At the outset, I should acknowledge the rumors that permeated our town during this process. The rules and guidelines for collective bargaining between the board and the teacher’s union (GEA) are governed by Connecticut General Statute section 10-153 et seq. Collective bargaining is necessarily a confidential process so that both sides of the negotiations were unable to correct the misconceptions that found their way on to social media.

To set the record straight, there were three areas under consideration during the negotiations. First, there were contract language proposals that included things like length of the school day, vacation time, sick leave, tuition reimbursement and general duties and responsibilities of teachers during the workday, among other things. The second area up for negotiation was health benefits: issues such as cost sharing, deductible contributions, coverage and prescription costs. The final and perhaps largest area of negotiations was salaries.

Overall, there were many shared goals during the negotiations. Both the board and the GEA acknowledged that Granby teacher salaries have not kept pace with other districts in the area. As a result, the board’s focus was to create a salary schedule that demonstrated our genuine respect and appreciation for the work of our teachers. The board also made a firm commitment to improving the district’s salary schedule while always mindful of the economic realities that are unique to Granby’s economy. We believe that these goals were achieved, and we appreciate the advocacy of the GEA during this process.

Student Achievement and Communications Plan

Also, this fall the school administration provided the board with data relating to student achievement and school improvement plans. Overall, the school improvement plans are rigorous and ensure that our students are challenged and receive the instruction and interventions they need to be successful. Additionally, Superintendent Burke has been working to develop a comprehensive communication plan that demonstrates a commitment to partnering with our parents and community to do what is best for all students. In just a few short months, the curriculum for grades K through 5 is now available to see on our website. We look forward to the roll out of the full plan in the coming months.


Finally, two new board members were sworn in on Nov. 20.

On behalf of the board, I congratulate and welcome Heather Lombardo and Liz Barlow. I also congratulate David Peling and Monica Logan who will continue to serve on the board. With these additions, however, we must necessarily say goodbye to two invaluable members of our board—Kristina Gilton and Katharine Leenders. These two exceptional people made significant contributions to our board and epitomize what it means to put students first. I want to thank them for their contributions, and I hope they will continue to serve our community because we need people like Kristina and Katharine working for Granby.

As we enter a busy holiday season, the board will continue its work on behalf of our students, and we wish you and your family a healthy and happy holiday season.