Montpelier Board of School CommissionersMinutesMinutes - December 7, 2011

Minutes - December 7, 2011

1.      Call to Order  The meeting was called to order at 6:45 p.m. 

2.      Executive Session  On a motion duly made and seconded, the board voted unanimously to enter Executive Session at 6:45 p.m., with the superintendent remaining.  On a motion duly made and seconded, the board voted unanimously to leave Executive Session at 7:03 p.m.

a.      Confidential Student Matter

3.      Return to Open Session  7:03 p.m. 

4.      Adjust/Review Agenda  The school budget discussion will be moved upward on the agenda. 

5.      Public Comments  None.

6.      Budget Proposal  Richard Sheir offered suggestions to the Board in regard to existing and future budget concerns.  Mr. Sheir’s proposal included ideas for generating additional revenue.  Those suggestions included an advisory committee to identify and secure grants, summer school programs, and fees for athletics and driver education programs.  Mr. Sheir suggested a capital budget freeze for at least the FY13 budget, along with a recommendation that the Board again give serious consideration to the closure of Main Street Middle School.  The cost of delivery of special education versus regular education services was also discussed.

7.      Presentation of FY13 Recreation Department Budget – Arne McMullen Mr. McMullen presented two budget proposals for FY13, the first a 0% increase in the Recreation Department appropriation, the second a 10% decrease in the Recreation Department appropriation.  Proposed reductions were discussed.  Following discussion, Mr. VanDerlip moved, seconded by Mr. Phillips, that Mr. McMullen return with a budget that reflects a 3% fund balance at the end of the next fiscal year, removes the pool concessions reduction, and examines fees and the fee structure to see if additional money can be generated in that area.  Mr. Jones moved to amend the original motion to preserve the fund balance for a few more years and requested that Mr. McMullen’s return with a budget that reflects a 5% decrease in the Recreation Department appropriation with a smaller portion of the funds coming from the fund balance.  The motion to amend passed.  The motion as amended carried unanimously. 

8.      Discuss FY13 School Budget  Superintendent Ricca updated the Board on the budget process to date and requested input from the Board and the public in the final two weeks.  Funding for Community Connections was discussed.  Superintendent Ricca was asked to return in two weeks with three scenarios, a budget that reflects a 2% decease, a budget that reflects a 0% increase, and a budget that reflects a 2% increase.  Mr. VanDerlip requested that historical data be included with the presentation in two weeks. 

9.      Discuss School Dances  The discussion focused on student conduct and safety at dances.  If dances are school-sponsored, Mr. Robinson noted the importance of ensuring a safe, healthy environment.  A few board members admitted lack of personal knowledge in regard to the specific behavior of concern.  Mr. VanDerlip and Ms. Paquette volunteered to attend the next dance, scheduled for December 10, 2011, and report back to the Board on their personal observations.  

10.  Discuss Student Achievement Recognition  Mrs. Herz shared that she feels the manner in which the district honors student achievement, i.e., the honor roll, is not consistent with its goals.  She said defining recognition as being good at every single subject is out of date and does not reflect the district’s core values.  She went on to say that grades are an imperfect measure of talent and she worries that some students do not take risks for fear of being dropped from the honor roll.  Mr. Jones questioned the value of publicizing the honor roll.  Superintendent Ricca will bring this matter to the Administrative Team for their input on ways all students can be celebrated for things they are good at.    

11.  Consent Agenda

a.      Minutes of November 16, 2011

b.      Warrants

c.      Co-Curricular Contract

Mr. VanDerlip moved, seconded by Mrs. Herz, to approve the consent agenda including minutes of the November 16, 2011 meeting, Warrants 23 and 24 dated December 8, 2011 in the amounts of $408,658.82 and $48,238.81 respectively, and a co-curricular contract (see listing).  Motion carried unanimously.

12.  Announcements/Review Meeting (+/∆) 

-         Seussical the Musical was a fantastic event.

-          Negotiations with the MEA have begun.

13.   Adjournment  On a motion duly made and seconded, the board voted unanimously to adjourn at 9:21 p.m. 

Heather Michaud


Co-curricular Appointment

Koch, Zach

Fall Play (Technical Director)



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